Monday, April 26, 2010

Mukha ng Bayan ni Juan sa Panahon ng Halalan

Last April 20-22, we attended SEA- CEM and Mindanews' Citizen Journalism workshop.Part of the activity is the big part video plays in advocacy.

Maran Perianan, a journalist and also gives training on basic video shots to indigenous peoples in Malaysia using Flip video is one of the resource persons. He shared their experiences and the role images played in raising issues in the community such as illegal logging and human rights violations. Their group distributed Flip videos to the communities and the people in the community started taking shots and raised issues on health care and environmental destruction. This is community empowerment, of the people holding power to present the truth through their eyes.

The power of blogging and online marketing was also introduced by Sean Ang. Twitter, Facebook and our blogs are powerful tools to promote our advocacies to a wider audience.

My most favorite part is when we had our field work. Our topic is Election in particular about campaign materials.

Based on Omnibus Election Code,

Cloth, paper or cardboard posters, whether framed or posted, with an area exceeding two feet by three feet, except that, at the site and on the occasion of a public meeting or rally, or in announcing the holding of said meeting or rally, streamers not exceeding three feet by eight feet in size, shall be allowed
Section 18 (c) (You can find the full copy of Omnibus Election Code here)

So what does the common tao thinks about these materials?

One fruit vendor along Roxas Boulevard said: "Bisag unsa pa na kadaghan ilang posters, kami naa na jud mi napili-ang kandidato. Sayang-sayang ra na sila og kwarta ug naghugaw-hugaw ra. (No matter how many posters they put up, we have already chosen our candidates. They are just wasting their money and they are polluting [the area])."

Another insight from a first-time voter:"How can you expect them to implement the law when they could not even follow a simple rule?"
Sadly, our laws are just suggestions!

A photographer from San Pedro expressed his view: "Maayo man unta na kay mahibaw-an sa tao nga nidagan sila apan naa man kung unsa gyud ang kadak-on sa tarp, asa ra na mamahimong ipost. Unya wa man na nasunod.COMELEC wala may mabuhat. (It's okay since the people would know that they are running however, there is specifics on the tarp [size] and the where it should be posted. But it's not followed. COMELEC hasn't done anything)."

"Grabe na kahugaw ang kalsada. Naa man unta na regulasyon." Kuya Jun, a pedicab driver from Boulevard said. As for the street sweepers of the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO), they can only clean the posters that fell but they have no authority to pull down campaign materials even it's nailed on trees. All they can do is give a sigh and continue sweeping early in the morning.

So take a look. Every faces. Everyone smiling. Photoshopped. Seeking for your attention. Hoping you will remember them when you cast your votes this May 10.

Reflection. Huge Banderitas.


Team Nograles' Marketing Line

Team Duterte's Response

Free Ride. Nauna ka. Didikitan din kita!


Talking to Manong Benny.
Thanks to my partner Tauna Maulana. :)

Matanong ko lang, meron din kaya silang nilaang pondo for clean-up drive after elections?

P.S. Be very afraid of candidates who spend too much!

Due to previous commitment I wa snot able to finish the workshop and my video. *sad* but I learned the basics. Will use Adobe Premiere on my other projects. ('0')

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wandering at Hagpa

Last month, I have a memorable (longest) road trip of my life. We were invited to give an input about agrofuels at Brgy. Hagpa, Impasug-ong Bukidnon. Since the concerned program is not available (Ate Anna's preggy and advised against long travels), I have to give my best shot.

I'm so thankful Louie, a college friend and now a staff of Task Force Mapalad was assigned in Bukidnon. He accompanied me and became the porter for the day. It was a relief not to bring those heavy reading materials to be distributed to the community.

So how far is the area? To give you an idea, here is my iterinary.

From Davao to Malaybalay City, it's a 4-hour bus ride. Then from Malaybalay City, I have to take the bus to Impasug-ong for about 40 minutes. Then, we have another hour and a half Skylab (motorcycle) ride to Brgy. Lamingan were we stayed overnight. The next day, we have to hike for around 40minutes to the Barangay Hall of Hagpa.

To better understand the situation and to contextualize it, I had initial interviews with the elders and the staff of Father Vincent Cullen Tulugan Learning and Development Centre (FVCTLDC), the organization that aided them in their CADT claim. Here's what I've gathered:

Higa-onons Ancestral Domain

The approved Higa-onon ancestral domain has a total area of 14,000 hectares. It comprise the municipalities of Impasug-ong and Malitbog at Bukidnon. Inhabitants are composed of communities from the sitios of Mintapod, Agtulawon, Kiudto, Kaanibongan, Butongon, Ulawon and some sitios in Barangay Hagpa.

The Agtulawon-Mintapod Higaonon Cumadon (AGHIMICU) is the peoples organization representing the claim of the Higa-onons in Impasug-ong. It is headed by 13 datus. On May 1995, they first applied for Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claim (CADC) at Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The CADC was awarded to them on February 1998.

However, the identified boundaries in the CADC was far from the actual extent of their domain. When RA 8371 or IPRA was enacted, AGHIMICU applied for conversion of CADC to Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) on 2000 and was approved and awarded last May 15, 2008 with CADT Number R10-IMP-1206-054.

About 95% of the inhabitants in Brgy. Hagpa are Higaonons. They were able to acquire CADT with the aid of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP), FVCTLDC and Philippine Association for Intercultural Development, Inc (PAFID). The Dumagats (inmigrants) are the ones who have not yet acquired any private titles. Thsi had caused some concern to teh settlers that having the CADT will hinder them from acquiring private ttiles for their farmlands. Last Tuesday, April 13, the DUMACO (Dumagats' organization) and AGHIMICU signed a Memorandum of Agreement entitling the Dumagats to apply for private titles on their respective privately-owned residential and farm lots.

ABERDI's oil palm ventures

I was told that the ABERDI (A Brown Energy and Resources Development Inc.) is planning to expand in their area. The municipality of Impasug-ong in the province of Bukidnon is known as the “oil palm capital”. The company currently has a 10 tonner modular Palm Oil Mill at the poblacion. The company also owns 70 hectares oil palm plantation (40 hectares in Maluko, Bukidnon; 27 hectares in Dalirig and 3 hectares in Lunocan, Manolo Fortich). They also have a joint-venture agreement with the local People’s Organization KASAMA- KA. The said PO has acquired a Community- based Forest Management Agreement (CBFMA) with DENR and instead planting the usual falcatta or gemelina trees, they planted their area with oil palm.

ABERDI ventures also into into real estates, agricultural crops and processing. They have their subsidiaries that are responsible for oil palm plantations undertakings -Nakeen Corp. and Andesite Corp and Xavier Estates, wellknown for real estates in Cagayan de Oro City.

ABERDI is now planning to expand in the neighboring barangays of its current plantation in Brgy. Kalabugao, Impasug-ong. Brgy. Hagpa is the next and last frontier of the Pantaron range where the company is vying for expansion. At present, one of the Datu of the AGMIHICU, Datu Datu Mandedlayen Nanolan (Datu Aguilo) approves of the proposed expansion on his 200 hectares area at Sitio Kiudto, Brgy.Hagpa.

The said Datu based on interviews is no longer staying at Brgy. Hagpa and is not engaged in agriculture. The respondents shared that the said Datu is seeking for a seat in the Municipal Council and he needs money for his campaign. The other members of the Council of Elders and the Dumagats (inmigrants) are against the expansion since the proposed expansion site is their protected forest and other parts are agricultural lands.Staff of FVCTLDC shared that the area is also viable for cassava and other agricultural crops.

Right now, the other member of the AGMIHICU is negotiating and to arrive in a concensus regarding this matter. I've heard a local youth leader was also tapped by ABERDI to negotiate per households for the leasing their land. And the amount for teh rent of their land? P5,000 for 25 years! Just a simple equation. P5,000 divided by 25 years divided by 12 months per year. They will only earn P16.67 per month for the next 25 years?!

Meanwhile HAMOG, the youth cultural group of the community wishes their elders to think of their future. They the future Joey Ayala on the rise. Listen to their voices:

They are singing a song on caring of their remaining forests in Binukid (local dialect).

Partaking the chicken offering during the ritual.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

in Memory of Snow White

I just woke up when Keno, my best friend's younger brother asked me if I have heard of Tita Rotchelle. I said no. I just heard that she was in the hospital. Then Keno replied. “Ate patay na siya.” I was shocked. Still in shock.

How can death take such a fine young woman, still in her prime?
Death is feared, celebrated yet we have no choice but to embrace it. Death is like a thief in the night. It surprises you.

Rotchelle Padua. Ching. Tita Rotch for me (Mommy to some) will always be remembered as the timid, fair-skinned girl. The class Snow White. I always joke about her very smooth hands. Mala kandila. I told her, perhaps she has no household chores. She laughed with her soft sweet voice, “nagtatrabaho din ako sa bahay ek. Ewan ko bakit malambot tong kamay ko.

She speaks Tagalog. Tin-tin de Pedro (Baby Chin) tells her to speak in Ilonggo. But she said, how can she speak in Ilonggo if the people are conversing her in Tagalog? She can understand Ilonggo but opts to speak in Tagalog. I learned her parents were from Manila and they speak Tagalog at home. When she speaks, we told her that we have to lean and really really listen since she has a very soft voice.

I always tell her she is so timid, very silent alongside with Gera. I will always remember her seating in one row with Floribeth, Geraldinn (I call them the 'silent girls') and Momsie Cha. But Momsie Cha refuted. “Abi mo lang na nak hipuson na sila.Palaistorya na sila.” Such wrong first impression.

She doesn't talk loud like us, that is. She's a very animated talker. She used to share stories. Literature is her company. When you talk to her, you know you have a very attentive listener. She adores Rob Pattinson. That was the long chat we had on FB. I told her I am for Team Jacob. She insisted that the mysterious vampire is more lovable. That Edward Anthony Masen Cullen, the immortal one is just so sweet. Period.

When I told her I was meeting a male high school classmate for a cup of coffee and I asked her to guess, she replied. “Si Jeffrey?” And I laughed. High school memories of families and wives and our sheer silliness. And she laughed along.

She asked me one day. "Ek, have you read my article in PDI on March 19?” I thought it was a press release or something work related. It was a personal essay. It's her reflection of her 21 years of existence. It was published in Young Blood.

A good beginning

By Rotchelle M. Padua
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 02:52:00 03/19/2009

Filed Under: Youth

I am now spending the last few days of my 21st year here on earth. To be perfectly honest, I am quite apprehensive about the coming of my 22nd birthday. Although I remain optimistic, I can’t help but feel that, well, I am getting older. Time flies with incredible speed. Things happen too swiftly that we hardly find time to remember the memories that make up our lives. So let me take this time to revisit some moments of my life and ponder on my youth.

Was it just last year when my mom accompanied me to my first ever formal school?

Was it just last year when I became a regular visitor at the hospital because of my weak immune system?

Was it just last year when I gave out a heart-breaking cry for fear that the church door would be barred because we were late for my first communion?

Was it just last year when the thought of wearing something extremely feminine for a high school promenade seemed ludicrous to me?

Was it just last month when I accepted a role in our drama class many people who know me wouldn’t have thought I could tackle, without first taking workshops on how to raise an eyebrow, how to throw things in a convincingly outraged manner and how to yell loud enough for the audience to realize that I was on stage, speaking to them and not to myself?

Was it just last year when the thought of leaving home for college and staying at a boardinghouse overwhelmed me with nostalgia and doubts that almost shattered my goal of finishing college?

Was it just last year when I would silently command my voice not to quiver and tell myself to feign confidence whenever I spoke in class?

Was it just last month when I wished that a Shakespeare incarnate could have written plays and sonnets dedicated to me for the whole world to appreciate?

Was it just last year when I graduated from college, feeling unusually triumphant after overcoming so many obstacles to my earning the much-coveted diploma?

Was it just last week when I had my first job interview?

Was it just yesterday when I realized that I have started to earn a living and not just learning to earn a living?

These are the events that happened in my past, distant and recent. And I am beginning to feel a little bit old again.

When I was 10, I considered high school students to be as young as I was. I looked at college students as moderately old. I looked at teachers, doctors, employees, and the rest of the workforce as old, and the people older than them as much too old for me. Now that I belong to the “old” group, I bicker with my 10-year-old self and adjust, reclassify, or better yet try to abolish the unjust age classification.

I have more youthful principles with which to replace them: Anybody who wants to be young must be given the chance to feel (and probably look) young. Anybody whose child-like qualities have been left dormant should be encouraged to be a child again. Anybody who has forgotten how to find joy from simple things should be taken on an early morning walk along a path where nature looks wonderful. Anybody who has lost compassion towards others should have his or her eyes opened to the pleasant truth that genuine care for others (that’s why we’re here for anyway) can give unparalleled happiness, which may be the key to keeping age at bay. Youth can be an option. It can be a state of mind. It can be a pleasant condition of the soul brought about by happiness, contentment, peace and love.

Ending my 21st year is like finishing a book’s chapter I have always yearned to read. Some of the best moments of my life happened last year. Those were the moments when I felt so cared for, so protected and so blessed beyond description. Those were the moments when all the iniquities in the world were shrouded by the love of the people around me. Those were the moments when I felt that the world was a better place to live in (hackneyed as it may seem). Those were the moments I will be eternally grateful for.

Ending such a wonderful year fills me with nostalgia, but this is the only way I can begin another chapter—and hopefully more chapters—that God has designed for me. It is the only way I can collect more memories. It is the only way I can share more of myself with others. It is the only way to have a deeper understanding of life. It is the only way I can fulfill the grand purpose that God has assigned to me from the day I was born.

Tita Rotch is a very good friend. Despite her sickness, she went to Lake Sebu to celebrate Momsie Cha's birthday. We went to the falls and she was wearing a jacket. She was there just to talk to Mommy and observed our childlessness.

Tita Ching, despite her fever joined us to celebrate Momsie Cha's birthday in Lake Sebu

Tita Rotch contemplating.

Tita Ching with Floribeth

The other week I heard she's in the hospital. I texted her but she didn't reply. We don't know what's her illness. She wouldn't tell us. Maybe she doesn't want us to worry.

Tita Ching, you will always be remembered. Your sweet smile. Your low voice. Your milky white skin. And the vampire love stories. Thank you for the friendship.

You are with our Creator. You are completely healed now.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Words of Inspiration to the Students*

Maayong hapon sa tanan!

It is my great honor to come back here. The last time I stood on this stage was my graduation, delivering the valedictory speech. I remembered seating there. I was a student like you, doe-eyed and eager to receive our medal and cards- yellow or green that recognizes our efforts in our studies.

When I was asked by Ma’am Evelyn Janoya to give a speech, I was adamant. I thought it’s only more experienced people who are invited to be guest speakers and to be an inspiration. But I can’t say to Ma’am Janoya. She’s my former History quiz coach and almost a second mother to me.

With Ma'am Evelyn Janoya, my History quiz coach.

How is it to give inspiration? I guess I just want to share my life and hope it would be a source of inspiration.

I grew up under the care of my lola and aunts. I used to envy my classmates who had their mama and papa pinning their ribbons every recognition day. It was like, “ngaa wala man akong mama and papa?” But as I grew older, I realized I should not envy anyone. My parents got separated before I was born. And so? Would that be my reason to sulk and self-pity? I haven’t met my father not until I reached Grade 3. My family is not the normal form of family. But I learned to work out and enjoy what I have. I am luckier because I have three mothers, a grandmother and other second mothers like Ma'am Janoya who were there and proud of my achievements.

With my aunt, Nanay Nelly who took care of me when my mother went abroad.

I have a Aunt whom we dearly called Mommy Suzette who buy and sells malongs, chorizos and bulad just to help my sister’s and my education. She’s in Iloilo now. She's the one who told me to enjoy learning. Getting the medal or the ribbon is not the end all of everything. It is a recognition of your work but most of all enjoy the process of learning. Do not cheat just because you want to get high grades. Cheating in exams just show how dependent and unconfident person you are.

And always Read. Write about what you have read. Read and write always. Make it your habit because if you enter high school and college, it is a very important trait. You cannot just have to say always your thoughts. You have to write it down. You cannot write substantially if you have haven’t read that much right? Read not just the small pocketbooks. Pursue reading more relevant books.

Befriend your teacher but not to a point of being sipsip. Befriend and be sincere. Befriend older persons because they are more experienced, they can give you advice that would guide you. Befriend your school librarians. They can always tell you what’s the best book to help you in your research.

With Ma'am Ging Bayoneta, my lovely Grade 3 adviser (L) and Ma'am Norie Asaria, my ever sexy HE teacher and Nutrition quiz coach (R).

With my former boss at UP Mindanao CHSS Library. Now I call her Mader Pacz.('0')

And most of all, befriend your parents. You always watch telenovelas, puppy-eyed with the love stories. But do you know how your parents met? How they fell in love? Talk and listen to them. To the parents here, be your children’s best friends.

For the students here, appreciate your parent’s pain in sending you to school. If they are sending you to school, study and make them proud of you. Be grateful because you are very lucky. If they cannot afford to send you to school, find ways to do so. Do not make poverty the main reason to hinder you from pursuing higher education. Hindi ka maghambal nga, ay hindi ko magpadayon eskwela kay wala man igastos si Mama kag si Papa. Ay hindi ko mag-eskwela kay pobre man kami. You should learn to have a sense of independence. If I have that resigned attitude, I won’t be able to go to school and get a degree. I applied to every scholarship, knocked on other people’s doors to ask for help Pabaga ug nawong. I prayed a lot. During my high school at KNCHS, I worked part time. I worked as a tutor, and even do some laundry.

After my high school graduation, my Lola Luz died. She was the one supporting us in our studies. When she died, I felt everything died with her. I passed the entrance exam of UP Manila but the scholarship could not suffice for the everyday needs. I asked to be transferred to UP Mindanao in Davao City.

To prepare for my college entry, I worked during the summer at the Provincial Capitol. I packed my bags and went to Davao City despite I knew no one. Arisgada lang gid ko. I applied for a scholarship and part time job in the library and also tutorials in Kumon center. As the expenses became higher, I had to take private tutorials.

We only have classes from Tuesday to Friday. Saturday and Monday, whole day is allotted for tutorials at the Kumon center. Every Tuesday to Friday from 8:30-10 and 3-5pm I work as a student assistant at the library. By 6-8pm Monday to Thursday nights, it is for my private tutorials to a grade 3 student. By 8-10pm I do my assignments. I wake up at 3AM to study. For Sunday, worship time and my laundry time.

Hindi masyadong busy ano? You might think I have no social life because of that busyness. No. I just choose my friends who understand and accept my life and busy schedule. They take consideration when scheduling our night outs or other excursions. You have to make little sacrifices. A friend interviewed me once, amazed at how I manage my time. I told her that when you have limited time, you’ll learn how to manage and budget it. You’ll appreciate every moment. You will be more focused and determined. You will be disciplined to find time to study. That helped me to be included in the Dean’s list and Honor’s list.

I graduated last April 2008 with highest general weighted average from our college. As I march to get my diploma, I know my Lola is so proud wherever she is right now.

When I look back, I am glad for those hardships because it made me stronger and a better person. We have to take the challenges head on. It is always a matter of perspective. Always dream and be busy making it happen.

*Speech delivered to my elementary alma mater's graduation/recognition day last March 29, 2010.


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