CARRY ON…(dedicated to the suffering humanity today)

 

CARRY ON….

(Dedicated to the suffering humanity today)

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

When the world seems to crumble

Shaken by His wrath

Poured over humanity that deserves it

There’s nothing left but a tiny speck of chance

To change our ways…. and, carry on.

 

When there are still words to be written

And roads to be taken

Shrouded they may be with uncertainties

There’s nothing left but a bit of strength

For persistent steps…just, carry on.

 

When tragedies herald the break of day

Cries of pain and anguish

Taint the air of gloom that daze man no end

There’s nothing left but a wisp of life –

Life that floats in pain…still, carry on.

 

JUST CARRY ON

AND, THOUGH WITH MUCH STRUGGLE..

TILL THE LAST BREATH IS DRAWN!

“CORONA”, “666”, AND “9”

“CORONA”, 666, AND “9”

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

I do not want to sow fear but as an advocate of numerology, I tried toying with what has been bothering me  for a long long time after researching on allegations that the virus is from the bats. My first question is, why use the word “corona” as reference to the covid virus? A site in the internet says it is because the virus resembles a “crown”, hence, the Latin “corona”. But I almost had a double vision in trying to discern the “crown” image of the virus which is shown  as a “ball with spikes”…in Latin, the equivalent of spike is “spica”.

 

I had apprehensions about posting this observation which happened right at the start of the outbreak many months ago in my effort to discern a “message somewhere”.  Here’s what I found out  using numerology and the English alphabet.  THE CORONA AS A VIRUS PUTS TO FORE THE DREADED “666” MENTIONED IN THE BIBLE AND THE “9”….. “The Biblical numerology of number 9 is the finality or the judgment. It is generally when at the time of judging a person and his works. Also, number 9 is used to define the perfect movement of God. The biblical number 9 is [also] a number of patience.”…a quotation from the internet.

 

Here is what I did…..using the English alphabet which is the source of the word “CORONA”, I assigned to the letters their respective number according to succession, such as C(3), O(15), R(18), O(15), N(14), A(1)…added them all that resulted to “66”…connected  the number to the “6” which is the number of letters in “CORONA” which resulted to “666”. I added the three 6s and the result is “9”….NOW, GO BACK TO THE QUOTED MEANING OF THE “9” IN THE SECOND PARAGRAPH OF THIS POST.

 

In the Bible, the “Lord” uses people and tribes to punish “his chosen people”….the Bible also says the dragon has awaken from a long slumber and came out from the pit to which it was relegated for a long time.

IF THE VIRUS IS MAN-MADE, ITS REALIZATION REQUIRES “PATIENCE” WHICH  IS ALSO MENTIONED AS THE MEANING OF “9” IN THE SECOND PARAGRAPH OF THIS POST.

 

My question is…”HAS THE ‘LORD’ GOT TO DO WITH WHAT ARE HAPPENING TODAY, AND USES  A  “TRIBE”?

 

We cannot just say that God is angry so He is punishing humanity…THINK DEEPER.

The Covid-19 Pandemic in the Philippines by Alex Yadan Lim

A DEEPER THOUGHT ON THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC IN THE PHILIPPINES

By Alex Yadan Lim

 

I had thought I’d be able to roam freely on my birthday and the accursed covid 19 already history, But it’s now worst than when the lockdown started in March, This incompetent government is desperate, with some of the silliest ideas ever implemented, and good ones overlooked, I thought the lockdown was stupid, with a gut feel it will not control the spread of the virus but only ruin the economy, which over the next 3 months, it did., I gave it a chance and now, time has proven that an incompetent administration has implemented measures that worsened the economy, took out the jobs of millions, made life difficult, and quadrupled the cases with no end in sight.

 

Their desperation has prompted the brilliant nitwits in the IATF to go House-to-House to drag out asymptomatic cases on home quarantine. Like we have the facilities to house them or assume they would go quietly without a fight, This reminds me of Hitler’s Gestapo going house to house to ferret out the Jews. If this administration could not even get their list right for the SAP, how on earth will they get the list of people on home quarantine right?

 

Right from the start, I already have difficulty believing that slum dwellers and those barely eking out a living, including the homeless street dwellers to prioritize spending whatever moneys they have on alcohol, face masks, disinfectants, and the running water to wash their hands regularly, You look at their neighborhoods and wonder how on earth will they do social distancing when they do not enjoy the distances to do so. ,

 

 

Three months later, with millions out of job, a minuscule SAP and many not getting it, how can they continue to cooperate, if they did it in March. If they could not afford a face mask, alcohol and disinfectants in March, how can they now do so, without jobs?

 

The economy was enjoying a respectable 5% growth with the exchange rate settling below 50 to 1. and held to the current levels, If not for the sound economy before this, we would not have been able to raise the money for SAP and other stuff to cope with the crisis. But the admin wasted this advantage.

 

 

Ang Demokrasya ng Pilipinas, si Rodrigo Duterte, Kriminalidad, at Terorismo

ANG DEMOKRASYA NG PILIPINAS, SI DUTERTE, KRIMINALIDAD AT TERORISMO

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

(Ang post na ito ay sa TAGLISH AT WALANG ENGLISH TRANSLATION)

 

Sa isang demokratikong bansa ay may mga grupong nagtatagisan ng lakas upang ang mananaig o mananalo ay siyang magkokontrol sa pagpapatakbo nito. Mapalad ang mga bansang “matured” ang mga pulitiko kaya ang mga talunan ay tinatanggap ang pangyayari kahit hindi bukal sa kanilang kalooban ang pagbati sa mga nanalo.

 

Minadali ang pagtanim ng demokrasya sa Pilipinas na kinopya sa Amerika. Dahil diyan, matatawag na pilit sa pagkahinog ang kasarinlan ng Pilipinas. At, dahil pa rin diyan, sa Pilipinas, walang kandidatong natalo, sa halip ay dinaya daw ng nanalo. Nagtatagisan ng galing ang mga uupong pinuno at gusto nilang maalala sila pagbaba nila kaya ang mga proyekto ng pinalitang administrasyon kahit anong galing ay winawasak upang palitan ng bagong nakaupong pinuno at may tatak pa ng initial ng pangalan niya.

 

Sa Pilipinas, sa halip na magtulungan ang mga nanalo (majority) at mga kaalyado ng mga natalo (minority), sila ay nagsisilipan ng mga pagkakamali kaya sa halip na sumulong ang bansa, ito ay napipigilan sa pag-usad. Kahit anong ganda ng layunin ng proyekto ng nakaupong pinuno, ito ay pilit na kinukulapulan ng putik ng kontra-partido upang palabasing mali siya. May mga nagbabayad pa sa ilang tauhan ng media upang tumulong sa pagpapakalat ng mga negatibong ulat tungkol sa nakaupong pinuno.

 

Tama lang na may mga taong dapat “magbantay” sa nakaupong pinuno, pero ang hindi maganda ay ang kawalan na ng katuturan sa mga ginagawa ng kontra-partidong pagsabotahe kaya nadadamay ang taong bayan at bansa sa kabuuhan nito. Ang isang paraan ay ang pagpipilit sa nakaupong pinuno na ilahad ang lahat ng kanyang mga “strategies” kahit magreresulta ito sa pagkawasak ng seguridad ng bansa. Ito ay pagpapakita ng kawalan ng tiwala sa namumuno dahil ayaw nilang bigyan ng pagkakataong magpakita ito ng kanyang kakayahan. At, kapag nagtagumpay ang mga naninira sa kanya pero nakadamay naman sa kapakanan ng buong bansa, siyempre, masisisi ang nakaupong pinuno dahil siya ay nabigo, yon nga lang ay sa maduming paraan.

 

Laganap pa rin sa ibang bansa, kahit ang makapangyarihan ay laganap pa rin ang kriminalidad at droga, at nalulusutan ng mga terorista…yan ay sa kabila ng kakayahan nila sa pagsugpo….Pilipinas pa kaya? Ang “due process” na isang instrumento ng demokrasya ay inabuso ng mga utak ng krimen at maka-kaliwa. Dahil sa nabanggit, ang kriminal ay ni hindi nakakatapak sa kulungan dahil may mga padrino na nagbabayad ng pansamantalang paglaya. Ang mga human rights groups ay humaharang sa mga hakbang ng otoridad tuwing may gagawin laban sa mga kriminal at terorista….dapat kasing isaalang-alang DAW ang kanilang “pagka-tao”…hindi naisip ng mga grupong ito ang mga epekto ng ginawang kabalbalan ng mga tinuturing na anay ng lipunan.

 

 

Sa ganang ito, kung ilalahad ni Duterte ang lahat ng strategy o paraan niya sa pagpuksa ng mga kriminal at terorista, paano pa siyang magtatagumpay dahil malalaman na ng mga kalaban ang mga gagawin niya?  Ano man ang plano ni Duterte ay siya lang ang nakakaalam…KARAPATAN NIYA YAN BILANG PRESIDENTE. Halatang nag-iingat siya dahil ang “demokrasya” na umiiral sa Pilipinas ay mistulang nagahasa…luray-luray…lupaypay… kaya hindi maaasahang makakapagbigay ng proteksiyon lalo na sa mga taong may mabuting layunin…higit sa lahat ay sa mga naghihirap na taong bayan na madaling mahikayat upang gumawa ng masama.

 

 

Kung may karapatan ang mga kalaban ni Duterte sa paggamit ng “due process”, lalo siyang may karapatang hindi magbunyag ng mga binabalak niya dahil malalagay sa alanganin ang seguridad ng buong bansa….UNAWAIN SIYA BILANG PRESIDENTE NG PILIPINAS DAHIL IBINOTO SIYA NG MALAKING BAHAGI NG MAMAMAYAN NG BUONG BANSA, HINDI NG IILAN LANG….YAN ANG DEMOKRASYA…DAPAT MAGRESPETUHAN….HUWAG MAGPAIRAL NG PANSARILING KAPAKANAN…ANG BAWAT LAYUNIN AY DAPAT PARA SA KAPAKANAN NG NAKARARAMI.

 

Ang Kagitingan ng mga Sundalo sa Sultan Kudarat at Maguindanao

ANG KAGITINGAN  NG MGA SUNDALO NOONG DEKADA 70 ,  ANG 1ST MECHANIZED INFANTRY (MAAASAHAN) BRIGADE SA SULTAN KUDARAT AT MAGUINDANAO, AT SI PRESIDENTE RODRIGO DUTERTE

Ni Apolinario Villalaobos

 

Ang mga una kong naging kaibigang sundalo ay kabilang sa 12IB na naitalaga noong dekada 70, sa bayan ng Esperanza , Sultan Kudarat…. kainitan ng bakbakan sa pagitan ng “Black Shirts” at “Ilaga”.  Nasa kolehiyo ako pero nagtatrabaho na rin sa Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). Naigawa ko pa ang mga kaibigan ko ng marching song na, “Ballad of the 12IB”. Noon ko unang naunawaan ang hirap na dinadanas nila para tumupad sa tungkulin na ang kapalit ay maliit na suweldo nang panahong yon.  At, yan ay sa kabila pa rin ng nararamdaman nilang pangamba araw-araw.

 

Kasama naming mga taga-DSWD ang ilan sa kanila bilang escort tuwing mamudmod kami ng relief goods sa mga evacuation center ng mga Kristiyano at Muslim. Nakita ko sila kung paanong makipagbiruan sa mga anak ng mga Muslim evacuees. Isang beses ay nakita ko ang isa sa kanilang nagbigay ng biscuit sa anak ng isang buntis na Muslim evacuee. Ang nabanggit na tanawing hindi ko makalimutan ang nag-udyok sa akin upang magsulat tungkol sa mga kagitingan ng mga sundalo noong nasa Manila na ako at nagtatrabaho  sa Philippine Airlines. Nalulungkot lang ako noon tuwing mabalitaan ko sa mga dating kasama sa DSWD ang pagkamatay sa bakbakan ng mga kaibigan naming mga batang-batang  sundalo.

 

Naulit ang pakikipagkaibigan ko sa mga sundalo noong 2018, nang makilala ko ang mga nakatalaga sa 1st Mechanized (Maaasahan) Brigade sa Camp Bienvenido M. Leono, Kalandagan, Tacurong City na noon ay nasa pamumuno ni BGen. Bob Dauz nang magdaos sila ng isang mahalagang okasyon. Nasundan  ito ng isang proyekto na isinagawa ng mga empleyado ng  Fitmart Mall – ang pagtanim ng mga puno sa paligid ng kampo.  Nakikiisa rin ang mga kasundaluhan ng nasabing kampo sa LGU ng Tacurong tuwing maglinis ng mga kanal sa paligid ng lunsod.  Maganda ang naging epekto ng mga ginawa ng mga sundalo ng 1st Mechanized Brigade dahil  mula noon, nawala ang kaba ng mga taga-Tacurong  kahit may makitang armored car o military truck na puno ng mga sundalo na dumadaan sa lunsod. Ang nasabing brigada ay nasa Camp Bienvenido B. Leono, Jr. mula pa noong March 1, 2017.  Malaking tulong ang nagawa ni Bogz Jamorabon, hepe ng CDRRM-Tacurong City upang magamit ng brigada ang lupaing pinagkaloob ng dating mayor ng lunsod na si Lina Montilla.

 

Mapalad ako dahill nakilala ko si Maj. Rolando M. Ocharan, Jr.  na itinalaga bilang CMO Officer ng 1st Infrantry (Maaasahan) Brigade na nakitaan ko ng sipag sa pagpapakalat ng mga impormasyon tungkol sa mga ginagawa ng brigada upang lalong maunawaan at masuportahan sila ng mga mamamayan ng mga probinsiya ng Sultan Kudarat at Maguindanao.  Magaling siyang sumulat at malinaw ang mga pagkakaulat ng mensahe kaya madaling maunawaan ng nagbabasa.

 

Mula sa mga ulat na nilathala ni Maj. Ocharan, Jr. batay sa kautusan ng nakatataas sa kanya, nalaman ko noong si BGen. Bob Dauz ay pinalitan ni BGen. Efren D. Baluyot bilang pinuno ng Camp Leono,  at nagpatuloy sa pagsilbi sa 6 na bayan at isang lunsod ng Sultan Kudarat at 7 bayan ng Maguindanao bilang bahagi ng “Development Support and Security Operations (DSSO) ng brigada.

 

Sa ngayon, ang 1st Infranty (Maaasahan) Brigade ay inilipat sa Barangay Kamasi, Ampatuan, Maguindanao at nasa pamumuno  ni Col. Jesus Rico D. Atencio. Si  BGen. Efren P. Baluyot naman ay itinalaga bilang Assistant Division Commander, Armor (Pambato) Division ng Philippine Army. Samantala, ang 601st Infantry Brigade sa pamumuno ni  BGen. Roy M. Galido ang nasa Camp Leono, Kalandagan, Tacurong City, sa kasalukuyan.

 

 

 

Ang sakrispisyo ng mga sundalo ngayon ay nabigyan ng angkop na pagkilala ni Presidente Rodrigo Duterte na ang isa sa mga unang ginawa ay pagpapalaki ng kanilang sahod. Kung noon ay may mga pangangatiyaw na  lumalabas sa internet na mga larawan ng combat boots na nakanganga at halos punit-punit na uniporme dahil sa kakapusan ng budget kaya hindi agad nakakabili ng supply, ngayon ay  matitikas na ang mga sundalo dahil maagap nang natutugunan ang kanilang pangangailangan.  Ang tiwala at pagkilala sa mga sundalo na ibinigay ng president ng Pilipinas ay sinuklian naman nila ng kasipagan at sigla sa pagtupad ng kanilang tungkulin sa bayan….SAMANTALA, ANG HANGAD NAMAN NILA MULA SA MGA KABABAYAN AY RESPETO, SUPORTA AT  TIWALA.

 

Free Will and the Hypocrisy of “Moral” Civilized Society

FREE WILL AND THE HYPOCRISY OF “MORAL “ AND CIVILIZED SOCIETY
By Apolinario Villalobos

In the Bible, Proverbs 16:9 says, “in their hearts, humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps”. Unfortunately, the abuse of this Biblical adage has contributed a lot to what has become of the world. Free will made the strong and greedy exploit the weak. They intentionally disregard the rightful steps established by the Lord.

Pondering deeply on this issue, as humans are supposed to “plan their course”, many aspects of life should be taken into consideration such as victims of diseases who live in pain, ageing people who seriously consider themselves to have outlived their usefulness on earth and neglected humans left to die alone. These are the humans whose best option is to rest gracefully, endorsed properly to the waiting arms of the Lord….they just want to rest…they did not kill or steal because of free will…..they did not exploit others. But the hypocrisy of the “moral” and civilized human society insists that it is not right to take the life given by the Lord…BUT THEN, HUMANS DID NOT ASK TO BE BORN. THEY ARE THE RESULT OF COPULATION…OF SEX, WHETHER THE INTENTION IS JUST LUST OR PURE LOVE. ON THE OTHER HAND, IF THE “STEPS ESTABLISHED” BY THE LORD INCLUDE THE “RIGHT TIME TO DIE” DESPITE THE PAIN AND NO HOPE FOR RECUPERATION, THEN, THE LORD IS SADISTIC.

Confined epidemics and worldwide pandemics have brought about sufferings as with famine, exploitations, disasters and wars. Human intelligence and technology are able to salvage many lives but still many are left to endure the pain and face the inevitable death. Many poor families have members living in pain due to disease with no cure in sight and worse, due to financial incapability to sustain their life, what with the expensive medical attention and drugs. Many ageing humans painfully wait for their right time to rest, with many neglected by the very people whom they took care of from birth. Many people sanely think that they have reached the end of their useful life.

UNFORTUNATELY, THE HYPOCRITE “MORAL” HUMAN SOCIETY WOULD RATHER SEE THE STRONG EXPLOIT THE WEAK, HEAR THE MOANS OF HOPELESS MAIMED VICTIMS OF TRAGEDIES, SEE THE AGONY ON THE FACE OF THE DISEASED PATIENTS IN POOR HOMES AND HOSPITALS, AND REMAIN OBLIVIOUS TO THE BLANK STARE OF WASTING OLD PEOPLE NEGLECTED BY THEIR FAMILIES.

WHAT “USEFULNESS IN LIFE” CAN BE PERCEIVED IN PEOPLE WHO MOAN IN AGONY?…OF NEGLECTED OLD PEOPLE WITH BLANK STARE?…THE DYINGFIGURES IN BONES AND SKIN WHOSE HEARTS ARE MADE TO BEAT BY A MACHINE?

THE “MORAL” SOCIETY OF CIVILIZED HUMANS IS HELPLESS AGAINST ALL FORMS OF EXPLOITATIONS , YET CONDEMN THE SIMPLE DESIRE OF THOSE WHO SANELY CHOOSE TO REST AND BE WITH THE LORD….THAT IS THE HYPOCRISY OF THE “MORAL” SOCIETY OF THE CIVILIZED HUMANS.

TIKUG MATS STARTED MY ADVOCACY IN MANILA

“Tikug” Mats Started My Advocacy in Manila
But Nurtured as a Student in NDTC
By Apolinario Villalobos

After my stint in Tablas station (Romblon) with an initial job as Ticket/Freight Clerk of Philippine Airlines in early ‘80s, I was transferred to the Tours and Promotions Division in Manila. For practical and economic reasons, I stayed in a boarding house along Airport Road in Baclaran, as our office was at the old Domestic Airport (today, Terminal 4). During the time, what is now as ASEANA City, was yet, a body of water – Manila Bay, from the seawall of which the famed sunset could be clearly viewed. From late afternoon to early evening, I and some of my co-boarders would spend time at the seawall killing time. We would observe some people dragging their belongings in plastic and tattered shoulder bags while strolling along the boulevard, some were with their family. Before we would go back to the boarding house, we observed them spreading blankets on the grassy ground on which they rested for the night.

The scenes of elderly people and children sleeping on the ground without mat made me restless for several days. When I went back alone one early evening at around 6pm, I strolled up to the portion of the boulevard in front of the Aristocrat Restaurant in Ermita. I saw the same scenes – people lying on spread cloths and blankets on the grass.

When Boy Loquias, a new PAL recruit who was undergoing training at the PAL Training Center at the Gate 1 of Nichols Air Base joined us at the boarding house, I was glad upon learning that he was from Bohol which afforded me the opportunity to speak in Cebuano more often. When I brought him to the then, Dewey Boulevard, he was amazed to find the boulevard sleepers. Jokingly, he said that we better join them rather than spend for the boarding house. Honestly, however, he confided that something must be done to help them and asked, “asa ang SWA?” (“where is SWA?”, for which he meant Department of Social Welfare or DSW). When I mentioned giving them cheap “tikug” mat from Mindanao, he agreed. During the time, a piece of said mat was priced between 40-50pesos at the Islamic Center in Quiapo, unlike today that a single-sized costs between 120-150pesos. “Tikug” mats which are colorfully dyed are made in Cotabato.

From then on, I scrimped on my personal needs to save for mats. When Boy Loquias learned about my plan, he gave me part of his training allowance. Another co-boarder, Sammy, who was a member of the combo that performed at the Ugnayan Beer House, across our boarding house, also contributed. Initially, we were able to purchase 2 dozens of mats for which I was able to get a discount. It was not enough. I raised another amount from my saved per diem allowance, as my job then, required me to travel a lot. I also refused to accept the contribution of Boy whose allowance was just enough for his needs, especially, from Sammy who had two kids left with his wife in Naga City.

My visits to the Islamic Center in Quiapo for purchases of “tikug” mats led to my side trips to “Avenida” known for prostitutes who could be seen prowling the avenue for prospective customers, from early afternoon to early morning, the following day. I was staggered by what I observed and experienced at the Avenida. Daringly-dressed women openly made proposals while holding my hand but which I gently refused. On early mornings, not yet 7AM, thickly-rouged and obviously ageing prostitutes would ask an amount for a cup of coffee in exchange for sexual favor. From such encounters, I was able to strike friendship with many of them that developed into trust which became my passport to their dwellings in the slum along the banks of Reina Regente River. There, I met snatchers, swindlers, sex peddlers and their families. As pre-planned, I did not give them my real identity for my own safety. What they knew was that I was a job-seeker from the province and my thick Cebuano accent helped a lot, as many of them were also Bisaya.

Events oozing with colorful adventures made my curiosity stronger that led me farther to Arranque, Divisoria, Pritil, Malabon, Bagong Bayan (Dasmariἧas, Cavite), Tala Leprosarium, and Baseco Compound where I was able let out my pent up desire to share. It also led me to three other guys who had the same desire and with whom blessings were shared with those dwelling along the bank of Pasig River and Recto yearly, from the last week of November to the first week of December.

My advocacy was nurtured while I was a student of Notre Dame of Tacurong (NDTC) and nobody, even my family and closest friends knew about it, not even my colleagues in PAL later on, except Boy Loquias who was assigned at Tablas after his training, and where he raised his family. It was only when I shared my “adventures” on facebook due to the prodding of some friends, though with much hesitation, that they came to know about them. I just consoled myself with the thought that my sharing such adventures would, hopefully, make others realize that one need not be rich to be able to share blessings with others…and, that they can do the same, if they wish.

The Albertos and Valenzuelas of Barangay Mangelen in President Quirino, Province of Sultan Kudarat (Philippines)…and their Political Leadership

THE ALBERTOS AND VALENZUELAS  OF BARANGAY  MANGELEN  IN PRESIDENT QUIRINO,  PROVINCE OF SULTAN KUDARAT….AND THEIR POLITICAL LEADERSHIP

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

For one thing, Barangay Mangelen is the birthplace of the current mayor of President Quirino, Hon. Azel Valenzuela- Mangudadatu, and whose mother belongs to the Alberto family that was among those the pioneers who tilled the once swampy land of what was once part of Suben. On the other hand, the current Barangay Chairman is her younger sister, Hon. Cherry Valenzuela. But what is more interesting is that the founder of the barangay Mangelen was her grandfather,  Mariano Alberto, father of her mom, Lolita. It’s the trust of the early residents that made her late father Medencio,  become the undefeated barangay Chairman of the fledgling “barrio”. An uncle, Virgilio Alberto also had a stint as a one-termer barangay Chairman, and I was fortunate to have met him in the morning of May 19, 2020 when I visited him at their home. I learned that he was also a one-termer Vice-Mayor of Presidente Quirino, formerly known as Sambolawan, which together with Tacurong City, were former “barrios” of Buluan,  a flourishing Maguindanao town that benefited from the flow of commerce along the Big River or “Rio Grande” that sliced through it.

 

The Albertos has a long history of political leadership.  According to Mr. Virgilio Alberto who was a retired military officer,  their father, Mariano who was then a Councilor of Buluan founded Barangay Mangelen on the land that was donated by Datu Luminog who was then, the mayor of the aforementioned town…that was during the early 1960s. Virgilio’s sister, Lolita married Medencio Valenzuela, and whose eldest daughter, AZEL, married to a Mangudadatu, is currently, the mayor of President Quirino. Her younger sister, Cherry is currently, the barangay Chairman of their birthplace, Mangelen. The rest of the siblings are Sheila Mae, Jennifer, and Novy.

The  Albertos and Valenzuelas  arrived in the vast wetland in 1935 during which the homestead program was at its height.  The area that they settled in, was politically part of Suben. Further east, the area  was then known as Sambolawan. The patriarch of the Albertos, Mariano who was married to Justiniana,  embarked on  a political career that landed him a post  as one of the Councilors of Buluan, a good arrangement as he represented the settlers in Suben.  As the settlement grew, Mayor Luminog decided to separate it from Suben, and in the process donated the land that they have been cultivating. To show their gratitude, the settlers named their “barrio” Mangelen after Mayor Luminog Mangelen.

 

With the establishment of the barrio of Mangelen  that was weaned from Suben to become  a new political unit under Buluan, Mariano Alberto was chosen by the settlers to become their first “Teniente del Barrio”. The son, Virgilio had his chance to spearhead their barangay for one term, and later became the Vice-mayor of President Quirino. His brother –in-law, Medencio Valenzuela and husband of his younger sister, Lolita also became a Barangay Chairman but he recorded a feat as the undefeated leader until he finally decided to give way to other trusted fellow Ilocanos.  As fate would have it, two of his children inherited his political leadership….Cherry who is the current Barangay Chairperson of Mangelen, one of the barangays of President Quirino, at the helm of which as the current mayor is Azel who is married to a Mangudadatu of Buluan.

 

During my talk with Mr. Virgilio Alberto, he fondly recalled his 28 years in his combined police and military career.  He confided that he was a police officer when he was called to render duty in the military during the Martial Law, the time of dictator, Ferdinand Marcos.  As he got no choice, he tried his best to do his job well until the time of his retirement. He met his wife, Susan, who was then, teaching at the Lyceum of Southern Philippines in Tacurong.  The couple is blessed with eight offspring: Robinson, Ricardo, Rafael, Virgilio Jrl, Glenn, Virna, Lochinvar and Dexter. When I visited the family, I was with my nephew, Nonoy who is their godchild during his baptism and his marriage.

At the rate good things are going including a provincial road being constructed towards the direction of the western barangays that include Mangilala,  to connect with the Alunan highway that cuts through Tacurong  and leads towards South Cotabato, Mangelen is  definitely facing a bright future.

 

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The Philippines: From Commonwealth to the Present

THE PHILIPPINES: from Commonwealth
to the Present
By Apolinario Villalobos

From the Philippine Commonwealth that evolved into Republican form, despite the many years that transpired, the promises of presidential candidates did not change their course which is supposedly towards the uplift of Filipinos and the advancement of the country. The graft and corruption in the government just got worse, much more with poverty which is very evident despite the “encouraging” statistics. Prices of commodities are sky-high and jobs are on contract. Today, only Chinese businesses are flourishing in the country.

The Commonwealth government under Quezon was cut short by the WWII. But during his time, the Americans already observed the culture-based administration of the government which was hinged on “gratitude”, “brotherhood”, and “kinship”. The Post-war era of independence saw the granting of independence to the country, transforming the Commonwealth to Republican under Osmeῆa. As the country was still reeling from the effects of the WWII, it was in total disarray. This situation bred profiteering on the part of the businessmen and graft on the part of the government officials, resulting to the much dissatisfaction and dismay of the masses.

The dissatisfaction of the Filipinos was perceived as an opportunity of enterprising and ambitious politicians for grabbing the power from Osmeῆa. As a last effort, Osmeῆa reorganized the government by signing an Executive Order in March 7, 1945, restoring the Executive departments. Unfortunately, Osmeῆa was perceived as lame by the then, Governor-General, MacArthur, who coerced him to convene Congress. Many were against the convening of Congress, then, as it might fall into the hands of the “collaborators” of the WWII, one of whom was Manuel Roxas who fortunately, despite his being a former “collaborator”, was favored by the support of MacArthur.

Among those that the newly-convened Congress approved was a three-year back pay to its members, which was equivalent to the three-year Japanese occupation of the country. It was a telling premonition of more self-serving Congressional actions to happen. The employees followed suit with their own demand for similar back pay covering the same period but was not granted due to unavailability of fund. The cunning Roxas perceived the dissatisfaction of the employees as an opportunity to back up his bid for presidency. He authored the Back Pay Law which was eventually passed in 1948. It gave three years back pay to all pre-war government employees in 1958, after a ten-year period during which the government would have already saved enough funds.

The country did not gain much from Roxas when he held the reins of the government. Graft and corruption still proliferated. But his prominence became more pronounced when the provision on Parity Rights of the Americans was inserted in the Philippine Constitution. Hours before he died, he again committed the loyalty of the Filipinos to the Americans. His true color as “collaborator”, first with the Japanese during WWII, and later, with the Americans, surfaced till the time he drew his last breath.

Quirino took over the presidency when Roxas died. He promised “government reorganization to achieve efficiency at all levels of the bureaucracy, immediate increased production to give employment to thousands of idle laborers, vigorous and honest enforcement of tax laws, the preservation of the national integrity, and continued friendly relations with the countries of the world”. The Hukbalahap movement just became active because of unresolved agrarian issues during Quirino’s administration, and due to the worsening corruption. He wisely gave an all-out support to his Secretary of National Defense, Ramon Magsaysay who was perceived as honest and with unquestionable ability to lead, who somehow mellowed the administration’s strong image of ineptness . The charisma of Magsaysay brought him nearer to the masses.

When Magsaysay became president with the help of the CIA, he unfortunately, went beyond the tolerable treatment of the masses. His pampering of the masses, made them over-dependent to the government, resulting to their idleness. He went to the extent of opening the gates of Malacaῆan to them, practically resulting to the presidential official residence’s transformation into a “park”. During his term, he promised, the improvement of the land tenure system with land resettlements, easy-term credit for the peasants, intense community development founded on self-help. To support those promises, the National Resettlement and Rehabilitation Administration (NARRA) in Palawan was established in 1955, as well as, the Farmers’ Cooperative and Marketing Association (FACOMA). It was also during this time that Visayans and those from the north, rushed to Mindanao to clear cogon-covered fields. To date, among the results of the resettlement effort were General Santos and Koronadal cities. General Santos City was formerly, “Dadiangas”, while Koronadal City was formerly, “Marbel”.
Magsaysay realizing his mistakes for pampering the common “tao”, was reported to have lost his temper several times, one of which was when he “exploded”, saying: “the people want me to do everything for them!”. His ten-point program was never realized when he met an accident while on board the presidential airplane in March 17, 1957 on the way back to Manila from a speaking engagement in Cebu. The ill-fated airplane was later found on Mt. Manunggal in Cebu. Vice-President Carlos P. Garcia took over the presidency with the demise of Magsaysay. It was alleged that Magsaysay did a corrupt act by posting newspapermen in important government offices, as well as, extended to them favors that not even government officials were lucky to have a share.

The presidential election in 1957 confirmed the presidency of Garcia, although, the said process was said to be the noisiest and most expensive in the country’s history until the time. It was during this time that the Catholic Church was dragged into the chaos, which however, proved that the votes of the Catholics were not reliably solid. Diosdado Macapagal who belonged to the opposition won as Vice-President.

During his term, Garcia promised: “to complete the Philippine economic independence through the adoption of the Filipino First Policy….; to establish Filipino dignity as a free people by dealing with foreign powers on terms of sovereign equality; to achieve a balanced economy by providing equal impetus to agriculture and industry; to promote social justice and the general welfare of the masses, and; to minimize and, if possible, to eradicate graft and corruption”. Just like his predecessors however, Garcia also failed, as the poor not only multiplied but continued to suffer from poverty, while the economy was at its worse.

The people’s disillusionment of how Garcia administered the government, steered Diosdado Macapagal towards victory when he made a bid for presidency. Graft and corruption were the focus of all issues against Garcia which Macapagal used to his advantage. When he won, Macapagal promised: “the immediate restoration of economic stability, alleviate the common man’s plight, and establish a dynamic basis for future growth.” He added to strengthen the deteriorating moral fiber of the people. Unfortunately, a few months after he was sworn in, his province mates indulged in extravagant celebrations, with him and his family at the center. Such flagrant show of opulence went on which slighted the Filipinos much. Macapagal will however, be remembered with his nationalistic decision to move the Philippine Independence Day from July 4 to June 12, and the Land Reform Code which unfortunately was not implemented effectively.

The nepotism, graft and corruption issues were used by Ferdinand Marcos against Macapagal when the former ran for president. The Filipinos, for having no choice and who had been clamoring for change, voted for him.

Among the presidents, it was Marcos who openly admitted that the country was in a dire crisis situation, and to arrest the further deterioration of the country, he promised: “self-sufficiency in the production of rice and the diversification of crops, implementation of the land reform program, and intensification of the community development program. During his time, the country experienced a phenomenal infra-structure boom, to support the drummed up tourism and industrialization efforts of the government. Not satisfied with the Constitution-mandated tenure, he declared Martial Law, to supposedly prevent the Communist take-over of the country. The drastic move was accepted for several years by the Filipinos, until the issue on the murder of Benigno Aquino erupted.

The People Power Revolution in 1987 toppled the dictatorship of Marcos and installed Cory Aquino as President. Issues that her administration faced were recovery of the people’s money, replenishment of the dried up budget, and corruption that was not totally swept out of the system. Her tenure did not accomplish much for the recovery of the country until she was taken over by Fidel Ramos during whose administration there was a spree of privatization and selling of government properties. As the Filipinos got tired of the same economic and political mishaps of presidents, they gave a chance to Joseph Estrada from the movie world, and who promised “heaven”, and something “new”…indeed, corruption with a “new” face, that just got worse. The recurring despair of the people brought Gloria Arroyo to power. Despair again made the Filipinos look for another leader, and this time they bit the bait dangled by the old-time crooks who used the “martyrdom” of Ninoy Aquino to push the presidency of Pnoy Aquino…. TODAY, RODRIGO DUTERTE IS AT THE HELM OF THE COUNTRY.

The rest is history, literally, because as stated in the pages of the Philippine history, the same problems are the issues today– graft, corruption, nepotism, poverty. But many Filipinos are keeping their fingers crossed that President Duterte who was catapulted to power due to the aggravating drug problem in the country, would make true his promise of eliminating even the graft and corruption in the government.