Martial Law for Mindanao is Long Overdue

Martial Law for Mindanao is Long Overdue

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

The gruesome killings in Marawi, the encounter at Bagumbayan (Sultan Kudarat), between the MILF and the Philippine military, the pockets of bombings in southern Mindanao are all indications that the sitting president, Rodrigo Duterte is being challenged as to how far he can bend backward without straining his spine. He has been tolerant for some time and he did it more than enough. It is high time that he should flex his muscles.

 

When he took over the land’s highest position from a lenient president, he did not lose time in calling for cooperation. But because of his obvious plan to rid the country and the government in particular, of crooks, practically, everybody with selfish motives became apprehensive. Turncoats and opportunists who thought Duterte is no different from the past presidents are shocked by his steadfast and feisty moves, so now, they are having second thoughts if they would still support him or finance his detractors which some are already doing.

 

How can Martial be not applicable to a country like the Philippines, especially, Mindanao where unrest is already brewing? How can “due process” be applied to the case of a terrorist caught red-handed while about to detonate a bomb? How can “due process” be applied in the case of  drug-deranged and useless citizens who rape innocent young women, and even elders, fit to be their grandmother? How can “due process” be applied in the case of drug lords who have constructed drug laboratories right under the very nose of conniving law-enforcement agencies? How can “due process” be applied in Marawi City where gruesome killings are being committed by the Maute Group? The supposedly “due process” has just created animosity among the victims of criminals due to delayed application of justice.

 

HIHINTAYIN PA BA NA KUMALAT ANG TERORISMO SA VISAYAS AT LUZON…LALO NA SA MAYNILA?

 

Clearly, there is a concerted effort to oust Duterte from his post. And, those who have conceived this evil design could be the concerned parties whose selfish interests have been railroaded.  Again, Martial Law for Mindanao is long overdue. Why worry if you are not guilty?

 

And, obviously, the terrorism in Mindanao is no longer hinged on religion but politics and money!

 

 

Ang Sakit na “SCOOPOMITIS” ng Media

Ang Sakit na “SCOOPOMITIS” ng Media

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

HINDI DAPAT IPINAGYAYABANG NG MGA OPISYAL NG MILITARY ANG MGA ACTUAL OPERATIONS NILA SA PAMAMAGITAN NG PAG-IMBITA SA MGA TAGA-MEDIA NA MAG-COVER NG MGA ITO AT CLOSE RANGE O MALAPITAN, LALO NA ANG GINAGAWA NG MGA MAY HAWAK NG RADIO O COMMUNICATIONS FACILITIES NILA. DAPAT ISIPIN NG MGA OPISYAL NA NAKA-HOOK O NAKA-CONNECT DIRECTLY ANG MGA TAGA-MEDIA SA MGA PUBLIC MONITORS TULAD NG TV AT RADIO KAYA MARIRINIG KUNG ANO MAN ANG SABIHIN NG MGA NAG-RARADYO SA HEADQUARTERS O COMMAND POST. IBIG SABIHIN MARIRINIG NG BUONG BAYAN PATI NG MGA KALABAN ANG MGA IMPORMASYON TULAD NG LOCATION NILA, KAKULANGAN NG MGA GAMIT NA KAILANGAN NILA, ETC.

 

DAPAT GAMITING LEKSIYON ANG NANGYARI SA “LUNETA SIEGE”, NOONG KAUUPO PA LANG NI PNOY AQUINO BILANG PRESIDENTE NG PILIPINAS. NA-HOSTAGE ANG ISANG BUS NG MGA CHINESE TOURISTS AT SA LUNETA PINARADA ANG SASAKYAN. SA KATANGAHAN AT KAYABANGAN NG MGA TAGA-MEDIA, KINUNAN NILA ANG MGA GINAGAWA NG MGA PULIS SA LABAS NG BUS, BINOBRODKAST DIN NG MGA REPORTER ANG MGA SENSITIBONG IMPORMASYON TULAD NG IBA PANG LOKASYON NG MGA PULIS NA ANG IBA AY NAKADIKIT NA SA BUS AT MGA PLANO NILA DAHIL PATI INTERVIEW NILA SA “COMMANDER” NG PULIS AY PINARINIG DIN AT IPINAKITA SA PUBLIKO. NAKALIMUTAN NILANG MAY TV MONITOR SA LOOB NG BUS KAYA NARIRINIG AT NAKIKITA NG HOSTAGE-TAKER ANG LAHAT NG MGA GINAGAWA NG MGA PULIS!

 

YAN ANG SAKIT NG MEDIA – “SCOOPOMITIS” (SARILI KONG TERM)….NAG-UUNAHAN SILA PAGKUHA NG MGA SCOOP KAHIT HINDI VERIFIED KAYA KUNG MINSAN, NAPAPAHIYA SILA. HINDI NILA NAIISIP NA NAKO-COMPROMISE NILA ANG OPERATIONS NG PULIS MAN O MILITARY. ANG INIISIP LANG NILA AY PANSARILING LAYUNIN NA MAKA-SCOOP.

 

HINDI MASAMA ANG MAG-COVER NG PANG-SCOOP NA MGA PANGYAYARI SUBALIT ANG MGA ANCHORS NA NASA ISTASYON AY DAPAT MAGING MAINGAT SA PAG-RELAY NG MGA IMPORMASYON SA PUBLIKO. MAY KAKAYAHAN SILANG PUMILI KUNG ANO ANG IBOBRODKAST UPANG HINDI MA-COMPROMISE ANG MGA SENSITIBONG POLICE OR MILITARY OPERATION. ANG MASAKLAP LANG DAHIL SA COMPETITION, NAGPAPAGALINGAN ANG LAHAT NG MGA MEDIA OUTLETS, BROADCAST MAN O PRINT, SA PAGBABALITA. DAHIL DIYAN WALA SILANG PAKIALAM KUNG MA-COMPROMISE ANG SEGURIDAD NG MGA PULIS AT MILITARY, LALO NA NG BUONG BANSA!

 

AT, ANG PINAKAMATINDI AY KAPAG NAGAMIT ANG ILANG TAGA-MEDIA NG MGA PULITIKO O MGA KRIMINAL….NAGING BAYARAN O NAKALISTA SA PAYROLL.

 

UNSOLICITED NA PAYO KO SA MGA TAGA-MEDIA: HUWAG GAWING SHOOTING NG PELIKULA ANG PAG-COVER NG MAG SENSITIVE OPERATIONS NG PULIS AT MILITARY AT MAGING INTELIHENTE SA MGA GINAGAWA LALO NA SA MGA ISINISIWALAT TUNGKOL SA MGA NANGYAYARI SA GOBYERNO DAHIL KAPAG ANG ISANG BAGAY AY NAIBALITA NA, MAHIRAP NA ITONG BAWIIN O ITUWID DAHIL HINDI LAHAT NG MGA UNANG NAKARINIG AY MAKAKARINIG ULI NG PALIWANAG UPANG MAKOREK ANG PAGKAKAMALI!

The Elisa P. Bernardo Elementary School in New Passi, Tacurong City

The Elisa P. Bernardo Elementary School

In New Passi, Tacurong City

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

It was a scorching afternoon when I was invited by Judith Bernardo to New Passi, a barangay at the foot of Magon Hill, after we met at a party, hosted by a cousin. I deemed it another adventure, so I accepted her invitation as I was curious about her project or donation for the school named after their mother, Elisa Panizales Bernardo. As I had still time to be spent in the area, I thought it would be a worthwhile trip.

 

From the city of Tacurong, we drove over the paved highway, turning left at the junction where the San Lorenzo Ruiz parish church was located, just across the Cordero mango grove. Both sides of the road were shaded by the thickly-foliaged African palms. Very noticeable was the fast development of Baras, where the Bird Sanctuary and the Jarell Resort are located, as well as, Upper Katungal. Practically, houses of indigenous materials stood proudly side by side with colorful concrete ones which were made more interesting by their contemporary architecture. I even noticed a lodging inn with an obviously western block design. Very noticeable, too were the number of small convenience stores (sari-sari stores) and small stalls filled with wet market commodities, that lined both sides of the tidy road. Their presence manifested the affluence of the residents.

 

We dropped by the Barangay Hall of Baras where Judith delivered donated sets of aprons needed for a certain project. I learned that she has been engrossed in various projects in Baras and New Passi for several years now. When we reached New Passi, we went straight to the site at the back of the Principal’s office where a two-burner stove of concrete and bricks was being constructed. It was intended for the feeding program of the school for the children of poor farmers, and which was initiated by Judith’s elder sister, Nita. As a background, the feeding program was conceived by Nita when she learned about the heavy absences every Monday and Friday. She was told by the principal at the time, Charlie Braga, that many students are impoverished, so that most of them would go to school without taking breakfast at home. From then on, Nita regularly donated I sack of rice which volunteer mothers and teachers cooked into gruel.

 

On the other hand, the sight of teachers and mothers cooking gruel on makeshift stove on the ground made Judith decide to have a sturdy stove made for them. The design is such that combustible wastes except those made of rubber and plastic could be used as fuel. She personally looked around for able masons who could undertake the construction.

 

Adjacent to the school is a small parcel of rice field donated by the late Serafin Bernardo to the school so that it would be able to generate an income for projects. Since the time of Charlie Braga as principal, it was well-maintained.  Incidentally, Mr. Braga has been transferred to the neighboring school of Baras as a promotion. He was also responsible for the picturesque landscape of the school, the main avenue of which is lined with hardwood trees. Pockets of flower gardens are also distributed throughout the campus.

 

The other concern of both Judith and her sister, Nita is the lack of library. There had been plans for its construction but unexpected problems would always crop up. On our way back to the city, Judith confided her wish that someday the project would be realized, but realistic that I am, I told her that assistance from concerned sectors is necessary, First, a structure had to be built and second, books are needed to fill the shelves. The project would surely involve a considerable amount. I confided that I have the same wish….but with a hope that benevolent hands would “touch” the school someday.

 

 

 

 

The Hedonistic Celebration of Special Occasions by Impoverished Filipinos

The Hedonistic Celebration of Special Occasions

By Impoverished Filipinos

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Many Filipinos borrow money to celebrate special occasions such as birthday, fiesta, and anniversaries…I mean here, Filipinos who cannot even afford three square meals a day. They hinge their desire on the wrong justification that the celebration is just once a year, anyway. What they forgot is that the obligation to pay the debt could stretch for not less than three months, especially, if the money is from a loan shark who slaps suckers with as much as 20% interest per month! These unthinking Filipinos are blinded by arrogance as they want to show others that they can afford to splurge money. They also forgot that the people who know them are already aware about their impoverish status in life, so that any effort to cover it up, is useless.

 

The hedonistic way of celebrating special occasions among Christians is an influence from pagan Romans who were converted into Christianity. The Roman Saturnalia was celebrated for days with fun – dancing, drinking, eating, and sexual activities with wild abandon. Not only was Saturnalia celebrated without let up but anything that can be used as an excuse. This hedonistic practice was brought to the Philippine archipelago by the Spanish friars who preceded the contingents of armed conquistadores who came on galleons. The friars used the celebrations that they masked with spirituality to entice the natives to come down from their mountain abodes with eventual motive of converting them.

 

Today, the influence is so deeply rooted that it has practically ruined the character of Filipinos in general. As mentioned earlier, many Filipinos would go to the extent of borrowing money from loan sharks in order to celebrate “debut” of daughters, fiestas, birthday, etc, for one day, and suffer from the consequence for months!

 

On the other hand, those who can afford to feed a barangay as a way of celebrating their birthday, for instance, may go ahead, as nothing could stop them, not even this blog that serves as just a simple reminder, and which they may even view as an idiocy!

 

 

Our Unsafe World

Our Unsafe World

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Our world is so unsafe today that even billionaires are not secure behind the thick and high walls of their home. Their palatial abode may not be burglarized due to tight security but they may have acquired diseases from excessive vices that can certainly shorten their life…vices that involve “creations” of man such as alcoholic drinks and synthetic foods.

 

The atmosphere is so poisoned that the rainwater is no longer safe to drink. The air is permeated with heavy carbon dioxide that even the so-called organic vegetables that are not raised with fertilizer are still not safe to eat. Chicken in poultries are fattened with growth-enhancing feeds and so are pigs and cattle.

 

Fruits are sprayed or swabbed with chemicals so that their shelf-life can be extended. Marine fishes are soaked in formalin to make them look fresh and so are vegetables such as okra, tomatoes, eggplants, slices of young jackfruit (langka), and many others. Fishes filleted and dried (daing), as well as, sardines are also soaked in formalin to make their scales shiny and enticing.

 

The government that is supposed to protect us can no longer be trusted with confidential information due to careless and corrupt “public servants”. The most important link between diverse humanities, the internet system is also prone to hacking which jeopardizes the security of users. Even the guy sitting next to you in a bus, could be a mugger.

 

The eroding cultures of peoples result to the overall weakening of human character and his virtual self-annihilation.

 

The Versatile and Environment-friendly BANTILLO STOVE

The Versatile and Environment-friendly

BANTILLO STOVE

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

The versatile stove invented by Mr. Alex Bantillo Sr. of Tacurong City can be fed with rice husk, wood, or charcoal. The ingenious stove was conceptualized and designed when Mr. Bantillo opened a restaurant in Tacurong city with an operating cost that, as part of the plan, should not eat up a big portion of the earnings. Raw materials and manpower are out of the question as they are basics in such kind of trade. After a series of afterthoughts, he decided to ponder on the aspect of cooking fuel. Among the products of the city is the charcoal. On the other hand, the city is surrounded with rice fields and rice mills. Firewood is also abundant.

 

Based on the three locally-available and likewise, abundant traditional fuel, he thought of designing a stove that could be fed with any of them. His design is such that the emitted smoke is filtered, hence, the emission of carbon dioxide is minimized…making the contraption nature-friendly. As regards the rice husks, practically, big heaps are belched out by rice mills. Charcoal and firewood on the other hand are from planted trees and felled forest trees to give way to rural development. In principle, the stove shall also serve as an incinerator as it can also be fed with combustible household waste.

 

At a glance, the stove of Mr. Bantillo looks like an ordinary box as practically, no smoke is emitted. And, only the big cauldron of broth sitting on one of the burners could make one suspect that it is a stove. According to Mr. Bantillo, he has already received orders for units of his stove from his appreciative customers. He confided, though, that as much as possible, acceptance of orders is controlled as he might not be able to catch up with the demand.

 

The Bantillo stove is a prominent feature of the operation of the Alex Pata chain that covers the cities of Tacurong (two branches), Koronadal and Isulan. Those interested should better have a close scrutiny of the stove by visiting any of the Alex Pata outlets, for better appreciation and eventual filing of order.

 

A Simple Celebration…

A Simple Celebration…

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

When I visited the children of my elder sister who passed away followed by her husband, one of them remarked about the wedding anniversary of their parents on that day. Right then and there I decided to help them commemorate the occasion with a very simple celebration. I purchased a 3-kilo chicken to be cooked as adobo, two kilos each of mudfish and catfish to be broiled; turnip (singkamas), pineapple and radish for salad to be garnished with sweet onion and sprinkled with palm oil vinegar; and, sweet potato to be boiled as snacks in the afternoon to be downed with a cocktails of melon, avocado and papaya.

 

Being Sunday (21 May), the family of Joy, with husband, Junjun, and children, Marianne, Brianne and Zian Josh came for a visit from Polomolok (South Cotabato). Joy is the eldest daughter of my niece, Mary Anne who works in Canada in the company of her other daughter, Micah. Completing the family were Jonathan, and Nonoy and his wife, Bingbing.

 

On that Sunday morning, everybody had something to do. Junjun took charge of the broiling. Jongjong, the husband of my niece, Neneng, cooked the adobo, the no-frills way that he knows best as a retired soldier – only soy sauce and vinegar as flavors. The rest of the children, Nicole, Kate, Kris and Joy prepared the salad. My deaf and mute elder sister, Nida, took care of Joy’s youngest child, Zian Josh. The rest of the children, Chubs and Johnhon were on standby for errands.

 

The highlight of the celebration was the visit to the grave by the children at the Shangri-La Memorial Park as a gesture of respect and love, complete with the lighting of a candle and a gift that consisted of a bouquet of orchid from the family garden. My sister loved to raise orchids and other rare plants when she was still alive.

 

What we had was a kind of celebration that I would like to implant in the mind of my sister’s children – no taint of unnecessary luxury, but simple honesty of affordability….none of ice cream, barbecue, fried chicken, sandwiches, cakes, or pancit, the usual simple fare. I would like to make them understand that a celebration does not necessarily mean sumptuous food.

 

IN MY MIND, WHAT COUNTS MOST IN COMMEMORATING THE DEATH OF A LOVED ONE, IS THE MEMORY MADE ALIVE FOR AT LEAST A DAY AND PRAYERS THAT GO WITH IT…NOTHING ELSE.