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.

 

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.

 

 

May Isang Roger…

May Isang Roger…

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

May isang Roger (hindi tunay na pangalan) akong nakilala sa barangay na aking dinaanan. Napansin ko kasi ang isang magandang resort na pang-international and kalibre. Nang magtanong ako ay binanggit ang pangalan niya kaya hinanap ko. Ang nakilala kong may-ari ay naka-short ng maong at t-shirt na kupasin at may mga butas, parehong halatang binili sa ukayan.

 

Ayon sa kanya, hindi siya degree-holder dahil kapos sa pera ang kanyang mga magulang. Magsasaka ang kanyang tatay at may maliit na tindahan naman ang kanyan nanay. Pagtatanim at pag-aani ng palay ang kanyang kinalakihang trabaho at isa pang kapatid na lalaki na si Zaldy (hindi tunay na pangalan). At kahit sa baryo ipinanganak at lumaki, hindi naging hadlang ang kanyang katayuan sa kanyang pinangarap na maginhawang buhay pagdating ng tamang panahon.

 

Wala siyang diplomang pinagmamalaki , pero proud siya dahil ang kanyang kapatid na babae ay naging degree holder at nagkaroon ng mataas na puwesto sa isang government agency, at tatawagin kong Myrna (hindi tunay na pangalan). Hindi rin siya naiimbitahan sa mga pagtitipon sa bayan dahil ang mga barkada niya ay tulad din niyang mga taga-baryo. Lahat silang magkakapatid ay nagsikap sa abot ng kanilang makakaya upang mapakinabangan ang kapirasong lupang kanilang nililinang. Ang buong pamilya nila ay nagsiksikan sa isang maliit na bahay na unti-unting dinugtungan upang magkaroon ng kaluwagan sila sa pagkilos sa loob lalo na sa pagtulog.

 

Hindi siya nasiraan ng loob nang pumanaw ang kanilang mga magulang, at sa halip ay pinag-ibayo pa niya ang kanyang pagsisikap bilang panganay sa mga lalaking magkapatid. Sinubukan niyang mag-buy and sell ng palay at nagtagumpay naman hanggang makapagpatayo ng gilingan (rice mill) at makabili ng trak ng panghakot ng mga palay. Lalo pa siyang nagtagumpay nang makapag-asawa ng isang masinop at magaling humawak ng pera. Sa pag-usad ng panahon nagkaroon sila ng mga anak na naigapang nilang mag-asawa upang lahat ay makatapos ng kolehiyo.

 

Dahil ang kanilang baryo ay nasa paanan ng burol kung saan ay natuklasan ang isang bukal, naisipan niyang magpatayo ng isang maliit na resort na sa kalaunan ay lumaki at lumawak ang nasasakupan. Nagkaroon ito ng mga overnight facilities at mga fish pond na ang inaaning tilapia, hito at dalag ay binebenta rin sa mga taong hindi naliligo sa resort. Sa kabila ng pagiging busy ay nagawa pa niyang tumakbo bilang Barangay Chairman at nanalo naman. Lalo pang naging tanyag ang kanyang resort dahil sa kanyang katayuan bilang opisyal. Sa kabila ng natamong tagumpay, hindi nakitaan ng kayabangan si Roger. Naka-tsinelas pa rin siya palagi, naka-maong na short pants at t-shirt na binili sa ukayan.

 

Bilang pasalamat sa natamong tagumpay, regular na nag-aambag si Roger sa isang parukya (parish) na nag-iipon ng pera na magagamit sa pagpapatapos ng simbahan.

SI ROGER ANG PATUNAY NA HINDI KAILANGANG MAGKAROON NG DIPLOMA UPANG UMASENSO. KAHIT ANG ISANG TAO AY GRADUATE PA SA ABROAD O KILALANG UNIBERSIDAD KUNO (NA ANG MGA ESTUDYANTE AY MAHILIG MAG-RALLY PARA LANG MASABING MATALINO KUNO DAHIL ALAM ANG MGA NANGYAYARI SA GOBYERNO), WALA RIN SIYANG SILBI KUNG WALANG DISKARTE SA BUHAY….ANG NABANGGIT KONG URI NG MGA ESTUDYANTE ANG MASASABI KONG NAKAKAHIYANG BATIK NG LIPUNAN!

 

 

Resourceful Cooking

Resourceful Cooking

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

With the soaring prices of various food items that include vegetables, fish, meat and spices, one must be resourceful to be able to scrimp on these. Along with the effort, one must also use ingenuity in coming up with recipes that make use of cheap ingredients and quick cooking to save on fuel, such as gas, electricity, wood or charcoal. The following are some suggested and simple recipes with cheap ingredients:

 

  • “Okoy” or fritter using strips of singkamas (jicama, turnip), squash and monggo sprouts (toge), flavored with dried krill or kalkag. This can be eaten as snacks or as viand (ulam).
  • Vegetable combo using all kinds of indigenous vegetables – camote tops, alogbate, eggplant, saluyot, okra, tomatoes, onions and ginger, especially, those wilting in the ref.
  • Pickled radish, eggplant, string beans, mustard or cabbage using cheap old stock of the said vegetables, the prices of which could be 50% less than the fresh ones. The mentioned vegetables can be pickled separately using vinegar and salt. As a salad, they can be prepared with slices of fresh tomatoes and onions.
  • Mashed eggplant using the old, hence, cheap ones. Boil the eggplants into soft consistency, mash and sauté in oil, chopped tomatoes and onions. This can be used as a bread filling or as appetizing main dish.

 

Other cheap ideas are:

 

  • Steaming vegetables by placing them on top of about-to-be cooked steamed rice. Remove them when ready to be served. Dips or sauce can be soy sauce mix with vinegar, chopped onions and tomatoes. This is the cheapest way to cook steamed vegetables and is more nutritious than boiling.

 

  • Flavoring vegetables or fried rice with the sauce of canned sardines while saving the whole fish for pasta dishes or as a separate dish sautéed in plenty of tomatoes and onions.

 

  • Preparing skinless tomatoes by freezing ripe ones after which bringing them out, and as they start to thaw or soften, starting to peel them. Skinless tomatoes can be frozen again to be used when preparing salad or sauce for pasta dishes, or can be mashed and cooked in oil, little vinegar and salt, to make tomato paste. The traditional way of peeling tomatoes is by soaking them in boiling water for a few seconds, but could be messy.

 

  • Preparing ready-to-use tomato and onion sauce using cheap old stock of the said vegetables. Cook the chopped vegetables in oil after which, apportion in small container for freezing and bringing out only the needed portion….this is a time and fuel saver.

 

  • Not continuously boiling monggo beans. Upon boiling, remove from stove and allow a few minutes “rest” to give the beans time to absorb the water, then return to the stove for another round of boiling; remove again…and on the third time, cook over slow fire until the beans become mashed in boiling water. This technique is best if only a single-burner stove is being used, as other dishes can be cooked while the monggo pot is “resting”.

 

The problem with most Filipinos today is that they refuse to think of ways to live on a tight budget, yet, they have the gall to waste food such as a spoonful or two of rice left on the plate or throw the left-over instead of recycling them. Also, they have the courage to blame the government for their travails due to low wage and soaring prices of commodities but they do not exert effort to save! They forgot the adage, “kung maikli ang kumot dapat ay mamaluktot” (one should exert effort to be covered with a small-sized blanket by lying curled on his side.)