Monday, April 30, 2007


I've always enjoyed airports. Or maybe the idea of travel. It's always exciting to just sit and watch people come and go.

I'm leaving for a trip today. My first this year outside the country.

What I don't like about trips, however, is the preparation - waking up early in the morning, ironing and folding clothes, thinking about what to bring, deciding on what book to read on the plane.

Of course the usual security check, especially the taking off of shoes, is annoying. Well, there are things, including trips abroad, that do not come free.

Saturday, April 28, 2007


Matindi ang init ng araw nitong mga nakalipas na linggo. Kasing-init sa pangangampanya ng mga pulitiko para sa darating na halalan sa Mayo.

Umuwi ako sa probinsya nitong nakalipas na weekend. Gano'n pa rin naman ang itsura ng aking bayan. Tila walang nagbago. Medyo nalinis lang ang dalampasigan dahil dumadami na ang mga kubo sa tabing-dagat at medyo alaga na ang mga halaman at puno.

Ang bagong sidewalk sa boulevard ay gawa na ng clay tiles. Magandang tingnan lalo na sa gabi kapag nasisindihan ang mga makulay na ilaw sa daan.

Di naman nagbago ang mga tao sa bayan ko. May mga tumatanda, may pilit na nagpapabata at marami na talagang mga bagong mukha na naging tao na siguro noong umalis na ako sa bayan 24 na taon na ang nakalipas.

Maalat pa rin ang dagat, mainit pa rin ang araw, namumulaklak pa rin ang akasya. May mga bagong bahay na ang tawag ng mga pinsan ko ay "katas ng retirement," "katas ng pagpupunas ng pwet ng banyaga" at "katas ng pagpuputa" sa Japan at ibang bansa.

Tsismoso't tsismosa pa rin ang mga dati nang tsismoso't tsismosa, 'di na ako nakakita ng tuba sa sentro ng bayan, Red Horse na ang tinitira ng kabataan at 'di na baylehan ang tawag ng sayawan. XRM na ang gamit ng mga bagets sa gimik, 'di tulad noon na kami ay nagpapagandahan ng bike.

Tahimik pa rin ang bayan ko. Pangarap ko pa rin na manitili doon, kasama ang mga mahal sa buhay, sa darating na panahon.

Malungkot lang na 'di ko man lang lubusang na-enjoy ang tag-init sa sa aming bayan. Nawala na kasi ang mga tukmo't punay na dating nakikipagharutan sa mga maya sa palayan. Wala na ang palayan sa likod ng aming kubo. Bahayan na ito. Marami na kaming mga kapitbahay, mga pinsan at kamag-anak.

Tag-araw, natutuyo ang mga batis sa Tipsong, walang hamog ang mga bulaklak sa umaga, nagtatago na yata ang mga dalaga.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Friday, April 20, 2007

Another dark period for Philippine media

This week marks another dark period for press freedom in the Philippines, with the murder of a colleague, the attempted murder of another and a libel case filed by a governor against yet another.

Carmelo Palacios, 41, field reporter of the government-run Radyo ng Bayan, was found dead in Sta. Rosa town, Nueva Ecija, Wednesday morning, his body battered and shot in the chin. He was the 51st journalist to be killed under the Arroyo administration's increasingly blood-drenched watch, and the third this year.

Director Geary Barias of Task Force Usig has said there is reason to believe the murder of Palacios was an offshoot of his being a "hard-hitting, no nonsense reporter" and "anti-crime crusader."

A day after, Delfin Mallari Jr., correspondent of the Philippine Daily Inquirer and the host of a local radio program and editor of the local paper Ang Dyaryo Natin, was shot and wounded in an ambush in Lucena City.

Colleague Johnny Glorioso of dzMM and Mallari's co-host and fellow editor, said they have all the reason to believe the attempt on Mallari's life was "politically motivated."

In Cebu City, Leo Lastimosa, station manager of local ABS-CBN radio, was slapped with a libel suit by Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia because of his exposes on alleged scams committed during the preparations for the 12th Association of Southeast Asian Nations there.

And in Albay, dzRH reporter Jun Alegre was arrested yesterday and jailed over a 10-year-old libel case.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines condemns these latest assaults on our colleagues and on press freedom as a whole.

Indeed, the assaults on journalists and not just press freedom but freedom of expression and the people's right to know as well, have been coming more often and becoming more brazen.

In the case of media, while there remains no indication that this is part of a broad, concerted effort, unlike the assaults on other sectors, the fact nevertheless remains that the continued assaults on
our colleagues and on our freedom and liberties are abetted by a climate of impunity that is the result of official inaction, antipathy and, in many cases, even outright hostility.

This is borne out by last year's attempts by government to clamp down on the media during the ill-conceived state of national emergency, the multiple libel cases filed against 46 journalists by no less than the president's husband, the sedition charges filed against the Tribune and the comments from sundry government and security officials, notably Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez, that a number of our slain colleagues may have deserved their fates -- as if there were any justification for murder.

Again, as we mourn our fallen, see to our wounded and give succor to the embattled, we challenge President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to do the one singular act that will prove that her administration is not abetting this climate of impunity that is steadily and with gathering speed and brazenness battering at our most basic rights and liberties -- issue a categorical order to put an end to the killings and assaults, to get the perpetrators, and declare the decriminalization of libel an urgent measure.

We urge our colleagues to remain steadfast and band together and call on the people whom we serve to help send a strong signal to those who would deprive them of their right to know that, no, we will not surrender.

Jose Torres Jr.
NUJP chairperson

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Monday, April 16, 2007

Being a good citizen

It's difficult to be a law-abiding citizen. You have to fall in line under the heat of the sun to pay your taxes. It's good that some banks are accepting payments. I did just that and became a good citizen in just a matter of 15 minutes.

Now I have all the right to complain about bad roads, the rising cost of living and the human rights violations that are, most of the times, not addressed by authorities. I paid my taxes, paid my dues, did my part as a Filipino, our government should be doing its part too.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

As expected, Pacquiao won

Pacquiao won.

Filipinos, including Rep. Darlene Antonino-Custodio, were grateful after Manny brought "honor" to the country by beating the hell out of Jorge Solis.

Good for Manny. He will surely bring home the money. Good for all Pinoys. We had a temporary break from the boredom of our poor existence. There was even free merienda in some sports complex in Manila courtesy of local politicians.

Good for me and my colleagues. We had to stay in the office for almost 20 hours now to make sure the world will be informed what happens to the "people's champion."

I wonder why we're so excited about the outcome of the Pacquiao-Solis fight when we were so sure anyway that Manny would win.

It's just maybe the love for a good fight.

All eyes on Pacquiao

Pacquiao will win. Most Filipinos are betting on it. He will easily win against Solis in San Antonio, Texas. I doubt if he will have the same easy time against Ms Darlene Antonino in GenSan in the coming elections.

Problems will again be forgotten today. Filipinos will be glued on their television sets. They will watch the "people's champ" slug it out with the Mexican Solis. There will be no campaign sorties later today. Politicians too need to have a rest. And yes, a good time.

All roads in Metro Manila will lead to SM malls where a live telecast of the fight will be shown, at least for those who can afford to buy tickets. Others will have to wait for the delayed telecast over GMA 7. They can use the money for the ticket to buy lunch and merienda.

I will have my own thing to do later today. I have to forget my own daily fights in life. I need to monitor Pacquiao's fight. Win or lose, I have to work.

Monday, April 09, 2007

The angels flew

I failed to shoot angels on Easter Sunday. I overslept.

Below are some scenes I shot during the Holy Week.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter!

Holy Week is over. It's Easter. My dog has died. I've never updated my blogs (yes, I have several blogs) and there are so many things to write about.

The elections are here. Yes, we're electing local and national officials. And there are so many things to do.

I saw a man crucified on Good Friday. I went to the empty cross after the crucifixion. There were no nail marks. It's one of those miracles.

I'll try to shoot angels in the morning.