Saturday, March 23, 2013

A whole new world?

The young man is faced with another kind of struggle.

He'd like to think though, that what's happening now is more acceptable than what he had in that 'lair of nothingness.' He once prayed for this, and he's back. 

At first, he thought everything will automatically switch back to its original state--his boat in a smooth sail.  

Few months going a year, the struggle now has been too ironic to handle; and has germinated seeds of confusion over and over again. He knows this is abnormal. 

The metaphor lives like an eagle, once suppressed and freed, now looks for chances to go back. He is rationalizing things by saying it's human nature to be dissatisfied with everything one does. 

But this one's a totally strange feeling of irony. The young man doesn't miss the purple mountain tops, the winter chills, nor the breeze of the Western wind, as these are nothing compared to his country's splendor. 

He neither begs for those just-a-click household machines, compared to manual labors in his hometown, nor the extravagance of structures and arts, as all these do not necessarily equate to "convenience." There is no free lunch, and everything there has price tags.  

Could it be that he doesn't know what he misses, but nevertheless he wants to go back? 

To go back--bolder, stronger, and braver--and sustain his life there for a relatively long period of time? He cannot talk about forever, as no one can. 

The young man feels that once he'll be given Aladdin's magical carpet, he'll be more courageous and more knowledgeable on everything, to a point he can settle there for good. Is it too much to mention that he feels more deserving than those people, who manage to survive the lengthy bureaucratic way 'to be accepted' there?

And, with these good things going on with him, why this feeling now? 

He could not assess why he wants to be back in that same space of nothingness, this time minus the pain and internal sufferings. 

He realized how life was, back in that rogue state. The kind of life he's talking about cannot be described, more so,cannot be judged by someone who has not been there.

He's thinking: was it the middle-class, comfortable way of living? Probably, yes but he believes that this reason is too shallow to be an option. Bourgeois thinking hunts him. Worst, he is conscious that he's betraying the sphere of ideas he chose to embrace. 

Life has become different when he stepped out of that 'humbling ground.' Tempting is elementary. Playful is lax. Challenging is an understatement. 

He knows his struggles are surely non-sense compared to the 'underprivileged,' yet he still wants to pursue a dream, that seemed to be away from what he learned as the 'right' way.

Before he joins the many for a fight with a greater cause, he'd like to deliberate and finish a fight between him and his self, and that the verdict shall be heard soon.

He prays though, that what he feels now is just due to the usual tinge of dissatisfaction, and not because of him wanting to seek revenge.  

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

1st Marian Regatta Draws Thousands

Manila Bulletin published this article on September 8, 2012, Luzon News. It can also be accessed at:

One of the 300 boats carrying a Marian image (San Nicolas, Batangas)

SAN NICOLAS, Batangas — Thousands of Marian devotees gathered at the break of dawn on Saturday for the first-ever “Marian Regatta: A Fluvial Procession for Peace, Family and Life” held around Taal Lake here, in celebration of the birth anniversary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Organized by the joint efforts of the local government, the Archdiocese of Lipa, the private and civil sectors, the religious event saw 300 boats carrying the images of the Virgin Mary, each representing all coastal towns surrounding Taal Volcano, including key communities of Sta. Teresita, Cuenca, Agoncillo, Labac, Alitagtag and San Nicolas.

Lipa Archdiocese media director Leonido Dolor regarded the fluvial event an “appropriate birthday gift” for the well-revered Mother of Christ.

“We attribute our relatively good fortune [to Virgin Mary] as far as the recent calamities are concerned. [This] Regatta is our way of thanking Her,” Dolor said in an interview.

“Regatta” is an Italian word, which refers to a series of boats rowed for a prize. [more]

'Lim to Print Media: Uphold the Truth'

Manila Bulletin published this article on September 6, 2012, front page. It can also be accessed at:


MANILA, Philippines --- Manila Mayor Alfredo S. Lim on Tuesday emphasized the importance and role of media in social development and nation-building during the opening ceremonies of the two-day 2nd Philippine Print Media Congress (PrintCon 2012) at the historic landmark Manila Hotel.

“The role of media is to foster unity among people, to develop friendship, so as to be united as a people,” Lim said in his keynote address before hundreds of delegates.

Lim stressed that the media industry should be an “inspiration of the people,” and not “an avenue for negative and derogatory utterances.”

“You can shoot or kill the one who writes the idea, but you can never, never kill the idea,” Lim said. [more]

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Saving Pasig means saving big

Tempo published this article on September 4, 2012. It can also be accessed at:

MB Research

Manila, Philippines – “So, what will happen if the government has more revenue because the `esteros’ are clean?“ asked Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) chairperson Gina Lopez in an interview with MB Research.

The PRRC chief herself offered an enticing answer: “Then, it will have more money to spend for social services to help the people.“

Lopez showed MB Research a 20-year savings forecast, should PRRC’s river rehabilitation programs and strategies under her administration be implemented persistently.

The simple benefit calculation covered potential savings in terms of land value, recreation, household maintenance and repair, and health.

P293.5 - M budget

Tempo published this article on September 3, 2012. It can also be accessed at:

MB Research

Manila, Philippines – The Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) has a total regional budget allocation of P293,578,000 for this year.

PRRC Budget Specialist Haydee Torralba said of the amount approved in the General Appropriations Act (GAA) for this year, P292,884,000 covers the PRRC’s locally funded projects, general administration and support, and operations.

Also alloted in the budget is PRRC’s current operating expenditures composed of personal services, capital outlays, and maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE). [more]

Relocation opposed

Tempo published this article on September 2, 2012. It can also be accessed at:

MB Research

Manila, Philippines – Kalikasan Partylist, a progressive political party protecting the environment and defending the people’s welfare, believes that relocating informal settlers along Pasig River will not help in effecting rehabilitation efforts for the “biologically dead“ waterway.

“Urban residents along the Pasig River need not be displaced. The development plan for the river should integrate development of poor communities’ areas with other proposed development,“ said Kalikasan’s Public Information Officer Lisa Ito-Tapang in an interview with MB Research through email.

Kalikasan’s stand on relocation directly opposes one of the primary objectives and solutions of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) in saving Pasig River.

Kalikasan views Pasig River as a place where urban settlers are forced to stay despite risks that go with it. Pasig River currently receives wastewater and sewage from 367 barangays and over 30 industries.

'River Warriors' formed for Pasig

Tempo published this article on August 31, 2012. It can also be accessed at:

MB Research

Manila, Philippines – A concrete sidewalk adorned with flowers and floating plants, illuminated at night by a line of lamp posts, is how the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) and the local government picture “esteros“ that feed into Pasig River in just less than 10 years.

PRRC chairperson Gina Lopez takes pride in the successful rehabilitation of Estero de Paco in a span of 15 months, with public-private participation. Estero de Paco now serves as a model for succeeding rehabilitation drives in other tributaries ­ and as proof that actual rehabilitation can be done.

Lopez tapped two doctorate degree holders to conduct a survey regarding the “face-lifted“ Estero de Paco’s impact among residents within its jurisdiction. [more]

Thursday, August 30, 2012

'Clean esteros first before river'

Tempo published this article on August 30, 2012. It can also be accessed at:

MB Research

Estero de Paco (August 2012)
Manila, Philippines – “If Pasig River is clean, the economy will jack-up big time!”

Thus declared current Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) chairperson Regina Paz “Gina” Lopez, in an interview with MB Research, adding that her approach to Pasig River’s rehabilitation has a totally different strategic impulse.

“Contrary to the strategies employed by the previous government, the idea now is to clean the tributaries before proceeding to the main river,” Lopez boldly stated.

Merely cleaning the main waterways, dredging or any kind of aggressive projects, which require spending a lot of money is both a “waste of time and resources,” according to Lopez.

Lopez, who is also the managing director of ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc. (AFI), has been seen active in effecting rehabilitation efforts to Metro Manila’s major estuaries long before assuming the PRRC chairmanship. [more]