Monday, January 18, 2010

Hold the PANACEA

In the play, The Life of Galileo, German playwright, Bertolt Brecht, had the character of Galileo say: “Unhappy is the land that needs heroes”. This quote has often been invoked by many a writer, conveying a message of disarray, of shortcomings and the redemption that followed or the lack of it, or the implementation of new methodologies with their numerous benefits, or the inception of valuable creativity and discoveries in science and medicine, arts and culture, by which man’s meaningful life is enhanced and strengthened, if not defined. In the play, it was a correction to a statement delivered by another character, who said, “Unhappy is the land that has no heroes”. Quite clearly, should there be a need for a hero, something needs fixing; something is causing harm; something is stagnant and requires ebullient energy to facilitate improvements or, in a more somber angle, the state of human sensibilities has exceedingly advanced to a moldering state, perhaps even down to simple living, in which relationships and interactions can change surprisingly from the mundane, tame and discerning, to the profligate, vitriolic and catastrophic.

When the Nazi Buchenwald concentration camp was being liberated on April 11, 1945, 18-year-old Feodor Mikhailichenko, a Russian, shielded 8-year-old Israel Meir Lau, nick named Lulek, from German gunfire. He stole and cooked potatoes for this very young lad, and knitted him wool earmuffs to protect him from the bone-penetrating cold. The Russian looked after him daily like a father, and was befittingly proclaimed hero by the boy.

We all know the tragedy of that period, and plainly, of evil dreams’ devastating claws. They can consume a family, a group, a community, a country.

Not straying farther from home, Efren Penaflorida, a new, modern-time hero has responded to the circumstances of his period, scrutinizing, feeling, and grappling with the challenges of a familiar, yet, abhorrent environment, though instrumental in tapping his humanitarian and creative skills for the sake of many.

Filipino history books cite quite a number of heroes. To have so many, speaks of the depth of oppression, and of how much normalcy and decency have eluded the daily life of a nation. Our heroes depict the conditions of their time, conditions that prompted brave tirades and clenched fists aching in hopelessness and yearning for justice, whilst most citizenry recoiled in fear, whilst laughter escaped victimized homes, whilst reforms seemed far-fetched, and whilst human intellect and emotions could no longer endure. Dilemmas replaced peaceful minds; persecution invited sacrifices instead of submission. What dire circumstances!

Heroes need not only be for the multitude, though certainly for posterity. Most of us can name a personal hero, one unknown to others, but to us, it is the blood that flows in our veins. And there are unnamed heroes whose souls were never trumpeted, nonetheless, as important, worthy of respect and praise. From them, surely: a moment saved, an adversity avoided, a struggle ended and hope renewed.

In the better known version of heroism, while not unexpectedly because of the number of beneficiaries involved, the hero’s choices entail hard work and commitment. Imperatively, there is character. His options have roots originating from situations that deteriorated over time. Ignorance, profligacy, protean coalition of ideas compromising egalitarian ethos, selfish ambitions, poor governance, crime, and many more human weaknesses are triggers for either good or more evil to arise. We rejoice at the good that springs; but, this needs facilitators, and to the fullest extent, heroes. But why does man push things too far or neglect responsibilities that a hero should come to the rescue? Why not aim for the best so that if things do not go a hundred per cent, the degree of failure is not penetratingly disastrous. Why not prefer and mold an environment where most, if not all, can live in peace and be happy. Why not at least work sincerely and with dignity towards it. It is not impossible. Happy is the land where no heroes travail.

By: Jenny

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Sandataan 2009 Report

Logo designed by Ramon Alcazar Dellosa 1981

As promised, here's a report of the 75th Anniversary Celebration of Sandataan hosted by Bacon Sandataan Association (Metro Manila), Inc.:

The affair started at about 7:30 in the evening at the 3rd floor of Jade Valley Restaurant (along Timog Avenue, Quezon City) and more or less 150 persons attended the occasion.

At around 8:00, Honorable Congressman Salvador H Escudero III with his aide, Kaka Llamas arrived. After an exchange of some pleasantries with the officers and attendees, Honorable Governor Sally A. Lee, likewise arrived with a lady companion. The VIPs seated in one table.

A short program was organized, with an initial singing of the National Anthem followed by an invocation of Father Dario Diesta Deocareza.

Next, was a welcome address by the President, Cherry Latosa-Mendenilla, followed by the inspirational messages of Governor Lee and Cong. Escudero. Both VIPs applauded the officers of the BSAI for their selfless dedication in continuously promoting a traditional activity of Bacongnons, an association of Sorsoganons solely existing( to borrow the words of Cong. Escudero) in Metro Manila.

Likewise, both has commended the UNITY that Bacongnons has shown and further stressed that such character of Bacongnons is indeed a contributory factor in the development of Sorsogon in general.

Other attendees were residents of Gatbo; Sugod,led by Judge Martinez and wife; Sto. Domingo; San Isidro; San Juan; San Roque; Balete; a balikbayan from Maricrum; Atty. Romy Morato and wife Minda of Poblacion; the family of Latosa of Jardin; the family of Atenciana of Burabod; a certain Ms Doringo of Bon-ot and company; Mr. Marcial Doringo, a known original organizer of the Metro Manila Sandataan, who came in with a walker because of an ailment.

Also Mr. Honorio Dioquino, who have just recuperated from a heart stroke, arrived and with his old age, still, was able to dance the Pantomina.

Others were not residents of Bacon but friends invited coming from Albay, Metro Manila and Sorsogon as well.

The main event of the occasion was Ballroom Dancing, assisted by a live band from Magdalena, Laguna, which was gratefully appreciated by the whole group for its wonderful music, music for all ages.

According to Atty. Morato, it was indeed a successful yearly traditional reunion of Bacongnons here in Metro Manila and further looking forward for more attendees on December 30, 2010.The affair ended at about 12:30 AM.

By Sandataan Officer (Metro Manila)

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year


Dear Lord, please give me…

A few friends who understand me and remain my friends;

A work to do which has real value, without which the world would be the poorer;

A mind unafraid to travel, even though the trail be not blazed;

An understanding heart; A sense of humor;

Time for quiet, silent meditation;

A feeling of the presence of God;

The patience to wait for the coming of these things, with the wisdom to recognize them when they come.Amen.

El Muralla