Reflections last week

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By Nef Luczon


Monday, January 27, 2014

WE thought the low pressure area that became tropical depression “Agaton” could go on forever, we were all soaked wet and worried the rise of water levels in our rivers and we’ve seen some destruction of bridges in our nearby towns and cities in Cagayan de Oro.

We have seen again how floodwater slowly impaled traffic and business flow in C.M. Recto Avenue, even inside the premises of Mindanao University of Science and Technology, a state-subsidized university.

The floodwater was not caused by the Bitan-ag Creek, it was caused by the commercial buildings near it. The creek used to be a source of clean water and even fish for Kagay-anons of old, but now it’s no better than a big canal.


If both private and government sectors keep blind eyes in addressing this flooding issue for ages, it will bring shame and disgrace to us all. It is just plain ironic when big businesses and new buildings are flourishing in C.M. Recto Avenue yet nobody really cared for the drainage and waterways system in order to prevent flooding even in small drops of rains.


While C.M. Recto Avenue was experiencing flood, and the rest of Mindanao was still at the mercy’s feet of “Agaton,” Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. made a privilege speech in defense for the pork barrel scam accusations hurled against him – complete with his cast and crew including his father, Ramon Sr., who is a former Senator and his wife and representative Lani Mercado.

Aided with a toy truck as props, the Senator denied all allegations that he laundered the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) that was allotted to him and had transactions with the alleged pork barrel scam queen, Janet Lim-Napoles.

Seriously, where was Revilla’s PDAF and other Senators and Representatives’ PDAFs when C.M. Recto is still flooding? Or while the rest of Mindanao needs rescuing because it’s worse in those communities that were prone to floods and landslides?

And knowing Sen. Revilla and his clan owns the Kingdom of Cavite, not to mention that his father sired quite a number of children, and his children bore grandchildren and great grandchildren. You cannot really discount the fact that such size of the family really is expensive, and you have to be “creative” in finding resources in sharing the obligations.

And if there is something good Revilla brought us, it’s the revelation that the Aquino administration has an involvement in the impeachment trial of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona.

But had Revilla not been implicated in the pork barrel scam, the “convincing” incident could have been shut in his mouth and enjoyed the “silent perks” probably for voting in favor of the former Chief Justice’s demise.

In the end, both of them are disgusting just the same: President Aquino and his evasive yet bully-ish administration, and Senator Revilla with his gangs in government money controversies.


It’s not a dampened week after all last week, as the 6th Cinemagis Film Festival in Northern Mindanao highlights the region’s promising film works from budding filmmakers. While other entries show brilliance in story telling despite the lack of proper equipment and training, some are still slaves of the mainstream concept.

Films, especially through the regional/Mindanaoan perspective, is so powerful that you can advance a message that’s been disregarded by many because the society follows popular norms and expectations.

As filmmakers from the “other Philippines,” there should be an attempt to tell the stories with influences of Mindanao contexts and more so leaning to the unique cultural identity from the grassroots that you are standing and living in.

Example, when you tell a story about love, showing it like you just copied the dreamy, unrealistic and impossible “alta-sociedad” lifestyle similar to the mainstream TV and Film representation is frustrating.

How about a love story under the backdrops of relevant social issues in Mindanao or how love is explained in the Kagay-anon perspective?

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Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on January 27, 2014.


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