LAST week, I had the opportunity to attend a round table discussion on “Andres Bonifacio – Ang Unang Pangulo” held at De La Salle University. Among those who attended were Dr. Rene Escalante, head of DLSU history department, Dr. Fernie Santiago, historian Ramon Villegas, and students, mostly members of the DLSU Sociedad de Historia.
FOR more than three decades, Cesar Sioson Tiangco served as the first principal of my Alma Mater, the Muntinlupa High School (now Muntinlupa National High School or MNHS). Established in 1945, MNHS was the very first post-war public high school opened south of Manila.
I JOIN those who continue to trust and believe in the leadership of Secretary Teresita “Ging” Deles as the country’s foremost peace negotiator. As mayor from one of the municipalities in the Armm and one of those who are advocating for lasting peace in Mindanao who worked with Sec. Deles on many occasions, I vouch for her selfless dedication and integrity. With her guidance and effort, we have achieved so much for peace.
THE total number of civilian casualties reached 100,000. An estimated 80 per cent were victims of massacres and other Japanese atrocities. The rest were collateral damage – victims of “friendly fire”. The month-long Battle of Manila rendered the city heavily devastated, next only to Warsaw in terms of destruction during World War II. In addition to private homes and property, important government buildings and landmarks with great historical and cultural value were leveled.
IN THE previous article, we recalled the start of the Rape of Manila or the Sack of Manila. We continue in this article with other tales of horror as narrated by survivors.
THE return of captured SAF firearms of MILF to government on February 18, 2015 is not enough to earn trust of the Filipino people.
This may be a good gesture on their part but not convincing on my half.
AKO po’y nakikiramay sa lahat ng pamilya ng apatnapu’t-apat (44) na mga miyembro ng Special Action Force (SAF) na napatay sa encounter sa Mamasapano, Maguindanao. Sila po’y ating tinuturing na mga matatapang na mga sundalo para ipagtanggol ang kapayapaan ng ating bayan. Sila'y biktima sa deka-dekadang problema o tunggalian sa Mindanao, ng Gobyerno at ng mga kapatid nating mga Muslim kung saan sila’y nag-oorganisa sa kanilang hanay para ipagtanggol ang kanilang mga karapatan at mabigyan ng lunas ang kanilang mga karaingan.
IN COMMEMORATION of the month-long battle to liberate Manila, we recall in this series the sequence of events as they happened week by week 70 years ago.
In the previous article, we narrated how the Allied forces continued to tighten the vice on the Japanese and how they “prepared” for urban warfare – the first and only one of its kind to be waged in the whole Pacific theater.
LAST February 3, I received the sad news that my good friend Bert Pelayo, founder and publisher of the Filipino Reporter, passed away in New York. Before migrating to the US more than forty years ago, Bert covered the Defense beat for the Manila Times. As a reporter, he also covered the Vietnam War.
He was a recipient of, among many others, the Pamana ng Filipino Award, a Presidential Award conferred on Outstanding Filipinos overseas. He was recognized not only for his impressive journalistic achievement but also for his effective work in mobilizing the Filipino-American community.
IN THE previous article, we wrote about the advance of Allied troops as they moved towards their main target: Manila. The troops landed via Lingayen on January 9, 1945. As they advanced, they retook Clark Air Base on January 23. A special group of US Army Rangers and Filipino guerrillas (led by Captain Juan Pajota and Eduardo Joson) embarked on a lightning raid to free around 500 American POWs from Cabanatuan prison camp on January 30.
IN A previous article, we wrote about the landing at Lingayen Gulf which took place on January 9, 70 years ago. It was the second major land invasion by American and allied forces in their attempt to retake the Philippines.
By the time the Americans landed, the Japanese forces, under the overall command of Tomoyuki Yamashita, had withdrawn inland. At the 32-kilometer Lingayen beachhead, there was hardly any Japanese resistance. This enabled Pangasinan town folks to come out and welcome the allied forces in a fiesta atmosphere.
BY THE time this sees print, Pope Francis shall have completed his historic four day pastoral visit to the Philippines. Millions of Filipinos would have seen him either in person, or on television, or in various social media, as he waved to the multitude from atop his Pope mobile, celebrated mass, and broke bread with victims of Typhoon Haiyan.
Just to catch a brief glimpse of Lolo Kiko would have been reward enough for many, some of whom travelled all the way from the provinces, and who waited hours along his motorcade route and in various program venues.
IN A previous article, we wrote about the Battle of Leyte and the series of naval battles collectively called as the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
The Battle of Leyte was the first major land offensive by American and allied forces to retake the Philippines. It started with the landings in three Leyte beaches on October 20, seventy years ago, and ended with the complete liberation of the island two months later.
LAST week, I wrote something about the past year. It was something about significant things that I encountered through media coverages, meetings, and mere acquaintances and chance encounters.
I started with it by using the word “defiance” and I thought I should use that again just to be consistent in my recollection of people, events and places that were significant in 2014.
RUMORS are persistent. Congressman Oscar S. Rodriguez (OCA) is to return and reclaim the mayoral post of the City of San Fernando, Pampanga. His loyalists insist that he has his eyes set on the local chief executive post.
The incumbent Mayor Edwin D. Santiago (EDSA) is unperturbed. He has not denied that he is seeking a reelection. The alliance of these two leaders dates back to 1986.
AS WE welcomed 2015, I thought it would be interesting to come up with a list of unique Filipino New Year traditions. A survey of my Facebook friends indicates that traditions normally express fervent wishes and hopes for the year.
Prosperity and good luck topped my friends' wish list. Good health and physical well-being came in a close second. My friends also listed traditions that supposedly dictate what will happen the rest of the year, noise-making practices, as well as those that emphasize family unity.
LAST January, my dearest wife Mira was diagnosed with aphasia. Aphasia is a nerve disorder that has rendered her totally helpless, confined to bed, and completely deprived of her ability to speak.
Three days before Christmas, I received a most precious gift. For the first time in almost a year, Mira was able to sit up and watch a full-length HBO movie. I asked her if she wanted anything. I read her lips and clearly understood: “Popcorn.”
WAS the Haring Bayan ng Katagalugan (Sovereign Nation of Katagalugan) a working government or just a government on paper?
Dr. Guerrero et al. explain Haring Bayan ng Katagalugan’s political structure.
WHEN I was in freshmen college, the fashionable hair style for young men was the “flat top” or the “crew cut.” I personally preferred it because it allowed me to dispense with the greasy pomade. It also suited me very well for ROTC.
THE first time was in the fall of 2002. I flew in from Manila via Amsterdam to visit her in Scotland, at the city of Glassgow where she was finishing up her masteral degree in marketing from the University of Strathclyde. This time, last week of October 2014, it was Sarah's turn to join me, in Brussels after a three-hour ride at the Eurostar from her home in London, near the financial district, Canary Wharf. In both times, the rare reunion of father and daughter instantly erased the hassles of travel, and their days together, albeit all too few, was renewed once more the tie that bound parent to child.
FIFTY-ONE years after the assassination of John F. Kennedy that fatal November morning in Dallas, majority of the American public still feel that the case has not been satisfactorily closed.
President Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, formed the Warren Commission to investigate the assassination. Subsequent investigating bodies - like the Ramsey Clark Panel (1968), the Rockefeller Commission (1975), the Church Committee ( whose report was made public in 2011), and the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations (1979) also looked into the assassination.
WITH the Bar Exams over, Supreme Court Bar Confidant Tina Layusa deserves the legal profession's thanks and congratulations. Thank you for serving as she had been doing year in year out, for more than 15 years by now, as the mater mediatrix among all the participants and stakeholders in the revered process of selecting the worthy entrants to the practice of law by the first quarter of 2015. Without any exaggeration, she is the only living and still working repository of the country's bar experience.
PRESIDENT Manuel L. Quezon once proclaimed that “the reading of good books or the printed page is one of the most effective methods of bringing enlightenment within the reach of the largest possible number of people, and of promoting the cause of popular culture with its tremendous social benefits.”
He added that “it is desirable that the task of arousing a widespread interest in the reading of good books be recognized as a highly patriotic duty as well as a privilege.”
IN LOS Angeles, California, Mike Arceo worked as an IT Project Manager for a few health care organizations. He arrived the other week for his second tour of duty in Leyte as a part of All Hands Volunteers, one of many international relief organizations that descended on Leyte in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda.
TWICE in the past, the group, composed of former press secretaries and former press undersecretaries, just decided to meet. No agenda was set. It was purely socials and an opportunity to sample the exquisite food and drinks served at XO 46 Bistro Filipino, a restaurant owned and operated by Sandee Masigan, daughter of former Press Undersecretary Deedee Siytangco.
One meeting was organized to welcome visiting former Press Secretary Buddy Gomez, who describes himself in his Facebook account as a Texas based “retired undocumented OFW.”
ROBERT T. Rivera, or Usec Robert to his close friends and associates, first caught public attention in the mid-70’s via television. While working as Disco and Television Coordinator of Dyna Records (owned by the venerable Dr. James Dy), Robert demonstrated the latest dance crazes. Flyers of his easy-to-follow dance instructions were printed and sold together with popular Dyna record albums. Soon he was dancing on nationwide TV with a bevy of movie and television stars and celebrities, among them 1975 Miss World Wilnelia Merced of Puerto Rico.
TODAY, October 20, marks the 70th anniversary of MacArthur’s landing at Leyte. The Battle of Leyte was the start of a US land offensive to recapture the Philippines and to end the three-year Japanese occupation.
US Forces landed in three points in Leyte. The most publicized of these landings took place in Red Beach, in Palo. After hours of continuous bombardment of Japanese positions, MacArthur waded ashore. Among the landing party were President Sergio Osmena and General Carlos P Romulo.
(This letter is in response to the articles covering the voting crisis between China and Hong Kong.)
AS A citizen of and believer in democracy, I applaud the efforts of Hong Kong. Their efforts are similar to what is happening in many other parts of the world.
RECENTLY, the Washington Post reported that on September 19, a former sniper jumped the fence at the White House, burst through the front door and ran 130 feet into the East Room. The East Room is used for events and receptions.
The intruder, who had previous arrests for carrying deadly weapons, had a knife. Secret service men tackled the intruder before he got any further. He is now facing criminal charges.
IN TERMS of death, misery and destruction, nothing comes close to Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), which hit Central Philippines in November 8, 2013. But still, Ondoy (Ketsana) would be remembered for inflicting on Manila and environs its worst battering in four decades.