Rizal in Rome

Dear Readers,

In case some of you would like to help raise the life size bronze statue of our National Hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal in Piazzale Manila in Parioli, Rome, here is a worthwhile project…  Donations are EE 1,000 upwards.

Thank you,

Toto Gonzalez

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Cynthia Romualdez Velez

McKinley Road,

Forbes Park, Makati City

February 21, 2011

As I went about the City of Rome last year, I visited the Piazzale Manila in the prestigious district of Parioli where hundreds of Filipinos, mainly migrant workers, converge daily around a bust of our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal. It is their gathering place away from home.

This year marks the 150th year since the birth of Dr.  Rizal (June 19, 2011). To celebrate this incredibly significant milestone, a life size bronze monument at Piazzale Manila is proposed to replace the existing bust which is currently one of the tiniest Rizal monuments worldwide.

The story of Dr. Rizal represents the courageous spirit of migrant Filipinos, the “heroes” of our generation. Today, Italy is home to more than 150,000 Filipinos. The legacy of Dr. Jose Rizal is not only for migrants, but also for the children of Filipino Italians who must learn to appreciate the life, teachings and patriotism of our national hero.

The Philippine Embassy to the Holy See, through the efforts of Ambassador Mercedes A. Tuazon, has been granted by the City of Rome, the necessary permits to erect the new life size bronze statue of Dr. Rizal. In coordination with the Ambassador, we appeal to your generosity to help make this project a reality.

The artist to be commissioned is still under consideration. It will either be an Italian, Giorgio Conta, or a Filipino master based in Rome, Tomas Concepcion.  Both have made life size bronze statues of Pope John Paul II which are now considered some of the best modern statues in the Vatican.

Total project cost is €28,000 euro (twenty eight thousand euros).  The cost of the bronze statue is €25,000 euro and €3,000 euro for the transportation, installation and improvements of the island at Piazzale Manila where the statue will be mounted. The park covers an area of 1,248 square meters with a beautiful fountain at the center of this mini park.

As the legacy of your generosity as a donor, your name will be immortalized on a plaque on the monument or in a time capsule in Rome.  Your tax-deductible charitable donation will be directed through the Center for Peace Asia Foundation, Inc., who will issue the charitable tax receipts. Ms. Lydia L. Sison is in-charge of receiving the donations address is 391 Dr. J. Fernandez Street, Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City 1550 Metro Manila Philippines, telephone (632) 5311314.

I hope this project will find favor with you as it pays fitting homage to our national hero in the eternal City of Rome. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require more information or details. Thank you very much for your kind consideration.

Yours truly,

Cynthia “Cindy” Romualdez Velez

The ties that bind

We had a wonderful dinner last night for two dear friends, Rick and Regina, residents of Vancouver, on their annual visit to the “hometown.”  Being a well-liked couple, for the 18 days they are here, relatives and friends jockey for dinner, lunch, merienda, and breakfast slots to entertain them.  I knew this so I already requested for a dinner slot some 90 days ago when the annual Manila visit was just in the works:  I asked for 03 February 2011, Thursday.  I did not know then that it would actually be the first day of the new Chinese year of the Rabbit.

It was a cozy sitdown dinner for 36 persons at the “Gino’s dining room” of Gene’s “Cafe Ysabel” in San Juan:  Rick, Regina, Ditas, Gilbert, Nikki, Tito, Rory, Marivic, Lisa, Cindy, Chichi, Nening, Jackie, Ado, Amy, Butch, Agnes, Rose, Tess, Lulu, Tony, Marietta, Giging, Pepet, Eileen, Rookie, Ana, Noel, Vina, Tito, Patis, Serge, Salie, Martha, Edward, and I, Toto.

For starters, there was a table laden with Regina’s favorites from traditional Spanish-Filipino cuisine:  “galantina de pollo,” “rabo de toro” / “menudo Sulipena,” “jamon,” “chorizos,” “palitos” [ traditional puff pastry cheesesticks ], etc.;  the chef even added the gamey “chorizo merguez” of beef and lamb.  The guests could take their pick of any drink from the bar.  French champagne, Regina’s favorite, flowed freely.  Many bottles of “Moet & Chandon” Brut Imperial were on hand.

In true Gonzalez-Arnedo “Sulipan style,” “Croquembouches” [ cream puff trees ] of various sizes, candles, and spring flowers decorated the long tables for 20 pax, 10 pax, and 10 pax.  It was always the way the family entertained, still entertains, and will always entertain…

“On the table” were the house bread with herbed olive oil dip and truffled liver pate topped with orange confit and crackers.  The actual dinner started with “duck rillettes, roasted walnuts, & feta cheese on mesclun greens with raspberry vinaigrette”;  “roasted pumpkin soup with orange essence & black sesame puff”;  “smoked & saltcrusted ‘lapu-lapu’ with baby carrots and green beans”;  “mango & lemongrass sorbet”;  “‘cochinillo’ with cognac demiglace [ or traditional liver sauce ] with guava confit & wild rice with pine nuts & spinach”.

Dessert was “Chef Gino’s molten ‘Callebaut’ chocolate cake with raspberry sauce and homemade rum raisin ice cream”;  there was a myriad selection of coffee and tea;  Cafe Ysabel chocolate truffles and pralines made from “Callebaut” chocolate.

All the fine and interesting French, Spanish, American [ Napa ], South American, and Australian wines which accompanied the dishes were personally selected by Gene.

As a nod to Regina’s, and the genetic Lopez [ Iloilo ] sweet tooth, there was a separate dessert table that featured “Pasteleria Mallorca’s” genuine and faithful renditions of the old “Las Cibeles, Pasteleria y Salon de Te” favorites — Spanish “crocombuche” / French “croquembouche,” “tarta Madrid,” “milhojas,” “naranjas,” and “yemas” — as well as the traditional Gonzalez-Arnedo “sans rival” and large, special “ensaimadas.”

Every single guest took home a “loot bag” with “Pasteleria Mallorca’s” “argelianas,” “palillos de Milan,” and “lengua de gato,” which are the favorites of Manila’s establishment families.

Because everyone knew everybody else [ indeed, every single person had family, business, and social connections to each other ] conversation was extremely lively and that precious, high decibel level was reached — my personal barometer of a successful, even wildly successful, party.

No new people, no nouveaux riches, no arrivistes.  Just peers who knew each other, whose parents knew each other, whose grandparents knew each other, whose great grandparents knew each other…

Every single one was descended from one, two, three, or even four old Filipino families:  Araneta, Zaragoza, Teodoro, de la Fuente, de los Reyes, Cojuangco, Madrigal, Paterno, Vazquez, Earnshaw, Bayot, Tuason, Legarda, Prieto, Valdes, Roces, Lagdameo, Revilla, Zamora, Hidalgo, Padilla, Ongsiako, Gallego, Laperal, Litton, Manahan, Garcia, Casas, Cuyegkeng, Cu-Unjieng, Huang, Lopez [ Iloilo ], Ledesma, Soriano, Jalandoni, Jalbuena, Montilla, Gustilo, Rodriguez [ Bacolod ], Hizon, Rodriguez [ Pampanga ], Escaler, Gonzalez, Henson, Pamintuan, Guanzon, Valdes [ Pampanga ], Feliciano, Tinio, Gabaldon, de Santos, Aquino, Cancio, Ponce, Tesoro, Lopez [ Balayan ], Solis, Kalaw, Katigbak, Escudero [ San Pablo ], Gala, de Villa, Rivera, Fabella, Almeda, Yaptinchay, Singson y Chiong Veloso [ Cebu ], Osmena, Velez, Cuenco, Acebedo [ Leyte ], Pedrosa, Romualdez, Pelaez, et. al..

In essence, the group was a Filipino version of the old New York families of Edith Wharton’s and Henry James’ novels…

The ties that bind.  The stories of generations, the clasps secured by time.

Titans of Taste: Arturo de Santos

If the adage “Money can buy everything” is true then Arturo de Santos certainly bought everything…

I feel the earth move!

Yeah baby, the earth’s movin’, under our feet, and we better be ready for it…

Conversations about: Fernando Cueto Amorsolo, 1892 – 1972, painter

What a laugh…  I grew up in my Lola Charing’s house which was proudly hung with oil portraits by THE Fernando Cueto Amorsolo.  Unfortunately, all of them, save for Lolo Augusto’s posthumous one from 1947, were from the 1950s, a period decried by serious collectors and scholars for mediocre works because of his deteriorating eyesight.  The one of Tito Willy looked specially sad;  Amorsolo had explained to Lola Charing that he was mimicking the style of Rembrandt.  It looked like Rembrandt on downers.  In any case, they were perfect for Disneyland’s “Haunted Mansion” ride.  Fearing that we grandchildren would neglect and eventually sell them, my uncle Brother Andrew donated the whole spooky lot to the various art gallery units of the DLSU De La Salle University.  They must be haunted by now.

So when I found myself in the houses of family friends with magnificent, blindingly lit Amorsolo genre paintings, I was surprised by how sunny and happy they looked, so unlike ours.

Merry mayhem of May

Understandably, the recently concluded national elections were the not-so-merry mayhem of May 2010 [ specially for the defeated ].  It’s a done deal and there’s nothing we can do about it.  So there but for the grace of God go all of us Filipinos…

Without those godawful national elections, the usual, annual, merry mayhem of May in the Philippines is the joyous, unending stream of town fiestas all over the country.  Starting on 01 May is the time-honored, traditional month-long fiesta of Antipolo in honor of the legendary and miraculous “Nuestra Senora de la Paz y Buenviaje” Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage.  There are the weekend “Santacruzan” processions commemorating Santa Elena Augusta and the finding of the “Tunay na Krus” true Holy Cross, the most popular [ and the most delightfully campy ] of which are those of Marikina City.  The 1800s “Flores de Maria” ritual is still celebrated in many Laguna and Quezon towns like Pila, Laguna.  The first Sunday of May is the feast day of the twin Holy Crosses of the towns of Bauan and Alitagtag in Batangas celebrated with the “Sublian” and “Loua” rituals in the morning and afternoon.  04 May is the feast day of Santa Monica who is the titular patron of Angat, Bulacan and Mexico, Pampanga;  her feast day is also celebrated in Minalin, Pampanga days later on 09 May.  12 May is the feast day of “Nuestra Senora de los Desamparados” Our Lady of the Abandoned who is the titular patron of both Santa Ana, Manila and Marikina City.  13 May is the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima and it is celebrated in many new parishes in Manila and the provinces.  The second Sunday of May is the traditional feast day of San Agustin in Baliuag, Bulacan.  On 15 May is the traditional feast day of the Spanish farmer San Isidro Labrador and his wife Santa Maria Toribia de la Cabeza, and every town who has him for its titular patron celebrates its fiesta — “Parada ng mga Kalabaw” in Pulilan, Bulacan; Binan, Laguna; “Pahiyas” in Lucban and “Pa-agaw” / “Agawan” in Sariaya, Quezon;  etc..  Forty days after Easter is “Piyesta ng Pag-akyat” the Feast of the Ascension of Christ, the town fiesta of San Pablo, Laguna;  the original “festejado” image [ heirloom of the Escudero-Marasigan Javier family ] is feted with traditional pomp and pageantry on that day at the Villa Escudero.  17, 18, and 19 of May every year is the famous three-day fiesta “Obando Fertility Rites” [ a Spanish Catholic adaptation of the Filipino precolonial “Kasilonawan” fertility ritual ] of Obando, Bulacan, where many couples wishing to have children participate:  17 May is the feast day of San Pascual Baylon, 18 May that of Santa Clara de Asis, and 19 May of “Nuestra Senora de Salambao.”  22 May is the feast day of Santa Rita de Cascia who is the titular patron of Santa Rita town in Pampanga;  her feast day used to be a big celebration at the San Agustin Church during PreWar.

Attending an annual fiesta in a typical Philippine town can be a lot of fun, but attending a nationally popular town fiesta — such as the “Ati-Atihan” in Kalibo, Aklan;  the “Pahiyas” in Lucban, Quezon [ 15 May ];  the “Kasilonawan” [ Obando Fertility Rites ] in Obando, Bulacan [ 17,18, 19 May ];  the “Libad” in Apalit, Pampanga [ 28, 29, 30 June ];  the “Pagoda sa Wawa” in Bocaue, Bulacan [ first Sunday of July ] — can be difficult, very difficult.  For starters, one has to leave home [ Manila ] very early, 5:00 or 6:00 a.m., armed with cash, light food, drinks in coolers, extra clothes, comfortable footwear, portable loo for the kiddies, a camera, a videocam, a laptop, etc..  [ Attendees who trooped to the “Pahiyas” in Lucban, Quezon last 15 May 2010, Saturday, left Manila at 6:00 a.m. and arrived 9 hours later in Lucban at 3:00 p.m..  😛 ]

For the “Pahiyas” in Lucban, Quezon, it is ideal to leave at 12:00 midnight [ or even 10:00 p.m. of 14 May ] of 15 May to more or less ensure a 6:00 a.m. arrival in the town.  One can spend the whole day anyway admiring the “kiping” [ colored, pounded rice ] fiesta decorations, looking around the old town, and shopping for local delicacies and native crafts.  As in all Philippine fiestas, there are the “great bum stomach challenge” and the “great bathroom challenge” for everyone!!!

For the “Libad” in Apalit, Pampanga, it depends on what one wants to see…  On 28 and 30 June — when “Apung Iru” leaves for the Apalit church and when he returns to his Barangay Capalangan shrine —  it is almost impossible to enter the perimeter of the town after 9:00 a.m. when the devotees start massing for the processions.  28 June is the “Visperas” and “Apung Iru” leaves his Barangay Capalangan shrine at 11:00 a.m. for the “libad” fluvial parade in the Pampanga river on the way to the Apalit church.  29 June is the fiesta proper and there are masses the whole day at the Apalit church and a town-wide procession in the late afternoon.  30 June is the “Pabalik” and “Apung Iru” leaves the Apalit church after the morning masses for the fluvial parade and raucous procession back to his Barangay Capalangan shrine where he arrives at around 3:00 p.m..  From 22-30 June there is the traditional, big Kapampangan “tiangge” surrounding the Apalit church.  As in all Philippine fiestas, there are the “great bum stomach challenge” and the “great bathroom challenge” for everyone!!!  Ideally, one should have a contact in Apalit to arrange day accommodations [ the bathrooms!!! ], meals, boat rentals [ for those who want to join the “Libad” fluvial parade ], tour of the town, shopping destinations, buying local delicacies, etc..

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Funny story about the “great bum stomach challenge” and the “great bathroom challenge” during the “Visperas” of the Apalit fiesta years ago:

That year, my good friends antique collector and creator of the “Museo de La Salle” Jo Panlilio, multi-awarded writer, director, and megawit Floy Quintos, and a very successful and famous showbiz personality whom we shall call “dear friend” joined me for the Apalit fiesta.  After successfully and literally eating our way through several Arnedo and Espiritu relatives’ houses in Barangay Capalangan and Barangay Sulipan, we finally exited through to MacArthur Highway’s heavy traffic on our way to yet another Arnedo and Espiritu relative’s house, this time in Barangay San Juan, the “poblacion” of Apalit…

Just as we exited from Barangay Sulipan to MacArthur Highway, “dear friend,” who had eaten so much, informed us that he had to go to the bathroom.

A few minutes later, as the unwelcome vision of heavy traffic loomed leading to the Apalit “Crossing,” “dear friend,” now sweating profusely and coldly, told us that it was imperative that he go to the bathroom immediately… or disaster for us!!!

“Mamah, EVAKalawkatigbak na talaga… !!!”  “dear friend” muttered frantically, shivering from the airconditioning.  With that desperate utterance he jumped out of the SUV…

So mustering all the courage he had, “dear friend” repeatedly and noisily rang the doorbell of the house nearest to us and requested, nay begged, to use their bathroom.  They very graciously acceded and ushered him inside their neat, newish house…

The quickwitted Jo Panlilio commented dryly:  “Ah, the miracle at GA-RA-BAN-DAL…”

[ Garabandal, Spain:  the site of controversial Marian apparitions from the 1960s-70s ]

Garabandal, of all things???!!!  The sheer nostalgia for the 1970s cracked us up!!!

With his characteristic perfect timing and delivery, Floy Quintos outdid the irrepressible Jo Panlilio by comically quipping:

“What Garabandal???  ‘A-PO-CA-LYPSE NOOOW’!!!”

“Apocalypse Now” indeed!!!  Bwahahahahah!!!

My face and Jo Panlilio’s were practically torn to two laughing our heads off!!!

Harharhar!!!   😀   😀   😀

Serious questions, stupid answers

Yes, I foresee that this blog post will definitely stir up a political hornet’s nest in the Internet… but these are serious, very serious, questions which every Filipino must address now, or forever hold his peace.

I have no objections to the election of Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Cojuangco Aquino III as the President of the Republic of the Philippines.  Yes, I openly and frankly supported the presidential bid of his far more educated, far more accomplished, and far more capable maternal second cousin Gilberto Eduardo Gerardo “Gibo” Cojuangco Teodoro Jr..  And I will never, ever regret it.  To this day, I still maintain, and always will, that Gilberto Teodoro Jr., in the light of his myriad qualifications, should be the President of the Philippines.  But given that current impossibility, I am amenable to having Benigno Aquino III as the President.  I hold him solely responsible for upholding and honoring the heroic and altruistic legacies of his legendary father, Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Aquino Jr., and his venerable mother, Corazon “Cory” Sumulong Cojuangco.  They are very, very, very hard acts to follow, but I am sure that Benigno III is, despite all perceived shortcomings, genetically hardwired to follow in their august footsteps.

I eagerly anticipated the national elections because I knew that the results would represent the current mindset of my countrymen and the state of my nation.  I looked forward to the numerical evidences that my countrymen had finally become more educated, matured, improved, and hence have become more discerning citizens.

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DISMAL.  VERY DISMAL.  INCREDULOUSLY DISMAL.

What the numbers revealed was nothing more than a dismal reality.  It was so dismal that it blew my mind.

Juan de la Cruz… How could we???!!!  How could WE…???!!!

How could we have given that mere number of 3,500,000 votes to someone so clearly deserving of the Philippine presidency as Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro???!!!

How could we have given that mere number of votes to someone so clearly deserving of the Philippine vice-presidency, perhaps even more, as Mar Roxas???!!!

And on the distaff side…

???!!!  How could we have given all those 8,400,000 votes to the deposed Joseph “Erap” Estrada and make him the second placer for President???!!!

???!!!  How could we have given all those votes to Jejomar Binay???!!!  Yes, there are all those benefits — free birthday cake, Php 1,000.00/xx cash birthday gift, and all-you-can-watch movies for seniors [ in posh Rockwell, if one wishes ], free public grade school and high school tuition, books, school supplies, bags, uniforms for the youth, but how exactly do those come about???

How could we have given the top three slots in the Philippine Senate to movie action stars Jinggoy Estrada, Bong Revilla, and Lito Lapid???!!!  Are we finally going to shoot the ultimate Pinoy action movie???

[ Personally, I think it is the job of actors and actresses to look good, hone their craft and do it well, entertain their audiences effectively, stay behind the cameras, and remain onstage.  On the distaff side however, it is not the fault of highly-educated and accomplished politicians like Atty. Gilbert Teodoro, Ralph Recto, Atty. Adel Tamano, et. al. if they also possess matinee idol looks since they already have the great brains and the difficult training in the first place. ]

How could we have reelected all those aged pit bulls and rottweilers for the umpteenth time to the Philippine Senate???!!!  Shouldn’t we renew it with fresh blood?

Pampanga, how could we have given all those votes of the 2nd congressional district to Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo???!!!  Granting the fact that she has been a workaholic, intelligent, and effective President for 10 years [ at least we had a president who used her considerable brains and worked, worked hard, and worked regular hours, plus overtime, unlike… ]… shouldn’t we give a more idealistic, younger, and newer leader a chance to prove his/her mettle just like we did PGMA?

Ilocos Norte, how could we have made all three Marcoses — Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., Imelda Romualdez-Marcos, and Ma. Imelda “Imee” Marcos — win their respective positions???!!!  Of course the years 1965-1986 were the boom years for Ilocos Norte, Leyte, and Manila, but do we have any idea what it was like for everybody else???  How could we repeatedly elect the vestiges and heirs of an infamous, reviled, and hated 21-year strongman rule/dictatorship to renewed power and influence???!!!

KUNG TAYO AY NAGUGUTOM, KUNG TAYO AY WALANG TRABAHO, KUNG TAYO AY BAON SA UTANG, WALA TAYONG KARAPATANG DUMAING.  HINAYAAN NATIN ITO.  GINUSTO NATIN ITO.  MAGDUSA TAYO, PILIPINAS.  DAHIL HANGGANG DITO NA LANG TAYO.  MGA SINUMPANG KAPUSPALAD.

I point a straight, accusing finger at the Filipino electorate and populace and you can damn me all you want but I will point at you again and again and again…!!!   😦   😦   😦

OHMYGOD.

OHMYGOD.

OHMYGOD.  WE HAVE NOT LEARNED.  WE HAVE NOT LEARNED ANYTHING!!!  ANYTHING AT ALL!!!

MY GOD, MY GOD, WHAT HAVE WE DONE TO DESERVE THIS???!!!

The National Hero Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. declared:  “The Filipino is worth dying for.”  I seriously doubt that now.  I’m more inclined towards Marie Antoinette’s apocryphal “Let them eat cake!!!”

Do we finally give up at this point???  Perhaps we should.

Evaluation…

With the election of the new President of the Republic of the Philippines today, 10 May 2010, the administration of President Gloria Macaraeg Macapagal-Arroyo finally comes to an end.  Of course, she becomes Congresswoman of Pampanga even before she steps down as President of the Republic of the Philippines — sort of like stepping down as Miss Philippines and then becoming Miss Balo-balo atpo Burung Dalag [ Miss Fermented Shrimp Rice and Fermented Mudfish Rice — Kapampangan savory staples ] of the Lubao Public Market — but let’s not go into that [ although when she becomes Prime Minister in a proposed parliamentary government she becomes Miss Universe ].  What I’m interested in is if we will eventually reminisce about her administration with nostalgia and longing, the same way many [ but not I 😛 ] are now feeling about the 21-year administration of President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos [ 1965-1986 ]…

The thing is, as an ordinary Filipino citizen with absolutely no business or blood ties to government officialdom, I saw substantial progress during her presidency [ in a way I didn’t see during the Estrada presidency, not a whit ]:  new concrete roads from Luzon, Visayas, to Mindanao;  new infrastructure all over;  and best of all, a good business climate even during the recent Wall Street Crash — “due to the sound economic fundamentals of her administration” according to Vivian Yuchengco — which allowed us entrepreneurs to finally recoup the losses incurred during the Estrada administration which tragically coincided with the Asian Crash of 1997.  Although the long Arroyo presidency was less magical for me than the Ramos presidency, it was OK businesswise [ and that is what matters most!!! ].  I know it is myopic and narrow-minded of me to say so but personally, it wasn’t bad, not bad at all.

Juan in Green and One in Green

Juan de la Cruz wore green today to Gibo Teodoro’s “Miting de Avance” at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

The edifying reality was there for all to witness:  for those who had long charged that Gibo Teodoro was being considered for president only by the rich and the middle class, the poor and the poorer than poor trudged cheerily into the stadium by contingents beating drums and playing other instruments — often homemade — from near and far.  The “Jejemons” and the “Jejebusters” alike were in full force [ new kinds of Filipino youth;  look up the definitions in YouTube ].  As evening came, Juan de la Cruz the true Filipino dominated the stadium’s 30,000 seats and +- 100,000 standing room, and the occasional rich and the well-represented middle class present were reduced to mere spreckles in that galaxy of Filipino economic reality.

In a stirring speech that did not promise more than what was actually possible, Gibo Teodoro again laid out his clear “roadmap” for Philippine progress:  quality education for the nation’s youth, specially for the poor;  quality medical care, specially for the poor;  fair business opportunities for all, be they rich, middle class, or poor.  In that enunciation of positive social change, he implied the destruction of the old, irrelevant, and shamelessly parasitical political order which has chained the Philippines to the cycle of poverty in all its facets — material, moral, intellectual, cultural, and others — for the longest time.

“Kay daming magagawa, kay taas nang maaaring abutin…”  [ freely translated:  “there is so much that can be done, and the heights that can possibly be reached…” ]  Without sounding messianic in the least, Gibo Teodoro imparted a message of youthful hope coupled with proactive dynamism expressed in his characteristic “can do” attitude, words, and gestures.   It moved me and not a few of us in the stadium to tears, not of sadness, but of a resolve to proactively change for the betterment of the country and our fellow Filipinos.  It shot right through to the simple, honest, and sincere yearnings of the Filipino Everyman.

In essence, the presidential campaign of Gibo Teodoro was “a voice crying out from the wilderness” for Juan de la Cruz, the Filipino, to wake up from the apathy of the decades and the centuries and to galvanize him to effectively handle, and profit from, the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century.  Gibo Teodoro effectively showed that the “Filipino as victim” was no longer a valid concept nor even a reality by simply doing away with the cult of personalities; indeed he did not even mention the inadequacies nor the shortcomings of his opponents.   He reminded us that the answer to our country’s forthcoming progress and development lay, and lay deep, in each and every “Juan” of us.   It was a call to the soul of every Filipino.  And it was a call that did not go unheard.

And so, the aspirations of the proactive realists, influenced by Gibo Teodoro, go on.  And hopefully, someday, it will finally breed a generation of Filipino leaders who will collectively take this country to the heights it has aspired, and suffered, for so long.

The Philippines will never be the same after Gibo Teodoro.

WE will never be the same.

Something great has been put to motion:  something greater than Gibo Teodoro, something greater than all of us.  A new national consciousness of integrity, steadfastness, and patriotism has finally emerged.  And like all the great countries of the world and their citizens, that national consciousness will permeate and dominate our lives and put the interests of the nation and the common good above all self-interests.  And that will finally be the time when the Philippines can take its rightful, long-deserved place of honor in the community of nations.

Godspeed.

A matter of principle

“We should go back to those days…”

“Sadly, it’s all about the money these days.”  I declared flatly, cynical as always.

“But we really have to go back to those days…”

He nodded in agreement.

“Well, that’s the way it goes:  it’s just all about the money.”  I shrugged.

“But it shouldn’t be that way, it shouldn’t be about the money…”

“They will have to pay for every vote… it’s really all about the money now.”  I sighed.

“Well… but we really should go back to those days…”

“I don’t know if that’s possible…”

It was only when I left the building that I realized I was like her in that way:  Idealistic.

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No matter what happens, I will still vote for “G1BO” Gilbert Cojuangco Teodoro!!!

In consonance with MY candidate, I have nothing against the other presidential candidates.  I am sure that they too have the capabilities to serve as the next President of the Republic of the Philippines.  But I have to say that G1BO has MORE CAPABILITIES to serve as President than the others.

It’s just a matter of principle.   🙂   🙂   🙂

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