Who is Bob Ong?

bakit-baliktad To say I have been asked this question over a thousand times is not an excess.

Eight years ago, the writer sent me an e-mail asking for my permission for the inclusion of one of my essays in a book project he was working on.

I said, “yes, go ahead”.  I was not aware then how big he was in the Internet and how phenomenal his first book, ABNKKBSNPLAko?!, has turned out.

Bob Ong was so thankful.  He said he had long been looking for me.

A couple of months after, BO e-mailed again to inform me that his book has been published.  He invited me to get my complimentary copy, and the rest is history.

“Sino ba talaga si Bob Ong?”, I always see a sparkle in the eyes of those who ask.   Continue reading “Who is Bob Ong?”

Pockets of redemption

Aside from writing and teaching, my heart also beats for community organizing.  That is why when I was asked to handle the National Service Training Program-Community Welfare Training Service (NSTP-CWTS) in our college, I immediately agreed.

Photo here shows a many-kilos-heavier and a-few-years-younger me working with an urban poor community in Metro Manila.  Quite interesting that my advocacy then was on the protection and advancement of women’s rights.

Community Organizing

Yesterday, I did a surprise inspection of my students’ community projects in different barangays across four towns (San Nicolas, Batac, Currimao, and Badoc)  in Ilocos Norte.   These are what i saw… Continue reading “Pockets of redemption”

Kariknas from Toronto wish us good health

thumbs-up Oh, the downside of urban life!

In the away (rural areas), everybody is usually aware of the developments, no matter how trivial, in their neighbors’ lives. The same could not be said of our neighborhood in the Laoag City poblacion.

I did not know that Manong Gerry Lagasca, a neighbor since birth, has long moved to Canada until he visited my blog and sent me an email recently.

In the course of our online correspondence, he mentioned about a noteworthy project our kariknas there are undertaking. A group of Laoag City-born Canadians now residing in Toronto, Ontario has launched a campaign to raise funds for the Provincial Hospital and the Laoag City General Hospital. Continue reading “Kariknas from Toronto wish us good health”

Uhaw sa Katapatan at Kagandahang-loob

I checked my blog statistics and noticed an increased amount of visitors led by google to my site while searching for “Mga Pilipinong nakagawa ng kabutihan sa kapwa”,  “Mga Pilipinong nagsauli ng pera o gamit”, “Larawan ng kagandahang ugali ng mga Pilipino”, or “Mga tapat na tao sa Pilipinas”. You will remember, karikna, that I wrote something about the topic last October: PITAKA NG PAG-ASA: Isang pagpupugay kay Leoncio Pagtama at sa lahat ng tulad niya.

Amid the televised senate hearings on corruption in government and abuse of power that feed our national consciousness today,  Filipinos seem to search for a ray of hope for this benighted land by looking for individuals who chose virtue over greed even in times of great personal need.

Matapat na Ilokano now has a name in Leoncio Pagtama.

My Favorite 2009 Calendar

trix-calendar3

Former UP Student Council Chair and now Ilocos Norte Sangguniang Panlalawigan Member Kris Ablan sent me 3 copies of this novel calendar.

More than the visual feast the calendar offers, it is my favorite because of what it represents.

Kris writes in his blog:

The project was actually conceptualized many, many years ago when my dad came out with calendars with his face as the main picture (like all politicians with calendar giveaways).  I thought to myself, “What if people didn’t want to look at your face every day.”  “What if they just wanted to see scenery.”

If a politician wants to be “remembered,” why doesn’t he just put his name at a corner of the calendar and put some worthy pictures instead.
You see, karikna, I have never been a fan of Kris’ father who has been my congressman for most of my life, and who seems every inch traditional and jaded.  But this bespectacled young man represents what a new breed of Ilocano leaders should be: thinking, sensible, sensitive, and virtuous.
I look at that calendar each day and tell myself: Yes, there is hope.

Burgis Conservation

photo courtesy of www.ivanhenares.com
photo courtesy of http://www.ivanhenares.com

OF COURSE, you’ve already read about the buzz created by conservationists regarding the construction of a mall in downtown Laoag. They claim that there are two Gabaldon buildings in the compound where it is to be built, and that the structures must be preserved on account of their historical and cultural significance.

It started when Ivan Henares—a travel blogger, heritage conservationist, and fraternity brod of Provincial Board member Kris Ablan—visited the province last December to deliver a lecture on blogging. Incidentally, he got wind of the issues surrounding the Laoag City Central Elementary School where the shopping monstrosity is to rise.

He immediately blogged about it at www.ivanhenares.com, and his post generated a moderate amount of comments. Here are some excerpts: Continue reading “Burgis Conservation”

isipin mo na lang meron pa, meron nga.

[Ngayong linggo sa aking mga klase sa pilosopiya, sinisimulan naming talakayin sina Heidegger at Sartre.  Tiyempong natsambahan ko ang kyut na tulang ito ni Joey Yusingco, na naging estudyante rin minsan ng bespren kong si Alona Ureta-Guevarra sa Ateneo. (Ang liit nga ng mundo!) 

Merong mga nagsasabi na wala daw kwenta ang pilosopiya, kasi naman, mantakin mo, pati ba naman ang wala ay pinagtatalunan pa.

Wala lang… haha]

Continue reading “isipin mo na lang meron pa, meron nga.”