Preparing the thumb for the stains of politics

One of the letters I received was from William S. of California USA.  His letter merits attention, because he suggests I write about something he finds important.

Part of his letter reads:

“I am one of your avid readers in the Ilocos Times Online.  Based in the west coast USA, I make sure I read your column on a daily basis during my free time at work. It is a matter of principle that we really need to give you due recognition for providing enlightening information on the various social issues in the provincial and national levels. The issues you tackle span the judicial system, social economic system, political system and educational system. I admire some of your articles when it bites the “status quo” of those people in power, whether in elective or appointive positions, who are holding and discharging their duties for their own and circle-of-friends’ benefits. I also came to believe that the Ilocos Region seems to be the “Wild-Wild-North” of the entire archipelago since it is all the same since I left to this date. The conflict resolution in the political arena undermines the rule of law.

“The reason for this email is to suggest that we educate the local voters for the upcoming 2010 local and national elections. I was wondering if you could mention in your column how to value their votes for the right candidates in the upcoming election. There has to be a way to gauge budding political figures versus those who would like to perpetuate the political family dynasty. The electorate has to realize that there is always an alternative, a fresh start and new faces to select from instead of the “traditional.” There is always a political process to use if we elect the person who does not meet the people’s expectation. We also need to address those folks in the rural areas to stay home during election day if they are not aware of the issues affecting them and if they do not know the political agenda of the candidates. We need to emphasize to the rural folks and others that a few cans of sardines and a couple kilograms of rice should not subvert the voice of the people during elections.”

Continue reading “Preparing the thumb for the stains of politics”



FOLLOWING last week’s column, a good number of readers wrote your karikna to greet “Happy First Anniversary,” and to express their appreciation for this space.  Most of these well-wishers come from the silent majority of our readers, who suddenly decided to make their presence felt.  I was overwhelmed, not only because of their number, but more because of their generous words.

It’s really heartwarming when people you don’t know suddenly come forward to say “thank you” for things you never realized you have done.  I expect to have helped readers form their stands on issues, but I was surprised when Filipinos abroad consider my articles an antidote to homesickness, or when young people say the column has inspired them to pursue their meaningful passions in life, such as the case of Vincent, who shares that reading one of my articles moved him to take up a course in the arts, his true love, although his folks and peers pressure him into taking up nursing.

For his part, Jun-b, our Editor in Chief, sent me a text message that read, “Happy anniv to your good column, more power!  I think we should celebrate it one of these days when you’re free, my treat.”

I was touched by the message, and here’s why.  In the last fifty five weeks, our weekly exchanges would be:

“Have you sent your Riknakem already?”

“I will send later”


“I have sent already. Thanks.”


So, thank you, dear readers, for helping me usher this column into its second year and beyond.  It’s a sunny Friday morning as I write this, and Jun-b texted me three hours ago, “Have you sent your article already?”

Back to normal then.  Back to work, karikna.