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By Ma. Ceres P. Doyo
Today I give space to a letter of appeal from Brother Karl Gaspar, a Redemptorist alternately based in the Visayas and Mindanao. Karl is known in the religious sector as one who does theology in the grassroots, among the masa, the disenfranchised and the indigenous groups.
The Mindanao PeaceWeavers offers these words of kindness to all peacemakers of the Bangsamoro. Indeed, blessings will come to those who have offered their lives, limbs and all.
By Jose Ma. Montelibano
January 2014 is only the year’s first month but it already shows how the rest of the year can go. A low pressure area dumps its rains in northern Mindanao and kills about 40, an early glimpse of a weather pattern that can continue to be deadly. It did not cause undue alarm to [...]
To those who ask what will define the Aquino presidency, today is a defining moment!” That was President Aquino’s spokesperson Edwin Lacierda exulting on Twitter last Sunday, minutes after the negotiating panels of the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front signed the fourth and last annex of a proposed peace deal that would pave the way for the cessation of hostilities in Mindanao.
By Conrado de Quiros
The signing won much praise from global leaders, as well it should. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon lauded President Aquino and Moro Islamic Liberation Front chair Murad Ebrahim for their “vision and leadership” and the peace panels for their “perseverance, commitment and courage.”
By Antonio Montalvan II
By now it has become a comical refrain. But we can only understand how history, a discipline that entails hours of documentary research, eludes many of our government functionaries and even opinion writers.
The new man in the Vatican continues to make noise, for the right reasons. Early this week Pope Francis named 19 new cardinals—the first batch of his papacy, with many of the appointees coming from the global south—Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Among them is Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo—a first from Mindanao.
By Ambeth R. Ocampo
In a map of the Philippines drawn up by the Jesuit Murillo Velarde and engraved by the Filipino Nicolas de la Cruz Bagay in 1744, my attention was riveted by St. Francis Xavier shown close to Mindanao, because it was once believed that he visited the Philippines in his missionary voyage through Asia. At Francis Xavier’s feet is a crab carrying a crucifix—a portrayal that retells one of his famous miracles.
By Ambeth R. Ocampo
Of the many Facebook posts I scrolled through recently, one that sticks out is a photo of three migratory birds spotted somewhere on the University of the Philippines Diliman campus. From childhood I remember seeing these white birds from the NLEx viaduct that passes over Candaba Swamp, a wide expanse that has Amorsolo-style rice fields in the dry season but looks like the sea during the wet season. They don’t call this area the Central Luzon plain for nothing because the only thing that juts out of the earth for miles is an extinct volcano known as Mt. Arayat, whose last eruption was in prehistoric times, meaning before written or recorded history. Arayat is a serene sight that might surprise us one day with some fireworks. An egg enters the Bulacan side of the viaduct as an itlog and exits the Pampanga side as an ebun. “Itlog” is “egg” in Tagalog, “ibon” is “bird,” but “ebun” is “egg” in Kapampangan.
By Patricio N. Abinales
There is no doubt that popular opinion has gone against the latest caper of Nur Misuari. There is condemnation all over Mindanao and the rest of the country. The Moro Islamic Liberation front (MILF) has called it anarchic adventurism and Gov. Mujiv Sabbihi Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) downplayed the religion angle, revealing how the leaders duped some of these “rebels” into joining it
The spate of bombings in the cities of Cotabato and Cagayan de Oro late July and early August had some local and national officials worried.
By Antonio Montalvan II
I had thought the issue was parochial. Manila friends believed otherwise. Knowing where I was coming from, they would inject into our conversations how happy they were to learn that a local dictator in Mindanao, after 25 years in power, had been toppled, not by a mass uprising but by the power of the automated ballot.