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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.
We are confused. According to the chief negotiator of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), his camp is unhappy about the current pace of the peace talks between his group and the government (“MILF unhappy with talks,” Front Page, 6/15/13). But back here in Manila, President Aquino’s spokespersons categorically claim that the President himself is satisfied with what is happening at the negotiating table.
By Conrado de Quiros
That’s the title of the book “Out of the Shadows: Violent Conflict and the Real Economy of Mindanao,” edited by Francisco Lara and Steven Schoofs and published by International Alert early this year. It’s an insightful and important book and should come to the attention of the government agencies involved in the peace process. Indeed, it should come to the attention of every Filipino who wants to make some sense of the often alien and forbidding world of Mindanao.
By Noralyn Mustafa
Reading accounts of early travelers to Sulu, one cannot help but note a common impression among these chroniclers: enchantment.
By Amando Doronila
The current Mindanao power shortage is relatively the most underreported main event in the mainstream news media in the run-up to the May elections. It is bad news to the Aquino administration. It is bad news to the people of Mindanao, bad news to the economy and to all the people in the country.
I attended the Jabidah massacre anniversary rites in Corregidor in 2008 because I felt it was my duty as a citizen to know “my history.” I can still clearly remember the event. There were “caravans” of Mindanaoans converging in Manila, from where they were to proceed to Corregidor on a convoy of rented buses and [...]
No chief executive has been more frank and honest in addressing the perennial problem of power shortages in Mindanao than President Aquino is now. Just before the Holy Week break, the President told it as it is. The people and industries in Mindanao have very limited choices: Higher power rates or no electricity at all.
The power crisis is back in Mindanao, with the specter of higher power rates haunting its people. This is happening because of the glaring failure of the electric cooperatives (ECs) to comply with DOE Circular No. 2003-12-011, titled “Enjoining All Distribution Utilities To Supply Adequate, Affordable, Quality and Reliable Electricity” which was issued pursuant to Section 2 of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira). Their failure is made worse in light of the number of years given them from the time the circular was issued in December 2003.