The 68th Leyte Gulf Landing Anniversary: A Celebration of Victory

The Leyte Landing Memorial in Palo, Leyte was among the places I first visited when I arrived in Tacloban.

Image from tourisminthephilippines.com

The spot where General Douglas MacArthur and the American liberation forces had landed fascinated me. It was not only good site to take pictures but the best site to remember the lessons of war. It was the same spot where General Douglas MacArthur said his famous line, “People of the Philippines, I have returned! By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil.” – as famous as his “I shall return”. (See Battle of Leyte)

This year marks 68th year of Leyte Landing. This year’s celebration has the theme: Leyte Gulf Landings: A celebration of victory.

Among the highlights of the celebration are the different activities planned and organized by different stakeholders (source: PIA)

  • On October 14, 2012: 12.5 KM Marathon Race (men and women categories) on October 14 organized by the Leyte Amateur Sports Association
  • On October 18-22, 2012: 4th Leyte Gulf Landings Photo Contest and Exhibit organized by the Camera Club of Leyte and Samar
  • On October 18-22, 2012: Battle of Leyte Gulf and 100K and 50K Ultra Marathon
  • On October 20, 2012: 7th Annual Regional Inter-school Band and Leyre/Bugle Competition at the RTR Plaza (Tacloban City), organized by Pintados Foundation
  • October 21, 2012: 3K and 5K Liberation Fun Run organized by the Local Government Unit of Palo, Leyte

I think the best way for me to celebrate is to visit the Leyte Landing Memorial.

I hope the wish of Department of Tourism in Eastern Visayas (DOT – Eastern Visayas) will be realized soon. That is to have wartime museum. It would be best place that would remind us and the next generation about the lessons we should learn from history.

Event: Liberate Concert

I mark 20th of October as an important date. It is the 68th Leyte Gulf Landing anniversary. On the same date, 8 Magazine brings us its 2nd Year Anniversary and Benefit Concert called, Liberate.

Liberate Concert

Image from facebook.com/8magazine

Liberate concert features the band Six Part Invention, Pinoy Idol winner Gretchen Espina , and actor Daniel Matsunaga. Among the popular songs of Six Part Invention are Falling in Love With You and All This Time.

The concert will benefit the Leyte Young Men’s Catholic Association (YMCA-Leyte) and The Sisters and Sons of Mary and Adorers of The Holy Eucharist (SMAHE) for The Orphanage of The Virgin of Guadalupe.

Be there on October 20, 2012 at the Leyte Park Hotel Gym, Tacloban City. The concert starts at 8PM. Ticket is 120 pesos only!

Oktubafest 2012

People must be very sad kon waray na tuba ha Leyte (if there is no more tuba in Leyte). Fortunately Warays are producing a lot of good tasting tuba, bahal, and bahalina.

Image from philippine-made.blogspot.com

And to further promote the most well known wine in Waray region, An Waray party-list sponsored and organized Octubafest. This year is the 5th Oktubafest!

Patterned after the famous Octoberfest in Germany, Oktubafest comes from words Octubre, tuba and festival.

Let’s join and take part on the activities of Oktubafest 2012 on October 26, 2012 at the Leyte Park Gymnasium. This year’s Oktubafest will be highlighed with the seach for best tuba, bahal and bahalina; and tuba concoction and tuba infused dish contest.

Tuba should not be confused with the musical instrument tuba. Tuba is coconut wine.

Waray’s bahalina is considered as the finest local wine. Bahalina is a one-year old carefully fermented tuba (coconut wine) which tastes like red grape wine. Dried bark of barok (mangrove) makes tuba reddish.

In 2009, there was an attempt to break the world record for the biggest number of participants of wine tasting event. It was held at the McArthur Shrine and National Park. However, organizers has not received yet the certificate from Guinness World Records (as reported by Sun Star).

Online Petition: 1 Million Signatures to Oust Senator Tito Sotto

I agree with thousands of online petitioners who call for the resignation of Sen. Tito Sotto III. This will soon reach more than a million.

Image from Voltaire Domingo as used in change.org online petition.

After copying other’s work without attribution and spreading far-from-truth information about reproductive health, Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III must resign as senator of the Philippines.

I invited my friends to check the online petition in change.org to understand the reasons why we are calling Sen. Tito Sotto III to resign.

Here are the reasons why the senator must be unseated as cited in the online petition.

  1. He is a serial plagiarist and shows no remorse. He steals other people’s intellectual property when he doesn’t have his own, which only shows that in his career as a senator, he DOES NOT EXERT ANY EFFORT to think and carefully arrive at strategic, impactful decisions. Does the Philippines really need that kind of leader right now? He also shamelessly takes Bible verses out of context to justify his acts and hence serves as a bad example to our youth.
  2. He is a popular public figure yet he uses his political and showbiz influence to spread misinformation about reproductive health. It’s not even about the RH bill itself–whether you’re anti- or pro-RH, WRONG INFORMATION AND LIES only confuse the general public, prevent intelligent discussion, and pointlessly prolong decision-making.
  3. He is sexist. He blames the death of his first-born child on his wife’s use of contraceptives when he could have prevented the unwanted pregnancy by ABSTAINING from sexual intercourse. Must the burden of responsible pregnancy always fall first on the shoulders of women?

As of this time, Sen. Tito Sotto has not shared yet his thoughts about the online petition. Will  he cry? Will he propose a legislation? Or he will once again deliver a speech. Let’s hope that it will not be a translation of someone’s speech and let’s hope he will not copy it from blogs.

Third Wave

Reproductive Health bill once again gets life in the 15th Congress of the Philippines. And once again, the staunch killers of the RH Bill do all ways to once again abort it.

Do you support the Reproductive Health bill and join the calls so that the 15th Congress enact it?

It’s alright if you haven’t decided yet but as responsible Filipino citizen and faithful follower of your Church, you need to take a stand.

I already did. And I use my conscience on my decision.

We all have the moral sense of right and wrong. We all have conscience. When we get confused and find it difficult to decide, we use our conscience. A very good friend always reminds me to “follow my heart”. What he try to say is to be where my conscience is.

With my conscience, I support the Reproductive Health bill. But I am a…

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Leila de Lima: A walking violation of the rule of law

Among the first batch of Chief Justice (CJ) aspirants, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima’s words tickled my nerves.

It was good that she was asked why she defied the temporary restraining order (TRO) of the Supreme Court (SC) to her watch list order that would prevent former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from leaving the country for medical reasons. But the answer of Leila de Lima made me feel so bad.

De Lima, in her usual angry voice explained to the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) that she did defiance because she could not obey a wrong order.

My question to de Lima is: How could she determine that the order of the Supreme Court is wrong? I wonder if we could ask de Lima to determine for us and enumerate to us what other Supreme Court orders are wrong. Perhaps, this lady secretary of justice can provide us wisdom which of the Supreme Court decisions are wrong according to her own interpretation.

In his column, lawyer and veteran journalist Emil Jurado reminded Leila de Lima:

As a lawyer, De Lima should realize that what the Supreme Court says is the law, whether she likes it or not. Those who disagree may file a motion for reconsideration.

The words and action of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima made her the most unqualified candidate for the Chief Justice position. Besides the fact that she lacks experience and she has disbarment case.

Emil Jurado’s description to what De Lima must be the perfect line for de Lima. He told his readers:

I call de Lima a walking violation of the rule of law

I agree with him and I believe that de Lima should no be appointed as the next Chief Justice. Seven people already filed their formal opposition to Leila de Lima’s candidacy for Chief Justice. That’s more than enough for her to reconsider her ambition.

I would like de Lima to reconsider her ambition to become the next Chief Justice because she has no competence, integrity, high sense of independence.

If ever she become one (God forbid), de Lima would become the CJ of the Palace and the Supreme Court, I’m afraid, would become the extension of Malacanang.

De Lima would then risk herself as the next CJ to be impeached! The Filipino nation cannot accept a Chief Justice that violates the rule of law!

DILG Memo: No names, pictures of government officials in billboards and signages of government programs, projects, and properties

Here’s a scanned copy of the memorandum issued by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). This is originally posted in the official website of Tacloban City government (www.tacloban.gov.ph) (accessed on July 25, 2012).

Have we forgotten that once upon a time newly elected President Noynoy Aquino directed all members of the Cabinet and other government instrumentalities to refrain from associating the President’s personality and identity in their programs and projects?

It looks like only few DILG offices enforce this memo. This must have been forgotten elsewhere but not in Tacloban City.

DILG Memo banning names or initials, images or pictures of government officials on gov't programs, projects and properties

This memorandum of DILG clearly stated that

the practice of putting up of billboards and signages and other information materials bearing the names, initials or pictures of government personalities on all government projects, and government properties (firetrucks, ambulances, vehicles) are hereby prohibited.

Until we see the results, this memo remains a useless paper. Even the President himself starts to forget that he once told the Filipino nation that epals have no place in his administration.

Even when the anti-epal bill (Senate Bill No. 1967) of Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago is enacted, it will have no meaning if the Filipino nation continue to tolerate epals in this society.

Among the epals in the government I am watching is Joel Villanueva. But despite all criticisms, TESDA Director Joel Villanueva continue to justify his billboards and other ads. He is determined to his ambition to become senator and it seems President Aquino has no problem with. That’s the problem with Noynoy Aquino – he is inconsistent and he give special treatment to his men.

Joel Villanueva should remove his billboards and other epal ads

I think it is not too late for Joel Villanueva so save his name from very bad publicity. Villanueva, whose ambition to become Senator is already a public knowledge is trying to make himself more popular. He and his supporters might had thought that the best way to promote him is put up massive ad campaign. But his ads put Joel Villanueva in bad light. It makes him the top epal among appointed officials.

TESDA Director Joel Villanueva tailed in surveys and therefore he and his supporters need to double their efforts. They put up billboards along strategic areas in Metro Manila in addition to Villanueva-painted buses and Villanueva-tarps.

Image source: http://epalwatch.com

Here is a clear picture of Villanueva’s epal from Sun Star Cebu editorial:

The ads unvaryingly show a close-up shot of Villanueva occupying approximately 2/3 of the space, with the slogan, “Sa TESDA may choice ka (sic).” Some of the billboards show the faces of Villanueva and P-Noy. While crawling during rush hour at the North Luzon Expressway (Nlex), it is not inconceivable that commuters have to stare for hours at a Tesda ad posted at the back of a bus while moving slowly past an intersection with two Tesda billboards showing Villanueva alone and Villanueva with P-Noy, separated by only a few meters.

Among these ads featuring Villanueva’s mug are those replayed in outdoor LED-TV screens displayed in key areas of Manila.

The recent answer of Joel Villanueva to his epal acts was presented by businessmen who admitted that they fund the expensive billboards and ads of Villanueva out from their pockets because they believe him.

Such poetic explanation was so unacceptable. Here is the observations of Sun Star Cebu editors:

As materials for an advocacy campaign, the TESDA ads hardly contain information updating a viewer about Tesda programs, scholarships and career opportunities for blue-collar workers. There is no URL that refers the Internet-savvy to the Tesda website for more details. Considering that these are outdoor advertising businessmen behind the Tesda blitzkrieg, there seems to be a stark marketing mismatch between the sponsors’ intention and the ads’ presentation and content.

But why does the President had been so silent about the epal acts of Villanueva?

Today’s Sun Star Cebu’s editorial reminds us that it was the President himself who spoke against against government officials who show off their names and faces and shamelessly give credits to themselves on government’s projects and programs.

It seems to be that Joel Villanueva has become a shame to the Aquino Administration – that is if Noynoy Aquino will not exempt Villanueva.

I hope President Noynoy is sincere that he does not like epal in his administration. I hope Aquino will require Joel Villanueva to remove his epal ads.

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