Monthly Archives: April 2009

Portrait of a writer as Ilocano:A tribute to Sozimo Ma. Pablico (1938-2009)

(Sosimo Ma. Pablico, agriculture columnist of The Ilocos Times, passed away last April 22 at age 70. Survived by his wife Barbie and son Paul Ethelbert, his remains lie in state in San Fernando, La Union.)

I FIRST knew about SMAP (read as ismap, by which he was fondly called) when I was doing research as a graduate student in Sociology. I came across an article he wrote about Ilocano rituals and practices for the dead, which was published in a national daily. Short but instructive, his article was of great help to my study.

When I applied for a teaching post in MMSU, I was excited to meet the man, to tell him how much he has inspired me as a writer and social researcher. Thrilled I was to be assigned to the Social Sciences Department of the College of Arts and Sciences where he belonged, only to find out that he had retired a few years earlier. I had to be content with looking at his face in a group picture (which proudly adorns a wall in our office) with other “pillars” of the department.

Later on, SMAP and I would cross paths, albeit only in the pages of The Ilocos Times where I write an opinion column, and where he was the agriculture columnist. Having no agricultural background, I must admit that I could not fully understand most of his articles. Behind the technical jargon, however, I could sense his intense desire to uplift the life of farmers, and to promote efficient and sustainable farming methods and strategies. In his writings, I felt the energy of a man many decades younger his age. Continue reading

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Filed under Heroes, Rural, Sociology

Laoag dads dignify ‘palakasan’, adopt Mikey Arroyo as son

mikey_arroyoJUAN MIGUEL “MIKEY” MACAPAGAL ARROYO, eldest child of the most distrusted president in Philippine history, was recently declared by the Laoag City council as an adopted son of the city.

Based on a news report written by Dominic Dela Cruz and published inconspicuously in an inside page (meaning: treated as a story of little significance) in last week’s issue of the Ilocos Times, city officials explain that the resolution “seeks to recognize Arroyo’s assistance to the marginalized sector of the city through his endorsement of their medical cases to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) which in turn granted medical and social services to the needy constituents of the city”.

The sponsor of the said resolution is Laoag Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) president and city council ex-officio member Chevylle V. Fariñas, who is strongly convinced of Arroyo’s worthiness of said recognition.

According to the feng shui-guided Fariñas, also the city’s first lady, the PCSO would not have denied the people’s request but that the Pampanga solon’s recommendation—being a son of the President of the Republic—made it easier and faster (emphasis mine) for those who need help to be granted their requests. Continue reading

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Filed under Government/Politics, Ilocos, Sociology

(un)Quotable quote

mayor-michael-farinas

“Now, whatever they [critics] say, let it be. I hear it on my left ear and I let it go out on my other ear.”

-Laoag City Mayor Michael V. Fariñas, referring to the critics of his Rang-ay ti Barangay program, wherein city officials go to every barangay to conduct consultation and socialization with the folks.


I personally believe that the Rang-ay program is well-intentioned, but something is ironic with the statement coming from a person who projects himself as a believer in dialogue. While feedback is an important element in a democracy, a man who hears unfavorable comments on one ear and lets them go out through the other (without mention of any processing that goes in the gray matter in between), only fuels more speculations on the sincerity of his acts.


The mayor could have said it this way, “I respect my critics’ opinions, which I have given enough thought and consideration. But after carefully weighing the issues, I remain deeply convinced of the importance of the program, and in the interest of service I decide to carry on.”


But this is so ideal. I concede that when the pidit-pidit (earlobe) gets oh-so-hot, we say things we don’t really mean… or mean things we don’t actually say.

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Filed under Government/Politics, Ilocos

A religious interpretation of an Air Supply song

Should you need some aid for your lenten reflection, your karikna highly recommends this work of a Manila student.

Excellent work!

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Filed under Arts, Church, Religion

Church unwittingly endorses vice

ash-tray

I visited the Catholic Church in Batac recently, and found this among the souvenir stuff they were selling at the parish office.  While I would not say that smoking is evil and that smokers are baaad folks, I feel uncomfortable with this apparent endorsement of the vice.  I would appreciate your thoughts on it. Continue reading

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Filed under Church, Health, Religion, Sociology

Redefining rivalry, top 2 grads take competition in stride

Magna cum Laudes being grilled by your karikna

Magna cum Laudes being grilled by your karikna

THE RIVALRY could have been as fierce as the Manny Pacquiao-Ricky Hatton match. After all, at stake was the honor of being this year’s top graduate in a well-esteemed university.

But for Kathleen L. Hortelano and Julius-Ver A. De Guzman, who were classmates in all of their four years at the Mariano Marcos State University, the competition was anything but cruel.

For one, while they may have excelled in accountancy, the course was not really their first love. Hortelano wanted to be a soldier like her father while De Guzman dreamt of becoming a doctor like his eldest brother. As it turned out, destiny had other designs for the two. They took up BS Accountancy and the rest is sweet history. Continue reading

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Filed under Education, Kuwento, Philosophy