Photo by skyblue/Ritchelle Blanco dejolde
Lady Jaja Colleen
“Parmeken ti kinababoy, ibalud dagiti birkog!”
That, dear karikna, was the cry of hundreds of Ilocanos who joined the anti-pork barrel gathering held at the Aurora Freedom Park last Monday, Aug. 26. Dubbed as the Pork O’Clock March, the gathering drew representatives from various sectors to peacefully but loudly express indignation against mammoth government corruption. Incidentally, this rally for the abolition of the pork barrel was staged near the monument marking the abolition of the tobacco monopoly in 1882.
Like the Million People March in Luneta and other protest activities around the country, the Laoag event did not have any organizers, only facilitators. I and a couple of other writers met Friday, three days before the event, to talk about how the Ilocano voice can be heard in what was already looming as a nationwide day of protest. We in this part of the country are often perceived as passive on issues, but no, not this time, we said. We know that Ilocanos are as furious as the rest of our countrymen, only that there is no avenue where we could express our collective fury. Continue reading
I USED TO HAVE a great disdain for government employees. I always imagined them as inept, inefficient, corrupt, and good only in petty gossiping. Your karikna also considered them as insensitive, arrogant and proud, what with clerks acting like the proverbial “langaw na nakatungtong sa kalabaw.”
As fate would have it, however, I myself am now a civil servant, and, providentially, with an agency highly regarded for its exacting standards and well-earned feats. Thus, I now swallow, with little difficulty, some of my words, and acknowledge that there are actually honorable men and women in the service of the Filipino people.
Make no mistake, there are still many rotten tomatoes in the basket, but the refreshing virtue of a few overshadow the stench of many.
Leoncio A. Pagtama, 52, a janitor at the MMSU College of Engineering (CoE), is one of them good fellows, and he is increasingly gaining popularity in cyberspace due to his honest deeds.
Pagtama, who joined MMSU in 1983 as a casual employee, has, on several occasions, returned lost items ranging from wallets containing thousands of pesos to calculators and watches. Continue reading
TRC Director General Tony Ortiz and MMSU President Miriam Pascua enjoy malunggay ice cream
During a TV shoot for "Negosyo, atbp." aired on NBN
Everyone who enters Laoag City via the Gilbert Bridge is welcomed by a humungous “M” sign. The golden arch is trademark of a global food chain that is home to fatally cholesterol-laden food products including French fries, fried chicken, and burgers.
Somewhere in the city, however, another big “M” is gaining ground, slowly but surely, thanks to a lady who has extensively researched on, developed, and commercialized a greeny wonder. Continue reading
Oh, the downside of urban life!
In the away (rural areas), everybody is usually aware of the developments, no matter how trivial, in their neighbors’ lives. The same could not be said of our neighborhood in the Laoag City poblacion.
I did not know that Manong Gerry Lagasca, a neighbor since birth, has long moved to Canada until he visited my blog and sent me an email recently.
In the course of our online correspondence, he mentioned about a noteworthy project our kariknas there are undertaking. A group of Laoag City-born Canadians now residing in Toronto, Ontario has launched a campaign to raise funds for the Provincial Hospital and the Laoag City General Hospital. Continue reading
I checked my blog statistics and noticed an increased amount of visitors led by google to my site while searching for “Mga Pilipinong nakagawa ng kabutihan sa kapwa”, “Mga Pilipinong nagsauli ng pera o gamit”, “Larawan ng kagandahang ugali ng mga Pilipino”, or “Mga tapat na tao sa Pilipinas”. You will remember, karikna, that I wrote something about the topic last October: PITAKA NG PAG-ASA: Isang pagpupugay kay Leoncio Pagtama at sa lahat ng tulad niya.
Amid the televised senate hearings on corruption in government and abuse of power that feed our national consciousness today, Filipinos seem to search for a ray of hope for this benighted land by looking for individuals who chose virtue over greed even in times of great personal need.
Matapat na Ilokano now has a name in Leoncio Pagtama.
Former UP Student Council Chair and now Ilocos Norte Sangguniang Panlalawigan Member Kris Ablan sent me 3 copies of this novel calendar.
More than the visual feast the calendar offers, it is my favorite because of what it represents.
Kris writes in his blog:
The project was actually conceptualized many, many years ago when my dad came out with calendars with his face as the main picture (like all politicians with calendar giveaways). I thought to myself, “What if people didn’t want to look at your face every day.” “What if they just wanted to see scenery.”
If a politician wants to be “remembered,” why doesn’t he just put his name at a corner of the calendar and put some worthy pictures instead.
You see, karikna, I have never been a fan of Kris’ father who has been my congressman for most of my life, and who seems every inch traditional and jaded. But this bespectacled young man represents what a new breed of Ilocano leaders should be: thinking, sensible, sensitive, and virtuous.
I look at that calendar each day and tell myself: Yes, there is hope.
I may have been too busy drinking gulping SanMig Light the past years that I failed to notice one good alak manufactured right here in Sunshine City Laoag.
Discovered it lately through a blog entry detailing a tambay at tagay night held by YTRIP (a youth-led NGO that promotes sustainable local tourism and responsible travel) in the last quarter of 2008. The group got several bottles of wine from parts of Luzon and tried, tasted, and drank the night away.
Their exhibits included:
Camote with Pineapple (Banaue)
Tapuey (light) (Banaue)
Tapuey (toasted) (Banaue)
While they concluded that…
The night’s biggest favorites (the winners!!) were the Tapuey (light), Tapuey (toasted), and the Lambanog. And that the losers being the Strawberry and Grape wines.
.., the Duhat Wine, according to three tasters, is “the closest to how wine would/should taste like”.
I agree. Suabe ang guhit sa lalamunan. Sarap ng tama. It’s a bonus that it also offers all the health benefits that red wine promises, i.e. good for the heart, antioxidant, anti-cancer properties. Yes, it is as good for the body as it is for the spirit.
The delight that is the Duhat Wine is actually a product of careful research and product development conducted by Cormel Foods with the support of the Department of Science and Technology and the Mariano Marcos State University (where I teach).
At just 150Php a bottle, oh my, das leben ist gut!