Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Swordsmen in My Memory

I am a certified movie addict and martial art was the blockbuster movie genre when I was young. Martial Law just been declared and I was only ten then. Golden Gate Theatre, just along Gen. Dunckel St. (now C. Liboro or was it Felix Y. Manalo Avenue?), is only a stone throw away from my grandparents’ house. I cannot help but smile everytime I remember that when I was six, while I can go to movies alone, I cannot go to school unaccompanied. And that’s why, even years have passed,- for me, seeing a movie is heaven while doing my school assignment is hell. Those were the days when our demigods onscreen were Chinese and Japanese swordsmen and nobody else.

In case it skipped your memory, Golden Gate Theatre is located at the present site of Novo General Merchandize here in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro. That particular spot in Pandurucan (my town’s erstwhile or native name), near the corner of Bonifacio and Dunckel Streets was once its recreation center. It is adjacent to Public Market, near our town’s two famous restaurants (Cora’s and Halina), surrounded by bowling lanes, grocery stores, beer houses, billiard centers,- name it, it’s all there. Places where I became street smart at an early age. And yes as a kid, Golden Gate Theatre introduced me to a wonderful world of foreign and Tagalog movies. Its darkness made me sense the outside world, outside of my home town. It was there where I encountered my childhood screen idols such as Zatoichi (or “Ichi”), the blind swordsman and Fan Gang, the one-armed swordsman. All I have to do is to save fifty centavos from my daily school allowance. Saturdays and Sunday are my “movie days”.

Ichi is a quiet, blind masseur and a roving gambler who, when innocent lives are at stake, becomes the ruthless swordsman who can cut down a dozen goons -- yakuza and samurai alike – as fast as a lightning. The character is played by Shintaro Katsu. I found out just recently from the net that Katsu is a well-known figure in Japan for he starred in all of the 26 “Zatoichi” film series from 1962 to late 80’s (second to total of 27 James Bond film series). I have seen around four of “Zatoichi” films. All from old and dusty white screen of Golden Gate Theatre.

I can still remember my blind swordsman’s good-wit, perceptive understanding of human nature, keen sense of hearing, the fast draw of his cane sword and the way he sing and play music. Things that captured well by my youthful fantasy. Specially when he is protecting the innocent and fighting injustice. Full of excitement, I am glued to the theatre’s chair every time Ichi,- surrounded by blade wielding thugs, initiates darkness or go into the dark and deliver his famous tagline, "Kurayami nara kocchi no mon da" or “Darkness is my ally” (from what I read in its English subtitle below). It’s a prelude to a gory but action-packed scene.

My other favorite is a Chinese actor named (Jimmy) Wang Yu, specially as Fan Gang in the “One-Armed Swordsman” fame. The story is about hard work and vengeance. After his right arm was cut off by the evil men, Fan Gang was trained by an old man and finally mastered the one-armed style of swordplay from a half burn kung fu manual and became even stronger than before. After finally killing all his opponents, instead of teaching kung fu, he decided to become a farmer. The end. Incidentally, Wang Yu was once the top paying martial art actor in Hong Kong before Bruce Lee came into the picture. Wang appeared in 70 films of his more than 20 years in show business.

In a film entitled “Zatoichi Meets the One Armed Swordsman” Shintaro Katsu and Wang Yu made a one-heck of a movie. A memorable flick which was actually a crossover film not only between two actors but between two countries, China and Japan. Only now did I realize how the men behind the camera ingeniously use the language barrier between the two main characters to set them up for duel to death while keeping both characters’ motives honorable. The swordplay is excellent but with a bit of the violence and a lot of blood. The film ended without giving a hint who between the blind swordsman and the one-armed swordsman won the duel. And I found my self groping in the dark even after I get out of the cinema that day. Anyway, those swordsmen of my childhood were men of character,- full of interest, enthusiasm and concern toward other people. Their characters maybe violent but they never have been indifferent. Violence is indeed bad but indifference is even worse. And that stayed in my mind until today.

Second to our home and aside from school, we learn our lessons even from most unexpected places of entertainment like movie houses…

(Photo credit :

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Of Dogfights and Aphorisms

There is an on-going word war between two groups of media people in Occidental Mindoro. Media propagandists affiliated with two rival political titans in our locality. They both have a daily radio program aired from Monday to Friday in two separate FM stations owned, managed or operated by their respective bosses or patrons. The dogfight,- I mean the aerial “combat”, (not the fight of dogs, you silly!) is getting worse everyday. Now employing low blows and “argumentum ad hominem”, majority of the people are already sick and tired of them, except of course their avid political supporters, “clients” , bias and partisan listeners. An “ad hominem” argument in a debate, is a logical fallacy that involves a personal attack.

They are media personalities working as PR men or propagandists of the two rival political groups here in San Jose. They are pawns but also victims of bad, massive and excessive politicking in my beloved home province. May I reiterate that politics,- here in our province and the country as a whole, has degenerated into an arena where the interests of the few elite are pitied against us, weak and poor.

Nobody asked me but I am into reading blogs on aphorism lately. Aphorism is a short pithy instructive saying or a tersely phrased statement of a truth or opinion considered as a brief statement of a principle. I have read works of world-acclaimed aphorists of yesteryears and even today, and I’ve highlighted some of them.

Okay, allow me to share some stories of the said “media peoples’ war”,- the worsening "air pollutant" in my province, to be followed by (from what I think) a related aphorism. Here they are:

“The hosts of the rival morning programs over two stations in San Jose are trying to win the public opinion by hauling accusations and counter-accusations at each other. Perhaps, for this race over the air, they are the best horses in the political stable.”

“The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you are still a rat.” – Lilly Tomlin

“I overheard one commentator who said that certain onerous and one sided contract is a “blessing in disguise.” And this comment was immediately seconded by his interviewee who is supposed to initiate the contract’s revocation. And there is also this PR man who keeps on calling the mayor’s critics ”inggitero” (envious of others) rather than discussing the problem as it is.”

“In politics, stupidity is not a handicap” – Napoleon

“A losing candidate in the last local election is planning to run and again defying a law he is obliged to obey and some things must radically be done. No signs so far from his end leading to such action. He made no specific change on this matter and his political affiliation.”

“Insanity : Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” – Albert Einstein

“These propagandists cannot air opinions against their patrons. They just express thoughts and re-echo their words. In return, the broadcasters are hailed as intelligent journalists and media practitioners by their taskmasters and “owners”.

“Parrots mimic their owners. The owners consider that a sign of intelligence” – Martin Rubin

“I do not know why these young, talented and dynamic people allowed their whole person prostituted by bad, massive and excessive politicking. What a waste!”

“Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.” - Ronald Reagan

Well, that’s all folks and let me tell you that this post is my simple reaction on what is happening to us,- fellow journalists of our community. And in parting here’s an aphorism from Kenya West, “Life is 5% what happens and 95% how you react” ...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Nothing But Stunt

Our very own political scientist hailed from Mamburao, the late Prof. Remigio E Agpalo had long ago conveyed a political picture through his book “Pandanggo sa Ilaw : The Politics in Occidental Mindoro” published in 1963 : “The elite exploited these (Filipino traditional) values and brought them into play, together with their material potentials, to their own advantage. The unsatisfactory economic situation, the general poverty of the population, the insufficient education … as well as broadening gap between the elite and the masses…” (pp. 83). And even today, there are geographical, demographic and social factors responsible for the dominance of a prominent clan over the masses of the Occidental Mindoro population in favor of the interests of the few elite businessmen and politicians. Agpalo taught at the University of the Philippines (UP) for almost 50 years and was laid to rest in February 10, 2008. He succumbed to prostrate cancer. He was 79.

“Pandanggo sa Ilaw” (literally “Lamp Dance”) is a traditional Filipino folk dance said to be originated in Lubang Island in Occidental Mindoro, where dancers balance oil lamps on their bodies by skillful maneuvers while the audience watches spellbound. In Agpalo’s mind, the “Pandanggo sa Ilaw” was a symbol of dominance of the political elite in our province. Seemingly it's a dance and a stunt, rolled into one.

From our local (academic) hero let us go to my favorite martial artist and movie idol. Allow me to share you an anecdote : A young fan of the 1967 television series “The Green Hornet” named Vicki had written to Bruce Lee whether the martial art that Kato (Lee’s character) used was karate and what was the best way to break a brick with her hand. And here’s the response of the late actor: “The art I use on TV is not karate and is known as gung fu, which is of Chinese origin (so is karate). Breaking boards and bricks are mere stunts and are not recommendable for anyone, especially a girl like you. Techniques are the main goal you should work at. If you want to break something, use a hammer.” A stunt is defined as “a feat displaying unusual strength, skill, or daring and something done (just) to attract attention or publicity.” The electorate need concrete results and not mere stunts.

In the Philippines, election is a superficial merriment that is why political stunts paved the way for the Big Circus. Media coverage of Philippine elections focused more on personalities rather than issues and platforms. Including Occidental Mindoro. Our local media is more powerful during elections. According to a seasoned media man , “The power of the media should be used in setting the agenda for the elections. The media should promote the kind of debate that generates light, not the kind of debate that generates heat.” May we,-media people in Occidental Mindoro, always remember this.

This is what the people are dreaming of : people have access to information that would enable them to make intelligent choices; there is a free and dynamic exchange of discussion on different issues related to elections; and, people who previously violated the election laws and procedures (no matter from what camp they belong) are to be exposed and opposed. Only through this media initiatives the electorate can go for a candidate with good track record in his/her involvement in public or private office. A tested leader who is always ready to serve who has a good record of public service and has the personal competence for the position he is running for. His/her life is a living testimony of his/her beliefs. This is our dream,- we, the “silent majority”.

The many challenges the situation poses before us boils down to the challenge Jesus handed down to Peter : “Put out into the deep water and lower your net for a catch.” (Lk 5:4)Jesus is asking us to be true to our actions and not be overwhelmed by cheap stunts of politicians, and the media men that bark around them …

(Photo credit : )

Friday, July 17, 2009

Completely Identified With Whom?

Somebody told me, “It’s now Year for Priests, maybe he will win this time. ” My friend is referring to a priest whom we both know who run but lost in the last local election. But it's still premature to discuss the issue for no public pronouncement yet from his end on this matter. To be fair, let us dwell on the topic in general terms. Indeed, the Catholic Church in the Philippines declared June 19, 2009 up to June 19, 2010 as Year for Priests.

To mark the 150th death anniversary of St. John Mary Vianney, on June 24, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI inaugurated the Year for Priests at St. Peter’s Square in Rome. The Apostolic Vicariate of San Jose de Mindoro likewise announced the inaguration of the Year for Priests last Wednesday through a Circular Letter issued of our Vicar Apostolic, His Excellency Antonio P. Palang, SVD,DD at the Saint Joseph the Worker Cathedral.

According to the Pope, “The aim for Year for Priests is to support each priest’s struggle towards spiritual perfection”. The Holy Father identified two conceptions of the priesthood, "which do not in fact contradict one another". On the one hand "a social-functional conception which identifies the essence of priesthood with the concept of 'service'. ... On the other hand there is a sacramental-ontological conception" which sees priestly ministry "as determined by a gift called Sacrament, granted by the Lord through the mediation of the Church".

Benedict XVI concluded by expressing the hope that "the Year for Priests may lead all the clergy to identify themselves completely with Christ…". Yes, ‘completely with Christ’ and not with somebody else including the main players in the realm of politics. There are priests who are reportedly again joining the Philippine political circus come 2010.

In my opinion, there are a lot of "right" and acceptable ways in which priests can help improve the lives of the people in his province or country. Sad to say, joining partisan politics is not and will never be one of those ways. A priest can join the “sphere” of politics (by advocating for certain socio-political issues and concerns) but not in the “arena” of politics (by joining campaigns and elections). By taking part in partisan politics, priests violate their priestly vow and will not be completely identified with Christ. Again, I am citing no particular case.

St. John Mary Vianney once said: "God is quicker to forgive than a mother to snatch her child from the fire." Perhaps that fire is from a hot "fireplace" called “arena of politics”. But God’s forgiveness is as instant and as cold as an early morning dew. Certainly, all of our priests,- active in their pastoral and administrative functions or not, need our prayers.

I am praying that the (remaining) active priests of our Vicariate heed the call of Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal : “Come now, my brother priests, let us be hot or cold for the right reasons. Hot for justice, but cold to partisan politics. Hot on giving service through faith-guided leadership, but cold to the possibility of wielding power. Let us be hot in serving God and His people, but cold to self-interest and self-serving schemes,” And nobody from their ranks may be snatched away or be tempted again by partisan politics or some political patrons.

Because by joining partisan politics come 2010 and beyond, those priests would be more identified with modern Caesars and not with Christ. And we would not easily allow that to happen. You must understand us because there's a priest inside everyone of us, laypeople...

(Official logo of the Year for Priests)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Diakonia 2009

Frt. Reymond Barrales- Mulingbayan of Our Lady of the Pillar Parish in Mamburao is expected to receive diaconal ordination tomorrow, July, 15, 2009 at the Saint Joseph Cathedral in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro. The ordination of Frt. Ymon, as he is fondly called,- coincides with the 25th founding anniversary or Silver Jubilee of our Vicariate’s Saint Joseph College Seminary (SJCS).

Let me share you this : Archbishop Mauro Piacenza, Secretary of the Congregation for the Clergy in the Roman curia emphasized that, “The deacon is a prophet of a new world, the bearer of a message which sheds light on all the burning issues of society. He is also the principal collaborator of the priest in the celebration of the Eucharist”. These words were part of the homily given by Archbishop Piacenza on 30 June 2009 at the Chapel of Centro di Studi Superiori, during Mass for the ordination of 38 deacons in Rome. Msgr. Piacenza explained the triple service of the deacon: the deaconate of the Word, the Eucharist and the Poor. It is the duty of the deacon to proclaim the Gospel and assist the priest in the explanation of the Word of God. He added that “in a special way the deacon is entrusted with the Church's mission of Charity, which is the origin of the Deaconate ”. The deacon is called to be concerned for the needs of others, to notice the suffering of others and to offer himself as a gift for others.

The dogmatic constitution on the Church “Lumen Gentium” of the Second Vatican Council declared that "… the diaconate could be restored as a proper and permanent rank of the hierarchy" (No 29). The Code of Canon Law effectively legislates for two types of deacons, the permanent deacon and those deacons who are destined for the priesthood (also called “transitional” deacons). There are no permanent married deacons in the Philippines unlike in the United States. Why? Just ask the Catholic priest near you.

As ministers of Sacrament, deacons baptize, lead the faithful in prayer, witness marriages, and conduct wake and funeral services. As ministers of Charity, deacons are leaders in identifying the needs of others, then marshalling the Church's resources to meet those needs. Deacons are also dedicated to eliminating the injustices or inequities that cause such needs. He is a cross- (and not crown) bearing social agent.

Going back to our “Man of the Hour”, Frt. Ymon, 29, is the the second child in a brood of four of Cleta Barrales and Reynaldo Mulingbayan who are both active members of various religious organizations and ministries in their parish. Mulingbayan finished his Elementary in Mamburao Central School, Secondary Education in West Mindoro Academy or WEMA. In college, he studied at Christ the King Minor Seminary in Quezon City and Divine Word School of Theology in Tagaytay City.

Congratulations to your family, your formators, your friends and the Our Lady of the Pillar Parish in general. The Apostolic Vicariate of San Jose is truly blessed today. But our untiring support for Frt. Ymon, as members of our particular Church, is needed now more than ever. With this ordination, the journey of the mission has just began. He greatly need our prayers, our encouragement and our examples. With these, the same grace that brought him at the foot of the altar will lead him through his mission and vocation warmed with Father's embrace…

(Photo grabbed from Frt. Ymon's Friendster profile without his permission)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

SOM : The <3%

The e-mail with attachments sent to me last Tuesday, July 7, 2009, by Engr. Omar C. Costibolo, co-convener of the Save OMECO Movement or SOM, talked about a concept called “The Three Percent”. I found out later from the net that there is also an online organization called ThreePercenter.Org who claimed to be working to promote the ideals of liberty, the exercise of freedom and promotion of constitutional government restrained by law in the States. The group also stated that, “We embrace the American Resistance Movement (ARM) philosophy and as such use the ARM logo as a means to identify our message and our cause.” Do not get me wrong. I do not support armed struggle or violence as means in pursuit of socio-political reform. I am a Church lay worker and I am for a gun-less society. I also hate the idea of organizing militias, even those state-sponsored like the CAFGU and other paramilitary units. And I hate math as well.

Costibolo explained further that, “Although the idea is invoked by the an anti-gun control movement in the US, this could also apply to any political activism or other movements for meaningful change in society.” Again, forget about the philosophy, ideals, objectives and means of ARM or any of the militant groups in Uncle Sam’s territory or elsewhere. Let us focus more on the socio-political issues and realities in Occidental Mindoro especially our latest struggle to save the Occidental Mindoro Electric Cooperative or OMECO. And here’s Kuya Omar again for you: “We may be less that 3% of OMECO member-consumers but we have made some meaningful changes.”

Parallel to the supplemental readings supplied by the Premiere Photo proprietor, the Save OMECO Movement or SOM surely would not amount to 3% compared to its total number of member-consumer reaching 45,000+. Indeed, we maybe supported by perhaps 10% of the member-consumers. In addition to the movement there is perhaps another 20% who favored our cause but did little or nothing to support it. Another 1/3 of the members sided with the former GM (General Manager), his cohorts and their political patron,- and the final third took no side, blew with the wind and passively accepted everything. But we succeeded.

In a Narrative Report by SOM on its OMECO involvement subtitled “The SOM : A Moral Force to Reckon With”, it is written : “The SOM is a loose organization composed of member-consumers, OMECO employees and the Apostolic Vicariate of San Jose, specifically its social action arm, the Social Services Commission (SSC). It is somewhat a network of organizations from different sectors with the whole of Occidental Mindoro as its area of concern. The SOM is still a non-formal group but the members conduct regular meeting and it had been lately the forerunner of various campaigns with the objective of saving our cooperative.” We have initially won the battle but not yet the war. But this victory would be our take-off point for the formal organizing and the establishment of organizational structures of the SOM. With this, the SOM will become part and parcel of a nationwide umbrella of power stakeholders. This would also paved the way towards strengthening a responsive and viable electric consumer movement not only in Occidental Mindoro, but the country as a whole.

Indeed, our SOM involvement have reminded us that history,- through better or worse, cure or curse, is made by determined and courageous minorities. And the SOM is one such minority and so too are the group who are against us. What remains, then, is the test of will and skill to determine WHO shall shape the future of our beloved province: them or us?

If only 3% of the total population of our province willing to sacrifice their lives and limbs for social transformation, willing to do thankless grind of social activism, willing even to occasionally lose battles but not the war. With these people around, the less than 3% is truly a moral force to reckon with, even without guns…

(Photo grabbed from taken by Kaveh Golestan)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Premature Necessity?

Their team-up for 2010 local elections was publicly announced in So. Baclayan, Brgy. Iling Proper, San Jose. Almost all of the aspiring “early birds” for a municipal post in their camp gathered there. Supporters and friends included. It is almost a complete ticket.

Last July 2, in this beautiful white beach of Occidental Mindoro, his plan to run for mayor of San Jose was made public while his “returning” friend is his campaign manager (or lead supporter). I am referring to Jose T. Villarosa and Ramon M. Atienza. They are our former governor and vice-governor, respectively.

But I am not surprised that this political team-up would eventually be (re)born (?). We can still remember that in 2002, Villarosa and Atienza had a legal battle that reached Supreme Court (SC) and became part of the Philippine jurisprudence. It is the G.R. No. 161081 and here’s some excerpts of the SC Decision:

Before the Court is the petition for review on certiorari filed by Ramon M. Atienza, in his capacity as Vice-Governor of the Province of Occidental Mindoro, seeking to reverse and set aside the Decision dated November 28, 2003 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 72069. The assailed decision dismissed the petition for prohibition under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court filed by petitioner Atienza which had sought to enjoin the implementation of the Memoranda dated June 25, 2002 and July 1, 2002 issued by Jose T. Villarosa, Governor of the same province.” The Decision was promulgated by the highest court of the land last May 10, 2005.

To continue, here’s another peek from the (G.R. No. 161081) Decision: “The avowed intent of Rep. Act. No. 7160, therefore, is to vest on the Sangguniang Panlalawigan independence in the exercise of its legislative functions vis-a-vis the discharge by the Governor of the executive functions. The Memoranda dated June 25, 2002 and July 1, 2002 of the respondent Governor, which effectively excluded the petitioner Vice-Governor, the presiding officer of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, from signing the purchase orders for the procurement of supplies, materials or equipment needed for the operation of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan as well as from appointing its casual and job order employees, constituted undue interference with the latter's functions. The assailed memoranda are clearly not in keeping with the intent of Rep. Act No. 7160 and their implementation should thus be permanently enjoined…”

The SC’s final decision is this: “WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Memoranda dated June 25, 2002 and July 1, 2002 issued by respondent Governor Jose T. Villarosa are NULL AND VOID.” In short, Atienza was favored by the court over Villarosa in said high profile legal quest or question of law.

I do not want to discuss further about their newly-formed team-up. But I would like to emphasize here the important contribution of a particular tenet of G.R. 161081 to Philippine judicial system rather than the personalities behind it.

There’s this dictum “Ex Necessitate Legis (From Necessity of Law)”. Every statutory grant of power, right or privilege is deemed to include all incidental power, right or privilege. This is so because the greater includes the lesser, as what the Atienza vs. Villarosa case or the G.R. No. 161081 have taught or reminded us. Another key word in said jurisprudence is, “undue interference”. Hope this post would not be considered us such by said politicians. Including my readers.

On the other hand, even (former?) Pag-Asa Brgy. Captain Ulysses P. Javier, now political ally of Gov. Josephine R. Sato,- fearlessly announced as early as May his willingness to run for Congress and face his former boss’ wife in 2010. Or is it a premature necessity? I’m not interfering in their affairs but any premature ejacu..,- err, campaigning , like what the national media is projecting,- is so disgusting.

My prospect for the future? What I got is only this little personal prayer (for my self): “Lord, help me make sure that the toes I’m going to step on today, is not connected to the a**s I have to kiss tomorrow. So help me, God. Amen. ”*…

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Message of Icons

It was in the mid of 70’s when I moved from Bubog Elementary School to San Jose National High School (SJNHS)as a freshman high school student. That was the year when body fit t-shirts and duffle bags bearing pictures of Muhammad Ali and the Jackson Five were sold like hot cakes in the market. I love boxing and music so I bought a couple of them. I am a certified fan of Ali and the Jackson Five. But I only want to remember Michael Jackson as Jackson Five’s lead soloist. Until now.

The Jackson Five concerts in February 13-15, 1976 held at the Folks Arts Theater and Araneta Coliseum, were instant hits. But the quintet who came was not the original singing group managed by Joseph “Joe” Jackson, their father. The original member Germaine who was reportedly sick then was substituted by his brother Randy. The original members of the group were Germaine, Tito, Jackie, Marlon and of course, Michael Jackson. Prior to the Manila concert, there was rumor that Michael died due to drug overdose. And in a pre-concert press conference, Michael told media men : “As you can very well see, I’m here. What do you think?”

According to a news item published in Philippine Daily Express in February 13, 1976, “It was Muhammad Ali’s accounts of the Philippines, according to the Jackson Five, that made them want to come and perform in the Philippines. The Jacksons are friends of Ali.” Because prior to the concert, on October 1, 1975, the Muhammad Ali- Joe Frazier fight dubbed “Thrilla in Manila” was held also at Araneta. The “Thrilla in Manila” was considered one of the greatest fights in 20th century boxing. Ali was declared winner and shortly afterwards fainted on the canvass.

Muhammad Ali they say, is the only remaining black legend now that Michael Jackson is gone. Both Ali and Jackson became messengers of their arts and crafts and their message. I can’t help but compare who between the “King of Pop” and “The Greatest” made a beautiful message and good news out of their lives.

It is not only by winning, by amassing of fortune and fame that make us triumphant or a winner. It is how we live our message, our life.

And when I first heard of the news that MJ has died, I remember the words reportedly uttered by Eddie Futch, Frazier’s trainer, to his suffering boxer at the verge of defeat : “It’s all over. No one will forget what you did (here today)”. Those immortal words came out in “Thrilla in Manila”, an event prior to Philippines’ first taste of Michael Jackson in 1976 before he went solo…