Monday, August 24, 2015

Norma N. Malilay: Teacher-Learner

This respectable woman is getting old now but has touched thousands of lives in her various capacities prominently in the academia, civic and religious organizations. Her parents are Filomeno, the champion speller of his elementary days, and Maria, once a Princess during a Peace Time fiesta.  Born in 1942 right at the heart of Barrio Central, as a child she survived the hardships and ravages of war but later consistently topped her class way down from elementary up to college when the war is over. She struggled to finish her studies selling vegetables, Liwayway and komiks in their barrio and doing errands and household chores for her principal’s family. In case you are not aware of, she was one of the pioneering graduates of the Divine Word College of San Jose and became one of the two first graduates of the school’s College of Education way back in 1964. I was barely two years old then.

While I flunked or received pasang awa grades in my other subjects as a college student, I got the highest grades in my transcript in two subjects under her despite of the fact that she was considered by many as strict instructor. She was my teacher in Rizal and Early Philippine Literature (English 7) way back in ‘79. Though greatly influenced by the writings of historian Renato Constantino, I am more of an admirer of Bonifacio than Rizal and I cannot recall any single detail about Biag ni Lam-Ang, her teaching method specifically her adding of local color and contextualization of the topics in contemporary setting made me so interested in her class than my Math and Science subjects. How she motivates her students is exemplary and genuine. Ma’am Malilay knows what’s an effective motivation is and why it is effective.  Her way of soliciting feedbacks and critics from her students became my first break in expressing my views and opinions on certain socio-political realities which I carried till my short stint as a former broadcast practitioner and today as a trying hard chronicler who modestly notices anything about Mindoro.

Norma Malilay (nee Necia) was great in stimulating curiosity by asking thought-provoking questions. Truth to tell, if a teacher utilizes new or different information from that which students already know, true learning develops. She satisfied our curiosity in the most interesting way and consequently filled the gap between a given and a desired state of knowledge. This is one of the indelible marks of a great mentor his or her students would cherish forever. Ma’am Malilay, aside from being a college instructor, was at the same time the director of Divine’s student affairs office. Many of her students became successful politicians, businessmen, public servants, priests, expatriates, just name it. She transferred to Occidental Mindoro State College, my Alma Mater, in the early 90s and became the Chief Administrative Officer IV until her retirement. She became my son’s part time English instructor in the now padlocked Saint Joseph College Seminary. She molded him to be lover of words and explorer of the beauty of the language. She was active in many mandated religious organizations and one of the Vicariate’s finest lectors. To those who are not Catholics, the term “lector” or “reader” is someone who in a particular liturgy is assigned to read Biblical text other that the Gospel. Even in her religious functions and apostolic works she is beyond compare. That’s why perhaps God is so good to her.

Care to scrutinize the photo shown above for a while. For me, its best caption is this: “To breath is to learn”. May we, your former students, value learning the same way you do even in foreign soil, regardless of our age…

 (Photo; Grabbed without permission from Ma’am Norms’ Facebook wall)

Friday, August 14, 2015


The National Commission on the Indigenous Peoples or NCIP conducts a forum on Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro last August 5-7, 2015. The event is aimed at updating on the status of CADT applications of the 7 sub-tribes of the Mangyans in the whole island of Mindoro, to clarify the the processes being undertaken by the NCIP, Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Land Registration Authority (LRA) to speed up the issuance of pertinent documents and certifications for the registration and eventual awarding of their CADTs. The event held Juan G. Santos Memorial Gymnasium was sponsored by the Provincial Government of Occidental Mindoro.

NCIP Commissioner Dionesia O. Banua and Ruben S. Bastero, CESO III, director for Region IV serve as the forum’s main reactors. Focusing on the Joint DAR-DENR-LRA-NCIPAdministrative Order No. 1, Series of 2012, it was attended by hundreds of Mangyan leaders and tribal elders including those coming from Oriental Mindoro who are saluted by Mayor Romulo M. Festin and SP Member Roderick Q. Agas representing both Gov. Mario Gene J. Mendiola and Rep. Josephine Ramirez-Sato. Mario Mulingbayan, the province's Mangyan affairs officer oversee the logistical needs for the event.

The forum highlighted the presentation of the Revised Omnibus Rules on Delineation and Recognition of Ancestral Domains and Lands of 2012 presented by Engr. Sandy P. Padilla, Engineer IV of NCIP IV. It was followed by status of CADT in whole Occidental Mindoro by Noe Raul A. Zoleta. There was also presentation of IP Issues and Concerns coming from the 7 Mangyan leaders from all over the island.

On her opening message, Commissioner Banua, gave special recognition, among others, to the exemplary support of Sablayan LGU under Mayor Eduardo B. Gadiano especially in terms in the realization of the IPMR or the IP Mandatory Representation to the local municipal legislative board which was first in the whole island. She challenged all the attending LGUs to do the same. RD Bastero said that since there are glaring differences in the mandates of concerned government agencies like DENR, DAR, LRA and of course NCIP, towards the tittling of the ancestral lands, there is a dire need to discuss major policies regarding such requirements and processes. Indeed, there are jurisdictional and operational issues between and among said agencies that was clarified by the Joint Administrative Order or JAO. The JAO is truly a welcome development for the Mangyans and their mission partners.

The activity also serves as venue for the airing of grievances of the Mangyan leaders and elders concerning the government projects, like the National Greening Program, the PLAs, CBFM, and the likes. Speakers from different agencies made suggestions and promised actions on the matter with the cooperation of the IPs themselves.

During the Responses and Commitment part of the Forum, this lowly blogger  discussed what the LGU is presently doing for the Taobuid and Alangan of Sablayan. Specifically on the local government’s mission of empowering them by taking part in the development and in governance, a room in the mainstream government respecting their culture and rights. Majority of the Municipal LGUs with considerable number of Mangyan population were in attendance.

In their concluding talks, both Banua and Bastero lauded the Municipality of Sablayan for having the establishment of Tribal Barangays in our CADEV-ELA and our advocacy for the Indigenous Peoples’ Mandatory Representation or IPMR which are under the mandate of NCIP. All of the barangays of Sablayan now have their respective IC/ICC representatives through the IPMR.

Day Two dwells with the formulation/validation of IPMR Guidelines for the IP representation at the Provincial Level and the undersigned only served as observers. The forum was facilitated by Mr. Noe Raul A. Zoleta, the NCIP OIC Provincial Officer along with his staffs coming from its offices in Mamburao, San Jose and Sablayan headed by Sablayan Field Officer Mr. Reynaldo F. Tupas, CDO-III and Ms. Ann Stephanie T. Tapales, CAO I at San Jose Field Office, as the gathering's emcee.

We all gathered in San Jose that day looking for a bright future where the Mangyans, Mindoro’s indigenous people maintain control over their ancestral lands and territories. As proximate stewards of our upland ecosystems, their rights must be respected as stipulated in the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act or IPRA law also known as RA 8371.

So, CADT Now!...

(Photo grabbed without permission from Steph T. Tapales’ FB wall)

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Mga Unang Hakbang sa Pag-iwas Maging Bobotante

Ang unang paraan nang pag-iwas maging bobotante ay ang pagbasa ng buo sa lathalaing ito. Biro lang.

Ang mga opinionated netizen ngayon at maging mga magkukolum na nasa mainstream media, kasama ang mga pambansa at lokal na pulitiko ay abala na pagtatampok sa mga ayaw at gusto nilang maging pangulo, na s’yempre  kanya-kanya sila ng katwiran at punto,- saliwa o tama, epal at gimik, palso at tumpak. Kapag may natisod na link na pabor o paninira sa isang posibleng presidentiable na gusto o ayaw nila, agad nila itong pinu-post. Sa sobra yatang excitement, nakalimutan natin na matagal pa ang ating lalakbayin at may mga bagay tayong dapat unahin upang tayo ay hindi maging bobotante.

Sampung buwan pa bago ang halalan at marami pang mangyayari sa usapin ng mga personalidad na lalahok kaya hindi pa ito panahon ng pilian. At imbes na pag-usapan kung sino, ang dapat na pagtuunan ngayon ay kung ano. Bakit ganito ka-excited ang marami sa atin sa higit na pagtutuon sa personahe/personalidad imbes na sa kaganapan?  Malinaw na sa kaisipang bobotante kasi, ang eleksyon ay isang kontes lamang na ang mas mahalaga ay ang resulta at hindi ang proseso. Isang bagay na hindi seryoso at laro lang sa kanila ang halalan. Masusuri natin ang sagot sa tanong na ito kung mauunawaan natin kung nasaang yugto na tayo ngayon sa mahabang proseso ng daan patungong Malakanyang, figuratively speaking, at isuhay dito ang mga kaisipang taglay ng mga ayaw maging bobotante. Mangyayari lamang ito kung gagawin nating tabula rasa pansamantala ang ating isip sa ating mga naunang biases sa mga napupusuan o mga kinamumuhian nating kakandidato.

Sa panahong ito hanggang sa opisyal na pagbubukas ng pagtanggap ng aplikasyon ng mga kakandidato ay dadaan sa ganitong proseso: Pagbubuklod-buklod at pagpapatatag ng mga partidong pulitikal at koalisyon, opisyal na pag-eendorso, proklamasyon ng kandidatura sa pamamagitan ng sunod-sunod na mga pulong at kumbesyon at iba pa. Sinisimulan nila at/o ipinagpapatuloy ang pamamasyal-masyal nang malimit sa mga malalayong bayan at lalawigan kasabay ng constant media projection na ang layon ay magpa-lobo ng suporta mula sa mga lugar at panig upang matiyak na gaganda ang kanilang mga numero sa mga survey. Kapag medyo plantsado na ang hanay at maganda-ganda ang resulta ng survey, ito ang hahatak sa mga mayayamang negosyante at king maker at patuloy na maghahanap ng potential funder para gasolinahan ang kanilang mga makinarya. Ang bunga ng mga ito ang salalayan ng kanilang pag-urong o pagsulong sa laban.

Bago sumapit ang buwan ng Oktubre onwards, dapat ay may nabuo nang lihim na usapan at kasunduan o compromises kapalit ng suportang kanilang ibibigay. Halimbawa, proteksyon sa negosyo, puwesto sa gabinete, at sa iba’t-ibang opisina ng pamahalaang pambansa, for instance, kapag ito ay nanalong pangulo.

Sa larangan ng halalan, hindi lamang pagboto at pagsuporta sa kandidato ang dapat gawin ng mga botante para hindi maging bobotante. Higit pa rito. Ang matalinong botante ay dapat magsuri ayon at sabay sa antasin at yugto ng panahon ng halalan. Pero papaano tayo magsusuri sa maagang yugtong ito ng eleksyon? Uulitin ko, higit sa pagpapahayag kung sino at bakit ang ating iboboto, mas higit na mahalaga ang ano. Ano ang katangian ng mga taong dumidikit-dikit ngayon sa kandidato? Ano sa palagay nating ang adyenda ng mga ito? Ano ang kanilang political record? Anong dahilan ng kanilang pagiging malapit sa isa’t-isa? Ano ang pagkaka-iba-iba at pagkakapareho ng kanilang mga prinsipyo o idolohiya at pagkatao? Ano ang mga nagawa sa bayan ng mga supporter na pabuntot-buntot sa kanila?  Ano ang mga pananaw nila sa mga maiinit ng isyung bayan? Ang mga sagot sa tanong na iyan ay pipiliin at titimbangin natin. Ang mga positibo at negatibo at sa kalaunan, mas mabibigyan natin ng timbang ang ating magiging pagpili sa pamamagitan ng mga taong nakapaligid o sumusuporta sa kanila at maging ang kanilang tract record kung ang mga ito ay politician din. Lagyan ng grade ang bawat isa sa kanila gamit na batayan ang mga sagot sa mga tanong na ito. Ipagpatuloy ang pagsagot sa mga tanong hanggang sa makapag-file sila ng Certificate of Candidacy sa Oktubre. 

Isa pa. Tayo ay maaaring lumikha ng listahan ng mga panlipunang pagbabago na nais nating mangyari sa bansa at mga adhikaing pambayan na sa tingin natin ay maaring gawin ng isang pangulo. Ilista lahat ng iyong maiisip. Suriin kung alin dito ang mga magkaka-ugnay at i-klaster (pagsama-samahin). Bawat klaster ay lagyan ng suliraning tinutugunan. Halimbawa: Kung sa klaster ang iyong adhikain ay binubuo ng mga sumusunod: Kaligtasan sa pagmimina, pagsugpo sa illegal logging, pagapatupad ng mga maka-kalikasang batas, atbpa. Isulat kung anong suliraning panlipunan ang tinutugunan nito. Sa ating halimbawa, ang suliraning tinutugunan dito ay PAGKAWASAK NG KALIKASAN. Sa lahat ng mga pangalan ng klaster o grupo, isa-isang tingnan kung ito ay UGAT o BUNGA. Ihanay ang mga klaster at pumili ng limang sa palagay ninyo ay mas prayoridad. Ang pinakamalahaga ang lagyan ng bilang na 1, at ang sumunod ay 2, and so forth and so on.

At kapag nakapanood ng mga pampublikong pahayag ng mga kakandidatong pangulo ay tingnan kung sa kanilang mga mensahe ay may sumasagot o tumatalakay sa mga bagay na nasa iyong listahan. Bigyan ng mataas na grado ang kakandidatong babanggit ng mga adhikain mo sa iyong listahan, ayon sa pagkaka-sunod-sunod o malapit-lapit dito at mababang marka naman sa wala man lang binabanggit tungkol sa mga ito. Kagaya ng una, gawin natin ito hanggang sa Oktubre, bago sila mag-file ng CoC. Ito ang isa sa mga gawin nating batayan sa eleksyon.

Kapag hindi natin iniuugnay ang eleksyon sa ating mga mithiin gamit ang talino, bobotante tayo forever. Hindi ako nagbibiro….

(Photo: AFP)