Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Eunice’s Poetry Book for Sale On-line

My cousin, Eunice Barbara C. Novio, is about to launch a poetry book called Maps of Dreams and Memories. But before that, let me first lead you to a poem of Robert Frost (1874-1963). Sometime in 1923, the renowned American poet and four-time Pulitzer Prize winner wrote Dust of Snow. It was published sometime in 1923 in the Pulitzer Prize-winning volume of poetry called New Hampshire:

Dust of Snow
By: Robert Frost

The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.

Decades later, Bob McKenty, a poet born in 1935 and noted for his mastery of light verse, wrote a parody of said Frost’s masterpiece.  Parody is a humorous satirical imitation of a serious piece of literature such as poem. Here is McKenty’s parody of Frost’s “Dust of Snow”:

Snow on Frost
By: Bob McKenty

A wayward crow
Shook down on him
The dust of snow
From a hemlock limb.

Amused (I recall)
The poet stopped,
Delighted that's all
The black bird dropped.

But sometimes, a poem is written to show full respect by way of imitating another poet’s poem. This is called poetry imitation. The following poem appeared in Atomic Poetry in August 2015 written by my poetess cousin sometime last month:

My Friend, the Shadow
By: Eunice Barbara C. Novio

I have a friend, Mother,
sometimes he sleeps with me,
but oftentimes stays under the bed
even when you sweep underneath
he lays there;
a sleeping shadow.

He has white eyes
and always smiles,
but he makes me happy
because he does not talk or argue.

We just lie down together at night,
dreaming of what lies ahead of us,
when I grow up and how long
he would be a shadow.

A poet by doing response poetry respects the poet s/he imitates because to write it, one must understand and appreciate the piece s/he imitates so, here’s my piece:

Her Friend, the Shadow
By Norman A. Novio

She had a friend, she told her mother,
A strange bedfellow sleeping under her bed,              
And ever-smiling and white-eyed shadow.

A friend who knew by experience
Her loneliness during sleepless nights
Entering into her own story of life.

But without nocturnal sorrows and pain,
She couldn’t accomplish life’s most lovely things:
Write a book, give birth to a child or make a friend.

Between them grew an amazing exchange
Knitting poems together for years,
As the girl grew up her shadow-friend remains!

The poetry book was published just weeks ago by Aquill Relle, an on-line magazine. I am inviting the followers of this blog site to order it on-line and click THIS to start.

Grab a copy now, so I can have my porsyento



Thursday, September 17, 2015

Full of Grace?

It is now official. Senator Grace Poe who appeared in minor roles as child actress in his father’s two movies, “Durugin si Totoy Bato” and Dugo ng Bayan” finally declared yesterday, September 16, at the Bahay ng Alumni at the University of the Philippines Diliman her intention to run for the presidency. It is in the same venue where Fernando Poe Jr. or FPJ, the undisputed King of Philippine Movies, also declared his political plans in 2003.

As I have told you before, majority of the people of Occidental Mindoro gave big numbers to FPJ gaining 78,688 votes over his latter-days nemesis in Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who only reaped 34,267 votes compared to Susan Roces’ husband. The question if our votes for FPJ could also be “inherited” by Grace Poe remains a question. Our local Liberal Party members (Read: the Tropang Marangal) should work overtime to let the results of the 2016 elections in the province be “full of Mar” instead of “full of Grace” or whoever.

Governor Mario Gene J. Mendiola himself that is a living proof that empathy - sympathy vote is a big factor in Occidental Mindoro elections when fresh from University of California, he won as congressman in our province’s lone district in 1987 after his politician father, the late Assemblyman Pedro T. Mendiola who served from 1978-1986 and was gunned down while he was delivering his speech at the plaza of San Vicente, Sablayan in April, 1986,- just few months away from election season. Not unlike Senator Grace, he promised then to continue what his father had started.

While Senator Grace Poe’s father died with a "broken-heart" because of the alleged election anomalies which victimized our screen idol-turned-politician and ultimately his victory was snatched from him, Governor Gene’s father died with his brave heart intact.

Deep empathy and sympathy runs unfathomable in the Filipino heart and this is what Grace Poe is capitalizing on. She anchored everything in the memory of her father to get elected. But Senator Poe admitted that her biggest capital is the name of her father. In fact, before her announcement yesterday at UP, there was a showing of emotionally-charged clips of Da King’s movies before she went upstage.

And let us not forget that BS Aquino III himself is a product of empathy-sympathy vote when he announced his candidacy after his mother died of cancer. Let us see if Grace would also get the big numbers that Occidental Mindoro voters gave to his father more than a decade ago.

The realm of empathy-sympathy in politics is indeed so mysterious, at least to me…


(Photo: Philstar)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Of Public Interest Lawyers and the Philippine Mining Conference 2015

We, the anti-mining advocates all over the country today, September 15, 2015, are officially launching what we call “Mining Hell Week” as symbolic protest against the Philippine Mining Conference 2015 which is also starting today spearheaded by the Philippine Chamber of Mines. And to show my sentiment against that Congress, I am telling the world that as long as we have ladies like those I will mentioning later, we are ready to give the mining companies one hell of a legal fight.

Environmental lawyers in the Philippines are rare species and as fragile as the ecosystems and the poor and marginalized people they are protecting. Generally categorized as public interest legal practitioners, instead of serving powerful economic interests, they practice law and stand in behalf of the country’s natural resources. I had a chance listening to their lectures last August 26-28, 2015 at Submarine Garden Beach Resort 1 in Brgy. Sawang, Lobo, Batangas while attending the MIMAROPA Paralegal Training sponsored by Alyansa Tigil Mina or ATM.

Atty. Grizelda “Gerthie” Mayo-Anda is the Executive Director of the Palawan-based Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC), an alumnus and professor at UP College of Law. ELAC is an environmental non-government organization committed to helping communities uphold their constitutional right to a healthful and balanced ecology. In elaborating theories of environmental justice, Atty. Gerthie told the training participants from all over MiMaRoPa provinces including Masbate, that environmental justice brings together environmental protection and social justice and this is grounded in Article 2, Section 16 of our constitution where the right to sound environment and as a national policy, to promote sustainable development, with land use and carrying capacity as important concepts, are guaranteed.

Aside from other cases Atty. Gethie are handling all over the land, she is also into challenging the operation of Rio Tuba Mining in Bataraza and Citinickel Mines and Development Corporation in Narra despite that the areas are core zones or restricted zones under RA 7611. Atty. Gerthie believes that the local government officials should be more concerned about protecting the last remaining natural resources and the people than the interests of private investors.

On the other hand, Atty. Mary Grace Ellen “Grace” S. Villanueva dwelt on the topics “Measures and Procedures in Building Up Environmental Cases” and “Citizen’s Remedies in Violations of Mining-relevant Environmental Laws”. Atty. Grace has been working as a lawyer for indigenous peoples, upland rural poor and farming communities and their members, and representing them at judicial and quasi-judicial tribunals so they could defend their rights to life, land and natural resources.  At present, she is the legal coordinator for Legal Resource Center or LRC.

The conference dubbed “Mining Philippines” is a 3-day event starting today until September 17, 2015 at the Solaire Resort and Casino Manila in Manila. This event showcases mining products in Minerals, Metals and Ores industry.

And to counter this event, I “showcased” two brave and dedicated ladies from the ranks of the earth protectors. I paraded people while the mining companies paraded products. It only goes to show that for the environmentally-destructive firms, the latter is more important than the former...