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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Let us all save the Alberto House of Biñán

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PRES. BENIGNO AQUINO III: Save the historic Alberto Mansion in Biñán, La Laguna.
Dr. Bimbo Santa María

The house is almost 200 years old. It was built by Lorenzo Alberto Alonso, father of Teodora Alonso and grandfather of Dr. José Rizal. The house was in almost perfect shape until the current owner, a descendant of Alberto Alonso, sold it to a resort owner in Bagac, Bataán. The local government opposed it and did not grant the dismantling permit. However, in May of 2010, the house was dismantled from the inside.

A campaign to save the house was launched spearheaded by local heritage advocates called the United Artists for Cultural Conservation and Development (UACCD). With the help of the print and broadcast media together with netizens, the issue gained public interest.

A new law on heritage conservation was approved by then President Gloria Arroyo on March 2010 stating that structures 50 years and above have to be conserved if it has cultural importance. The National Historical Institute (now National Historical Commission of the Philippines or NHCP) was ready to put a marker in the house recognizing it as historical since the 90s but was refused by the owner. Since then, and in spite of the public clamor to save the house, the NHCP till the present has reiterated it was never declared as an important cultural property, at the same time saying that they do not have the funds to save the house.

The house is the only remaining original structure on site in relation to Dr. Rizal. The Rizal Shrine in Calambâ is only a replica built from its foundation and floor initiated by then Pres. Elpidio Quirino through funds coming from donations of schoolchildren in the 1950s.

Many would say that it is not that important since it is “just” the house of Rizal’s mother. Not realizing that without Teodora Alonso, there would be no Pepe Rizal. Teodora was Rizal’s first teacher and was the one who moulded his character of love of country. The house is the living soul that reminds us of the memory of this great woman and her contribution to Philippine history.

The destruction of this house is man-made. They took away the ceiling, the floor, and even dug the foundations, leaving only the shell of the house. A part of the roof caved in last week. A call for help ran in the internet for the government to immediately intervene before the whole house collapses, but it fell into deaf ears. On 22 October 2012, 75% of the roof went down along with a big part of the façade.

But the house can still be saved. It took one president in the past to rebuild the Rizal Shrine in Calamba. Now, we call on our president to step in and help save and reconstruct this irreplaceable part of our history in Biñán. A fitting honor for a mother of a national hero.

PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION BY CLICKING HERE!

¡Viva San Pedro Calungsod!

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VATICAN City, 21 October 2012 — The Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI praised the “heroic courage” and “tenacious profession of faith” of Filipinos’ second saint, Pedro Calungsod, during the homily at today’s mass.

In his homily for the canonization ceremony, the Holy Father recalled the life of Saint Pedro in the Marianas mission.

“His desire to win souls for Christ… made him resolute in accepting martyrdom,” he said.

Key in Pope Benedict’s exhortation on the young martyr is the special circumstances of his death – that he could have decided to leave Fr. Diego de San Vitores, but decided to stay on.

Making a direct appeal to modern-day Filipinos, he said, “May the example and courageous witness of Pedro Calungsod inspire the dear people of the Philippines to announce the Kingdom bravely and to win souls for God!”

The Holy Father also praised Pedro and the six other new saints, for their “…heroic courage, [spending] their lives in total consecration to the Lord and generous service of their brethren.”

Hopefully, the example of Saint Pedro, “will inspire the dear people of the Philippines to announce the Kingdom bravely and win souls for God,” added the Holy Father.

Besides being a day of celebration for the Church because of the canonization, October 21 is also celebrated this year as World Mission Sunday. (Aaron James R. Veloso, taken from CBCP Online Radio).

Kevin Alas (/a.las/) is king of NCAA, not Kevin Alás (/aˈlas/)

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I’m not a big fan of hoop games, but I do watch it on TV only when I chance upon family members playing live. I’m referring to multi-titled basketball head coach Louie Alas (dad’s younger brother) and his intimidating Letranista kids Junjun and Kevin. Their team, the formidable Letrán Knights, is currently vying for the final championship slot to conclude the 88th season of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

My wife dwarfed by my cager cousins. Left to right: Junjun, Yeyette, Kevin, and Kenneth.

Last night, during the Final Four playoffs against the San Sebastián Stags, Kevin was waxing it hot for he was sinking treys from everywhere beyond the arc as if there’s no tomorrow. All throughout the game, he was a rampaging nightmare for the Stags, finishing a career-high 43 points. And hours after the game, he was still trending in Twitter and other social media, something extremely rare for a collegiate cager.

But no, this is not exactly the main reason why I’m writing about basketball. I just have to stroke a pet peeve of mine. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s the commentating. Well, not the whole commentary per se. I’d care less for the whole world whether or not they’re speaking niceties towards each other or screaming in awe for every field goal and kicked groins during game time. What I don’t like is how they pronounce our last name: ALAS. For the record, our last name is Spanish, and in that language it means “wings”. Hence, it should be pronounced as AH-las (/a.las/) and not a-LAS (/aˈlas/). The latter pronunciation is used only during card games (in that sense, Alas means “Ace”). The broadcasting team must have been thinking of Tong-its all the time whenever my cousins are strutting their stuff on the hardcourt. Cayá lang ang saquít talagá sa teñga, eh. I’m pretty sure they’d feel the same way if I murder their last names too.

To all basketball commentators in both the NCAA and the PBA (for Uncle Louie is now part of Alaska Ace’s coaching staff), this is something for you to chew over.

On a side note, I was surprised that this season’s NCAA theme is in Spanish: ¡CELEBRAMOS 88! Conquistar por tu honor nuevas glorias (To conquer new glories for your honor). But all that wonderment ceased when I learned that the host school was Colegio de San Juan de Letrán, my Uncle and cousins’ team school.

Wow! I didn’t know that this season’s theme is in Spanish! Cool!

The theme is actually culled from the school’s hymn which is still in Spanish.

I’m glad that Letrán still keeps their Filipino Identity alive, albeit just the name and the school. Unlike the rather sorry case for Universidad de Santo Tomás. Some pathetic officials there in the past (and may God bless and forgive them for their linguistic and nationalistic treason) opted to anglicize the name of the university, thus the laughable change to University of Santo Tomas. The name is actually Spanglish, the next step towards pidginization, my golly! ¡Ang saquít sa teñga! And to think that this learning institution is Asia’s first university and was given the ever prestigious title La Real y Pontificia Universidad. 😦

If Rizal were alive today, he would have been thankful to have left that university abruptly.

¡ARRIBA LETRÁN!

Latino Pride

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¡Feliz Día De La Hispanidad!

Day of Action vs. Cybercrime Law

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Citizens, netizens set Oct 2 Day of Action vs. Cybercrime Law
Maui Hermitanio

Groups opposing Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Law signed by President Benigno Aquino III, will troop to the Supreme Court on Tuesday, October 2, to challenge the law which they say violates the people’s constitutional right to free speech and free expression.

The Day of Action against Aquino’s Cybercrime Law is supported by umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), Kabataan Partylist, Computer Professionals Union (CPU) and other cause-oriented organizations. Bloggers and netizens will also join the activity.

Bayan will urge the Supreme Court to give due course to all the petitions filed and will be filed against the draconian cybercrime law.

Five petitions against the controversial cybercrime law were filed at the Supreme Court.

“The new cybercrime law reeks with potential violations of our constitutional rights including our right to privacy and right against unreasonable searches and seizures,” said Renato Reyes, secretary general of Bayan.

Click here for more.

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