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Monthly Archives: December 2012

2012 Filipino Of The Year — Jesse Robredo!

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FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES and ALAS FILIPINAS bestows their first posthumous Filipino of the Year award to the late Secretary of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Jesús “Jesse” Robredo y Manalastás, PLH (27 May 1958 – 18 August 2012).

Last 18th of August, the Piper PA-34-200 Seneca I aircraft carrying Secretary Robredo crashed off the shore of Masbate Island. He was about to go home to watch his daughter’s swimming competition in his beloved Naga City, Camarines Sur where he was elected mayor in 1988 at the age of 29. He was said to be the youngest mayor in Philippine History, but that is false – remember that the country’s first president, Emilio Aguinaldo, served as Cavite El Viejo‘s capitán municipal (formerly known as gobernadorcillo, equivalent to today’s town mayor) when he was only 26 years old… but that’s another story.

FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES and ALAS FILIPINAS do not believe in posthumous awards. Honors ought to be given to an awardee while he is still alive. But this one has to be an exception. Let us admit it: Mr. Robredo was not as popular today when he was alive. Stories about his exceptional leadership began to surface only after his tragic demise. Nevertheless, all those stories and testimonies about him are true. He really was an exceptional local executive. The people of Naga City gave him a mandate of two three-term reigns (1988-1998, 2001-2010) before he was appointed as DILG secretary last 9 July 2010.

Thank you, sir Jesse, for inspiring Filipino politicians to practice good governance and to be with the masses at all times.

In this era of government ineptness, neglect, and corruption people search for role models who can show the difference. Robredo became one such model. Amidst the ostentatious and scandal-ridden lifestyle of most public officials, Robredo’s was special. Public service, however, is not only about transparency but bringing about lasting social and economic change.

Bicol Today


Fire destroys 400-year-old San Pedro Apóstol Church in Vinzons, Camarines Norte…

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This is horrible. Just horrible… Somebody has to be held accountable in order for this not to happen again!

Fire destroys 400-year-old church in Bicol

December 26, 2012 9:27 a.m.

A fire believed caused by an electrical overload destroyed a 400-year-old church in Camarines Norte province before dawn Wednesday.

The fire destroyed the San Pedro Apóstol church in Vinzons town, according to a report by radio dzBB’s Bícol affiliate.Parish priest Fr. Francisco Regala Jr. said the fire occurred between 1 and 2 a.m., adding they were not able to save the church’s historical artifacts.An initial investigation showed the fire started at the convent library and spread to the other parts of the church.

The fire reached the second alarm before it was put out at 5:30 a.m. Arson investigators are verifying information the fire stemmed from an electrical overload.

The report said the church was built in 1611. — LBG, GMA News

Iglesia de San Pedro Apóstol, Vinzons, Camarines Norte (photo courtesy of Pinoy Adventurista).

Sayang at di co pa mandín naquita itó. At the very least, this sacred heritage site was able to celebrate its last Christmas…

Many churches all over the Philippines have experienced the same fate during the Spanish, US, and Japanese eras. Even in modern times, accidental fires happen. But this is the first time that I’ve heard a heritage site to be gutted down by fire in modern times. Reckless, indeed.

Here in La Laguna province where I live, the churches of Biñán, Los Baños, and Liliw suffered the same tragedy. Nevertheless, they were able to rise from the ashes. Among the three mentioned, Liliw is a fine example. It was gutted down during the Tagalog rebellion sometime in 1898. It was reconstructed and was able to revive its Filhispanic architecture.

I pray that the San Pedro Apóstol Church in Vinzons, Camarines Norte would be able to revive its Baroque-style architecture soon. And in the new historical marker, they may add 26 December 2012 as an infamous date in the church’s four-century existence.

I wonder if this accident also happens in heritage sites abroad.

Christmas 2012!

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Merry Christmas to everyone who reads this!

By the way… please say at least a little prayer for our fellow Filipinos in Mindanáo, send donations, whatever. Just remember that while you are comfortably enjoying the Holiday Season with your loved ones, the victims of Typhoon Pablo aren’t that fortunate. We’re all in this together. Please remember them.

Happy Birthday to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

God Created Physics

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Pepe Alas

(For Laiza)

God created physics
He created trees
He created memories
Before we could say “please”

God made love and physics
Before the universe
And out of this black hearse
A scented sparkling verse

God made love with physics
Eschewed the universe
Before we could say “please”
He benighted trees


Copyright © 2010
José Mario Alas
Manila, Philippines
All rights reserved.

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