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Category Archives: Filipino Of The Year

2013 Filipino Of The Year — Fr. Jojo Zerrudo!

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Me and Yeyette with our spiritual hero at the Holy Family Church in Roxas District, Cubáo, Quezon City where he currently serves as parish priest. (08/04/2013)

For this year, FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES and ALAS FILIPINAS are so proud to bestow their (not-that-famous-yet) Filipino of the Year award to Fr. Michell Joe Zerrudo!

Fr. Jojo truly deserves this soon-to-be-prestigious online award (wish) not because he officiated that classic “Wedding of the Year” in San Pedro Tunasán (which has just become a city, by the way), La Laguna province last September. It’s because he has exemplified through his life, thoughts, and works the virtues of what a COMPLETE Filipino truly is. He has also been featured several times by the media throughout the year, making curious folk sit up and take notice of this humble servant of the Lord. In that regard, may they all be inspired by him to become better persons the way he has inspired the owner of the above-mentioned blogs, together with his family, to become better Christians.

My disappointment was that in teaching high school, I realized that the students (even of Catholic schools) have the impression that the Spanish friars were all corrupt and they did nothing good for us. I always ask: give me a name of a Spanish friar you know… and they will all say in unison: “Padre Damaso”. Padre Damaso??? A fictitious character of Rizal’s novel??? Students do not know how to discern fact from fiction. Even if they say that Rizal recanted just before his execution, his Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo continue to exert his Masonic influence on young minds.

—Fr. Jojo Zerrudo—

That’s a courageous “against-the-flow” remark from the ranks of today’s much-maligned. Sa totoó láng, isáng tunay na Filipino na lamang ang puedeng macapágsalita ng ganián ñgayón. I bet even Rizal himself would have agreed with him. ‘Nuff said.

Congratulations, Fr. Jojo! May this award win you and your “TLM Team” a trip to Amanpulo! :D

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

2011 Filipino Of The Year — The Filipino People!

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For the second time, FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES and ALAS FILIPINAS have unanimously chosen the Filipino People to win the 2011 FILIPINO OF THE YEAR! The decision is very simple: because once again, the Filipino people has joined hands in helping out their fellow Filipinos in Northern Mindanáo (Cagayán de Oro and nearby towns such as Iligan) who were victimized by the flash floods caused by Typhoon Sendong (and deforestation) last December 16. Thousands of people lost their lives. Countless more lost their homes and properties. Northern Mindanáo was almost an apocalyptic scene right after the typhoon left. Hopelessness seemed to reign supreme.

But like what happened two years ago, almost the whole country immediately came to rescue their southern brothers through various donations online as well as online petitions and campaigns seeking for more assistance. This is a proud moment for the Filipino, known for its bayanihan spirit.

Nevertheless, more help is still needed. Northern Mindanáo is still reeling from the devastation of the flash floods. More help should pour in. Can we revive the region? Yes we can! And we are already working on it!

Please click here on how to help the typhoon/flash floods victims.

Congratulations to the Filipino people! May we all have a happy and prosperous new year!

*******

2010 FILIPINO OF THE YEAR
2009 FILIPINO OF THE YEAR

Nanay Norma’s critical condition

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I was supposed to share good tidings today, particularly about the meeting I had almost 24 hours ago with my compañeros regarding the founding of our new group/website. But that has to come later.

Because I think my abuelita‘s life is hanging on the balance.

Although bound to a wheelchair, she still looked rather healthy when I took this photo of her last 12/10/2010 in front of her house in Unisan, Tayabas/Quezon.

My dad’s mother, my beloved abuelita, is confined (for the nth time) in Makati Medical center, this time in the hospital’sintensive care unit (ICU).

According to mom, my dad (he’s been taking care of grandmother for the past few years in Unisan) has been sending SMS messages to her in Manila, telling her of abuela‘s worsening condition. She suddenly started to weaken right after the Holidays. She was sent promptly to Makati Med last Thursday (1/27/2010) Wednesday (1/26/2011).

My grandmother, affectionately called Nanay Norma by many people, is diabetic. Through the years, the dreaded disease has contributed much to her debilitation. And aside from old age, mobility changed abruptly by an accident last year; she fell from her bed, fracturing her hips.

When me and Yeyette visited her this evening, I was shocked with what I saw. I immediately placed myself in self-denial. This could not be my grandmother who showered me with so much affection and love… for why couldn’t she speak to me (when she was hospitalized last year, she could still talk coherently)?! Also, it was my first time inside an intensive care unit. Many “hoses and wires” were connected to her semi-bloated right arm and nostrils; she was undergoing intravenous therapy. And worse, she was moaning. She could hardly speak anymore, as if she’s suffering from “reverse trismus”: her jaw won’t shut. And I could hardly understand what she was saying. She was moaning because of breathing difficulties. And she appeared to be in so much pain. It all appeared so surreal, so unreal. It was just a month ago that I was talking to her! I so could not believe what I was seeing that all the tears that supposed to well up in me fell instead from Yeyette’s eyes.

Thankfully, my grandmother immediately recognized me in spite of her drowsiness caused by drugs.

I later learned that she has pneumonia, the same ailment that killed her husband, my late grandfather Godofredo Alas y Sarmiento, in 1997.

Dad is the only one there at the hospital who is taking care of her when we arrived. Uncle Louie was also there, paying a visit. Soon, my mom and two sisters arrived.

For the benefit of all Alas and Évora family members, below is a photo of grandma’s cardiac monitor (a usual fixature in many a hospital scene in the country, especially when one of the film’s character is about to give up the ghost). Her status will also be described below the photo:

My grandmother's cardiac monitor. This is a necessary equipment in intensive care units.

My wife took the above photo of my grandmother’s cardiac monitor before we left last night. The green graph represents her pulse rate; the normal rate is from 60 to 100. The yellow graph represents her respiratory rate; the normal rate is from 20 to 25. 102/46 (the numbers in red) represents her blood pressure. Her blood sugar is (59), but it should be maintained at 80.

However, when we got home (a few hours ago), we received an SMS (11:26 PM) from my sister Jessica: abuela‘s blood pressure worsened — it dropped to 68/46!

It’s now 4:16 AM. Time to go to sleep. We plan to go back there this afternoon; it’s dad’s 59th birthday today. Such a bad timing to cheer him up. Nevertheless, we’ll be there. We should be there.

And I’d like to whisper to Nanay Norma’s large Hispanic ears that we will attend her 81st birthday in Unisan. And that she should be there to host it.

*******

A thousand thanks to our relatives who already visited. Thank you for your prayers and moral support:
Captain Ernesto Alas
Tito Monching Alas
Ate Lilet Alas de Fernández
Uncle Paul Évora III
Tita Corina Unson (Thank you so much for Saint Anne’s oil!)

May God bless you every single day of your lives. =)

2010 Filipino of The Year — President Noynoy Aquino!

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For the hope and inspiration that he gave to politics- and poverty- weary Filipinos during the last presidential elections, FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES and ALAS FILIPINAS would like to honor President BENIGNO SIMEÓN III AQUINO Y COJUANGCO this year’s not-so-prestigious (but soon to be!) 2010 FILIPINO OF THE YEAR!

Thank you, President Noynoy, for inspiring the Filipinos to move forward with optimism and hope. That is so important to a nation long battered with all sorts of bull. But not all presidential reigns end up in roses; remember your unpopular predecessor and her predecessor, most especially. So we will be watching — and continue hoping. And as long as you remain steadfast —and sincere— to your promises of a corrupt-free Philippines, then the whole nation will continue to rally behind you.

May all Filipinos welcome 2011 the way they welcomed Noynoy to Malacañang many months ago!

*******

2009 FILIPINO OF THE YEAR

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