A bittersweet week for Mindanao

Last week, I went to General Santos City, the hometown of Manny Pacquiao. I went there not because I’m his relative (though some would insist I’m a dead ringer of the champ). Pacquiao’s victory is good news for us Filipinos who have been to some bad experiences since March 26 (start of the two-day forest fire in Mt. Apo, the highest peak in the country.

When I stayed with my relatives’ house for more than a week, aside from experiencing the oven-like temperature of GenSan (with maximum index of 40 degrees Celsius average). I have all the time to watch news and entertainment in the television. There was an ugly incident with protesters who blocked a national highway in Kidapawan City. They were complaining about the insufficient support from the government to farmers suffering from drought because of El Niño. It turned into a bloody dispersal, leaving some protesters dead and plenty wounded with some cops in ICU because of mauling. Reports said that the farmers were mixed with communist propagandists with their own agenda. The leaders or the protest organizers needs to be held responsible. Of course, the PNP must be held accountable too of their failed “maximum tolerance”. Somehow, this is an indication of the indifference of ” some” public officials.

Good news here in the Kidapawan incident is that private sectors outpoured their support towards the plight of these poor farmers. Some peacekeepers negotiated between the police and the farmers, telling the latter not to block the highwamotivatese midst of incompetence in the part of public officials, many from the private sector and showing concern not for their own agenda but because they want to help the poor farmers who are affected by the dry spell. This should be a wake up call for aspiring candidates who will take the seats in the government. Their power must be their means go serve the people particularly the oppressed sector of our society such as the farmers.

This social problems motivate me to push through in working in the education sector. I must remember that I am responsible in molding the consciences of future politicians, farmers, policemen, and peacekeepers.

The Marist Youth Festival 2012


Collection of my Reflection Paper as a Marist Novice Number 1: The Marist Youth Festival 2012

It’s just a copy and paste blog post. No editing. Just as it was written last Monday.

Just a reminder. There are some religious thoughts here regarding my Roman Catholic/Christian faith. I think it’s a first time for me to post something about my faith here in blogosphere. Anyhow, I hope you read. If you don’t, then no worries. Enjoy!

December 3, 2012

Joining the Marist Youth Festival (MYF) last November 29-December 1 reminded me of my own experience at the Marist Youth Congress (MYC) last February 2005 in Marbel. That time, I originally did not intend to join since it wasn’t my own idea to attend the event. I learned about it when my father said that Br. Pepito, a Religion teacher of Year 10 students, wants to meet me at the Marist Brothers Residence. Because my father just simply said that I go there, I don’t know why I was called. So when I finally met him, I learned why; my father recommended me to join the MYC. I do not really disagree with it but upon hearing that it will be held on Mindanao, I wanted to decline since I have my prejudices of the area. On that meeting, I was not able to decline his invitation since it’s really hard for me to say no, not just with him but with other people as well, so maybe that’s why I said a halfhearted yes. Aside from not being able to say no, the idea of meeting new people from different places attracted me. Well, not really. I think it’s the idea of meeting girls that attracted me since I still remember thinking about it as a 15-year-old preadolescent boy. And when I participated in the MYC, met some girls and got some contact numbers, my goal was accomplished. Of course, not all participants think like me and I won’t be able to think about it every day during my one week stay at BuDa (Bukidnon-Davao), General Santos City, and Marbel. All of them in Mindanao. Kidding aside, festive gathering events like this really attract young people. I know because I myself got attracted. It entices the youth because of the opportunity to have fun, join the festive spirit, and meet new people.

Now, as a novice and a facilitator, my motivations in attending and even my perspective towards a Marist youth gathering changed. Continue reading