If, like me, you were a baby (or perhaps not of this world yet) when the first People Power (EDSA I) occurred and didn’t really know all that much about the late Corazon C. Aquino, then go no further and watch the videos below.

What you have just viewed was a historic speech given by President Aquino before a joint session of the United States Congress on September 18, 1986, about seven months after the People Power Revolution. (Full text of the speech can be found here.) It was a very well-delivered speech, and it essentially tells her story, the story of her slain husband Ninoy, and the story of the Filipino people as it rallied to peacefully oust President Marcos from power. I particularly liked this portion of the speech:

“Whenever I went in the campaign — slum area or impoverished village — they came to me with one cry: Democracy. Not food — although they clearly needed it — but Democracy. Not work — although they surely wanted it — but Democracy. Not money, for they gave what little they had to my campaign. They didn’t expect me to work a miracle that would instantly put food into their mouths, clothes on their back, education for their children and give them work that will put dignity in their lives. But I feel the pressing obligation to respond quickly as the leader of the people so deserving of all these things.”

This is all well and good, but I wonder how President Aquino was personally like. Fortunately I can rely on stories from my family to shed some light. An excerpt from a recent article my aunt wrote for Panorama Magazine:

“I remember my mother talking fondly about President Cory. They went to the same beauty salon. There, they would greet each other and exchange niceties. “She’s so simple and so human,” my mother gushed. And this is what made Corazon the heart of the nation – her humanity. It shone in the way she’d smile at people. It shone in how she stood up to every challenge and yet still knew that the world never owed her any favors. It revealed itself up to her last day on earth – thinking and asking about other people rather than looking inward in her own state of woe.”

“She was grace and courage personified.”

And for those in my generation/future generations, I feel that my cousin Kuya Carlo summed it up quite nicely in his recent blog post. An excerpt:

“President Aquino wasn’t your perfect leader. She didn’t know all the numbers. But she did one of the best things in the history of this country. She gave us back our freedom. I believe that it’s because of her that we’re all enjoying life so much these days. In fact, without Cory, I don’t think former Presidents Ramos, Estrada, and even Arroyo would be able to perform as they did in their terms.”

“The next time you go out and enjoy a night with your friends, or you’re surfing for videos on the internet, or even just watching your favorite TV program… pause a while. Remember President Aquino and just thank her for her sacrifice.”

And the people did and will continue to do so.


From my recent blog post “One year to God knows what”:

A brief two-sentence background: The 1987 Philippine Constitution limits the president to a single term of 6 years. Therefore, the current president, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, cannot run in 2010 (unless they do something crazy like change up the constitution through Charter Change or something like that).

Well, after what happened today, that “something crazy” might actually happen. Excerpts from the full Inquirer article follow. Also check out my Kuya Carlo’s new media blog post re: some politicians micro-blogging their feelings on HR 1109 via Facebook.

House rams through Con-ass resolution

Nograles: Arroyo told allies to push HR 1109
By Gil C. Cabacungan Jr., Leila Salaverria, Lira Dalangin-Fernandez
Philippine Daily Inquirer INQUIRER.net
Posted date: June 03, 2009

MANILA, Philippines—Using their massive numbers, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s allies in the House of Representatives Tuesday night crushed all objections and passed a resolution setting up a constituent assembly (Con-ass) amid opposition warnings it would allow Ms Arroyo to stay in power beyond 2010.
In a marathon session that dragged toward midnight, a former administration stalwart, ousted Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr., lambasted the majority vote as “a charade.”


Approval of House Resolution No. 1109 empowered Congress to convene itself into a Con-ass in which members of the House and the Senate would vote jointly—not separately—to amend the 1987 Constitution.

Senators have said this would render the upper chamber inutile because the larger House membership could override any Senate objections to proposed amendments.

“This means that under 1109, we are opening the entire Constitution to amendments …. This is where Malacañang’s agenda to keep President Arroyo in power will come in,” Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Teodoro Casiño warned the chamber before the House leadership pushed through with the vote.


He said the members of the majority voted for HR 1109 on pain of losing their pork barrel.

He said one of the sponsors of the resolution had admitted on the floor that the “whereas clause” in the resolution that prohibits the term extension of the incumbent president and vice president, senators, congressmen, mayors and other elected officials whose term will expire in 2010, and that there would be elections in 2010 was “not binding.”


Gabriela party-list Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan called the proceedings a “night of ignominy” where the administration allies once again used their numbers to push their agenda.

“Tonight we witnessed a railroading,” Ilagan declared on the floor.


With the resolution’s passage, Nueva Ecija Rep. Eduardo Nonato Joson likened the country to a woman fighting off a rapist, saying “Huwag po kuya [Please don’t, sir].”

“Let us not gang rape our Constitution,” he said.


After an early afternoon caucus, the majority decided to tackle HR 1109 ahead of the other contentious measures pending on the floor, such as the bills on the right of reply and on the extension of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

Speaker Prospero Nograles then announced that the Tuesday plenary session would be devoted to HR 1109. As of 4:30 p.m., 211 lawmakers were present.

Critics have also warned that HR 1109 is a veiled attempt to stop the May 2010 elections and lift term limits on elected officials, including Ms Arroyo.

The original author of the measure, Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Villafuerte, had withdrawn support for it. He said he expected the resolution to be challenged in the Supreme Court.


Arroyo’s tacit approval

The President herself gave tacit approval for Lakas-Kampi-CMD allies in the House to push for the passage of HR 1109, according to Nograles.

He said the decision to push for HR 1109 over his own HR 737—which seeks to lift constitutional limits on foreign investments through regular legislation, or the “fourth mode” of Charter change—was reached during the official merger on Thursday of the ruling parties Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats and Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi).

“The leaders of Lakas and Kampi decided in that meeting that this is one of the things that we will push for. I will not deny that she (the President) was present when we decided on that, but she did not say anything,” Nograles said in an interview.


‘That’s nothing’

Informed late Tuesday of the House plenary discussions on HR 1109, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile responded with a shrug.

“Wala yun (That’s nothing). How can they do it?” he told reporters.

Enrile reiterated the senators’ position that the House move to amend the Constitution without Senate participation was “an exercise in futility.”

“They need the Senate,” he said. “It’s impossible for them to accomplish that. Huwag ninyo nang pag-abalahan yan (Don’t bother with it).”


‘Easy’ resolution

(…)Asked if the constituent assembly would be convened after the approval of HR 1109, Nograles said he did not think so.

“Maybe after we come back [at the resumption of the session]. Maybe after the SONA (State of the Nation Address),” he said.

If HR 1109 is approved, Nograles will call for a leadership meeting to discuss the next steps.

“It would have to be implemented. How, I don’t know,” he said.

Interior Secretary Puno said the Philippines would “completely lose its credibility” before the international community if it flip-flopped on its assurance on the holding of elections next year.


A winner @ Cannes

(from Mark Hernandez, TP Class of 2006)

Love it or hate it, we have a Filipino winner at film festival of all film festivals.

At Cannes, director Brillante Mendoza was awarded best director for his dark dark movie, Kinatay.
Kinatay, which translates from Tagalog, into “butchered” is a severely graphic depiction delving into societal corruption.

Mendoza is no rookie to Cannes. Last year, he served us, Serbis, a ground-level look into a family run adult cinema house. That movie polarized audiences last year. It appears, Mendoza turned up a notch this year.

I have always had a greater interest in following the politics of the Philippines than the politics of the United States. Actually, the gap between the two was pretty big for me until the 2008 US presidential elections. Notwithstanding my past family involvement there, I’ve always thought that the drama, corruption, and unpredictability of Philippine politics was downright fascinating and depressing at the same time.

So if you aren’t in to it yet, I’ll be posting here throughout the year to make you aware of it (if it’s OK with TPTB, of course). Why, you ask?

Well, today, 5/11/09, we are exactly one year away from the 2010 Philippine presidential elections. And personally, I think you should always know at least a little bit of what’s currently going on in your motherland.

A brief two-sentence background: The 1987 Philippine Constitution limits the president to a single term of 6 years. Therefore, the current president, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, cannot run in 2010 (unless they do something crazy like change up the constitution through Charter Change or something like that).

To mark the occasion of being one year away from God knows what, ANC (a cable news network operated by ABS-CBN) held a televised Leadership Forum at Ateneo de Manila University. They gathered a group of Philippine leaders for this panel discussion/one-on-one interviews (largely attended by Ateneo college students). These men pretty much all have presidential aspirations (though they don’t really have to make it official until later on in the process).

These people included:

Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero

Senator Richard “Dick” Gordon

Pampanga Governor Eddie “Among Ed” Panlilio

Senator Manuel “Mar” Araneta Roxas III

Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, Jr.

The following were invited but were unable to attend:

Vice President Noli de Castro

Senator Loren Legarda

Senator Manuel Villar

Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Bayani Fernando

A full recap on what happened in this forum can be found here. I’ll probably be doing profiles on some of these guys soon, but for the meantime, here are some clips on the forum itself (in Tagalog):


I really wanted to insert the Flash interactive Twitter plugin, but I don’t think I can do that w/ my current blog setup.  So the text box will have to do.

So, please, go ahead and follow if you wish. I’m probably going to be updating that more frequently than the blog itself (unless I can get some help =P)

(Credit to the Twitter avatar photo goes to whoever made the TP Alumni Association t-shirt design from a couple years ago)

I hope you don’t mind the cosmetic changes I just made to the blog. I wanted to make it look cleaner, and besides, I was getting tired of the old theme.

First, I want to congratulate all of TP on pulling off a great PACN yet again. Having been through 3 PACNs, I recognize and appreciate the effort and dedication required to put on such a display of Filipino-American culture, and I feel I can safely speak for my fellow alumni brethren who witnessed this year’s PACN and say that we can only wish our Muslim suite renditions were as epic as yours.

Now going back to the blog. I need to update a couple of things here and there, and I’m going to need help, especially from TP actives. As I become more further removed from my college years, my ability to update/change certain things becomes more and more dependent on those who are actually still in college and still in TP. So as long as I primarily maintain this blog, I’m going to make this an annual thing, as TP goes through its annual transitory period from this school year to the next.

  1. The links to Filipino Collegiate Organizations need to be updated. I usually update this annually, but it requires a good chunk of time browsing the web for all these organizations, and my being a working man doesn’t afford me much time to do this anymore. So, if you notice a broken link, know the updated web address of a certain organization, or know of an organization that needs to be added, please let me know by commenting on this post. (My general rule of thumb is that I won’t link to any organizations that have not updated their sites for more than a year.)
  2. The TP Wiki is in desperate need of an update. It’s better that it gets updated by the actives who would obviously know more than me about the ins and outs of the process of producing DGM for example. Since I started the Wiki back in 2006, I still have admin privileges to it, so if you want to help with updating the Wiki go here, sign up (if you don’t already have a Wikispaces account), and go right ahead (or just comment below with your email and I’ll send you an invite). You may update any aspect of the Wiki as you please — the more, the better.
  3. Last, I want to encourage any TP active or alum (again) to contribute to the content of this blog. Again, I can’t post as much as I want to anymore because of my work responsibilities, and it’d be nice to have something on the blog from a different perspective. You can do this two ways: (1) comment below with your email and I’ll send you an invite so you can have posting privileges to this blog, or (2) email me with your contribution and I’ll post it up for you. Now if you want to go a step further and want to be the primary administrator of this blog (like one of you prospective Community/Culture Chairs, perhaps =P), I can arrange for that to happen too. Just let me know.

Thanks for reading and bearing with me. On my to-do list of posts, whenever I can do them:

  • the reproductive health bill post I told Vic I’d do
  • the PCN scene across America
  • The gathering of forces for the upcoming battle, aka the 2010 Philippine presidential elections =P

2007-04-02 01:35:38 [RJ] I lost my dignity when Carlos pantsed me…=(
2007-04-02 01:12:33 [rj] i left the watch on the dressing room did someone pick it up?
2007-04-02 01:04:00 [Claire] I left my sunglasses on the table in the dressing room. Did anyone happen to pick them up?
2007-04-02 12:25:38 [Charisma] Cristina, I think I may have your makeup bag in the bin in my car. I’ll check soon.
2007-04-01 11:32:55 [Carlos] the podium is in Gods other house…at the UUC

— MSG Lost and Found Page


— Ernie Pena’s MSG photo index

— “The Apartyment” (MSG)


— from the morning before OH

— “I Stole Lola’s Diapers” (OH)


— The GS cast page

“I can tell that something is troubling you, Shaun. Whatever it is, you seem to have internalized it, and thus it is disrupting other aspects of your life–such as your normal behavior and your general happiness. I think you should talk to Sam, maybe even let him know what’s troubling you. Talking about your problems is the best therapy. A wise man once said, ‘What then is the use of conquering our demons, if it so remians that we cannot conquer ourselves.”

GS’s “Kyle” (Rich Saethang)

— “Sing-along” (GS)

A sampling of the things you’ll remember from PACN long after your last dance on the Bovard stage.

Good luck tomorrow TP…I’ll be there cheering you on.

Special shoutout to whoever’s doing backstage…you are not forgotten!=P  (this coming from a backstage “manager” of 3 PACNs)