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Bacolod City, PhilippinesThursday, August 23, 2012

Why we cried for him


For the past week, we have been glued to our TV sets, anxiously watching the search for Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo and the two pilots of the missing light plane that crashed in Masbate waters last Saturday afternoon, with them on board.

As the TV programs showed facets of Robredo’s life and excellent performance as a former mayor of Naga City and later, as DILG secretary, we got to know the kind of man he was and the promise of what he could become. Together with the entire nation, we were hoping against hope that, please God, he would be found alive and safe.

And then came the terrible news, the divers found the missing plane and recovered the body of Sec Jesse. We all felt an overpowering sadness and deep sense of loss for this great man. Stories of Sec Jesse began to unfold. How he was a tireless but simple government official, who would often wander around his beloved Naga City in purontong shorts and slippers, chatting with his constituents who simply adored him.

As mayor of Naga, he transformed this third-class city into a showcase of good governance and growth, thereby earning for him the prestigious Magsaysay Award (otherwise known as Asia’s Nobel Prize). How Sec Jesse would oftentimes surprise his DILG employees by arriving alone for work riding a taxi (he couldn’t wait for his security men to pick him up). Former Isabela Gov. Grace Padaca recalled how they readily forgave him for missing their group meetings when he told them he had to tutor his daughter, who was studying for her exams.

What a rare man he was, so unaffected by the grandeur of his high position. And now that he’s gone, we can only shake our heads and sigh, “What a waste! He could have become a great president someday.”


It was a warm, sunny afternoon when we attended the first anniversary of G.Nise Exquisite Boutique at the 2nd Floor of Balay Quince Bldg., Lacson Street, Bacolod City.

Some of the guests were already there, mostly patrons of beautiful and authentic imported bags Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, Prada, etc. We noticed that there were more new exquisite imported things on sale that are so dear to a woman’s heart.

Building owner Celia Divino was there wearing a smart powder blue outfit. Quick as a flash, G.Nise owner Ging Guiro brought out a matching powder blue Chanel bag that complemented her attire. Now, what fashionista could resist? We had a pleasant time feasting on the merienda cena specially prepared for the occasion.

Kudos to G.Nise Exquisite on its first anniversary. May you have many more to come.*

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Launch of English version
of Hiligaynon novel slated

The English translation of Ramon Muzones’s “Margosatubig”, the first Hiligaynon international best seller, that was done by Ma. Cecilia Locsin-Nava, will be launched by the Negros Museum on August 31, at 5:30 p.m., in Bacolod City, a press release from organizers said.

The novel is a blend of history, legend, romance and epic of a Muslim hero’s struggle to regain Margosatubig, the kingdom his grandfather lost to an ambitious tyrant. It was written after the Second World War, and struck a nationalistic chord with its post-war audience, who read into Muzones’s portrayal of his hero’s repeated efforts to wrest back control of his kingdom the Philippines’ own attempts to ward off successive foreign invasions, the press release also said.

By translating Muzones’s work to English, Nava made the novel available not only to non-Ilonggo–speaking readers, but resulted in the conferment of the Gawad Balagtas Award by the Writers Union of the Philippines in 1988, the Gawad sa Sining trophy by the Cultural Center of the Philippines in 1989, and the Gawad Bonifacio Centennial posthumous award by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts in 1998, to Muzones, who was also declared “The Most Outstanding Hiligaynon Writer of the Century”, the press release said.

Meanwhile, Nava will deliver a lecture on Muzones at 4:30 p.m. today at the University of St. La Salle MM Auditorium. Those interested may contact the Negros Museum at 470-85080, the press release added.*

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Training vs. child
trafficking held

Twenty-five leaders of indigenous peoples’ tribes attended a three-day “Training of Community Educator of IP on Anti-Child Trafficking” at the Technology and Livelihood Development Center of the Negros Occidental Barangay Center in Bacolod City, recently, a press release from the Capitol said.

The IPs came from the Ati, Ata and Bukidnon indigenous cultural communities in the towns of Hinoba-an, Candoni, Isabela, Murcia and Calatrava, and the cities of Kabankalan, Himamaylan, Sagay, Cadiz and Silay.

The activity was initiated by the Philippines Against Child Trafficking.  Topics discussed were the “Review on Human Rights with Reference to Children’s Rights and Effects of Trafficking” by Sheila Grace Formento, PACT national secretariat training officer; and the “Definition of Trafficking in Persons” by Jenie Macalipsay, PACT Negros Occidental treasurer, the press release also said.

The activity was in collaboration with the European Union Delegation to the Philippines, the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples–Negros Occidental Community Service Center, and the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, the press release added.*

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Launch of English version of Hiligaynon novel slated
Training vs. child trafficking held
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