Friday, February 23, 2018


The Great Unwashed and social injustice

WHAT do you think could stir a boulevard leper, a shanty resident and a gutter plebian to unrest and resistance these days?

Perhaps Ninoy Aquino, in one of his many sorties in the impoverished barrios of Tarlac, may have figured out the best answer when he was the province’s youngest governor back then.

The columnist-biographer Manuel F. Martinez, whom I met two years ago when I repackaged the cover of the Divine Mercy comic book, quoted Ninoy in his 1987 opus, The Grand Collision: Aquino vs. Marcos, as saying, “The Filipino is not afraid of poverty. What he is afraid of is social injustice.”

Ninoy, the firebrand orator and popular martyr, has every reason to gloat from Up There. Branded during his time as a “communist coddler” by President Ferdinand Marcos, he may be witnessing a repeat of social injustice in disturbing proportions nowadays.

The tragedy of Mariannet Amper

CHILDREN are very dependent by nature and because of their fragility, the simplest problems that a normal adult can handle and survive will readily overwhelm their innocent minds. Therefore, children need the steadfast support of their family and friends. But what happens when the family fails to provide that support?

A tragic headline was the alleged suicide of Mariannet Amper, a sixth-grader from Davao City who reportedly hanged herself last November. Basing from her alleged journal entries and a letter addressed to a public service television program, Amper seriously lamented her family’s poverty, underscored when her father told her he could not give her the P100 she needed for a school project. The 12-year-old girl was found a day later inside their makeshift house hanging by a thin nylon rope wrapped around her neck.

Upholding freedom

THE MANILA Peninsula incident last November 29 has exposed again not only the problematic state of Philippine constitutional democracy, but also the problematic relations between the state and the press.

The fact that Sen. Antonio Trillanes and Gen. Danilo Lim, both facing charges in connection with the Oakwood incident in 2003, were able to walk out of the court that was hearing the charges against them and march to the five-star hotel unchallenged should show that there might be some strong sympathy yet for military adventurism not only among soldiers and officers themselves but also among the civilian sector whose authority is exactly challenged and undermined by military messianism.

CFAD tries to heal music through visual arts

A RECENT EXHIBIT by 24 College of Fine Arts and Design (CFAD) Advertising seniors recently deplored the endangered art of musical lyric-writing.

MuSick (which stands for “sickness in music”) ran November 9 to 29 at the Fashion Art Gallery in Quezon City. It consisted of paintings, installations and photographs evoking the power of traditional music lyrics.

“We want to campaign for the revival of the lost beauty of most songs today,” Jorelli Griffin San Juan said.

Conrad Lachica’s painting, “Inharmonious Tune,” depicts an antique radio playing a song that irks listeners. Lachica’s work is critical of the cacophony of contemporary music.

Idiotic TV on Music Box, also by Lachica’s, shows people becoming dim-witted while listening to senseless lyrics.

Beatified UST martyrs honored in Mass

LAST October 28, the biggest beatification ceremony in the Church’s history was celebrated at St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican.

That day, 498 martyrs from the religious persecution during the Spanish Civil War (1933-1937) were beatified in a ceremony presided by Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, the prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of the Saints. Among the new martyrs were eight Dominicans who had worked or studied in the Philippines; six of them had worked in the University of Santo Tomas.

Honesty in faculty research stressed

FOR THE thrifty student, buying a costly book for a research requirement is unlikely. Instead, he or she would rather go to the nearest copier and have the entire material at a fraction of cost.

With photocopying prevalent in the campus, laws protecting intellectual property are subsequently rendered irrelevant, if not obscure, according to an official of the Intellectual Property Office (IPO).

“When using literary, artistic and scientific works as reference materials for research, the copyright often becomes an issue,” said lawyer Ireneo Galicia, deputy director-general of the IPO, who discussed intellectual property laws and the process of securing patents for inventions during the opening of the month-long celebration of the 45th anniversary of the Research Center for Natural Sciences at the Thomas Aquinas Research Complex auditorium last November 13.

Inside job seen in P6-M bank heist

ROBBERS took P6.2 million from a teller of the Security Bank branch inside the campus in a daring heist last December 10 that has again rung the alarm bells on the level of security in the University. This early, police are looking at an inside job, and are wondering why blue guards around campus were oblivious to the major security breach.

According to the police report, bank teller Ma. Khristine Ajero and security escort Roger Anguilan were on their way to the bank after collecting P4.5 million in cash and P1.7 million in checks from UST Hospital when two men wielding high-powered guns blocked their way.

One of the robbers grabbed the money bags and then escaped along with his partner, riding separately in motorcycles toward Dapitan Street. The head of the UST security office, Clemente Dingayan, said four men carried out the heist, based on initial findings.

Thomasian grievance system underscored

MARLON (not his real name), an irregular junior student recently experienced shabby treatment from a professor, who allegedly kept on “ignoring” his appeal to change his “incomplete” grade after submitting all the requirements in the subject.

On Bonifacio Day, Apostol tellsEducation reforms vital

“TODAY we may be free of military abuse but government remains abusive and so inefficient that suffering predominates among the poor and the future looks bleak and worrisome.”

These were the words of veteran Thomasian journalist Eugenia “Eggie” Duran Apostol which received a loud applause from the crowd at the 21st anniversary of the Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation held at the Bantayog Memorial Center in Diliman, Quezon City last November 30.

Thomasian is first Pinoy ‘queen of pain’

FILIPINOS tend to endure body pains for various reasons.

This was the observation made by Thomasian anesthesiologist Dr. Jocelyn Que, the first Filipino overseas-trained expert in Pain Management.

“Some Filipinos endure pain because they believe it is a sort of atonement for their sins, while unfortunately some bear the pain because they avoid costly medication,” Que told the Varsitarian. “Pain is commonly experienced by the vulnerable population which includes the children, women, and the elderly.”

But now that the relatively new field of pain management is slowly making some headway in the country, Filipinos need not to endure pain for long.

Pain management, according to Que, aims to reduce the pain to comfortable levels so that the patient can function normally.

Pain is generally untreated worldwide and most of the time, its treatment is only secondary to the sickness of a patient, she said.