Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson

The world and his billions of fans were shocked upon knowing of the sudden death of the King of Pop Michael Jackson. I am no big fan of him but I grew up with his music. I love his music too. My tribute to the world's greatest artist of all time is this simple graphic art and this blog entry.

When Michael Jackson came to Manila in 1996, he was interviewed by Loren Legarda as what song he would like to dedicate for the Filipino people. "Heal the world," she said to Ms. Legarda. Here are the video and the lyrics:

Heal The World
by Michael Jackson

Spoken by child:
'Think about the generations, and say we wanna make it a better
Place for our children and our children's children, so that they...
They, they... They know it's a better world for them.
And think if they can make it a better place...'

There's a place in your heart
And I know that it is love
And this place could be much
Brighter than tomorrow
And if you really try
You'll find there's no need to cry
In this place you'll feel
There's no hurt or sorrow

There are ways to get there
If you care enough for the living
Make a little space
Make a better place

Heal the world
Make it a better place
For you and for me
And the entire human race
There are people dying
If you care enough for the living
Make a better place
For you and for me

If you want to know why
There's a love that cannot lie
Love is strong
It only cares of joyful giving
If we try we shall see
In this bliss we cannot feel, fear or dread
We stop existing and start living

Then it feels that always
Love's enough for us growing
Make a better world
Make a better world

Heal the world
Make it a better place
For you and for me
And the entire human race
There are people dying
If you care enough for the living
Make a better place
For you and for me

And the dream we were conceived in
Will reveal a joyful face
And the world we once believed in
Will shine again in grace
Then why do we keep strangling life
Wound this earth, crucify its soul
Though it's plain to see
This world is heavenly
Be God's glow

We could fly so high
Let our spirits never die
In my heart
I feel you are all my brothers
Create a world with no fear
Together we'll cry happy tears
See the nations
Turn their swords into plowshares

We could really get there
If you cared enough for the living
Make a little space
To make a better place

Heal the world
Make it a better place
For you and for me
And the entire human race
There are people dying
If you care enough for the living
Make a better place
For you and for me

Heal the world
Make it a better place
(Oh, my friends)
For you and for me
And the entire human race
There are people dying
If you care enough for the living
Make a better place
For you and for me

You and for me
You and for me

Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children...

Very beautiful song... thanks MJ!

Monday, June 22, 2009

June is Environment Month

June is environment month, the time where we obliged to look back as to how our efforts have positively impacted on our environment. Sad to note that so-called development process continues to push our environment to its limits. Forest cover continues to dwindle despite warning on the worsening global warming, pollution remains one of the problems affecting our beaches and marine habitats, aquifers are facing external threats from subdivisions, etc.

The list is long and in fact we don't know if we can really arrest all these problems before the worst happens or anything is too late. Actually, years back, this was the same line of argument we posited. Same rallying point to work for our environment. Nothing much has really changed.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Wasted Lives

My impression on the current unemployment crisis. Let's leave that for a while and let me muse on recent news that greeted us these past days when three soldiers belonging to the 67th Infantry Battalion were slain and three soldiers wounded in two incidents in Davao Oriental and Davao del Norte respectively. I saw the tv reports and all I could do was to shake my head for yet another casualties of this senseless armed conflict.

Killed was 2nd Lieutenant Lucresio Julampong Jr. while Private First Class (PFC) Marvin Parreno, PFC Paul John Fornis, and Private Jerry Lagayan were wounded in the incident. The soldiers were responding to reports that members of the New Peoples Army were in the vicinity of the Sitio Bisay (Barangay Bantawan, Davao Oriental). They accidentally stepped on a claymore mine.

In Davao del Norte, a group of soldiers from the Army's 60th Infantry Battalion was ambushed by armed group believed to belong to NPA while on their way to a village in Talaingod. The ambush killed one 2nd Lieutenant Charlie Salcedo.

All this happened because there is a continuing armed conflict between the Philippine government and the rebel groups. While I respect everybody’s opinion on the cause of this war, I believe this will never do any good to us. It will only encourage more hatred in our hearts, in the hearts of the victims' families, as these meaningless killings continue.

Dark Cloud

See that dark and heavy cloud? I took this photo early this month if memory serves me right. While going out, I saw the black cloud hovering part of Davao.

I can compare this as a symbolism to the challenges that we are facing as a nation in terms of various issues ranging from economic crisis to political issues. For instance, we are having hard time eradicating poverty in our midst. We really need bold programs to wipe out poverty. We need a government that is resolved to solve economic problems in the country alongside with other issues like human rights violations and extra-summary killings taking place across the country.

By the way, we are in a new subdivision. And while it connotes a classy touch, our subdivision which sits in the city's progressive barangay has yet to enjoy development programs like good road network. Now you don't have to go to other places in Mindanao to see how other communities fare. Our condition will give you a glimpse of everything how remote places and communities in the second island of the Philippines are dismally left by so-called development for so long a time now. Amen.

Lumad Communities

The more than two decades of armed conflict in Mindanao is negatively affecting the communities of the indigenous peoples. This is the essence of the cartoon I posted here.

The country has about 18 ethnolinguistic groups, many live in the remote areas in Mindanao and they are always caught in a war not their own making.

Friday, June 12, 2009

My Con-Ass Sticker

I would like to register my protest over the move of the lower house to overhaul the constitution via the constituents assembly through this sticker. Like other Filipino people, I would prefer to support charter change after the May 2010 elections. Not this time, not through the constituents assembly and never with the kind of congressmen we have in the Congress now.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Two Decades as Editorial Cartoonist

June 12 is red-letter day. Not that today is the "111th Philippine Independence Day" but because this is the day that my first editorial cartoon appeared in mainstream publication The Peoples Daily Forum, one of the longest running community papers in Davao City, about two decades ago. I am really grateful to the publisher Mr. Roger Flaviano and his wife Mrs. Dory Flaviano for the opportunity they gave me. While financially the honorarium was never enough, it helped me a lot as a college student then needing additional financial allowance, aside from the chance to share my opinion on various issues.

And guess what, my first editorial cartoon for PDF tackled the issue on so-called "independence day." Actually, I first contributed cartoons to our campus paper, The Crossroads (of the Holy Cross of Davao College), in 1986 until I became part of its editorial staff in 1988. Two decades of drawing various socioeconomic issues has been so enriching for me. I learned many things from this trade. From PDF, I moved in 1990 to the Ang Peryodiko Dabaw (now Sun-Star Davao) as its editorial cartoonist until the present time.

In two decades, I received a number of reviews on my works. Some favored in line with the issue while others reacted strongly to the drawings although not as life-threatening as maybe compared to what other cartoonists face in other countries. But of course I could not forget a warning from a fellow staff about a political figure who was incensed of my series of cartoons. And then I had a long phone conversion with a judge who shared her program concerning the "rogues in robes" referring to some judges who are for a pay. She was prompted to call me when she read a cartoon on the issue. Also there were times that I would be asked to carry out a consistent attack on a political figure during elections. But I refused to join them stressing my point that I would only draw cartoons on valid issues and nothing else regardless of who are the personalities involved.

After 20 years, I would say to myself "PADAYON!" (continue)...

By the way, in the photo above is Pepay, staff of Congressman Proceso Alcala (
Quezon Province District 2). I was there last year when they asked me to do the book design for their sustainable agriculture book.

The Cartoonist in Action

That's me drawing one of the my reactions to the "marriage" of the major political and administration party these past days. The merger merely showcased the true colors of some of our politicians sometimes referred to as "political butterflies" jumping from one political party to another just in order to get enough support and machinery come election time.

Mancao's Return

In 2000, Salvador Dacer, a publicist, and driver Emmanuel Corbito, were slain but their killers and the brain behind their killing have still to be identified until to this day. The names of Sen. Panfilo Lacson and former Pres. Erap Estrada were dragged to the case when former senior superintendent Cesar Mancao II of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force dropped his former boss (Lacson) as having the hand of the killing in his affidavit last February this year.

One of the 18 charged with the Dacer-Corbito slay, Mancao was arrested and detained in the US but he had been turned over to the Philippine authorities in line with the extradition filed by the RP government. The cartoon depicted the predicament of those who were implicated to the double-murder case. As this went on, Senator Lacson who had earlier bared his bid for the May 2010 presidential race decided to backout from seeking for the highest post on the land citing absence of political machineries to back him up as the reason for his decision.

Even when Senator Lacson is innocent, the investigation on the Dacer-Corbito slay will surely have bad implication on his career and to Erap who might run in May 2010.

On Con-Ass:

The wrong move of the congress voting for the constituents assembly (con-ass) to pave the way for the much-heated charter change is now in real collision with the organized sectors in the country. Yesterday, an estimated of 6 thousand people gathered in Makati City, this aside from organized protests vs. con-ass in the provinces and cities like Davao City where the militant groups even stormed the house of Lower House Speaker Nograles this afternoon.

I personally believe that the issue will fuel another rallies and protests from the organized groups and the so-called civil society. While the people may not necessarily agree with the political lines toed by the militant groups, it is easy to predict that con-ass will become a rallying point for those who are against any move to change the constitution right now and with the kind of politicians we have in the government.

The first protest should serve as warning sign for the congressmen/women to rethink and reconsider their ambitious move. Listen to the people, that is it.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Manlolokong Congressmen?

Based on the email I received, there is an on-going "campaign" vs those congressmen/women who supported the constituents assembly or Con-Ass via the passage of Resolution 1109 in the lower house. The email asks not to vote for these lawmakers come May 2010. That if there is any. In fact, many quarters suspect that the gameplan of the political allies of Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who never criticized the move, will extend her term beyond 2010. Charter change is untimely but these congressmen had a very different opinion on the matter - differing from that of the general opinion of the Filipino people.

The email that I believed is being circulated in the loops, listed the congressmen who supported the Con-Ass and named them as "GREEDY TRAITOR LAWMAKERS. THEY VOTED AGAINST YOUR RIGHTS AND INTEREST. MALIWANAG NA NILUKO LANG NILA TAYO." Read on...

ABLAN, ROQUE R. JR, Ilocos Norte, 1st District
AGBAYANI, VICTOR AGUEDO E. Pangasinan, 2nd District
AGYAO, MANUEL, S Kalinga Province
ALBANO (III), RODOLFO T. Isabela, 1st District
ALFELOR, FELIX R. JR. 4th District, Camarines Sur
ALMARIO, THELMA Z. Davao Oriental, 2nd District
ALVAREZ, ANTONIO C. Palawan 1st District
ALVAREZ, GENARO RAFAEL M. JR. Negros Occidental, 6th District
AMANTE, EDELMIRO A. Agusan Del Norte, 2nd District
AMATONG, ROMMEL C. Compostela Valley, 2nd District
ANGPING, MARIA ZENAIDA B. Manila, 3rd District
ANTONINO, RODOLFO W. Nueva Ecija, 4th District
APOSTOL, TRINIDAD G. Leyte, 2nd District
AQUINO, JOSE S. (II) 1st District Agusan del Norte
ARAGO, MARIA EVITA R. 3rd district, Laguna
ARBISON, A MUNIR M. Sulu 2nd District
ARENAS, MA. RACHEL J. Pangasinan, 3rd District
ARROYO, DIOSDADO M. Camarines Sur, 1st District
ARROYO, IGNACIO T. 5th district Negros Occidental
ARROYO, JUAN MIGUEL M. 2nd District of Pampanga
BAGATSING, AMADO S. Manila 5th district
BALINDONG, PANGALIAN M. Lanao del Sur, 2nd District
BARZAGA, ELPIDIO F. JR. Cavite, 2nd District
BAUTISTA, FRANKLIN P. Davao Del Sur, 2nd District
BELMONTE, VICENTE F. JR. Lanao del Norte, 1st District
BICHARA, AL FRANCIS C. Albay, 2nd District
BIRON, FERJENEL G. Iloilo, 4th District
BONDOC, ANNA YORK P. Pampanga 4th District
BONOAN-DAVID, MA. THERESA B. Manila, 4th District
BRAVO, NARCISO R. JR. Masbate, 1st District
BUHAIN, EILEEN ERMITA Batangas, 1st District
BULUT, ELIAS C. JR. Apayao Lone District
CAGAS (IV), MARC DOUGLAS C. Davao Del Sur, 1st District
CAJAYON, MARY MITZI L. Caloocan, 2nd District
CAJES, ROBERTO C. Bohol, 2nd District
CARI, CARMEN L. Leyte, 5th District
CASTRO, FREDENIL H. Capiz, 2nd District
CELESTE, ARTHUR F. Pangasinan, 1st District
CERILLES, ANTONIO H. Zamboanga Del Sur, 2nd District
CHATTO, EDGARDO M. Bohol, 1st District
CHONG, GLENN A. Biliran, Lone District
CHUNG-LAO, SOLOMON R. Ifugao, Lone District
CLARETE, MARINA C. Misamis Occidental, 1st District
CODILLA, EUFROCINO M. SR. Leyte, 4th District
COJUANCO, MARK O. Pangasinan, 5th District
COQUILA, TEODULO M. Eastern Samar, Lone District
CRISOLOGO, VINCENT P. Quezon City, 1st District
CUA, JUNIE E. Quirino, Lone District
CUENCO, ANTONIO V. Cebu City, 2nd District
DANGWA, SAMUEL M. Benguet, Lone District
DATUMANONG, SIMEON A. Maguindanao, Lone District
Dayanghirang, Nelson L. Davao Oriental, 1st District
DAZA, NANETTE C. Quezon City, 4th District
DAZA, PAUL R. Northern Samar, 1st District
DE GUZMAN, DEL R. Marikina City, 2nd District
DEFENSOR, ARTHUR D. SR. Iloilo, 3rd District
DEFENSOR, MATIAS V. JR. Quezon City, 3rd District
DEL MAR, RAUL V. Cebu City, 1st District
DIASNES, CARLO OLIVER D. (MD) Batanes, Lone District
DIMAPORO, ABDULLAH D. Lanao Del Norte, 2nd District
DOMOGAN, MAURICIO G. Baguio, Lone District
DUAVIT, MICHAEL JOHN R. Rizal, 1st District
DUENAS, HENRY M. JR. Taguig, 2nd District (2nd Councilor District)
DUMARPA, FAYSAH MRP. Lanao del Sur, 1st District
DUMPIT, THOMAS L. JR. La Union, 2nd District
DURANO (IV), RAMON H. 5th District, Cebu
ECLEO, GLENDA B. Dinagat Islands, Lone District
EMANO, YEVGENY VICENTE B. Misamis Oriental, 2nd District
ENVERGA, WILFRIDO MARK M. Quezon, 1st District
ESTRELLA, CONRADO M. (III) Pangasinan, 6th District
FERRER, JEFFREY P. Negros Occidental, 4th District
GARAY, FLORENCIO C. Surigao Del Sur, 2nd District
GARCIA, ALBERT S. Bataan, 2nd District.
GARCIA, PABLO JOHN F. Cebu, 3rd District
GARCIA, PABLO P. Cebu, 2nd District
GARCIA, VINCENT J. Davao City, 2nd District
GARIN, JANETTE L. Iloilo, 1st District
GATCHALIAN, REXLON T. Valenzuela City, 1st District
GATLABAYAN, ANGELITO C. Antipolo City, 2nd District
GO, ARNULFO F. Sultan Kudarat, 2nd District
GONZALES, AURELIO D. JR. Pampanga 3rd District
GONZALES, RAUL T. JR. Ilo ilo City
GULLAS, EDUARDO R. Cebu, 1st District
GUNIGUNDO, MAGTANGGOL T. Valenzuela City 2nd District
HOFER, DULCE ANN K. Zamboanga Sibugay, 2nd District
JAAFAR, NUR G. Tawi-Tawi, Lone District
JALA, ADAM RELSON L. Bohol, 3rd District
JALOSJOS, CESAR G. Zamboanga del Norte, 3rd District
JALOSJOS-CARREON, CECILIA G. Zamboanga del Norte, 1st District
JIKIRI, YUSOP H. Sulu, 1st District
KHO, ANTONIO T. Masbate, 2nd District
LABADLABAD, ROSENDO S. Zamboanga del Norte, 2nd District
LACSON, JOSE CARLOS V. Negros Occidental, 3rd District
LAGDAMEO, ANTONIO F. JR. Davao del Norte, 2nd District
LAPUS, JECI A. Tarlac, 3rd District
LAZATIN, CARMELO F. Pampanga, 1st District
LIM, RENO G. Albay, 3rd District
LOPEZ, JAIME C. Manila, 2nd District
MADRONA, ELEANORA JESUS F. Romblon, Lone District
MAGSAYSAY, MARIA MILAGROS H. Zambales, 1st District
MALAPITAN, OSCAR G. Caloocan, 1st District
MAMBA, MANUEL N. Cagayan, 3rd District
MARANON, ALFREDO D. III Negros Occidental, 2nd District
MATUGAS, FRANCISCO T. Surigao del Norte, 1st District
MENDOZA, MARK LEANDRO L. Batangas, 4th District
MERCADO, ROGER G. Southern Leyte, Lone District
NAVA, JOAQUIN CARLOS RAHMAN A. (MD) Guimaras, Lone District
NICOLAS, REYLINA G. Bulacan, 4th District
NOGRALES, PROSPERO C. Davao City, 1st District
OLAñO, ARREL R. Davao Del Norte, 1st District
ONG, EMIL L. Northern Samar, 2nd District
ORTEGA, VICTOR FRANCISCO C. La Union, 1st District
PANCHO, PEDRO M. Bulacan, 2nd District
PANCRUDO, CANDIDO P. JR. Bukidnon, 1st District
PICHAY, PHILIP A. Surigao Del Sur, 1st District
PIñOL, BERNARDO F. JR. North Cotabato, 2nd District
PUNO, ROBERTO V. Antipolo City, 1st District
RAMIRO, HERMINIA M. Misamis Occidental, 2nd District
REMULLA, JESUS CRISPIN C. Cavite, 3rd District
REYES, CARMELITA O. Marinduque, Lone District
REYES, VICTORIA H. Batangas, 3rd District
ROBES, ARTURO G. San Jose Del Monte City, Lone District
Rodriguez-Zaldarria ga, Adelina Rizal, 2nd District
ROMAN, HERMINIA B. Bataan, 1st District
ROMARATE, GUILLERMO A. JR. Surigao del Norte, 2nd District
ROMUALDO, PEDRO Camiguin, Lone District
ROMULO, ROMAN T. Pasig City, Lone District
SALIMBANGON, BENHUR L. Cebu, 4th District
SALVACION JR., ANDRES D. Leyte, 3rd District
SAN LUIS, EDGAR S. Laguna, 4th District
SANDOVAL, ALVIN S. Malabon-Navotas, Lone District
SANTIAGO, JOSEPH A. Catanduanes, Lone District
SEACHON-LANETE, RIZALINA L. 3rd district of Masbate
SEARES-LUNA, CECILIA M. Abra, Lone District
SILVERIO, LORNA C. Bulacan, 3rd District
SINGSON, ERIC D. Ilocos Sur, 2nd District
SINGSON, RONALD V. Ilocos Sur, 1st District
SOLIS, JOSE G. Sorsogon, 2nd District
SUAREZ, DANILO E. Quezon, 3rd District
SUSANO, MARY ANN L. Quezon City, 2nd District
SY-ALVARADO, MA. VICTORIA R. Bulacan, 1st District
SYJUCO, JUDY J. 2nd Dsitrict, Iloilo
TALINO-MENDOZA, EMMYLOU J. North Cotabato, 1st District
TAN, SHAREE ANN T. Samar, 2nd District
TEODORO, MARCELINO R. Marikina City, 1st District
TEVES, PRYDE HENRY A. Negros Oriental, 3rd District
TUPAS, NEIL C. JR. Iloilo, 5th District
UNGAB, ISIDRO T. Davao City, 3rd District
UY, EDWIN C. Isabela, 2nd District
UY, REYNALDO S. Samar, 1st District
UY, ROLANDO A. Cagayan De Oro City, Lone District
VALENCIA, RODOLFO G. Oriental Mindoro, 1st District
VARGAS, FLORENCIO L. Cagayan, 2nd District
VILLAFUERTE, LUIS R. Camarines Sur, 2nd District
VILLAROSA, MA. AMELITA C. Occidental Mindoro, Lone District
VIOLAGO, JOSEPH GILBERT F. Nueva Ecija, 2nd District
YAP, JOSE V. Tarlac, 2nd District
YU, VICTOR J. Zamboanga Del Sur, 1st District
ZAMORA, MANUEL E. 1st District, Compostela Valley
ZIALCITA, EDUARDO C. Parañaque, 1st District

Thursday, June 4, 2009


House Speaker Nograles was interviewed by a television network in relation to the antagonistic position of the Senate on their Res 1109 saying to push with their "gameplan" he would use "charm" and he laughed apparently amused by his statement.

The move to push this political maneuvering for their own benefits (news has it that each congressman will enjoy Php20 million pork barrel with this gameplan) is twisting the arm of the Filipino people who are not in favor of any charter change this time. And not via constituents assembly, transforming the bicameral into a body that will overhaul the constitution.

Many quarters are suspicious that the term of Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will be extended and that there will be no May 2010 elections despite assurance from her allies in the lower house that there will be no term extension. The problem is that it is hard to trust them. We have reasons.

("Ayey or ouch")