Nelson Mandela, who became one of the world’s most beloved statesmen and a colossus of the 20th century when he emerged from 27 years in prison to negotiate an end to white minority rule in South Africa, has died. He was 95.
South African President Jacob Zuma made the announcement at a news conference late Thursday, saying “we’ve lost our greatest son.”
His death closed the final chapter in South Africa’s struggle to cast off apartheid, leaving the world with indelible memories of a man of astonishing grace and good humor. Rock concerts celebrated his birthday. Hollywood stars glorified him on screen. And his regal bearing, graying hair and raspy voice made him instantly recognizable across the globe.
Farewell Madiba. You will always be an inspiration for those of us who believe that a better world is possible.
You just can’t exaggerate the good-natured, positive spirit of the people in this country. At the very least, they’ve lost everything they own, and at the very worst, they’ve lost members of their family, but they’re still upbeat and positive.
I was a TV news reporter back then and I had been assigned to cover the people’s organizations, cause-oriented groups and non-government organizations in Northern Mindanao. But I was suddenly re-assigned to the Central Visayas station in Mandaue City, Cebu.
As it was with Nanay, Atty. Connie and I would exchange text message on days celebrating Philippine Independence, Andres Bonifacio’s heroism and Rizal’s death at Bagumbayan. We would exchange messages examining our sense of nationalism, freedom and service to the people.
We would often talk about having coffee if I’d find myself in Cotabato or if she’d be in Cebu or CDO. But November 23, 2009 happened and when I saw the news reports on the victims, I found her name among them. At first I could not believe it, but friends would later tell me that she was among those mercilessly murdered.
I enclose the word met in quotation marks above because despite our exchanges of text messages for a length of time, Atty. Connie and I were never really able to have that cup of coffee we always talked about. And we will never have it now.
It’s been four years since that fateful day. But not much has happened. Some witnesses have been turned, killed or disappeared. Some families are already getting weary of the slow movement of the case. Still justice remains elusive.
May we never forget the victims of the Maguindanao Massacre. May we never forget that impunity still reigns in the country. Justice for the 58! Justice for the victims of impunity in this country!
The prompt evacuation of 1,000 people from a tiny island that had all 500 houses destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan saved the entire population according to a local leader who has been a long-time champion for disaster risk reduction.
The former Mayor of San Francisco, Cebu Province, Alfredo Arquillano, said years of work to strengthen community preparedness and reduce disaster risk prevented a catastrophe for the residents of Tulang Diyot.
San Francisco is officially recognized as a role model by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) in a highly hazard-prone part of the world.
To lambast the international aid response and the local authorities is to misunderstand how humanitarian relief operates – and to overlook the humbling charity already on offer from people who have little to give.
I am as frustrated as the next Filipino with what’s seen on the news and I do understand where Cooper and the others are coming from as journos. But I think it’s also important to look at the logistical side of distributing aid over several places in several islands in the Visayas.
You can only do so much with three C-130 planes and a handful of antiquated landing craft.
In a matter of hours on Friday, Typhoon Haiyan completely devastated parts of the central Philippines. It was one of the strongest storms ever recorded. The death toll is estimated up to 10,000 with hundreds of thousands more displaced. The country has declared a “state of calamity.”
The truth is, for too long we’ve been content to play with our gadgets and let the geekpreneurs figure out the rest. But that’s not their job; change-the-world blather notwithstanding, their job is to make money. That leaves the hard stuff—like how much privacy we’ll trade for either convenience or security—in someone else’s hands: ours. It’s our responsibility to take charge of our online behavior…
“The entire world has an interest in the South China Sea, but China has nearly 1.4 billion mouths and a growing appetite for nationalism to feed, which is a kind of pressure that no other country can understand. What will happen will happen, whatever the letter of the Asean code of conduct or however the arbitration turns out. Loresto and Yanto, meanwhile, still abide on the Sierra Madre (a grounded ship used by the Philippines to make a claim on Ayungin, in the Spratly Islands), fishing for their subsistence and watching the surf to see what wave the Chinese will choose to ride in on.”—Excerpt from the New York Times feature, "A Game of Shark and Minnow" (via inothernews)
“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, and with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world. You impoverish yourself if you forget this errand.”—Woodrow Wilson
The bottom line is journalism is about making the world a better place. It’s a social role, whether you get paid to do it or do it for love. Whether you do it 60 hours a week, or five hours a week. A journalist is independent, loyal to the citizen, verifies and informs.
These days, the web seems a bit less wild and more polished. Everywhere you look, there are signs that publishers are importing traditional journalism values to the constantly shifting digital environment.
I couldn’t agree more. And it seems that over the past few years, some bloggers are forced by demands of credibility and integrity, to observe old media practices and rules if only to maintain acceptable traffic to their websites.
flowersandjazz said: I would say that she could embarrass them thoroughly, and bring attention to the terrible and shamefully racist way they do their job. but I happen to know, that nothing positive will come of this. nothing will. change. Im sorry about that.
Yep, I think that’s the most that the victim can do my friend. It’s difficult to do that though, being that she is a foreigner and she is no longer in the US. Also, it would take a US-based group to file a formal complaint against those officers, should it be seriously pursued.
Where it stands, I don’t think much can be done, except have the story spread as a warning for other Filipinos planning to visit the US.
flowersandjazz said: i regret very much to say, that I am not surprised. I am disgusted and ashamed, but not in the lest bit surprised.
Yep, to some extent, I share the feeling. I was hoping though that incidents like this would only happen where warranted - as in the case of those possessing dubious documentation, unclear purpose of travel and hazy contact information.
I do understand that every country needs to protect itself from human trafficking rings, illegal immigrants and possible terror elements. But in this case, it seems that the immigration officers enjoyed what they were doing to a 63-year old woman who was only visiting the US to attend her daughter’s wedding.
Then again, what can an old visiting Filipino woman do to agents of the US government?
As (Stone) and his collaborator Peter Kuznick wrote, “Historically-challenged students turn into historically-challenged adults who make for unqualified citizens. Our republican system requires a literate, educated, and knowledgeable public.” Unfortunately, today’s students “know very little history. Second, much of what they do learn is extremely partial or flat out wrong.
The same thing is happening here in the Philippines. Where we are, it seems that many fall for revisionist Youtube videos rather than read more than one book on Philippine history.
“If one has no affection for a person or system, one should be free to give the fullest expression to his disaffection, so long as he does not contemplate, promote, or incite to violence.”—Mohandas K. Gandhi, Statement in the Great Trial of 1922
“Pity the nation that has to silence its writers for speaking their minds. Pity the nation that needs to jail those who ask for justice, while communal killers, mass murderers, corporate scamsters, looters, rapists, and those who prey on the poorest of the poor, roam free.”—Arundhati Roy, October 26, 2010
FAME.This is what some of the mass communication students wanted, said Nestor Godofredo Ramirez, a teacher at University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R).“We have 540 students (and) 80 percent …
Reminds me of some practicum students then I had under my care. Several slept during shifts, wear the wrong clothes for the field and often find themselves tongue-tied when asked to do interviews. And yet many among them aspire to become instantaneous news anchors without going through beat reporting.
Mass communication, more particularly journalism, is not about becoming a celebrity. Rather, it is about putting everything you know and everything you’ve got in pursuit of the truth. And the pursuit of the truth should be motivated by the idea that every story made can make a difference in the lives of others. Journalism is about service.
First question I always asked OJT’s then: Why do you want to become a journalist? Their answer would give me an idea as to what they’ll be like in the next few weeks.
“I am sure that in estimating every man’s value either in private or public life, a pure integrity is the quality we take first into calculation, and that learning and talents are only the second. After these come benevolence, good temper &c. But the first is always that sort of integrity which makes a man act in the dark as if it was in the open blaze of day.”—Thomas Jefferson, Philadelphia, June 15,1792
Marcos ruled unchecked for almost 14 years, free to write his own laws as he went along (after he was overthrown, investigators discovered dozens of secret decrees he’d kept handy for all possible contingencies). With those awesome powers, what progress did he bring to the country?
In 1974, the poverty rate was 24%. By 1980 it was 40%. When Marcos assumed the presidency, the country’s foreign debt was US$1 billion. By the time he fled, it was US$28 billion. Where’d all the money go?
Investigators later estimated the Marcoses stole at least US$10 billion, most of it salted away abroad. Martial Law sustained a plunder economy run for the benefit of the Marcos family, its relatives and associates. Everyone else was just an afterthought.
The chaos of democracy, the breakdown of law and order, the riot of corruption scandals, and the grinding, never-ending poverty that metastasized after the 1986 Edsa revolt have made some people nostalgic for the narcotic effects of Marcos’ strongman rule.
And this is not the older generation alone talking. Young people tend to have a minimal grasp of history, if at all, and if the chatter on social media is any gauge, they are some of the most vociferous in disseminating a rose-colored view of the Marcos era. That clueless revisionism comes with the simultaneous task of trying to demolish the heroism of Ninoy Aquino and the thousands of activists and freedom fighters who risked their lives to bring the horrors of martial law to light.
Although they were held hostage briefly, (Merceditas Hasinon’s) story stands out among the thousands of narratives this eight day standoff has spawned because of what the policeman and the MNLF guerrilla did: the combatants who talked “walang armas-armas” demonstrated that civilian hostages need not be collateral damage in war, that in life-and-death situations, dialogue can save lives.
Interesting and inspiring story in the midst of the conflict raging in Zamboanga City, Philippines.
For those who are not familiar with what’s happened there, a renegade group from the former Moro National Liberation Army has occupied some areas of the city by force. And they have held several hostages over the past week.
The Moro National Liberation Front used to be one of, if not the biggest secessionist group in the Philippines, fighting for independence of Mindanao and advancement of Muslim rights. They would later sign a peace deal with the government, ending almost three decades of armed struggle.
In recent days, several hostages have escaped or were surrendered by the rebels to government forces. This story from MindaNews, is a narrative of how a guerrilla fighter and a policeman, momentarily put their weapons down, and discussed the release of hostages.
Makes you feel good that there are still a few people, both in the government and the secessionist group, who believe that civilian lives should not be endangered by the their armed confrontation.