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message board 4...

Name:  Adelbert S. Batica
Address:  207 West 31st Street, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Email:   [email protected]
Date:  9 Dec. 2004

To date, many excellent write-ups and praises have been heaped on WOW Philippines latest focus on Region 8, which currently taking place in Intramuros.  I had a chance to "zoom in" on a photo of one of the booths.  The whole event does look impressive, but I'm still disappointed and upset at the theme "Kasadya Ning Takna-a ha iyo Ngatanan", because it only confuses many, as to the predominant language in Region 8, which is Binisaya-Lineyte-Samarnon or winaray (sorry about being "politically incorrect").

As Leyteños and Samareños, we are clearly defined by the language we speak.  And if it's the unique culture of Leyte and Samar that DOT wants the rest of the Philippines and the world to be aware of, then they have missed a step or two here.  Our language and culture are inseparable and should not be tinkered with for convenience's sake.  Leyte and Samar are not a piece of merchandise that can be assigned just any label such as "kasadya" for promotional purposes.  DOT should have used the phrase Kasadya ning Takna-a as the most appropriate label for Cebu and other Cebuano-speaking provinces, but certainly not Leyte and Samar.

Kulang iton nga titulo nga iginhatag han DOT, nga Kasadya Ning Takna-a ha Iyo Ngatanan.  Damo it magkakalilipat hini nga ira pagbunyag.  "Kasadya ning takna-a ha iyo ngatanan", sering pa hit DOT.  Ngan it akon naman baton:  "Kasadya ning takna-a kaninyo, ngan mga Perestihon liwat kamo!" o sino, "Kasadya ning takna-a kaninyo, ngan han iyo mga iroy liwat!"  Kon baga ha kinatsila pa: Feliz Navidad y Tu Mama Tambien!


Name:  Adelbert S. Batica
Address: 207 West 31st Street, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55408, USA
Email:    [email protected]
Date:  19 Nov. 2004

To Members, Friends and Supporters of Gugma han Samar:

Something just occurred to me as a result of an exchange of messages between myself and The Professor yesterday.  I was actually headed for the airport last night, en route to San Francisco for a special assignment, when I received a notice of cancellation of my trip at the last minute.  A San Francisco visit, no matter how brief, would have been a clincher as I was already imagining a very profound meeting with our beloved Professor Cesar.  But my trip was cancelled.  I already had a laundry list of things to discuss with him, knowing fully well that either Friday or Saturday, he would be one of the lucky members of the local community to join the President at a banquet at the Hyatt Regency.  Given these thoughts, a few issues stood out in my mind, as President Arroyo (let's not be "politically correct", OK?) is headed to Santiago, Chile for the APEC gathering.  I believe she is the chairperson of APEC's "Anti-Terrorism Committee".  Obviously, more than trade and other economic issues, "security" discussions will make up the bulk of the APEC deliberations.

The word "security" immediately got me thinking, and so, to ease the pain and frustration of being on a San Francisco that never came to be, I began thinking hard and scribbling notes.  "Security" - what does it mean, or is there really such a thing, or is it even achievable in our time?

My mind "time-traveled" to a long meeting I had in Cebu last year, with a dear good friend of 30 years, who also happened to occupy a high government position a decade ago.  When my friend is not busy running his business, he's busy playing golf, writing prose, or having animated theological and philosophical discussions with a circle of friends.  Lately, he's been putting together his thoughts into a book on "national security", a not-so-new phenomenon that has now taken center stage in this age of terrorism and random violence.

My dear good friend looks at the issue of "national security" with a different set of lenses.  It is his firm belief that the majority's understanding of the issue of national security is limited and constricted, as most (especially the policymakers and the defense and intelligence establishments) view it only in terms of being safe from external attack or internal subversion, or being free from the threat of terrorism and random violence and other images that come to mind when one thinks "national security".  And there's the rub - because with this kind of view, the political and economic establishments of any country, whether it be the U.S., Canada, or the Philippines -is more likely to reduce "national security" to the survival of the State, that survival being guaranteed by the police, intelligence, and military apparatuses of the State.  However, many sometimes forget that "State" is made of three integral and inseparable elements - People, Territory, Sovereignty.  These things were discussed at great length in our Pol. Sci. 101 class many years ago - in the Year Nineteen Forgotten.

Note that the first element of State is "People", but this is often taken for granted when discussions about national security intensify.  But going back to my good friend's insights - he believes that "national security" is unattainable as a goal if most of a country's resources are re-channeled mainly towards military and intelligence expenditures.  My friend tends to look more at the "big picture" of "national security" to include the citizens' right to be secure in their homes and in their persons, being secure in their jobs, in their farms and places of business, and a feeling of being secure about their physical, economic, and spiritual well-being.  A society where the economic, political, judicial, and other processes are functioning more effectively or at a level that is more or less acceptable to a majority of its citizens - would be in a better position to counterbalance any threat to its existence.

But how do we really achieve national security by putting the well-being of people, first and foremost?  Is there a map or a guide somewhere?  I believe there is, it's all in Pope Paul VI's Encyclical on the Development of Peoples - Populorum Progressio.  Those who truly understand "national security" know only too well that such a goal cannot be achieved without Justice and Peace.  You want to be "secure"?  Then do Justice and promote Peace.  It's as simple as that.

Addi Batica


Name:  Cesar Torres
Email:   [email protected]
Date:   November 2, 2004

Remembering a Friend:  Lourdes Calubid-Badulid

She is resting in peace now. Again I remember John Donne, "Never send to ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee."

I don't know if anyone knows the cause of her death. Perhaps Nelson and her family will tell us later. All she felt was that extreme pain in her head. I don't know if the doctors in Tacloban were able to determine what was causing it. But she is free of that pain now.

Lourdes has a special place in my heart. If we are exchanging our passions and our brilliant ideas on Samar High, Samar and the Philippines in this forum, somehow it
is because of Kezia's mother.

When I chaired the Task Force that organized the UP in Tacloban, she was a student in one of my classes. She was not an ordinary student. She was a "Calubid" after all, a name very popular in the progressive movement in Samar and the Eastern Visayas. A name from my hometown of Villareal, Samar.

As a co-ed, Lourdes was not only very lovely. She was also a student leader.

She was one of the pillars of "U.P. Sidlangan".

Outside of the classroom, we never had any socializing with each other despite the fact that we were both from Villareal, and from Samar. We were not Leytenos. I knew she was there. And she knew I was there, someone who was a cut above the rest of the faculty and staff of the UP in Tacloban; I was its organizer after all, involved in the hiring of the original core faculty and staff of the College. And I came from Diliman.

So much water passed under the San Juanico Bridge. One day, I just noticed that she was no longer in the UP College at Tacloban anymore. She had transferred to Diliman to finish her studies there where she graduated with a degree in Political Science, then enrolled in the UP College of Law. She did not finish. But she did finish, I think, a Masters in Public Administration. She went back to Samar to serve her people. She worked among others in the Samar Provincial Capitol and then as a mentor of the youth in the Samar High-Samar National School in Catbalogan, Samar.

And this is where our acquaintanceship was revived. This time at a much intense level. With the benefit of hindsight, I think I was making up for lost time, making up for taking her for granted before in Tacloban.

In 2003, I had to go to Samar in August-September to organize a fiesta in Villareal, Samar. There was a publication that I was frantically editing. So I went to Jobal's BBCS Data Systems in Catbalogan for desktop publishing assistance where the ever reliable and competent Chris Sulla and I would work up to 2:00 AM. I disappeared for some time during the night. But suddently Jobal was on the phone. He was looking for me because apparently some "movers and shakers" in Catbalogan and Samar society were inviting me to dinner of seafoods in the residence of Charo Nabong Cabardo. (They were actually my friends who heard that I was in town.) Aside from Charo and Embang Cadiz-Serfino, who was our gang mate in Samar High, I remember an unobstrusive always-smiling young lady, Maira Mabangue Tambor, a member of the Catbalogan and Samar print and radio media. We talked about a lot of things, the Samar Provincial Hospital, including the Centennial Celebration of the Samar High School.

On the following day, when Chris and Jobal's staff were done with my publication, I inquired abut the whereabouts of Mrs. Lourdes Calubid-Badulid. Tonet Gadin, who is a member of our list, got a motorcycle and we drove over to the Samar High School campus. Lourdes was there, conducting her class. She had not forgotten me. She recognized me and was very glad to see me.

One thing led to another. We had an impromptu meeting with the Officer-in-Charge of the Samar High School to discuss the Samar High Centennial.

Plans were made. I came back to San Francisco.

There was a lull in our international communications... Until Kezia appeared in my life from cyberspace and the Internet.

A senior in the UP, a computer nerd, tireless, very engaging, lovely, a fervent nationalist, Kezia picked up the slack when her mother had taken a break.

With my support and the others in the leadership of the Samar High School Alumni Board, Kezia worked on the Samar High website which is still under construction but whose Discusson Board is one of the best I have ever known. I created a SHS-SNS Yahoo Groups list to supplement Kezia's Discussion Board so that alumni of the Samar High could interact with each other.

Across cyberspace we worked like dervishes, contributing whatever we could to the Centennial Celebration of the Samar High School. I flew to Tacloban and Cebu in April to continue working on the "Centennial Samarinan" with Kezia.

In Cebu and Catbalogan, Lourdes' entire family -- JR, Ray, Kezia, and the very lovely Christine -- was mobilized. In my entire life, I have never seen a family of six which would move as one. This was a tribute to Lourdes and Nelson, her husband.

Indeed, their family was a study in graciousness, coordinated work, and enthusiasm. I never saw a frown in any of their faces.

When we had time to rest, there were times when Nelson, Lourdes' handsome mate, a UP College of Agriculture graduate, and who is devoting himself to the Samarnons as a frontliner in the struggle against our poverty, and I would start dissecting Samar and Philippine society as early as 2:00 o'clock in the unholy hours of the morning.

And when I came back to America, it was partly because of Lourdes that the "Gugma Han Samar Cyberspace Movement" came into existence. With the connivance of that eloquent Basaynon, Adelbert Batica, we surreptitiously worked on organizing this group.

Indeed, the time I spent with Lourdes and her family will forever be part of my life till my bones turn to dust.

She is gone now. But her memory will be with us forever as long as there is cyberspace and the Internet, for as long as there is love -- "Gugma".

"...Till the sun is cold, till the stars are old, till the Leaves of the Judgment Book unfold."

Goodbye dear friend...

Cesar Torres

Name:  Raul Abejuela
Address:   Chicago, USA
Email:   [email protected]
Date:   26 October 2004

The Filipinos (Samarnons) are waiting for that person or a group who has the courage and the will power to say and act on Tama Na, Sobra Na.

And when that time comes, we all must rally behind that person or group because that is all we need - change for the better. Sometimes we have to think that we are all resigned to the fact that the majority of Filipinos (Samarnons) that nothing good can come about in the Philippines. Not in our lifetime.

I agree with Addi that the problem is systematic. However, a drastic change of the system must be done. How and what, I do not know.

However, maybe the first step must be to educate the population about the sanctity of the vote. But, that is very idealistic.

Most Filipinos would take advantage of election to get an extra 1,000 or even 5,000 pesos. Panura-sura and pa-inom -inom. Maybe, electoral reform.

Criminalize vote buying. But we will be building so many jails because most of elected officials will be sent to jail. Makuri paghuna-hunaon iton  solusyon hine nga problema because the system is so rotten that solution or programs to correct this situation is so complex. It is good to dream of a solution or program. But which program will be effective is a big question.

There was a lot of hope when Aquino took over. But that hope of progress was dashed with the ineffeciency of governance that led to a several coup of Honasan et al. And current situation in the Philippines is the outcome of the ineffiencies of the previous adminsitrations. Arroyo seems powerless in trying to get the country to rebound. Of course, there are also efforts by De Venecia to have the Chinese businessmen to cough up with some money. But that is inutil. Pareho la ito hin nag-gamit hin band  aid pag plaster hin nabono. Waray tahi-a. Poro pa-pogi and pa-kodak.

Lately, there is the ISOG HAN SAMAR. We must commend Charo et al for doing this step. We must communicate with Charo and ask "How can we help?"

This is a step in the right direction to correct  this injustice to the people of Samar. But this must be done with the respect of law and order. Mob action is NOT the solution. Use the justice system to do get his corrected. Now, if justice system cannot be trusted, then, waray na pagla-um kondi iton iba nala nga pa-agi.

Name:   Joan Peterson
Address:   PO Box 5346, Madison, WI 53705, USA
Email:   [email protected]
Date:  October 22, 2004

I would like to reach Addi Batica, who wrote a few pieces about the village of Azpitia in Peru. I visited Azpitia this summer and have some questions for him. Perhaps this message can reach him via this List? I can be reached via [email protected]


Name:  Ricky Petilla
Address:   So. California
Email:   [email protected]
Date:  16 October 2004

I'm not an expert in law and order, history, much more writing commentaries. My writings are limited to technical writing in the computer world. An mga letra la ha keyboard an akon aram. Some months ago, I talked to a co-worker, who came from Nicaragua, about the Sandinistas. How I asked that question, I don't really know. My little knowledge about Nicaragua and the Sandinistas was on a movie which title I don't even remember. Anyway he said that the Sandinistas are quite now as the they hold important positions in the police and the army - meaning they have jobs and they are in power. Then he commented that one of the reasons why the U.S. don't have guerillas or civil wars is that people have jobs and they live in a free society.

Then it reminded me back home. One of the reasons why people go to the mountains is because they can't trust the politicians and the military. Holding an armalite is power to them. Their kids have nothing to eat and they have no chance in competing with jobs as they don't have the proper education. Iton gobyerno waray guihapon maibubulig. An mga liders waray mga gamit. An budget nahihimo nga badget.

Haluag iton mga tuna, halarum iton Leyte Gulf ngan dagat facing Eastern Samar, ngan dagko naliwat an mga kahoy, maghusay an mga white beaches ha Guiuan, ngan mayda dako nga deposit hin Bauxite [worth $2 or $20 billion (if my brain still works) and that's in dollars] ha Basey o Guiuan (?). Damo guihap it magupay nga utok ha mga Samarnon ug Leyteno. These are resources that can be converted to business and jobs. An problema hine, an aton politicians waray labot hit mga tawo. An ira la iniintindi an ira mga bulsa ngan how to win the next election. Ngan an mga illegal loggers and mining companies hino hoard la an mga minerals ha Samar without even giving a share to the Samarnons or cleaning up their mining operations thereby impacting the environment. Mayda ko nakaistorya nga fisherman, at one time daw waray daw isda dida banda ha Basey kay nagkahihilo an mga isda ngan dire man makaon or mabaligya. Kun waray nira makaon ano man in ira bubuhaton?

In my own opinion, these are the things that GugmaHanSamar should take issue with. Propose and inact laws that are environmentally friendly (again I'm not a lawyer). Laws that will define the sharing between mining companies and whoever has the resource. Support leaders who not corrupt... and other things that you wrote in the GugmaHanSamar mission statement.

Kon nabuhat ha Davao ngan Cebu, kay ano nga dire mabubuhat ha Samar ug Leyte? Kaya iton hit mga Samarnon. Kinahanglan la gumios.

I'm proud to be part of this group and fervently hope that waray masayang ngan ma realize naton ine nga mga inop. Pasayloa la ako kon baga masyado ako hin ka atribido.


Name:  Ricky Bautista
Address:  Catbalogan, Samar, Philippines
Email:    [email protected]
Date:  Sunday, 3 October 2004

Cesar, all guys here behind gugma, Well, tama ka dyan pare. Kun deri kita, hino pa? Kun deri yana, San-o pa? Let's do our part/share in providing all means to help our fellow Samarnons and our beloved province as well. Im one of the many regular writers of Ray Gaspay in SamarNews.Com 'nalilipay ako nga damo na nga mga Samarenyo an maaram nga mayda kita sugad hine nga website, more power to us all! On one hand, I am asking permission to Gugma han Samar - Cyberspace Movement if i can print your stories and accounts in our Samar Weekly Express, a Catbalogan-based community newspaper. I am giving the Samarnon readers opportunity to know what's happening hiton aton igkasi Samarnon living abroad. Salamat nga madamo. My warm regards to you all there!!!

Name:  Cesar Torres
Email:   [email protected]
Date:   28 September 2004


You bring a smile to my sad, forlorn, and hopeless face.  Please join us. Subscribe to [email protected]

You know our website now:

With people like you and your brother, may paglaom gad seguro iton Samar ngan Pilipinas. It may not happen in my lifetime.  But nevertheless, will happen.

We have adopted the following:  "Kon diri kita, hino man?  Kon diri yana? San-o pa?'

Name:   Susan Aclo-Arce
Address:  New York, USA
Email:   [email protected]
Date:   Sept. 25, 2004

I am a regular reader of  Mr. Torres, native born Catbaloganon ako from the Cuna-Aclo line.  Like you and the rest of your "co-gugmaeros," I also feel for Samar  especially Catbalogan.  When my brothers, Lito, Manuel "Boy", Deo & the late Ramon, hosted as the Hermanos Mayores of the Feast of St. Bartholomew, Catbalogan in 2001, we thought in our own small way of giving help.  We coordinated with Charo Nabong and the Parish Council to give poor children some toys and treat them with pansit, tinapay and drinks. We also give small packages containing sabon, toothpaste, personal efects, etc. to some old folks housed in the Boy Scout building. Naka-pag-paka-on kami han mga preso, nakahatag hin mga pre-school books, etc.  We also donated to the Provincial Hospital through, then Dr. Gabon-Catibog, a balikbayan box containing 3 nebulizers with nebules, some medicines, disposable syringe and other medical supplies. Adoy...kaupay ngayan ha dughan an naka-kabulig bisan man la kon gu-tiay.  One of my sons from Canada was telling me the good feeling he had while in Catbalogan. A boy approached him in "primera" while he was standing waiting for a tricycle. Na-aro la hin piso an bata kay "magutom" kuno. My son took the boy to Ideal Bakery, ngan guinpalitan niya hin worth P100 nga tinapay.  My son said, he never had seen a boy so happy to receive a bag full of "tinapay".  From thereon, my family started to send balikbayan boxes of used clothes and toys c/o Fr. Cesar Acolan who acknowledged receipt thereof. We sent last year a balikabayan box of disposal syringes, mga IVs, etc. An sering ni Orange Avisado of KAUSA, New York, ngadto daw kuno ipinadara kan Dra. Cinco-Tizon.  Until now, we never received any word kon kinarawat an box.  May-ada na liwat kami yana box of used clothes and shoes which we would want to send to the poor in Catbalogan. Siguro, ipapadara ko nala kan Msgr. Anton Versoza/Ms Ofelia Llosa kay may-ada ako nabasa in one of the articles in nga ha ira man guinpapadara an bulig para han mga pobre.

Bottom line hine nga akon message, hi kita nga a-anhe ha abroad, kon pwede mag-share kita bisan ano nga aton pwede ibulig labi na god han mga pobre. Pira-hay na man la an bayad han balikbayan box, pero an content han box makakabulig god kay kadamo han aton mga gamit nga pwede pa god gamiton han aton mga kababayan nga na-ngi-nginahanglan.

Mr. Torres, you can count on me basta hi-onong hin "GUGMA" han Samar.


Name:  Raul Abejuela
Address:   Illinois, USA
Email:   [email protected]
Date:   September 19, 2004

I agree with Dr. Solis that Gugma should be devoid of political colors. The organization can achieve results better and effectively if we are not beholden to any political power. We can effect change by being in the private sector. Even though there is what we term as "partido kawayan", the organization would maintain its credibility if we are non-aligned.

However, we need the input of those in Samar who can enlighten us what is the best program that could sustain progress for Samar and the people.

Name:   Cesar Torres
Email:  [email protected]
Date:   18 September 2004

Fantastic ideas guys! Thank you Raul. Thank you Dr. Solis. Diri na mamingao ini nga Discussion Board. Kami la ngan hi Addi an nagsisinurat.

You are right Raul. On the 25th of this month, we we would have been three months old. The number "3" is laden with "cosmic" significance, i.e. three words "I love you" or "Usa, Duha, Tulo", and so forth.

On our formal structure, there might be no other way but to organize a non-profit organization based in the US with another non-profit based in the Philippines.

I will share my thoughts on this with you, today, Saturday, September 18, 2004. Promise. (hahahahaha)

Name:  Raul Abejuela
Address:   Illinois, USA
Email:   [email protected]
Date:  September 17, 2004

Dear Cesar,

I think the Gugma has already matured and it is about time that we should move on to the next step. We have already heard the sentiments of everybody in this discussion group and a lot of ideas has sprouted. May I propose a meeting in any way, shape or form to come up with a framework to work out the organization outside of Samar and the composition of the Samar group who will execute these ideas that are being brought about. Some sort of a core group in Samar, US, Europe. Anyway, there is already a common bond the holds this group together. Issues to be resolved - organization, fund raising, execution, audit, etc. Just let us know what is the best medium to accomplish this and we will all plan and make time to make this happen. Best regards...


Name:   Cornelio Solis, MD,MCHM
Address:   Soledad Street, Villareal, Samar, Philippines
Email:  [email protected]
Date:  17 September 2004

I'm quite impressed by your love for Samar. It is evident from your writings. I just hope that such kind of passion shall endure.

I think it would be better if you don't endorse politicians. Samarnons learn. Samarnons know how to fight when they are oppressed... pushed further. We have the lesson from Balangiga. Let's learn from it. It would be nicer I think if we are free... from any political colors. That passion should be for Samar and Samar alone... not for anybody else. Politicians will come and go... but Samar will prevail. Ergo, let's focus on Samar... and Samar alone.

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