Archive | November 2004

NEWS: Valencia City aims to become RP’s “organic rice capital”

ByWalter I. Balane / Mindanews / 25 October 2004

DAVAO CITY ­- Valencia City in Bukidnon is being envisioned to become the country’s “organic rice capital” through a project jointly undertaken by a funding network, an NGO and the local government, a move which is seen to attract more farmers to go into organic or chemical-free rice farming and to “restore fertility of soil and productivity in the city.”

Valencia City is Bukidnon’s agriculture and commercial center. The local government packages the city as the “City of Golden Harvest.”

The P4.53-million project of the Asia Japan Partnership Network, the city government and the Philippine Development Assistance Program (PDAP) spans 18 months in the areas of institution-building initiatives and providing infrastructure to around 75 farmers in three pilot barangays namely, Sinayawan, Kahaponan and Tongantongan.

But city agriculture officer Gerzon Salvan told MindaNews the plan is still “a dream long way to go.”
“To be the organic rice capital, we must have majority of our farmers into organic rice. That is at least 5,000 hectares planted to rice the organic way,” he said.

He said that right now there are no more than 100 hectares where rice is grown organically. He also said only a very few farmers are recognized as “organic rice farmers.”

He said it would take them five more years before 5,000 hectares of rice farms in the city would be planted with organic varieties. The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) is capable of irrigating 12,000 hectares of land in Valencia.

A series of consultations resulted in the formulation of the site development plan for the project which will be implemented from October 2004-March 2006.

The consultations were attended by barangay councils, NGOs, farmers groups, cooperatives, the Social Action Center and other organizations.

In a press release, PDAP said the city government of Valencia will support the installation of an organic rice processing center, warehouse, dryer, rice mill and other facilities for the organic rice technology.
PDAP, however, underscored the need for the farmers in the pilot areas to pass through a certification process in order for them to produce quality organic rice.

Meanwhile, the Organic Rice Industry Technical Working Group announced today it will hold a Visayas-Mindanao consultation on Developing National Standard on Organic Rice in Makilala, North Cotabato on October 28-29. The consultation follows a similar one held in Luzon earlier this month.

Organized by the Department of Agriculture ­ Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Product Standards (DA-BAFPS), the consultation will gather rice farmers, NGOs and people’s organizations and “transform the traditional and bureaucratic way of developing policies.”

BAFPS is now drafting a food standard in compliance with standards set by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM) to strengthen organic rice’s export potential.

The Philippines is already an exporter of organic rice, 25 metric tons of which has been sold to Switzerland by a cooperative in Negros Occidental.
Organic rice farming is a form of sustainable agriculture systems, considered by DA as the way to go in Philippine agriculture.

But according to DA, only about 500 hectares is planted to organic rice in the country. (MindaNews)

Essays: In the Ministry: Becoming an instrument for God’s work

In the Ministry:Becoming an instrument for God’s work
BY WALTER I. BALANE/Lingkod Server staff

God is building his Kingdom — and He is counting on Us. As we are building our version of God’s kingdom, the “Payag,” in Lingkod Malaybalay that is what we do in the building up ofthe “ministry.”

Does it really mean to you if you hear about “Music Min,” “IPT,”“Finance,” Admin-Secretariat” and “Works of Mercy”? These are our versions of ministries in the branch, our little way ofhelping in God’s immense work of building His Kingdom.

Perhaps we could use some natural references to explain this. Inphysics, one of Newton’s laws is on “action and reaction.” It says, inevery action or force, there is a counter force to it as a reaction. God’s love is the action. He inspired us in the prayer meeting, in ourprayer time, in the action group, he kept our trip safe, He embraced usback to His flock amid our unfaithfulness or he answered our prayersfrom small to big ones.

What we gave back to God is our reaction. Say, God blessed us so muchwith a life of comfort, purity and family love.

What is our response? Ifwe are given Love are we not suppose to respond with love as well?Say your action group leader sends you a text message of hello and howare yous? The choice of reply is yours.

In physics, we also learned about potential and kinetic energy. When itis at rest, the energy is only a “potential.” Unless set in motion orkinetic, such energy becomes a waste. God gave us so much “potential energy” with our talents, skills,resources and gifts.

He gave us work or pre-occupation, friends, afamily, education, good experiences and good outlook in life. All’pontential’ yet life-giving. Have we set it in motion in response to God’s love?

Our various ministries in Lingkod are avenues for us to set it in motionand to “respond” to God’s love. It is not only an invitation from theleaders of the community. First, there was God calling each person to be a servant or to be a“Lingkod.” No, not just to sit there at the prayer meeting, but to setGod’s work in motion in, say, your workplace, at home, in the street orin your own heart. Then we who have heard (many tried to listen but did not hear it) cameto a point of accepting that call (remember the dedication?).

Now it isa concrete response to show our love for the Lord in becoming a co-ownerof His work (financial contribution), to sing Him praises and worshipHim (music ministry), to help plan and manage His work (administrationand secretariat), to intercede for His flock (IPT team) and to dress,feed and inspire those who are in need (works of mercy.)

In every ministry work, the recipient is the Lord. In every brother orsister we helped, in every tune we sing, in every peso we share to astreet kid is a piece of us given back to the Lord.Come to think of this, did God just call us to receive? Yes, he wants usto share in His goodness. But he wants us to share it to others too.

Hewants us to be a part of his workforce and express our love for Himthrough that work.Join Lingkod’s ministries and tell the Lord, Yes, I love you Lord and Imean it. (LS)

From the publisher: What is this blog all about?

Hi,

Actually, I created this blog to experiment. I found at this time no purpose what to use this for. The exact words should be: A blog is a blog.

I don’t really see a reason (other than a techno venture) to come out with this. Nonetheless, this is an attempt to tap the potentials of the internet. If there would be a reason, after all, for me to pursue this; it should be something for the greater good —something greater than myself (am I?)

So I want this to evolve to something. It should be something about my work or my beliefs. This explains why the postings here are about my work and my Faith. To report about Mindanao for the Glory of God, that is.

This should benefit not me then but the subject of my work and my belief: the people of Mindanao —God’s people!

Whatever it means to you, take it as it is.

Thanks.

Waltzib

NEWS: Wow Mindanao? Or Wow Davao?

Wow Mindanao? Or Wow Davao?
Walter I. Balane / Mindanews / 13 October 2004

DAVAO CITY -­ Is it really Wow Mindanao? Or just Wow Davao?

For Sonia Garcia, regional director of the Department of Tourism in Southern Mindanao and at the same time lead organizer of the exposition, it definitely is Wow Davao.

“There is participation from all over Mindanao,” she told MindaNews Wednesday. “But they (other Mindanao regions) are participating on the basis of their capacity,” she clarified.

Garcia reacted on insinuations that the Wow Mindanao exposition being held here from October 2 to 17 is so “Davao-centered.”

Tourists from Northern Mindanao and Iloilo interviewed by MindaNews earlier said the expo is good for the islands’ tourism industry but is short of featuring what they really expect from Mindanao.

A lady from Butuan City who is now residing in Davao expected to see an entry from her province among the pavilions.

But only provinces from Region 11, and one in Region 12 (Sarangani), have pavilions at the expo site in SM City.

“It’s expensive for other provinces to put up and maintain a pavilion for the whole duration of the
exposition,” Garcia said.

Jonathan Josol, head of the Davao-based Philippine Sports Blowgun Association (PISBA), however, sees the expo as an entry point to reach other areas in Mindanao. PISBA is among the exhibitors at the Wow Mindanao Sports and Adventure trade expo at the NCCC mall.

“This is really a Mindanao exposition because all the other regions have come and are still coming to converge,” Garcia said.

She said Bukidnon’s Kaamulan festival and other Mindanao festivals were featured in the “festival in focus.”
“We are celebrating here the convergence of Mindanao peoples and culture,” exposition artistic director
Nestor Horfilla told MindaNews.

Horfilla said the peace pavilion, the centerpiece at the expo, showcases the initiatives of the different sectors in building and maintaining peace. Around 10 weavers from Mindanao weave a “tapestry of all tribes” in Mindanao.

He said the tapestry reflects the hopes and aspirations of Mindanaons.
Garcia, however, admitted, that the expo started as “Wow Davao,” which was supposed to be featured in the Wow Philippines expo in Intramuros, Manila.

Wow Philippines, a tourism program of the DOT, features the “best of the regions” around the country in Intramuros. Northern Mindanao’s tourism packages were featured at the Intramuros expo last April.
Garcia said they opted to do it in Davao and call it Wow Mindanao because of the opening of the Davao International Airport.

“Davao is the gateway to Mindanao,” she said. “Whatever we are doing good here could do good for the rest of Mindanao,” she said.

Via cellular phone from Cagayan de Oro, Dorothy Jean Pabayo, DOT Northern Mindanao regional director, confirmed Garcia’s explanation.

Pabayo told MindaNews Wow Mindanao is DOT 11’s initiative of bringing Wow Philippines to Davao City.
“This is not really to belittle the other areas, but only Region 3 (Central Luzon) and 11 have opted to bring Wow Philippines into their areas,” she said.

Pabayo also said DOT Northern Mindanao and those from other regions joined the expo at the trade fairs and in other features of the exposition.

She said that Cagayan de Oro, General Santos and other Mindanao cities serve as spokes to Davao, the Philippine hub to the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asia Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).
“It is just right for Wow Mindanao to be in Davao,” she said.

Misamis Oriental-based Raoul Alvior, 48,who visited the exposition while in Davao attending a seminar, said the use of “Wow Mindanao” is selling the idea of a “Davao-focused Mindanao.”

Pabayo did not want to comment when asked about whether DOT’s programs like Wow Philippines really work for the country’s tourism industry.

But she said that Northern Mindanao’s showcase in Manila brought in a big increase in arrivals to the region. She said they have a 102-percent increase in tourist arrival three months after the showcase.

“Paired with our other promotion efforts, the program has worked to our advantage.”
Wow Mindanao, according to its gazette, is “carving creative pathways for peace.” Among its features are concerts and theater events, photo and sculpture competitions, visual art exhibits, trade fairs, theme parks, food street fair, an adventure and sports fair and a peace pavilion.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Tourism Secretary Ace Durano graced the opening last Oct. 2. Vice President Noli de Castro also dropped by the expo Wednesday.

DOT 11 estimated expenses for the 16-day exposition at P10 million. Half of which, said Garcia, were raised from donors and sponsors.

“Maybe it is possible to come out in the future with an ‘all-Mindanao Wow Mindanao’ exposition. These things really would work because in tourism, you really have to create noise and catch attention,” Pabayo said.
But she warned that with the government in fiscal crisis, it would be a difficult task. (MindaNews)

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COMMENTARY: Virtually yours
By Walter I. Balane / MindaNews / 8 October 2004

DAVAO CITY — I thought United States Ambassador Francis J. Ricciardone would want to make “virtual” a scheduled press conference here Thursday.

A day after he led the launching of the US’s “virtual consulate” here in Mindanao’s largest city, press people found themselves waiting for a late comer: the American envoy himself.

The press conference began shortly after 12:00 noon, around an hour and a half after it was scheduled. This is amid a media advisory asking press people to be “in place by 10:30 a.m.” A scheduled 30-minute briefing was called off.

Ricciardone, in town since Wednesday, said among the reasons for his visit is the Wow Mindanao Exposition and to “gather success stories of American-assisted peace and development works in Mindanao.”

But protest actions highlight to the public the ambassador’s visit with militant groups calling the virtual consulate a “spy center.”

As the press knew of his busy schedule while in Davao, no explanation was made about the delay. It is noteworthy that the highest ranking American official in the country has taken some “Filipino time” for whatever reason.

In August 2002, MindaNews reported that Ricciardone also arrived late for a speech in Surigao City at the 11th Mindanao Business Conference. There, he was reported to have snubbed the media.
That he arrived late at the press conference is something. The press represents the “peoples” of Mindanao.

This is especially when he said Davao and Mindanao are important for the United States.
But how important? Or should the question be, why important?

The fact that Asia’s first virtual consulate is in Davao now sends a message: that the United States has interests here more than elsewhere.

Jay T. Snyder, commissioner of the US Advisory Commission for Public Diplomacy, connects virtual consulate to “virtual diplomacy.”

Snyder’s speech at an American diplomacy conference, as posted at the US State Department website in July 2003, explains virtual consulates.

“The New Diplomacy utilizes innovative thinking and new forms of media to expand the reach of our foreign policy. It has the potential to increase our ability to put forth America’s message to the global society,” he said.

“To inform and influence foreign audiences, the Department of State must continue to go beyond traditional government-to-government communication. Today, we have the ability to speak directly to local populations. These populations have a great deal of influence over their respective governments’ foreign policy.”

Snyder said that in Russia, where the first virtual consulate was launched, “our staff is able to stream relevant and newsworthy information in a time sensitive manner to our focus population. Previously, we have had no presence in a region of almost 3 million people.”

“The Virtual Consulate is probably the most flexible and agile instrument in the ‘New Diplomacy’ arsenal. With the inevitable increase of Internet usage in most regions of the world, it is important for us to invest heavily in the Virtual Concept for the future.

“We are capable of doing all of the work of a Virtual Consulate remotely. But to optimize its effectiveness, we should also augment the program with regular visits from the Ambassador or other senior American officials.
This will increase the legitimacy and interest among the focus population.

“These visits add to the visibility through increased press coverage, which further enables host populations to view the Virtual Consulate as a critical extension of a physical American presence.

“As Internet accessibility increases, host country citizens will begin to see the Virtual Consulates as one-stop-shopping for all news, information and services brought to them by the United States government.

“With $10,000 in start up costs, this robust model can handle many tasks performed by a physical consulate. Only the issuing of visas requires a fixed location.”

Snyder concluded that, coordinated with American presence post and American corners, the virtual consulates “has the power to change public diplomacy in an efficient and cost effective manner for the better.”

Snyder’s explanation may not really embody the US “virtual diplomacy.” It is clear however that the virtual consulate is viewed as an extension of “a physical American presence.”

At the press conference, the ambassador clarified his government’s thrust in Mindanao: to work for development to underlie a peaceful environment.”

At one time, however, he said they would support those who contribute to peace and development efforts in Mindanao, like the vendors and business groups they are assisting.

“But if you support bomb makers and kidnappers, we will go after you,” he warned.

Then he quickly clarified that “it is the Philippine government who will go after bomb makers and kidnappers” and the Americans will just support the Philippine government.

Clarifications like that should be made about American interests in Mindanao, especially with its “virtual” consulate now in Davao.

While it is safe to assume, it is also important to make the US clarify its Mindanao interests, especially when matters like “American presence post” and “American corners” are “coordinated” with virtual means.

By the way, an American dictionary defines “virtual” as “almost or nearly as described, but not completely or according to strict definition.”

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Walter I. Balane, now based in Davao City, is a correspondent of MindaNews in Malaybalay City and former editor of Central Mindanao Newswatch.)

COMMENTARY: Virtually yours

COMMENTARY: Virtually yours
By Walter I. Balane / MindaNews / 8 October 2004

DAVAO CITY — I thought United States Ambassador Francis J. Ricciardone would want to make “virtual” a scheduled press conference here Thursday.
A day after he led the launching of the US’s “virtual consulate” here in Mindanao’s largest city, press people found themselves waiting for a late comer: the American envoy himself.

The press conference began shortly after 12:00 noon, around an hour and a half after it was scheduled. This is amid a media advisory asking press people to be “in place by 10:30 a.m.” A scheduled 30-minute briefing was called off.

Ricciardone, in town since Wednesday, said among the reasons for his visit is the Wow Mindanao Exposition and to “gather success stories of American-assisted peace and development works in Mindanao.”

But protest actions highlight to the public the ambassador’s visit with militant groups calling the virtual consulate a “spy center.”

As the press knew of his busy schedule while in Davao, no explanation was made about the delay. It is noteworthy that the highest ranking American official in the country has taken some “Filipino time” for whatever reason.

In August 2002, MindaNews reported that Ricciardone also arrived late for a speech in Surigao City at the 11th Mindanao Business Conference. There, he was reported to have snubbed the media.

That he arrived late at the press conference is something. The press represents the “peoples” of Mindanao. This is especially when he said Davao and Mindanao are important for the United States.

But how important? Or should the question be, why important?
The fact that Asia’s first virtual consulate is in Davao now sends a message: that the United States has interests here more than elsewhere.

Jay T. Snyder, commissioner of the US Advisory Commission for Public Diplomacy, connects virtual consulate to “virtual diplomacy.”

Snyder’s speech at an American diplomacy conference, as posted at the US State Department website in July 2003, explains virtual consulates.

“The New Diplomacy utilizes innovative thinking and new forms of media to expand the reach of our foreign policy. It has the potential to increase our ability to put forth America’s message to the global society,” he said.

“To inform and influence foreign audiences, the Department of State must continue to go beyond traditional government-to-government communication. Today, we have the ability to speak directly to local populations. These populations have a great deal of influence over their respective governments’ foreign policy.”

Snyder said that in Russia, where the first virtual consulate was launched, “our staff is able to stream relevant and newsworthy information in a time sensitive manner to our focus population. Previously, we have had no presence in a region of almost 3 million people.”

“The Virtual Consulate is probably the most flexible and agile instrument in the ‘New Diplomacy’ arsenal. With the inevitable increase of Internet usage in most regions of the world, it is important for us to invest heavily in the Virtual Concept for the future.

“We are capable of doing all of the work of a Virtual Consulate remotely. But to optimize its effectiveness, we should also augment the program with regular visits from the Ambassador or other senior American officials.

This will increase the legitimacy and interest among the focus population.
“These visits add to the visibility through increased press coverage, which further enables host populations to view the Virtual Consulate as a critical extension of a physical American presence.

“As Internet accessibility increases, host country citizens will begin to see the Virtual Consulates as one-stop-shopping for all news, information and services brought to them by the United States government.

“With $10,000 in start up costs, this robust model can handle many tasks performed by a physical consulate. Only the issuing of visas requires a fixed location.”

Snyder concluded that, coordinated with American presence post and American corners, the virtual consulates “has the power to change public diplomacy in an efficient and cost effective manner for the better.”

Snyder’s explanation may not really embody the US “virtual diplomacy.” It is clear however that the virtual consulate is viewed as an extension of “a physical American presence.”
At the press conference, the ambassador clarified his government’s thrust in Mindanao: to work for development to underlie a peaceful environment.”

At one time, however, he said they would support those who contribute to peace and development efforts in Mindanao, like the vendors and business groups they are assisting.
“But if you support bomb makers and kidnappers, we will go after you,” he warned.

Then he quickly clarified that “it is the Philippine government who will go after bomb makers and kidnappers” and the Americans will just support the Philippine government.
Clarifications like that should be made about American interests in Mindanao, especially with its “virtual” consulate now in Davao.

While it is safe to assume, it is also important to make the US clarify its Mindanao interests, especially when matters like “American presence post” and “American corners” are “coordinated” with virtual means.

By the way, an American dictionary defines “virtual” as “almost or nearly as described, but not completely or according to strict definition.”

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Walter I. Balane, now based in Davao City, is a correspondent of MindaNews in Malaybalay City and former editor of Central Mindanao Newswatch.)

COMMENTARY: Trying to revisit Malaybalay’s past

COMMENTARY: Trying to revisit Malaybalay’s past
By Walter I. Balane / MindaNews / 16 June May 2004

MALAYBALAY CITY — On the 15th of June, 127 years ago, Malaybalay was established by the Spanish conquerors as a town or “pueblo.” After years of resistance, local inhabitants, led by Datu Mampaalong, bowed to the Castillan army led by 1Lt. Don Felipe Martinez.
Mampaalong, now the name of a lonely street in the city’s poblacion, was among the respected leaders of Malaybalay’s earlier residents. Malaybalay’s inhabitants, according to accounts, allegedly came from the “seashores of Northern Mindanao”.

According to a copy of the deed of the pueblo’s creation, which MindaNews found at the city library, Mampaalong and 30 other datus “submitted themselves to the sovereignty of the Nation (Spanish crown)” on June 15, 1877.

As recorded, some of the datus named in the deed in Spanish were Datto Manpalon (Mampaalong) who was baptized as Mariano Melendez; Sugola; Mindaguin; Apang; and Bansag. They allegedly took their oath to the Spanish crown on behalf of the estimated population of 453 then. (Malaybalay’s population in 2004 is estimated at 137,579).

For lack of additional records on the oath-taking, one cannot tell if the datus fought first before paying allegiance to the conquerors. Or could they have given their oaths “freely?”
If the existing records of Malaybalay’s history are to be the basis, the datus and their ancestors resisted Spanish conquest. In fact, according to another “brief history” of Malaybalay at the city library, the “last recorded resistance by the inhabitants against the conquering Castillan army” was “sometime in 1850.” The inhabitants resisted foreign aggression, that’s certain.

According to a city history reader, at the height of the Spanish conquest of the hinterlands of Mindanao, the Spaniards burned the entire village of what is now known as Kalasungay, now at the northwest part of the city. All adult male residents in the settlement, it said, were killed while the women and children were taken hostage. At the time, Bukidnon only had five settlements namely, Malaybalay, Sumilao, Linabo (now in Malaybalay), Mailag (now in Valencia) and Silae (Malaybalay).

There were no details written about the exploits of the survivors other than the information that those who survived and fled to Silae (a very remote barangay now) slowly returned a few years later and settled near Sacub river (now the site of the Plaza Rizal) under the protection of Datu Mampaalong. Sacub river is now known as Sawaga river.

On the day Mampaalong and the 30 datus took their oath of allegiance to the Spanish, they accordingly embraced Christianity.

Since then, June 15, 1877 has been referred to as the foundation day of Malaybalay.
But it is interesting to note this entry of Malaybalay’s very limited “written” history. In fact, it was probably taken from pages of Spanish chronicles about their “God, gold and glory” conquest. The deed I quoted above was from a government document written in
Spanish translated by a local government clerk in the 1970s. Now, the document is just a sheet of bond paper fastened together with the “brief history” of Bukidnon’s other localities.

If indeed true, the accounts were from the point of view of a conqueror vanquishing his enemies. In fact, so much of 19th century Malaybalay is taken from accounts based on Spanish chronicles.
If there is any written history from other sources, they are not found in Bukidnon’s public libraries and therefore not made available for the public to appreciate. I have yet to see a history of Malaybalay written from the point of view of the Lumads.

If today’s generation of Malaybalay residents do not have a clear view of Malaybalay’s history, then it won’t appear significant if June 15 is being celebrated as the town’s foundation day, never mind if it was not a day worth celebrating for their ancestors.

But one significant fact remains: unlike in other Spanish settlements around Mindanao, despite the pueblo’s being named as “Oroquieta del Interior,” the name Malaybalay, accordingly a Castillan slip in the pronounciation of “walaybalay,” is still the name of Bukidnon’s capital.

The celebration of Malaybalay’s foundation day is actually a celebration of the inhabitants “submission” to the Spanish crown; the creation of the “pueblo” being just a “consuelo de bobo”.
The deed goes: “…His excellency the Governor General, Don Domingo Moriones Y Murillo, who actually represents His Majesty in these Islands; he was accepting the submission tendered by the above named magnates (31 datus) for themselves and in the form and under the conditions offered; promising them [the inhabitants] to the protection and assistance necessary against their enemies, such as the maintenance of peace and order, as long as they remain loyal and faithful to their oath, and to commemorate
their oath of allegiance, he is declaring the establishment of the town under the name Oroquita, to which the subject[sic] agrees.

The use of the words “submission” and “subject” indicate the conditions of the datus at that time. .
Apparently, the use of June 15 to celebrate Malaybalay’s foundation day is a big mockery of its indigenous ancestry; showing submission rather than courage and zealousness.

Although I can imagine the datus celebrating with the Spaniards after the creation of the pueblo, I can guess they would have wanted something better if only they had the choice.
Certainly, the day wasn’t really a day of jubilation. I could only guess it was a day of defeat. Marking the foundation day on June 15, 1877 would only give credit to the Spanish conquest more than the resistance.

No one can change the past. But of course, understanding the past could very well be a good guide to understanding the present and charting the future.
My argument does not intend to look down on Datu ampaalong and the other tribal leaders for their submission to the Spaniards. Certainly, there were merits in the “submission” owing to the organization of the “pueblo.”

But what I am trying to point out is, which part of their struggle, if any for a concept of “a people,” is being “honored” in the celebration? Is it the part when they stood against aggression or when they surrendered to aggression?

Adding salt to injury, the city held a joint celebration of Philippine Independence Day and 127th Foundation Day on June 12 at the city’s Freedom Park.

According to reliable sources at the city government, the coincidence was unintentional for it has been a tradition for Malaybalay to mark its foundation day on the nearest Saturday to June 15.
But there lies the irony in this year’s joint “celebration.”

Independence Day celebrated together with the commemoration of the day the local datus “submitted” and subjected themselves to the Spaniards?

If Malaybalay’s youth had been taught about their history, they would probably have been confused.
Watching the joint “celebration” at Freedom Park last Saturday, I heard local officials calling on the people to be thankful for not only the big blessings but also for the small ones. In times when the “people are at the mercy of societal problems, we should be
thankful that we are free,” Mayor Florencio Flores told the crowd composed mostly of government officials and employees.

For sure, the people of Malaybalay are better off without a foundation day celebration that’s founded on defeat.
But, they would never know.
Malaybalay’s history is not even well stocked in its libraries.

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Walter I. Balane reports on Bukidnon for MindaNews).