Archive | January 2015

(Trying) to understand Mindanao

A personal essay


(A Personal Essay)

It’s still a world of instant coffee.

A friend from academia dropped a message in my inbox to ask for an online chat via Yahoo Messenger or Google Chat. I was surprised since the last contact we made was two years ago in a UP e-group.

He said as a journalist I could give him a quick explanation about Mindanao, its indigenous peoples, the issue of ancestral domain, the Mindanao conflict, why some IPs oppose mining, and also the peace process. He was trying to prepare a primer on Mindanao.

I knew it was an overview paper. It was an ambitious overview paper. It is doable I’m sure. I find preparing a primer on Mindanao, however, out of synch and possibly a waste of time. Such primer could be for anyone rushing. But I think one shouldn’t rush any attempt to understand Mindanao.

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Being present at the Fourth Mindanao Media Summit

Musings of a participant


Participants take time to smile and relax for a date with posterity

The formal sessions of the 4th Mindanao Media Summit just concluded early afternoon today, 09 August 2008.

The theme: “Mindanao 2020: The vision begins with us”, is placed in an imposing tarp at the back draft. It was a reminder to me as a member of the group who took on “drafting” the vision from the participants. “Where are the other members of the styling committee?” I asked myself.

I ate a late breakfast today as I stayed late for my recent attempt to write a narrative report. So when I entered the summit hall, I have to do some catching up on who did what the night before.

I caught up on the secretariat who were busy calling the rest of the group for the picture taking.

Meanwhile, I picked the shiniest plate on the buffet table and proceeded to feast on hotel breakfast. In my peripheral vision and…

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Congrats Tom!

I found this from elsewhere … I was surprised I wrote this years ago.


I’m referring to someone who I doubt could be familiar to anyone here in blogosphere. I virtually met this 24-year old Tboli today from Brgy, New La Union in Maitum, Sarangani Province.

The Sarangani Information Office sent a press release, which our news organization used in this story.

Tom isn’t Mark Twain’s adventurous Sawyer kid of-all-time. Tom is Tom Balatac, the 24-year old Grade 1 student of Kipalkuda Elementary School in Maitum.

I commend Tom for the courage of going against social persecution, perhaps, of coming to school much later. It is one brave act that sends a wonderful message to those who have access to quality education but did not value the opportunity as of now.

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