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Reading the 11-point summaries of the GPH-MILF Peace Talks in Kuala Lumpur

When I used to cover Davao City, I have become more familiar with the GPH-MILF peace negotiations. Even if it is only the committees on the cessation of hostilities who meet, they issue a joint statement to some how shed light on the coverage of meeting.

I expected this from the talks in KL but the reports said there was none.This is not a good sign, if we look at it that way.  I think having no joint statement is more sincere an act, than forcing one when there is none.Is it right to have one just to play with symbolism?

Many people expected a lot from the talks. After that “historic” meeting in Japan between President Benigno Aquino III and the MILF’ chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, the stakes are high on “expediting the peace process”.

As a journalist who covered this from afar, my reading is, are we supposed to mistake “expediting the process” with taking short cuts? Unless we expected the negotiators to be rubbing on a bottle for a genie to make wishes easily his command. Read More…


Teodoro’s take on peace: be practical

Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro wants to approach peace with a “strong dose of practicality, pragmatism and political realism” as he questioned the approach of solving the root causes of conflict” because “has any society been able to solve the root causes of conflict?”

He told the 8th Mindanao Island Conference of the Provincial Board Members League of the Philippines on Wednesday night that the first lesson he learned in approaching the problem of peace and order is to do it with “the backing of some values and some idealism and with strong dose of practicality, pragmatism, and political realism”. Read More…

Rethinking campus journalism

The better way to teach journalism in campus is to train them to write for life.

Perhaps, that’s a motherhood phrase.

What I really wanted to say is to go beyond competition mode.

The holding of competitions to test the skills of school children on campus journalism might have worked to a certain point.

But making the students practice campus journalism more might do miracles and fish more youth to the craft of factual reporting. Read More…

See you in Gensan for MBS2!

I’m heading to General Santos City late this month for the Second Mindanao Bloggers Summit!

It will be at the Family Country Hotel and Convention Center at the Tuna Capital of the Philippines, General Santos City on October 25-26, 2008.

I was asked to give a brief sharing on Voices from Mindanao Heartroots: Notes on Life & Living in the Communities.

I can’t wait to return to Gensan for MBS2! I’m looking forward to meeting old and new friends and to learn from them during this gathering! I’m sure this is a much-awaited sequel to Davao’s MBS1 last year.  Read More…

Negotiating for local content

This is another attempt to return to up-to-date blogging.

First and foremost, thanks to those who are behind the Top 100 Mindanao Blogs of 2007.

Nakatunga nalang ang 2008, ayha pa ko naka comment ani. I’m trying to convince myself that it’s “Better late than never!”

I am glad that Istambay sa Mindanao was included in the list, despite being stagnant most of the time.

Blogging has good prospects but my new work terrain here in Bukidnon required realigning priorities.

After publishing 32 issues of our weekly local newspaper Central Mindanao Newswatch, I have mixed reactions. Read More…

New blog on Bukidnon news and information

The Central Mindanao Newswatch, Bukidon’s local newspaper, is launching this week its online journal Bukidnon Newswatch Online.

This is the paper’s second attempt to put up a blog for the community newspaper based in Malaybalay City.

This try was triggered by a recent mechanical problem, which delayed the release of the week’s issue. The paper received constant queries on when to release the paper.

This inspired Newswatch staffers to put online some of the paper’s top stories.Going online, at least in the blogosphere, would be among the new ways the paper can serve the people of the province who are in Bukidnon and in many parts of the world.

This becomes part of the way the paper celebrates 20 years in service as “press freedom fighter from the Heart of Mindanao”.

Life in the Plateau

Thanks to all who sent messages to my Kamuyot bag.

Ma’am Prix (and to all who are unfamiliar with it), Kamuyot is Bukidnon’s version of the tinalak. It’s made of sinamay from abaca fiber, from plantations scattered in Bukidnon’s rugged terrain. Of course, its woven mostly by indigenous women who sell it to buyers from the lowlands.

It’s a business beginning to die –unless the government and the lumad communities could save it together against fiber plant diseases haunting even planters in our beloved Davao City.

I’m in for some updates from the Bukidnon plateau. Read More…