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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…

Blogging the Mindanawon Consciousness

When I first heard of the theme of the up and coming Second Mindanao Bloggers Summit I felt it is something worth blogging about.

It is indeed a practical topic in a time when blogging is already considered a force to reckon with.

This is especially true in a time when Mindanao continues to experience unpeace and is misunderstood in many ways.

Mindanawons blogging about Mindanao is but just natural and is right about the perfect energy needed.

There is a need to blog about the voices of peoples rooted in Mindanao.

It might not be enough, however, that there are Mindanao bloggers who discuss on Mindanao from their online platforms. 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…

Being present at the Fourth Mindanao Media Summit

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

Participants take time to smile and relax for a date with posterity (Photo by Skippy Lumawag courtesy of Mindanews)

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 hearing I could hear Jocan talking me to drop the breakfast for a moment and smile it out in the photographic firing squad.

I managed some sips of brewed coffee and few scoops of the one-serving steamed rice and the hard-boiled egg and beef curry sud-an. I have to or I couldn’t move a muscle to say “cheese”. Oh, I went there seconds later as I have to squeeze in my summit shirt. I went there to see if the pool was really tempting enough for some laps of swimming, to regret I didn’t plunge when I could last night.

The last day of the three-day gathering of Mindanao media’s “decision-makers” started with quaint picture taking by the poolside of the Waterfront Insular Hotel in Lanang, Davao City.

It was supposed to capture for the future the faces of the news professionals who participated in the summit in a step to improve capacity as stakeholder to peace and development in Mindanao. 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”.