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May 9 - 15, 2015

Family
By ANTONIO M. REYES

Sometimes it takes a near death experience to realize the most important people in our life. I was never really close to my brother-in-law General Bonifacio Ramos, and the few times we talked, we argued about mundane things concerning our country. But during his last visit here I decided to reach out to him. I learned about his childhood, and the difficult life he lived, while training to be an officer at the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio City.

Boni was hospitalized during his stay here from heat stroke supervising work on their properties in preparation for his wife Evelyn’s return from Chicago after her retirement.

He talked about his desire to serve the country for his scholarship at the PMA, and of the hardships freshmen suffered there, from upper classmates.

He recalled a time when he had to smuggle 4 loafs of bread into the camp because he was starving, since junior officers were not allowed to eat while in the presence of their senior officers. He said he ate the 4 loafs so hurriedly that he almost swallowed the staplers that secured the bread wrappers.

Boni has lived most of his married life away from his family who were in the United States, so he could pursue his military career, and has attained a rank no other military officer from Eastern Visayas has been able to duplicate.

And now he wants to return the favor, through public service, and it would be a pity if he is unable to do so.

Boni returned to the United States, after he was well enough to travel, to be with the people he loved most. He missed his wife Evelyn who is a supervising nurse in Chicago. His daughter Tanya, who is a doctor who completed her intership in Cuba. Tanya plans to return to Maasin one day to set-up a clinic which would provide free service to indigests. And his younger daughter Bopeep, who is a teacher, at the university there.

I often wonder what we have have done as a people to deserve a society whose government is ruled, not by the most deserving, but the ones with more money.

There are several schools of thought concerning this problem, but the one I prefer - is our apathetic attitude towards life.We just can’t seem to think beyond the narrow confines of ourselves.

Antonio M. Reyes is the publisher and editor of the Southern Leyte Times the largest circulating newspaper & website in Southern Leyte.

A season for everything

They tell us there’s always a season for everything- to celebrate or to grieve, to rejoice or to be sad, in victory or defeat, to sow and harvest and many others. The season is now for reckoning of the political perspective which every Filipino citizen goes through as a matter of civic duty or favorite pastime.

Barber or coffee shops, media or entero, bisanasaanghisgotan PULITIKA because the partisan ambience really fills the air, odourless or senseless whatever.

But the most pervasive is the scent of a woman, neophyte but at par with peers and even more in the snakepit called Senate. While the others of her political genre tried very hard and are miserably found wanting, “tinimbang ngunit kulang” Sen. Grace Poe Manzanares of the FPJ block has courted the imagination of the nation. Even while at the helm of MTRCB, she already implemented innovations in the maddening world of showbiz, radio and television understandably as scion to the movie industry.

Grace Poe will always be referred to as bringing rationality and restraint to a tumultuous enterprise of makebelievers, contenders and pretenders.

In the race for the Senate which she easily hurdled despite not being groomed politically but due to performance as MTRCB boss-woman and of course, the influence and name of an illustrious father and popular mother, Grace Poe, the Senator, never pressed hard to outtalk or outdo self-styled colleagues but just blended naturally and flowed gracefully to the chore of national legislation.

No ostentation nor drumbeating like the others but just doing the job, untainted by any misdeed or wrongdoing frowned upon by today’s corruption-conscious people. Poe seems to have cultivated the knack of facilitating serious issues in tight situations like the Mamasapano incident without fanfare but getting to the crux of the whole thing. She has championed the cause of the underprivileged sectors away from public limelight. It is quite obvious from whom she inherited this compassion for the underserved. And most of all, Grace Poe is Bisaya like Rodrigo Duterte! ATO NI!

There’s no surprise that every Prince Charming presidential wannabe is competing to draw the political Cinderella to his team. Or is it the prince consort who should gravitate to the Queen instead. We’ll have to wait because unlike the overly ambitious ones, the Queen is still coy and humble to the core like FPJ. “Ang mag bise president pagbuot sa tawo. Ang pagkaPresidente pagbuot sa Ginoo kay usa kini ka dakong sakripisyo!”






 

 

 

   

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