God help the peace process

Ever since I got wind of the “golf brawl” involving the Pangandaman’s acts of savagery and barbarism  at the Valley Golf in Antipolo City, I am in a constant state of exasperation.  

I am distraught at the audacity of Nasser Jr. for beating up an old man and a minor.

I am angry at the callousness of Nasser Sr. for allowing the brawl to progress, simply watching, tolerating the brutality of his son’s actions to human beings.

Mostly, I am disturbed at the fact that, while the progressive cities of Mindanao are trying their damnedest to create a positive image, there are those, who, with wanton abandon carry their weight around jeopardizing the efforts and nullifying the achievements of saner Mindanaons.

To quote, Daxi Weida, a fellow blogger’s brilliant comment:

“Ito ang halimbawa ng mga pangyayaring hindi kailanman makakapag-ambag sa magandang imahe ng Mindanao. Ang mga pyudal na warlords ng Mindanao – Pangandaman man ang apelyido o hindi, Muslim man o Kristiyano – ang ilan sa mga dahilan kung bakit ang bagal ng pag-unlad ng Mindanao; kung bakit atrasado ang kalagayan ng ARMM; kung bakit isa sa mga pinakamahirap na probinsya ng Pilipinas ang Lanao del Sur.. [Alam nyo ba na ang lungsod (siyudad?) ng Masiu ay kinakategoryang “first class municipality”?]

The question now that is plaguing my mind is:  WHAT WILL BECOME OF THE PEACE PROCESS? 

On December 23, 2008, the Office of the Press Secretary released the names of the newly appointed members to the GRP Peace Panel which included Nasser Pangandaman Sr.

The article said, “Secretary Pangandaman’s role is to provide continuity of the peace negotiations and to represent the Muslims.”

How could anyone be an effective peace negotiator for the Government of the Republic of the Philippines when he did not even lift a finger to stop the violence committed by his own son to a fellow Filipino?  

How could anybody raise a brute and talk about peace? 

I have no doubt that former Gensan City Mayor, Adelbert W. Antonino will do an excellent job. After all, he did great while he was the city’s chief executive.  Sir AdWA, as he his lovingly called, is an honorable statesman. But what can one man do?

We will be desperately requiring divine intercession.  We need a miracle!

BLOGGING & EMPOWERMENT

Copy of the Message of the Honorable City Mayor, PEDRO B. ACHARON, JR. for the delegates of the 2nd Mindanao Bloggers Summit held on October 25, 2008 at the Family Country Hotel and Convention Center, General Santos City.

The message, in toto, was delivered by the Honorable City Councilor, Margareth Rose N. Santos.

 

 Magandang Gensan . . .

 In your language, I am a newbie.  Although, I am an active advocate of cyber technology as can be gleaned from the numerous ICT projects or ICT-support programs of the LGU, I am regrettably not tech-savvy.  

Much effort was made in order for me to deliver this message.  I have to educate myself, in order not to be off-course.  The more I learned, the more I admired this new medium called “weblog.”

Blogs, as personally published documents, can be liberating and at some point stress busting.  Imagine, stay at home mothers, gone are the days when they are cut-off from the world.  Not only are they up-to-date with their surroundings and even beyond; they can share their joys and woes of motherhood and exchange parenting tips with other parents.  Imagine flourishing poets and writers, gone are the days that they have to wait months or years for a publishing house to notice their works.  Now they can publish their literary pieces at their convenience and at the comfort of their own homes.  Imagine emerging businesses, market placement and business matching was at the mercy of resource entities.  Now they make themselves known over the internet and make personal correspondences with visitors and clients. At some instances and under the cloak of anonymity, you and me, can project frustrations and express true opinions about work, politics, or religion.  Indeed, on a deeply personal level, blogging is empowering.

 However, the question before me is, how can this medium, this new source of power, be used for Mindanao?

 Let us consider the benefits of B.L.O.G. and discover how Mindanao can and will be transformed.

“B” in blog means better communications.  As blogs are personal publications over the internet, it provides a chance to share experience and expertise to a wider audience.  Mindanao Island, our home, has been plagued by and subjected to negative publicity for too long. Today, we say, “no more!”  There is now an alternative to the traditional media agencies.  We are the alternative.  The power to correct or verify news about peace and order situations, business climate, or political issues.  Blogging provides us with the avenue to educate the rest of the country and the world the beauty of our people, the richness of our history and culture, the serenity of our land- and seascapes, the modernity of our infrastructure, and the vibrancy of our economy.  Decades ago, Mindanao was the land of promise.  Today, bloggers will make it the land of fulfillment.

 “L” in blog means lower cost.  Blogging is a cost effective alternative to traditional broadcasting or media printing. It is an inexpensive method to amplify personal voice and views or get business going over the internet.  This “L” is an accessory to our earlier “B”.

 “O” is for opportunities. Blogging presents a multitude of opportunities for the user.  Information for personal and relationship development, family and home improvement, career enhancements, financial advancement, and many others are available at a few clicks.  These informations can lead to or create opportunities for the blogger.  Opportunities which may also be relevant for the continuing growth of Mindanao.

  “G” obviously refers to global.  Global in terms of reach and scope.  Global in terms of magnitude and importance. 

 Ladies and gentlemen, fellow Mindanaon… the topic assigned to me today was “Empowering the Bloggers in Mindanao.”     Yet, after having delved into the subject of blog and blogging – – I concluded that bloggers do not need to be empowered.  For there, within each blogger’s grasp is the awesome power of multimedia, the power to inform and be informed, and the power to educate and be educated.  The only thing required is for the blogger to be aware of it.  What is most significant today is the challenge for the empowered blogger to empower Mindanao. 

 

Magandang Gensan sa muli and happy blogging!