The Biking Priest Goes to the Boondocks

Say hi to this guy, if you see him biking around our mountains. His name is Amado Picardal, a Redemptorist priest from Davao City who is biking around the country “for life and peace”.

Shocks, Fr. Amando naman inunahan mo ako dito. Plano ko ding gawin iyan. Hehe. We should really give props to our kababayans in Mindanao for coming up with creative ways of expressing their advocacies. Remember the group of farmers from Bukidnon who walked all the way to Malacañang?

Read moreThe Biking Priest Goes to the Boondocks

Peace Shrine Unveiled in Tabuk

From the Philippine Information Agency

A memorial peace shrine built by the Kalinga Peace Makers Movement at the Tabuk Pastoral Center (TPC) here was unveiled on March 15 with Governor Floydelia Diasen and City Mayor Camilo Lammawin Jr. leading the wreath laying at the foot of the marker.

It was dedicated to those who sacrificed their lives in the name of service for the people of Kalinga, particularly the four Catholic priests killed in recent years and those victims of violence.

The inscription at the peace shrine reads: “In memory of Rev. Fathers Conrado Aquino, Elias Bareng, Leo Vande Winkel, all CICM priests and Franciscus Madhu, SVD and all those who sacrificed their lives due to tribal or criminal violence. May the blood they shed be the seed of lasting peace in Kalinga.”

Read morePeace Shrine Unveiled in Tabuk

Cesar Rafael Update

The police is hunting for the suspected mastermind and his alipores according to this latest report from the Philippine Star via ABS-CBN:

BONTOC, Mt. Province – Police vowed to arrest the mastermind and three other suspects in the Christmas Day murder of the mayor of Paracelis town within the month.

Being hunted down for the killing of Mayor Ceasar Rafael are Anonat barangay chairman Rommel “Borbon” Ambatali, the suspected mastermind and alleged leader of a criminal syndicate involved in kidnappings for ransom, robberies in band, illegal possession of firearms, murders and cattle rustling in Nueva Vizcaya and Isabela; Anonat barangay kagawad Danny Agabao, and brothers Tony and Orland Gumbi.

Last week, Ambatali and his six henchmen were formally charged for the Rafael killing after two suspects – Bong Felix, 34, and Rene Yadao, 32 – gave themselves up to police and claimed that they served as lookouts.

The two tagged Ambatali as the mastermind who paid them P5,000 for the hit job.

Read moreCesar Rafael Update

Men of Arms

Thanks to the The Jester and Layad for the heads up on this touching article about the lives of military men.

First published in the Youngblood section of the Inquirer, this article was written by 1 Lt. Manuel Kalang-ad Jr, a kailiyan who graduated from the Philippine Military Academy last 2004. Lt. Kalang-ad is now serving as a company commander with the Philippine Army. It’s not often that we read an article written by a military man so let’s consider this a treat.

Men of Arms
by Manuel Kalang-ad Jr.

When I was a child, my grandfather cautioned me not to eat the head whenever we had chicken for dinner. He said that if you ate chicken’s head, during war or battle, your head would keep popping up, no matter how much you try to hide it, and it would become an easy target for the enemy. I didn’t pay much attention to this superstition of my grandpa. After all, for all the truth it might hold, I didn’t plan on becoming a soldier, whose job is to go to war.

I went through elementary and high school having much the same safe and idealistic dreams as any youngster my age. At first, I wanted to be an architect, then a lawyer. The two professions had one thing in common: You get to live the normal life of a civilian and don’t have to concern yourself with things like going out in the dead of the night because it is your duty to do so.

Never did it enter my mind to consider a career in the military. I had this image that the life of a soldier was a hard one, not much different from a farmer’s who must endure the rain, the heat of the sun, and the cold of night out in the field. I went through my formative years dreaming of someday becoming a big shot with lots of money and power.

Read moreMen of Arms

War Allies

From Time Magazine/August 13, 1945

In the steep Caraballo Mountains of northern Luzon, a battalion of the 127th Infantry Regiment last week came upon a vast road block—a chasm blasted by retreating Japs.

A battalion commander, Lieut. Colonel Powell A. Fraser, had his jeeps dismantled, called for native bearers. Scores of volunteers—sturdy, brown-bodied Igorot women —eagerly picked up wheels, engines and other parts, carried them along paths which at one point soared 2,000 feet above the road. On the other side of the chasm the jeeps were reassembled, and Fraser’s men sped after the Japs. The Igorot women stayed behind to help the engineers rebuild the road.

Read moreWar Allies