Posts Tagged ‘roland tolentino’

pop goes the world: anthology

POP GOES THE WORLD  By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today,  5 July 2012, Thursday


Last week I received a final “call for manuscripts” notice from University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication dean Dr. Rolando Tolentino, who is collecting critical, personal, popular, and creative non-fiction works for an anthology called “The Ballads of Malakas and Maganda: Marcosian and Imeldific Essays.”

This is a sequel to the “Mondo Marcos” volumes, published in 2010 and edited by Tolentino and veteran journalist Frank Cimatu.

Such a collection would be a significant addition to the histories and memoirs written about the period, a time of struggle and pain, a time that many young people do not know about.

If the stories of that time are unknown or forgotten, how will generations to come benefit from the lessons learned during that time?

Imelda Marcos’s 83rd birthday rolled around last July 2, with a concomitant barrage of posts on social media of pictures of her in the bloom of youth. The comments were mostly flattering, referring to her beauty and singing voice.

At the height of their power, she positioned herself as the semi-divine Maganda of Filipino creation myth, with Ferdinand Marcos as the counterpart Malakas.

Musician David Byrne, who in 2005 recorded a two-CD rock opera with Fatboy Slim called “Here Lies Love” revolving around the Imelda story, has blogged about Imelda’s deliberate assumption of this persona.

Having seen portraits of the Marcos couple in Malacañang, Ilocos, and Leyte, he wrote about their depiction as the “ur-couple of the Philippines…the strong man and the beautiful woman,” with Imelda cast as a “nurturing goddess.”

Many from Generation Y, the millenials, have never even heard of the Marcos couple, except as names in history books. Imelda is still a congresswoman, and even launched a fashion line in 2006 using her recycled belongings; she is known to the youth mostly as some sort of celebrity. Her legacy and that of Ferdinand – Martial Law – is shrugged off as a historical tidbit.

Those who were at the forefront of the struggle during the 1970s will never forget what they endured during Martial Law. One of them is lawyer Eduardo Araullo, who in his student years at UP was a member of the Left. He fought against the dictatorship with blood and bone and life and love laid on the line.

Imprisoned for acts of “subversion”, he recalls being doused with water from cannons, beaten by the military with bats and truncheons, hauled off to detention centers in handcuffs. He tends to downplay his experiences, saying he knew what he was in for.

He was twenty and in the underground when he was arrested by the Metrocom and taken to Camp Crame, where his father visited him. He was asked, “Kaya mo?”

“Kaya ko,” he answered.

Prison was boring, Attorney Ed recalls, and the inmates filled their time with games and sports – basketball, table tennis, Monopoly. He was not released until six months later. He went underground again, and later became a labor lawyer.

Why did he fight against martial law, I asked.

“Because it was wrong.”

What else had he been prepared to give up?

“I was ready to die.”

Would he do it again?


What did you learn?

“Stand up for what you believe in. It’s worth it.”

It is hard to elicit much from him beyond cerebral responses. I ask, “What did you feel?” Attorney Ed replies, “It was an intellectual exercise.”

Much remains locked inside him. I feel I can go no farther. He will not take me there.

I take my leave of him and wait by the curb for a ride.

He follows me, and whispers, “I still grieve for them, for those who died. I always remember.”

This and similar stories of those years should never be forgotten, because too much went into the weaving of them. Too many lessons were learned that need to be graven in our hearts. Too many people suffered and died for their legacy to be ignored.

If it takes books for us to remember or learn about those years, then we look forward to the publication of Tolentino and Cimatu’s forthcoming anthology.  *** 

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thank you, UP masscomm

The University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication celebrated its 47th founding anniversary week, “Magpasiklab, Plaridel!” last March 5 to 9 with various activities. Among them was a recognition (pagkilala) ceremony where certificates were awarded to students, faculty, and staff who had earned achievements the previous year.

It was my honor to have been one of those chosen to be recognized (for my Palanca Award win in 2011) and to deliver a short message as one of the graduate students so honored (I am still a dissertation away from receiving my PhD Communication degree).

With UP-CMC dean Roland Tolentino and college secretary Patrick Campos. 

My deepest thanks go to Dean Roland Tolentino and UP-CMC for this signal honor.

Here’s the brief message I delivered that morning. I am proud to report no one fell asleep during my speech.

Message at the UP College of Mass Communication

Pagkilala sa Mga Natatanging Guro, Kawani, at Mag-Aaral recognition ceremony

CMC Auditorium, 9 March 2012 

Magandang umaga sa iyong lahat, Dean Tolentino, Dean Encanto, faculty, fellow students, staff, alumni, and guests.

Ipagpaumanhin nyo na po na hindi sa wikang Tagalog ko ibibigay ang aking mensahe. Chabacano ang tatay ko, Ilongga ang nanay ko, kaya sa wikang Inggles ko po ito isinulat.

First of all, thank you for bestowing this honor on me. I appreciate it even more because it is given on a very special occasion – the commemoration of UP CMC’s 47th founding anniversary.

CMC occupies a significant corner of my heart. I was an undergraduate here in the ’80s, under Dean Encanto. I used to hang out with other members of the UP Journalism Club on the steps of Plaridel Hall till 2am. I would like to assure Dean Encanto that we were not drinking. We were poor students on a budget; we couldn’t afford to.

MassComm itself back then couldn’t afford a lot of stuff. Much of the equipment and furniture was old. We students had to make do with few resources. During MassComm Week or rallies, we’d create makeshift placards or decorations from newspapers, scrounged materials, and paste made from leftover rice that we begged from the canteen. There were few communication textbooks and journals available – we had to borrow or photocopy.

After graduating with a degree in Journalism, I wrote sports articles for the Manila Chronicle, got married. That marriage failed, but it produced the joys of my life, my two daughters. When my husband left us, I had to go back to work, after ten years of being a housewife.

The horseracing industry gave me a break, out of pity. I was apprehensive, having been out of the professional scene for a decade.

At this point, my undergrad experiences in MassComm came to my rescue. It was here that I learned to produce much with the least of resources, to produce something out of practically nothing, and always at the very highest standards of excellence. It was at MassComm that I learned to be maabilidad, madiskarte, and marunong magtrabaho under pressure. (Sa katunayan po, sinulat ko ang mensaheng ito 30 minutes bago dumating dito.)

Twenty years later I was faced with a choice between this college and another one on the other side of the campus for my PhD studies. I chose MassComm, of course. It is my alma mater, my comfort zone, my home. The first sem I was back, I was struck by how so many things had changed – more students, more and better facilities.

But some things stayed the same. While the faculty cohort now is not the same as that of 20 years ago, I am happy to say that the present group of professors carry on the MassCom legacy – of training you to do more with less, to identify the boundaries of your discipline – and shatter them, to think for yourself and define for yourself who you are and who you want to be.

Thank you, UP College of MassComm, for this recognition of my humble writing achievement of last year. I will treasure this certificate, and this moment, always.

But the greatest things you have given me, that I can never thank you enough for, are the skills I’ve used to support my children; the knowledge I employ in building my career and life; and the freedom of mind and thought, a freedom that knows no limits.

Again, thank you, and good morning. Magandang umaga sa inyong lahat.

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