Last night I went to the wake for bishop Alberto Ramento at the National Cathedral of the Philippine Independent Church. He was a friend of over thirty years standing of my parents, first of my father who maintained a close and admiring relationship with the PIC from the early 70s until the time of his death; and my mother, who considered him a just and truly Christian man. Bishop Ramento was one of the few individuals from outside the family invited to attend my parent’s wedding and my father considered him one of the most intellectually-inclined among his PIC friends: the frustration he felt with much of the Catholic clergy was compensated for, I think, by the openness of his PIC friends to ecumenism and because of their thorough nationalism.
Talking to bishop Ramento’s widow and then, while having a much lengthier talk with one of his sons, I couldn’t help but think about the contrast between Ramento’s life -approachable to all, accommodating of all classes, but dedicated to the poor and lived according to complete simplicity- with its death threats and spartan circumstances, and that of so many of his Roman Catholic peers.
Achieving Happiness was apparently also at the wake for bishop Ramento at the time I went, and she describes perfectly what the BAYAN tribute was like:
Attended the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan’s (BAYAN) tribute to IFI Maximo Obispo Alberto Ramento. It was a beautiful, heartfelt and rousing tribute. Bishop Ramento’s legacy will live on, and the lessons of his life will continue to inspire countless progressive church people, religious, professionals, youth and students in their Lead222 efforts to serve the interest of the basic masses of workers and peasants.
When Bayan’s Rita Baua asked the audience to stand up and applaud the memory of Bishop Ramento, everyone clapped until their palms began to hurt, and it felt and sounded like people would’ve wanted to continue clapping long after the one minute was up.
We clapped for Bishop Ramento, his life and his sacrifice; and we also clapped in tribute to the lives of those who fell before him, felled by bullets of killers sent by a killer government.
My mother and I clapped, too.
The significance of bishop Ramento’s life and death have been pointed out in tributes and editorials. His death marks an escalation in the confrontation between the forces of reaction and everyone else. From what I heard from his family, the bishop was not accidentally killed in a robbery. He was assassinated -the fatal blow most likely inflicted with a bayonet.
Anti-terror bill gets nudged forward by bombings in Mindanao (see Madame Chiang’s note on the double-counting of fatalities, though). 17 to be charged for nursing exam leak. Former UP President Nemenzo to be charged in connection with Magdalo.
The papers have competing stories about the petitions submitted to the Supreme Court to prove -or disprove- the existence of a genuine people’s initiative. Malaya the Bulletin, the Star, the Daily Tribune and the Business Mirror all focus on different facets of the case.
The Inquirer has published a series of editorials on the Comelec computerization case: Blind, Deaf, and Dumb, the editorials said of the Ombudsman, and most recently, by suggesting The Court did it (that is, a crime with no criminals became so because of the Supreme Court), the Ombudsman’s report makes no sense.
Tony Abaya on Kim Jong-Il and Jose Ma. Sison.
John Mangun says take a second look at the stock market. Akio Mikuni says Japan should focus on its housing market now that the US housing bubble’s about to burst. On a related note, Newsbreak on a hotel room-building boom in Cebu.
In the blogosphere,
Political Pinoy links to a cussing match between a call center operator and a client. Nagsusulat Lamang pens an open letter to nurses. And caffeine sparks pens something I totally agree with: the personal is political, and that defeatism is the majority consensus:
And so if the elite do not care, and the masses don’t either, then who are we left with? Those who are able to mount a formidable election machine to gain public office and then, like rabid vampires, cannibalize precious little State resources. And those who are so wretchedly poor and uneducated that they willingly cash in on such election machines in exchange for their democratic power to scribble names on a piece of paper. In the mean time, those of us in the middle dwindle in numbers as we all plot to jump ship, if not now then in the near future.,,
I tell my Intramuros students, you want to fly away to some far corner of the globe? You think to escape your roots? I think not. You may not physically be here but you will leave family behind. You will remit billions of dollars a year, and as economic conditions worsen, you will remit even more. Even then your country bleeds you. You will keep this Republic afloat and you will unwittingly keep the very Government you fled, that amoral monster of a cannibal, alive and well and fed. I say kill it. And if you want to slay it, then you stay.
The Middle East, Arab culture and the peace divide has My Liberal Times writing on liberal Arabs and Epilogos reproducing an article on whether Muslims who riot really know what they’re all excited about.
Haze from Indonesia spills over to Malaysia and Singapore: Present Point Power has photos. Screenshots has the latest in the Bumiputra affirmative action debate roiling Malaysia. Also, media interference there irks, well, media people.