Archive for the ‘Apolonio MIghty Baylon’ Category

Rising Road Accidents

October 26, 2008

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates about 1.2 million people die in traffic accidents worldwide every year. Moreover, 10 million are injured costing about 520 billion in expenses.

Juan Mercado of Cebu Daily News (07/11/06) wrote on the frequent occurence of road accidents in the Philippines. He said the government data tend to underestimate the extent of the problem are not accurate. The records in hospitals don’t agree with what are kept by the police.

“On paper, the Philippine accident rate is about 6.0 fatalities per 10,000 vehicles.’ T“hat makes us look good among ASEAN nations. The low victim headcount has, in fact, lulled authorities into complacency, the report notes. But newspaper and broadcast reports show these up as smug assumptions.

“In 2003, the police reported only about 900 fatalities.” That same year, “about 9,000 fatalities could be attributed to road traffic accidents,” the United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) asserted in its National Injury Survey.

The UNICEF study covered 90,500 households, randomly selected from barangays to regional level. It concluded that over 783,000 pileups occur yearly. In over 144,000 instances, people were injured severely. Another 630,000 got off with bruises, black eyes, dented cars — and the scare of their lives.”

I believe we don’t need more evidence about the bane of traffic accidents in the county. We recall the death of UP Ibalon George Evangelio and injury of his wife in a gruesome bus smash up this year in Pamplona, Camarines Sur killing at least 11 and injuring more than 20 people.

Ibalonians Fred Salva, Karen Canon, and Rebecca Espeso died of injuries suffered from vehicular accidents in Manila and Baao, Camarines Sur. I had Henry Mesia, my brother in Naga City who sustained fatal head trauma in 1985. Ten (10) South Korean visitors recently died of injuries in August 27, 2008 on their way to a resort in Bolinao, Pangasinan.

Apolonio Baylon had a picture of a Bicol University bus totally wrecked in an mishap in Sison, Pangasinan. Ed Gumban snapped a photo of an overloaded tricycle which depicted the real danger of the street in Irosin, Sorsogon.

Based on data from two years ago, 27% (4,182) of car accidents were caused by driver error. This included sleeping on the wheel, failure to follow road signs, drunk driving, and the use of cell phones while driving. Fifteen percent (15%) was due to vehicle mechanical defects, and 13% from speeding.

Marichu V. Cruz, a Manila Times reporter (07/29/08), reveals a continuing increase in traffic accidents this year and obviously, reliable documentation is required to keep government authorities abreast with solutions.

The Philippine Natonal Police (PNP) attributes the alarming traffic accidents on undisciplined Filipino drivers. Traffic officers point to more education and personal responsibility in trying to bring down injuries and deaths on the road. (Photo Credits: Bicol Mail;stchristopherlucky; Ed Gumban) =0=

UPDATE: On October 27, Monday, an additional six (6) people died and 15 others were injured when a vehicle fell into a ravine in Tagaytay, Batangas.

With Angels Playing, Pitoy Moreno Recreates His Peñafrancia Fiesta in Naga

September 26, 2008

As the excitement of Penafrancia fiesta fades, we have something tantalizing to remember. To be part of the merriment blessed in heaven, in Calauag, Naga City, UP Ibalonian Pitoy Moreno aka Pitmo and his lovely wife Lala Espiritu-Moreno opened their warm and cozy home to friends.

The Morenos successfully pulled through with plenty of help from their two bubbly kids—Ira Nicole, the special 7-year old with a gift of gab who served as Pitoy’s most valuable receptionist. The cute little “miracle girl” whose heart condition called pulmonary stenosis seemed far away, was assisted by her older sister Gwyn Christianne.

The versatile duo wowed their guests with child tales and beautiful music to share. Brimming with earnestness and less-often seen bravado, the two lovely sisters had their musical instruments busy. Like pros from a concert stage, they played violin, marimba, bongus, and piano in front of their admiring guests.

In God’s grace and time, it was clear: the excellent food on the table was more than enough to savor and celebrate. Lala had all the herbs and essences all over the kitchen to add taste to the cuisine. It must be a creation of the true mother of the house from Nabua, Camarines Sur, whose people are well-known for their homestyle cooking, kindness, and hospitable nature.

If famous couturier Pitoy Moreno of Manila wove exquisite clothes which delighted the fashion sense in most of us, our own Pitoy, the civil engineer (with all the bells and whistles that go with it) gave true meaning to hospitality.

With his lovely and tireless wife, the good-humored supermom and entrepreneur from Rinconada, Pitoy was just the right guy to prove that friendships and good times do last—something he must have learned for spending time as OFW away from his loving family when he worked in Brunei, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and lately in far Kasakhstan.

Whether Ibalonians Imelda Caballes, Dan Daz, Benny Rayco, Annelee Badiola-Lojo, Mighty Baylon Jovy Mijares or Albert Molina, were present, it must be great to remember them all with Pitoy’s pretty angels who stood guard and played to bring out the zing for this year’s most memorable Penafrancia fiesta. =0=


Land domains and the language of peace

August 31, 2008

As pretty as the sea shells that dangle in the wind along pristine shores of Gubat, Sorsogon, the sound of Bicol is as musical as Waray. It’s the language of neighbor-islands that is as wonderful as the photo of polished cowries adorning the shell décors crafted by Gubatnons in the Southern tip of Luzon.

To me, it’s not the differences in how we speak that counts, but the similarities that can help us move on as a nation. By the similar language we speak, we must be blessed in harmony the Warays.

In Apolonio Baylon’s insightful explanation why geography is important in the ultimate solution of the Mindanao strife, I find language as a plus factor for peace. Do Moslems and Christians speak the same language too? We all must seek such commonality more than our difference. We must transcend beyond ethnicity and religion to overcome the barriers of bias and hate.

Sharing a language and redefining territorial boundaries as proposed in MOA-AD may determine how much gold the earth’s bowels can give us, but in finality, the initiatives for peace between us is the way to go in coming to terms with each other— in banishing animosity in our soul. Greater than ourselves and undoubtedly more precious, we must all work for peace. =0=

Southern Philippines’ Colorful Kadayawan

August 28, 2008

On the main day of the celebration the major Davao tribes and various invited non-Davao tribes like the Talaandig, Dibabawon, Sangil, Subanen and T’boli performed in the main plaza. Eye-popping shiny but authentic costumes were plenty in display alongside native musical instruments. The crowds rushed the stage when it was the turn of the T’boli maiden to perform and I was able to see with my own eyes that their reputation was not undeserved.” —Apolonio Baylon, UP Ibalon, Davao City, Philippines. Photo Credits: Eric Dee/ =0=

Ibalonian George Evangelio dies with 11 others in a bus crash

July 29, 2008

“Three more people have died in a deadly collision between two passenger buses in Pamplona, Camarines Sur early Tuesday, July 29, 2008, bringing the death toll up to 11.

Radio dzMM reported that three of the 30 injured passengers brought to Bicol Medical Center were declared dead hours after the freak accident.

Earlier reports said eight people died after two buses collided along a highway in Barangay San Ramon in Pamplona town around 3 a.m.

Police investigations said a Silver Star bus from Tacloban City took the lane of a speeding Executive Carrier bus from Manila, causing the smash up.

Three of the fatalities were passengers of the Executive Carrier bus and the other five were occupants of the Silver Star bus. The names of the fatalities were not immediately available. The police were still investigating the incident.” ABS-CBN/dzMM (07/29/08)

Among the dead is UP Ibalon’s George Evangelio of Daraga, Albay. His wife Elizabeth who suffers from cancer sustained multiple injuries and fractures which needed surgery at the Bicol Medical Center where she’s recuperating. He left behind six young children namely Rey Joshua, 21; Simon, 15; Sheena Mae, 11; Veronica, 9; George Matthew, 6 and Gabrielle Nicole, 4. His remains will be transferred from Funeraria Imperial of Naga to his hometown in Daraga, Albay where a wake in his honor will be held.

UP Ibalon grieves and expresses sympathy to the family of the deceased and to the other victims of the fatal road crash. Ibalonians Apolonio (Mighty) Baylon, Totoy Badiola, Fatima Edna Balaquiao, Dulce Bernardo, Arnel Astillero along with other concerned members in Bicol enjoin everyone to pray for the repose his soul.

George Evangelio is part of Batch78A which counts among its members Frank Mendoza, Ging San Jose, Fatima Edna Balaquiao, and Vic Ubaldo. For more details of his wake and burial, Mighty Baylon requests UP Ibalon members to contact Adolfo (Totoy) Badiola in Naga. =0=

Part II: The Mighty Guy of UP Ibalon

July 5, 2008

Nakakaabisita ka pa sa Bicol?
-Kaining past years, poon kan naghelang an mother ko, pirme na man ako nakakaduman sa Bicol. It just whetted my appetite to come back.

Kun iguang bagay na yaon sa “Mighty,” ano ini na mayo sa Apolonio Baylon?
-Dipisil simbagon ini. Tibaad sabihon naghahambog ako. Basta aram ko lang matibay ako kun minsan (ngirit!)

An Ibalon sa Camarines aktibo, ano an hiling mo sainda?

-Harayo an madudumanan kan grupo. Baka sa huri an Camarines group pa an guikanan kan Bicol chapter with a large non-resident membership, kaiba idtong mga Ibalonians na nasa hararayong lugar.

The Naga group in Camarines Sur has a big reservoir of resources and goodwill. I also found out na dahil mas mature an membership sagkod dakul an enterpreneurs (including doctors who must sell their services) habo kaini magparasayang ki oras, they will put their money where their mouth is. Marikas maghiro (samantalang ini an kaluyahan kan main group).

Ano an karahayan na hiling mo sa grupo ngonian?
-Diit na tulod lang nalarga an chapter. Dakul ang kamot na nagtuturulod pati na su mga nasa abroad. Live bodies lang na maguibo nin legwork an kulang kan chapter lalo pa an attitude kan iba duman (which is understandable) is “sabihon lang nindo an kaipuhan pero dai na nindo kami halaton sa meeting.” (ngirit!)

Dakulang bagay na sa chapter may mga miyembro na pabalik na. Pa-ride off na sinda sa rat race sagkod may pagmawot to “give something back”. You can never devalue their worth in an organization lalo na if successful sinda. Magayon na mga pace-setters. Sinda an mga tawo na makakadara satuya sa harayo sagkod halangkaw na lugar.

May possibilidad daw na ma-saro na sana an mga grupong Bicol haling UP?-Pwede. Madali na lang makipag-combine sa similar groups like UP Harong, UP Ibalon, UP Alumni Association and su iba pang Bicol varsitarians pati na su mga bako UP Diliman-based. Madali na ini pag napakusog ta an grupo. An UPCAT review project is a good step.

Tibaad mangyari an Naga an maging pacesetter. In terms of brains I think, the brain trust of the chapter is good, marhay na ejemplo kan ibang grupo.

Ano an ma-i-tatabang kan Ibalon sa ibang mga organisasyon?
-An chapter sa Naga posibleng maging beacon kan ibang Bicol varsis kaiba su malataw na mga alumni orgs ninda. I think trusted man ninda kita. Puwede kita mag-recruit nin alumni member na dai dating resident member kan Ibalon. Puwede man magku’a ki alumni member hale sa ibang Bicol varsitarian. Madali an procesong ini. Kaya kun may aktibidades comun kita sa UP Ibalon-Bicol, mapapadali an mga bagay.

Ugos ka sa mga tawong mga simple sagkod kapobrehan, si’isay an marhay na maging presidente kan Pinas sa 2010?
-I don’t think any president will ever be successful in running the country. Grabe na an mga problema. Nagpaparagrabe habang nagdalagan su mga taon na dae ta nareremedyuhan. Mayong malataw na presidente, na good enough o strong enough, given the time, to untangle all these problems.

But in the future, matatauhan man guiraray an tawo na the current system of muddling along should stop. Pag-abot kaini, a leader who is product of the moment will appear. He might not be successful at first, but later, with a clamor for change, someone will.

Naka-isip ka man lamang na mag-laog sa politika?
-Dae. Ni minsan.

Ano an si’mong prediksiyon paghale ni Presidenta Gloria M. Arroyo?
-After GMA it will be more of the same. Tiba’ad maiba lang an style o ang rapacity. Interest groups will again devour the gains of the nation. Puwede lang magbag’o an factions na mas titiba, gagalansiya. And again people will be forced to seek advancement by going to other lands.

Sabi kan bola crystal mo, ano da’a an puturo kan Ibalon?
-The main group will just muddle along unless somebody really takes charge. Someone should really invest time, effort, and resources to get Ibalon going. Importante an tawong may matagas na taludtod. May paninindogan na labanan an mara’ot— tawong malaban para sa tama contra sa sala. Kaipuhan niya an satuyang supporta.

Sa pag-agui nin panahon, nagurang na an Ibalon. An ibang mga miembros may kamatean na. Ika may diabetes na. Ano man an naguinibo saimo kan mga doctores kan grupo?
-Pigtutulod ninda akong magpabulong! Yaon an saindang pagmakulog, pagmalasakit—even to the extent na sinda pa an magpacheck-up sako (big smile.)

Nabisita ka sa UP Ibalon-Bicol blog, ano an gusto mong mabasa sa website?
-More about Ibalon and Bicol. Personally taha ako sa news and analysis sa Bicol. =0=


July 5, 2008

A hurried bright comet blazing in the night sky

“Thirty years after the fatal shot which took his young life, a UP Ibalonian recalls Floro E. Balce— the evanescence of his time, the greatness of his sacrifice and the humanity of his dream.”

“This is a tribute to Ka Manding, one among the heroic braves who died in the pitch-blackness of the night— of yet to be won battle, before the sun comes up for a better day. The cause he embraced remains contentious, yet noble—that which draws others to learn and admire his lofty path.”

“In our fond conversations, I naughtily poked on a pretty Ibalonian Rebecca Espeso who made Floro twinkle-eyed.

Magayonon!” I excitedly whispered to his ear. With jerky convulsions on Floro’s shoulder, his elated eyes were as thin as the coin-hole slits of a piggy bank. He chuckled loud as though I heard Brad Pitt laughing somewhere.”

Part II: The Mighty Guy of UP Ibalon

He isn’t called strong or powerful for without a reason. Battle-scarred, insightful and mellowed, Apolonio “Mighty” Baylon who feels tenaciously united with Bicol, continues his thoughts on his love—the UP Ibalon. More than 30 years after he successfully rallied Bicolano students in Diliman campus to establish an organization, here he is—still loyal, ponderous, and unexpurgated.

Floro E. Balce: Iskolar ng Bayan, Part II

“An incisive account of Floro’s involvement with Pulang Hamtic as a selfless cadre of the New People’s Army. In a hallowed memorial of Bantayog ng Mga Bayani, his name is etched with another intrepid Bicolano, a former Naga Parochial School student, Alexander Bellone II.

Part I: The Mighty Guy of UP Ibalon

June 29, 2008

Apolonio (Mighty) Baylon carries different tags like admirable multicolored feathered ribbons on his sleeves. Many call him the “father of UP Ibalon.” Some think he is the “Yoda of the Bicol group in Diliman.” Others assume him to be the “college day’s vessel of poignant memories,” and another the “merchant of friendship and goodwill.”

Once the indefatigable leader of Bicolano students, the mighty “idealist-CEO-enforcer” from Guinobatan, Albay takes real life head-on. In a two-part interview, more than 30 years after UP, here he is—cogently enlightening, down-to-earth, and thought-provoking.

Sabi ninda, ika da’a an “Ama kan Ibalon.” Ano an si’mong komentaryo?-Magayon dangogon. Maski bako lang ako an founder ta 20 man kita kaidto (o 24 ngani ta me nagtarabang na invitees na dai nag-member arog ki Dr. Jean Cortes o naghale like Prof. Egay Rosero.)

Baka dakula man su naging papel ko in setting the vision, setting the tone and the oplan/concept on how to establish UP Ibalon amidst a very difficult situation. Kadto dae baga mai-deklara tulos ang threats hale sa ibang grupo.

Mga siisay kadto saimo an nakatabang sa pagpundar kan Ibalon?
-An sarong leader siguro tata’o man magpalataw kan maitatabang kan iba. I recall the admirable contributions of the likes of Nestor Raneses and Steve David. The original members had their valuable inputs. And so was the support of the Molave Kurahaw. Si Grace Princesa-Escalante, pasalamat ako sa mga tabang satuya, an Mata Hari kan panahon.

I also want to recognize the subsequent contributions of Dr. Yasmin Paje-Banzon in normalizing relations with Alpha Phi Beta (APB.) Her effort eliminated the threat of another group, assuring us that there’ll be no other varsitarian except UP Ibalon.

Mac Pavia was helpful in defining relations between the politicals and the non-politicals. He was partly responsible for fostering the goodwill and friendship which brought unity to all the personalities in the group.

Sa mati mo, sobra daw su panahon mo na tina’o sa UP Ibalon?
-Dae. Pero iguang nagsasabi na sobra-sobra da’a an itinao ko. Dae ko aram kun ano an tama. But history spoke later ta in later years whenever I’m recognized for my role in the group, namamate ko an trust, respect, and love na itinatao sako kan meimbros lalo su mga naka-iba ko sa UP.

An confirmasyon kaini iyo su pag-aasikaso ninda sakuya whenever may problema ako sa health. Nagiging mover pa man guiraray ako maski mayo akong gayong resources. An puhunan ko lang: naipundar ko an tiwala sagkod respeto. Nakua ko siguro ini, hale sa pagta’o ko nin oras para pakusugon an pag-aramigo sa grupo.

Ngonian yaon kana sa cuidad de Davao, may pagbag’o an hiling mo sa grupo?
-Sa pagrayo ko sa Bicol, lalo kong na-appreciate an UP Ibalon.

Dae ka man napupung’aw, harayo kana sa lugar na si’mong guinikanan?
-I miss Bicol terribly. You can only understand this if you know my history. I was denied normal freedom of movement or travel. Nag-iwas ako kan yaon ako sa lugar na yan.

Living in other places made me feel like an exile. Kun saen naghaloy nag-grabe su longing ko sa satuyang native place, tongue and taste. Not hearing our language for a long time, any spoken Bicol feels like music to my ears. Pag nasa Bicol nahanap tulos ako nin Bicol na kakanon.

Yaon pa su copya mo kan constitution ta? Ano, iguang kaipuhan bag-o’hon duman?
-I think may copya ako kan iba’t ibang constitutions kan Ibalon alumni. After all these years kan pagtabang sa Ibalon, I realized an magic sa pagbuhay nin grupo dae masusumpungan sa constitution. Nasa vision yan, nasa mga tawong nagpapadalagan.

Hil’nga an chapter sa Naga. Nadalagan baga maski kadaklan dae man nahiling na constitution. Uyogon mo, mayo nganing regular set of officers may naguiguinibo sinda. The constitution is secondary. Padalaganon ta na ngona an pag-iriba.

Ano an prosopuesto mo para abuton su mga Ibalonians na dae pa nakakabalik sa grupo?
-Primero, kaipuhan ta an marhay na database. Natapos ko na su sa generasyon ta pero kulang kitat duman su mga masuronod. Segundo, kaipuhan na mag-assign nin mga respetadong personas na ma-reach out duman sa mga mayo.

Importatent ibalik su dating pag-aramigo, recuerdos, pagka-buronyog, dangan, siempre—an interes sa organisasyon. An pag-kaigwang mga proyecto arog kan naguinibo na Butch Robredo, Dr. Andy Gimpaya, Ann Mariano, Alaine Alberto, Dr. Eden B. Fernando atbp.(halawig an lista) an makakatabang makaburunyog satuya.

Iguang mga Ibalon na yaon sa Diliman nag-aadal pa, ano an dapat guibohon para sainda?
-Complikadong hapot. I-reserve ko na lang an pagsimbag digdi. This is a weighty and controversial topic. Although nasabi ko ki Butch Robredo minsan na we can act like a donor agency. Aram ta man na nata’o lang an donor agency kun gusto—if someone is deemed worthy to be given assistance. Sabi ko okey lang na mapa-rani an mga jovenes kan UP, para madangog man ninda an senior members.

Igua kang gustong ipa-abot sa mga jovenes?
Kaipuhan ma-araman ninda na bakong totoo an naglalakaw na kaputikan—idtong pigsarabi na an Ibalon da’a “po’on-sa-po’on ay political organization.” Iyo ini an saro sa mga razon kun ta’daw nagka-igua kita nin ibang provincial Bicol orgs.

Sa UP, ano an pinakadefisil mong inaguihan?
-Maski bright ka, dae mo puwedeng biruin an academics sa UP. Madali lang ang ma-cinco. An mga teachers duman sanay na sa pagbaragsak nin estudyante. Hard if one is a student leader. (to be continued…) =0=