Sadiay Ungto

Awan ditoy ti balitok,
adda sadiay ballasiw ti ungto ti bullalayaw!

dagiti gargaretmo,
ti nagaksaw,
ket dikan timmaliaw pay,
laengen tugotmo
ti inbatim.

Val City | Feb 27, 2011

Demokrasia iti Sangabotelia a Serbesa

maysa laeng a padaya,
adu ti nagbuya,
rinibu ti nagkanta,
para iti pannakaispangay  ni demokrasia,
kahon-kahon ti naluktan a serbesa,
adu ti naulaw,
adu ti naglaaw,
iti agpagbiit nakalipat,
iti burek ti espiritu ti arak,
idi agmawmaw isuda ket nabuak,
nagnadnad nalpasen ti pasamak.

inton bigat ken iti sumarsaruno a bigat,
mapandanto manen makipadaya,
tapno makaraman manen iti demokrasia
a naipupok iti sangabotelia a serbesa.

EDSA, demokrasia, sangabotelia a serbesa?

Val City | February 23, 2011


naimas ti makiigop
iti kopita,
a nakalupkopan
iti balitok,
minuli daytoy
dagiti ari ken reyna,
a nagtagiabungot,
linaonna't diro
a nangulaw
iti kari

- - - - - - - -
Edsa Revolutions, Noynoy Aquino, and the Big Conspiracy
by ilda (

Ever heard of the Holocaust deniers? Holocaust deniers are people who are trying to convince everyone that the Holocaust of World War II did not happen. They claim that the genocide mounted against Jews during World War II did not occur at all or did happen, but wasn’t as bad as the history books or documentaries show it to be. These people reject the reality that more than five million Jews were systematically exterminated as a matter of state policy by the German Nazi government.

These are quite shocking claims aren’t they? Even with the amount of evidence and testimonials, there are still people who say that what happened was grossly exaggerated. Holocaust deniers even say that the whole tragedy was just a fabrication made by the Jews to gain sympathy and to justify their occupation of Palestine. Not surprisingly, this conspiracy theory was started out by Nazis themselves who denied involvement in the atrocities. I guess some people start believing their own lies if they repeat it often enough. It is a truly extraordinary lie you might say, but at least the Jews have all kinds of documents, testimonies, photographs and physical evidence to use against the perpetrators to bring them to justice. I wish I could say the same for some of the things or events that happened in the Philippines.

Ever heard of the Edsa Revolution deniers? Well, I’m not aware of any yet. No individual or group of people has yet claimed that the People Power revolution of 1986 never happened. Indeed, there is no denying it did happen because most Filipinos have become so addicted to it to the point that people power revolutions have become the first choice of method for getting rid of sitting presidents. Lately though, most calls for street revolutions have been largely ignored, not because Filipinos have wisened up but largely because the poster person for these, the late Corazon Aquino, who can gather a huge crowd of supporters with a flick of the “L” sign, had passed away late last year. Likewise, the coming presidential election this year has put all detractors of the incumbent president into a temporary Zen like state. So, everyone is just waiting for May to get rid of Gloria Arroyo and put Noynoy Aquino on the driver’s seat, hardly a significant change in the bigger scheme of things, if you ask me – just the baton being passed to another oligarch by another.

If an Edsa Denial group were to emerge today, their job will be easy. Aside from Ninoy Aquino’s statue on Ayala Avenue, his image on the 500-peso bill, and the Edsa “Shrine” at the corner of Ortigas Avenue, evidence of any legacy left by the 1986 “revolution” in Philippine society is becoming harder and harder to come by. What constitutes evidence that the Edsa Revolution did happen? What was the result of this event? Where is the country now in terms of economic stability and security — that “progress” that seemed so within our reach amidst the euphoria of 1986?

The Holocaust only happened once in the 1940′s but reminders of the atrocities perpetrated against a particular group of people remain strong to this day and, like I said, the perpetrators of the said event were brought to justice, hence, there is an unlikelihood of the same thing happening again. In contrast, much of the imprint on our society of what was supposed to be the legacy of the 1986 Edsa Revolution is fading. Of course, there are so many people who will gladly testify that they were there during the Edsa revolution when it all happened. Some would even claim that they were among the millions of Filipinos who stood side by side with the late Cory Aquino. They will talk about how they braved the tanks and the machine guns wearing yellow shirts clutching either a yellow banner or a rosary while singing “Ang bayan kong Pilipinas…“. In short, they will proudly say (or in some cases even brag) that they risked their lives to gain the country’s democracy. They may as well join the ranks of the thousands of others who claim to have been abducted by aliens.

Some young Filipino adults today who were still too young or who weren’t even born yet during the first Edsa revolution but who are now qualified to vote are questioning its significance. Unfair you might say, considering that young Filipinos today did not experience the cruelty of the dictator, former President Ferdinand Marcos. I can understand why these youths feel cynical with regard to the essence of the Edsa revolutions especially the succeeding ones. It is because there hasn’t been much progress since democracy was “restored”. Some would argue that we are even worse off now. This last statement can be true in the sense that, today, Filipinos already have freedom but still don’t know what to do with it. As early as 1992, Singapore’s former leader Lee Kuan Yew said that “Filipinos have too much democracy but too little discipline” — a very astute observation that remains relevant today.

I tend to agree with journalist and author Greg Sheridan who said that restoring democracy is neither sufficient nor necessary for economic progress and development. China and Hong Kong are both not a democracy but they are doing well economically.

How could it have gone so wrong with us?

In his book Asian Values, Western Dreams Sheridan talks about how Cory was considered heroic in achieving democracy but ineffectual as president. Even the noted intellectual, Frank Jose, who ran a magazine called Solidaridad, considered “Mrs Aquino’s presidency a dreadful disappointment”. He disagrees with the majority’s view that Cory restored democracy and says that it is all bullshit – “We have empty institutions. The essence of democracy is in the stomach. The taxi driver in Washington can eat the same sort of meat as the president. That’s not the case here”.

The Edsa revolution is also called the “people power” revolution. People power, because supposedly it was “the people” who decided that they have had enough of Marcos and his dictatorship. The late Cory Aquino happened to be the leader of the opposition at that time and was seen to have inspired the people to go out onto the streets and express their indignation. But she was neither prepared nor qualified to lead. Had the people decided against supporting her, she wouldn’t have become president. So the credit should have gone to the people too not just hers alone. Time Magazine should have named the Filipinos “People of the Year”. We should give ourselves more credit for the restoration of democracy (as well as accountability for still not knowing what to do with). We shouldn’t give all the credit to just one person for toppling a dictator, Cory couldn’t have been able to do it on her own. In the same way, we shouldn’t put all the responsibility of building a nation to one person, i.e., Noynoy Aquino or any other candidate. Even Napoleon Bonaparte wouldn’t have been able to conquer other nations without his soldiers’ help. The president needs our cooperation for his administration to work. Without our cooperation, he is nothing more than a mere puppet.

The real problem started when the Marcos collaborators were not even put on trial. Just look around the Philippine political setting right now. You will still see the likes of Juan Ponce Enrile who was a one-time Marcos collaborator. He is head of the Senate. By defecting to the opposition in 1986, he had secured immunity from being taken to account for his former master’s atrocities. Imelda Marcos herself is still received warmly at various elite social functions. There exist in our society a lack of moral judgement and moral commitment. Since we fail to condemn those who do our society wrong, we jump into bed with the demons of impunity, corruption, and lack of accountability. If the most heinous crimes go unpunished what is there to arrest the equally-widespread incompetence that characterises our public officials’ tenures? If the Aquino camp were so sure that former president Marcos and his allies were responsible for Ninoy Aquino’s death, how come none of them were ever put on trial? Even the former president and one time criminal Joseph “Erap” Estrada is now free to run again as a presidential candidate. He is even getting a marginal lead in the polls. Where is the justice there?

Even children of former politicians have joined the Philippine political gold-rush without shame. This includes Bong Bong Marcos, Jinggoy Estrada, Mikey Arroyo, Mar Roxas and most noted of all Noynoy Aquino, the strongest contender for the prized seat once occupied by his mother. The incumbent president, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is also the daughter of former president Diosdado Macapagal. Philippine politics so it seems, is just a recreational sport for a few dozen families from the landed oligarchy; a ball which is passed on from one family to the next.

Could it be that the real value of the Edsa revolution was actually exaggerated by the supporters of the Aquino administration? Could it be that to retain a strong hold on the people’s mind, the Aquino legacy is still being sang to this day even if it lacks real virtues or intrinsic worth? The supporters of the late Cory and Ninoy Aquino keep talking about their legacy. What is that legacy anyway? What if this so called legacy which is so hard to grasp and comprehend is being used today by the Liberal party to ensure that they win the next election?

One thing that has always puzzled me is how the late former president Cory Aquino couldn’t even be honest with herself and the people. She knew that she wasn’t fit for the job, she could have handed it over to someone more qualified after our much-hyped democracy was restored. You can argue that it’s all in retrospect, it’s passed now, and the circumstances were different then. However, one could also argue that the circumstances are also different now. We have the best opportunity to vote for someone different but why is Noynoy Aquino leading the latest polls?

How do we address the people’s beholden-ness to the handful of elites running the show? Our media needs to shape up. During the Nazi era, Adolf Hitler had a propaganda minister named Joseph Goebbels. He was given control over German radio, press, cinema and theatre. Everything he created was geared towards justifying Nazi policies. This explains why the Fuhrer had a dramatic grab on his constituents’ attention. The Philippines doesn’t have a propaganda minister like him but we might as well say that we have one because our media is acutely responsible for the dumbing down of the electorate. The Philippine Media have lost all their balls in reporting the news. They have lost that and the plot. It was even former president Fidel Ramos who once said during his term that “Our press needs to address its quality. It’s too dramatic all the time, too ideological, too much based on rumours and opinions. The writing is good but the reporting is poor. Their facts are often wrong”.

The media needs to start taking a more keen interest in serving the people and and less on enriching their shareholders (a tall order, considering that profits are the whole point of their existence). At the moment, they are more preoccupied with creating shows of inferior quality and low cost which, of course, increase their profits but routinely subtracts from the intelligence of the average Filipino. Filipinos need to become more critical — of their politicians and of their Media. That is, unless we prefer to continue to be blissfully ignorant of the happy collaborative partnership the two have become in the election-winning game that is Philippine-style “democracy”.

Most nations learned from the experience of World War II and do not want a repeat. In contrast, most Filipinos look forward with Glee (pardon the pun) to a repeat of history and are nostalgic of an Aquino administration.

Pasalip iti Palanca 2011 naluktanen

6th Floor, One World Square Building, #10 Upper McKinley Road,
McKinley Hill Town Center, Fort Bonifacio, 1634 Taguig City


1.     The contest is open from 01 January 2011 until 30 April 2011 to all Filipino citizens, or former Filipino citizens, of all ages except current officers and employees of the Carlos Palanca Foundation, Inc. (the Sponsor).

2.     The contest has the following divisions and categories:

English Division
Filipino Division
Regional Languages Division
Kabataan Division
Short Story
Maikling Kuwento 
Short Story-Cebuano
Kabataan Essay
Short Story for Children
Maikling Kuwentong Pambata
Short Story-Hiligaynon
Kabataan Sanaysay
Short Story-Iluko


Poetry for Children
Tulang Pambata

One-act Play
Dulang May Isang Yugto

Full-length Play
Dulang Ganap ang Haba

Dulang Pampelikula


3.     In the SHORT STORY / SHORT STORY (CEBUANO, HILIGAYNON, ILUKO) / MAIKLING KUWENTO / categories, an entry must be at least ten (10) but not more than twenty-five (25) typewritten pages. The theme is open and free and the entry must include a one-page synopsis.

4.     In the SHORT STORY FOR CHILDREN / MAIKLING KUWENTONG PAMBATA categories, an entry must be not more than ten (10) typewritten pages. It may deal with any subject, must be within the grade-school reading level of children ages 7-12, and the entry must include a one-page synopsis.

5.     In the ESSAY / SANAYSAY categories, an entry should be at least ten (10) but not more than twenty-five (25) typewritten pages. The category is open only to informal (personal) essays.

6.     In the POETRY / TULA categories, an entry must consist of a collection of at least ten (10) but not more than fifteen (15) poems.

7.     In the POETRY FOR CHILDREN / TULANG PAMBATA categories, an entry must consist of a collection of at least ten (10) but not more than fifteen (15) poems. It may deal with any subject and must be comprehensible within the grade-school reading level of children ages 6-12, and can be appreciated in its oral form by younger children.

8.     In the ONE-ACT PLAY / DULANG MAY ISANG YUGTO categories, an entry must be of sufficient length to approximate a performance time of forty-five (45) minutes. The theme is open and free and the entry must include a one-page synopsis.

9.     In the FULL-LENGTH PLAY / DULANG GANAP ANG HABA categories, an entry must consist of two (2) or more acts and the entry must include a one-page synopsis.

10.   In the dulang pampelikula category, the entry must be a script for a full-length film with a running time of approximately two (2) hours. The theme is open and free and the entry must include a one-page synopsis.

11.   In the NOVEL / NOBELA categories, the theme is open and free.  There is no limit as to the number of pages of the entry but the entry must include a one-page synopsis.

12.   The Kabataan ESSAY / KABATAAN SANAYSAY are special categories open to persons below 18 years of age. It is open only to informal (personal) essays. The theme for this year is: (WILL BE ANNOUNCED SOON) for the KABATAAN ESSAY and ________________________________for the KABATAAN SANAYSAY.  An entry must be at least four (4) but not more than five (5) typewritten pages, and must carry an original title.

13.   The Kabataan Award of Distinction is awarded to Palanca awardees who have won four (4) first prizes in the KABATAAN ESSAY. First prize awards in the special youth category shall not be counted for purposes of the Hall of Fame Award.

14.   a. Authors may submit only one (1) entry per category.
b. An entry or excerpt thereof, may only be submitted in one (1) category and may not be entered in any other category.
c. A translation of an entry submitted in one (1) division shall not be eligible in any other division.
15.   A work which has been awarded a prize in another contest before 12:00 m.n. of 30 April 2011 is not qualified for the awards.

16.   Published/produced works which were first published or first produced between 1 May 2010 to 30 April 2011 and/or unpublished/unproduced works, may be entered in the contest, except in the DULANG PAMPELIKULA category where only unproduced works may be entered.

17.   Each entry must be typewritten or computerized, double – spaced on 8 ½ X 11 inches bond paper, with approximately one-inch margin on all sides.  The page number must be typed consecutively e.g. 1 of 30, 2 of 30 and so on at the center of the bottom margin of each page. If computerized, the font should be Arial, Times New Roman or Book Antiqua and the font size should be 12. The author’s real name and address must only appear in the Official Entry Form and the Authorization Form and must not appear on the entry. The following documents must be sealed inside an 8.5” x 13” brown envelope for entries not submitted through the website: (a) the duly accomplished Official Entry Form, (b) Authorization Form (The Authorization Form must be notarized for local entries, (c) Consent, if applicable, (d) an original and three (3) copies of the entry, (e) a digital copy of the entry, and (f) the author’s full résumé. Only the title of the entry, category, and division should be written or typed on the envelope.   Entries from abroad need not be notarized but if an entry from abroad wins, then the Authorization Form must be authenticated by the Philippine Embassy or Consulate and submitted to the CPMA Office on or before 31 August of the contest year in order to qualify. 

18.   All entries (except Novel) submitted through the website should be in a Word Document File and should be sent as an attachment together with scanned copies of the following: (a) duly accomplished Official Entry Form, (b) notarized Authorization Form, (c) Consent, if applicable, and (d) the author’s full résumé. The time of transmission should be NOT LATER THAN 12:00 m.n. of 30 APRIL 2011. An entry will only be considered submitted if official confirmation is received through the website or by the CPMA administration. An envelope containing the original signed requirements listed in Rule 17(a) (b) and (c) above should then be sent to the CARLOS PALANCA FOUNDATION, INC. by mail or courier and postmarked not later than 30 April 2011.

19.   In submitting an entry, a contestant represents and warrants that the work is his own and that he has absolute ownership of all intellectual property rights thereto.  If the entry is an adaptation of another author’s existing work, the contestant shall submit to the Foundation the written consent of the author of the existing work, allowing the contestant to adapt the work, and to enter the adaptation in the contest (the Consent). The Consent shall include a clear and categorical statement that the Foundation shall be exempt from any and all liability in the event that the adaptation is said to infringe the intellectual property rights of the author of the existing work. The Consent must be notarized and, if executed outside the Philippines, should be authenticated by the Philippine Embassy or consulate. The contestant shall also sign the Consent and attach the same to the Official Entry Form/Authorization Form.

20.   Entries submitted must comply with government policies on printed matters. Submitted copies of winning entries shall remain with, and become the property of, the Carlos Palanca Foundation, Inc.  Submitted copies of non-winning entries may be claimed by the authors not later than six (6) months from the date of announcement of winners.

21.   In order to give public access to the winning works, the author hereby grants, assigns, and transfers unto the Sponsor, the right without necessity of any payment other than the prize which may have been awarded: to publish from time to time any winning entry or selection or portion thereof as it may at its discretion determine; to designate or appoint editors to edit the work or any portion thereof to suit the demands of publication; to furnish a reasonable number of copies of all winning works to the National Library or other libraries; to make the works available for downloading on the Internet or other electronic media; and/or to allow students to make copies for research or in connection with their school requirements.  In the One-act Play, Full-length Play, and Dulang Pampelikula categories, the Sponsor shall also have the right to produce, or authorize the production of, and/or carry out the staging, telecasting, broadcasting, cinema, video streaming, and/or other forms of exhibition whether over the Internet, through other electronic media, or on site, from time to time, of any winning entry or selection or portion thereof as it may in its discretion determine.  The Sponsor shall also have the right to appoint or designate editors or directors who may edit the work or any portion thereof to suit the demands of production or exhibition.

To promote Philippine Literature in the modern world of information technology, the Sponsor intends to make the winning entries accessible through the internet or other electronic media, to serve as a literary archive of the contest. The website or other media to be established for this purpose shall be a repository of the award-winning works, recording the history of the development of Philippine literature over the years through the Palanca Awards. In making the works thus available to interested researchers and students of Philippine literature, the Sponsor intends purely to promote literary appreciation for and public awareness of such works, and not to commercially exploit the same. Authors must indicate on the Official Entry Form whether they want their works included on the CPMA website and made available for downloading by the public for free in the event that such works win an award. To encourage use for educational purposes, works shall be posted on the website in their entirety. Should any winning author subsequently instruct the Sponsor in writing to include or remove the work from the Internet archive, such instruction will be honored and the work shall be included or removed from the Internet archive within a reasonable time from Sponsor’s receipt of the author’s written instructions.

22.   In connection with the grant, assignment, or transfer to the Sponsor of the right of publication, re-publication, production, reproduction or exhibition as stated in paragraph 22 of these rules, and pursuant to the requirements of R.A. No. 8293, entries must be accompanied by the author’s written consent to abide by the rules of the contest acknowledged before a Notary Public.  In case of minors, particularly with respect to the Kabataan Essay category, the written consent of the parents or legal guardians shall also be required. The Authorization Form and Official Entry Form are available at the Carlos Palanca Foundation, Inc. office or through the website.

The exercise of the above rights by the Sponsor shall not be deemed a waiver of any right of action which the Sponsor of this contest may have against the contestant, if it may be discovered later on that said person is not the creator or owner of the copyright to the award-winning work.  Moreover, the contestant likewise undertakes to indemnify the Sponsor for any and all damages, fees, costs and expenses that the Sponsor may incur by reason of the infringement by the contestant of the intellectual property rights of another.

23.   The prizes, in Philippine Pesos (Php), for each contest category are the following:

Short Story / Maikling Kuwento / Regional Languages (Hiligaynon, Iluko, Cebuano)

First prize

Second prize

Third prize

Poetry, Essay, One–act Play, Short Story for Children, Poetry  for Children /
Tula, Sanaysay, Dulang may Isang Yugto, Maikling Kuwentong Pambata, Tulang Pambata

First prize

Second prize

Third prize

Full-length Play / Dulang Ganap ang Haba

First prize

Second prize

Third prize

Dulang Pampelikula

First prize

Second prize

Third prize

Kabataan Essay / Kabataan Sanaysay

First prize

Second prize

Third prize

 Novel / Nobela

Grand prize



                (The school/s of the student/s winning the first prize in the Kabataan Essay will receive a cash prize of Php 5,000.00)

24.   The Sponsor has the sole right to designate the persons who shall constitute the Board of Judges in each of the contest categories. The decision of the majority of the Board of Judges in all categories shall be final.

25.   The Board of Judges shall declare only one winner for each prize listed in Rule 24. There shall be no co-winners and/or splitting of the prize money. The Board of Judges shall have the discretion not to award any prize if, in its judgment, no meritorious entry has been submitted.

26.   The names of the winners and the members of the Board of Judges shall be announced on 1 September 2011.

27.   All parties submitting entries are deemed to have accepted the rules of the contest, and agree to abide thereby.

ALL DOCUMENTARY REQUIREMENTS MUST BE complete at the time of submission.

*CPMA Official Entry Form
*CPMA Authorization