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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Monday, July 21, 2014

entry arrow12:05 PM | Everything About This Girl

Everything About This Girl is Jana Jumalon-Alano’s first solo exhibit in Dumaguete. Its eclectic selection of styles mirrors the artist’s predilection of collecting random objects and photographs of whatever catches her eye. One such notable series of works in the exhibit – Mirrors, she tags them – makes use of her fascination for the forms of old, found objects by incorporating them to the work, establishing new relationships for them, and infusing them with life long after the objects have been discarded by its previous owners.

Other representative works include self-portraits and portraits of children. Her female forms evoke masculine strength and her paintings of children suggest an overwhelming empathy where her subjects’ emotions are powerful enough to warp the reality around them.

In Everything About This Girl, all of Jana Jumalon-Alano’s travels and passions, her ups and downs have built up to a collection of works where we get a glimpse of mortality with all its scars and triumphs.

Jana Jumalon-Alano (b. 1980) is a visual artist and a singer-songwriter. She was born and raised in Zamboanga City where she finished AB Communications. In 2001, she launched her solo music concert at the Ateneo de Zamboanga University. She has also been consistently active as a visual artist and has been awarded as one of the Top 10 Finalists for Visayas in the 2011 Philippine Art Awards. Her works have been featured in several international and local exhibitions, the most recent ones being Bae Mindanaw (Italy, 2011), Habagatan (Altromondo Gallery, 2012), All Together Now (Yuchengco Museum, 2012), and 50 Ilonggo Artists (Ayala Museum, 2013). With the support of Ateneo de Zamboanga University, she is currently writing the songs for an all-Chavacano musical to be launched this year. Jana Jumalon-Alano lives in Dumaguete City.

Jana belongs to the Jumalon family of artists and has been a part of many family exhibits in Zamboanga City, Baguio, Metro Manila, Dumaguete, Cagayan de Oro, Bacolod, Davao, and Dipolog. She moved to Dumaguete eight years ago—a city which has witnessed her various passions in painting, terra cotta artmaking, and music.

The exhibit, slated to open today, JULY 21, Monday at 5:30 PM at the Claire Isabel McGill Luce Auditorium Foyer Gallery, runs until August 15. It is sponsored by the Silliman University Cultural Affairs Committee. It is open for free to the public.

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Friday, July 18, 2014

entry arrow10:21 PM | The Second Literatura Festival: A Writers' Summit on July 26!

Eight years have passed since the first Literatura Festival was held in Dumaguete City. Originally staged in May 2006 at Silliman University, the literary fest—which featured visiting writers Dean Francis Alfar, Susan S. Lara, Marjorie Evasco, DM Reyes, among others—was meant to showcase Filipino writers for the benefit of local students, and to introduce them to the best of Philippine literature.

The literary fest is back, this time presented by the Edilberto and Edith Tiempo Creative Writing Center and the American Studies Resource Center of the Robert and Metta Silliman Library. It is slated to unfold with a series of talks and panels on 26 July 2014, starting at 10 AM, at the American Corner of the Silliman Library.

Dubbed as the “Writers’ Summit,” it features acclaimed Filipino-American writers Lara Stapleton, Ricco Siasoco, Sarah Gambito, R.A. Villanueva, M. Evelina Galang, Fidelito Cortes, and Nerissa Balce. It also features Cebu-based writer Lawrence Ypil, and Dumaguete-based writers Ian Rosales Casocot, Cesar Ruiz Aquino, and Myrna Peña-Reyes.

The Second Literature Festival officially opens on July 25, Friday at 7 PM at Byblos in Oriental Hall, with a poetry reading by Sillimanian students and a concert of Ian Gue’s The Heartbreak Symphony.

The festival is co-presented by Silliman University’s Department of English and Literature and Cultural Affairs Committee, MetroPost, and N4 Van Services.


Opening Ceremony

July 25, Friday. Starts at 7 PM, Byblos at Oriental Hall, Silliman University

With readings by campus personalities Niña Sung, Zairo Lapore, Renz Christian Torres, Elana Bartlett, Hanz Denzil Villahermosa, Bella Piccioli, Malka Shaver, Nikko Paolo Calledo, Edgar Allan Ocampo, Alfonso Alvarez, and Veronica Vega. Featuring "The Heartbreak Symphony," composed and conducted by Ian Gue.

The Summit

July 26, Saturday. Starts at 10 AM, American Studies Resource Center of the Robert and Metta Silliman Library.

10:00 AM
Opening Prayer | Ronelaine Picardal

10:15 AM
Welcome Remarks | Festival Director Ian Rosales Casocot

10:15 AM—11:00 AM
“Inspiration and the Writer’s Life” | Keynote Lecture by Fidelito Cortes

11:15 AM—12:00 NN
Moderated Conversation I: Reading as a Village. Can the reading group become a model for fostering a love of literature in the community? This panel explores reading groups in Dumaguete City and the passion it takes to run—and attend—them. Panelists: Simon Stack, Bron Teves, Paulina Española, Joanna Bulova, Annabelle Lee-Adriano, Aaron James Jalalon, Leo Mamicpic. Moderated by Joel Llaban.

12:00 NN—1:30 PM
Lunch Break

1:30 PM—2:15 PM
Moderated Conversation II: The Writing Craft. This panel explores writing with the influence of Philippine languages both in the Philippines and in the diaspora, landscape, memory, developing character, the influence of culture on writers’ works. Panelists: Myrna Peña-Reyes, Ricco Siasoco, Sarah Gambito, R.A. Villanueva, Evelina Galang. Moderated by Nerissa Balce.

2:30 PM—3:15 PM
Moderated Conversation III: The Young and the Restless. This panel explores the expectations and practices of budding writers in Dumaguete, and what they take to make literature interesting to young people. Panelists: Anna Katrina Espino, RV Escatron, Christian Renz Torres, Arkay Timonera, Michael Aaron Gomez, Sonia SyGaco. Moderated by Alana Cabrera-Narciso.

3:30 PM—4:15 PM
“From the Highest Hiding Place” | A talk/reading by Lawrence Ypil

4:30 PM—5:15 PM
Moderated Conversation IV: What’s Going On? This panel explores the local and the Filipino-American literary scene. What are writers excited about? What are the various scenes? What are the current challenges that writers face? How can Filipino and Filipino-American writers continue to connect? Panelists: Lara Stapleton, Ian Rosales Casocot, Cesar Ruiz Aquino, Fidelito Cortes, Lawrence Ypil. Moderated by Lady Flor Partosa.

5:15 PM—5:30 PM
Closing Remarks | Deputy Festival Director Warlito Caturay Jr.

7:00 PM
Dinner and Reading Salon at the University House

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

entry arrow5:14 PM | Exhibiting Badong's Stage Designs

In 2003 and for the first time in the history of the awards, the National Artist Award was given in the field of theater design, and, fittingly, it was presented to Salvador F. Bernal, not because he pioneered theater design in the country, but because he was the first to develop it as a profession and to elevate it to the level of an art form. Born in 1945 to a family that ran a terno shop, Bernal was exposed to the rudiments of fabric, cut, and silhouette early in life. At the Ateneo de Manila (BS 1966), he honed his talent as a poet and philosopher, acquiring the ability to read a text and imagine its theme as a visual conceit. At the Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois (MFA 1972), he studied, practiced, and handled courses in the art and craft of theater design. After his return in 1973, Bernal taught briefly at the Ateneo and the University of the Philippines, but soon plunged headlong and full-time into a life of design, which until then was largely unchartered territory.

In the beginning it was difficult to earn a living from design, since the production budgets of most performing arts companies were often just barely sufficient and sometimes even less than adequate. But with his discipline, resourcefulness, and industry, Bernal’s exceptional talent began to be noticed. After a decade, he was acclaimed as the foremost theater designer of the country and directors were lining up for his services. After four decades of intense work, he had designed more than 250 productions in ballet, opera, theater, and film, mentored two generations of production designers, trained a pool of artisans (seamstresses, carpenters, metal workers, painters, among others), initiated and supervised the building of the country’s first Production Design Center at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), and founded the first and only professional organization of production designers in the Philippines. For all this, Bernal has earned the title “Father of Theater Design in the Philippines.”


The art of theater design remains largely unknown or unappreciated because most people are unaware of what it is, what it requires, and how crucial it is to a theater production. The exhibit aims to introduce and explain this rising art form through some of the most expressive and impressive works of Salvador F. Bernal.

In the four main alcoves of the gallery, seventeen maquettes and fifteen photos illustrate the four major aspects in Bernal’s process of design: under SYMBOL, the selection of the key metaphor that crystallized the director’s interpretation of the dance or theater production; under SOURCES, the range of sources from which Bernal drew his design concepts and styles; under SURFACES, the local and inexpensive materials that Bernal discovered and developed for the stage; under SPACE, Bernal’s successful experimentation with theater space and successful solution to stage limitations.

Opposite these four alcoves are four sections under the title SILHOUETTES, where extant Bernal costumes are displayed. Opposite the alcove on SPACE are the costumes of The Magic Flute, whose budget allowed Bernal’s imagination free rein. Opposite the alcove on SURFACES are the attires from Orosman at Zafira, which used indigenous materials as costume décor. Opposite the alcove on SOURCES are the Asian-inspired ensembles created for Realizing Rama. Opposite the alcove on SYMBOL are the ternos with fish-motif designed for Sa Bunganga ng Pating. Outside the gallery, a timeline traces the patterns of Bernal’s creativity on one wall, while the opposite wall showcases the sketches he himself made for selected productions.

Ang Pagpapatay Kay Luna, Set and Costume Design, 2001, Musical, Nonon Padilla (Director), Tanghalang Pilipino. Photo from the CCP Collection.

Realizing Rama, Set and Costume Design, 1998-2001, Ballet, Denisa Reyes (Choreographer), ASEAN COCI Project. Photo from the Salvador Bernal Collection.

Engkantada, Set and Costume Design, 1992, Ballet, Agnes Locsin (Choreographer), Ballet Philippines. Photo from the CCP Collection.

Scale model of Paglipas ng Dilim, CCP Collection. Photo by Ricardo Cruz.

Scene from the Court of Rajah Humabon. From Lapu-Lapu, Set and Costume Design, 1997, Musical, Behn Cervantes (Director), Dimitri Productions. Photo from the Salvador Bernal Collection.

[Text from the exhibit catalogue]

The exhibit Badong: Salvador Bernal Designs the Stage opens on 18 JULY 2014, Friday at 5 PM. It will run until August 6. The exhibit is brought to Silliman University by the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and 2Go.

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Saturday, July 12, 2014

entry arrow5:22 PM | Rose

It was all too sudden. We were still reeling from the news that Silliman alumna Ross Camara, publisher of Aria Editions, had passed on when we got another unfortunate missive. Last Thursday afternoon, I got a text message from Silliman University’s Alumni Affairs Officer Ruben Bokingo, informing me that Rose Lamb Sobrepeña—writer, philanthropist, and wife of Atty. Enrique Sobrepeña Jr.—had also died. Mrs. Sobrepeña, especially for many recent fellows of the Silliman University National Writers Workshop, is known in Dumaguete as the generous spirit behind the Writers Village at Camp Lookout, Valencia. For that, and for many services she has given her Alma Mater, the Writers Village, established in 2008, has been named in her honor.

And so, last Monday finally found me and English Department Chairperson Warlito Caturay Jr. in Manila. Her funeral service was being held at Heritage Park in Taguig City, and we went there to pay our final respects to one whose generosity has helped much of creative writing in Silliman today.

The memorial program that Monday afternoon was organized by La Hermandad Zamboangueña (led by its past president, the beautiful Gloria Pichel Mara, who is better known to all of us as Loli Mara) and Silliman University. And we were all there, “because for the loving memory of our beloved Rose,” Ms. Mara said in behalf of all of us.

Indeed, Ma’am Rose was that beloved—and the emotional and often funny outpouring from friends who gave testimony were a clear indication of just how much she was held in high esteem in the many circles she ran in, including the United Church of Christ in the Philippines community.

There were several Sillimanian alumni that day at Chapel 6 of Heritage Park, which included former Silliman President and recently declared National Scientist Dr. Angel C. Alcala. Also present were the University Board of Trustees’ Ambassador Antonio Villamor and Atty. Grace Sumalpong, Silliman Alumni Association Manila Chapter President Edna Mijares, National Writers Workshop Director Susan S. Lara, as well as Melba Adraincem, Chatty Realiza, Gloria Belarmino, Radi Apostol, Mel Morales, Diane Morales, Dolly Felicitas, Bishop Norman Marigza, Joselito Asiniero, Bobby Cafe, among many others. We went together as members of a larger Sillimanian family to give honor to one of our own. And in our own half of the memorial service, Atty. Sumalpong spoke in behalf of the university, and in particular BOT Chair Leonor Magtolis Briones, Vice President for Academic Affairs Betsy Joy Tan, and President Ben S. Malayang III. Among many Filipino writers—especially those who have been through the beautiful rigors of the Silliman University National Writers Workshop, founded by Edilberto Tiempo and National Artist for Literature Edith Lopez Tiempo—the name Rose Lamb Sobrepeña is synonymous to three things: home away from home, comfort, and a beautiful camaraderie. And that is because those are the things that perfectly describe the looks and the experience of the Writers Village back home, which is named of course after our beautiful benefactor.

I have met Mrs. Sobrepeña only once, in Dumaguete, when she came to visit the Writers Village named after her, and to launch her latest collection of writings. And my impression has always been that of an indomitable woman who was also kind hearted and who was also a writer to reckon with. She was peerless in her devotion to literature and creative writing, and in fact, her love story of how she met and fell in love with Sir Ike is one legend we keep repeating in the telling back in Silliman.

Thank you, Ma’am Rose, for your life and your gift.

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Friday, July 04, 2014

entry arrow11:51 PM | Originality is a Bad Word

I started writing because I was desperately in love with the words of Nick Joaquin. I was a college sophomore, and my Philippine literature teacher—the fictionist Timothy Montes—just made me read “May Day Eve,” and I was enthralled. Later that day, I went straight home and made my own story, taking care to carry over many of the things I fell in love with in Mr. Joaquin’s prose: the breathless lyricism (that long swirly sentence of a first paragraph! which gets echoed, in tone and style, by the last paragraph!), the melodramatic characters, and the seamless shifts in time frames which seem to be signaled by sheer fiction sorcery. When we follow the beautiful and headstrong young Agueda, for example, as she heads her way to the mirror to disprove Anastasia’s claim of midnight magical prophecies, we see her closing her eyes and mouthing the strange incantation. And when Mr. Joaquin finally describes the act of Agueda finally opening her eyes to behold her reflection on the mirror, our minds race to think: what did she see? As if to read our minds and our anticipation, Mr. Joaquin pens down the exact same question in the next line—but this time as the opening dialogue by some other character in another scene and in another time. And just like that, seamlessly, time shifts.

I was enthralled.

I wanted to do the exact same magic in a story I thought I could write. And write I did—but to my estimation now, it was a complete amateurish disaster. But so be it. That story, cribbed from the stylistics of Nick Joaquin, made me the writer I am today.

Years later, the poet Cesar Ruiz Aquino, another one of writing mentors, casually remarked of the stories I wrote: “You’re so Joaquinesque.” Which I perfectly understood. And for me, it was an observation of influence. Not to say I was being unoriginal, of course. Because I would like to believe there is no such thing as “original,” anyway.

When you swim in the world of creatives—if you are a visual artist, for example, or a designer, a musician, a writer, a performer—being called an “original” comes to you as a stamp of utmost approval, an implicit acknowledgment that you may be unique in an overwhelming ocean of mediocrity and the dogtired. We castigate “sameness,” sport an upturned nose on “derivative,” and congratulate the “individual effort” that sings for the beholder a different tune from the rest. We think of that individuality, that uniqueness as the be-all and end-all of what you do as creative.

But I’ve always felt that there is an allure to the word “original” which we mistake for virtue—a confusion that is fuzzy and misunderstood. And so let me just make my point clear: I do not believe in the “original.” There is no such thing. When I am asked questions seeking to ascertain whether we have enough fresh, new, and yes, “unique” ideas to continue to push the boundaries of literature and music and film, I get a little uneasy.

Because ideas are not a finite thing, like a well that dries up. It’s not fossil fuel—although it is a different kind of fuel that feeds a machine that embraces all. And the true answer to that question is this: if you take a closer look at history itself, and the way that life unfolds, the fact that we are still astounded by things that crop up every single day is testament to the fact that ideas—fresh and new—will always be there. People have been complaining about the death of the novel for ages, for example. The death of the novel has been declared for a few hundred years now. And yet it’s still around, it has evolved with the times. I believe boundaries exist to be pushed further.

I am also asked: Is everything derivative then? But I like “derivative.” Although I prefer a better term for this: “remix” is better—and has a jazzy sound to it. Is originality something altogether unattainable in this day and age? I am also asked, sometimes. And I think that’s looking at a green apple and complaining that it’s not red. It’s still an apple.

I’m going to say arguing for originality like as if it is some sacred thing, like a literary holy grail every writer must try to wrest in some crusade, is old hat. Any literature teacher worth her salt would tell you that there is no such thing as an original story. If you believe certain literary sources, there are only seven, or three, or 20, or 36 plots in the world, depending on whose account you are listening to.

Arguing for originality that is yours alone, unique in the whole unfolding creative history of mankind is a little too selfish, too grandiose, and always impossible: it denies the whole dynamism that we are human beings who create because we are inspired, because we are able to react, because we have the gift to transform. What for me becomes original is the way writers are able to manipulate so-called old stories into something fresh, new.

This is the transformation that is the heart of every art. Take for instance the recent Hollywood blockbuster Edge of Tomorrow, which stars Tom Cruise. It is the story of a military man—who is more a PR person than a soldier trained for combat—who is sent against his will to battle aliens. And something happens to him in the battlefield that enables him to relive the same day each time he gets killed in that battle. Which is really Groundhog Day meets Starship Troopers meets the journey of the hero archetype proposed by Joseph Campbell. Nothing original about the story at all—but it was a very engaging movie, which enthralled critics and audiences alike. And what seemed fresh about it was not the hoary storyline it hitches itself to. It was how the director—and probably also the screenwriter—shaped or crafted that whole storyline that made it more immediate, scintillating, powerful.

Where do we insert “newness” in storytelling then? Storytelling is old as mankind—but if you think about it, the stories and the ways we tell them have always been shaped by the available technology prevalent at the time. Think of the caveman and his urge to tell the story of a bison hunt—his technology of cave wall, pitch, and clay would soon produce those beautiful cave paintings. Before writing was invented, the Bard used an oral means of transmitting his tale, which required specific techniques necessary for him or her to be able to retell an entire epic from memory: the repetition of certain motifs, the musicality of the narrative, the flatness of characters. You needed such mnemonic devices to be able to recite an epic. The technology of writing completely eradicated that technique: there was no more need to memorize—and soon a specific of writing emerged: more complex characters, less dependency on sound devices, restraint from the overuse of motifs. We were still telling the same stories, but we were telling them differently.

In the Age of the Internet, where short attention span and a mobile media platform dominate, we need to fit our old stories now to these new media to cope with the times.

I’m going to mention the New York writer Teju Cole, who has been taking to Twitter to write his short stories, the form of which is completely influenced by the medium: very short and concise, with the characteristic of social share-ability. There’s also “Hawk Funn,” a Facebook experiment in storytelling that we are now beginning to call the “social story.” And most of all, I’d like to mention Humans of New York, which is basically a photography blog and Facebook page—but I think it sets a good example of what storytelling is like in the social media age. You first get from HONY a striking picture of ordinary denizens of a city, and we get a caption that thoroughly humanizes the photo because of the story these denizens tell of themselves. The first time I encountered HONY, I was struck by the fact that these little stories managed to excite my imagination, that nerve center in my brain that responds to good narrative. And they were short—which is appropriate for our age. And they were easily shared. And people were responding to them in droves. If each like or comment to each of these HONY posts was the equivalent of a subscription to a literary magazine, you could say literature is alive and well and kicking in the Age of Social Media.

This is the new literature. The stories are old, but the media is new. That’s where the originality lies.

I’ve been reading a book titled Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon. For him, an artist is a collector, not a hoarder—meaning to say he collects selectively the things that he loves. Artists collect ideas, and writers do this by reading. Kleon recounted stumbling on a technique of “doing poetry” by clipping out newspaper articles he likes, and then emphasizing certain words he finds fascinating, and then blacking out with a marker the rest of the article—leaving a clipping with only certain words standing out from the blackness. The words, of course, strung together read out like some found poetry.

He found later on, however, that this technique of doing poetry was not unique. A guy named Tom Phillips was doing something like this before. And the more he researched, the more he found out there was a tradition of doing something exactly like this. He uncovered William Burroughs, and then uncovered Brion Gysin before Burroughs, and then uncovered Tristan Tzara before Gysin, and then uncovered Caleb Whitefoord before Tzara—which accounted for a 250 year old tradition of black out poetry.

And he came to this conclusion: nothing is original. All creative works build on what came before, and the best we can do is not to call this “derivative” work, but to call it a “remix,” a “mash-up.” It is mash-up because we take the best of what already existed before, and then giving it our own take. According to Klein, we need to become “creative kleptomaniacs.”

Given the question of originality, it pays to be reminded about what some of the best creatives in history has said about the issue. Pablo Picasso once said, “Good artists copy. Great artists steal.” David Bowie once described himself as a “tasteful thief.” T.S. Eliot once said that great poets steal, but they turn what they have stolen into something better.

That’s transformation. That’s remixing. That’s mash-up.

PHOTO CREDITS: Photo of Nick Joaquin by Neal Oshima, for Rogue Magazine. Photo of Austin Kleon by Ryan Essmaker for The Great Discontent.

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Thursday, July 03, 2014

entry arrow12:00 AM | We Need to Try

Failures are heartbreaking, but they can be beautiful. There is a point in Frank Pavich's Jodorowsky's Dune (2013) -- his marvelous documentary on Alejandro Jodorowsky's aborted effort to film the iconic sci-fi novel by Frank Herbert in the mid-1970s -- where the irrepressible Mexican filmmaker suddenly shows great and angry emotion about the circumstances that finally led to the shutting down of production. Jodorowsky had already done an elaborate pre-production on the project, having gathered together the best talents he could find to flesh out his vision (he called them "spiritual warriors"), and the producer needed $5 million more from Hollywood executives just to see the film's completion. But Hollywood, while impressed, finally said no. And the greatest film that never was grounded to a halt. Apparently, the suits found all the preparation perfect, but Hollywood found the director's vision frightening. Filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn recounts: "I believe that the reason they didn't do this film is because they were afraid of him. They were afraid of his imagination, they were afraid of his mind, and they were afraid of what it was going to do to them. And that's the real reason they didn't do this film: they were scared." It is by this point in the film that Jodorowsky finally explodes, and you see a man protective of his vision remembering old disappointments: "Movies have heart! They have mind! They have power! They have ambition! I wanted to do something like that! ... And why not?" And then he suddenly goes into contemplative quiet, a sadness over the memory etched into his face, his voice. But the film, even when unmade, went on to influence many of the films of the genre that came soon after, from Star Wars to Raiders of the Lost Ark, from Blade Runner to The Matrix, from Terminator to Flash Gordon to Alien. And what the documentary finally tells us is that not all failures are bad: unfulfilled creativity can live on, and have its imprint somewhere else. "For me to fail is only to change the way... If you fail, is not important," Jodorowsky finally says. "We need to try."

I shall always remember this.

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Tuesday, July 01, 2014

entry arrow10:07 PM | This is Dr. Potenciano Baccay.

Was Dr. Potenciano Baccay. He was one of Marcos' personal physicians and was Vice President of the National Kidney Foundation. But he made the mistake of revealing to the foreign press that the late strongman had kidney transplants in 1983 and 1984, fueling speculations that Marcos was seriously ill. He was later found stabbed to death, shortly after he spoke to The Pittsburgh Press. Police later said he was kidnaped and slain by communist rebels. A spokesman for Marcos later called the report "sheer fantasy." [Adapted slightly from The New York Times report.]

#DontReviseOurHistory #NeverAgain


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entry arrow9:33 PM | This is Archimedes Trajano.

Was Archimedes Tajano. Trajano, then a 21-year-old student at the Mapua Institute of Technology, once stood up in an open forum on August 1977 to question Imee Marcos, the eldest daughter of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, on her capability to lead the youth. The nation was then under Martial Law, and Imee Marcos headed the national youth organization Kabataang Barangay and was at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila where she addressed thousands of students. Trajano told Marcos that she would not have assumed the leadership position if she was not the presidential daughter. He also questioned her on her father's role in human rights violations. On 2 September 1977, the bloodied body of Trajano was found on the streets of Manila. The student’s parents were told he got into a dormitory fight. Witnesses later came forward to testify that Trajano was last seen being forcibly removed from the university forum by Marcos’ security escorts. It is believed Trajano was tortured for 12 to 36 hours before he died. His mother sued Marcos before the US district court in Honolulu, Hawaii, on 20 March 1986, barely a month after the Marcos family fled the country following the EDSA people power that year. In 1991, the US court awarded $4.4 million to the Trajano family. [Adapted slightly from the GMA News Online report.] 

#DontReviseOurHistory #NeverAgain


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