145th Death Anniversary of GomBurZa Today at Rizal Park

MANILA – The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), City Government of Manila and the National Parks Development Committee will lead the commemoration of the 145th death anniversary of martyred priests Frs. Jose Burgos, Mariano Gomes and Jacinto Zamora on 17 February 2017, 8:00 a.m., at the Gomburza Execution Site, Rizal Park, Manila.

The program will begin with the flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremonies led by NHCP Commissioner and OIC-Chairman Dr. Rene R. Escalante as guest of honor.  Other wreath-offerors are Manila Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada, NPDC Executive Director Penelope Belmonte, NCCA Chairman Virgilio S. Almario, and DepEd-Manila, Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Wilfredo E. Cabral.  They will be joined by the principals from the Mariano Gomes Elementary School, Jose Burgos Elementary School and Jacinto Zamora Elementary School in Manila, officials from the Philippine Historical Association, Kaanak ng mga Bayaning Pilipino, Inc., Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippines and the Knights of Columbus Gomburza Assemblies.

Blessing of the tomb of the three martyred priests immediately follows at the Paco Park Cemetery, Manila to be officiated by Rev. Fr. Joel L. Rescober, C.M.

The NHCP is the national government agency mandated to promote Philippine history through its museums and publications, and preserve the nation’s historical heritage. (Source: http://nhcp.gov.ph/145th-death-anniversary-gomburza-observed/)


Wikipedia caption: “Gomburza, Filipino revolutionaries in the 1872 Cavite mutiny — Fathers Mariano Gómez, José Apolonio Burgos, and Fray Jacinto Zamora.” Author unknown

Jose Rizal’s second novel El Filibusterismo was dedicated to the memory of GomBurZa.



Two calls to recall

Dribbling a leather ball during childhood may be a matter of privilege in some parts of the world. This is but a reason for me to first and foremost pay tribute to Mang Art, who dearly touched my life by allowing me to join and take pleasure in his three-on-three basketball tournament which was the first time for me being a mere grade-schooler then. My team reached the finals which was, luckily for young players like us, formatted by Mang Art to be a sulit (read: long) best-of-seven series. Despite losing Game 1, my eldest brother-coach spearheaded the team to win the series in Game 7. Mang Art never knew that I was glad enough to have played my first tournament organized by him and his sons; I would become especially gladder because Mang Art gave me the MVP plum in the form of the biggest, the heaviest of all medals during the awarding ceremony.

Mang Art joined his Creator a few days ago.

Last Friday I heard in the news program of GMA PinoyTV from here in the Middle East that Mr. Isagani Yambot, publisher of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, also passed away.
Mr. Yambot may have seen me in PDI’s Makati City newsroom but I never had the opportunity to be close to him unlike what I had with the basketball organizer Mang Art whose house is beside ours (read: kapitbahay). But Mr. Yambot was equally close to my heart because of his broadsheet that I have loved to read, that I have loved to serve (copies of PDI cash vouchers for my on-the-job training at its research department and my published article about a promising UAAP player and his college basketball team have become part of my curriculum vitae supporting documents).

Mang Art and Sir Gani are two names to decode my way of life. In three months’ time, my age will be 33. During that important birth anniversary celebration, I will remember these two good men in my prayer and express my profound thanks to the Lord Almighty for giving me the chance to celebrate life inspired by Mang Art and Sir Gani in one way or another.

I’m no longer good in basketball and consider myself as a semi-retired leisure time player, but my sport has given and still gives nice memories as a player and a fan. It’s the same great amount of experience for Inquirer readers like me. When I read editorials, top stories, opinions in my favorite newspaper, I know that intelligent read will still be there as its publisher’s impact is exceptional. Originally written as a 2012 comment at GMA News Online, http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/250302/news/nation/pnoy-visits-wake-of-inquirer-publisher-isagani-yambot


1987 Constitution: ‘Rich, fertile ground for rule of law to be nourished, to grow, and to bear fruit’

MANILA – Ipinagdiriwang ngayon ng bansa ang ika-30 anibersaryo ng pagkakaratipika ng Konstitusyon ng 1987 sa pangunguna ni Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno ng Korte Suprema na kung ano mismo ang sinasabi nito ay iyon ang Konstitusyon.

(The nation celebrates today the 30th anniversary of the ratification of the 1987 Constitution led by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno of the Supreme Court, which has the last say on what the Constitution means and how it is interpreted.)

Ayon sa kauna-unahang babaeng naging Chief Justice, muling tinitiyak ng Mataas na Hukuman at ng hudikatura ang kanilang commitment na maging matatag, patas, at malaya.

(The first woman Chief Justice said the Supreme Court and the judiciary re-commit themselves to remain firm, fair and free.)

Sa kabuuan, nakaanim na Konstitusyon ang bansa mula 1898.

(The country has had a total of six constitutions since 1898.)

Heto ang buong pahayag ni Chief Justice Sereno sa pagdiriwang ng Araw ng Saligang Batas:

(Below is the full statement of Chief Justice Sereno on the celebration of Constitution Day:)

“On the occasion of Constitution Day, my colleagues on the Supreme Court and I join the people in commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of the ratification of the 1987 Constitution.

“Written in 111 days by a select, small group of 50 women and men comprising the 1986 Constitutional Commission, a document known as the 1986 draft Constitution was sent to the sovereign people for their judgment on February 2, 1987. Ratified by 16,622,111  affirmative votes (representing 76.30% of the total votes cast) as opposed to 4,953,375 negative votes (representing 22.74% of the total votes cast), the 1986 draft Constitution officially became The 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines.

“More than simply a statement of principles and a collection of hopes and aspirations, the 1987 Constitution formed the backbone for the new democracy ushered in by the force of the People Power Revolution of 1986. Ending the revolutionary government put in place by then President Corazon C. Aquino’s Proclamation No. 3, the 1987 Constitution also provided rich and fertile ground for the rule of law to be nourished, to grow, and to bear fruit. This it did with a renewed focus on human rights and civil liberties, an emphasis on sovereignty, and institutional protection for the independence of the judiciary.

“We consider that only a Constitution, such as the 1987 Constitution, that acknowledges cultural and religious diversity but stresses unity, nourishes liberty but allows dissent, protects national security but emphasizes human rights and human dignity may allow us to have a government that is stable, a democracy that is vibrant, and a rule of law that is consistent.

“Thirty years since its ratification, we in the Supreme Court and the judiciary today re-commit ourselves to the task of allowing our people to realize their hopes and aspirations of a society that is more just, humane, and equal by ensuring that the courts are firm, fair and free.”


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