Wednesday 25 November 2009


(Photo: Liza Tripoli. FaceBook:Justice for Ampatuan Massacre Victims)

Statement of the Mindanao Commission on Women
24 November 2009

Mindanao women outraged over Maguindanao carnage

No words can describe the bestial acts perpetrated yesterday in
Maguindanao Against civilians, mostly women. Together with the
group were two sisters and the wife of Esmael Mangudadatu,
Vice Mayor of Buluan town, who were on their way to file his
certificate of candidacy as provincial governor of Maguindanao
when they were attacked in broad daylight. They were murdered in
cold blood and there were reports that some of the women were
also sexually violated, in a senseless massacre that will go down
in the annals of this country’s history as the worst election-related
If unarmed women,lawyers and journalists are not safe, who is safe?

From news reports, the Vice Mayor was quoted to have said that
he purposely sent his wife, sisters and female relatives to file
his candidacy without military escorts as he believed that they
would not be harmed being women and unarmed. But to his shock,
the perpetrators precisely took advantage of this position of
vulnerability and succeeded in committing those barbaric acts.

We, the Mindanao Commission on Women and the Mothers for
Peace, express our outrage at this new low in bestiality
perpetrated by men on civilians but most specially on women.
If the reports that the women were violated are found true,
we condemn it. Sexual violence is an issue
of power, domination and control wielded by men over women.
In times of conflict, it is used by men to ensure utter humiliation
of the enemy.This latest incident by men, who are widely-believed
to belong to a private army, makes us shudder at what will happen
in the days ahead if these criminals and their principals are
not brought to justice.

would like to extend our deepest condolences to the Mangudadatu
family. Eden Mangudadatu, sister of Buluan Vice Mayor Esmael
Mangudadatu, and a Vice Mayor herself had attended activities
of the Mindanao Commission on Women. It is ironic that early
this year Eden participated in discussions of our project,
“Women Healing Communities:Preventing and Reducing Rido
(clan feuds)”.
During the session, she shared her thoughts about rido and
how women played an important role in settling cases of clan

The barbaric and brutal massacre in Maguindanao shows the
total breakdown of security in parts of Mindanao
where many women and their families live in dehumanizing
poverty and violent conflict. We call on President Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo – as President and as a woman - to do the right
thing:disband and disarm the private armies, bring down the full
force of the law on the perpetrators, and rid Maguindanao
and other parts of Mindanao of the scourge of warlordism.
We also call on our colleagues and partners in the development
community to stand unafraid to denounce this crime loud and clear.
Let us continue to work for the end of conflicts that divide us,
so that our children will grow up imbibing not anger, hatred and
violence, but love,justice and peace.

As Mothers for Peace, we commit to continue our work for peace
in the ways of peace.

Mindanao Commission on Women and Mothers for Peace Movement

121 University Avenue, Juna Subdivision, Matina, Davao City

Telefax: (082) 298-40-31

About MCW

The Mindanao Commission on Women was established in 2001 as
an NGO by Mindanao women leaders. Its mission is to influence
public policy and public opinion. It advocates for a Mindanao
peace and development agenda from a women’s perspective.
Area Core Groups across Mindanao give MCW the ability to
influence local, Mindanao and national issues.
The Mothers for Peace movement is its grassroots base.

Monday 23 November 2009


(Photo taken in Germany)
Iroquois Thanksgiving Prayer (adapted)
"We return thanks to our Mother, the Earth, which sustains us.
We return thanks to the rivers and streams, which supply us with water.
We return thanks to all herbs, which furnish medicines for the cure of our diseases.
We return thanks to the moon and stars, which have given to us their light when the sun was gone.
We return thanks to the sun, that has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye.
Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit, in Whom is embodied all goodness, and Who directs all things for the good of Her children."
-- Iroquois Prayer, adapted Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace

"A Matter of Giving Thanks"

Sunday 15 November 2009

I hate boxing!

The first entry I saw this morning in my FB was the posting of my
niece about the winning of Manny Pacquiao alias Pac Man...another
honour for our suffering country, another entry in our history
book, she wrote with such a pride.
Wrote her, "thanks for the sharing but I'm not keen on
boxing. I believe this is one of those sports which should be
deleted from the world of sports..." Too much use of the same
words I realized later.
Sorry Pacquiao but I just hate that scene when people
are screaming and rejoicing for more punches, infliction of
pains. How could one enjoy this kind of entertainment?

In between posting,hubby called me asking me if I would
like to see the video of the fight as posted in the daily
inquirer. You bet, I did. They were talking about their
sizes...rather their heights. Cotto seems to be taller than
this raging Pinoy. Some punches here and there and after
those brief moments, I left hubby who waited for the
posted video to finish then asked me again to see another video
entry showing Hilary Clinton talking about civil society and
protection of human rights in the Philippines.

Civil Society and Boxing...
Pacquiao as our new hero
Blog: Manny Pacquiao wins WBO welterweight title fight

Pacquiao for President!

Monday 9 November 2009

Remembering the Fall of the Wall...20 years after

The Wall in the Mind
Easterners Still Feel like Second-Class Citizens
A new study confirms that Germans living in the former East Germany feel disadvantaged and resentful of the West. The study also finds higher levels of racism and Islamophobia in the East, while sexism remains stronger in the West.
Nearly twenty years after the fall of the Berlin wall, what Germans refer to as the "wall in the mind" remains in place.
The results of a long-term study released on Thursday by a team of 17 sociologists at the University of Bielefeld shows that resentments linger in part of the country that used to be communist East Germany. Some fear these resentments may drive rising levels of racism, anti-Semitism, and homophobia.

A new study shows that Germans living in the eastern part of the country resent the West.
Fully 64 percent of eastern Germans feel treated as second-class citizens, while almost 75 percent feel disadvantaged in comparison with Germans in the west. Some 77 percent of easterners feel they are treated less fairly than those in the west, and 59 percent believe that the two halves of Germany have not yet grown together into a common society.
Researchers worry these resentments bear a direct link to hostility towards minorities, which tends to be higher in the east and is rising in certain categories -- even as prejudice falls in the western part of the country.
Across Germany as a whole, according to the Bielefeld study, the prejudice indices that rose this year from last year were racism, hostility toward entrenched privilege, and hostility toward the unemployed. But measures of Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and hostility toward the homeless all shot up in the East, while sinking in the West.
The only index of prejudice that was clearly higher in the west was sexism -- although a different study released last week showed higher levels of anti-Semitism in western states, especially in Bavaria.
"Prisoners of Their Own Self-Image"
Wolfgang Thierse, vice-president of the German parliament and a native of the eastern German state of Thuringia, warned in an interview with the Berlin-based daily Tageszeitung that the results of the study were complex and shouldn't be ascribed to simple demographics. He said Islamophobia was higher in eastern Germany, for instance, even though fewer Muslims live there than in the west. And homelessness is viewed with special bitterness in the east even though long-term unemployment would seem to be a more menacing problem.
"And here we always thought we east Germans were great ones for solidarity and justice!" Thierse joked. In his view, "socio-economic or socio-pyschological explanations" cannot fully account for the study's findings. "We also have to talk about the cultural, intellectual, and moral history of eastern Germany -- including the lingering impact of the GDR."
He suggested that eastern Germans "feel like second-class citizens because they are caught in a prison of their own self-image." Even when presented with data showing that reunification had been good for eastern Germany, Thierse said, many continue to nurse resentments. "This self-image cliché that 'we are second-class citizens,'" he said, is such a strong a mental crutch "that facts which might attenuate this feeling are no longer taken into account."
National Pride, Good or Bad?
One potentially encouraging sign of the report was that levels of national pride and identification with Germany were up across all regions of the country, suggesting that residents of the former GDR are increasingly comfortable associating themselves with the new unified state.
But Ulrich Wagner, a social psychologist who worked on the study, warned that growing affection for Germany could come at the cost of stoking xenophobia. Wagner told Tageszeitung "the rising identification with one's own country and the rising national pride also have negative consequences worth considering ... We should be cautious about all forms of national identification, if Germany and the Germans want to behave in a cosmopolitan way."
Thierse added that the ongoing financial crisis posed the greatest political and moral challenge, "not to permit tough economic conditions to brutalize human relations."
cpg -- with wire reports,1518,594656,00.html

Sunday 1 November 2009

Trick or Treat Guinatan

The other day, I was reading an entry in Facebook. It says
Halloween is fast approaching and if anyone could share something
about Aswangs in the Philippines. Aswangs? I prompted a short
response writing that these Aswangs
have nothing to do with this Americanized version of a tradition
we have in the Philippines...not that we have a tradition of
remembering the Aswangs
but what I meant was the celebration when we remember all
the saints and souls on the 1st and 2nd of November and we call
this tradition Undras.

Aswangs, Halloween, Undras and Guinatan.

This is also the time of the year when sticky delicacies like rice
cakes Kakanins, sumans and coconut
milk-based dessert, Guinatan are prepared as food for the
wandering souls but enjoyed of course by hungry mortals.
The sticky finger goodies are given to kids who come in the evening
singing "kaluluwa'y dumaratang, sa tapat
ng durungawan etc...
we are lost souls in front of your windows,
bells are ringing to wake you up, and if you want to give us alms,
please make it fast before the door of heaven closes on us."
I think a more dramatic interpretation than the globalized Trick or
Treat Halloween fun for kids.

But back to my original blog entry which is the recipe for this
typical Filipino merienda. Preparing guinatan has become one of
my keeping up with the tradition stuffs either to appease the
hungry spirits or my own cravings.


Sweet Potatoes
Ube (violet yams)
Shreds of Bottled Sweet Langka (Jackfruit)
Sticky rice Bilo-bilo
Coconut Milk ( I used three cans of 400 ml each)
Drizzle of salt
Pandan leaves for aromatic effect

(Violet yams while cooking in coconut milk with pandan leaves)

Place the yams, taro in a saucepan, pour in coconut
milk with the pandan leaves. Bring to boil and later add the
sliced bananas, langka, bilo-bilo and cook further for
ten minutes, adding sugar to your taste.
Note: You have to watch it while cooking. Mine
turned like a cream yellowish pumpkin soup but the taste
was sweet enough to cure my nostalgia.

I texted my sister to ask on the exact date the kids do this
She texted back that it is on the night of Nov. 1 to Nov. 2 but
it is no longer practised in our village...the cost of malagkit rice
has gone so expensive, around 80 Pesos per kilo. People could no
longer afford to give away Sumans
and sticky rice delicacies to keep up with the tradition.
Poor hungry, wandering souls.

Poor me, eating my guinatan alone. Hubby said when he saw
the bowl of guinatan for our brunch...
"hmmmmmmmmmm, you can have my share."