WE OFTEN think of the lives of military men as nothing less than exciting, and the one led by retired Brig. Gen. Raymundo Jarque does not disappoint, although it had some unexpected and confusing twists. From a young lieutenant assigned to Mindanao to face the Muslim secessionists in the 1970s, he went on to become a military commander fighting a raging communist insurgency in his home province, then a fugitive from justice seeking sanctuary among the very rebels he fought, and later a consultant to them in their peace talks with the government. Had the local film industry not been in the doldrums, there would probably have been a movie based on his action-packed life by now.
IN THE garden of peace that Sr. Luz Emmanuel Soriano began more than 15 years ago on the hilly Antipolo campus of Assumption College, there is evil on four legs, a stray cat that has a nasty habit of preying on the birds in the eco-park, leaving the good sister not too pleased. But even the cat that she calls a “witch” cannot seem to darken the mood of the Assumption nun, not even when she sees it slinking behind some bushes on a morning when the sky has gone gray and is threatening to unload more than a bit of rain. She simply harrumphs, the pesky cat scampers away, and Sr. Luz is back to chirping happily about the eaglets in the park, and their caretaker named Darigold.
IN 1989, Jim Paredes of the Apo Hiking Society walked into the United States Embassy and gave up his green card.
An astonished embassy official looked at him and said, “Are you sure? You know, a lot of people would kill for this. Maybe you should think things over.”
“I have thought it over,” Paredes answered.
IF CARMEN Castro Deunida could have her way, there would be a protest rally every day and she’d be right smack at the frontlines. Never mind that her right toes still ache after almost being run over by a fleeing buko cart during the dispersal of the last demonstration, or that her doctor has warned her about her enlarged heart, and her children have repeatedly pleaded for her to just stay home.
ONE OF the most vivid — and defiant — images captured on television during the last days of the Marcos dictatorship was the walkout of 30 computer technicians manning the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) tabulation machines at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC). Led by Linda Kapunan, the technicians suddenly stood up from their posts and then filed out of the room, computer diskettes in hand, to protest the deliberate manipulation of election results to favor Ferdinand Marcos.
AFTER TWO people power revolutions where her publications played a role in removing disgraced presidents, Eugenia ‘Eggie’ Apostol retains an optimism that can only come from one who has scaled the mountains and sees the larger view.
“It’s not just the leadership that must change,” she says. “The people, too, must change.”
THE FIRST time Fr. Romeo J. Intengan, SJ, was summoned by a woman who lived in Malacañang, he had to flee the country to avoid her wrath. The woman was Imelda Marcos; the year was 1980. More recently, in November 2005, he came under fire for supposedly presenting exit scenarios to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. He admits she has sought his advice in the past regarding religious matters, but denies bringing up exit plans with her.
THE COUNTRY was going through a major upheaval, and so was the life of Teresita Ang See. As the Edsa 1 uprising entered its second day, she learned her husband had liver cancer.
Back then, the diminutive Ang See was dividing her time as part-time insurance agent and Chinese language tutor, and the contented, supportive spouse of Harvard-trained Chin Ben See, a professor of social anthropology and Asian studies. In 1971, Chin Ben See had co-founded the Pagkakaisa sa Pag-unlad, which vigorously lobbied for jus soli citizenship and the integration of the local Chinese into mainstream society.
“IT WAS a little bit eerie,” Nur Misuari says, recalling that cold early morning in January 1986 when a stranger came knocking on the door of his hotel room in Madrid. On the run from the Marcos government, the chairman of the secessionist Moro National Liberation Front or MNLF was then living in Tripoli, dependent on the hospitality of the Libyan leader Muammar Khadaffi. He was in Madrid for just that night, waiting for a flight to Casablanca in Morocco, where he was to attend a meeting.
HAPPINESS AND contentment radiate from Bernabe Buscayno these days, but there was a time when he would wake up thinking this day would be his last. In the mountains where he fought a guerrilla war, death was just always an illness or a bullet away. As a political detainee years later, a resigned Buscayno came to believing his isolation cell would be the very last place he would see in his life.
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