Issue of January 8, 2017

66th Courier Anniversary Issue
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Fire Rooster

In a previous column, this near-sighted Ibaloy writer hoped and prayed that 2017, the year of the Fire Rooster according to the Chinese calendar, will see an end to extrajudicial killings and revert to cherishing human life and dignity by, among others, respecting the legal dictum, “one is considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.”

If memory serves me right, it was former President Ramon Magsaysay who declared that “those who have less in life should have more in law.” After almost 70 years, this statement still rings true since the Philippines is still a Third World nation where most of our beloved countrymen still live or exist below the poverty line. Still.

Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t this beautiful archipelago of delicious coconuts, smiling carabaos, blushing strawberries and aromatic durians supposed to be a “nation of laws and not of men” and prides itself in being a predominantly Christian and democratic country? Is this not true anymore?

Anyway, both Rep. Mark Go and Mayor Mauricio Domogan are urging City Hall officials and personnel to learn from last year’s mistakes so that even better and more efficient service will be provided to the public. The call was made in last Tuesday’s flag raising ceremonies, this year’s first day of work to serve the community.

FYI: The city council recently passed an ordinance providing for the prevention and control of dengue incidence in the Summer Capital, appropriating funds for the purpose and prescribing penalties for violations of the measure’s provisions.

Authored by Vice Mayor Edison Bilog and Councilor Peter Fianza, the ordinance aims to continually and substantially reduce the occurrence of dengue cases in the City of Pines through integrated vector management, implementation of prevention and control measures and strengthening the fight against the deadly disease.

Good news: Congratulations to my alma mater, the great Benguet State University, especially it’s Nursing Department, for being one of the top performing schools in the recent Nursing Board Licensure Examinations by garnering a 100 percent passing rate for its 62 examinees. I had my secondary education there when it was still Mountain State Agricultural College or MSAC. Mabuhay!

Advance birthday greetings to my beloved mother, Dr. Emma Baban Keith, who turns a lovely 74 on Wednesday. A life-long educator, she is a retired professor of BSU and founder of its Ethno-Linguistic Library. May the Lord bless you with more fruitful years, mama. Your children and grandchildren love you.

Belated birthday greetings also to Councilor Benny Bomogao, my schoolmate at Roxas Elementary School back in the 1970s and to fellow government servant, Josephine Arranz. Cheers!

We’re on TV, Tuesdays, 4 p.m., over Sky Cable with Vladimir Cayabas, on radio, Wednesdays, 8 a.m., over DZEQ Radyo ng Bayan and K-Lite 96.7 FM with Lady Hillary, Tuesdays, 8 a.m., and report over other local radio stations when needed. Visit the Public Information Office at City Hall for assistance or call 442-2502. It’s more fun and cooler in Baguio!

Here’s “Dream Variations” by Langston Hughes: “To fling my arms wide/ In some place of the sun,/ To whirl and to dance/ Till the white day is done./ Then rest at cool evening/ Beneath a tall tree/ While night comes on gently,/ Dark like me --/ That is my dream!/ To fling my arms wide/ In the face of the sun,/ Dance! Whirl! Whirl!/ Till the quick day is done./ Rest at pale evening …/ A tall, slim tree …/ Night coming tenderly/ Black like me.”

Until next week and may Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to bless and keep us all safe.

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