10 April 2007

Late suggested readings

THE following are week late, but I am putting them forward just the same as suggested readings.

1. I did not realize Randy David was Ateneo de Naga University's commencement speaker last March 23 until I read his column last Sunday. (That's what you get for being a non-Atenean, which can cut both ways.) But I had a feeling his address, which tackled a subject close to home -- the Filipino family -- can be found at the Ateneo website, and it indeed is.

I think whenever this modern-day Filipino prophet speaks, we ought to pause and listen.

2. Want to know how things really are at the local level? Then check out this fine piece by Cristina Montiel and Agustin Rodriquez, which the PCIJ website currently banners as its lead article. The following paragraph, I think, sums up the predicament of elected local officials:

Rather than imagining and realizing the development possibilities of their localities, local government officials are caught in a Sisyphusian task. On one hand, they are hard-pressed to access resources for projects that demonstrate their capacity to deliver but do not effectively respond to the problem of poverty. On the other hand, they are politically obliged to mobilize partisan, fickle, and temporary support for higher-level officials. If they fail to deliver on either side, they lose both sides. Given the immensity of the task, who has time to govern -- much less govern with dynamism and creativity?
3. I only found out that Vic Nierva aka Makuapo ni Handiong has joined Vox Bikol's stable of columnists when its pre-Lenten issue came out a week ago. This should give Vox one of the deepest benches among local papers insofar as the op-ed page is concerned. But his second foray is a pleasant stunner, giving us an insider's take into the Abang Mabulo-Dato Arroyo tussle.

Vic, who teaches literature at UP and has recently spent time translating English poems into Bikol in his blog, should honestly consider coming out with an English translation of that piece this time around.

And Vox Bikol should really, really make its online presence felt pronto.