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WHAT’S INSIDE? ABOUT THE COVER LETTER FROM THE EDITOR FROM THE READERS TOP STORY 5 | Dreams to ashes

EDITORIAL 29 | Déjà vu

NEWS

6 | University celebs 51st year 7 | MSUS allocated with 1B; Main Campus given 400M 7 | 2 kidnapped MSUans escape 8 | SSG election moved to December 8 | Still no budget for CFES greening project, says former dean 8 | Pnoy inks GPH-MILF agreement on the Bangsamoro

NEWS FEATURE 9 | Students on board untold stories

10 | Symphony of Lights (My MSU Story) 11 | Adult Children 12 | Conflagration (A story of PLH fire victims)

13 | The Watchdogs 14 | Strangling Ropes and Slashing Blades 15 | Fears and Politics 18 | Just like any other Suspense Movies 19 | Lessons to live with 20 | A Love Story (Student-teacher love affair) 21 | Campus Horror Stories

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FEATURES

22 | Minds in a box (College stereotypes) 24 | Ransacked 24 | End of the World: Postponed? 25 | TINGOG: She had me at ‘hello’

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OPINIONS

26 | Epidemic 26 | Danger Haven 27 | RH Bill won’t kill 27 | Of territories and deceptions 28 | The Blocked Freedom 28 | At Large

COMICS

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30 | Sigh-ber Crime 30| Extended Ending 28 | The Blocked Freedom

31 | NEWBIES

ABOUT THE

COVER We’ve read of princesses whose happy endings began with a glass slipper, a poisoned apple, a kiss of a beast, a cursed needle, and a magic carpet. We’ve read of fairytales and knight in shining armors. We know all of their stories and their once upon a times. But there are still a lot of stories we ought to know – the untold narrative of a princess named MSU. Every soul in the campus knows her, at least in the superficial sense. Aside from being a mother whose mission is to provide integration and quality education among children with different views and skins, what else do we really know about her? Now with lights turned off in black and white, listen. Her lips have so many untold stories to tell. Model: Russel Evan Jampit Theme: Mike Ariel Plaza Cover Design: John Louie Margate Photo: Jayson Leigh Segovia Concept: MV Peeps

ABOUT THE

COVER


R

EDITOR’S NOTE The narrative continues. There were familiar sounds one always hear. The setting was always dark. Lights were accidentally turned off. Eyes watch but their vigilance had melted already for a long time. The scenes were blurry but were digestible. Heartbeats and fears were audible. The actors were known, their roles, not. There were familiar sounds one always hear. There were stories told in whispers. There were pens and notebooks. There were letters. There were words. There were cameras and flashes and tableaus. That was a vision – a narrative that was never completed. That was a dream that has chased all my common senses, woke me up when I thought I was awake, and made me realize that my tickler, I thought I scribbled to for a long time, was empty. But that vision has a story and a story inside its story and a story hidden in a story inside its story. And that dream was real. I thought that there were certain stories and angles that were never touched nor was even thought to be. All these angles were known but were never talked about. The events that have happened in the campus so far were like an avalanche that almost drowned us all with worries as they rushed to us. We know the details, the whats, the whens, the hows and partially the whys. But we failed to look deeper. We failed to see that the actors are not just the culprit and the victims. We failed to see that we play a part in the story. That the villains are not always humans. They are sometimes the situations that we cannot control. They are the culture we cannot easily run away from. They are even sometimes the incomplete stories published in spreads or online and even broadcasted in national TV. Most importantly, they are the sense of security, faith and trust that were all ripped away from us. So this issue mourns, for lives taken away by avarice and selfishness. This issue listens and tells the stories of actors always neglected – the students. Here are their accounts of fears, sadness and frustrations – written not between the lines but on the lines. This issue also brings you some of the sparkles in the dark. That amidst all the deaths, fears and losing, are stories of hope and success. This even brings you inspiration, change and love. We believe that just because the facts were not outwardly spoken before do not mean they did not exist. Sometimes silence is just a quieter way to lie. It is consent and a sign of surrendering all the ideals and hopes we got. There are stories that need to be told so we shun them from happening again. There are stories that need to be heard and known so we know how we are to end them. There are stories that just don’t end, so we keep on telling them again. So long as there are dreams and mysteries that are not yet decried, the way my vision continues, the narrative too does. The spaces must be filled. The distance must be traveled. The silence will have to be shattered. There will be familiar sounds one will always hear. Those will be the groans of the truths that we accidentally and intentionally forget. Those will be the gashed pages of stories untold. Mike AP Plaza Editor-in-Chief


FROM THE READERS

Republic of the Philippines Mindanao State University Marawi City, Lanao del Sur Division of Student Affairs

I remember my childhood days upon seeing the cover of MV for the 2012 issue. To MVians, Congratulations for a visual and mind satisfactory cover and content. -Ronnel My warmest congratulation goes to all of your staff, Mindanao Varsitarian: Mike is undeniably good in feature writing and artistically awesome in literary articles; March had been always caught the attention of her readers; Safia is brave in all of her articles; Riz filled the free-spaces on the magazines--she got so many articles published; Emelyn, Sohayla, and HAPPY are pretty good-looking, even in writing; Reyjhon is master of sarcasm and irony (good that you’ve discovered his talent ); Kirby had been always good in illustrations--indeed, he burst his last (maybe) power in drawing; John Louie is good in photoshop and lay-outing; and all other staffers who really made the Mindanao Varsitarian worth reading and powerful! -fan ni Reyjhon The latest issue of the MV was very nice. It made me [realize] how blessed we are Mindanaons for having Mindanao as our home. It just showcased our very colorful culture and tradition. The cover was excellent. It just showed the main reason why [MSU] was established which is to integrate the tri-people in Mindano, Sulu, and Palawan. Despite the different culture, religion, and upbringing we have, we [are] still able to live together in one place where Christians, Lumads, and Muslims harmoniously live together. Congratulations to the staff, and the editors especially to the EIC Mike, two thumbs up! I am looking forward for another excellent and a braver issue of MV.:) -reader #1 I love MV. It has more information about the campus. I hope the next (publication) will be great also. More so MV is very active. You amaaaaze me. The only thing I could say is that about this website I wish post kayo ng mga picture, yung marami ha? -Nawee Como About the cover, di po appropriate ang mga attire. May mga typographical errors, din. Pero maganda ang editorial, matapang! -Random Reader --Thank you for the praises and criticisms. We hope you enjoy the stories in this issue the best.

ERRATA The MINDANAO VARSITARIAN would like to apologize for the mistakes published in its Vol. 27 No. 3 issue. - In a story at page 6, Mr. PE 2012 is Hassanain MAGARANG, not Magaring. It appeared that our source (from the organizers of the event) has misspelled his name. - The newsbits at page 6 were written by Riz Sunio. - At page 9, MATA stands for Movement of AntiTrafficking Advocates. - The story Health Madness: Ang Pagbabalik was written by Jesslei Mae Piquero.

MINDANAO VARSITARIAN THE OFFICIAL STUDENT PUBLICATION FINANCIAL STATEMENT 1st Semester, A.Y 2012-2013 1ST Semester Total Collection Interest Income TOTAL (Money on Bank)

PHP 238, 100.00 (11,905 Students) 5, 414.00 PHP 243, 514.00

Less: Expenses during the MV Fee Collection 6,006.00 Staplers 60.00 Transportation 10.00 Lunch 4,336.00 Receipts 1,600.00 Overnight Orientation and Evaluation 1,693.00 Overnight fee 800.00 Snacks 893.00 Transporting of remaining MV copies from Ivory 11,571.00 Balance in Ivory 10,000 FX Rental 900.00 Lunch 220.00 Snacks 265.00 Fare to Iligan 150.00 Fare around Iligan 36.00 Office Supplies 478.00 Notebook 36.00 Posters 221.00 Yellow Pad 36.00 Envelope 55.00 Printing 130.00 Other Operational Expenses 3,701.00 Internet to update FB page 450.00 Snacks 704.00 After meeting snacks 1,406.00 Luncheon meetings 1,141.00 Delegation in Dumaguete 805.00 Food 805.00 Press IDs 560.00 MV cover Photo shoot 1,100.00 Cloth rental 50.00 Lunch 1,050.00 Lay-outing 100.00 Overnight fee 30.00 Snacks 70.00 Delegation in Islamic Conference 975.00 LBC Charge (The Spectrum Fellowship) 235.00 MV Fee Collection (2nd Semester) 8,410.00 Receipts 5,760.00 Fare to Iligan 150.00 Office Supplies 314.00 Lunch 2,146.00 Photocopy 40.00 Bank Service Charge 220.00 TOTAL EXPENSES 35,854.00 TOTAL REMAINING BALANCE PHP 207,660.00 PREPARED BY: Riz P. Sunio Managing Editor Mindanao Varsitarian

Mark C. Maylan Associate Managing Editor Mindanao Varsitarian

APPROVED BY: Mike Ariel P. Plaza Editor-in-Chief Mindanao Varsitarian

- One of the photos published at the centerfold was of an African Festival. Also, we failed to recognize the sources of the photos.

VERIFIED BY:

Our heartfelt apologies! - MV Peeps

Ms. Dayang-Dayang Khadija J. Baguinda Coordinator for Mindanao Varsitarian Division of Student Affairs

Ms. Aleesha L. Tampi Coordinator for Mindanao Varsitarian Division of Student Affairs


DREAMS TO ASHES

Rey Harvey Suello and Glihard Escudero, Staff Writers

Heartbreaking. How can good people die just like that? The October 25 fire incident in the campus did not just determine the demise of Sir Othello Cobal, a Philosophy professor. It has taken a life so meaningful, burnt virtuous ambitions and left things in shambles not just for Erwin Encabo Diaz but most especially for his innocent family. Erwin or ‘Weng2x’ as what his family and most of his close friends call him was a fourth year BSHRM student of this University. The melancholic incident took away the life of a perfect picture of a hopeful MSUan who tried to battle his way to graduation aisle despite financial difficulty, only that he was not able to sing his alma mater song. The inferno charred the heroic life lived by a 24-year old dreamer. He was known for being a happy person. He carried an infectious smile that never faltered. He liked to read, sing his heart out and was even fond of grooving to different beats. More than that, he was an inspiring brother and friend. None of the people who know him expected that such woeful and horrible end would happen to a good person as him. He worked as a student assistant of Sir Cobal together with his other 3 siblings, Elizabeth, Estrilla del Mar, and Elleone. They were buoyed up to live independently given their parents’ separation four years ago. Though Weng2x came from a broken family, he never used it as an excuse to abandon his responsibilities as a brother. Fate may have

confronted them with such situation but the love and compassion he showed to his siblings was more than enough for them to feel treasured and cared for. He took a year off in studying. He went to Davao City, had his work experience at Grand Mincing Hotel and worked as a cashier at a mall then came back a year later after saving money enough to compensate his and his siblings’ educational needs. He was indeed a breadwinner. Elizabeth, his sister, was the one who really grasped his brother’s unconditional love to them. In an interview with her via text message, she said, “He’s (Erwin) more like a parent to us, a good friend, adviser. Basta, buotan kayo siya.” She added that when her brother was still in Davao City, he sold his rice cooker for him to have additional money for his practicum. He had his on-job training last year at Singapore. One of his friends, Christian Mae Miranda, recalled him as a person who always appreciates and constantly gives encouragements. She said that he was hardworking and was willing to do anything for his siblings Presently, his siblings had to stop schooling to cope up with the tragedy and to tend to the needs of Estrilla or ‘Yeye’ who acquired third degree burns during the incident. Everyone who knows Erwin’s story ends up grief-stricken thinking about the sorrowful turnout of his life. He could have done so many good things in his life. He could have fulfilled his dreams – for him and for his siblings. He may have lived a simple life but he is an inspiration. We mourn for his death but we also mourn for the souls of whoever caused his demise. We hope that justice be served to Erwin and Sir Othello through the strong support of the Administration.


University celebs 51st year, Angara graces opening ceremony GLIHARD ESCUDERO Staff Writer

“NOT everyone in our country gets to study at Mindanao State University. I hope you realize what a great honor and privilege it is,” said Cong. Juan Edgardo Angara, in his speech during the opening ceremony of the University’s 51st founding anniversary, September 1. Angara, also a member of the MSU Board of Regents, encouraged MSUans to not forget the University even after they become successful. “Kahit saan magpunta, hindi [sana] magbago ang damdamin. Kayo po and iskolar ng bayan. Kayo po ang pag-asa ng bayan,” he added after pointing out that MSU is getting an 80% increase in its budget for 2013. Reportedly, Angara is hoped to sponsor the Revised University Charter of the MSU. MSU-System President Macapado Muslim also shared the achievements of the University for the last four years. He said that despite the lack of facilities of the University, it still produces graduates “who are not just worthy of praise and honor but also of respect and reverence.” “Two proofs of this were the recently released results of the Licensure Examination for Social Work, where MSU ranked second nationwide, and the Licensure Examination for Foresters where the top notchers number two and ten were graduates of the University,” he said. Muslim added about the latest result of the Licensure Examination for Medicine, which he just browsed in the internet the night before his address. Forty six takers out of 47 have successfully passed, making MSU the 2nd topperforming academic institution in the field of Medicine in the entire Philippines. Despite the heavy rain, some of the winners of the previously held Musical Extravaganza and Dance Festival showcased their winning performances before the opening program commenced. “MSU: A global national University in the year 2020,” was the theme for this year’s founding anniversary.

NEWS

FUN AT THE FOUNDING. Sonny Angara (left photo) joins the celebration of Mindanao State University’s Founding Anniversary, as a keynote speaker, along with the fun and frolics of the entire MSU populace (photos taken by Raymark Estael and Jayson Leigh Segovia, Sep 1).


NEWS

VOL 28 NO.1 | A.Y. 2012- 2013

MSUS allocated with 1B; Main Campus given 400M

WITH HIGH HOPES. Dr. Macapado Muslim, in his speech during the opening of the 51st Founding Anniversary, conveyed the good news of an allocated budget for the University System (photo by Jayson Leigh Segovia, Sep 1).

ANDRES AWING JR., Staff Writer RIZ SUNIO, Managing Editor AS ONE of the leading universities in the country, the Mindanao State University System (MSUS) was given a P1-billion fund for capacity building where the main campus was budgeted about 400 million. The budget was allocated to MSU after the presentation of the University, bannering its performance such as the number of doctorates and excellent percentage of board passers, during a budget hearing, said Vice President for Finance Dr. Merlynn Tan. The 1 billion fund has already been handed to MSU after the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) last July 23 and the compliance of necessary documents. According to Executive Vice President Dr. Emmanuel Lagare, the distribution of budget for each college of the University was based on a priority system, giving immediate attention to programs such as Engineering, Agriculture, and Fisheries. Other colleges such as College of Sports, Physical Education, and Recreation (CSPEAR), King Faisal Center for Islamic, Asian, and Arabic Studies (KFCIAAS), College of Law, and Graduate School did not have a share in the 400 million. “They’re not the priority for the 2012. They will have their budget for the 2013 budget,” said Dr. Lagare. MSU is expecting to receive another Php 1.078 B for capacity building next year, according to the budget hearing. “Maybe we have yet to submit our proposal. We will submit [a proposal] on 2013” said Dr. Ali B. Panda, dean of King Faisal Center for Asian, Arabic, and Islamic Studies (KFCIAAS). “We must be treated equally with other colleges,” he added. Dr. Lagare is the head of the task force for the procurement of equipment while Dr. Tan is for the task force for infrastructures. Dr. Tan’s committee has nine engineers and two hired architects for the projects. October as the targeted date for the start of constructions has also been moved. “We haven’t completed all the necessary preparations, so we can’t start the bidding [for equipment],” said Dr. Lagare. Purchase of government materials must undergo public bidding according to government procedures. Dr. Lagare however said that the constructions may start on November. “In the timetable of CHED, the construction can run from October until December...Some constructions may take several biddings.” As for the equipment, “We’re still waiting for the list (of equipment) because we need specifications and details from the [colleges].” The proposals for capacity building of the MSU campuses are still processed, as of this writing. The 1 billion fund was for capacity building

allocation and is part of Commission of Higher Education’s (CHED) Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). DAP was “earmarked specifically for the upgrading and modernization of infrastructure, facilities, and equipment as part of the institutional capacity building of Leading SUCs (State Universities and Colleges) and the improvement of the facilities of Developing SUCs,” according to the Guidelines on Grant and Allocation of CHED. Through CHED Memorandum Order No. 09, series of 2012, the Disbursement Acceleration Fund of Php 4.28 billion for SUCs in support of the Reform Agenda for Public Higher Education (20112016) was promulgated. About Php 3 billion of the 4.28 billion is for DAP. Projects for institutional capacity building of Leading Universities include infrastructure and facilities upgrade, Grant-in-Aid for Research, The breakdown of budget for the Main Campus:

Here is the budget for the MSU campuses:

Colleges and other facilities Infrastructure Equipment COA Php 5,000,000 Php18,612,988 CBAA 15,000,333 3,533,000 COE 35,680,000 CFES 5,248,761 COF 8,249,906 CHARM 2,964,200 CIT 43,000,000 17,384,125 Medicine 8,000,000 8,212,449 CNSM 90,000,000 64,056,180 CSSH 35,000,000 6,000,000 CHS 15,000,000 3,656,818 CED 3,686,776 CPA 3,686,776 Library 16,000,000 5,650,237 Housing Mgt (Girls Dorm) 33,492,903 motorpool (water supply) 16,000,000 DSA (student center ) 20,000,000

MSU Campus Budget Main Php483,115,452 GenSan 65,900,000 Maguindanao 50,006,504 Naawan 45,000,000 Sulu 45,247,440 Buug 25,000,000 LNCAT 22,000,000 MSAT 22,001,468 LNAC 22,001,115 TCTO 57, 056,206 IIT 152,671,816

2 kidnapped MSUans escape AFTER a day of captivity, two students from the College of Business Administration and Accountancy escaped from the hands of the kidnappers and were rescued at Piagapo, September 8. Haroun Marohombsar, deputy chief of the Peace Keeping Force (PKF), said the two victims were reported missing last September 7 after leaving their cottage, morning of the said day. He said the students went to Mami’s Bakeshop to buy bread, and on their way there, a maroon van with five men stopped over and forcefully pulled

Development and Extension (RDE); student’s Grantin-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (SGPPA), Executive Development Program, and other projects. While other Leading and Developing SUCs are under certain conditions in order to avail the fund allocation, the University of the Philippines and MSUS were “provided specific grants from the DAP under separate terms and conditions,” according to CHED’s Disbursement Guidelines. Dr. Lagare said that CHED’s plan for MSU is to make it a state university in the south with international standards and be part of the international university listings, where UP is in the 400th rank. He added that making it to the list is doable because of our good faculty force and the facilities that we are about to have.

MERRY AIRRENE HORTELANO AND RHEALYN POJAS , Umalohokan

them in to the vehicle and brought them to Piagapo. “Inassume namin na nagdate sila,” said Marohombsar. “Mahirap [kasing] mag-declare agad ng kidnap,” he added. However, the PKF only confirmed that the victims were really kidnapped after having netted a radio frequency informing that the two were already at the Piagapo Police Station, said Mr. Marohombsar. The victims were then brought to Col. Romeo Magsalos, PNP provincial director, for the debriefing. The victims were reported to have escaped

when the culprit guarding them had fallen asleep, during a strong rain in the afternoon of September 8. After escaping, they were able to ask for help at the house of the former barangay captain of Metring, Marohombsar explained. The motives for kidnapping as reported by the victims was to ransom them for P300, 000 from MSU and that the culprits also had problems with the MSU president, said Marohombsar. The Mindanao Varsitarian tried to reach the victims but they said they would want to keep their silence about the issue.

07


08

SSG election moved to December RIZ SUNIO, Managing Editor

AFTER the incumbent Supreme Student Government officers pushed to finish their supposed one-year term, the SSG Electoral Tribunal decided to move the elections this December. According to Mr. Alsi Iggo, assistant chairman of the tribunal, the decision was made after they met last August. Reportedly, the SSG officers passed a resolution last July 30 to cancel the August election. They Article VI, section 7 of their Constitution and By-Laws (CBL) was quoted, stating that “the SSG is granted a one-year term from the time of their proclamation.” Included also in the resolution is former Division of Student Affairs Director Tambas Cader’s statement that their administration will stay for one year until a new set of officers is proclaimed. The resolution has been approved and has finally been signed by the Legal Office, the DSA, and other parties concerned. It will now undergo plebiscite to amend the CBL and permanently move the date of the SSG elections. SSG President Afnan Cana said

that their CBL will have total revision. The amendment was supposed to be scheduled on Sept 21. Cana also expressed disdain over the delay of the approval of the resolution. “Pinagpapasa-pasahan lang ang resolution (from one office to another),” she said, adding that they once followed up for the papers at the Legal Office but the office said that the documents have not reached their table yet. Mr. Iggo said that one of the reasons why the resolution has not been signed immediately was because the secretary of the tribunal was too busy to move the papers. Also, there was a confusion of roles and signatories in the paper. Without the resolution signed, “they are not released any budget to initiate any projects,” said Cana. Mr. Iggo however said that they do not actually need the resolution to draw out some fund. Ms. Dayang-Dayang Khadija J. Baguinda, DSA counselor and former MSU student regent, said that the election is better

moved permanently on February. She added that almost all MSU campuses have scheduled their SSG election on the said month. If scheduled on February, SSG officers will be able to serve during enrollment, have time to bond and even plan for their projects for the year, which they will present in the Federation of Mindanao State University System’s Student Councils’ Organization meeting every July. FEMSUSSCO meets every July and February where the former is the presentation of plans and the latter is the presentation of the results. Ms. Baguinda said that MSU-Main SSG is almost always not present every first meeting of the school year during her term. Mr. Iggo said that the SSG will be amending a resolution that will move the election every February. Cana’s administration has been elected Dec 6 last year. Last academic year’s election was moved to December because of conflicting schedules in the University’s academic calendar,because of the Ramadhan, Golden Jubilee celebration, October final exams, and November enrolment.

Pnoy inks GPH-MILF agreement on the Bangsamoro RIZ SUNIO, Managing Editor/ ANDRES AWING JR., Staff Writer/ UMALOHOKAN

OCTOBER 16 — The new framework agreement for the Bangsamoro Region drafted by the peace panels of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) was finally signed by Pres. Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III. Dubbed as the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB), the signing of the 13-paged agreement in Malacañang Palace started at 1:30pm, said Hon. Sittie Norhanie H. Lao, member of the Regional Legislative Assemble (RLA), adding that a couple of reviews of the agreement’s by-laws were also done. Dr. Hamid Barra, member of the GPH peace panel and also a faculty of the King Faisal Center for Islamic, Asian, and Arabic Studies (KFCIAAS), said “If passed, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will be abolished and Bangsamoro will take its place.” Moro Islamic Liberation Front chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim said in an October 16 story at Mindanes.com that there is an “adversarial relationship between the Bangsamoro and the Philippine nation,” and that the FAB is “most important document in the chapter of our history, a landmark document that restores to our people their Bangsamoro identity and their homeland, their right to govern themselves and the power to forge their destiny and their future with their very own hands.”

NEWS

She also added that the document is a roadmap to peace. After the signing of the agreement, there will be a transitional period. The President will issue an order to create a Transition Commission (TransCom) that will have 15 members, seven from GPH and eight from MILF. TransCom, to be chaired by MILF, will draft the Bangsamoro Basic Law to create the new autonomous Bangsamoro Region through the creation of Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA). This law is still bounded by the 1987 Constitution. The region is planned to be in place by 2016, Presidential Peace Adviser Teresita Deles said. The framework agreement was drafted Oct 2-7 at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and was announced Oct 7. “This is not a law like the Organic Act, but this provides for the mechanism of formulating a basic law that will take the place of the [said act], if ever passed in the Congress and ratified said.

by the people of [ARMM],” Dr. Barra

In an October 11 story from Mindanews. com, the RLA of ARMM has expressed support for the said Framework. Rasul Mitmug, RLA speaker said they hope the review of RA 9054 (Expanded Organic Act for ARMM) will be a source of inputs for the future discussion

between GPH and MILF. A public consultation for the review of R.A 9054 or Organic Act was done in Marawi Provincial Capitol, Sept 11 attended by 250 participants from different sectors. The same consultation was held in the other provinces of ARMM. While the Organic Act would strengthen the provisions of the act that founded ARMM, the provision of FAB in Article V states that the Bangsamoro Region will cover the present ARMM and other places which voted for inclusion in the 2001 plebiscite. The following are the municipalities of Balo-i, Munal, Nunungan, Pantar, Tagoloan, and Tangkal of Lanao del norte. Also included are the barangays in Kabacan, Carmen, Aleosan, Pigkawayan, Pikit, and Midsayap of North Cotabato; and also the cities of Cotabato and Isabela of Basilan. Other areas can be included if the place will pass a petition asking for their inclusion in the new region at least two months after the ratification of the Bangsamoro Basic Law. “[FAB] lays down the foundation of a peaceful settlement of the conflict of Mindanao,” said Dr. Barra. Deles said in Manila Standard Today that the agreement was aimed at ending decades of warfare in Mindanao.

VOL 28 NO.1 | A.Y. 2012- 2013


PHOTO BY RON CHRISTIAN ALONDAY

NEWS FEATURE

VOL 28 NO.1 | A.Y. 2012- 2013

Students on board MOH’D ABDUL FARRID DELNA Literary Editor

THEY study with the norm that learning is beyond the four-corners of that classroom, so is the reason why they flew to other classrooms abroad. And they are commonly referred to as the exchangestudents. MSUans are indeed not just dynamic to programs and leadership trainings in the national level (say AYLC, ABOITIZ, etc.) but are in the international arena as well. For just about year after year, the university is sending a number of students to participate in these exchange programs, leadership trainings, congresses, and forums abroad by the selection of the Philippine government itself through institutions as National Youth Commission and Foreign Embassies to enumerate the common. Yet, the application isn’t as easy as just buying a ticket then whoosh, hello America. These programs have its own distinct form of screening processes or applications that, with all the standards, scrutinizes the sea of applicants all over the archipelago. It’s typical of course to ask a bunch of requirements like personal credentials from resume to passports, and even essays from personal to global issues. And what’s more is that, aside from these paper requirements, some programs also have succeeding phases of application, the most common are personal interviews with esteemed panels, who would make your heart pump into swiftness. As good fortune would have it, MSUans are not lagging behind when a call for new applications are made. From the number of representation the MSU is sending almost annually, one can say that in terms of performance (in both academic and extracurricular side), MSUans are indeed “world-class” (a round of applause please). In actuality, just this summer of 2012, the Philippines had delegates from MSU to some of these programs abroad.

JENESYS PROGRAMME The Japan-East Asia Network or Exchange for Students and Youths (JENESYS) is a project advanced by the Japanese Government from the standpoint of providing a thorough foundation of strong solidarity within Asia through large-scale youth exchange. Student Ambassadors are the title given to the youth participants of this program. During the 10-day visit to Japan, they had the chance to experience school visits, lecture-seminars and workshops, Japanese youth interactions, homestays, historical and cultural site excursions, and etc. (www.nyc.gov.ph). Last summer’s student ambassadors from MSU are Sittie Haya Ampa (BS Biology), Shariah Lucero (BS Nursing), Raxiey Adolfo (BS International Relations), Zhulkifli Rasul (BSBA Accountancy), Yasreb M. Hadji Yasser (BS Ecotourism), Cyrollah Disoma (BS Biology) and

Ron Christian Alonday (BS Biology). “The 10-day stay in Japan was unforgettable and very remarkable! The Shinkansen or the fastest bullet train in the world is awesome. The Onsen (public bath) is one of a kind. So do the friendly Japanese students and great Japanese foods with chopsticks (though difficult).” said Hadji Nasser. When asked about his treasured part of the program, Adolfo shared “…when we went to the Tsunami-stricken area (in Tohoku). ‘Coz we felt like, even though how rich or poor the country is, when the nature works there are no excuses.” Following up, “…it was heart-breaking indeed. However, we’ve seen from their smile that the Japanese people are getting well step by step after the catastrophe,” said Hadji Yasser.

INTERNATIONAL FORUM FOR PEACE IFP is a program funded by a group of students and teachers at United World College of South East Asia as an action-based programme that offers the UWCSEA students the opportunity to actively promote international understanding in areas of conflict. Also, it illustrates the value of investing in young people by empowering youth to fulfil their potential as agents of peace. In this program, youth from both sides of conflict are brought together to work on conflict management through engagement to variety of activities like workshops, discussions lectures and team-building activities (www.uwcsea. edu.sg). The latest forum, themed as “Conflict Management Focus on Mindanao,” was held at Shatin New Territories, Hong Kong. It was attended by Mohammad Ryan L. Diamla (BS Nursing), Yasmin B. Macabada (BS Nursing), Norbert Germano (BSBA Accountancy), Mos-ab M. Hadji Nasser (BS Biology), Mohsin Batua (BS Biology) and Mahid Ati (Bachelor of Laws). According to Germano, the most remarkable experience he had during the program is the opportunity of interacting with the international student-organizers of the forum who are diverse in races like Europeans and some Asians. Diamla also shared their trip Ocean Park in Hong Kong and their shopping moments in a place called Mongkok, the Divisoria-version of Hong Kong.

STUDY OF THE US INSTITUTE (SUSI) The Study of the US Institute for Student Leaders on “Global Environment Issues,” accordingly, is an intensive academic program that provides groups of undergraduate student leaders with a deeper understanding of the United States while at the same time enhancing their leadership skills. Hosted by the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, this 4-week academic residency consists of

a balanced series of seminar discussions, readings, group presentations, lectures and an educational tour in mainland United States. (www.manila. usembassy.gov) Following Zobair Sidic BS Forestry the previous year, last summer Sheryan P. Guialel BS Ecotourism was the sole representative from MSU and of entire Mindanao as well. Guialel also shared about this comeback at US (after attending Philippine Youth Leadership Program or PYLP during her high school) saying, “We went to Hawaii, Colorado, and Washington DC. The experiences in those places are all incomparable. My most favourite of all, environmentally, is the Boulder, Colorado for it’s a model green community that I’ve visited ever since. It’s where I witnessed that impossible could be possible. Like their zerowaste program, climate change action plan, green neighbourhood and etc. Include also the attitude their community have, where you can see the discipline in them (though not perfect but are really exerting efforts). For me Boulder, Colorado is my dream community, environmentally speaking. Though we had a lot of experiences during the program, but for me that was the most SUSI-ish.” Being part of such programs is not just all about enjoying the privileges offered, like the free accommodations, free airfares, or what have you. During its duration, the big test basically to an exchange student is how he can represent his homeland to the new acquaintances (most are of different races), in a way that they will nod their heads to your sharing that Philippines is like this and like that. Moreover, programs like these are good avenues to an aspirant of self-development. Programs like these offers the trainings one needs to become a competitive individual for his forthcoming endeavours, as it also provides experiences that are life-changing. Thus for any plan of you to enter the classrooms abroad too, and to dare take these tests and trainings that would unleash your potentials inside, the notifications of application of these programs are just few clicks away on the internet. The above are just three of the numerous programs (UGRAD, KIZUNA to mention some), being participated by some of our world-class MSUans. Perhaps there are more heads that you meet along your way to class, someone you simply see wearing that gloves or hand shield, or maybe someone you asked for a yellow paper from, that are also exchange students recently or years ago, who are not yet written in this article due to lack of linkages. If there are MSUans who are left unwritten, then probably that will task me to have another tracking and another write-up again.

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10

Symphony of Lights:

My MSU story NORBERT GERMANO

THOSE were the lights I will never forget. They were not just some ordinary lights but a spectacular showcase of different colors, formation, magnitude, and distances. It was called the “Symphony of Lights” – a tourist attraction and an always awaited-event every night in what is dubbed as “Asia’s Finest Skyline,” Victoria Harbour. Just last summer, I had the chance to participate in a Peace Forum in Hong Kong. While watching the symphony, a newlyfound friend from University of Santo Tomas asked me a question out of nowhere: “Do you think your university has done something in bringing you to places you’ve never been before like this?” Wearing my I-Love-MSU shirt, I bowed down then gazed long at my all-torn four-year old pair of blue high-cut shoes I was wearing. I smiled back at him and answered, “Absolutely. MSU is my prime mover.” When I first set foot on MSU grounds, I really did not think that this would be the best school for me. There were people who wore all-black suits. A strange sound of someone who sang in tongues blasted some loud speakers. I couldn’t understand the feeling of intertwining fear and curiosity then. All I taught was timing. When I would realize that I don’t really deserve studying here, I would go home without second thoughts. After almost five years of stay, I realized that if not here, I couldn’t be happier elsewhere. My MSU story is not really a journey that is only made with going to normal roads. As an adventurer, I love standing at crossroads. I joined a semi-academic organization when I was a sophomore. The organization opened some doors I always thought were locked. Some of my passion and interests were reawakened. I never thought I have this insatiable mania for quiz shows. It pains me to miss a single one though I have heavier academic commitments. The love for knowledge is best expressed in enjoying reading every single question in the show, raising the cardboards with sometimes most absurd answers, and if lucky enough, posing for a picture with medals and trophies. It is by joining these quiz bowls that I got to meet and become friends with amazing kids in the University whose fields are far from my own league. One essence of competitions, like this, is for me to see a summary of what is inside MSU, bright and talented young people who play fair regardless of who their opponents are. MSU is a battlefield—a friendly one. One more passion that I developed here in college is writing. I post Facebook status quite often and I feel unworthy if I cannot tweet every day or blog every month. This is I think one of the few things that I love doing best. I remember myself marveling over joining Mindanao Varsitarian but when I read some serious anti-administration articles on it, I lost hope and told myself that this wasn’t the channel to convey myself. Not until I became a staff of RFJPIA publication, I was all along wrong with my notion. I should adapt. It was something I never understood. But thanks to the university – wide on-the-spot essay writing contest during the Foundation day, I got all hopes that I still am an effective writer. MSU is battlefield—a dynamic one. On top of it all, I think the best gift this University has given me is leadership. It’s hard to be a leader in a locus where the students are never homogenous. There are cultural, religious, ethnic, geographic, social and lingual barriers. You have to be someone you have never been if you want to accommodate every part of your organizations. Leaders in this campus are very all-encompassing, learned and experienced. Because of all these challenges, I believed that we became extraordinary leaders. We have this MSUan label as firm and strong people who have been through serious hurdles in life. I felt all of these when I became a leader. I went through holes I never thought had diameters and after winning them over, I became not

FILE PHOTO

just a better person but a more effective individual. This is why I think I managed to be part of some of the country’s leadership summits like that of Ayala and Aboitiz. I know that people here in Mindanao look up so much to those from Luzon Universities especially the powerhouses in the University belt and others. Little did we know that these people also look forward in knowing what shots we can give. There are just many things we should be proud of. MSU is a battlefield—a hard-fought one. We are indeed great; we are sometimes refusing to agree to it so we’re in auto-pilot going down. I believe that each of MSUan’s story is a great story. We should neglect that idea that we differ from each other. The bias, the pain, the intolerance, and the history—these are what we carry as placards as we exist in the campus. It is but fine to break traditions and norms if we believe that these are detrimental in our progress. These may all sound cliché, I know. But come on! Be an active student in the campus! You can write, quiz, speak, debate, lead, and do whatever you like. Just learn from the experiences and apply them. Share them to others. Then your story will pace faster and will have more meaningful twists and turns. MSU as a battlefield is just life. It is a divine chaos worth embracing. We will all find our symphony of lights and it is best seen when you think you deserve the moment. *** This piece won the first prize in an essay writing contest organized by the Eyoners’ Club and Mindanao Varsitarian last September 12. With the theme “MSU’s greatest story begins with me,” this was purposely edited for space and technicalities. –Ed.

untold stories


PHOTO BY JAYSON LEIGH SEGOVIA

VOL 28 NO.1 | A.Y. 2012- 2013

‘Adult’

Children

MARK MAYLAN, Assoc. Managing Editor/ JAYSON LEIGH SEGOVIA, Photojournalist/ ADNAN ALAUYA, Staff Writer

WE see them in Commercial Center pushing carts of “kamais.” We see them calling for passengers at the terminal. We see them peddling “mani” at the covered walk, at the Annex, at the grandstand. We see them driving tricycles. Some may have cursed them for the way they market their products. Others may have pitied them. Several just remained passive. In our contemporary society, children are getting more exposed to labor even when they are supposed to be at school. They have done the work their parents should be doing. Their childhood is almost even denied to them. Here in MSU, the issue is not unusual. Fahad, 13, is working as a jeepney barker. According to him, he has to work because he wants to help his parents in sustaining their family needs. Fahad is enrolled to school, but have not attended his classes because he prefers to work. “Kabaya ak’n klas, ugaid na mas tomon ak’n pman a kaugopan ak’n so mga lok sak’n (I want to go to school, but I want to help my parents),” Fahad maturely quoted. “Mala e balas so kaugopsaloks (Helping parents has great blessings),” he added. Jalal, 9, has been selling peanuts for two months now. He is on his second grade in elementary and an honor student in his section, but often fails to go to school because he needs to sell peanuts. Sometimes, he even comes home with empty plates for their dinner. Worse, every time he fails to sell all his goods, he would be beaten by a sambitan (belt). When asked what he would want to be in the future, he shyly said, “Gusto ko maging uztad (Arabic teacher).” He said he will fly to Saudi Arabia, earn money there and give his family their needs. Pogi (not his real name), is an 11-year old peanut-peddler. While most of his siblings go to school, three of them in the family sell peanuts. He wakes up early every morning, washes his face and runs to their family barn to milk the cow, which will then be delivered to their family’s patrons. Pogi would then fill his bag with 300 packs of peanuts (worth P5 each), a bottle of water and a face towel. Thus, the tour is set; ready for an entire-day trip around the campus. He even added that most of the times, they do not get to eat. They would just sit down, drink water, rest for a little while and then head back to selling. If Pogi will be lucky enough to sell all the 300 packs amounting to P1500, he will be given a ten-peso ‘compensation.’ The earned money

will be used to buy rice for their dinner. But if he could not sell them all, he said that a bamboo stick awaits him. He will be scolded and beaten, and will not be allowed to eat. He even confessed that he working for his younger sister. With the little amount he gets, he sends his sister to school. He said he wants to become a teacher. He wants to educate those kids like him whose parents cannot afford to send them to school. *** Fahad, Jalal, and Pogi are just few of the hundreds of children involved in child labor, putting their innocent lives at risk. It is too much of a wonder how the parents of these kids bear to imagine their children doing the work they ought to do. When we see these children roaming around our sights and approach us to buy their products, it would be better if we consider the story behind these “kamais” and “mani.” Their miseries are just too deep. Every child has the right to the most basic necessities in life like healthy environment, formal education, and most importantly, a loving family to come home to. Yet, poverty hinders these to any of these things and forces labor in farming fields and peddling in the busy and dangerous streets of the university and even in the country. But as long as the flame of care and concern is sill unlit in every individual’s heart, Fahad, Jalal, and Pogi will still push their carts, peddle and shout. Their bright future still remains vague. So long, as we remain passive and just treat these stories as nothing important, we will continue to witness children forced by circumstances to be adults.

11


PHOTO BY ZAIRNEE SALIC

12

Conflagration

(A story of the PLH fire victims) MARY LOUISE OMELIO,Associate Editor/ GLIHARD ESCUDERO, Staff Writer

EIGHT thirty in the evening of June 22, excitement had gathered the occupants of the Clan B, of the Princess Lawanen Hall. They planned for their acquaintance party and for their annual dormitory pageant. Officers were elected. They never thought of something tragic. Even before the meeting adjourned, Ronelyn, occupant of Room 24, pulled out from the gathering to go to the canteen. “Hala, kadaghan sainyong baligya,” said she, while running her fingers to the goods. The meeting soon adjourned and they were back to their rooms. Ronelyn had just her space reserved but was not able to secure foam for her bed so she decided to sleep with her friends at Room 28. They studied, and slept. Silence would have gotten louder when at around 2 am, they were woken up by a certain noise. They thought it was a break-in. They have thought of ‘bad’ guys trying to get in the rooms to rob and rape them. “Kato gyud nga gabii, wala gyud ko nagtuo nga sunog; nagtuo ko ug ransack.” She wanted to go out but her roommate stopped her because the ‘culprits’ might see and victimize her. fro.

They heard windows breaking and steps running to and

Unlike the other rooms, Room 28 has no open window in their upper front wall that would have given them a clue what was actually going on outside. Not until they saw the smoke from the inside through the glass above their door, they would have not known it was fire. They went out of their room. Ronelyn ran to the backdoor but had a hard time because water from the containers in the canteen overflowed to the hallway. She ran barefooted, heading to the door. Attempted to break it, but failed. She asked helped from the other dormers outside but they were too busy saving their own lives too.

but actually did nothing. “Wala raman gihapon silay mabuhat kay wala may tubig.” Later, the fire truck came over. Several fraternities, organizations, members of the SSG and even staff and employees from the Division of Student Affairs, also came, gave them food and helped carry out the things of those who have luckily saved theirs. Their (Ronelyn, Bernadette, Josie Ann) brethrens from the nearby cottage ‘adopted’ them for a while and offered them breakfast. The university bus later came and brought the other dormers to the Bolawan Hall. When the fire was declared out, Ronelyn went back to the dorm and looked into her savaged room, seeing if there are still things she can revive. But her coming back to the building did not go well. Her credentials, books, handouts, high school diploma, other important documents, clothes – nothing was left. “Kung naa man galing nabilin, labhunon ra.” Even the laptop of her roommate had melted. Some halfburned bills of money scattered on the floor. She stayed in Bolawan Hall for almost a month but decided to be back to the dorm – second floor. “By July, di mi ka-focus. Dili katarong ug paminaw sa instructors.” Over a month after, everything seemed back to normal. But the August 8 ‘ambush’ incident triggered the feeling to creep back again. They were becoming paranoid of the noise from the outside. The rattle of the guns – they feared it. Like there is another incident to waver them again. They can’t get away the fear of another incident.

She went upstairs and decided to better jump from the terrace. “Nahimo lage ming Superwoman (laughs).” She was supposed to climb up the fence of barbed wire to make her way out of the dorm, but a guy yelled on her and stopped her from climbing. Instead, without her slippers still, she ran off to the South Wing. “Nakaingon pa mi nga kami ang pinakauna nakagawas. Nag-ampo pa mi nga unta safe ra ang uban.” But later did they realize that it was them who are among those who left the dorm the latest.

However, Ronelyn stressed, “Happy ko kay na-save ko, wala ko naunsa, then [sad] kay nawala ako mga gamit.”

Bernadette of Room 30 also did the same. She ran for her life, without knowing who those she had ran off against with. “Ang imo ra gyud kaugalingon imo huna-hunaon. Iniyahay ug ambak. Ang mga syagit ug hilak ra gyud imo madungog.”

After couple of months, the girls are in the process of getting things back to normal. They are trying to get over the things that almost burned their lives to ashes.

“Be careful lang gyud. Salig gyud sa Ginoo. Ang first step gyud namo kay magpray,” she added. She said that their act of making their way through the terrace was God’s way of saving them, even if it meant risking themselves to injury.

Josie Ann, Room 25, was a little fortunate. Their room was the only with a cemented wall. If it happened that it was not, her Accounting books would have also been set on fire. At around 3 am, they were all gathered outside the dorm. Even with that big fire, Ronelyn was still confident their room was saved. But she was wrong. Some people eventually came

untold stories

VOL 28 NO.1 | A.Y. 2012- 2013


VOL 28 NO.1 | A.Y. 2012- 2013

untold stories

The Watchdogs MIKE ARIEL P. PLAZA, Editor in Chief

THE Editor of one college student publication was afraid. He said it was unthinkable. The event just cropped up without him getting prepared how to react. The publication he painstakingly tried to rebuild and revive is shoved back to the graves where it used to lay for too long.

ILLUSTRATION BY REYJHON ENTENIA

It was on a February night when he stood right in front of my cottage’s gate. His left fist was tightly closed. The right was hot, clenching the cold steel. He was distressed, poignant. No tears fell but his eyes were swelling. No words came out from him but the story was written all over his face. The Pedon, the official student publication of Mindanao State University’s College of Agriculture had been good as dead for years. No released issues. No editorial board. No problem−or many thought it did not have. Even the name of the paper has been forgotten by the many. It was yet last year when student journalists from the college started rebuilding the organization from nothing, but olden issues and unknown staves. It was yet last year when it faced the dread of dissolution and dejection for the student writers with nothing but broken quills. The magazine, the most awaited issue, was themed ‘Renaissance’ – the birth of new hope; the rising of the Sun. However, just before the Sun showed even a single ray, it was then chased away by the night. The night prevailed. On the day of the release of the issue, a copy was tore in front of a writer’s face. Completely worn to shreds, what was left of the ‘Renaissance’ was held by a student officer’s hands. And that college student officer said ‘the Pedon is theirs and must not publish something against them.’ So all the copies were taken away, kept and hidden from the students. It was not because the grammar was bad nor the articles were of no good journalistic value. The reasons were lame. The copies were accordingly hidden because it was “against the college student administration.” They were taken away because the writers failed to recognize the college officials. Their moderator had turned her back from the staff. She kept the copies and might not give them back.

The editor is still afraid. He is afraid to lose the fight. He is even afraid to fight. Now he loses hope the paper would still survive. They were not allowed to collect the publication fee. They were not even allowed to speak their sides and enjoy their freedom and rights. Now the narrative is about to end but the story has still not. The tale only shift from one hero to another – different people portraying the same character. There’s always the villain with the same cruel act. The horns are taken but the fangs remain. This always how the story went. Student publications face different forms of suppression. The Pedon have been censored and dissolved. The Mindanao Varsitarian faces waves of challenges and struggles while keeping up with changing ‘rules and guidelines.’ The Sarimanok and Blueprint were not allowed to publish. The advisers meddle and are not yet done checking the drafts say for almost a year now. The Lamp was once reprimanded because of publishing an ‘inappropriate’ article. The truth its staff has written is now unreadable. The Bidlisiw was considered nothing but cynic and now with no enough finances its publishers shrug their shoulders. The Bankaw, The Conservator and Sawto Assalam are dead. These are all the plights of student publications many do not care to know. The campus journalists serve their fellow students at their own expense. They write. They are criticized. They continue to write. The young minds are not crazy. Perhaps too active, but there are certain freedoms that they for are fighting. There are certain roles that they are fulfilling. It is not always about throwing rocks to closed windows. Their ‘complaints’ sound monotonous and too much of being adversarial but it is since they still do not see the changes to the system. When someone would not heed your call, wouldn’t you repeat calling him, louder and louder for him to hear you? They hold the pen but the ink they use to write are the tears, pleas and stories of the students they serve. Indeed, when the students are there behind their watchdogs – fighting with them, writing with them – no editor of any college student publication will be afraid.

13


Strangling ropes and slashing blades

SEPTEMBER 10, 2012 was the day set to be the celebration of the International Suicide Prevention Month promoted by the World Health Organization, in coordination with the Department of Health and other medically related organizations. As a response to this advocacy, we would like to raise awareness on the cases of suicide on students, especially among MSUans. Let us take the case of Mr. S, for example, who used to be my classmate. He is 21. He is a very talented student. He plays the guitar and sings, making girls fall for his charm. He writes stories and poems that move the heart of the readers. With his works, you can feel that each word is made straight from the heart. He is even quite good looking. As what I have known, this guy was raised by his grandparents. His parents, according to his closer friends, have long been separated since he was a child, and now they have their own separate families, leaving him and his brother under the care of their grandparents. He has only one brother who studies in another university. I actually did not know of his suicidal tendencies. I was even quite awed with his inborn gifts. However, when he started to court one of our classmates, the evident story started. There was this shy and pretty type of girl from our class. They have been classmates for, two consecutive semesters, I guess. No one knew of the tendency that Mr. S would actually try his luck with this girl. However, with his persistent love points piled up on the girl’s list, she started falling for him. He used to surprise the class with a very heart melting letter for the girl and a necklace which he bought from his own savings. Everyone in the room felt like they were watching a movie. Finally, the girl said yes.

JESSLEI MAE PIQUERO, Feature Editor

After about a week, the girl’s parents had been informed of the matter, and they strictly prohibited the girl from seeing the guy again. She was followed by a chaperon anywhere she goes, even during classes. With this, the girl wanted to end their relationship. This was when his shocking activities had begun. He wrote the girl’s name in a small paper with his own blood droplets and sent it to her through a common friend. He even deliberately sliced a part of his wrist in class just to prove that he is serious. At times like this, he refuses to talk to anyone. A source had even said that he tried drinking sleeping pills and slashing his hands more at home. According to his closest friends this incident further reinforced his insecurities as an individual. He felt like no one would really try to understand and hear him without doing those things first. They even told me that by this way, the person prefers to feel the physical pain rather than the pain from the heart. This case of Mr. S is unfortunately only one among the many unheard suicidal stories in the campus. Students often do these kinds of things when triggered by the idea of extreme sadness or disappointment to oneself – maybe, because of failing marks, relationships, unwanted pregnancy or even unwanted marriage. These people also may have suffered from drowning in a state of extreme depression. I, as a student in MSU was not even aware of this at first. I thought that only students from the metropolis area are fond in entertaining these ideas for themselves. However, I was shocked. I know that many of those people suffering from a certain kind of guilt, sadness or lowered self-esteem are actually having suicidal thoughts. Some of you may be reading this by now. However, as a writer, and as a person, I would like to discourage everyone from having these thoughts.

ILLUSTRATION BY AL MARVIEN SAVANDAL

14

You may have problems which you think may have no solutions at all, and you at times prefer ending it rather than seeing through the end. However, do you really think that this would really help you with anything? Does this really lessen the pain you have in your heart? If yes, then why do people involved in this matters, keep on doing it? We all know that this is not the solution to a problem, no matter how grave it may be. Let us all remember that God gives us problems and challenges in life that we can carry and surpass, to make us stronger believers and persons in general. These things do not happen just to make you surrender in life. These are not given without any reason at all. Finally, to all the other readers out there, you may have friends having these kinds of problems. Suicidal or not, let’s not be too indifferent as to ignore them at the sides of your colleges or cottages and leave them struggling with themselves. We are called friends. So why don’t we stand by the meaning of the word and do our part. Offer some helpful advice (please do not reinforce the idea of hurting oneself) and be with them, especially at times when you are needed the most.

untold stories

VOL 28 NO.1 | A.Y. 2012- 2013


VOL 28 NO.1 | A.Y. 2012- 2013

Fears and Politics

untold stories

(A story of election-related threats to MSU students) MIKE ARIEL PLAZA, Editor in Chief “IMPAKE O REGISTER?” A group of students of Mindanao State University – Marawi were made to choose between two undesirable options. Forced to register for the Autonomous in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Elections, they took what they thought was right – move away. There was doubt and fear in Kristina (not her real name) and her housemates when on July 9, their landlord has told them to register as voters for the ARMM elections. “He told all of us to register, even those who were still under age and those who were already registered in their hometowns,” she said, adding that they were also commanded to use fictitious names in filling out the forms. Kristina recalls her landlord posing a threat saying “may mangyayari sa inyo (something will happen to you)” if they would opt not to follow him. “I waited for him to give me the very reason why we have to do it, why something will happen [to] us if we won’t do it.” Since no body from the first floor of their cottage heeded, the landlord started shouting and swearing in the hallway even until 11 pm. He even forced to open the rooms’ doors when they did not come out. His acts had sent worries for students and Kristina, being the eldest in the group, decided to leave the cottage with thirteen of her housemates. “Dapat dyud kay 29 me kabuok, kay wla mi nagregister tanan, kaso kay ang 15 kay nagduhaduha man ug hawa kay hadlok wala mapuy-an, so 14 ra dyud mi nihawa adtong July 11 (There were supposed to be 29 of us who did not register, but the 15 feared of nowhere else to live in so only 14 of us decided to leave on July 11),” she said. Kristina said they are in a battle against their landlord now. She filed together with her two other housemates, a complaint against the owner of their boarding house. That was the only complaint of forced registration that had been reported to the MSU administration. However, Col. Daniel Lucero, commander of the Philippine Army’s 103rd Brigade, said in an article at the Philippine Daily Inquirer, that many tenants in other boarding houses inside the campus also experienced similar forms of intimidation.

simply a violation of the human rights of students and the academic peace in the campus,” said ARMM Assemblywoman Samira Gutoc-Tomawis. “Using the students as a voting base, political pawns or worse machinery, contradicts the very constitutional principles of the State protecting the youth,” she added Also being a member of the MSU Board of Regents, she said that “policies on security sector reform to strengthen PNP and Peacekeeping Forces in MSU should be passed and enforced,” adding that Homeowners Code should be researched and drafted so that non-academic faculty who reside and visit the campus, and who have firearms, should be strictly regulated. It can be remembered that the campus has been vulnerable for belligerent attacks and threats during elections. On the first national automated election on 2010, a bomb was recorded to have exploded near the Dimaporo Gymnasium, inside the campus. The incident happened while some students are residing inside the premises for summer classes. With these cases, including a recent ambush inside MSU which is also considered ‘political,’ University President Macapado Muslim said that these attacks have nothing to do with the campus, except that it happened inside it. However, he assured to look into the cases of the victims of forced registration with the help of the Philippine military.

‘Cleansing’ ARMM With the reports of students being harassed and forced to register, the ARMM Regional Assembly still hopes to clean up the ‘tainted’ electoral process in the region. ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman said on a report that he had directed the police and military to help the local officials provide security to the students. He also said charges would be filed against those involved in the coercion. A resolution was filed in the ARMM Assembly related to electoral reform and cleansing. The resolution urges and requests the Commission on Election to create an Election Registration Board to avoid massive disenfranchisement of voters in ARMM.

Others, he said, had already opted to register to “avoid worse things from happening.”

Prof. Amado Mendoza of University of the Philippines’ Political Science Department said that elections in ARMM have always been marred with controversies.

Emerson, an engineering student, said he just opted to register to ‘pay respect’ to the owner of their boarding house.

“It (ARMM) is actually considered a vote bank. Vote-banking is never unique in the region,” he commented.

He said that he knew it was illegal but he “just wanted to repay the goodness” of the people who requested him and his other housemates to register.

He also took note of the big rise in the province’s voting population. From less than 300,000 after the 2003 general registration, the number of Lanao del Sur voters climbed to over 515,000 in the 2010 polls, an annual increase of close to 31,000 voters.

“We used fictitious names but no documents were needed during the registration process to validate our entities,” he said, adding that they were paid a hundred pesos for their photos and thumb marks.

Vulnerable to politics-related attacks “Student harassment inside [the] campus is

However Lucero believes that they have prevented the massive influx of flying registrants in the province. He explained in a report that at the Army checkpoint in Saguiaran town, vehicles were stopped and the passengers reminded that those who intended to register in the province but were not qualified would have a run-in with the law.

“Where even the bees and dead can vote (ghost voters have registered, multiple registrants), the fight to clean up ARMM elections is a must,” Tomawis stated. She added that the Regional Legislative Assembly continues with its “cleansing,” spearheaded by Gov. Hataman whom Pres. Benigno Aquino III called a “certified ghost-buster” in his third State of the Nation Address. “Members of the media have also been very supportive in reporting irregularities and in helping disseminate the intricacies of the voters’ listing process,” Tomawis said pointing out that these had helped them in conducting a “clean registration of voters in the Region,” something that has never been done before in the region’s 22-year political history. Lucero said in an article in Philippine Star that aside from the MSU students who reported harassments, “Islamic religious leaders, various cause-oriented groups and volunteer organizations of two-way radio enthusiasts, came out in the open and reported irregularities directly to either the police or the military.” Tomawis also emphasized the critical and strategic role of the MSU students and the youth of the ARMM for a better electoral and political system. “They will hold the helm in the future. If they do not help [to] clean up the elections, money is wasted for horse-trading, vote-buying, corruption, and personal aggrandizement of politicians, diverting resources away from basic services such as education,” she said, adding that the youth are the catalysts for change. Meanwhile, Kristina and her housemates are still hoping that the complaint they had filed will not fall in to deaf ears. She wishes that somehow, their clamor and story will be heeded. They are still fighting not just for themselves but for all the students’ security in the campus. With loose security system and tainted election and politics in the region, the MSU Community will until then be the most vulnerable center for attacks and threats. Its students will continue to be victims of political harassments and intimidations. Just like how former MSU Department of Security Services Deputy Chief Marmar Pakinson puts it, MSU will continue to become an academic institution while being a ‘political sala,’ so long as there is no dramatic change in the system. Now whether or not MSU could ensure protection for its students against election-related security threats is not even a relevant question. It’s the unclean political system in ARMM that should be given direct solution. In that way, no student will anymore be made to choose between two undesirable options: “impake o register?” *** This story was presented as an output to the 16th Graciano Lopez Jaena Community Journalism Workshop last Oct 21-26, organized at ad by the University of the Philippines – College of Mass Communication (UP-CMC). With the theme Media and Governance, the workshop has gathered twenty fellows from different media outfits and universities all over the Philippines, two of which were the writer of this story and Miss April Rose Q. Torion, faculty member of the Communication and Media Studies Department and an editor of Bukidnonnews.com. –Ed.

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AUTOFO


OCUS

(STORIES CAUGHT BY THE LENSES)

Photos by Jayson Leigh Segovia and Raymark Estael


PHOTO BY JAYSON LEIGH SEGOVIA

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Just like any other Suspense Movie CHRISTMEI JOY RANIDO, Contributor

SHE was running in the corridor, looking back but not seeing the killer. She turned around, and… Bang! Bang! Bang! We were dispersed from crowding over a suspense movie. “Oh my God, unsa to? Unsa man to?!” Eyes wide open, enthralled by the gunshots, all of us in the sala chorused in fear and panic. “Sulod mo diri!” Our eldest ate, Pamela, instructed us. In a split second, we were all inside the nearest room. I heard a voice from my phone, “Jesus Christ! Nanga unsa man mo diha?” I forgot I was conversing with my brother a while ago. He was still on the other line. Everybody was shaking and some were crying. Some were on the floor and some on the lower deck of the beds. For that moment, all I heard was the gunfire and my heartbeat. After about five minutes, the firefight sounded nearer to the house. Big explosions, single and rapid, different sound of gunshots, I can feel our bodies jerk in every gunshot. We transferred to the sala again and hid under the tables. We figured out we were safer there than in the room earlier. We stood there for another five minutes, waiting for the gunfire to stop. Nikki, my housemate, under another table, was reading aloud Psalm 91 from the bible. I broke to tears. This was not the first incident in my stay here in MSU that made me feel I’m already halfway to hell. But certainly this was the one that made me realize I don’t want to go to hell. I pleaded God to spare us.

untold stories

It happened August 8, about 9 pm and took more or less 30 minutes. I had no clue what had actually happened, what it was about, and why. The only sure thing for me was that it was nearby the house. The day after was very gloomy. Nobody went out of the house as nobody was permitted to. Classes were suspended. Text messages about “military takeover, all- out war, man-hunt, etc.,” spread throughout the campus scaring students and parents. I had no class on the following two days so I decided to go home just like what many scared MSUans did. On the trip to Cagayan de Oro, I happened to sit beside an MSUan, a freshman. His three, fully-packed travelling bags and my small backpack spelled the differences of our reasons of going home. I was going for a short week end vacation, while he was going home “for good” as what he said. He was not that scared really. His parents were. Unlike me, he was still a freshman. He was not used to taking chances between life and what the University could give that is worthy to be traded for the latter. Few days and I was back in the campus again. I spent four years in MSU already, living every day of those years in uncertainty and hope. Some more months and the thrill would end, just like any other suspense movie.

VOL 28 NO.1 | A.Y. 2012- 2013


VOL 28 NO.1 | A.Y. 2012- 2013

untold stories

Lessons to live with JESSLEI MAE PIQUERO, Feature Editor

THIS is not a love story, rather a story of love. Not mine, but hers. This is a story of I-thought-it-would-last-but-likeeverything-else-it-did-not. This is a story of a girl who once been trapped in the delusion of temporary happiness, of beautiful beginnings with endings otherwise, of lovers who “lived in.” She was 17 years old when she fell in love with a man--- a fresh graduate in the campus. She was stuck in a fantasy world called love. She and her man did almost everything. They even engaged in things she considered ‘inappropriate’ for students. They engaged in the so called “premarital sex.” A new life was formed inside her womb. Not too long after, her parents had known of the situation. Her father and mother were disappointed. They expected more from her, being the only child. However, they had had no choice, but accept the situation their daughter had been into. She continued studying but she and her guy decided to live under the same roof. That was when their ‘living in’ started. The journey had not been easy and friendly to both of them. Only the girl’s parents had known of their situation. So, every time the guy’s family called him, she just listened silently at the side while trying to silent the cries of their first child. The times of living together, according to her, had not been smooth at all. They had many fights together, especially regarding financial issues. They shouted at each other to the point that the guy had laid a forceful hand against her. She even had bruises, without letting her parents know. She said that she could not complain at all because she knew that everything was a part of the consequences she had to suffer. Furthermore, her partner had used prohibited drugs, and she felt that she ‘could not touch that part of him,’ so she just kept quiet. The guy at times went home drunk; and these were the instances that they would start to fight. “Things have never been easy,” she said. “For me, everything changed. My old friends turned away from me. Everytime na nakikita nila ako, feeling ko may brand-name na akong nabuntisan or ‘live-in.’ And it hurts. The truth really hurts. It’s as if every time I hear those words, may karugtong nang immorality sa hulihan.” “I was proud of being pregnant, honestly. Lalo na’t mahal ko siya (the guy). Kaya lang, everytime lumalabas kami, nafefeel ko talaga na parang ikinakahiya niya ako. He doesn’t mention me to his

friends while I, on the other hand, was [already] an open book to everyone around me. It’s one of those moments na parang napapamukha talaga sa akin ang pagkakamali ko,” she shared. With her focus directed to her partner and baby, as well with her pregnancy with their second child, she found it hard to concentrate in class. She had failed on one of her major subjects, causing her extension. Her grades were not good either. This is because she rarely found a time to study. “My world revolved around them, at that time,” she said. The two of them lived together for around two years. As of the moment, they are already separated. Last December, the guy’s parents finally knew about them, and they were not happy about it. They had even taken her second child. Until now, they are still not in good terms. “Actually, as of now, I’m seeing another guy. With this guy, I felt the respect that I failed to fully have with my past,” she said. “Dito ko narealize na talagang hindi ko kailangang magmadali. I just wished na di ako nagmadali.” After they separated, the guy, according to her, had grown to be more responsible as a father, as what she has seen. He tried to make ends meet by looking for more reasonablypaying jobs. She, on the other hand, is trying to stand on her feet again. Her child is under her parents’ care at their hometown and she is now actually a graduating student as of the moment. She wants to find a good job for her kids and she already had planned a future for them – a future she hoped to be more successful than hers. “There’s always a time for everything. No need to rush. Pag narasan mo na talaga, masasabi mong mas marami pa ang problema kaysa happiness. Kung ang gusto niyo lang is to know each other better, I can say na there is really no need for live in. Lalabas at lalabas din talaga ang totoong kulay ng isang tao. Ako, I can say, there is nothing new na nalaman ko sa kanya. Besides, I can really testify that the truth hurts.” These were her parting words. Hers is just one among the many stories of “Live in,” “Premarital Sex,” and “Teenage Pregnancy” existing in the campus. I hope, that with her story, I would be able to share her sentiments to everyone as well enlighten the readers on this sensitive issue. She had her lesson learned, and hopes that no same circumstances will be further needed for students to learn the same lessons in life.

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PHOTO BY JAYSON LEIGH SEGOVIA

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A Love Story

(Student-teacher love affair) EMELYN MANLANGIT, Associate Editor and AL MARVIEN SAVANDAL, Senior Cartoonist

WE love our teachers. They teach us things that we needed to know. They impart knowledge, and lessons. They scold when you absentmindedly stare at the blackboard and speak airborne nothingness when they weren’t aware that you just had a fight with your apple-of-the-eye last night. They give us every reason to love and hate our student life. And no wonder how we can easily get attracted to him/her especially when he/she profess that he/she does not want you to look at anybody else but him/her. Teachers are knowledgeable, students need it. Teachers know. Students need to know. Teachers teach. Students study. Indeed, they can be good partners. Meet Shirley and John, and they are more than glad to share to us their jumping-jack love story. It was in 2008 when they crossed each other’s road. According to Shirley, it all started with a text one summer day. It was nothing serious when John asked her if she could be his. She said ok. They expected nothing out of it, and alright, they had their first date at Pastel Tats. It was a start of something new, but love is still out of the picture. It was not expected nor planned, but there was no backing out. Shirley confessed that at the start, everything and everyone was against their affair. They belonged to the same church and ministry prohibiting the stuff they had. They were active members and were even looked up by their fellow worshippers. But everything turned upsidedown in the advent of their affair. Shirley’s friends disliked him and more. Her “true love waits” conviction was set aside, if not forgotten. But the couple stuck to what they had. And John had his way of dealing with their societies’ counteractions by saying his favorite line, “I’m sorry, am I supposed to care?” Shirley also proved to everyone that what they had can never be a hindrance to her studies when she was able to graduate cum laude, and she was very proud to say that she was staying in MSU for the sake of their relationship. Shirley applied to teach in MSU bearing with her the consequences that is brought by their relationship. She said that before she applied, everyone was aware that she had a student boyfriend, and that they had already celebrated their first anniversary. Personally she knew that having an affair with a student raises an issue on professionalism, and might also be considered as a form of felony. “The fact that they accepted my application, I assumed that it’s okay.” Shirley said. Their relationship bosomed, and because theirs is one love story that not everyone liked, they admitted that they had to undergo a lot of adjustments. They developed a “school zone” policy, which meant that they must have no close physical contacts, no holding each hands and any form of public display of affection when in places where the students (like the annex) can eventually see and react to them. Shirley also said that she was an academic-oriented person and that she never interfere with John’s academic life, even if that would mean postponing their monthsary/ anniversary celebration when John’s exams calls for special attention.

untold stories

How did they cope up with it? “Kaon lang mi ug sweets,” John laughingly said. Ever since, they knew they were an exception to the rule. “Teacher-student affair was never an issue to us. It doesn’t matter at all, maybe because we just love each other.” John believed that they maintained and respected their limitations. He even does not enter Shirley’s office for personal reasons. He promised that he still has to be an Engineer before he can freely enter there, though sometimes, he has been the department’s layout artist/computer technician/IT specialist. They did not resort to keeping their relationship in secret because they believed that, “It’s not something na ginatago. Naguyab pa mo kung magtago ra.” They have been hearing student criticisms literally and figuratively behind their backs but they said that they were mature enough to take all the consequences. When asked about their advice to the rest who share the same story, “Go on!” Shirley said. “If you are already there and if you are willing, you fight. You already knew from the start the many consequences of it. If di kaya, then go out.” Their love story may have been one of those engrossing tales we seldom hear, read, and know. I may not be a love enthusiast, like someone who goes to town searching for Romeos, but I for once, know that what they had is not something everyone has. Theirs may not be as blood-sucking as Edward-Bella’s, Stefan-Elena-Damon’s love stories, but they are worth telling, and their story tells us that same thing. True love still exists; it still moves the mountain, even if complexities happen and everything goes amiss, despite society’s frowns and sneers, we could still find love that stands amidst the thorns, and conquers all. After all, for what good it is to you when you know how to breathe but you don’t know how to love?

VOL 28 NO.1 | A.Y. 2012- 2013


VOL 28 NO.1 | A.Y. 2012- 2013

untold stories

Campus Horror Stories HAPSA BATUAN, Photo Editor ANG mga sumusunod na kwento ay pawang nagmula sa mga estudyanteng tunay na nakaranas ng kababalaghan. Hindi hinihiling ng may akda na ikaw ay maniwala. Nakabubuting basahin ito nang ‘di nag-iisa. Handa ka na ba? ***

BABALA “Sasali ako!” sigaw ni Mary Joy matapos basahin ang poster na nakapaskil sa bulletin board na kanyang nadaanan. Tungkol ito sa isang audition ng isang sikat na dance troop sa MSU. Ngunit bigla s’yang nagdalawang isip nang mabasa n’yang sa gabi pala ito magaganap. Pumatak ang alas syete at tuluyan na nga n’yang napagdesisyonang sumali. Sa kalagitnaan ng kanilang praktis ay napag isipan ng trainor nilang magpahinga at magbreak. Bilang isang first year at walang kamuwang-muwang sa naturang lugar ay napag isipan niyang maglibot libot. Habang naglalakad s’ya, napansin n’ya ang isang lumang piano at sinubukang tugtugin ito kahit wala sa tono. Nang magsawa s’ya sa kanyang ginagawa ay bumaba s’ya sa hagdan at nagmasid masid. Napansin n’ya ang isang sulok na walang tao at medyo madilim. Lumapit s’ya ng kaunti at napansing may pinto pala. Binuksan n’ya ang pinto. Napansin nya ang mga lumang gamit na naroon. Nagulat s’ya nang makita n’yang nakatingin sa kanya ang isang matandang nakabarong at itim na pantalon. Humingi s’ya ng paumanhin ngunit hindi nagsalita ang matanda at umalis na rin sya. Bumalik na s’ya sa itaas para muling magpraktis. Nang makabalik siya, tinanong n’ya ang kanyang trainer kung sino ang nakita n’ya sa baba. Tinanong ng kanilang trainer kung ano ang itsura ng lalaking kanyang nakita at nang ito’y kanyang sabihin biglang namutla ang kanilang trainer at hindi na nagsalita. Bigla na lang nyang sinabing magpapraktis na sila at binalaan s’yang di na magbalik duon. Hindi na rin n’ya naitanong kung bakit. Natulog na silang lahat matapos silang magpraktis. Biglang nagising si Mary Joy sa ingay na narinig nya. May nagpapatugtog sa lumang piano. Hindi na n’ya ito pinansin at sinubukang matulog ulit. Ngunit habang tumatagal lalong lumalakas ang pagtugtog. Nagtaka rin s’ya kung bakit s’ya lang ang nagising sa kanilang lahat. Hindi na s’ya nakatiis at pinuntahan n’ya ang kinaroroonan ng piano. Nagulat sya nang makita nya ang matandang lalaki na tumutugtog ng piano. Natakot s’yang lapitan ito. Hanggang sa dahan dahan itong lumingon sa kanya. Naramdaman n’yang nanindig ang kanyang balahibo nang makita nya ang mukha ng matandang lalaki na namumutla, naaagnas at duguan. Hindi niya malaman kung ano ang gagawin. Gusto niyang sumigaw ngunit walang lumalabas na boses sa kanyang lalamunan. Gusto niyang tumakbo pero parang nakadikit sa sahig ang kanyang mga paa. Ang tanging nagawa niya ay ang umiyak habang

tinitingnan ang matandang lalaking naglalakad papunta sa kanya. Palapit na ito ng palapit. Pumikit s’ya, napaupo sa sahig at niyakap ang sarili. Ilang segundo ang nakalipas ay dumilat sya sa pag aakalang wala na. Napasigaw sya ng malakas nang makitang NASA HARAP NA PALA NIYA ITO AT HALOS DALAWANG SENTIMETRO LANG ANG LAYO SAKANYA! Sigaw sya ng sigaw at tuluyang nagising ang kanyang mga kasama. Nagtakbuhan ang kanyang mga kasama papunta sa kanya. Tinatanong kung anong nangyari ngunit sigaw pa rin sya ng sigaw. Tumuturo sya sa harapan ngunit wala namang nakikita ang kanyang mga kasama. Si Mary Joy lang ang nakakakita sa matanda hanggang sa ito’y maglaho at hanggang sa tumahan na s’ya kakaiyak. Doon na nagsalita ang isa sa mga kasama nya, at napag alamang ang matandang lalaki palang iyon ay ang dating director sa naturang lugar na iyon na kung minsan ay bumibisita sa kanyang dating opisina.

BATA Hating gabi na ng makauwi si Divine galing sa kanilang College Acquaintance Night. Malayo pa ang kaniyang uuwian kasama ang kanyang mga kaklase papuntang 7th Street. Nauna nangg makarating ang kanyang mga kaibigan sa kani-kanilang cottages. Mag-isa na lang n’yang babaktasin sa di kalayuan ang kanilang cottage. Tahimik ang buong paligid habang s’ya ay naglalakad. Naramdaman n’ya ang lamig ng hangin at tanging ang mga yabag ng kanyang mga paa na lamang ang kanyang naririnig. Sa di kalayuan, nakarinig s’ya ng kulingling . Hindi nya alam kung saan ito nanggaling. Hindi n’ya ito pinansin at nagpatuloy na lang sa paglalakad. Nang malapit na s’yang makarating sa kanilang cottage , ilang metro na lang ang layo ay napansin nya ang isang batang nakatayo malapit sa kanilang gate. Katabi nito’y isang mamang sorbetero. Nakita n’ya ang batang puting puti at nakabihis panglakad. Maayos na nakasuklay ang kanyang buhok at nakadamit ng itim. Ang mama naman na may tindang sorbetes ay naka-T-shirt lang at nakasumbero. Nakatitig sa kanya ang dalawa. Halos hindi na s’ya makahinga habang palapit s’ya ng palapit sa dalawa. Nanginginig ang buo n’yang katawan habang dahan dahang naglalakad. Halos hindi na sya makahinga. Hanggang sa nalampasan nya ang dalawa at halos liparin na nya ang kanilang gate sa bilis ng kanyang pagtakbo. Muli nyang nilingon ang kinaroroonan ng dalawa at nagulat sya nang makitang wala na sila roon. Napag-alaman na lang nya ang kwento tungkol sa bata at mamang naglalako ng sorbetes tuwing hating gabi. Lagi daw silang bumabalik sa daan dahil hindi matahimik ang kanilang kaluluwa. Sila ay biktima ng hit and run ilang taon na ang nakalipas.

LOCKER Sa kalagitnaan ng gabi sa isang dormitoryo, tahimik na tahimik ang paligid habang gumagawa ng homework si Christine. Nauna nang matulog ang mga roommates n’ya nang biglang sumama ang pakiramdam nya kaya naisipan nyang pumunta ng CR. Habang nasa CR sya, nakarinig sya ng mahinang katok sa kabilang cubicle. Hindi na lang nya ito pinansin at nagpatuloy sa kanyang ginagawa. Habang naglalakad s’ya sa hallway pabalik sa kanilang room, narinig nya ulit ang katok, pero sa ikalawang pagkakataon lalo itong lumakas. Hindi nya alam kung saan ito galing. Bigla s’yang nakaramdam ng paninindig ng balahibo, tumakbo s’ya nang mabilis pabalik ng kanilang room at dali daling isinara ang pinto. Narinig n’ya ulit ang katok, pabilis ng pabilis, palapit nang palapit… Umiyak s’ya dahil hindi na nya malaman ang gagawin, naisipan nyang gisingin ang kanyang mga roommates ngunit hindi sila magising. Palapit na nangg palapit ang kumakatok. Lalong lumakas ang kanyang iyak nang marinig nyang sa pinto na nila ito kumakatok. Naisipan nyang magtago sa loob ng kanyang locker. Narinig nya ulit ang malakas na katok, palakas ng palakas, palapit ng palapit hanggang sa locker na nya ito kumakatok. Laking gulat nya ng maaninag niya ang isang babaeng nakaputing damit, mahabang mahaba ang maitim nitong buhok, puting puti ang mata at NAKATINGIN SA KANYA! Biglang tumahimik ang paligid, ang tanging naririnig nya ay ang kanyang paghinga. Nawala rin sa kanyang paningin ang babae. Ngunit patuloy pa siyang nangingnig. Akala nya ay tapos na ngunit nang lumingon s’ya laking gulat nya nang makitang NASA TABI NA PALA NYA ITO AT NAKATINGIN SA KANYA! Gusto nyang sumigaw ng malakas pero hindi nya magawa, gusto nyang gumalaw pero hindi nya maigalaw ang buong katawan nya. Nagdasal siya... Na sana… Sana… Matapos na… Kinaumagahan, nagising sya, hindi pala nya namalayan na nakatulog na pala sya sa loob ng locker nya sa sobrang takot. Laking pagtataka ng kanyang mga roommates nya at doon sinimulan nyang ikwento ang mga nangyari sa kanya nang gabing iyon. At doon rin nya nalaman ang kwento tungkol sa babaeng iyon at ang misteryong bumabalot sa kanya. Napag alaman nyang ilang taon na pala ang nakararaan nang ang nasabing babaeng iyon ay nagtangkang magpakamatay sa loob ng kanyang locker nang malaman nyang sya ay buntis pala. At ang locker na kasalukuyan nyang ginagamit ay locker pala ng naturang babae. *** Ilan lamang ito sa mga kwento nang katatakutan sa MSU. Minsan, ang mga kaluskus ay di lamang kathang-isip. Ang ihip ng hangin ay may nais iparating. Ang mga sigaw, ang mga katok, ang mga iyak, ay totoo. Ngayon, naniniwala ka ba? Lumingon ka sa likod mo, di ka nag-iisa.

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MINDS IN A BOX (COLLEGE STEREOTYPES) REY HARVEY SUELLO, Staff Writer and JESSLEI MAE PIQUERO, Feature Editor

HEY! What’s your course? If you’re up to knowing bits of realities, spend a bit of your time reading this. It is an undeniable fact that whenever you meet a new acquaintance here at the university, asking the person what course he is taking up often comes first before asking his full name, age or where he comes from. Judgment even immediately follows. This article does not intend to further insult courses with the common stereotyping glued to their names. We would like to categorize the courses according to the COMMON perception of the student populace, without being necessarily true. Upon reading this, you might realize that you have thought the same things about these courses disregarding the realities about them. Brace yourselves for the course you’re taking up might be in the list.

Even BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION falls on this bracket. Remember people, every course has its hard points. Students, regardless of their field, have their share of “struggling moments” just to get all throughout their respective courses. In other words, NO COURSE IS SIMPLE.

SUBJECT #2: DISCRIMINATION. Have you ever experienced this? RATATAT: Hey, what’s your course? BOOM: Engineering. RATATAT: WOW! BOOM: You? RATATAT: Fisheries/ Forestry/ Aggie/ Educ. BOOM: Ahh…ok.

SUBJECT#1: EASY A’S The courses in this category are the ones people deliberately considered easy or “no sweat”. CPA. Easy, eh? Well, take a look at their board exam results records and achievers. You might ‘WOW’ yourselves out. CSSH COURSES. If you have not notice, these students are very active in several academic organizations yet were able to evidently perform well academically. FISHERIES. Look at their prospectus. Period. And after browsing through their subjects, tell us if you didn’t say or think: “Ay oo. Mahirap pala.” It is quite absurd how most people view this course as an easy one when in fact, it totally isn’t. HRM. Easy? Do not underestimate this course. You ought to know how globally competitive graduates of this course are. The hospitality industry growth is something we cannot ignore and it entails the high demand of properly and highly trained personnel all over the world.

How about this? ENSTRAKTOOR: Who got a perfect score? RATATAT: Me! ENSTRAKTOOR: What’s your course? RATATAT: Fisheries/Forestry/Aggie/Educ. ENSTRAKTOOR: Really?!? Sure?!?

There is a big difference between “WOW” and “AH, OK.” In these two scenarios, what part have you played? BOOM? RATATAT? Who knows, you can be ENSTRAKTOOR. Anyway, the point is that both scenes show discrimination without direct imposition. FISHERIES/FORESTRY/AGGIE/EDUC. Yes, these courses are discriminated. Whenever you hear these, you probably think: “ Ano kaya magiging trabaho nila? Mangingisda? Tagabilang ng isda sa pantalan? Taga-bunot ng damo? Tagaputol ng kahoy? Tagatanim ng palay? Magsasaka? Titser sa baryo?” If you had thought so, maybe you aren’t smart enough to know that students certainly don’t finish a college degree to become part of fishermen/farmer majority.


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Mind you, these courses are considered “the first priority” of the government. It is a given truth that our country’s main source of income relies on these fields--- Agriculture and Marine Industries.

these people are required to look pretty and presentable enough to live up to their course description. It’s not just because people say that they are born or brought to be that way.

EDUCATION. Don’t ever look down on people having this course. You don’t know, they might become the teachers of your future children. Their future job is a very noble profession. Well, can you even go to college without going through the hands of your primary and secondary teachers? Definitely not.

NURSING. Maarte? First and foremost, you can’t survive this course without continuously exposing yourself to stuff like vomitus, stools, urines and other things which are considered as “yucky” by many. They even have these topics as their discussions even eating without feeling nauseous. So how could people even say that they are so stingy? Maybe in a way, they can be. However this is in a sense that they may always want cleanliness in a way or another. Besides, like HRM students, this can’t be taken away from them, especially that they are actually taking up courses greatly involved in this stuff.

Discrimination. This exists and will always exist. It will just depend on how willing we are to open our minds to realities that we often don’t even bother knowing.

SUBJECT#3: FEELING MAGALING?!? ENGINEERING/ACCOUNTANCY/CNSM. Oops! Don’t react yet. Look at the question marks on the descriptive title above. Let’s just put it this way: In a food chain, a snake feels superior. (Or if snake has a demeaning symbolism for you, feel free to replace snake with an eagle or a lion.) The point is that just imagine how these three courses feel being on the top of the “course superiority chain” which is totally existing in this campus. How would you feel being looked up and “wowed” all the time? This categorization may seem a little bit out of insecurity on the part of the other courses. Insecurity can be true. “Feeling magaling?” but, THEY ARE REALLY GOOD. “Magaling man talaga sila.”However, not all of them deserve the title. We cannot just erase in the picture that some students under these courses who often take too much pride on their courses, tend to neglect the opinions of students situated on the lower part of the “superiority chain,” especially on group activities involving analytical computation. Ooops! Just an example. Not to mention them being outranked by other students on exams. But people, let’s also accept the FACT that most of them really do have the right to feel good about themselves. It is something that they are entitled to feel. “Feeling magaling?!? Magagaling man talaga sila!”

SUBJECT #4: MAARTE. CHARM. We often see these students in their black and white longsleeved uniforms with black high heels and pinkish cheeks. However, not just because they do look presentable, or even let’s just say “kikay” , automatically means that they are also “biga-on” or “malandi” or “flirty” in a way or so. But of course, you can’t erase the possibility that there really are some who are quite the like. However, we should mind that

SUBJECT #5: WALANG LIGO ENGINEERING. When topics like this arise, this course is usually then brought up in the scenario. Let me just remind you people that not just because this course is mostly comprised of the male population, also means that most of the people here don’t actually take a bath. (I’m not saying that males don’t take a bath that often.) Mind you, bathing is a necessity, if you don’t want to stink. If these people don’t take a bath at times, then this may be because of sleepless nights they spend from academic overload. Even NURSING and ACCOUNTING students are associated to this. Do they actually seem as if they have not taken a bath? Let’s just admit that everyone has their times wherein they can’t have their usual bath, but this may be due to a sleepless night or a sickness maybe. Right? Besides, how can we actually expect this people to effectively practice their course if they go to school without taking a shower?

SUBJECT #6: HOMOSEXUALITY. PSYCH. COMSTUD. NURSING. These courses, I should say is not the only course where homosexuality exists. These “homos” actually are everywhere, in every college. The MSU campus is flooded with a variety of sexual orientations--- heterosexuals, homosexuals and even bisexuals. However as citizens of this country and students of this melting pot of the south, we should respect each person’s individuality. We are all talented in as every way as possible. Finally a very long journey of reading this, us, the writers do not expect this stereotyping to just evaporate as if it didn’t exist. However, this article hopes to enlighten the minds of the readers, especially those people who are fond of doing the usual judging. Every college and every course is something us, as MSUans should be proud of. Let’s not keep our minds boxed to this antiquated stereotyping.


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Ransacked A housemate came, innocent of how things were going. Like me, they covered his face, but he managed to hug me. His hands were trembling. He hugged me while both of us cried, thinking the men would not only take our things, but our lives as well.

THIS is a testimony of a ransack victim as told to Mike Ariel Plaza. *** I am Marvin, not my real name. I considered MSU, my home – a haven of my safest days. But that was before I felt the gravest fear I ever felt in my entire life. That was before. And I thought in home I was safe, before March 5, 2012. I would never forget the day, the time, the place. I would never forget the knocking in our cottage’s door. I thought it were my housemates’, as I was also expecting for them to arrive for lunch. I opened the door and I thought it was them. But not. I first saw a gun, aimed right in front of my face. The smell of the gun powder sent shivers to my body. I was afraid. No, the word ‘afraid’ is even an understatement. I was terrorized. I feared for my life to end just before I could even feel it. Paralyzed, I was not able to think of anything. Even the thought of shouting did not cross my mind. I was speechless. I felt I was even lifeless. The one holding the gun, whose face was covered with a black mask, entered the cottage. With the gun still aimed at me, I stepped back. “God help me. Don’t let me die,” that sounded more of a plea than a prayer. I was made to face the wall, as four other unknown men entered the house. They started unlocking the lockers. They opened the rooms, the refrigerator, and my bags. Everything was turned a mess. The scratches were audible. I wish I at least saw how they have taken our valuables. But they covered my face and tied my hands. I could do nothing but silently sob and pray and pray and pray.

The ‘ransack’ lasted for minutes. Still blindfolded, we waited for them to go out the cottage. We knew they were gone for there was already silence. That was when we took our blindfolds and saw the house at its worst. It seemed like a storm has passed, leaving everything stumbled through mess. They took our phones, my money, our bags and everything inside them. They even took the laptop I just borrowed from a friend. That was a complete horror. Even to date, I still could feel the fear. Mine was not the only story of a house broken in by unknown men. It was not the first case. I know there are still a lot similar stories. Some even are worse. The other cases are still unresolved. Others are even not given attention. But the stories bring the same horror and terror. And in this campus, that seems usual yet. I decided not to report the incident to the authorities because I knew it would be useless after all. But I am telling this story – a testimony of someone who really felt the fear. I may not be able to get back all that was taken from us. I may not be able to take away the traumatic scenes. But through this story, I hope everybody who has experienced the same would also tell and share the story to others. Make people see that we could never really be secured even inside our home. Make people see that there is something wrong with the security system – a lapse that could not be filled in with a careless shrug or by only treating these stories as hearsays. If a single story of theft they would not want to heed, a collective story and testimony, I suppose, would something that would shake them. Because here, we are not certain of our security. I am Marvin, not my real name. This is my story. This is the story of every ransack victim.

End of the world: postponed? EMELYN MANLANGIT, Associate Editor

Matatapos na daw ang mundo, sabi nila. Aba’y mag-impake ka na! Magmigrate ka na sa pinakamalapit na planetang alam mo (Chos! Para namang makakalipat talaga). Eh, paano yun? Magugunaw na ang mundo, saan na tayo pupulutin? 2012 daw yung taon kung kailan mawawala na ang ating mundo. 2012 na di ba? Malapit na ngang matapos, bakit buo pa ang planeta? Hindi naman sa nagmamadali tayo noh, pero di ba iyon ang sabi nila? So ano ito, ang end of the world, postponed? Napanood natin lahat ang rally ng mga taong nagsasabing magugunaw na ang mundo. Ayon sa Physics instructor kong di ko na matandaan ang pangalan maliban sa siya ay guapo,malapit na daw dumating ang araw na ang mga higanteng crystal balls sa ating kalawakan ay magsitunawan. Ayon din sa Bibliya (kung nagbabasa ka), malapit na ang araw ng paghuhukom kung kailan hahatulan na ang lahat ng tao depende sa intensidad ng kanyang kasalanan. Kaya ikaw, simulan mo nang magbago at magdasal. May pag-asa ka pang bumait bago pa man dumating ang deadline. Paano pala natin nasasabing malapit nang magunaw ang mundo? Mga senyales daw nito ang di maipaliwanag na mga kalamidad, mga lindol sa kahit saang panig ng mundo, ang pagkatunaw ng yelo sa Antartika, ang pagkawala ng mga isla, ang unti-unting pagkatupok ng MSU na malapit ng makasanayan ng mga MSUan, ang paglaganap ng mga di maipaliwanag na sakit at virus, ang pagdami ng pusa at daga (na magkakasinlaki na) sa dorm namin, ang pag-uso ng mga kantang wala nang kakwenta-kwenta, at lahat-lahat na di mo talos na mangyayari ay nangyayari na nga. Mapipigilan pa ba ito? Hindi. Di nga magagawa ni Superman, ikaw pa kaya? Anyways, gaya nga ng lahat ng bagay, mundo man ay nagtatapos din. Ang pinakamabisa na lang na magagawa ng isang mortal na gaya ko, mo, at nating lahat, ay magdasal, magdasal, at magdasal. Wag kang

FEATURES

tumunganga kung may magagawa ka pa. Gawin mo na ang lahat ng pwede mong gawin, tapusin na ang dapat tapusin, kainin ang di pa nakakain, sabihin na ang gusto mong sabihin, bago pa man mahuli ang lahat. Ano pa ba ang magagawa mo pag wala na ang mundo? Isa ka na lang espiritu ng kadiliman. Kung ayaw mo, i-Gangnam mo na lang iyan! Matatapos man o hindi ang mundo, kailangan mo nang magbago sa madaling panahon. Hindi mo na kailangang maghintay na bumuka ang lupa at kainin ka ng buongbuo, simulan mo na ang pagbabago. Gaya ng pamagat ko, postponed lang ang end of the world, hindi cancelled. Matatapos at matatapos talaga ito sa ayaw at sa gusto mo, maaring bukas, makalawa, mamaya, o baka nga pagkatapos mong mabasa ito. Maging handa sa lahat ng bagay.

VOL 28 NO.1 | A.Y. 2012- 2013


She had me at ‘hello’ BY MARK

I was playing one time and right at the climax of the game, an unknown number popped up on the screen of my phone. With ringing curiosity, I opened the message, which led me to eventually losing the game. The message said that the sender needs a textmate. It was ridiculous, I thought, because I was not really into such thing. But even then, I replied “xur.” Since that time, I ignored the thought of peculiarity and continued texting, never imagined that text would start it all. In our few hours of texting, I learned that we study at the same school. She said she has known me secretly for quite a while already and got my number from my classmate who happens to be her cousin. She was just a freshman then, and said that she has been idolizing me because of my talents; that I can sing; I can play the guitar and piano; that I am the BSP Staff commander and the president of our Math Club. That flattered me of course, and even until now, that message from her is still in my inbox. The next day, we agreed to meet at our school canteen. I was dumbfounded when a very cute girl called my name and hesitatingly said “Hello.” Her very soft voice seemed to be asking than greeting. She is Aisha -- young, sweet, coy, angelic. By looking at her, my heart beat no normal. Months had passed and I felt like my heart beat for the very first time. Until one day, I have finally found the courage to express my feelings to her. For months, I had proved to her my love. Have done almost everything. I have given her my life, my dreams, my all. On December 24, 2008 I got her ‘Yes.’ Nobody knew our relationship except my best friend. We have kept it because that’s what she said and for the reason I did not know. I always asked her why but she just made sweet nothings on me that stopped my scrutiny.

Days passed by too swiftly that I have thought of her being the girl who will bear my name and will be the mother of my children. She decisively was my dream come true. During my graduation, even if the thought of leaving Aisha behind tormented me, I still bore in my mind that my leaving would be for us–for our future. I was in my second year in the University when I received a call from my best friend. The information shocked me. I trust my best friend but I also trust Aisha. Even with my final exam in Math 61, I still opted to go home. I went to my former school to visit Aisha. I was at the roof top of the school building, when I saw them. So sweet, holding each other’s hands, and seemed to be so in love with each other. It was Aisha and her new guy. The sight of them was close to killing me. I almost lost my senses and almost jumped. My tears fell down. Then my cry became a sob. There I knew the feeling of being broken-hearted, it felt like death enticed me. After a few hours of waiting, I got the chance to talk to Aisha at the park bench. I almost couldn’t speak by just looking at her; never once thought that the girl responsible of mending my numb heart would inconceivably break it. Confrontation happened. Contemplation befell. It was so stupid of me not to notice that she is a Meranao. She was not wearing her veil, but I should have at least observed her way of speaking. I have been a fool. It was just then that I knew her family name. She even said that she got betrothed a month ago. If it was not for my pursuit for education, for our future, I could still have had her until now. However, I neither blame her nor myself. None of us should be condemned of the consequence. And for good time’s sake, even if it would mean losing half of my life, I broke up with her. I have failed my Math 61 and eventually lost my science scholarship. But as they say, failures make you stronger. Now, I am in my last year here in the University. As I enter into another stage of my journey, I am hoping that my heart will fall in love again, because the truth is, even up to now, Aisha is still in my heart. Forever she will be. *** MARK, 21, says the moment you find the courage to sacrifice your own happiness for someone, IS the moment you understand love.

TINGOG

I was a fourth year student then, and just like any young man in town, I was also so fond of playing DOTA. Most of my time and money were spent in that game since it was my easiest way to get rid of loneliness.

Every single day with her felt like heaven. I have given her everything she wanted even if it meant exhausting my budget. Because money is just sublunary but love is immensity.

Tingog is a column in the Mindanao Varsitarian where students can share their love stories, heartaches and happy endings. Be inspired to write and love. Send your contributions to mindanaovarsitarian@gmail.com.

THE school is probably one of the best parts of every student’s life. In this four-year endeavor, we first meet our best friends. We first learn how to do our monkey businesses we wish we never have done. We first understand the difference of growing up and growing old. Of course, we first feel how to have a crush on someone which later turns into an unforgettable first love that is undeniably the most heart-breaking stuff (Sigh). Now, as you think of the time when you first fell in love, let me share to you my first-love-story.

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Epidemic MARY LOUISE OMELIO, Associate Editor I would regret if I am not going to write about this. This thought has been scampering around my mind lately. While writing this, I am actually thinking about a person. Well, a sexually confused person. Let me get this straight. I do not rebuke bisexuality; neither do I hate bisexuals. I got some friends of that orientation, and nothing; it is not bad being with them after all. However, there is just one thing I do not find considerable about the thought of it. It is when male bisexuals try to spread ‘it.’ Maybe some would say, “Na ui, klaro man nga dili sya straight!” or maybe would confidently say that they could easily determine whether or not a male is of their kind. But what do we actually know about a person if in fact, we only have met him the first time?

Follow her on Twitter: @marylouise0

It is not about the posture. It is not about the getup. It is not about how he speaks. We do not have the right ground to speak of a person about his gender if it is only his physical appearance we are looking into. Let alone the flawless face, the alcohol and sanitizers in their bag, the powder and the mirror. There is the thought of metrosexuality anyway. It is not justifiable, I guess, if we judge a person by that. Now there’s the issue of disclosure. The self-confessed bisexuals would eventually look forward to another male’s disclosure. It would be okay if it is just that. But what’s a little alarming is making a person be like you. The point is he has his own prerogative. He has his own heart that would help him make up his decision. If he has that so-called ‘potential,’ eventually, he would spit that out that he actually likes girls, and well, boys too. That he is going to be part of the club. That’s it. We need not say hellish words to make him confess that he ‘is.’

It is an act of desperation to try to change another person’s sexual preference just because he is your ‘bet.’ Do not drag him to be like you only to cater your temporary desires. The safest way is to just wait for another man to be caught with your wits and fall for you. Let gravity do its thing. I do not actually see bisexuality as a sin. But when one ‘corrupts’ a confused person, then that would sound condemnable to me. What if he is almost considering that thought of bisexuality but ended up trying to counter it? He would then be tagged as ‘in denial.’ And that is no logical. Males who are confused of their gender, I think, should be given ample time to sort things out. We should not drive them to become the person we think he is because it is not us who feels it. It is him. He owns himself. He’s got mind, and you do, too. We all have. Our perception of what’s good and bad is relative, but at least we know the notion of the common good; what’s moral and what’s not. If you are a ‘bended’ male and he admits that he is, too, then good for both of you. If he says he is not, end it there. Leave him alone. Do not say he isn’t going out of his nutshell. It is just that, he knows himself more than you do. Simple.

Danger haven EMELYN MANLANGIT, Associate Editor

“MSU is not a battlefield.” This was said by a student who happened to be one of our respondents in one of the major activities that we were tasked to do. Everybody knows about it, but only few were able to realize how serious it was. It is not rare when a student pants about how lame the university’s security is. Everyone is aware about what happened that night of August 8. No one could really say that you had a good night sleep when the following morning you were greeted by the news that lives had been lost and blood was spilled all over the place. Who would not want to go home when you were threatened by the news that a manhunt operation will be done and an all-out war is soon to happen? Many were afraid that at any time, they might get shoot, with stray bullet or not, lie down on the ground and die. It was funny hearing from terrified people and read on group messages that MSU will be under martial law. How can that be? I mean, a school, an institution like ours can NEVER be under military control. Who would then declare that by the way? It aggravated everybody’s fear, because nobody knew what really went on. How would they know when nobody dare told them? Yes, they made dorm-todorm dissemination of information. They personally said that everything was under control. When? Two

OPINION

days after the incident. Two days after many had already left for home and feared that they may not be able to come back. Weeks after the incident, we were told to post official statements from the President’s Office. Yes, weeks after everyone had already experienced that terrifying event. Weeks when everything was already said and done. And everyone’s string of trust for them is cut dead. A day was already enough to lost every available trust that we had with our security. Have they done their best? No. If they would say they did, maybe their best was not good enough. Who was not aware that two students were recently kidnapped and luckily were able to escape because of God’s grace? Have they done their best? No. I myself was almost a victim. Where? In front of that big white building crowded with four-wheeled vehicles in daylight and not even a single bulb at night. Have they really done their best? Undoubtedly, no . The student was right, this is not a battlefield. This is a school, a university. Yes, any other school can have crimes inside their premises; anyone can get murdered here just as elsewhere, but is that something we can be proud of? Is being “the number one dangerous university in the world” something we can hold our heads up high? We aim to be a world-class national university, how, when we cannot even trust our security system. In situations when life and death are only a thread away, we cannot just sit and do bubblegum-chewing. Life has always been bitter for MSUans and we are accustomed to survive to it. But let not our lives be at risk just because irresponsibility and laziness call for extra attention. In times when we cannot anymore protect ourselves from danger, who else are expected to do it for us here? This question needs answer.


VOL 28 NO.1 | A.Y. 2012- 2013

RH Bill won’t kill

OPINION

GIRON PAUL DEL ROSARIO, News Editor

“Despite objections, the House of Representatives on Monday, August 6, voted to terminate debates on House Bill 4244, better known as the Reproductive Health bill, raising the chance of the controversial measure being passed in the current 15th congress.” --- Rappler.com, August, 7, 2012 Debates and interpolations in scrutiny of the bill had taken for more than a decade. Finally, it had now proceeded to its second phase. Truly, it has its flaws that have to be ironed before it has to be made into a law. So this is now the time to do that. The bill will undergo periods of amendments which are considered as one of the most difficult part of the legislative process. But isn’t it riddling how this RH bill is taking a lot of time for it to be implemented? The bill would not be considered controversial for no reason. The bill is a huge paradigm shift. It sought to change the traditional and obsolete. It further caters the needs of a dynamic society. It aims for improvement because as we could see, the present ways are not enough anymore to sustain the needs of the Filipino people. However, controversies have still arisen even with bill’s good intentions. Indeed, change is never easy. Still, we have to be open about it. The Catholic Church and other anti RH bill groups had many different say on why they oppose the bill, condemning most of the people who support the bill saying it is un-Catholic and even un-Godly. They call it as the evil bill because accordingly, it sets to promote greater sexual promiscuity and immorality. It will open a Pandora’s Box of other bills like Gay Rights bill, Same-Sex marriage bill and Divorce bill. It is a sinful bill they say, and God will not be guiding our nation anymore. But what is actually evil and what is not? The Catholic Church has been so grounded with their idealistic views, though I don’t consider it as bad. I still believe in the understanding of “the more, the merrier” and I still believe that the child is a beautiful miracle and a gift from God. But I also believe that there really is an existing problem with the population. Mostly because it is those poor and underprivileged parents who usually give birth to a millionth child. They are also those who are being denied of access with contraceptives and other artificial family planning method. Rich people don’t have problem with this. So the reality of “the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer” would continue to march to its merry mayhem. Living in a rural area, I had a clear picture of the existing problem of the status quo. Most people in poverty-stricken areas have little or do not even have knowledge on how these contraceptives work. Some of the women do not even know how pills work. Some could not even afford a condom. These are not just small things. They speak volumes, they have to be considered. I believe that there really is a need to address these problems for it is the government’s responsibility and commitment to its people.

First of all, the bill is not to tolerate or finance everyone’s freedom to have sex irresponsibly because if we really try to assess it, it even does the total opposite. I believe that “irresponsible sex” means to disregard the possible outcomes of actually doing it. “Outcomes” here means: pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease and further abortion. They say it is a debate of pro-life versus prochoice. However, I believe that the bill embodies both. How do we define pro-life? Life here does not only mean mere animal existence. Neither it means living in hostile conditions, eating only once a day, not given the chance to be educated, being forced to sell mangos or carry heavy loads for a small amount of money. There is an entailed aspect when we speak of life: quality. I want to promote RH bill because I want the next generation to live in a world with opportunities and that is what we mean with being pro-choice. Consider the present situation where there are many people who are unemployed and underemployed. The government’s current resources are not just enough to give them the luxury of choices. But if the people would be given the chance to be educated and be trained, we are giving them a wide array of choices and they can even be an asset of the nation. I do not think it is inappropriate to even teach the youth of these things. What is even inappropriate is to make them ignorant. This would make them more prone to dangers. We have to instead satisfy their curiosity by giving them appropriate information and guidance. Truly, the bill cannot eradicate poverty because the truth is: no such bill can do that. Nevertheless, RH bill is a huge step in alleviating poverty in the country. Blocking the passage of the bill is like blocking improvement. The bill is, as how David Balangue puts it, “pro-poor and pro-development.”

Of territories and deceptions

WINBEL MORDINO VISITACION , Sports Editor

The issue on territorial dispute between the Philippines and China is way above our country’s struggle to assert our sovereignty over our ‘claimed’ territories among the international community, as what has been publicized by our government through mainstream media. There is a much bigger picture in the making. The issue is not simply about ‘that’ belonging to them or to us. It will not only affect our people and theirs but those of other nations as well. What is happening right now is a power play that will bring political and economic gain to the winner (evidently, not us) in the near future. Contrary to what they have been advertising to the world, China had chosen the path that their republic founders have loathed. Like the United States, China had become an imperialist with the

need to dominate most of the world’s economic activities for its survival. And them being viewed to be a bully picking on the Philippines and its shoals and islands is not a coincidence when our country has been submissive to the dictates of US monopoly capitalism for over a century now. They have maintained our country as a strategic base for the advancement of their political and economic sphere in Asia. It is important to note that on the present territorial dispute, though China is viewed as a bully, the Philippines has been acting boldly like renaming the South China Sea into West Philippine Sea, and among others. This does not come as a surprise for the Philippines is a country of strong-willed patriots. But these people had long been deceived. With this issue at hand, there are lot of things that the Filipino people need to know – stories that should be found and told. We need to know, and yes, we really need to assert our authority or sovereignty over our territories. But that is just so ironic for we have lost that authority long ago.

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The blocked freedom MARK MAYLAN, Associate Managing Editor

The implementation of RA 10175 also known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 which decriminalizes offenses committed through the internet is indeed an extension of the suppression of the speech freedom; for this time, in the cyber world. The proponents of the said law, after all, have public purposes in the enactment of this law. They seek to expand the sovereignty of the government over its constituents in the internet world. They seek to lengthen the police power and social justice to respond to cybercrimes such as child pornography, cybersex, terrorist operations, and libel. In totality, the purpose of this cyber law is still for the general welfare. But what makes it the talk of the town is that it contains provisions found to be vague and had violated certain Constitutional rights like freedom of expression, right to due process of law, equal protection of the laws, right to privacy, right against double jeopardy and other technical terms. Well, that’s how the antagonistic lawyers and professionals view it. And I won’t be scrutinizing the smallest details of this law since I’m not an expert in this field. I’ll just be inspecting this stuff an eagle’s eye view. Talking about freedom of expression, I’ll always concede to the fact that it is really not absolute. But limiting it to unjust boundaries isn’t acceptable at all. It is said that the Cybercrime Prevention Act “is so broad and loophole-ridden that a wide range of online activity could be considered libellous. With these grounds, I think there is a need for the government to replace or repeal the said law. It will just result to an unhealthy State because people will be hiding their comments against the government for fear of punishments. I believe that cyberspace, as the fifth common domain – next to land, air, sea and outer space, is in great need for cooperation and legal measures among all citizens. It should also be a part of the progressive development of the national law. But to think that the Cybercrime Prevention Act sets limitations to the freedom of expression online without considering the consensus of the people, “cooperation and coordination among all citizens” will be an imagination.

It is not right for the government to just limit narrowly the right to free debate, free speech, or even ‘free war’ in the internet because it is in these means that the people knows their failures, lapses, and weaknesses. You won’t know about how smelly your armpits are if no one will tell you. You won’t know how clumsy you are if no one will tell you. To any extent, criticisms are healthy. Libel is another story. But the new cyber law treats libel and simple forms of criticisms almost the same and penalizes the latter with almost the same penalties as that of libel. This prohibits the netizens (internet people) from posting their comments publicly. This makes them change their Facebook profile pictures BLACK as a sign of protest. This makes the internet world boring. This blocks the freedom of expression. The Congress and the President must listen to the cries of the majority because the Philippines is still a democratic country which upholds the popular will. They should be reminded by the idea that the government exists to serve the people and not the people to serve the government. That’s the rule. If they won’t stop blocking our freedom of expression, I’m afraid I might be turning my profile picture in FB black. That’s the least I can do.

At large MIKE ARIEL PLAZA, Editor in Chief Justice in this country is elusive. It makes no sense for people who dwelt in believing it is only a term people utter in thin air, without anyone grasping the quintessence of it. It is odd. It is often spoken of, but is never found. It is printed on papers, on laws, on scratch papers and unopened dictionaries. The word is scrawled red on the placards of street protesters. The stories of its not being realistic are often conveyed through their shouts and prayers. Cries of the people who long for justice are audible – as audible as the struggles of two student activists as they were dragged by armed men; as audible as the sound of a pulled trigger making a wife lose her life to the ground; as audible as the voice of one broadcaster which has been silenced by big men. We heard of these incidents. We know of the men named to be guilty of these. We know nothing of their hiding places. This is what justice in this country is. Impunity stands over it. Big men step on it. The guilty ones spit on it, run away and remain scotfree. Even when their heads would cost wealth for those who would find them, they still all remain at large. Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan, both student activists from the University of the Philippines, were kidnapped in Bulacan on 2006. A report said they were hanged upside down and were made to drink their own piss. Six years had passed and they are still missing, so is their alleged abductor, retired major general Jovito Palparan. Palparan is hard to find because the fugitive had received the same training as his hunters, says

OPINION

Philippine National Police Director General Nicanor Bartolome. “If they’re serious about it, there’s a way. Otherwise, they can think of many reasons not to do it,” grieving mother of Karen rebuts. The P500 thousand offer of the government for Palparan’s capture seems not effective. The strategies of the authorities of capturing felons also are, because it is not just him who is in the fugitives’ list. The word justice is evidently not included in it. Former Palawan Governor Joel Reyes is also one. After deemed wanted in connection with the murder of Gerry Ortega, an environmentalist-broadcaster, on January 2011, he is still not found. He is free somewhere with Mario, his brother and mayor of Coron, Palawan. And so Reyes sends messages to the radio stations, talking about love and understanding among the Palawenos. He is hiding, he says, “in the hearts of the people’ of Palawan. He once said he serves justice, but ran away when he was the one to sit as the accused. He continues sending his messages about showing up soon while the family of Ortega continues on spelling the word justice inside their grieving souls. Recently, another name was enlisted as one of the great fugitive kings. His name is Ruben Ecleo Jr., representative of the Island of Dinagat. Worshipped as the grandmaster of the Philippine Benevolent Missionaries of the Philippines (PBMA), Ecleo managed to hide away from the call of the court and its ruling. He is wanted in connection with his graft conviction at the Sandiganbayan and a more recent parricide case for the death of his wife Alona on 2001. Until now, Ecleo is nowhere to find. Palparan, Reyes, Ecleo, to name a few, are still missing. And so is justice. We would never find out how it is like to have justice served for us – for the people who have long sought for it. In fact, it was long forgotten by the people even if they so fight for it. Seizing these fugitives is difficult and next to impossible. How justice in this country is defined then if the ones who committed the gravest crimes are still missing? With justice dead as a dodo, the powerful are guilty. But they are still at large.

Follow him on Twitter: @mapplaza

VOL 28 NO.1 | A.Y. 2012- 2013


EDITORIAL

Déjà vu The successive fire incidents in the campus are really disturbing. They are indications that we are not even secured at all. While it is true that the University is in its effort to build a more strengthened security force, it is also undeniable that they lack of tools and firefighting equipment. The campus’ fire department has long been closed because it never had facilities and able firefighters. With fire blazing, whether in the wee hour of the night or in a broad daylight, how do we seriously fight them without the facilities? Not only have the fires scared off MSUans. The fact that the recent fire incident was coupled with heinous crime indicates that violence lurks in an academic institution like MSU. The events so far left not only charcoals and ashes but a deliquescing faith to the school administration and the safety it should provide to its constituents. The MSU populace is threatened that even inside the place they call “home” they are not really safe. They are fearful that any form of ferocity might just happen without them being protected. The seven fire incidents, the recent kidnapping, the alleged ambush, the harassments and robberies, are enough reasons to believe that amidst the quality education MSU provides, these

nightmares might just happen without really awakening the vigilance in us. These nightmares might just happen without justice served. Along with the administration’s grandiose plans for the colleges’ developments, strengthening the security system inside the campus must also be seriously considered. Along with the quality education it should serve to the studentry, MSU should also be a sanctuary for learning. That would be the best solution, rather than transferring the

main campus elsewhere or pointing fingers towards each other. After all, MSU would never meet its vision of becoming a national university at 2020, if its geniuses and dexters will be sent away by their fears. Mindanao State University is still an academic institution amidst the threats of crime and violence. We only could maintain the prestige it has when we all wake up with these incidents that are seemingly in déjà vu.

MINDANAO VARSITARIAN

The Official Student Publication of Mindanao State University, Marawi City

Editor-in-Chief MIKE ARIEL PLAZA Associate Editors MARY LOUISE OMELIO AND EMELYN MANLANGIT Managing Editor RIZ SUNIO Associate Managing Editor MARK MAYLAN Circulation Manager JUN SACAY News Editor GIRON PAUL DEL ROSARIO Feature Editor JESSLEI MAE PIQUERO Opinion Editor SAFIA MACAPODI Literary Editor MOH’D ABDUL FARRID DELNA Sports Editor WINBEL MORDINO VISITACION Photo Editor HAPSA BATUAN Photojournalists RAYMARK ESTAEL AND JAYSON LEIGH SEGOVIA Head Cartoonist NEIL KIRBY RANARA Senior Cartoonists REYJHON ENTENIA AND AL MARVIEN SAVANDAL Junior Cartoonists IVAN RAY ARANAS AND JULIUS KARL CHAVEZ Layout and Graphic Artist JOHN LOUIE MARGATE Staff Writers ADNAN ALAUYA, ANDRES AWING, JR., GLIHARD ESCUDERO, LADY MAE LAO AND REY HARVEY SUELLO Legal Consultant ATTY. IBRAHIM MIMBALAWAG

29


COMIX

BY REYJHON ENTENIA

Sigh-ber Crime

Extended ending

MonEyLection


NEWBIES

Many have tried. Only a few were chosen. After undergoing three rigorous phases, ten more fighters join the battlefield. With their journalistic prowess, a protracted period of silence will be shattered.

Winbel Mordino Visitacion

Glihard Escudero

He said he is trying to get away with journalism. The fact that he’s now with MV proves he has failed to do so. With his exemplary experience in editing some local newspapers before, do you seriously think we’d let him go? He’s a writer, a photographer, a sportsman. We’ve had no problems with Kuya Mordz really, except he’s undergoing sort of crises he never minds sharing. Haha! Left with still a lot of things to prove, he might be seen at the first page of the MV issues the coming years. Who knows?

Soft spoken Glee always sees to it that he gives his heart to every piece he writes. He would always put his emotions to even writing about hard issues, but it would work amazingly. He was one of the few who had touched the interview panelists during the screening. Undeniably true to his words and emotions, this writer would be the next favorite of students who are fond of reading stories about life. Write of smiles. Write of tears. Write of life and love and fear. Most importantly, Glihard, write.

Raymark Estael

Lady Mae Lao

Raymark is the reincarnation of Louie (MV’s former photo Editor). Why, they surely have a lot of things in common (and no, I don’t mean it superficially). Nikko’s new pop said he discovered late that he has the eye for photography. And we’re thankful that he did not realize it too late. With only a year left in college, he said his MV assignments usually break his planned schedules. Take all the demands as challenges, boi. XD

The only ‘Lady’ among the newbies has an intense enthusiasm with writing. Excited to write for the students with her literary lexis, she certainly knew what she was about to enter. Although she has not still written adversarial notes, Lady said she would want to uncover truths and be the mouthpiece of the students. Brave and game? That’s our lady.

Jayson Leigh Segovia

I-BS Fisheries Writer

I-BS Physics Sports Editor

IV-BS Psychology Photojournalist

IV-BS Forestry Photojournalist

MV’s “annoying orange” is not really new in the publication. After taking the photos for the cover of the issue last sem, he had finally joined the group with Noni (his camera). Also a graduating student (since last year, kidding), Jayson said he wants to spend his last year in college serving the MSUans. He is doing okay in his first sem. His pictures posted at the MV FB page would prove that. So long as he won’t always annoy the EIC with his devilish laugh, you need not worry; you will see more of his photography prowess the next issue.

Adnan Alauya

I-BS Business Administration – Management Writer The former Editor-in-Chief of the DC Collegian joined MV to continue his love story with campus journalism. A quiet kid, Adnan just usually sits at the corner during meetings but would not fail to flash his smile. I have yet to see him puckering his brows. Surrounded with weird, noisy people, he would always stay cool and smile and smile. He still has a lot of years left for him to learn how to loosen up his screws, though. :D

Andres Awing, Jr.

III-AB Communication Studies – Journalism Writer Umalohokan’s associate editor ironically hates legworks. He thinks that makes him less a campus journalist. Perhaps, but he still has to experience the greatest joys of journalism. That’s why the EIC opposes to his plans of course-shifting. Haha! A bit stubborn and straightforward, Awing is definitely doing fine. He’s the only one in the group who’s brave enough to complain of his ‘hard’ assignments. Behold him people, he might not be around the next sem. Kidding! He’s got talents and good outputs, though. God bless this man.

I-BS Accountancy Writer

I-AB History Writer

Rey Harvey Suello

Harvey is never new to campus journalism. Having competed national, he even managed to top the MV screening for new writers. He’s not someone who would boast of his achievements but would rather spill out his concerns and weaknesses when it comes to writing. In his first year in MSU, he has this advocacy of slashing out all the college stereotyping. He’s from a college least heard of and he aims to make all the colleges’ stories known. With his pens and passion, this kid absolutely is a blessing to the publication.

Ivan Ray Aranas

I-BS Civil Engineering Junior Cartoonist Ivan is the nicest guy you’d ever know. Inoffensive and unnecessarily tactful, he would just show off his grin after other MV peeps make pranks of him. He is gentle but his works are not. Also a competing cartoonist during high school, he is now too game to express through his simple (yet gripping) illustrations every issue that looms in the campus.

Julius Karl Chavez I-AB Political Science Junior Cartoonist

Karl is exceptionally gifted. He not only draws caricatures. He is even good with painting and posters. Also a fresh member of Okir, the MSU’s Arts Club, he not only limits his knacks with pencils and charcoals. He seems to have forgotten to express himself with speech, as he is also an introvert. But he expresses himself better with arts. We just guess at the back of his mind lies a horde of crayons and oil pastels, and colored chalks, perhaps?


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Mindanao Varsitarian Vol 28 No 1  

Untold Stories

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