Thursday, June 19, 2008


June 19 may not be a red letter day in the entire country but major dailies still carry an article or two about the greatest Filipino ever who was born on this day, Dr. Jose Rizal.

Laguna, the province which gave Rizal to the country, marks the date as an annual holiday. The date is also one of the awaited in the seminary since it means a "no class day," which may be literally translated to "unstructured day."

"Unstructured" means we are free from the tight grip of the seminary schedule. We just have to carry out our chores for the up keeping of the house, celebrate the mass, pray our lauds and take our breakfast, and we are off the hook.

Some would go to the relatively near Walter Mart for a quick replenishment of supplies. Those who were laidback would just settle for some sleeping spree in the comfort of the study hall. Others would go for a hike within the premises that would lead them to Triple B, the world famous variety store in the heart of the old Canlubang, for some refreshing and delightful scoops of halo-halo.

Some years ago, I lead a bunch of younger aspirants right into the doorsteps of Rizal's home in Calamba. The traffic was terrible as the vicinity, we would realize, was the center of the festivities. But it was such a wonderful way to look back, and glorify this great person, who has been instrumental in attaining the freedom of our country.

Yesterday was quite different since the entire community was together in celebrating the event: We headed to Market! Market!

No, we're not mall rats, we went there to see one helluva great Filipino documentary: Riles. It is one of the films on exhibit in the cinema 6 of Market! Market!

Please click here for the rest of the films to be shown. The festival was organized by Artist Welfare Project, Inc. (AWPI) and Peoples Assembly for Genuine Alternatives to Social Apathy (PAG-ASA).

I will gather my thoughts about the documentary, but that's for the next entry. After the film, there was an open forum. Jun Lozada was there together with the Jesuit priest, Fr. Albert Alejo. Both of them, plus Ditsy Carolino, and Nick Perlas sat as members of the panel. I am not sure now about the name of the rest of the panelists, but the exchange of ideas was rather enriching. Again, this will be for next entry.

We had a belated supper, as planned, but simple and sumptous, just the same. After dropping Fr. Roel at EDSA, as he'd staying with his sister in Quezon City, we went to Don Bosco Makati to run some errands.

We arrived at the postnov at 1 AM, groggy, but recharged with rich insights on Rizal and the values he stood for.