As the year ends, we look forward to the new year but not without giving a backward glance to the year that was. As the holiday season draws near, I reflected on the events and the people that brought cheers from the national to the local level; from the personal to the academic from the year that was. I will always remember the brave and graceful stance of the Robredo women (Leni and her three daughters) after the tragic loss of their beloved Jesse, Secretary of Interior and Local Government, last August. Their courage and grace spared us from the irrational intrigues and faultfinding.
On a personal note, this year has been utilized in tracking down the members of my high school class – Class 1963 of St. Catherine’s School in Carcar, Cebu – who will celebrate its golden jubilee in 2013. Meeting some class members every month since March, being able to track a few of them after 50 years and knowing where they have been and how they are doing brings more than enough cheers to my high school class.
The Canonization of Pedro Calungsod on October 21 and the Thanksgiving Mass on November 30 in his honor brought so much hope and optimism to Cebuanos. Mary Rose Villacastin-Maghuyop’s excellent reading of the petitions in Cebuano at the Canonization of Pedro Calungsod in Rome added special cheers to the Cebuanos.
The Search for and Recognition of the 75 families of distinction of Cebu City as a special feature of the celebration of the Diamond Jubilee of the Charter of Cebu City (Feb. 2012 – Feb. 2013) filled so many gaps in the history of Cebu City as each month a cluster of six to eight families presented their family’s contributions to the development of Cebu City through a photo exhibit and a memorial lecture hosted by the various universities in the city. As a member of the Search Committee and the Core Group, I attended the photo exhibits and memorial lectures from March to November. Because all their stories will be compiled in a commemorative book, I am looking forward to its coming out on February 2013. But there is a very big difference when you hear some tidbits of information about the families during the press conferences of the families and the radio guesting in the Balay ni Tikay radio program in DYAB. Joining the distinguished families’ trips to the Hillyland as part of their monthly treat was a form of destresssing. I know more places to go and where to bring friends, visitors and students.
December is loaded with so much cheers. First of all at UP Cebu, I rejoice with the rest of the UP Alumni in the unexpected selection of Atty. Liza Corro by the UP Board of Regents on December 4 as the new dean of UP Cebu. There is a sigh of relief after a tumultuous period in the campus. The UP Cebu Social Science Cluster joined the NGO and the community in the book launching of Prof. Felisa U. Etemadi’s “People Participation in Urban Governance in Cebu: A Reader” on December 12 at the Ayala Center. Referred to by Dr. Resil B. Mojares, the book’s reader as “the best documentation of urban governance in the country” the book should not only be read by Cebu City candidates but by all local government officials. Prof. Etemadi narrated the making of the book like a full-length novel in a capsule. Added to the launching was the announcement that Prof. Etemadi passed the whole process of becoming a professor emeritus of UP Cebu (this will be the first time for UP Cebu).
Nonito Donaire’s knockout victory over Arce brought back the Filipino spirit after the defeat of Manny Pacquiao. Janine Tugonon’s winning the first runner-up in the 2012 Miss Universe Pageant makes Filipinos more hopeful for another Miss Universe (after 1974) but Miss Philippines landing in the magic 5 for the past three years gives more hope.
An unexpected event but anyway has brought cheers is Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale’s becoming Acting Governor of Cebu. Many times in the recent past when the LAW Center, Inc was then the secretariat of the Provincial Women’s Commission we used to tease her that we would like her to be the next governor of Cebu. I recall in March 2003 when I was asked to share my dissertation on “Towards a Feminist Leadership in Philippine Setting: Experiences and Articulations of Selected Women Leaders” at the UP Cebu Conference Hall, Agnes Magpale was there (as a provincial board member and chairperson of the Provincial Women’s Commission). Asked to give her reaction to the study, she commented that from my narration and description of the qualities of a feminist leader and the strategies used by the women leaders, she identified herself as being described in my study. As the theme of this year’s Misa de Gallo is faith which the priests focus their homilies, we, the women’s groups that have worked with her have faith in her capability to exact governance particularly a gender-responsive governance. May her tribe increase and flourish!
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