This is some of the news that I wish I don’t have to write about or share because of the nature of the news.
A young lawyer hailing from our town was ambushed by armed men and escaped in a motorcycle last Thursday, according to this SunStar Pampanga article. Atty. Ryann Rueda was shot multiple times after leaving their office at the Endona Rueda and Pama Law Office in San Atonio, Mexico and is currently in the ICU, according to a friend.
I don’t know Atty. Rueda that much but I have met him and he is a gentle and quiet guy. It’s almost unthinkable that someone would be so angered or threatened by him that they would want him killed.
Attacking a fellow Thomasian is unacceptable! The Pampanga Chapter of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines already issued a statement condemning the shooting and hopes for the quick resolution of this act of violence against a lawyer. If I were the LGU, I would also issue a statement condemning the same! An attack on one of the brilliant minds of Sto. Tomas, Pampanga is an attack against the town and its people!
If you know Atty. Rueda, please pray for him and perhaps pay him a visit. And if you are an incumbent or running for public office, this is the time you need to step up and show support for one of your own townspeople.
Atty. Ryann T. Rueda is an alumnus of the University of Santo Tomas and Don Bosco Academy and signed the Roll of Attorneys in May 3, 2007.
I recently came across a video that implies election-related violence happening in our town.
Catch the video here.
The victim, unnamed as I write this, was hit on the head by a pipe and points to a certain “Kagawad Jomar” of San Bartolome in the interview as well as an “Ernie White” who I am not familiar with. A look at the LGU’s website indicates that there is indeed a Kagawad named Jomar in San Bartolome: Jomar R. Alfonso.
The victim says he was also warned (because ‘threatened’ is too strong) by the incumbent Mayor against vote buying. I can see how this can be twisted to being a threat but the Mayor actually didn’t say anything categorically wrong. The circumstances, however, are not in his favor.
Is this really election-related or was there really just some random act? I hope the investigation moves quicker with this as election draws nearer.
What seems to be a yearly tradition for myself, I’m compiling videos taken by other people found online of the Sabuaga 2013 as I have not been able to cover this year’s competition because of work.
I hope you enjoy these videos!
Sto. Nino, Sapa
Poblacion – this year’s overall Champion
and a couple more in low-resolution from YouTube user iamaldrin calugay.
You can view previous posts of Sabuaga 2012 and watch old videos to compare the performances!
It is one of the most common sights during Lent anywhere in the Philippines. The ‘magdarame’ or penitents from Pampanga are one of the more famous because they not only pierce their backs for them to bleed, and carry crosses under the blistering heat of the sun, some even crucify themselves in some re-enactment of what is found in the Bible (albeit a more sanitized version).
The town of Sto. Tomas is no exception. During this year’s Lent, I was able to capture some of the penitents who carried crosses and engage in self-mortification passing by. It is a bloody, barbaric, and shocking to see. Though if you’ve seen The Passion of the Christ, you’ll hardly be impressed (if I may use the word) with what they are doing. Besides, the Catholic hierarchy has been against this practice as there is another way of asking for forgiveness and showing great devotion to the Lord: Confession.
Nevertheless, the tradition (or ‘panata’) continues to this day in our town.
Looking into our Kapampangan heritage early on, I found these videos by Sisigman or Jason Paul Laxamana who also “rediscovered” his Kapampangan side. He has made great leaps and attempts to put Kapampangan language at the forefront of culture in order to preserve it and maintain its continuous development. Besides creating films, he has also been advocating Kapampangan language in music and arts.
I am grateful and humbled by individuals like him who can do all these and then some. I am, to my great shame, not as good in formal Kapampangan but can read (albeit at a slower pace than most fluent readers) and speak but with a mix of Tagalog and English in between. I can understand the Mass in the vernacular and speak to my relatives in the language. With my nieces, I try to respond and talk to them in Kapampangan as much as I can since their parents respond to them in Tagalog “para mas madaling matuto kapag nag-aral na” is their usual excuse.
I’m sharing his first exploration into Kapampangan film-making and hope that in the future, we could make these things for our own town. We may start slow or even with ‘crude’ films… but at least we’ve taken the first step! I hope and pray we still have artists in our town who are as hopeful as I am.
New Year celebrations and fireworks in Sto. Tomas, Pampanga