IT'S XIAOTIME!

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XIAO TIME, 20 June 2013: PAGGUNITA SA IKA-22 TAON NG PAGSABOG NG BULKANG PINATUBO

Text of the broadcast of the news segment Xiao Time, the three-minute history documentaries at News@1 and News@6 of PTV 4, simulcast over Radyo ng Bayan DZRB 738 khz AM:

ISLAND STUDIO classic shot of Mt. Pinatubo's first major eruption as seen from F. Tañedo Street in Tarlac, Tarlac, 12 June 1991.

ISLAND STUDIO classic shot of Mt. Pinatubo’s first major eruption as seen from F. Tañedo Street in Tarlac, Tarlac, 12 June 1991.

20 June 2013, Wednesday:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TP44iUD8AQI

Makasaysayang araw po, it’s Xiaotime!  22 years ago, June 1991, sumabog ang Bulkang Pinatubo sa Zambales.  Isa sa pinakamaganda at pinakakomprehensibong akda na mababasa ukol dito ay sinulat ng direktor ng Center for Kapampangan Studies ng Holy Angel University na si Robert Tantingco sa kanyang  Pinatubo:  The Volcano In Our Backyard.

Xiao Chua kasama si Sir Robby Tantingco sa Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies sa Holy Angel University, Angeles City, September 7, 2012.

Xiao Chua kasama si Sir Robby Tantingco sa Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies sa Holy Angel University, Angeles City, September 7, 2012.

Pabalat ng Pinatubo:  The Volcano on our Backyard ni Robert Tantingco.

Pabalat ng Pinatubo: The Volcano on our Backyard ni Robert Tantingco.

Mga limandaang taon na ang nakalilipas nang huling sumabog ang Bulkang Pinatubo na itinututuring ng mga aeta bilang ang anito nilang si Apu Namalyari—Poong Makapangyarihan.  May mga leyenda sila ng isang higanteng pagong na umuungol at nagbubuga ng apoy, naghukay sa tuktok ng bundok at nagtatapon ng mga bato, putik at buhangin.  May mga leyenda rin ang mga Kapampangan na sina Namalyari at Sinukuan ng Bundok Arayat ay nagbatuhan sa isa’t isa.  Maaaring ang mga ito ay pagsasalaysay ng mga naunang pagsabog ng mga bulkan na ito.

Mula sa Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies ng Holy Angel University.

Mula sa Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies ng Holy Angel University.

Sina Xiao Briones Chua, Christy Briones at Mercy Briones-Manlutac kasama ang ating mga kababayang Aeta sa Sta. Juliana, Capas, ang gateway patungong Mt. Pinatubo.

Sina Xiao Briones Chua, Christy Briones at Mercy Briones-Manlutac kasama ang ating mga kababayang Aeta sa Sta. Juliana, Capas, ang gateway patungong Mt. Pinatubo.

Mt. Pinatubo bago ang pagsabog ng 1991.  Mula sa Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies ng Holy Angel University.

Mt. Pinatubo bago ang pagsabog ng 1991. Mula sa Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies ng Holy Angel University.

Mt. Pinatubo bago ang pagsabog ng 1991.  Mula sa Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies ng Holy Angel University.

Mt. Pinatubo bago ang pagsabog ng 1991. Mula sa Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies ng Holy Angel University.

Malakas ang probabilidad na napabilis ang pagkagising ng bulkan mula sa paghimbing nang maghukay mula 1982 hanggang 1990 dito ang Philippine National Oil Company.  Sabi ng mga aeta, magagalit ang kanilang “Apu Namalyari.”  Nakaapekto pati ang magnitude 7.8 na lindol sa Luzon na sumentro sa Nueva Ecija noong July 16, 1990.  Sa loob ng dalawang buwan, limang paglindol ang naramdaman na ang sentro ay sa Pinatubo na.  Nakitaan ng pag-usok ang bulkan ilang buwan bago ang unang pagputok nito noong June 12, 1991, Araw ng Kalayaan sa Pilipinas.

Ang paghuhukay sa Pinatubo ng Philippine National Oil Company--Energy Development Corporation.  Mula sa Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies ng Holy Angel University.

Ang paghuhukay sa Pinatubo ng Philippine National Oil Company–Energy Development Corporation. Mula sa Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies ng Holy Angel University.

Paglalarawan ng lalim ng paghuhukay na ginawa ng PNOC-EDC sa Pinatubo.  Mula sa Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies ng Holy Angel University.

Paglalarawan ng lalim ng paghuhukay na ginawa ng PNOC-EDC sa Pinatubo. Mula sa Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies ng Holy Angel University.

Guho ng Hyatt Hotel sa Baguio sanhi ng July 16, 1990 Luzon Killer Earthquake.  Mula sa Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies ng Holy Angel University.

Guho ng Hyatt Hotel sa Baguio sanhi ng July 16, 1990 Luzon Killer Earthquake. Mula sa Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies ng Holy Angel University.

Dalawang oras lamang matapos ang pagyanig noong July 16, 1990, nagsimula na ang mga serye ng lindol na ang sentro ay ang Pinatubo na!  Mula sa Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies ng Holy Angel University.

Dalawang oras lamang matapos ang pagyanig noong July 16, 1990, nagsimula na ang mga serye ng lindol na ang sentro ay ang Pinatubo na! Mula sa Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies ng Holy Angel University.

Isa sa mga naging pag-usok ng Mt. Pinatubo bago ito sumabog.  Mula sa Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies ng Holy Angel University.

Isa sa mga naging pag-usok ng Mt. Pinatubo bago ito sumabog. Mula sa Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies ng Holy Angel University.

Ito ang tanawin mula sa bayan ng Tarlac ng pagsabog na ito na nakuhanan ng Island Studio.  Makalipas ang tatlong araw, nangyari ang Big Bang, June 15, 1991.  Nagbuga ang Pinatubo ng nakasusunog at nakamamatay na pyroclastic cloud, na kapag dinaanan ka nito magiging istatwang buhangin ka tulad ng mga taong ito sa Pompeii, Italya nang sumabog ang Bundok Vesuvius noong 79 A.D.

BIG BANG:  Ang pagsabog ng June 15, 1991.  Mula sa Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies ng Holy Angel University.

BIG BANG: Ang pagsabog ng June 15, 1991. Mula sa Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies ng Holy Angel University.

Nagpatuloy ang pagsabog ng at pagbuga ng abo ng Pinatubo hanggang umaga ng June 15, 1990.  Mula sa Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies ng Holy Angel University.

Nagpatuloy ang pagsabog ng at pagbuga ng abo ng Pinatubo hanggang umaga ng June 15, 1990. Mula sa Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies ng Holy Angel University.

25 nakasusunog at nakamamatay na pyroclastic cloud

Mula sa Clarkfield, ang pagsabog ng Pinatubo ang siyang sa wakas ay nagpaalis sa mga base militar ng Amerika sa Pilipinas.  Mula sa Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies ng Holy Angel University.

Mula sa Clarkfield, ang pagsabog ng Pinatubo ang siyang sa wakas ay nagpaalis sa mga base militar ng Amerika sa Pilipinas. Mula sa Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies ng Holy Angel University.

Pagsabog ng Mt. Pinatubo mula sa himpapawid.

Pagsabog ng Mt. Pinatubo mula sa himpapawid.

Mga natagpuang bangkay sa mga guho ng Pompeii sa pagsabog ng Bundok Vesuvius.  Mula sa blackrainbow.blackrainbow.blogspot.com.

Mga natagpuang bangkay sa mga guho ng Pompeii sa pagsabog ng Bundok Vesuvius. Mula sa blackrainbow.blackrainbow.blogspot.com.

Kaya naman ang larawan na ito ng sasakyan na hinahabol ng mga ulap na ito na kuha ni Alberto Garcia ng Corbis ay kamangha-mangha at nakasama pa sa 100 Best Pictures ng National Geographic at sa Great Images of the 20th Century ng TIME.

Isang sasakyang hinahabol ng pyroclastic clouds mula sa Pinatubo na nakamamatay.  Kuha ni Alberto Garcia ng Corbis.

Isang sasakyang hinahabol ng pyroclastic clouds mula sa Pinatubo na nakamamatay. Kuha ni Alberto Garcia ng Corbis.

At parang nanadya pa ang pagkakataon, sa oras na ala una ng hapon, ang mata ng agaw-eksenang bagyong “Diding” ay dumaan mismo sa malapit sa bulkan.  Nasa Maynila ako noon at nakita kong kung paanong ginawang gabi ang araw at umabot ang pag-ulan ng buhangin maging sa mga lugar sa Timog Silangang Asya at Australia.  Hindi pa nangyayari ang pagdaan ng isang bagyo ng ganito kalapit sa isang pagsabog ng bulkan.  At ang ashfall na dapat babagsak sa Zambales, ay ibinagsak sa Pampanga.

Ala una ng hapon ng June 15, 1991.  Dumaan ang bagyong Diding sa mismong malapit sa bulkan.  Mula sa Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies ng Holy Angel University.

Ala una ng hapon ng June 15, 1991. Dumaan ang bagyong Diding sa mismong malapit sa bulkan. Mula sa Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies ng Holy Angel University.

Ala una ng hapon ng June 15, 1991.  Dumaan ang bagyong Diding sa mismong malapit sa bulkan.  Mula sa Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies ng Holy Angel University.

Ala una ng hapon ng June 15, 1991. Dumaan ang bagyong Diding sa mismong malapit sa bulkan. Mula sa Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies ng Holy Angel University.

Ashfall sa Pampanga.  Mula sa Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies ng Holy Angel University.

Ashfall sa Pampanga. Mula sa Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies ng Holy Angel University.

Dahil sa bagyo, ginawang gabi ang araw sa maraming lugar sa Pilipinas.  Lalo na sa Pampanga.  Mula sa Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies ng Holy Angel University.

Dahil sa bagyo, ginawang gabi ang araw sa maraming lugar sa Pilipinas. Lalo na sa Pampanga. Mula sa Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies ng Holy Angel University.

Dahil sa bagyo, ginawang gabi ang araw sa maraming lugar sa Pilipinas.  Lalo na sa Pampanga.  Mula sa Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies ng Holy Angel University.

Dahil sa bagyo, ginawang gabi ang araw sa maraming lugar sa Pilipinas. Lalo na sa Pampanga. Mula sa Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies ng Holy Angel University.

Akala ng mga Kapampangan ay katapusan na ng mundo.  Ngunit simula lamang pala iyon ng mas malaking kalbaryo.  Sa loob ng apat na taon, palulubugin ng mga deposito ng lahar ang maraming bayan sa Tarlac, lalo sa Pampanga tulad ng makasaysayang Bacolor.

Ang pagragasa ng lahar sa Pampanga at Tarlac.  Kuha ni Rod Custodio.

Ang pagragasa ng lahar sa Pampanga at Tarlac. Kuha ni Rod Custodio.

Ang mga taga-Bacolor habang nakakapit sa mga linya ng kuryente at pinipilit na makaligtas at hindi maanod sa lahar na rumagasa sa bayan noong October 1, 1995, apat na taon matapos na sumabog ang Pinatubo.  Marami ang nabaon ng buhay sa araw na iyon.  Mula sa Today.

Ang mga taga-Bacolor habang nakakapit sa mga linya ng kuryente at pinipilit na makaligtas at hindi maanod sa lahar na rumagasa sa bayan noong October 1, 1995, apat na taon matapos na sumabog ang Pinatubo. Marami ang nabaon ng buhay sa araw na iyon. Mula sa Today.

Mga bata sa isang bubungan sa Bamban.  Mula sa vulcan.wr.usgs.gov.

Mga bata sa isang bubungan sa Bamban. Mula sa vulcan.wr.usgs.gov.

Ang makasaysayang Bacolor, Pampanga matapos tuluyang malubog noong October 1, 1995.

Ang makasaysayang Bacolor, Pampanga matapos tuluyang malubog noong October 1, 1995.

Bagama’t ito ang isa sa pinakamalaking pagsabog ng bulkan sa daigdig, iilan lamang ang mga nasawi dahil sa pakikinig ng pamahalaan sa mga ekspertong siyentipiko tulad ng volcanologist na si Raymundo Punongbayan.

Pinuno ng Philippine Volcanology and Seismology at bayani ng Pinatubo, Direktor Raymundo Punongbayan.

Pinuno ng Philippine Volcanology and Seismology at bayani ng Pinatubo, Direktor Raymundo Punongbayan.

Si Xiao Chua, ang Aeta guide at pinsang si Danlord Briones. sa Bundok Pinatubo, November 1999.  Kuha ni Bob Sellars.

Si Xiao Chua, ang Aeta guide at pinsang si Danlord Briones. sa Bundok Pinatubo, November 1999. Kuha ni Bob Sellars.

Si Xiao Chua, umiinom ng tubig habang pinagmamasdan ang bunganga ng Bundok Pinatubo, November 1999.  Kuha ni Bob Sellars.

Si Xiao Chua, umiinom ng tubig habang pinagmamasdan ang bunganga ng Bundok Pinatubo, November 1999. Kuha ni Bob Sellars.

Iba't ibang reaksyon ng Pinoy sa pagsabog ang nakalarawan sa pader ng isang nakalubog na bahay sa lahar.  Mula sa  jenspeters.com.

Iba’t ibang reaksyon ng Pinoy sa pagsabog ang nakalarawan sa pader ng isang nakalubog na bahay sa lahar. Mula sa jenspeters.com.

Nakabangon na ang Pampanga, kaya nasasabi nila, kung nalampasan nila ang Pinatubo, kaya na nila ang lahat.  Ako po si Xiao Chua para sa Telebisyon ng Bayan, and that was Xiaotime.

(Pook Amorsolo, UP Diliman, 7 June 2013)

THE KAPAMPANGAN POWER-COUPLE WHO ROCKED THE WORLD (For Cory Aquino’s 80th Birth Anniversary)

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This, my take and summary of Ninoy and Cory Aquino’s significance in our history, in the writing of which I gave my very best, was written at the request of The Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies, Holy Angel University for inclusion in Singsing 6 (1):  204-207, edited by Robert Tantingco and published in 2012.  The issue of the Kapampangan cultural magazine had the theme “Bravehearts:  Kapampangan Rebels, Radicals & Renegades Who Changed Philippine History.” Posted in this website in commemoration of Cory Aquino’s 80th birth anniversary.

Ninoy and Cory during Ninoy's trial under Martial Law.

Ninoy and Cory during Ninoy’s trial under Martial Law.

“Well, I always say that Ninoy and I were able to bring the best in each other. And I think that’s all that’s necessary for a married couple. To try to bring out the best in each other.”

-Cory Aquino to Xiao Chua and classmates, 2003

Years after playing their part in a theatre called Philippine History, Ninoy and Cory Aquino are still the subject of debates in academic discussions and even facebook and twitter posts.  Considered icons of democracy and heroism, Ninoy and Cory are now the object of revisionist attempts to denigrate their contribution to our struggle for freedom, especially in the cyber world:  That Ninoy was a traditional politician, the same as Ferdinand Marcos, and that the two were actually very good friends to the end, fooling the country with their charade.  That Cory was a weakling, who hid herself in the safety of a Cebu convent during People Power, playing absolutely no part in it.  That the couple were non-heroes who actually destroyed the Marcos dictatorship which was the most democratic and peaceful time in Philippine history.

The milieu of the childhood of Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. (born 1932) and Corazon Sumulong Cojuangco (born 1933) was the Kapampangan Tarlac political and economic elite circles.  Both spoke Kapampangan and the two were actually childhood friends.  If what they say is true that to be Kapampangan is to be cocky, then Ninoy would be the quintessential Kapampangan.  It is not surprising that Cory’s first memory of Ninoy is this, “…Ninoy kept bragging he was a year ahead of me in school so I didn’t even bother to talk to him.”  His self-assuring attitude is rooted in his dear father’s infamy as a collaborator to the Japanese during the war.  He wanted to both clean the name of his father and to prove himself.  Kapampangan Local Historian Lino Dizon said that Ninoy’s family gave away their land in Concepcion, Tarlac to the peasants, and Frankie Sionil Jose claimed that in later life Ninoy told him of his plans to distribute Hacienda Luisita itself.

Ninoy and Cory with their parents Jose Sr. and  Demetria Cojuangco and Aurora Aquino during their wedding day, 11 October 1954.

Ninoy and Cory with their parents Jose Sr. and Demetria Cojuangco and Aurora Aquino during their wedding day, 11 October 1954.

His star rose fast, writing about a war at 17, brought down one of the greatest rebels in Philippine history, Luis Taruc at 22, and was holder of major posts in government as the youngest Mayor, Vice Governor, Governor and Senator in a span of about only 13 years!  His official biographer Nick Joaquin did not even hide the fact that he was a bragger and sweet talker, very much reflected in all video footage of his speeches, even up to the very last interviews he did before he was shot.  He was once bragging about his walky-talkies, Arab stallions, helicopters and his hacienda (not his, his wife’s) to foreign guests.  As local leader, he was indeed a traditional politician by many accounts:  a turncoat who used guns, goons and gold and who also worked with Kapampangan rebels to protect his interests.  Close friends suggest that Marcos and Ninoy were actually very good friends and that sometimes Ninoy would supply Marcos, his fraternity brod, ammunitions to win elections.  He was a charmer, who courted the prettiest ladies at that time like the actress Dorothy Jones (a.k.a. Nida Blanca) and Imelda Romualdez herself.

Ninoy, the public servant, with Cory and their children:  Ballsy, Pinky, Noynoy and Viel.  Photo by Dick Baldovino.

Ninoy, the public servant, with Cory and their children: Ballsy, Pinky, Noynoy and Viel. Photo by Dick Baldovino.

But this most ambitious politician, who aimed at the presidency in 1973, was humbled by his experiences in his seven years and seven-month detention at Fort Bonifacio as the very first political detainee when Martial Law was proclaimed, especially his one month solitary confinement in Fort Magsaysay where he claimed to have found God.  His source of strength was Cory and his family, who brought him his favorite Kapampangan food in prison.  He in turn would prepare for them chicken spread placed on toasted bread.  He loved to eat and this was evident with his size.  But Alvin Campomanes, who is doing his thesis on Ninoy said that the greatest evidence of Ninoy’s sincerity to fight Marcos, that they ceased being friends by Martial Law, was that he abandoned his love of food and fasted as a protest for 40 days.  He almost died in the attempt and this was definitely not a stunt.  He chose to suffer with the people and did all his best to fight for their freedom.

Ninoy during his hunger strike.  Dante Ambrosio and Xiao Chua Collection.

Ninoy during his hunger strike. Dante Ambrosio and Xiao Chua Collection.

After the three happiest years as a family man while in exile in Boston, Massachusetts, he returned to Manila on 21 August 1983 knowing he can do something about the worsening situation in his country.  Whether or not he still wanted to be president was beside the point; he willingly gave his life for the country.  When he died, People Power—which had started even in the seventies with the heroism and martyrdom of a few thousand freedom fighters, including Ninoy himself when he was still in prison—intensified with the participation of millions in the struggle that eventually brought down the dictatorship in two years.

Ninoy Aquino, the Man, the Hero.  Photo-montage by Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Ninoy Aquino, the Man, the Hero. Photo-montage by Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Cory, who used to be just by the side of her husband, took center stage, walking and talking in rallies.  Boy, she could talk.  And when it became apparent that Marcos was still strong and no opponent could actually beat him, she sacrificed her privacy and accepted the mantle of leadership of the opposition in the 1986 snap elections, even acquiring the services of the political consultancy group Sawyer Miller to improve her craft for the cause.  Protesting the fraudulent conduct of the elections and her defeat, she called for a boycott rally at the Luneta against the better judgment of her advisers who feared that the people would not come, but a million came.  According to Angela Stuart Santiago, if the EDSA Revolution did not happen, the government would still fall just because so many had stopped drinking Coke and San Miguel and had withdrawn their deposits from crony banks.  People Power happened because Cory’s call for peaceful civil disobedience which was going on for about a week already, prepared the people for full participation in People Power.  On the second day of the revolution, 22 February 1986, Cory insisted on returning to Manila from Cebu, being driven beside the tanks going to EDSA.  On the third day, she insisted on going to EDSA where she briefly stayed with the people near Ortigas-POEA, a fact documented by newspapers accounts the next day.  She didn’t have to be there because the people were already shouting her name, but she came nonetheless.  The peaceful change of regime that moved Filipinos to show their best qualities in four days and was inspired by this Kapampangan couple, was imitated by other peoples freeing themselves from dictatorships in the next quarter of a century, calling their movements “People Power.”

Cory of EDSA.

Cory of EDSA.

Cory heard Ninoy predict that the next president who came after Marcos would have a very difficult job handling the country.  It was like turning a broken car after using it.  Little did she realize that she would be the one.

Although her administration was marred by different crises, like the unfortunate Mendiola Massacre of 1987, the human rights violations of the post-Marcos Armed Forces who probably had a hang-over of their heyday, the nine coup attempts that rocked her administration, the power crisis, the 1990 Luzon earthquake and the 1991 Mt. Pinatubo eruption which buried the Kapampangan region, she should be credited for facilitating the difficult task of opening the democratic space which paved way for the development of cyberspace and the proliferation of different NGO and volunteer groups who are now hand-in-hand in helping the less fortunate.  She also made a strong front against military adventurists who wanted to grab power.  Two decades of decay cannot be overturned overnight and a lot people realized that although hers was not a perfect presidency, she did her best as president.  There was even a popular clamor for her to run again but she peacefully stepped down and passed the baton to her elected successor in 1992.  She continued to play an active role as Citizen Cory, promoting micro-finance among the poor and playing a key role in different protest movements during her post-presidency until she died in 2009.  She was no saint, and didn’t claim as such, but she was a staunch and true defender of the kind of democracy she knew and tried to stay personally incorrupt as a public official.  The world recognized and admired her for it.  The continued popularity and political stability in the presidency of their son Noynoy is a testament of how many Filipinos revere the memory of these two Kapampangans.

Citizen Cory never stopped defending the kind of democracy she knew.  With Jojo Binay, Noynoy Aquino, Tito Guingona and Rafael Lopa at Ayala Avenue.

Citizen Cory never stopped defending the kind of democracy she knew. With Jojo Binay, Noynoy Aquino, Tito Guingona and Rafael Lopa at Ayala Avenue.

Ninoy and Cory are two of the only few Filipino leaders known the world over.  With their place in history secured more so even in demystification, this Kapampangan power-couple will continue to inspire countless others to share the light of their candles as they did, and to do what they can when they know they can.

23 September 2012, Ayala Museum, 40th anniversary of the announcement of Martial Law

Cory and Ninoy during their 25th Wedding Anniversary.

Cory and Ninoy during their 25th Wedding Anniversary.