Someone had blundered

Published January 28, 2019, 12:13 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza & Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat



Ignacio R. Bunye
Ignacio R. Bunye

On the fourth anniversary of the Mamasapano Massacre which resulted in the death of  44 policemen belonging to the Special Action Force, let me reprise what I wrote for this publication three years ago.

I borrowed from the famous “Charge of the Light Brigade” by  Alfred  Lord Tennyson.

The “Charge of the Light Brigade” commemorates a disastrous attack by British light cavalry against a well-entrenched combined Russian and Cossack force during the Battle of  Balaclava on October 25, 1894, during the Crimean War.

Only one out of four British cavalrymen survived in the attack.

There were investigations by the British parliament. There was the usual  finger-pointing.  There was political grandstanding. But poet Alfred Lord Tennyson preferred to  ignore them.

Tennyson instead focused on the valor of the ordinary soldier and his stoic,  unquestioning, obedience to  orders.

The  tribute became so popular that it has become in subsequent generations  a favorite declamation piece of British, American, and later, even of Filipino students.

Except for the  “One Hundred,”  the supplied/substituted data correspond more or less with what transpired on that fateful day in January 25, 2015 in the fields of Tukanalipao, Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

An Ode to the Special Action Force

Forward, the SAF  One Hundred
Was there a man dismay’d?
Not tho’ the SAF knew
Someone had blunder’d:

Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the  cornfield of death
Walked the SAF One Hundred.

MILF to the right of them,
BIFF to the left of them,
Private armed groups  in front of them
Shouting and firing;

Storm’d at with shot and shell,
Boldly they fought back but, oh,  not  well,

“Sir, reinforcement, Sir

“Sir, cas evac, Sir”

“Sir” was miles and miles away,

In civvy and texting,

Just texting and texting,  While  into the jaws of death,
Into the mouth of hell
Walked  the SAF One Hundred.

When can their glory fade?
Alas, a brave but botched charge they made!
The whole country and Congress wondered.
Still,  we honor the charge they made,
Noble and brave One Hundred.


Muntinlupa National High School wins big!

 Kudos to the Muntinlupa National High School, my alma mater, for winning first place in the prestigious Zayed Sustainability Prize Global High Schools Category – East Asia and the Pacific.

The Zayed Future Energy Prize represents the vision of the Late Founding Father and President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, who championed environmental stewardship.

The annual award has recognized  achievements that reflect impact, innovation, long-term vision, and leadership in renewable energy and sustainability.

Awards are given in four categories:  Large Corporation, Small and Medium Enterprise, Non-Profit Organization, and Global High Schools.

Muntinlupa National High School bested more than 2,000 other schools worldwide to collect the $100,000 prize money which goes with the award.

The school’s project “RevAMP: Revitalized Algae Micro-farm Projects” aims to build a scalable solar-powered micro-farm with photo-bioreactors to produce high-value products from green algae (Chlorella Vulgaris) that are sustainable and profitable.

The project will provide a highly innovative and revolutionary way for green algae cultivation towards environmental stewardship, education, and scientific research, as well as livelihood and business opportunities for their school and the whole community.

Muntinlupa National High School Head Teacher Ma. Regaele A. Olarte received the award presented by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, His Highness, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The annual awards ceremony was also attended by UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, along with eight invited heads of state.

Muntinlupa National High School Student Maria Eliza May M. Faldas, Research Teacher Jason Albaro, Philippine Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Hjayceelyn M. Quintana, Department of Education Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Mauro C. de Gulan, and School Principal Dr. Florante Mamerto  celebrated the award with Ms. Olarte.

Ms. Olarte was  a recipient of the Metrobank Outstanding Teachers Award in 2016 and was a top awardee in the Ambassador Antonio L. Cabangon Chua “Gintong Parangal Para sa Edukasyon – Guro” which was presented by Fortune Life Care in 2017.

Note: You may e-mail us at [email protected]. You may also “like” us on Facebook at “Speaking Out.”