We stand tall and strong

Published December 17, 2019, 12:08 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza & Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

#MINDANAO

By JOHN TRIA

John Tria
John Tria

DAVAO CITY — As the nation prepares for Christmas, Mindanao has had to face ome of the strongest earthquakes. Sunday’s tremors came at time when malls were packed with Christmas shoppers, many from out of town.

Thankfully, the city government of Davao and other national agencies reacted quickly to respond by calling off classes and inspecting vital structures.

Within about two hours, a list of structures inspected was already on official social media pages, and local utility companies were making the necessary adjustments and informing the public of any interruptions to enable them to prepare their own household contingencies.

This quick sense of response and preparation reflect how Mindanawons have become resilient in the face of various adversities. They have long known conflict, neglect and prejudice.

Thus, there is no reason why an earthquake can get them down. In the earthquakes since October, the local economy and communities have managed to bounce back quickly, helped by the people who so selflessly and kindly assisted others in gathering themselves to face the next days.

The police and military have done a yeoman’s job of organizing these efforts, and the various civil society groups have also done their glorious part in ensuring the safety and comfort of those affected.

We will overcome as we always do, standing tall, and strong!

Understanding history from a southern point of view

As the 500-day countdown to the 500 years since Mactan chieftain Lapu-lapu’s victory over the better armed Spanish invaders in 1521, history is also being made as it is being given its rightful official recognition and value by the government.

The National Quincentennial Commission organized for this purpose launched the countdown last Saturday which not only allows us to remember these events, but highlights the significance of these events to encourage us to review our sense of history.

For too long we have mistakenly read our history as Spanish history in the Philippines, which included a tendency to downplay the Mactan incident while, as some opine, overplay our Katipunan and World War 2 exploits which ended in defeat.

The victory over Spain in Mactan on April 27 is a non-working holiday only in Lapulapu City, while the fall of Bataan (a day of defeat) is celebrated as such by the entire country on April 9.

Perhaps this day of victory in Mactan should be a national non-working holiday. What do you think?

Having said that, the greater part of Mindanao was left unconquered and unvanquished by Spain’s almost 400-year rule over the country. It was not “raised in a convent” the way the people of Luzon and the Visayas describe themselves under Spain.

This fact is not as well known to many Pinoys who situate themselves along the contours (or the margins) of western cultures as influenced of the colonizers. This is another part of our history we should strive to learn more about.

More importantly, this challenges the tendency of some Filipinos that we are a mere spectator of western historical accidents, embarrassed to assert our role and interest.

By celebrating this victory we revive a long suppressed notion of our own abilities to surmount formidable obstacles.

Christmas displays!

The iconic hotel of Davao, the Marco Polo, has led many other hotels in tastefully adorning itself for the holidays with the Christmas display to greet the city’s residents. As it is nestled in the heart of the city overlooking the night market, the Marco Polo Davao’s Christmas display adds a welcoming festive air to the city’s nightscape. Bravo!

For reactions: Facebook.com/johntriapage

 

 
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