Saturday, March 27, 2010


It was more than two years ago that Jerry Hawe and Troop Edmunds rescued Troop's niece, Lani Ejercito, a Filipina in Palimbang, Malaysia. The rescue which was documented by Dateline NBC News caught the attention of the blogging community that many Flipino bloggers advocated to pressure the government to take more drastic action against human traffickers and strict implemention the Anti-Trafficking Law to protect Filipino Women. It was in 2008 when law enforcement agencies conducted series of arrests against human traffickers in the country. While, some of those in the private sector conducted outreach seminars and programs to educate Filipinos on how to work, migrate or enter the United States, legally. Others shared their knowledge and experience on Criminal Exploitation of Women and Children in the Philippines, Gen. Victor Luga, PMA 73', then chief Superintendent of the Philippine National Police was our country's representative in the said international forum. Gen. Victor Luga was in the forefront of the PNP to address the issue on human trafficking and has introduced reforms in the institution to promote gender equality.

Meanwhile, Sister Bella Dimayuga, who has been training, developing and managing thousands of Filipino entertainers and talents to be sent abroad for more than 40 or so decades , having been in the entertainment industry herself for more than six decades, in cooperation with the Gender Advocacy Networking Group of the Civil Service Commission, shares with us her insights and experience on how she trains Filipino talents and migrant workers bound abroad. It is a rare opportunity to hear this woman speaks of her advocacy. Filipinos can . . .

Monday, March 22, 2010


Alan Rio Luga, was then a Lt. Colonel when he was assigned as the Chief of a Command Center during the AFP's all out campaign to neutralize the Abu Sayaf. The operation commanded by Luga as Center Chief led to series of encounters with the main force of the ASG. It resulted to series of clashes with ASG's splinter groups that eventually led to an encounter with its leader Khadafy Janjalani along with his loyal followers. After his body was dug up in a grave to confirm his identity, Janjalani was given a decent burial in a Muslim tradition. It was an honorable warfare.

While in Compostela Valley, (DOUBLE CLICK HERE . . . )

Monday, March 8, 2010



Civil Service Commission's GENDER ADVOCACY NETWORKING GROUP (GANG) Director Noreen Boots Gocon-Gragasin, noticed our post on Gender equality. Are we closely knit with each other? Maybe, but there are times when we have to make a stand . . . professionally. There were times in our lives when those in the left were being hunted by those in the right, but at the end of the day it is always for best of this country and its people that prevails. Others left with the old guards, while other stays with the new ones to secure our freedom and independence. Patriots goes on for generations.

In support of our friends in the Gender Equality Advocacy, we featured among others, CECILE SORIANO and DRA. LENNY CAÑIZARES FERNANDEZ , her scientist database alone can speak for itself - not because we knew them. They may not even be aware that we are following their footsteps. The impact that these women have accomplished does not speak only of woman's rights. The impact of their accomplishments does not benefit only the women, but men as well and not only in the national scene, but international as well.

Imagine a woman, who right after typhoon Ondoy and Peping - took the forefront promoting our country internationally by organizing an international fashion show to feature the Philippine Fiber, which we have been advocating, more than two years ago. She took the cudgel in behalf of the Civil Service Commission, which under Republic Act No. 9242 was mandated to implement one of the most patriotic law ever passed by our Philippine Legislature. She did it right after typhoon ONDOY and PEPING, when everybody seemed to have been demoralized by the damaged brought about by these two super typhoons.

Dra. Lenny Cañizares' study with Dr. Antonio Dans “Economic Impact of Smoking in the Philippines” published in 1999, on the other hand, has been one of the most important objective source of scientific data to prove that the country loses more money from smoking compared to the profits made from the tobacco industry. This study has made a significant impact on lawmakers, convincing both houses of Congress to finally approve the Tobacco Regulations Act in 2003."

Just like a Russell Crowe movie - imagine fighting the cigarette giants. If you have seen "The Insider", you can imagine how Russell Crowe was threatened and pressured not to testify before the U.S. Congress about the ill effects of smoking - you can imagine how influential these cigarette manufacturing giants are, even in the U.S. Congress. How much more in this country?

There were other women we knew of, above justification, however, makes them different from others, because they made a difference - they changed our way of life - they change the course of Philippine History. It is just but fitting to honor them even in this humble way. They might not be aware that there are still many Filipinos who still believes in their patriotic ideals - who still believes in the Greatness of Filipino Women, the same with our Men.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

In Honor of Gen. Mateo Noriel Luga

In April of 2010, we shall be celebrating the 75th Death Anniversary of one of the Greatest Hero in the missing pages of Philippine History. It is in his honor and that of the Pilipino people per se that we have undertaken this advocacy more than two years ago for the the succeeding generation of Pilipinos, which he silently fought for and dearly loved until his last breath - to remember that, once in the missing pages of our history: there was a man, from Cagayan Valley, who once stood his ground regardless of politics or self interest and fought for what is right, raised the flag of this country against the most powerful nation in this planet, he continued to served his country and lived in peace as a farmer after the war, took care of and raised his family. Thereafter, fought his own war with cancer and died with honor and dignity - for the country and its people, he dearly loved:

"We the veterans, are already old, but before we die, there
is only one wish that I am asking from God. Even though we
have no money to leave behind because we are poor,
we do wish that before we go to our final resting ground,
we can see that you who are left behind can enjoy
the fruits of the freedom we have been hoping for."

The life and times of Gen. Mateo Noriel Luga is one of the most passionate, romantic and colorful story of a national hero in the missing pages of our history books. A careful scrutiny of our history reveals that there is no one in the annals of our country's account, who came from the ranks of tribal warriors so cunning and elusive, who organized rebel forces consisting of the different tribes from Cagayan Valley, Gen. Luga and his cousins could have not done it alone. If we examine the personal accounts of those who led the revolt of the Katipunan, the places of warpath that General Mateo Noriel Luga took were mentioned by no other than , Gregoria De Jesus, a.k.a., the Lakambini, the keeper of Katipunan's secret.

There were also sketchy accounts in our history that remains a puzzle, where this man can be linked. From Cagayan Valley, there has been no mention of his name in the book of Fr. Salgado: "Cagayan Valley and Eastern Cordillera 1581-1998", the tribal leaders mentioned in the accounts of friar missionaries in Luzon during the 18th Century were only those who were killed or defeated by the Spaniards. While the Friars accounts were until 1898, there was no mention of "Luga" in the latter part of 1898, when the Katipunan was already organizing the rebellion. Yet, he was a leader of a tribe then. Likewise, it also appears that his name was not mentioned in the rolls of Generals in Emilio Aguinaldo's account. Yet, he was appointed by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo as a General and was sent to Cebu to help the Cebuanos establish a Revolutionary Government.

Some suspects that Luga's assignment in Cebu was a move suggested Gen. Aguinaldo's advisers for the Magdalo circle of the Katipunan to have complete access and control over the remaining generals of the Katipunan who gallantry fought with Andres Bonifacio. It was not also clear whether they are already aware that the incoming US Naval Fleet shall land in Cebu, that is why Gen. Luga was sent to Cebu. It can be recalled that there were accounts in our history, which reveals that Gen. Aguinaldo with some of his generals never left Cavite to liberate other parts of our country. It was the tribal warriors who were always in the front line of the battle, who silently fought for the freedom of this nation. Yet, Gen. Aguinaldo respected him, that his death was a sort of a reunion among the remaining Katipuneros.

In Cebu, he led the fight against the Armed Forces of the United States. It was, in fact, the officers of the Armed Forces of the United States of America, the mighties military force in this planet, who honored him for fighting an honorable warfare - his fierciest enemy who hurriedly left Cebu after series of battle and a lightning raid - was the one who honored him highly: "In Luga, you can see a man you shall never forget as long as you live". What is more admirable of this man was that - his family were taken hostage by the Americans to weaken him. But, instead of succumbing to pressure, he penetrated the lairs of the American Forces, rescued his family and fought back an honorable warfare - sending Admiral Lawton with his fleet of navy running away from battle never to set foot in the island of Cebu, again.

As as lover and a family man, his love life begun on his journey to Cebu, in Iloilo - where he met a Spanish mestiza by the name of (To be contiuned . . .)

Friday, March 5, 2010

In Honor of Maj. Rustico P. Luga

(Acknowledgment: The images herein, which were uploaded from google were not intended to be used for profit, but merely to depict the Fil-am Soldiers during WW II, for educational use.)

In April 2010, the Luga Clan shall celebrate the 75th Death Anniversary of GEN. MATEO NORIEL LUGA and at the same time, hold its grand reunion to rekindle the heroism of the three cousins, the (3) tribal warriors of the Ibanag Tribe together with the other tribes in Cagayan Valley, who left Tumauini in Isabela more than half a century ago to join the Katipunan to figth for the independence of our country. After gallantry fighting the Spanish Forces, they fought the Armed Forces of the United States during the Filipino-American War. After the Fil-Am War, they served the Philippine Scout (Constabulary) to maintain peace and order in their respective areas.

Thereafter, Gen. Mateo Noriel Luga , who cannot accept the imperialistic policies of the United States resigned and lived in peace. He settled in Sagay Negros Oriental, his other cousin settled in Tagum, Davao in Mindanao and the other, returned to Tumauini, Isabela. Those after them stood whenever the indepedence of the Philippine Republic is being threatened. Among them, Maria Luga Ferer, the daughter of Gen. Mateo Noriel Luga, who was then the stenographer in the Senate of the First Philippines Republic died during the Second World War by Japanese Bayonets. The offspring of his cousin, Major Rustico P. Luga, joined the Markings Fil-American Guerilla Unit , a major guerilla front of the Fil-Am Forces in Luzon, as its operation officer to lay the ground work for the return of the U.S. Forces to liberate our country from the Japanese Imperial Forces. Now, at 94, Major Rustico P. Luga, shall be one of the oldest surviving Luga who silently fought to depend the independence of our country during the Second World War, to attend this Grand Homecoming of the Luga Clan in Tumauini, Isabela, this April.

"Liberation was a long time coming to the Philippines and no one played a bigger role than the Filipino guerrillas. One native organization was Marking’s Fil-Americans, under the leadership of Colonel Marcos V. Marking. Originally the guerrilla unit was named Hugh Straughn’s Filipino Irregular Troops (FAIT) but after the death of Straughn, Col. Marking took over FAIT’s command which he renamed Marking’s Fil-Americans.

Marking’s guerrilla unit was finely tuned into a network of guerrilla units. Upon his release as a United States Army Forces Far East (USAFFE) prisoner of war, August 15, 1942, Col., Gertrudo San Pedro organized a guerrilla unit which became the 2nd Division and recruited officers and men from the ex-USAFFE’s, ex-Philippine Scouts, ex-Philippine Constabulary, Reservists or Trainees, ex-ROTC cadets, ex-policemen and civilian volunteers, including professionals.

The Division Staff included: Col. Gertrudo San Pedro, Division Commander; Lt Col. Vicente San Pedro, Chief of Staff; Maj. Benjamin Ignacio, G-1; Maj. Pedro Reyes, G-2; Maj. Rustico P. Luga, G-3; and Maj. Raymundo Bombane, G-4. These staff members were duly recognized by the Sixth Army."


Wednesday, March 3, 2010


This is in response to the emails we received from the advocates of gender equality in celebration of Woman's month, this March. Does inequality exists between men and women? Unless we are presented with hard facts and data where we shall focus our advocacy to address the specific concern that needs advocating, we cannot just go on convincing others to do something without specific objective. The UNESCO BANGKOK PARAMETER could be of great help.

Nevertheless, in celebration of the Women's month we published herein post - no doubt, women played a significant role in shaping the history of this great nation. They helped change the path of our history to attain our dreams and aspiration as a nation. LAKAMBINI was one of the great lady we admired in Philippine Revolution. Her life and times was not well publicized like those we knew, but her role in the revolution as keeper of Katipunan's secret was so intricate. She remained loyal to the Code. It was only before she died that the secret Code was finally revealed publicly. Her life was a story of love and devotion to her husband and family; and, loyalty, commitment and sacrifice for our country, which traits seldom a few woman possess in today's revolution.

Women who silently moves towards the realization of our patriotic agenda without hesitation deserves our admiration. CECILE SORIANO of the Fiber Industry Development Authority, who right after typhoon Ondoy, placed Philippine Fibers into the center stage of the fashion world; REBECCA DANG-AWAN, Director of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Cordillera Administrative Region (BFAR-CAR), for her decisive action in helping us attain our peace advocacy in CAR - including those whose efforts helped us realize our advocacies, but prefers not to be mentioned - deserves our profound appreciation in our struggle to realize nationalist agenda without political funfare.

As advocates of this continuing revolt to attain patriotic resolve, we would like to honor FRAULIN LUGA-SAURO, who at her tender age of 17, was chosen by the Silliman University to draw the comics caricatures of the characters in "Lando's Mirror": a World Bank project to entice the youth to get involve in monitoring government procurement system in our country on line - to lessen if not to totally eradicate corruption in government; GIA LEANNE IBARLE LUGA, a writer, advocating swift justice for those killed as a result of heinious crimes; and, LENORA (LUGA) CAÑIZAREZ FERNANDEZ, MD, FPCCP, who was awarded as the MOST OUTSTANDING RESEARCHER in 2009 by the Philippine Society for Chest Physicians.

Lenny, as we call her in the family has this to say, (months ago) : "our Philippine Society for Chest physicians will be awarding me this year with the title of most outstanding researcher. They made this writeup for me (can be my epitaph already . . .)":

"The Most Outstanding Researcher recipient for this year possesses the brilliant mind, strong self-discipline and determination, tremendous work ethic, and avid devotion to her craft that characterizes all fine researchers. But these are nicely complemented by a sincerity, kind-heartedness, calm disposition, and maturity well-beyond her age that endears her to colleagues and friends.

"Even during her pulmonary fellowship, she already exhibited great promise as a researcher, winning awards from UP-PGH and PCCP in 1995 for her research work and landing a position as
Postgraduate Research Fellow on Pulmonary Rehabilitation in 1996 at the prestigious University of California – San Diego Medical Center-Hillcrest. She went on to be awarded Most Outstanding Young Researcher by the PCCP in 1998 and a Young Investigator Award by the American College of Chest Physician & Chest Foundation in 1999 for her research on long-term effects of multiple exposure to pulmonary rehabilitation on stable COPD.

"Then, as now, she continues to make her indelible mark in the national scene. One of her most important contributions has been her work on tobacco control. Her study with Dr. Antonio Dans “Economic Impact of Smoking in the Philippines” published in 1999 has been one of the most important objective source of scientific data to prove that the country loses more money from smoking compared to the profits made from the tobacco industry. This study has made a significant impact on lawmakers, convincing both houses of Congress to finally approve the Tobacco Regulations Act in 2003. This achievement was followed by many other researches on the ill effects of smoking, the implementation of smoking control programs and impact of smoking cessation interventions. The knowledge and skills learned from these studies has been disseminated to many health care practitioners in seminars and workshops that she herself has crafted and organized.

"Her other interest and expertise is in the field of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, wherein she authored and co-authored numerous researches on drug treatment and pulmonary rehabilitation, many of the significant findings of which have been incorporated as essential components of local clinical practice guidelines on COPD that the PCCP has formulated and disseminated.

"Her accomplishments become even more exceptional when we note that in the midst of all these, she had to undergo medical treatment for a potentially-life threatening disease. Despite this life-changing experience, Dr. Fernandez has managed to continue on with her clinical, academic and research careers, and her advocacies to serve the Filipino people. And with her health fully restored, we anticipate even greater achievements and laurels for this truly remarkable and inspiring person."

(In honor of Maria Luga-Ferer, Stenographer, Senate, First Philippine Republic).