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Is this the price we have to pay?

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(Enlightenment—Passage of the Day)

Q.) WHAT HAPPENS TO US WHEN WE ENTERTAIN DOUBTS IN OUR MINDS ABOUT GOD’S WORDS?

A.) “WHEN THE DISCIPLES SAW JESUS WALKING ON THE SEA, THEY WERE TROUBLED, SAYING, IT IS A SPIRIT; AND THEY CRIED OUT FOR FEAR. BUT STRAIGHTWAY JESUS SPAKE UNTO THEM, SAYING BE OF GOOD CHEER, IT IS I; BE NOT AFRAID. AND PETER ANSWERED HIM AND SAID, LORD, IF IT BE THOU, BID ME COME UNTO THEE ON THE WATER. AND JESUS SAID COME. AND WHEN PETER WAS COME DOWN OUT OF THE SHIP, HE WALKED ON THE WATER, TO GO TO JESUS. BUT WHEN HE SAW THE WIND BOISTEROUS, HE WAS AFRAID, AND BEGINNING TO SINK, HE CRIED, SAYING, LORD SAVE ME. AND IMMEDIATELY JESUS STRETCHED FORTH HIS HAND, AND CAUGHT HIM, AND SAID UNTO HIM, O THOU OF LITTLE FAITH, WHEREFORE DIDST THOU DOUBT?”(MATTHEW 14:26-31). Email: jayfeliciano2@yahoo.com

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THERE’s a huge difference between our youth of yesterday compared our youth of today. According to Nasser “Nash” Ismula during their heyday when he was then a young basketball player, playing for the former ZAEC now UZ, in the 1970s that this corner wasn’t a stranger too, as I was even ahead of Nash when talking as whose eyes first opened in this secular world of ours called Earth, “The drug menace that woes us today was empty and void during our days—young and fresh like we see our youth nowadays. No drugs like all these illegal stuffs now, especially shabu, among us youngsters then. All we had in those days were the young drunkards. That was all.”

THAT’s Nash talking and, as I said, I was a living witness to those days, as well.

THE first taste of baptism of fire, so to speak, was my being paddled on my buttock by those superiors in our then Fraternity days. I forgot its name but what I couldn’t forget we were mostly the  young Eagles (pitchin del padre)and our Alma Mater, as we all know, was the Ateneo De Zamboanga, now Ateneo De Zamboanga University. I could hardly feel the pain inflicted on me for they knew damn well I was a radio announcer, and they were just too good to me, otherwise they thought, I wouldn’t include their names in my late evening’s dedication program over then radio station DXYZ of the now defunct Nation Broadcasting Network(NBC)owned by the Yabuts from Makati in Luzon back in the 1960s up to the time when Martial Law was lifted in the mid 1980s, or did the Yabuts sell their whole radio station network in the entire country to its now owner, Pastor Apollo Quiboloy only in the 1990s? I’m not sure, though. But, this was the golden era of the radio broadcasting business  industry prior to the coming in of our television station networks here in our la bella Zamboanga in the 1980s that somehow started to slow down our local folks’s craze for radio music, news, public service and information. While I was a greenhorn then in radio broadcasting, along my known contemporaries during its glorious years in the country, my instinctive mind told me behind my back, this could be, with fear in my heart, my un-chosen career path. I was so afraid that all my big ambitions then, might just go to, and vanish in the air, like a bubble that simply disappears in our midst when it puffs out just like that all of a sudden.

When Martial Law came in Sept. of 1972, as the country’s strongman Pres. Ferdinand Edralin Marcos finally unleashed his tirades against all his political foes, to include his archrival in politics, opposition leader Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr., incidentally, both topped their respective senatorial races—Marcos, a Liberal, was elected no. 1 as senator in 1961, while Aquino, also a Liberal, topped his own in 1965. As it wasn’t allowed by our then Constitution to run more than twice for the presidency, Marcos who was supposed to be President from 1965 (when elected for his first 4-year tenure in Malacañang) up to only 1973 under our then old Constitution, shocked the Filipino people when he appeared on television for his nationwide pronouncement, “ I now put our entire country Martial Law.” He strongly reasoned out for its need to declare Martial Law because of the grave threat of rebellion and the reported pockets of uprising in the various parts of the country. His Martial Law declaration, being nationwide, caught us with virtually all our pants down here in our ever peaceful and tranquil City of Flowers, then. All our 4 known key players in radio broadcasting industry during those days were ordered shut down by Southcom then. Its first commanding general Commodore Gil Fernandez, as I could still vividly recall, a few days after Martial Law was imposed,  summoned all the radio station managers of the 4 local radio stations, namely: Johnny Lewis (deceased) of DXJW of the ABS/CBN then; Armando Lopez ( deceased), owner/manager of now defunct DXLL; Vic Fabellon of DXRZ and Eddie Rodriguez (deceased) of DXYZ. I was then, as I said, a rookie in radio then, but what many among my contemporaries then didn’t know was the fact that even before the infamous Sept. 21, 1972 Martial Law declaration of Marcos, I already knew of its impending news to come. It was my own brother( the eldest of the Feliciano’s six siblings staying in San Jose Cawa-Cawa),then navy Lt. Rosauro O. Feliciano ( an engineer by profession now, working still in Kuwait up to now since he went abroad to work first in Tehran, Iran, then transferred to Kuwait after the Iran revolution broke out in 1980) who accurately said so, and I heard him saying that months prior to Marcos’s appearance on TV for the latter’s signature(ML) declaration on that fateful day of Sept. 21, 1972.

“My brother Jun, mark my word, per intelligence report, Pres. Marcos will declare Martial Law in the entire country by the month of Sept. this year.” That was the frightening statement he told me one of those dull moments when he was assigned and designated as the first aide-de-camp of a Southcom commanding general who happened to be navy BG Gil Fernandez. The Southcom headquarters during its early years at Camp Navarro, was then the humble home of its predecessor, Sowescom (South Western Command) before it was expanded to Southern Command(now WESMINCOM) to have its overall jurisdiction the whole of Mindanao. News stories of our media practitioners in those dark years of Martial Law, were strictly censored by Southcom before they were allowed to be broadcast or published for public consumption. In-fact, the infamous massacre that happened in Pata Island in Sulu that claimed the lives of about 70 soldiers, to include their commanding officer the late army Brig. General Teodolfo Bautista, was heard first abroad when the United States’ most popular news program, “The Voice of America” gave its breaking news story about the bloody carnage that triggered as among the first of the country’s evil fruits born out of the ruthless days of Martial Law.

I hope to continue all these first-on-hand accounts just as I have witnessed them all during those dark days in our epic history when we were then in our teeny-weeny years from 1960s and on to those crucial days when our country, to include our very own City of Zamboanga, has seen its worst part in the aftermath of the World War 2  INFAMY WHEN THE OUTSIDE ENEMY infamy when the outside enemy forces of Japan occupied our forefathers’ territory then, and they too saw in their cruel days, the brutality and the ignominy that they suffered, as well.

BUT, the difference can very well be told. While their enemies then weren’t Pinoys, hence, it could be well justified as more of hatred coming from none among us Filipinos, but from a total stranger like Japan and their likes that tried too, to annex our country to theirs, ours in this new millennium can be described as even worse than theirs as the enemies we’re fighting are our very own blood, for we’re now fighting among ourselves. And that’s a big letdown for us all. Is this the bitter price we haveto pay albeit the supposed heroic exploits and the renowned sacrifices, and the tears and blood shed by our own ancestors in the past?

Pinoys, wake up! (By By Jun Feliciano) (30)




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