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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Pilipinas Kong Mahal?!

Everyone probably has seen the giant posters with the flag of the Philippines and the patriotic words 'Pilipinas kong Mahal' or 'Philippines my Love.' This campaign was originated by the City of Manila to instill a sense of nationalism among people. Many have learned to appreciate these posters until these were taken down due to a constitutional provision prohibiting unnecessary imprints on the flag. Recently, when people started to feel the brunt of the soaring prices of basic commodities the word ‘Mahal’ came to be more understood with a double meaning.

This word is so rich in meaning. It may connote “love” that ranges from a personal level to a more communal one. There is another meaning to it when we look at its variant form “mahalaga” which means “valuable,” “precious” or “priceless.” No wonder we judge as either “mahal” (expensive) or “mura” (cheap) a commodity depending on what we see on its price tag.

Matter-of-factly, both the figurative and the literal meaning of “mahal” constitute the reality that is being faced now by our beloved country. We find ourselves at another historic time when we feel more the weight of what it means to be a Filipino. Ever since, all that we have wanted is a descent place to live in and a peaceful life to enjoy with our family, but with the current state of the nation, it seems we are getting farther away from realizing that dream.

It is therefore in this context that we are going to gather again as a community and seek ways to avert the negative effects of the burgeoning national problems. We Filipinos never turn our backs on our country no matter what it takes. Remember the words “The Filipino is worth dying for.” Twenty five years ago we have witnessed Ninoy pay the steep price of true love of country. As we gather together to understand the plight of our people in our next Kwentong Bayan, may we be emboldened again to take whatever means of heroism that we can commit ourselves to do.

On August 30, 2008 (Saturday) from 1:00pm to 5:30 pm, all is invited to our bi-annual National Situationer forum entitled KWENTONG BAYAN: “Pilipinas kong MAHAL?!” Let us hear anew the story of our country told by three important speakers and well-respected experts on the economic, social and political situation of our country.

First, the Former national security adviser Jose Almonte will talk about the general political situation with a focus on current trends and challenges like charter change issue and 2010 National Elections as well as post election scenarios. Second, Professor Ernesto Pernia of the UP School of Economics will talk about the general economic situation with a focus on current economic issues, trends, challenges and some forecasts for the remainder of the year and the effects in succeeding years. Third, due to the national concern brought about by the peace process in Mindanao, Fr. Joaquin Bernas, SJ of the Ateneo Law School will assess the circumstances surrounding the MOA on Ancestral Domain between the GRP and the MILF in the light of our quest for lasting peace in this part of the country.

Organized by Simbahang Lingkod Bayan (SLB), a socio-political non-partisan Church-based organization of the Society of Jesus, the forum will be held at the Cardinal Sin Center, Loyola School of Theology inside the Ateneo de Manila University Campus in Quezon City.

If you have questions and/or would like to make a reservation, feel free to contact Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan through the following:

Landline: (02) 426-6101 locs 3440-3441
Email: slb@admu.edu.ph
Mobile: SUN-8600-SLB (0922-8600-752)

Manalangin. Manindigan. Makialam. Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


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