28 August 2005
It was a day of healing, truth telling, and hope. Last Sunday, August 21, over a thousand people from all walks of life convened at the People Power Monument to celebrate the light of hope.
Edru Abraham and the Kontra Gapi set the rhythm for the crowd through a happy mix of entertainment and education. Edru introduced us to the many sounds created by the instruments used by different Philippine tribes. A little girl (my apologies to her and her mother for not taking down her name!) sang two songs a capella. Her sweet voice filled the air with innocence and promise. Actor/comedian Gary Lim sang an impromptu number and shared his special brand of humor with the audience. Violinist Merjohn Lagaya and pianist Naldy Rodriguez of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra gave a heartfelt performance. People from the urban and rural poor communities were so moved by their music that they applauded enthusiastically several times. I got goosebumps from the authentic swell of appreciation from the crowd and noted that contrary to what people in the entertainment business like to say, our masa brothers respond to quality entertainment. And how! It was a strong statement of how culture brings people together. What a moment! The event ended with a mass celebrated by Fr. "Puti" Enriquez (who was also the day's emcee), Fr. Archie and Fr. Robert Reyes, who ended his 44-day liquid fast the next day.
Aug 24, 2005 | Inter Press Service
TF! Editorial Comment: Sustainable development is an often used term that requires continual redefinition to avoid the tendency to reduce its scope and achieve clarity of meaning. As a comprehensive framework, sustainable development encompasses seven dimensions – spiritual, human, social, political, cultural, economic and ecological. (See TF! Framework.) In the article below, a new UNDP report -- "The Sustainable Difference: Energy and Environment to Achieve the MDGs" -- describes efforts to incorporate environment and energy in national development plans in order to realize poverty eradication and ultimately, sustainable development .
Aug 25, 2005 | Inter Press Service
TF! Editorial Comment: The fundamental sense for equality derives from our humanness --- "all men [and women] are created equal." This sense for equality and justice evokes moral outrage at the increasing disparity, poverty and deprivation that afflict so much of humanity. Integral sustainable development recognizes that a humane globalization must address the root causes of poverty and provide opportunities for all to realize their potential – for the ultimate aim of development is human development. As discussed in the article below, a recent UN report details the rising inequality that accompanies an elite globalization process. The report also recognizes that social justice leads to greater stability but requires placing people at the center of development.
Aug 21, 2005 | Inter Press Service
TF! Editorial Comment: Water mining is a term that is increasingly used to describe the unsustainable extraction of fresh water which can lead to depletion of aquifers. At a time when some analysts are predicting water as a flash point for future conflict, sustainable management of our limited fresh water resources becomes of paramount importance. In the article below, a small community has gotten global attention for taking Coca-cola company to task for not only mining water but contributing to toxic pollution.
Two thousand people converged on August 21, 2005 at the People Power Monument in EDSA to express their rejection of "President" Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) and to support the call for genuine democracy in the Philippines. The attendees gave voice to the sentiment of a majority of Filipinos who believe that GMA cheated in the 2004 national presidential elections and is therefore a "bogus" President.
The participants also supported the threefolding of Philippine society thru the creation of an autonomous and organized cultural force as a "third power" in addition to the state and market. This third power, sometimes controversially called "civil society" will have three tasks.