09 March 2009
Mark Kevin Limkinglam, of Plaridel, Bulacan, perhaps one of the sharpest Internet surfers in the planet has gone ahead and posted earlier today the online petition to declare Francis Magalona, National Artist for Music. I intended to do it but he beat me to the punch. Mabilis talaga 'tong si Kevin Limkinglam! Astig! Batang Pinoy!
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I'm not surprised at all. Kevin, whom I haven't yet had the pleasure of meeting and thanking in person, signed the online petition of the Monumento World Heritage Global Campaign while I was still editing it on December 14, 2008.
The other thing I've thought of doing since Francis M passed away is to launch an online petition to establish a tribute monument to him. I will admit that my inspiration for this is the online petition to Bob Dylan entitled ETERNAL CIRCLE: A Tribute Monument to Bob Dylan in Washington Square Park, NYC.
I'll explain to you the rationale:
I've been looking at how the Bob Dylan online petition had been doing almost everyday since December 14, 2008, the same day our Bonifacio Monument online petition was launched, and its performance has been impressive. As of today, 9 March 2009, the petition for Bob Dylan has 2,366 signatures while the Bonifacio Monument petition has 723 signatures.
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Until about the end of January this year, our online petition was doing relatively well when compared to the Bob Dylan petition. But a new policy at www.gopetition.com which took effect on 29 January 2009 required all petition signatories to sign with their email addresses. This slowed down our manual signature gathering campaign considerably. Unlike in North America and Europe where most people have computers and broadband Internet access, I guess that is still a luxury here for Filipinos, many of whom still don't have email adddresses, especially those belonging to the older generation.
And while we were trying to make adjustments, the LRT-MRT3 construction in the Monumento area began which drew the focus of my attention from the online petition to the effort to defend the Bonifacio Monument from real desecration. My various posts in this blog chronicle the effort to defend the Monumento which have gained the attention of a few Internet bloggers, two of them based abroad. One of the latest developments in that regard is the reaction coming from the office of Senator Mar Roxas (The Office of Senator Mar Roxas Shows Concern for the Monumento) wherein they sent out three (3) referral letters to Mayor Recom Echiverri of Caloocan City, LRTA Administrator Mel Robles and MMDA General Manager Roberto Nacianceno. Of these three government officials, I have had a reaction, so far, only from the LRTA.
If everything goes as planned, the title of the online petition for the tribute monument will be URBAN PATRIOTS' CIRCLE: A Tribute Monument to Francis M. It will pay homage to Francis M and to the legions of ordinary people for whom he lived and dedicated his life, his artistry and his music.
When one comes to think of it, the Ultimate Urban Patriot, in most people's book, is Gat Andres Bonifacio. We can use the concept of synergy here. A much-deserved tribute monument to Francis M who is very much alive in the memory of the Filipino masses will somehow bring focus to our beloved but beleaguered Monumento, a monument to the great hero of the Filipino masses. We can achieve that synergy by bringing up and promoting the online petitions together.
Through the life and passing into immortality of Francis M and the adoration this generation of Filipinos has showered him, maybe our people will finally come to see the utter folly of this government's desecration of the greatest monument to valor and to love of freedom on earth, the Bonifacio Monument in Caloocan City, also known simply as the Monumento.
If that desecration has not sunk into the Filipino consciousness yet, maybe these pictures should give everyone an idea of what we're dealing with here:
These diggings are being done right at the Monumento Rotunda! Even the Japanese Imperial Army, fabled for its brutality, did not dare dig up the Monumento Rotunda when they occupied the Philippines during the Second World War. Bakit kapwa Pilipino pa natin ang gumagawa ng pagyurak sa dangal ng ating bayan ngayon?!
The tragic thing about it is that it is happening. But it will be even more tragic if we allow this cultural hooliganism to succeed. I wonder whether the National Historical Institute (NHI) and its Chairperson Ambeth Ocampo knows about it or not.
Your reactions and comments, favorable or adverse, are very much welcome. Your prayers for our campaigns for promoting Filipino cultural heritage and defending national dignity and honor will always be heard and honored by God who controls the destinies of men and nations. To God be the glory!
Before I close for now, I want to thank Mark Kevin Limkinglam again for showing exceptional commitment to defending and promoting our cultural heritage as a people. (If you click the title of this post, it will take you to Kevin's personal blog.) To all of you, God bless always!