Scene: Wincesa Espejo Araoarao, the long- time physical education teacher of Bohol National High School and founder of the Bukang Liwayway Dance Troupe celebrated her 77th birthday last September 28 with her children Fiel Angeli -Jerome John Gabin with Renji and Texas, USA based Reparato Anthony- Gracelyn Shiela Tubal Araoarao and her brother Capt. Abito B. Espejo. The former First Lady of Panglao when her husband Derclo Reparato became mayor of Panglao in 1980 to 1986, one of her greatest achievements is when she was second place for her performance of "Binasuan," a dance of skill, in the Philippine Folk Dance Festival held at Pace University, New York City in September 1990 wherein she was the only (individual) entry from among the group entries.
Wincesa Espejo-Araoarao celebrates
her 77th birthday with her daughter
Miss Tagbilaran Fiel Angeli Gabin and
Engr. Jerome Gabin and visitors (l) Dr. Aleksander Ylanan
and wife Jessa, yours truly, and Raul Gatal, your Roving Eye.
Scene: The Sinoog Estokada festival in Jagna town last Sept. 29 honoring St. Michael the Archangel. The festival is a native war dance portraying good versus evil through rhythmic marching and movements following the beat of the drums. Seven contingents joined this year’s street-dancing competition. The performers dressed as either bad or good angels, St. Michael or even Lucifer to show which side they are with. Other performers dressed like Mulawin.
Scene: The opening of the “Dagohon sa Hoyohoy, Dagohoy the Musical 2016” by the Bohol Theater Network headed by Kasing Sining at Bohol Cultural Center. History came to life as the show exceptionally told the story and struggle of Bohol’s Dagohoy. The scenes were so intense that it impressed the audience. “When I was watching the original show way back in 1990 I was already amazed. This time, I was totally captivated and hooked up to the show. I was even teary eyed along the way because it was really well performed, the music was well-arranged, all the actors portrayed the roles excellently. In general, the show was excellent,” said Jeycelle Espejo-Inting, a former history teacher at University of Bohol now teaching at Dr. Cecilio Putong National High School.
My first and last encounter with Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago was in 2004 when she was running for senator. Known for her fiery speeches and sharp quips that the word “feisty” was a favorite adjective that journalists used to describe her, I eagerly waited for her turn to speak at the campaign rally held at the Plaza Rizal.
MDS was an eloquent speaker. She could grab the listeners’ attention. Most convention speeches are forgotten almost before they’re finished. But when MDS delivered her political oratory, it was a speech that will be replayed, quoted and anthologized for years.
MDS told Boholanos that the province is precious like gold since there is gold everywhere in Bohol.
The Sinoog Estokada festival is held every
Sept. 29 in Jagna town. It is a war dance between
St. Michael the Archangel and Lucifer.
Photo by Leo Udtohan
She ended her speech, “Hayaan mo ang katarungan ay manaig, sukat man ang langit ay bumagsak.”
She had influenced many lives especially those A students who admired her for being feisty, fierce and fearless. One of them was Meynard who took up law at Holy Name University (HNU) because he was inspired by MDS. The whole class would be amazed when he mimicked MDS.
There were times when I (including Panglao Mayor Nila Montero who was a councillor then, Clarita Horcerada, Arthur Bagcat, et al) had visited the Senate and dropped by her office where we were entertained by Ms Fortich, her office staff who’s married to his brother.
I am a fan of MDS ever since. She was part of my high school years that when she appeared on TV, I would listen to her words. De Ers, my amiga para vivir, would act as MDS delivering some unforgettable quotes he heard on TV. It was obvious that MDS also influenced all his life.
I also received Ulat sa Bayan, her monthly newsletter. It was a fun learning the “Miriam Dictionary” with her brilliant quotes.
Francisco Dagohoy (portrayed by Jeffrey Aguilar)
holds his brother Sagarino, one of the
heartbreaking scenes of the theatrical and
musical celebration of “Dagon sa Hoyohoy.”
Photo by Liza Macalandag
My biggest frustration of being an MDS fan was when I was not able to join her “Summer Sa Senado.” It was an internship program that student-leaders were dressing up as senators, delivering privilege and sponsorship speeches, criticizing speeches, drafting bills and resolutions.
Chai Cruz, a chef from Alona who is now in New York City, also shared his experience with MDS.
“My very first and last encounter with was during my homecoming from somewhere. I usually do that practice to get fastracted at the Custom Inspection of arriving passengers. To slip some amount in foreign currency to get fast stamped by an officer. To my shame, it was her sitting at the immigration officer's post, that I only realized when I look up to her when she asked while holding my passport with " grease money " and asked me " ANO ITO ? ".... . To my shame, and quick wit, I answered " Oh, I am sorry Ma’am, that is where I put my duty free on air change, that is why I still wonder where it is ." She smirked at me and gave me back my passport and said " Welcome Home ". Thereafter, I never lost my admiration of her. That I always voted for her and of course, laughed out loud whenever I hear, see or read about her in some confrontation, inquiry or hearings at the senate. And her humour on her " hugot lines. "
He added, “To me, she is, and was one of few women I adored much, second to Mother Theresa and Maggie Thatcher. She will always be the famous #MyMirriam, #OurMirriam, #OurPeople'sMirriam.”
MDS, who died last Thursday (Sept 29.), served the Senate for 3 terms, for a total of 18 years: from 1995 to 2001 and from 2004 until 2016. The Philippine politics will not be the same without MDS.
The political career of MDS has been filled with bombastic words and fiery zingers. She captivated Filipinos with her wit, scathing commentary, and humorous pick-up lines.
"God is neither up above nor out there. Instead, God is found in here. In the human mind, in the human conscience. That is why, you are not only graduating with a bachelor’s degree today, you are graduating to a place nearer where God is. Because God is in here. God is in you."
"Someday, I'll tell my kids a bedtime story about a brave and wise queen who never had a chance to rule her own kingdom."
"The meaning of life is found in the purposes that we pursue as we grow older."
“Mr. President, my high intelligence quotient dictates that I should reconsider and therefore withdraw my motion.”
“I used to eat death threats for breakfast Now as a senator, I eat bullets for lunch. Public service is becoming a test of intestinal powers.”
“The smaller the population of the Senate, the higher the GNP.”
“You can enjoy Summer sa Senado as long as you have an IQ higher than that of a senator.”
“The secret to success if concentration. The secret to genius is excessive concentration. The secret to happiness is forgiveness.”
Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow leoudtohan at Twitter /Facebook.