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AJJun27 08

AJJun27 08



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Published by ASIAN JOURNAL
Asian Journal June 27, 2008 digital print edition. Email asianjournal@aol.com, website www.asianjournalusa.com
Asian Journal June 27, 2008 digital print edition. Email asianjournal@aol.com, website www.asianjournalusa.com

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Published by: ASIAN JOURNAL on Jun 28, 2008
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 Evacuees at the Camalig North Central School in Albay carryrelief goods from the local government as typhoon Frank battered the Bicol region.
- Photo By EDD GUMBAN 
rowing upin Americawith a Fili- pino back groundmust be the hardestsituation I will livewith for the restof my life. Or soI think. Someonetold me that I’ma
if: “mydad was in the Navy and I was born a Navy Brat; “if Ieat crunch fried Spam with eggs and rice or 
for breakfast; and “every elder I meet becomesmy auntie or uncle.” - See page 6
Growing up a navy brat
The one-of-a-kind wondersof Hundred Islands
Indeed, the Philippines is blessed with natural land-marks like the Hundred Is-lands, a feature not enjoyed by other countries. Yet, theFilipinos fail to take advan-tage of and appreciate theseGod’s gifts. They are notable to get their act together to give themselves thecomforts and prosperity thatthey rightfully deserve athome. Instead they have totravel to the God-forsaken places on Earth and endure the searing heat in the desert in the Middle East or the bitter cold winters of Eastern Europe just to seek their place in the sun awayfrom a paradise that is their home. - See page 5.Sinulog is a dance ritualin honor of the miracu-lous image of Santo Nino. The dance movestwo steps forward andone step backward withthe rhythm of the drums.This resembles the cur-rent (sulog) of what wasthen known as Cebu’sPahina River. In Cebua-no, they say its Sinulog.This is also Cebu City’s
annual festa celebration
- See page - 19.
The Sinulog Festival of Cebu
June 27 - July 3, 2008
F. Sionil Jose
 Rizal, Ninoy and the revolution
 Neil Sedakain Manila
Tips on how totake care of yourself 
 Philstar, June 24, 2008
It lay in the water with its belly up, and when a Navyteam approached the capsizedferry Princess of the Stars and pounded on its hull to check for signs of life, there wasnothing but silence.“We just approached thehull of the ship, we got near 
 A child (inset) clutches a pictureof her sibling, one of some 800 people missing after the ferry Princess of the Stars sank off Rom-blon. The ferry, with a hole in itshull, is shown in this photo taken from a Coast Guard plane piloted by Lt.SG Reimondo Santos and  Ensign Frederick Gacasa. Photoby BERNARDO BATUIGAS 
‘No sign of life, nothing but silence’
(Continued on page 23)
and then banged, knockedin order for us to give a signif ever there are still peopleinside,” Navy spokesman Lt.Col. Edgard Arevalo said.“Unfortunately there was noresponse.”Capt. Leah Santiago,spokesman for the SouthernLuzon Command, who was inRomblon, also cited reports
“We were hit by thesuper typhoon Frank in Kalibo last June 21,
2008. This was the frst
time and the worst for us, Kalibonhon, andneighboring cities likeCapiz and Iloilo. Wehave no cellphone sig-nal. We have no electric-ity, no water, no newseven in our local radios,no ATM,no gasoline inKalibo. Imagine! it was
the frst time since I was
 born that we experi-
enced ooding all over,
Havoc in the land of the Ati-Atihan
even in the high areas in town.” - See page 4Don’t look now, but the Red Rib- bon Bakeshop,famous for its deliciouscakes and pastries,is slowly but surelygaininga reputa-tion for its mealcreationsas well.The lat-est of theseofferings isits
,grilled white meat chicken tender strips smothered in Red Ribbon’s very own Teriyakisauce over steamed rice. - See page 14
Red Ribbon’sChickenTeriyakimeal
July is oozing in and thatmeans that the heat of summer has arrived. Heatis a tough thing to con-trol. You can put onenough clothes in winter to get warm but youcan’t take off enoughclothes in summer to getcool. Trying to, how-ever, can certainly befun. - See page 6
Staying Cool forthe summer
If you ranthis country...
See page 9
 Ati-Atihan Festival 
Page 2June 27 - July 3, 2008 Asian Journal - (619) 474-0588 Visit our website at http://www.asianjournalusa.com
(Continued on page 15)
Ces Drilon
CRAZY QUILT  By Tanya T. Lara Philstar, June 22, 2008
The ants crawling on the for-
est oor of the jungles of Suluwere so big that ABS-CBN newsanchor Ces Oreña-Drilon and her fellow captives had to stuff their 
ears with pantyliners so the ants
wouldn’t crawl in. The mosqui
toes were so huge — “JurassicPark huge” — that Ces was actu
ally afraid to swat them.On June 8, Ces put on a Mus
lim veil, a pair of jeans, a white polo shirt, a jacket, black socksand a pair of gray Puma rubber shoes and with her two camera
men — Jimmy Encarnacion andAngelo Valderama — MSU Prof.Octavio Dinampo and another guide, “Mameng,” she boarded a jeepney that would take them toAbu Sayyaf commander RadulanSahiron for an interview.Dinampo was calling whomhe believed was Radulan — or at least his cell phone — andreceiving instructions. They weretold to go to a certain place inIndanan town and when they gotoff the jeepney they were met byve armed men in army fatigues.The two guides exchanged Mus
lim greetings with them — a kisson each cheek.The cameramen had just reas
sembled their cameras, whichthey had hidden in pieces in their  bags. They were told that theycouldn’t shoot, but Jimmy hadalready managed to sneak insome shots.Mameng, a relative of Radulan,was taken away by the group.The ve armed men becameeight. Ces began to worry, butthe professor assured her thatMameng was probably going toRadulan.The armed men took their things and the group was in
structed to walk into the jungle.It was 5 p.m., Sulu was getting
10 days in jungle hell
dark. She kept asking them,“Malayo pa ba?” They kept say
ing, “Malapit na.”Then it rained.For 10 days, this would be thehell that Ces and company would be trapped in: rain, heat, mud,captivity, threats of beheading,fear of rape, no toilet facilities,unpalatable food, and the uncer 
tainty of it all.Above their heads, the forestcanopy; on the ground, the forestinsects. On the horizon, the SuluSea or Mindanao’s mountainranges. She had gotten so used tothis for 10 days that on her rstnight in Manila after she was re
leased, she woke up and lookedout of her hospital window inPasig and saw the city skyline — and it felt surreal to her.Twenty hours after they boarded the jeepney in Sulu, Ceswas told that there would be noRadulan, no interview. Instead,her group was being held hos
tage for P20 million.In the jungle, they wouldwalk from one camp to another.Sometimes they slept on theforest ground, covered only bya plastic sack; sometimes in a bamboo hut. One particular night — after they had stuffed their ears with pantyliners to avoidthe ants — they were told to getup and were walked to another location. It was a hut beside thesea and it was so cold that shewas shivering throughout thenight. There were no ants. AndCes thought: what a waste of her  baon of pantyliners.Throughout the ordeal, shemade a deal with her camera
men: when one is about to break down and cry, nobody elseshould. “Huwag sabay-sabay.”In the presidential suite of theMedical City, Ces showed methe clothes that she wore duringher ordeal while she was gettinga pedicure (she has two patayna kuko resulting from all thewalking). Ces’s mother, LourdesOreña, took the clothes out of a white plastic bag and imme
diately the room reeked of soiland sweat and sun. The smelloverpowered the aromatherapyoil the manicurist was using onCes’s feet.When her mom folded theclothes again, some of the junglesoil was left on the oor. She bent down and scooped the re
maining evidence of her daugh
ter’s kidnapping with her barehands …and threw it away.Excerpts from our exclusiveinterview:THE PHILIPPINE STAR:When did you know that some
thing was going horribly wrong?CES OREÑA-DRILON: I hada bad feeling when Mameng wastaken by some of the armed menand they took our things. It wasgetting dark already, my mainworry was, what will we shoot inthe dark? Then it began to rain. Ithought, wow, am I going to thisextent for this interview? Is thisstory so great? This is crazy.I was so careful to not wet mysocks. Little did I know that inthe end, lulublub ako sa putik upto the knees. My hopes went upwhen we got to a street and therewere some homes. I could hear dogs. I thought, it’s a populatedneighborhood. I could scream if something goes wrong.Then we waited under a houseon stilts. They brought food, itlooked yuck. I didn’t want to eator drink. I asked for my bag andI looked through my wallet, themoney was gone.How much was there?Around P3,000. I made it a point not to bring so much. Ididn’t even wear earrings or jew
elry. I said, wala yung pera dito, bakit ganoon? I’m going to callthis off! Ang yabang ko (laughs).The guy in charge gave me alighter with a ashight at thetip and I kept looking around andhe said, stop that baka makuhatayo ng militar. He said, “Alammo, kung naiinip kayo, kamirin naiinip na pero darating angkumander namin.” I was hop
ing that would be Radulan. Prof.Dinampo said, he’s coming. At12:30 midnight? Who gives aninterview at 12:30?I was so groggy nakatulog ako.Then they woke us up and wewalked again. I said, “Kailanganalas singko mag pa-interview nayan, 8 o’clock gusto ko makauwina kami.”I kept asking for my phone butthey couldn’t make a decisionuntil the commander arrived. Itexted Chari and said, “I’m ne,I’ll get the interview by 5, I’ll be back in the dorm by 8.”We walked again in the dark 
ness from 12:30 to 2:30 a.m.through streams and I don’tknow what. At that point I stillkept hoping I would do aninterview. I kept xing my veilin case mag-camera na kami. Wewere climbing, then going down.I was so thirsty I drank fromtheir jug, yung arte-arte ko walana coz my throat was so dry.We got to this camp and weslept in a hut. I was exhausted.We woke up at 5 or 6. I was de
manding an interview. At 7 a.m.they called me aside and toldme, “Kidnap for ransom na ito.”At rst I was trying to convincethem, “Masisira ang pangalanniyo. Bigyan niyo na lang akong interview para malaman ng buong bansa ang pinaglalabanniyo.”I remember distinctly ask 
ing, don’t you have politicaldemands? They said the govern
ment only listened to them whenthey were demanding money.Did you know how much ran
som they were asking for?P20 million.How did you feel about it?I said, what? Twenty? That’stoo high. I tried to bargain.I said, P10 million na lang.There’s this “commander” theywere referring to, the one whotold me it was already a kidnap-for-ransom situation, but I don’tthink he was the real commander  because they were making funof him, they would say, “Ay siKumander Alibasbas yan.”The one who would always in
terpret his instructions seemed to be the one in charge, Command
er Tek or Commander Hals. Hisright arm was amputated, whichhe took pains to hide from usin the beginning. He was wear 
ing a raincoat camouage so wewould not see. I only realized itwhen we were in the camp.They said, don’t tell your com
 panions or igagapos namin sila.So I had to pretend that we werestill getting the interview. I wasso scared that they would do it.Of course, I tried to tell them wewere in trouble by eye contact.Did they tie you up? Not until Sunday, a week after.Before that, they tied up Jimmyand Angel the day before Angelwas released.How come Angelo was re
leased and not Jimmy?It was their choice. He wasthe one who was about to die.It was so torturous for him. Hehad to sit and wait for the verdict
of whether he was going to be
 beheaded. Afternoon of June 11,when (Vice Governor) Lady AnnSahidullah said all my familyhad was P2 million, they went berserk, they were so angry.We were so tense. Jimmy said,“Ma’am nakatutok sa akin angmga baril, nagwawala sila.”I was saying, “Relax langkayo.” They would yell, “Ikawang mag relax!” and “Ikaw,makeup ka nang makeup!”Were you really still putting onmakeup?On the rst day while we werewalking, yes, I was still hopingwe would get the interview. Iwas so sweaty, the heat was sooppressive. They said, “Mag-makeup ka nang mabuti ha, para pag pina-LBC namin ang ulo mosa ABS-CBN maganda ka.”I was thinking, if I’m going to be hysterical here walang mang
yayari. I was surprised by howcalm I was. We were holdinghands, we were praying.Did you believe the threats thatthey would behead the men?That one about Angel’s ransomI believed. I knew they werecapable of doing it.And they had done it in the past.Yes. And they were saying thatLady Ann was the cause of the breakdown of a previous ne
gotiation, which resulted in the beheading of seven hostages.They told me to call my familyto tell them that if P10 millionwas not with Indanan Mayor Alvarez Isnaji by 2 p.m. (on June12) Angel would be beheaded. Iconveyed this to Lady Ann. Shewas chosen by the family to bethe third party. I was negotiat
ing for myself, I was promisinganything, I said uutang ako saABS. They knew ABS has a no-ransom policy, but I said I would borrow money.Every time we talked abouta price lower than P20 millionthey would say, “Maghuhukayna kami.” They would go crazywhen you talked about loweringthe price. They got Isnaji already, but before that they kept sayingno politicians, they didn’t trustthem. They recommended Isnaji.I said, “Why don’t you like ViceGovernor Lady Ann when you
Page 3 Asian Journal - (619) 474-0588 Visit our website at http://www.asianjournalusa.comJune 27 - July 3, 2008

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