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“Kantahan sa Lansangan”: Thomasians organize benefit street gig for farmers

Progressive Thomasian students held a street performance event in commemoration of Peasant’s Month echoing the demand for better policies and the call to end the killing of farmers, Thursday, Oct. 17.

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Photo by Jacqueline Martinez/TomasinoWeb

Progressive Thomasian students held a street performance event in commemoration of Peasant’s Month echoing the demand for better policies and the call to end the killing of farmers, Thursday, Oct. 17.

The event “Kantahan sa Lansangan” was spearheaded by Anakbayan-UST to gather funds to aid farmers and be able to register the call by featuring spoken open mic performances and busking. 

Angelo del Rosario of Anakbayan-UST highlighted the benefit gig’s role in joining the plight of farmers in registering and asserting their rights. 

“Yung street gig na ito ay in support sa mga peasants natin. Gusto rin natin na makiisa sa laban ng mga magsasaka para sa mga iba’t-ibang karapatan nila […] at makakamtan natin sa pamamagitan ng tunay na reporma sa lupa,” del Rosario said. 

Peasant workers were also set to talk in the event to share their experiences which, however, did not push through due to heightened police presence in the area, citing safety and security concerns in line with the alleged spur of targeted killings of farmers.

Del Rosario also expressed his frustration in the surveillance of the local police in the area for the event: “Sobrang nakakafrustrate siya, kasi karapatan naman na mag-perform hindi lamang ipanawagan yung mga legitimate na calls ng mga magsasaka, [pati na] yung mga calls ng mga estudyante.”

He added: “Itong tinitiktikan tayo parang kumbaga ikino-consider tayong threat of security sa public. Well in fact, gusto kong sabihin na sila pa nga ang mas karapat-dapat bansagan bilang threat of security.”

Farmers burdened by rice tariffication law, militarization

Moreover, peasants’ rights group spokesperson lambasted the government’s policy of Rice Tariffication Law, saying that farmers’ rights, as the producers of the country, must be addressed by the government. 

Eddie Billolas, spokesperson of Katipunan ng Samahan ng Magsasaka – Timog Katagalugan, in an exclusive with TomasinoWeb, said: “Ang magsasaka ay tagapaglikha ng pagkain ‘yan. [Na] pakainin ang sambayanang Pilipino na walang bahid ng paglabag sa karapatan at dapat nga tugunan ang kanyang pangangailangan.” 

Billolas added that even though the law has already passed, farmers have no control on what they sell. He also implicated that the price of palay has deflated for as low as P9, making the local farmers suffer more in this current bill. 

A farmer from Mindoro, who had an exclusive interview with TomasinoWeb, stated that there is an ongoing militarization which targets the farmers and also the indigenous people specifically the Mangyan tribe. He decided to disclose his personal information for  safety reasons.

“Sa kasalukuyan ay marami ang militar sa amin at ang mga katutubo ay dinadaya at sinasaktan. Pumili rin [sila] ng mga lugar na malapit sa tinitirhan ng mga katutubo at binabantayan sila,” he said. 

Pertaining to the Rice Tariffication Law, he stated that he wishes the government would hear their plights and make an action towards the dreadful situation of the local farmers. “Ang panawagan namin ay sana itaas manlang ang produksyon namin hinggil sa aming pinagkakakitaan tulad na lamang ng niyog, saging at kung ano pa,” he added. 

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Casanova ng Kolehiyo ng Edukasyon, itinalagang bagong KWF komisyoner

Si Assoc. Prof. Arthur Casanova ang papalit sa nakaraang komisyoner na Pambansang Alagad ng Sining na si Virgilio Almario.

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Si KWF Komisyoner Arthur Casanova sa isang seminar sa UST noong Agosto 2018 | Kuha ni Alexa Taay/TomasinoWeb

Itinalaga ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte si Assoc. Prof. Arthur Casanova bilang bagong kinatawan ng wikang Tagalog at komisyoner ng Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF).

Siya ang papalit sa nakaraang komisyoner na Pambansang Alagad ng Sining na si Virgilio Almario.

Ang pagkakatalaga sa premyadong manunulat, lingguwista, at edukador ay may bisa na pitong taon o hanggang Enero taong 2027.

Nagtapos si Casanova sa Mindanao State University sa kursong Batsilyer ng Edukasyong Pangsekundarya medyor sa Filipino noong 1982, masterado sa Edukasyon na may espesyalisasyon sa Filipino Linguistics, at doktorado sa Literatura at Lingguwistika sa Philippine Normal University noong 1992 at 1999.

Nakapaglathala na siya ng mga teksbuk para sa mga high school at kolehiyo, gayundin ng mahigit 40 akda na karamihan ay tungkol sa mga dula partikular sa pananaliksik at produksyon ng mga dulang pang-Mindanao.

Siya rin ay isang aktibong miyembro ng mga samahan. Ilan na rito ay ang Aliw Awards Foundation (2013-2017), International Theatre Institute kung saan siya ay naging miyembro ng 17 na taon (2000-2017), at bilang pangulo ng Metrobank Foundation Network of Outstanding Teachers sa loob ng isang taon (2011-2012).

Nag-uwi rin siya ng ilang karangalan tulad ng Metrobank Foundation Outstanding teacher noong 1999, at SARIMANOK Award Outstanding Alumnus in the Field of Literature and the Arts  mula sa Mindanao State University noong 2011.

Nakatanggap din siya ng parangal mula sa National Book Awards noong 1986 at 1987, at Aliw Awards for Best Musical Play Director.

Ang Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino ay isang ahensya na tumututok sa mga wika sa bansa kontra sa mga banta ng paglaho nito.

Ang kanyang pagtuturo sa UST

Maraming taon ang iginugol ni Casanova sa pagtuturo at pagbabahagi ng kanyang kaalaman sa mga mag-aaral ng Unibersidad.

Sa eklusibong panayam ng TomasinoWeb, bagamat nagulat sa pagkakatalaga ni Casanova bilang bagong komisyoner ng KWF, ipinahayag ni Asst. Prof. Alvin R. Reyes ang kanilang galak at mga inaasahan sa kanyang pagkakatalaga sa naturang puwesto.

Sa panig ng UST, siyempre mas inaasahan natin yung matibay na ugnayan sa KWF higit kailanman para isulong yung mga proyekto nating pang-Unibersidad patungo sa range o lawak na pambansa this time,” ani Reyes, ang tagapangulo ng Departamento ng Filipino ng UST.

Ayon pa kay Reyes, kahit noong siya ay guro pa lamang sa Unibersidad, siya ay maraming nang plano para sa mga wikang nanganganib mamatay.

“Nung siya ay pangkaraniwang guro pa lamang dito sa UST, mga naririnig ko sa kanya na mga bagay na dapat gawin kaugnay ng wika ay yung pananaliksik pa o research tungkol sa mga nanganganib na wika sa Pilipinas,” dagdag pa niya.

Hindi rin maitatanggi ni Reyes ang mga implikasyon ng kanyang pag-alis sa trabaho.

“Kung dati, madali lang niya maibabahagi ang kanyang expertise kasi kasama namin siya, ngayon ay medyo mahirap na. Kailangan na naming dumaan sa proseso ng pag-iimbita kasi hahanap lang kami ng libreng niyang oras,“ aniya.

Nagkaroon din ng mga bakanteng klase dahil sa kanyang pag-alis kung kaya hahanapan pa ito ng mga gurong magtuturo, o magkakaroon ng overload sa mga teaching loads ng mga propesor. Alexa Basa

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Thomasians demand for passage of students’ code in First Day Fight

The protest condemned the “yearly” tuition increase and demanded for the passage of the long-delayed students’ code of rights of the University.

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Photo by Arden Esmile/TomasinoWeb

Progressive students from the University held their “First Day Fight” protest to kick-off the first day of classes for the second semester at UST Gate 2 Monday, Jan. 20, 2020.

The protest condemned the “yearly” tuition increase and demanded for the passage of the long-delayed students’ code of rights of the University.

In an interview with TomasinoWeb, Karch Rafael of Kabataan Partylist-UST expressed his concern over the passage of the students’ code which might start again from the very beginning after the change in the University’s rector.

“Ngayon ang [gusto nating tutukan] ay tuition increase nanaman tsaka ‘yung democratic rights na patuloy na inaapakan, na sinusupil ng estado natin tsaka ng administrasyon ng UST.

“Gusto nating mabuo ‘yung students’ demand at maipasa na ‘yung students’ code [ngayong] taon na mahigit 16 to 17 years na siyang nakabinbin. Napalitan nanaman ang rector, ibig sabihin nito mataas ‘yung posibilidad na bumalik siya from square one,” Rafael said.

“Dahil sino ba dapat ‘yung primaryang nakikinabang sa kung anong ibinibigay ng isang paaralan. Siyempre ang estudyante, estudyanteng parte ng kabataan at magiging pag-asa ng bagong henerasyon,” Rafael added.

Students also criticized the budget cuts on the country’s calamity fund and government’s response on the Taal Eruption.

“Tinututulan natin yun [budger cut]. Nung nakipag-usap naman ako [na] nabiktima din nung kalamidad ay malaki yung inaasahan nila na tulong mula sa gobyerno natin sapagkat alam nila na yung gobyerno dapat natin ‘yung primaryang tumutulong sa mga mamamayan sa panahon ng pangangailangan,” he said.

Rafael also expressed his anger towards Duterte administraton and its policies, “Habang tumatagal si Duterte sa bulok niyang palasyo, lalong tumitindi yung pag-atake sa mga mamamayan”, he added.

Trisha Ifurung of League of Filipino Students-UST also said that the protest also aims to look back on what has been done from the previous semester and continuing to fight for the students’ and the people’s rights that are being neglected by the administration.

“Panibagong taon nanaman pero yung mga problema na nararanasan ng mga mamamayan ay patuloy pa din,” she said.

The students also called for the junking of the mandatory ROTC for senior high school students and the K-12 program which is about to undergo a public review by the House of Representatives. R. Velasco with reports from J. A. Pangilinan

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Dagohoy concludes University rectorship

“It is an honor to serve Asia’s oldest university, and to meet wonderful people like you. Love UST,” the former rector said on Jan. 15, as posted in the UST’s official social media pages.

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Rev. Fr. Richard Ang and Rev. Fr.Herminio Dagohoy, UST's 96th rector, during the Paskuhan mass in December 2019 | Deojon Elarco/TomasinoWeb

University of Santo Tomas (UST) Rector Very Rev. Fr. Herminio V. Dagohoy, O.P., the 96th Rector Magnificus of the University, has already concluded his eight-year term in the University.

“It is an honor to serve Asia’s oldest university, and to meet wonderful people like you. Love UST,” the former rector said on Jan. 15, as posted in the UST’s official social media pages.

Dagohoy, 55, was the 9th Rector of the UST Angelicum College and former finance director of UST Hospital before he assumed his rectorship in the University.

He was born in Hagonoy, Bulacan, and he graduated accountancy at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines before joining the Order of Preachers.

He also finished other degrees: AB Philosophy, Sacred Theology, Master of Arts in Philippine Studies, Licentiate in Philosophy, and Doctorate in Philosophy.

Rev. Fr. Richard Ang, O.P., UST Vice-Rector for seven years, is now the acting rector.

He was the former dean of the then Faculty of Philosophy and former chairman of Manpower, Scholarship, and Retirement Board Committee of the University.

Ang, during his academic years, has published several scholarly articles about philosophy such as “The Confucian Li,” “On Conceiving Ren towards Birthing Ru Jia,” and “The Concept of Ren.”

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