A SOJOURNERS’ VIEW. By Karl M. Gaspar | MindaNews


TRANSFIGURING MINDANAO: Expanding Contentious Nation-Region Discourse

(Speech delivered by Redemptorist Brother Karl Gaspar, one of 44 authors of the book, Transfiguring Mindanao: A Mindanao Reader, during its launch...

A SOJOURNER’S VIEW: A thriving cooperatives movement in Maragusan Valley

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 07 January) – As 2021 gives way to 2022,...

A SOJOURNER’S VIEW: Alber Husin: Go gently into the night, dear friend

DAVAO  CITY (MindaNews/14 February) -- As I write this, Alber Husin – a Tausog peace advocate, anthropologist, teacher, partner to Irene and father of...

A SOJOURNER’S VIEW: Creativity and Sustainability

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/6 February) --- If only for its logo – a radiant, multi-colored lotus flower  with a gentle  fire in its womb –...

A SOJOURNER’S VIEW: One more Independence Day

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/12 June)  -- Here comes the bride, all dressed in white.  This sentence – usually sung - figures prominently this month as...

A SOJOURNER’S VIEW: From logging to mining

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/29 March) – In the afternoon of Monday, 26 March 2012, I was seated at the back row inside the Cathedral of...

A SOJOURNER’S VIEW: The Democratization of Art

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/05 February) -- Of the estimated 1,500,000  inhabitants who  now reside in the various buildings, houses,  shacks and streets  of Davao City,...

A SOJOURNER’S VIEW: A tragic tale of a city and a river

Rivers run through Iligan City, which is why its name is Iligan. The city's linguistic origin is from the word ilig, which according to the...

A SOJOURNER’S VIEWS: In the shadow of the Temple of Mammon

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/05 June) -- In June of 1963,  around a hundred of us freshmen began our undergraduate  studies at what was then the...

A SOJOURNER’S VIEWS: A nascent Mindanawon film industry

ILIGAN CITY (23 May) -- The average Filipinos on the street - referred to by the renowned Filipino filmmaker Lamberto V. Avellana during the...

Mindanao's romance with Christmas lights

ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews/24 December) -- I have been traveling these past weeks and I am amazed at how, across Mindanao, Christmas lights have created...

PANAW LANTAW: Nabahaw na ba ang Semana sa Kalinaw sa Mindanao? by Karl...

Usa ka semana na ang niagi sukad nahuman ang Semana sa Kalinaw sa Mindanao. Sa mga pundok nga aktibo sa pagpahigayon og mga kalihokan...

A SOJOURNER'S VIEW: Madayaw Sur Surigao?

TANDAG, Surigao del Sur (December 8) -- Are things really madayaw (good) in Surigao del Sur these days? Across the province, one sees all kinds of tarpaulin signs that include the word MADAYAW that one is tempted to conclude that everything is fine with the people in that province which is located in the eastern coastal area of Mindanao.

A SOJOURNER'S VIEW: Sheika: A Film Review. By Karl M. Gaspar, CSsR

"The pen is mightier than the sword!" We are all familiar with this adage which goes back to 1939 when the playwright Edward Bulwer-Lytton incorporated these words in his play, Richilieu. Today the words are a bit archaic given the changes in communications and weapons technology. Perhaps it can be updated to: "The camera is mightier than the nuclear torpedo!"

A SOJOURNER'S VIEW: Tampakan or Tamakan? By Karl M. Gaspar

ILIGAN CITY  (MindaNews/17 June) -- As 30 June 2010 approaches - a red-letter day promising relief from the ravages suffered by the Filipino people...

A SOJOURNER'S VIEW: Tranquility in the midst of a threat of war. By Karl...

SEOUL, Republic of Korea (MindaNews/31 May)-- Moon is the Oldest Clock. This is the title of an art exhibit ongoing at the National...

A SOJOURNER'S VIEW: The bystander. By Karl M. Gaspar, CSsR

ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews/04 April) -- The title of the piece rhymes with The Reader

As devoted cineastes know, The Reader is the film that recently gave Kate Winslet her first Oscar as Best Actress. In this film, she plays the role of a former Nazi SS guard who was a party to the massacre of the Jews during the Hitler era in Europe.  This was the infamous Holocaust, the mass slaughter of men, women and children who were herded together like cattle and sent to the gas chambers only because they were Jews.

A SOJOURNER'S VIEWS: Lupang Hinarang: must watch. By Karl M. Gaspar

QUEZON CITY (MindaViews/14 March) -- Viewing Ditsi Carolino's latest documentary film Lupang Hinarang, one can't help thinking: will there ever be an end to the Filipino peasantry's struggle to own a land they can till?

And one can't help feeling furious at the manner the producers of our food are treated bythe powers-that-be and frustrated that the landless farmers have to go through so much suffering. 

A SOJOURNER'S VIEW: To be hacked in Cyberspace. By Karl M. Gaspar, CSsR

ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews/01 February) -- Not a very pleasant experience if one gets hacked in cyberspace.  Ask any of the victims like, yours truly.

A SOJOURNER'S VIEW: What matters most to people today

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/05 January) -- This piece should rather have the title - What Matters Most Today for People that I Know and Care About.
The recent holidays that came with Christmas and New Year afforded us, once more, with the chance to catch up with the people we know and care about. I am no exception. As with most people who reach out to their relatives, friends and associates during the Christmas season, I've been doing just that for as long as I can remember.

A SOJOURNER’S VIEWS: The tyranny of the pila. By Karl Gaspar

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/07 May) -- As these are hot and humid summer days, the tyranny of the pila (queue)  has become even more a source of great stress to ordinary folks. Ordinary, as in, having no maid, houseboy, lower-ranking employee, alalay or anyone who can be commanded to do a task where, more often than not, one has to fall in line and wait for one's turn to be served.

A SOJOURNER’S VIEWS: Why are our own languages so belittled? (Part 1). By Karl...

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/10 Feb) -- Immediately, I know there is something very ironic about this column being written in English with the title of the piece.  I would rather write it in my mother tongue - Cebuano-Bisaya - but for now I believe there is value in writing it in English. (I will, however, write it also in Cebuano-Bisaya for the Bisaya column PANAW-LANTAW).

A SOJOURNER’S VIEWS: The joys of traveling across Mindanao now. By Karl M. Gaspar,...

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/15 Jan) -- We all recently said goodbye -- albeit, some of us, reluctantly -- to the 2007-2008 holiday season.

For many Mindanawons, it was a season of travel as most of us went out of our way to visit family, friends and other folks dear to our hearts.

A SOJOURNER’S VIEWS: To wish the impossible “wish ko lang.” By Karl M. Gaspar,...

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/20 December) -- The phrase “Wish Ko Lang” must be the favorite of many Pinoys during this Christmas season especially because the crisis situation makes so many of us wish for the impossible.  A recent tragedy involving a young Ma-a girl drove home that point earlier.

A SOJOURNER’S VIEWS: Until there was no one left. By Karl M. Gaspar, CSsR

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/09 December) --At the height of martial rule in the l970s-80s, there was a quote that made the rounds among the activists and affected them quite deeply so that the words helped to deepen their commitment to defend the people's human rights.

A SOJOURNER’S VIEWS:: Josefina’s song: from blues to reggae

JOSEFINA, Zamboanga del Sur (MindaNews/02 November) --Twenty years ago, Josefina sang the blues. Located in the Zamboanga peninsula, the town of Josefina was a virtual war zone. Despite the end of Marcos' martial rule, there was no peace in this town situated at the foot of Mt. Malindang in the late 1980s.

A SOJOURNER’S VIEWS: Winning small wars

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/28 September) -- One hazards the guess that part of the fascination of watching the TV proceedings now ongoing at the Senate dealing with the intensely controversial ZTE Broadband Project is in seeing how members of our

society's elite fight with each other.

ON SABBATICAL: End of a sabbatical

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/30 July) -- July last year, I left the Philippines for a one-year sabbatical which brought me to some of the most soul-stirring spots across the world.


NEW YORK (MindaNews/26 September) -- It is a good time to be in New York.  Since I arrived here last week, the weather has been really nice: neither too hot nor too cold.  It's like being in Baguio during sunny days this time of the year, too.  The late summer flowers in the parks are still in bloom and the trees stand tall with thick foliage.

ON SABBATICAL: A pilgrimage to Mt. Banahaw (5)

Last of five parts
QUEZON (MindaNews/03 Sept) -- When I asked them how many they were in this samahan, he said that they speak in terms of balangays (clusters of families) and as of the moment, they have 71 balangays spread across the country with most of them being in Luzon. Most of those in Kinabuhian are members of their samahan; others live in various parts of the country.

ON SABBATICAL: A pilgrimage to Mt. Banaha

4th of five parts
QUEZON (MindaNews/02 Sept) -- As Mt. Banahaw is considered a place for healing, the local herbs are aplenty and are sold in the various small stores spread all over Sta. Lucia. One could see barks of trees, leaves, limestones being displayed and sold for their medicinal value. Some of these find their way to Quiapo and other outlets for herbal medicine and the like. 

ON SABBATICAL: A pilgrimage to Mt. Banahaw (3)

3rd of five parts
QUEZON (MindaNews/01 Sept) -- For students of Spirituality - as an academic discipline - interested in indigenous mystical practices of our ancestors, here in the samahan one is afforded a glimpse into what could be one model or lived experience of mysticism that goes a long way back to our pre-colonial era. While listening to Nanay Isabel, I was conscious of a deep desire: that there would be serious Filipino scholars who would pursue this type of research as it would be most helpful in rediscovering our very deep sense of the divine as well as the roots of our own indigenous spirituality.

ON SABBATICAL: A pilgrimage to Mt. Banahaw (2)

2nd of five parts
QUEZON (MindaNews/31 August) -- There are also landmarks placed in strategic areas by the National Historical Commission. One informs the nationalist pilgrim that the hero Macario Sakay and his men retreated to this part of Mt. Banahaw during the height of their anti-colonial struggles. The confluence of these signs and symbols - political, cultural, religious - provides the unique character of Mt. Banahaw as it affirms the sojourner's citizenship, cultural identity and religiosity.

ON SABBATICAL: A pilgrimage to Mt. Banahaw

1st of five parts
QUEZON (MindaNews/30 Aug) -- I had always wanted to go on a pilgrimage to Mt. Banahaw, perhaps the country's premiere indigenously Filipino pilgrimage site. However, the visit to the holy mountain remained elusive through the past more than five decades of my life. This desire intensified in the past decade during and after my UP studies and especially as I became more and more interested in knowing more about Filipino indigenous spirituality.

ON SABBATICAL: A representation brouhaha: the continuing saga of the Tasaday

QUEZON CITY (MindaNews/20 August) -- Thirty years since "a group of people," in the words of the American news reporter John Nance, "walked less than 20 miles from their home in a Philippine rain-forest and traveled through 50,000 years of cultural and technological time", the debate on whether the Tasaday were truly from the Stone Age or not continues to rage in the country's anthropological circle.

ON SABBATICAL: Robben Island

ROBBEN ISLAND, South Africa (MindaNews) -- I first heard about Robben Island years ago, when I was a political prisoner in the Davao Metrodiscom stockade in downtown Davao City.
The world's most famous political prisoner, Nelson Mandela, who was to spend almost 30 years in prison before being released in the early 1990s, was incarcerated there.

ON SABBATICAL: Evading death’s fatal gaze in the Land of a Pandemic

SOUTH AFRICA (MindaNews) -- On my fifth day in South Africa, I found myself in Phokeng, which is part of the Diocese of Rustenberg.  The bishop of this diocese is a Redemptorist, Bishop Kevin Dowling.  Rustenberg is about two hours ride from Pretoria, close to three hours ride from Johannesburg.  I spent three days in Phokeng, living in a Redemptorist monastery which is within the compound of the bishop's residence.

ON SABBATICAL: Everywhere there are graveyards

STERKFONTEIN, South Africa (MindaNews) -- I have told you that for my sabbatical, I want to go on a long pilgrimage, across some parts of the globe, wherever destiny would bring me as I refuse to get into a strategic planning scheme for this one-year break. Whatever happens will happen; what is not meant to take place, will not arise. (Down with rational purposive action! Long live communicative action!)