These places came to me with a sting of nostalgia. I used to pass by this area more than twenty years ago on my way to the Notre Dame of Jolo for Boys, a high school ran by the Marist Brothers, an affiliate of the Oblates Order, the major Catholic congregation along with the Dominicans and Carmelites in the Province of Sulu. This time though, I was at the Carmelite Hall waiting for Bishop Benjamin de Jesus for an interview in connection with the special project by the UP-Center for Integrative Development Studies (CIDS) about the proposed government offer to the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in 1996: the Southern Philippines Council for Peace Development (SPCPD).
QUEZON CITY (MindaNews/24 January) -- This is my first column at MindaNews. Allow me, at the outset, to be personal with my tone in expressing what I’d like to write.
Beginning is the difficult part in writing a column. I felt it when I started to jot down my thought into my monitor screen after Carolyn Arguillas invited me to write a column last month. After Carol’s email, I immediately scribbled a piece; it was my way to capture my excitement having been offered to write by one of the leading journalists in Mindanao. However, despite my initial draft, I decided to shelve it for a while as I was not yet convinced of the message I wanted to bring across. I had to be sure; it would be my first salvo at MindaNews. Besides, I'd been glued closely these past weeks to the news about the Middle East particularly the war in Gaza where I was obliged, too, to write my thoughts about it.