Saturday, August 22, 2009


The Friedrich Ebert Stiftung(FES) of Germany in partnership with the Ateneo de Naga University, with the Institute of Politics as the event host organization, will be launching “FOR FREEDOM AND SOCIAL JUSTICE: Social Democratic Political Platforms and Practical Politics since the Middle of the 19th Century” (An Exhibit on the History of the German Social Democratic Party) on 26 August – 2 September 2009 at the Fr. James O’Brien SJ Library, Ateneo de Naga University, Naga City, Philippines.

I sincerely believe that this activity will not only be a significant tool for political education, but also an opportunity to facilitate more vibrant political discussion in the locality. The various events that will be conducted aims to develop deeper understanding of the Philippine socio-politico-economic realities, and of expanding the appreciation of social democracy in the Philippine context.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Launching of FES Exhibit in Discovery Suites, Ortigas

(with my friend Aaron)

(with Randy David and other guests)

Saturday, August 15, 2009



I did not know her personally. But I was fortunate enough to be around already when the 1st People Power took place. And I am sure then and now that I cannot distinguish one from the other: Cory led the People Power, and the People Power revolved around Cory’s courage.

She had demonstrated for us the type of leadership that strives for acceptance and legitimacy among the people.

Instead of relying on coercion usually enforced by armed groups, and manipulation observed in many patronage networks, she stood firmly and worked quietly for the restoration and strengthening of democracy and its institutions.

Instead of polarizing the armed forces, she pushed for social justice and empowerment.

Instead of manipulating government agencies for political gains, she implemented reforms in the bureaucracy.

Instead of endangering the electoral system, she gladly relinquished leadership to the next President.

I did not know her personally. But I will draw inspiration from her works and deeds. And at this point, I am sure many Filipinos are doing the same. Thus in her death, as in her life, she had awaken among us a sense of solidarity and pride for being Filipinos, Christians, and Catholics.

It is so easy to fall into the trappings of our everyday routine, and forget the fact that what we do (or do not do) ultimately defines the future that we create.

It is easy to say: “It is far away, why bother?” only to realize later on that we suffer the consequences of inaction, with our fellow Filipinos.

It is easy to babble about Philippine democracy as a concept, but difficult to realize that it is also a historical reality born out of the difficulties and sacrifices of earlier generations and must be consequently sustained and guarded by the present and future generations.

I did not know her personally. But she has touched my life not only as the leader of the country, but as a human being who struggles and grapples with the same everyday concerns of Filipinos. As a scholar, an activist, a widowed parent, and a woman, the various aspects of her life is a witnessing of her faith, fortitude, and courage.

To my mind CORY symbolized courage and strength that is not born from aggression and intimidation! She had shown us the kind of determination and unwavering commitment that comes from the heart and from the soul!

She also lived a life anchored on peace and non-violence, driven by the conviction that the path to unity and development is solidarity and respect for human dignity.

Most importantly, she has demonstrated that dignity, honor, and noble ideals are worth fighting for. In essence, her life has been a living testimony to the famous ideal espoused by her husband Ninoy: “The Filipino is worth dying for!”

I did not know her personally. But I will always remember her with fondness and gratitude.

Thank you Cory. (And Thank you Ninoy.)

In your life and in your death, (both of) you fought for the Filipinos in your unique, persistent, enduring ways.

I have never felt prouder about my being Pinoy, as I do right now!

Mabalos po.

Renne Gumba
4 July 2009

Monday, August 3, 2009

Requiem Mass and Prayer Vigil for President Cory

The Ateneo de Naga University community will hold a Requiem Mass and Prayer Vigil for the former President Cory Aquino 5:00pm, 4 August 2009 at the University Church.

Aside from the Ateneo community, the public is also invited to attend the said mass and vigil.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Good bye, Tita Cory!

I join the entire Filipino nation in praying for the eternal repose of former President Corazon Aquino. A political leader like her is a rare phenomenon in this country.

At the same time, I fervently pray that her ways and deeds, shown when she was still with us, will continue to unite the people and provide inspiration for greater achievements and enhanced nationhood!

Most importantly, democratization and empowerment continues to be a worthy cause in this country!

Good bye, Tita Cory. But to the proud Filipinos pursuing a life of dignity and honor, you will never really be gone.