Good stories pierce the gloom
THE SOUTHERN BEAT - Rolly Espina () - November 22, 2008 - 12:00am

Often we find ourselves engulfed by the despairing avalanche of stories about the global financial crisis, the brickbats in Congress, the gaffe of Press Secretary Jesus Dureza and the din of the controversy over the reproductive health bill. And, of course, the daily doses of crime stories.

Western Visayas has its share of these negative stories. And with the Christmas celebration approaching, one wonders whether there could be something that could light up the depressing cloud that has settled over the country and elsewhere around the globe.

Lately, for example, there was the filing of murder complaints against a policeman and his wife for the Oct. 29 assassination of Dixon Chiu, a Filipino-Chinese businessman, and his friend, Antonio Colmenares, who died Monday after a lengthy stay at the Doctors Hospital of Bacolod City.

Then, just last Wednesday, 13-year-old high school student Rose Berida was found stabbed more than 40 times in a sugarcane field in Barangay Mansilingan, Bacolod City. His assailant is reportedly a trisikad driver, Teofisto Nanlabi.

Berida managed to tell her three male cousins that Nanlabi was the one who attacked her while she was going home in Hacienda Akol in Barangay Felisa from the Paglaum High School.

Then, there was the story about the capture on Thursday of Ivan Gamboa, alias Ivan Ligaya, who was linked to organized crime gangs in Negros Occidental and Rizal province.

San Carlos City police chief Harold Tuzon said Gamboa surrendered peacefully when cornered by policemen at the house of a relative in Barangay Rizal, San Carlos City.

He has been tagged in the robberies at Amar Emporium in Victorias City and an LBC outlet in Bacolod City.

He yielded three caliber .45 pistols, a silencer, a 9-mm pistol, seven magazines, a bullet-proof vest, a badge of the National Bureau of Investigation, a traffic police vest, a sniper’s veil, Icom handset, three cell phones and several camouflage uniforms of the military.

Again, there was the other story that Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri announced on Thursday that the Senate would investigate the unabated sugar smuggling in the country, delighting sugar farmers. This followed the apprehension last week of three container vans of 1,547 bags of Thai sugar assigned to WilChan Trading of Mayon st., Quezon City.

All these, of course, combine to create jitters among local watchers as to where the country is heading to, compounded by the oft-repeated complaint of store owners of diminishing sales.

Still, one gets buoyed up by the stories about positive gains.

5 WV writers honored with grants

There was a report from Tacloban City that five writers from Western Visayas received fellowships under the University of the Philippines Visayas’ Creative Writing Program for the UPV Centennial Creative Writing Workshop on Nov. 30 to Dec. 6.

They include Palanca-winning Hiligaynon fictionist Alice Tan Gonzales of UPV-Iloilo; Kinaray-a fictionist Genevieve Asenjo of De La Salle University; Melchor Cichon, Aklan poet based in UPV-Iloilo; and Hiligaynon poet John Iremia Teodof, a member of the University of San Agustin Fray Luis.

The revival of Western Visayas literature was credited to the efforts of Dr. Leoncio Qeriada, an award-winning Hiligaynon fictionist and playwright of UPV Miagao, Iloilo.

Qeriada’s works are in three language groups of Panay – Hiligaynon, Kinaray-a and Aklanon.

The project was sponsored by the National Commission on Culture and Arts (NCCA), Leyte Normal University and the Leyte provincial government.

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