Godofredo M. Roperos
Godofredo M. Roperos was born of peasant beginnings. He spent his childhood in Balamban, enjoying the sea and the low hills at the back of the town.
His collection of short stories, Bald Mountains and Other Stories, was written when he was in the University of the Philippines in Diliman. As president of the University of the Philippines Writers Club, he was instrumental in the holding of the First Manila International Festival in 1956.
As associate editor of the Sunday Times Magazine, the weekly supplement of The Manila Times, he won twice the National Press Club-ESSO Journalism awards. He garnered second prize in magazine writing for the feature article, “The Filipino Farmer and His Grain of Rice,” which came out in the annual progress report of The Manila Times in 1961.
His second NPC-ESSO award, first prize in general reporting, was for his report on the Malalag, Davao del Sur Philippine Airlines crash in March 1963, which was headlined in The Manila Times. The crash claimed the lives of all 27 passengers; only a fighting cock survived that accident.
After serving as regional director of the then Department of Public Information in 1974-80, he returned to newspaper work. He writes a column, “Politics Also,” for Sun.Star Cebu.
WHEN we come down to it, one cannot really equate the current ideological conflict with loyalty to one’s country.
I am not disloyal to my country simply because I do not subscribe to the government’s policy toward the poor. Many politicians are loud-mouthed on their supposed concern for the impoverished masses, yet their public service does not reflect their concern.
ONE the frustrating matters that spoils the beginning of your day is when you open the first few pages of your daily newspaper and find that tales of criminality committed in various places in the province have merited enough significance to find print in its prime pages.
Yesterday’s front page headline, of course, already tells us of a case that has alarming ramification to the equanimity of our provincial society.
THERE was an eye-opening story in this daily yesterday. It was one that drew the attention of our people to the way legislators perceive their work as public service. I am referring to the accounting report of the Capitol about Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), otherwise known as “pork barrel,” that each legislator receives from Congress.
WHEN I was a kid in knee pants, my mother, a public school teacher, kept saying that the one thing that made people rich is going into a business venture. She pointed to people she thought were moneyed because they were in the buy-and-sell business. She was a grade one teacher, however, and our neighbors thought highly of teachers who lived off their individual monthly salary.
TRUTH to tell, I laughed when I opened my copy of this daily yesterday and read the headline about Annabelle Rama asking her cousin, Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama, to refund her the last-minute political expense of P3 million that she gave him. If my senior citizen memory still serves me well, this is the first time that a candidate openly asked for a refund of election-day expense.
TODAY in our annual calendar is Independence Day, a national holiday. And so we celebrate this date as the day we became a free and independent country. And, indeed, we have been recognized the world over as a free nation in Southeast Asia, independent ahead of the other countries in the Asian region.
WHAT struck me instantly when I pored over the news were the criminal incidents that occurred in various parts of our island. The circumstances under which the crimes happened are troubling enough when we consider the fact that the social milieu in which each one occurred invited no serious scene that could have attracted attention.
THERE are about one million Filipinos living in Saudi Arabia who are serving Saudi Arabians. And so their lives have to be closely attuned with that of the country they are in. Reports have it that the corona virus has hit that country, and the Philippines, it is said, is not allowed to send any medical attaches there.
THERE was the item in yesterday’s issue of this daily about how the President vetoed 71 bills that Congress endorsed to his office for passage into law.
All these years, since our country accepted a democratic form of government, we learned to do and use its form, procedure and ways of governance.
THERE is this economist who suggested that we should “build on advantages (in our economy) to fuel economic growth.” In a report in the business section of this daily, the professor pointed out to Sun.Star Cebu that “Philippine attributes such as English proficiency, youthful demographic, central location and natural resources would well complement the country’s current credibility.” In short, our country has the foundation for economic growth.