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The best and the worst in the homo sapiens in our corner of the world this month

Updated on September 6, 2011

Teaching children how to read and write

A slum kid himself, Efren Penaflorida has great compassion for slum kids.
A slum kid himself, Efren Penaflorida has great compassion for slum kids.


Dateline: Philippines

On November 16, 2009, Efren Peñaflorida, a 25-year old teacher from the province of Cavite, was awarded the CNN Hero of 2009. For a young man who grew up in the slums and be the best of what a human being can be, illustrates the fact that indeed the finest qualities of a human being can be unleashed even in the most difficult of circumstances with a little help from caring organizations and individuals. The link below has a brief biography of Efren.

The CNN Hero of 2009 award is an affirmation of the visionary efforts of a young man and his group called the “Dynamic Teen Company” to look after the well-being of children from blighted communities. The award also exposes, without meaning to do so, the sad plight of the Philippine Public School System. Here’s a link to a number of opinions regarding the state of our country’s public school system:

The Maguindanao Massacre, November 23, 2009

On November 23, 2009, in the town of Ampatuan in Maguindanao province, in the island region of Mindanao, the Ampatuan massacre (after the town where the mass graves were found) occurred. The victims were about to file a certificate of candidacy for Esmael Mangudadatu, vice mayor of Buluan town. Mangudadatu was challenging Andal S. Ampatuan, Jr., son of the incumbent Maguindanao governor Datu Andal Ampatuan Sr., in the forthcoming Maguindanao gubernatorial election, part of the national elections in 2010. Those killed included Mangudadatu's wife, his two sisters, lawyers and aides and 34 journalists. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called the Maguindanao massacre the single deadliest event for journalists since 1992 when CPJ began keeping detailed records on journalist deaths. Even before the Maguindanao massacre, the CPJ had already labeled the Phulippines the second most dangerous country for journalists, second only to Iraq.

The Maguindanao massacre couldn’t have happened if the political culture of impunity did not come about. This event illustrated the lowest level that human beings can become if power ends up in the wrong hands.

The Philippine Government is under pressure from local and international voices. As of this writing. Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. submitted himself to authorities on Thursday, November 26.



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    • franciaonline profile image

      franciaonline 8 years ago from Philippines

      Indeed, the fight is not over until we are able to fight and then when eventually we become unable, with a generous heart,

      we pass on the pen or the sword or the torch.....

      Thanks, as always, for leaving an insightful comment.

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Ah the best and the worst of times, the best and the worst in people. But despite the stark contrast between the two 'events' they both inspire use to do more and be more. The fight is not over until you've breathed your last breath.

    • franciaonline profile image

      franciaonline 8 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks for dropping by, Peter. We continue to pressure our government to bring the murderers to justice. At the moment,Andal Ampatuan, Jr. has surrendered to authorities and is now being held in detention. The part that makes people furious is that Andal Ampatuan, Jr. says he is innocent. But of course, the pressure is on.

    • Peter Dickinson profile image

      Peter Dickinson 8 years ago from South East Asia

      Thank you - I love the Philippines and its people and I am still in a state of shock over the massacre. Truly terrible, it brought me to tears. I hope justice is done and seen to be done.