Archive for the ‘Floro Balce’ Category

Recalling the Bantayog Heroes

December 5, 2008

In a day of remembrance on December 2, 2008, friends and relatives of those who died under the repressive conjugal dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos and Imelda Marcos were honored in Bantayog Memorial Center at EDSA, Quezon City.

The guest of honor for this year’s memorial was Naga City mayor Jesse M. Robredo who addressed the crowd. The mayor and his audience paid homage to over 170 brave men and women who sacrificed their lives fighting the corrupt Marcos government. About 10,000 Filipinos died in the in the turbulent years of the Philippines which produced martyrs in national leaders like Ninoy Aquino, Jose Diokno, and student-scholar Ibalonian Floro E. Balce.

Mayor Robredo praised Balce of Daet, Camarines Norte and other Bicolano heroes namely Tony G. Ariado, Jemino L. Balaquiao, Jr., Alexander Belone; Dr. Juan B. Escandor; Romulo Jallores (Kumander Tangkad,) Ruben Jallores (Kumander Benjie,) brothers Ramon, Jesus and Tomas Pilapil, and; Nanette Vytiaco.—Bicol Mail (12//05/08)

Ms. Asena Arcilla-Galang, a charter member of UP Ibalon attended the memorial tendered by the University of the Philippines Centennial for the 72 courageous Bantayog heroes of the school on Saturday, November 29, 2008. (Photo Credits:; bloomsdayflowers) =0=

When friends will sing no more

November 13, 2008

Whether one gets killed in a battle, perishes at sea, or dies by natural causes, a common thread exists because of the loss. Not a day after I tell Ibalonians of my “maudlin” reaction to the empty chairs and tables pictured in Myty’s blog of the Princess of Stars ship tragedy where more than 800 innocent passengers drowned, I learned with sadness that there was a fine human being who died in the foothills of Albay during a military skirmish some eight years ago.

Maria Graziella Miranda, a brave and idealistic UP Ibalon member of Daraga, Albay was lost in that encounter in Bicol. The details of her demise had been sketchy, making this remembrance even more important.

She joined the ranks of Ibalonian Bantayog ng Bayani hero Floro E. Balce and Ibalon friend Naga-native Alexander Belone II. To memorialize Maria Graziella and her dreams, I post Les Miserable’s Empty Chairs at Empty Tables in her honor. She studied at the College of Music. I enjoin the readers to remember her in prayers. Requiescat in Pace (Photo Credits: Bloomsdayflowers; twol942) =0=

Empty Chairs at Empty Tables
—Marius, Les Miserables (by Victor Hugo)

There’s a grief that can’t be spoken.
There’s a pain goes on and on.
Empty chairs at empty tables
Now my friends are dead and gone.

Here they talked of revolution.
Here it was they lit the flame.
Here they sang about `tomorrow’
And tomorrow never came.

From the table in the corner
They could see a world reborn
And they rose with voices ringing
I can hear them now!
The very words that they had sung
Became their last communion
On the lonely barricade at dawn.

Oh my friends, my friends forgive me

(The ghosts of those who died on the barricade appear)

That I live and you are gone.
There’s a grief that can’t be spoken.
There’s a pain goes on and on.

Phantom faces at the window.
Phantom shadows on the floor.
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will meet no more.

(The ghosts fade away)

Oh my friends, my friends, don’t ask me
What your sacrifice was for
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will sing no more.