LETRATO: Letra x Litrato


Photo and Poem by Pamela Ann Bangayan

They told me I’m going to be fine
That they’ll only be gone for a short while
But every tick of clock equals to forever
I guess they lied
They don’t want to be by my side
Because I am weak
My feet tremble very quick
They now have their own lives
While I’m stuck here,
still trying to figure out, “What’s life?”


Photo and Poem by Jamie Rosseditt Garcesa


Isang delubyo ang pagdating mo
Ni sa guni-guni, hindi inakalang tayo’y magtatagpo
Sa silid na ito kung saan unang nagkadaupang palad
Bakit nga ba sa’yo, ako’y nagpadala agad?

Sari-saring komento ang bumalot
Mundong mapanghusga, tuluyan tayong tinatakot
Ipinilit ang pagmamahalang nabuo
Pinanghawakan ang pangako

Ngunit lumipas ang ilang buwan
Tila tama nga yata sila – wala tayong patutunguhan
Unti-unti na akong pumipiglas sa’yong mga yakap
Kasunod ng panlalamig at pagsinghap

Nagpatuloy ang hindi inaasahan
Tuluyan ka na ngang nawala sa aking piling
Ang dating silid na nagsilbing munting tahanan
Bakit ngayon, iniiwas-iwasan?

Bumalik ako sa panahong tinanong kita
“Mahal, napapagod ka na ba?”
Boses mo’y umalingawngaw
Sabay bigkas ng, “Pasensya na, mahal. Ayoko na.” —
“Pakiusap, magpahinga na tayo.”

Sana’y maintindihan mong hindi lahat ng wasak ay kailangan buoin,
At hindi lahat ng nararamdaman mo’y masusuklian ko ng kaparehong damdamin.


Photo and Poem by Pamela Ann Bangayan

I once had a dream that I was flying high
Arms open, I was close to becoming fine
To the loneliness, I was singing “bye”
I was close to thinking it’s my time to shine

But something is pulling me down
Telling me I am not worthy to keep
That I don’t deserve the crown
‘Coz I am not allowed to dream even in sleep


Intramuros to become pedestrian-friendly, underground cabling stalled


(Photo by Pamela Ann Bangayan) Picturesque Manila Cathedral. The view of Manila Cathedral after the overhead cables in front of those were decluttered.
Inset: (Photo courtesy of Intramuros Administration) Inset photo shows utility cables being decluttered.

By Pamela Ann C. Bangayan

Almost a year after Intramuros Administration (IA) kicked-off its underground cabling project in Plaza Roma, the next phase is to bury all utility cables in Calle Aduana underground, as well as other tourist spots inside the historic district of Manila, with the hope to make the walled city more picturesque.

IA Architect Ramil Tibayan said that the said project is actually part of the 1991 Urban Development plan of the administration. However, it was only last year that underground cabling embarked and it was Manila Cathedral that was prioritized in line with the preparation for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation 2015 in the country.

When started, the end-goal of IA, as an attached agency of Department of Tourism (DOT), is to attract more tourists in visiting Intramuros and to make them further appreciate the historic place by removing the eye soring overhead cables. Moreover, the administration eyes to make the district pedestrian and bicycle-friendly, hence, develop a less-polluted Intramuros.

Although not yet started the rehabilitation of A. Soriano Avenue or Calle Aduana is already being handled by Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority, another agency under DOT, and is estimated to consume one or two years of construction.

On the other hand, Tibayan said in an interview with The Millennials’ Guild that this is not a kind of project where we can expect immediate results for this is a big task that requires a huge budget and a lot of factors are stalling the project, one of those is the latter.

“There may be a problem on the procurement process. Hindi ko talaga masabi kung ano ba yung nakakapag stall sa project na ito. Mahirap pagplanuhan dahil maraming involve. Hindi lang naman ito kuryente kundi pati ang drainage, telephone companies, and water supply since we are also planning to renew the streetscapes,” Tibayan said when asked about what he thinks are the factors stalling the project.

Another reason, according to an Inquirer interview with IA Chief Marco Antonio Luisito Sardillo III, is that the project is a “nightmare” since Intramuros already has existing development compared to the case of Bonifacio Global City which started “completely blank.”

Aside from Plaza Roma and Calle Aduana, other priority areas for development include Magallanes Drive, General Luna, Padre Burgos and other main thoroughfares of Intramuros.

Execution of justice for Marcos still pending by Angelica Cruz


Former party-list Representative Neri Colmenares leads petitioners against FM burial

Photo from Inquirer.net

To settle the petitions filed against the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, the Supreme Court announced to conduct an oral argument on Thursday, August 24.

“The issue has been sparking debates among Filipinos for many years now,” observed Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana who stands by President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision of issuing a memorandum allowing the remains of Marcos to be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.


 Late President Marcos remains at Batac, Ilocos Norte

Photo from Manila Bulletin

“The main reason of the President for doing such is because Marcos was a war veteran and believes that he deserves it much like the guerillas who fought valiantly for his country,” Lorenzana said.

He also pointed out that Marcos was present during the Death March together with the American and Filipino soldiers.

Furthermore, the criminal rate in the country during his regime was relatively low. Drugs were controlled and regulations enjoining the withdrawal of juveniles and civilians from the streets at night were ordered.

“We cannot deny the fact that the late President also made a lot of contributions for the country,” Lorenzana said. Many infrastructures that were being used up to now such as Folk Arts Theater, National Arts Center, Nayong Pilipino, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Lung Center of the Philippines and San Juanico Bridge were established during his term.

Upon learning this, former party-list Representatives Satur Ocampo and Neri Colmenares along with other individuals filed a petition that seeks to nullify the memorandum issued by Lorenzana ordering the Armed Forced of the Philippines to transfer the corpse of Marcos to the Libingan.

This is in the belief of the petitioners that the late dictator has violated human rights during the martial law implementation.

As stated in their petition, Marcos is not qualified under any law or guideline. According to them, it goes against the constitutional precept that corruption will never be forgotten as it made the load heavier for the Filipinos who were left with billions of debt in the International Bank.

As per the guidelines of the Libingan ng mga Bayani, burials must be construed to entitle only for former presidents whose lives serve as inspiration and worthy of emulation by the generations of Filipinos.

“Now, this appears questionable to other people as how could a nation who fought dictatorship would consider the dictator a hero,” petitioner Ocampo remarked.

Meralco strikes Ginebra to take game 3

by Bryle Suralta

Meralco capitalized on another solid outing from their locals as the Bolts shut down the Gin Kings, 107-103, last Wednesday night to retake the series advantage in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Governor’s Cup Finals in front of a large crowd at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Another great showing for the Bolts’ locals as Reynel Hugnatan, Jimmy Alapag and Chris Newsome scored a combined 57 points in the contest. While import Allen Durham also put up epic numbers by scoring 36 points and grabbing 20 boards to lead the way for the Bolts.

But it was Hugnatan who stood out among the rest as the veteran put on a three-point shooting clinic down the stretch.

Hugnatan hit three three-pointers in the closing minutes, including a marker that would seal the deal for Meralco.

Jimmy Alapag also found his stroke from deep as the former PBA Most Valuable Player held off the Kings with timely three-point marksmanship throughout the game.

Meanwhile, Ginebra import Justin Brownlee tried to keep the team afloat almost singlehandedly with a monster 42-point performance that led all scorers.

Ginebra starts LA Tenorio, Japeth Aguilar and Scottie Thompson also chipped in with a couple of buckets, scoring 14 points, 12 points and ten points respectively.

The game went down to the wire as the teams fought for the lead in the closing seconds.

A Brownlee triple off a timeout cut the lead down to just two points, keeping the Kings within striking distance with 11.2 seconds remaining.

But it was Bolts import Allen Durhan that would seal the deal for Meralco, after hitting two of two from the charity stripe.

“It was a game neither team wanted to lose,” said Bolts head coach Norman Black in the post-game press conference.

He added, “We’re getting closer to where we want to be. We really wanted to take Game Three because we felt that would give us an advantage going in further into the series.”

The next game is set on Friday, October 14, as the Kings look to tie the series at two games apiece.

Box score: MERALCO 107 – Durham 36, Newsome 22, Alapag 18, Hugnatan 17, Hodge 6, Faundo 4, Uyloan 3, Amer 1, Al-Hussaini 0, Nabong 0. GINBERA 103 – Brownlee 42, Tenorio 14, Aguilar 12, Thompson 10, Cruz 6, Mariano 0, Devance 5, Mercado 4, Ellis 2, Marcelo 2, Caguiao 0. Quarterscores: 18-20, 48-44, 71-69, 107-103


by Angelica Cruz

So Andrea read a long comment in her photo that disheartened her a lot.

How come we became a society that degrades people, uses words that are below the belt, heavy with criticisms and judgements, without even thinking how it could affect a person’s reputation and dignity?

I find truth in this statement, ‘if you don’t have something good to say, better keep your mouth shut.’ This does not apply in conversations only, but even in posting comments online.

Most Internet users nowadays are very much engaged in sharing feedbacks and comments with the other netizens. But little did they know, some words they posted actually appear like a lemon juice sprinkled on their victim’s sore skin. I can hardly imagine now how Andrea Brillantes, the pabebe girls and the rest of Kuya’s housemates dealt with their bashers’ nasty comments. I mean, how in the world this anonymous person will come and try to make you feel bad about your life, right?

While searching for news online, I accidentally clicked the entertainment section and read on this particular hot issue about this child actress and after reading the post, I felt the urge to read the comments and opinions of other readers and there I saw how each person has their own personal takes on that person’s life –a life they were not a part of and a person they never even met. You can saw name calling, harsh criticisms and judgments – all forms of bullying.

I know that being a public figure should sort of prepare you for all these things. But a celebrity is an individual as well, like you and me. They were also hurt when someone is saying mean things against them. They were also sad when people made up lies about them. I’m not speaking for celebrities alone but for all those who have become victims of bullying.

Today, social networking sites have become avenues to promote social awareness, connect with friends and send positive vibes. But sadly, these has also become an avenue to fuel negativity, intentionally inflict pain on someone and say things they want to say, simply because they can hide behind their keyboards and remain anonymous.

Netizens believe that they can play and pretend confident when in fact it teaches them to become a fearful one. They think that the power they have will last longer when in fact it can only last for a while and that person feels crappy again for being mean and rude at the same time.

So I am encouraging everyone to think about it. We, also have been bullies at some point in our lives, even something as simple as commenting on a person’s look saying ‘jologs’, ‘mataba’, ‘pangit’ or judging someone’s personal life decisions, even gossiping about it with our friends is also a form of bullying.

Being mean is NOT cool. It may be fun for a while but it can only last for few minutes. Being mean will only make you inferior and shallow because you focus your energy on futile and temporary joys. So I am challenging everyone to practice sensitivity and kindness whether online or in our daily transactions at school, home or workplace.

We all have been given a choice to voice out and speak something, it is your choice whether to destroy someone or build him up with your words.

Manila X: Where music and fashion collide

by Angelica Cruz


Rock band Kwjan performs while models strut the runway.
(Photo by Sonny Espiritu)

Filipino festivalgoers witnessed the merging of music and fashion through bold runway shows scored by world-class musical performances at the Globe Circuit Event Grounds.

Welcoming the crowd were catchy beats from DJ Jess Milner. Drilling down the different strands of music were Pop Rock Princess Yeng Constantino and Kiana Valenciano.


Top DJs (clockwise) Jessica Milner, Tom Taus and Curse & Bless serving some cool beats
(Photo by Sonny Espiritu)

Live musical acts, intensified with the presence of various artists and celebrities, had the crowd dancing and singing the night along. One of the crowd favorites was Gloc 9 whose album Sukli under Star Music was launched recently in ABS-CBN’s variety show ASAP. Also the headliners in the fest were some of the country’s much-anticipated and well-received bands like Kjwan, Up Dharma Down, and The Juans. They cruised through their original hit songs while fashion models stun the audience with their impeccable style.

Once everyone was prepped up, hip online retailer Zalora filled the runway with bold tribal prints and romantic night out pieces, pumped up by performances from up and coming band The Juans and singer-songwriter duo Thyro and Yumi. This was followed by stylist John Paul Dizon’s sleek-themed show, with ensembles worn by his models and celebrity clients and friends.


Jake Ejercito (left) walks for fashion designer John Paul Dizon (right)
(Photo by Sonny Espiritu)

The energy was brought back up by stylist duo Rain Dagala and Em Millan through youthful, editorial, street looks in their sportswear-dominated show. It was complemented by powerful, collaborative performances from Gloc 9 and DJ Badkiss.

With Bang Pineda’s flair for menswear, the stylist/designer went forward with a show presenting a legion of men imbibing the grunge spirit. Completing the vibe was a high-dosage rock performance from Kjwan led by vocalist Marc Abaya. DJs Marc Marasigan and duo Curse & Bless spun in between shows to keep everyone on their toes. To end the festival with a bang, DJs Tom Taus and Ace Ramos spun their best beats, making the crowd dance the night away.

Directed by Paolo Valenciano, this revolutionary merging of music and fashion came from the aspiration of Founder and Creative Director, stylist John Lozano to give every Filipino access to fashion and styling, and ultimately help realize and embrace individuality through the merging of runway shows and musical performances.

Sponsored by make-up label BYS, and powered by Zalora and TaskUs Philippines, the fastest growing startup firm in the country, Manila X is the first of its kind in the Philippines — and proudly local event where music and fashion collide.

Diaz ends 20-year PH medal drought

 by Bryle Suralta

The Philippines bagged its first Olympic medal in 20 years after weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz came in second to win silver at the 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil during the women’s 53kg weightlifting category last August 8.

This is the country’s first medal since Mansueto ‘Onyok’ Velasco, who won during the 1996 games in Atlanta for boxing.

Diaz, who has competed in the last two Olympics, came to the weightlifting category as one of the unlikelier names to take home honors.

Going into the 53kg event, Chinese Taipei’s Hsu Shu-Ching and China’s Li Yajun were favored to win in the tourney – everybody else was thought to only be gunning for third.

“Bronze lang talaga yung aim namin ng coach ko,” Diaz told reporters from CNN Philippines.

The level of competition was set from the start as Li Yajun set an Olympic record in the snatch after tallying a total of 101 kilograms with two attempts left in the clean and jerk.

The Zamboanga native, on the other hand, only put up 88kg which was good enough for fifth on the ranking board.

One of her more favored competitors, Hsu Shu-Ching followed by totalling 100kg of her own.

In the clean and jerk portion of the event, the Filipina cleared 111kg on her first try that forced South Korea’s Yoon Jin to successfully manage 111kg of her own to try to secure a spot in the podium.

Diaz was not to be outdone as she bounced back with a 112kg lift on her second attempt to pass third-frontrunner Yoon Jun Hee to assure herself a podium finish.

Shu-Ching then logged 112kg on her first try to put her in sole position for the gold.

China’s Li wasn’t fazed by the logs on the scoreboard as she tried to lift 123kg to put her above the competition. She failed to lift the weights due to a hyperextended left elbow that forced her out of the event because she could not lift – therefore, she was not capable to compete.

Her injury automatically put Hidilyn Diaz in second place for the silver, while South Korea’s Yoon Jin and Chinese Taipe’s Hsu Shu-Ching bagged bronze and gold honors respectively.

Diaz is the first Filipina to bring home a medal to the country and is also the first FIlipino to compete in three straight Olympics.

DOH opened the ‘Hopeline project’


By Valerie Anne Pascual

The Department of Health (DOH) officially opened the “Hopeline Project,” a phone-based counseling service available 24/7 for those people who are struggling from devastating experiences and/or depression.The launching of the said project was conducted at the DOH Media Relations Unit in Tayuman, Sta. Cruz, Manila where DOH is located.


WHO Country Representative Dr. Gundo Weiler (left) and DOH Secretary Paulyn Ubial (right) officially announces the opening of “Hopeline Project”

Photo from Manila Bulletin

According to DOH Secretary Dr. Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial, the launching of the project was in partnership with Globe Communications and Natasha Goulbourn Foundation (NGF). The Hopeline project began in Cebu, and with the partnership of NGF and Globe, it will be more beneficial to those people who are having thoughts of suiciding from their life’s problems.

With this project, they are expecting that the suicidal rates will be lower than the previous years. Trained psychiatrists and psychologist are the ones who will be counseling the struggling person via phone call. Those who are answering the phone calls will explain to the caller that suicide is never an option and instead, there are other ways to get over their problems.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimate of 800,000 people commit suicide every year, and that’s one person every 40 seconds. Aside from that, gender issues are one of the top problems, as well as bullying, cyberbullying, broken relationships, emotional and family issues, identity, and so on.

As of 2015, suicide is the 9th leading cause of deaths for Filipinos in citizens around 20-24 years old.

This year, the World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10) has the theme “3 Cs,” namely – Connect, Communicate, and Care.

The numbers that are now used in the Hopeline project are the following: (02) 805-HOPE (4673); 0917 558 HOPE (4673) and 2919. These numbers are toll-fee for GLOBE and TM mobile subscribers.

Dialers can also connect through the national assistance number, 8888 which leads the calls to Hopeline.

Poverty line crossing religious rights

By Jamie Rosseditt Garcesa

BRGY. 95, DECENA, Pasay City – It was around four o’clock in the afternoon on a Saturday, October 24, 2015 when children of the said barangay started lurking and playing outside of their homes upon reaching the barangay hall.

A Chinese-looking girl, who happens to be a student assistant in Letran, came by and gave decisive directions.

Pasok na lang kayo d’yan, andyan yung mga kagawad. Kaya lang wala si Sir Leeroy,” she said.

The barangay hall looked like an old-structured house that made it very hospitable to guests. By knowing that students from Letran were their visitors, they automatically smiled and offered seats.

“Ahh, Letran pala kayo. Partner [community] niyo kami eh,” Mrs. Sanchez, the barangay’s bookkeeper said.

Ano bang pakay niyo? Wala pa si Kapitan, around 5PM pa siya dadating. Nasa kapilya pa,” Kag. Edith Remanente said.

By explaining the purpose of the interview, Kag. Remanente agreed to have a few exchange of words.


The community service that the Letran Operations Management Society (LOMS) planned for Brgy. 95 was Kumpil or the Sacrament of Confirmation. Unfortunately, the community service is set to be implemented next semester due to activity ban.

On the other hand, LOMS will still be lucky because according to Kag. Remanente, there is a huge number of Catholics in their barangay.

Pero if you’ll ask me kung bata or matanda ang mas maraming hindi pa nakakapagkumpil, matatanda ‘yun. Kasi ang mga bata, kasama ‘yun sa school nila eh. When they reach Grade 6, that’s compulsory,” she added.

“Every year, tuwing fiesta ng Sta. Clara ‘pag February, sabay-sabay na ‘yun. Libreng binyag, kasal, at kumpil. Catholic kasi si Kapitan kaya active kami [religious affairs],” Mrs. Sanchez said.

According to Kag. Remanente, the reason why the number of adults are more than the children was because of financial matters. Instead of paying for the Confirmation, they’d just set their money to buy their basic needs.

Community Services offered by Letran

Colegio de San Juan de Letran, upholding its mission and vision, has a vast number of partner communities may it be schools, barangays, provinces, and the like. Brgy. 95, Decena, Pasay City is one of those.

Through Kagawad and Inst. Robert Leeroy Lim, the barangay was chosen and is now a partner community of Letran for three years.

Marami nang naging community service ang Letran dito. Medical and dental missions, feeding programs, livelihood programs. Dati ‘yung livelihood program niyo dito about virgin coconut oil ‘yun eh. Tsaka sports clinic. ‘Yung dental mission naman libreng bunot tsaka libreng gamot din,” Kag. Edith Remanente recalled.

They also shared that there were some Letran students who went to their barangay to conduct a door-to-door survey. Truly, Letran has been close to their hearts ever since.

Constituents matter

Having been a partner community of Letran for three years, the barangay officials agreed that their most important need among all the community services offered is the health services.

“I’m not saying na hindi important ‘yung kumpil since meron na [yearly] but health services is our number one priority. Everything we accept here basta para sa constituents,” Kag. Edith Remanente remarked.

Pasay City is composed of 201 barangays and 20 zones. As students of Letran, we are looking forward to becoming one with other barangays in their city not just to promote our core values but to be young advocates that aims to help in molding a better future.

Erap allocates P300M to put up more street lights in city next year

by Jamie Rosseditt Garcesa


Manila City Mayor Joseph Estrada shares plans to make Manila the ‘City of Light’
(Photo from GMA News)

Envisioning Manila as the country’s “City of Light” like Paris, Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada will set aside P300 million in funds to continue his ongoing street lighting project in the city next year.

Estrada said he wants the entire city lighted up, from major thoroughfares to barangay streets, as an anti-crime measure during nighttime and in continuance of his urban renewal and beautification program for the capital city.

“I would like to see Manila as the ‘Paris of Asia,’ our own ‘City of Lights’ while at the same time ensuring the safety of our constituents at nighttime,” the mayor said as he assured continuous funding for the street lighting project. “No single street or alley will be left unlighted.”

Well-lighted roads, Estrada pointed out, also help promote trade in commercial and tourist areas such as Malate and Ermita.


Highly developed city of Manila
(Photo from Rappler)

Since 2015, the city government has installed new lampposts along a total of 91.1 kilometers of streets worth over P100 million, according to engineer Lorenzo Alconera, city electrical division chief.

These include major roads such as Dapitan, Moriones, M. H. del Pilar, Mabini, Pedro Gil, Onyx, Oroquieta and portions of Roxas Boulevard, Taft Avenue, Vito Cruz, United Nations Avenue and Quirino Avenue, among other places.

The city government recently inaugurated 51 new street lights from Pedro Gil to Quirino Avenue, part of Manila’s tourist belt area. This was followed by 56 more units from Quirino Avenue to Sta. Ana Church.

For 2017, the city official said at least P300 million will be allocated to put up an estimated 800 more new street lights.

“Next year, we’ll be concentrating on District 1, the area of Tondo. Then the entire city target natin na mapailawan na lahat,” Alconera said. “There will be no let-up. The mayor doesn’t like the dark.”

In 2015, Estrada allocated P61 million for the project and P128 million more in 2016; close to 2,000 LED lampposts have so far been installed throughout Manila.

The installation of street lights has drastically reduced street crimes throughout the city, particularly at nighttime, barangay officials confirmed.

The project is also in line with the city government’s urban renewal program — which is aimed at reviving Manila’s old glory — that included improved landscaping, renovation of historic parks and monuments, and more convenient facilities.