by Fernan A. Gianan
For an enduring Cheers
Saturday, the Christmas Cheers opens its 15th season with the
usual motorcade around the poblacion and another magnificent performance
by CSCs Hablon Dawani.
the 13-day festival was conceptualized by Msgr. Ping Molina in the
mid-80s, with the support of the Marriage Encounterers and the Catanduanes
Tribune, little did organizers know that it would grow into an event that
is anticipated not only in Virac but also in Metro Manila. From its humble
beginnings at the cathedral patio to its new home at Plaza Rizal, it has
become part of the local culture and tradition, with a night at the Cheers
a must for all children.
has undergone changes, some unfortunate. There used to be makeshift stalls
selling snacks and beer. Now there are more than 30, peddling anything
from fruits to pulutan along with gin and other hard drinks. There used to
be gift-giving. Now, the costs of running the show have severely limited
the options of organizers. Now, they have been driven to ask for donations
from the public and all those who love celebrating Christmas. In the span
of 15 years, the Cheers have gone from a purely voluntary effort to one
which cost P71,000 to stage last year.
say there are advantages of converting the Cheers into a foundation so it
can go begging around in a more dignified and legal manner. The effort
would cost at least P50,000, which is what SEC demands as capital of any
if the response of the public and civic-spirited citizens and businesses
would be encouraging (with one wealthy donor giving a sizeable sum), the
Cheers organizers would be able to stage it in such a way that its
original flavor the taste of the patio shows would be recaptured.
early morning show on cable the National Geographic Channel
featured last Monday an African with an idea that won the Rolex Award.
by the loss of vegetables and other foodstuff wilting in the desert heat,
he invented the Desert Cooler, a refrigerator that uses no electricity and
is as efficient in preserving food.
the cooler consists of two big clay pots, similar to what rural Pinoys use
for storing water. One of the pots is smaller than the other by at least 4
inches in diameter and is inserted into the bigger pot. The space in
between is filled up with wet river sand. The vegetables would go into the
bigger pot, with the opening covered with a suitable lid.
to idea man Mohammed Ben Abbah, the evaporation of the water from the wet
sand makes the inner pot cooler and preserves the foodstuff for as long as
three weeks as long as the sand is kept wet.
are topics like this, useful and educational, that abound in television.
We do not learn of them because we are too addicted to entertainment,
movie gossips, fake wrestling matches, the travails of Mexican actresses,
basketball and MTV.
war of attrition between Governor Hector S. Sanchez and Congressman
Leandro B. Verceles, Jr. is not doing anything good aside from enriching
has turned the provincial board into a battleground, with its members
trampling public interest as they fight for their masters. Vital measures
are held hostage, with the people denied the use of their own money from
the 20% Economic Development Fund for two years now.
other agencies are not spared, with key officials of the DPWH district
office here spending sleepless nights as alleged ghost projects are probed
by the NBI. Both main protagonists are digging up dirt on each other and
particles of garbage are flung all around.
and respect for public office are gone. What the pair has demonstrated so
far has been their capacity to endure pain and the lengths to which they
would go to amass power.
we can find others decent, capable and of good nature to lead our province
out of its political abyss. Maybe we can start voting without money in our