No more excuses

Almost every Filipino has his own take on what is wrong with the country today and has a prescription of solutions on how to solve them. Many are on the sane side of things while there are some who are closer to the fringe of extreme solutions. As an example, I have met more than a dozen people who believe that we must kill the old generation so that the new generation can have a fresh start at things. Views such as this, which adhere closely to the Pol Pot solution for curing a nation, show a dire lack of compassion, understanding of history and human nature. But it does highlight the extreme frustration many Filipinos feel about the state of our affairs as a nation.

For this article, I thought I’d write about a few of the explanations, excuses and analyses that try to explain why we are what we are. I will also explain why a lot of them are bunk and why it’s time to move out of this paradigm of victimhood that has stunted us. Here are some:

1. We are messed up because we were colonized for 400 years by Spain, 50 years by the Americans and four years by the Japanese.

The point being made here is that the colonial experience has left us confused, lacking in national self-esteem and character. I used to subscribe to this and even wore this excuse of colonial mentality on my sleeve. I realized soon enough that it was my sorry, futile attempt to feel good about feeling bad. It is so convenient to blame someone outside for our troubles. You don’t feel the need to be responsible. It is somebody’s fault and it is their duty to fix this. Meanwhile, we stupidly wallow in our victimhood.

When you look at other countries that were enslaved and colonized, many of them far worse than us, it is clear that by and large, practically all of them have gotten over their horrible colonial experience and have claimed back their future as independent, sovereign nations. The Koreans, Jews, Vietnamese, Chinese, Poles, etc. have stopped crying over spilled milk and have taken it upon themselves to get out of the psychological mire of being victimized and have moved forward. Many have become or are about to become economic giants and world players. Meanwhile, we use the excuse of being weak as to why we cannot get anything done for the national interest.

2. We should choose the leader who is the lesser evil.

Everyone is corrupt to some degree, and so we just have to choose the least corrupt. This kind of thinking exposes to me a very faulty criterion for choosing a leader. This kind of explains why and how we get people like GMA and Erap elected.

This kind of poverty thinking has kept us trapped in the situation we have been in for decades. For one thing, I believe that during the past elections, we have actually had candidates who ran for the office who were not corrupt. The problem is when we do see them, we believe that they do not have a chance at winning and so we lower our standards. The truth is, they are not winnable only because we do not consider them as viable candidates.

Now more than ever, we should get out of this kind of paradigm and put our efforts and resources into getting the best and most qualified, not the lesser evil, elected.

3. Change will not happen in my lifetime.

In the ‘60s, the IMF-WB came to the sad conclusion that Korea was hopelessly corrupt and had practically written off this nation as a failed state. But look at Korea now!

In the meantime, we have not only remained stuck but have actually slid further down the slippery slope. We are still refusing to see how our apathy, cynicism and wrong thinking have made us believe we are helpless against corruption and the oppressive socio-political structures that govern us. Like before, between change and the impossibility of it, we seem to continue to bet on the latter.

The truth is, we want progress, justice, and peace, but do not want it enough to sacrifice to get them. We expect the government to deliver it to us in exchange for the vote we cast. It will take more than just voting to get what we want.

The problem is we can’t seem to get out of personal interests and see that we have a greater duty to society to act and do what must be done. The politicians are always betting that we will not abandon our inertia and move out of our comfort zones and show up in rallies, or write letters, or disturb in any way our regular lives to express our disgust at the shenanigans they do.

But everything is really up to us. M. Scott Peck, author of The Road Less Traveled, liked to say that the greatest sin in the world is laziness. We all know what the problems are but are too lazy to do the work of analyzing and doing the work needed to solve them. It’s just too much trouble.

We are at a crossroads now.

We are supposed to have presidential elections in 2010. Who knows as of today whether the Gloria government will let that happen or not? But as a people, we know we want it. Simply put, we have to do the work of shaking this country and government and asserting our will to get what we want.

Of the candidates, it’s good to ask ourselves who has the real vision to get us out of this rut we are in and take us where we want to go as a nation. The even bigger question is, are we as a people really serious about recognizing and supporting real change when it presents itself? If we want change yet continue to think the same way that makes change impossible, aren’t we shooting ourselves in the head?

Will change happen in our lifetime then? Whether the answer is yes or no, it is entirely up to us.

No more excuses.

Good bye Neda. In death, you live in the hearts of millions.


On June 20, 2009, at around 6:30 PM, Neda Agha-Soltan was sitting in her Peugeot 206 in traffic on Kargar Avenue in the city of Tehran, accompanied by her music teacher and close friend, Hamid Panahi, and two others, who remain unidentified. The four were on their way to participate in the protests against the outcome of the 2009 Iranian presidential election. Having gotten out of the car, whose air conditioner was not working well, in order to escape the heat, she was standing and observing the mass protests when she was allegedly targeted and shot in the chest by plain-clothes Basij paramilitaries who were attempting to subdue the protesters.

Someone accompanying Agha-Soltan shouted in Persian, “She has been shot! Someone, come and take her!

Her death was captured on amateur video; clips uploaded to Facebook and YouTube[] depict Neda Agha-Soltan collapsing to the ground, being tended to, and dying. The videos spread across the internet virally, quickly gaining the attention of worldwide media and viewers.

She was not given a proper burial. Her corpse was confiscated by the government and all mourning for her was banned. Her family has been forced out of their apartment ad are now in hiding.

This page is a tribute to the new icon of Iranian freedom and women’s emancipation all over the world. I predict Neda will be the new Che Guevarra. Her avatar will be a symbol of protest in this new age.

Love, life and truth

When I am in a quandary and I don’t know what to write about, I tend to meander on the general landscape of something everyone — from a sixth grade student writing a school essay to an old man ruminating about his years on earth — may have wondered about. I am talking about life’s meaning and relevance.

As in every generation, many people today are searching for answers to questions about their purpose in life, the quest for happiness, how to love, and the all-encompassing “meaning of life” itself.

Poets, philosophers, sages and religious people have attempted to answer these questions through the ages. Throw in not only the best and the brightest but also the stupid and the shallow who have given us their take on these perennial questions. We know that the search for answers must have began at the dawn of man and it continues today and will do so forever.

I have sometimes wondered if there is one true answer that applies to everyone’s situation. Christians believe that Jesus is the answer and their answer is the best and the only true one. The problem with this is, other religions claim the same thing about their gods. Some cultures believe that theirs is the superior one and if only everyone could belong and adhere to the same culture, then the world would be right and peaceful. According to Joseph Campbell, every race claims to be the chosen race — probably more out of conceit than fact. But we know by now the folly of such thinking and the grief that it has brought to mankind.

I would like to throw in some observations I have on this grandest of topics: the meaning of life. I know this is such a wide subject. Allow me the sweeping view with its equally general conclusions. I don’t know if what I am about to say will qualify as brilliant or idiotic. But here goes:

1) The man who searches for answers often finds himself at odds with the values and ideals the world and his society upholds.

It has happened many times. Jesus, Gautama Buddha, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, even Jose Rizal, have encountered this. They literally bumped heads with authorities as they pursued their beliefs, which went against the grain of what their milieu subscribed to. Jesus turned his back on the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, and even the scriptures of his time. Gautama left his palatial surroundings, which were designed to protect him from life’s vicissitudes, to understand reality and pain. Gandhi and Mandela resisted the temptation of revenge and violence and chose the more difficult but more enlightened path of peaceful resistance.

It is quite scary to face the world and stand against it. It takes a lot of courage to feel one is “going it alone.” “When you know the truth, the truth makes you a soldier.” Gandhi himself expressed this. George Orwell also wrote, “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” That’s exactly what these people did.

2) Everything that is supposed to be “good” for us according to the world, is bad for us according to “the search.”

It is not uncommon to come to a point in the search where the values of a materialistic society that espouses wealth, fame, status, power, the certainty of being right and all that, become meaningless. In place of all these is a revulsion against the trappings of success, perhaps brought about by the realization that one has spent too much time chasing them and not finding happiness.

Albert Schweitzer turned his back on a flourishing musical career to build a hospital for Africa’s poorest. Mother Teresa was an English teacher in an international school when she decided to change her life’s direction and became the comforter of the poor and the sick in India. In the midst of hardship, poverty and deprivation, these people found that something which defined the meaning of life for them and for others.

3) The truth is hard to handle.

Truth demands purity of intention before it is given to the seeker to own. The truth can stare everyone in the face but those who actually go for it are few. Embracing the truth and radiating it to others demands a cleansing of intentions in both their hearts and minds. The truth, as they say, will set you free but it will probably upset you and make you angry, scared and bewildered before it begins to feel good.

Albert Einstein once said, “Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of truth and knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.” He knew that to tell the truth was to disturb the status quo. It also means to get out of one’s comfort zone, which may include even facing ridicule and being misunderstood.

4) To pursue truth is an “elite” experience.

Truth is only given to those who want more of life’s meaning and are bold enough to handle it. You will find that, many times, you may be alone with no one but your conscience and it is so much easier to reject the call and just stay wherever you are and never embark on the journey. But the call is made to those who have the courage to fulfill the mission that truth wants to be undertaken.

Recall that Sir Thomas More, an English lawyer in the 1500s, who refused to sign the document that would legitimize the anomalous marriage of King Henry VIII, was beheaded for standing for the truth. He held his ground even when everyone else had consented to the King’s demand.

5) Great truths are always paradoxical.

“You must lose your life in order to gain it.”

“The mind that does not understand is the Buddha. There is no other.”

The savior of mankind is a carpenter’s son.

The beauty of paradox is that it seems conflicted on one level, but is filled with deep truth when understood on all other levels. In it lies a balance that defies the selective, judgmental mind and recognizes the place of everything and its own contradictions. Thus, it is true that one man’s curse is another man’s blessing. The wounded can be healers themselves. And the only permanent thing is impermanence. As a Japanese proverb put it so succinctly, “The reverse side also has a reverse side.”

So, what is the meaning of life? You tell me.

My next Sydney Photo Workshop is July 4. Sign up now!


What a lot of fun it was awhile ago as 11 students joined my Basic Photography Class. Everyone was enthusiastic to learn all they could about basic photography.

My next class will be

Basic Photography (advanced)–This will cover a more extensive hands-on experience of shooting action, landscape and city scape, model pictorial (outdoor, indoor and studio), and other situations.

When: July 4, 2009
Where: 4 Harcourt grove, Glenwood
Time: 1 to 6:30.
Cost: 100AUD
Call 98363494 or write me at to reserve a slot!

Weather permitting, we will be shooting outdoors. Otherwise, we will be doing many indoor or shade shots. It will be presumed that those who wish to sign up have a working knowledge of their camera. We are not starting from scratch here so I hope you have enough experience to tackle the lessons.

The trouble with education


Illustration by Rey Rivera

Summer has ended and kids are going back to school again (H1N1willing). For many parents, this is a time of anxiety over the never-ending challenges of educating their children. Consider the continuously rising tuition fees, transportation arrangements, the high cost of books, and the other matters that parents worry about when their kids start going to school.

Every parent in the world dreams of their offspring becoming great someday. I remember my early visions of my own kids on a stage accepting a Nobel Prize. Sigh. I’m still waiting. But who knows, they may still surprise me and become accomplished enough to merit that Nobel, or the Magsaysay Award, or any decent accolade at a later age. I just hope I am still around when it happens.

A great many parents dream of being able to send their children to the best schools they can afford and they sacrifice many comforts and set aside their savings, bonuses, salary raises, etc. to be able to do so.

I spent all my school life at the Ateneo de Manila. I was there from the first day of prep till I got out of college in 1973 to the last strains of the graduation song as we marched out of the gym, out of the school into the proud arms of our parents, and into the world.

Like my father and all of my brothers, I am proud to be an Atenean. And it was my fervent wish that every child of mine would get an Ateneo education as well. My two girls earned their college degrees there. But my son moved out after grade school and spent his high school years in Reedley, a relatively new school.

Every year, the alumni of elite schools like Ateneo, La Salle, UP, UST etc. look at the list of the best schools in the world just to see whether their alma mater has made it to the Top 500, and how it ranks vis-à-vis other local schools, especially their closest rivals. Among Ateneans and LaSallites, there is a perennial rivalry going on. These “jousts” extend to almost every aspect of life from academics to sports to the accomplishments of their alumni in terms of heroism, entertainment and other standards of prominence.

How quickly each school claims anyone who brings glory to it, however fleeting. But not so strangely, the alumni rivalry ends abruptly each time graduates of the two schools are involved in political, economic or social scandals. The rivalry descends to a silence when alumni notoriety is involved.

In my more innocent, naïve days, I used to wonder how anyone who went through the rigors, the grace and blessings of a Jesuit education could turn into a “bad” person. During those simple times, I felt that the religious, moral and intellectual training we went through in school was enough to mold anyone into someone who, at the very least, was capable of doing good, or thriving in any field of endeavor he chooses, or perhaps even becoming “great” someday.

I know parents who put all their bets and hopes on the schools that will “raise” their children. They can name all the good role models and heroes that the school has produced but conveniently forget or gloss over the villains, jerks and other low-life characters who got the same education their sons and daughters are seeking.

And here lies my point. In a book I am reading about education, the author, Rev. Matthew Fox, points out that there is a crisis in education that lies deep and threatens the human race. In an indictment of higher education, he points out that, not surprisingly, the top people responsible for the continuing degradation of the environment all have PhDs. And that people who ran Hitler’s Third Reich, the wars in Vietnam and Iraq and who were instrumental in causing so much destruction to human life were all highly educated in the best schools their societies could offer.

He says that, by and large, education has stopped touching people in a way that inspires them, or brings out their idealism and sustains it throughout their lives. Instead, it has given its graduates pure knowledge but without the wisdom of the ages. Thus, they are able to apply what they learn to systematized corruption, destruction and soul-killing work without any tinge of conscience or a sense of ethics that is developed enough to cry out in horror at what they sow.

In place of wisdom, modern education is becoming more and more just knowledge-based, not unlike a collection of facts and data, pretty much like what we put in our computers. The march to modernity has forgotten the collective wisdom, history, poetry, literature, morality and philosophies of the ages and those of our ancestors.

What is missing is the development of our sense of awe. When our thirst for mystery, imagination and historical connection are not fully developed, we have no grounding of any kind. We lose our interconnectedness to things. We begin to think solely in “compartments.” Thus, the moral dimension becomes alien to all other dimensions, just as all other dimensions become alien to each other.

And so it becomes easy, say, for government technocrats to steal since they do not feel any real connection to the people they are supposed to be serving. Take a look at the language of war as another example, where all dimensions of human activity are reduced to techno-speak. Human lives lost are described as “collateral damage,” and torture has become “enhanced interrogation.”

Albert Einstein reminded us that “imagination is superior to knowledge.” By that he meant that more than the technical aspect of what we learn, the driving force that makes us curious, or stimulates our imagination and gives us a sense of awe will make us more humanly complete.

I am more and more convinced that there is a need for “parallel education” that must happen at home and which parents should not default on, no matter how busy they are. Our children’s sense of compassion, conscience, history and morals must be cultivated by those who love them the most.

But more than all these, I am convinced that the sense of mystery and awe, which makes everything sacred and beautiful, is paramount, even more than political correctness, dogmatic faith and morals.

“I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief,” wrote Gerry Spence. We have seen how, throughout history, beliefs can change. But there will always be something to wonder about, and it is this sense of wonder that has made us human beings soar through time.

My son Mio turns Aussie!

At 7:30 PM on June 11, 2009, my son Mio was sworn in as an Aussie citizen by the Mayor of Blacktown Charles Lowes. In a simple ceremony with about 150 other people of diverse multicultural backgrounds at the Bowman Theater in Blacktown, NSW, Mio was formally welcomed as a citizen of this country.

It started with the sound of bagpipes as the Mayor and a few officials strode down the middle of the hall onto the stage. The National Anthem was then sung. What strikes me most about the anthem are the lines ,’We are young. We are free.’ Somehow, those lines speak so eloquently about not just the youthful energy of this country and society but also an innocence that one still finds among many Aussies. Many Australians I have met seem friendly, straightforward and transparent, and quite trusting of the world and their Aussie way of life.There is a fun-loving character about them that can be infectious.

The main speeches were given by the two youth representatives of Blacktown Council, and they were effusively welcoming and inspiring. On behalf of their society, they formally opened its doors to the new immigrants while describing Australia as a vibrant land where ‘your talents can bloom and can shape the future of this land’. They also stressed that this relatively young society which has multiculturalism as one of its pillars, is proud to be home to more than 180 nationalities. ‘Australia’, as one of them said,’is a real land of milk and honey’. I was, to be honest, quite inspired by the speeches of these young people as were the Africans, Arabs, Filipinos, Chinese, Iraqis and other nationalities that were in the room.

One by one, they marched to the stage as their names were called. They got a certificate, a handshake from the Mayor and a plant to take home as a symbolic metaphor of their ‘planted future’ in this new land.


The Mayor then welcomed them officially, and soon after, cakes and drinks were served. A lot of the new citizens had pictures with the Mayor. As Mio went up to him, the Mayor asked where in the Philippines he was from. Mio answered that he was from Manila. To his surprise, the Mayor retorted that he was from Dumaguete! He was referring to his Pinay wife, something we were not aware of!

The ceremonies were on the whole, simple but touching. There was a seriousness about it as well as a light-hearted happy atmosphere as the host made funny remarks once in a while. One funny event was when the Alarcon family, all 8 of them were called in one by one. The host called it an ‘Alarcon-marathon’!

We went for Thai food after to celebrate. This is a first in our family history. There are Paredeses who have become American, Dutch citizens. Mio is the first Paredes to become an Aussie!

Congrats, anak!

Discovering telenovelas and the shopper in me in Seoul

The author Jim Paredes with (from top left) Isabel de Leon, RG Orense of Cebu Pacific, (bottom left) Irene Perez, Josh (son of Isabel), Viveca Singson of Cebu Pacific, Gianna Maniego, and Gerard Ramos
| Zoom

I am an avid traveler and I almost never say no to any offer to go abroad. So it was with a resounding “yes” that I accepted my editor Millet Mananquil’s offer to go on a fam tour with other journalists hosted by Cebu Pacific Air.

I have seen many Koreans here and abroad but have not met or even spoken to a lot of them. I know little about Korea, a place I associate mainly with war (thanks to the Korean War in 1953 and the war-like ways of North Korea) and telenovelas — topics I have never been too crazy about.

I had joked to other writers on this trip that we would probably feel at home in Seoul because, just like in the Philippines, there are Koreans everywhere!

We arrived at around 10:45 p.m. aboard a smooth, seamless Cebu Pacific flight from Cebu and proceeded to the Somerset Hotel in downtown Seoul. I immediately settled into my comfortable and quite elegant semi-suite and caught some sleep for the hectic activities scheduled in the next three days.

On our first morning in Seoul, we headed for some cultural sights around the city, specifically Bukchon Hanok Village, an old part of Seoul where the houses and establishments have remained largely unchanged amid the amazing modernity of the rest of the city. The quaint doors, the homes with clay floors covered with paper and fireplaces underneath that keep the houses warm, the distinctly Korean roof designs and architecture were simply delightful. I must say that the strangeness of everything quickly won me over.


We stopped for some green tea at a tiny house called the Gahoe Museum where we were made to choose our own designs on paper with markings for prosperity, wealth, etc. to take home.

A few steps down the road was Choong Ang High School where the famous telenovela Winter Sonata was filmed. To my surprise, the other journalists in the group went gaga in the store selling souvenirs of the young superstars. I had heard my companions mention that they liked telenovelas but I had no idea that they adored them.

Lunch followed at the N Seoul Tower, which has a breathtaking panoramic view of the entire city. Then it was on to the Teddy Bear museum on the first level, which had tableaus of old and new Korea portrayed by a population of teddy bears. There is something about the Korean and Japanese cultures that seem to encourage cuteness. Anime, the manga style of drawing, childishly cute actors and actresses, and now these teddy bears, seem to validate this.

Our guide told us that we would be watching a stage show in the early evening that would “revi-talize” us. She had a hard time describing it except to say that she was sure we would enjoy it. She was absolutely right. Nanta, a non-verbal stage performance, is one of the most amazing productions I have ever seen. Its characters are four chefs and a restaurant manager who cook, fool around in the kitchen, do magic, deliver visual comedy while drumming fantastic rhythms on pots, pans, cans, plastic drums, glasses and other noisemakers. To say we were totally delighted and entertained is an understatement. I have never seen anything even remotely like it. I dare say this experience alone makes it worth going all the way to Seoul.

That show, for me, was a highlight of the trip.

The show was followed by a traditional Korean dinner at the Yi Gung located at the foot of a mountain. Still high from the day’s activities, none of us was ready to slow down just yet so we headed straight for the night market for some serious shopping. Some big stores remain open till 5 a.m. so there is no excuse not to shop when you visit Seoul.

Our trip, delightful as it was, was played out against the sad backdrop of the untimely death by suicide of ex President Roh Moo Hyun, a figure well-loved by common Koreans, and the menacing and provocative nuclear tests done by North Korea, perhaps to insult its southern neighbor in its moment of grief. There were soldiers and riot policemen everywhere in Seoul guarding the thousands of mourners, ready to respond to any provocation.

While riding our van around the city, I spent some time talking to Ms. Choi, our very able tour guide, about Korean history, politics, the annexation of Korea by Japan, the possibility of unification between North and South Korea, and how she felt about the tragic twist that split her country into two. Our exchanges made me reflect on the consequences of a war that happened over half a century ago and left the North angry, paranoid and poor, and the South infinitely richer, more generous and open.

On the second day, we went to Dae Jang Geum Theme Park, the epicenter of the Koreanovela craze. This was where the world famous Jewel in the Palace series was filmed. Before I went to Korea, I had no idea what the series was about, nor was I remotely interested in telenovelas. But during the hour-long drive, I had the opportunity to watch part of the abridged version of this monumentally successful TV drama. To my great surprise, I was riveted by the story. The preview left me literally begging for more. We had pictures taken on the set in costume and that was great fun.

Before we arrived in Korea, I told everyone in the group that I was not really interested in shopping. My family and friends whom I have traveled with can attest to this. But to my great surprise, I caught myself entering many shops and buying stuff at Itaewon, the night markets and other places, and actually relishing an activity I normally find to be a chore. In fact, I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed shopping in Korea as much as the sightseeing.

The last cultural activity we had was a visit to the Changdeok Palace and the Secret Garden. This is a massive complex of houses, halls, offices, gardens spread out in a 110-acre open space known as the second residence of King Taejong, a noteworthy ruler who lived many centuries ago. The Secret Garden with its large lotus pond, centuries old trees and forest has been named a World Heritage site by the United Nations.

I was truly impressed by all these trappings of power, but I couldn’t help but be curious and compare how rulers and powerful people of previous ages lived compared to those in our time. They may have enjoyed the luxuries of what a charmed life could offer back then, but these are certainly no match to the modern comforts we take for granted today such as cars, anesthetics, pain killers and modern surgery.

On our last night, we had a delicious dinner at the fabulous Hyatt Hotel and got an eyeful of its luxurious rooms and facilities. A must place to stay next time, I thought to myself. We ended the night with two hours of fun and rides at Lotte World, an indoor-outdoor entertainment complex which is Seoul’s answer to Disneyland. It was quite a surprise to see the Music Myx band, a Filipino group that plays there nightly to the screaming of their 14-year-old fans.

Every voyage is meant to expand us even a little, and I don’t mean just weight-wise. I totally surprised myself that I could actually get into discussing Korean War politics, watch telenovelas and enjoy them and even go shopping as much as I did. Up to the last minute, I was looking for knickknacks to spend my remaining won on, chatting with our guide about the rallies around the city, and trying to memorize the names of the Korean actors and actresses I had seen on video.

We flew in to Manila at 11:45 p.m., exhausted but happy to have been invited and lavishly feted by the people of Cebu Pacific Air.

On my first day back from Korea, I looked out my window and thought I heard Koreans talking in the streets. It was the first time I took notice of my Korean neighbors. And I recalled what Dagobert Runes, a travel writer, wrote: “People travel to faraway places to watch, in fascination, the kind of people they ignore at home.”

* * *

Cebu Pacific Air flies to Incheon, Korea from Manila daily at 3:55 p.m. and arrives at 8:45 p.m. It flies from Incheon back to Manila at 9:35 p.m. daily and arrives at 12:30 a.m. It also flies from Cebu to Pusan Thursdays and Sundays at 2:45 p.m., and arrives at 8 p.m., Pusan to Cebu Thursdays and Sundays at 8:45 p.m. and arrives 11:59 p.m.

Traitors’ list, June bribes

These congressmen APPROVED the Con Ass.

ABLAN, ROQUE R. JR, Ilocos Norte, 1st District
AGBAYANI, VICTOR AGUEDO E. Pangasinan, 2nd District
AGYAO, MANUEL, S Kalinga Province
ALBANO (III), RODOLFO T. Isabela, 1st District
ALFELOR, FELIX R. JR. 4th District, Camarines Sur
ALMARIO, THELMA Z. Davao Oriental, 2nd District
ALVAREZ, ANTONIO C. Palawan 1st District
ALVAREZ, GENARO RAFAEL M. JR. Negros Occidental, 6th District
AMANTE, EDELMIRO A. Agusan Del Norte, 2nd District
AMATONG, ROMMEL C. Compostela Valley, 2nd District
ANGPING, MARIA ZENAIDA B. Manila, 3rd District
ANTONINO, RODOLFO W. Nueva Ecija, 4th District
APOSTOL, TRINIDAD G. Leyte, 2nd District
AQUINO, JOSE S. (II) 1st District Agusan del Norte
ARAGO, MARIA EVITA R. 3rd district, Laguna
ARBISON, A MUNIR M. Sulu 2nd District
ARENAS, MA. RACHEL J. Pangasinan, 3rd District
ARROYO, DIOSDADO M. Camarines Sur, 1st District
ARROYO, IGNACIO T. 5th district Negros Occidental
ARROYO, JUAN MIGUEL M. 2nd District of Pampanga
BAGATSING, AMADO S. Manila 5th district
BALINDONG, PANGALIAN M. Lanao del Sur, 2nd District
BARZAGA, ELPIDIO F. JR. Cavite, 2nd District
BAUTISTA, FRANKLIN P. Davao Del Sur, 2nd District
BELMONTE, VICENTE F. JR. Lanao del Norte, 1st District
BICHARA, AL FRANCIS C. Albay, 2nd District
BIRON, FERJENEL G. Iloilo, 4th District
BONDOC, ANNA YORK P. Pampanga 4th District
BONOAN-DAVID, MA. THERESA B. Manila, 4th District
BRAVO, NARCISO R. JR. Masbate, 1st District
BUHAIN, EILEEN ERMITA Batangas, 1st District
BULUT, ELIAS C. JR. Apayao Lone District
CAGAS (IV), MARC DOUGLAS C. Davao Del Sur, 1st District
CAJAYON, MARY MITZI L. Caloocan, 2nd District
CAJES, ROBERTO C. Bohol, 2nd District
CARI, CARMEN L. Leyte, 5th District
CASTRO, FREDENIL H. Capiz, 2nd District
CELESTE, ARTHUR F. Pangasinan, 1st District
CERILLES, ANTONIO H. Zamboanga Del Sur, 2nd District
CHATTO, EDGARDO M. Bohol, 1st District
CHONG, GLENN A. Biliran, Lone District
CHUNG-LAO, SOLOMON R. Ifugao, Lone District
CLARETE, MARINA C. Misamis Occidental, 1st District
CODILLA, EUFROCINO M. SR. Leyte, 4th District
COJUANCO, MARK O. Pangasinan, 5th District
COQUILA, TEODULO M. Eastern Samar, Lone District
CRISOLOGO, VINCENT P. Quezon City, 1st District
CUA, JUNIE E. Quirino, Lone District
CUENCO, ANTONIO V. Cebu City, 2nd District
DANGWA, SAMUEL M. Benguet, Lone District
DATUMANONG, SIMEON A. Maguindanao, Lone District
Dayanghirang, Nelson L. Davao Oriental, 1st District
DAZA, NANETTE C. Quezon City, 4th District
DAZA, PAUL R. Northern Samar, 1st District
DE GUZMAN, DEL R. Marikina City, 2nd District
DEFENSOR, ARTHUR D. SR. Iloilo, 3rd District
DEFENSOR, MATIAS V. JR. Quezon City, 3rd District
DEL MAR, RAUL V. Cebu City, 1st District
DIASNES, CARLO OLIVER D. (MD) Batanes, Lone District
DIMAPORO, ABDULLAH D. Lanao Del Norte, 2nd District
DOMOGAN, MAURICIO G. Baguio, Lone District
DUAVIT, MICHAEL JOHN R. Rizal, 1st District
DUENAS, HENRY M. JR. Taguig, 2nd District (2nd Councilor District)
DUMARPA, FAYSAH MRP. Lanao del Sur, 1st District
DUMPIT, THOMAS L. JR. La Union, 2nd District
DURANO (IV), RAMON H. 5th District, Cebu
ECLEO, GLENDA B. Dinagat Islands, Lone District
EMANO, YEVGENY VICENTE B. Misamis Oriental, 2nd District
ENVERGA, WILFRIDO MARK M. Quezon, 1st District
ESTRELLA, CONRADO M. (III) Pangasinan, 6th District
FERRER, JEFFREY P. Negros Occidental, 4th District
GARAY, FLORENCIO C. Surigao Del Sur, 2nd District
GARCIA, ALBERT S. Bataan, 2nd District.
GARCIA, PABLO JOHN F. Cebu, 3rd District
GARCIA, PABLO P. Cebu, 2nd District
GARCIA, VINCENT J. Davao City, 2nd District
GARIN, JANETTE L. Iloilo, 1st District
GATCHALIAN, REXLON T. Valenzuela City, 1st District
GATLABAYAN, ANGELITO C. Antipolo City, 2nd District
GO, ARNULFO F. Sultan Kudarat, 2nd District
GONZALES, AURELIO D. JR. Pampanga 3rd District
GONZALES, RAUL T. JR. Ilo ilo City
GULLAS, EDUARDO R. Cebu, 1st District
GUNIGUNDO, MAGTANGGOL T. Valenzuela City 2nd District
HOFER, DULCE ANN K. Zamboanga Sibugay, 2nd District
JAAFAR, NUR G. Tawi-Tawi, Lone District
JALA, ADAM RELSON L. Bohol, 3rd District
JALOSJOS, CESAR G. Zamboanga del Norte, 3rd District
JALOSJOS-CARREON, CECILIA G. Zamboanga del Norte, 1st District
JIKIRI, YUSOP H. Sulu, 1st District
KHO, ANTONIO T. Masbate, 2nd District
LABADLABAD, ROSENDO S. Zamboanga del Norte, 2nd District
LACSON, JOSE CARLOS V. Negros Occidental, 3rd District
LAGDAMEO, ANTONIO F. JR. Davao del Norte, 2nd District
LAPUS, JECI A. Tarlac, 3rd District
LAZATIN, CARMELO F. Pampanga, 1st District
LIM, RENO G. Albay, 3rd District
LOPEZ, JAIME C. Manila, 2nd District
MADRONA, ELEANORA JESUS F. Romblon, Lone District
MAGSAYSAY, MARIA MILAGROS H. Zambales, 1st District
MALAPITAN, OSCAR G. Caloocan, 1st District
MAMBA, MANUEL N. Cagayan, 3rd District
MARANON, ALFREDO D. III Negros Occidental, 2nd District
MATUGAS, FRANCISCO T. Surigao del Norte, 1st District
MENDOZA, MARK LEANDRO L. Batangas, 4th District
MERCADO, ROGER G. Southern Leyte, Lone District
NAVA, JOAQUIN CARLOS RAHMAN A. (MD) Guimaras, Lone District
NICOLAS, REYLINA G. Bulacan, 4th District
NOGRALES, PROSPERO C. Davao City, 1st District
OLAñO, ARREL R. Davao Del Norte, 1st District
ONG, EMIL L. Northern Samar, 2nd District
ORTEGA, VICTOR FRANCISCO C. La Union, 1st District
PANCHO, PEDRO M. Bulacan, 2nd District
PANCRUDO, CANDIDO P. JR. Bukidnon, 1st District
PICHAY, PHILIP A. Surigao Del Sur, 1st District
PIñOL, BERNARDO F. JR. North Cotabato, 2nd District
PUNO, ROBERTO V. Antipolo City, 1st District
RAMIRO, HERMINIA M. Misamis Occidental, 2nd District
REMULLA, JESUS CRISPIN C. Cavite, 3rd District
REYES, CARMELITA O. Marinduque, Lone District
REYES, VICTORIA H. Batangas, 3rd District
ROBES, ARTURO G. San Jose Del Monte City, Lone District
Rodriguez-Zaldarriaga, Adelina Rizal, 2nd District
ROMAN, HERMINIA B. Bataan, 1st District
ROMARATE, GUILLERMO A. JR. Surigao del Norte, 2nd District
ROMUALDO, PEDRO Camiguin, Lone District
ROMULO, ROMAN T. Pasig City, Lone District
SALIMBANGON, BENHUR L. Cebu, 4th District
SALVACION JR., ANDRES D. Leyte, 3rd District
SAN LUIS, EDGAR S. Laguna, 4th District
SANDOVAL, ALVIN S. Malabon-Navotas, Lone District
SANTIAGO, JOSEPH A. Catanduanes, Lone District
SEACHON-LANETE, RIZALINA L. 3rd district of Masbate
SEARES-LUNA, CECILIA M. Abra, Lone District
SILVERIO, LORNA C. Bulacan, 3rd District
SINGSON, ERIC D. Ilocos Sur, 2nd District
SINGSON, RONALD V. Ilocos Sur, 1st District
SOLIS, JOSE G. Sorsogon, 2nd District
SUAREZ, DANILO E. Quezon, 3rd District
SUSANO, MARY ANN L. Quezon City, 2nd District
SY-ALVARADO, MA. VICTORIA R. Bulacan, 1st District
SYJUCO, JUDY J. 2nd Dsitrict, Iloilo
TALINO-MENDOZA, EMMYLOU J. North Cotabato, 1st District
TAN, SHAREE ANN T. Samar, 2nd District
TEODORO, MARCELINO R. Marikina City, 1st District
TEVES, PRYDE HENRY A. Negros Oriental, 3rd District
TUPAS, NEIL C. JR. Iloilo, 5th District
UNGAB, ISIDRO T. Davao City, 3rd District
UY, EDWIN C. Isabela, 2nd District
UY, REYNALDO S. Samar, 1st District
UY, ROLANDO A. Cagayan De Oro City, Lone District
VALENCIA, RODOLFO G. Oriental Mindoro, 1st District
VARGAS, FLORENCIO L. Cagayan, 2nd District
VILLAFUERTE, LUIS R. Camarines Sur, 2nd District
VILLAROSA, MA. AMELITA C. Occidental Mindoro, Lone District
VIOLAGO, JOSEPH GILBERT F. Nueva Ecija, 2nd District
YAP, JOSE V. Tarlac, 2nd District
YU, VICTOR J. Zamboanga Del Sur, 1st District
ZAMORA, MANUEL E. 1st District, Compostela Valley
ZIALCITA, EDUARDO C. Parañaque, 1st District

– 8 progressive reps (Ocampo, Colmenares, Casino, Maza, Mariano, Ilagan,
Maglungsod, Palatino)
– Tanada
– Guingona
– Antonino-Custodio
– De Venecia
– Golez
– Hontiveros
– Bello
– Villanueva
– Joson
– another CIBAC rep