A new tack

"Perhaps we should try the neophyte lawmaker’s suggestion."



While President Rodrigo Duterte is a toughie with regards to the war on illegal drugs, he seems so helpless in his campaign to end hazing in fraternities that he thinks the only way to stop violent rituals in organizations supposedly promoting brotherhood is to totally ban them.

But not for this neophyte lawmaker. For Rizal Rep. Fidel Nograles, a more effective way of combatting hazing is to include all those involved in the organizations’ violent rituals including the supposed victims themselves.

Despite the official ban on the practice, hazing is still being practiced in the military and the police academies as well as fraternities in colleges and even in high schools, and continues to pervade because Nograles says some applicants to these fraternities voluntarily submit themselves to the violent rituals and opting to remain silent.

Thus, Nograles, himself a member of an Ateneo Law School-based fraternity, is proposing to amend the anti-hazing law, to include the victims as accomplices and hold them responsible under the law as accomplices.

According to the first-term lawmaker, a large number of students join organizations despite knowing that they will be hazed. But by subjecting them to penalties as accomplices in hazing, they could be deterred from joining groups with a hazing culture.

However, they could escape being punished if they opt to become state witnesses and spill the beans and testify for the prosecution.

According them protection, Nograles says, could give them assurances against possible retaliation, and as such “perhaps future hazing cases would prosper more than fail.” 

Well, maybe it’s about time to try Nograles’ new approach to stop these violent rituals once and for all. Remember, it takes two to tango. If one won’t one to submit himself to hazing, then who will be on the other end to execute it?

* * *

Hindi lang pangturismo, pangkanninan pa!

Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat is optimistic that Filipino cuisine is poised to take the international food scene by storm as the agency aggressively promotes food tourism as one of its main product portfolios.

The DOT Chief pointed out that a number of FilAm chefs have made their mark serving Filipino dishes in their restaurants and reaping awards and accolades.  She said that the growing popularity of Filipino food culture inspired this chef food trip project.

On DOT’s invitation, US-based chefs are in the country to visit culinary destinations like Pampanga, Iloilo, Bacolod, Cebu and Davao including award-winning Filipino-Americans Chef Tom Cunanan (Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic Category, Beards Awards 2019); Chef Grant “Lanai” Tabura (host of food show Cooking Hawaiian Style and winner of the Food Network’s Food Truck Race); and Chef Charles Olalia  (of Ma’am Sir and Ricebar restaurants in Los Angeles).

Chefs Cunanan and Tabura have been touring different culinary destinations in the Philippines since Sunday. They are currently in Pampanga meeting with the province’s most respected heritage food advocates like Chef Claude Tayag, who hosted a curated Kapampangan degustation feast in his Bale Dutung, and doyenne of Pampangueño cuisines Atching Lilian Borromeo at her lovely home Kusina Matua.

Cunanan happily notes traveling all the way to the Philippines just to work side by side with some of the country’s most respected culinary gems. “I traveled here precisely because I want to listen to all the  stories they have about their own unique dishes, and I want to capture them for the rest of my life so I can pass them on to my children’s children,” the James Beard awardee remarked how he has been learning from this culinary journey.

Lanai, the Emmy-award winning TV presenter, claims of his many learnings during this technical visit saying, “As someone who doesn’t cook that much, save for some collaborations I have, being with these prominent culinary figures from the Philippines is pretty amazing and I am learning a lot.”

The initiative has also been designed to showcase world-renowned Filipino chefs at their respective restaurants in various areas and regions of the country.

He added that while the DOT organizes media fam-trips regularly as part of tourism promotions efforts, this time the Department decided to invite opinion leaders, referring to the FilAm chefs, to visit the Philippines, to learn more about Filipino dishes and culinary destinations, so that they could expand their Filipino food offerings, and serve as ambassadors for Philippine food tourism.

Here's to more happy eating!

* * *

I take this opportunity to pay respects to a dear old friend, who has also served as one of my mentors in the media industry, one of my favorite drinking buddies (I looked forward to every drinking session with him as he always had a truckload of stories to share with me regarding his experiences as a media man, from a beat reporter who also covered the society page for a newspaper way, way back, and eventually assuming editorial position for several media outlets)—Tata Cris Martinez.

A true-blooded newspaperman, Tata Cris, according to his family, went into depression after he was removed from his last stint with a national daily early this year. After several months, he finally breathed his last.

May you rest in peace Tata Cris. You no longer have to worry about reporters missing their deadlines, those heated story conferences, the late-hour breaking stories. 

You are now in the hands of the Great Editor.

Topics: Charlie Manalo , Rep. Fidel Nograles , hazing , Department of Tourism , Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat , Filipino cuisine
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