It is difficult to ignore the state of the world today. As a people, one segment of our society is experiencing the ravages of war. Filipinos in the Middle East, particularly in Lebanon, are now refugees sheltered in churches in the countryside. They face starvation and certain obliteration unless they are rescued. Who do they turn to?
It would be a sorry state if leaders in the Philippines cannot be relied upon during these times to back their oratory and promises with decisive action. We have to believe that in the coming days, there will be a rescue mission. How else can the government acknowledge its gratitude to more than 8 million overseas workers whose remittances are responsible for the financial stability of the country? Such a mercy mission would be enhanced if each one of us encouraged those in the Philippine government to put their thinking caps on and make possible a stunning rescue of our kababayans as other countries have done on behalf of their stranded citizens.
A friend of mine is writing an open letter to the president and sending it to newspapers back home. Can one person's puny effort make a difference? I believe so. If each of us took the time to write a letter to the president, an avalanche of puny efforts could sustain Madame Arroyo to act because a few million others cared enough to insist she act.
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Literary competitions have encouraged strong and sustained writing. The Ivy Terasaka Short Story Competition on its second year has attracted submissions from around the world. The Frontispiece lists the winners. Click on STORIES for the First Prize story, "Japanese Times" written by Grace Talusan.
We want to endorse a call for poetry manuscripts by Meritage Press. This call comes with a $1,000 cash prize that includes a publishing offer by The Filamore Tabios, Sr. Memorial Poetry Prize. Deadline is November 30, 2006. For details, click on
Our Carlos Bulosan issue elicited a wide response from readers. Not since our maiden issue have we been so inundated. Most of our readers' emphatic message was, "It's about time!" We hope to create on our pages a comprehensive bibliography of Bulosan's works and we will count on you out there to help us in our continuing search for sources of his writings and articles about him.
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Here at Our Own Voice, we reach our 22nd issue and we are proud to introduce to our readers a familiar "voice": Three years on the editorial board have made Aileen Ibardaloza a pro in gathering works and authors. As it turns out, "22" is her favorite number. Congratulate her, dear readers, as she settles in her new cyberspace office as Associate Editor for a most whimsical and far-reaching ezine, thanks to all of you!