“The Horror!…The Horror!”

1. If you read the book “The Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad or had watched the movie “Apocalypse Now” which was entirely filmed in the Philippines, you know the significance or relation of what I’ve written as my title post as to what had happened last November 23 in Maguindanao.

2. Looking at the place where the November 23 Massacre had happened as I saw in the daily newspapers and TV News, I realized that this was the very same place where I was assigned as a new graduate from the Philippine Military Academy. This is where I got my “baptism” of fire from the enemy—a combat encounter with the MNLF and later an ambush from them along the highway a few days before Christmas.

3. In the 70s, the “warlords” in Mindanao were the Military Commanders! A simple order from them could obliterate a barangay from the map! Now, things had changed, the “warlords” are the politicians who adhere to the saying, that power comes from the barrel of a gun. A simple order from them results to a massacre. As a result, the military/police commanders are relieved from their posts because of these incidents. This trend started after the Marcos Administration.

4. My deepest sympathy and condolences to the family & friends of those 52 victims of the Nov 23 Massacre, 13 of them are journalists. The worst incident in the history of journalism, in a day.

5. Why am I writing about this incident in a running blog? Because I want justice to the victims, most especially to the journalists! Bloggers are considered as the most privileged “journalists” because they could write and publish anything under the sun ( in real-time) without the supervision and guidance of an Editor and the screening powers of a Publisher. In my own way, I consider myself as a “journalist”. Thanks to the Internet!

6. Have you observed that most of the “presidentiables”  have started to publish their own blogsite in the Internet? I don’t believe that they are the ones personally administering and posting their blogs. In one of the blogsites, I posted this comment, “Why just now”?  I did not mind visiting their blogs again. “Presidentiables” on Facebook & Twitter? I don’t think so…they could not even give you a reply! 

6. I am writing this post in the middle of the Sierra Madre Mountains while making a “surprise” visit to my “boys”. It’s cold and raining here but “the boys” are on the road and trails doing their daily running workout. I just saw what is written in their bulletin board—“Long Run–42K & Up”. 

7. The mountains are vast and very enticing. If you are a military commander, you look at the mountains in terms of “axis of attack”; “defensible position”; “cover & concealment”; “strong points”; “strategic point”, etc. If you are a golfer, you look at a mountain in terms whether it can accommodate a 9-hole; 18-hole or a 36-hole golf course with the Clubhouse, the lakes and sand traps. If you are a “hardcore” runner, you look at a mountain if it can offer a 50K; 100K; or a 50/100-Mile Trail Run course!

8. My appreciation and thanks to those who wished me for my early recovery and to those who suggested “medications” and “cross-training”. Yes, I am getting more “crazy” after weeks of not running.

9. By the way, right now, I am wearing my running shorts & shirt in BLACK. See you this Sunday’s NB Run in “black” running attire!

13 thoughts on ““The Horror!…The Horror!”

  1. sfrunner

    Jovie, horrible what happened in Maguindanao. I totally agree with what you said. Justice must prevail!

    Good luck Sunday at the NB race. Thanks for stopping by the new blog.


    1. kingofpots

      wayne, thanks for the comment & visit. the whole world is terrified about the incident. we have champions & heroes in the Philippines but we have also monsters!


  2. rpapolinario

    what happened in Maguindanao was a real eye opener to many Pinoys if not the whole world. people placed in government positions should always remember that they are there to serve the public and not the other way around.

    btw, does this mean that you’re back running this Sunday’s NB race?

    see you at races, sir!


  3. kingofpots

    if you are a “warlord” then, you can do whatever you want. however, right now, we no longer have warlords. this is the worst incident for the year. i hope i could run this sunday’s NB run. see you!


  4. your are so right on that sir! monsters indeed! hope to see you on sunday… haven’t attended speed training since last tuesday 😦 but i will surely attend tom. had good runs inside camp though… ingat po palagi!


  5. runnerforchrist

    …all in the name of politics!

    Those responsible for the killings should not be given ‘special treatment’, 50 plus lives vs one man? who ordered it? I wonder what will happen to those 100 men who were also involved?
    Justice must prevail.

    See you on Sunday.


    1. kingofpots

      i am not supposed to write about this incident but i could not control myself not to be able to sympathize with those innocent victims. the perpetrators whould be arrested immediately.


  6. quicksilverrunner

    Hi BR,

    I read your post yesterday, but it didn’t sink in until today what it was about. Thought you were quoting something historically. I just saw the news today about A. Ampatuan being charged.

    It is said–power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely. I’m not surprised that violence erupts from that region which then becomes news-worthy in the west. Our race is capable of producing impassioned fighters in the mix of conflicting cultural, religious, and societal norms. The idea that we can inflict such rage on our own brothers and sisters is not new.

    Let’s see if modern jurisprudence will prevail.



  7. miraclecello

    Perhaps the names have changed since you were last there in uniform:
    Datu Piang (Dulanan)
    Datu Odin Sinsuat (Dinaig)
    Shariff Aguak (Maganoy)
    Sultan Kudarat (Nuling)
    Sultan sa Barongis (Lambayong)
    Kabuntalan (Tumbao)
    Lots of gerrymandering going on in that place. There was even an attempt to split the province into two to accommodate two governors (from the same family), but this was struck down by the Supreme Court.


  8. kingofpots

    well, i am surprised about the change of names but i am familiar with those towns and the terrain. i guess, except for the highway, nothin had changed there.


  9. darlingtonrunner

    Watching Apocalypse Now on Film 4 on UK television right now. The Wagner Philippine Army helicopter scene over Lake Taal has got to the best scene of all time.
    It’s terrible what has happened there in Mindanao. I guess it will take decades to sort out the mess there.


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