ACCOUNTS / UPDATES ON "LUMALAWIG NA AYUNO" VS. BNPP
(in the reverse-chronological order) go to beginning of this chronology
MONDAY, April 20: PARTNERSHIP FOR CLEAN AIR EXPRESSES SUPPORT
THE COORDINATOR of the Partnership for Clean Air, Dr. Victoria M. Segovia of Miriam College in Quezon City expressed support for the week of prayer and fasting for divine enlightenment to prevail on the issue of the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) soon to be discussed by members of the House of Representatives. In an email message to Prof. Ed Aurelio Reyes, "Ayu-NO (to BNPP)!", Dr. Segovia said:
"Thank you for informing us about your effort. We join you in prayer. Take care of your body - it is the vessel of the Eucharist. Best." Segovia was obviously referring to a call made by Reyes for the anti-BNPP campaign leaders to ask their respective members and personnel to join the prayers and even to fast.
Reyes had earlier informed Segovia and other Philippine environmentalist leaders via texted and emailed messages that he had undertaken another fast, this time lasting only 24 hours, in contrast to the seven-day commitment two years ago. As Reyes ended his fast at midnight last night, the chain-fasting was carried on for another 24 hours by Edward Sta. Ana of Taguig City, deputy secretary-general of the Pamayanang SanibLakas ng Pilipinas. Sta. Ana's 24 hours will be ending at midnight tonight. Both Reyes and Sta. Ana now have reason to be confident that various anti-BNPP campaigners have heeded the call for a week of fervent prayers and that a number of them have decided to fast, even if very quietly in their own homes.
Also today, Reyes also received via the email an expression of support from a morality-oriented political grouping, but the latter expressed the preference not to be publicly identified so as to insulate the very reasonable petition being prayed for by the participants of the "linggo ng sama-samang panalangin at mga pag-aayuno."
SUNDAY, April 19: 'AYU-NO!" INITIATOR IS BACK ON FAST... FOR A DAY
THE LEADER of the "Lumalawig na Ayuno vs. BNPP" who started what was intended to be a week-long fast for enlightenment for the pro-BNPP solons in the House of Representatives, is at it again, this time for a much shorter period. Back in his home in Subic town in Zambales, which is quite close to the site of the mothballed nuclear plant, Prof. Ed Aurelio C. Reyes started his new fast at midnight last night, the time when the latest chain-fasting participant, Ann Parcon-Aycocho of Cabuyao, Laguna, ended her own fast.
In a message sent out via cellphone texting and the email networks of SanibLakas CyberServices, Reyes said: "As of (last) midnight... I started my 'balik-ayuno' to ensure the continuance of the ongoing chain-fasting... and also to usher in this week's 'Isanlinggong Panalangin at mga Ayuno' laban sa BNPP' where people will be praying for divine enlightenment for the pro-BNPP solons, and some of the participants will be publicly-declared co-fasters, while others will be quiet, almost anonymous, co-fasters." Reyes also issued an appeal to "formal and informal groups" to have a publicly-declared co-faster for every day for at least most of this incoming week, the week of Earth Day, and of the expected resumption of House solons' action on their BNPP-revival bill which puts our lives, safety, health and peace of mind in very serious jeopardy," He added that "God will hear our prayers, as more and more of us pray fervently and also fast."
SATURDAY, April 18: FULL WEEK OF PRAYING-FASTING LAUNCHED
A FULL WEEK of praying and fasting for enlightenment was launched this afternoon in a call issued by the SanibDasal Synergetic Interfaith Praying Community which issued the call via its website and email network. This incoming week is the week of the international commemoration of Earth Day and also the scheduled resumption of the hurried process by which the majority of the members of the House of Representatives would tell the whole world of their lack of nuclear literacy by passing House Bill 4631, seeking to commission and operate the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) in Morong town.
The bill is being sponsored by Pangasinan Rep. Mark Cojuangco, who has been giving very simplistic and evasive explanations to back up his bill. The haste with which he successfully campaigned for co-signatories among his colleagues in the chamber, almost 200 so far in the 250-member body, led some quarters to believe that "money was flowing" among those colleagues. Cojuangco has been harping on the "impossibility" of the BNPP exploding, but oppositors have been saying that mere cracks in the structures housing the radioactive gases would contaminate the atmosphere well beyond the province of Bataan. Cojuangco has also been quoted in the media saying the BNPP is certainly safe from earthquakes, something the highly-advanced technologists of Japan could not have predicted in the case of the Kobe mega-earthquake some decades back. "One cannot be an instant nuclear and seismological expert by selecting and reprinting items from the Wikipedia," a panel speaker said in the Kamayan para sa Kalikasan monthly environmental forum last February.
The Week of Praying and Fasting seeks to activate all conscious stakeholders to pray fervently for a "miraculous" divine intervention to make the pro-BNPP solons see the light even at the last minute to demand more time to study first the government-commissioned reports that had allegedly discovered no less than 40,000 defects. Enlightenment is also sought through prayers for all the stakeholders to be fully conscious that "Evil triumphs in this world whenever good people compromise with it, condone it, or simply surrender to it."
Those who will do fasting for one to a few days would be in two groups: the publicly-declared co-fasters, and the private co-fasters doing their part quietly in their own homes, with their action known and understood well only by people who are concerned about their health and well-being.
Some of the quiet co-fasters have been asked by friends and relatives what can be the value of fasting without media coverage, considering that without such coverage the legislators would not even know that there is widespread fasting going on. Their answer: "We are not talking to these 'tongressmen'; we are asking God to repair their minds!"
THURSDAY, April 16: CURRENT CO-FASTER COMENDADOR TEXTS A TOUCHING MESSAGE
THE CURRENT co-faster in the extended chain-fasting against the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, Francis "Kiko" Commendador, who lives in Antipolo City and works in Miriam College in Quezon City, texted a touching message and and an impassioned appeal upon waking up after he entered his second day at midnight about eight hours ago. Sent to "Ayu-NO!" initiator and overall coordinator Ding Reyes, his message started off with him being in tears:
"Nagising akong umiiyak. Nalulungkot at galit. walang (diwa ng) responsibilidad ang maraming pulitiko sa bansa sa maaari nating kahinatnan, basta makapagpabida lang sila at magkapera marahil. Ang BNPP ay bulok na, tiyak na mapanganib, puno ng palpak. Ang mga pulitiko at atbp na nagtataguyod na buksan ito ay bingi, bulag, at mistulang tinig ng kamangmangan sa gitna ng katotohanan. Buhay ang nakataya sa pagbubukas ng planta. Buhay ang inilalagay ng mga pulitiko at ng pamahalaan sa panganib. Bayan, huwag nating payagan ang plantang nukleyar sa Pilipinas!"
(I woke up in tears. Sad and indignant. Many politicians in this country have no (sense of) responsibility, just so they could project themselves or, perhaps, make money on the side. The BNPP is a rotten monster, certainly hazardous and full of defects. The politicians and others who want the plant opened are deaf and blind, veritably the voice of stupidity amid the truth. Lives are at stake in the opening of this plant. Lives are being put in jeopardy by the politicians and the government. My countrymen, let us not allow the nuclear plant in the Philippines!)
THURSDAY, April 16: GEMMA CRUZ INVITES FASTING LEADER TO HER RADIO SHOW
FORMER TOURISM SECRETARY Gemma Cruz-Araneta invited "Ayu-NO! (to BNPP)" initiator and fasting leader Ding Reyes to guest in her hour-long radio program and discuss the "Lumalawig na Ayuno" project. The former beauty queen, having been the country's first Miss International, has a daily radio program, "Krus na Daan" over dzRJ, 810 kHz AM on weekdays, from 5 to 7 in the afternoon. Prof. Reyes has been guesting in the program on and off as a history consultant usually on Thursdays when he is usually in Metro Manila for his teaching sessions at the International Academy of Management and Economics (IAME) in Makati. Reyes lives in Subic town in Zambales, quite close to Morong, Bataan, which is the site of the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP). But he has clarified repeatedly that the BNPP would put in great danger the lives and safety of people not only of Bataan and its vicinity but of the entire archipelago and even of Southeast Asia.
Meanwhile, Prof. Reyes, using the emails and the texting networks, called on the members of the National Organization against the BNPP (NO to BNPP) and its allied organizations to encourage their individual members to sign the on-line petition to stop the House of Representatives from deciding to revive the highly hazardous facility. The petition has a link from the blogsite of "Save the Monumento" campaign leader and Kamalaysayan member Rolando Ocampo, with this website URL address: <http://tagamonumento.blogspot.com>. Ocampo, who had earlier mounted an on-line petition to include the Bonifacio Monument in Caloocan against desecration by the ongoing MRT railway construction, has also been an active participant in the "Ayu-NO!".
WEDNESDAY, April 15: 'ANONYMOUS' CO-FASTER 'REVEALS' SELF; 'DADO' ISSUES CALL
A SUPPOSED CO-FASTER IN MORONG town, site of the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Plant (BNPP) sent an anonymous test message to "Ayu-NO! (to BNPP) initiator and leader Ding Reyes to tell him that he was not alone fasting for light on the BNPP issue even if he had reason to believe he was. "You were not alone. I was fasting with you. And I was not alone, either," the text message sender said, adding that "Praying and fasting are very private and personal matters for us, so we cannot reveal our names to the public even up to now." The text message concluded that some of the groupmates who joined him or her in this sympathy fast held in separate homes in Morong, Bataan, on this very same issue were also afraid of possible reprisals. The sender claimed to have been using a borrowed cell phone and requested that the text message be deleted immediately and that the number not be saved. The fasting leader's cell phone number is well known and identified with textcasts done via the Smart system in the entire duration of his fast and even afterwards.
Also today, SanibLakas Deputy Secretary-General Edward "Dado" Sta. Ana, who fasted for the whole day of Tuesday, April 14, issued this message: "Nagpasya akong mag-ayuno rin upang palawigin pa ang pagkilos na ito (sinimulan ni Prof. Ding Reyes sa lima't kalahating araw niyang pag-aayuno sa Morong, Bataan). Layunin nito ang intensyong maliwanagan sana ang isip ng mga kinatawan sa kongreso na malaman nila ang masamang ibubunga sakaling ang BNPP ay pilit nilang buhaying muli. Ituloy ang ating laban! Naniniwala ako na marami pa ang nais na aktibong magtaya. Ipalaganap ang kaisipang AKMA! Habang may paru-paro sa mundo, marami pa ang isisilang na bulaklak." (I have decided to fast in order to extend and expand this mobilization (started by Prof. Ding Reyes who fasted for five days and a half in Morong, Bataan). This aims to seek the light for the thinking of representatives in Congress so they would know the adverse effects of a revived BNPP. On with the struggle! A believe that many more people want to be active stakeholders. Spread the AKMA culture! As long as there are butterflies in the world, more flowers would surely spring forth."
For his part, Francis Comendador, whose 48-hour fast runs today and tomorrow in Antipolo, said he plans to make some posters on the BNPP issue and give them to the students of Miriam College in Quezon City where he is working.
TUESDAY, April 14: MORE CO-FASTERS JOINING 'AYU-NO!' FROM ANTIPOLO AND LAGUNA
MORE CO-FASTERS have signified their intention to join the fast as Edward Sta. Ana's fast progresses till midnight tonight. As Ed Aurelio Reyes prepares to lift his fast late this morning, Pamayanang SanibLakas ng Pilipinas (PSLP) Executive Committee member Francis "Kiko" Comendador declared he would start his own normal fast in his residence in Antipolo, capital city of Rizal province, and Kamalaysayan member Mariano Aycocho Jr. said he and his wife Ann (nee Parcon) will be fasting with a group where they live in Cabuyao, Laguna on April 17-18.
Aycocho clarified that they can not fast exclusively for official prudence on the Bataan Nuclear Plant (BNPP) issue because it is a group fast previously set by their Marian group which he heads. He promised to ask the group to give the BNPP issue some prominence, considering its urgency. In response, Reyes asked him to do his best, considering that this is a nationwide prayer blessed by no less than the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
The CBCP was quoted in the papers last week throwing its full support behind the current efforts to stop the House of Representatives from ramming through with Pangasinan Rep. Mark Cojuangco's bill for BNPP's immediate commissioning and operation. "They have more than enough votes in the House to do that," Reyes told Aycocho in a text message, "we can only pray and fast for a miracle!"
MONDAY, April 13: CO-FASTERS REDUCE DING'S FASTING DURATION BY A DAY AND HALF
WITH three co-fasters having started and ended their shorter fasts in the past few days, the seven-day commitment of "Ayu-NO (vs. BNPP)!" leader Ding Reyes has been cut by 37 hours, setting the schedule of his "break-fast" at 11 a.m. tomorrow instead of the originally-scheduled midnight of Wednesday. Gigette Reyes, Ding's younger sister did an absolute fast (no solid food at all) for 72 hours in Quezon City, and Davao-based environmentalist did the same for 48 hours. He went to Morong to do his fasting with Ding. Rolando Ocampo did a regular fast for 24 hours in Caloocan City.
As this developed, Pamayanang SanibLakas ng Pilipinas (PSLP) Deputy Secretary-General Edward Sta. Ana has announced that he will start a 24-hour normal fast in Taguig City. The fast is scheduled to start at the first minute of Tuesday, April 14 and last exactly 24 hours. This gives fasting leader Ding Reyes a boost of morale. Reyes earlier said he was contemplating to extend his fast despite the reduction granted by his co-fasters, because he didn't want to stop with no one continuing it elsewhere. He also expressed disappoinment that residents of Bataan, especially of Morong, have been distracted or intimidated not to join this fasting project as of now.
SUNDAY, April 12: 'AYU-NO!' SPREADS TO THE SHADOW OF BONIFACIO
EASTER SUNDAY brought us a piece of great news: The "Ayu-NO (vs. BNPP)!" has spread to Caloocan, where the Monumento of Andres Bonifacio and other great heroes and martyrs of the 1896 Revolution still casts a discernible shadow. No less than the indefatigable leader of the struggle to "Save the Monumento," Mr. Rolando Ocampo, has joined the fast for 24 hours, from 3pm Sunday to 3pm Monday.
He said he has placed the prayer of the "Ayu-NO!" in the go-petition website. Ocampo told fasting leader Ding Reyes that he felt it's the least he could do considering the gravity of the issue being prayed over by the ongoing fast. Rolly Ocampo has recently joined the Kamalaysayan Solidarity for Sense of History. He maintains a blogsite, <tagamonumento.blogsite.com>, with a link to the mounted petition on the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant may be signed.
SATURDAY, April 11: 'SLEEPY, WITH SLIGHT DIZZINESS'
FOR THE FIRST TIME since starting his fast in the first minute of Thursday, April 9, Prof. Reyes has observed that the feeling of drowsiness has not been leaving him the whole morning and a good part of the afternoon. Fr. Loreto has mentioned the need to monitor his blood pressure and plans to make arrangements for this. For his part, Reyes, who has been taking only a light lunch of two soft-boiled eggs, two bananas and some crackers as his only meal for the whole day (24 hours), said he has been given "booster shots" by personal friends who had been expressing their support for him and, more importantly, for the issue he has been carrying.
Reyes said: My fasting prayer is for adequate light be given to the almost 200 members of the Lower House who have signed their support for the BNPP revival bill without even looking at the officially commissioned thick scientific and technical audit documentation on the plant, including no less that 40,000 discovered defects. Why can't they wait and see that report first before expressing their informed choice through the votes they will cast? Why gamble very irresponsibly with our lives, safety, health, and peace of mind? Even professional gamblers study the odds!"
With regards to the encouragement he has been getting from his friends, the International Academy of Management and Economics (IAME) chairman, Dr. Emmanuel T. Santos, PhD., had earlier told him via his mobile phone, "Kaya mo yan!" This afternoon, as word got out through the texting network about a slight turn in his health, more such encouraging messages from his personal friends streamed in, including one each from Knights of Rizal Supreme Commander and Rizal Provincial Adminstrator Virgilio Esguerra and Commission on Elections officer Atty. Ferdie Rafanan. Reyes said many of his friends have vast spheres of influence, "and we are only praying for the light of reason to obviously prevail in this discourse."
FRIDAY, April 10: POSSIBILITIES FOR CO-FASTERS BROADENED
BECAUSE FEW PEOPLE would be ready to undergo a seven-day fast, the "Ayu-NO to BNPP!" leader was prevailed upon by suggestions that people may "redeem" days from his 7-day commitment with shorter durations of fasting. Instead of having to commit to fast for seven days fast to deduct one day (24 hours) from his, one may fast for four days and take away half a day (12 hours) or two days to take away 6 hours, or just a day to deduct 3 hours. Full fasting (no solids at all) counts for double these values.
Reyes clarified that he is not mainly interested in reducing the seven days he had committed to undertake, but to broaden the possibilities and really increase the number of co-fasters.
As this developed, Gigette Reyes, the fasting leader's own younger sister in Quezon City declared she was having a full fasting for three days, and this, combined with Mr. Sta. Cruz's two days of full fasting, has been enough to reduce the duration of Prof Reyes's fast by a full day. Other supporters have signified through text messages that they planning to start their own sometime this week.
THURSDAY, April 9: 'SIETE PALABRAS' NG AYUNO VS. BNPP UPLOADED
THE SEVEN LAST WORDS, in a special version for the anti-BNPP campaign was completed by Prof. Ed Aurelio C. Reyes and immediately uploaded in the AKMA website for possible use by all members of the broad campaign wherever they are, if they had any opportunity to do so. But it was designed to be useful even to individuals who would seek to relate their Holy Week activities to this campaign and its broader context. (For full text, click here.)
A personal sharings session was held right at the fasting venue in the early afternoon, led by the author of the piece and participated in by the guests who were there at the time.
THURSDAY, April 9: VISITORS COME FROM FAR AND NEAR
THE 'AYUNO' AGAINST THE BNPP REVIVAL was visited by close friends and associates of the fasting leader in the morning of the first full day of the fast. Two Metro Manila-based leaders of Pamayanang SanibLakas ng Pilipinas, namely, PSLP Deputy Secretary General Edward Sta. Ana and National Economic Protectionism Association (NEPA) President Dr. Ernesto Gonzales, who was accompanied by the latter's relative arrived first but were followed shortly after by a SanibLakas active member who had come all the way from Davao City, Ernesto Sta. Cruz. Sta. Cruz immediately decided to join the fast and even made it a full one (no solids at all). Other visitors of the fasting activity also came from within Morong itself.
There were reports in the afternoon that Rep. Marcos Cojuangco of Pangasinan, author of the BNPP Revival bill, came to town that time in a long convoy of vehicles. The arrival was immediately reported to media people in Metro Manila who asked to be informed of developments if any.
WEDNESDAY, April 8: PARISH LEADER RECEIVES 'FASTING' LEADER
THE VICE PRESIDENT of the Parish Council received LUMALAWIG NA AYUNO leader Prof. Ed Aurelio Reyes mid-afternoon, hours before the latter was to start his planned seven-day fasting. Reyes was warmly received by Julito Velasco, who has also been one of the active local leaders of the campaign to oppose the revival of the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant which is situated in this municipality.
Velasco told Reyes that arrangements had been made to facilitate the start of his fast but that he would have to understand that all the parish leaders, especially Fr. Ronie Loreto, were very busy with the Holy Week activities. Noting that Reyes was still to start fasting at midnight, he invited the latter to join them for dinner, about a couple of hours thence, for they still had a procession to take care of. He advised his guest not to join the procession and instead conserve his strength.
MONDAY, April 6: BISHOP SOC BLESSES PLANNED 'AYUNO'
LUMALAWIG NA AYUNO initiator Ed Aurelio C. Reyes received this text message from Balanga Bishop Socrates Villegas very early today, April 6, in response to a letter Reyes left with the Bishop's residence late the previous night. With that letter were the Filipino and English texts of the main statement of the Lumalawig na Ayuno where the purposes, the mechanics and other details are indicated. (For Filipino text click here; for English text click here.)
The short text message from 'Bishop Soc,' as the prelate is fondly called, reads in full:
"Bishop Soc here. Good morning po Prof Reyes. I bless your fasting for the intentions of our campaign against BNPP. You may have your fast at (specific area near the parish church). Fr. Ronie Loreto will assist you. God be with you.
SUNDAY, April 5: ENCOURAGING MESSAGES POUR IN
A TOTAL OF 37 SHORT TEXT MESSAGES came in quick succession to the cell phone of the "Lumalawig na Ayuno" leader Ed Aurelio C. Reyes on April 4 and 5, and were uploaded into the very new website created by SanibLakas CyberServices mainly for promoting the culture of active stakeholdership, but also timed to prepare for the launching of the "Ayuno" laban sa BNPP. The messages came from various parts of the country, including the single town and the cities of the national capital region, and the following provinces: Palawan; Davao; Cavite; Pampanga; Zambales; Bataan; Rizal; and Bulacan. There were also encouraging messages that came in via email.
Reyes later told a friend that all these messages, responding to his own which spelled out the purpose and issue, had become his weapon against physical and emotional difficulties he expected to face in the duration of his fast. (to view his own text message and the responses, click here.)
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