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Mar 30th
Home Sections Ecology and the Environment Sorsoganons Got Guts and Know How to Face Death Honorably
Sorsoganons Got Guts and Know How to Face Death Honorably PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Ecology and the Environment
Written by Bobby M. Reyes   
Tuesday, 14 June 2011 21:57


No Amount of Threat Will Stop this Investigative Report about the BacMan Geothermal Plant and its Alleged Pollution of Sorsogon Bay


Part V of an Occasional Series on “Saving Our Sorsogon (SOS) Bay


@ Vicente Calibo De Jesus. Our plans are gutsy, as we can fight straight-to-the-face ABS-CBN, the Goliath of PHP TV industry & Fil-Am Pay-TV. WE all know David won. I'll be using not only a rock but also the roll, as we play the tunes of Elvis, as we march on to victory. :-) – Posting of Bobby Reyes in the Facebook


T hus I answered with a tint of humor an online friend, Vicente Calibo De Jesus, on his query of whether our initiatives and projects for Sorsogon Province are merely Utopian and could not be accomplished. I told him that “Utopian is not the right adjective for we are translating our plans and programs into feasibility studies.” Besides, we got guts.


It seems that this series of articles has stirred a tempest not only online but also in Sorsogon Province as well. Tonight, a Sorsoganon just called me up by long-distance telephone and advised, nay begged, me to shut down the series. The caller said Sorsoganon employees of the Energy Development Corporation (EDC) and/or any of the firms owned by the Lopez-controlled consortium might be dismissed as they might be suspected by management of leaking information to this writer. The caller also hinted that law and order are not really present all the time, in all places of the homeland, especially in the rural areas.


I replied to the caller that my sources are two brave Sorsoganon women who have the guts to be identified and not hide behind pseudonyms. I said that as named in my articles and in the Facebook, my sources are Pilar Gabito (from the ranks of fishermen and shellfish dealers) and Sonia Lariosa (representing groups of farmers.) They chose to come out in the open, as described in Parts II and III, respectively. Both ladies and their fellow fishermen or farmers are committed to saving Sorsogon Bay, which is slowly being ruined further by the pollution being caused supposedly by the waste water being discharged by the BacMan Geothermal Plant..


General Patton’s “No Guts, No Glory” Is Also Sorsogon’s Slogan


S orsoganons got guts, especially in times of war. My father, Dominador Reyes y Sesbreño, was one of the bravest Filipino officers during World War II in Sorsogon Province. I wrote his eulogy, as may be read in this link, My Father Was the Birdman and Butcher of Bulusan during the War and a Don Quixote Later in Life




My father, Domen (his nickname), told me near the sunset of his life that there are only four ways of leaving this world to the Great Beyond: By 1.) Sickness; 2.) Accident; 3.) Old Age; and 4.) Martyrdom. My Dad died when his lungs collapsed as he was confined at the Makati Medical Center at age 90.


On the other hand, my grandfather-in-law, Isabelo “Don Belong” de los Reyes was a member of the Katipunan and a Philippine revolutionary hero. He lamented on his final sick bed that he was not going to die a martyr like his distant cousin and friend, Jose P. Rizal. But as Ambeth Ocampo, the venerable historian, told me in an online posting, if Don Belong did not die of a ripe age of 74 primarily because of a stroke that he suffered  nine months before his death, then he would not have the opportunity to become the founder of the Philippine Independent Church and the Philippine labor movement, aside from having the time to finish his literary works as the recognized father of Filipino folklore or the months needed to translate the Bible from Spanish to Ilocano. To read my annotated version of Don Belong’s biography, please click on this link: Isabelo de los Reyes, Founder of the Philippine Labor Movement, Among Other Titles




T he controlling stockholders and executives of the EDC and its sister company, the ABS-CBN network, may not like to risk their lives for their conglomerate and much less for the BacMan geothermal plant. The Sorsoganon activists and this writer, a trained journalist, are betting our lives in order to save Sorsogon Bay and/or report socially-relevant causes or concerns. There is no way that we can be threatened for we welcome martyrdom, if needed, as part of our job. After all, all mortals die; it is only a question of when or how or where we write 30.


It will be the height of folly if the Lopez-controlled conglomerate will use extra-judicial means of shutting down public protests and investigative reports. As I said in Part IV of this series, the local movement to protect the environment is a Win-Win situation, for all the world now loves to protect Mother Earth.


And finally, the more threat there is, the more publicity we get from the Philippine press and the international media. The more the BacMan environmental problem becomes more publicized and hopefully, the angrier the people will become.


(To be continued . . .)


Editor’s Note:  Here are links to the previous articles in this series:


The “Save Our Sorsogon (SOS) Bay” Initiative (Part I)




Sorsogon Bay: “So Near, Yet So FBAR.” The “Red Tide” Ban by the BFAR Must Be Lifted  (Part II)




“Back to BacMan,” Tracing to the Geothermal Plant an Apparent Cause of Pollution in Sorsogon Bay (Part III)




Ultimatum Given to BacMan Geothermal Plant to Treat Waste Water Before Emptying It into a Sorsogon-Bay Tributary (Part IV)




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Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 22:03
Comments (6)
1 Wednesday, 15 June 2011 06:00
Vicente Calibo De Jesus (as first posted in the Facebook:

‎@Bobby. Am reading your articles and must say I'm deeply impressed by your principled crusades. More power to you in all your pursuits.
2 Wednesday, 15 June 2011 06:05
@ Vicente Calibo De Jesus (as first posted on the Facebook):

Salamatonon, as we say in Sorsogon, for your kind words. WE are facing a big clean-up job. We need to clean up the environment, the inland & blue waters, the city and prov'l gov'ts & other LGUs, totally reinvent the meaning of public service, conduct teach-ins on civics, etc., etc., etc. But @ age 65, what have I got to lose, except my wrinkles, my hair, my teeth & even my life? Somebody somewhere must put up w/ the ecological abuses of The Imperial Manila & fight for Mother Earth. We got the ABS-CBN in a tight corner now & we can embarrass them in the Overseas-Filipino communities.

Lolo Bobby M. Reyes
3 Wednesday, 15 June 2011 06:12
(As Posted in the Facebook)

Dear Online Friends: You will only get to realize what I stand for once you get to know that the legendary journalist Jessica Mitford is my inspiration. When she was living she said: "I may not be able to change the world (w/ my writings) but @ least I can embarrass the guilty." Am doing sometimes better than Ms. Mitford for I can make fun through satire & humor the guilty & their accomplices. I am using the power of the pen, nay, keyboard not only to change matters for the better in my backyard but also life as we know it in our homeland.
4 Wednesday, 15 June 2011 06:21
From Carling-Inday Poi Varquez (as posted in the Facebook):

12:52am Jun 15

It is a very sad moments to all Filipinos to endure such great devastation on their only livelihood as the unfolding events in Sorsogon and other parts of the country that a few investors with the blessing of politicians could grab the opportunity to enrich themselves without looking back the disaster they have made to the common mass. Our legislatures should have passed more strict guidelines especially on environmental issues that would lessen the disastrous impact to our people.Thanks to Mr. Bobby Reyes for the opening salvo towards those people who are responsible that makes this disaster the issue of this month.
5 Wednesday, 15 June 2011 10:27
Dear Sir (Lolo) Bobby:

I commend you for your great and heroic efforts to protect Sorsogon Bay from pollution coming from the BacMan geothermal plant. Sorsogon is a province I wish to visit someday. I am originally from Misamis Occidental, a northern province of Mindanao. I go home almost every year, so perhaps one these visits will include Sorsogon. What is your birth town? As fellow member of KOR and DOMs, I admire your "guts" in fighting a large conglomerate. This reminds me of a lady in California who fought so hard against a utility company that polluted the land. Her life was made into a movie starring Julia Roberts back some years back that she won an Oscar award for it. Remember the name? I forgot it. Perhaps, a Philippine movie or documentary can be made on the fight to save Sorsogon Bay.

With my warm best wishes,

Sir Martin Celemin, KOR
Las Vegas
(As originally posted in the Facebook)
6 Wednesday, 15 June 2011 15:07
The biggest problem with some big corporation is that they think they can intimidate and bully anybody..In this case they better do the right thing, clean up their act..Be community oriented corporation before this thing blow up on their faces...Yes I saw that movie of Julia Robert...Irresponsible Corporations beware..

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