by Kattryn Erryc Sayo

Maybe it sounds ridiculous, but there are just some people who seem to project absolute happiness and optimism. The late Maria Bundoc- Ocampo, “Ka Nene” to family, friends and even strangers, was unquestionably one of them.

Probably one of the most good-natured people to meet, Ka Nene radiated heartfelt and comfortable affection to everyone, especially to her family and friends. A loyal friend, a devoted Christian, a patient mentor, a caring mother, and a trustworthy journalist, are just a few of the many trademarks on how people she was connected with see her.

Media and Motherhood Veteran

A long-time journalist in the province, Ka Nene is considered as one of the pillars of Bulacan journalism. In fact, she owned the local weekly Punla (Pulso ng Madla). She was an original newswriter of the Mabuhay publication (a Bulacan local weekly), a former editor of Pilipino Star Ngayon (PSN) and Philippine News Agency (PNA). She was also an active member of the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NUJP) and Philippine Press Institute (PPI).

Family and close friends stated that Journalism isn’t just a profession for Ka Nene, it was her life. By heart and by soul, she was a journalist.

As a veteran in the industry, co-journalists and young aspiring media men in the province look up to her as a mentor. She had the enthusiasm to teach students who are interested in Journalism. She had served as a trainer in different Journalism training workshops as well.

Edric del Rosario, a marketing officer of Punla shared what it’s like to have Ka Nene as a mentor, “As a mentor, si Ka Nene ibibigay lahat para matuto ka. Kahit wala kang alam, matiyaga kang tuturuan. Nagbibigay siya ng time kahit marami siyang ginagawa.”

Ka Nene was also without a doubt an attentive mother to her four children namely Robert Jr., Nico Diwa, Ana Hiyas and Buhay Isaias. In 1992, he sacrificed her career as an editor of PSN to provide better attention to her children and family.

Aside from being the light of their family, Ka Nene also served as a mother to every person she knew. She did not handle her employees as employees nor did she treat her fellow journalists as journalists. Instead, she acted towards them as her real family.

“Hindi niya kami tinuring na ka-mamamahayag o ka-empleyado. Tinuring niya kaming mga anak, kapamilya,” said Shane Frias Velasco, a staff of Philippine Information Agency (PIA) and a writer of Punla.

Angel in Disguise

From being a stranger to being a journalist, Ka Nene never chose on whom to help. As long as she could and as long as she has something to share, she would, without hesitation, help people.

“Napakaraming naitulong sa’kin ni Ka Nene. Dapat talaga magpapatulong lang ako sa kanya para makapasok sa TESDA. Ayon tinulungan niya ko, nakapasok ako. Tapos kapag may kailangan pa ‘ko sa pag-aaral ko binibigay niya rin,” said Edric.

“Kahit walang-wala na siya, bibigyan ka pa rin. Basta makatulong gagawin niya lahat,” he added. 

Ka Nene extended her generosity even to people she does not know. Edric recalled one of the unforgettable acts of kindness he’d seen on her.

“Meron siyang binibilhan ng gulay araw-araw. Kahit nabubulok na ‘yong gulay sa ref niya, bili pa rin siya ng bili makatulong lang,” Edric said.

That is one of the lessons Edric absorbed from being with Ka Nene, “Huwag tayong mamimili ng tutulungan.”

 Herald of Faith

May it be during the good times or unpleasant moments, Ka Nene never forgets to praise the Almighty Father, which proves her deep faith in God. Even during simple conversations with people close to her, she will always say, “Purihin ang Diyos!” which depicts how optimistic she is in life.

Ka Nene’s only daughter, Ana Hiyas Ocampo said, “Lagi niyang sinasabi ‘yong “Purihin ang Diyos!” kasi iyon ang gusto talaga niyang i-share, ‘yong faith.”

Edric is one of the people who have been spiritually uplifted by Ka Nene. He confessed that he did not really attend masses before but because of her, that changed. He also said he was encouraged by her to join the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals (BCBP), where she was an active member.

“Sa espiritwal kong pagkatao, malaki ang natulong sa’kin ni Ka Nene. Hindi ako marunong magsimba pero dahil sa kanya nabago ‘yon. Napasama rin ako sa BCBP,” he said.

“Si Ka Nene, hindi lang kaibigan o mentor. Isa siyang buhay na halimbawa na ang Diyos ay nandito lang lagi para sa atin,” said Carmela Reyes-Estrope, a friend of Ka Nene and owner of Newscore Publication (a Bulacan local weekly).

Unexpected Goodbye

It was in the evening of September 17, 2012 when the shocking news about Ka Nene erupted. No one expected her death, even her family. Her family said it was because of sudden and concurrent incidents of health problems that caused her death- a cardiovascular disease which was triggered by hypertension and fever.

“Nagulat kaming lahat, walang nag-i-expect. Nando’n ‘yong gulat pero tinanggap namin. Wala kaming panghihinayang, walang regrets. Tuloy ang buhay. Actually thankful pa ako kasi hindi siya nahirapan,” shared Ka Nene's daughter, Ana Hiyas.

People who know her, especially those who felt her compassion expressed their agony and bereavement with regards to the unexpected departure of the beloved Ka Nene.

Rio Rabaya, a goddaughter of Ka Nene recalled, “She was always there. Para akong part ng family. She’s also very engaging and very lively.”

She also voiced out how painful it was to lose her favorite godmother, “I’m still mourning. But we need to celebrate her life, touching the people not only in Journalism but also in her other organizations.”

Rommel Ramos, a reporter from Radyo Bulacan believes that Ka Nene is a great loss in the media industry, “Si Ka Nene po ay isa sa haligi ng pamamahayag sa Bulacan. Isa siyang malaking kawalan sa industriya.”

These words are enough evidences that Ka Nene truly lived a fulfilled and meaningful life. In her 59 years of living, he had filled her life with benevolence and commitment, not only for herself but for other people as well. 

Though Ka Nene had already joined the Almighty Father, there is no way that people related to her won’t remember her. A woman of pure heart, faith and optimism, they will surely never forget her smile and laughter, her common expression, “Purihin ang Diyos!”, and her kindheartedness.


by Justine Marie Bernardo

When we do the best that we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.  so goes the adage of Helen Keller.

Everything that was built by a person can change everything including himself. When he builds friendship, kindness, care, empowerment, and even self-esteem, those can change his life forever. Somehow, an extraordinary moment will fall down and will slowly touch someone’s heart without knowing and without even needing any notice. Someone will influence you, and someone will be influenced by you. It’s been an everyday miracle that has been given to any person in the world.

A wife, mother, sister, grandmother, friend, journalist, adviser, and most especially, one of God’s children who portrays her role with care and empowerment; she’s a person that you can count on, sharing love more than you expect and that never asked to love her back. That is how Maria “Ka Nene” Bundoc-Ocampo touched everyone's heart. And now that she’s gone, people she left don’t even know how to continue without her.

“Tanggap ko naman na. kasi no'ng dinala namin siya sa Quezon City General Hospital ang tingin ng ibang doktor 70:30, ako nga 50:50 pa. At least naisip ko na, oo nga, mai-re-revive namin siya, pero paano pagkatapos hindi ba? Mahihirapan lang siya. At least alam kong umalis siya nang walang iniindang sakit o pinahirapan siya.” said Anna Hiyas Ocampo, the daughter of Ka Nene, also pointing out that their family does not fear of talking about death.

In many ways of having an expression, Ka Nenes’ turn of phrase is a unique one. According to Anna, instead of saying bad and nasty words when surprised, she always says, “PU…rihin ang Diyos (Praise the Lord).”

“Ang ma-mi-miss ko sa kanya 'yong tawa niya, 'yon bang kakaibang tawa na ma-i-ipluwensya ang lahat ng tao. Kasi 'pag tumawa 'yan hagikgik kung hagikgik kaya mahahawa ang mga tao,” said Edric Del Rosario, one of Ka Nene’s junior employees in Punla.

Ka Nene influenced Del Rosario and gives him every advice that he needs.  

Meanwhile, Anna disclosed her desire for young journalists to continue what her mother had done in the world of Journalism.

“Aasahan namin kayo ha (Journalism Students). Maging journalist kayo at magsulat. Kasi sa inyo ko nakikita ang Mama ko. Magiging totoo lang kayo sa pagsusulat,” she tearfully stated to the Journalism Students of Bulacan State University.


by Dahren Sta. Ana

FLOOD is still the number one disaster that affects the province of Bulacan.

Pedring and Habagat

The Chairman of the Committee on Environment Protection and Committee on Labor and Employment, Felix “Toti” Ople narrated that last year, as Typhoon Pedring came, it was the major problem that the province of Bulacan faced. Because of the heavy rains and strong winds that it brought, it cause floods in different areas in the province.

This past August, the Southwest Monsoon (Hanging Habagat) did the same thing. Through its continues rains, a wide area in the province had been affected by the flood. The city of Malolos which was not redularly distressed by flood shockingly became one of the severely destructed areas in Bulacan at that time.

According to Ople, the flood caused by Pedring last year was totally different to the flood caused by the monsoon. But during the surge of the monsoon, it was totally spread-out in different towns and cities in the province of Bulacan.

During the typhoon Pedring, the local government did not control the release of water from Angat dam and other dams from Nueva Ecija and Pangasinan which was one of the reasons of the high level of flood in Calumpit and Hagonoy.

But then, Gov. Willy Alvarado, Vice Gov. Daniel Fernando and other board members went to the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) of Bulacan to monitor the release of water dams, ordering not to discharge water spontaneously. With that, the local government was able to control the dam releases but then flood has not been prevented because of incessant heavy rainfall.

According to PDRRMC, about 37 barangays were critically affected, experiencing a 1-2 ft high level of flood. In which, 7,050 families had been affected, particularly a total of 35,106 people.

Aspects related to Flooding in Malolos

There are many factors in environment problem regarding floods. First, many subdivisions were built in which fields were put up as subdivision and are in a high area. The tendency is that the water that should be in the subdivision areas settled on the road, going down to a much lower area.

According to Ople, only about 30% of the whole province was allotted in building up subdivisions because a province needs more open spaces, for the floods to spread-out and not to occupy in one place only. If not, it can result to a high level of flood just like what the towns of Hagonoy and Calumpit usually experience.

Second, the rivers and water wastes is also the reason for flooding. There is no maintenance of the excavation of the rivers and water, making it filled with different wastes that results of slow absorption of water. During the term of former Malolos mayor Danny Domingo, there is a program of regular excavation. But then, the present administration did not continue this program. 

Third are the illegal structures along the rivers and water, even in the drainage and irrigation canals in which the flood water would have flowed. This is also one of the reasons in slow subsidence of flood water. There are the squatters who build their houses near the river banks or rivers itself, and some are on top of the drainage canals.

According to Ople, there is a need for cooperation in the local government unit to nip these squatters. But then, a large number of voters were the squatters. Because of this, the officials were afraid to pull out this people. Another problem was the need for a large amount of money as fund for relocation.

Fourth, there are also some distractions like the plastic materials and styrofoam. These materials do not dissolve that can result to clogging of water wastes in drainage canals, a reason also for the flood water not to flow properly. 

Fifth, Malolos as part of Bulacan was also affected by the flood, knowing that the province is the catch basin of flood water in Central Luzon. The flood hurries down to the lowest area. This is the system why the province of Bulacan experience high level of flood.

Possible Answers to Flooding Problems

Ople gave possible solutions on how to prevent the floods in Malolos and also in the whole province of Bulacan.

First, he suggested that there is a need to review and regulate the applications in putting up subdivisions, to give owners/builders proper site and plans to make to prevent the flood, like their household wastes.

Second, the river and water wastes should be excavated for a quicker absorption of flood water. This is one of the reasons why the city of Malolos experience flood in the past Southwest monsoon.

Third, the Local government was already implementing an ordinance of banning the use of plastic materials and styrofoams in the whole province of Bulacan which is one of the reasons of the clogging of water waste and drainage canals.

According to Ople, it was glad to hear that the McDonalds started implementing the use of paper and carton as their packaging in their product. If business and establishments violate tthis ordinance, their business permits must be surrendered. The objective of this ordinance is to help the environment in facing the disaster and calamities that will come.

Lastly is the the ordinance in household waste which it is still in the process of debate. The project's aim is to suck the waste in the septic tank. Though 80% in household waste flows in the river, it is believed that it is the number one cause of pollution in the water waste and drainage. In which, this project is mandatory that all the houses and structures should comply with this at least once a year. Ople also suggested that the MALABANAN Poso Negro should be a law. 

By these possible solutions, Ople hopes that these can help prevent the flood in the province of Bulacan. Although there is no guarantee of total avoidance of it, there might be a chance to lessen the high and dangerous level of flood in province.


by Isabelle dela Cruz

Tampok sa pagdiriwang ng Singkaban Fiesta 2012 nitong Setyembre 8-15 ang dulang pinamagatang "Kakarong de Sili", na itinanghal ng Barasoain Kalinangan Foundation, Inc. sa Nicanor Aberlado Theater, Gat. Blas. F. Ople Provincial Capitol Complex sa lunsod ng Malolos sa Bulacan.

Ang pagsasadula ay sa panulat ni Joseph Cristobal, at ang musika naman ay mula kay Arnel del Rosario. Ang dula na itinanghal ay sa ilalim ng direksyon ni Armando Sta. Ana. Opisyal rin itong kabilang sa National Theater Festival 2012 Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Ang Kakarong de Sili ay dating sakop ng Balagtas at ngayon ay sakop na ng Pandi sa Bulacan. Dito itinatatag ni Eusebio Roque ang Balangay Dimasalang mula sa atas ni Supremo Andres Bonifacio matapos niyang pormal na manumpa at lumagda sa isang reglamento gamit ang sagisag pandigmang Dimabungo noong Disyembre 24, 1895.

Isinilang noong Agosto 14, 1865 sa Barangay Kaingin, Bocaue, Bulacan si Eusebio Roque. Maaga siyang naulila sa magulang at kinupkop siya ng pamilya nina Nayo at Sima kasama ang dalawang anak na sina Cecilia at Crispin sa Angat.

Nakapag-aral si Sebio sa tulong ng kanyang Tata Nayo sa paaralan sa Bustos na pinangangasiwaan ni Padre Isaac Ignacio. Napalapit si Sebio kay Padre Ignacio dahil sa kanyang angking talino at taglay na kabaitan. Si Padre Ignacio ang nagsama kay Sebio sa Maynila na hindi kalauna’y naging dahilan ng pagkakakilala ni Sebio kay Emilio Jacinto na humikayat sa kanyang sumali sa Katipunan dala ng kalupitan ng mga Kastila.

Agosto 1896 nang itinayo ni Eusio Roque kasama si Hen. Felipe Estrella ang Real de Kakarong. Ito ay maliit na komunidad na may sariling daan, paraan ng paghahanap ng pagkain, pandayan, pagawaan ng bala at may banda ng musiko. Nahikayat na sumapi ang pitong muskitero ng Pitpitan Bulakan na pinamumunuan ni Gregorio del Pilar nang lumakas ang Balangay Dimasalang.

Bunga ng pagiging matagumpay ng Republikang Kakarong ang mga Kastila ay naligalig at nagtangkang sumalakay ngunit hindi nagtagumpay. Noong Enero 1, 1897 sumalakay muli ang mga Kastila sa Kakarong na naghatid ng matinding labanan kung saan ang mga Katipunero ay naubusan ng bala na naging hudyat ng kanilang pagkalagas at isang libo at dalawang daang mga katipunero ang nangagsimatay.

Nagpalipat-lipat si Sebio ng mapagtataguan  hanggang sa ipagkanulo siya ni Rimas na kaniyang kaibigan at nahuli sa Bunga Mayor sa Bustos sa tahanan ng kanyang kasintahang si Loring. Dinakip at pinahirapan si Sebio ng mga militar ng Kastila. Siya ay pinalakad ng may singkaw ng kalabaw sa batok  at hila-hila ng kabayo.  Nilitis siya at pagkaraan ay pinarusahan ng kamatayan sa pamamagitan ng pagbaril sa kaniya noong Enero 16, 1897 sa liwasang bayan ng Bulakan, Bulacan.