Aling pag-ibig pa ang hihigit kaya
sa pagka-dalisay at pagka-dakila
gaya ng pag-ibig sa tinubuang lupa?
Alin pag-ibig pa? Wala na nga, wala.
Ulit-ulitin mang basahin ng isip
at isa-isahing talastasing pilit
ang salita’t buhay na limbag at titik
ng isang katauhan ito’y namamasid.
Banal na pag-ibig pag ikaw ang nukal
sa tapat na puso ng sino’t alinman,
imbit taong gubat, maralita’t mangmang
nagiging dakila at iginagalang.
Pagpuring lubos ang nagiging hangad
sa bayan ng taong may dangal na ingat,
umawit, tumula, kumatha’t sumulat,
kalakhan din nila’y isinisiwalat.
Walang mahalagang hindi inihandog
ng pusong mahal sa Bayang nagkupkop,
dugo, yaman, dunong, tiisa’t pagod,
buhay ma’y abuting magkalagot-lagot.
Bakit? Ano itong sakdal nang laki
na hinahandugan ng buong pag kasi
na sa lalong mahal kapangyayari
at ginugugulan ng buhay na iwi.
Ay! Ito’y ang Inang Bayang tinubuan,
siya’y ina’t tangi na kinamulatan
ng kawili-wiling liwanag ng araw
na nagbibigay init sa lunong katawan.
Sa kanya’y utang ang unang pagtanggol
ng simoy ng hanging nagbigay lunas,
sa inis na puso na sisinghap-singhap,
sa balong malalim ng siphayo’t hirap.
Kalakip din nito’y pag-ibig sa Bayan
ang lahat ng lalong sa gunita’y mahal
mula sa masaya’t gasong kasanggulan.
hanggang sa katawan ay mapasa-libingan.
Ang na nga kapanahon ng aliw,
ang inaasahang araw na darating
ng pagka-timawa ng mga alipin,
liban pa ba sa bayan tatanghalin?
At ang balang kahoy at ang balang sanga
na parang niya’t gubat na kaaya-aya
sukat ang makita’t sasa-ala-ala
ang ina’t ang giliw lampas sa saya.
Tubig niyang malinaw sa anak’y bulog
bukal sa batisang nagkalat sa bundok
malambot na huni ng matuling agos
na nakaa-aliw sa pusong may lungkot.
Sa kaba ng abang mawalay sa Bayan!
gunita ma’y laging sakbibi ng lumbay
walang ala-ala’t inaasam-asam
kundi ang makita’ng lupang tinubuan.
Pati na’ng magdusa’t sampung kamatayan
waring masarap kung dahil sa Bayan
at lalong maghirap, O! himalang bagay,
lalong pag-irog pa ang sa kanya’y alay.
Kung ang bayang ito’y nasa panganib
at siya ay dapat na ipagtangkilik
ang anak, asawa, magulang, kapatid
isang tawag niya’y tatalikdang pilit.
Datapwa kung bayan ng ka-Tagalogan
ay nilalapastangan at niyuyurakan
katwiran, puri niya’t kamahalan
ng sama ng lilong ibang bayan.
Di gaano kaya ang paghinagpis
ng pusong Tagalog sa puring nalait
at aling kaluoban na lalong tahimik
ang di pupukawin sa paghihimagsik?
Saan magbubuhat ang paghihinay
sa paghihiganti’t gumugol ng buhay
kung wala ring ibang kasasadlakan
kundi ang lugami sa ka-alipinan?
Kung ang pagka-baon niya’t pagka-busabos
sa lusak ng daya’t tunay na pag-ayop
supil ng pang-hampas tanikalang gapos
at luha na lamang ang pinaa-agos
Sa kanyang anyo’y sino ang tutunghay
na di-aakayin sa gawang magdamdam
pusong naglilipak sa pagka-sukaban
na hindi gumagalang dugo at buhay.
Mangyari kayang ito’y masulyap
ng mga Tagalog at hindi lumingap
sa naghihingalong Inang nasa yapak
ng kasuklam-suklam na Castilang hamak.
Nasaan ang dangal ng mga Tagalog,
nasaan ang dugong dapat na ibuhos?
bayan ay inaapi, bakit di kumikilos?
at natitilihang ito’y mapanuod.
Hayo na nga kayo, kayong ngang buhay
sa pag-asang lubos na kaginhawahan
at walang tinamo kundi kapaitan,
kaya nga’t ibigin ang naaabang bayan.
Kayong antayan na sa kapapasakit
ng dakilang hangad sa batis ng dibdib
muling pabalungit tunay na pag-ibig
kusang ibulalas sa bayang piniit.
Kayong nalagasan ng bunga’t bulaklak
kahoy niyaring buhay na nilant sukat
ng bala-balakit makapal na hirap
muling manariwa’t sa baya’y lumiyag.
Kayong mga pusong kusang (pugal)
ng dagat at bagsik ng ganid na asal,
ngayon magbangon’t baya’y itanghal
agawin sa kuko ng mga sukaban.
Kayong mga dukhang walang tanging (lasap)
kundi ang mabuhay sa dalita’t hirap,
ampunin ang bayan kung nasa ay lunas
sapagkat ang ginhawa niya ay sa lahat.
Ipaghandog-handog ang buong pag-ibig
hanggang sa mga dugo’y ubusang itigis
kung sa pagtatanggol, buhay ay (mailit)
ito’y kapalaran at tunay na langit.
Here’s the good news: The Philippines’ maternal mortality ratio (MMR), which refers to the number of women dying during pregnancy or in the first six weeks after delivery, has declined from an estimated 209 per 100,000 live births in 1987-1993 to an estimated 162 per 100,000 today.
The bad news is that this ratio is still one of the highest in the region.
In fact, among Asean countries, only Laos (580 per 100,000), Cambodia (290 per 100,000), Myanmar and Indonesia (240 per 100,000) have much worse records while the rest already enjoy a double if not single digit MMR.
The problem is particularly severe in several Muslim communities in Mindanao, wherein, according to the United Nations Development Program, as many as 320 mothers die per 100,000 live births—that’s double the national average.
“With just three years left, the Philippines is behind the target MMR of 52 per 100,000. There is still hope if all sectors both in the private and public fields will unite and make strong push to attain the UNDP’s Millennium Development Goal No. 5 (which seeks to reduce the MMR by three quarters between 1990 and 2015),” urged President Aquino in his message read by Health Secretary Enrique Ona during last week’s “162 to 52 Summit: Accelerating Collective Impact on Maternal and Child Health” held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay.
In the same message, the President commended the DOH, the LGUs, private sector as well as the nongovernment organizations (NGOs) for coming out with the multisectoral organization “162 to 52 coalition” which envisions itself to be a catalyst for strategic, targeted and innovative public-private partnerships for the attainment of better maternal indicators.
“Based on the data provided by the United Nations Fund for Population Agency, 11 mothers die every day in the Philippines due to maternity-related causes, leaving more than 30 children motherless. It is time for our new mothers to stop dying while giving life,” pleaded Department of Health head executive assistant and Bureau of Local Health Development head Dr. Juan Antonio Perez III.
To improve the MMR situation here in the country, the DOH together with fellow convenors—Philippine Business for Social Progress, Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines, League of Provinces of the Philippines, League of Municipalities of the Philippines, League of Cities of the Philippines, Health Futures Foundation, Ayala Technology Business Innovation/Access Health Philippines, and Zuellig Family Foundation—organized the one-day “162 to 52 Summit: Accelerating Impact on Maternal and Child Health” last week.
“We understand that we have a tough mission ahead of us considering we only have three more years to meet the goal of achieving no more than 52 per 100,000 by 2015. However, with what we were able to accomplish from the summit yesterday, we may still be able to meet the deadline,” observed Rafael Lopa, executive director of PBSP, one of the country’s largest business-backed NGOs supporting the “162 to 52” initiative.
Lopa lauded the much closer collaboration of the stakeholders, which is crucial for “162 to 52” initiative to succeed.
Oriental Mindoro Gov. Alfonso Umali Jr., president of the League of Governors of the Philippines, agreed with the DOH chief that all the stakeholders should come up with uniform data on the number of the maternal mortality rate, which is needed to monitor progress of the coalition.
According to Prof. Ernesto Garilao, president of Zuellig Family Foundation, the LGU’s commitment is very important considering maternal mortality remains unacceptably high in some of the provinces despite the declines in recent years.
He also added that the need to intensify campaign in depressed and remote areas around the country that will convince women to try the services of these clinics and assure them that in most cases, they would not be charged.
The President, through Ona, revealed that for the last two years, the government has spent P15 billion for the improvement and construction of health facilities, including health centers with operating rooms nationwide to prevent maternal deaths.
“In this regard, the DOH hired more than 20,000 nurses and 7,000 midwives to serve in the barrios, including in the far-flung areas where the poorest of the poor hardly get proper medical care,” Ona said.
Perez said that considering half of births in the Philippines still occur at home, and a third assisted by “hilots,” the coalition members should also make an effort to remind expectant mothers that going to the nearest birthing facility is still the best decision.
Perez shared that almost all maternal deaths in the Philippines are caused by direct obstetric causes including hemorrhage, sepsis, eclampsia, unsafe abortions and prolonged or obstructed labor.
“Moreover, the lack of municipal or barangay health offices with good birthing facility, limited number of skilled birth attendants who must be also adept at hygienic and proper birth delivery practices have contributed to the high rate of maternal deaths,” Perez lamented.
To effectively reduce maternal mortality, he suggested the need for specific solutions that not only deliver proven interventions within poorly resourced health systems of the provinces, but are designed to navigate complex social dynamics.
“There are so many issues to consider and the 162 to 52 Summit held yesterday is just the beginning,” the doctor said.
By: Charles E. Buban
11:32 pm | Friday, April 27th, 2012
LEGAZPI CITY, Albay - Teenage pregnancies in the Philippines surged by 70 percent over one decade, a ranking official of the United Nation Population Fund Agency (UNFPA) said on Monday.
Ugochi Daniels, UNFPA country representative, said the rising number of teenage pregnancies in the country is an area of concern that the agency is giving serious attention to, exposing as it does adolescent girls (10 to 19 years old) to high risk.
Daniels said a strong advocacy campaign is needed to educate and advise young Filipinas about the dangers posed by early pregnancies, and to inform them about reporductive health in general.
She added that the teen pregnancy concern, if not given focus, can derail and affect the country’s program targets with respect to its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
At 53 births per 1,000 women aged between 15 and 19, the teenage pregnancy rate in the Philippines is the highest among Asean’s six major economies, the United Nations Population Fund’s 2011 annual report says.
Government statistics on female adolescent pregnancies indicate that the total number of annual births changed little over the preceding 10 years, but the number of teenage pregnancies rose 70 percent, from 114,205 in 1999 to 195,662 in 2009.
Based on data compiled from birth certificates, of the 1.75 million live births in 2009, the latest review year, over 11 percent involved teenaged mothers.
On Monday, Daniels and Albay Governor Joey Salceda signed a Letter of Understanding (LOU) to jointly undertake population development programs in Albay.
Salceda said the joint partnership carries a P40-million funding spread over a five-year project timeline starting this year.
He said the fund will be used to carry out reproductive health projects in the 15 towns and three cities of the province.
The project involves an information-education campaign on RH on women, youngsters, HIV AIDS; trainings, and the pursuit of MDG components on maternal health, reduction of child mortality, promotion of gender equality, combating HIV/AIDS and eradication of poverty.