"Boss Ninez has done more than her share in building a better world."
As in life, Ninez Cacho-Olivares left in a blaze. Days before she wrote finis to a life well lived highlighted by a fancied journalistic career, she was still calling out the oligarchs lording it over almost all aspects of our lives in this benighted land for what they are: heartless, greedy and malevolent. In her usual caustic and fearless prose, of course.
Yes, the veteran writer/editor dedicated her very last columns to what she did best—pointing out the atrocious and contemptible manner by which the rights and welfare of the poor and downtrodden masses of our people have been and continued to be trampled upon by the rich and powerful. How laws were bent to suit vested interests abetted by government officials who could not care less. Or, to use her own words, those who were slurping it up from the specially built troughs designed only for the animal farm.
She lived and died the way she advised in the newspaper she nursed to what it is today—The Daily Tribune—without fear. without favor. Indeed, Boss Ninez as I used to call her when I still wrote a column at the Tribune, was relentless in her vow to ferret out the truth, call out the malevolent and the greedy and nurse the wounded and the aggrieved. In a country like ours where aggression, bullying, public shaming and all kinds of atrocious behavior against individuals and groups are rampant, she has lent her talent and, yes, resources to bring sense, balance and more importantly, justice to those who needed it most. And these are the vast masses whose only fault is being born outside of those wielding wealth and power in a harsh, feudalistic and unwelcoming environment.
Like a true-blue editor she was quick to point out the best way to write a column in this day and age: chose a topic you are conversant with, preferably dealing with the issues of the day and about the foibles of men and nations, and call them out for what they really are. You have to serve a higher purpose, was what she always reminded me, beyond self, family and friends. We must be able in our small ways, she said, to bring about a better, more egalitarian world where each and every one is given an opportunity to grow, live and love.
Well, she has done more than her share in building that "better world."
She will be well remembered as she passionately blazed a trail of honest, courageous journalism with the noted charm and grace she will now bring as she lies in the bosom of the Lord Almighty.
A newer and better (?) Traslacion
Tomorrow, Jan. 9, we will see whether the advisory of the authorities and the parish council of Quiapo Church which houses the Black Nazarene to expect a "better and more disciplined Translacion" will come to pass or not.
The annual procession in honor of the Black Nazarene which has gained millions of devotees and even similar rites in other areas like Cagayan de Oro City has always been such a sight, with throngs of people shoving, shouting and leaping even just to hold a part of the wooden figure. Clearly, cultural and religious undertaking is one like no other, showing raw devotion and faith in its most earthly manifestations.
But it has also been nightmarish for the authorities and church leaders. In previous years, the procession took almost the whole day snaking around the callejons of Quiapo district and bringing in its wake unconscious devotees, injuries and even death. Which is why every year we have contingents of medical, para-medical and police crowd control personnel with their modern equipment and crowd control gadgets.
But times change so this time around, the new NCR Police Chief, General Devold Sinas, who used to be the top regional police officer in Central Visayas based in Cebu—a city which has its own Sinulog procession (for the Sto Nino/Child Jesus) similar to tomorrow's procession—came out with new rules based on his experience in that city. There will be a translacion wall, as the police calls it, perhaps to hold back the crowd from pushing their way into the carosa carrying the Black Nazarene, a shorter route and more marshalls with police partners.
We will see if the new rules will bring more order and a better, accident free translacion, a situation which is, of course, welcome even as one known cultural guru said it would take the "flavor out of the entire faith based devotional undertaking."