An Article by the Asian Human Rights Commission
Who were the massacred journalists? -
Daddy's Little Girl
More than anything
else, he was my Daddy.
So much goes into that
simple statement. My Daddy, Alejandro "Bong" Reblando was my hero, my
strength, the best of all my bestfriends. He was my mentor and my
protector. He was the angel sent from above. He was indeed the number
one man in my life. He is my inspiration
My daddy showed me
what life was all about, and he showed me that at a very young age. He
explained well to me how life really is. I knew and understood
essential basics – because he cared to inform me – while so many of my
friends were still just trying to understand what life is really all
about. I was daddy's little girl who sat on her daddy's lap and mingle
with him as if I am not her daughter but instead his friend. He taught
a lot of things that, for sure, will always be my treasures. He guided
me in every decision I made and loved me the way I love best. Daddy
told me at an early age all about that money too – that everything he
gave to me is not simple money, but it is the fruit of all his
As I flashback the
memories when he was still alive, he never ever left me behind. When I
need someone to fetch me late at night after a long program in school
he's always there even he already fell asleep in our house.
I remember one night;
I'm too much eager to have a facial with him but was never been able
because there are a lot of customers waiting. As I sat on the car I
was silent, and without saying a word he knew how I felt – sad.
Instantaneously he comforted me and heaved a joke, by then I was
That's the way my
daddy was. He was intuitive. He somehow knew what to say and what to
do, even in those times when you had not spoken. You could always
count on one important thing, although the words were not expansive.
They were the right words.
Most of you knew that
he is a strong, talkative, friendly, God-fearing, generous, helpful,
kind, respectful and reserved. You'd probably be surprised to know
that he was also one of the funniest men I've ever met, and that his
artistic ability was tremendous. These were not necessarily traits
that he displayed to his friends – he came from a time where humor and
art were not always the way to survive.
He was born right in
this city, where he lived all his life, during the great depression.
My grandparents impressed upon him the seriousness of life and of
supporting oneself, and finally the importance of providing for the
family. There was no time for the finer qualities of life in those
early years for Bong Reblando.
Probably due to that
early upbringing, "Bong" was an icon to many of you. He was well known
in this city for his works and contributions – to his attitude and
skills, and by all of you who are here today. The family name is as
entrenched in the town as the town is entrenched in the family. My
brothers, sister, mother and I went the same church as our father, and
we shopped at the same stores as he.
My hero has passed on
now, and he leaves my family and me to carry on the family name. We
are proud of him, of all that he was, and all that maybe he would have
liked to be if times had been different.
We are mostly proud to
say this one thing: Of all that he was – He was our great Daddy.
I won't say goodbye to
you deh, but instead I'll say "we will see you when we get there."
entering the Kingdom of God and we are all happy knowing you're safe
there and having a smile marked on your face.
I love you so much.
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How Will I Forgive?
By Mayang Reblando
Everyone tells me that I need to forgive.
That all the pain in me must go.
That I need to be free and just live.
But no one knows the memories hold.
I was hurt throughout my years.
I was put down day to day.
I hold back all of my tears.
And hope that they soon will fade away.
It's hard to forgive a person who killed.
A person who took away a very precious life,
But the truth that lies within him won't be revealed.
So right now all things cause me strife.
I won't forgive the man that killed.
For I have never felt this way.
Until my father's life was taken away,
And his life couldn't go on any further.
My father was young and in love,
And he had a future for me.
I was his special gift sent from above,
But the life I live he won't be able to see.
Till this day I am unable to forget.
The day that causes me so much sorrow,
But the only thing I do regret,
Is when I wake up without you tomorrow.
(About the author: Mayang Reblando is the daughter of
Alejandro "Bong" Reblando, one of the 32 journalists who were killed
in the Maguindanao Massacre. Her article "Daddy's Little Girl" was
written and read by her during Bong's burial in
December 5, 2009. Her
poem "How will I Forgive" written in January 15, 2010 was also a
tribute to her father. The author has given permission to the AHRC in