Month: August 2010

The Philippine Flag in the light of the Hijacking Incident

After the recent hijacking incident involving a military official who hijacked a bus load of foreign nationals and some Filipinos, another public uproar emerged when his casket was draped with the Philippine flag. I had twitted that I was of the view that this was inappropriate.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted the  Chinese embassy’s statement:

“The person who deserves a national flag at the funeral should be someone of heroism, decency and integrity, not someone who inflicts atrocity on innocent lives. This is nothing but a smear on the dignity of the Philippine national flag.”

PDI further  quoted   Director Leocadio Santiago Jr., the chief of the National Capital Region Police Office  saying that they did not give the Mendoza family the flag, but that if the family draped his coffin with a flag, they  could not forbid it.

Section 2 of Republic Act No. 8491 otherwise known as the “Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines”  states that:

“Reverence and respect shall at all times be accorded the flag, the anthem, and other national symbols which embody the national ideals and traditions xxx”

Sec 24 of the said law further states:

“The flag may be used to cover the caskets of the honored dead of the military  xxx”

The respect that must be accorded  our Philippine flag,  which the law states “embodies our national ideals and traditions” is blatantly disregarded when the flag is draped over the casket of  a person who caused the loss of lives of innocent people. To do so would be a distortion of our ideals and values as a people.  Likewise, Captatin Mendoza, cannot be considered an honored dead of the military. Consequently, the Philippine flag should not have been draped over his casket.

My Grandma Alvenia Schramm, the Original IronGirl

Monday, August 16, 2010.

Our beautiful and spunky 91 year old grandmother Alvenia Bassett Schramm, passed away at 1:44 this morning soon after our family gathered around her and told her it was time for her to go home and be with our grandpa.   



We sent her off with hugs and kisses, thanking her for all she had given us and telling her how much we loved her. She died while I was holding her close to me.





 As her doctor said, she was the original irongirl. I grew up with a grandma who every single morning, did sit-ups, jumping jacks and swam, then baked bread, cookies and muffins for all.   


 She was the original working girl too, cleaning other people’s houses when she was only in high school. She became a licensed beautician, then a baker and cook, working in the high school canteen.

With her parents and brother

Up to her 91st birthday, two months ago, she knitted hundreds of hand towels and baby booties and caps, baked cookies and muffins to give away as gifts to people she met. When I was a child, my grandma used to go skating with me, take me to the pool and later go on long walks with me. My brothers and I had such a happy childhood with a grandma who always had goodies waiting for us after school and made us pancakes with smiling faces. 


 At 86, she came to live with us here in the Philippines. We had lunch dates regularly in Alabang Town Center. Leading up to and during the grueling campaign, she was my source of peace and joy.


She lived an inspired life. She walked in God’s path and has now gone home to be with her creator and beloved husband Carl. She was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother.



My grandmother, grandfather, mom and Aunt Carol


We have been blessed having her and will miss her painfully.