by ODON S. BANDIOLA
March 23, 2013, marks the 116th death anniversary of the 19 Martyrs of Aklan. The present people of the KAPIHAN SA AKLAN forgot the date is exactly the 5th launching anniversary of this popular weekly media forum aired live via the Kalibo Cable Television and via the Aklan Cable Television.
It was very unfortunate no one from among the media people composing the KAPIHAN lifted a finger to organize a simple but fitting anniversary commemoration.
My KAPIHAN and drinking buddy, the late Billy Arguelles was one of the souls, spirit and moving body behind the KAPIHAN sa AKLAN.
Moments like this, the KAPIHAN anniversary, reminds me of Billy. Things will always come to place with Billy. Organize an event and have Billy beside you, things just run smoothly.
I was really saddened the Lord reclaimed his life on July 28, 2011 at a very young age of 52. KAPIHAN seems to have died with him but his colleagues persevere and keep the KAPIHAN afloat and alive for his memories.
Last year, after March 23, 2012, when no one among us led to organize a commemorative event for the KAPIHAN’S 4th anniversary, surprisingly, Billy had his own way of reminding us. Lyn Arguelles’, Billy’s wife, mobile phone, without being pressed/manipulated dished out Billy’s favourite song, “Borrowed Time”, in the middle of the night. The same phenomenon had repeatedly occurred.
It made Lyn wonder what message her deceased husband wanted to convey. Disturbed by such occurrence, Lyn conferred with Nong Johnny Dayang, this writer and other Billy’s media colleagues.
We concluded Billy reminded us to put up a commemorative program for the KAPIHANs’ 4th anniversary.
Though belatedly, I, Megs Lunn, Edwin Ramos with the help of our elders, Nong Johnny, Atty. Kel Tolentino, Dr. Botoy Villorente organized a commemorative mass and recollective tributes for Billy at the Kusina Sa Kalibo, the venue of the grand launching of the KAPIHAN on March 23, 2008, 19 Martyrs’ Day.
Before his death, Billy was instrumental in keeping the KAPIHAN vibrant since its launching and we had grand anniversary celebrations in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
KAPIHAN indeed is becoming a media institution where public issues and concerns are comprehensively and thoroughly dissected every Saturday. It changed venues from its original home at the Kusina Sa Kalibo, then at the Smoke Hauz Resto and Bar, then to Carmen Hotel and at present at the Payag Resto and Bar.
KAPIHAN had once served as the forum to ventilate political issues through lively debates by local political candidates in 2010 elections. /MP