February 24, 2024

Mayor Benjamin Magalong has endorsed the book “Laughter in the South: Footnotes to the Southern Philippines Conflict” of which sales profit has been benefiting students of the city.

“I encourage everyone to buy this book because it has a very noble cause,” the mayor said as he thanked the book’s author Winston Arpon for donating all royalties from his book to the Youth Scholarship Program of the Loakan Educational Assistance Project (LEAP).

Beneficiaries of the program were students from the Baguio City National High School Fort del Pilar Annex who were chosen based on their financial and scholastic statures.

Arpon was a former navy officer and member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1964.  He is now the chairperson and president of the DJLF Charity Foundation Philippines.

In his note to Magalong, he said his book is his small way of contributing something for the good of humanity in fulfillment of the values ingrained in them in the academy.

“I have no clue of its provenance but plebes at PMA during our time were often asked by upperclassmen, ‘What can you do for humanity?’ Almost invariably, our answer was ‘Yes, sir!’ (which) strictly speaking (was) not an answer to the question. My book ‘Laughter II’ is hopefully an answer, admittedly in a small way. On my part, belatedly,” he told the mayor.

International shopping app Amazon which sells the book gave this description:

“Be privy to a unique perspective of the conflict in the Southern Philippines in the 1970s. through amusing anecdotes on the men and women that served during that conflict, this book balances pure humor with significant events, to give readers a most substantive insight; a book, as one journalist commented, that is ‘funny and serious – a dual role that is seldom achieved in a book of anecdotes.’

Above all, as a fitting tribute to all who served in the south, to their resilience and sacrifice to fight for the preservation of the ideal, “one country, one people,” “Laughter II” richly deserves to be in your reading list.” – Aileen P. Refuerzo