Pagpupugay kay Kasamang Douglas Dumanon

(1954 - 2010)


January 28, 2010




Douglas Dumanon

Vice President for Federation Affairs

Kilusang Mayo Uno  (KMU)


Photos courtesy of Anakpawis/RE


26 January 2010

KMU Vice President, long-time activist passes away

Kilusang Mayo Uno mourns the loss and pays highest homage to its Vice President for Federation Affairs Douglas Dumanon. He passed away late last night at 56.

Before his health seriously deteriorated, Ka Douglas dedicated much of his work to the strengthening of KMU’s mass organization for the urban poor, the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahiihirap (Kadamay) .Ka Dougs also served as KMU’s National Treasurer from 2001 to 2004. He has also contributed much to the expansion and relations of KMU to various independent unions, and the labor center’s alliance work.

He started as a youth activist as a member of the Kabataang Makabayan at the Pamatasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila during the 70s. He served as full time organizer of the youth organization in different schools and communities. He also became a political detainee, and after his release, he joined the workers’ movement. He became a union official before serving various tasks for the KMU.

Ka Douglas’ life was brought down by diseases, gravest of which is his cancer of the throat that has spread out to his intestines. He also suffered from pneumonia and diabetes.

Ka Dougs will forever be a pillar of the working class movement and the progressive forces in the country. He will be an inspiration to us to pursue more the fight for genuine democracy and social change. This will be the greatest tribute we can give to our beloved Ka Douglas.

His remains lie at Sta. Cecilia Church, Las Pińas.

Reference: Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU Chairperson, 0929-629-32


KMU official passes away at 56
Posted 07:22pm (Mla time) (Mla time)
By Jerome Aning
Philippine Daily Inquirer

The Kilusang Mayo Uno announced on Tuesday afternoon the death of its vice president for federation affairs Douglas Dumanon at age 56.
[ Read more ]



26 January 2010

Highest tribute to Douglas Dumanon, great labor leader and beloved comrade

Kilusang Mayo Uno mourns the loss and pays highest homage to its Vice President for Federation Affairs, long time-labor leader, and beloved comrade Douglas Dumanon. He passed away 11:30 in the evening of January 25 due to multiple illness.

Early activism

Ka Douglas’ involvement in people’s struggles started when he joined the militant youth mass organization Kabataang Makabayan (KM) at 17, months before Marcos declared martial law. He was a college student then at the Pamatasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila.

When martial rule was imposed, Ka Douglas was one of those who were arrested and detained. When he was freed in 1973, he decided to become a full-time organizer of KM in various schools and communities. He became the National Education officer of KM.

Labor organizer

It was in 1977 when Ka Douglas became fully involved in the labor movement – he was elected union president of port company Luzon Stevedoring Corporation (Luzteveco) in Sta. Mesa, Manila.

He got involved in organizing and relating to other unions and national labor federations and alliances. He was crucial in the establishment of the Kilusang Mayo Uno in 1980, and was elected its founding National Treasurer.

While having tasks in the national office, he still continued to serve as union president. When KMU called for a general strike in 1982 against the Marcos dictatorship and worsening state of living under US domination, he led the strike of workers in Luzteveco.

When KMU leaders were arrested en masse on Friday the 13th of August 1982, Ka Douglas was one of those who rose to take crucial national leadership tasks of the KMU.

National and multi-sectoral leader

Ka Douglas stirred the alliance work of KMU to independent federations and labor groups. Ka Douglas earned the respect of many unaffiliated groups, even those at odds with KMU.

He was also crucial in confronting wrong ideologies and practices that proliferated inside the organization in the late 1980s to early 1990s. He recognized the errors of the organization he was with, and joined others in reviving the correct direction toward national democracy and genuine societal change.

He was elected KMU Vice President for Federation Affairs in 2003, a post he maintained until his health took over him.

Ka Douglas was also a proletarian internationalist, as his alliance work reached more than 20 countries to strengthen relations with various foreign workers’ organizations.

He devoted much of his last active years in strengthening KMU’s mass organization for the urban poor, the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahiihirap (Kadamay). He contributed much to Kadamay’s expansion in various communities, organization of its national leadership, and national campaigns for livelihood and housing.

Exemplary life

Ka Douglas spent more than 55 years of living his life to the fullest, dedicating it to the plight of the marginalized masses.

He was about to celebrate his 56th birthday on April 24 when his multiple illness took its toll on him last Monday. He discovered he has cancer of the throat on May 2008. He also suffered from pneumonia and diabetes. His cancer spread out to all over his body, which led to the amputation of his one leg two years ago.

Humility, compassion, and dedication are the revolutionary virtues he exemplified most. He was often described by those who have worked closely with him as “one who doesn’t know how to get angry.” He never complains amidst difficulties, even during the start of the deterioration of his health. He was “always mild-mannered” in his ways that made comrades even more endeared to him.

He was also a brilliant tactician in union struggles and in mass campaigns. He knows how to see the bigger picture in things and handles conflicts with maturity.

Ka Douglas will forever be a pillar of the working class and the progressive movement. He will be an inspiration to us to pursue more the fight for genuine democracy and social change. This will be the greatest tribute we can give to our beloved Ka Douglas.

He is survived by his wife and six children. His remains lie at Sta. Cecilia Church in Las Pińas, where a final tribute to his greatness will be held on Saturday, 7 p.m.


Reference: Elmer "Bong" Labog, KMU Chairperson, 0929-629-3234





For Ka Douglas, in memory of the P500 bills
by Ina Alleco

As Philippine senators threw mud at each other and called each other names (trying to outdo each other in self-righteousness and in their respective attempts to prove that they were pristine and corruption-free), Ka Douglas Dumanon, former national treasurer of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), former secretary-general of the urban poor people’s organization Kadamay, and KMU national council member passed away last night after a long struggle against cancer.

How do you describe Ka Doug and the kind of person he was?

A gentle giant. A kind, compassionate man who always cared to know how others around him were doing. He had a gentle sense of humor, and it always showed in his eyes. I never saw him get angry or upset. He was mild-mannered by nature, and he was a 100% non-complainer.

I was a staff of KMU National for seven years, starting when the office was still in Intramuros and there were only three small, cramped rooms and only a 486 computer and a dot matrix printer.

Through all that time until I left for Bayan Muna in 2001, it was Ka Doug who handed me my monthly political allowance. When I first started in KMU, there was really no money (it was the aftermath of the re-affirm/reject kaguluhan, and the traitors who left to form BMP had all but wiped out the KMU bank account), and Ka Doug explained to me that I would not be receiving a salary or anything similar to it. I remember how sheepish he looked, somewhat apologetic. I hastened to say that I knew what I was getting into, that it didn’t matter. All the same, every month, Ka Douglas handed me P500 ‘para sa pagkain at pamasahe sa jeep.’

I will never forget those P500 bills. Each was so precious, and never before then did I really learn about the value of money. Galing kasi sa butaw ng mga manggagawa yung allowance, Ka Douglas told me, and as such I was so honored. I would’ve worked for nothing, because I knew that everyone else in the office barely received anything either and they had families to support. Commitment, strong and tested, was something I learned from Ka Doug and the others in that small office — Ka Manny Sarmiento, Ka Bel, Teddy, Ka Bong, Ka Sha, Ka Dick, Ka Robert and Ka Noli.

When I first heard that he had cancer and that they had to cut off his leg, I had just come back from Hong Kong after 10 months of clearing my head and getting my ducks in a row again. I was shocked and saddened. I was told, they told me, that his cancer began in his throat, and it was an effect of his frequent visits to Payatas where he was deployed as an organizer-leader of Kadamay. The permanent stench, the perpetual smoke rising from the piles and piles of rotting garbage and the methane, they said, made him ill.

I was unable to visit him, as my work kept me busy (Ka Bel was still under hospital arrest then, and I was desperate to make up for lost time).

In was only in May, during the Labor Day commemorative rally in Liwasang Bonifacio that I finally, and literally finally, saw Ka Doug.

He sat on a bench near the fountain, and he had only one leg after the other was amputated to stem the tide of cancerous cells which ran amok in his system. He was thin and haggard looking. He also appeared tired, he was tired, and I tried very hard not to show him that I felt sorry seeing him lamed when I was used to him being the big and tall man with the cheerful stride, a more graceful Mr. Bean with glasses, his posture correct.

Instead, I smiled and hugged him tightly, and asked him how he and his crutches were getting along. Said crutches were an aluminum pair, and he had them propped somewhat carelessly near him.

“Di pa kami bati,” he joked. He hated using the crutches, he said. he often forgot that he was one-legged, and he sometimes stood up only to realize that he couldn’t without falling. “Di pa ako sanay, naiinis pa ako.”

I told him he’d get used to them soon enough, and started to tell him about an article in Readers’ Digest that I read, about positive thinking, about adapting, about mentally and spiritually accepting change so it would be easy for his body to adjust.

“Yakang-yaka mo yan, Ka Doug!”, I said. He nodded, laughing.

We then shifted to other topics, because I could see that he would much rather we talk about other things, far removed from what had happened to him. He wanted news, he wanted stories, he was bored at home, he said.



Ka Douglas with other KMU officers

So we talked and talked, and in my head, I could picture Ka Douglas the way he used to be, and it pained me.

Hay naku, Ka Douglas. Napaka-bata mo pa para mawala sa amin. Ang dami mo pa sanang magagawa. Ikaw na walang piniling gawin; ikaw na walang ginawang gawain na hindi mahusay. Ikaw na napakamasayin. Mabuting ama, mabait na asawa. I know your daughters and your wife are so proud of you, how you remained devoted to the Movement all these years since your youth, and how you waged your struggle to keep sane and cheerful despite the pain of cancer and the pain of losing a limb and becoming, again, dependent on others to be able to move around. You were a hero in so many, many respects. Lider manggagawa, ehemplo sa lahat sa kabaitan, katapatan sa gawain, husay at sipag.

Ka Doug, paalam. Salamat po sa lahat. Isa kang bayani ng uring manggagawa, ng masang anakpawis. You made waging revolution look easy, because you did your part so willingly, so cheerfully. Didn’t you get to make me work hard for P500? For that I will always be grateful.