Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Still insisting "change" within continuity?

Still insisting "change" within continuity?

(Or how the direction under the Duterte administration appears for the future 
even in an actually continuing past)

Again, all these are like the early seventies to late eighties. 

At no time in a nation's history people from all walks of life is still having the crying need for a total, rapid, and radical renewal that hath been so deeply and so painfully felt by so many. For despite the attempts to undermine if not lessen fervour, and amidst the so-called progress and development being shown throught, these didn't diminish the demand nothing short of a genuine social revolution that will resolve the ills and to bring about basic equality of opportunities in the social, political, and economic life of the Filipino people.

For as in the old days, age old repressions continues to creep- enough to describe a country as in a state of continuing past rather than gaining a future: the imposition of the Spanish feudal system, being "improved" further by American liberal capitalist creed has made the nation still difficult to charter its own course on troubled waters towards a genuinely Filipino way of life that is radically expressed in social, political, and economic structures that truly serves the people- in a way sakadas, haciendas, the peasant problem hath remained a major social issue amidst growing urbanisation and the likes.

And perhaps one would think and say that this matters can't get over from moving forward as a nation. Whereas its neighbours experienced development that benefited the many, the Philippines, given its centuries-old order, changes remained minimal if not bluntly aesthetic, especially when compradores and landlords alike did afford to dilute the essence of numerous reforms into cheap rhetorics primarily meant to appease the folk-while still enjoying their privileges as in the past.

From this, no wonder why people assert the need for genuine socioeconomic change and therefore find same old statements against imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat capitalism or various calls for agrarian reform and other forms of social justice deemed repetitive- that even politicians would dare to vent those messages enough to appear themselves as reformists if not radicals just to sneer people through the ears.  And actually, Duterte and his ilk did afforded to express those statements; with most of which be substituted with terms like oligarchs and the corrupt, given the fact the president himself, aside from being a member of a somewhat "social democratic" party*, also initially appeared to act "leftist" given his dealings with the Communist party and other related organisations, oftentimes seeing him raising fists alongside left's known personages; while at the same time rightist given his dealings with the military, big businesses, and traditional political families especially those from the Marcoses. Sounds inclusive isn't it? For one of the president's desire is "unity and stability" in order to facilitate growth and ensure welfare.
Otherwise, this would be an another attempt in formulating a national view using Duterte as a platform. Like Marcos's "Filipino Ideology" and its "Revolution from the Center", Duterte, via his apologists, tend to make him appear to be both revolutionary and consolidatory as it stresses the idea-view of Political Liberation, Economic Emancipation, and of Social Concord; and these views, like ideologies have been found to-be useful tools to legitimatize regimes, set and emotionalize national goals and even obtain or maintain political power. And all these has been exemplified by Erbakan's "Milli Gorus" (National View) in Turkey, Soekarno's "Guided Democracy" in Indonesia, "Personalism" in then-south Vietnam, and Burma's "Way to Socialism" under Ne Win.

The government, despite denying these,
somewhat 'supported' these "grassroots" groups such as those.
Quite past-like in one's impression, knowing that these views be brought about by leaders who wished to lessen if not break away western influence in governance. Its adherents like "Filipino Ideology's" Nilo Tayag sought Duterte as another Marcos-like figure to cherish upon; perhaps because he embodies the leader Filipinos desired as such that possibly includes circumventing the laws if it means to upheld 'order' and 'justice'. He and other personalities like Robin Padilla even expressed support for a "revolutionary government" that's been brewed many months ago, being featured at Duterte supporters' pages in social media to porridge-driven assemblies at Plaza Miranda and Mendiola in Manila. 
But despite the alleged "massive support", the president's supporters in the government, although at first supported if not toyed the idea, suddenly end backed down, citing possible negative effects from the business sector.

From these scenarios, groups, and appeals, one would say that Duterte's fanatics 'seriously' clamoured for a strong ruler alongside the desire for strong regions for economic development- and to some extent the desire to lessen if not eschew democratic principles thinking it hath created chaos using "freedom" if not creating hindrance to the government's agenda of restoring order and stability- in a way that the president intensified the existing drug war whilst his apologists churning propaganda against political rivals alongside its calls for education, an end to fraudulent politics, the prevention of corruption and a reform of the bureaucratic machinery, improving tax collection to improve welfare packages and for infrastructure building, modernization of agriculture, and even the formation of mass organizations.

However, despite its progressive if not "revolutionary" appearance as what apologists insisted, "Dutertism" cannot sustain its revolutionary appeal but rather cultivates its reactionary view. From the time Duterte sworn to upheld the order, and continuing its exploitative acts, people noticed that his views lessened if not changed so as to accommodate other sectors especially those stated earlier. From this, no wonder he failed to address issues of controversial matter such as contractualisation, the need for a just living wage, an end to militarisation of communities, and maximise agrarian reform to include contested land to be cultivated by the peasants; or using those same topics especially agrarian reform merely to pacify peasant dissent if not as a bait to surrender the revolutionary movement.

The "Pangulo" with his court jesters Mocha Uson and Harry Roque
But in fairness to him, his extensive use of propaganda, particularly the art of disinformation, created an appeal to the masses alongside grassroots organising from PDP LABAN members or former activists-turned-supporters trying to make Duterte a radical figure leading a different kind of revolution. The former would say that it did tried to return to its initial beginnings as a mass oriented party prior to its full, mainstream entity as a party of turncoats; while the latter appears to be doing their old acts but in a different view including those of sowing fear and discontent just to make the president like a "great helmsman" in everyone's eyes. In a time when workers, peasants, and other concerned sectors urged for wage increase, agrarian reform, an end to unjust taxes and other decrees, his apologists would either reinterpret as a show of support for the president for the latter promised them to end these unjust issues, if not redescribing them as rabblerousers, subversives, or even paid hacks simply because of opposing him and his agenda. 

From all these, one would think that the orderism Duterte tried to create is "revolutionary" in appearance, when in fact it is Counterreactionary or reactionary itself. Based from some earlier notes the word "Counterreactionary" tends to show how reactionaries are opposing fellow reactionaries, spewing messages of change and reform only to be lessened if not eschewed altogether after taking into power. And Duterte, whom bannering the idea of change against the past administration, turned out to be a consolidator of interests ranging from the military, the big businesses whom benefiting from his populist programs, and of course, from those whom opposing the Liberal Party. His election as president paved way to a revival of Marcos loyalism (especially after his promise to bury the late dictator) if not the release of Pamapanga representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from her detention- and these did cost support from those whom initially supported the president but opposed some if not most of his actions.

But despite such feats ranging from numerous infrastructures to promises of 'good life', same obstacles to their successes remain through both by the general apathy of the masses and the opposition of the Philippines's major political parties as well as the radicals whom exposed and opposed Duterte despite its initial support for him. But as time goes by, the ones apathetic hath becoming aware of the truth that can't be refuted by false reports. As masses, the people aware the fact that the president's action hath becoming despotic given his actions and statements. The extension of Martial law in Mindanao for another year, the right for the police to issue subpoenas instead of the courts, the rapid surge in the price of commodities and charges for public utilities brought about by a tax reform act, even the foul mouthed statements against God and the church, will people still cling to his vision of "change" that benefited the same ruling order of feudal lords, corrupt bureaucrats, and officials subservient to imperialists than those of their compatriots? 

So far, whatever apologists claimed, that the truth shows how Duterte and his clique has not been outstandingly successful in achieving any views its neighbors did be it past or present. But instead, it has discovered the dissension and obstacles normal to attempts to concretise and implement vague slogans.

*at some time they assumed themselves as "social democrats" or "democratic socialists" prior to become full blown apologists of the neoliberal order pretending as populists. 

Monday, 16 July 2018

"Still, a Cacique meant to taketh down"

"Still, a Cacique meant to taketh down"

(or "Notes on Duterte's despotism hidden in a veneer of 'change')

At first, this writeup argues that the Philippines under the present Duterte administration seems to be revisiting its own authoritative past even within the pretext of defending democracy and freedom. 

For ever since 1972, or even earlier, leaders tend to use order as necessary to create numerous changes. Often borrowing the views from left-and-right wing authoritarians, as well as basing on conservative Filipino sensibilities, Filipino-style authoritarianism describes a particular Filipino version of one-man rule, although trying to appear "democratic" if not "populist" with the use of reforms to those of building infrastructures enough to mitigate problems especially those in the countryside.

However, this authoritarianism, despite its appeal for many, is increasingly autocratic. Like the the Datus, Sultans, and Caciques of old, President Rodrigo Duterte seems to act more than just his official title. He may tried to "imitate" the late Ferdinand Marcos, but the latter tend to be formal in his statements if not stately in his gestures as head of state and government. While Duterte himself, literally true to its title as "pangulo", his actions hath becoming despotic, and like the quote "ang utos ng hari ay di nababali"- at times his word may end official in front of the camera, if not trying to be mellowed down or justified by his court jesters while his supporters did appreciate him still no matter how his statements and movements deemed triggeredable in one's eyes and ears.

Otherwise, be diverted to matters in which the system be appear protagonist-like as his court jesters and supporters alike peddled fabricated stories enough to malign an individual or a movement. Because of this it aims to strike fear against the growing anti-fascist movement and stifle the burgeoning workers’ strikes and protests.
And by tagging critics as "terrorists" means a desperate attempt to quell the people's growing dissent and discontent the way they claim that living conditions in the Philippines have improved and that many Filipino families have already escaped poverty "thanks to Duterte's programs".

Ever since Duterte promised change in the Philippines everyone voted for him, even the left whom Duterte initially befriended did supported some of his stances, and even appointed some radicals in the cabinet.

But his statement turns out to be consolidating the status quo: his land reform turns out to be meant to lessen tension if not to silence the peasants if not bluntly to transform wide swathes of agricultural and ancestral land to commercial plantations and mining sites; that his TRAIN law turns out to be benefiting the elites for the latter pass the obligations to the workers if not its proceeds meant to pay debts from multinational moneylenders. He preserved all the policies brought about by his predecessors which prevent national economic development and aggravate the oppression and exploitation of the broad toiling masses of workers and peasants, as well as middle-income earners. His eight-point economic program is in line with the neoliberal policy proposals long-pushed for by the IMF-WB. He continued the policy of cheap labor as key incentive to attracting foreign investments. Labor rights are wantonly violated especially in so-called “economic zones”, and contractualization and various flexible employment schemes rather subject workers to ever worse conditions of oppression and exploitation.
But what Duterte did what made he known for, and perhaps be unforgettable by many, is how he is using campaigns of subterfuge to the hilt such as the “war against drugs,” “war against crime,” “anti-vagrancy,” “anti-corruption,” “anti-oligarchy,” “anti-terrorism,” and “peace” to justify his heinous employment of the military and the police, including mercenary death squads, to spread fear and terror on the Filipino people.

From these, truly that made the concerned end fooled by his promises that turned out to be half-baked realisations if not entirely falsehoods. If he is truly antiimperialistic as he favours an "independent foreign policy", then how come he has refused to heed the Filipino people's demand to abrogate the Mutual Defense Treaty of 1951, the Visiting Forces Agreement of 1998, the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement of 2014 and other unequal military treaties with the US? How come he also exercise a policy of passivity in relation to US and China saber-rattling and militarization of the West Philippine Sea- especially those of the contested parts of the Philippine maritime territory? Perhaps Duterte was against the United States out of Obama, but he end kowtowed to Trump after the former urged him to sing. He may had overtures with Xi Jingping and Putin, but despite agreements and statements that points Duterte into the latter two, the agreements with the United States continues to be upheld since the time of the Parity Rights- and the so-called 'socialist president' didn't even afford to abrogate it, if not finding it irrelevant to talk about international relations as he favours his favorite agenda.

Because of that no wonder why in each and every scenario is like the early seventies to late eighties. At no time in a nation's history people from all walks of life is still having the crying need for a total, rapid, and radical renewal that hath been so deeply and so painfully felt by so many. It seems that despite the so-called progress and development, it didn't diminish the demand nothing short of a genuine social revolution that will resolve the ills and to bring about basic equality of opportunities in the social, political, and economic life of the Filipino people.

As in the old days,  these age-old repressions continues to creep- enough to describe a country as in a state of continuing past rather than gaining a future: the imposition of the Spanish feudal system, "improved" further by American liberal capitalist creed, has made the nation still difficult to charter its own course on troubled waters towards a genuinely Filipino way of life that is radically expressed in social, political, and economic structures that truly serves the people. Actually, Duterte and his ilk may afforded to express that desire to charter its own course; expressing terms enough to appease people such as nationalism, revolution, independence, social concord, or anything enough to depict his regime as such; but reality shows the contrary such as those stated from above- enough to diminish an idea that the regime, like its own predecessors, afforded to express these optimistic impressions.

And regardless of its jesters babble about major changes, what the Philippines experiences today still bore the same old problem that made people dare to protest if not to take arms and struggle, offering a program that is radical enough as it expresses the will of the people, particularly those from the laborers instead of those from the system and its apologists; there are other groups whom while shunning Duterte for his actions, did applaud him for his measures- which according to theirs as necessary moves to improve especially those of the economy, while the so-called "reformists" did tried to make efforts in creating an "alternative" from both elitists and masses, trying to make "balance" between the two thinking that "there should be an idea that benefits all";
But in a time when neoliberalism, globalisation, and promises of hot money flow prevailing at the expense of national patrimony, is this the change that benefits all when in fact it burdens the masses with taxes enough to pay debts, reservations to be exploited by multinationals and the like, and be called "progress"? No wonder why there are "reformists" whom did support Duterte as the latter ditches the radicals whom offered a program that includes genuine agrarian reform, national industrialisation, and the like the way those from the past administration immediately jumped ship as trying to maintain their foothold in their fiefs.

With that, this so-called "constitutional authoritarianism", "Punocracy", "Panguloism", or any  other Filipino-style benevolent despotism tries to establish a "disciplined" volksgemeinschaft focusing on order and stability even at the expense of the masses. Like Pinochet, it tries to create an order enough to ensure business alone goes smoothly, or more like Spain's Franco since he made some semblance of "social safety nets" enough to say that his regime at least "better than the reds" he detested. And no matter how bloodied it would become his regime, apologists sought it as a necessary catharsis if not equating that change to a painful surgery - similar to the Greek experience wherein the then-ruling Junta compared themselves to doctors who operated on the "patient" by putting the patient's "foot" in an orthopedic cast and applying restraints on the "patient", tying on a surgical bed and putting under anesthesia to perform the "operation" so that the life of the "patient" would not be "endangered".

But the Philippine experience goes more than just the usual dictatorships as stated- for as they applied both "left-and-right" wing ways of running state affairs, at some point they used the masses through propaganda and even "grassroots organising" alongside the use of force and some picemeal reforms; and by taking populist sentiments, it transforms into hysteria especially when it comes to directing towards incompetents, particularly those from the past regime as it "failed to address the root causes" if not "aggravating" it.
Yet that same kind of hysteria did failed to resolve long-term issues such as addressing poverty and the need for genuine development both in urban and rural areas. Worse, that development has increasingly becoming aggressive and unsustainable-due to the prodding of neoliberal-minded economists and oligarchs whom benefiting from such numerous "projects" and policies. The cabinet, which is actually appointees from past regimes and from the military, also showed that the regime, despite assuming to be for "change" if not trying to be "revolutionary", turns out to be "counterreactionary" as its predecessors.

Sorry for the term, but the regime, trying to appear itself countering the past, reactionary regimes with some reformist, if not radical messages when in fact its very essence and existence is nothing but a reaction as it swores to upheld the status quo. Duterte and his ilk may afford to create various programs only to be treated as "measures" to consolidate interests at the expense of the people- that like his predecessors, the idea of development deals with extensive foreign investments, the construction of infrastructure projects, and considerable investments such as tourism and in business process outsourcing; but these are made alongside low wages, unsustainable development, increased taxes on low and middle income earners, and agreements that in essence sacrifices national patrimony to the market.
Yet, no matter how the regime bragged it as such, these "achievements" are likely to be deemed temporary- especially when widespread corruption and financial scandals be left unaddressed, as well as those of political stagnation, making the rate of development falling. Hence, why should people chose to get contented in a time when the state itself created turmoil? 

So far, Duterte, with the "support from his fanatics" and with the approval from the order itself, bluntly wanted to make use of "change" as means to create another full blown despotism. Will people just accept it? Some would say "yes" thinking that this leads to rule of law and order, but, if that rule and order means to aggravate injustice on behalf of vested interests, then no wonder why people chose to be skeptical in his statements or seriously take resistance.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Welfare and Development under Dutertism: Is there really "Development"?

Welfare and Development under Dutertism: 
Is there really "Development"?

The recent protests has again brought the idea on patriotism and the need for social change. Ranging from the rise of costs of living to those of bloodied exploits, unjust decrees and actions justified by rants and ramblings, it seems that the administration is like his predecessors whom at first kowtowing to vested interests and entrenched entities no matter how he and his ilk "tried its best" to appear itself as benevolent if not appealing to patriotism.

For as Duterte and his apologists tried its "best" to consolidate by means of their "carrot and stick"-kind of "reforms", what more of continuing its usual paeans and heckles, it seems that they are increasingly desperate as they churn their distortions time and again, trying to keep away its followers from seeking further the truth in which the concerned dealt for- as well as to think that it is worth affirming that only through an organised and collective assertion of people's democratic rights and welfare can give a country a fighting chance against repression and a hope to find solutions to its ever-prevailing problems.

Usual isn't it? For as in the past and its still-continuing setting of repression and injustice, the ever growing mass of concerned citizens has becoming a fighting one, knowing that they end firmly believing that "rights are to be fought for and asserted, rather than granted"; and to think that in a regime assuming to be they for the people and by the people, of babbling words such as change and development, yet actually uphelding a corruption-and-repression prevailing status quo, then sadly for those apologists and apostates alike that their brand of change isn't really change but of consolidation of interest- with some minimal sacrifices enough to appease the people and win its trust.

Ideally, the programs, projects, anything "developmental" that's brought about by the regime's view on "change" and "reform" reminds this post of what the late Diosdado Macapagal, from his preface "on the Welfare State" by Adolfo Borromeo in 1970, wherein he urges the adoption of the welfare state in the proposed constitution, through incorporating in its declaration of principles and state policies- which somehow its essence been trying to realise both by concerned and some "despotic" legislators including those of the present president himself:

"To the fullest extent that the national resources will allow, the republic shall be developed into a welfare state in which all the people shall enjoy a minimum standard of decent living relative to income, health, education, housing, employment and unemployment, security in any disability, child and old-age care, wholesome family state, liesure, and other phases of a full life worthy as human beings. It shall be the duty of Congress to enact the laws necessary to bring about the realization of this policy".

And in speaking of that "welfare", Duterte's apologists, as any other jesters and blabbermouths, will numerate the wonders from how that today's administration shows to the people, be it "BUILD BUILD BUILD", "free Irrigation", or the "TRAIN Law" that according to them "will fund various welfare and developmental programs brought about by the administration", even those of "Free Education", "Free Medicines", everything that makes the administration appears to be "socialistic"- coming from from a president that self-proclaiming as "socialist".

But in spite of its idealistic goals, the system, through the administration itself, clings to the idea that the "reforms" that can brought "changes" are rather "carrot and stick" measures with the intent to silence down dissent, knowing that people remained discontented in some if not most state policies, what more that in seeing a state still half-heartedly committed in ensuring the welfare of the people, save those for pictorials and piecemeal kind of "social actions", as said earlier it focuses on appeasing than uplifting the people, if not dismissing altogether the idea of ensuring people's welfare in favour of uphelding interests be it in the name of the market or anything that is based from the views of the vested few.
And to cite again Borromeo's book, Diosdado Macapagal even said that the well-known columnist turned ambassador to West Germany J.V Cruz indicated how  Marcos dismissed the concept:

"Why doesn't Congress open earnest hearings on the feasibility of introducing the welfare state into this country, perhaps the only viable alternative to communism now left to Filipinos?"

Sounds reasonable at first knowing that the Philippines was at turmoil. The concept of the welfare state was both interesting and at the same time ridiculous knowing that the country's postwar views were (and still are) patterned those from its former coloniser, and socioeconomic policies been private-sector driven; the latter, of course, benefits the ruling few as well as the state whose also priority was (and is) to keep their interests.

Furthermore, Cruz even criticised the late dictator for dismissing the idea as unlikely, if not still trying to upheld the American way amidst the unjustness that brought to protests.

"President Marcos, unfortunately, once sneeringly dismissed the welfare state when it was proposed by ex-president Macapagal on the ground it could not be implemented within the nation's resources and capabilities. It is to be hoped the president will reconsider his stand. The old-style, US-inherited, profit-motive, laissez-faire capitalism that has been mindlessly worshipped by so many Filipinos has never worked to provide them with a decent standard of living, and it has zero chances of success bow in these days of ferment and impatience..."

Ironically, the late dictator end babbling about welfare and preaching about domestic-based development during Martial Rule. Even the first lady who once opposed the idea of mass housing as "creating mendicants" end espousing it with the building of BLISS housing projects in Metro Manila and other related programs and projects in the suburbs- but these aren't driven by ensuring welfare and empowerment but to create an impression of it amidst growing chaos.
And regardless of their intent, what more of seeing bloodied truths in a form of extrajudicial acts by the state, it failed to silence the assertion of many especially after how that same administration treats its people as target practises and scapegoats. Those same programs stated above are even benefiting the few with kickbacks and other corrupt practises if not failed to resolve issues like Housing, Agrarian Reform, Health, Education, and other phases of a full life worthy as dignified human beings.

That until present it continues to haunt as such. Duterte, like his idol, may insist that his policies are developmentalist in character regardless of some of its policies as harming than benefiting. The TRAIN law, which describes as means to provide projects (like BUILD BUILD BUILD) with necessary funds resulted to people bearing the burnt of price increases. There, prices of oil products, food, grocery items, sugar-sweetened beverages, electric charges, and other goods and services been affected by that so-called reform leading to workers demanding for a wage increase and an end to price hikes. But despite popular disapproval, The Department of Finance (DOF) continues to downplay the effects of TRAIN, pointing to ‘bigger culprits’ such as peso depreciation, rising global prices of petroleum products, profiteering, seasonality, and the alleged artificial rice shortage created by the National Food Authority (NFA).

Yet still, despite all the downplayings and justifications, TRAIN's indirect taxes are rather pass-on impositions, which translate into goods manufacturers and service providers imposing tax obligations on customers in a form of price increases. This person, like all others concerned, finds it unjust than beneficial to the community no matter how the system babbles terms like welfare and development; true indeed that TRAIN may help in funding major projects, but patronage politics and political manouvering hampers most if not all projects.

From this no wonder why people oppose than agree on the government's tax reform knowing that it benefits the elites than those of the common people. Apologists may still cling to the idea that the program will fund various welfare and infrastructure-building activities, but, knowing that the commoners hear the burnt, is this the "socialism" Duterte expressed prior to his presidency? Socialism for the elites maybe, or even "social democracy" as what Duterte's political party supposedly adheres to; while for the masses- same old fusion of feudalism and fascism seems to be the fitting description thanks to the use of force and patronage.

And like the late dictator, "development" may continue still, but in its usual aggressive-exploitative form, affecting negatively both man and its environment, as it profits the still prevailing social order that ironically, banners the message of "change". Whatever efforts at false reports, fake approval ratings, untrue economic progress, and pseudo- benefits from TRAIN and other so-called "welfare packages", Duterte’s paid sycophants do these nonsense all in order to buffer his growing unpopularity and isolation if not evading people's minds from an unsound reality ranging from killing innocents to those of developmental aggression; but it is clear and plain that with the people’s tide of discontent, disdain, and countless resistance against tyranny and demagoguery, all these as rising day by day until it culminates enough into the tyrant’s downfall.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

"More than just looking at the Silos: Notes after Barrio Ugong"

"More than just looking at the Silos: Notes after Barrio Ugong"

It's been few years since this person tackled about ContemporAntiquity. Perhaps because he was fascinated with things past yet significant in this modern era, ContemporAntiquity bridges the values of both past and present in pursuit of creating a future that one may describe as "ideal", or even "utopian".

For after once sought the standing flour silos at Barrio Ugong, of unornamented but classical edifices made for San Miguel Brewery in Manila, to those of retromodernist structures in Makati and in Ortigas, these seemed to invoke a future that emphasises progress, industry, innovation, and solidarity amongst those longing enough to see a better nation.

This post should have been focused on architecture and design, given this person's initial interest, but it turned out to be more than just looking at the structure and admire its beauty, but getting to know the drivel behind those structures.

At one time, this person had a brief recall on the buildings of San Miguel in Manila. Of course, the company showed rather San Miguel's earliest structures which were remnants of Hispanic-period architecture from it's website and its commercials showcasing it's heritage.

However, this person find it much interesting the modern but rooted style of the early American period, wherein architecture of these San Miguel Brewery and its affiliates such as the former Magnolia Ice Cream Plant in Echague, Manila; the Coca Cola Bottling Plant in Otis, Paco, Manila; the Glass Factory at Farola in Tondo, Manila; and the San Miguel Brewery Administrative Building in San Miguel, Manila smacks of class, dignity, despite making it closer to then-futuristic setting; they are so similar of course, and perhaps it is possible that they were designed by one architect.
For as according to the page "Arquitectura Manila", one of the architects who designed several buildings for then-Soriano owned San Miguel during the American occupation was the German architect, Arthur Gabler-Gumbert, who started his practice in the Philippines in 1912. His style smacks of class-meets-industry in a form of "Stripped Classicism", which involves a less ornamental form of classical architecture as well as the use of concrete as a building material.

At some point in time these structures were eventually reused for another purpose if not being demolished or even threatened. The former Magnolia plant was taken over by the Iglesia Ni Cristo and became the first campus of New Era University; while the Administrative Building was then became the "New Executive Building" by Malacañang, after the latter taketh over the complex and demolished some of Gabler-Gumbet's structures. The Coca-Cola plant in Otis continues to be contested by heritage groups, whom advocated adaptive reuse as an alternative to an unjust demolition.

With this example this person would say that if not for those who clamour for preserving it for the present and for the future these would end rather seen in pictures or in this page as these actual edifices may end under the wrecking ball after years, if not decades of deterioration (and therefore awaiting to be destroyed for a new "forchrissakes" kind of structure). These structures, in fairness tend to bridge some artistry and industry as the company showed off decades ago- worthy to be described as ContemporAntiquitarian.

However, there is more than just in retaining old structures and adapting it in today's settings, in an era wherein development, sufficiency, ingenuity, and self-reliance as keywords, the need to revive industry is part of a country's renaissance, just like the past wherein reviving long lost values lies in the return to the soil, then so is the revival of long-lost industrial strength what a supposed "country of ideals" is.

Sadly, this kind of idea is treated as any other rhetoric. To revive industry, so is to revive agriculture, was and is nothing but a waste of time and effort if not insisting that venture as costly unlike those of depending on international capital and limiting itself to the production of consumer goods and sources of raw materials meant to be extracted for the developed countries. Those who insist "not to pursue" would even tell everyone that the idea, no matter how "ambitious", rather benefits the oligarchs and the like; while their "alternative" is in fact involves multinational lenders making a country at the mercy of the former. Is nationalism has to be reduced into a facade in a form of national costume, old houses and churches, boxing and basketball feats, and to some extent: so-called achievements in science and technology while agriculture and industry remains behind?
From this, it seems that China's Lin Biao was right that the Philippines, as any other developing and underdeveloped countries constitutes the "world's countryside" depending at the mercy of the "world city" that is, the developed "first world."

Quite concerning although the Philippines hath afforded to recognise its feats in science and technology: the launching of its microsatellite few years ago hath made the system praise its intern-scientists whom assembled from another country, it did also appreciated its engineers from the government's research bureau who afforded to make modern agricultural machineries meant to lessen the burden of farmers and farmworkers, as well as biotechnologists for its desire to improve agriculture outputs using native and organically-based inputs; so is its gunsmiths whom trying to create guns and a variety of modern-day weaponry.
But why is it still concerning? That same system, was and is the same system who chose to be subservient. In a country whom chose to be the cheap source of raw material and manpower, these feats are nothing but gimmicks enough to tell its subjects that the country as progressive; yet, there are still major matters that meant to address: the need for an integrated steel industry would have helped these scientists, engineers in making their "dreams" possible, of a national food production program supported with Genuine Agrarian Reform and Rural Industrialisation that would maximise biotechnologists and farmers to make the country self-sufficient; these may be the usual promises of each and every politician, but, did they afford to push through as they swore to upheld a rotten status quo? That status quo rather make profit from it, if not choosing not to pursue for it is contrary to what multinationals imposed on them; the once populist turns out to be neoliberal, the self-proclaimed patriot turns out to be favoring globalisation, and the so-called "concerned" whom afforded to say "this is for the country's good" cried wolves out of those who truly asserted economic nationalism, self-reliance, and national will.

And because of this, it makes a concerned patriot blame the order, its politicians, the so-called planners whom in fact interest-seekers who offered plans which in fact benefited the few on the pretense that it will uplift the many; and so are those who assume to be for the country yet in regards to the economy they started to babble words like foreign investments, competition, and the like "just to counter oligarchs and big businesses"; so will this kind of "development" leads to a renaissance heroes dreamed of? 

From these this reminded of a verse from "Istiklal Marsi" as it said:

Garbın afakını sarmışsa çelik zırhlı duvar,
Benim iman dolu göğsüm gibi serhaddim var.
Ulusun, korkma! Nasıl böyle bir imanı boğar,
“Medeniyet” dediğin tek dişi kalmış canavar?

The horizons of the West may be bound with walls of steel,
But my borders are guarded by the mighty bosom of a believer.
Bellow out: do not be afraid! And think: how can this fiery faith ever be extinguished,
By that battered, single-fanged monster you call "civilization"?

This verse, no matter how Turkish it is, would have ringed out the ears of the concerned as their country wishes to break its shackles, for when was the time it tried to stood on its own: was it the time of the Barangays when Panday Pira made his cannons? The age of Bonifacio? The era of Quezon and Laurel? The protests of 64 to 72? That civilisation imposed on the folk hinders as it limits a country's yearning for growth. True that the country did experienced the wonders of the present, but that wonder is limited to the city nor enjoyed by the people, for most of the farms remain trodded by Carabao and reaped by the scythe, what more that the farm is still owned by an haciendero who's willing to make partners with the multinational! Is this development? Then damn that development if this doesn't uplift the have-not from what him still stood today!

Anyway, this note, although initially deals about revisiting old architecture or the need for a national technological program (via industrialisation of course), hath made yours truly think that there is more than cherishing or asserting. Actually, what a concerned sought is a sad paradox, and one about which this writer is acutely aware in this note, that most Filipinos has failed to face: the end of the cold war with China eschewing Maoist principles for almost-Social Democratic-cum-Neoliberal and Conservative policies, the decline of political Manicheanism (East versus West) and the replacement of nations with markets, the mere promotion of foreign investment-driven progress over those of production-driven, and even the decline of nationalism as a relevant socio-political alternative to liberalism despite the relevance of populism in politics with politicians self-proclaiming as nationalists- and that includes Duterte himself. The so-called "Pinoy Pride" hath increasingly becoming cringy as well, yet most Filipinos chose not to think of it as a problem. 
Sorry if to paraphrase Guillaume Faye, but like the latter, this person offers a number of explications for this failure. They can be summarized as a lack of media “savvy”, the reductionism of nationalism to "just aesthetics", minimization of catastrophe by the authorities, cultural relativism and a lack of understanding of and worse, interest in, (neoliberal) economics.

Perhaps men like Recto, Araneta, Tañada, Diokno, would have shared the thought of a country that chose to steer in its course, that neither those from Washington, Beijing, Tokyo, Berlin, or Moscow would impose its policies on them; sadly, these personages are already dead whilst those whom assuming to be patriotic are actually tolerating a view that is contrary to their supposed "patriotism" the way neoliberal economics been taught at schools, and trickle-down economics been assumed as "truths" while socialism be deemed falsehoods. And although true that there are Revolutionaries whom afforded to look at Marx, Lenin, Mao as examples, they also looked at the examples of Rizal, Bonifacio, Luna, as persons to revere given their desire to liberate the country and to emancipate the people; in fact, Rizal did looked at the examples of the enlightenment, if not Bonifacio from the lives of the American presidents, but these personages desired for a country traversing its road to its own utopia, to its desired future.

And Because of this, there lies a synthesis of thoughts, amplifying the strengths and restraining its excesses, of recognising class struggles and the redemption of their nations, the need for direct participation of the people and of the need to emphasise labor and knowledge in community-building, of restoring the traditions of the pasts and of calling for new social and technological innovations, like the factories of San Miguel and of the flour silos of Pasig, a concerned would hath express this: ContemporAntiquity.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

"Avenge over Infamy"

"Avenge over Infamy"

Been heard throughout months and years,
Through countless tales of deceit;
Of actions enough to call terror,
Outweighing its own feat;
It expressed words like change and hope,
Enough to gain people trust;
Only to see the pictures,
Of anger if not lust;
The prosperity benefited the few,
Contrary to statements saidth "benefit the many";
It did tried to knit the country with roads and bridges,
While some brought bloodied trails with fallen innocents and mistaken identities;
Such truths no wonder why most dare to oppose,
In a time "all live in infamy".

Intoxicated with power and fame,
And demanded over and over again;
From the time he entered the palace with his retinues,
Mostly from the past, a refuse;
His innermost thoughts increasingly contrary,
To those of his people whom against tyranny;
Now they realise they see blood,
And in his soul bereft of an ideal;
Behold the man! Is he worth the pioneer?
The cherisher of ideal? The fulfiller of hope?
For he, intoxicated with power, what more of ambition,
Whilst hands soiled by blood, and mind of intrigue;
His retinues repeating their praises and his feats,
Trying to sneer ears and to live in folly and desolation.

With all the truths no wonder there are those who oppose,
And continue to assert what is ideal;
That ideal rooted from the truth, a continuity of a tradition,
Whose servants whose lasting landmarks, now rotting, a place of misfits,
If not took by storm by the awakened, trying to counter cruelty by protest;
The truth hath shown by blood, if not the poverty,
Enough to bring the people to the square rising against tyranny;
They hath enough of heartaches and sorrows,
That outweighs the numerous feats of markets, bridges, and roads;
Expect the court jesters trying to sneer them if not the attack dogs,
To be unleashed by the drunkard tyrant from its cages;
But still cannot hinder the fervor nor extinguish its flames,
As some if not all amongst the concerned taking the deed like offerings,
Willing to sacrifice in the altar whose god's name: freedom.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

"Ode to Maggie"

"Ode to Maggie"

(A poem for Maggie O. Gray)

Find her pretty still as everyone sees
From the pictures of her made all be pleased
Till enough to say this can't be missed
Let alone the bashers after all they're pissed

Looking at her tattoos a life's art
Made by her artists took yeas as they took part
Again, quite beautiful as she took it from the start
She let art embedded in from her heart

To some find her strange if not worry
For the beauty of her's yet became canvas find her "sorry"
Sorry to them but look at her, How come she remains merry?
Contented on who she is, in fact she looks like a faerie!

So is her hair, often done in various styles
Be it long or short or in dread, anything from her profile
Again, quite likeable despite bashers with minds full o' biles
Whose words actually end in the dustbins or in the junk pile

Sorry for them that's the case be it the basher or the pervert
In seeing her pictures as if they're closer to her if not seeing her as flirt
No wonder why she blocks them for her response is quite curt
Hope enough to lessen their stupidity if not their mind gone vert

All in all she never goes out of style
Be it from her hair to her skin, her appearance reaches miles
But perhaps right was the quote, "let's sit down and talk for awhile"
For despite looking at her all they forgot her lovely smile.

Monday, 2 July 2018

"Two poems for this July"

"Two poems for this July"

"Towards Manila"

Over Sierra Madre's mountains came a storm,
If not from the hilly south headlong;
A mighty army, a million strong,
Crossed every pathway putting end to the wrong.

The city, despite its grandeur end outshined,
Overturned by the times despite authorities remind;
In heroic triumph the masses uprise as their chains now unbind,
If not their eyes once hidden now unblind.

The system still babbles with so-called laws,
Yet ironically they created various flaws;
And their version of peace instead of doves are crows,
Of vultures eating corpses in every silent row.

Of thugs in uniforms venting their wrath,
Leaving every community nothing unscathed;
Then hidden in their stronghold raths,
Whose leaders computing their dead, booty, an endless math.

With power altogether all must pursue the tottering foe,
For they're now retreating to the center cowering as it goes;
Their once strong tides suddenly end low,
For the wind of the struggling gave its blow.

Seize all the factories, and all the farms,
Free all the communities till there's no harm;
Like the tales of the past of uprisings and storms,
The continuity of repression brought a spectre roam.

Some if not most deny even exorcise,
This spectre of hope they ought despise;
For the folk once repressed end realise,
That this inconvenient truth lies a response: uprise!

Like the rice fields whose crop be ready to reap,
Every attack a victory that is worth to keep;
The hell broke loose as the enemy left stations sweep,
Trying to ease emotions, keeping off their weep.

The streets and fields may filled with blood,
Staining from the corpses red as one trod;
If rain tends to wash them will end a sudden flood,
Enough to water a struggling country, its soil, its barren sod.

The journey will take long but the coast is clear,
Nevermind the order's appeal if not its fear;
New chapters for the epic, soon with victory's worth the tears,
Of testimonies, of praises, tragedies from every peer.

With the red star shines in endless nights,
And of the black sun that the order end fright;
The working folk this time enlight,
Putting an end those from their redoubts their blight!


Everything is silent in the tropical forest,
Same old green and brown side by side;
When the "lawful elements" passes by,
Trying to flush out the "foe" for according from their info where they lie.

Rifles presses through the woods and boots stump the muddy trails,
Seeking the "fishes" as they're "trying to drain the water" according to the great helmsman's quote;
But hours later guns firing over the scene, only to found their foe weren't been,
Instead both from the system got shot by the guns carried in.

They would afford to deny if not for the truthbearers came,
And trying to say "the rebels did it" if not "a massacre or a bloodbath" set in;
Yet no choice they end settled in fingerpointings, denying their wrongdoing,
With all their statements confusing if not worth distorting.

And their commander-in-chief, trying to "shut things up" hath to accept responsibility for that "friendly fire",
While his officers trying to compensate the wounded and the dead, with cash and flowers;
Still, the widows and the wounded cannot accept their apologies for the ordeal,
No matter how the commentators in social media sites afforded to ridicule them after the upheaval.

It will never be cleared, no matter they acknowledged,
It will never be denied, no matter how they could try,
But instead a voice from that the same forest is heard wailing:
"Give up the firefight! Join us in fight for our rights!"