Monday, 15 January 2018

Rappler, the shutdown, and the assertion to defend press freedom

Rappler, the shutdown, and the assertion to defend press freedom"

Notes on a media entity being revoked by the government 
on the basis of technicality
(or is it from the basis of political animosity?)

Whether it is on the basis of technicality or blatantly because it is an opposition mouthpiece, an attack to a press entity is an attack against the press itself.

For as president Duterte and his clique pointing guns against the media entity Rappler, what more that it end its license to run its enterprise revoked on an alleged basis of “foreign ownership”.

The intent is clear that the regime is creating an example towards a press whose intent is to “seek truth from facts”, particularly in regards to issues of the state and its people- or in regards to the regime and how it treats its people.

For an apologist, that revocation of Rappler’s corporate registration on the basis that it is “foreign owned” is just, citing that “only Filipinos should own media as any other utility”; but, in spite of its just clause, Rappler insist that it is itself Filipino-owned as any other media entity based in the Philippines.
On the first place, why is CNN, which is owned by Time Warner, have a license to broadcast in the Philippines? The late Antonio Cabangon Chua owns if not represents CNN in the Philippines on behalf of Ted Turner after the former led the successful negotiations between the RPN9 and CNN International, that paved way for the launch of that TV news channel!

Or, is it because that Rappler stood front and center in unmasking the Duterte administration of its crimes against the people such as the unmitigated murder of innocents under the guise of fighting drugs? Of justifying extrajudicial acts as imposition of justice? Or even redescribing deaths of innocents or wrongfully accused as collateral damages?
Like any other responsible press entity it tried its best to seek truth from facts knowing that it is a form of service to the people; but to silence them with alibis enough to justify is obviously trying to mask a blatant truth that is, to silence an entity the regime equated it to opposition and instability.

Ironically, that fiasco is a bit hypocritical especially when the thrust of the regime's Charter change now is to allow 100% foreign ownership of media as any other utility like power, water, infrastructure building, and the like.

But all in all, the system’s attack on Rappler brought the attention of the concerned, knowing that as in the past, the system is trying deny a nation again its hard won freedoms, such as freedom of expression and of the press, no matter how responsible or ethical are they in seeking truth, while ironically tolerating the exaggerators and sensationalists commonly seen in the news stands of Metro Manila.

Furthermore, It is not even limited to Rappler itself what more of its mainstream counterparts happened to be critical of the administration if not an opposition mouthpeice. For sure one would even say why the preference to react heavily to this shutdown but not to the killings of independent and regional media men for the past months (if not years) which Rappler or those from mainstream media itself did not bother to cover lots? 

Anyway, in spite of all the bullshits, the concerned should stand for integrity and truth in news reporting, for responsible journalism and in seeking truth from facts; any attempt, especially by the system, through the organs of the State, and by the head of state himself, means to stifle press freedom that those who lived have fought for will again fight for it with all their cherished lives.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Reflections from the maroon crowd

Reflections from the maroon crowd

(or Notes after the feast of the Black Nazarene
 in Quiapo, Manila)

At first, this post would like to congratulate each and every devotee for its devotion to the lord Jesus Christ as the Nazarene and his celebration at Quiapo, Manila.

For that ceremony creates not just a sense of faith and devotion, of love and cherish, but also a time to seek for grace if not to pardon, and to intenify a personal and social crusade against the ills affecting a society and man itself.

It is very fitting, likewise, for each and every devotee tries to renew itself as they literally carry the cross and traverse the historic road from Luneta to Quiapo, passing through the major thoroughfares of Manila and be swarmed by devotees carrying the same goal as those pulling or riding the Andas.

And for sure everyone had to do so as they desired a good if not the best kind of health, beauty, and immense wealth as the basis for their marching and wiping their towels to the figure; however, the realities of life, particularly its inconveniences shown, made one forgot that its own being as itself human, and most of the time having difficult to act humane- as most struggled out, treating the entire scenario as if a competition, some even end their shirts ripped out of pulling, others were even end their goods stolen, the crowd who supposed to be solemn are rather becoming a noise of angst as they all struggled to reach for the centuries-old figure.

And from this fervour, that kind of devotion isn’t just a sense of renewal- but a training ground, or even a prequel to a revolution. Call this post subversive, but the fervour of each and every devotee is itself revolutionary. For contrary to others think as blatant fanaticism, it isn’t- for its sheer kind of faith creates endurance and perseverance! To cite Professor Gerardo Lanuza, that kind of perseverance may be the reason why a country such as the Philippines has not yet endured a genuine revolution: for the masses have limitless endurance!
But in spite of that, that kind of fervour could also be a signal for the coming revolution. For there the masses can also endure a struggle that is, protracted.

Lanuza also added that the revolutionary lesson of Black Nazarene is not about its colonial origin nor the reduction of its meaning to crowd neurosis and fanaticism. It's all about training in revolutionary endurance in anticipation of the final battle with the ruling class. And from there one would tell that those who say that the “struggle for social emancipation” as already defeated must look at the Black Nazarene! For the Black Nazarene is absolute defeat and humiliation, all revolutions must undergo such Hegelian experience of "tarrying with the negative".
Paradoxically, people believe that Jesus will return again in complete victory yet they cannot imagine a future that a system cannot truly offer as such! Capitalism is not eternal!

Anyway, in spite of all the fervour, Looking at the “lord of Pardon” would have been like Prometheous who provided light and hope, only to be punished because of his feat. And for sure as Christians or any other religious, it seemed easier to worship Christ or any other messianic figure, of praising him, of giving thanks for all the blessings, but- to be just like the redeemer, especially in partaking the bitter cup of sacrifice to create change is a difficult decision.

In this sacred celebration, may every Christian or any other religious think that in order to attain such blessings require immense toil, and that everyone has to traverse the difficult path, but with the redeemer who took his life on earth, he will provide the comfort, the consolation that a true Christian desires.

Monday, 1 January 2018

с новым годом! Happy New Year!

    с новым годом! Happy New Year!

At first, on behalf of this page, this post and its maker wishes the reader a pleasant, progressive, and liberating new year! 

This post may appear not as long as this page’s posts, but, this writer, from the bottom of its heart somehow would think that celebrating new year means a season not just to enjoy, but also to face new, as well as existing challenges in which a country hath to face as such be it rising costs of prices and services, poverty rates, various forms of social injustices, and of course, killings that made a country doesn’t “move on” from its continuing pasts.

And like any other holidays, for sure there are those who still working, and whilst giving them all the thanks for their efforts, it is not enough- for other than thanking them let’s also fight for their just wage, working hours, an end to unjust contracts, and giving them their right to enjoy holidays as any other worker who really deserves.

But all in all, to cut this long story short, 2018 is like any other year- and everyone hopes that the year should be a realisation of hopes; and of course it will always be a time to realise numerous profound hopes but it will always require immense efforts to realise it. 

That’s all for now. May the people realise that 2018 is like any other year, but this time to put more efforts to make a country reach its goal and realise its impossible dreams. 

Saturday, 30 December 2017

To a hero who chose to inspire than to lead

To a hero who chose to inspire than to lead

Notes on the National Hero Jose Rizal 
and his contribution to the development of the Filipino identity

“Rizal cultivated all his qualities in order not to perfect them, but he practiced them in order to bring about the moral betterment of the race.

Rizal possessed a great mental caliber and he, therefore, demonstrated that the Filipino race was able to give birth to individuals endowed with the highest attributes, who could be considered an honor to the human race.

Remember that during this time, the Filipinos were considered second-class citizens. They were widely discriminated by the oppressive friars and were called Las Indias or Los Indios!”

This would be a fitting description made by Don Trinidad Herminigildo Pardo de Tavera, to a man who eventually known as the “Great Malayan”, for, to he whose work somehow inspired each and every Malayan, particularly the Filipino in making effort to create an idenity, in spite of the present-day trials that surrounded them.

It may sound too ideal and praise-ish, but Rizal, as well as other heroes, made immense efforts to inspire Filipinos, to make themselves be willing to sacrifice mind and sinew in contributing the country, not just in struggling or securing its independence, but also in developing and proving it a place in the sun as any other countries aspire to.

Ever since he observed and thus made himself wrote fiction, Rizal's life, as any other enlightened individual during his period hath been contributing to the development of the Filipino identity from its insular beginnings.
From there the latter, whose works be it in Spanish or his own native tounge hath paved way to an identity wherein the Filipino isn't about the Hispanic alone, but also from its Malayan subject- whose desire for emancipation was realised not by his views, but those whose his views been taken too seriously such as the case of Andres Bonifacio and his Katipunan.

How come? For sure not all would have taught that the formation of the Filipino identity was brought about by men like Andres Novales, the Bayot brothers, Palmero, and the like whose in spite of their Hispanic blood chose to think about independence- in a way their fellow Hispanics Bolivar or San Martin did in South America; but, with their Filipino counterparts end failed and its ringleaders executed, the memories of reforming a backward country, if not emancipating from a neglectful coloniser, deemed fresh especially those of its Malayan subject.

However, for Rizal himself, his views be deemed different- for he clinged to the view that reforms if not molding ones own character be as the basis of making a nation be on its own, as if there’s another way to have one’s own nation or a country that does not even need to undergo bloodshed; but, from his works like Noli me Tangere and El Filibusterismo shows otherwise that freedom may still require watering it with blood. Men like Crisostomo Ibarra end becoming Simoun, that innocents like Basilio end having the feeling of revenge as Crisostomo had all because of his painful experiences including those of his mother’s death; from those examplars be like will change be limited to piecemeal reforms or mere change of character? Perhaps one would also think that even India itself during Mahatma Gandhi’s time wasn’t limited to Gandhi himself- but also includes Bose, Baghat Singh, and others who recognises Gandhi as an independence figure, but, also knows that there are other means aside from Gandhi’s.

Anyway, in this day forward, Rizal, as any other hero may still remain as an example; although frankly speaking, he is but like any other figure being exploited upon, be it his set of thoughts or his physical appearance. The system may insist that his life and labours meant there is no need for a violent outcome the way they idealise Crisostomo Ibarra who yearned for change; yet in fact the system rather idealise Isagani or Señor Pasta whose actions were contrary to his initial statements ; but in spite of romanticising those figures, an inconvenient reality rather demands Simouns, Eliases, and Taleses, if not to move beyond from Rizal’s works like what Hernandez did in his Ibong Mandaragit with Mando Plaridel as the person who has the qualities of Ibarra and Elias.

And to think that as the system continues to exploit and oppress for decades and even in the future, then no wonder why there are those who take literally the idea of making change by all if not any means necessary.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Still "rubbish"

Still "rubbish" 

Notes after Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 
whose movies remained "rubbish" except for a few
And (still) a need for reforms and improvement 
in Filipino cinema (and culture)

It's been usual nowadays to equate today's cinema with crass commercialism. With film and cinema giants dictate what is deemed showing, it seems that today's cinema, no matter how it is heavily spent if not trying to satisfy its subjects, rather fails to create an appeal other than providing a culture that is, canned.

Admittingly speaking, for just like the past years, and in spite promises to present what as meant to be artistic and appealing, what everyone sees is a heavily invested trash that has nothing to do with emancipating people and to create a lively culture; but rather to continue using cinema, as in any other art, as a profiteering medium.

But no matter how these giants insist what is ideal for the commons (particularly using the "family" for an alibi in presenting crappy ones), not all those from the commons are satisfied from what these media giants trying to insist: in a way not all are interested in Vice Ganda or any other mainstream bullshit being presented in every moviehouse especially in today's "Metro Manila Film Festival".

With all these bullshits oversought and heard, it is worth to bear in mind that each and every Writer and artist must bear an important responsibility for discovering and training young people of talent, knowing that these youngsters who took seriously in their craft be deemed vigorous and perceptive, and in them lies the future of a country's literature and art.

Actually, There have been debates on which camp produces better films, which breeds better directors and actors, whether a film should be categorized as this or that, or even whether or not such categories should be used at all. But in spite of these, the system remains no matter how the system pleads to its subjects that art has to be conformed in "what the consumer desires", yet actually conditions the consumer to what the system desires, the growing mass of concerned also takes the task of getting rid of all stereotypes and conventions and study new situations and solve new problems in conformity with the characteristics of the country is in. And in this case probably enough of Vice Ganda, of revivals, of common topics, of bullshit that made "Metro Manila Film Festival" devoid of its significance. Even "Independent" ones are becoming less "independent" as well, that made also the concerned describing them as maindie or streamdie, due to is qualities that exude both mainstream and "indie".

Nonetheless, each has its fair share of "well-made" films as any other "well-made" art. What makes it worrisome is how movie house owners, in arms with movie bigwigs emphasise theirs over others who also take part in that film fest. From there it makes the concerned thinking that in spite of invoking the ideal of "true, good, and beautiful" via cinema, commercial viability remains the emphasis with bigwigs churning canned culture throughout.

And from there, writer Jessica Zafra complained last 2013 in a review, which continues to be relevant as ever:

"Speaking of standards, why do we bother to review the festival entries when most of them are rubbish? Because they're not supposed to be rubbish! Contrary to what you’ve been led to believe, 'entertainment' and 'commercial appeal' are not synonyms for 'garbage'. There are good commercial movies, and there are bad commercial movies. The bad outnumber the good because the studios think the viewers are idiots."

From this perhaps every concerned who truly adheres to an emancipative kind of art should help them eagerly and also make strict demands on them, so that they will not become divorced from life but will make steady progress both ideologically and in their art. In citing the late Sawamura’s, they should be serious in their quest to seek for the truth, its beauty, and goodness rather than contenting in treating art, such as Cinema as a mere money-making venture. Why on earth a country has to let its cinema, as in other art be dictated by the bigwigs who provided “canned” entertainment to the masses? Do these bigwigs truly adhere to revive or revitalise a nation's culture if they provided bullshits? Such bullshits made the concerned think that Zafra being right enough to state those words.

And as for the middle-aged, as well as the younger generation who increasingly taking part in the craft, they are becoming the mainstay of a country’s literary and art work, and should make it possible for them to contribute all they can.

Monday, 25 December 2017

"of Hope over Exploitation"

"of Hope over Exploitation"

A Christmas message for those who worked hard (yet with a meager pay and unjust agreements)
yet (still) yearning to celebrate with their loved ones
This Yuletide season

At first, this person is conveying a joyful Christmas and a promising new year to each and everyone. 

And ideally, that holiday is all about spending time with family and friends. That in spirit of Christ's birth and It’s about creating happy memories that will last a lifetime.

However, it cannot be denied the fact that under Capitalism that humanity hath becoming a cogwheel supporting an establishment’s existence.

Driven by its desire to survive if not to support itself in a time of endless crisis, one would say that humanity has almost sacrificed its right, and one of which is celebrating holidays like Christmas.

Knowing that as any other holiday, those who chose to work on that special day is driven by the fact that double pays are its by-word, and with rising costs facing upon them it made one after another be sneered by the fact that sacrificing holidays for a double pay work would be better just to earn be it for themselves or for their families as idealised.

It may sound offensive to some, but, as everyone concerned would say that people from all walks of life are meant to be enjoying with their families in spirit of the season, of giving them a just wage and less expenses rather than forcing them to work for long hours, and treating holidays almost as privileges as they compelled if not forced themselves to work on days supposed to be enjoying in a special day such as Christmas.

As an observer, celebrating holidays under Capitalism is becoming a privilege- especially to those who are burdened by their tasks yet given less pay. Ideally to celebrate it is truly a right for them like any other weekend; but with compradores or profiteers wanting to rake profits, and at the same time rising costs of commodities and taxes loom up, isn’t it that obvious for a labourer to end working even in a holiday? Shoemart, known for its contractualisation did even made its workers compelled to work 24 hours whilst others are enjoying their breaks.

In an article from GMA news, it saidth:

“At least 21 SM Markets will be open 24 hours a day on certain days this month to allow shoppers to go for a grocery run any time of the day or night during the holiday season.

These special operating hours will be in effect in the days leading up to Christmas Eve and again just before New Year's Eve.”

What more that they are being paid in their ordinary, unjust rates besides being deemed contractuals whose contracts are limited to five months and be disposed right away, if not that same establishment which was also behind the arrest and imprisonment of its employee who stole a can of corned beef out of being hungry, that shows that they all worked hard yet with meager pay and rising costs affected their health and perhaps resorting to issues like those.

For these examples, one would say that this ain’t service to the people, but rather exploitation! If not mistaken the only jobs that are continuing including holidays are those who are in the service of the state, particularly those from health, sciences, to those of national defence; but that service is tempered with their just right to enjoy holidays with their families, not affecting their payslips contrary to those from the exploiters from the private sector.

For sure as Greedy capitalists they will always find ways to siphon money from the people's pockets, of forcing its workers to work long hours including those of holidays for pittances and double pays, while at the same time being hailed as philanthropists for assuming to act as if benefactors to every institution be it orphanages or funding community housing projects; if they truly acting as beneficents, then how about their workers? Do they truly given a just wage and a good condition enough for them to uplift themselves and their families and never for them to compel to work during the holidays?

“How intense Capitalism is” said one commentator. “While the profiteer rakes more profits its workers depend in a pittance thrown unto them. And if they argue for having low wages and long working hours they are being fired!”

For sure some would say it is their right not to work during the holidays, but again the crisis-marred truth has made each and every labourer who supposed to enjoy with their family or friend be end working thinking that with every double pay, or with every additional pay for working overtime as enough to free from the crisis that hinders their development.

But instead turning themselves as cogwheels in a machine meant to siphon profits for those who desperately seeking interests. From their limited term contracts to low pay, it made them that way as if life goes on no matter how unjust. How nihil indeed then- for the nothingness these profiteers showed towards their labourers made them less Christlike no matter how they appeared Christian on the eyes of others but acting like Mammon’s servants to those who worked long hours including those of holidays! Perhaps in this season, may the good Lord help them help themselves be given justice from their unjust settings- it may sound impossible for their masters to give them what is due, but if their consciences be least knocked the way they sought towards the destitute, then perhaps give them what is meant to be deserved.

And no matter how they struggled out for retentions, of additional pay in an expense for a special day, for sure some of them are desiring to rekindle past memories with their families and friends, of sharing gifts and happiness, knowing that in spite of double pays, it does not equate to the happiness they wished for in a form of a presence, smile, even a warm embrace and a kiss from a loved one. 

Sunday, 24 December 2017

"Seeking truth, beauty, and goodness to overturn commercialism and to emancipate culture and society"

"Seeking truth, beauty, and goodness
 to overturn commercialism and to emancipate culture and society"

(or Notes after Tsutomu Sawamura 
with views from Joseph Stalin and Deng Xiaoping)

Commercialism is an idea which seeks the greatest value of life in gold, while Materialism is an idea which finds the best value of life in material things. These are kindred ideas. In art, on the contrary, truth, goodness, and beauty in life are everything. 

There are those who believe that commercialism and materialism, getting more money and spending a luxurious life, sum up the happiness of life. And to acquire that happiness, they would do anything, even if it would be against the ethics of society. The artist in the other hand, is a missionary sent from heaven to protect the truth, goodness, and beauty of life. 

So, however simple his life so long as he may pursue these elements of truth, goodness, and beauty in life, he is contented. On the other hand, the commercialist even wants to enslave the art and utilise it as a means to acquire money, while the artist tries to teach these materialists the real worth of the spirit in life.

- Tsutomu Sawamura

Admittingly speaking,  that as time goes by, it seems that art hath been less emancipating as commercialism prevails over the spirit. To use Materialism seemed to be just though although that term can also be applied in the realities of life humanity sought to conquer.

As any other concerned artist, seeking for the beauty, truth, and goodness is a painstaking task that made some chose not to pursue and instead favour to treat their craft as any other money-making spree. True indeed that art can be renumerated with a just amount, but, conscience-driven artists knows that in spite of given grants, works shouldn’t be reduced to mere eye candies but mediums invoking messages enough to make humanity aware that reality demands what is true, good, and beautiful what the present order fails to present.

And from reading Tsutomu Sawamura’s message, it shows that he was like any other philosopher who tries to counter materialism, if not to ridicule Marxism with its emphasis on material (or what is seen) over the ideal (innate in the mind); but, Marxism isn’t about the pursuit of attaining the needs of humanity but rather having the will to have the power to gain the tools to create man’s needs far from its prerevolutionary limitations; if not to struggle to emancipate humanity from the borders imposed by their respective systems and its ringleaders. With the fact that men like Joseph Stalin and Deng Xiaoping invoked messages similar to Sawamura's aspiration for an emancipating art from commercialism such as “engineers of the Human soul” and “Seeking Truth from Facts” as descriptions and objectives of each and every artist, regardless of its craft.
Perhaps, since Sawamura limits materialism to blatant economic materialism/consumerism (that makes two thoughts as indistinguishable than kindred thoughts), he failed to notice that Materialism isn't about an idea which seeks the best value in life merely through material things, and if to use Marx's Dialectical materialism, it examines the subjects of the world in relation to each other within a dynamic, evolutionary environment. 

Society evolves as humanity continues to take its quest in seeking society's idealised perfectness, and in it requires developing its surroundings and that includes the people. But, before developing one has to develop its own self; in order to give nourishment to the people, one must also first absorb its own self nourishment. And who is to develop and nourish every writer and artist? To cite Deng Xiaoping, that according to Marxism, the answer can only be: the people. For the people, being the primary creator of both society and history, is driven by its desire to create what is just if not ideal to invoke what is deemed "true, good, and beautiful", therefore provide them what truly appeals, and to break the mental shackles fastened on them.

Nowadays, that late Japanese Critic and scenarist's message may still worth approving, but then reality demands the acceptance of a materialist truth: that man’s existence lies in its surroundings, of its realities, and from it lies the desire to put changes that is truly true, good, and beautiful.

And from there, to cite Stalin:

 "The production of souls is more important than the production of tanks... And therefore I raise my glass to you, writers, the engineers of the human soul".