Sunday, 28 October 2012

Mutual aid? or social change?

Mutual aid? Or social change?

Questioning and assessing Rizal's La Liga Filipina 
and its goals leading to revolutionary consciousness 
and social reconstruction

"The future belongs to dare the impossible", these are the opening words of a site made by a motley group of youngsters this writer had visited months ago. It is quite idealistic to say and think about facing the impossibility especially nowadays repression and poverty, as well as creating certain solutions that perhaps tending to lessen, if not eradicate poverty in the Philippines.

Also quite ridiculous, thinking that a motley group of youngsters  reading Hitler's and trying hard to become like him tending to vent such overtly idealistic sentiment (and perhaps making contradictory ideas) in a society that needs social action and realistic approach to problems in fulfillment of its goals, facing the impossible lies concrete, long-lasting solutions that requires heeding the needs of the masses and making a condensed idea that may lead to a solution ending their ire and to usher a society that is worth promising to the people.

So was the La Liga Filipina in its attempt in putting practise to their goals. Recalling on how Jose Rizal, in his journeys around the world, somehow includes a series of reading, research, and assessment of certain ideas and views all for a plan in his beloved Philippines.  That somehow made his idea includes creating cooperatives and mutual aid associations like the organisation he've created.

The idea of Mutual Aid, or "Samahang Abuluyan" was somehow an idea conceived during the Spanish regime, that the Gremios for instance acted not just as a guild, but a mutual aid association of workers whose priority is support for its fellowmen including those of supporting a town fiesta with their patron; it's just that the idea of mutual aid, using ordinary people's perspective emphasises cash credit especially to a poor member of its organisation.

That somehow some Ilustrados had an interest in joining all for the sake of maintaining interests same as middle and lower class Filipinos during that time, in a way that Rizal's objective is to unite the people, create a common cause all to counter the slander of the hispanic race as well as to provide opportunities that includes livelihood, and a degree of social security as A product of cooperativism.

In fact, despite its so-called productive goals, it can be radical to think of, that most rather tend to act pessimistically in thinking about radical change such as Ilustrados who prefer running after their affairs instead of committing themselves to the greater cause such as independence and livelihood, remembering Señor Pasta who rather trying hard to stay away in social affairs despite yearning to support them.

But on the other hand, in treating La Liga Filipina as a mere mutual aid association that benefits the Ilustrados and the common tao, it was quite possible for others not to think of it merely as a mutual aid group as what others trying to; to think that most of them had even read Noli me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, the use of mutual aid was perhaps a front for a greater one such as preparing conditions for independence like what Bonifacio did for the Katipunan.

And yet the reluctance of the Ilustrado majority rather chose to exaggerate Rizal's idealism as reduced to support for one another in pursuit of creating an identity the way Rizal tend to foster cultural nationalism and reduce popular sentiment like independence into a mere goal of making Philippines a province of Spain with a seat in the Cortes; obviously, the idea of Rizal was similar to Gandhi's: he once supported home rule, yet he end up favouring independence using his own methods that was different from Netaji Bose's.

However, aside from Mutual Aid, Rizal also wanted cooperatives to be the backbone of an independent economy; and it was quite thinking that European thought in the 19th century stresses social change such as St. Simon, Fourier, Owen, and perhaps, even Karl Marx whose works became popular and controversial in his time became influences, basis in promoting cooperativism in a form of his pet organisation. In reading the objectives of the La Liga Filipina, it stated that the organisation insists "Mutual protection in every want and necessity" as well as "Encouragement of instruction, agriculture, and commerce" by setting up cooperatives and the means of creating mass based orientation such as the use of sciences and arts to combat superstition. Obviously such ideas were nearly anathema to Spanish rule especially modern Philosophy that was "inimical to religion and order."

Coincidentally, this writer somehow recalled how Sun Yat-Sen tend to introduce cooperativism and promoting commerce as part of his "three people's principles", similar to Rizal's aspirations involving economic-related issues, it is quite thinking that Sun tries to institutionalise his idea of livelihood by means of equalisation of land rights as well as the creation of state owned and supported enterprises that end into private hands and corrupt military men, in fact the concept may be understood as social welfare as well. Especially that in a growing society requires a industrial economy and equality of land holdings for the peasants both Rizal and Sun envisioned.

Such aspirations vested from the people resulted to these attempts such as an economic-related one, it was just that certain opportunists turned the matter into something that they would become their future interest. Yes, the rise of oligarchs came from opportunistic Ilustrados using the Reformist movements and the revolution as its means to gather power and prestige as well as wealth; hence, intensifying corruption as one of the problems the Philippines tries to solve upon. In fact, ideas such as Cooperativism, mutual aid, social credit, or any other economic-related idea are reduced to a mere rhetoric or paper plans as most treated public service as a lucrative business, remember the Cabeza de Barangays whose privilege includes business, their prestige as crown-appointed chieftains affect their livelihood as well; especially that one of their privileges is collecting taxes, tributes, exempted from mandatory labor, that in other words may call these practises created out of prestige as corruptive.

Of course, these practises inimical to National development also turns out to be inimical to social change as well. That as reforms are being left merely in sheets of paper, of treating aspirations as mere rhetoric, these became impossible and illusory sadly to say; regardless of mere contributions such as artesian wells made by Magsaysay or the roads made by Marcos, it rather emphasise the desperate attempts of a statesman trying to curry favour from the people by calling Government projects as "theirs" yet failed to seriously undertook serious matter such as the land problem, industrialisation and dependent on foreign aid.

Take the Land Bank of the Philippines for example,
originally created to financially support the Land Reform program is somehow one example of Rizal's idea of putting mutual aid into practise, by means of loans for the peasants in supporting the said program, however, on the other hand, to think that after a having a code made by Macapagal, a presidential decree from Marcos, as well as two Agrarian Reform laws made during the Aquino and Arroyo administration and an existing department, the issue remains unsolved as landlords continue to dominate as well as foreign owned plantations. It is also hypocritical, that since the Philippines had been under land reform how come multinational companies like Del Monte or Dole retained their plantations in Mindanao the way landlords control their vast tracts of land in Central Luzon and Visayas? Yet the pineapples and cavendish bananas are expensive to be bought domestically or even reluctant in utilising Sugar to various uses other than molasses, rhum, table sugar, alcohol and vinegar? And speaking of farmers, does Landbank support for their farming needs in midst of the massive influx of foreign goods and expensive prices of commodities? What kind of reform is that then so to think of, is it limited for a convenience-seeking economic opportunity on the premise of productivity or fostering social change in developing rural communities?

After all, in digging deeper the so-called goals, ideals, and aspirations of the La Liga Filipina and other succeeding organisations create a question of emphasising mutual aid or fostering social or revolutionary change. Mutual aid, in an instance idealistically foster social change but it turns out to be far from it especially in regards to vested interests controlling, to think that the majority amongst the Ilustrados rather think about themselves and treat the affair itself as a wine and tapas gathering, that was different to the common tao who thinks about the idea of mutual aid as means of upliftment alongside hard work, and through it may foster social change being common tao themselves.
To think that one of the intelligentsia, Apolinario Mabini even speaks of Social Justice that includes assailing the landed gentry over their arable properties that created an ire with Pedro Paterno and the hypocritical Filipino aristocracy;  as according to Jose Maria Sison's "Land Reform and National Democracy":

"Apolinario Mabini, in his Ordenanzas de la Revolucion, a collection of directives for the successful conduct of the revolution, expressed in clear terms the abolition of feudalism as a national objective:

Rule 21. All usurpations of properties made by the Spanish government and the religious corporations will not be recognized by the revolution, this being a movement representing the aspirations of the Filipino people, true owners of the above properties.

The Philippine revolution of 1896 could have been the instrument of the peasant masses for redeeming the lands taken away from them by their feudal exploiters through more than 300 years of colonial rule."

Making the idea and action involving mutual aid, livelihood and others vested in the La Liga Filipina turns out to be the use of collective action of the people especially the common tao against the social ills including those of its own aristocracy; and as expected some tend to exaggerate the idea of these as conditions for social harmony yet in a system brought by Spain means repression and a desire for liberty that created Bolivar's Gran Colombia and Francia's Paraguay; and the ilustrados fear for reprisal from the common tao made them think that supporting groups like La Liga Filipina, Katipunan, even the Gobierno Revolucionario in Malolos would keep them away from the ire of the people and retain its prestige by posing themselves as patriots in front of the majority whose idea of Philippine Revolution was about owning land to till and food to feed aside from lower taxes (instead of "no taxes") for the common tao and abolishing mandatory unpaid labor.

In an assessment, it is quite thinking that the idea behind Rizal's La Liga Filipina as well as mutual aid may questioned whether as bringers of social change or maintaining social order such those of then existing Gremios.  
As the former tends to be interpreted after that Filipinos  especially the Indios, wished for better living amongst themselves and for self reliance with the support of its fellowmen, organisations such as the Gremios, with the La Liga Filipina at its head and guide would laid something that in peacetime would serve as its pillars and ramparts of a growing Filipino society after independence.
While the latter, however, tends to cater the idea of the Ilustrados of keeping their interests as they curry popular support for their goals in a manner how Rizal himself toyed with the idea of making Philippines a part of Spain with a seat in the cortes before toying the idea of independence by reformist and perhaps, putschist means (in a manner how he made El Filibusterismo with Simoun, the former Reformist Crisostomo Ibarra turned a practitioner of the propaganda of the deed);
That scenario somehow related to the scene from the 7th chapter of El Filibusterismo on how Simoun opposed what Basilio hath insisted, as he said:

“Are they unwilling that you be assimilated with the Spanish people? Good enough! Distinguish yourselves then by revealing yourselves in your own character, try to lay the foundations of the Philippine fatherland! Do they deny you hope? Good! Don’t depend on them, depend upon yourselves and work!”

in fact,  the use of reformism amongst the Ilustrados during the Propaganda movement and its latter groups in the Philippines that also involves the use of mutual aid were as inspired by the Gremios as well as their sojourn in Europe that includes influences from Liberal and Utopian Socialist thought; but then these  people involved were rather a number, as most, as Rizal stated are fond of gambling and vices as evidenced in his sojourn in Spain. Obviously, who cares about their homeland if they enjoy themselves? Using their perspective as Bourgeois "Intellectuals" so to think of, especially that the majority had distaste for politics and treating organisations like the Propaganda Movement and others as a wine and tapas event.

That made this writer think it was all in their backgrounds that made Agoncillo and Salazar think that the common tao's Kalayaan at pagkakapantay-pantay and the Ilustrado's  Libertad y Igualidad are different in its nature regardless of its similarity in meaning.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Self-Sufficiency or Dependency?

Self-Sufficiency or Dependency?

This kind of issue continues to be debated for decades as people from all walks of life questions which path should have the Philippines pursue in developing in line of progress and stability as a third world country, as one favors developing its own while another favors dependency on aid and support, such debate in midst of growing poverty, all from the halls of the legislature to the streets, all involving the stock and wet, underground markets, subdivisions and illegal settlements, high rise buildings and factories all aggravating tensions between the prevailing system and its people on which economic and social program should look upon in uplifting the society and its sovereign. 

To the free trade advocates, having a nation open to free trade and smaller government leads to more employment, open markets, information  as well as freedom of movement to provide services to the people. Such advocacy laid to the developing countries tries to emphasise the primacy of markets and trade (than industry and production) as the primary foundation of the economy with minimal government control and a laissez faire policy. 

Quite acceptable to hear free trade and foreign support as means to support the growing economy, all with foreign entities sprawling trying to provide goods and services to the people in a belief that through free trade between countries opens the global market, with as few restrictions on trade as possible to bring goods directly with people satisfying over with low costs as its reason as according to William H. Peterson, holder of the Lundy Chair of Business Philosophy at Campbell University, He states that "the idea of free trade allows the efficient use of economic resources and will promote international cooperation."

As evidenced by the trade agreements and less tariffs paving way to the massive influx of goods, free trade and the right for foreigners to acquire properties, especially in developing countries in need of development created a showcase that emphasises a growing, improving country due to rising GNP and GDP rates as well as having manpower utilized as the country's main asset other than its natural resources.

But, with free trade as its tendency, despite having efficient use of economic resources and promoting cooperation does not also mean promoting interests in a mutual manner especially in the third world. With people not thinking that big foreign companies are primarily working for their respective countries and not the country they've served as one of its branches as it prioritizes remittances, exports rather than seriously paying tariffs and taxes especially in a predominantly agricultural country that became contented on imports due to its weak industry and contentment in having a pastoral and service economy with limited approach to industry (that is, also controlled by foreign entities and its domestic partners whom bragging about industrialization which obviously not due to its assembly line nature with foreign-made spare parts).

Critics tend to call protectionism as a tendency of the oligarchs to keep firm in their properties such as land and resources. Thinking that those from the topmost of the society controls everything including mass media, they have the "regulatory" powers greater than the state that includes circumventing laws for their benefit in a way Cojuangcos stubbornly tried to control the Sugar sector, Lopezes in mass media, and Concepcions in food sector. These familiar names tend to control evenly that involves foreign contracts, collaboration with the state, everything by hook or by crook in pursuit of keeping the order firm in all spheres that critics be described as "protectionism".

However, protectionism is not entirely a tendency of the old rich as what pro free trade advocates speak upon to, to think that the Philippines had rich natural resources yet no basic large scale industries controlled by Filipinos, why leaving every affair to a foreigners whose interest is to make Philippines heavily dependent on imports despite creating jobs, modernizing infrastructure and the like; otherwise creating a new wave of oligarchs that is, worse than the old rich and the current ones in a society deemed as antiquated. In a way a one writeup said:

"...Free Trade became a keyword for prosperity despite pitting down domestic industry, remember how British produced cloth crippled those coming from Visayas; or even promises of foreign aid turned out to be an attempt to gain control of small scale industries growing such as how A.T. Suaco end up controlled by Wyeth, though it is quite considering to have foreign investors in the country, stressing preference to the growing Filipino industry should be retained-alongside genuine land to the tiller program and patriotic, scientific and popular education and culture in pursuit of creating foundations for an industrialised, progressive society."

That somehow made this writer think how let these things happen such as making domestic industry small scale if not doom to fail with massive imports or foreign control in a guise of foreign aid. Protectionism can't be entirely a tendency of the old rich as small scale owners wanted their products be promoted and sold with people gaining benefit from their produce than those of the oligarch or the imported one as the owners of Boy Bawang wanted its products be promoted and appraised by the consumers the way the latter afford to buy Piatos from the Gokongweis and Lays from Frito Lay, least that these people behind tried its best to employ people, utilize resources to support local economy despite being "small" contrary to what trying hard intellectuals ought to describe emphasising domestic economy is as for the old rich.

After all, it's like telling that prioritizing national development, as in NATIONAL development is for the oligarchs and therefore it is bad.

Obviously, it would be wishful thinking for the armchair idealists to speak for economic reforms without thinking what kind the system Philippines was and is other than a plutocratic society controlled by oligarchs; and yet as noticed by many they afford to do a joyride in a caravan that calls for distributing lands in Hacienda Luisita while at the same time favoring foreigners right to own properties in the country. That made people think quite ridiculous on the side of the people that one even afford to say that the Filipinos themselves are fast becoming "Squatters in their own land" while those who afford have the right to claim and create a series of uncontrolled, unsustainable development that benefits the few despite building bridges, and farm to market roads, as well as granaries can't be genuinely described as "development" as long as middlemen controls everything.
Such tendencies is in fact a fantasy of a middle class idealist that is contradicting to those who call for genuine land reform, rural industrialization and cultural revival through patriotic, progressive and popular instruction that would spurn a new wave of Filipino-ness such as its identity.

Thinking how awkward those people concerning about others, of blaming oligarchs and the like are the ones nagging for total openness that is paving way for bigger, unregulated markets controlled by a new wave of interests. If so, then will they pay a bigger share such as a progressive tax as well as promoting local enterprise at the same time? Obviously they are rather aggravating the situation with the nouveau rich substitutes the old, existing one in controlling economic affairs. And such action taken in the name of reform negates rather than justifies paving way for basic changes in a way certain sectors of the society use the word "reform" just to keep the antiquated social order firm and surviving such as those deeply rooted in "tradition."

Also coming to think that since free trade advocates are against oligarchs, then how come some, if  not most favor repealing anti-trust laws and have the nouveau riche say "Laissez faire et laissez passer, le monde va de lui même!" in front of everyone especially tired of increasing prices of commodities, and calling for salary increase and consumer protection? Let them be?!? That's the rant of the old and new rich that tries to keep the antiquated system in order with a fresh coat of paint and dubbed thee as "new."

Remembering how the so-called Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program failed to succeed the peasant question with oligarchs still controlling agrarian affairs and be substituted by companies in the name of corporate farming and land conversion, then even wanting to sell land for foreigners such as companies and like without trying to improve local industries such as promoting cooperatives and rural community based development? The issue on land, being a decades-old problem remains a problem due to the oligarchs's as well as corrupt bureaucrats strong handling of political, economic, and cultural power in the society-thinking that despite all modern edifices, technology and ideas utilized just to preserve the rotten antiquated structure with people evenly exploited by the ones on the top.
Worse, with companies wanting to exploit resources for their benefit than those of the people, the idea of agrarian reform and conservation of natural resources is totally negated in a way that arable lands, mountains, forests and other natural resource had been paved way to subdivisions, open pit mining and others that benefit by entities disregarding people's welfare and outcomes such as shortage of food and other resources. Quite strange though that they tolerate growing populations, contented in imports and expoliting everything all for exports, as cash crops than domestic uses all just to brag that the economy is growing and development is running in a full scale yet "not." In a way Subdivisions are made by companies using housing as alibi for their profiteering and to accelerate urbanization in the suburbs, not to decongest the ones living in the city and to support the demands of the countryside such as community based rural industrialization.

In Argentina, free trade and deregulation was applied during the days of the Military Junta, the policy tries to negate earlier policies laid by the Peron era but, as according to the book "The Crisis of Argentine Capitalism", it failed to improve the economy further contrary to the earlier emphasis on local investment and even foreign ones yet subjected to government policies such as "Import Substitution", as it said:

"Policies of "free trade" and financial deregulation pursued by Argentina's last dictatorship led to a sudden, record deficit in 1980 and, by 1981, a mountain of bad debts and financial collapse. The climate of slack domestic demand that prevailed in Argentina throughout the 1980s resulted in a cumulative US$38 billion in surpluses from 1982 to 1991; this brought the economy little direct benefit, however, as much of this was deposited abroad during that era of interest payment burdens and financial instability."

In the Philippines, import substitution tries to stimulate industrialization such as during the Marcos regime. But  its efforts end rather failed due to the intervening policies of the International Monetary Fund-World Bank as well as controlled by cronies allied with the regime. Obviously, it is mismanagement laid by the antiquated nature of the system failed to accelerate economic programs especially those of self-sufficiency as well as its agricultural nature that is, favorable to the developed countries in regards to the third world; and since there are "industries", it is more of making consumer goods and assembly line ones yet having resources favorable to the creation of heavy industry, that is, end turned down by those favorable to free trade.  As according to

"The service sector contributes more than half of overall Philippine economic output, followed by industry (about a third), and agriculture (less than 20%)."

In this description lies what is favorable to foreign interest such as prioritizing the service sector than those of Agriculture despite having a predominantly arable land that serves as its asset, a base that requires prioritizing domestic investment, people empowerment and efficient managing of small and medium scale industries paving way to total industrialization such as utilizing resources for domestic use. After all, the system rather keep the society backward and dependent in a way they tried to make Feudalism modern with Capitalistic views injected to the existing ideas and terminology.

Since calls for this kind of development lies the desire for domestic based industrialization and genuine agrarian reform since it utilizes domestic material and labor for domestic purpose, how come should be so much emphasis on foreign investment than utilizing people empowerment seriously in promoting national development? Well, nothing's wrong in having foreign investment to support domestic development but, these aren't substitutes to domestic ones generated by the people such as utilizing its resource to generate wealth; there's not even need to act like China's "Great leap forward" with its backyard furnaces to brag on, least that the need for domestic based development such as agrarian reform would create conditions in having a sustainable yet industrialized economy. And thinking strangely that since people living independent yet contented on having a nature that is as it is instead of developing, it is pretty much worse to have the concept of change reduced into a mere individualist pipe dream of changing lifestyles. And if so, looking at history of the United States, how come the late economist and statesman Alexander Hamilton argued for his "Theory of Manufactures" to point the way to the country's emergence as an industrial power against Thomas Jefferson's advocacy of a "pastoral economy" that is keeping the nation rather agricultural, worse, depend on slave power as well as imports during their times?
The concept of self reliance and promoting domestic enterprise cant be a mere pipe dream compared to a nonsensical and unjust influx of foreign goods with low tariffs yet keeping the country remain predominantly agricultural with its farms focusing on cash crops such as sugarcane, coconuts, rice and other export oriented foodstuffs; while on the other hand, Foreign support, admittingly speaking is also acceptable as long as it does not infringes domestic economy and rather be beneficial as it supports in uplifting people and supporting what is best for the country such as paying taxes and obeisance to domestic law and its regulatory powers.

That made one commentator said:

"Admittingly speaking, it is good to say so that there is a role of the foreign sector, especially the investor in advancing national development, but which is to be its main goal: to generate development or merely to expand markets for their goods? Obviously it makes no sense to see a mass of consumers instead of a mass of hardworking professionals who didn't work all of their lives just for material gain alone."

After all, in seeing such catastrophes in the Philippines such as injustice and poverty, we still sought people dreaming endlessly of progress and development yet still confused on which path to seek upon: economic independence or contentment through globalization.

Which is which anyway?

Thursday, 18 October 2012

"After seeing Miah Llanes as Marceline the Vampire Queen in his dream"

"After seeing Miah Llanes 
as Marceline the Vampire Queen in his dream"

Sorry for the title but the title matches both real and the make believe, the tangible and the intangible, as well the fact and the fiction this writer sees of.

Since in this writeup originally made for Halloween, was all made after a week's recollection of ideas both from watching "Adventure time", reading some earlier writeups (like goth scene), as well as being with this writer's friends from his watering hole.

And fact, one of this writer's friends seemingly fit to become a "vampire queen" all because of watching "Adventure time" and having somewhat resemblance in her appearance and perhaps, attitude.

Admittingly speaking, quite strange at first  for this writer to feature about one of his friends and be compared to one of the characters of "Adventure time" such as this. Isn't because she is slim? long haired? Easy going? Well, upon meeting together with Miah and her friends, she likes a fun filled alcohol-laced adventure who loves tricking some of her friends, even this writer's that catches the latter's imagination of comparing her to a vampire queen whose "evil plans" (according to Adventure time Wiki) often turn out to be nothing more than elaborate jokes.

And in comparing Miah to Marceline, especially her easy-going nature and her slim physique, this writer also once heard her singing; that somehow needs some training if she also opted singing as part of her career other than modeling. However, she's more into pop and house music due to her love for parties and alcohol-laced escapades this writer had one-time been part of (but still he prefers writing and a lifestyle that as chill as a chilled coffee).

Unless she end carrying a guitar and play to the tune of a song that would water a burning heart full of agonies in it. 

However, despite her love for modeling, Miah carries uniqueness such as friendliness and perhaps a degree of love for knowledge. She is indeed a model, but some, if not most or few have the capacity to carry flexibility and the use of thine mind to deal with reality. This writer, upon entering her humble abode, and even seeing her busy doing her study habits, somehow showed the reality behind what most think about girls in ramp such as reading a book and enjoying a good conversation.

 In fact, according to Miah (during one of this writer's chitchats), she loves to argue, rather say debate in regards to contradicting ideas and views and she even wanted to become a teacher other than managing and perhaps events coordinating like her friends (such as Marina) who wanted to, that this writer, using the views of others would think of it strangely especially that she's into high culture yet she wanted to be an intellectual such as wanting to teach and a person for others.

And in seeing pictures bearing her love for fashion such as on the ramp, especially the one firing a Browning, somehow reminds of this writer's sketches such as a rifle-bearing maiden. This writer may haven't seen her in the ramp, but in being with her in every meet-up, chitchat, and food trips, likely to say that "yes she may be likely to be described as 'beautiful' but she carries greater than the beauty she showed to us" with examples such as her friendliness, humility, sense of simplicity, a degree of passion for knowledge, and love for words (like "the life and love we create is the life and love we live") all despite the fashion accessories, make up and a dash of naughtiness? That's Miah Llanes.

Anyways, as a writer's suggestion for a model, Miah would have wore these due to her somewhat resemblance with the vampire queen in a cartoon known some people think of its weird graphics and characters, thinking that she had the height, the appearance, minus the fangs, and perhaps since she's versatile, somehow she can manage to do what Marceline has...

And if she sings rock, then would be better! :)

Well, perhaps in all hollow's eve, this writer  again likes to become like Finn and meeting one of his galley friends in a strange world what Adventure time made of.

Or rather say a childish Finn meeting his Marceline.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Ramblings after watching Sigfried Sanchez's Moro-themed films

Ramblings after watching Sigfried Sanchez's Moro-themed films


Sorry for posting this writeup late, for this writer had been busy focusing on the latest issues.

In fact, prior to the infamous issue regarding the anti-cybercrime act, this writer went to UP film center wherein he watched films made by one of his friends, director Sigfried Sanchez.


One of his friends from the University of the East, Sigfried is known for his movies as an actor, scriptwriter and what he is known to, as director. This writer's friend had made yours truly went there to watch two of his movies, mostly Moro-themed and quite realistic as it mirrors the issues what Moro people known for.

And as expected, quite interesting, nice as this writer, watching from early to late evenings with few people interested, two films, namely "Tsardyer" and "In Bangka Ha Ut Sin Duwa Sapah" showed the Moro point of view as well as its struggles, life, and the rebellion itself with its featured Tausug tongue alongside Tagalog and English.

In the movie "Tsardyer", it features a life of a kid being used by a radical Islamic group to carry cellphones of hostages for charging and be used as a tool to communicate with a media group for ransom. The kid, being a nephew of a leader, felt concerned with the hostages as well as befriended them. Only to be killed by a cruel soldier who also killed the kid's mother years before.

One scene in Tsardyer noticed by this writer was that how the kid protagonist had to walk long miles carrying cellphones of captives to a relative's house for charging. The house had electricity despite situated in a secluded area in Mindanao that is full of trees and lush vegetation. Such scenery, although paradise in nature, quite depressing for some coming to think that few had afford to have electricity or any kind of improvement prior to the tension between government forces and the rebels.

Same as in the movie "In Bangka Ha Ut Sin Duwa Sapah", wherein it involved a mother tries to survive along with two kids by swimming from one end of the river to the other using a makeshift bangka made out of banana stalks just to put her two kids to school and selling vegetables.

However, upon watching that movie, it showcases how that mother was once raped by a cruel soldier and being blamed as a sympathizer of a rebel group due to living in the other side of the river. Being a victim of a war torn homeland made her mute yet still trying to invoke her message as much as she could.

Quite concerning though as people like Maryam (the mother) felt the scars of battle such as rape, being displaced, torture and be accused as rebels just because they are Moros, as Muslims who wanted self-determination and peace in their homelands.


After all, true to his activist past, Sigfried Sanchez tends to invoke message of human rights of these people such as Moros using cinema as its tool. And as a writer, gladly appreciate especially on the second movie yours truly had watched and think that such atrocity made would rather somehow speak of vengeance and sympathy to the struggle than a mere peace being tried to invoke to.


Anyways, kudos to Sigfried. Keep up the good work.

All after watching their "October Revolution"

All after watching their October Revolution

It was lately when this writer went to Sta. Mesa to watch a concert.

And despite being with friends, he seemed so alone that his special someone didn't join due to her thesis work, quite concerning but end enjoying as this writer missed watching concerts and the singers featured at Polytechnic University of the Philippines at Sta. Mesa, Manila.



Known as "October Revolution VIII", it features famous bands like Slapshock, Tanya Markova, Chico Science as well as those from the alternative scene like BLKD, Axel Pinpin and Talahib People's Music. This writer, as he watched the concert, sought instead Talahib, Tanya Markova and Axel Pinpin with his Remote Control again featured as one of his spoken poetries being played.

In fact, the said concert still features what this writer described as "AgitPop," agitated in a sense of it invokes opposition through music, the emcees even chanted slogans as well thinking that true to its title, it is more than a concert, but protest justified, come to think of this, what's wrong in calling for additional subsidies such as two million pesos? That same day being celebrated by those students is also a day celebrated by its professors as their "teachers day."


To the bourgeois, quite strange to think how protest and pop joined together in that kind of concert, isn't because of chanting slogans against "anti-cybercrime law" and fighting for additional budget for the university while playing music sung by Slapshock? Anyways, despite getting ridiculed by some, if not most, this writer rather quite amazed on hearing Talahib and their music usually played during rallies such as "Babaylan" and their ever-recognized "On Potok" and its fusion of reggae and ethnic beats same as Axel Pinpin whom also a friend of yours truly.

But on the other hand, sadly to say, this writer's camera had end up its battery empty despite having took some shots of the event itself and its students raising horns and shouting aloud. 

After all, first and foremost, the said concert and the fair at the so-called "People's University" is more of a reunion of friends and close ones as well as those who recognize this person than a concert being attended to watch and hear some music.  

A system still getting bombarded

A system  still getting bombarded

It was last time when this writer, before making his writeup at, sought articles regarding hacktivists attacking government websites as well as criticisms condemning attempts to silence social media in the name of anti-cybercrime. Such wave of attacks cost hours to retrieve and revive such sites that unveils the vulnerability of government websites to further attacks-especially those who used hacking as a form of direct action against the state.

Quite daring and surprising to see those hacktivists who did paralyzing those websites, such as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the National Telecommunications Commission as well as others the government least maintained. And since it unveiled the vulnerability in response to the passage of the dreaded "Anti-Crbercrime law", that form of direct action seemingly made as if bombing a cellsite, this time using online instead of TNT as its "bomb."

However, the said action taken by these new wave of radicals and an unveiled vulnerability on government websites showed a weak government despite they've passed an act that means curtailing criticisms, of restricting free flow of media despite its benefits such as protecting women and children's dignity. In fact, as noticed in getting desperate salvaging their sites, retrieving infos, yet still getting bombarded by criticisms, they resort in invoking the long arm of the law, or rather say threat to those who do what is subversive in their senses such as a friend of yours truly who been warned strongly by the police for giving a foul mouthed sentiment.

Quite strange to invoke such strong warning than leaving it minor, thinking that those criticisms be equivalent to inciting rebellion or treason such as assailing the head of state or a senator, what on earth the Philippine government should impose a libel provision yet at the same time invoking transparency and decriminalize libel under the provisions set by the United Nations in pursuit of free speech? Such sheer nonsense made by the system is made as they are desperately trying to keep their seats yet still getting bombarded at all sides by the people by using sarcasm or direct action such as hacking.

This writer, as noticing the events surrounding the creation and passage of the infamous anti cybercrime law, sought how could a system let happen while at the same time being a signatory to a call for decriminalizing libel? Or even thinking that how president Aquino signed a bill whose co-author is his enemy, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo? The original bill involves surveillance over flow of communication, then followed by the infamous libel clause made by Sotto? Seems that the bill being passed in midst of strong criticisms and wave of direct attacks invoke putting parameters over everyone's expression while invoking democracy, sounds like J. Edgar Hoover whose sentiment to defend democratic interests contradictory to the arrests of those protesting, even putting John Lennon under surveillance by the FBI and be threatened with deportation as necessary to silence opposition.

And thinking that there are other clauses important such as protecting women and youth, yes, that there are certain legislators unnoticingly "yay" a bill yet end up retracting, amending and repealing the bill itself and with its hell of a kind clause superseding the original portions of the said act; people somehow would criticize these people most yet come to think of it, how come others like Arroyo et al. remained silent while others, unnoticingly knewing that the libel clause superseding (rather than including) in that passed law (that created criticism from many) opposing and calls for amendments and even repealment? Well, to this writer's analyses, the latter would be categorized into two: those saving faces for elections through joining the bandwagon and those who are opposing the libel clause and other repressive acts that hinder privacy while calling for the importance of an alternate bill that speaks for internet security and safety, in fact there are other bills being written prior to Angara's "anti cybercrime law", it's just that Angara, with Arroyo et al. are the ones been seriously took and had Sotto's clause included.

But still, despite the bill being passed, of hacktivists being traced, of total protest of sarcasm, irony, and any other shit, the system created a mess. They are now in a defensive phase as well as getting paranoid as of these days while those who oppose continuously attacking them with protest of sarcasm, irony, and perhaps hacking in order those sites controlled by the government disable.

Sorry to say so but the conflict between people and system is endless, and obviously, that bill is just a grain in a sand of problems people ought to oppose a rotten system trying hard to survive by superficial modernity.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Of black facebook profile pictures, online protest, and commitment to oppose as a mere "trend"

Of black facebook profile pictures, online protest, 
and commitment to oppose as a mere "trend"


Well, as what the title says, there are joyriders guised as activists in a common cause.

In looking at every profiles with black as its featured picture shown, it is quite amazing that in midst of the tension against the government due to the infamous Anti cybercrime law and its libel clause that undermines its original intention, all seriously willing to take the risk of getting imprisoned for raising a voice such as a foul-mouthed word against the government such as Aquino and the senators who approved the said law.

However, since there are a growing number of people bannering black in their profiles, are they serious or just a plain joyride in supporting the struggle? Quite strange isn't it so to think of especially that most are apathetic in serious affairs really serious than this kind of law being put into a series of debates and protest.

For the fact that struggle is not a trend the way most people had their profile pics black yet ignorant in its significance. Thanks if they dare to support but come to think of it, some of them are even too apathetic or just plain stupid, mocking those who are against tyranny the way they are against rallies as hindrance to progress and traffic.

Quite strange these days to think of about people fast becoming against Anti-cybercrime law. That struggle is not like any other "doing a little thing for a change" nor "changing the society by changing our lifestyle", coming to think that having their profile pictures black as if sympathetic yet acting apathetic, this writer rather say are they mocking?

Well, the fact is it is fast becoming a mockery if most rather not to understood its significance, the struggle against the so-called "Anti cybercrime law" does not mean against Aquino and the senators, how about Arroyo and her clique of congressmen who made the law before its notoriety? Quite confusing if someone who is pro-Arroyo being against Aquino out of that bill yet they are ignorant who's behind the bill other than the senators such as Sotto; worse, those who are against the bill, the president, the senators, but how about the system? Does it mean you get contented in what the existing system and telling that poverty is merely a product of laziness and not of unfair and inequitable distribution of wealth?

Source: ABSCBN

Such sheer nonsense indeed if they are against the bill alone yet not the system that tolerates it. In fact, participating in a struggle is not a dinner party or a session at a club dancing rave and house music all night for goddamn sake. Thinking that the newly passed and Anti cybercrime law is also in par with other acts violating human rights, of never ending torture and enforced disappearances, everyone should be against everything, those damn everything that made the people being exploited by that damn system controlling. And hence be called nihilistic to create anew.

After all, this writeup, made in response to the growing number of people having black as their profile pic in the name of protest, at first must think about its significance and its seriousness, commitment in fighting against the bill as well as the system that tolerates everything repressive other than a mere trend as if going to a club in Tomas Morato.

In other words from our friend concerning (that became an unofficial warning):




Sorry to say so, but come to think of it, what is the purpose of supporting a struggle for change if it is treated as a minor affair? We may admire growing numbers, but everyone must know that these growing numbers should be serious enough to oppose not just the bill itself, but the system that tolerated it.

Otherwise, better fewer but better.