Sunday, 15 June 2014

"Grace for the Slaves, Rage from the discontented"

"Grace for the Slaves, Rage from the discontented"

(a post-Independence day Ramblings about the event,
the date, and consciousness most Filipinos had attained)

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It was last June 12, Thursday, when people from all walks of life had tuned in the TV sets, if not reading papers and sought, tackled about the events related to Independence day.

Ranging from President Aquino's speech at Naga, Vice President Binay's raising of the flag, up to the protests at US Embassy and its march from Liwasan towards Mendiola, Independence day seemed to be a celebration of rejoice and discontent, an event of mixed reactions from appraising the present system and its so-called "reforms" to criticizing the same system and its desperate measures and reactions; in other words, both grace for the willing slave and a rage from those whom those who are discontented about the system and its so-called "policies".

Prior to the protests, people had witnessed how the present system, through its representative, President Aquino, had again takes pride like his predecessors about his country and its "changes" brought together by his so-called reforms especially those of his righteous path, that, is marred by scandals like today's pork barrel scam that involved bureaucrats, cabinet secretaries and senators alike. Vice President Binay had shared same expressions as the president, so was Senator Franklin Drilon whom urging the majority to keep faith in the government amidst controversy people had watched upon to.

However, despite the festivities shown on national television, of statements calling for unity if not righteousness, not all are amazed (save those whom rather contented in those colorful craps) in their calls urging them to keep faith in the system, and instead thinking that their president is trying to escape from a possible barrage of criticism by celebrating at Naga instead of Manila, especially  after seeing groups assembled in both Manila and in Bicol on that same day as its day of protest, with Pork Barrel, the president, and his retinue, anything goes within the system as its subject of interest. There were issues that also being discussed as well like the never-ending agrarian issue of Hacienda Luisita up to the disputed Spratly and Scarborough shoal, that somehow these made some, of not most Filipinos having a glimpse of idea different from those what is presented by the order, and a few would have least having a consciousness, paving way for bigger calls for social change instead of contenting in today's status quo and heavy drama-filled memories.

But despite all these controversial issues, most people care partially, or even less about issues like  "Pork Barrel" or "Hacienda Luisita", and some of them had even altogether disregard, save for a smattering of information, as instead preferring the illusions, the so-called "good news" presented by the present order such as the state of economy and development being presented by the system and its analysts aside from the pride being brought by athletes and artists and justify that the "Filipino can do" those kinds of shit.
Otherwise, they just escape from an inconvenient reality and watch heavy dramas instead after a day's work. And somehow one would think, such as this person's, that the present Filipino consciousness had been a mishmash of sorts that emphasises pride if not escapism, and that includes celebrating holidays in which the system wanted to instill not just revisiting the past but also appraise present illusions that tends to stave off the effects of today's controversies. If not resorting to arrests simply because of voicing out dissent. They could babble about development, progress, and stability, yet actually that development is all but trickle down with the last drop goes to the least satisfied, leaving the rest seeing those fruits as illusions being presented but not given democratically by those whom speaking heavily about it; much more that they are willing to fight for that knowing that they had worked for long and still not enough to satisfy their needs.

Anyways, no offense to those whom chose to satisfy on what goes on under the present administration, as well as that so-called "Pinoy Pride" and the "Democracy" being enjoyed upon; but Filipino consciousness, especially today's nationalism is all but a façade, a cosmetic rather than a driving force for its people to build a still dilapidated nation. As People had rejoiced about Pacquiao's or Donaire's victories in boxing matches and Filipinas like Maegan Young and other "beautiful girls" who won in several beauty contests, that so-called "Pinoy pride" rings from time to time trying to stave off major problems alongside shifting the main issue to those of noontime shows and heavy dramas during evenings. But despite all these, did it end up age old tensions between the rich and the poor nor had helped in distributing the land from the landlords to the landless and given sufficient wages and standards of living from the employers to the employees? Again, that pride, that shallow consciousness cannot stave off the entire problem regardless of making people sedated on that event, just like a singer years ago whom had to sing in a place whose people willing to take up arms after a well known personality got shot and killed for his beliefs, much more that his beliefs are as same as those whom willing to take revenge after the killing.

Perhaps, other than making everyone glued into the TV screen or in a Flatscreen PC monitor there's nothing contributative other than the system, with its producers and the media men whose intention is to profit from what goes on and branding those victories as part of Filipino consciousness aside from urging, at the orders of the government to pay taxes and keeping faith in the system regardless of the controversies; yet without these "patriotic" events, both holidays, boxing matches, and beauty contests, the average Filipino had rather contented in wholesale westernization, specifically those of the American kind, much more that they are apathetic in present issues particularly those what protesters being protested: whether it is all about land, bread, peace, justice, anti-imperialism or whatsoever least that they are satisfied in being a shallow patriot that is occasionally turned on during a boxing match and any other festivity including that goddamn independence day.

And Hence, this writer called those events as grace for the slaves. Grace in a sense that they satisfied on those illusions what the order had given to regardless of the controversies least that the system had did its good share of developments such as in the name of Aquino's "Righteous Path". Like his predecessors, they had shown anything that stimulates development, ranging from infrastructure to trying to place price limits in goods and services, and hence making people, especially the downtridden as if having faith in a system providing those illusions and half-truths given.  
But not all are satified on those illusions, especially those whom are actually starving, dispossessed, repressed, disenfranchised, and in fear. These people, whom having their eyes opened are the ones chose to rage out of their discontent about today's things, that regardless of the systems achievements is not enough to resolve old issues as officials still clinging to the status quo of feudalism and corruption, trying to stave off issues by a range of paper reforms and publicity antics, including those of populism and diverting issue from one to another.

And that independence day carries both,  knowing that the system and its fanboys are satisfied with today's achievments, while the rest are raging in discontent because of the controversies, crisis that had happened everyday.


And since this writer tackles about last Friday's event, there are those whom had even argue about that day itself as illegitimate. In a Last year's writeup once described how a spectator from July 4, 1946 raising of the flag in midst of a ruined Manila had opposed celebrating June 12, citing it as a mere flag waving event being led by Aguinaldo while the latter as a product of negotiations that had brought Tydings McDuffie and the 1935 constitution with its provision that the Philippines be declared independent after several years as a commonwealth under the United States, not knowing that both of them had ceremonially raised flags high.
For both "peace time" and "post-war" generations, they would think about celebrating July 4, knowing that the Philippines, a once commonwealth had been recognized by countries around the world as an independent state, and at the same time seeing the United States trying to assume itself as willing to decolonize its own territories, that actually turning them into neocolonies through its policies such as "Bell Trade Act", "Visiting Forces Agreement" and today's "Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement." 
And most of these agreements are rather a continuation of the earlier agreements Uncle Sam had imposed towards Juan, despite being watered down in its content and words politically correct to prevent a possible mass outburst.

There's even an article made by former UP Dean of Mass Communications, Luis Teodoro, that also stated those whom insisting July 4 rather than June 12 as Philippines' own "independence day". As he said:

"One of the former, a Bobby Reyes, has been arguing for over a decade that the war the Katipunan and Emilio Aguinaldo fought against the Spaniards, and which culminated in the proclamation of independence on June 12, 1898, was only one of several wars for Philippine independence. Among the other wars he includes the revolts that occurred in a number of communities and provinces during Spanish occupation. Aguinaldo had little domestic and international support, Mr. Reyes argues — and didn’t Aguinaldo have Andres Bonifacio killed?"

“There are many Filipinos and Filipino Americans who think that Independence Day celebrations are commemorations of a fictional independence,” he continues in an article that appeared about a decade ago that’s still online. “We (should) celebrate only what is real and factual. We cannot distort historical facts. We cannot celebrate an event that only ‘resembles the truth.’ It was only on July 4, 1946, when the United States granted it independence that the Philippines became politically free as a country.”

That somehow this writer would again think that they are really having their patriotism intentionally lost in favor of an illusion of good life presented by a superpower if not a consciousness that is leaned towards Americanism than Filipinism. Both the inter-war and post-war generation had settled on what Uncle Sam had made regardless of its first few years making racial slurs and bullshit while at the same time providing them with junk guised as new. Much more that Mr. Reyes and others would even wanted to say that the Philippines doesn't deserve independence, save for a mere cultural autonomy under American suzerainty.

But despite all the insistences made by an avid brown Yanqui, come to think of this, if the struggle for Philippine independence is all but fictional, how come Aguinaldo's first republic had continued resisting despite limited support from outside yet a majority willing to sacrifice their lives under the flag? Perhaps his consciousness was all about how the united States of America paid the valor, perseverance, survival of the Filipinos with independence in midst of ruins their troops and Japan's did 4 years ago, and hence has to take pride of not knowing that his nation is actually had become a neocolony of its former colonizer. U.S. Planes had to bombard Manila while its troops had to hurriedly advance knowing that guerillas surrounding Manila were willing to advance in spire of Japanese resistance, much more that they had to bombard the city not just to flush out the enemy but to insist the young republic to depend on their aid especially in construction. One should remember that tranvias old people cherished were eventually replaced by jeeps simply because American automobile companies had export surpluses and calling it as construction efforts, while trains are eventually disregarded in favor of roads knowing that automobile companies demand those!  How wonder why some places were intact during the war like HongKong and Singapore, while Manila, the pearl of the orient has to be ruined and be called as Warsaw of the east? The Philippines would had less worries except a few repairs towards Manila and other cities if not for the massive bombings made by the Americans in pursuit of just killing Japanese!
Anyways, Mr. Reyes may still insist those events as semilegendary if not fictional regardless of the contributions made by the 1898 generation (including those of Quezon) trying to insist their homeland be independent again and "realized" in 1946;  while old soldiers, both from the Katipunan and from Aguinaldo's, all whom had witnessed bloodshed and struggle for independence would rather prefer their cherished June 12 than what was given yet in fact turning their homeland into a neocolony on the 4th of July, 1946.

But aside from the statements of Mr. Reyes, there are others had really even tend to disregard that occasion altogether and instead pushing for the Philippines to be one of Uncle Sam's own territories like Hawaii and Alaska, knowing that Americans had provided them with modernity and its White, Anglo-Saxon men better to administer than Filipinos themselves. Like Mr. Reyes, these "trying hard Yanquis" rather settle on cultural autonomy, or worse, reducing anything cultural to a museumified piece whole the rest goes on wholesale westernization as the Philippines continuously under the care of the benevolent American nation with its stars and stripes being flown. Actually, the issue on contested Spratlys and Scarborough with China provides these "trying hard Yanquis" a rallying point to have additional American aid regardless of those treaties as unequal; especially with provisions like free water and electricity for the American troops, but does it guarantee independence such as what happened in 1935? Or be it again like those of 1942 when the Philippines is being treated as a buffer zone? Of unnoticingly having its own "being raped in the backroom" by a neighbor while trying to protect its allies as according to the late Manuel Quezon?

Again, their consciousness about Philippines as a nation is all but a mishmash of sorts ranging from illusions of grandeur, pride, up to being desperate for Uncle Sam and wanting him to reclaim Philippines for himself. They took pride in artists, athletes, and its contrinutions, yet failed to realize aspirations especially those of long ago. Sound strange that they speak about independence and freedom yet at the same time desperately calling Uncle Sam for aid instead of rolling their sleeves and handle it for themselves. So much for "change starts from the self" while the nation didn't change its own course such as trying hard Americana. 

Or worse, to accept a so-called "fact" that the Filipinos are blantantly "anti-Nationalist" if not "anti-social" in its contemporary culture. Serving only their individual pursuits, and unconcerned with general welfare such as reviving Filipino consciousness that is, far from the usual depiction.

Well, regardless of their insistence as "trying hard Yanquis", of having their own consciousness be filled up with meaningless pride and illusions, then right is the Hispanist Guillermo Gomez Rivera to speak about what Mr. Reyes had opposed, that June 12 was at least a Filipino illusion made by Filipinos rather than July 4 in which these trying hard Yanqui commentators like Mr. Reyes and the Filipino American generation had insisted. Both had least having Filipino consciousness yet different interpretations such as the former borne out of struggle, of blood and honour while the latter was just given and really existing since 1946 with its agreements still trying to reaffirm the supremacy of its once colonizer as its debtor, or even altogether disregarding the struggle as fiction in favor of America's commitment to developing the homeland of a million "little brown brothers" willing to serve the white man. This writer somehow sided with Rivera's regardless of he as an Hispanist, knowing that Aguinaldo's flag waving is not just a Filipino-made illusion, but an illusion that includes blood, sinew, mind of Ilustrado and the majority masa to advance struggle for national existence, and that is far greater than a series of lobbying and negotiations that benefits the ruling few that ironically, from the ilustrados themselves like Buencamino and Paterno. Yet sadly, Aguinaldo did surrender while the rest being executed for being called bandits than as revolutionaries like those of Sakay and the former Magdiwangs trying to revive their Katagalugan struggle; while the Philippine state had became a mere territory of the United States with the latter experimenting them with democracy, modernity, and at the same time comparing them to Africans, Native Americans, and other "uncivilized" nations.
So are the nativists, whom had even elaborated that the Filipino struggle, no matter how illusory it was like those of Rivera's, as more than just independence alone, but a "crusade" as well: in which an oppressed yet morally upright people are called to destroy the old, repressive order and to build a society that is righteous in its morality greater than its colonizers; Bonifacio had read the ideas of the west while at the same time sharing those the aspirations of the oppressed laboring masses in building a society that not just free and independent but also just, that their revolution is more than just revolving and inciting hatred as inspired by Rizal's novels and everyday hardships, but also a cleansing one as what inscribed in Katipunan's Cartilla and other writeups, manifestos that tends to bring Filipino consiciousness as more than just national independence but also of self-liberation.
Both of them, regardless of their different inclinations would somehow showed that the Philippines is still in a state of struggle for identity regardless of its independence being bannered upon. That the Philippine state in which Rivera stated has to remold in pursuit of righteousness as what Salazar and the nativists insisted. And that consciousness that had brought people into patriotism as more than just paying taxes and taking pride in its contributions, but also realizing aspirations such as land for the landless, bread for the workers, justice for the masses, and freedom for the people regardless of its ethnicity. In fact, those whom had gained national consciousness and had really fought for National independence are until today being accused of subversion, ostracised for being against colonizer's gratitude, even executed for being deemed as "bandits" such as those of Macario Sakay and a number of nameless revolutionaries being called ladrones and bandoleros (thieves); much more that until today those whom fighting for real national consciousness are being accused as subversive while tolerating those whom are treating patriotism as a façade for commercial, or rather say cosmetic interests.

That somehow made this writer again, speaking of the latter treating patriotism as for commercial interests yet currying aid such as those of the United States as "Grace for the Slaves", and Independence day being treated as a mere celebration just like Pacquiao's boxing matches, the Late Francis Magalona's "Three stars and a sun", and any other symbolical events while actually seeing most Filipinos really accepting themselves as "little brown Americans", "Asian Niggers" as bigots like to describe much about Juan and his kind. 
While on the other hand, those whom gaining national consciousness and eventually struggling for national liberation are setting both rage and enlightenment for the discontented many. Regardless of being subversive in the eyes of the order, least they had to expose anything that is behind the facades being presented by the system, and to counter those what its apologetics trying to convey time and again. Of what is independence if the system chose to content in wholesale westernization and relying on a superpower than standing by its own feet and develop its own capabilities? Of what is democracy if it is not for the laboring masses? So much for having proposals, ideas that are being left in paper for the system chose to remain satisfied on what a bigger entity has been offered, that made its people accept that their nation is weak and hopeless regardless of being independent, save consciousness for boxing matches, tshirts, and other attractions presented to tourists.

But still, despite all their rants, their whinings, and harassments, Right was the protests last June 12 knowing that the struggle for freedom remained unfinished whether the topic is about corruption, landlessness, anything in which the system had failed to resolved because of their interests.

Right was the man from Ateneo de Naga whom end jailed for venting rage against the head of state whom assuming himself as clean yet coddling the corrupted. The path called righteous had been crooked actually by those whom had rather betrayed principles for pieces of silver.

Right are those whose intention is to expose what is hidden partially in a façade called development whose name is corruption. Knowing that behind every edifice of glass and steel are shantytowns made by those whom had built the former yet being forgotten.

and, Right are those whose call is to continue the unfinished revolution. People may call it as an illusion, but compared to others, that illusion is Filipino and it has to realize.

Again, as what this writer had said in his last time's writeup:
Filipinas, Hasta la Muerte! El Pueblo Armado, Vencera!