Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Forge through protest! Reap through struggle!

Forge through protest! Reap through struggle!



Lately, this writer had read news about Evo Morales of Bolivia had raised wages for workers in their respective countries. Evo had raised wages to 20% in response to the call of the labor sector to increase their wages. On the other hand, President Aquino did nothing except promises that are meant to be broken, That the regional wage boards has the right for a go signal to raise wages, mostly not enough to face the challenge such as rising costs of goods and services particularly those of electricity and foodstuffs.

That somehow made the common worker and peasant to consistently oppose the system regardless of the latter's sugarcoated rhetoric and band aid solutions primarily made to counter the people's outrage against their oppression.

Meanwhile, President Maduro of Venezuela had raised wages for workers to 30% ahead of May day. Yes, the Bolivarian revolution, regardless of hardships least provide the masses housing, education, and other needs important thanks to the Commandante who had least trying to realize the aspirations of the laborers. On the other hand, President Aquino still aloof in regards to the issue on Hacienda Luisita with the latter having its farmworkers evicted from their communities moths ago. The latter had faced hardship especially those of their fruits of hard work being thrown away if not left to spoil by the orders of the hacienderos and goons PNoy had coddled.

That somehow made the common worker and peasant to consistently oppose the system regardless of the propaganda mill being vented via national television up to social media sites, supported by its keyboard warriors, and online newspapers via its paid hacks around the metro.

How wonder compares to those two Latin American countries whose concern for the laborers is a tradition, the Philippines, for years had to endure the tradition of repression and forced contentment, people must remember how Aquino had said that "leave it to God for he's busy" last year, he may had said it towards his critics but it also includes the innocent whom affected by the tragic events such as Yolanda and the earthquakes at Bohol and Cebu. In every tax being paid ends in the hands of the corrupt, worse, those who pay taxes comes from those who had really worked hard than those who had been well known for their massive wealth. The so-called "righteous, straightforward path" is nothing but a meaningless phrase, a two way road to nonsense as issues related to the people, be it may the worker, the peasant, the student, the professoonal been disregarded in favor of the elite and the stupid nonsensical media being vented.

And again, made the common worker and peasant to consistently oppose the system regardless of those trying to answer the issue through paper reforms and promises, of others whom seeking to lessen tensions through countless lobbying, and end completely nothing but a series of minutes of discussion but no action. If there is, all is but a propaganda image.

As the system chose to remain aloof with the cries of the masses, it is not impossible for these masses to march regardless of the guards' own truncheons and water cannons stationed at the main thoroughfares of Manila. They can withstand the blow and the pain as they vent their call for decent wage, an end to contractualization, land reform, rural development, industrialization for fair, decent employment.
To those apathetics reading this writeup, history is full of countless blows to those who speak straightforwardly about the need to uplift the laboring people and the nation itself, that Andres Bonifacio, regardless of his lower ilustrado background had integrate himself to the laboring masses who comprise the majority of his Katipunan. Don Isabelo de los Reyes, regardless of he an affluent person from Ilocos had to march with laborers during the first Labor day march at Manila in support of a call for decent living standards and an Independent Philippines. These two men, in modern setting they would had been deemed terroristic, subversive due to their call of revolution and a need to support those who had really worked for long hours for their daily bread. On the other hand, Marcos was right, regardless of he as a dictator to say about a "Revolt of the poor" that until today continues to wander as a spectre over Malacanang, Batasang Pambansa, Supreme Court, to the Central Business District of Makati and at Ortigas Centre in Pasig, but did he exorcise the spectre? Nope, he intensified it with martial rule and free trade agreements that suffers the working class. Apathetics would still trying to escape from reality by reducing social matters to a whine of an individual, if not altogether disregard in favor of its own egotistical bullshit. That through working hard and forced contentment can lessen the serious matter of high prices and uplift its own standard of living. If so, then how come even the petit bourgeois afford to complain about rising costs of electricity? They do work hard, but how come the purchasing power of peso remained low to face the rising costs of prices? How wonder the system and its apathetic apologetics are in a deep sleep of illusions while the masses are awake with inconvenient realities such as rising costs yet lower, insufficient wages.

Well, Lenin, in his message, speaks about the need for working class unity, to be firm in its ranks against the repressive social order whom fails to heed the call of the laboring people. The issues of the third world may had been as worse as Russia during the tsarist days, and the workers has to forge their call through series of protests and strikes, and the peasants reap their struggles in a series of actions against the landlords and its hired goons. There will be blood, but that blood cannot stop the revolt of the poor whom calls for peace, land, and bread:

"Comrades! If we will energetically and wholeheartedly strive to unite, the time will not be far distant when we, having joined our forces in solid ranks, will be able openly to unite in this common struggle of the workers of all lands, without distinction of race or creed, against the capitalists of the whole world. And our sinewy arm will be lifted on high and the infamous chains of bondage will fall asunder. The workers of Russia will arise, and the capitalists and the Government, which always zealously serves and aids the capitalists, will be stricken with terror!"

Beyond fantasy and sensibility

Beyond Fantasy and Sensibility

(Or for a Filipino Science Fiction!)

By Lualhati Madlangawa Guerrero 



It was weeks ago when this writer had read a writeup concerning the difficulty of having a Filipino Science Fiction by Dominique Cimafranca.

Personally, science fiction in general isn't based merely on American influence nor much emphasised in its sensibilities. Despite the fact that American movie producers espoused the idea of American-style sensibilities in their work including those of science fiction, it's all but a perspective being reinterpret as a basis in which Mr. Cimafranca had stated.


The American dream-model as basis for science fiction

According to Cimafranca, Science Fiction was just made merely for mass market looking for quick, cheap thrills and easy entertainment. Yes, not quite wrong with that especially in regards to modern culture that is mass produced; but earlier works seemed to be applicable for few, interested audiences particularly those whom espoused the wonders of technology through literature.

But, as this writer continue to read his post, seems that Cimafranca had rather emphasised that Science Fiction is largely based on the American model which is mainstream (with producers really making quick, cheap thrills and easy entertainment out of that genre), not knowing that there were other models from other countries such as France with its Jules Verne, or in England with H.G. Wells for example.

Here are the Sensibilities that usually depicted in the American setting, or as what Cimafranca stated, examples largely being featured in modern science fiction stories:

1.) Frontier Mentality
2.) Self Improvement
3.) Efficiency through Technology
4.) Capitalism?
5.) Independence
5.) Equality?

Well, true to fact that most Science Fiction works, particularly contemporary ones are being made in the United States, then it is natural for Cimafranca that American sensibilities is much featured in Science Fiction, and that is somehow contradicting to the outward, fatalistic Filipino setting. "Frontier Mentality" for instance, includes those of "Manifest Destiny", that served as one of the basis for American imperialism and exceptionalism. Movies like "Iron Sky" featured American exceptionalism in justifying bombing of the Nazi-occupied moon, describing its inhabitants, including civilians as "terrorists"; so was frontier mentality in justifying the occupation of the moon citing the American flag being planted by Neil Armstrong years ago.

As for this writer, in citing number 4 (Capitalism), is Science Fiction both glorify or criticize capitalism? Can be, although Jack London exposed Capitalism badly in his work "Iron Heel" with the oligarchy  ruling over the society. Russia's Alexander Bogdanov, though his "Red Star" had strongly opposed Capitalism as well. 


But how about non-American examples?

But come to think of this, if Science Fiction is just and simple American, then how about the ones made by the French or the British? Soviet Russian or the Chinese? The fact that science fiction glorifies the future, technology and even reason, Cimafranca had failed to see science fiction in general as diverse, with its exact definition remains a contested question among both scholars and devotees. Writers had afford to romanticize the wonders of discovery through literature, and to some extent, even the religious pieces of the Hindus like the Mahabharata and Ramayana had also dealt with technology prior to its actual creation as according to Wikipedia:

Ancient Indian poetry such as the Hindu epic Ramayana (5th to 4th century BCE) includes Vimana flying machines able to travel into space or under water, and destroy entire cities using advanced weapons. In the first book of the Rigveda collection of Sanskrit hymns (1700–1100 BCE), there is a description of "mechanical birds" that are seen "jumping into space speedily with a craft using fire and water... containing twelve stamghas (pillars), one wheel, three machines, 300 pivots, and 60 instruments." The ancient Hindu mythological epic, the Mahabharatha (8th and 9th centuries BCE) includes the story of King Revaita, who travels to heaven to meet the creator Brahma and is shocked to learn that many ages have passed when he returns to Earth, anticipating the concept of time travel.

Yet, as time goes by, the deep integration of science and inventions into daily life also encouraged a greater interest in literature that explores the relationship between technology, society, and the individual. Cimafranca had emphasised in his post the American way given its popularity in mainstream readers and viewers, and sensibilities such as rugged individualism and excessive promotion of technology, in which these are contrary to the Filipino psyche, particularly those of fatalism. 

But since Science Fiction was and is all about the American model, then  how about countries that are traditionally command societies? China, Japan, Korea are tradtionally command societies with emphasis on benevolent paternalism in the guise of the so-called "son of heaven", yet at the same time they also had done Science Fiction without harming their sensibilities. How come reformers Liang Qichao and Yang Kouwei, as well as the the social critic Lu Xun had also been influenced by Jules Verne? They had even translated Verne's works with the latter used science and realism to invoke revolutonary aspirations particularly under the May 4th Movement. 
There's even a Wikipedia article about one of the earlier Chinese Science Fiction that explore both yearness for change as well as adventure and the use of technology. However, it had been left unfinished yet least provide idea for Chinese Science Fiction writers to create more:

The earliest work of original science fiction in Chinese is believed to be the unfinished novel Lunar Colony (月球殖民地小說), published in 1904 by an unknown author under the pen name "Old Fisherman of the Secluded River (荒江釣叟)." The story concerns Long Menghua, who flees China with his wife after killing a government official who was harassing his wife's family. The ship they escape on is accidentally sunk and Long's wife disappears. However, Long is rescued by Otoro Tama, the Japanese inventor of a dirigible who helps him travel to Southeast Asia searching for his wife. They join with a group of anti-Qing martial artists to rescue her from bandits. Deciding that the nations of the world are too corrupt, they all travel to the moon and establish a new colony.

The work may had been influenced by the west such as Verne and even Thomas More, that the writer had also yearned for a utopia wherein righteousness being prevailed not just the use of technology alone being featured. He, as Long Menghua had sought how most nations had became corrupted and hence his wife with a group of martial artists decided to travel to the moon, establish a colony, and show an example to the world a society people may idealise, if not described as "perfect."

Those works may had been crude in today's standards citing the use of clockwork mechanisms, Dirigibles, steam engines, diesel-powered machineries rather than today's nanotechnology; on the other hand, it recognizes sensibilities such as love, filial piety, and promotion of virtue as well as freedom. Most people may think of Mahabharata and Ramayana as religious, of not early Indian literary text not knowing about the presence of space and aircraft used in the story, much more that the Hindus had also researched about space travel centuries ago. The Chinese, particlarly during the pre-Qing periods had even been well known in the sciences despite having Science Fiction introduced in the late 19th century, the legend of the Ming-era scientist Wan Hu, known for his attempt to reach space by means of a chair filled with rockets, can be considered as one of China's scientific attempts and perhaps be classified as fiction.


But how about the Philippines? 

Despite presenting a facade of modernity like those of Makati, Ortigas and Fort Bonifacio, contemporary Filipino culture is all but a mish-mash of past and present, especially with the former with its sensibilities predominating. 

And according to Cimafranca, these are the age-old sensibilities Filipinos usually manifested, and somehow contradicts the usual sensibility of most Science Fiction novels:

1.) Relationships
2.) Loyalty
3.) Cheerfulness
4.) Industry
5.) Ingenuity
5.) Faith in divine providence

Contradicting indeed, but most of these sensibilities are similar to other Asian countries like China with its Filial Piety and the Industriousness of the Japanese, yet most Filipinos would likely to emphasise the first and fifth part, incorrectly speaking would likely to call it as fatalism, citing the Filipino "Bahala na" (Come what may) attitude as one example. 

Much more that, as according to Cimafranca, that these sensibilities are inward, than outward looking, invoking accomodation and cooperation than confrontation and conquest; Filipinos, even in preHispanic times had lived off through trade with Indian or chinese goods used by the Datu and the Maharlika class, these showed accommodation, and even the Spanish colonizers like De Goiti and Legazpi experienced accommodation and cooperation with Raha Tupas, Matanda, and Sulaiman. But, on the other hand, how about others? Such as the Moros with its rido? The Cordillerans with the tribal war? These meant confrontation and conquest although they do have Bodong and arranged marriages to signify accommodation and cooperation between contested communities and clans. 

In short, the ones Cimafranca had featured are the ones presented thoroughly by the system itself through mainstream media, and most writers are felt contented to making fantasy, heavy drama, and romanticizing those sensibilities for most stations gain profits in it; and with the fact that the Philippines is a Semifeudal-Semicolonial society, writers in the mainstream scene rather focus much on romanticism with producers showing heavy drama if not fantasy for children. Right as what Mr. Cimafranca in his writeup to say that most writers are difficultly writing science fiction and instead dabbling on fantasy or heavy drama. Realism? Unless you are attacking the system there are writers who dabble with realism like the late Directors Brocka or Bernal; but again, mainstream viewers been stucked up in just fantasies, idealizing anything particularly those of love and relationships with loveteams created out of a certain drama series or a movie.

And as for Filipino sensibilities, the system chose to cultivate in it in regards to literature and the arts rather than going beyond. The typical Filipino being presented by the system rather emphasise heart and conscience, fatalism than mind and rationality to justify things, matters, issues surrounding its own and the society belonged, and most Filipino fiction, even those of trying hard science fiction end up emphasising the usual Filipino psyche instead of lessening,  although there were few writers, artists who had least going beyond the psyche or picky enough.



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Movies, such as "Magic to Love" for example, had used both science fiction in the form of Martin Nievera as Zerox and storybook fantasy of Matet de Leon as Twinkle, but its emphasis seemed to be those of love of Zerox, fell in love with a Mannequin named RTW (role taken by Pops Fernandez), and brought her to life by a crystal an extraterrestrial had brought. The movie seemed to be had a cult following especially with the Quezon Memorial being turned into a rocketship, and like any other 80s cult classic includes a song and dance number, and a series of comedic skit.


But, there were movies that aren't really too emphasised on Filipino sensibility in regards to Science Fiction, but instead adapting both western and Filipino ideas with the former much being used a la "The Twilight Zone", "GodZilla" or "Ultra Q"."Tuko sa Madre Kakaw", which was made in 1959 was influenced by western science fiction novels and movies, and even adapted the Mad Scientist type with Vic Diaz taking its role. There he had created a serum that could increase animals its size into giant-like, one of which was a tockay gecko that had scared people, a monster made by a mad scientist hell bent in dreams of world domination.

To most people, these two may consider as science fiction although this writer, personally may think of the latter as much related to science fiction citing the usual suspense, and emphasis on science used by the west. Much more that the Filipino back then, leaning to the west as an inspiration, had tried to emulate western sensibilities "with a touch of Filipinoness" like rural settings, traditions, even animals that are being used by Vic Diaz. The former, on the other hand, was all but typical in most Filipino movies citing song and dance numbers, love affairs, comedic skits, anything in common with others taking "children's interest" as alibi for most producers, or all as but a continuation of Filipino cinema, particularly those of comedy as same as those of theatre during the old days with songs, dances, love teams largely being featured.


"So this is why Filipinos prefer to write fantasy? 
To dwellth in an imagined past?" 

Both scifi and fantasy are idealistic, based on man's vivid or exaggerated imagination, that in turn inspired by the realities brought by mysticism or technology. The Philippines and experienced both based in its comic books, movies and tv shows being shown, but Cimafranca seemed right to say that Filipinos are more contented in fantasy, that most Filipino sensibilities are inclined with the past than those of the future, of myths rather than machines, of conscience rather than rationality. 

But despite the message, does it mean people had to content on what is usually being shown? Particularly those of heavy drama if not family-oriented brouhaha? The west had afford to bring modernity to the world yet the Philippines, despite having modern this, modern that, façades of glass and steel, rather content in its age old idea (since it is inherent "allegedly"), if not acquired ones such as submitting to the wishes of the west and its so-called wonder (actually, it is!) How wonder that this writer sees people contented in wholesale westernization and yet in regards to making Science Fiction still having much difficulty, much more that they fail having efforts in emphasising technology, industrialization, and innovation to hasten certain major changes in the society.

But come to think of this, does it mean that in showing such programs in national televsion everyone is all but contented in those programs and genre? Does it mean science fiction is incompatible with some, if not all Filipino sensibilities? Not all things shown in mainstream media (and presented by the system) are idealizations, but merely an exaggeration if not a negation of an idea supposedly espoused particularly based from an existing reality such as haciendas and peasant struggle. Coco Martin's "Ikaw Lamang" is far from Robert Arevalo's "Sakada" despite having the same setting and idealization of social reality as widened gap between the rich and poor. Mainstream media, actually, had emphasise an idealized past as writers of long ago had romanticized those being borrowed from the west and having it adapted into Filipino setting, why on earth Francisco Balagtas romanticize the Greeks and Turks, Persians, instead of Filipinos in "Florante at Laura"? No offense, but the inherent culture of the Filipinos had leaned towards an idealized past where aspirations are full of, but those aspirations are also the ones ought to realize in a supposed future. Tuko sa Madre Kakaw is also another example of applying then-modern SciFi into Filipino setting, a mad scientist formulating serum and had it applied on a tockay gecko that made the latter turned into a giant.

But again, some, if not few people in the field of arts and culture have the idea, willingness, imagination to make something that is geared to the future if not to the present itself. Realistically speaking, some, rather than all Filipino sensibilities would be applied if there's a Filipino Science Fiction that has to be done. Furthermore, it takes a lot of time, maybe days, weeks, months, years for the people to understand the ideas geared for the present and the future, or let's just say "break away with old ideas" in pursuit of marching towards supposed progress. 

Anyways, like others concerned, this writer also loves science fiction the way he likes fantasy and alternate history.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Accept yourself as the white man's burden!

"Accept yourself as the white man's burden!"

Or all after seeing protests and side comments about Obama's visit
and the same old mendicant foreign policy in the Philippines



"Itak sa Puso ni Mang Juan"
by Antipas Delotavo


It was weeks ago when news about Obama's planned visit to the Philippines created an aura of promise to most Filipinos yearning for green cards, visa, and even the Philippines to be a 51st state in order to have its subjects given food stamps and welfare.

Mostly in a form of comments about "need to have US bases in the Philippines", "US aid against China", up to "Philippines as a 51st state" and a variety of comments yearning for green cards and calling for American help against corrupt personages in the bureaucracy, those people commenting seemed to be sick and tired of being bullied by a bigger entity (or they're just numb), if not tired of having an independent nation and wanting for a generous bully to occupy instead as if it can provide anything from its taxpayers in the mainland. 
The latter, mostly from the middle class had kept on ridiculing Obama just like Bush, Clinton, and Reagan for having foreign, rather than domestic policies being prioritized time and again; they had even initiated actions such as the radically-charged "Occupy Wall Street" or the conservative "Tea Party" whose emphasis as about where were their taxes go? Or whose war are they fighting for? And a dozen of questions pointing against a trigger happy, mpney squandering order.

But despite seeing events coming from the American mainland, "Little brown Americans" living in that goddamn 7,107 isles rather disregard those issues inside and felt contented at the usual presentation what U.S. is all about: "prosperity", "freedom", "happiness", "modernity", "security", anything frequently shown in mainstream television, newspapers, and in the internet. Movies like "Spiderman" is much appreciated by Filipinos for it is American not because it carries lessons in life like "with great power comes great responsibility", and with that quote Filipinos as a nation should have the responsibility to act collectively "for there's power in it", yet instead they chose to get contented in relying on a bigger entity, as if that bigger entity can commit agreements seriously and beyond iterest.

But come to think of this, despite all the modernity being presented by Uncle Sam does it mean Uncle Sam can generously provide support for free in its former subjects? If so, then how come there are most Ameriasian children who haven't given child support from their estranged fathers nor the Balangiga bells not been returned? Much more that the reef at Tubbataha haven't been rehabilitated other than having the ship just dismantled and left without any payment, and other issues related to both America and the Philippines?

Perhaps in reading their pleas on social media sites and in online newspapers made this writer say that right was the statements of Americans during the occupation. Guised as benevolent assimilators and putting Filipinos on the track of Civilization and progress, all despite their so-called contributions they do have a large share of bullshit against their "little brown subjects."

Looking back in history, Americans justified occupation using the terms of the "Treaty of Paris", with Spain giving up Puerto Rico and the Philippines for a million dollars. These two countries, like Cuba, had also fighting for independence due to the repression such as forced labor, tribute, and taxes. And these countries had looked at the United States as an example of a once colonial subject struggled for freedom.

However, did the United States reaffirm on those two countries as a liberator? Nope, they care about interests. Even today they use agreements regarding the status of Asia Pacific region as means to protect their interests just like during the cold war. Peace through Strength is also one example of flexing military supremacy against others such as Russia, China, or even Europe; making the United States unofficially described as an international superman, a world police of sorts.


And behind those efforts lies subjugation and slander. An average American soldier is trained to kill, much more in dehumanizing a community citing order as its reference.
In a book entitled "Turn of the Century", Felice Sta. Maria explained how the colonizers had described their subjects fighting for independence s ingrate, if not barbaric. In fact, these colonizers were inspired by Rudyard Kipling's "White Man's Burden" to justify subjugating Filipinos, and it had helped "prompt a comparison of Filipinos with other conquered peoples, particularly black Africans."

Oscar King Davis, a New York Sun special correspondent wrote about the beliefs of the common American volunteer in regards to Filipinos, and most of it are racially charged out of just misunderstanding or ignorant about their newly occupied territory:

"The Americans did not understand the native's language, customs or beliefs. They called the natives 'niggers' and treated them as such."

Yes, these people really don't understand or simply just acting superior in regards to their subjects, and even today Davis's statement remains as Filipinos been redescribed negatively from time to time regardless of its contribution such as Pacquiao with his boxing stint or Efren Peñaflorida as an educator. Some, if not most westerners are basing much on racial superiority that made Filipinos endure countless slander. Filipinas for example, being described as "rice dolls", "prostitutes", "exotic beings" being fantasized by a western pervert at the streets of Olongapo and Angeles city, that back then acted as "rest and recreation" sites.

How about the statement of Stuart C. Miller in his "Trans-Action" article "Our Mylai of 1900"? That statement is somehow not been discussed in both Filipino and American history circles nor even written in history books about the perception of American occupiers over Filipinos and proposals involving the Philippines itself as a territory:

"General A.G. Greenwood even suggested that after the (Filipino-American) war, the United States could solve its racial dilemma by colonizing the Philippines with African blacks who could mix with the 'Filipino niggers'."

For sure most Filipinos are quite ignorant about what General Greenwood, Correspondent Jose de Olivares, or even an average volunteer during the Philippine-American war think about the Filipinos. No matter how bred you are in an American way, singing RnB, love to watch NBA, and demanding green cards or any other American-style bullshit, these people from the good old U.S of A still think about their matters as more of their interest in regards to relations with the Philippines.
Yes, they provide you with state of the art this and that but does it mean these are affordable or for free? How many years did the average Filipino who yearned for green cards paid taxes with its large chunk allocated to debt servicing? Worse, the system demand loans, loans, and more loans than be self reliant and act independent as a nation-state! Right was what Kipling to say about "the white man's burden" in today's setting seeing middle class "moochers" (sorry Ayn Rand) crying for the stars and stripes, green cards and possibly doleouts! Right was the racially charged statements, its just that people are acting blind, deaf, ignorant, stupid about these inconvenient truths as they're contented in convenient lies and illusions presented by today's media. Do they want the Philippines to become 51st state? If so, then they should accept themselves as in par with the minorities than the whites they loved to admire with, with all the papaya whitening lotions, or glutathione supplements compromising their colour! They should even think that most had yearned not just green cards but doleouts and foodstamps that made taxpayers in mainland be burdened! They should even remember that racially-charged individuals like Greenwood had wanted to turn Philippines into a ghetto and at the same time exploiting natural resources, a garden and a gold mine just like from 1900 to 1946!

Or to sum it all, these people, regardless of their social status yet yearning for stars and stripes wanted to become a white man's burden, full of illusions such as the latter as a generous overlord, not knowing that it is the same generous overlord who chose to confront others (like Europe, Middle East) while its own daughter (Philippines) raped at the backroom. Having US bases or presence of US troops doesn't even provide strength for a subject country more than providing fuel and supplies to the occupier, and the bullets? Tanks, and planes? Second hand junk presented as modern by mainstream media and state-sponsored propaganda, why on earth a coast guard cutter be called as a Navy warship? Is that what they call modernization or help? No! A mockery! It even depends on the president if he/she wants to support you, Ron Paul had ran for the presidency, but he is also the same Ron Paul who opposed the war! Paleoconservatives in the Republican party like Pat Buchanan also opposed interventionism citing the US's supposed stance as neutral in regards to foreign affairs, and expect fanboys living in 7,107 isles changing their minds in reagrds to their actions if not still stubbornly crying for help failing to understand this. 

Anyways, Most people who had loved Yankees still preferred to be blind and deaf despite acting sought and heard about what goes on in their society. Recto is, rather than was right to say about his country rather having a foreign policy that is mendicant, an inconvenient truth clothed in a lie that is called support and alliance.

Of two poems made last March

Of two poems made last March


It was last month when this writer had made these two set of poems.

Made last March 8 and at the following day, this writer had revisited his interest in making poems as a respite all after making a series of writeups if not sketching and wandering around searching for an idea. Obviously, poetry is one of his favorite interest although most of his friends and colleagues in the struggle love to see his sketches instead.

However, unlike his earlier poems, seems that the two reminds of a primary school textbook paragraphs searching for rhyming words at the end. This writer should had thanked the author of that textbook whose paragraphs in a poem served as its basis on those two works made for a respite.

Here it goes:



"All after the love month"

Perhaps the one from the all steel church cares.

And this writer is thankful despite all odds trying to spare.

Some may ought to criticize and gave a different suggestion.

Yet obviously doesn't understand how come this being chose that person?

Despite recalling the hell of others that had left a tremeandous wreck

That person cares, tends wounds, and leaves a heart in check.

Whom bring joys that is beyond the parameters of love

To a love trying to be meaningful like no other from below nor above

Yes it may deemed assuming seeing events and anything

But come to think of this, how come one afford to act so true unlike the other whom assume for something?

That somehow for this being felt happy like the other yesterday.

Leaving blossoms as a token what someone's heart ought convey.



"Tempted!"

Seems that the shadows tempted this person

And end suffer in his delusions

Senses darkened by temptations

Casted by hidden voices creating anger and accusations

Had trying to restrict and making a mind close

Yet still end up endless remorse

Yes, this person gone sinned, mind in distress

That in the end in cold depths of hell suffered from his mess

All started back then when that being was young

What a good mind he has yet turns out foolishness unsung

Of praises and anger, rewards threats had knew

Lies the dark thought overcome the bright as he grew

So strange that from the first successes comes succeeding failures

Of pain and unlikely sounds trying to lie low through the ears

Yes, this person gone sinned, mind in distress

That in the end in cold depths of hell suffered from his mess

Thursday, 24 April 2014

"Greens" again

"Greens" again




It was long long long months ago when this writer had visited Greens Vegetarian restaurant and cafe.

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Again, known for its vegetarian food and organic goods, this writer had again felt enticed to visit that said restaurant and ordered his favorite shepherd's pie.

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Consists of boiled brocoli, cauliflower, zucchini, corn kernels, baguio beans, carrots, chayote, mushrooms, red and green bell peppers, peas in creamy sauce, and topped with mashed potato, that food had made this writer of the well known "woolton pie" of world war II, that was no meat and mostly vegetables, topped with mashed potato and served during wartime Britain.

Although it costs 120 pesos, still affordable just like the times this writer had visited the establishment. Other than that, there's the unforgettable combo meal that costs 80 pesos but this writer rather chose to order his Shepherd's pie since his favorite Pastel de Vegetal haven't been prepared.



With Enya being played and settings still garden-like, of cocosugar, cans of veggie meat and essential products from Alonto's "Human Nature" being sold to its costumers, Greens somehow made this writer again going beyond his pickiness in eating food such as vegetables.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

"Sacrifice"

"Sacrifice"

Or all after hearing Aquino's holy week message 
and seeing the real sacrifice of those 
really yearned for Justice



It was yesterday, April 16 when President Aquino reminded Filipinos to reflect on the "supreme sacrifice" of Jesus Christ who had "offering his life to save mankind" by encouraging Filipinos, as Christians, also to make sacrifices for the greater good of the nation. The message seemed to be factual that everyone should endure the hardship, sacrifice all for the sake of righteousness the Philippines should lean towards to.

However, to most, if not all people, those words seemed to be far different from the reality, such as a system that had failed to uplift the people, if not a President who seemed lazy or just intentionally aloof to heed the voice of those who yearned for justice. The supreme sacrifice had somehow realized by long queues at the LRT, MRT stations, of increasing prices yet low wages, of farmers still facing age old feudal relations and the rising ranks of unemployed difficultly seeking employment. The system whom presented as righteous is all but a rhetoric fell mostly in the intentionally aloof populace who thinks that the system did nothing except false pride and nonsense.

True to say about sacrifice, frugality, simplicity, and devotion to the people so as to serve God. But in reality, despite the message what President Aquino and his clique stated, people had sacrificed much just to see the system rather enjoying in the hardships of the common man. Issues such as the Pork Barrel Scam exposed how taxes being paid by everyone had end up used by those who self gratify while seeing unpaved roads, incomplete projects, a slow mass transport system, and even insufficient air conditioning in the summer that compels Aquino and Petilla to apologise! Sacrifice as according to the system, but why apologise?

And how about the rich whom should paying taxes greater than those who are being ordered to pay in the orders of Henares? Had the Ayalas, Sys, Tans, and other compradores and oligarchs still pay less yet benefiting more from the hardships of those who had worked in their establishments? How come the latter remained repressed regardless of the so-called development being presented? Is it also meant sacrifice for the greater good? Or the "greater good" of the Oligarchs controlling the system?

Right was the statement of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, as it says:

"The Lord grieves over the rich, because they find their consolation in the abundance of goods." Let the proud seek and love earthly kingdoms, but blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven." Abandonment to the providence of the Father in heaven frees us from anxiety about tomorrow. Trust in God is a preparation for the blessedness of the poor. They shall see God."

But that blessing will realize with the actions of the people yearning for real social Justice. As the inconvenient reality lies in this, according to James 5:4, said:

"Behold, the wages you withheld from the workers who harvested your fields are crying aloud, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts."

As 90% of Filipinos, "hunger" and "thirst" had been their daily bread and wine, that repression is just and being oppressed, bled dry or screaming in pain is a blessing, but how about the system who had afford to say about sacrifice yet seeing them gorging in wine, eating flesh squandering the hardships of the people day by day? Yes, behold anything the system witheld from the disposessed, repressed masses who for centuries who are also being fooled! So much for religious statements the system had afford to use in their propaganda alongside posters of various politicians calling for "forgiveness and reconciliation", not knowing that the Christ they had worshipped is a rebel who stood against the prevailing order whom tolerates oppression, discrimination, injustice, anything what the lord see as filth. He is the same Christ whom had forcibly evicted the vendors from the temple, of healing and forgiving those who had been abhorred, of feeding those who are hungry, and even urging everyone to fraternize with the oppressed. These examples are contrary to what the system whose leader had afford to say about sacrifice and Jesus Christ himself.

And since the President had afford to say sacrifice like those of Jesus, is it directly being told to the victims of Yolanda wherein being treated like waste and given spoiled rice from the Social Welfare Department? To the People enduring the long crowded lines in every LRT and MRT stations? The unemployed and those at the picketlines like Pentagon steel? To the victims of forced evacuations at Mindanao? To the homeless after being forced evicted at Sitio San Roque months ago? These people had sacrificed for days, weeks, months yet despite their hardships imposed, these people had rather gone tired, rather than contented, of what this writer think of as forced contentment. Marx would been right to say that the establishment had treated religion as a holy water that consecrates the eucharist yet at the same time having bloody, if not soiled hands of repression and injustice.

When will people, particularly those on high realize that they had failed to do righteousness and justice? Again, as is writer said earlier, people had remained hungry, thirsty, dispossessed, ill for days, weeks all regardless of the statements and pseudo-actions primarily made to save face in midst of controversy and currying attention. And these same people had still demanding the impossible, a realization of an aspiration that is left in paper and nearly lost for generations.

Yes. They're still carrying their crosses, enduring the wind, scorching heat and sudden rain, but that road they're traversing isn't the road what the system had promoted as "righteous", but a path that somehow really leads them to freedom and justice.

Friday, 11 April 2014

"Again, to the newly unemployed And to those who chose to workdifferent From their respective or supposed professions"

"Again, to the newly unemployed 
And to those who chose to work different 
From their respective or supposed professions"

(A message to the so-called "graduates")



At first, this message is not made to those who had finished, but also those who had stopped and chose to deal things unconventionally in pursuit of success. In other words, not all people whom became successful had undergone the conventions yet least trying to have their aspirations realized in a series of sacrifices especially in a fast-changing world.

Seemed quite happy to most people that their sons and daughters had finished their years of hardships in the four corners of the classroom. Most had carried their diplomas, some with medals and trophies, products of their successes, tassels from their caps moved from left to right and singing their farewell songs, leaving memories in form of pictures, videos, and status messages with tomorrow as new found professionals bigger entities waited with promises of big cash.

However, despite all the rejoicing as graduates, this writer would say to them that they are the newly unemployed.  Sorry to say so, but most, if not all of them had waited in long queues for a high paying job regardless of not related to their respective profession. Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), if not a series of rackets had least "saved them" knowing on the other hand that they have limited terms to observe with such as in their contracts. Time and again had to renew so to speak and few would get lucky to become regular employess, that again, different from their respective professions. 

That somehow made this writer think that they're no different from those who haven't finish yet damn, how come they had good cash after working in the BPO sector if not in a series of rackets? Hence, instead of being professional according to their titles and licenses, they are semiproletarians unnoticingly. 
With some knowledge some would afford to have business or using their skill in a craft such as a mechanic; in fact, there were once engineering students who happened to became mechanics dealing with maintaining engines and industrial stuff, these people may had least practise their profession regardless of being stopped from their schooling. There are even some whom taking entrepreneurial skill, or even working freelance such as in writing, that considerably improve their pockets and at the same time challenging with today's crisis same as those who had citations and licenses.

But, there are also those whom chose to go beyond money and taking lives into service. In medicine, there were barefoot physicians whom using some ideas in the field of medicine had saved lives in the countryside where little or no medical support being reached, their expertise in saving lives are at least at par to those who had afford to finish medicine and licensed; ironically, the latter, especially those who had chose to serve the people faithfully had afford to train them: from circumcizing male children to handling gunshot wounds after a surgery, sharing their knowledge and understanding about their profession using simple terms and common language of the masses.

But despite all these successes, still most people rather cling to the tradition of titles that to theirs meant privileges. Once, in a book this writer had read years ago stated that college levels back then are meant to train students to much higher one, particularly those with licenses such as law, medicine, engineering and the priesthood. Journalism would had been treated as a prelaw course back then, so was accounting. And regardless of finishing such preparatory college courses it was treated as none other than an undergrad as most parents before still cling to the licenses on courses this writer had stated. You cannot teach college if you haven't take a master's degree nor becoming a doctor if you haven't take up nursing or biochemistry as a preparatory course. And speaking of licenses as privileges this writer would say that "if having a license, diploma, or any citation means success, then how about others who chose to deal things unconventionally in pursuit of success?"

How come Zuckerberg or Bill Gates became successful? How come Blas Ople became a minister, senator, diplomat? Both of them are dropouts, but they have the wit and imagination to fulfill their duties such as making Facebook, Microsoft happen or making Philippines active in foreign affairs. It's just that in this Philippines' own inherent culture emphasises titles, and titles meant licenses, privileges yet how about those who chose to be unconventional yet moral? This so-called modern world everyone appreciates of includes leveling those who have and have nots in the playing field of reality, that, sorry to say here in the Philippines that, there are those who had finished college (including those who had licenses) also worked with those who had stopped college in call centres, if not becoming self-emplyed freelancers. Much more that both of them, regardless of their differences had least having same wage and living standards as so-called young professionals. 

In other words, anything seemed contrary to the usual mindset that only those who had afford to finish are the ones who had the right to deserve a future, yet there are those who aren't yet having enough wit and courage to become successful, sharing the same future as those who had passed their respective degrees.

No offense to most graduates whom cling to their concept of tradition and standards, just that this writer and other saw there are others who chose to go beyond titles and licenses yet becoming successful as those who had afford to finish. Yet sadly, despite the so-called improvements in education system the dictates of the market had urged most to take courses that are in demand by most companies or agencies with promises of good payment than according to both their passions and the demands of the society, worse, to see education system, aside from becoming a mere moneymaking scheme (thanks to commercialization) being geared the Filipino youth to become mere employees, peons of bigger entities than masters of their fate.

And those who deal things unconventionally are different ftom those who are intentionally chose to stop for the heck of it. Zuckerberg is different from those who take computer engineering and taking it easy like playing computer games. 

But regardless of the differences between those who had marched and those who aren't yet came successful in their respective professions and crafts, It had shown how history has proved the remarkable achievements, given good contributions made in the fields of education and culture both by state and private universities and colleges in the Philippines and even around the world. For, when properly conducted and guided by the aspirations of the people than those of the market, lies a good store of advantage especially in pursuit of national development and social change. Ideally, education has to go beyond the just tradition of titles and licenses embedded in the mindsets of most people, and in pursuit of real development should emphasise perseverance, practise and artistry as basis of becoming a well rounded invididual destined to the call of times.



Getting high out of bean curd and gluten: the vegetarian food experience

Getting high out of bean curd and gluten: 
the vegetarian food experience


It was way back last year when this writer had experienced eating vegetarian food.

Originally used to be picky when it comes to eating vegetables, this writer, out curiousity and looking for something different to eat, had experienced eating good vegetarian food in two of the restaurants he had visited: QuanYinChay vegeatrian food garden at Chinatown and Greens Vegetarian Restaurant at Scout Castor, Quezon City.

In fact, prior to eating at those restaurants, this writer's father, along with his family (including yours truly) nearly attempted to eat vegetarian food at Bodhi somewhere in Tutuban centremall in Divisoria, Manila. He thought that the restaurant served just chinese food, only to turn down and left just knowing that the food being served are consists of vegetables and mock, rather than actual meat in that restaurant. 
Tsk, it would take years after for this writer to recapture the taste of a different kind of cuisine. Especially during his spiritual experience at Hare Krishna where vegetarian Prasadam (holy food) being served aside from playing kartals and some stint in playing harmonium. He had once asked where does those food being bought? Only to answer later in this writeup.


Greens Vegetarian Restaurant

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Known for its garden-like ambiance and its chill setting, Greens served a variety of vegetarian meals with meat made of gluten or soya, and most of the customers were those of petitbourgeois wanting to have a healthy lifestyle, if not religious ones, such as the Hare Krishna and its strict adherence to vegetarianism.

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It was last year when this writer, once worked as an office staff, had usually ate meals there especially during lunch and early dinner; other than seeing the good ambiance and listening to its taped guitar music, he orders the mouth watering meals like "Pastel de Vegetal" or "Shepherd's Pie" (obviously looks like the WW2-era "Woolton pie") along with java rice and some cold tea.

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Quite affordable though their serving this writer usually eats on that resto, although their combo meal, consists of the meal of the day, and usually served during lunch time costs 90 pesos yet just like the usual food he orders, enough to fill a stomach yearning for gluten, soya, and vegetables rather than the usual meat this writer eats at home. Greens also sell coconut sugar, tofu chips, canned veggie meat, wheatgrass and other organic items vegans and vegetarians love.

And somehow those times this writer seemingly love the good taste thanks to the cooks and others behind that one of a kind restaruant. Meanwhile, this writer's friends were allegedly partying at its next door neighbour, a bistro playing club music and drinking liquor. Contrasting!


QuanYinChay vegetarian food garden

During his Chinatown journey comes with this writer again reviving his taste for vegetarian food such as visiting QuanYinChay vegetarian food garden at Ongpin st.


Just like Greens, QuanYinChay serve good vegetarian food, with its customers mainly consists of Chinese buddhists if not Hare Krishna adherents or those whom curious enough to eat foods rich in vegetables and mock meat, be it may Chicken, Beef or Pork yet made out of soyameat and gluten.


However, the difference lies in the simplicity of the setting. Quite simple, humble yet pleasing as compared to the classy, homey appearance of Greens, but despite the differences between the two restaurants still lies the same interest in serving good vegetarian food: they do have combo meals as well that costs 80 pesos served with rice and a glass of hot tea.


Also in QuanYinChay he had experienced drinking German-made KinderBier known as "Malz" (malt beverage similar to beer but not undergone fermentation, hence no alcohol), and renewing his interest in drinking Herbal cooling tea just like during his freshman years in college.

This writer's friends may had not yet visiting the restaurant despite eating with yours truly at the well known estero. Obviously, they may not take interest in eating the food this writer had enjoyed out of curiousity. Speakingp of Hare Krishna peeps earlier, QuanYinChay seemed to be the place where they bought their Prasadam if they had no time cooking. It is also the same place where they, as well as other vegetarians buy their gluten, soyameat, mushroom-based "oyster" sauce, even vegetarian noodles, soup base and even Mogu Mogu nata de coco drink aside from Malz and Long Wo Kat Herbal cooling Tea!


Conclusion

Both Greens and QuanYinChay made this writer having developed good taste in vegetarian cuisine. The classy, homey appearance of Greens brought the urge to eat so was the sacredness of QuanYinChay. The latter, true to its name of the Goddess of mercy had called everyone regardless of faiths to eat foods brought by earth and bring compassion, mercy to the beasts whom mankind think of as food such as pigs, chicken, or cattle. 
But come to think of this, since there are those whom had chose to stop eating meat had also created alternatives to their supposed craving. Soya for instance resulted to bean curd and its "skins" brought Soyameat; wheat brought gluten and in it also became their meat to eat upon. Be it may faux pork, chicken, beef yet still made out of wheat or soyabean and quite taste good. 

Admittingly speaking, seemed quite strange for this writer, who used to be picky in regards to eating food had afford to eat veggies and mock meat from those two restaurants he had visited. Unlike his father whom really don't like vegetarian food (for they are mainly consists vegetables and no meat so to speak), this writer had least trying to go beyond pickiness when it comes to eating vegetables. 

Obviously, he would say that there are meals that are good to be eaten and be described as delicious yet there are those that seemingly unpalatable and hence doesn't like eating it. Just be careful in preparing and make it palatable.

***

Greens Vegetarian Restaurant and Cafe is located at 92 Sct. Castor St., Quezon City 1103 with telephone no. (02) 415 4796

Quanyinchay Vegetarian Food Garden is located at 821 Masangkay St Binondo, Manila with telephone no. (02) 243-3356.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

BIDA: Revisiting one of Arroyo's failed propaganda

BIDA: Revisiting one of Arroyo's failed propaganda





A cartoon, government program, foundation, partylist.

It was 2003 when the state-controlled National Broadcasting Network broadcasted one of its programs associated with the (in)famous Arroyo regime. Other than the "Working President", "Krusada Kontra Krimen" ("Crusade against Crime"), they afford to broadcast a cartoon entitled "BIDA" or "Batang Iwas Droga" (Kids against Drugs).
At first, this writer seemed to be revisiting one of the government's failed propaganda stint. Initially became successful yet end marred by its controversy, BIDA had used children as its tool of support for the failing regime regardless of the organization behind as a private, non-profit, foundation; but the man behind BIDA, Efraim Genuino of PAGCOR had been known as a staunch Arroyo ally and hence using government funds in its program.




That, according to this writer would say as desperate, especially with its cartoon that had no cult audience (unless you are a diehard Arroyo supporter) compared to other Filipino cartoons such as "Barkada Trip."


Lucy, Victor, Mindo
Named after Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao

Background
 
Founded by BIDA Foundation and one of the propaganda of the past Arroyo regime, BIDA was created by the team of some Filipino animators and sponsored by PAGCOR or Philippine Amusement & Gaming Corporation (with Efraim Genuino as its chairman), GSIS or Government Service Insurance System, and PCSO or Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. At frist, BIDA was a 13-episode cartoon series shown at then-NBN 4 that tells about encouraging youth on how to fight and avoid drug abuse. But to some viewers, another showcase of Philippine animation that is crudely made (unless that animator used to work for Disney or Hanna Barbera).
 
And like earlier Filipino-made cartoons such as "Panday" and "Darna", or even "Barkada Trip" of Chibibo Toons, BIDA had tried to claim audience particularly to the youth, yet it had rather attained least small audience if not consists of kids coming from public schools. 

The first animated BIDA series tells about three orphan kids who gained powers in order to fight against drug abuse. Their names represented based on Philippine archipelago names- Luzon,Visayas, and Mindanao. The first child was named Lucy, from Luzon, wears a yellow suit and carrying a sash, as well as having abilities similar to gymnastics; Victor-a Visayan child wears a blue suit and has a yoyo as its weapon; and last one, Mindo-young boy from Mindanao wears a red suit with arnis as his weapon. Together, with the help of their mentor known as the Chairman (based from BIDA founder, Efraim Genuino) took a campaign against drug abuse led by a drug lord along with his minions whose intention is to corrupt the minds of children through the use of illegal drugs. 

But, other than the cartoon, BIDA had again created another set of characters, this time for a comic books being marketed to the young audience. The characters consists of Michael, Andrew, Jenny, Lenlen and Macmac. The picture at the top depicted the second wave of BIDA characters aside from the earlier Lucy, Victor, and Mindo. 

The campaign, sponsored by the Department of Education (aside from then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo) had initially became successful with its public school tours, targeting around 140,000 students (mostly from primary school level), in order to push its message and encourage children to be involved in arts, sports, and other forms of self-expression (again, against drug abuse) according to Genuino's BIDA Foundation. 
The caravans, also became known as "BIDA Sa Eskwela" had reached Close to 300 schools, mainly in Metro Manila, Cavite, and Laguna during the Arroyo regime. It had even recruited close to 700,000 students to join its BIDA Kids' Club, with its several marketing paraphernalia, including shirts, caps, and mugs that bear BIDA characters to reinforce its message. And with its "widespread popularity" (allegedly so to speak) towards public school children, it also became known for its most successful and publicized event known as the "Grand BIDA March" being held at Luneta last 21 March 2009, wherein one million participants, mainly children obliged from public schools from Metro Manila and surrounding provinces had attended the event, earning it a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “Largest March Against Drug Abuse.”


A government-sponsored propaganda 
that also failed

But despite the successes presented by BIDA Foundation and the program itself, people rather think of it largely as one of the government's own propaganda courtesy of ex-President Arroyo, Funded by Government agencies PAGCOR and PCSO, and broadcasted at NBN-4 every Saturday. The cartoon seemed quite trying hard though to replicate those from its neighbours especially those of Japan, if not the United States with its superhero-ish effect, yet still end crudely made regardless of having both digital and traditional animation being used for the program. According to Batang Rizal, it stated that looking back to it’s animation style, it seemed that it went bad or sometimes jerky especially when it comes to stop motion and fighting scenes as compared to the well-known Ghost Fighter or Virtua Hunter.

Much more that they had even tried to utilize ancient Filipino glyphs just to invoke Filipino-ness as its main source of power on those three kids acting as protagonists fighting against drugs, and supported by none other than Chairman Genuino, in a cartoon form on that late afternoon to evening show. People would still deem him as "Epal" or "Attention stealer" no wonder just like his boss whom frequently shown during commercial breaks of PCSO.

And since it was broadcasted in a government station would say that the program and the project itself was largely connected to the regime (with one of the sponsors a well known Arroyo ally) to support various government projects (that includes Arroyo's personality cult), using anti-drug abuse as its topic with children as its target audience. Yes, it had obliged children to join BIDA, to march in its parade, to wear caps, having bags and stuff for the sake of grades through participation in government-sponsored activities regardless of its animation far from the animés usually being watched by these kids. 

But despite their efforts, it had end failed with its program being cancelled, the foundation had even became an object of controversy with PAGCOR and Chairman Genuino implicated in charges related to the use of Government funds in the campaign, as well as other issues such as funding of the movie "Baler".


Using the foundation for different transactions
Failed attempt to join politics, 
Controversies surrounding BIDA

No wonder that in a foundation or any other organization heavily sponsored by the corrupt government couldn't escape people's ridicule. That, with Efraim Genuino, BIDA, and even PAGCOR being implicated in issues involving misuse of government funds, if not trying to use the foundation for political purposes. Just like the latest issue involving misuse of government funds by pseudo-NGOs, it is possible for a government official, particularly of a higher-ranking one and at the same time running over a private non-profit foundation to circumvent laws in pursuit of self-interest, especially in handling government funds using programs and activities as its pretext.

 As according to Kirby Garlitos

  "The Philippines’ Commission on Audit has come down hard on ex PAGCOR CEO Efraim Genuino over what it deemed as mis-using government funds to buy, of all things, movie tickets. Genuino, together with eight former PAGCOR officials, have been ordered by the COA to return Php26.7 million, money the group used to buy 89,000 tickets for the movie “Baler” back in 2008. According to the COA, the Genuino-led group had no authority to splurge the government funds for freakin’ movie tickets because the Pagcor charter prohibits use of its funds for activities like the one Genuino’s administration cooked up leading to the release of the movie. Back then, the tickets were purchased for the purpose of distributing them to 12 PAGCOR casino branches with the remittances reportedly made payable to Genuino’s Batang Iwas Droga (BIDA) Foundation Inc."

In other words, Genuino and PAGCOR had used BIDA for transactions that used government money, and hence subjected to controversy.

It had even attempted to use BIDA for political purposes. That, other than "Batang Iwas Droga", it also became known as Binigkis na Interes ng mga Drayber sa Adhikain Inc. (According to the group Kontra Daya) Sharing the same purpose and at the same time expanding to other sectors such as drivers. 
The appeal may be populist, but isn't it obvious that a supposed program, like others supported by the government end as political groups such as from an organization of allegedly 700,000 primary school students end speaking on behalf of drivers? Did BIDA, in its attempt as a partylist allegedly supporting drivers had once supported anti cartel laws or advocating the control of oil prices? Or just one of the supporters of the Arroyo bloc trying to maintain in its last gasp last 2010? 

One would remember that there were partylists whose representatives weren't representing their so-called sectors, instead trying to keep firm as bureaucrats, a typical traditional politician whose populist appeal tries to negate issues surrounding its own- particularly those that are deem immoral and sinful in the eyes of the common people. BIDA originally meant to be a program on behalf of children and communities opposing drug abuse like the Citizen's Drug Watch of Ernesto Hererra, or even the failed "Mamamayan Ayaw sa Droga" (MAD) that once led by Richard Gomez. 

 But like MAD, it became an object of controversy especially that it was conceived as a government-sponsored program and not of a political organization. Government officials turned politicians may had tried turning such programs, especially those of anti-crime into sectoral groups allegedly representing the semi-proletariat yet obviously doesn't even create nor lobby for laws that really represent the sector ought to benefit for; but instead, a show off if not a front representing the former president as BIDA and others were largely connected to the past regime, hence a bloc.


Conclusion

Like any other propaganda made by the government and shown in stations like PTV, this writer would say that they had took effort in presenting things to the people, whether it tackles about anti-drugs, rice production, anti-terrorism, health, and others the government took interest much. Some may had initial successes while others end failed due to lack of appeal from the people; unless you have to be like Juan Flavier that, in cooperation with fastfood chain Jollibee had to use the latter as vaccination centers; or with Gerry Geronimo in its agricultural programs through his "Ating Alamin."

But as expected, there were programs that end up as lobbying groups if not means to keep in power using a hoge podge of pseudo-platforms and a little dash of populist appeal as what BIDA or any other  program turned organization trying to show to the people. How come an organization whose original intention appeals to children in fighting against drug abuse had end speaking on behalf of drivers without any platform other than what they usually tackle about? Much more that it had wasted government money and being used as a name for transactions using those funds. 

Perhaps, regardless of the group behind BIDA stated as private, non-profit foundation, it will always be remained equated to the regime who acted as its benefactor. 

Friday, 4 April 2014

So "Sacred" in appearance, yet So "Immoral" for Others

So "Sacred" in appearance, 
yet So "Immoral" for Others

The art of Irina Kirkinskaya


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Other than the works of Katkov, this writer had sought the Mediaeval-inspired artworks of Irina Kirkinskaya.

Also featured in another NazBol page, Kirkinskaya had featured both old end new imagery such as those similar to the Carolingan or Byzantine period

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Strange so to speak those artworks especially that it smacks of mediaeval, especially sacred-like imagery for something that is immoral in the eyes of mainstream audience, yet for Kirkinskaya it smacks of reality such as sex, the illusions offered modernity, and people's aspiration for socialism. Below somewhat reminds of a page from a mediaeval book of hours, but instead of the Blessed Virgin and the Saints were Soviet dogs Laika and Strelka, of rocketship Vostok and Sputnik, as well as the flags of the National Bolsheviks carried by a crowd of Toga and Chiton-clad men and women.

Like Justinian one would say that "I had surpassed Solomon" in seeing the wonder that brought Kirkinskaya in illustrating it. The rockets which brought Laika and Strelka into space was one of the fulfillments from a distant past where Icarus and Daedalus had to create wings out of wax in prusuit of escape; the contributions of most scientists had surpassed those whom left its own legacy of making tales about flying such as Jules Verne with its journey to the moon; much more that the hardships of most researchers had turned their contribitions into legends, hence making artists inspired to replicate an aspiration, idea, ambition that had nearly end lost if not exploited by the status quo.

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Or let's just say, quite ContemporAntiquitarian regardless of its controversial depictions Kirkinskaya had made. Trying to fuse contemporary, the folk, the sacred, anything what the artist had sought and felt compelled to create those.

But regardless of its intentions Kirinskaya had conveyed, the status quo, particularly those who are conservative had rather abhor those artworks as immoral especially with its depiction of genitalia if not sex positions coming from humans with animal heads; much more that some, if not most of those who abhor may describe it as satanic in seeing those of the macabre and of the dark, that those artworks had distorted those from the Bible if not the Book of Hours and other religious books made during the Mediaeval era.

Much more for a National Bolshevik that had include the hammer and sickle in that artwork!


But come to think of this, the status quo whom abhors what artists like Kirkinskaya also tolerates its creation, perhaps because they tried to invoke a semblance of Democracy and its basic freedoms trying to invoke with, most artists whom chose to use their craft as a weapon if not a tool to make people critically think and see the reality that made these people having the urge to create those artworks regardless of of controversiality given to by the system. That they want to say that the people are tired of being fucked off by the order whose ideas are trying hard to be those of the people, yet in fact is more of parroting. Call it immoral, call it pornographic, or anything yet how come "The Nude Maja" by Goya, "the circumcision of Jesus" by Fra Angelico, or "David" by Michaelangelo been appreciated? 

Had been looking those artworks same as those this writer took interest upon, these are example that is ContemporAntiquitarian due to these being inspired by mediaeval art (and hence being replicated), if not AgitPop similar to the militant atheists of the Soviet Union during its earlier years as a young proletarian society. Again, the present system may had tolerated those but still it had described by these people most as indecent, immoral, satanic, anything whatsoever just to malign those whose intention is to invoke the sickening reality if not getting inspired from history.