Tuesday, 30 June 2015

More than a rebirth

"More than a Rebirth"

As media continues to praise the efforts of the community in reviving the historic Escolta in Manila, this person rather says that the efforts is more than a rebirth, for Escolta was there alread and it needs a thorough general cleaning.

Most covered in grime and in soot, concerned groups and individuals are rolling up their sleeves, taken up the mop and the bucket, if not bags of cement and trowel to bring back an almost lost masterpiece after decades of being left out by well known companies and institutions alike, that once made that said district known from the early days of American occupation to the early days of the republic. 
But as time goes by, of rapid developments in once barren districts, existing ones are being left out in favour of much "modern" ones developers afford to offer. Negligence, intentional or unintentional, contributes both grime and soot that somehow deteriorates the district's integrity. There are developers willing to take the businesses, but not to develop and improve the existing edifices in favour of just demolishing them, in case of the old Jai Alai, San Lazaro Hippodrome, Sta. Ana Park, and others that brought fame and development in Manila's respective districts.

However, in an era where people having no taste in culture except those of their consumerist fantasies, it seems to be difficult to encourage people to preserve heritage amidst modernity. Yes, most would say that classical art is nonsense, that age old architecture is useless, that anything old is as ugly full of dirt, gime, and soot, all in favour of modern-day clutter fueled by an illusory progress. Ironically, Most wanted to see the grandeur of other well known cities, but how come the more people ought to admire its neighbours the less they look on its own? They do see the beauty of the Napoleon III-era buildings in Paris, but how come the once beauteous Escolta and Sta. Cruz, till the concerned came and afforded to clean, was full of grime and soot? Is the grandeur of the Philippines be limited to those of Intramuros and Vigan, if not Makati or Ortigas? Even some of the buildings that brought development in the latter two districts were also demolished like the old Benguet centre of Locsin, as well as the Monterey Apartment that was once stood as one of Makati's earliest modern buildings. But given the profiteering attitude of most developers, of owners, heritage, no matter how decades old it is, pre or post war, were disregarded as such. 
Sorry to say this, but such inconveniences compels one to give up the good fight, but that person chose not to discontinue for that good fight is more than a series of general cleaning, painting, refurbishing, educating people within and from the outskirts of The City of Manila, that revival is an attempt to bridge both the aspirations of the past and present.  

And yes, it is a difficult task but worth fighting for. It may take several years or even decades to bring back its age-old grandeur as part of reclaiming its heritage being a culto-financial hub, and for sure there are others whom seriously adhere to reclaiming and preserving heritage treated their life's work a "devotion" in bridging the past and the present. After all, why to give up anything that is deeply rooted for an illusory progress that requires demolishing altogether no matter how sturdy or good it was? Decades old indeed, full of grime and soot, but destroying it just because it is ugly and bereft of value and be replaced with another which is plain and also bereft of value (except those of commercialism) is all but a mockery of development the system afforded to brag. What's wrong in having old edifices in that district anyway? The decades-old El Hogar remained closed and its neighbour, the former head office of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation became a mere warehouse. Lucky for these two edifices since they are threatened to be destroyed by scrupulous developers all for the sake of building "modern, high-rise" buildings yet saved by those whom really concerned about the value of these edifices made decades ago, with the El Hogar made during the early days of the American occupation. Meanwhile, its other neighbour, the former First National City Bank head office was given a "real" general cleaning, a fresh coat of paint, putting new concrete, new tiles and fittings, anything that is worth reclaiming the grandeur; yet with a different task that includes turning into a hub for Call Center Companies abroad.

Besides general cleaning and impovement, there are legislators whom, inspired by the success of Vigan and Iloilo, urging the local government of Manila to grand tax incentives, if not exemptions for heritage buildings within the district; furthermore, these legislators like Cavite's Francis Abaya expressed willingness to sponsor a bill that will impose strict implementation of real estate tax holidays and reduction of inheritance tax to structures duly recognised by national cultural agencies. Some European countries, particularly those in urban districts, did encourage tax exemption in centuries old buildings as part of preserving heritage, amidst modernity. Since this writeup cited the examples of Europe, of Vigan, and Iloilo, how about Manila? Do need to wait a major threat to happen to make people respond to save the deeply rooted and reclaim lost grandeur? 

Again, as said in this post, is part of a rebirth, that is, more than just a rebirth. It may take several years, if not decades, of general cleaning, rehabilitation, improvement of grand old structures to bring back Escolta, as well as other similar districts around Manila and other cities in provinces to its former grandeur, to its lively setting, to its bustling yet picturesque appearance as it was in the past. Continuous developments requires consideration to the ones that also contributed to the city's development, and that requires enlightening everyone the value of heritage, its relevance, and the continuous pursuit of bridging the aspirations of both past and present for a promising future to come. 

Sunday, 28 June 2015

To see blooming sunflowers more

To see blooming sunflowers more

At first, this page congratulates those who had finished their years of hard work, of studying theories and various topics, taking into practise, of gaining both high and low grades, of disagreeing with the learned, of enjoying campus life with the perks of discounted fares in buses and jeepneys. Its been days past to see them finally reaping the fruits of their hard work and slacking. Spending time studying complimented by drinking bashes, campus life, like all others, is all but a series of both confrontation and escapism, of trying to live a normal life tempered by its own free will.

However in actual, most, if not all rather chose to escape those times all for the illusion of good life than to confront the reality those whom are concerned sought, acknowledge, and oppose in favour of what they learned and what is just. Being PetitBourgeois would think that with "idealism" meant hard work in their respective professions to change themselves, if not the world and make it appropriate to their so-called "dreams and aspirations", no matter the position or fate least their work may be as long as that good life be realised for themselves like those featured in Instagram. The system, controlling anything in the society, has carefully crafted it, with appropriate sentence, shape, colour, texture, even taste, knowing that these newcomers wanted their dreams to realise "their full potential", not knowing for the latter that they are being unnoticingly exploited, bled dry with gusto.
Few may have noticed behind those beautiful façades, and even endure the pain both from being exploited and the sedative being given to; least they may continue moving, but the more they simply "move on" and at the same time endure being exploited comes a willingness to break down the cycle and with what they learned, be taken to practise to support the people and its aspirations while others chose to think the usual of attaining higher education as a requirement for a steady, high paying job with moccha frappes and state of the art gadgets awaiting for them.

Sorry to say those words, but since the society nowadays is driven by consumerism, it is inconveniently true to see it. The objective of education is to learn, to cultivate, but in actual it becomes more of to compete and compare. Yes, there are those who will say life is all but competition, but on the other hand through education people tends to develop a spirit of excellence rather than competitiveness, that excellence means that one is able to achieve one's best, of attaining the highest limits of their capabilities and carefully cultivating it, rather than comparing it to others (true to the statement that "education is the great equaliser"). The important is they taken it into practise the theories being learned from the classroom, with results good enough to realise both theirs and the peoples' aspirations.
Yet how come the system negate the idea in favor of their view that education means an intense competition? Good to see people having good grades, but why comparing it and foster insecurity and pride? Well, they are nurtured to become natural achievers, and should negate the insecurities in favour of cultivating further their good works. Albert Einstein, Mother Theresa, Nikola Tesla, Jose Rizal, Mahatma Gandhi, are non-competitive people, but they do have wonderous works left for the people to see, and even willing to break the cycle just to realise the aspirations just and meaningful. They are imbued with honour and excellence as any other aspiring PetitBourgeois wanted to attain, but they value the people more than themselves in seriously taking their craft.

But to disregard the people seems to negate the values imbued in the institution they learned. One may gain honour and excellence, but there is a disclaimer telling that honour and excellence should use with the purpose to serve the people faithfully, not merely to gain a job and moccha frappe for chrissakes. You may hate rallies, but in this era of both natural and intentional crisis no wonder why there are rallies against the system and its policies, be it the commercialisation of public assets to the skyrocketing of tuition and other fees; not even wonder why there are those willing to go beyond the parameters just to assert what is just and right for the people, and sometimes at the expense of good life, or even friendships as bashers trying to malign one's commitment to the struggle.

However, there are also those who remained true to their principles and finished their commitments inside the classroom. Like the late Leandro Alejandro, they don't want to have their studies interfere their education, they want to attain good grades but they do also affirm that there is life to commit than making good grades. Hate them if one wants to, but least they are creative in spending their time in having their learnings taken into practise, particularly to the alternative. Hate them just because they chose to go to a road less taken, that because in being with struggle they are deemed outcasts bereft of anything modern out of voicing dissent, and if attained some be called hypocrites for they both work and fight. If that's the case, of what is academic freedom, creative scholarship, and progressive instruction that also serves as basis for a well rounded being imbued with honour and excellence? Well, as what Gerardo Lanuza, the "Rector", said:

"What we need to dismantle in our classrooms is the motto of the neoliberal guru that that good life is all about making profits and that the essence of democracy is profit making. Academic excellence is the passport to the good life. What kind of students do we breed? In ‘Rectify the Party’s Style in Work’, Mao wrote: ‘They proceed from a primary school of that sort to a university of that sort, they take a diploma, and are regarded as stocked with knowledge. But all that they have is knowledge of books, and they have not yet taken part in any practical activities, nor have they applied, in any branch of social life, the knowledge they have acquired…their knowledge is not yet complete. What, then, is comparatively complete knowledge? All comparatively complete knowledge is acquired through two stages: first the stage of perceptual knowledge and second the stage of rational knowledge, the latter being the development of the former to a higher plane’. Furthermore, ‘the most important thing is [to] be well versed in applying such knowledge in life and in practice’."

Anyways, regardless of the slander, hope that these people who finished those years inside the campus really imbued with the qualities that made them known. People may misinterpret this writeup and chide that this era isn't the same era as Voltaire's, Marx's, or Rousseau's, but no matter what they say, the sunflowers bloom in their path being taken, blooming as a new day shines for them.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

"Notes from the Langar Kitchen"

"Notes from the Langar Kitchen"

(Or how this person entered the Sikh Temple)

It was last monday when this person visited the Sikh Temple at Isaac Peral St.* in Manila. Originally planned to go to the National Museum, the area's been closed during mondays, that somehow made he look for another place of cultural interest. 

Walking from Taft to Isaac Peral, as well as driven by curiousity and a renewed interest in Indian culture, this person find it interesting to visit the actual place (besides the Hindu Mandir in Mahatma Gandhi St.), and somehow quite devoted to the needs of the Indian community in the Philippines, known for their turbans in their heads as well as the moneylending business Filipinos usually make Indians known for.

But in entering the premises has to follow rules: wearing of a head covering, washing of the hands and feet, and silent mode when it comes to cellular phones being carried. The temple's main hall is somehow is as same as any other Sikh temples being featured in the internet such as pictures and a guru reading the Guru Ganth Sahib, but with the modern amenities such as air conditioning and a sliding door both for entrance and exit to the sacred premises. 

Yet, in order to get to know about the religion and its culture, this person entered the temple's library. There are Sikh intellectuals whom are cleaning and organising books inside the area, and one of them told yours truly that there are few books about Sikhism written in English, while the rest are written in Punjabi, and one of the most interesting tracts being featured and read is about the life of Guru Govind Singh, the War against Emperor Aurangzeb of the Munghal empire, as well as "Sikhism and Politics" which tackles about Khalistan (the Sikh Homeland) and India.

Entering the dining hall 

However, one of the most interesting areas within the temple (besides the temple hall and the library) is the Kitchen and Dining hall known as the Langar.

Spacious, and supported by volunteer Sikhs both in Cooking and in Cleaning the premises, the Langar is known for the free food being served to its devotees, as well as to the non believers as part of its service. As according to history, Langar or free kitchen was started by the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak Dev Ji. It is designed to uphold the principle of equality between all people of the world regardless of religion, caste, colour, creed, age, gender or social status, as well as expresses the ethics of sharing, community, inclusiveness and oneness of humanity. 
To a Christian perspective, this means the virtue of Charity and brotherly love that is being seriously practised, to the Muslims, the place reminds of the Imaret, the free soup kitchen that also became a state policy (due to the Zakat or Charity Tax) during the Ottoman Empire, also known to be a Caliphate ruled in the same era as Guru Nanak in India. 

Quite delicious the food being served from its Kitchen, that most of the meals being served lately were bread based not just sweets; but despite seeing the interesting ones, he chose to eat a meal that consists of Dal (a spiced Indian Lentil Stew) and Chapaties (Flatbread), plus a glass of hot cocoa enough to fill a stomach before journey home. Some Indians find it common for a Non-Indian to visit the premises, be it for the rites, the library, or perhaps for the free food that is served in the temple's dining hall (that somehow made some of Manila's poor satisfied according to one security guard talking about the said area).


Call it uninteresting for a typical person to enter a religious place besides those of the Church, visiting the Chinese Temple would have been driven by picture-taking tourism rather than spiritual and cultural interest, but to enter an Indian temple? Maybe most would call it strange. 

But regardless of what they think as "strange", his visit is quite informative not just interesting both because of the books being featured in its library, the sacredness of its place that involves washing of hands and feet, and last but not the least, the free food being served to everyone regardless of colour, sector, religion, status. This person may not be a Sikh, but having a Langar is more than just a Sikh tradition, for in its very known essence, it is a practise on a virtue today's world trying to take it serious.  Knowing that "the Light of God is in all hearts", as what the Sahib says.          

*currently known as U.N. Avenue

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Indolence, Foolishness, and a trying hard to be good

Indolence, Foolishness, and a trying hard to be good

(a writeup made both as post-Independence day message 
and in commemoration of Rizal's birth)

In this month full of patriotically-induced commemorations, emphasis is given to the present day issue of Indolence, Foolishness, and trying hard to be good when it comes to dealing with one's self and the society. Obviously the latter task is quite difficult for a typical Filipino, knowing that changing of character would also meant breaking away from the nonsensical cycle being used to content with in favour of a clean slate and a new persona. And speaking of this month full of commemorations, June had celebrated both a nation's Independence and the day of it's hero's birth, known for his genius, patriotism, and an inflexible character.

That obviously somehow loved to be parroted by the two-faced system towards its subjects. As time goes by, people may have tried its best to be good, or least trying to lessen its foolishness on one's self and towards others, in favour of being "upright" in the eyes of the law and of the norm. And one message would be like those of former President Quirino last December 29 1950, in which he was trying to put more emphasis in Character Education to have his subjects like those of Jose Rizal as well as others whom had brought consciousness to a still young nation:

"For we need and shall always need men and women of character, strong and invincible, to withstand the wild winds of temptation that break down the weak. We need citizens of firm character, ready to make sacrifices at any time and even lay down their lives for the progress, peace, preservation, and happiness of the Motherland."

Although his message was made in commemoration of Rizal's death, it also somehow would even reiterate that same old word in this month of his birth besides adding terms of the present like "transparency" and "accountability", knowing that Rizal means Idealism, Character, Incorruptible, Patriotic. But ironically, Quirino was known to be infamous for his golden orinola that made he corrupt, and like his predecessors and his successors, an American stooge that fails to heed his people in favour of his overlords. His message can be right so to speak calling for a people of character, but will there be a people of character in a corrupt social order? Maybe yes but the more may cost the system itself knowing that the system had let the corrupt do its "deed" at the expense of the people's aspirations. Be it peace, land, bread, justice, anything what these people demanded for generations.

Just like what Quirino did, particularly on those commemorative occasions, there are a series of messages condemning materialism and favoring those of idealism (as in "mind over matter", that independence is made out of well known men bond by a common cause (as in independence and no other cause besides that), that uncritical cooperation including those of the oppressing classes as a key to prosperity and peace (knowing that these oppressing classes brought development), or even accepting the judgement of being poor simply because of indolence (the typical cause according to the "hard working bourgeois"). Yet what they didn't notice is a reality full of crisis and instability, and it's not because of countless protest and opposition, but from those whom rather keeping the system as it is in the past in a way they benefited from the existing poverty and the hardship of its subjects, that life was all but supply and demand for them least the important is "not to end in the rubbish heap".
And since this writeup also said the term materialism, it is obvious that the "materialism" people knew and for sure abhor about (especially those of the conservative) is consumerism, yet do they really abhor it? With all their minds modified by the system to suit in an überindividualist fantasy of earn, buy, and consume, it is obviously much accurate than what the people of old feared about what Democritus, Hegel, Marx, or Lenin stated of; the west produced much products for individualist fantasies ranging from Packingtown's food to Ford's cheap automobiles while the ones abhorred are trying to turn conditions into opportunities the way trying to resolve problems be it as temporary as the "New Economic Policy" or as strongly ordered like the "First 'Five-Year' Plans". People did not notice that materialism is more than just matter to be grasped, but also the conditions of their surroundings that compels people to strive for changes, especially those of a socio-economic one. And to use Marx's passage in Das Kapital: "Conscientious, painstaking research was required, instead of philosophical speculation and unwarranted, sweeping generalisations." The surroundings and conditions compel mankind to ask and deal prior to formulate solutions that somehow different from the observations people think of such as simply driven by their ideas. 
That somehow made others think of as "idealism" thinking that these are products of their own mind rather than brought out of existing condition. Of what was the Revolution if not for the actually existing repression and disenfranchisement instead of a series of tracts?

Anyways, those who rallied behind reform and revolution are by products of awareness, of realities, not just books and romanticism of a glorious past. Rizal and Bonifacio did make "Research" from books and "Investigation" from their surroundings prior to their actions, its successors, however, rather romanticise it so much that involves a series of philosophical speculations. But the present generation,  driven by their escapism from realities and exaggerated self-fulfillment rather chose less or none to think about this.
And speaking of Rizal and the gang, although earlier posts in this page may stated that Rizal ought to be praised for his contributions, does not mean he should condone disregarding calls for a bloody revolution based on actually existing conditions of repression and injustice in favour of meaningless "idealism" with emphasis on a "just" changing of attitudes and conduct as if a requirement for independence (he missed the opportunity of joing the Katipunan and have himself laid the program, of discipline, of educating Indios for Struggle). Yet regardless of his stand, his works that actually open ended for future chapters (such as Hernandez's) did became catalyst for a renewed struggle, particularly on the side of the brown skinned toilers willing to take the flag from the majority of half-breeds whom initially preferring to remain silent and enjoying their fantasies than facing death as it once was like Novales and La Madrid.

But, in this age of high-tech gadgets, instant food, and unbridled capitalism both domestic and international, comes a realisation of what Spaniards and outsiders described as "indolence, foolishness, and apathy" amongst Filipinos, be it from the Bourgeois or the Proletarian, or even the Lumpens people love to equate those from the slums. And regardless of denials coming from above, it its obvious that the system created that monster people abhorred about, yet instead of the system people chose to blame others for being contented in being less, of redescribing as indolent or apathetic when it comes to the issues; true that there are really indolents and apathetics out in the society, thanks to that goddamn media that downplays critical thinking in favour of idiocy.
And for sure most would dare to say the desire for changing the attitude, the conduct, the behaviour, and this is not a very easy or a very pleasant task. For at first, it is difficult to be honest with ourselves as individuals whether we contribute or not; but both "fortunately" and "unfortunately", Filipinos can afford to say this and that (whether to enlighten or to brag), such as deriving words of encouragement and inspiration from heroes like Rizal, who actually never hesitated to criticise his countrymen with a view to reform and progress, true that it is to Rizal, Bonifacio, and others that people should turn for guidance when it comes to examine our national character the way he insists changing of conduct and doing good deeds, or let's just say harnessing one's persona to a good path.

But regardless of the denials, most rather treat Rizal and others as mere rhetorics to appease large masses of people, an appeal to patriotic fervor, an appeal to the youth that promised progress and development as well as social change. Yet at the same time, as goes by, indolence has become natural as the system had benefited from it, especially in a world that creates anything "in an instant" favours those who can disregard the societal matter, of facing the wind and rain in favour of its own comforts and "fantasies" that one can make the world upside down. But what kind of indolent is that person talking about? Is it the individual or the entire nation exploited by the system and be sedated by instant fantasies to become as indolent as what Spaniards described of? Ironically, they cried for Unity and Awareness, but at the same time they cultivated individualism and apathy greater than what they cried for, they would babble boycotts on goods coming from China out of an issue related to the contested Scarborough and Spratlys, yet on the other hand crying for foreign investments including those of the Chinese instead of flexing its own muscle to break free from its indolent dependency.

And since they babble Rizal, are they willing to raise the nitroglycerin-filled lamps and sacrifice in pursuit of a greater goal as Simoun intended? ¡No! Instead they will babble the "idealism" of Ibarra, the passions of Basilio and Isagani, the beauty of Maria Clara, or for accuracy and actually exiting relevance: the trying hard Extravagance of Doña Victorina, and the reluctance of Señor Pasta. They will doubt the radicalisms of Elias, the willingness of Salome, the attempts to overthrow the order in which the system greatly enjoys no matter how they intentionally created idiots, savages, barbarians, or semicivilised humans "least they profited alot from it."

But despite all the shit the system tends to cultivate, particularly those of injustice and reluctance to remolding, the idea of changing conduct in pursuit of building the new society has its relevance particularly those of breaking free from indolence, foolishness, and apathy. Remember, when Mao Zedong had told about a foolish old man who dismantle the mountains, he said that the old and his children did trying to dismantle the mountains despite chided by a scholar so that they could see the rising sun, working until god find their hardships and brought angels to take it away; that somehow means that in order to realise profound goals has to go beyond the parameters including those what the order imposes. 
But, that said action cannot be carried enough by a clique of few good individuals, but also a call for a collective action for the willing many in pursuit of realising such profound goals as what the story tells about. Such actions, obviously, involves ceaseless remolding, of cultivating what is better and omitting worse, of forging that is new, rather than worshiping the ashes of old. Of what is action and its realisation without remolding? Conditions brought them the urge of to go beyond the parameters much more the breaking away from their past misdeeds in favour of a new persona what Rizal wanted to see.

Yes, it is a difficult task to forge both for the new society and for a new persona, but to take it seriously along with others helps in its realisation. As said earlier, conditions are worth compelling to engage, and it is more than what others call as idealism.

Least it counters the system and its created Indolence, and rekindling the spirit that is Independence.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

No wonder one wants to become like Simoun

No wonder one wants to become like Simoun

Source: Video 48

If most chose to be like Ibarra, or much accurate like those of Señor Pasta or Isagani, there are those whom rather wanting to become like Simoun. 

Tired of being Hamlet with all the efforts falling on deaf ears, of paperworks gone disregarded by the highest echleons of the society without consideration, these people concerning wanted to become Guido Fawkes with the intention of turning the existing society upside down no matter how risky it is just to realise such profound goals.

Be it by the loudest voice or by the bomb as one chapter from El Filibusterismo showed, these people are willing to go beyond the parameters knowing that the "freedoms" the system had offered to them isn't sufficient to resolve the age old repressions in an actually existing illiberal society. Discipline can be  an alibi for fear, and progress is another term for exploitation, the elite in its hunger pangs desperately tries to sustain its power yet at the same time getting conscious on its moves knowing that the people whom they repressed are having their eyes enough open to see the inconvenient truth behind their "beautiful" façades, trying to appease as they could with all the anemities they could offer just to silence their minds from "getting curious".
That the buildings of Dubai people amazed most, were built by the blood of the migrant workers from South Asia, reminiscent of the Pyramids and of the Great Wall done centuries ago, lives were at stake yet the Sultans have little or none to give justice, worse, trying to make them hidden from the eyes of many, seeking truth from facts and trying to shed light that these people on high are desperately trying to keep firm, no matter how soiled their hand, just to appease the world the wonders of their creation. Nothing wrong about the edifices as monuments to ContemporAntiquity, but the system that had carried the knout and force the enslaved to work without just makes the truth seeker willing to dismantle their ambitions by force regardless of its risks and justify why they have to expose the injustices. 

There are other examples the system had crafted beautifully at the expense of the community, of the people. Those who dare to seek truth from facts are compelled enough to expose and assert what is right and just on the community's behalf, as said earlier, there are terms that has becoming alibis, that discipline has become a substitute term for fear, based on the actions the system actually did towards its subjects, particuarly the knout, the unjust censorship, the prison cells with crampy conditions, or even enforced disappearances. 

But why the Bomb? Why like Simoun? Guido Fawkes? The men of the Haymarket? Baghat Singh? Why not Gandhi or Crisostomo Ibarra? The People for sure are tired of contentment and willing to go beyond the parameters the system just to assert their aspiration. If groups like Anonymous did afford to hack sites, of Wikileaks leaking sensitive information in the name of free speech, then maybe a renewed deed awaits people to carry on and the systems to fear about. Ibarra's idealism earned the scorn of the system while Simoun's revenge created the fear in which the system tries to lessen. Its continuations, such as Ibong Mandaragit's Mando Plaridel acknowledge both the deeds of Crisostomo and Simoun, of taking the pen and the gun, that somehow made he a sublimation of both characters willing to use any means necessary to realise the goals people yearned about. But the more the system continues to do its dirty work, no wonder why the one who is tired of seeing dirt and of playing with thoughts seeks a straightforward solution most think of as revenge or retribution. 

Be it the pen, or the gun, or even both, as long as the people supports its cause. 

Friday, 12 June 2015

Independence in the era of "Move On" and "Ignore"

Independence in the era of "Move On" and "Ignore"

by Kirit Thanarat

Sometimes, this person would think that it easier to ignore anything and focus on the future.

With reasons such as "full of shortcomings to forget" to a mere "just escape from the past", people wanted to break away from the past and thinking what lies ahead, particularly those what they think "in store for them" be it a future successful career, love life, or for reality's sake anything that is worth for their survival.

But just to disregard the inconvenient reality particularly those of its own society? It is too much for a person tired of hardship, of just giving up and thinking that social issues has no relevance to themselves like yesterday's bullshit. Based on a series of comments and posts in social media, it seems that most people rather chose to escape, by telling themselves "move on" to disregard altogether anything what they think as if irrelevant in this continuing past, all for the illusion of good life rather than confront the reality those whom are concerned sought, acknowledge, oppose, and offer an alternative that benefits most rather than alone. For being PetitBourgeois somehow meant a showcase of idealism with the privilege of experiencing the good life contrary to their supposed backgrounds, that progress meant hard work in their respective professions to change themselves, if not the world and make it appropriate to their so-called "dreams and aspirations", no matter the position or fate their work may be as long as that good life be realised for themselves like those featured in Instagram.

The system, controlling anything in the society, has carefully crafted it, with appropriate sentence, shape, colour, texture, even taste, knowing that these newcomers wanted their dreams to realise "their full potential", not knowing for the latter that they are being unnoticingly exploited, bled dry with gusto. 
Only Few may have noticed the truth hidden behind, and even endure the pain both from being exploited and the sedative being given to, they may continue moving, but the more they simply "move on" and endure being exploited by their surroundings comes a willingness to break down the cycle. 

Admittingly speaking, today's generation would have disregarded social awareness in favour of individualist fantasies. Charity and mere flag waving and taking pride in persons behind sumptuous bread and circuses is enough so is the change of conduct and moving on to the past for the illusory future as as if a panacea for the age-old yet still present day ills the society has to endure. Most would say working hard, savings, and contentment is the solution to the crisis, but in this age of rising costs of commodities and living standards, does it help easing out the burden? These same people meanwhile also clamour support from the superpowers while waving the flag particularly last June 12, but does their clamour and the agreements trying to assert ensure independence against invaders and intervenors? 
Their statements are actually trying to hinder the essence of moving forward, of going beyond the parameters in pursuit of attaining a true, profound, sense of justice as envisioned by personalities and groups of the past, be it the Ilustrados like Rizal or Del Pilar, the Katipuneros like Bonifacio or Jacinto, or even the groups like Colorum and Guardia de Honor that treats such social issues and struggle as "mystically guided".

And since the present generation has nothing to offer except their individualist fantasies, no wonder why this person said this, reflecting their "common" message:

"Well, revolution? Move on! Have a good paying job and family! Don't waste time in that society you are fighting for, be contented and let the authorities handle the issue."

No matter what they say, there will be always those who least trying to keep the roots and harness the future to realise present and future aspirations through its works and deeds. There will be those who will step the boundaries and move forward just to assert what is for the benefit of the people, rather than forget and think as if irrelevant to their own lives; The unknown worker who chisels, transports, and puts together the building blocks for a promising society, with all of its buildings and creations made with a purpose, will live on in these works just like the great intellectual creators of those fulfillments; so is the peasant who tills and harvests, sharing the nature's resource as a contribution to the community than keeping to themselves as if no one cares about the society, of its fellowmen, of its surrounding. 
And these are more than just "goals" that are also featured in social media sites. Yes, these unknown beings are willing to put their lives at risk rather than disregard in favor of pleasures a "normal person"  would have with a disclaimer stating politics has no relevance to themselves in favour of rave parties and shopping sprees; struggle for one's country, its independence, its survival is indeed a complex issue people would call it "difficult to deal", but to ignore it and even compare to a relationship with someone else such as a girlfriend's is tantamount to self-defeat. True that progress has to continue knowing that in it comes a realisation of everyone's happiness, but letting it unharnessed, unguided, and unconsiderable that as if "only an invisible hand can control anything" creates a destructive, retarding mess.

That's all for now. Ignoring the realities does not guarantee freedom as they continue conforming "in pursuit of an illusory happiness."

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Ramblings on a continuing soiled past

Ramblings on a continuing soiled past

(A message this Independence day)

"It becomes dangerous only when the nonsense is left to grow, thus hemming in and strangling the healthy, organic development of the revolution." These are the words the notorious Joseph Göbbels said in his writeup about culture, that somehow made yours truly at first ought to say apologies to the reader, for in that said quote one would say that the unfinished task remains unfinished for it is marred by what that notorious quoter (or rather say one of Hitler's hacks) said as nonsense, be it corruption specifically, unleashed by the present order in its desperate phase, that tends to negate the destructive aspirations of the people in favour of keeping the unjust status quo.

For as time goes by, society has been soiled from time to time by those who care about themselves no matter they appear as "benevolent" yet corrupt to its very core. The historical past is just as infamously soiled by the present while the historical future is denied without a care and likely to be soiled again. A backward society, a people bereft of idea, an exploitative system, it seems that degeneracy continues to aggravate behind both frustrated modernity with its illusory "idealism" being cultivated by the system to its subjects. That "idealism" is far from the usual, for it is not social in a sense but a mockery of it, as it reduces significant matters of society into whinings an individual, the so-called "self" has to deal with. Worse, without any support at all besides crumbs and mere statements to feature as a "pride". An impression that often became an object of intrigue thanks to those whom treating such virtue as a holy water to wash a soiled hand. 

No matter what the society tries to be upright yet corrupt still it remains infamously soiled by those who trying to keep firm in its exploitative fantasies, that somehow made this person ask: what's wrong with people nowadays? In seeing an aloof populace that also "afforded" to smatter an idea for a sarcasm, do they have any alternative to offer that besides foregoing the problem? This generation of so-called "famous" or "fabulous" whom had "least afforded to suggest" obviously nothing to offer aside from taking pride from themselves and disregard the society for "no one cares except their own matters" the way they chose to remain intentionally aloof, numb, deaf, blind, mute, in observing old edifices whether it was Jai Alai or Magallanes Theatre being torn down amidst protest, no matter how significant its heritage, its contribution, its relevance to the society and its values being cultivated and still trying to maintain its relevance in this so-called "modern age" people ought to enjoy. 

But people did not notice that the "modern age" they are enjoying with is also the era of a rotting order still trying to struggle to keep its power. By replacing politics by the markets, of replacing fine buildings, art, thought, with a rotting sameness bereft of significance and value besides consumerist fantasies, of themselves be contented in canned culture leaving those who afford with the finest ones in obviously expensive prices, the system has actually stunted the flowering of national consciousness by diluting its value thinking that such profound values are "irrelevant", favouring the illusions of the outside for the sake of "modernity", "progress", "development", or any similar term that is actually faux, ersatz, substitute with less or no valuable content yet "cheap" all for "practicality's sake."
 Its "theory" is glowing and grandiose as the ones on high tends to present, trying to appease the people especially those whom asserting "development", "peace", "land", "bread", "justice", "jobs", "welfare"; and yet it carries poison behind in its attractive, sugarcoated gloss, an icing that tends to cover the inconvenient truth of degeneracy in its full sheer nonsense. Over against this, what everyone have from it in its actually existing reality is terrible and forbidding. That instead of their expectations comes its contrary, that instead of a healthy, assertive citizenry is a contented yet sickly individuals focusing merely on the self rather than the community, of negating the value of its own surrounding except those of its own frustrated illusion, and be treated as a panacea for the ills that are societal in nature. With terms like "Move on", "Ignore", "Forget", "Be Contented", or other similar phrase has likely to become a road to a further degeneracy as it fails to resolve, putting justice, in favour of an illusory "peace" yet uncertain. Anyways, asserting justice to a really serious problem really demands a just and meaningful closure rather than escaping it with an open end, or as said earlier, they are numb, nothing, alive yet as if swam in the current yet can't resist its continuous flow.

But regardless of their denials and justifications the system does, seeing an inconvenient, soiled reality comes an assertion of aspirations no matter people think of it as impossible or life threatening as sometimes it goes beyond the parameters. But those aspirations, or ideals people may tend to describe is deeply rooted in both age-old heritage and actually existing realities in which has to be confronted rather than letting it go as if only an invisible hand can solve the problem. The once progressive districts of the past has been threatened by the wrecking balls in the name of illusory progress yet half-baked in its realisations, no matter how significant its contribution in its once progressive pasts, while actually existing poor shantytowns continue to thrive by the unjust system, used and disposed afterwards without any justice to the dweller whom actually does the chores of the society in the name of "development", or even the countryside that behind its pacific setting of green fields is a sound of fear and a river of blood with the same reason as the former; yes, what most people see is a reversal of surrounding as the nonsense, self-gratifying to the core, has exploiting the once healthy structure and thus corrupting it till making attempts for a renewed commitments impossible. 

Unless there are those who remain true to their aspirations and willing to go beyond the parameters, to give all their lives for that unfinished task be accomplished. If the system continues to do its task of keeping firm through its carrot and stick, the ones who remain true will continue to do its task of dismantling no matter how painstaking it is just to stop from soiling the society from the corrupt exploiters within and out. There are those whom trying to modify as they could, trying to keep the stench well hidden, yet since they can't redress the root causes then comes plain failure of their efforts. If they afford to say "bridging the past and the present", then maybe they failed to take away the stench.

Anyways, all after observing and making ramblings, the question that matters today is “Cui bono?” or “Who benefits?”   Is it the people who enjoys the gadgets, and modern anemities? Or the system who has exploited them many times by feeding them more with those anemities? being an observer comes with a series of questions such as those the way groups like "Nostalgia Manila" or "Memories of Old Manila", or few, well-informed, and culturally refined individuals trying to instill the idea of  heritage if not rekindling a "force that makes a nation great" and at the same time seeking questions. Why a numb, if not a corrupted populace, all bereft of consciousness in its surrounding, choosing to be swam by the current without any control hastens a society's fall? Perhaps failure to harness the future by these folks and letting it be unbridled makes the system "assuming to take the task" and create that is contrary to everyone's aspiration that is just, pleasing, dignified, but instead a soiled one in this continuing past.

Thus, no wonder why what people see is mess and disgrace. 
And its is the duty of the enlightened to dismantle this actually existing nonsense.