Monday, 30 November 2015

"For a Renewed Patriotism, and a True Solidarity of Peoples"

"For a Renewed Patriotism, 
and a True Solidarity of Peoples"

In this past few months, it's good to hear about solidarity all for the sake of building a growing country. However, not all people can be solidarised as such. 

Looking at the significant events of 1896 till the present, both of its successes and shortcomings, shows that the unity of the people should exclude those who chose to intentionally remain backwards in favour of their interests, if not trying to disregard the true clamour of the people amidst parroting their sentiments. True that the country today is independent with its flag, anthem, and laws, of being recognised by several countries abroad, but as long as centuries old repression remains, of clamouring for land, labour, and a decent living wage, of what is solidarity if that includes the repressors whom afforded to babble the same words of freedom and justice so as to sneer the ears of the yearning mass? Again, it's been years passed, and still the country heroes fought for is still in its continuing past. 

And since media outlets and machineries of the system afforded to parrot the words this person thinks of, then it is indeed pleasant to hear words like respect and solidarity, or even unity, of seeing people remembering the deeds heroes done for the country's sake, but to see these same people doesn't internalise the value coming from these heroes especially those who had really fought and died for it, with all its sworn acts such as those of defending and serving the repressed, then this person would say that these so-called flag-waving, Filipiniana-wearing people making an impression aren't really patriotic despite what they are trying to impress with, knowing that some, if not most of them think there is no chance to stand up on its own yet can't even have the urge to assert what the nation needs as it favours its own interests. 

Imagine, in an article related to mass transport systems, it shows that its Chinese "enemy" has afforded to roll their sleeves and work such as making a Maglev train despite imitating Western design and technology. Least the Chinese tried to like its neighbours, and this person cannot blame them since these Chinese are for years trying to make an impression of tangible progress such as technology and modernisation. Remember, they create their own version of German Mausers during the Manchu era and Russian T-54s during its Maoist phase, and today they want to look at German or French or even American examples so as to create an improved Chinese one in an era wherein trying to bridge their brand of socialism with globalisation. 
While on the other hand, Filipinos, driven by the recent events over Spratlys and Scarborough, are rather making fuss out of it, and it shows insecurity that made them crying for Uncle Sam, the Japanese Samurai, or whatsoever from the ASEAN countries for help than rolling their sleeves and create their own so as to add their strength and build a lasting expression of progress and stability. Ironically, they also create be it the Road Train, or the Automated Guideway Transit which is still in its expreimental stage, or perhaps merely for the sake of cosmetic impression rather than resolving the problem of mass transportation, and perhaps others important like national defence, agriculture, unemployement, modernisation. 
Both China and the Philippines has undergone struggle and consolidation, of war and peace, of construction and reform, both hath babbled the terms this person ever heard of such as "solidarity" or "unity", but come to think of this, how come China, the rouge country described by mainstream media, has been serious in its commitment? 

Anyways, that example shows that the system's failure to make more effort in responding the needs of its constituents. Again, as said earlier, they afforded to babble that they are serving the people, yet in stubbornly keeping their interests, their words are as empty as their souls. There may be few bureaucrats who would still afford to provide trying to show a semblance of a national concern, but, how about the others whose goal is to enrich themselves, making façades all for the sake of impression and be supported by apologetics trying to justify such stupid, if not horrific actions besides those of babbling every optimistic-sounding word or phrase showing how desperate trying to appease the people? 

Well, sorry for incorrectness though, but since these people afforded to make a fuss especially in social media sites, when was the time the Philippines tried to create a serious act in resolving a social problem besides stop-gap solutions if not mere self-help? Or rather say when was the time the country truly build that is sturdier and better than its neighbours, all not for impression but to address the clear and present situation? As said before, there are earlier proposals that are left collecting dust in the archives of the government, and most of which are relevant including those of regaining "forces" that made a nation "great". Words like "solidarity", "justice", "unity", were inscribed in those texts same as their plans, be it a canal, extending train network, or any kind of infrastructure trying to knit the country in spirit of those words this person stated. But will these be realised in a system that emphasises its own interests? No.
And sorry to say this, that the more people assert its hollow, cosmetic "pride", the more its neighbours call them "overdressed monkeys" as in the past. And thanks to that goddamn Uncle Sam for making that happen as its former colony, that one after another wondering why protests for land and justice happen amidst façades of modernity and progress.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Seeing an old edifice demolished (plus an incident happened)

Seeing an old edifice demolished
(plus an incident happened)

or all after seeing one of Leandro Locsin's work being demolished 
followed by an incident out of fallen debris

It's been months passed, and lately everyone's heard the news about the sad fate of the late "Mandarin Oriental" in Makati, Metro Manila. 

With its demolition undergoing, the once-familiar edifice has been heared in every news report such as an Australian woman being injured and a Toyota Fortuner sports utility vehicle damaged after debris came showering during the demolition of the edifice days ago. And Makati Mayor Romulo "Kid" Peña then ordered a suspension of the demolition of the Mandarin Oriental hotel as authorities continue to investigate that said incident. He also directed the Makati Public Safety Department (MAPSA) to cordon off the affected area on a 24/7 basis to prevent a repeat of the incident and ensure the protection and safety of motorists and pedestrians. 

Well, as expected, regardless of all the clamour for preserving the familiar edifice, the developers rather chose to proceed having it be demolished as shown by this picture below, with a caption coming from Matthew Lopez of "Manila Nostalgia" as it says.

The demolition of the iconic Mandarin Oriental Hotel
has caused major traffic and has hurt a passerby.
 This could have been instead a major iconic cultural centre like a modern art museum
like the Centré Georges Pompidou in Paris
or the National Gallery Singapore
through adaptive reuse.

(Image courtesy from the Twitter Account
of Former Rep. Gilbert Remulla;
©2015 All Rights Reserved)
Well, it's been decades old to end familiarised,  if not done by a national artist, to justify that the late great Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Makati has to be preserved instead of being currently demolished for a new "commerical-financial" complex like any other building situted in the Philippines "Little Manhattan".

This writer, as well as some others concerned, may have not entered its halls, but in seeing the recognisable concrete edifice and eventually be demolished would ask "how come a work of a national artist has end up being destroyed all in favour of building a new one?" Sooner the much older Hotel Intercontinental Manila will be demolished as well, and that is also a creation of a well-known national artist who is also the man behind that now-demolished edifice. 

Maybe sooner or later there are familiar buildings that has to be vacated and be demolished afterwards in the name of "modernity". Worse, as what Irish Constantinou said: 

"Unfortunately old buildings are not important for us. Commercialism comes first before preservation of history. I am sure that they figured it would be economically rewarding to demolish and replace with a new high rise."

Well, that's all for now. Remember the Mandarin, and if demolished, Remember the Intercon!

Monday, 23 November 2015

Never Forgive, Never Forget

Never Forgive, Never Forget

A message for the 6th anniversary of the Maguindanao Massacre

At first, this person, regardless of having its title smilar to what was made few years ago, conveys sympathies to the still-bereaved families of those who were being killed by the bureaucratic thugs last 2009. It also tells everyone that amidst pretensions of democracy, freedom, and justice, the system failed to put an end to impunity and injustice as it really benefited from it. The tragic events at Ampatuan, Maguindanao is one of the examples every Journalist, every Filipino hath ought to remember.

And regardless having culprits end in bars, there are those who are still roaming free and unrepentant in their murderous act. Their impunity tends to put down those who are committed in seeking truth from facts, as well as appealing people the reality that runs contrary to the system's statements such as those of corruption and poverty. Maguindanao then, and until now, has been wallowing in poverty, corrupt officials has still trying to keep firm in their interests as they toe down their exploitative acts.

There may be no issues of killings in that said province, but in other provinces there are men and women who end killed out of their belief that their work sets everyone free from the inconsistencies the system has trying to insist. The system may still coddle its murderers regardless of denying it altogether their involvement in such murderous acts, if not sacrificing their own thug so as to appear themselves "invoking the same word" as the bereaved families and friends of the murdered. If these thugs in uniform had sacrificed their victims to the altar of "order", can the system able to sacrifice their thugs as well to the altar of "justice" to appear they are committed? Anyways, since the "dawn of democracy and freedom" in 1986 until present there are incidents of killings of those who were truly committed in their devotion; call them "subversive" as any other rebel with a cause, but come to think that is seeking truth from facts a form of subversion? No wonder why the people has gone tired and yearning to take down the present system called "exploitative" and "unjust".

Anyways, today is the 6th anniversary of the said incident, and everyone has offered flowers, candles, prayers, and cries for justice. And this person, as well as others, appeal to everyone that being a journalist, a writer, a propagandist, is a serious task, and that is to seek and show truth from facts.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Nonetheless, a reaffirmation of keeping interests

Nonetheless, a reaffirmation of keeping interests

Notes after events surrounding the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit
And the people's assertion to break the shackles of interest
And neocolonial dependence

World leaders pose in their respective barongs
Photo courtesy of

The system and its apologetics are stared in disbelief, if not trying to counter with their words after walls in the major thoroughfares of the metro has been sprayed with the words urging to junk the Philippines's affiliation with the neoliberal-inclined "Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation" (APEC) if not a call to oppose the system.

And in the throroughfares of Manila and Pasay, riot policemen felt the anger of the majority despite attempts to push them with truncheons and spraying them with water from their water cannons. Like yesterday and the other day, these activists assert the same words as the sprayed walls.

These occasions were coinceded with the recent APEC summit in which the system has taken pride and its apologetics greatly appreciated. But amidst the pretensions of development it failed to appease many with proofs such as slow internet connections, traffic jams, to still failure to readress agrarian and  labor issues: of land and bread despite all its promises. It was the organised masses that took the lead in asserting their call, despite media outlets trying to malign them; and with their combined strength somehow enough to cower the ranks of the policemen no matter they afforded to fire them with water from their cannons and beat them with their sticks and pushing through their truncheons. 
Apologetics may still insist their optimistic stand when it comes to the recent summit and even neoliberalism in the Philippines, if not for the sake of opposing the protests with its blatant anti-left hysteria. But the continuing connivance between U.S. Imperialism and the present system lies exposing latter's pretention as nationalists, if not patriots. 
But regardless of the system's statements, the summit is nonetheless a reaffirmation of keeping interests, if not seeing the system's willingness to accept new agreements regardless of the people's strongerst opposition. Farmers continue to insist land reform while landlords willing to give way to corporate farming, workers call for wage increase while the business sector call for low wages, students urge an end to deregulation and commercialisation while educator-businessmen insisting the relevance of education trying up to those of cheap labor exports, and consumers complaining about rising costs of goods and services while compradore-bureaucrats can't even addressed their problem.

Admittingly speaking, by the time the Philippines has reclaimed its independence in 1946, it remains tied to the interests of the west. Independent as it appears yet its sovereignity remains limited. Like the Soviet Union over Czechoslovakia in the former eastern bloc, and the United States over its so-called "Banana Republics" in America Central, sovereignty is subordinated to the overall needs and interests of international interests such as the first world. Its agreements means reaffirming the country's description as agricultural and less, if not entirely uncapable of being economically independent via those of nationalist industrialisation alongside agrarian reform and scientific-patriotic instruction. The country has been exported its raw materials in exchange to those of processed if not semiprocessed goods, the country has been dependent on its diaspora's remittance and stubbornly insisting its people to join the massed ranks of diaspora all for remittances coming from their seasonal work as labourers, and worse, the country chose to submit to the whims all for pittances and redescribed as aid if not investment by its media outlets.

Sorry for those who speak on behalf of the system as they think they greatly benefited from it, such as modern goods and stuff enough to take pride with as individuals. Good it may be those modern, imported goods but does it require selling souls to the whims of others for the sake of these state-of-the-art stuff? True indeed that these countries are well-developed compared to a country with stunted development, but to keep follow still the neocolonial pattern of exporting every raw or semiprocessed goods for the sake of imported products does not guarantee progress and even independence, and since the system did afford to take pride in having a knowledgable and skilled populace, why not create industries to spend wisely the knowledge and skill as well as the resources the country used to take pride have? For sure even at once some apologetics wanted a semblance of economic independence the way they take pride "Filipino-made" phones and tablets that are actually imported from China and India. 
Again, despite the hypocritical complaints aired to its masters and posturings as "nationalist", the system's rabid obedience in all important orders of its masters is conspicuous as in the past. After all, is the system that made Buencamino or Paterno known for flag-waving yet kissing their master's arses, so is Aquino and his clique who uses the state for their interests that somehow adds criticism to its so-called "beloved subjects."

It may find agreebale some of the statements APEC has been made, but to create sustainable communities a nation has to create solid and stable foundations such as ending the centuries old bondage from the soil through a sound agrarian reform program, building new and strengthening existing industries for  manpower and rural development, of stronger safety nets for laborers and employees, an education and culture that is patriotic, scientific, and mass oriented in character, and others enough to really reclaim a nation's prestige and honour the way its neighbours in Asia had like Korea, the two Chinas, Vietnam, and Malaysia. 
Admittingly speaking, this person knows that nonetheless it is a reaffirmation of leaders involved to keep firm in their interests as members of the ruling class and gentries and to "cooperate" as possible. People may still continue being "optimistic" because of APEC or any other partnership agreements leading to international or transnational organisations, but incorrectly speaking, the world is a social pyramid as in this present society: the developed nations are those from above totally advanced with all its self-proclaimed feats, while the developing societies are most likely near below with few yet moving foundations yet still depending on the developed. And the underdeveloped? Below, having abundant natural resources and manpower yet little or no stronger economic foundations, totally dependent on the "aid" of the developed.

And the Philippines is in the middle between the latter two. Having little yet moving foundations, abundant in natural resources and manpower, yet still relying on the aid of developed countries with agreements "telling to remain as it is" if not "providing piecemeal improvements". Call it "in a transition"  as in any other society around the world, but in the end the Philippines is more likely a proletarian nation willing to lose its chains at having a country to win.
And agreements such as Trans-Pacific Partnership and groups like APEC does not guarantee development, but rather, reaffirming the world's social structure as a pyramid. Imagine the traffic brought by a system that can't even say no to its neighbours out of an illusory pride? Slow internet speed? The policies tailored to suit neoliberal-globalist-neocolonial demands? A system that can't even heed the genuine call of majority such as peace, land, bread, labour, and justice? Why is it these issues deeply affected countries whose citizens demand economic independence and social justice?

source: Anakbayan
Perhaps, Lin Biao may be right to use some of his thought, that the Philippines, as well as other developing and underdeveloped nations and societies, comprises the countryside of the world that is exploited by the developed "cities" of the world. The system may continue benefited from being expolited, that somehow enough to create disgust for past, present, and even future patriots and nationalists yearning for genuine independence, solidarity, and development amongst nations and societies. 

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

"Still a vassal for exclusive economies in a still unequal world"

"Still a vassal for exclusive economies 
In a still unequal world"

Notes on the "Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation" leaders forum
and its neoliberal policies involving education and national development

"NOT ALL jobs require a bachelor’s degree." These are the words neoliberalists stated in regards to their stand justifying the neoliberal trend when it comes to education. As personalities behind member-economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum were urged last Monday to encourage young people to take up vocational education or training courses, rathter than promoting tertiary level education, "to address the lingering problem of job mismatch."

Quite nice to hear that so-called "profound statement", direct, incorrect, and precise. But on the other hand, it seems that they simply stated that so as to justify cheap labour policy, rather than with beauteous ones people used to hear upon such as the benefits of K12. But K12, sadly speaking, has been hastingly being implemented and caused alot of problem during its transition. Worse, there are existing policies when it comes to education, be it commercialisation, attempts for privatisation, and deregulation such as those of "Tuition and Other Fee Increases" as well as "Budget Cuts" in State Colleges and Universities. Remember: The government may also argue that it increased the budget for basic education but the funding remains way low in the 6% of the GDP under UN standard.

Good it may be the idea of taking vocational education, particularly when it comes to domestic-based National Development alongside Agrarian Reform and Industrialisation, and developed countries like Singapore and Germany has done it so. Japan, in its prewar and wartime days has encouraged its youth to engage in both academic and technical work as part of speeding up production if not building a better nation, and somehow quite inspiring for a developing country to have its youth engage in technical and vocational work alongside academics; but if the basis of their insistence is rooted on cheap labour export to "developing clients", then what a mockery of education, and even development it is then! Knowing that the system has greatly relied on remittances to fill corrupt officials cash in their pockets.

However, apologetics insist the idea out of it. That in a still agricultural country in need of agrarian reform, they will insist a knowledge-based one, in a country that has a still stunted industrial sector, they will insist a service oriented one "so as to keep in par with the west" the way they insist free trade and deregulation brings cheap goods and services; and  statements insist that the private sector accounts for more than half of the Philippines’ gross domestic product as well as employment.
And since they afforded to say so, then how about the agricultural and industrial sectors? How come it is being almost disregarded as the system focused on the service-oriented sector? People may heard about its neighbours taking pride in increasing production especially in meeting its people's demand be it food or gadgets, but in a still developing country, why to rely heavily on a sector depending on outside, rather than domestic capital? The system may take pride in its country's "development", yet it still didn't develop its own industries nor emancipate the farmers from its bondage, so as to resolve its actually existing crisis.

So is the goal of “Building inclusive economies, building a better world”, as the theme for that economic summit lies a profound idealism, especially for a still developing country that tries to keep in touch with its developed neighbours. But after 1996 with its first summit in Subic Zambales, it seems that the Philippines has remained mal-developed regardless of increasing Gross Domestic and National Products, depending on remittances from its own diaspora. Globalisation and Neoliberalism has crippled rather than developing Small and Medium Enterprises’ (SMEs) in the guise of Participation in Regional and Global Markets; and policies in education and health has increased mortality rates and dropouts. Is this what the system taking pride most of the time? What a mockery then.

But regardless of their statements, still, the Philippines remains stunted in its "development" besides having a "Semifeudal-Semicolonial" order; in communities affected by calamities, the system's negligence, if not a mockery of support contradicts messages such as "it is easier for the people to build sustainable communities", for reality shows that building sustainable communities under the present order does not guarantee sustainability. Most likely intensifying repression within those communities with same "brutal" methods yet with new "correct" names and reasoning. Yes, they would say that their communities are sustainable, but at the expense of the people's right to live for the fact that they are evicted by "developers" favourable to the system. So are the farmers who are threatened by evictions, if not already evicted in case of Hacienda Looc and other estates taken over by co-called "developers".

Anyways, for a developing country, building a sustainable community should be based on application of social justice and productivity, but if the system and its apologetics afforded to speak heavily of "self-help" as a panacea for social ills, then it is better to say that if they afforded to speak much of self-help solutions, why not urge them to act collectively knowing that the problem is social rather than individual?
Remember: most of these people are paying taxes no matter who they are, call them names as you wish but the call of the majority should prevail over the visitors such as foreigners under different names and countries. Also remember that since the people are sovereign under the law, they demand agrarian reform, nationalist industrialisation, a progressive fiscal social policy, empowerment of women and youth, a patriotic, popular, and progressive education and culture, and others that somehow real than those what these neoliberalists afforded to babble.

The Philippines, as well as other countries are tired of being vassals to the developed ones with economies that are exclusive, rather than inclusive, and now it's up to the people to rise up and vent the rage-collectively.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

"As blood again soaked Paris"

"As blood again soaked Paris"

Or all after yesterday's tragic incident 
that made most afford to join the bandwagon
While aloofing others

A woman was evacuated from the Bataclan concert hall Friday.
About 100 people were reportedly killed there.
source: Thibault Camus/Associated Press

It's been an object of news reports since yesterday, that months after "Charlie Hebdo", another tragic incident in the French capital has made the entire world again in a state of shock and an outburst of support since New York's September 11 2001, with Paris that has reeled Friday night from a shooting rampage, explosions and mass hostage-taking that made President François Hollande called an unprecedented terrorist attack on France.  

As according to the website "The Mind Unleashed", the tragedy itself is consist of coordinated killings in the "city of lights", of bombings and firing of guns coming from fanatics whose motivation is a distorted version of their religion, with the idea of a "worldwide caliphate" as its goal (this person's take):

"In the late hours of Friday the 13th, 2015, a half a dozen locations in Paris have suffered a series of coordinated attacks by the Islamic State (IS), as recently disclosed in a statement by these radical extremists. Reports are that 129 people have been killed, with over 300 who have been injured. Eight “terrorists” have also been allegedly killed in action, most of which were suicide bombers.

The majority of the deaths occurred at the Bataclan concert hall in the city’s East, which was a packed gig by the band “Eagles of Death Metal”. The band escaped unharmed before a ten minute massacre ensued; this was reported to be led by men wielding AK47s and explosive devices.

There were also tens of people killed in separate orchestrations across the city, including bombs set off at a sports stadium and bar, as well as a shootout at a restaurant. All up it is reported that six locations were targeted which purposely terrorized the mind-state of France, as well as the rest of the world."

Quite worrisome and lamenting to hear those reports, and people engaging in social media took time to change their profile pictures to those featuring the French Tricolor with messages urging to "Pray for Paris" and other sympathising words enough to comfort the lamenting Parisian.

And because of that tragedy, it had intensified racial hysteria against the Arabs such as those from Syria if not Maghreb. True that most Arabs are easy to be described as Muslims, and Islam has almost equated to terrorism if not for these "distortions" coming from self-proclaimed "radicals", but reports stated that the ones who actually done that incident are themselves French and Belgian in their citizenship, thus, why not investigate further instead of subjectively condemning people including those who aren't even involved in that incident?
Besides that, France has also supported "Syrian Insurgents" against Bashar al-Assad, these "insurgents" includes those who are aligned with Al-Qaeda like the "Jabhat Al-Nusra" that also fighting against the "Islamic State". Maybe it is right for Assad that France's 'Flawed' Foreign Policy has led to Paris Attacks, that "What France suffered from savage terror is what the Syrian people have been enduring," as what he said to a French delegation.

However, this person sees much of the issue as likely to be "band wagoned", for it has made certain individuals in social media as if a fad in a way people afforded to change their profile to pictures yet with a different "reason". One example is the picture from above in which she mistaken having her picture "tri-coloured" for the APEC summit instead of the tragedy in the "City of Lights".

Worse, there are those who even downplayed the tragedy that made certain personalities make a "fuss" out of it such as Boy Abunda.

But as for the "AlDub" duo of Allen Richards and Maine Mendoza, they urged their fans to "Pray for Paris" rather than supporting what their fanatics posted in Twitter. Inconveniently true it may be for these fanatics that "they don't really care about it" about the tragedy compared to those who afforded to join in the band wagon as if a fad to "sympathise" yet aloof in regards to much serious ones like those of Lebanon, Syria, even Mindanao with Lumad tribesfolk clamouring for justice (that also made "AlDub" and its followers afforded to set up libraries for them besides supporting their call).

And lastly, there are certain individuals trying to compare slow internet and road traffic to those of war and terror? What a stupid sense of entitlement compared to other pictures, trying to trivialise death and destruction by comparing it to their "damned middle class" problems as if a social issue; may as well better to be blatantly apathetic in case of the misguided "AlDub" fanatics.

There are more issues coming from these bad wagoners in treating the tragedy as a fad, enough to be criticised for thinking "terrorism happens in developed, christian/secular, westernised countries". Just because Paris is the "City of Lights", the capital of Fashion, of Moulin Rouge, Eiffel Tower, and the Bridge full of Locks, the tragedy brought by these "radicals" really expressed lament but to be aloof in really tragic ones in case of Lebanon, Syria, as well as others, of what is lamentation and call for justice then?  Perhaps the pictures below coming from "Murica Today" speaks for itself:

Well, in regards to this person, in seeing such events like this, rather asked that what if the explosion happened in Manila, and who is to be blame:
Will it be the "Islamic" Terrorists fighting for the "Caliphate"? 
Moro Separatists fighting for Bangsamoro Homeland? 
Communists trying to destroy the semifeudal-semicolonial order? 
Conspirators from the right trying to make war against the radicals? 
The government trying to make a conspiracy? 
Or another septic tank accident similar to those of Glorietta 
if not warring Fratmen in case of the Bar Exam explosion at Taft Ave near La Salle? 

Sorry to say those words if not being speculative, and some are unlikely to vent their "direct actions" towards civilians. but despite the lamentations he sought and even felt, this person thinks that there are those who treat the entire tragedy (if happened in Manila) as a "punishment" for they really wanted to cull a part of the population "for the sake of order" as if Hitler's Reichstag fire. There may be armed that are politically driven, but there are some that are all but a mockery of it besides those of creating chaos. And this person have read some earlier screenshots (such as that picture below who "wants to have a calamity 'even greater' for she doesn't want to study and instead having a party") yearning to punish a part, if not the entire population thinking "most of them are dumb", if not "stupid" or even "bad" that makes the country poor and miserable.

Anyways, justice should been served. Not just for the victims in Paris, but all over the world. Everyone may continue lamenting and expressing sympathies, but hope that next makes everyone be prepared, by not condoning the actions especially those whose motive is to create a scene where chaos rules over justice.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

"Show them the real faces! Hear the loud inconvenient noises!

"Show them the real faces! 
Hear the loud inconvenient noises!"

Notes prior to the 2015 APEC Summit
in a country still under crisis

Days from now the people would hear noises from both in favour as well as against Globalisation and Neoliberalism. 

From the marching of the Lumad folks from Mindanao, students clamouring against tuition and other fee increases, peasants shouting agrarian justice, to those of  the Neoliberals trying to assert their "Developmental Interests" especially in the upcoming 2016 Summit led by the "Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation", these contradicting noises of the haves and have-nots filled the pages of various papers and social media sites, with the latter trying to "humanise" its inhumane idea brought by international finance capital.

At first, the Philippines will be hosting visiting leaders of and delegates from member-economies of the "Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation", through the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting which is slated for November 18 to 19, 2015. The government had afforded to set a "holiday" so as to appear the country orderly, with Metro Manila residents having a short break from school and work from November 17 to 20.
But despite the mandated holiday, heightened security measures has been enacted, with some alternative routes to ease traffic in the metro, again, so as to appear the country as "orderly" as possible.

However, despite all the pretensions of order, it is obvious that the system has trying to gag the noise, especially coming the people who really knew the system has trying to create a showcase of pomp and glamour as in the past;  that President Aquino and his clique as urged the people "to be patient" and urges that matters of state should be dealt with officials and not be intervened by the common people particularly those who are opposing his inconsistencies, Let Aquino rely on his fellow landowners, capitalists, and even his own "progressives" like those of Soliman, Abad, and Akbayan; Let the people have patience, especially during that economic summit, which will soon be convened.

But regardless of their appeals and "holidays", the majority of the people are opposing the system's repressive policies and willing to march against it. This was proved by the long and painful course of events be it those urging to stop repressions against Lumads to those of Commercialisation of Schools and Public Health. Earlier issues such as Pork Barrel and Disbursement Acceleration Program has made some coming to oppose the administration, so are the victims of Typhoons Lando and Yolanda as well as survivors of Hacienda Luisita Massacre who consistently knew how shrewd these mismanagers such as President Aquino and his Clique.

And like earlier attempts, the administration tries to prove itself as relevant, knowing that in few months is the election period with a series of projects or policies to take pride on; but with the actually existing mismanagement of the state with policies favouring those of interests, isn't it obvious that the people had enough of them making existing problems aggravated? They afforded to sneer people through the illusion of a path that is "righteous" last 2010 after getting tired of Arroyo and her policies, only to found it soiled and bloodied with all the controversies the administration involved and denied, with policies as all but a rehash of past administrations, be it from Arroyo and its earlier predecessors, but with new-found names and terms carefully crafted by same old interests of the compradore-landlord partnership.

But the more they assert, then expect a breakthrough of angst, that is pointing against the administration despite their half-hearted programs and rhetorics. In regards to the Government employees, true it may be that the administration imposed a pay hike of 226 Billion pesos according to the system's press releases, but according to Ferdinand Gaite of the Confederation for Unity Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees, he stated that the rank and file employees (the bulk of which are those receiving the minimum pay of P9,000 a month) whose salaries have been frozen since 2012 would rather receive a measly pay hike of about P500 a month or just about P20 a day compared to higher government officials who had already enjoy other job-related perks aside from their fat salaries. He even stated that To claim that a P9,000 minimum pay is already sufficient is delusional knowing that the family living wage is now standing at P32,000 plus a month. 
So are the peasants, who still wallowed in their antiquated poverty and repression from landed interests. The injustice of Mendiola Massacre is now at its 28th year, while Hacienda Luisita in its 11th, and yet extra-judicial killings against peasants continue so are the import-oriented policies (such as imported agricultural produce) that crippled smaller farmers into serfdom. Nowadays, corporate farming has been largely encouraged with San Miguel, Del Monte, and other agri-business entities trying to maintain and even taking over land from small-scale farmers and even communities such as Lumads in Mindanao; the aggravation of feudal policies had made "Agrarian Reform" a Farce if not a Sham that fooled the peasantry in general.

There are other examples to counter the "developmental actions" that is obviously forms of patronage politics, as well as policies that aggravates existing tensions. How come the system afforded to hand over some thousands to the homeless in order to be well-hidden besides those of high walls and other "beautification projects" to please the leaders of the well-developed countries? How also come the system has trying to act eager when it comes to present a good presentation of a still-developing country such as beaches and various tourism sites amidst controversies? Well, it makes this person and others justifyingly thinking that if the system don't show its well-off visitors the real face of the country and its true condition, then what's the point in all the talks, handshakes, toasts, and pictures to be shown in various media outlets? Insincerity breeds fraud, and in fraud gives birth to fleeting cooperations. Show them the real faces! Let them hear the loud, inconvenient noises! Because everyone would like to see their real selves and their reactions too, as well as to vent the real rage that is contrary to what the system has tried to invoke with. If the late president Marcos had afforded to speak much about the "Revolt of the Poor", and Aquino takes pride in his "Righteous Path", then this person and the others concerned would say that the poor that is revolting, who had afforded to say the inconvenient truth, has traversed that long path called "straight", but not to support the policies of the system, but to overturn it knowing that these aren't made for the people but to appease the entities that continues to cling in their interests.

Monday, 9 November 2015



Notes on those who yearned for "benevolent despotism"
to take in place of "Democracy"

by Kat Ulrike

"Desiplina," "Diseplina", "Deseplena".

These is one of the words commonly spoken by mistypped nostalgics and order obsessed fanatics in social media, and that word is more than just insisting discipline. For what they want at first is an order based on their "cherished pasts" and nothing else.

In reading their comments, or perhaps their misttyped words and its exaggerations, this person would say that they wanted an era that deemphasise "Democracy" and focused much on order like any other governments of the past. Most of them hated poverty and corruption, but instead of mobilising they prefer forcing people to get contented knowing that to assert beyond parameters is but a disordlerly noise, while favouring letting the issue be ameliorated by persons "capable to resolve" such as a statesperson.
Otherwise, these people insist that hard work alone is enough, that "change" is coming from "themselves" and nothing else, frustrations of self-made beings in a society marred by rising costs of goods and services, low purchasing power, corruption and gross negligence and mismanagement of state machinery that requires cooperation and struggle. And that idea is somehow reminiscent of the door at Auschwitz in letting these people consistently reminding them: "Arbeit Nacht Frei", in work brings life.

Like Thailand during the era of Sarit Thanarat, of King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, Shahanshah Reza Pahlavi,  or even the Philippines' own Ferdinand Marcos, people have wanted a strongman not just a leader, a boss rather than a head of state, a person that embodies fear as it represents the nation and its people, with the guts to go beyond the law just to keep things in order. That person may babble democracy and freedom the way it does developmental projects, but that democracy and freedom of sorts may likely be a facade as the regime emphasises fear in the name of discipline. Development may be given, not as a national task but more of a benevolence like any other feudal despot who afforded to take pride in its numerous projects and decrees described as "emancipative" in a way Ferdinand Marcos described his admnistration as "revolutionary" and his government situated at the "center" rather than "above" the Volksgemeinschaft (folk community). as what he said:

 “Government in a democracy, stands at the center of ─ not above─ the political community. It governs, and the men in government may constitute a governing class, but only in the democratic sense that the masses, sovereign as they are, cannot govern.” 

More than anything else, Marcos wanted to stress a "Liberal", "Democratic", "Peaceful" kind of "revolution", a stark contrast to the kind of violent "Jacobin" revolution aimed at the existing government and seeking for its overthrow. In fact, what really Marcos is trying to insist “Revolution from the Center” was nothing more but a revolution undertaken by the existing government itself, but in reality a dictatorship trying to appear "Democratic" unlike Thanarat who eschewed Democracy and Liberalism in favour of a rabid Benevolent Despotism.
And that somehow makes apologetics in social media agree to it The state should handle the issue and provide anything while making people "shut up" from criticising state insufficiencies, injustices, repression, and be "in order" so as to curry outside investments and focusing much on "development" that is enough to take pride on in its media centre. Remember: During Martial Rule, strikes and invoking anti-government criticism to those of long haired guys and rumour mongering are not allowed as it equates to disorder.  

And to think that as leaders and adherents continue to insist terms like "discipline" and "order", what kind of discipline and order they are talking about? Is it the discipline of the camps? Order based from total fear? Most commentators this person had sought and read may have wanted a leader who is better to be feared than loved, for "to be if you cannot be both" as what Machiavelli said. Nothing is wrong in insisting discipline and order particularly to a developing nation, but in this person's observation maybe their perception of order may likely involved "having no questions asked" in imposing certain decrees or undertaking projects no matter it infringes the law. Maybe these commentators looked at the examples of so-called paternalistic societies for an inspiration, be it Lee Kwan Yew's Singapore or perhaps Saud's Saudi Arabia with all its strictest "theocratic" laws and various "modernising" projects, but on the other hand, Filipinos have a perchance in American-style "rugged individualism", hence, isn't it that contradicting? Some, if not most of them babble about "self-initiative" that as if a panacea for social ills, that they insist that hard work alone is enough to resolve the crisis and to bring change, without any protection at all from the state nor solidarity from its fellowmen thinking that "change" is coming from "themselves alone" and nothing else, frustrations of self-made beings in a society marred by rising costs of goods and services, corruption and gross negligence and mismanagement of state machinery.

But Nonetheless, their words is all but a frustration to return to their glorious "imaginative" pasts where order means a sound sleep and less interference, wherein not believing is anathema what more of opposing.

And maybe they will still speak about democracy while few of them really wanted a return to "tradition" with paternalism as its foundations. Again, nothing is wrong in having an orderly society, a disciplined populace, but wanting an order and discipline based from total fear rather as in the past rather aggravates the age-old situation, of injustice that is creeping behind the modern-day façade. 

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Cooperation? Don't think so!

Cooperation? Don't think so!

Notes prior to the summit of the "Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation"

by Kat Ulrike

souce: Jun Sanchez

To think that the system is eager to present a façade of upliftment if not those of widespread development, it is nothing but a continuation of keeping firm in its feudal tradition, swaddled in garments called developmental state supported by international capital. True that there are well paved roads and bridges, malls and various modern looking edifices, but being a predominantly backward agricultural country with the system's intentionally disdaining for total industrialisation rather exposes the fact that the country clings in its feudalism, and it somehow benefits "developed" countries especially those who tried to keep interests in the islands such as those of mining and plantation sites in Mindanao, particularly those contested by the Lumad folk.

And also to think that while the United States and China are projected as rival countries and its "disputes" as "cold war-like", their collaboration to maintain their hegemony makes them worse than what Filipinos have experienced in the past, what more of today with policies whose perspective clings to semicolonialism, and with "cooperating" groups like APEC, in which includes these two "rivals" involved, rather bring further neoliberal policies to both underdeveloped and developing countries masked by the mantra of globalization.
In its four decades of "developmental intervention", with phrases such as “Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World”, these neoliberal-oriented groups and policies sponsored by these "developed countries" have proven to only serve its interests while aggravating problems to those called "underdeveloped" or "developing". Also to think that contrary to the system's propaganda mills and hordes of apologetics, maldevelopment continues to aggravate with Unemployment Rate in Philippines that has increased to 6.50% in the third quarter of 2015 from 6.40% in the second quarter of 2015; while commercialization and annual budget cuts on state universities and colleges (SUCs) continued still with billions of pesos having collected from tuition and other school fees imposed on students of public schools. Tuition fee in the University of the Philippines for instance, the country’s so-called "national university", is much more expensive than other private schools.
These examples showed how aggressive neoliberal globalisation sponsored by "developed countries" is especially when it comes to crippling domestic jobs, rising dropouts, distrust to appointed and elected officials whose intention is to warm their seats and filling pockets.

With these inconvenient examples, then it shows that isn't it that hypocritical for a system who afforded to babble development, upliftment, progress yet actually trying to hid the actually-existing poverty and repression? Rising unemployment rates, commercialisation of education, health, and various forms of social services, aggravation of poverty what more of feudal repression in the countryside, justified by agreements and laws craftily made to appear populistic as such. Sorry to paraphrase Goebbels but with neoliberalism and globalisation, all is under the control of international banking syndicates who formulated certain policies. It is not national capital that moves international, but international economic hyenas that move international capital together with its compradore and landlord counterparts, whose intention is to keep firm in its domestic interests. The system's semfeudal interests has been continued to be swaddled with international capital, so as to present the society "look modern". The fact that Tollways, Railways, Banks, Factories, Aviation, Schools various forms of assets, everything profitable has been controlled by local and international oligarchs whose offices are in New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, to those of Makati and Taguig. True that they "afforded to create a facade of progress", but these shares are worthless, for they don't roll over railways, man the factories, till and reap cash crops, don’t produce bread or goods and make, nor give money as basis to uplift wholeheartedly the masses. They are only good for interest, worse, keeping firm in its status quo particularly its semifeudal-semicolonial character courtesy of existing and possible agreements coming from the present social order besides those of bureaucratic corruption and repression."

Well, no wonder if this so-called "straight path" that is soiled and bloodied creates a path for the modern-day Bolsheviks to storm the palaces and centres the system trying to keep firm with. Cooperation with the rotten system and globalisation? Don't think so, for it is impossible!

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Of Nicholas Berdyaeff and his quest for a theology of Liberation

Of Nicholas Berdyaeff 
and his quest for a theology of Liberation

By Kat Ulrike

"The Russian people did not achieve their ancient dream of Moscow, the Third Rome. The ecclesiastical schism of the seventeenth century revealed that the muscovite tsardom is not the third Rome. The messianic idea of the Russian people assumed either an apocalyptic form or a revolutionary; and then there occurred an amazing event in the destiny of the Russian people. Instead of the Third Rome in Russia, the Third International was achieved, and many of the features of the Third Rome pass over to the Third International. The Third International is also a Holy Empire, and it also is founded on an Orthodox faith. The Third International is not international, but a Russian national idea."

- Nicholas Berdyaeff

At first, it seems that it is rare for an Orthodox Christian to speak of "Liberation". True that Orhodox Christianity are no strangers to liberation struggles as they have experienced hardship in totalitarian and oppressive regimes. It may find odd for a church known for tradition speaks heavily of "social liberation" and likely to find liberation theology as unacceptable.  
However, very few theologians afforded to tackle upon it, especially those who afforded to read what is deemed subversive, and whose writings were critical of the sociopolitical and religious status quo and sought to reconcile communism with Christianity. One of them is Nicholas Berdyaeff.

Born from a noble family and even engaged in Revolutionary action, Berdyaeff eventually studied religion, particulary his faith and his attempt to reconcile his earlier inclination. Like other proto-Liberation Theologians, he seeks the relevance of faith in contemporary life which is marred by social disturbance. However, such ideas may find it contradicting to the fundamentals of the Orthodox faith,  particularly the idea of action than contemplation. 

In fact, in this person's view on both Liberation and traditional Orthodox Theologies, there lies contradictions ought to understand if not trying to have a reconciliation of sorts. While liberation theology emphasises the immanence of God and the humanity of the suffering Christ, Orthodox theology, profoundly soteriological, emphasises the transcendence of God and the divinity of Christ. It described faith as “a personal adherence to the personal presence of God Who reveals Himself” while Theology “as word and as thought must necessarily conceal a gnostic dimension, in the sense of the theology of contemplation and silence.” And in practise, traditional Orthodox theology stresses contemplation, that “Nourished with contemplation, it does not become established in silence but seeks to speak the silence, humbly, by a new use of thought and word." Clergy and laity alike has emphasised actions meant to emphasise faith, particularly those of prayer and silence that made critics describing them as dealing with the afterlife than those of the present situation, what more that the Church during the era of Berdyaeff was controlled by an autocratic, reactionary state.
No wonder Orthodoxy's interpretation of faith, particularly those of contemplation is a far cry from the action-packed idea of liberation of some radical minded Christians, Catholic or Protestant alike, that seeks to overthrow unjust social and political structures with violence if necessary. 

But in case of Berdyaeff, the idea of having his faith as a revolutionary force stems on the idea of reconciling both some of Orthodox doctrines and those from his revolutionary background. Berdyaeff's initial connivance with Marxism, however, was eventually replaced with a remewed interest in Orthodox Chrisitianity and perhaps trying to make a radical as he, nonetheless, supports the idea of socialism as a basis for a government rooted on social justice. 

But besides him, there were religious radicals, influenced by Marxism, had accused the Orthodox Church of being too concerned with the afterlife and thereby neglecting to make the message of Christ relevant to the needs of people in this present life. They wanted the Orthodox Church, like its Roman Catholic and Protestant counterparts to be more involved in the lives of the common folk, in the social, economic and political transformation of the country. 
That according to Alexandr Negrov, he claims that “Russian theological thought at the end of the nineteenth century was very social in its focus (...). Hidden behind these social utopias was the search for the Kingdom of God."

Given that there are radical thinkers within the church, some of these were convinced that socialism could help to create a more equitable society, as they believed that socialism is not all-together incompatible with Christianity and that it could lead to the realisation of social justice where the exploitation of human beings will not be allowed. This means that Christians should promote the socialisation of society that would guarantee people’s right to work, to live life to the full and to promote justice. They also believed that only the church, because of its spiritual orientation, is able to create the New Man that Marxism promotes.
And as stated earlier, Berdyaeff was one of those thinkers who believed that it was possible for a Christian to be a socialist. He even insisted that a Christian “ought to be a socialist.” The featured quote in his post even stated the Communist "Third International" as also rooted on an Christian faith, what more of a Russian national idea, maybe because it was situated in Soviet Russia where it was began if not having the urge to create a society which is to be found in the scriptures such as a just society. 

It may find it strange that Berdyaeff's transition from Marxism to Christianity still kept his idea of a socialist society as any other radical envisioned. Echoing Karl Marx in his book "Theology of Hope", Moltman said, “The theologian is not concerned merely to supply a different interpretation of the world, of history and of human nature, but to transform them in expectation of a divine transformation.” Berdyaeff's radicalism and his renewed faith may served as a basis for attempting to make the Contemplative church into a pro-active entity especially in the course of human struggle for a better society. What more that he warns us that "if Christianity refuses to take social justice seriously on the ground that original sin makes us incapable of any good, then this task will be taken by others and the idea of justice will distorted" believing that the present order,despite its modern day trappings, is also a result of original sin as Christians insisted: unjust and inequitable.

Personally, Berdyaeff's idea, stemming from both Christian and Marxist roots also somehow meant recognizing faith as a driving force for revolutionary enthusiasm, especially that today's events involved churchpeople who are willing to break the stereotype and putting their faith into action such as fulfilling the task such as those of a revolutionary, in a way Christ himself, born of worker had to mingle with the oppressed peoples, bringing a sword against those, including those who takes pride in their religion yet actions far from their belief such as their corruption. He even favoured some form of socialism. With the fact that the writings of Berdyaeff reveal to us themes that anticipate the theology of liberation. 

Basing on existing theses related to one of proto-Liberation Theologians, as well as existing writeups on Liberation Theology itself, it may find it strange and hopeful that a once activist turned Theologian was trying to reconcile both ideas in pursuit of transforming the Contemplative church into a Church willing to be active in social and economic change, driven by the idea to serve the less fortunate in preparation for the final judgement. 
And come to think of this: since everyone, marred by issues should take their opposition into action, to the extent of getting beyond the parameters of "order", let's say, basing from the Bible scriptures describing the mission of Jesus Christ, as bringing a sword (social unrest), e.g. Isaiah 61:1, Matthew 10:34, Luke 22:35–38 — and not as bringing peace (social order) as others think about. The contemplative church may have deemphasised the idea that made Berdyaeff rekindle through those chapters knowing that his society as deemed unjust as well as thinking of what was his faith if it is not for the less fortunate.

Mentioning about the Third International, and its description as a holy empire, then yes, it is holy but not an empire in a classical sense, but rather a union of oppressed and dispossessed masses, given that the beatitudes said about "blessed are the oppressed, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven"; and  seemed quite true that the oppressed really wanted a kingdom of heaven be set upon on earth and impose justice against those who for long oppressing the people and satisfying at their hardships imposed on them. Berdyaeff may have tried to elaborate further, only to be realised by those whom may be similar to his thought but much radical as Berdyaeff himself, such as the clergymen who had end immersed in the countryside carrying both the bible and the rifle, preaching while fighting against the system that is, evil and rottingly decadent to the core. 

God is disclosed in the historical ‘’praxis’’ of liberation. It is the situation, and with the passionate and reflective involvement in it, which mediates the Word of God. Today that Word is mediated through the cries of the poor and the oppressed. Yearning not just spiritual regeneration, but actual justice being promised to be practised.