Thursday, 30 April 2015

All after celebrations, An administration that almost surrender resorted to Credit grabbing, And a need for vigilance

"All after Celebrations,
An administration that almost surrender resorted to Credit grabbing,
And a need for Vigilance"


"Mary Jane Lives!" These are the words being posted in every social media page a day ago in celebrating Mary Jane Veloso's sentence being suspended by the Indonesian courts. 

With all the prayers and further pressures on both Philippine and Indonesian governments, seems that her support did changed President Joko Widodo's mind leading to a temporary reprieve with a series of reviews over existing and new documents leading to a possible retrial and decision, that somehow made those who had calling for support least having a smile and rejoice for a moment.

However, that event seemed to be a time for credit grabbing on the side of the administration, that despite being late in its moves it tries to assume itself as the one who made Jokowi (Widodo's nickname) stopped Veloso's execution, that somehow made his supporters, apologetics expressing thanks and his critics a mood of disgust knowing how its earlier actions and statements did prove how incompetent Aquino is in handling such situtation such as saving an innocent Filipina from execution. 

But being fanatic, if not acting apologetic, they demand respect to an haciendero president and its administration regardless of how incompetent or negligent he is in ensuring the Filipino's well being; if not assailing the ones making the protest-vigil near the Indonesian Embassy of disrespecting their law, much more its decision, and lately in downplaying the administration's "effort" in saving.

Anyways, despite the fact that Noynoy Aquino is the president and "hence be respected" like any other filial figure apologetics ought to say in regards to the issue, these people, as well as his die-hard supporters should also remember that the people of the Philippines are the sovereign, his bosses as what he said several years ago; and being boss has the right to criticize his incompetencies, his slack attitudes, and stupidities that made his administration infamously known for. And although "he did afford" to make effort in saving Mary Jane Veloso, it does not mean he and his administration should take entirely the credit. For the people, via the organisations involved, did the updates, the papers, the work that is more than just press releases and statements the Department of Foreign Affairs has afforded to say in front of the camera. 

And actually, they are the ones who make pressure on the authorities. Is a five minute dialouge enough for a negotiation over a serious issue? Not really as compared to a weeks of paperwork, gathering updates from both Philippines and Indonesia, as well as other tasks resulting to breakthroughs in ensuring Veloso's survival.

Furthermore, seems that media and its apologetics did really focus much on Aquino being "savior" unlike his predecessors handing such similar situations. In case of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, did she was given thanks? Then how come Former General Cimatu, Ambassador Segis, was much credited by media for saving Angelo dela Cruz from beheading by the terrorists? In case of Fidel V. Ramos, did he was given thanks? Then how come Roy Señeres was then regularly celebrated by media for saving Sarah Balabagan from being executed at the United Arab Emirates? Well, what this person sees is how people of today gave too much credit to the administration for its so-called effort, whilst negating those who directly engage unlike those from the past, that they belittle groups like Migrante International, the National Union of Peoples Lawyers, as well as other groups concerned, for pressuring the administration to focus on the plight of the Filipino diaspora. 

According to Jessica Soho, the Department of Foreign Affairs 
refrained the family from speaking about the issue

For the administration only knows that the Filipino diaspora are milking cows to ensure their corruption, with the Labor Export Policy, it means more remittances and less welfare amidst the hardships and threats workers ought to endure just to ensure their family's well being while working abroad; "forget the welfare, remittances is what we need" as what they obviously think yet can't directly say. And although they made efforts to ensure justice for the convicted victim according to their statements, does not mean should negate, if not forget altogether the actions of the people, via public pressure that is commonly abhorred due to its noise and traffic as they blocked the thoroughfare! 
But come to think of this dear readers, that amidst the credit grabbing being overheard, it is also the same government who had earlier stated that they gave up, and even telling everyone "least the proceedings include due process" amidst having an actually disorderly translation leading to an unfair decision. 

How come a credit grabber of today
Is also the one who gave up yesterday?

That somehow also shared by apologetics few days ago justifying man as born for the laws rather than laws are being made for men. The fact that the law is harsh, and knows no ignorance,  laws are fluid and be open for interpretation in which people ought to seek what is legitimately right in pursuit of one's life, liberty, and happiness. 

However, with the pressure looming further from the streets to social media, seems that they change their supposed legalist tone unjustly condemning to a tone of support for that "Johnny-come-lately" administration to assist Mrs. Veloso; that instead of asserting their earlier statements, they assumed that they are convinced with the recent events leading to a suspended sentence and a possible retrial. They did even credit the statement of Atty. General Pretsayo, but how about Jokowi's statement? Did they consider his statement as well?


Well, amidst the rejoicing, especially those of seeing people congratulating the president for his credit grabbing act, still the time continues to tick again, for there is no final decision yet in regards to Veloso's fate. 

In other words, vigilance. Let's wait for the final decision from the courts, for not all endings are happy.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

MERDEKA!

MERDEKA!

a poem for Mary Jane Veloso
made in response to an earlier statement confirming her execution

also feat. scenes from the action near the Indonesian Embassy
by Reynaldo Refran


***

Well, seems that the so-called apologetics has the last say to the issue. 
That just like from the start they justify having a sacrificial lamb be executed 
in order to say that crime does not pay.


That amidst all the efforts coming from lawyers, of migrants groups trying to gain information, 
Mass organizations, and concerned individuals expressing sympathies calling for freedom, 
these calls are all turned down by an incompetent system 
who also did paying lip service to the bereaved family and friends 
yet doesn't give any seriousness on the issue.


A brother continues to weep, the rest lit their candles,
chanting freedom till turning a vigil into a scuffle
thanks to the men who sworn "to serve and protect".


Sorry to say those kinds of words being expressed in this post,
but how come countries like France and Australia did made Jokowi stopped the execution
while the Philippines, via its own system, its own head of state,
chose to disregard if not saying come what may? 
Is it because it harms diplomatic relations? 
Of the possibility having no allies over scuffles in Sabah and in the West Philippine Sea?


No wonder why they let the issue be disregarded by the system for five years
While migrants and sectoral groups, concerned lawyers, friends and acquaintances
Trying to gain updates, of hearing words like mistrial, retrial, death row, execution, firing squad, coffins, bullets, guns, clemency, commutation, reprieve, pardon, freedom! 


And lately we hear Prasetyo justifying:
 "That’s what our laws decided.
We say, our courts are open, fair and nothing is closed.
We have explained that we’re not against them [personally].
What we fight is the serious crime of drugs.
We ask for prayers and support from everyone
so that this unpleasant duty can be finished well,
 without any disturbances."


Yes, without any disturbances, but in actual the cries becoming louder and louder
That one of them is a victim, that one of them can able to reform
to become well rounded citizens, to express thanks how Pancasila's justice
Is also rehabilitative amidst its strictest tone.

But again, what everybody sees is a heart of stone.
Yes, no compromise for these mules yet how about the cartels
that duped innocents with the illusion of working as legitimate workers
whose remittances be allocated to the "development" of a still "developing" state?


Well then, the call will always be MERDEKA!
She may be dead, but innocence prevails crying for MERDEKA!
If the leaders of today failed to heed the calls of many,
Perhaps the Ratu Adil be given the justice knowing that she is innocent
for a crime unknowingly she did.

Perhaps, another call has been commenced:

JUSTICE FOR MARY JANE VELOSO!
VICTIM NOT CRIMINAL!
MERDEKA!



"Time is (still) running fast, but the final decision stays in the side of justice."

"Time is (still) running fast,
but the final decision stays in the side of justice."


Again, time is running fast these days. As people continue listening to the reports, if not making a series of vigils still calling "for a break" or simply altogether shrugging the issue off for the sake of "moving on", an innocent life, no matter how second it is, is at stake and in need of mass support.

Just like what this writer had said in his earlier post, he is one with the people in calling for Mary Jane Veloso's freedom, or even justice, in case that she be fell into the bullets in spite of her innocence as a victim of an evil scheme. Everybody knows that she's arrested, imprisoned, and waiting for a final second of her life whether facing the executioner or in a stroke of luck, a call from Jokowi to remove her from the list. 

And to those whom assuming to be for the rule of law, the rule of law is actually a codified rule of men, that its articles are open for any kind of interpretation, but the main stress is simple yet absolutely important: all for the common good. Everybody knows that the law is harsh, that ignorance is not above the law, but it does not mean those whom are accused are be bereft of a fair trial and hence just simply executed and forget it as if nothing happened. 
Frankly speaking, they are actually not looking for a rule of law given their statements this writer had read in social media, but a leadership principle that requires being above in it. Jokowi's actions, just like Lee, Mahathir, or Ferdie, uses authority, rather than law to justify what they think is for the common good. "Anything for the state, Nothing against the State" as what the quote says. 


Anyways, hope that the final decision stays in the side of justice. 


***

As of this day, President Jokowi is in a meeting with a migrants organisation in Jakarta talking about Mary Jane Veloso's case. The Indonesian Government has confirmed to them that they got reports of Christine's (who had duped Veloso into a drug mule) arrest. They also stated that they will verify the implications of the arrest on Veloso's case. Meeting with jokowi still currently ongoing. (Source: Pinoy Weekly)

Monday, 27 April 2015

"Time is running fast for freedom and justice"

"Time is running fast for freedom and justice"

(Or all after the events surrounding 
the fate of a human trafficking victim, 
and be unjustly accused as a drug trafficker)




It is been days to hear reports such as this.

As media outlets from TV, Radio,  Print, as well as  in the Internet, had witnessed the events surrounding the life of a Filipina that is currently imprisoned and waiting for the final decision prior to the full enactment of the sentence.

As Mary Jane Veloso, a once domestic helper at UAE, was arrested years ago in Indonesia over drug smuggling charges. A mother of two and a daughter of a farmworker at Hacienda Luisita, Veloso is a high school drop-out yet enough trying to speak, write in english via her statement in Rappler.  

According to Veloso, she insists that she was framed and duped into unknowingly acting as a drug mule. By believing in her relative promising a decent work at Malaysia, she end rather Carrying 2.6 kilograms of heroin via her luggage, leading to a series of events up to her possible death through the firing squad. 

That case somehow made groups like Migrante International, the National Union of Peoples Lawyers, Integrated Bar of the Philippines, and several mass organisations trying to save her life from the decision of the Indonesian courts. Several appeals calling for a review of the case, both from the concerned groups and even from the government has been given to its Indonesian counterpart, only to be turned down by the latter. 

Meanwhile, the Aquino administration continues to remain aloof at the issue, if not issuing statements as if enough to support Veloso's call for her freedom. However, government's own the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency did provide info about the persons behind that drug smuggling, and somehow it includes duping people into mules on the pretense of working abroad as domestic helpers or contract workers. 

Still, the Indonesian government continues to cling in its earlier statement regardless of the clamor, appeal, and basis enough for a person's reprieve, commutation, if not full, unconditional freedom. That somehow made others afford to think and say different strokes for different folks. 

And although the Indonesian courts denied several appeals especially those considering her as a human trafficking victim, it does not mean it is enough to struggle for Veloso's yearning for freedom. Her statement via Rappler somehow showed her innocence amidst those who chose not to read nor listen, but instead letting the issue go away in favor of facing her fate such as the firing squad. Most of them are acting as if prosecutors so to speak, venting words like "law", "crime", "punishment" besides the familiar "move on", and "enough"; yet can't even afford to read on the other side such as from the victim's, much more about justice as not just about punishment, but also rehabilitation.

Personally, this writer, in reading posts related to the turn of events, hopes that popular action, be it in a form of statements, prayers, and pleas be answered knowing that the one imprisoned is actually a victim than a mere participator in that scheme; that President Widodo should reconsider her execution given the statements coming from the victim's camp. Why not let the government turn her into a state wittness to catch those whom turned her into a mule? They may kill those whom are being coerced to become mules, of being trafficked as such leading to their fates such as death; but how about the cartels behind those tragedies be it the victims of drug abuse and trafficking in persons? Remember, Sœkarno did sentence an American spy to death for making actions against the Indonesian state, yet he did set him free due to diplomatic pressure, and reminded not to return and disturb the peace, the "merdeka" Indonesia tries to defend with. 

But as for Veloso, it would be worthy for her to live and provide further statements, aside from the existing ones, considering that she is a victim of human trafficking as said earlier, justice is not just about imposing punishment, and it is unjust to not to consider statements in which likely enough to reconsider the sentence. 

Time is running fast, but this writer is one with the people calling for her freedom if not justice. Or as what congresswoman De Jesus said as well as the others:

"No to another Flor Contemplacion! Save the life, Justice for Mary Jane Veloso!"

"A cause greater than his life"

"A cause greater than his life"

(A book review on "Luis Jalandoni: A Revolutionary"
and the man behind the said story)

By Lualhati Madlangawa Guererro




At first, this writeup is more than just a review, but also a tribute to a man whose faith in the church became a stepping stone to a series of contributions in the history of Filipino struggle, making him an inspiration to a generation willing to go beyond from the parameters of a decadent institution. And his name is Luis Jalandoni.

Known as the chief negotiator from the National Democratic Front, former Priest and perhaps even Theologian, LaSallian, and member of a prominent landowning family known for society circles long long ago. Mainstream media continues to describe him as a negotiator, if not an insurgent simply because of his commitment to the struggle that involves national and social awareness, and arduous commitments in pursuit of its profound ideals including those of armed struggle against the system.

Pardon this person if she had made his work radical for a review, given that his life is indeed radical. Prior to that book, she had read a biography of his, quite colorful indeed that somehow brought the attention of Ina Silverio, Enrico Maniago, Max Santiago, and others to create a story that is richly animated such as its drawings and mixed media. That somehow according to National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera, Jalandoni's illustrated life could leave a reader inspired, or as what he said, "stunned by the double impact of its edifying and insurgent message", while UP MassComm dean Rolando Tolentino stated that the book is a combination of "graphic novel and pop art" that "encourage more intellectuals and petibourgeois to rise to the challenge of bringing about class based and historic change".  


Well indeed, people wanted that challenge, no matter the system tries to counter it with carrots and sticks or a fellow bourgeois threatening another with disconnections and insult. But the fact that in reading his illustrated life also shows how a bourgeois can become a proletarian in its conduct and committment, that serving the people is a highest form of charity people ought to consider with; and Realities such as poverty, injustice, and other serious matters affecting the society creates a consciousness that may likely to give up the privilege of everyday comforts, and instead willing to engage in a struggle in order to realise a greater idea that can benefit the common good. 
That somehow Fr. Jalandoni did by expending his wealth and moral fervor to ease the plight of the people, and that is more than just doing charity nor any kind of community service system loves to treat it as a "confidence building measure", but like Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez, Ernesto Cardenal, and other theologians speaking about the importance of social and distributive justice, he would ask himself as well as others what are the root causes of that prevailing poverty and injustice, only to be replied by calling him subversive if not telling him to focus on just spiritual work.

But Christianity, or as what Christ and his Apostles envisioned, is more than just spiritual work as what most usually thinks of. Of what is "faith, hope, charity" if in actual being treated as a charade in a form of ritual and an impression of giving?  People, particularly the poor, knows that these profit minded cliques, such as the Hacienderos, Compradores, as well as corrupt Bureaucrats are able to babble religious statements, be it from God, the Gospels, acting as repentants, doing charity to impress during holidays, yet in actual they failed to root out the cause of injustice as most of the working poor remained destitute, that they are suffering in malnutrition and low wages, worse, of having an actually existing unjust fear prevailing instead of love, regardless of how many times they attend mass nor confessions just to act like Pilates and Herods: washing hands trying to deny their actions, if not blaming the masses for being against the established view of the society, particularly those of unfairness and injustice. 



And these two examples of such problems did made few amongst the privileged afforded to turn their backs on their comforts and engaging in struggle. In case of the stories behind that book, it was more than just idealism being realised, but also a test of courage that end passed in the eyes of many; that involves being shunned by some relatives and friends, being targeted for impunities laid by the order and its system controlled, of so-called "comrades" turning back in their once-called principles for privileges, and yet they afforded to survive amidst the hardships just to rekindle a faith that's being practised, as well as gaining respect from the people not in their respective homeland, but also in the world.

Anyways, few would understand what this person's saying in this post, and that man behind that featured comic book this person had bought remains a target of insult, rather than criticism, for being traitor to his class and to the society that's bereft of a true sense of faith and justice, thanks to that goddamn system. 

But to those who able to capture the message, that person is a good example of a bourgeois who chose to go to the people. For sure that book can become a basis for a movie too in order for today's generation of masses to understand more about him and his unwavering deeds. 




Friday, 24 April 2015

Of cooperation and struggle: notes on the idea of the Volksgemeinschaft

Of cooperation  and struggle: 
notes on the idea of the Volksgemeinschaft 

By Kat Ulrike



Events have overtaken this writeup, that those whom desperately trying to keep the order of things had to repeat the rhetoric of interclass "folkish" unity, of surmounting actual disagreements with palliative solution enough to describe as a revolution, of replacing an incorrectly sounding statement with a watered one trying to appear as populistic as the harsh-sounding original, or even trying to appeal to the people that the change being cultivated be realised, without the necessity of dismantling order; that actually it rather aggravates age old tensions amidst contemporary rhetoric and actions trying to minimise that existing internal dispute. 

But in case of the people, the messages the system had afforded to babble can turn into theirs, supplanting the existing messages, replacing obviously fabricated illusions with actually existing inconveniences, enough to point against the system and its existing inconvenience trying to whitewash with half-baked programs and a repetition of rhetoric; that repetitive words such as unity, folk, struggle, is theirs and not with the system and its apologetics desperately trying to cover up the reality in the name of "minimising actual tensions", much more that they want to reverse the typical situation, in which "society sits in judgement of the people: now the people sits in the judgement of society. The proclamation is that the people, rather than the system, will shape the societies in which they must live." (Paraphrasing Marcos's "notes on the New Society")

And as has been referred to before, there must be an intimate link between unity, cooperation, and struggle. Of building a Volksgemeinschaft (people's community) that uplifts and benfits the people and at the same time a continuing struggle for its survival. To the left it is intersectoral (not just international), that those whom actually creating history yet affected by the repressive order and its invented crisis has the will to unite, to instill discipline, to create actions, "arouse, organise, mobilise" pointing against the order and its protectors, apologetics therein, be dismantled and create a new enough to realise the aspirations of the actually laboring yet repressed folk; to the right it is interclass, that regardless of the class, of actually existing inequalities and top to bottom repressions, it is necessary to break down barriers in the name of the nation, that anything as all for the folk whilst the state trying to keep firm in its age-old order surmounted by modern day development "enough to minimise tension".  But there's a major differences between the two: one has consensus, a common program leading to a bloc, a front both to counter the system and to build an actually existing Volksgemeinschaft, the other was just plain icing to cover the actual social pyramid and be called a "Volksgemeinschaft"! 


Indeed to hear such statements and basis for an intersectoral bloc with a Volksgemeinschaft to form: of what is cooperation without a common program between sectors to agree with? Of what is cooperation without struggle to deal and resolve for? In the end there lies struggle within that cooperation and unity, particularly coming from internal contradictions, that there are dissenting opinions that has to be resolved, all despite agreeing to a common program of action, that in it also comes a series of resolutions with a renewed unity as its conclusion. On the right, however, did create their own version of that unity, but primarily an attempt to break down class differences in pursuit of "unity" alone, yet however, that unity has no common program besides "putting a society in order" and a series of palliative reforms tailor made to silence the people. Hence, that Volksgemeinschaft of theirs fails to realise its full potential, that amidst its pretense of unity, it did not make use of the contradictions to resolve tensions nor its compromises failed to stop tensions, it is a shallow unity that actually fails to benefit the actually laboring folk, knowing that that unity being babbled about includes those whom failing to adhere amidst parroting such statement. 

In looking back at history, Italian workers in Mussolini's "Saló Republic" end up striking if not joining the Partisans all despite the Duce promised a renewed Fascism "truly" committed to the working classes he once formerly tried to aligned with (such as socialisation), only to found out that workers, peasants, even the intelligentsia were opposing him and his failed policies, that his proposed "third way alternative to Capitalism and Communism" was failed to materialize. And just like his control over Italy prior to the war, the Saló Republic remained as it was: that in key industries oligarch shareholders still played a central role, workers' rights were severely limited, having wages and living standards lower, and trade unions had no power to assert rights as what Mussolini promised. These realities within that republic somehow failed to cultivate an existing Volksgemeinschaft that has promised to benefit the masses, particularly the workers, amidst its pretense of offering an alternative; that its unity, cooperation, or other similar word being peddled as such, also failed to cultivate since there were no equal opportunities, true and sound mutual benefit, and actually existing subjugation by the ruling class pretending to be for the people. Furthermore, there are those whom had once supporting Mussolini, or even Hitler out of ideas be end disenchanted for seeing them supporting (and be supported by) the Nobles, the Junkers, Oligarchs, and be justified that "anything is within the state and nothing should be against the state". Where were the followers of Acleste de Ambris? Of Otto and Gregor Strasser? Where was the anticapitalist, antifeudal idea within those so-called "national revolutions"? These men were either imprisoned, killed, or simply disappeared for speaking contrary to the established belief, especially those of uniting with the reaction on the pretense of cooperation and a distorted view of the Volksgemeinschaft. 
And thus, not even wonder why these attempts, amidst its populist, or even "socialistic" rhetoric, failed as contrary to those of the Albanian, Yugoslav Partisans, of Germans with its Widerstand, of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese Guerrillas who had succeed in putting forward their promise with some truly realised an actually existing Volksgemeinschaft and the unity of peoples; that as according to Mao Zedong:

 "unity, struggle, unity through struggle; to wage struggles with good reason, with advantage and with restraint; and to make use of contradictions, win over the many, oppose the few and crush our enemies one by one."

Furthermore, he also expressed the same idea in another statement:

"This democratic method of resolving contradictions among the people was epitomized in 1942 in the formula "unity, criticism, unity". To elaborate, it means starting from the desire for unity, resolving contradictions through criticism or struggle and arriving at a new unity on a new basis. In our experience this is the correct method of resolving contradictions among the people."

 Mao's quotes somehow tend to say that his views on unity and struggle is more than just unity alone but bonded by a common program with mutual benefit and opportunity, as it calls for "the peasantry, the proletariat, the petty bourgeoisie and national and patriotic elements from the bourgeoisie to collectively operate for the building of a socialist society". But being Marxist-Leninist, the united front as what Mao stated, is guided under the basic unity of the proletariat and the peasantry, that in according to Lenin, inevitably assume the form of political supremacy against the system and the domineering capital. 

However, despite cultivating the essence of unity, solidarity, and conciliation amongst sectors (or classes), his idea is far from Mussolini, or even Hitler who rather attempted to break down class hostility between the laboring people and of the privileged few, using the nation if not the race as its justification. Quite nice to hear such phrases from those men like "unity", "folk", "community", "homeland" without answering the issue on "capital", "repression", and "social justice". And since they also assume they are anti-capitalist, of strongly anti-oligarch from their statements, then where's the anticapitalism in cooperating with the junkers, the burghers from what they say and do? Indeed that there were conscious-driven burghers are willing to support the workers like what Mao stated in this post; but to see Hitler, Mussolini, or any other leader pretending to be for the people, all but end collaborating with the reaction, on the pretense of breaking down actual class hostility and putting order in the name of patriotism, the original idea of struggle according to their earlier platforms has slowly dying out; that they actually closely bound up with Capital itself instead of their "attempt in harnessing Capital in the name of cooperation" with the capitalist, be it the junker, the burgher, and those who trying to keep their interests, from what happened in their respective countries during the war until to the present with Obama, Xi Jingping, and Merkel doing. That somehow makes real social justice, true profound essence of communitarian solidarity cannot be realise in its fullest form amidst its façades and rhetorics, as what Lenin said:

"You cannot do this without the revolutionary enthusiasm of the proletarian and semi-proletarian mass. This enthusiasm can be aroused only by taking revolutionary measures against the privileges and profits of Capital. Failing this, your promised control will remain a dead, capitalist, bureaucratic palliative."


Creating a really existing Volksgemeinschaft comes with both unity and  contradiction as said earlier, and that there are contradictions hath to be resolved amidst having a common program being agreed; of course, it would resort to a series of resolutions and a renewed program and unity that tries to cultivate equal opportunities, mutual benefit, and solidarity amongst sectors bonded under a common aspiration. After all, these sectors whom actually involved are the ones rolling sleeves and working, trying to make matters into opportunities with positive conclusions coming. What kind of Volksgemeinschaft being babbled about if it requires collaboration with the junkers, of the reactionaries, of the rotting system itself? In actuality, it alienates the farmers clamoring for a land to till, of workers for a decent wage or even the right to control factories, as well as students, intelligentsia for their academic freedoms and civil rights. These forces are likely to create a common unity to counter the established power, much more that these forces are enough to set new foundations of a decent, progressive society with a newfound traditions to cherish for. 

And since these so-called "national revolutionaries", despite using the language of the masses, of "unity and solidarity", had actually given up its popular pretentions in favor of supporting the reaction, then how come men like Juan Peron, Muammar Gaddafi, or Hugo Chavez did heed the people and realised its promised upliftment despite being military men and supposedly sworn to keep order? They are likely to be called as "National Revolutionaries" than the reactionaries assuming, urging a call for intersectoral cooperation against the ruling class and to build a new community in place of the existing dilapidated one; ironically, the military and the masses during their formative periods did have major differences contradicting, that the soldiers are defending the system madly under their superior's orders while the workers are asserting social changes the system opposed for out of their interests. And yet they did have unity to yearned for, even trying to cultivate with given that most of these two have common lower-class backgrounds; they have the same enemy besides foreign Imperialists be it its landed stooges and its apologetics trying to divide further and make war between two as possible. But then, given the fact that these soldiers and workers shared the same hardship and idea to put forward,  it takes two to tango for them to make use of contradictions amongst themselves, to win over the many, oppose the few, crush their enemies one by one, and realise the common programs being agreed as both patriots and laborers. Peron was a soldier, yet he focused on social welfare and modernisation that really caters the Argentinian laborer; Gaddafi was also a soldier, yet turned Libya from a mere desert oasis ruled by an American stooge into a developed state over the Sahara with direct democracy putting into action. These countries, not even same as the former Soviet Union in its standards, did assert their independence, justice, and a true sense of communitarian solidarity in which masses afforded to benefit equally its greater share. 

And no wonder why the west looked upon those two so badly in the past, that because of their stooges being kicked out from their seats if not their assets being taken over by the people themselves for their Volksgemeinschaft, they have to set sanctions if not directly wage war against them. Libya has been destroyed, Syria has been trying to resist, Iran and Venezuela, Cuba and Juche Korea faced immense threats amidst its pacific settings. On the other hand, the west continues to instil that their model, example of a Volksgemeinschaft as ideal one, that in actual as all but still illusory amidst its modern day hodgepodge, pseudo-populist or pseudo-progressive rhetoric, and perhaps, its pseudo-liberality being everyday shown. 

Again, the system afforded to speak about such words meant to be for the people, it's up to the latter if they will take theirs or make use of their words enough to counter them.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

"Of Good Crooks, Incompetent Self-Righteous, And the people who are sick and tired willing to shake the floors of their hallways"

"Of Good Crooks, 
Incompetent Self-Righteous, 
And the people who are sick and tired 
willing to shake the floors of their hallways"



There was a time this person had read a quote made by a well-known Senator of the past. His statement, rather infamous, obviously mirrors both the past and the present crookedness that stemmed from their interests. Of course, they would afforded to appease people from a series of rhetorics to both baked and half-baked projects, yet with his words the primary reason is keeping firm in their vested interests, including circumventing laws for their own keeps.

"Why did you have to order an investigation Honorable Mr. President? If you cannot permit abuses, you must at least tolerate them. What are we in power for? We are not hypocrites. Why should we pretend to be saints when in reality we are not? We are not angels. When we die we will all go to hell. It is better to be in hell because in that place there are no investigations, no secretary of justice, no secretary of the interior to go after us.

When Jesus Christ died on the cross, He made a distinction between the good crook and the bad crook. We can aspire to be good crooks."

Such statements obviously admit themselves as keeping firm into their interests whatever bad may be; but in the face of the people they are hypocritical as they promise heaven with words like development, but obviously they drew people to hell with their words, such as justice not to go over them. However, unlike today, men like Avelino did not share his self-admission of being good crooks, if there are, then maybe justifying it further by telling the world "least the people benefited from it", or its apologetics would say "least that person did projects, I'd rather support a corrupt than an incompetent".

Whether that politician is corrupt or incompetent, they are crooked in a sense that it failed to heed the call of the people nor keeping its righteousness firm as lawmakers, statespersons, or firsts among equals. They would create laws if not interpreting it one by one as legit and for the common good, if not making a series of projects trying to make one's self as paternalistic as any father do; but not all of them would remain firm to principles as most been driven by their fantasies, of interpreting laws for themselves or making projects with a big share for theirs with a name tag of theirs to appease the people; these persons aren't angels, nor even making haven a community rich in its resources and a people promising to be benefited from it. "For the welfare of the people is the highest law" as one orator would say.

If mankind has to be ruled under law, and laws are made by men, then how come there are those afforded to say "rule of law", "regime of truth and justice", "transparency and equity", or another words to vent over and yet in actual are whether trying to be upright or unrepentantly corrupt? Indeed that they are trying to keep firm the laws they themselves and its predecessors made with the purpose of making man be in order and benefited from its justice in its living here on earth, with the provisions in which people from all walks of life are be treated equal with all the opportunities and limitations vested, and yet with the urge to keep their pleasures, of their interests, these same beings are trying to change the jargon, reinterpret every decree, changing its objective, toning down the line, all at the expense of the law's intended purpose, and even its maker's trying hard to keep its righteousness in the eyes of others. How come decrees, codes related to various socio-economic issues, such as Agrarian Reform, affordable education for the masses, or even Interest-free banking and other forms leading to a swift implementation of social justice be end as hollow rhetorics, scraps of paper? It is because of men trying to keep their interests firm, reinterpreting it from time to time till its intended purpose be rendered useless, and at their worst, giving up their self-proclaimed righteousness in the eyes of those whom they had promised words like justice and equity. Soldiers did have the same problem in regards to the growing insurgency problem they are talking about, yet they failed to address the issue amidst doing short-term programs, "victories" to be bragged, and demonising those whom are opposing yet choosing the legal path, or worse, killing them as if they are no difference from the armed one as long as it blocks their interests, or as what they say the "government's way".


And because of these incidents, of tragedies done and doing, no wonder why people are still longing for righteousness, of correct interpretation of laws in pursuit of justice are writing names in broken potteries and be thrown against them as a sign of their disgust. They had enough of sighs after years of being repressed and instead venting its rage to assert that is in need of change, to the extent of letting their rage resort to occupying their halls disregarding their crocodile tears and gold studded pleas, and trying to recreate that was once lost through the ages through interpreting, orthodoxically the laws such personages interpret badly for themselves, in a sense that there are people, quite many of them, whom once have nothing, be given the dignity to live, cultivate further their cherished righteousness, and be defended against the odds, so as to strike the foolish with the deviance emanating from its very feature.

Again, paraphrasing what Mr. Avelino said: what are they in power for knowing that power corrupts these people? Did these people fail to harness the privilege of having that power just to ensure the welfare of many amidst self-proclaimed divine right of theirs? In every report you may see corrupt bureaucrat if not a repressive compradore or landlord trying to keep the age-old reins by putting a sheet of development trying to appease the eyes and emotions of its subjects. But regardless of rising economic rates and half baked projects, these failed to appease the people as the latter still demanding for peace, land, bread, and justice given the still prevailing issue these people on high fail to deal about. The rule of law is nothing but a codified rule of men, and these men failed to implement the law in its truest sense of the word. They may babble phrases such as "Dura Lex Sed Lex" or "Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto", yet in reality they reserve the harshness to those who failed to satisfy their fantasies not even ensuring their well being as these people on high cares about their interests. Laws are made for the common good as the old afforded to say, but in reality these laws are made to bind many for the fantasies of the so-called "righteous few", they were made to ensure their survival, and not the community they allegedly swore to protect and ensure with all their lives.


And in these inconvenient realities also means more than a reconquest by the reaffirming old, but a conquest by its young who had sought an inconvenient truth and hence willing to vent its talent, its mind, brawn, blood for a better future, even it requires shaking the earth to its rotting foundations.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

"Recapturing its sacredness"

"Recapturing its sacredness"

(Or all after seeing the Jägermeister logo 
that made him drew and refigure, as well as other works inspired
by fusion of religious and secular art)



"Das ist des Jägers Ehrenschild,
daß er beschützt und hegt sein Wild,
weidmännisch jagt, wie sich’s gehört,
den Schöpfer im Geschöpfe ehrt"


- Oskar Von Riesenthal


This is the hunter’s badge of glory,

That he protect and tend his quarry,

Hunt with honour, as is due,
And through the beast to God is true.

- English translation 

These are the words this person sought in a Wikipedia article related to that work.

It is related, for the drawing featured above was based from a familiar German Apertif liquor named Jägermeister. And its logo features a glowing cross between the antlers of a stag. The logo, despite used commercially, is rather significantly religious, given the fact that the image is also a reference to the two Christian saints, Eustace and Hubertus, whom end converted to Christianity after seeing a stag having a cross in its antlers. 
However, that stag was also another symbol for San Sebastian College-Recollectos, that according to the owners, the Order of Agustinian Recollects, it symbolizes a Christian who, filled with moral ideas, runs fast to God swiftly yet quietly in pursuit of his goals.

Those meanings behind that well-known logo somehow captures this person's idea to draw that work, only be surrounded by a wreath of oak and thorns bonded by ribbons of golden yellow and dark red, tied and sealed featuring the Recollect symbol; while its background, instead of mountains and of the wild, rather features what this person sought in his sightseeings, such as the Recollect's own San Sebastian Church, Quezon Bridge, factories near Pasig, and other typical buildings surrounding, trying to capture Manila, the city "as according to what everybody sees of it": full of unrealised ideas and aspirations hidden beneath its façades, and at the same time corrupt filth that made the river murky with all the scandals exising and coming. No wonder people are continuously praying for an angel called death to end those lowlives putting them in their hardship.

To others it may appear as a form of culture jamming, for it had re-figured a logo of a well-known apertif and fuse with what this person thinks as part of it such as what had he sought such as the wreath of thorny bushes and oak leaves, with ribbons bonded, tied, and sealed featuring a symbol of a religious order; it may call it as vandalism, or even sacrilege, given that the logo has been defaced by other images such as Christian imagery alongside the Manila scene for a background, yet again what this person sees is based on what was stated above, and he just stresses the significance of those symbols, and its essence trying to inculcate in this world called "modern" yet so "decadent".

Or perhaps thinking was the herbish-alcoholic beverage and the Gothic steel church were made by those trying to please the almighty? Well, as time goes by, what the poet Von Riesenthal said in his poem seemed right, for "it is a badge of glory." 

However, this writeup is not limited to the image featured above, there are others which are rather partially inspired by religious imagery in case of an earlier drawing based from an earlier work from Iran during the "Islamic Revolution".
That somehow this person sees it as an instrument of struggle that made him draw his version. It may not be appeared sacred as the Jägermeister-inspired symbol nor the works from Iran, but the message carries as what the latter speaks of during its period.


That, instead of a Muslim pilgrim carrying a stone to be thrown against the devils, this person drew a person carrying an oil bomb ready to be thrown against the existing devils of his time. Like the original Iranian work during their "revolution", those devils are as same as theirs, be it the imperialists, corrupt bureaucrats, and its armed stooges who spread havoc in the name of order.

Admittingly speaking, having inspired by both religious and secular art and end creating a fusion of sorts would make others ridicule as such, given that religious artworks are untouchable, not liable for criticism, but to think that the Jägermeister logo was inspired by religious imagery yet used for commercial purposes it almost replaced its supposed meaning in favor of being a logo for a well known beverage; but in case of the Iranian inspired work, the artists behind those posters are capturing both secular and religious sentiment to create those works. In which this person sees it as appealing and compelling to create such as in accordance to the realities he had sought. After all, of what is struggle against repression and building a better society does not require fighting the devils and its misdeeds? Of promoting virtue and preventing injustice?


Sunday, 5 April 2015

Sketching defiance, seeing defiance

Sketching defiance, seeing defiance

(or revisiting his sketches reflecting what he sees of in this continuing past 
and its views related to it)


It's been a long time to sketch after seeing those contrary to what today has being peddled. 

Most of which were consists of "Not quite Modern" fashion, scenes such as those featuring factories, as well as symbols inspired from the old, this writer sees of it as countercultural, inimical to what is commonly seen, of factories instead of commercial complexes, and of men wearing Berets instead of Snapbacks in their heads.

Maybe because this person was inspired by history and realities, be it the French and Industrial Revolutions or the present day mass actions sand sight seeings over the once industrial valleys, then it seems quite compelling to draw for a person whom supposed to vent these through writing critiques and essays in this post.
For admittingly speaking, it's even easier to draw than to write, if not engage in sculpture just to squeeze out create juices and express what was left in a mind full of imagination and inspired by what he had stated in this post. Lucky if you have money for buying clay but nope, but instead, you rather draw, sketch, doodle upon what comes from a barren mind in every page of a hand-made "sketchbook" made by yours truly.

But besides those being posted today, here were other sketches in which once were posted in earlier write-ups, but  since there is nothing wrong to feature those works again as these were inspired from a continuing past be it remarkable or rebellious, antinorm or antimodern. Others were being stored for few years and be unearthed, featured in this post. Pardon if some works were dark, perhaps because of the camera or after being edited and hence, appears dark and ambient, if not agitating. 


But also given that this person has been dealing with the counterculture for years besides reading books, be it punk, goth, as well as those that created an "avant garde of terror" when it comes to visual arts and crafts, those scenes are quite appealing, given the nature of being deviant against the current, if not mocking the order for its mockery from time to time towards its subjects. To the extent of  doing culture jamming to protest the present nonsense.

And in seeing such pictures featuring their styles did inspire this person to sketch getups that doesn't invoke beauty alone, but also deviance. Deviance not because this person sees it as a "revolt" against the sleek and extravagant "made to impress" fashions of the present (even streetwear tries to appear as seduciously extravagant so as to became "famous"), but also favoring a middle between form and function, of the casual and of the corporate, or even being anti-consumeristic perhaps, favouring colours likely consists of black, red, white, or any other type coming from a custom made tailor if not from a small-scale dress shop trying to make someone be tempered with both style and awareness. 





It may likely to be redescribed as "anti-modern", "nostalgic", or even "driven by tradition" given the style that as contrary to what today's culture shown, or even trying to cultivate values such as comradeship and gallantry tempered with ideas such as equality, justice, and thirst for knowledge and freedom (not the freedom today's people babbling about). Casual as it depicts, yet tempered with style if that's the case so as to appear different from the "impressive" present. Today's so-called modern culture, amidst its technological advancement and its "popular" appeal, is driven entirely by consumerism than those of creativity, replacing production with consumption, of just quality with unjust quantity, and if there is then maybe that creativity is a slave to interest creating what is dictated by the latter for profit's sake right or wrong. As Spengler notes:

"At this level all civilisations enter upon a stage, which lasts for centuries, of appalling depopulation. The whole pyramid of cultural man vanishes. It crumbles from the summit, first the world-cities, then the provincial forms and finally the land itself, whose best blood has incontinently poured into the towns, merely to bolster them up awhile. At the last, only the primitive blood remains, alive, but robbed of its strongest and most promising elements."






 Pardon for this person as he used Spengler for a reference, but since the system's consumerism and its so-called "demands" has replaced man's creativity, of replacing a culturally refined person to those that is devoid and easy to exploit, then perhaps what most people sees is anything all but degenerating, devoid of significance no matter how it appears as advanced, beautiful, or anything whatosever the system tries to show it as such to its "tamed" subjects. No wonder Albert Einstein had even called today's generation, subordinated under an unharnessed technology as Idiots, given that they themselves are shorn off its own value, and instead be replaced by mere pride fit for a show-off. No wonder why Mao Zedong, despite being Marxist-Leninist had afforded to say Man decides over things and not of vice versa, of Joseph Stalin in demanding "engineers of the human soul" to gain people consciousness, or even Lu Xun, who urged the enlightened to "save the children" from being eaten by a rotting order desperate for its survival. Today's generation would say that they are pushed into the current and acknowledge anything is as if beautiful no matter how valueless it is since it carries no character at all.
And since this person used Spengler's and Lu Xun's then maybe that person, succumbed into consumerism ends nothing but robbed of its promising element for it did not harness it for its own and the community's benefit, but instead, contributed to its demise, into an age of garbage.

And so is drawing those that were known only to be forgotten: of sketching buildings that tries to invoke the forge if not giving an old architecture a new life with reinforced steel and concrete, fusing the old and new ideas by applying modern methods and be tempered with those of the old (similar to Portugal's "Estilo Portugues Suave", Stalinist Architecture, and Grecian Moderne), or even forging new designs the way Walter Gropius, Vann Molyvann, or Leandro Locsin did in their architectural masterpieces.


Not because of his past observations (both in book and in actual sightseeings), but factories, cogwheels, chimneys, forges, workers did contribute much in the society's development, much more in its building with a sworn promise, hence worth compelling if that's the case to draw it in his sketchbook, and pardon if these were considered as passé in everybody's eyes as most been focused on commercial establishments sprung from the once industrial valleys, but in a country that has abundant resources, and a capacity to develop on its own, then how come what most concerned sees is a still developing base amidst rhetorics of pride and pictures of so-called development? These people whom speaks much of that concern are only to end fell on deaf ears as such. And if most take pride in today's technology then how come there's no industry to forge not just to assemble? The last time people hear about an attempt was in the 50s if not in the 70s, 80s, or even 90s with words such as "we are building a country" for an advertisement.


And this person knows that the concerned, the so-called "idealistic", are still both clamoring and listening, if not trying to roll their sleeves hoping that their aspirations be realised and their goals be heed by many be it factories creating various goods or mass housing for the deserving poor. If Panday Pira had afforded to make cannons and farm implants centuries ago, of the former Agila I and II once flown carrying the flag, and with today's Diwata leaving off the blueprints and on to its next level carrying an awaiting pride for many, then perhaps these people are also trying to conceptualise, make, forge ideas hoping that the future generations ought to understand its importance the way they cherish the technology merely brought from others. 

For in today's age of garbage, such ideas are less of a concern, much more of its conception; and since the system still assumes to be a patron of industry, much more of science and technology, and even those of arts and crafts, in actual it fails to show concern thinking that it has no profit from it and instead letting the markets flood with anything whatsoever the people needs much despite having resources, and people willing to learn and forge new foundations of a still stagnant industry sector. If they afford to "encourage" then maybe it is all but a rhetoric if not end up merely as displays, white elephants waiting for a decision turning them into scrap. 


One of this person's industry- related works featured in this post included those of recognisable edifices such as the San Sebastian Church, not because of its all-steel feature Spaniards and Filipinos take pride in it, but also of a past these people tried to realise yet fail to reach its full potential. Thanks to those corrupt weaklings and its apologetics in failing to realise like its neighbours whom afforded to create and maintain its foundations strong not just to cater its communities' demands but to take pride of alongside those of their ancients. It had stood for decades long, enduring the sea winds that brought rust creeping in its iron walls, and nowadays trying to regain its strength by restoring every feature that is iron, marble, wood, anything that brought the church from its past. No wonder why Genaro Palacios and Pierre Eiffel wanted a Gothic church be tempered with steel instead of stone, was it because Steel may endure earthquakes and fire unlike its stone predecessor that end ravaged? Or maybe trying to invoke a steeled faith as Spaniards, being hardcore Roman Catholics since Mediaeval times trying to instill in its subjects centuries before? 

But the legacies forged by these architects of the resurrection aren't limited to those of San Sebastian, Perez-Samanlilio, Regina, or even the University of Santo Tomás with its features favouring a future rooted in its historical legacy. Other future-provoking edifices like the RFM silo, and the old San Miguel Royal Soft Drinks Plant are being featured on those two works. Like the steel church that was made to invoke a stronger faith trying to counter earthquakes, these did invoke a promise of self determination made by its benefactors involved.
That once, Don Salvador Araneta founded the Republic Flour Mills (RFM) to stimulate local production, of saving foreign exchange, and cater the needs of the people (both jobs and goods), yet in its conception critics thought of him as a daydreamer, thinking that the Philippines may fail in its venture    of economic independence, and even one of them wrote an article on "how stupid" the Filipinos were to think they would succeed despite the fact that wheat is not grown in the Philippines. There were even attempts made by the Americans to block then Central Bank of the Philippines to provide budget (a dollar allocation) in setting foundations for the RFM, only to back down and acknowledge for a time (as Americans disagree on industrialising the resource-rich Philippines even until today). Hence, the Silo at Pasig which was constructed decades ago is also a monument to a national goal, an edifice of defiance against prevailing policy, or as what this person think of, a monument to ContemporAntiquity given its idea to bridge both aspirations of both past and its continuing present.
On the other hand, San Miguel, back then as a Manila-based Brewery under Don Andres Soriano, created the Royal Soft Drinks Plant in mid 1920s in pursuit of making a non-alcoholic beverages (such as Royal Tru Orange and Royal Ginger Ale). Its architecture, as what this writer observed, was similar to those of other San Miguel factories such as the old Magnolia plant, and the Main Office-Factory near Malacanang. Ironically, the brewery was the first international bottler for Coca Cola, hence having the same "Migueline" architecture (a likely term for San Miguel's then-"modern", reformed neoclassical architecture) at Otis, Manila. However, unlike the latter which is currently used as a warehouse and district office for the well-known softdrink, the old 1920s plant suffered the same fate as the old brewery in the late 1970s, for it was demolished by the government not considering its historical contribution nor its architectural style.


But regardless of its fate, be it demolished or threatened to be (hope it may not), this person sees it as a reminder of what was once invoked and aspired such as a society trying to defy a certain policy by taking it with a grain of salt and rolling its own sleeve to justify further. They had to temper a great idea with an arduous series of both plan and action regardless of its initial criticism. And men like Araneta had afforded to disobey prevailing policies out of patriotism and for the people's welfare such as education and jobs (trying to create culturally refined and aware well-rounded individuals willing to forge, plough, build a nation so to speak), yet to some critics he's an oligarch, citing the fact that he's a scion of a landed gentry, and a traditional politician given that he was also in the Government service for years; only to found out that he was one of the few able to invoke patriotism by the deed as most were by the word. 

Anyways, It is quite interesting though for this person in reading those stories besides seeing them actually, and as inspired by such hence it end drawn and posted to remember such purpose driven feats and trying to turn revolts with style. If the so-called modern world speaks heavily of consumption, of commercial establishments and consumerism dominating the polis, then this person and the concerned few wanted to see a different one that is a continuation of an aspiration, of anything harnessed by the spirit such as a guiding line, and countries like the former Soviet Union, then "Red" China, did cultivate as such, tempering numerous realised ideas with great and profound traditions as contrary to those of the United States and its interest-driven allies dwelling on its illusion especially those of "progress."

After all, when was, or is the time people really getting concerned about themselves and surroundings? That amidst progress those whom are supposedly aware are in actual apathetic and limited to what the order provided them with lack of quality besides mere aesthetics? That they listen to songs and seeing visuals without idea, of eating food without nutritional value? 


No wonder why there are those willing to unleash an avant garde of terror, calling for a nihil as a perequisite to a new beginning. And it would take days, weeks, months, years, decades to make people aware and turn everything against the order.