Saturday, 31 December 2016

May the year 2017 means a showcase of fulfilled hopes!

May the year 2017 means a showcase of fulfilled hopes!




At first, it may sound idealistic to say that the year 2017 as a hope-fulfilling year. But let everyone expect that this year is also a year full of existing and upcoming challenges man has ought and yet to overcome. For reality isn't full of luck but creating conditions paving way as such.

And in speaking of that reality, everyone noticed that every society be like in a stage of success or a stage of decline. China's rising dragon status been heard much in mainstream media while the United States of America has gone in an irreversible strategic decline, and thus affects every countries such as the Philippines, that as in the past, still facing numerous contradictions and still failing if not trying to overcome.

Sounds bad news in hearing words like contradictions, decline, or even the rising of China and America's dall to those whose minds remain pre-1991; but despite these, it shous that there is a need to wake up and face the contradictions the country has ever faced, that people from all walks of life should still strive together for a best future in a better society.

Ideally, people should have the will to save and forge for that future, but that ideal is useless if not for unity and solidarity, if not for the fact that for a rising nation needs a common salvation, if not for patriotic fervor and a sense of communitatianism, wherein Freedom cannot be merely privilege extended, but rather enjoyed by one and all.

Anyway, to cut the long story short, on behalf of this page, this person is ought to say that despite numerous successess and shortcomings, 2017 is like any other year, and it is not a year merely to sit, relax, and enjoy, but rather a year wherein everyday is to sieze the day.

May the year 2017 means a showcase of fulfilled hopes, but to realise it, man has to create conditions, turn thoughts into actions, strike when the iron is hot.

Dare to struggle, dare to win!


Friday, 30 December 2016

"More than just Remembering or Venerating"

"More than just Remembering or Venerating"

(or "Rizal and the generation who chose to 'Move on')




At first, "Rizal Day" is about celebrating a figure people that's trying to be remember, if not to venerate even though he had been stripped of anything beyond recognition, sometimes of his humanity in favour of his "demi-god" status; of his activism end rather hijacked and diluted in pursuit of turning away from struggle that is both "national and social" in character; and his "enduring" legacy rather mangled and distorted with his novels both misunderstood and misinterpreted by its readers, most of which treated it as any other literature for a subject required before marching off to their graduation. 

But despite all these realities, Filipinos have built a pantheon to honor him like the others even though he disliked being honored from the time before his death;  turning him into a myth which is distant from his true self whose intentions was driven by concern, what more that of a person who was constantly battling his own contradictions and emotions, of toying the desire for freedom and contented in "reforms" that rather sheets of paper and of pleadings.

And when the day of celebration ends, everyone shall forget his existence once again except as a statue stood at Luneta Park and as a subject meant to be studied in history especially those of "his life and works", only to be rinse and repeat this process every year. Also if given chance, they are willing to "move on" from that person and think that his "special day" as mere prequel for the last day of the year. Waiting for fireworks and of Media Noche to come.

 For in fact, that goddamn word that is, "patriotism" is nothing but unbecoming of an instinct that is, of a scoundrel. In an era where patriotic sentiment was diluted in favour of a globalist one, "patriotism" or even "nationalism" as but becoming tools.

The product of veneration without understanding
(or "moving on" as no one seriously remembers him)
Sorry for all the words elaborated from Allen Severino's social media post, but reality has made a concerned thinking that people who venerate without understanding are mostly failed to create a nation's destiny according to its cherished principles. And in it perhaps Rizal himself would think that he failed not as a writer, an activist, but even a person who sometimes his aspirations of a better future being marred by his selfishness, that his aspiration is not of his nation but of his Calamba alone. 

And if so, then of what of his works if his thoughts selfishly goes to Calamba alone and not of his fellow compatriots? Of his aspirations as a concerned brown-skinned Filipino? Maybe initially most of his views are rather tried to keep it rather himself or even shrugged it off altogether, but the atmosphere of national concern, of patriotic fervor of those times made him willing to offer that fiction that was based from his experiences and his willingness to "undertake the deed" if not for his "adherence to law" as any other "legalist"; of toying the idea of independence and at the same time thinking the impossibility of asserting beyond "reforms" or "peaceful means".

But the fact that works like Noli me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, no matter how fictional it was, rather reflected the Feudal setting that Spain chose not to dismantle, sometimes at the expense of those who desired for some changes, what more of seeing the Philippines as a victim of its coloniser's negligence, amidst token "improvements" such as electricity for lights and steam locomotives; and persons behind Crisostomo Ibarra, Simoun, Padre Salvi, Padre Damaso, and Maria Clara reflects the Filipino as well as the Spaniard during that period.

And in fact, despite seeing Rizal's life and works emphasising the positive qualities of Filipinos ranging from the devotion of a Filipina and her influence on a man's life, the deep sense of gratitude, and the solid common sense of the Filipinos under the Spanish regime. The centuries old tension brought upon by that past still continues regardless of being disregarded by many as it emphasise much on the "positive".

And thus made Severino think how people praised Rizal as a hero but disregard the value of his work behind his heroism, that he is meant to be praised not to be understood as a person.


Sometimes, this writer think that if given chance, everyone is willing to "take the deed" if one fills Rizal's shoes and rewrite the entire chapter of El Filibusterismo. That everyone is willing to become like Simoun and undertake his task of bombing the entire banquet out of revenge, yet the fact that everyone is like Basilio or Isagani, or even Senor Pasta and Dona Victorina, one be end rather pessimistic, or apathetic in asserting what the once Crisostomo Ibarra wanted.

But anyway, regardless of being open ended, Rizal's work rather evolved to other chapters brought upon by those who adhere to his aspirations. Hernandez's "Ibong Mandaragit" was one example of an "continuation" if not an "off-shoot" or a "fanfiction" of what Rizal in "El Filibusterismo", and in it sometimes one would even think why need to settle of being Crisostomo Ibarra in an era where society demands a Mando Plaridel-like figure who is willing to undertake the task by any means necessary?

Perhaps the drive that made Amado Hernandez did that "Ibong Mandaragit" fills what Rizal had lacked upon such as the will to go further from the parameters. And to think that both of them are learned and having an aspiration that is to improve the well-being of its compatriots, Hernandez's idea of making that "chapter" showed that the story Rizal did was rather unfinished if not how Rizal himself chose not to make it further with the death of Simoun and the unknown fate of Basilio.
And with that kind of "dare" also shows that it is up to the generation how to finish the task Rizal and his colleagues had left upon; and it reminds of the quote that "Man is the creator of History, what more of its destiny."

Sadly, that drivel to go beyond further is what the lack of most Filipinos nowadays. They did venerate a person without understanding, what more of intentionally disregarding the value of his actions "simply because it is irrelevant" in a generation where anything does not require struggle but instead "moving on" as if they don't take place in their lives. 

On the first place, they just treated Rizal as just a required subject before they finish college if not his grave treated as a park for penniless lovers, what more of misinterpreting Rizal Day as a "happy day" before New Year!


***

And had Rizal lived maybe he thinks that Noli and El Fili shouldn't been made in favour of his version of Don Quijote, that smacks of Pinoy's still feudal mindset with its fantasies included.

That would sound much relevant.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

"Rekindling the fires"

"Rekindling the fires"


In sending Jesus Christ into this world, its mission was more than just a physical redemption as the chosen people desire, but rather a spiritual one. And being born in Bethlehem, known by its people as the "House of Bread", that man will later identify as the "bread of life", whose body and blood shalt cleansed fourth the earth, or rather say "who taketh all the sins of the world".

Quite spiritual of not totally Christian to hear that yuletide message, for in a season where people being preoccupied in gifts, quite too true to say that they forgot the reason to celebrate Christmas if not reducing the idea into a mere statement such as "celebrating Christ's birth".

What more of rekindling his message, such as to bring the good news and his view on justice on earth. In a third world country such as the Philippines, the desire for peace is more than just the absence of conflict, but rather the desire to create an atmosphere of justice where everyone felt being redeemed from every existing social ill, be it ignorance, repression, discrimination, anything that hinders their lives, communities, and its development.

Yet people thinks about the season as just mere time for sharing. Sorry to say but Christmas is less Christ-like and more materialistic thanks to an order synonymous with being unjust.

In fact, in an old post from a Lutheran "Liberation Theology" page, this person finds it true that people afforded to spend money for the holidays yet failing to act Christ-like such as resolving the issue on poverty like clean water, as it said:

"The ever-wonderful Jim Wallis reminds us of what our holiday dollars could have bought: "Last year, Americans spent $450 billion on Christmas. Clean water for the whole world, including every poor person on the planet, would cost about $20 billion. Let’s just call that what it is: A material blasphemy of the Christmas season."

Quite sobering, what more that there are much serious issues be like extrajudicial killings, demands for free education, the need for agrarian reform, the desire for a just living wage, as well as the right to be informed on state affairs being sovereigns of a goddamned society! Of what is being Christ-like if it is not for justice? Should Christmas be limited to mere exchanging of goods and not a reaffirmation and assertion of hopes and and aspirations? Should peace and goodwill be like submission and fear?

Sobering indeed even in a season of supposed joys. People may have enjoyed wine, food, song, and gifts given, but it isn't enough to call it a season with all the sobering realities people tries to disregard in favour of colourful ones. People's desires remain no matter the system frustratingly creates an "atmosphere" just to cover up their interests that is, contrary to those of the people's.

That even affects holidays such as Christmas. Quite un-Christ-like if not making those whom desired for redemption as fools. Or even compelling to go further in spirit of "Creating God's realm on earth".

And perhaps in order to have those "profound goals" in a setting where repression and injustice as rampant one would assert its desire by any means necessary to the point of taking arms. Sorry for the idea but the desire for a just society is not limited to what they call "peaceful" means that is, unbecoming of a code for mere "meekness", but instead to make it more further its assertions such as those by force.

Or to use a phrase from Christ himself, he saidth (Matthew 10:34):

"Do not ye deem, that I came to send peace into earth [Do not ye deem, that I came to send peace into the earth]; I came not to send peace, but sword."

Force in a sense that means to struggle for the truth, by any means, of accepting sacrifice as one of its vows in pursuit of a greater goal such as justice and fulfillment of hopes. Sounds hardcore isn't it especially in a post meant to be in a season calling for forgiveness?

And in speaking of forgiveness and reconciliation it is meaningless without justice. For sure everyone is desiring for justice before forgiveness than vice versa, otherwise, of what is a just peace if repression and unfairness prevail despite words like "rule of law"?

Such truths comes the desire for freedom, and in that desire lies struggle in various forms that sometimes costs life. And like Christ, it is a duty of Christians not just to spead the good news but to bring good and just works in every individual, in every community, all in pursuit of foreseeing a just and lasting peaceful future on earth.

Or rather say a duty to rekindle the fires and to brandish thy swords according to his word. All to bring both those words like peace, freedom, mercy, and justice.

Not just in this season. 

Saturday, 24 December 2016

More than just a "Celebration" (but a "Reaffirmation")

More than just a "Celebration" (but a "Reaffirmation")

A Yuletide message in a reality full of unjust and chaos




At first, this person is ought to greet everyone a pleasant holiday to all.

However, that holiday is more than just gifts and of hearing their pleasant wishes, but also a desire to see promising hopes, especially in a problem-marred world.

For as this world, particularly in a goddamn third world society, life is marred by its bad news. And with all its various forms, isn't it that concerning to see the fact that even in a holiday such as Christmas everyone is still marred by bad news be it extrajudicial killing to those of rampant poverty and corruption?


Anyway, this recalls a time when this person visited Hong Kong. That, when he heard HongKongers singing "Silent Night" in its solemn tones, this person felt compelling to softly sing "Payapang Daigdig" for a medley.

And in it somehow made a few heard him singing. One of them even asked if how come he sung that song? Only to hear that person saying that he missed his family and he worked hard despite meager pay enough to meet some demands and saving for a Christmas gift back home.

And like that carol, it was a truly cold and peaceful that night. And for Filipinos, hearing a Tagalog, or rather say a Filipino song alongside a English one be like "from the bottom of their hearts they truly missed their homes, their families, their love and affection that is, millions of miles away."

And in it somehow made this person thatwhat if they joined in singing Lucio Sam Pedro's work alongside Silent Night? Especially in a different land such as Hong Kong? For sure like that carol everyone from all walks of life truly desired for a Peaceful and a Just society, not just for that Yuletide event but a lasting one as envisioned by the Almighty.


Also to think that with such nonsense brought by these inconvenient truths has made everyone really seeking for a deliverer; but in it seriously requires unity, perseverance, and struggle as a community, as a family in order to realise such lofty goals driven by promising hopes. That faith has to be tempered by work not because of wealth but also of character that is, to be cultivated especially in this times of turmoil.

Such call for action is more than just waiting for mere wishes especially in a season desiring for gifts and listening to carols. Christmas is not all about celebrating but a reaffirmation knowing that the saviour who was born in a manger and be given gifts is also the one who said "blessed are the oppressed for theirs is the kingdom of heaven"; and in it perhaps one would ask that if everyone desired for justice and peace in times of unfairness and despair, then why not assert to the extent of sacrifice?

Hope that in this season it is more than just a mere celebration. For the concerned knows that Christmas is more than just that.

As Christmas draws near (in a days of apathy and fear)

As Christmas draws near
(in a days of apathy and fear)



Seems that christmas is being near
And my heart felt its tunes of cheer
How lovable its ringing tunes
Despite loneliness I felt so dear?

Alone despite enjoying brewed coffee
And a book to read trying to make oneself glee
But inside with some cherished memories
Of loved ones that's yearning for him to see?

Of those who brought joys in ones life
Inspiring one in this reality full of strife
That sometimes end translated into poems
Notes that brings hope and love with its might?

And seeing all the realities of life
And that is unfairness and endless strife
Of what is love knowing that it is totally radical
Yet treated most as any other matters resolving by anything material?

The bells are ringing by the nighttime breeze
And candles been lit in the altars shedding light over mist
And everyone awaits for the sumptuous feast
If not escaping from the fact that everybody's pissed?

And there are those who rather chose to move on
Escaping from the reality that is full of wrongs
Are they pure in heart to go forward till kingdom come
Or running away as fire and brimstone comes falling undone?

So surreal for a person to think if not see
After drinking his coffee alone in the night trying to be glee
Unless there's an absinthe with the friendly green fairy
An imaginary companion comforting a lonely me

And as the bells still playing and I trying to sleep
After all a days work of pen, papers and ink
Of getting inspired if not trying to think
That is to be end the agony almost deep

Anyways quite recalling those times
As one after feels the yuletide spirit
With all its tunes, its wind, its beat
And in it made me pray that hope there is a time to meet
To reminisce and rekindle a love that is a feat.

"Still Feudal if not Despotic"

"Still Feudal if not Despotic"

(Ramblings of a country whose public service as mere personal beneficence
and how the corrupt and of the tyrant treats it that way)




Despite its assertions and appeals to its subjects, of its "democratic space" with all its "liberal privileges" offered by its laws, the present semifeudal-semicolonial system blatantly and realistically believes in nothing except in keeping its interests.

 It allows anything to be questioned, but, since it emphasises its own interests than those of the common good, it rather censors if not negates those that questions that speaks about the system's value of its own existence.

And for those who asserted people's will be prevailed, such inconvenient realities found in that order "assuming to be 'forward-going'" would make one to conclude that "there is nothing illicit to replace an unjust order by another", or as what Quezon said: "however bad a Filipino government might be, we can always change it.”

Sounds contrary to a person of privileged status to talk about the right to dismantle a bad order in favour of a new one, especially on behalf of the laboring poor. Maybe because Quezon tends to imitate populists like Peron, Cardenas, or Vargas; but, the idea of social justice in a still semifeudal-semicolonial system is nothing but an aesthetic regardless of what the late president did like any other benefactor. After all, his statement above recognises the people's right to overturn tyranny no matter how frustratingly benevolent in pursuit of keeping its own interest.

Besides that, "of what is democracy if it is not for the poor?" Sorry to use Marcos but seeing that the system believes in nothing except its own interests yet parroting those of the common people be like mocking them. Unjust laws, corrupt personages, what kind of democracy under a dilapidated social order looks like? How desperate it is as it tries to create a democratic atmosphere yet in fact represses the commoner be it its unjust laws or corrupt personages failing to ensure everyone's well-being or abusing its power. Worse, putting their own names in every project made, in pursuit of trying to make one's self synonymous to development regardless of its tyranny or corruptedness.

However, a few may be serious though in pursuit of uplifting them such as pressuring the government for serious welfare programs and its bigger budget allocated, and with these concerned perhaps they are hoping that these actions deemed "reforming" on behalf of the government should be a serious, moral task of the state and not of mere personal patronage as commonly described by many.


Of state "duties" treated as a personal "beneficences"
(Or how a corrupted order treats social services "that way"
yet fails to uplift)


For coming from an observer's view, it seemed true enough that the present populistic setting the Filipinos enjoyed is a hodge podge of frustrated "progressivism" by the elite and its age-old political patronage via its "state-supported beneficence". 
Also in speaking of that word "patronage", people would look at the elected person for its "contribution" than those who paid their obligation behind those so-called public works be it healthcare to those of roads. They see forms of social welfare as same as any form of personal beneficence coming from an elected individual assuming to be as benevolent as the others than a state responsibility on behalf of the taxpayer.


Worse, despite all the beneficences (including those called "reforms", it failed to bridge the gap between the rich and of the poor, what more of showing rather the system's state of repression in the name of interest.

Be it corruption, unfair labour practise, decades-old landlordism, and submissive to mutinational and transnational interests, these truths remain embedded in the minds of struggling many regardless of what the system tries to insist its "justness" to its subjects, the way they that goddamned order insists developmental aggression as necessary no matter it hurts the poor and the marginalised sectors of the society.

And also to think that with those forms of "beneficences", most of which are obviously meant to keep people "in order" if not "to make them simply contented" than to create a form of social justice are rather "crumbs" if not "leftovers" that's unjustly given to those whose demand is the slice if not the whole cake or the bakery itself!


Reform or Retention?

Anyway, admittingly speaking, this writeup may likely to describe it as "stuck up in a past" in ridiculing state policies than praising it altogether, but that unjust past is rather continuing all contrary to an atmosphere wherein reforms and restructuring been enacted "in the name of democracy", and with those truths stated above, neither from elected individuals like Duterte or from Robredo can turn a third world country upside down "for real change" as they admitted that they swore to protect the order besides representing it as such while at the same time trying to appease the people with promises and piecemeal "actions".



And as stated earlier, these "beneficences" be it in a form of reforms or welfare programs are rather meant to keep people "in order" instead of making a community, particularly the poor, be given a true form of justice. Besides that, the system behind those "wondrous" acts are just compelled to do so, whilst trying to dilute its message and negate its character behind its action. The concerned even those working within the state is trying with its best to make every commitment to the people as "serious" and "more than just a beneficence" but of a policy as mandated by law.

Be it affordable education, healthcare, housing, agrarian reform, and others meant to ensure people's well-being, it shows the justness of the state on behalf of its people to undertake it and has to be treated not as a mere personal beneficences as shown by politicians treating it as "holy water to wash their soiled hands". 

And in fact with that kind of manner rather exposes them further their corruptedness if not being desperate to keep themselves in their strongholds. Sorry to say so, for the corrupt or despotic who frustratingly assuming to be as benevolent as the others showed how desperate the rotten order so badly especially in regards to "seeking votes" during elections. And how the system "turned" a state responsibility of ensuring ones well being into a feudal patronage emphasising on mere personal beneficence as all but preserving an order that has nothing to do with empowering the people but instead preserving a "legacy driven by greed and unjust-driven interest."


And these poor are still struggling around, marching and shouting social justice not bullets and coffins. Or perhaps since Quezon afforded to say that whoever makes a government mismanaged and has to be changed, what more that the less fortunate is clearly willing to say enough of that goddamn order and must seize political power in order to place the national economy as well as society on its intended path to development.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

"Sleepless in Hong Kong"

"Sleepless in Hong Kong"

(A Photo-poem essay)


I

Everything seemed usual as any other city
Heavily urbanised yet desperately keeping nature
All for the sake of a generation that is to nurture
If not to save an almost disappearing beauty





As I arrived from Manila to the once proud colony 
One would say it is better than the usual Makati
Or even Escolta as its preserves its heritage, prestige
Amidst the present order this time getting besieged



The cranes continue to move its heavy cargoes
While the double decker buses moves from one to another
Its taxis and trams, old school as one would see
Enough to describe a British style legacy





And as I rode in a subway train
Somehow it is better than Manila's tracked insane
From Central to Fortress Hill, Kowloon or Lantau
All is but fast everyday is every "now"






And at night the yuletide setting makes everyone enjoy
The resident and the visitor together in rejoice
Lights and sounds together as if holidays are forever
And end in pictures enough to be remember




And this person, felt so sleepless as he left so early
From the airport to the hotel then to subway to the ferry
And while his family enjoying, pictureing trying to be happy
Actually he wants to sleep, thanks to that Harbour plaza, time for some nappy



And as he sleeps he felt least the comfort
That goddamn bed after watching a chinese drama and "Regular Show"
For tomorrow there is another event in a row
That fragrant harbour once called, a product of a centuries-old "royal" effort


II

Like yesterday, everything seemed fine although marred by some annoyance
Especially after seeing elders insisting what pleases to them
And this person is still seeking that is for a convenience
Especially in his sojourn at the "Fragrant Harbour", where now coexist with then





In seeing the trams and of the subway
Every day is an every "Now", life is seemed fast
People bustling in the streets, throroughfares and pathways
Life seemed "Busy" before weekday lasts




While others out of yuletide wanted to enjoy for a single day
Such as an almost replica of a theme park owned by a Californio
And like all others, this person have moved all from Quarry Bay to Sunny Bay
And see an illusion where dreams realised that day then called "tomorrow"

Wandering on its "magical sights"
They all say from time to time that "it is where dreams come true"
While for him it is ususal like any other known sites
Perhaps it all depends on you



For sometimes "Theme parks are like drugs" as what he realtalkly expressed
Especially after riding every ride and seeing fireworks
And while seeing visitors with their smiles expressed
The tea and even the mineral water in its dimsum restaurant seemed too much in its price worth







Quite annoying especially after with this person's mom Seeing an expensive cost from a goddamn restaurant
Thinking that the serving of the tea is free at home
Before ordering a dimsum or any meal one would want



Again find it common as any other urban area
As this person and others returned to that hotel
Welcome back to room 1018 hello there my bed
All's prepared before he sleeps, hope dreams aren't hell.


III

Like to see those beautiful clothes
Be it displayed or be it worn
Quite recognisable in every row
And end sketched in his pad he owned










Frock coats, Vests, and French Berets
Boots, Scarves, classy as I say
Everything's cold after that "Fragrant Harbour" sunset
Especially at Victoria where life goes from day to day






And admittingly speaking it seems that going there is worth fine
Sadly the bucks is not enough to buy just for mine
But it's okay since there is a sketchbook to draw it away
Every dress, every coat, every attire worn on that day




Especially in the streets where there are numerous shops
Of well-known names expensively priced
Quite nice to see on that cold nights as I hop
from one way to another, anything full of surprise







Especially in seeing nice couples
Looking at dresses no matter it is expensive
Perhaps afterwards they will go somewhere to eat waffles
Since it is cheap and the guy's gal's appearance seemed impressive








Or the old Indian as if reminiscent of the British past 
With his turban regularly worn yet walking almost fast
His attire smartly looking like others in that lane
His coat to his shoes for sure no one complains








And if one may ask why he loves to sketch dresses?
Of frock coats and of cherry red vests and berets for the lasses?
Perhaps I would say that life in Hong Kong is incomplete
Without Pam Diel whose beauty seemed quite sweet.


IV

The skyline remained the same as any other scenes
Be it in the magazine or in an online page one would seen
Again, quite nice although common as any other town
Happened to have a name that is renowned





And again, seeing tramways and of buses 
And of walking briskly masses
From day till night the harbour is full of life
As in the past when the union jack in its might


Ships of various kinds sailing on its sea
That made this writer afforded to see
Like the books perhaps it says "they carried that is, for trade"
Coming from Canton or other lands where it was craftily made





While on the other side be like those from Makati
But orderly despite having cars, trucks, or Masserati
Yet in fact days and nights rather full of people, than cars as I see
Such as in Central or in Kowloon, life be like "always free"

And that guy on the isle's other side as if contented in his well-spent craft
Despite lying in a pavement featuring his well-made drafts
I wanted to see myself in his artwork and willing to pay
If not for his mom who chose to look such as "Crocs" on that day



Like all others everyone took the city a picture
Such as the one near the sea sometimes with their family for a pleasure
The scene seemed changing as new and old buildings steadily erected
As if the once barren place's future has been carefully directed



And here I am, tiresome, end like a plank
Lying with forehead on the floor that night on a store near a bank
So 2010 if one would say sorry if you ought to see
Perhaps just to finish this post as it supposed to be

Sunday, 18 December 2016

"Traversing Escolta"

"Traversing Escolta"




Traversing Escolta
As I descended from sta. Cruz
Where there he sought an almost lost once famous road
And seeing everyone from Caloocan or Makati
To China town, Divisoria, Tondo, or Quezon City
Trying to escape from the sickening scenes
If not enticed by the old buildings nostalgic so it seems
With the owners maybe realising the value their edifices have
For for decades been forgotten with all its grime
till everyone be ashamed and willing to demolish
Like the old Arguelles or the one where Savory lies
Or soon whose billboard says Syvel's or the age old don Roman's
Standing firm in the once plaza Goiti.

In seeing the once known road reminiscent of my grandfather's
Whose office once situated at Regina's
While Perez-Samanillo where Berg's on its ground floor
Now with its Hub whose weekends in a full scale galore
Soon enough, the ones from Caloocan, Makati, Tondo,
China town, Divisoria, and Quezon City
Enjoys the coffee from "the Den" if not beer from "Fred's"
Or some oriental flavour at Dasmarinas's "Toho Antigua"
Or some simple "Poland Hopia" since there is no "Savory" to meet
"Soon to open" as what it says
According to its tarpaulin.

Meanwhile commoners look for those well dressed strangers
 Whose music comes from the once old Berg's if not from their cellphones
While theirs is their cheap remixes and crappy made rap songs
Whose chorus singers be like frustratedly singing with its post puberty tones.
All is but common to see the well dressed in their eyes
Be it morning, noon, afternoon, till night
That goddamn weekend continues with its delight
Children gone dancing with the tourists and youngsters alike
To the tune of the past such as disco music
Or a new wave from the DJ
Making his craft at Derek's second pub.


Sorry for being indifferent 
as that Escolta's been trying to reclaim its past glory
Thanks to that Carlos Celdran or from 98B
The grand old street been sought again by the bourgeoisie
Be it for some nostalgia, some "deep" art, or a weekend coffee
Revive is their call according to their statements
Be it from the brochure or from their shirts
Featuring Perez-Samanillo or its neighbour Regina
To those of Uy Chaco and El Hogar Filipino
Whose centuries-old features stood 
enduring modern day blight and grime.

And this person, alone, sipped its iced latte
Laced with sugar syrup as what the bartender say
And seeing different crowds converging
Of different tunes as if merging
The street remains stuck in its pasts
Hope not deteriorating further till no building last
Especially in an era where everything is renowned
Can be destroyed by those who think all as unknown


Monday, 12 December 2016

"Freedom amidst the barbed wires"

"Freedom amidst the barbed wires"




Despite the changing times, it is inconveniently true that both politics and crime, especially with its most scandalous and controversial type, has been described as the Filipinos' favourite pastime.

Perhaps it is as most people been glued to social media and failing to understand which news is true or fake. That ever since Rodrigo Duterte has won the presidency, the average Filipino can't get over from the past controversies that most of which failed to put an end or worse, continues to aggravate with new personages and incidents.

Ideally, one would say that after May or June "everything will be over", that "change will usher in its first full swings", but that supposed relief under the present administration seemed to be pallative as old problems continue to aggravate be it criminality or poverty, corruption to those of landlordism and various forms of socioeconomic immorality; such realities has rather created an inconvenient truth that the government has trying to hide be it in a form of building infrastructure to those of imposition of justice, abeit in its frustrated form.

Sounds negative especially for a Filipino that the inconvenient truth trumps down the system's version of development. But that negativity has been a source of amusement knowing that people commonly see or hear about crime and corruption in every Senate proceeding featured in Television or in the papers. News articles concerning numerous drug-related deaths sowed a setting of fear that also meant renewed killings towards critics and the concerned, worse, all these are mainly from the lowest strata of a dilapidated society.

And although Inconvenient to hear that truth, it seems that regardless of the system's statements and those of its apologists, change has unbecoming a farce especially with all its actually existing tragedies, that be it corruption, narcopolitics, and a series of killings, is this the change the system has afforded to say about to its subjects? "Enough!" Says the long suffering populace.

Also to think that amidst the showcase of improved roads and bridges, of building new airports and currying outside investments, the truth that the country has been still in its blood soiled path has more to do with its distorted form of justice if not pointing it altogether against the poor simply because of being untidy and immoral.

Sadly, there are also people from all walks of life sees it nothing as they move on as if nothing happened, besides getting amused at the issues of seeing numerous deaths if not swayed by the system with its justification such as a need for a catharsis and disregarding human rights. Looking back last elections the issue on crime and drugs has been much emphasised than those of addressing poverty and unemployment.

And Duterte's victory as president is as seen as a renewed hope for change if not stressing the need for a leader that is more than a presider of sorts but a chieftain anointed by god and elected by the people, truly a Filipino style "governance" if not "populism". But reality rather stresses much what people find it as usual to hear with. 

Also in it, words like "drugs" and actions like "Operation Tokhang" has been heard throughout everyone's lives than those of what the administration proud of like improving infrastructures to those of its "soup kitchen"; that police reports concerning killings if not red-coloured or bold-lettered headlines regarding senate hearings against narcopoliticians and policemen been tackled throughout while disregarding issues on housing and of agrarian reform; and at its worst, like any other administration, the poor and the needy has becoming a likely target for ages-old repression than a preferential option for national development, or worse, being tagged as drug pushers, users, murderers, anything synonymous to crime all due to structural neglect.


Again, "enough!" Says the long suffering populace. For they had all enough of repression, injustice, disenfranchisent and impunity! Is this the change the system has afforded to say in this propaganda war? They have buried a dictator and retained repressive policies, they have not distributed land and justice to the poor and the landless while political prisoners remained imprisoned enduring despair if not their illnesses.

Admittingly speaking, this person sees that the propaganda war, which was carried last election until today, needs no further elaboration. People may find it amusing to see numerous deaths and be justified as the need for an iron fist redescribed as a rule of law, while others find it too much and urging the administration to put an end to unjustly acts and focus on addressing root causes behind such lumpenproletarian nonsense the system has tolerated. This propaganda war is still very much in progress despite beyond last elections as it gathers venom coming from both sides, enough to remember how the country runs like hell and thus making the people themselves willing to assert further the "change" that is, more than what the system insist.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

"To a Muse"

"To a Muse"


You have enslaved me with your lovely body;
You have put me in a kind of prison.
Since the day we parted,
I have found nothing that is like your beauty.
So I comfort myself with a ripe apple—
Its fragrance reminds me of the myrrh of your breath,
Its shape of your breasts, its color
Of the color that used to rise to your cheeks.

- Yehudah Halevi


Ever since the day we last met
It seems that my heart is longing for you
For I felt what comes from your beauty
Be it in your appearance or your kindness
Enough to translate into love
That also made me driven into ecstasy

Amidst the rain and cold
I once found warmth in your love
The way you have once embraced me with your lovely body
And enticed with your enchanting voice
Those times be like enough to translate emotions into words
Reminiscent of ministrels to its muses
Whose songs meant love from long ago

And at once I had comforted you with my words
If not massaged you till one felt the ease from your illness
Of chocolates, milk, or even oranges
All brought to enjoy those late afternoons
That perhaps made me suddenly think how we both care amidst our lonelinesses
Of tiring days and of committments
Yet having time to enjoy and laugh in times of sadness

And although true that I felt your seduction
I'd rather felt your friendliness more if not the kindness
That perhaps made me think how thoughtful that beautiful girl she is
Besides having a sensuous body and a carefully-cultivated wit
And since inspired, enough to translate my feelings into words
Such as this lowly poem.

I admit, that there are more poems meant for you
For sometimes I can't convey it straight
But rather trying to turn things creatively
The way that you encouraged me to do:
That you brought comfort amidst the pain
If not making ideals overflow out of being inspired
I am thankful that you've been a part of my life
Thanks to you, and as a friend and comrade, there is nothing wrong to say:

I love you.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

"Living up the Bonifacio spirit to resist tyranny."

"Living up the Bonifacio spirit to resist tyranny."

(Or how President Duterte's Bonifacio day message
also means taking back from tyranny)



In a message marking the 153rd birth anniversary of Gat Andres Bonifacio, President Duterte, facing the cameras and mediamen said:

 "May this occasion serve as a reminder for us to live up to the spirit of Bonifacio, whose spirit remains patriotic unfettered and independent."

"Every waking day is an invitation to dedicate our lives to a worthy cause; to uplift the quality of life of our countrymen; and to bring back the pride and honor in our identity as a people," he added.

The President's statement may sound idealistic any other patriot, as he appeals to his constituents that everyday should be in a contributative manner so as to "bring back the country's long lost legacies" such as its "pride and sacred honour."

However, that appeal he extorted from that holiday speech does not stop the people from opposing his controversial moves like the recent burial of the late dictator at the "Heroes' Cemetery". And several days ago everyone heard how the president stated that no one before him did create provisions barring the late dictator to be buried as well as telling that there are requirements that made him be buried as any other soldier and as a president in that "sacred plot."

That perhaps also made everyone in disgust to think that how come the dictator Marcos was buried as a hero while the plebeian Bonifacio was killed as a criminal? There were attempts which Bonifacio be given a symbolic burial at Monumento (despite having his ashes long lost after the war) but the government trumps it out of the events leading to his execution at Cavity such as "conspiracy to overthrow Aguinaldo", while Marcos, whose crimes been trumped down by the Judges and its apologetics, end buried in a sacred plot that ironically buried some corrupt soldiers whose crimes end mysteriously dismissed by some corrupted magistrates.


Anyway, back to the topic, the situation makes it clear that everyone is trying to awake from their slumber or trying to get out from their pampered zones. And despite agreeable how President Duterte speaks about the need for unity and dedication to service, what kind of unity and dedication to service is he talking about? Is it unity in pursuit of attaining justice and freedom or plain simple conformity to an order based from fear and deception? Is dedication to service beyond politics or just plain simple old school affirmation of patronage?

After all, Since the time everyone hears controversies related to his life, of seeing his machismo moves and spewing statements from his arsenic mouth, people disregards it altogether for his "populism", as being emphasised, meant swift imposition of justice if not efficient distribution of welfare.
And in it makes it appeared that it had united everyone from all walks of life, and willing to dedicate their services like their chosen leader "all for the country's good, right or wrong." 

And despite seeing its numerous results such as in making efficiencies in government service be it welfare or making passports, his administration it is still marred by his personal flaws or even the reality that he still represents the old order everyone abhorred over. Also to think that with the appointment of left wingers in the cabinet did helped in trying to realise some basic calls such as land reform or social welfare, as well as the willingness to have a dialogue with the underground left in pursuit of unity, yet does not translate to silencing the left from opposing his moves related to human rights and its alignment towards neoliberal interests.

And this time with the issue of having the late dictator being buried, isn't it that obvious how the President who afforded to talk with the left has made the latter disgusted? They all dedicated their lives to a worthy cause that even he himself did babble about like social justice and national redemption, but to have a tyrant and a puppet be buried in what everyone thinks as "hollowed ground for heroes" instead of abiding by the tyrant's promise to "be buried beside his mother" means rubbing salt to the wounds of those who are physically if not emotionally tortured by the system all because of its belief and its struggle what this person stated in this post.

As shown by the recent protests, one would say that reconciliation will never happen without justice, and moving on is actually telling everyone to forget the horrors if not to disregard the fact how the rotten order has left a trail of blood and debt amidst numerous public works to those of bulgur wheat, nutribun, or Kadiwa. 


Anyway, despite all the situations, the President's statement urging people to live up the Bonifacio spirit is to be observed, for reality has urged everyone to bombard the headquarters of those who slander and repress the people, and to usher a new hope knowing that another world is possible.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Commandante y Jefe, Presente!

Commandante y Jefe, Presente!




This page is sending condolences to the people of cuba on the death of comrade Fidel Castro y Ruz, the man who served as light and guide of the Cuban revolution towards its victory, development, and its survival amidst hardships in that said "free zone of the americas".

A good friend of the people, Fidel Castro asserted his country's independence against Yankee domination, especially after Fulgencio Batista's ouster and the failure of the U.S.- Sponsored "Bay of Pigs" Affair at Playa Giron.

Cuba's freedom as a liberated country is a proof that despite its nearness to the "enemy", it chose to resist and undertake its path of development, especially amidst embargoes and attempts to subvert its intended path. It had improved education and social services, contributed in the realms of medicine and culture, increased its literacy rates, and helped other developing countries in its path to development, in am amazement by international organisations such as the United Nations.


And to think that despite many attempts to kill him by the Central Intelligence Agency, Castro rather survived the odds and remained firm in supporting the welfare of his people as well as stood in his principles both as a patriot and as a socialist. There were controversies that surrounded him, and yet his devotion to the people is the proof that history will truly absolve from his shortcomings as a leader, as a comrade, and as a person whose devotion is beyond from his privileged background.

That in the end, with all his contributions, hardships, and a legacy of hopes, Fidel Castro is not dead, and like all the martyrs and survivors of the Cuban revolution, they are all alive and youthful in the hearts of the people.

Commandante y Jefe Fidel Castro? Presente!
Viva Cuba Libre!


Friday, 25 November 2016

"To fight rather than to forget"

"To fight rather than to forget"

Notes on the November 25 protest at Luneta park, Manila


One would say that Friday is a most proprituous day for protest.

For all after the mixed reactions in social media to those of spontaneous protests from Katipunan to Ayala, that fair day of November 25 as people from all walks of life marched all down to the spacious grounds of Rizal Park.

As the marchers sang, waved, chanted aloud on that afternoon, that event may have tried to be as radiant as earlier events, especially that the issue is related  on the recent burial of the late Dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

For sure the familiar "Marcos Hitler Diktador Tuta" hath been resound again as in the past, along with various chants assailing the Marcos family and even the present Duterte administration for allowing such a controversial act, that even the left wingers he afforded to deal with end criticizing him for his deed if not assessing the ties between the left and the present regime.

The marchers came from various points: some are from EspaƱa, others from Taft, one other group came from UP Diliman, and others from Katipunan or even Caloocan. They all converged at Luneta park where they even faced some "Duterte-Marcos" fanatics, a few of them so to speak, trying to insist the burial as just, if not urging the left wingers in Duterte's cabinet to "resign".

But still, the protest continues at the designated place, sounds of struggle being played, speeches from Martial Law victims and survivors expressed sentiments, of Ferdinand Gaite from the "Confederation for the Unity Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees" sung some old anti-Marcos Songs, and Rene Saguisag expressing disgust over a fellow Bedan who proceeded with the burial.

To some spectators in social media, they afforded to say that the place didn't fill up with protesters, one critic even called them as fools compared to that person and "others" as yearning for quiet (or as what they say "peace") if not urging them to "deal with the pain" (or as what they say "move on"); but the rally isn't limited in Luneta, but also in other parts such as Cebu, Surigao, and even Duterte's own Davao. And perhaps regardless of its numbers, least they assert, or as what they say "fight on" over those who say "move on."

From Inday Espina Varona
But admittingly speaking, that amidst the protest and its calls for justice, of shouts and raising of lighted cellphones, that friday event is as simply a reunion of sorts at Luneta.


That this person did met again some Professors, churchmen, academicians, Facebook friends, activists. Whom he befriended for so long if not lately just acquainted in the middle of the program.

And with that event, as in the past few days, be like a time to continue the fight than just to forget as if nothing happened. That regardless of all the slurs in social media, of those who desire for an unjust "reconciliation", sorry to say but to struggle for justice is also means to create a just closure and to move forward. In fact, it isn't limited to the Marcos burial but also on the actions made by the present order against the people, be it the Aquino's action against the farmers to those of neoliberal policies that meant burdens against low paid consumers. 

Also to think that with those events, lies a reaffirmation so as to uphold the aims of the revolution as well as to attain that, be it land for the landless, employement for the unemployed, welfare for the masses, freedom and justice for the nation. Call it subversion, knowing that one may have wanted to uphold the status quo. 

To "move on with justice" requires a revolution. But to "move on just to forget" is a reaction.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

"Katipunan notes"

"Katipunan notes"

(Or seeing those who trying to go beyond
 from their pampered settings)




Started on a balmy afternoon somewhere at Quezon City, students from various schools converged in the main throroughfare for a "deviant" kind of action.

That instead of "heartbroken"-driven monolouges and personal rants, these students rather voiced out a national opinion such as opposing the controversial burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the "Heroes' Cemetery."

Quite deviant for today's setting, thinking that not all students, or millenials care to talk about politics or national issues. And some would even shrug it off in favour of something that pleases them like parties or stormy relationships, what more of getting tired of seeing a flood of posts regarding the pros and cons of that goddamn burial to those of Martial Law and its questioned legacy.

But for this person and others concerned, the issue has to go beyond from the feud between the ones in bright reds* from Batac and the mellow yellows from Tarlac; that the burial has to do with the system and its treatment of those times given that they both scoffed and benefited from it. 

For in the end, all of them still represents the order deemed dilapidating if not rotting and has to be dismantled. Be it from the Aquinos, Marcoses, or even Duterte, they all swore to protect the old order while trying to accommodate those from the people, particularly those who voted as their presidents. But come to think that although one after another did spoke against the oligarchs or promised for agrarian reform, then how come names like Jaime Zobel de Ayala or Henry Sy dominated? Or how come haciendas like those of Luisita or Looc exist? These situations means a call for people from all walks of life to assert the alternative, and in it does not limited to ballot boxes nor press releases from elected officials; for today's democracy has to be laocratic in character, what more of becoming bayanicratic!

And also to thinj that having a youth that is aware from its surroundings meant an attempt for an awakening, if not a spring after a winter of almost forgetfulness, simply because they sought the realities of life and has to confront in the spirit of asserting a righteous and just society rather than moving on and think as if nothing matters to their hedonistic lives with some smattering of idealism that is, limited to their mere personal desires.

That in seeing them at those recent events, or perhaps at earlier ones such as upholding human rights to those of scrapping yearly tuition increases, isn't it nice that they voice out a societal rant in front of the streets far from the usual heartbreaking nonsense in front of those drinking coffee or beer? In fairness life, no matter one is trying to escape from it,  will always be affected by politics be it from the prices of goods at thr supermarket to those of cellphone load for some free data in Facebook; and also to think thsr if democratic processes is for the adult if not limited to those of suffrage, and worse, seeing same old bullshit, then will the youth remain contented in its apathy?

Perhaps soon an alleged "concerned citizen" will lobby that voting age has to be 35 or even 40. For 18 or even 25 is too young and meant to be in their fantasies.