Saturday, 26 March 2016

"Memories of the old Santa Ana Park"

"Memories of the old Santa Ana Park"

(Or how this person again recalled the late, great Santa Ana Park
after seeing some pictures)

 photo sta.jpg
Source: Waldenstrom

Seems more of a revisit, especially that all after seeing some existing pictures of that once recognised place in Makati-Manila area, and a brief recall of that place's existence after being replaced years ago by a commercial complex owned by the Ayala, this person is ought to say that despite being named as "Circuit Makati" with all of its modern features, it will always be remembered by the old, and the old at heart, as Santa Ana Park of the Philippine Racing Club Inc.

source: NickAris

Founded during the American period to counter the Manila Jockey Club, the Philippine Racing Club, along with the Santa Ana Cabaret, served as a venue for then upper-and-middle class Filipinos and Americans to enjoy horse racing just like its Spanish-controlled counterpart at the former San Lazaro Hippodrome.

Source: NickAris
Source: NickAris

And perhaps, with its architecture, it somehow reflects the "peace time" period, that if given chance, some of which be preserved while the rest paved way to development, knowing that to some people, the Ayalas has been known for preserving heritage the way it kept its illustrous name for generations.

Sadly, the entire place was demolished few years ago, and instead would see new buildings being set up, as well as having events gone through that place. However, few photographers like NickAris, Waldenstrom, and others, had afforded to take some pictures on that place prior to its demolition, and one said that those pictures were all but memories of a past, wherein a part of Sta. Ana, Manila was known for its race track, of having People who knows nothing but to bet their money and live their life in and out of the racing park, a legacy of what once was.

Friday, 25 March 2016



Christ, like the Paschal Lamb, was sacrificed so as to redeem mankind from its sins. 
Christ, being a rebel, was punished by a repressive order for defying the laws in pursuit of laws emphasising justice. 

His struggle for reclaiming faith for God may have reinterpreted in various means, but his actions been "political" given that he was been accused of subverting the established laws what more of being against Herod, or even the Caesar for being the man known as "King of the Jews" who had healed the sick, taught the children values, fed the multitudes, and preached the message of salvation.

Yes, truly he is the king who sacrificed to redeem humanity, a man whose desire for justice and freedom costs his life, as he died on the cross after a day of suffering, being taunted, being flogged, and carried a cross on the way to Calvary. 

That's all for now. 

Thursday, 24 March 2016

"Ecce Homo"

"Ecce Homo"

A Holy Week message

"Ecce Homo!"

These are the words Ponitus Pilate saidth when he presents a scourged Jesus Christ, bound and crowned with thorns, to a hostile crowd shortly before his Crucifixion. That somehow has captured every imaginations coming from various artists trying to replicate the governor's, as well as the people's expression towards the suffering Christ.
That for the Roman governor, knowing of the innocence of the Lord and expressing it, is nevertheless end bowing to the will of a bloodthirsty and clamorous mob, and be eventually turned over to his soldiers the Lord Jesus Christ for them to scourge Him in preparation for the crucifixion.

That somehow that experience also corresponds to the country that has been called "Pearl of the Orient" for its scenic wonders and wealth, only to be exploited by the system the way it mocked its people their cherished ideals and aspirations as they favoured vested interests. Like the paschal lamb, the country, its cherished ideals, and the people, hath been sacrificed into the altar of interest as the system raised its knife, or in case of the crucifixion, raised its hammer as it nailed the country into the cross of suffering.
And perhaps, it is somewhat replicated in the yearly "Kalbaryo ng Maralita" protest-passion plays at Mendiola. However, this person did not visit last Monday's passion play of seeing the common Juan, representing the country and its people, be crucified by the system in a manner of thy Lord Jesus Christ.
But like the events of yesteryears, it also showed how the system has acted like Pilate and Herod, Antipas, Caiaphas, to those of Judas Iscariot in prolonging the average Juan's suffering similar to those of Christ, carrying its hardship towards Calvary.

And since everyone seen various situations wherein people sought individuals trying to present themselves as worthy amidst their controversial natures, then perhaps one would say that how hypocritical these beings who presented themselves to others as righteous yet actually they aren't. What more if they've mocked some, if not most, cherished ideals if these same people present themselves as "for the people" with all their various "contributions" and yet in reality they pocketed anything what the people hath greatly needed for it. Like the passion of Jesus Christ, the country itself, the one whom the people sworn to defend and to cherish, been mocked by the people themselves by favoring their own interests, of those who babble they are for the needy and yet actually they mocked them through their actions, be it in a form of a corrupt politician pocketing the people's hardship if not a despotic landlord repressing its tenant.

Admittingly speaking, this person ought to say that the Philippines, or the Filipinos themselves been acting like the Israelites of yesteryears waiting for a redeemer. And during elections, people hear about their preferred candidate been packaged throughout the season as a "national messiah" trying to bring peace, justice, prosperity, and a variety of hope to a suffering populace. 

Sadly, that populace whom yearning for upliftment and redemption, failed to act themselves as a community, if not limiting their affirmative actions to themselves, as individuals, alone, enough to present themselves as righteous afterwards. Perhaps, despite all these crisis, repressions, and hypocrisies, people will soon truly realise the need for a national redemption as a nation as in the past. 

"In pursuit of Redemption"

"In pursuit of Redemption"

(or the Filipino's yearning and attempt for redemption 
through the Christian faith with its socio-spiritual liberative character)

At first, this person started writing this writeup this Holy Thursday. Due to an excess of thoughts this person initially gathered for his earlier “Holy week”-related writeup, the idea of having another socially-related “Holy Week”-relevant post seemed to be appropriate and an easy way to let those thoughts flow the way thinking being an easiest way to fill many days and nights, enough to consider “impossible” to avoid.
However, this person seemed worried about this work be left undone due to other tasks such as painting, drawing, reading various reports, and other related stuff including those of taking part at later’s “Maundy Thursday mass” with this person taking part as an “Apostle”. The afternoon heat hath also seemed to create a hindrance in making this writeup as well, as it entices one to “rest” with the whirring fan enough for some ventilation if not an aesthetic of noise in the middle of this silent afternoon.

"Looking back, all in pursuit of Redemption"
“Why do we strive for redemption in this hell of a kind world? 

Amidst enjoying the good life, why there are those who are seeking liberation from the cycle humanity has been chained over from the cradle to the grave? For sure everyone prays, does charity, enough to seek relevance and to redeem one’s self. 

But despite all their actions, God has come down amongst the people; and he has become man in Christ. Hence, through Christ, everyone is trying to approach God directly besides those of good works. The way everyone cries for liberation from harsh caste-bondage and thus been heard by God, who came to us in Jesus Christ who live and save all people from their sins."

These are the words this person has been thinking of these days, that amidst experiencing everyday good life as a Bourgeois, has been a witness in seeing everyday poverty, of usual suffering particularly those of a struggling common man in what activists called as a “semifeudal, semicolonial” society. Sorry if these words has becoming political, but to think that Christ’s work has been political- especially when he healed the sick, fed the poor, been praised by the people, mocked by the system, crucified, died, and resurrected with his followers preaching the good news of his salvation.

And perhaps, through his example, people should stand up and struggle against the flow, against an unjust order, the way it applies God’s word though advocating a revisit of almost forgotten morals and a reinstitution of genuine justice. Why the contentment in seeing social suffering, what more of mocking them from time to time till aggravate old tensions and problems, if instead must act both for self-cultivation and service to others particularly to the less fortunate? And worse, assuming to be self-righteous yet treating its own righteousness as "holy water" for their almost incurable sins. Such actions done by those truly committed is driven by the idea of redemption, both in the individual and in the society. That in this era of fabricated crisis and centuries-old repression, the drive for redemption has been rampant, what more of its actions be it as pious as the prayer vigil at the churches or as bloody as the armed struggle at the countryside.

Strange isn’t it at first, but to think that the society is in its continuing past of repression and injustice, people will always clamour for a future based from a cherished principle with others willing to participate in case of the enlightened. Why was the peasant and the worker joined the Katipunan? They were not just motivated by National Liberation, but also a social one such as those of land. But they were also motivated by faith, given that most of them were Roman Catholics whose interpretation of Christ as a redeemer from repression different from what the friars commonly stated; after all, De Los Reyes, Aglipay, the makers of “Si Cristo Socialist Ya”, and Benjamin Alforque expressed the statement of Christ as a socio-spiritual liberator whose justice is distributive with the idea of "love God and love one another". And since some people has greatly understood the Christian faith as liberative in its character than those of its colonisers and the system despite all its antics, it shows how indigenisation has changed Filipino Christianity given that it was originally came to the Philippines by a foreign force and not by native acceptance.
Also to think that Christ has been served the people faithfully, of listening and responding to their plight, isn’t it that obvious that Christianity’s character is enough to deem radical than conservative as insisted by those whose motive is repression if not interest by the system and its apologetics? Radical in a sense that it tries to empower the people, communities, the way it asserts reinstitution of justice in pursuit of redeeming souls for kingdom come.

Anyways, no wonder why the quote "Follow Christ, Serve the People" has been the tagline for the socially-aware Christians whose desire is redemption both in its own character and those of its own society amidst socio-spiritual crisis.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

The "Diwata" as an example of a Panday Pira legacy

The "Diwata" as an example of a Panday Pira legacy

The launch of the satellite Diwata is itself a Panday Pira spirit rising.

Like the craftsman-cannoneer's dream of a self-reliant homeland, the launch of the Diwata satellite represents the Filipino's revisit towards science, technology, industry, and even a semblance self-reliance. 

Compared to Aguila I and II which was bought by Filipino-owned or controlled telecommunications companies than made by Filipinos, the launch of the first Filipino made, or perhaps, assembled, satellite meant more than a pride, but also a memory enough to be remembered in history books the way some people remember Panday Pira made his cannons, or how the Moros made their well known Lantaka, showing how the pre-Hispanic Filipinos also dealt with scientific wonders including the use of gunpowder, enough to counter the outsider's slander.

But sadly, in the end, like having some putting interest on Antonio Luna, people care less about Diwata, Aguila, or even Panday Pira and his Lantaka. 

For they are preoccupied with famous artists in showbusiness, if not the tasteless debates that end a target of memes and various bullshits. 

Sunday, 20 March 2016

"A Desire for Change" or "Reaffirming Repression"?

"A Desire for Change" or "Reaffirming Repression"?

Notes on the 2015 elections,
the desire for change,
and a prevailing policy that reaffirms repression


At first, this person is ought to say that today's 2015 elections is all but different personages but same intentions being representatives of the same old social order. With different phrases to justify uniqueness in their liberal-populist oriented programs, with some half-hearted desire for some semblance of "social change", it is obvious that being stooges of the present system likely to fail such intentions presented to the people knowing that the latter have heard over their intentions, that mostly benefited the privileged few than those of the many. 

Be it those from Binay, Poe, Duterte, Santiago, or Roxas, these personages somehow tried to appease the people through the idea of reform, restructure, with justice or fairness as its basis. However, people are preocupied with controversies surrounding these people instead of what their programs insisted, in a way Binay has been barraged with criticism over corruption charges, Poe with her questionable citizenship, Duterte with his street Machiavellianism, Santiago with her illness, and Roxas for trying to continue Aquino's legacy that is, "Neo-Arroyo".

But again, such controversies that had been greatly emphasised in those election-related sprees diverts these people and their political parties from addressing the present social issue enough to be called as "the Philippine crisis." Of course, these presidentiables afforded to say promises like "Agrarian Reform", "Industrialisation", "Decent Living Wage", "Tax Reduction", "Job Security", to those of "Defending National Patrimony"; but given that they are representing the interests of the few, of repressive, despotic landlords, and corrupt compradores, "blessed" by the domineering foreign powers like the United States, Japan, or "red" China, then of what are those promises if are meant to be negated if not broken?
Anyways, Through the electoral process, the system tries to make matters appear "democratic" given the choice of candidate and the rhetoric being babbled about. And it somehow trying to conceal the class character of the ruling state, and creates the illusion that those running and leading the reactionary government are "chosen by the people." Whilst encouraging people to vote for those truly clamouring for genuine reforms and new politics, people should also expose and oppose the tendencies of those whose intention is to support interests behind the veneer of "reform" if not "development."

Labour Export Policy: An example of a Neoliberal-inclined economic policy
that involves cheap labour intended for work abroad.
Worse, the policy has been tainted by corruption, harassment,
and other repressive matters involving Filipino labour.
For an example of an actually-existing issue politicos failed to address a problem, one of the main problems that has confronted the Philippines and other underdeveloped or developing countries is the reckless adoption of the neoliberal economic model as part of their respective economic policies. In pursuit of less government intervention and openness to direct foreign investments, and adapting Government Owned or Controlled Corporations transferred to the private sector, particularly those of local oligarchs and foreign individuals and companies alike, if not having policies that emphasise deregulation and commercialisation of assets.
And perhaps contrary to their so-called promises, these "presidentiables", as well as their fellow candidates in the legislature, are already competing for attention from big interests and presenting themselves as fervent advocates of neoliberal policies. Among their proffered programs is the continuation and expansion of the "Public-Private Partnership" program intensely desired by big domestic and foreign capitalists for its guaranteed profits. To add some populist flavour further, Conditional Cash Transfer program would been retained and tolerated rather than abolished as such.

And despite being redescribed these policies as "Reforms" and "Restructuring" by the system (and perhaps being babbled by these so-called "presidentiables"), Such a process has been one of the culprits behind the huge concentration of wealth by the privileged few, widespread poverty, and even the destruction of national economies and even communities itself. Today, as in the Past centuries, the Philippines, as well as other developing or underdeveloped countries, popularly known collectively as the "third world", can also be described as "proletarian nations", or "servile states", given its backward modes of production and policies favouring foreign companies as well as those of oligarchs, aggravating decades-old problems be it those of Land, Wage, Employment, and other matters affecting the lives of the commoner. Such policies insisted by international finance capital tends to appear developmentalist a la Marcos, with some "policies" trying to appear populistic in case of Conditional Cash Transfer program and some infrastructures supported by foreign loans. 

Regardless of its justifications, it rather showed how politically and economically, the debt-strapped, mendicant, stagnant country has been enslaved to the globalist power centers, with its citizens are being constrained to work under almost, if not entirely servile conditions be it as low-paid farmworkers at Hacienda Luisita, a factory worker at the economic zones and complexes of Bataan or Laguna, to those of call centre agents in Makati, alongside the mass ranks of the unemployed and semiemployed contractuals threatened by possible layoffs. The system, in order to appear as "benevolent" as any other paternalistic figure, would create "piecemeal reforms" ranging from a faux-"land reform" to an additional "living wage", and some rhetorics involving tax-reduction or exemption. Contrary to the actually-existing imposed policies of depressed wages, union-busting, and the encouragement of various forms of labor flexibility. Bounded with these also are policies favouring the landgrabbing for the establishment and expansion of commercial plantations, as well as destructive mining operations done by compradore-owned if not transnational mining companies.

But amidst developments bragged by the system through its mouthpieces in Radio, Television, and Social Media, obviously, with only 15% of the population wallows in 50% of the national income, the majority of the Filipinos will not be freed from the quagmire of abject poverty as well as disenfranchisement and injustice. And laws whose intention is for "imposing social justice" are rather meant to be circumvented. After all, why there are still farmers protesting for land and workers for a decent living wage? Politicos failed to address such matters seriously, except those who had been judged throughout by the system for being against the system itself.

Anyways, regardless of changing political personages, as long as the national leadership serves as a mere puppet of its imperialist masters, the Philippines will rather continue to be an agricultural appendage of powerful and industrialized countries, particularly those of the United States that for decades it continues to cling in its blood-tainted "manifest destiny".

Sorry for those words, but when was the time people question about its country's own policy as well as the system and its leaders' reluctance to admit such failures?

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

"The Banquet"

"The Banquet"

All is but dark at first
Till the moon in its glow came
In a once somewhat sacred place
Of oak trees wherein once faeries came
If not Toadstools where Elves once sat

I feel the sensation
As I enter the garden's gates
Whose field is full of red roses
And white lilies

With the moon and stars as lights
Enough to light your garden path
A table has been prepared for you
Followed by a lovely candelabrum
Whose newly-lit light sheds upon us

And as I wait to see you
Between left and right
You approach from the same way as I
In your beauteous garment

And its surroundings as if casts a chant, and says:
"Come oh Bride! Come oh Bride!"
"My moonlight maiden, my joy and delight!"
With songs enough to fill the day
Followed by various food and wine.

For your presence shows the love been fulfilled
Just like stories from the past been told
And with your kiss comes a warmth amidst cold
And a part of hope that soon be realised.

Monday, 7 March 2016

"For a New Hope rooted in Struggle, Respect, and Recognition"

"For a New Hope rooted in Struggle, Respect, and Recognition"

A message in commemoration of the International Women's Day

by Katleah Ulrike

At first, that occasion is an event better than your typical "Valentine's Day" or any other day limited to a mere couple, if not "Mother's Day" for the family, for it shows not just love and respect, but recognising the role of the Woman as a partner, a friend, a fellow contributor in building history.

For that event is all about how Women had held half the sky for generations, who afforded to turn a house into a home, and put a heart into one's mind especially in building a better society. At first, Let us recall the glorious history of that event as a result of the struggles of working class women against exploitation and oppression, that made Socialist and Communist female personages like Clara Zetkin and Alexandra Kollontai, of the women's movement for equal rights and universal suffrage, and how these women, that alongside their male counterparts, comrades in struggle, who perpetuated the memory of the Paris Commune and who spearheaded on March 8, 1917 the overthrow of Czarist rule in Russia and the rise of the Soviet Union and other socialist countries that institutionalized the celebration of the International Women's Day.

In recalling those events, of building a society of equality and justice, women obtained social and gender liberation, including the right of suffrage and other rights equal to those of men, contrary to its western counterparts whose struggles for emancipation been asserted with some of which been realised particualarly those of suffrage and various rights once limited to those of men. The west has eventually recognised "International Women's Day" only in 1977 when the UN General Assembly proclaimed March 8 as the "UN Day for Women's Rights and World Peace".

Such numerous events had somehow recognised the role of women as part of the struggle. From its militant roots somehow showed how these women adhere to justice, to have equal footing with men and hence be given respect and the right to forge a society amidst actually-existing injustices, disenfranchisements, exploitation. As repressive conditions such as low wages, mass layoffs, high rate of unemployment, gross inequality and widespread poverty prevailed even in the developed countries. The conditions are far worse in the underdeveloped countries such as those of working women are still locked up in sweat shops and burned to death just like the women factory workers in the early years of the 20th century in New York City or London during the 19th Century.
To cite some horrific examples of exploitation, at least 112 workers were killed in the Tazreen factory fire in Bangladesh in 2013; and 72 workers perished in the Kentex factory fire in the Philippines in 2015.

It may sound strange to say such realities, but these realities be the reason why women has to struggle beyond just recognition. Amidst recognition of numerous contributions in every nation's histories, women’s emancipation is never possible under present day's order of exploitation and injustice. Women must continue to expose and oppose the ruling order for feeding them lies about the goodness and permanence of capitalism to the extent of justifying commodification as "emancipation" particularly those of culture and the arts.  

Well, amidst the tide of crisis, women continues to held half of the sky to paraphrase Mao Zedong. be it at home, school, workplace, women has trying to make anything better: for their children, husbands, friends, colleagues, people whom sought how they spend their lives like men, striving for a good future.

Anyways, let's respect, appreciate, and love these women with all for their numerous contributions in life, for their struggle against the tide of exploitation and injustice, and the willingness to create a world full of possible changes.