Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Scenes from the recent People's "State of the Nation Address" 2016

 Scenes from the recent People's 
"State of the Nation Address" 2016

These scenes seemed to show how people truly wanted an all out "Just and Lasting Peace" especially after President Rodrigo Duterte's desire for cultivating a promising word. It may find it strange especially that it is contrary to the usual events surrounding that "State of the Nation Address."

That instead of "Oust" or "Resign" a newly-elected leader, people from all walks of life rather hear about "Land Reform", "National Industrialisation", to those of  "Stop Lumad Killings and other forms of Extrajudicial Atrocities", that said activity brought about by concerned groups and mass organisations be like an assertion to realise people's hopes especially with an administration willing to "get closer to the people."

That also somehow made this person took some pictures related to that event from Commonwealth Avenue to IBP Road. Their expressions seemed to be full of smiles and life, that even the policemen who got used to beat these protesters "hard", rather find it also not as the usual to see them instead of invoking their usual militancies, but rather more of a people yearning for a glimmer of hope in a regime that tries to put their word, "Change", into its fruitful and lasting form.

Monday, 25 July 2016

In pursuit of an all out "Just and Lasting Peace"

In pursuit of an all out "Just and Lasting Peace"

Notes after President Rodrigo Duterte's first "State of the Nation Address"
and the people's quest for an all out "Just and Lasting Peace" based on Justice

At first, this person is ought to say that President Rodrigo Duterte's first "State of the Nation Address" is all but significant despite being described as a sermon if not a typical series of promises.

Yes, for since people got used to seeing facts and figures if not matter to brag over, it seems that the President's State of the Nation Address is more an extemporaneous speech  that deals about the clear and present situation rather than canned sound bytes that those from the system accustomed to, supported by some "figures" that oftentimes countered with some accurate ones brought about by research if not from the majority's statements themselves.

However, one that brought interest on this person's view over Duterte's address is the issue on the people's desire for a "Just and Lasting Peace", that for sure even from the government, without its war hawks, also desired for it as such.

According to an article from Rappler, that the issue on Peace, especially with rebel groups National Democratic Front, Moro National Liberation Front, and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, has been one of the major campaign promises of President Rodrigo Duterte. And a few weeks after he was inaugurated as President, he approved "in its entirety" the "road map to peace" as proposed by Secretary and Peace Negotiator Jesus Dureza.

The "road map to peace", as according to Dureza, lays out the details in attaining long-lasting peace for a country whose conflict has been decades-old, and in it includes honoring agreements made between the government and rebel groups such as the "GRP-NDF Breukelen Joint Statement".

When it comes to making peace with the Left, the Duterte administration is on the right track. Formal talks between the National Democratic Front and the Duterte-led government is set to resume in August. The first meeting will have a 5-point agenda which includes:

1.) Affirmation of previously-signed agreements.

2.)Accelerated process for negotiations, including the timeline for completion of the remaining substantive agenda for the talks: 
2.1) socio-economic reforms; 
2.2) political and economic reforms; 
2.3) end of hostilities and disposition of forces.

3.) Reconstitution of the Joint Agreement on Security and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) list.

4.) Amnesty Proclamation for the release of all detained political prisoners, subject to concurrence by Congress.

5.) Mode of interim ceasefire.

Quite irresistible though that the road map to peace may have been same as those of the NDF, be it the "Comprehensive Agreement on Respect to Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law", of "Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms", and the like.

And through Duterte himself has also stated the idea of a unilateral ceasefire from the day itself as he said:

"I am announcing a unilateral ceasefire with the CPP-NPA-NDF effective immediately,"

Along with an order from the Armed Forces of the Philippines regarding the ceasefire procedures. While the NDF, through the Communist Party of the Philppines (CPP-MLM) also expressed the same statement as it said:

"The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) welcomes GRP President Rodrigo Duterte’s unilateral declaration of ceasefire with the revolutionary armed forces.

We await the release of the operational details, schedules and specific orders of GRP President Duterte’s declaration. The leadership of the CPP will soon issue its own unilateral ceasefire declaration as a reciprocal act to boost the peace talks.

GRP President Duterte’s unilateral ceasefire declaration is a positive boost to the NDFP-GRP peace talks scheduled for August 20-27. We expect that such a declaration will be complemented soon with the earlier declared plan to release all NDFP peace consultants and the rest of the 550 political prisoners.

In the interim, the CPP orders the New People’s Army to maintain an active defense mode."

Furthermore, there are also statements coming from concerned groups such as for the operating troops of the AFP to withdraw, urgently, from the civilian communities: particularly homes, community schools, barangay halls, and health centers that usually used by the Armed Forces as its "barracks" if not subjects for harassments.

source: Rappler
Again, it seemed to be hope provoking, if not tempting since the government, through a leader known for cooperating with rebel groups "in pursuit of peace", has afforded to create such statements different from its predecessors, and perhaps actions such as "a road to peace." However, there are "right-wing", "hawkish" critics that somehow trying to stall the negotiations and willing to prolong the conflict, putting the blame as possible to the enemy itself as its culprit, that even from the government itself also opposed their assertions as such.

And to think that it may really find hard to attain that "Just and Lasting Peace" especially coming from those who rather profited much on war and disorder. Perhaps one would hope that President Duterte, despite being called "punisher" against Crime and Corruption, may not be as same as his obviously hawkish, self-seeking predecessors, and also to think that amidst calls for conciliation and unity, there are still those who rather assert the need for intense security, that in it rather invokes fear and mistrust that also pave way to their perception of "peace based from silence" as what happened decades ago.

After all, the system-sponsored "peace based from silence" may have been truly peaceful at first, especially after everyone hears about curfew hours for juvenile delinquents, gun bans for civilian gun owners, absence of arguments around communities, police visibility in every streets, anything what they think as "able to walk on night in communities without any hindrance or fear"; but, as everyone remembers the horrors of 1972-1981 and its succeeding effects, with all its actions such as forced disappearances against alleged "subversives", and even laws against "rumor mongering", while at the same time hearing old yet relevant news about low wages for workers, increasing prices of goods for consumers, landlordism, and subservient to foreign-oriented policies, of what is peace if it aggravates old, clear, and present tensions against the people? Then if that's the case, that "peace that mimics those of the graveyard" is unjust, if not an illusion for that peace has nothing to do with people's aspirations and realising one's hopes and more of silencing those of clamor for rights, be it land, bread, and even peace!

It may sound strange if not awkward in this post, for it supposed to tackle about what goes on in that "State of the Nation Address", but demanding an all out peace based from justice, and a call to assert the agenda of the people to realise, then why not? After all, the issue on peace and social injustice has to be tackle and not limiting the issue of the nation on facts and figures and issues relevant to the eyes of compradores and landlords, SoNA should be for the people, particularly for the masses in the first place the way these protesters assert theirs that is just and clear for these well-dressed constituents!


All and all, people, be it from the government or from its opposition, hope that a just and lasting peace reign. And hope that peace is not a mere absence of fear or mere silence to pretend a semblance of order. That just and lasting peace has to do with a real and profound sense of justice, mercy, and compassion enough to fulfill people's tangible and intangible hopes.

But the good thing is this: less issues on traffic jams in a major thoroughfare such as Commonwealth avenue, less issues on garbage (since the ones who gather also cleaned the place itself, the event be less of a fashion show featuring well-made dresses for the legislators' spouses, if not telling the world how people are being thankful to themselves that Mar Roxas (known for his desperate stints for the presidency) is not the elected president or else, people see the typical such as few years ago.

And for sure people know what scenario is that.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

From the sea, table, to the computer screen

From the sea, table, to the computer screen

Notes after "passionate" social media commentators 
dealing with the disputes
between the Philippines (as well as Vietnam) and China

After a United Nations-backed ruling favouring the Philippines over the disputed isles with China, tensions continued as the country known as the "sleeping dragon" continues to assert its expansionist stance, or as according to its leaders from Beijing: "won't stop construction over sea work."

Quite stubborn so to speak since China unveiled its expansionist stance over the disputed islands, specifically against both Philippines and Vietnam over Spratlys, Parcels, and Scarborough Shoal, what more of constructing facilities to justify further its expansionist goals within the "9-dash line" that also encompasses Vietnamese, Philippine, and Malaysian seas.

For as according to Sun Jianguo, admiral and deputy chief of staff of China's Central Military Commission, he stated that freedom of navigation patrols carried out by foreign navies within China's "9-dash line" would end in disaster, as well as warned the United States after last week's action.

Quite justifiable for the Chinese, but such expansionism and its threats over the disputed isles, shoals, rocks lies less peace towards its neighbours in southeast Asia, be it in actual or in social media as statements from various social media sites smacks of saber rattling.

However, in case of Filipinos who are greatly affected by China's stubbornly action, it seemed to say that 51% have little trust in what they describe as a "communist country" all due to the latter's saber rattling as well as stubbornness not to obey the decision favouring the claimant. Furthermore, some Filipinos also called for help, particularly from its former coloniser and still its benefactor, the United States for additional security, that also perhaps create further ire from the "sleeping dragon."

As observed, such events brought about by China over those seas, isles, shoals, and rocks, would say that the matter has to be treated rather with realpolitik. But as for the Philippines, Filipinos in social media sites rather treat the said issue against China with a variety of topics such as "Cold War-era" sentiment such as making China synonymous with "communism" (or even "terrorism") to those of crimes such as fake goods and illegal drug syndicates known for smuggling and manufacturing narcotics such as "Shabu" (Methampetamine); and Chinese businessmen, known for its shrewdness by most people, are often targets due to citizenship, tax evasion, as well as wide-scale exploitation of natural resources in case of mining companies that brought disaster such as those in Mindanao or in other parts of Luzon.
So are the Chinese, also does its share of angst against the Filipinos. In a report from China Central Television, it had destroyed 40 tons of Bananas which is mainly imported from the Philippines itself,(although China clarified that the bananas were substandard). There were also reports about a commentator telling the viewers that the Philippines as an "integral part" of China (accidentally, but quite provoking in some circles), if not seeing some establishments that bans Vietnamese, Filipinos, and even Japanese (also due to the dispute over Diaoyu/Senkaku islands).

Such events brought about by social media sites and online news websites, seemed natural though to express reactions especially those out of patriotism, or in case of Filipinos with all its "Cold War-era" sentiment: a forefront of the "free world" against Chinese "communism." There are also individuals or groups that even unjustly accused the left as being "pro-Chinese" simply because of being "communist" (not even knowing that the 'leftists' themselves also opposed Chinese intrusion besides those of American intervention in Philippine affairs); what more of calls for "pogroms" that is, pointing against the Chinese community, glorifying murderers such as those of disgraced Policeman Rolando Mendoza as an "anti-Chinese hero" due to an incident involving an hijacked bus (by Mendoza himself) that was full of Chinese tourists last 2010.
The past administration did not even issue an official apology for that matter, despite few individuals afforded to issue some statements expressing regret on that fiasco.

With all the reactions expressed, one would say that these may all sound strange if not trying to be as "passionate" in expressing some patriotism especially after seeing all their various posts and comments regarding the disputed islands, but speaking of those "red scare" or "anti drug"-laced Sinophobic sentiment that has been overheard in every social media site, does it also question Filipinos of Chinese descent or even Chinese who rather chose to become Filipinos themselves? And if so, then how about the lives of well-known personages with Chinese blood such as Jose Rizal, San Lorenzo Ruiz, or even full blooded ones like Jose Ignacio Paua who's known for cutting his pigtail after Philippine independence in 1898? 

Again, the recent events over Spratlys and Scarborough Shoal may still end dealt rather "realpolitikally" than those of the passions brought about by so-called "passionate" commentators in social media sites. The dispute is also nothing to do much with ideology, contrary to those whose views be still those of pre-1989 with all its "capitalism vs. communism" claptraps babbled throughout, and to think that fellow claimant Vietnam is also a "communist" country same as China's, should it be treated also with hate simply because it is a "communist"? Remember, while U.S. Bases stayed at Philippines' own Clarkfield and in Subic until 1991, it is the same "communist" Vietnam that brought China 62,000 casualties, including 26,000 deaths in 1979! May as well the Maoist-oriented Communist Party of the Philippines also expressed support for Filipino claims over Spratlys and Scarborough the way it assails its Chinese counterpart as "revisionist" and even "capitalist"!

Anyway, since social media has influenced alot of people especially in regards to the dispute, it also becomes a weapon of mass disinformation if not an hysteria-provoking arm with all the posts and reactions brought about by those affected. Obviously for a western-oriented country it would say that it is "naturally" difficult to adapt a non-aligned, self-reliant stance for it had relied every support from the United States since 1946 (or even 1935 as a commonwealth), that somehow affects both external and internal policies be it those of defence, economy, education, and in foreign affairs.
And yes, it is "difficult" for a neocolony to be self determined, but on behalf of those who truly concerned, why not give it a try then to stand up on its own? Countries like Japan and Korea had been self reliant for years, and perhaps willing to break away from the U.S. sphere of influence if not for their systems, so should be the country who has to stand up and flex its muscle all for the good of its nation, with or without external support such as those of a so-called "big white brother."

And to end this writeup short, particularly to those who are truly concerned about one's country would say that with those events, and with those reactions and assertions brought about by that tension, it is true that the Philippines as well as Vietnam will rather assert further what is rightfully part of one's territory within that China's "9-dash" line: be it from the table, from the sea itself, or even through the computer screen.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

"A 'tradition' brought about by gold and a stick of iron"

"A 'tradition' brought about by gold and a stick of iron"

Notes on the (un)fair and (un)just socioeconomic relations and policies
between the Philippines and the United States since 1946

Since 1946, or even before independence as a commonwealth in 1935, the Philippine socioeconomic and foreign policies has been indirectly patterned from those of the United States.

With its emphasis on free trade on economic policies and rabid anticommunism over foreign relations, the western-inclined policies in the Philippines has created a generation whose views involves depending on the goodwill of the United States as its primary benefactor of its aid, as well as its allies mainstream media described as the "free world" against those of the Soviet Union, People's China, and to some extent, the so-called "non-aligned countries" due to its skepticism especially towards the west.

It may sound controversial with all these concrete observations but true, for being a once colony and later vassal of the United States has made its inhabitants contented in being a "neo" or even a semi-colony: that in national defence it almost reduces the role of the Armed Forces into an Internal Security force (as it depends on the United States for its external defences), that in education it tries to emphasise English as language of instruction as well as putting emphasis on education for labour export (and even changed its academic calendar to those patterned after the west), what more of insisting free trade with an emphasis on commerce and trade while abhorring the need for a massive and concrete industrialisation plans as insisted by patriotic businessmen and bureaucrats long ago.

For as according to Peter Binns, it stated that:

"From the outset, the Bell Trade Act of 1946 established the neo-colonial pattern, and prevented the emergence of such a national bourgeoisie. It enforced free trade which prevented the growth of domestically owned industry within tariff walls. It granted American nationals parity rights with Filipino citizens in all financial matters, and it ceded sovereignty over foreign exchange transactions to the United States.

As with most Asian victims of imperialism, the Philippines has been forcibly underdeveloped to such an extent that the development of a native capitalism is ruled out by the objective conditions rather than the political failure of its leaders. Garcia, the only president elected against US pressure, tried during his period of office (1957-61) to create such a national capitalism, but with disastrous results."

Again, quite strange for a country that assumes to be politically and economically independent trying to have a "place in the sun" with all its relevance, and in speaking of patriotism from so-called concerned individuals and groups by those who insist the relevance of "decontrol",  "neoliberalism", that those who clamour for industrialisation, progressive fiscal and social policies, patrio-scientific popular instruction and culture, as well as al serious non aligned foreign policy is been treated with scorn by the present social system with the latter putting stress on multinational and transnational interests and the former be deemed passé as it synonymous with those of what they described as an era of production and the present as an era of finance. Non aligned? Sounds contrary to the usual policy that is supporting the United States in the name of the "free world" willing to fight against rouge states creating international disorder. While finance, as what the neoliberals insisted, has to be aligned with multinational or transnational interests with regional integrations in its full swing with "standards" to observe.
And those who consistently against policies hath been easily made them synonymous with "enemies of the state: That in 1946 those who strongly against Parity Rights and the Bell Trade Act were unjustly ousted from their seats simply because it hinders the approval between a master and its puppet; and most of them, left-wing patriots so to speak, been accused on grounds of fraud and violent campaign tactics during the April 1946 election. That said action brought about by a puppet state meant a seal-off in the name of keeping Yankee interests alive and well in a "newly independent country", if not equating the desire for full economic and political independence into a means to turn back against the United States and the so-called "free world" as feud between U.S. and the Soviet Union been brewing and thus, affects the newly-freed colonies and developing countries in the "third world."

Ironically, the Bell Trade Act that was opposed on nationalist grounds was superseded by the Laurel-Langley Agreement (also same as the Bell Trade Act yet watered down, but still keeping American interests further), and despite that same agreement  being expired in 1974, the United States, "traditionally" remains as the Philippines' largest foreign investor, with about $6.6 billion in estimated investment as of end-2005 (U.S. Department of Commerce data), while 16% of the Philippines' imports in 2006 came from the U.S. consists of raw and semi-processed materials for the manufacture of semiconductors, electronics and electrical machinery, transport equipment, and cereals and cereal preparations; while about 18% of its exports were bound for the US, mainly consists of semiconductor devices and computer peripherals, automobile parts, electric machinery, textiles and garments, wheat and animal feeds, coconut oil, and even Cane Sugar (despite America's use of artificial sweeteners if not corn-based).
And in speaking of "tradition" between U.S.- Philippine relations,  lies the former's assertion in its present-day vassal to continue keeping its ties what more of pushing the subject country to socioeconomic "reforms" that rather encourage foreign investment as a basis for economic development, as well as joining organisations such as the Global Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, as well as the World Trade Organisation with the latter also known for neoliberalism as well as globalisation as foundations of today's economic policy. The proposed "Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement", which is probably similar to the "North American Free Trade Agreement" may also include the Philippines, that perhaps likely to agree amidst popular criticism like earlier treaties and agreements between Philippines and the United States.

After all, those agreements that all started from the Commonwealth period, with all its reworded and amended versions, has been trying to keep firm its once colony, thinking all its raw materials hath been extracted there, what more of exporting it almost "tariffless" due to those agreements; the Philippines, however, has to pay a bigger price through a cycle of debt-driven developments, that is also marred by corruption as well as interests brought about by landlords and compradores. Those same agreements had also suffered the fate of local companies like A.T. Suaco, to have tie-ups with American-based nutritionals giant Wyeth to establish the first Filipino-American joint venture in the pharmaceutical industry with promises of USAID loans on the local-based manufacturer last 1959. However, that "partnership" that meant to be a means for possible help from a foreign government agency led to an eventual merger under Wyeth! So with that example, isn't it that an intention by U.S.-based companies to take over local ones in pursuit of expanding markets if not tying to overcome potential competitors? Worse, the use of government agencies such as USAID on the pretense of latter's promise for developing basic industries such as those related to health services.

Well, regardless of all its pretensions coming from a semicolonial-semifeudal order assuming to be "democratic" and "liberal", as well as a greater foreign entity whose interest-seeking venture involves carrots of gold and stick of iron over its "loyal vassals", most policies prevailing in a "newly industrialised nation" may have rather harmed than benefited the people for years knowing that the existing ruling order has benefited from it. With those so-called agreements with the United States, Landlords continue having disdain for land reform as it favours joint venture with foreign-based agrobusiness entities, Educators  who meant to resolve the issue on illiteracy rates are unbecoming educators and more of profiteers in commercialising education, that Compradores insisting irrelevance of industrialisation as stubbornly favouring commerce and service-oriented sectors if not urging the mass ranks of unemployed to become migrant workers with remittances serving as "life blood" to a struggling economy; these realities brought about by such corrupted entities known for connivance with obvious western imperialism has shown that there is no stronger "nationalist" solution to the problem of the Philippines’ underdevelopment and poverty besides those from the laboring masses, and no section of the bourgeoisie is truly capable of smashing the imperialist stranglehold as they have benefited from the system and it's interests. 

As saidth it again, that ever since it was started decades ago, and now in its continuing past it has harmed, rather than benefited the majority of a nation's people. Possibly there is hope in a truly concerned patriot including those within the system, but it is from the laboring people in order to make it realise further all for the nation's common good: that instead of relying on to the United States and the half-hearted "free world", why not stand up on its own and develop what is necessary to achieve? That instead of keeping firm in what people described as "feudalism", why not distribute land to the landless and create cooperatives to pave way for rural developments? That instead of trying to pattern a nation's education and cultural system with those of the west, why not put efforts on building a patriotic, scientific and mass-oriented instruction? These may sound nonsense if not out of date, but the realities that creeps until the so-called present, supported by so-called "reforms" brought about by "treaties" and "agreements", makes these radically-charged alternatives as relevant.

And if the ruling order in the Philippines chose to remain a vassal, then perhaps no wonder how that country people tries to break free from neo-colonial rule may remain itself one of the few non-western "Atlanticist" all suffering from its inherent "Occidentosis."

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

A non-western "Atlanticist"?

A non-western "atlanticist"?

Notes on the Philippines as a vassal of the United States,
and how that non-western "Atlanticism" means stability
(or even freedom and development) for them

Quite relevant: Free trade, Dependency, and Vassalage
"Under the humane and benevolent protection
of the United States of America"

Filipinos may find it new or strange about terms such as "Atlanticism", "Atanticist", "Eurasian", or "Eurasianist", all in regards to international socioeconomic policies. But to think with most policies that is patterned after those of Western, specifically American socioeconomic policies, it appears that the Filipinos are rather less Asiatic as those of its non-aligned neighbours, but more of the occident, and hence, "Atlanticist."

And although the term itself is as closely related to the geopolitics of the western hemisphere, of the mainland United States, Canada, and those of Europe under the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the European Union, Atlanticism may have also encompassed those whose interests are as same those of the United States: be it those of free trade and security to those of "cold war hysteria" against so-called "rouge states" and even a possible sense of multinational integration even at the expense of sovereignty.

South East Asia Treaty Organisation:
an example of non-western 'Atlanticism' that involved the Philippines,
Vietnam, Australia, South Korea, as well as the United States
It may sound interesting, or even agreeable according to those whose idea behind non-Atlantic "Atlanticism" means keeping themselves at the side of the United States and to keep global capitalism as it is, knowing that with "implying broader cooperation, deeply shared values, and a sense of community" as promised by the west, lies chances of development despite its actual exploitative nature and a sense of order through America's hegemonic nature. After all, why there are non-NATO allies (especially those from the former Southeast Asian Treaty Organisation) tries its “best” to be one of the United States’ favoured “non-western allies”? Why were the Presidents of the United States urged the people of the so-called "Free World" to oppose those who stand on its way? Is being non-aligned be synonymous to being rouge whilst being Atlanticist be synonymous to being free?

Such nonsense may have meant that those countries that are supporting the interests of an exploitative overlord are rather those suffering from what Jalal-e-Ahmad described as "Occidentosis": That from the "Banana Republics" of Central America, the so-called "Newly Industrialised" yet dependent countries like the Philippines, and even the developed yet preferring to be dependent societies like Taiwan, Japan, and Korea, the socio-economic and cultural "Atlanticism" and its effects like "Occidentosis" has made those countries really depending on the whims of the west, particularly the United States with the latter, in pursuit of its survival, has to depend on its vassal's loyalty.

But come to think of this: South Korea may have chances of peaceful reunification with its northern neighbour if not for American (or even Japanese) intervention on the pretext of Cold War hysteria. while Japan may have chances of becoming same as its own self-sufficient past within its own sphere since they have industry and technology as its pillars and foundations of a progressing country, but then Cold War and its subsequent effects made it becoming dependent on the United States for external defence.
And the Philippines? Sadly to say that again, with the policies prevailed since 1935 and "updated" through various agreements, that 7,107 isles chose to remain a neocolony amidst popular opposition to those policies with apologetics justifying it as be it "for the economy" or "to protect sovereignty".

Strange isn't it? That all due to the sugarcoated statements of the west, if not seeing the west as an embodiment of progress and modernity as in the past, societies meant to be politically and economically independent end rather becoming vassals including those that are self-sufficient yet having a system preferring to "be contented" in its geopolitical vassalage.

However, to some Filipinos, as any other Asian or "thirdworlder" whose patriotism includes a radical political and economic independence, having policies that are favourable to American or any allied interests rather creates hinder to domestic-based development be it those of industrialisation, agrarian reform, to those of utilisation of natural resources and the desire for "patriotic, scientific, and popular" form of education and culture.
And having a system that chose to remain vassals with alibis such as "trans-Pacific/Atlantic cooperation", "globalisation", to those of "sharing values" does not equate to a genuine sense of coprosperity nor even coequal-cooperation what more of seeing most having less emphasis on realpolitik and more into nostalgia such as those of the cold war. The Philippines has tried to be "Non-Aligned" as in case of Marcos trying to cultivate relations with Maoist China and Gaddafist Libya, but being "naturally" attached to Atlanticist interests, such as those of the United States makes the latter decides, directly or indirectly (and in acceptance by the ruling system) all for the sake of retaining the old semifeudal-semicolonial order.

To quote Hilarion Henares jr. that Atlanticism as frustratingly cherished by the non-western world may have been do with promises of freedom, stability, and others the west has peddled to for years, but for the west, it is more of keeping interests firm as he said:

"...Western nationalism, at first a liberative force had become an enormous obstacle to political, economic, and cultural progress. Morally, its record was damning: Three centuries of the spoliation of the world in the name of 'western civilisation' as if by some cruel logic, Asia and Africa were obliged to pay the cost, in tears, agonies, and death, so that the people of the west could be prosperous, cultured, and dignified human beings. "

So to a country that desired to have a place in a sun, why need to be reluctant in standing up on its own and relying on those of others with its promise of cooperation and stability yet in fact interest-driven? Even western countries themselves are tired of being attached or supportive of what the United States as asserted, thinking that it has made themselves same as any other vassal. In case of France, De Gaulle chose to break with "Atlanticism" in favour of detente with the Soviet Union and Red China all for realpolitik's sake, while Germany's Adenauer clings to it that makes itself initially reluctant to create a strong armed forces, if not thinking that through Atlanticism means defending "democratic values" same as those of the United States.
The latter may think about through an Atlanticist oriented policy may bring stability at the expense of people's desire for self-determination as Germans insisted, while the former, in pursuit of building peace in a world filled with nuclear fear, has to discard Atlanticism and favours independence in socio-economic and politico-diplomatic policies.

Currently, the situation may remain as it is for those who chose to remain weak and dependent on an overlord's whims and opposing moves for self determination. That as time goes by, seeing a system frustratingly clinging to its borrowed "Atlanticism" such as the Philippines does not translate fully to development nor security in its full strength despite all the promises stated by the west.

But culturally (or due to the comments in social media sites), that "Atlanticism" means clinging to the west and its so-called security and stability (similar to Adenauer as in its past), especially with growing tensions with "Red China" for an example. Of course, with all the comments this person and others concerned read in social media sites, Cold war nostalgia in a form of "red scare" and "McCarthyism" has been intensified in a form of insisting China's expansionism as synonymous to those of "communist expansionism" the way it tries to curry favour with the United States and its allies in the so-called "free world" rather than treating the issue with those of realpolitik.
Quite strange isn't it? But people may agree to it thinking that "China is a communist" and the Philippines has to cling to America and its policies as part of "keeping the world safe for 'democracy'".

And as in the past (or all in its continuing past), such politico-economic situations may also meant having a semifeudal-semicolonial country skeptic, if not reluctant to self-development like its neighbours, all due to its "natural" alignment to those of the west and its promise of "non"-or-"limited" industrial "development" with emphasis on international (debt-driven) capital, commerce, and trade while keeping itself agricultural (and extracted of its own resources for export) under the whims of the west shows how that country meant to be independent is still in its "continuing past", clinging to its cherished "Atlanticism" despite being non-western, and its effects like "occidentosis" fails to revive patriotism, what more of nationalism and its desire for redemption if not a "place in the sun" like its progressive, self-determined, independent-minded neighbours.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Justice by any means

"Justice by any means"

Notes after watching Sigfred Barros Sanchez's "Magtanggol"

At first, this person would say that the movie entitled "Magtanggol" is as somehow quite relatable, especially to those who yearned for migrant worker's rights, and to those who yearned for an antihero-like protagonist.

As directed by Sigfred Barros Sanchez, Magtanggol, meaning "defender" in Pilipino language, is a movie that invokes a need for retribution and justice, and that those who live under the law should abide by it, and in those laws includes protecting ones fellowmen be it in one's homeland or in abroad.

However, despite its lessons expressed such as patriotism, the need for justice, and love for one's fellowmen, its scenes speaks largely of vigilante justice as means to attain the victim's desire to attain one. Be it the killing of a Chinese businessman happened to be maltreating a Filipina domestic helper, or a Korean manager who doused Filipino laborers with boiling water, the protagonist used Vigilante- style justice as means to impose a law that the courts with its due processes failed to thanks by corrupt lawmakers whose emphasis is on profiteering and self-prestige than those of serving and protecting the people as did by Magtanggol.

After all, according to an article of the Philippine Star, it said:

"...directed by Sigfreid Barros Sanchez and produced by Felix and Bert Film Productions, is an independent movie with a mainstream appeal and a diasporic advocacy. It is a narrative about the plight of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in the hands of their abusive employers and what politicians can do in addressing the issue."

But, as noticed by some viewers concerned, the movie, although it stresses Filipino patriotism and love for one's fellowmen, seemed to be radically different from the typical Filipino-style sensibilities that usally shown in Philippine cinema. That instead of church and religious figures, if not emphasising much on closer family ties, the movie rather depicts those of the Philippine flag, singing the national anthem, the lawmaking center such as the senate, and the airport featuring Overseas Filipino Workers as being shown much if the film the way the Magtanggols depicted as patriotic, law abiding, and concerned citizens of the nation.
And speaking of being law abided in the movie, one would say that the law is interpreted in various ways that often leads to arguments. That if Juancho Magtanggol, the senator who's known for supporting the rights of Filipino migrant workers, chose the path through legalist means such as those of due processes, his brother, Anton, chose a different path that he took law in his hand, first as a migrants' rights activist, then as a vigilante fighter if not an entirely antihero image (as contrary to his brother's "heroic feats through legalist means") whose exploits involves killing repressors and slanderers of his race also meant imposing justice for those who hath been victimised by the latter.

Regarding the story flow, there are some scenes that somehow reminds of Allan Moore and his movie "V for Vendetta". Sanchez, however, being the director behind the movie, stated that through watching a Netflix series like "Daredevil" had brought ideas for his creation and that is inspired by it;
And in it may also perhaps in an attempt to break away from the typicality as any other Pinoy action figure/hero whose story seemed too much of Pinoy style sensibility.

Anyways, to most people, watching that movie such as that Magtanggol may have meant taking a break from the typical whose movies that rather invoke cheesiness, feels, lines to remember, and the typical sensibilities that makes the movie Filipino made.

However, few cinemas dare to show it, if not trying to take it off from their movie houses, thinking that those movies such as those of Sanchez's may deem unprofitable compared to much mainstream ones (including those whose artistry brought from independent film producers and directors hath brought entirely into mainstream). There are also people who thinks that Sanchez's work may fit for future film festivals both local and abroad, thinking that the movie smacks of change both in form and in substance.

But from the views of Sigfred Sanchez himself, that he'd rather focus much on showing the movie first to every Filipino, migrant or not, in propagating the message: that Magtanggol is more than just a family known for its political heritage (an "ideal political family and speaks of the type of politicians we all dream of" according to Tom Rodriguez), but an expression of a Nation in its quest for justice, and imposing it with its fullest extent by any means.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Two untitled poems

Two untitled poems


These poems were made few days ago before being typed in this page, however, this person decided that due to some duties to fulfill, that these two poems are left untitled and instead being posted in this page "right away".

Here it is:

I pity myself for all those times,
For I those those inspiring days filled with hopes,
Be those of foolishness.

Those inspiring times,
Of Poems, sketches, and songs,
It seems that it all became crass illusions.

Strange those days,
Yet I am thankful;
That in meeting these people,
And spending money,
There are those who are truly concerned,
And those who are rather not.

The former may afforded to remain as friends,
Comrades most likely till the end;
The latter who afforded to enjoy the pleasantries,
Rather chose to leave as if nothing happened.

Again, I may've pity myself from those times,
But despite all those times comes lessons,
Enough to move forward,
All beyond those foolishness.

At first, I missed you so much as I wander familiar places
Be it as old as the National Museum or as beauteous as Diliman's field of Sunflower blossoms
But of all the places the one whose meaning is "Comfort" lies its best
Why? For you've been with me on that way, on those days I described as a "test."

Sorry for being nostalgic, as I sought some of your pictures
Full of beauty and vibrant with one's youth despite times full of pressure
And if to recall those memories that seemed translated into these written works
As if I am floated as you carried me up and see the wonders behind nightly skies

True that with you, those times brought smiles as I pass its familiar places
Having chitchats with coffee at Cool Beans, or unlimited breakfast meals at Artsy's
To the lowly oranges and imported Danish chocolate drinks at your lowly apartment's
Again, memories enough to translate into works such as this.

Monday, 4 July 2016

"Is it always be in one's subject's heart?"

"Is it always be in one's subject's heart?"

Notes after 4th of July and how Filipinos still clinging to the idea
 that "America is in their heart".

At first, this person and others concerned would say that as Americans celebrated its independence day, the struggle for independence isn't over as long as its subjects remained chained in interests brought by these Americans though a series of unequal treaties.

It may sound past-like in this era of "just" dialouge and "cooperation" over an era of disagreements and "struggle", but reality shows that 4th of July isn't about celebrating while its subjects marching and opposing every Yankee-sponsored moves whose motivation is to keep firm in its interests, the way its proud legacy stems in the desire for justice, self-determination, and freedom as an emerging nation. And being a subject, a vassal of a so-called "exceptionalist" thinks that America's policies "isn't unequal" knowing that these Americans truly believe that all men are created equal.

Nice to hear that but still, exceptionalism knows no equality except interests. 

For the Americans and the United states at large, the 4th of July is their day of reckoning as a "nation"; in which these once called "colonists", Anglo-Saxon settlers coming from the British isles, Protestants and even Catholics, chose to overthrow their once-called King from their memories since the time their ancestors settled at Jamestown and its Mayflower compact, to strip their rights as British citizens as it made being "British" synonymous with repression and injustices, and to create a new nation out of their own making, brought up by "Life, Liberty, and in pursuit of Happiness" as their founding fathers hath afforded to say. 
And in it, it may sound nice for Americans to take pride in that legacy behind that July 4th the way they idealise Thanksgiving as a pact between the native and of the settler. Americans, as themselves, may tried its best to show that their patriotism as greater, exceptional than any other nation despite being synonymous to repression towards lesser nations and disdain for those who chose to struggle against a dominant nation's wishes. Sorry to say but repression shouldn't be a part of that nation's legacy despite being "great and strong" due to its "manifest destiny."

However, for most Filipinos, being a vassal to Yankee interests so to speak, 4th of July has been once called as its day of independence since 1946. but to those who cling to its struggle since 1898 and recognising those of America's and its numerous contributions in Philippine history, 4th of July was also a day of reclaiming independence as a "Republic Day", what more of recognising it by its neighbouring nations especially its proud "big, white brother" with its friendship day. 
However, these Americans, on the other hand, are also the ones whom have not only perpetually assimilated its subjects into their own consumerist culture, but also used education, sadly to say, to basically make Filipinos alien and detached from its own native land. Sorry to say, but despite all the efforts in educating Filipinos the manners of the developed west, of being "civilised" by western standards though its modernities, it appears that the so-called "little brown brother" rather apes altogether thinking as if it's also his and being culturally American is as superior than as culturally Asiatic or Hispanic. 

After all, as Carlos Bulosan had once said: "America is in the Heart". That despite being treated unequally by its so-called "big white brother", from the so-called "Gringo", from that damned "White, Anglo-Saxon Protestant" the Hispanists tend to described as such, the "United States of America" rather remains in the heart of most Filipinos taking the Yankee culture as synonymous to modernity and development, that being against American is itself against Modernity, worse, being Patriotic is as synonymous with backwardness and maldevelopment! 
Quite sickening those statements if that's the case, all brought by accepting the unequal treaties optimistically as if there's the United States to help with being a "big, humane, white brother" to a "little brown one",  and that all from it's culture, arts,  mannerisms, way of life, "America is in one's heart". And even though most people have not chosen to admit it, still, today's culture rather lies a manifestation of a culture which pretends and aspires to be accepted as an American citizen, or perhaps admit that the country does not need development of it's own, save tourism and some trade and commerce for some seriousness, least all for a cheap Yankee-sponsored "aid" rather than stand up and forge its own fate like its own neighbours.

Anyways, despite all agreements, proposals, and the like, all brought by a so-called "superior" country whose intention is to keep firm in its interests, a nation that is genuinely unfreed from injustice from its domestic repressors, disenfranchisement by "fair" policies, and unequality by so-called "superior" and "exceptional" nations, does not create a nation that is, at peace. Even Americans themselves know that fact, and some of them dare to oppose the way Mark Twain opposed his own country's moves during the Philippine-American War.

And in speaking of peace, it is unlikely to be called peaceful if that damned word called peace is nothing but an absence of conflict yet, that same peace has retained injustices what more of disenfranchisements that is, around one's cherished community.

For now, people may say that the freedom that Americans enjoyed is itself a product of struggle, but hope that struggle, all for what they called as "for peace, freedom, and prosperity", what more of "for life, liberty, and in pursuit of happiness" be not end laid into waste.

That's all.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Is it really the end?

Is it really the end?

(Ramblings after people seeing Noynoy Aquino left Malacanang
And having some flashbacks of his administration full of pretensions
...and again, welcoming Duterte and his administration full of hopes)

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by George Grosz

At first, people would say that it is a time of a renewed and energetic leadership as Rodrigo Duterte hath taken over the presidential throne.

That after six years of incompetence and pretentious leadership under Noynoy Aquino and his corrupted clique, that the newly anointed leader, guide, and first amongst equals is willing enough to bring back all to his people, to his countrymen all its almost lost glories, to fulfill promises of what is needed be it food, shelter, peace, and even empowerment in which the few intentionally failed to be given to the people.

It may sound messianic though in this post that Duterte is more than just elected but anointed by the people as the one who has to spearhead change. As what his supporters afforded to say that "Change is Coming", and politicos started to switch sides for the sake of continuity of their interests while others stubbornly chose to oppose in case of those choosing to remain as supporters of the past administration out of faux-"principles."
How come their principles be deemed faux? Some of them even once assuming to be political butterflies so to speak (like Drilon or Belmonte) but "this time" they prefer being "loyal" thinking that their fellow partymate, Leni Robredo, hath won the vice-presidential seat; or even trying to assert the relevance of their political party as an "opposition" amidst being soiled over by controversies coming from them or any of their allies in a so-called coalition of theirs.
And for sure they would even tell that even the former opposition has its own bad eggs who chose not to be guided by principles as they've treated public service as a profitable venture, that some pretend to be for the people yet obviously cared about their interests.

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Since it is proven that the past administration has likely to be equated with controversies amidst all the progress afforded to brag over, it is likely to say that despite all the so-called progress, stability, and development that has been babbled by state propaganda machinery and its apologetics, poverty and injustice remain still, that even affects those who worked and earn hard yet facing the problem of having its earnings having less purchasing power due to increasing prices of services and goods. It makes everyone as if feeling the noose around their necks as the privileged few who controls the system afforded to say "but you didn't die yet right?"
Anyways, whatever people insist the system's incompetence and mismanagement, Aquino and his clique may still deny it and insist their so-called contributions, but, how come most people chose to oppose him and his clique for his bullshitty statements and policies?

source: Bulatlat.com
Anyways, a day ago, protesters marched and chanted slogans near Times Street in Quezon City demanding the need to prosecute Aquino for his implications such as those of Pork Barrel scams. While families of 44 slain policemen demanded further justice against the one who tries to shrug at the Mamasapano issue. And farmers from Hacienda Luisita time and again asserted their demands for Land and Justice (that this time likely to be proceeded with the assumption of Rafael Mariano as Agrarian Reform Secretary). Such events surrounding Aquino in his post-presidency days may ought to say that the people chose not to "move on" and instead assert what is needed such as demanding justice against his incompetence, his arrogance, his nonsense.

Again, welcoming Duterte
While keeping vigilant on the system's moves
lurking behind him

Contrary to Aquino's intentional incompetence that created series of protests, most people would say that the newly elected president may truly create major changes given his credentials such as being the former Mayor of Davao City.

Using justice as one of his main themes one would say that the fullest implementation of justice, especially on behalf and on the side of the poor may truly pave way for various forms of change that affects society. That also perhaps be joyrided by those who once opposed Duterte and some of his policies or if not rabidly supporting Aquino and his soiled "righteous path" that was full of empty rhetorics and half baked bullshit.
The system, still trying to keep its interests firm, may still trying to adjust to Duterte's moves in pursuit of turning it into their favourable conclusions, especially that some of them insist neoliberalism to those of commercialisation of education and health care, a thought that people may ought to oppose about.

But as long as Rodrigo Duterte truly represents the interests of the common folk than those of the privileged few within the system, then that promise of having a true social patriotic rebirth and development be realised. It may take long strokes of political will with the support of his constituents to make it real, of putting transparency in one's s service, of building various forms of infrastructure, of trying with all its best to keep national reputation against slanderers the way it has to be improved with its full swing of justice under the law.

And although it is true that he may have worked within the system as any other concerned individual elected into office, that as long as he chose to side with the common folk, particularly those who toiled with all their blood, sweat, mind, sinew, and tears, and being promised to be given a proper sense of justice for their works, it is true enough, hopefully to say and show how really benevolent that despot is than his predecessors.

After all, of what is that damned word called change if it is not for these people desperately wanting to end such repressions and disenfranchisements as the past administrations did all in the name of interest? Of what is development, democracy if it is not for the common folk, the poor?

There are no more words to say except that one should be vigilant in having his message of hope be realised.