Sunday, 30 October 2016

Assertion of aspirations? Or betrayal of ideals?

Assertion of aspirations? Or betrayal of ideals?

Another "Heneral Luna" afterthought

At first, it seemed to be disenheartening to read about Jerold Tarog's Twitter post about his movie.

That with his post trying to negate the movie's antiimperialist nature and rather stressing its nihilist side, this person thinks that the director who happened to studied Antonio Luna and the Malolos Republic, "turned back on his shadow" as he insist his movie as simply "pointing against his fellow Filipinos" or even treating patriotism aesthetically as any other marketing ploy: selling tickets especially to students and those who seek some fresh air after seeing frustrated ripoffs of Asian and Latin American dramas on movie houses.

The statement may seemed partially true that Luna becoming nihilistic in his anger blaming the Filipino "self" rather than its "White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant" occupier, but if one may ask, was it really the Filipino in general? Or the system that ruled over Filipinos who chose to keep their interests than putting efforts in defending the country against its newly-arrived occupier?

Anyway, to most people, it's nothing but a movie, plain and simple. A mere dramatisation of sorts in a way the director afforded to tell that “[t]here are bigger truths that can be reached by combining the REAL and the IMAGINARY”. 

And in it shows that in this so-called "cultural capitalism" of sorts, anything meaningful is either reduced to meaningless aesthetic as any other fashion statement or being distorted as it becomes a mere trend as any other music being played.

Worse, to see it both. Especially to see how the director created a meaningful movie such as Heneral Luna, having it researched as possible besides putting some artistry and realism (especially in combining what was real and fictitious), and yet he rather treated it altogether as if just an aesthetic (via apolotical or non-partisan approach) amidst its political significance, or no matter how truly madly good that movie invoked as such.

And in it somehow made people treated that effect brought about by that movie as a short term fad as any other movie they had watched in a cinema house. Thinking about country above self or for reality's sake, the "Ensaymada" Rusca ate and how handsome Roman was.
Obviously, Luna's question between "country or self interest" pertains to the fact that the country known as the Philippines has been enslaved by interests for centuries; and most if not all people rather admit it "least they survive" in that "goddamn hell" if not telling that "life goes on" with all the typical acts like trading or farming in that period (as shown by another perios movie "Amigo"). And although may sound true that Luna's anger rather appeals to Filipinos in general and its inherent negative character than those of the system that tolerates being "misfits", Luna's radical patriotism (as also carried by activists and revolutionaries alike) meant hindrance by those who rather keep their personal interests especially those who talk about "peace" with the Americans like Paterno and Buencamino; furthermore, Luna's appeal to patriotism had becoming populistic rather than elitist in character the way he insist that "there are no one who is above the law including those of the president" if not rallying his men amidst Gatling gun and cannon fire.

But again, with that message, one would think and say how truly that the director turned back on his shadow regardless of his supposed "intentions". Especially in an era of patriotic, if not national resurgence.

And also to think on the scene how Luna stated that the Filipinos themselves (or as what he said "ourselves") as a "bigger enemy" than those of the Americans (as what Tarog insisted), one may reinterpret that phrase into something nihilistic, in a way Captain Rusca referred that line as to address the whole of “Filipino people”, noting that “we are the ones who killed him.”

That in turn blaming the Filipino of betraying the revolution, of devouring its own children like what happened at Bonifacio, Jacinto, Sakay, Montalan, and others who had died for their struggle. Nihilistic that in order to save the landlord-led "ilustrado republic" from the “misery” of their betrayal: is to rechannel their own obvious mistakes to those of the common people, who were mostly victimised by both Spain, America, and worse, by the "republic" meant to serve.

And by extension, as what Epoy Deyto stated from his post, that "to blame “ourselves” of the country’s mishaps (regardless of class, ethnicity, and your degree of participation to the revolution) has rather "became the tool of those in power to place guilt over everyone of us, like a good old catholic priest’s sermon."

"This, in effect, deters us to shift our critical eye on structural oppression of the bourgeois compradors, landlords, and corporate owners, and to rather mind our own businesses, to point our fingers back to our own chests." Deyto added.

Truly a same old interest-driven betrayal that has to be corrected. The director for sure did seriously read Vivencio Jose, Teodoro Agoncillo, or even Renato Constantino prior to making that film and its idea of merging both real and imaginary.
And like Deyto, this person's afterthoughts on the director's remarks is brought out of the idea that "Cinema is the most important of all arts" and how that director took an element from his film and cultivated it into something that invokes nationalist feelings if not the desire to rectify the wrongs.

And in it, "almost agitprop" films like Heneral Luna is obviously a vehicle to instil nationalism in its various forms to the people, hence, it has an agenda that has to be recognised! Quite wondering though why that director belittled patriotism in his creation the way he put emphasis on both nihilism and betrayal? Or was he really treated patriotism in that movie as either reduced to meaningless aesthetic as any other fashion statement or just being distorted as it becomes a mere trend as any other music being played?

Anyway, all despite seeing a director dickriding history for fame and the rest treating the appeal brought about by that movie as a fad, a few did really get the movie's message, and that is far from what the director said in his social media account.

And still the profiteer who initially shunning it out of unprofitably really profits from it as in any other box office hit.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

"A trip to the Grave"

"A trip to the Grave"

A picture-poem

All is but silent and solemn in those hollowed grounds
As everyone visits their loved ones buried in those sacred mounds
If not trying to reflect with all their memories from those graves
And marred by nightmares called truths crying to be saved

Quite nice to see others with all their flowers
Candles and snacks to be with their departed others
As they're reminiscing cherished memories
That sometimes almost forgotten like old melodies

While on the other side with all their final grief
As the casket of their loved one whom with the lord to meet
Be buried along with flowers strewn in a six feet under pit
Like all the othets rested waiting for the final feat.

And here I am, along with strangers
Looking at the graves of these buried earthlings
Died whether in peace or in pain
While their families and friends offering flowers and candles
Incenses whose scent fills the hollowed place again

And as I stood up from where he sat,
Seeking their advices as he enters their abode
Where life is all but an analog mode
There are no routers full of wireless fidelity
Just me, them, and the almighty
With prayers if not reflections
Enough to redeem from thy delusions.

There to mourn, to remember, to think, and reflect,
Knowing that time comes they will resurrect;
And I, trying to be at peace is asking on these silent ones:
That will hopes be true when the lord comes?

Monday, 24 October 2016

Spam? Ma Ling? DELIMONDO!


Or ramblings after reading posts about canned meat wars
(And how this person introduces a once unfamiliar product for an "alternative")

At first, this person is ought to say that this post is more than just about food, but after how people take time to make humorous moves such as after President Rodrigo Duterte dealt with the Chinese and pissing off the Americans.

Such as choosing between two canned meats like Hormel's SPAM and China's own Ma Ling, it seems that most people be like forgetting its own brand of canned meat, be it the familiar PureFoods to the unfamiliar one such as Delimondo.

And in it, this person asks that why on earth you have to choose between SPAM or Ma Ling when you have your own Delimondo? He should have said PureFoods instead, but for now let's talk about the unfamiliar one made known for being expensive as as being owned by Juan Ponce Enrile via his food-loving daughter, Katrina.


At first, Canned meat, be it "the solid block of flesh" called Luncheon meat or those of "strands and meaty chunks" called Corned beef, is being consumed both by the elite as well as the masses. Many brands of canned meat, be it local or imported, are available everywhere but with that unfamiliar brand such as Delimondo, this person and others conerned can only see that brand being sold in Trinoma, Landmark, ShopWise, S&R, and other grocery outlets except those of Robinsons, SM, 7-11, and even MiniStop.

And to think that most people equate canned meats as those of SPAM and Ma Ling, as well as other ones like Palm, Armour, and local varieties like PureFoods and CDO, only few would afford and taste Delimondo's version of those canned meat products, and perhaps, one really can't help but feel proud that there's a great tasting canned meat to compete with both international and even local brands.

Quite interesting isn't it? Especially from its humble beginnngs as a corned beef enjoyed first by the Enriles, for as according to an article from the "Philippine Star, it said:

"The specialty corned beef was initially produced for the sole enjoyment of the Enrile family. That enjoyment would eventually be shared — a box of the corned beef became the Enrile family’s signature care package for close friends. Needless to say, those friends just couldn’t have enough. They began ordering the corned beef for their own use. “That was when I decided to make our corned beef available to the consumer market under the ‘Delimondo’ brand. We call it Delimondo Ranch Style Corned Beef,” said Katrina (Katrina Ponce Enrile). This is the same corned beef that is getting rave reviews from patrons of the Saturday Market in Salcedo Village."

Eventually, that corned beef enjoyed by Enrile and friends paved way to other products such as luncheon meat, and other deli products including those of Longganissa, sounds breakfast-ish isn't it? But tasty and proudly Filipino.

But anyway, back to a semi-serious topic, that as oligarchs and its middle class supporters are debating about changing foreign and socioeconomic policies, reading posts such as "SPAM vs. Ma Ling" reflect a hurmorous side since these two familiar brands also corresponds to its country of origin, such as United States versus China, and in it also includes Filipino's unforgettable Cold War views such as those of "democracy" versus "communism."

The latter one may still find it strange but most Filipinos sees China and United States be that way, as if foreign relations in the Philippines has to be in the 1950s and Duterte's moves with China be deemed anathema to the country's presentation as "one of the free world" even in this era where the focus is mainly on making money than in making missiles.

And China's "claims" over Scarborough and Spratlys has nothing to do with Communism at all! Even the Filipino communists like José Maria Sison disagrees with China's so-called claims.

But of all the posts, humorous face offs between two familiar brands (as shown above) has been commonly shown in social media sites especially after Philippines' president Duterte visited China as well as called for an "Independent Foreign Policy" in surprise of his own American-oriented subjects.
And because of those events, these subjects, mostly oligarchs and its middle class supporters, have been debating about Duterte's "radical" intentions, that sometimes meant putting harm against their interests, while others take Duterte's move in a pragmatic manner all for the sake of dialouge and perhaps, investment.

Yet with all these face offs and even hysterical commentaries related to Duterte's Détente, this person and others concerned may say that why settle on foreign brands such as SPAM or Ma Ling when there is an locally made yet export quality product such as Delimondo? Is Duterte's détente a wrong move while Aquino sending Trillanes to China be seem as just? Or even why should an average Filipino see things as black and white as in the good old cold war days? In the end, Duterte tries to create an alternative to a mendicant foreign policy at the expense of the oligarchs the way Delimondo tries to make a Filipino enjoy a really good taste of corned beef and luncheon meat more than what Hormel and Ma Ling can offer to them.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Still, the music continues!

Still, the music continues!

Amidst recent events, the music of hope continues through a continuous play of indigenous and alternative tunes from that cultural night.

For these struggling folks, be it from the Lumad, Cordilleran, Moro, as well as its colleagues living in Metro Manila are in one with all its struggles invoked especially these past few days, that no water cannon, truncheon, tear gas, and even police trucks can destroy their commitment to social justice and self-determination as communities.

And as the sound of gangsas, kudyapi, kulintang, and even the acoustic guitar and of the drumset be played with all its different tunes, one would say that the music expresses a message that is, "unity and struggle".
And in it, that unity is also being brought upon by the newly created organisation "Sandugo" and other supporting organisations showed a force to be with, rather than those from the system through its "groups" and "organisations" frustrating to be "concerned" towards the issue of these indigenous folks, its culture, struggle, even their community and the environment in which they're trying to preserve yet actually serves those of its own interests be it logging, mining, and plantations especially those owned by multinational and transnational companies.

But despite seeing these folks in every tourist sites as well as familiarised in history books, most people may still find it new to hear their plight as well as its assertions. They would even find the late Macliing Dulag of the Cordillera to those of Bai Bibyaon of the Manobo new names in their ears. And sadly, some would even find to ridicule, scrutinise badly, and even heckle them straight because of their beliefs especially after seeing them marching towards Manila, camped at UP Diliman, and even confronting both the military near Camp Aguinaldo at EDSA as well as the police near US Embassy at Roxas Boulevard (with an incident that hath brought by the police against them).

But as for yours truly and others concerned, "Lakbayan" is a yearly event that cannot be disregarded, for in fact, despite all attempts to divide and remain under repressive conditions, it is worth encouraging for these indigenous folks and other ethnicities, as Filipinos, to unite not just in common struggles but as a country trying to break free from both domestic and foreign repressions and injustices.

Besides that, also a time to learn about their culture far from the history books and mainstream descriptions, all from the views of these Indigenous folks.

The way their instruments being creatively merged its tunes beautifully as such. 

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

"Teargassed, Truncheon'd, and rammed by a van!"

and rammed by a van!"

Notes on the recent incident at Roxas Boulevard
(brought about by a bunch of trigger happy cops against activists)

At first, the incident is worth called unjust and sickening as scores of Lumads, Aetas, Mangyans, Dumagats, Igorots, Moro people and other Indigenous folks and other activists severely hurt after a police mobile runover towards rallyists in front of US Embassy.

Amid scores of injured and imprsoned participants, that violent dispersal led by Manila Police District col. Marcelino Pedroso jr. showed an obvuious brutish a against the people, particularly the Indigenous folks who marched from their communities to Manila with their calls for self determination, social justice, and sovereignty as Filipinos marred by foreign intervention such as from the United States.

It is worth called savage, if not almost a carnage especially when police officer Benjamin Kho intentionally rammed a police vehicle back and forth against the protesters, and even grabbed a Lumad protester through the hair; so were the other cops who seriously did a brutish manner in "controlling" the situation, with tear gas and truncheons all as ordered by col. Pedroso.

The said incident resulted to a dozen wounded on the rallyist's side, few of them suffered serious injuries and yet faced prison bars. And besides those of the Indigenous folks, health workers served as First Aid Units as well as those from Alternative Media outlets have been arrested by the riot police, also under Pedroso's savage orders.

Sorry to descibe that incident as almost a carnage, for that brutish incident brought about by Pedroso and Kho speaks for itself about what happened in Roxas Boulevard. And as everyone joins in its condemnation, apologists in social media sites rallied rather on the side of the policemen justifying the said incident as necessary against "leftism" and even wanting to see serious casulties against the rallyists; while others as trying to make balance between both activists and policemen basing on the video and its statements.

But again, on this person's view and of the concerned, the incident still showed crass injustice brought about by a rotten order during a president's "absence." And based from comments coming from the system's apologetics, it is worth stupid to blame towards the rallyist, especially in regards to that incident and others It was more of the cop whose itchy hands wanted that to happen, and he waited for a few seconds as the protester finished their activity to start their brutal attack as maintainers of the system.

Strange if not the irony isn't it? Especially that as the so-called non-aligned President of a goddamn republic known as the Philippines is trying to impose an independent foreign policy there are those within the system who seemed referring to remain as lapdogs of the old order they accustomed to. Starting with the one who shouted his subordinates for letting these activists staged a protest near a den of alleged provocateurs and destabilisers known as the "US Embassy".

Worse, that incident meant creating a scenario enough to blame the presidency simply because he's the commander in chief of both the Armed Forces and the Police. So hope that there is a serious investigation by the President as well as the Director-General of the Philippine National Police regarding that incident brought about by a trigger happy coterie of cops who as if gone hurted seriously after being pelted by tomatoes or red paint and be responded by tear gas and truncheons.

That somehow showed how some of these cops, with all their brutish stances, are actually pigs easily screaming for pain and wanting to make hell for theirs and the system's behalf. Hence, que barbaridad! With all their actions showed how barbaric they are towards the ones trying to keep in touch with the times such as these indigenous folks.

And whatever apologists tried to explain, that in the end what the police's did was out of control if not as if having no will to restrain as it unleashes its barbarism, no matter how its frustrated non partisan, apolitical, or just apathetic pampered apologists speak on behalf of them ranging from "simply because they are being pelted by tomatoes or red paint" or "because they are noisy asserting their calls and desires for change."

Friday, 14 October 2016

"More than just a showcase of colours and folk music"

"More than just a showcase of Interindigenous colours and folk music"

Notes after Manilakbayan

At first, this person is ought to say that the event started last October 13 2016 as more than just a showcase of inter-Indigenous colours and its music, but rather a reaffirmation of struggles these folks asserted in this continuing past.

For as these folks, mainly those of Moros, Lumads, Cordillerans, Aetas, and other indigenous and underrepresented peoples, had marched all from their respective communities all over the archipelago to be in one with the city-dwellers of Manila, all in a common struggle for social justice and of self-determination.

Quite nice though to see these folks, especially in showcasing their colorful garb as well as its indigenous tunes being played as they march towards Manila, while others, especially those who care nothing, be like irritated with all the militant chants and tunes thinking that their struggles be "same old as it was" (in an age where 'moving on' is necessary) if not simply because they are "leftist" (is asserting social justice and equal treatment be deemed "leftist"?) or even chose not to "move on and enjoy the modernity the system has provided to them", but these indigenous folks aren't just converging in Manila all for chrissakes, for these minorities, besides showing their colours and played their tunes, are also explaining their inconvenient situations to a larger audience, such as being exploited, discriminated, repressed by the same order the rest of the country has also expressed same statements.
And hence, making with the other sectors of the society "united" on many issues especially those of social justice.

Exchanging torches
and expressing serious concerns

From the day Chancellor Mike Tan of UP Diliman exchanging torches with a Lumad Chieftain at University Avenue, to those of a common student fraternising with those of an Indigenous folk, the "Lakbayan" and its "Kampuhan" at UP Diliman features a series of good interactions between the city-dweller and of the tribesman, what more of understanding more than just their culture, but also what goes behind their smiles such as their sufferings.

And in speaking of suffering, to think that from the day "Lakbayan 2016" was started in their respective communities north and south, these indigenous folks chose to march towards the capital and assert their same old calls knowing that they are still facing same old problems and bullshit especially when their communities as well as themselves be targeted by paramilitary groups and interest-seeking entities be like mining companies or logging concessionaires; if not having their cherished identities (as in their culture, their dress and music) be exploited all in the name of "development" and "progress" (as shown from a picture about a play regarding Corillerans).

Quite concerning isn't it? Even those from the government like Secretary Taguiwalo expressed not just support for Lakbayan but also the immediate aid for Lumads and other indigenous folks as according to its press release:

“We want to help the Lumad, but they will be the ones to tell us exactly what kind of assistance they want and need. At the onset, we are well aware that they want their children to receive some kind of formal education apart from the traditional education they receive in their own communities. We have already announced earlier that we are coordinating with the Department of Education (DOH) on building 251 schools for Lumad children in Mindanao,” she said.

So is the Chancellor, who happened to agree with the proposal brought about by the newly-created Interindogenous group "Sandugo", such as a symbolic "people's camp" that serves as a resource for students studying both Philippine and Islamic studies, the way the Chancellor himself saidth that the University is open for the Indigenous folks being a "University for the People" as well as a "National University".

Strengthening unity amidst discrimination and chaos

Again, quite nice to see them despite the dangers these kindred folks have encountered and chose to resist. Obviously they chose not to stop and remain contented in their current state as they continue assert that is just.

That no water cannon nor truncheon can stop their struggle. People may still find their week-long stay in Manila both interesting because of their rooted culture if not a subject of scrutiny for not being contented if not choosing not to let their grievances be via "legal channels" without the need for marching nor interacting with the city-dwellers, or even irritated simply because they are "mountain dwellers" making noise as any other repressed peoples do out of their actually-existing repression.

Sorry to say but cannot deny what these other people said, but their struggle for social justice and self-determination as a folk community is as greater than their whining out of their intentional ignorance simply because the situation about these folks, be the Lumad, Moro, Cordilleran, or Negrito has nothing to do with their pampered lives in the heavily modernised cities, save that their communities, situated within tourist destinations around the archipelago be described beautiful and these folks are meant to "face developmental aggression" as what happened in Boracay and in Cordillera.

But despite all of those shitty statements pointing against these folks and those who sympathise, the sound of both unity and struggle continues the way Gangsas, Kulintang, and Kudyapi played together in an harmonious tune brought about by a desire for self determination, social justice, and national integrity.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

How is La Pacita going?

How is La Pacita going?

Its been few years passed since San Miguel Corporation had took over a lowly yet well known biscuit manufacturer: La Pacita Biscuits.

Known for its Prima toast, Supreme Crackers, Ligaya Cracklets, and various cookies that served Filipinos for decades, La Pacita has been worth remembered by those seeking for a taste of nostalgia, especially amidst the popularity of imported cookies, pastries, and other baked stuff Filipinos encountered.

But at first, this post tackles what goes on that well known La Pacita before it was taken over by San Miguel.

It all started in 1921, when Luis Martinez of San Juan, then part of Rizal Province, set up a biscuits factory known as "La Fabrica de Biscochos y Dulces Biscuits Especiales" at J. Eustaquio st. (then known as Progreso), and from those kitchens produced the well-known brand, which was named after his wife.

Luis Martinez y Cia produced La Pacita's Tostados Prima, Camachile, Club Crackers, and Cream Filled cookies that became favorite snacks for schools and offices, as well as "Pasalubong" treats especially when going to provinces. Besides that, they also produced bread, one of which was a "Pan Americano" enriched with Vitamins. 

And like any other well known brands of the past, La Pacita was heavily advertised in the in the 50s and in the 60s. Magazine ads such as the one above showcased how the Martinez's product was well appreciated as a snack if not a "pasalubong" treat.

However, despite its successes, the patriarch died in 1970. One of don Luis's sons, Felicisimo, took over the management, reorganised, and changed its name to F. Martinez and Co., Inc as part of its transition. In it, it showed how the company, from its lowly yet steady past, had geared for growth and market expansion whilst still producing the familiar Pacensia, as well as Butter Cookies and Raisin Cookies.

And despite economic challenges, La Pacita continued to show signs of growth, especially with the introduction of Snax and Supreme Flakes in the market. The said snacks may have been a counterpart of its competitors, such as M.Y San Skyflakes to those of Nabisco's Ritz crackers.

However, its growth almost cut short, that in 1989 the factory was gutted by fire. This was another challenge that the Martinez family chose not to stop and instead moved foward as they meet the demands of its loyal customers. Felicisimo passed the proprietorship to his son, Manuel, who chose not to change the name but instead kept "F. Martinez and Co., Inc." as La Pacita's manufacturer.
Together with Manuel’s wife Julieta and sons Manuel Jr., Norberto, Edwin, Neil and Manolet, greater opportunities for La Pacita were envisioned and portrayed the way Don Luis and their grandfather "Feling" had tried its best with all its pioneering spirits as bakers and entrepreneurs. There they had rebuilt its facility, acquired some machinery, assembled its employees, and exhorted efforts in continuing La Pacita's growth as a snack manufacturer for both young and old.

And as in the past, La Pacita continued to be well-known not just in local, but also international consumers. As according to an article in the Philippine Star made 13 year ago:

"La Pacita vice president for marketing Manuel V. Martinez Jr. says that although its cookies are positioned as a traditional or ethnic bakery product in many Oriental stores in the United States, it has penetrated the Taiwanese market with its garlic toast.
In the Middle East, its cracklets and mamon tostado are also in great demand. "We can meet the demand for mamon tostado in the Middle East," he says."

But come to think of this, since the Martinez family afforded to keep La Pacita stable and meeting its demands greater, then how come they agreed to have San Miguel take over the family business?

Prior to the acquisition of La Pacita, San Miguel attempted, yet failed in 2014, in a solo bid for British snacks maker United Biscuits which owns the brands Jaffa Cakes and Twiglets.

And since then, San Miguel has instead settled for a local biscuit manufacturer. In a disclosure to the local bourse, the food and beverage unit of San Miguel said it had entered into an intellectual property rights transfer agreement with the Martinez Family that meant the acquisition of La Pacita and be part of San Miguel's food products.

The deal, which was announced in 21st of November 2014 for an undisclosed sum, marks San Miguel's move into the biscuits sector. It even struck a deal to "acquire the trademarks, formulations, recipes and other intangible properties relating to the seller's La Pacita biscuit and flour-based snack business".

Furthermore, as according to Lexter Azurin, he stated that the acquisition will support the flour business of San Miguel, which also produces Hotcake mixes and other pastry ingredients La Pacita also accustomed to.
The acquisition was completed on February 1 of last year, in which San Miguel, through its dairy subsidiary Magnolia Inc., as La Pacita's manufacturer.

The production of that well-known product may've still continue to reach its loyal and new customers, however, from these customers one would say that the said takeover by the food giant few years ago have also created mixed reactions: that some would say that the Martinez family has lost its 90 year old family legacy and others saw San Miguel's acquisition of the said biscuit maker as a chance for the latter for better improvements, especially in pursuit of meeting present and future demands. So are those who would even think that La Pacita under the Martinezes meant "Quality through and through" as what Mang Luis and Lolo Feling had craftily made to its products, and those who saw that with San Miguel it means better opportunities in making La Pacita a good competitor against other biscuit manufacturers both local and abroad.

Sounds debatable isn't it? But for this writer, he would say that La Pacita's continuing legacy of making good biscuits meant a taste of nostalgia for both young and old. And despite having a different manufacturer such as a well-known food giant, La Pacita may have stayed in its goal in which Mang Luis, Lolo Feling may love to say,  that the biscuits has “To be in every pantry on every doorstep of every household”, and its customers be treated not just as customers, but also as part of an ever growing family.


Tuesday, 11 October 2016

"Trying to break away from Mendicancy"

"Trying to break away from Mendicancy"

Ramblings on same old mendicant policy surrounding US-Philippine relations
And the pursuit of a nation moving forward with self-determination 
and a reclaimed dignity

Quite lamenting especially when the concerned sees reports related to corruption, extrajudicial killings, lack of peace and order, and this: when Filipinos who afforded to "take pride" in its colorful history, is still defending and worshipping the United States and Americans better than they defend and cherish its own country.

Starting from its occupation in the late 19th century, to its still indirect domination in a form of a vassalage (sorry for the term but inconveniently true), the Philippines is struggling, if not trying to break away in the name of independence in every policy.
And in it somehow created an ire from those who enjoyed from that decade's old vassalage. For sure everyone knows how President Duterte babbles much against the United States and the European Union, what more of trying to deal with "rouge" countries like China or even Russia. And these be reinterpret as a violation of a decades-old "tradition", that is, being a non-NATO ally supported by bouts of cold war hysteria.

If so, then the late senator Claro M. Recto was right after all. That for all those times, ranging from cherishing its culture and reluctance to non-Atlanticist support, makes the Filipinos as the biggest defenders and fanatics of the United States and does it a lot better than Americans themselves. The Philippines is where the United States' policies, people and products are worshipped and considered perfect.

It also explains how the United States has been desperate in controlling and keeping every nation, every people as its own vassal or even slave, especially ever since that country known for being an "International Policeman" is rather an irrelevant entity if not as a terrible laggard amongst the superpowers, especially in a time when it's economy and industries are dying while churning substandard products by its outsourced companies, whose people wallowed in its idiocy, especially with its national fabric gone deteriorating thanks to crass consumerism and its culture of exploitation.

Looking back at history
And to "move on" carrying self-determination and dignity

Ironically, it is the same people who wanted to "move on" from its own history, on its own heritage, on the desire to stand up as what its founding fathers desired for as a nation. They would say about the needs of the present, of admitting inequalities in every transaction or agreement "least they provide something" with words like "partnership", "alliance", or any other word trying to mask an unfair and exploitative nature between a master and a vassal.

But come to think to this, if people wanted to move forward, or as what they say "move on" and be at par with its self-sufficient neighbours, then perhaps forget about frustrations of being one of the stars in the American Flag nor become a commonwealth nor an associated state under the United States, but instead, heed the demands of the people ranging from self-sufficiency to those of fair and just relations with every country including those of the United States.
For besides having unfair and unequal set of policies and agreements, of interests in which mostly satisfies those of Uncle Sam than those of Juan, Its so-called aid or "support" isn't even enough to sustain a so-called "growing" economy nor provides "development" what more that Americans themselves has to focus much on their own matters as taxpayers and as citizens, trying to think about the need for additional budgets in health, education, and social services if not muttering how that goddamned third world country fails to flex its muscle better and yet enjoys hot money from their struggling pockets.

Sorry for those remarks, but for as time goes by, and in seeing same old mendicancies and unfairness prevailing as so-called policies and agreements, it makes Philippine-American relations more of a parasite, a commensal-host, a master-vassal, instead of an "equal and just" brotherhood as ideally blabbered about by its apologetics. Quite inconveniently true though to think that with a mendicant policy towards and from the United States, and its effects on the sensibilities of the Filipino people, the concerned ask them: "why the contentment? Why the reluctance to be self sufficient like its neighbours? Is self sufficient be limited to the individual than those of the society?

In fact, as this person sees much how people been appealing to nostalgia through "history-related" pages in social media, that if to compare both the past and present  then maybe from that past, through the interwar years least tried its best to be themselves in producing things that Filipinos matter for a nation despite producing cash crops international trade greatly needed such as Manila Hemp and Sugarcane; that a Sweet Potato and a Saba Banana may have been enough to consider for lunch and supper besides brown rice (rather than imported rice from China), but all in all, those times and its efforts did show how Filipinos before as trying to survive with dignity proudly embedded not just telling the whole world least it is edible and worth filling especially during the war.

And now, contrary to the still patriotic sentiments of the past, it seems that everybody sees that the country, despite claiming to be "proud to be independent", be like crying for hot cash from other taxpayers (and calling it as foreign aid) and interest seeking traders who focused much on profits than on development (and be redescribed as foreign investment). So why not handle financial resources wisely by creating new foundations such as industry (besides agrarian reform) and focusing on production, innovation, and development? Of allocating efforts in ensuring the well being of the citizens?
Anyway, despite people whining about the need for outside aid as part of the economy, makes one think that in Randian terms, that the country has been rich in natural resources and sufficient manpower, but the inherent Americanism in its frustrated form, brought by its mendicant socioeconomic policy makes themselves moochers.

Following Hamilton's suggestions:
A treatise for an "aid"

If there is an aid that should Filipinos benefited from these Americans, then it must be likely in a form of a treatise, such as "On the subject of Manufactures" as what the late founding father Alexander Hamilton envisioned. Quite real and necessary for a developing country to have that treatise though, especially that in a developing country one has to have a collective political will to create major changes especially in pursuit of breaking from dependency and of building new structures meant to ensure peoples welfare and promoting development.

Sorry if to call that treatise as an "Aid" coming from a concerned American instead of the usual hot money meant to be for American needs (health, social services, housing, etc.), but at least that treatise has provided lessons for a developing nation rather than relying on "just" hot money and speculation. The need for industrialisation, agrarian reform, and an end to indebtedness and dependence on compradore-multinational interests is as same as what Alexander Hamilton envisioned to create economic independence to support that is political.

For as according to a summary regarding Hamilton's work:

"When George Washington became president in 1789, he appointed Alexander Hamilton as his secretary of the Treasury. Hamilton’s vision for the economic foundation of the United States included three main programs: 1) the federal assumption of state debts, 2) the creation of a Bank of the United States, and 3) support for the new nation’s emerging industries. After the first two parts of his plan had been accepted, he presented the third part to Congress in his Report on the Subject of Manufactures in December 1791. Through high tariffs designed to protect American industry from foreign competition, government bounties and subsidies, and internal improvements and transportation, Hamilton hoped to break Britain’s manufacturing hold on the United States."

The Philippines does have a Central Bank, it also has Land Bank, Development Bank, and dozens of other banks whose vision deals about economic growth; it does have small and medium scale industries to brag over though, but sadly, that semi-feudal, semi-colonial country has been full of frustrated Jeffersons who thinks being agro-commercial is enough that justifies the existence of landlords and compradores.
And if to assert industrialisation and usage of domestic resources, the system rather thinks of these as "time consuming" if not "unlikely to be appreciated by a market tied to imported goods" as well as "facing threats by international moneylenders" whose interests are getting harmed by those who truly desire for national liberation and development; there are few landlords who also did toyed with industrialisation for some "national sentiment", but their efforts did not pursue further but instead limited to consumer goods and some had even absorbed by multinational companies all in the name of expansion.

Perhaps let the nation, by reason or by force, be shifted from a consumption-based, commercial-oriented, kind of economy, of an unjust socioeconomic an foreign policy into a production-based one so as to rebuild the country and to remold the character of its people, as well as to achieve a just and dignified order the way Alexander Hamilton has envisioned centuries ago in his country then newly-freed from Britain.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

"A Promise of Hope or a Veiled Betrayal?"

"A Promise of Hope or a Veiled Betrayal?"

Or how everyone has seeing sugarcoated remarks
and obviously real intentions

(And how the concerned chose to counter them)

"Fuck Off and Die". 

These may be the innermost remark from the system and its pampered apologetics masking behind innocent words like "peace", "stability", and even "prosperity".

For as years since the country has "regained" its independence, most people carried mixed reactions towards messages meant to be tempered with actions, especially that leaders and its retinues were "at its best" trying to stress the idea that the welfare of the people be its priority besides those of building a better society especially after centuries of being a colony and hence, gaining borrowed thoughts that perhaps meant to use productively in setting one's own foundations of a promising country.

However, as time goes by, such profound aspirations as reduced to just plain statements, wholly rhetorical ones meant to be spoken rather than transformed into action, or if there is, rather half-baked if not having its essence be diluted in the name of compromise and accommodation. And many people end being fooled knowing that there are words meant to be taken seriously yet end half-baked or wholly rhetorical ever since it was invoked to appease them. In a way peace as meant to be based on justice but obviously a term for a deafening silence, and stability as more of enforced contentment over those of the struggling needy.
Quite strange isn't it?  That there are messages of change that rather reinterpreted as a message of continuity. The system who had afforded to babble it as such did some but not enough to ensure the well being of the people, but with its apologists may ought to say that least they did something "no matter how allegedly little or not enough it is least it is reforming."

But that so-called reforming has becoming less to do with renovating nor innovating but rather retention of interests. Be it since 1898, 1946, 1973, 1986, or even im the present day what everyone sees is all but as it is with some external infrastructure. Franco did that decades ago in Spain just to appease foreign investors and the "modern, democratic world" how improving Spain was despite allegedly stucking itself up in the ideas of the inquisition. So is the Philippines that even until today its policies remained pegged to those of compradore-landlord interests hiding underneath the veneer of democracy and freedom.

That somehow made the concerned sought how that goddamn system brought about by landlords and compradores obviously created an atmosphere of betrayal the more they favour personal interests than seriously realising peoples hopes in creating an atmosphere where hope is realising and change as truly ongoing.
But reality would say that change and hope are opiums for the desperate, what is truly changing in a continuing past are those meant to be consumed be it food, tv shows, anything meant for a person to escape from reality itself, or as what Letov said:

"The plastic world has won."

Yes, the plastic world has won over a world of ideas and aspirations. But the more having a system trying to cultivate its nonsense, its sameness, then may as well the concrned will turn these into conditions for struggle till turning a still degenerated society into something worth called a place in the sun.

Anyway, this rambling brought about by yours truly has led us to the conclusion that most from the so-called bourgeoisie, the highly educated and propertied gentries, the ones who steadfastly trying to keep the so-called order of things, all in pursuit of just keeping petty interests and perhaps as if clinging to the illusion of a "peaceful transition" such as same order yet "renovated with reforms" - betrayed the cause that as if there are chances of making moves with less radicalism or rather say "bloodshed." And in it somehow made themselves rather at the side of the system than those of the people. By their actions it obviously made themselves broke away when the going goes tough so as to prove that personal interests be emphasised over those of the nation.

The lower middle bourgeoise, however, despite sharing some thoughts with the upper ones, clings to the principle strongly as those of the masses. Being learned yet gained consciousness by realities, has more firmly rooted in the idea of national and social liberation that is, more than just persecuting the corrupt and of the wretched. Mabini, in a way, typified that attitude of being a principlist so was Bonfacio whose Bourgeois Liberal thought had been indigenised to the extent of becoming almost "Filipino" in order to make it palatable with the masses.

In fact, it is quite noticeable that in an era wherein idealism been substituted with consumerism, of awareness with apathies, it is obvious that as in the past, they have nothing to think upon except self interest unless some or few afforded to open eyes and go beyond the usual impressions of life. And perhaps, as in the past one would state that:

"An observation of Latin American Society might be applied to the Philippines with the same weight in the statement that each class felt contempt from those below, and these in turn often looked upon their social superiors with envy often mixed with hatred." (Mary W. Williams et al. The people and politics of Latin America, p.230)

Or at its worse, in an era wherein apathy and shallowness has been consolidated further as any other cultural cultural policy brought upon by interests, it appears that having a renewed commitment in a struggle for social change appears to be "impossible", save the word change itself for a statement, an aesthetic that sneers the people through eyes and ears.
It may still sound idealistic though to see such enthusiasm such as people rallying in the word called change, but as what this post said, that word, that save for its aesthetic statement, the idea or the word "change" has less to do with practise as today's generation been devoid of sociopolitical awareness if not apathetic in actually existing matters that is, beyond the parameters of enforced safe spaces.

And as in the past, or perhaps in the coming future where everything goes "as it is" by the present social order, the system again may have greatly benefited from that apathy brought about by a commercialised culture everyone accustomed to.
That most of the interest seeking bourgeoisie, save those who are Sociopolitically aware, rather tolerated the hedonism, the escapism, the prevailing nonsense of today's degeneration of sorts if not supporting it as if "it benefits the community" with all the bread and circuses and at the same time putting order with those of "rewards and punishments." The era of consumerism and frustrated pursuit of a non-political kind of "politics" (as insisted by those who assumed to be "aware" but not creating concrete conditions for real socioeconomic changes) has rather consolidated the system by having a contented working mass and an apethetic, interest-seeking middle class, but the inconvenient truths such as corruption, disenfranchisement, repression, injustice has brought to the conclusion as what Williams hath stated particularly those of lower class hatred towards the ruling elite and to some extent the urban bourgeoisie.

Sounds too hardcore isn't it? That in seeing full scale degeneration as well as injustices makes the concerned assert what is just, and to do by any means necessary to create conditions for real societal kind of change. The statement brought by Williams, if not the ones from Marx or even Mao Zedong's perhaps expresses what everyone called "real talk" for there are still those who expressed disgust in an order supposed to be stable and yet ridden by its corruption. The system, however,

Hence, if people wanted to have politics and various forms of inconvenient realities be totally out of their lives in favour of their idealised form of "enjoyments", then may as well insist that their shows in television, radio, to social media be about showbusiness, heavy dramas, and personality-based sports; that national sentiment should be more of for aesthetics sake meant to appease tourists; that history and national awareness be the least priority and more of those whose reason emphasises on "trade"; that politics is for the old and of the dying if not those who willing to take interest on it (yet accepting that they are meant to be judged), better if to abolish or privatise state affairs altogether with "efficiency" as its alibi; and lastly, making others lives as less of an issue to tackle in favour of keeping one's safe spaces, feels, and good vibes.

Sorry for the thoughts but these rather came from those who seek that kind of suggestion. Obviously it is a reaction so to speak that people themselves who are tired of hearing political affairs wanted to replace politics with consumerism the way they wanted to replace parks and plaza with shopping centres and air conditioned supermarkets. The consumption driven bourgeois of the present-day setting wanted that way, that as if all these will ease the problems of the society such as bread and circuses, all forms of escapism that makes people forget the inconvenient truths such as corruption, repression, and various forms of disenfranchisement.

After all, "it is for the economy's sake so why not to miss that idea anyway?"
That's all for now.


Pictures from the movie Baader-Meinhof Komplex and Paulo Alcazaren