Saturday, 30 December 2017

To a hero who chose to inspire than to lead

To a hero who chose to inspire than to lead

Notes on the National Hero Jose Rizal 
and his contribution to the development of the Filipino identity


“Rizal cultivated all his qualities in order not to perfect them, but he practiced them in order to bring about the moral betterment of the race.

Rizal possessed a great mental caliber and he, therefore, demonstrated that the Filipino race was able to give birth to individuals endowed with the highest attributes, who could be considered an honor to the human race.

Remember that during this time, the Filipinos were considered second-class citizens. They were widely discriminated by the oppressive friars and were called Las Indias or Los Indios!”


This would be a fitting description made by Don Trinidad Herminigildo Pardo de Tavera, to a man who eventually known as the “Great Malayan”, for, to he whose work somehow inspired each and every Malayan, particularly the Filipino in making effort to create an idenity, in spite of the present-day trials that surrounded them.

It may sound too ideal and praise-ish, but Rizal, as well as other heroes, made immense efforts to inspire Filipinos, to make themselves be willing to sacrifice mind and sinew in contributing the country, not just in struggling or securing its independence, but also in developing and proving it a place in the sun as any other countries aspire to.

Ever since he observed and thus made himself wrote fiction, Rizal's life, as any other enlightened individual during his period hath been contributing to the development of the Filipino identity from its insular beginnings.
From there the latter, whose works be it in Spanish or his own native tounge hath paved way to an identity wherein the Filipino isn't about the Hispanic alone, but also from its Malayan subject- whose desire for emancipation was realised not by his views, but those whose his views been taken too seriously such as the case of Andres Bonifacio and his Katipunan.

How come? For sure not all would have taught that the formation of the Filipino identity was brought about by men like Andres Novales, the Bayot brothers, Palmero, and the like whose in spite of their Hispanic blood chose to think about independence- in a way their fellow Hispanics Bolivar or San Martin did in South America; but, with their Filipino counterparts end failed and its ringleaders executed, the memories of reforming a backward country, if not emancipating from a neglectful coloniser, deemed fresh especially those of its Malayan subject.

However, for Rizal himself, his views be deemed different- for he clinged to the view that reforms if not molding ones own character be as the basis of making a nation be on its own, as if there’s another way to have one’s own nation or a country that does not even need to undergo bloodshed; but, from his works like Noli me Tangere and El Filibusterismo shows otherwise that freedom may still require watering it with blood. Men like Crisostomo Ibarra end becoming Simoun, that innocents like Basilio end having the feeling of revenge as Crisostomo had all because of his painful experiences including those of his mother’s death; from those examplars be like will change be limited to piecemeal reforms or mere change of character? Perhaps one would also think that even India itself during Mahatma Gandhi’s time wasn’t limited to Gandhi himself- but also includes Bose, Baghat Singh, and others who recognises Gandhi as an independence figure, but, also knows that there are other means aside from Gandhi’s.

Anyway, in this day forward, Rizal, as any other hero may still remain as an example; although frankly speaking, he is but like any other figure being exploited upon, be it his set of thoughts or his physical appearance. The system may insist that his life and labours meant there is no need for a violent outcome the way they idealise Crisostomo Ibarra who yearned for change; yet in fact the system rather idealise Isagani or Señor Pasta whose actions were contrary to his initial statements ; but in spite of romanticising those figures, an inconvenient reality rather demands Simouns, Eliases, and Taleses, if not to move beyond from Rizal’s works like what Hernandez did in his Ibong Mandaragit with Mando Plaridel as the person who has the qualities of Ibarra and Elias.

And to think that as the system continues to exploit and oppress for decades and even in the future, then no wonder why there are those who take literally the idea of making change by all if not any means necessary.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Still "rubbish"

Still "rubbish" 

Notes after Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 
whose movies remained "rubbish" except for a few
And (still) a need for reforms and improvement 
in Filipino cinema (and culture)


It's been usual nowadays to equate today's cinema with crass commercialism. With film and cinema giants dictate what is deemed showing, it seems that today's cinema, no matter how it is heavily spent if not trying to satisfy its subjects, rather fails to create an appeal other than providing a culture that is, canned.

Admittingly speaking, for just like the past years, and in spite promises to present what as meant to be artistic and appealing, what everyone sees is a heavily invested trash that has nothing to do with emancipating people and to create a lively culture; but rather to continue using cinema, as in any other art, as a profiteering medium.

But no matter how these giants insist what is ideal for the commons (particularly using the "family" for an alibi in presenting crappy ones), not all those from the commons are satisfied from what these media giants trying to insist: in a way not all are interested in Vice Ganda or any other mainstream bullshit being presented in every moviehouse especially in today's "Metro Manila Film Festival".

With all these bullshits oversought and heard, it is worth to bear in mind that each and every Writer and artist must bear an important responsibility for discovering and training young people of talent, knowing that these youngsters who took seriously in their craft be deemed vigorous and perceptive, and in them lies the future of a country's literature and art.

Actually, There have been debates on which camp produces better films, which breeds better directors and actors, whether a film should be categorized as this or that, or even whether or not such categories should be used at all. But in spite of these, the system remains no matter how the system pleads to its subjects that art has to be conformed in "what the consumer desires", yet actually conditions the consumer to what the system desires, the growing mass of concerned also takes the task of getting rid of all stereotypes and conventions and study new situations and solve new problems in conformity with the characteristics of the country is in. And in this case probably enough of Vice Ganda, of revivals, of common topics, of bullshit that made "Metro Manila Film Festival" devoid of its significance. Even "Independent" ones are becoming less "independent" as well, that made also the concerned describing them as maindie or streamdie, due to is qualities that exude both mainstream and "indie".

Nonetheless, each has its fair share of "well-made" films as any other "well-made" art. What makes it worrisome is how movie house owners, in arms with movie bigwigs emphasise theirs over others who also take part in that film fest. From there it makes the concerned thinking that in spite of invoking the ideal of "true, good, and beautiful" via cinema, commercial viability remains the emphasis with bigwigs churning canned culture throughout.

And from there, writer Jessica Zafra complained last 2013 in a review, which continues to be relevant as ever:

"Speaking of standards, why do we bother to review the festival entries when most of them are rubbish? Because they're not supposed to be rubbish! Contrary to what you’ve been led to believe, 'entertainment' and 'commercial appeal' are not synonyms for 'garbage'. There are good commercial movies, and there are bad commercial movies. The bad outnumber the good because the studios think the viewers are idiots."

From this perhaps every concerned who truly adheres to an emancipative kind of art should help them eagerly and also make strict demands on them, so that they will not become divorced from life but will make steady progress both ideologically and in their art. In citing the late Sawamura’s, they should be serious in their quest to seek for the truth, its beauty, and goodness rather than contenting in treating art, such as Cinema as a mere money-making venture. Why on earth a country has to let its cinema, as in other art be dictated by the bigwigs who provided “canned” entertainment to the masses? Do these bigwigs truly adhere to revive or revitalise a nation's culture if they provided bullshits? Such bullshits made the concerned think that Zafra being right enough to state those words.

And as for the middle-aged, as well as the younger generation who increasingly taking part in the craft, they are becoming the mainstay of a country’s literary and art work, and should make it possible for them to contribute all they can.

Monday, 25 December 2017

"of Hope over Exploitation"

"of Hope over Exploitation"

A Christmas message for those who worked hard (yet with a meager pay and unjust agreements)
yet (still) yearning to celebrate with their loved ones
This Yuletide season



At first, this person is conveying a joyful Christmas and a promising new year to each and everyone. 

And ideally, that holiday is all about spending time with family and friends. That in spirit of Christ's birth and It’s about creating happy memories that will last a lifetime.

However, it cannot be denied the fact that under Capitalism that humanity hath becoming a cogwheel supporting an establishment’s existence.

Driven by its desire to survive if not to support itself in a time of endless crisis, one would say that humanity has almost sacrificed its right, and one of which is celebrating holidays like Christmas.

Knowing that as any other holiday, those who chose to work on that special day is driven by the fact that double pays are its by-word, and with rising costs facing upon them it made one after another be sneered by the fact that sacrificing holidays for a double pay work would be better just to earn be it for themselves or for their families as idealised.

It may sound offensive to some, but, as everyone concerned would say that people from all walks of life are meant to be enjoying with their families in spirit of the season, of giving them a just wage and less expenses rather than forcing them to work for long hours, and treating holidays almost as privileges as they compelled if not forced themselves to work on days supposed to be enjoying in a special day such as Christmas.

As an observer, celebrating holidays under Capitalism is becoming a privilege- especially to those who are burdened by their tasks yet given less pay. Ideally to celebrate it is truly a right for them like any other weekend; but with compradores or profiteers wanting to rake profits, and at the same time rising costs of commodities and taxes loom up, isn’t it that obvious for a labourer to end working even in a holiday? Shoemart, known for its contractualisation did even made its workers compelled to work 24 hours whilst others are enjoying their breaks.

In an article from GMA news, it saidth:

“At least 21 SM Markets will be open 24 hours a day on certain days this month to allow shoppers to go for a grocery run any time of the day or night during the holiday season.

These special operating hours will be in effect in the days leading up to Christmas Eve and again just before New Year's Eve.”

What more that they are being paid in their ordinary, unjust rates besides being deemed contractuals whose contracts are limited to five months and be disposed right away, if not that same establishment which was also behind the arrest and imprisonment of its employee who stole a can of corned beef out of being hungry, that shows that they all worked hard yet with meager pay and rising costs affected their health and perhaps resorting to issues like those.

For these examples, one would say that this ain’t service to the people, but rather exploitation! If not mistaken the only jobs that are continuing including holidays are those who are in the service of the state, particularly those from health, sciences, to those of national defence; but that service is tempered with their just right to enjoy holidays with their families, not affecting their payslips contrary to those from the exploiters from the private sector.

For sure as Greedy capitalists they will always find ways to siphon money from the people's pockets, of forcing its workers to work long hours including those of holidays for pittances and double pays, while at the same time being hailed as philanthropists for assuming to act as if benefactors to every institution be it orphanages or funding community housing projects; if they truly acting as beneficents, then how about their workers? Do they truly given a just wage and a good condition enough for them to uplift themselves and their families and never for them to compel to work during the holidays?

“How intense Capitalism is” said one commentator. “While the profiteer rakes more profits its workers depend in a pittance thrown unto them. And if they argue for having low wages and long working hours they are being fired!”

For sure some would say it is their right not to work during the holidays, but again the crisis-marred truth has made each and every labourer who supposed to enjoy with their family or friend be end working thinking that with every double pay, or with every additional pay for working overtime as enough to free from the crisis that hinders their development.

But instead turning themselves as cogwheels in a machine meant to siphon profits for those who desperately seeking interests. From their limited term contracts to low pay, it made them that way as if life goes on no matter how unjust. How nihil indeed then- for the nothingness these profiteers showed towards their labourers made them less Christlike no matter how they appeared Christian on the eyes of others but acting like Mammon’s servants to those who worked long hours including those of holidays! Perhaps in this season, may the good Lord help them help themselves be given justice from their unjust settings- it may sound impossible for their masters to give them what is due, but if their consciences be least knocked the way they sought towards the destitute, then perhaps give them what is meant to be deserved.

And no matter how they struggled out for retentions, of additional pay in an expense for a special day, for sure some of them are desiring to rekindle past memories with their families and friends, of sharing gifts and happiness, knowing that in spite of double pays, it does not equate to the happiness they wished for in a form of a presence, smile, even a warm embrace and a kiss from a loved one. 







Sunday, 24 December 2017

"Seeking truth, beauty, and goodness to overturn commercialism and to emancipate culture and society"

"Seeking truth, beauty, and goodness
 to overturn commercialism and to emancipate culture and society"

(or Notes after Tsutomu Sawamura 
with views from Joseph Stalin and Deng Xiaoping)



Commercialism is an idea which seeks the greatest value of life in gold, while Materialism is an idea which finds the best value of life in material things. These are kindred ideas. In art, on the contrary, truth, goodness, and beauty in life are everything. 

There are those who believe that commercialism and materialism, getting more money and spending a luxurious life, sum up the happiness of life. And to acquire that happiness, they would do anything, even if it would be against the ethics of society. The artist in the other hand, is a missionary sent from heaven to protect the truth, goodness, and beauty of life. 

So, however simple his life so long as he may pursue these elements of truth, goodness, and beauty in life, he is contented. On the other hand, the commercialist even wants to enslave the art and utilise it as a means to acquire money, while the artist tries to teach these materialists the real worth of the spirit in life.

- Tsutomu Sawamura


Admittingly speaking,  that as time goes by, it seems that art hath been less emancipating as commercialism prevails over the spirit. To use Materialism seemed to be just though although that term can also be applied in the realities of life humanity sought to conquer.

As any other concerned artist, seeking for the beauty, truth, and goodness is a painstaking task that made some chose not to pursue and instead favour to treat their craft as any other money-making spree. True indeed that art can be renumerated with a just amount, but, conscience-driven artists knows that in spite of given grants, works shouldn’t be reduced to mere eye candies but mediums invoking messages enough to make humanity aware that reality demands what is true, good, and beautiful what the present order fails to present.

And from reading Tsutomu Sawamura’s message, it shows that he was like any other philosopher who tries to counter materialism, if not to ridicule Marxism with its emphasis on material (or what is seen) over the ideal (innate in the mind); but, Marxism isn’t about the pursuit of attaining the needs of humanity but rather having the will to have the power to gain the tools to create man’s needs far from its prerevolutionary limitations; if not to struggle to emancipate humanity from the borders imposed by their respective systems and its ringleaders. With the fact that men like Joseph Stalin and Deng Xiaoping invoked messages similar to Sawamura's aspiration for an emancipating art from commercialism such as “engineers of the Human soul” and “Seeking Truth from Facts” as descriptions and objectives of each and every artist, regardless of its craft.
Perhaps, since Sawamura limits materialism to blatant economic materialism/consumerism (that makes two thoughts as indistinguishable than kindred thoughts), he failed to notice that Materialism isn't about an idea which seeks the best value in life merely through material things, and if to use Marx's Dialectical materialism, it examines the subjects of the world in relation to each other within a dynamic, evolutionary environment. 

Society evolves as humanity continues to take its quest in seeking society's idealised perfectness, and in it requires developing its surroundings and that includes the people. But, before developing one has to develop its own self; in order to give nourishment to the people, one must also first absorb its own self nourishment. And who is to develop and nourish every writer and artist? To cite Deng Xiaoping, that according to Marxism, the answer can only be: the people. For the people, being the primary creator of both society and history, is driven by its desire to create what is just if not ideal to invoke what is deemed "true, good, and beautiful", therefore provide them what truly appeals, and to break the mental shackles fastened on them.

Nowadays, that late Japanese Critic and scenarist's message may still worth approving, but then reality demands the acceptance of a materialist truth: that man’s existence lies in its surroundings, of its realities, and from it lies the desire to put changes that is truly true, good, and beautiful.

And from there, to cite Stalin:

 "The production of souls is more important than the production of tanks... And therefore I raise my glass to you, writers, the engineers of the human soul".

Sunday, 10 December 2017

"Seek Truth, Upheld Rights, and Take Back the Nation!"

"Seek Truth, Upheld Rights, and Take Back the Nation!"

(Upholding people's rights amidst terroristic "orderism")

by Kat Ulrike


Admittingly speaking, in spite of initial support for the presidency due to its popular-induced patriotism, it turns out to be using both populism and patriotism to his own advantage. For all after reading posts concerning the administration and its actions, the concerned somehow thinks about its country's direction: is it towards development or towards demise?

With him synonymous with the recent extralegal actions, of retreating to his initial promises in favour of continuing subservience to interests, it is worth condemning knowing that during his admnistration he chose to tolerate what is not meant to, what more that he had to be justified in the pretext of restoring order, imposing swift justice, and the like, with most of its actors doing it as if necessary to have higher ranks or gain rewards no matter how its victims be like mistaken identities.

Worse, knowing that with him self-confessed to be a "fascist", as a "stooge of imperialism", Duterte has intensified attacks against those who stood his way, particularly the growing struggle be it the peasant, the worker, the student, everyone whose desire for peace, land, bread, and justice as its desired call.
What more that he and his apologetics be like conflating organized masses with armed guerillas and tagging the latter and their affiliates as terrorists.

Initially, this post was made urging people to "seek truth from facts" under the present administration; that in supporting his desire for progress it should not hamper also the desire to expose and oppose the excesses of his actions especially those of the recent killings, but, with the advent of his statements far from his supposed "patriotism", of the recent arrests, abductions, and killings- it showed how the administration, no matter how he appears as against the oligarchs or the imperialists, is but an empty rhetoric as the latter two supported him and his extralegal quest to quash down those who stood his way.
And to think that one of the words the administration babbled about is "change" and "revolution", is it really the right word to preach about? A change or revolution to support the interests of the rotten social order like those of the Floirendos, Ayalas, Cojuangcos at the expense of the masses? True that like any other administrator it has to take pride in its infrastructure enough for a façade of progress, but with the laborers be forced to content on insufficient pay and unjust contracts, these are not meant for the people but rather to impress the few who benefited from this trickled-down nonsense. 

Imagine: by scuttling the peace negotiations (that also includes the agreement on socio-economic reforms), of threatening every peacemakers and patriots with arrests and abductions, what more that red scare hath been intensified, and redescribe those who stood his way as terrorists, Duterte's neo-Marcosian "orderism" at the behest of his allies meant consolidating interests such as landlords for their holdings, compradores for their coffers, of course they seriously disagree the idea of addressing the roots of peasant and labor unrest that hath to be resolved by means of genuine agrarian reform and national industrialisation, both of which may pave way to genuine development that benefits not just the disenfranchised sectors, but also their communities and nonetheless the country itself as it redeems from its dependency from multinational interests. 

For all these situations the right word for today is "thermidor" or even "reaction" instead of  "revolution". And to think that with many people end gone killed in this system-sponsored bloodbath, the system who preaches change actually treats it as an aesthetic and in regards to its acts has to be emphasising on collateral damages enough to sow fear first.

This Human Rights day, people from all walks of life should know the fact that the system today, no matter how it preaches words like change will always be the same: focusing on their interests at the expense of the people.

And from there no wonder why the people chose to resist, of seeking truth from facts, of asserting the desire for national and social liberation.


Saturday, 9 December 2017

“Almost Leaving without any trace”

“Almost Leaving without any trace”



As rapid urbanisation continuously takes its position in Philippine society, each and every space hath to be adjusted to the needs of a growing metropolis, particularly with the emergence of various structures enough to cater in an existing district.
However, in most urbanised enclaves, limited land area occurs, and in response, in-fill developments and in most cases, demolition of various existing structures are being made enough to pave way for “modern settings”.

Cannot deny it especially if the system who assumes to be dynamic tries to invoke a sense of urban continuity and modernity in that district, but on the other hand, it also result to the reduction of open spaces, potential loss of cultural heritage leading to urban disorders, that also contributes to degeneration of a national identity.

Ideally, the significance of ones structure, especially due to its timeless character and physical features done by those times, created a lasting identity; it also reflected the socio-economic state of the place as people served it as a place for events, economic matters, anything significant and contributative to a growing society.


But in this present time, and with people preferring to “move on” from the past, various structures, no matter how historically or culturally significant, are increasingly threatened as it deteriorates through time. It may sound appealing to some about preservation, conservation, and the like; but reality goes otherwise especially in an order wherein invoking the illusion that progress meant this and the other meant degradation or blight; Let's take Escolta and the entire districts of Sta Cruz-Binondo for an example: most of its ages-old buildings are known for its history like the Regina, Perez-Samanillo, Calvo, and Uy Chaco. However, these edifices, no matter how known it is, are still struggling to maintain with higher costs of maintenance, property taxes, and the changing nature of the district, making others chose to abandon altogether and hence be susceptible to demolition. In the case of El Hogar it was almost Demolished, or in the case of Philbanking near Anda rotunda it was threatened. But luckily there are concerned groups who insisted that there should be tax cuts if not exceptions for those heritage-filled properties, and to encourage others to revitalise districts almost lost to degeneration.

Yet in spite of all these efforts and exhortations by the concerned, still not all are interested in that idea of preserving and making it adapted, with alibis ranging from "overspending" to the subjective view that "no one cares about heritage", what more that "the old ones must go in favour of the new" in the case of some of the buildings of the University of the East Manila campus end burned (either by electrical wiring or insurance?). Most of the structures were made decades-old and been retrofitted as what the University administrators saidth, but with the burning occurred, the administrators hath no choice but to demolish it: be it because of the structure’s weakness, or, plain and simple plan to restructure that part of the campus into a “dynamic" one in par with its neighbours.
For a nostalgic, worrying is its first expression knowing that those structures meant memories of their youth, and for that expect that there are those who wanted to see the campus rebuild whether as it was  (and hence be improved to make it adaptable to the present) while those rather agreed to its administrator’s decision to restructure altogether with new buildings and appearance.
And admittingly speaking, in seeing that area bluntly demolished including the chapel really invokes one’s nostalgic expression-and even wished that why not have the once-radically built Chapel be retained at least? While leaving the rest for that kind of development that is, contradicting as the old, demolished ones were concrete and the planned others are to be in brick.


All in all, it's been usual to see everything almost without any trace of identity. Be it Makati, Quezon City, or Manila, development at its full blasts with demolitions left and right including those with splendid significance. But again, thankfully that there are concerned nostalgics who insist that there is some speck of relevance and hence hath to be saved; but then the vast mass of apathetically indifferent beings chose to let go as if history hath nothing to do with them. Developers would even say messages like "to demolish the old and create new", coupled with statements such as "life goes on" if not "not all things are worth keeping for."
And from those statements one would think that matter how it was designed or the person behind who made that place known, today's "development" under Capitalism has nothing to do with reviving, if not treating heritage as any other aesthetic then letting it go afterwards.

Anyway, why is it this person, like others concerned sees the issue on heritage as serious as most people chose to get over and move on? Is it because of nostalgia? Frankly speaking then YES, but it is more than just nostalgia alone- in this present time, every significant edifice are threatened increasingly. And as urbanisation intensifies, the process of heritage decay is increasingly inevitable due to the post-industrial, commercialised urban constructions thrived over while on the other lies time-dependent nature of most heritage sites.
Otherwise, if to follow those who are as if in a "middle way" between nostalgics and those who are not, then why not move all every structure, every remarkable edifice to Bataan and leave the entire district to their idealised "modernity" Developers desperately wanted? Perhaps the so-called "move on" generation insisted that way as if it "decongests" Metro Manila from its dilapidated pasts and favours a consumeristic future wherein every edifice, ever structure, every square, every way, is aligned by interests.


Friday, 1 December 2017

"Struggle! Whether like it or not!"

"Struggle! Whether like it or not!"

Notes on the recent clamour for Duterte's "Revolutionary Government"
And how there are people still take the road less traveled 
in spite of all the dangers all for the Revolution



The recent calls for "revolutionary government" in Manila's Mendiola street hath been the topic of the day in spite of it's once-promoter's statement withdrawing the intent.


With all the tarpaulins, chants, and speeches coming from its advocates, the call for a "revolutionary government" seems to be a demand to "restore total order",  of the rally organizers, Tony Gonzales, saidth that they all wanted to push for a revolutionary government through a people’s initiative because “Congress does not believe in this.”

However, in spite of being few in numbers, what made it mobilisable for these red-clad crowds was the free flow of porridge coming from a soup kitchen known for supporting the administration: for as they all fall in lines waiting for that hot gruel enough to fill their stomachs and at the same time listening to the speeches whose desire to restore "order" is in the guise of creating a "revolution", that made the concerned deemed ridiculous be it the intent or how they mobilise people: is it for the cause or for the food?
No matter how the president saidth that his call had been taken out of context, if not insisted through his mouthpieces that that "he does not want a revolutionary government", there were those who missed his predicate that he would declare a revolutionary government only if the country was in trouble, and the situation brought about by the system and its cohorts made it clear that the president wanted to restore order in which people may describe it as "revolutionary" in its "character". 


Meanwhile, on the other side of the fence, masses, especially those who end sidelined by the admninistration in favour of neoliberals and militarists hath marched from Liwasang Bonifacio down to Recto all in pursuit of entering Mendiola.

But instead of an open way leading to their supposed site, they all end blocked by the police along with a fire truck ready to fire, a scuffle almost occurred between the protesters and the policemen, only to be negotiated that the activity end settled in Recto corner Lepanto, with all the effigy burnings, speeches, all about commemorating Andres Bonifacio as well as expressing disgust over Duterte and his still-toyings with that "revolutionary idea", what more that Ferdinand Gaite, one of its speakers, hath urged the policemen to "go to the people" than getting contented in the pittances coming from an interest-seeking admninistrator who still sneering every rank and file with "bigger salaries" yet still depending on actually-existing pittances. The event at Mendiola still continues with its hot gruel, speeches, pray-overs (with a critic described as "would be mistaken for sieg heils"), and some dance numbers enough to entertain those red-clad apologists.

And from these scenarios,  both the president's supporters as well as the opposition marched across Metro Manila and in the provinces on Thursday, the 154th anniversary of the Filipino revolutionary hero Andres Bonifacio, carrying the desire whether to support the "orderism" Duterte desired, or, its opposition due to its fascistic tendencies.


Perhaps ever since Duterte taketh over the Presidency, he has adopted and implemented without letup an all-out war policy against those who chose to resist. Sneakingly in a sense that whilst accommodating the radicals in the pretense of unity, he continued military operations such as the last months of Aquino's "Oplan Bayanihan" followed by his own's "Oplan Kapayapaan." And contrary to its names, the intent is clear that the system, as in the past, chose to intensify its operations, as if there is no ceasefire, they never withdrew into their barracks.

For the apologist, they would say that these are in response to their enemy's continued offensive. They would even say that their enemy does not even respect their own ceasefire, if not justifying their action as a necessary move such as occupy communities and conduct procedures enough to consider as a human rights violation.

And if so, is this the 'revolutionary government" being babbled about? That "revolution", more of a "thermidor" so to speak, is sort of a neo-Arroyoite or even a neo-Marcosian outcome as each and every individual end being killed or abducted due to mistaken identity or because of its belief. It is neo-Arroyo in a sense that it had to accommodate neoliberals like his economic team of Dominguez and Perenia, and at the same time Neo-Marcosian for as it romanticises the "glorious past" such as a militarist one this time led by a trigger happy uniformed thugs.

Perhaps because of all the events surrounding the administration and its shift to the "reaction", what more that it is redescribed as a "revolution" by its apologists, lies its militant, or even a "revolutionary" response that most of which costs lives. As said earlier, there are numerous actions brought about by the system, and the ones killed by the system, be it armed or unarmed, regardless of who they are yet serious in their zeal, are political soldiers who truly devoted to a patriotic and social cause. They called for a fresh ethos within society and for emergence of a generation who willing to take part in the construction, innovation, and liberation of society.

The system, however, in spite of recognising them, chose to be indifferent and at the same time destroying them. They preach the “virtues of individualism” while at the same time babbling about collective unity; the wonders of capitalism is greatly enphasised while invoking terms like social Justice or any other statement enough to divert people from conquering the state.

And these are alongside the idea of destroying them with impunity, what more that they are shown names and be treated like pests as if “they earned their lesson”.


As a writer, like most of the concerned, would say that in those kinds of scenarios shows that from a continuous resistance lies immense sacrifice. Be it mind or in sinew, those who chose to resist contributed much that sometimes affected their lives, and yet they chose to be committed as they put their "love" in it no matter how mainstream media may still insist how worthless their fighting is especially if one of them is killed or captured such as a young faced yet grim and determined being. But in spite of those challenges, these political soldiers seriously devoted its own time and energy to spread the awareness of patriotism and social emancipation to each and every affected class not just by firing every weapon against the attack dogs of the system alone.
Sounds ideal and at the same time impossible especially if the youth takes the goal of struggle. But reality urges them to do so knowing that they, along with affected sectors, sees that in seeing truth from every fact, urges them to do the impossible tasks, including those of admitting the fact that a worthy death leads to a thousand ones willing to take over theirs.

Otherwise, if the present order prevails, no matter how they preach “change”, or even that “revolution” of theirs, it actually invokes “change” for the worse. And obviously, the more people ridicule or oppose the system, shows how it is growing daily more unacceptable, daily more unbearable. And since Chesterton was right that "The modern tyrant is evil because of his elusiveness. He is more nameless than his slave. He is not more of a bully than the tyrants of the past; but he is more of a coward.", then make each and everyone who is aware be prepared.

Confronted on every side by various forms of injustices, disenfranchisements, and exploitations, for sure one would ask: “what can you do?” You can’t just move on for that and ignore the reality, but instead: fight, fight, and fight again! True that modernity brings improvement with all the state of the art things particularly those of gadgetry, but to see still an exploited order particularly those who create these things deemed "modern", then perhaps let that modernity point against those who exploit than remain being spineless and contented. Like the ones who fought and died lies the fact that reality unfurled the banners of truth, freedom, service, sacrifice as more and more be willing to take part in a struggle no matter what the system and its apologists insist how “worthless” it is.


All in all, for all the martyrs and for the living but still fighting for the cause of national and social liberation, here's an inspirational quote:

FIAT PAX IN VIRTUTE TUA,
ET ABUNDANTIA IN TURIBUS TUIS.

MAY PEACE BE WITHIN YOUR RAMPARTS, 
AND GREAT PROSPERITY BE WITHIN YOUR TOWERS.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Orderism guised as Revolution?

Orderism guised as Revolution?

Notes on Duterte's "revolution" as a euphemism for Orderism
(and how people sees it as such)




It's been months passed and the news is all but the same.

Using every headline as its basis, that the Duterte regime, driven by the zeal to put an end to crime and restoring stability, hath became an object of ridicule and praise, of heckle and cheer to most people, especially after those who read headlines in social media sites.
However, with the desire to restore "order and stability", and perhaps create some semblance of changes, the Duterte regime played a different tune that sounds both orderly and rebellious,  basic political premise includes equating liberalism to instability, corruption, and self-interest, especially after the past administration's inability to resolve issues be it those of Yolanda to Mamasapano.

Perhaps, basing on the views of both the administration as well as those of its supporters, this view may simply be called "orderism" even it tries to appear itself "progressive" if not "revolutionary". Especially that according to Duterte himself, thinking that declaring Martial Rule has its limitations, stated that he would declare a revolutionary government especially if opposition to his policies went out of control and chaos ruled the streets.

"If things go out of control and [the] government is weakened—that is my predicate,” Mr. Duterte said. “If my country is weakened and I see revolutionaries bringing firearms on the streets, well, maybe you shouldn’t have second thoughts, I will declare a revolutionary government,”

“I don’t want martial law [because it has] many restrictions. I will take it to the hilt. So do not do something that will cause or even attempt to topple [the] government, I will not allow that,” he added.

Perhaps, that "revolution" Duterte and his apologists babbled about is becoming a euphemism for "orderism". And "orderism" is contended to be an authoritarian ideology based on the view that liberal democracy, including those of parliamentarism, have failed as it created inequality and chaos instead. It was first referred to the administrative views of Vladimir Putin and his Russia, this kind of "ideology" hath started to challenge western democracy in many parts of the world  with Turkey, Belarus, as well as the Philippines, follows if not leans towards that direction. 
"Orderism" tends to be authoritarian, and on some cases, totalitarian, hidden in the veneer of constitutional democracy. However, in the Philippines, "orderism" may also meant the neo-Marcosian tendency as what happened under Duterte with his desire to impose a "revolutionary government."

A rehash of old views
 wrapped in present-day phrases
True to its root word "order", "orderism" somehow makes one remember those of the past regimes struggling out to maintain stability amidst chaos, prioritises social steadiness at the expense of freedom, though it tries to prefer democracy as the mode of selecting a government. At some cases, it appeared to be "democratic" in spite of its obvious "authoritative" if not "totalitarian" nature. And in case of the Philippines, terms like "Constitutional Authoritarianism", "Revolution from the Center", and statements appeared to be "less dictatorial", as well as Marcos's pre-Batasan assembly known as "Batasang bayan" made Martial Law attained some "democratic" and even "liberal" features.

So is Duterte, whose idea for a "revolutionary government" is presented like a panacea to resolve problems particularly those of narcopolitics, corruption, poverty, and crime. It may appear to be as similar to Marcos, but unlike the former who tries to appear his authoritative rule as liberal, "Digong", as well as his supporters', appeared to be having disdain for liberal democracy and insist an order that is rooted in rural values. economic security, and the role of a "leader" acting as a father figure.
However, also from these supporters, in spite of its perchance for these, particularly for order and stability, unveiled its internal contradictions particularly those of federalism and the need for a strong leader. The former, mainly from the south, insisted regional developments to counter what they called as "imperial Manila"; while the latter, consists of those who positively remember the past administrations like Marcos, requires a centralised strongman rule that appears to be "above all politics", embodies "national unity", and an upholder of order. Duterte tends to cross in these two rivers as he himself both advocated federalism and strongman rule such as his.

Yet in terms of economics, economic policy under Duterte's "orderism" may still remain as it was: a neoliberal-inclined form benefiting the compradores. They do babble "economic security" the way Putin, Xi, and Trump did, even insisting about industrialisation to create jobs and utilise natural resources, but, these are empty rhetorics knowing that neoliberals insist that industrialisation is impossible in an era where international capital prevailed. Just let alone tourism, dependency on the diaspora’s remittances, infrastructure building, and foreign direct investments besides agriculture and some limited industry from a small to medium-scale. 

But all in all, Duterte's form of "orderism", no matter how it tries to appear as "revolutionary", is a hodgepodge of liberal economics, romanticised ruralism, and the idea of an order that is at the expense of human rights. To cite Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn:

"A democracy can be highly illiberal, while on the other hand an absolute ruler could be a thorough liberal—without being for this reason the least bit democratic. Even a dictator, theoretically, could be a liberal. [...] A purely military dictatorship based on the bayonets and sabres of a handful of professional soldiers has greater liberal potentialities."


Obviously, that word sounds itself new for most Filipinos, but history made them experienced that kind of view especially if that emphasises the need for "greatness" and "stability" even at the expense of the people. The neoliberal trend requires it as such knowing that people, in facing the threats brought about by neoliberal-globalist trend resorted themselves to action be it the yearly protests in Batasan during "State of the Nation Address", Human Rights Day in Mendiola, or Campouts against demolitions in urban poor communities and assertions for land reforms in contested estates like Hacienda Luisita. With these, the state hath no choice but to "put things in order" even by force and at the expense of innocents. For sure Duterte once admitted that some children ended up being “collateral damage” of his anti-drug campaign, others are being killed because of mistaken identities, as well as crackdowns on dissent.

With these, this brand of "orderism", no matter how it is hidden beneath the veneer of "revolution", made this person think that it may be increasingly reminiscent of  leaders from the past, rather than from the present. 
That other than his idol Marcos if not those of Hitler's, the "orderism" (or the "revolution") Duterte and his supporters wanted is somewhat like Austria's own Dollfuß, whose prewar authoritarian rule was based on a mix of conservative Catholic and Italian Fascist influences. The way the former Austrian dictator did appoint capitalists like Mises and has the backing of nobles, reactionary-minded clergymen, and militarists, Duterte himself did appoint neoliberals, and supported compradores in the pretense of "economic development" as well as militarists in the pretense of restoring order; otherwise, he may also followed the same idea as Mexico's Porfirio Diaz, whose administrative motto was "less politics and more administration", and from it had to be applied to its subjects either through "Pan y Palo"- by bread or by beating.
And operations like "Tokhang", "Double Barrel", threats of Martial Rule, the crackdown on opposition, all alongside building of numerous infrastructures enough to curry outside investment, is an example of than "Pan y Palo" kind of approach. Supporters may continue to justify that kind of idea and even insist others to support that kind of "revolution" in the spirit of "pakikisama" or togetherness, but reality made that term goes something like forcing people to conform on the policies particularly those of its controversial nature.

All in all, this "orderism", in a frankiest sense, appears that in the struggle against the growing mass of discontent, authoritarian rule might well be required; then blaming on the folly of those who oppose, be it the liberals who disapproved his populist tendencies, or the radicals who insisted radical changes altogether.
What more that its apologists, its supports, has the hand to make it appear as revolutionary the way their idol hath been presented as a personification of change.


sources:

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/946267/duterte-threatens-foes-with-revolutionary-government
Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn (1952). Liberty and Equality: The Challenge of Our Time, Caldwell, Idaho: Caxton Printers, pp. 87-88

Monday, 13 November 2017

Same old agendas, Subserviences guised as partnerships, (And the struggle for real co-prosperity for the region)

Same old agendas, 
Subserviences guised as partnerships,
(And the struggle for real co-prosperity for the region)

Notes on the 31st summit of the Association of South East Asian Nations, 
Of agreements full of promises retaining the status quo,
and how US, China, are using Southeast Asia for its rivalry


As the summit of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) continues in Manila, the baggage left by past agreements, including those of its earlier summit at Vietnam continues to be carried upon and still discussed throughout; and from it it is pretty much obvious that the agenda is as same as in the past, particularly the idea of intensifying neoliberalism and globalisation at the behest of countries especially China and the United States.

However, as they push through their idea to each and every southeast Asiatic, a growing collusion between two countries been overheard: each hath its proposal enough to please both the underdeveloped as well as the developing countries in every region, including those of the Philippines:

That in the United States, through its “protectionist” America First policy, the Trump regime seeks to further break down economic barriers in its vassals so as to favor US monopoly capitalists. Trying to assume itself as “protectionist”, it hath turned its back on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and similar multilateral agreements of its predecessors in favor of bilateral arrangements with individual countries. 
But in spite of promising jobs to Americans and revive industry, that “protectionist” agenda is not really securing the welfare of the Americans but rather to consolidate the order, as Trump aims to push around its economic weight (buttressed by its military presence) to force countries to break down trade and investment barriers to favor US monopoly capitalist companies.

Meanwhile, China, while assuming to be “socialist”, continues to pursue its neoliberal agenda as it pursues for “economic integration” of both ASEAN and APEC member-countries under its “Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership” (RCEP). Like its western counterpart, and probably reminiscent of the defunct “Council for Mutual Economic Assistance“ of the former Soviet Union, China aims to push for an all-out liberalization under its “one belt, one road” project to tighten the integration of these countries into its Factory Asia “global value chain” as well as to take advantage of cheapest available labor.

Both economic agendas offered by the United States and China appeared to be beneficial to the developing regions like Southeast Asia, however, it hath nothing to do with development other than retaining its control in this modern-day cold war, for amidst the protracted crisis of the global capitalist system, rivalry and intense contradictions between the leading capitalist powers occured. For the cold war fanatic this again would still be a war between capitalism and communism, but the rivalry between the United States and China hath nothing to do with ideology, the way its policies hath nothing to do with defending freedom and democracy for the Americans nor achieving conditions for the revolution from the Chinese (since the ruling party still assumes itself to be “communist”); but instead, both countries showed a blatant pushing for all-out liberalization as concerned.
Also to think that these entities are plutocratic by nature (thanks to capitalism), these economic superpowers are obviously united in its desire to break down trade and investment barriers, be it tariffs, quotas, and regulations all in order to allow unrestricted plunder of every resource especially in its vassals; and with that course stunts rather than speeds the supposed developments and affects every sector who supposed to benefit from it. For Neoliberalism, Globalisation, and Deregulation, reduced the desire for domestic-based development into a mere pipe dream.

Besides economic issues, saber rattlings hath been part of the summit as Donald Trump discussed the issues on the disputed isles in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea), as well as in North Korea. He even wanted to be the arbiter on the discussion concerning the dispute although it is obvious that there is a saber rattling being made even on that event. 

But in spite of seeing the United States remain as the biggest military power, China, on the other hand, continues to strengthen its armed capability and is fast developing its capability to project power overseas. The artificial isles in the disputed sea tends to bolster its defences using both naval and air defence forces.

And as for the Philippines, that instead of taking the summit as an opportunity for pushing for the demilitarization of the South China Sea and reducing the possibility of the country taking part in a possible conflict, the Duterte regime is further stoking the tensions by turning a blind eye on China’s occupation of Philippine claims in exchange for promises of Chinese loans and capital infusion in various projects (including the Northrail project), on the one hand; while on the other, allowing the US military to continue using Philippine territorial seas for its power projection operations, Philippine ports for docking, refuelling and provisioning of US warships, and cooperation with the local defence with its joint military excerises, all these through its existing agreements particularly the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). 

All in all, the situation shows that the regime did not act seriously in pursuing an independent foreign policy or rather the desire of a country free from the dictates of its neighbours in all spheres; to think that Trump’s visit to the Philippines in line with the ASEAN Summit will further cement the master-puppet relationship with the Duterte regime like its predecessors. Xi et al. did too benefited, but again, the subservience of the regime to the superpowers, the reaffirmation of unequal agreements, removing economic barriers till laissez faire, and anything that is agreed upon made its earlier promises proven to be an empty brag.

Meanwhile, in Manila’s streets, protests prevailed and even increasing. With the burning of the effigy as its centrepiece and its calls to “dump Trump” and the agreements reminiscent of the unequal treaties, the wave of anger pointing against these neoliberals been intensified no matter how the policemen trying to control be it through the truncheon or through its newly-brought sound cannon; there were numerous casualties though, and critics assailed the action as subversion if not mere empty noise as they accepted the “benefits” of that summit with wide arms. 

But in spite of these bullshits, the message is clear that neoliberalism, globalisation, and the militarism been babbled throughout that summit in Manila has to be opposed so is its ringleaders be it Trump, Xi, and others who scramble for the developing countries especially Southeast Asia and specifically the Philippines. 

Or rather say this: that neither those from Beijing, Washington, Moscow, or Tokyo, should ever dictate assuming that they will save Southeast Asia and the entire developing countries; and to assert a just socioeconomic alternative that truly and mutually benefits each and every community.

For a real co-prosperity in southeast Asia and in the third world!

Saturday, 11 November 2017

“More than just remembering an old jingle.”

“More than just remembering an old jingle.”

(Or notes regarding the need for industrialisation
as one of keys for national development)




It’s been decades past to remember that jingle once played in both television and in the radio. So happened that the uncle of this person worked in that company; that sadly end defunct.

“The nation is growing
with P.B.M. steel!
Constructing, expanding...
with P.B.M. steel!
Buildings rise, future grows...
with good quality
Builders trust this name... P.B.M.”

Sounds nostalgic but the jingle was more than just promoting but also invoking an appeal to progress from an era almost forgotten. For during those times Nationalist sentiment meant the need for domestic-based developement, and one of which was (and even is) the need for Nationalist industrialisation.

Critics may insist that industrialisation means benefiting oligarchs, since these oligarchs, both compradore and landlord, are able to control economic affairs, they even able to dickride the idea of “development” including those of industrialisation: that the Ayalas, Sorianos, Razons, or Lucio Tan and Gokongwei did so with entities like San Miguel, Atlas Fertilizer, or Phelps Dodge.
Or frankly speaking, they are rather insisting that development should focus on commerce, trade, and extraction of materials as any other underdeveloped country; while developments should be based on infrastructure building, investments on “relevant sectors”, and limiting industrialisation to consumer goods and assembly line.

But in spite of that criticism, the demand for domestic-based development remains at-large. Knowing that the Philippines did enjoy 21st century technology as any other country, it is not enough also knowing that basic problems remain especially the need to utilise its own natural resources and labour power. Oligarchs and moneylenders, in connivance with an incompetent government continue to upheld an unjust status quo that somehow profited from it. And if they babble about industrialisation, it is the same entity that killed that aspiration. And entities like PBM, Radiowealth, National Steel, were greatly affected through it: be it because of corruption, or connivance with neoliberalists to stop pursuing the nationalist economic agenda.

And also because of that, Industrialistion will always be a major topic. Given that the country has sufficient resources, an interest-seeking order continues to impose policies that rather stunt national development, and industries continued to be small to medium scale, even the steel industry remained a maker of bars and construction needs than going heavier like those of its neighbours.

Also as far as the concerned remembers the jingle, there were few entities that specialised in the manufacturing of steel, and seriously adheres to the nationalist economic agenda; but politics and economic policies that favoured imported steel (and in extension capital goods) stunted their developments and some even abandoned altogether. Only few would try its best to remain but only to found that they are contented in making needs for construction rather than following its neighbours in supporting the needs of their country’s heavy industry.

With these facts somehow made one think and admit that the country depends in imported steel the way motor companies in the Philippines hath to depend on imported parts; and jokingly speaking would say that the Philippines does no even manufacture nails for construction or carpentry needs.
But in spite all these there lies hope. But that hope requires much assertion to pressure the ruling order to meet the demands of the people, particularly the need for industrialising the country. The need for technology transfers, the cultivation encouragement of students to engage in the sciences, the revisit of nationalist economic policies, and the just and fair utilisation of natural resources, may somehow benefited the country that seriously needed development despite this age of modernity and innovation.

Sounds postwar but that postwar appeal turns out to be still relevant rather than passe. It so happened that the system chose to skip the need for a heavy industry if not limiting industry to those of services and small to medium scale manufactures as well as trade and commerce; ironically, even the ones in the government admitted that fact knowing that the country seriously needed to industrialise further in order to to steer development in its fullest sense and to keep in par with its developed neighbours, or probably thinking why Japan, Peoples China, and the two Koreas did that kind of path, therefore why not in this still-developing Philippines? Well, it boils down to being dictated to the whims of the moneylenders that development as meant to be limited to some public works, small and medium scale enterprises, the rest goes to the multinationals who profited from every domestic material they exploit. Sounds Lichaucoite or Henaresist isn’t it?


Perhaps, as time goes by, people would think that the façades of glass and steel isn’t enough for developement, what more that there are those also just got carried by the jingle of PBM Steel, and  still wanting to realise the goal of building what more of steering a still developing country into its chartered course.


“As the Lords and its Vassals converged again...in Manila”

“As the Lords and its Vassals converged again...in Manila”

(Notes on the Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Manila,
and the people who chose to be critical towards its policies)


All after the conference in Vietnam, and still eager to consolidate interests in the Southeast Asian region and to reaffirm the domination of dominating countries, neoliberals guised as “populists” ruling in their respective countries are convening, along with its overlords in the host country: the Philippines.

Led by its host leader president Duterte and saidth to be attended by its lords like Donald Trump, the Association of South-East Asian Nations continues its drumbeat of both illusion and discontent as each and every southeast Asiatic knows that their respective homelands are stubbornly controlled by each oppressive orders, whose primary oath is to retain the status quo, with minimal changes that rather benefits them than its needy subjects.

Sounds incorrect to most people who optimistically thinking that change will truly sweep and benefits each and every southeast Asiatic, but with the fact that unfair trade, unjust labour conditions, and oppressive policies been prevailing thanks to those unequal agreements, it forced the masses of people into nothingness and maldevelopment, while cultivating in them the taste for foreign goods and forcing themselves to diminish their desire for a genuine development in their communities.

And to think that with unjust policies prevailed with all its effects aggravating, then of whoat is the reality the summit is trying to show? Is it to reaffirm the desire for a caring and sharing community? Or the commitment to be the vassal of interests? Prior to that coming meeting was a series of bloodied exploits: be it in Marawi to those of Rohingya, of American-engineered attempts to subvert those who trying remove their shackles of vassalage, and the usual rising costs of goods and services, Southeast Asia, as in any other region around the world, is itself a battlefield between the labouring people and the privileged haves whose ages-old dominance diminishes democracy, freedom, and justice.

And like the past summits that hath met with protests outside their convention halls, each and every Southeast Asiatic knows that the real intent of the summit and its agreements was to consolidate interest, if not trying to reaffirm vassalage towards the “plutocratic countries” like the United States, China, and the European Union; actually, that issue on reaffirming vassalage is no more a question since the domestic compradores and oligarchs continuously “grows” its ties to these “plutocratic countries”. Of course, they have to bow down towards them while at the same time preaching to every southeast Asiatic that the agreement isn’t unjust or unequal.

But all in all, that phenomenon really concerns each policy especially internal ones affecting the economy, culture, and social affairs. If they seriously desire to address issues on human rights, an end to terrorism, the need for development, and to resolve tensions with neighbouring countries, whilst the reality that the nature of their societies be like semifedual, semicolonial in character, then of what are these topics really for? In the case of the Philippines, the war on drugs continues to aggravate with oplan “Tokhang” continues its bloodied course (and justified badly by its apologists), while Marawi remains desolated and its its inhabitants dislocated whilst the attack dogs of the state carrying off its loot, the costs of goods and services continue to rise, and others that made all these nonsense truly diminishes the regime’s sworn oath to pursue progressive changes when in fact progressively shifted its interests from the people to those of the ruling class. Xi Jingping’s regional economic policies does not translate to revolution in spite of its “socialistic nature”, Putin’s aid does not even translate to support for the developing, what more of Trump’s stances does not equate to reviving the greatness of each and every American, what more of its vassals.

As an observer and one of the concerned, the struggle for national and social liberation will always be one of the major topics no matter what others trying to malign, ridicule, or assail. As hundreds, if not thousands of masses protest against that neoliberal-globalist entity, one would think that ever since these multinational summits tried to create a caring and sharing community, while at the same time reaffirming unjust policies, do they really care for each and every community?

Anyway, there will be more demonstrations as long as the problems aggravate. Let the system and its apologists whine as the concerned increasingly questions the policies the order greatly benefits and put interests unto it.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

"And now as the battle's been set"

"And now as the battle's been set"

Partially based from the song
И вновь продолжается бой
 (And the battle continues)
by N. Dobronravov and A. Pakhmutova 


Bright red flags in morning skies
Struggle rises no turning back
Over lands the rage is coming
Furious waves, massing attacks

And now as the battle's been set
And fears paving way to strength
With Lenin, now young once again
For October we'll fight til the end!

Over lands the message blared
Elders, folks, all bid thee heard
As vict'ry is tot'lly coming
Fighting masses bravely rising

Don't wait for heavens to aid
Be selfless for truth to heed
For in this life all encount'ring
Truth's companion worth struggling!

And now as the battle's been set
And fears paving way to strength
With Lenin, Fighting once again
For October we'll fight til the end!

Over heat and over cold,
Rich and poor what makes this world
But the masses, youth is with us
Forgers, builders, all anew!

And now as the battle's been set
And fears paving way to strength
With Lenin, now with us again
For October we'll fight til the end!

И вновь продолжается бой,
И сердцу тревожно в груди.
И Ленин - такой молодой,
И юный Октябрь впереди!

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Rekindling the legacy that was, October 25 (November 7 in the new-style)

Rekindling the legacy that was, October 25 
(November 7 in the new-style)

A writeup on the significance of the Great October Revolution



In spite of all the hardships, October 1917 in the old Russian calendar was a great historical event not just in the history of Russia but also in the entire world. For that event lies the awakening of the masses, being the toilers from both town and countryside and its will to seize control from the order being detested about. 

From there lies their will to cultivate, forge, create, nurture, build a society from the ruins of its pasts, and to defend against those whose intent was to destroy not just their cherished victories but also to malign the ideals that brought them into that spectacular feats.

To some may call it idealistic to see them assert their desire for "peace, land, and bread" besides "freedom and social justice"; if not ridiculing them for overturning an established order. Those times were driven by the realities of hunger, injustice, repression, war, and various issues these proletarians made themselves taking the path of revolution. 

To cite Jose Maria Sison:

"The epochal struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie was first defined by Marx and Engels in the Communist Manifesto of 1848 in the era of free competition capitalism. The objective conditions of 19th century Europe gave rise to a series of historic events: the workers’ uprisings in 1848, Marxś thoroughgoing critique of capitalism, the International Workingmen´s Association, the Paris Commune of 1871 as prototype of the proletarian dictatorship, the Second International and the rise of Marxism as the main trend in the European working class movement in the last decade of the 19th century."

But come to think of this, how come Russians increasingly rallied on the side of Marxism and be described the struggle against the old order as a struggle against capitalism? For sure one would think that Russia prior to the revolution was entirely an agricultural country with some industrial enclaves in its major cities like Moscow and in St. Petersburg. But the increasing discontent, of peace rallies-turned-bread riots has made each and every Russian to rally on the side of the red flag as well as to arm themselves; and Marx's Capital was like any other political book read by the bourgeoisie, more than of the proletariat. 

But with men like Plekhanov, Lenin, and other Marxists, they hath extended and developed the theory and practise of Marxism. But Lenin, with the Bolsheviks, affirmed that Marxism as imbued with revolutionary rather than reformist nature especially in an era of modern imperialism and of proletarian revolution. The debates against classical revisionists attests to that experiences.

Most important of all, as what George Dimitrov saidth, on that November 7, 1917 (October 25 old-style) the Russian workers and peasants, led by Lenin and the Bolsheviks, overthrew the incompetent Kerensky-led administration established after the February Revolution and transferred all power over vast and multi-million Russia to the Soviets of Workers and Peasants. The world hath stunned in that struggle, for this was the first victory against the old order supported by capital.


But that struggle also met with opposition. As workers and peasants trying to cope with the extremely complex nature of economic and administrative issues, the old order-ranging from the extreme conservatives to those assuming to be "progressive", tried much to undermine. British, American, Japanese, and other imperialists, in trying to stem out revolutionary fervour from its path, resorted to military intervention against the free and self-governing Russian people by financing the counter-revolutionary armies of Kolchak, Yudenich and Denikin and organizing an economic blockade of Soviet Russia. 
The imperialists were at first exultant, as they're expecting the early destruction of this nest of the world proletarian revolution which was so dangerous for them. But still, in spite of all their "victories", lies a big disappointment in store for them by their enemy. Like the old poster above depicting the efforts of capitalism and reaction failing to uproot the red Soviet turnip (that turned out to be a Budenovka of a Soviet soldier), the forthcoming erasing of Bolshevik Russia from the face of the earth turned out to be a failure- but instead that so-called first durable socialist state on one-sixth of the surface of the earth succeeds both in the battle and at the home front. It took years of sacrifice and effort to consolidate as enemies tried to destroy in pursuit of "restoring the old order", as it nationalized both land and strategic industries, with transitory measures like “war communism” followed by the New Economic Policy (NEP).


For Lenin, that arduous task of building a country required discipline and order. And it requires leadership by example: as a subbotnik he had to set an example of voluntary work, that even without pay "the communists and their supporters again must spur themselves on and extract from their time off still another hour of work, i.e. they must increase their working day by an hour, add it up and on Saturday devote six hours at a stretch to physical labour, thereby producing immediately a real value. Considering that communists should not spare their health and lives for the victory of the revolution," be it in a form of clearing rubble, laying brick, removing trash, fixing and improving public amenities, anything productive so as to support both the growing country and its struggle.
So was in dealing with non-socialist countries wherein he and the Sovnarkom had to insist that the agreements hath to be just and abide by the law, that during the NEP wherein some enterprises (commercial, industrial, mining, etc.) were either full and partial foreign capital, yet still these entities controlled by the Main Concession Committee of the Soviet government, and be subjected to its policies and regulations until the end of NEP and the institution of the 5-year plan under Stalin.    

There were numerous feats to serve as an inspiration during and after that revolution. From rebuilding comes reconstruction of new structures, numerous developments in agriculture and in industry, of promoting arts and sciences for the people all in pursuit of combating the vestiges of the past that caused backwardness, ignorance, barbarism, poverty, hunger, and disease. It even required electrification as a necessary step towards development especially in the remote areas wherein improvements as minimal, thinking that with electrification meant the organization of industry on the basis of modern, advanced technology, in which will provide a link between town and country, and will put an end to the division between town and country, making it possible to raise the level of culture in the countryside as it removes the vestiges of the past.

And these meant tremble for its rivals who still thinking that the "good old days" ever return in the former Russian empire. From its seizure of power, consolidation, and numerous developments under socialism by the Bolsheviks and of the labouring masses, all these showed that instead of seeing a still-backward country depending on serfdom was a full-blown construction zone wherein numerous projects served as monuments to an enduring legacy and fortresses pointing against its enemies. Numerous subbotniks, Stakhnovites, and other virtuous examples, all imbued with the idea of pushing forward Socialism (and eventually Communism), sacrificed time, effort, even life to turn blueprints into life or increase productions and exceed from quotas. And in these became an inspiration to the struggling countries under the bondage of Capitalism, Feudalism, and the like.

Admittingly speaking, all in spite of the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the revisionism of then-Maoist China, and the ever prevailing capitalism still struggling for its survival with all its unjust and repressive policies, numerous crises hath made each and every community wanting or devoting wholeheartedly in the idea of social emancipation. True that US Imperialism appeared to be the sole superpower and its apologists thinking as if with its capitalism, globalisation, neo-liberal/conservatism with its full-spectrum dominance in each and every policy meant the "end of history" as Francis Fukuyama stated; but, with numerous crises happened under today's capitalism causing the upsurge of revolutionary fervour, the strategic decline of the United States hath accelerated (so is the rise of rivals like Russia and China), and hence affected its vassals and allies alike with its people wanting to break away from an unjust policy US Imperialism shoved in every throat.

That again will take everyone back to the revolutionary legacy of October 25 as an inspiration. In this 100th year, the anniversary of the Great October revolution coincides with the process of the rapid revolutionary upheaval and rallying of the labouring masses in all countries, and again foreshadows the final struggle against the repressive order throughout the world. Sounds idealistic it may be, as it tells each and every revolutionary to develop the subjective forces for winning the revolutionary struggle against imperialism, capitalism, and for socialism leading to its realisation as what happened that hundred year ago.


Wednesday, 1 November 2017

PANTEÓN: Shots from the old Catholic cemetery in San Jose, Navotas

PANTEÓN: Shots from the old Catholic cemetery in San Jose, Navotas





Shot during the solemn days of “All Hallows” and “All Saints”, everything seemed to be prepared as people started to gather for that occasion synonymous with death and of the grave.

And according to yours truly, some of them were cleaning their loved one’s tombs, others were lighting their candles and offering flowers, or perhaps having a chitchat as any other day if not enjoying the breeze from Manila Bay.


However, not all graves from that “Panteón” hath been visited by their loved ones. Other corpses, whether already in bones or in ashes, were end buried in mass graves for no one takes time to visit and remember; unless there are concerned relatives who chose to unearth the tombs and hath the bones of their cherished be placed in their urns, and be placed in their altars with candles and flowers prepared on that solemn day.





Besides seeing the entire area, this person sought how that solemn event was at the same time a fiesta people enjoyed with. Is it because of each and every loved one having a reunion with the dead? Or just plain simple chitchat with friends who happened to be tending the graves?


Anyway, this person finds that solemn day a time for taking pictures, besides offering prayers, meeting friends, enjoying snacks, and seeing anything the Panteon hath offered.