Tuesday, 28 February 2017

"The strike must go on even the heavens may fall!"

"The strike must go on even the heavens may fall!"

(Notes on the recent Transport strike 
and the jeepney driver's, operator's, assember's, and commuter's call 
for a just transport program)

At first, this person is ought to say that with neoliberal policies affecting the transport sector, it is obvious that a transport strike will commence, affecting not just drivers, operators, jeepney assemblers, but also the commuters and the government itself.

As shown by recent events like the proposed "modernisation" plan that involves a mass-scale jeepney phaseout, drivers whom affected by the said plan rather insist to scrap the attempt as well as the urgent need for supporting jeepney assemblers with its desire for modernising the said vehicle.

Currently, the system created a two schemes wherein jeepney operators need to replace jeepneys 15 years and older and buy electric jeepneys which cost millions of pesos; that obviously, only big companies can afford vehicle replacement while small operators will be edged out with drivers being forced to buy "electronic jeepneys" and Euro 4 engines, which  both would cost millions of pesos, way more than the average income of a jeepney driver.

Meanwhile, another plan, via House Bill 4334 (Traffic Crisis Act of 2016 Maki-isa, Makisama, Magka-isa) and Senate Bill 1284 (Traffic and Congestion Crisis Act of 2016), calls for existing routes and public transportation franchises would be assessed by the Transportation Department, in pursuit of "achieving a sustainable, orderly, predictable and safe transport systems for the country", according to transportation committee chairman Rep. Cesar V. Sarmiento (Lone District, Catanduanes).

However, both bills are opposed by Transport organisation PISTON, citing the fact that these bills would impact on commuters and the livelihood of jeepney operators. With PISTON's George San Mateo San Mateo cited the HB 4334's provisions on the rationalization of public utility vehicle (PUV) routes within the first six months of the bill’s effectivity, the power of the Transportation secretary to revoke franchises and the anticipated displacement of PUV drivers and operators.
Also to think that under this new scheme, jeepney franchises are projected to be regulated and reduced while Franchises requires a minimum of 20 units, amounting to P7 million of capital, effectively displacing single franchise owners. The scheme hath also Setting requirements for jeepney operators to have a minimum of seven(7) jeepneys worth Php. 1.8 million each and a capitalization of Php. 7 million for a franchise, that somehow isn't "helping small operators, drivers and transport coops", but rather unveiled a corporatization scheme that as broad as daylight.

All in all, attempts made the system has worstly affected not only drivers and operators, but also the people who are dependent on jeepneys for public transport. And also because of it, even Jeepney assemblers who are in need of help are also affected, knowing that the government failed to provide them serious assistance. And although true that modernisation in mass transport is inevitable, what kind of transport modernisation that is without consulting the drivers and operators associations? Commuters as well as small time jeepney assemblers? These concerned individuals and groups understands the need for improvement in mass transport, but what the concerned also sees is that only oligarchs benefited from that neoliberal kind of modernisation that has nothing to do with resolving the transport issue; and to think that Modernisation without industrialisation, or rather say incentives for small-time jeepney assemblers and support for needy jeepneg drivers and operators mocks the idea of improving, what more of modernising mass transport such as the jeepney.

In an article from Bulatlat last 2015 (and still relevant), jeepney assemblers, like drivers and operators, seriously expressed concerns as neoliberalism shatters desires of improving the local jeepney sector and its people behind the vehicle:

"A maker of custom-built jeepneys told Bulatlat.com that they have tried talking to vehicle makers to make new machines suited for the jeepney, but, he said, nothing has come out of such talks. He said government support in prompting that would have helped.

Unfortunately, the DOTC order as it stands now mandates the purchase instead of another jeepney altogether. As such, it seems to automatically rule out efforts of current jeepney assemblers and mechanics to be in on the design, building, testing and manufacturing or assembling of the jeepney, as had been the experience behind all jeepneys plying Philippine roads."

It was also from Bulatlat wherein concerned jeepney operators, like the drivers themselves, insist how hard operating jeeps, what more of assembling and maintaining it, only to make their efforts shattered by the system who supposed to support them.

That Florencia “Leng” Francisco, 42, jeepney operator and transport leader from Eastern Rizal, said, “Our jeeps are being maintained as well as we can. We do what we can to make it run well, for our riders.” While Don Savaleon, 62, operator and owner of "Skipper motors", stated that in order to “modernize” the jeepney, government support is crucial. Knowing that instead of killing off small jeepney manufacturers and operators, the government could help them in acquiring new machines at friendly prices and contracts.

That issue continues as these drivers, operators, assemblers, as well as their families continue to express concern, or even disgust as neoliberalism tries to shatter desires of a self-reliant economy also desired by concerned citizens alike, making a strike necessary alongside pro-people legislations pressuring the government to scrap neoliberal policies and adapt patriotic ones that can resolve issues including those on transport.
And in it perhaps, makes one remember that from these people striking in Metro Manila and in the provinces aren't even born and raised to become truck, taxi, and jeepney drivers, for some of them were once mechanics like those came home from the middle east, or almost professionals as they gave up College, even retirees seeing their pensions as not enough. And instead of neoliberal policies like privatisation, deregulation, and selling to multi/transnational entities, domestic-based Industrialisation will provide them jobs and developing improvents over existing and new means of mass transport, while increasing pensions will enjoy their retirements as retired individuals.

But the problem is, that in a neoliberal setting dominated by multi/transnational interests and supported by domestic oligarchs, do you think this will realise such populistic goals surrounding mass transport after phasing out old vehicles and selling them really expensive ones? Obviously, those who called for a phase out intentionally failed to heed the clamour of the striking drivers as well as its concerned organisations thinking that it is mass transport has to be blamed for all the traffic as well as indiscipline in roads. They failed to understand if not intentionally aloof in their ceaseless clamouring in the streets urging fellow drivers and commuters to support if not to join the strike.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

"Warring over a tarnished legacy"

"Warring over a tarnished legacy"

(All after seeing two rallies during the 31st anniversary 
of the "People Power Uprising", 
While another rally clamours for genuine social change)

Source: GMA Network

It is quite concerning that in spite of appeals and actions trying to "heal the wounds" brought about by the 1986 revolt turns out to be a still unhealed one.

With issues such as Graft and Corruption, patronage politics, landlordism, to those of deteriorating moral values, and subservience to a foreign power, one would say that in a still backward society trying to be as "improved" like its neighbours is still trying to escape from its centuries-old nightmare, that even "people power" failed to exorcise as such thanks to those who distort its aspiration into theirs.

And this time, after seeing the news, what everybody sought are rather two groups claiming to be "carrying the spirit of EDSA" with its rallies situated in the People Power Monument and at Luneta. 

That somehow made everyone annoyed on these both warring camps happened to be clamouring for that same, goddamed appeals: Unity, Freedom; as well as pointing against tyrants and despots alike. However, despite the annoyance, the scenario shows how the oligarchs, trying to keep firm in their interests, has to support both warring sides be it "mellow yellow" as the liberals or "rosy red" as Duterte's fanatics insisting their relevance in a still fragile democratic country named Philippines.

And in speaking of the word "wound" earlier, that February 25 event has been a scar that remains significant as any other event in a folk-community's collective memory. but 31 years later, as in its pre-"revolution" years under Marcos and his predecessors, the shadow of system's repression such as torture, human rights violations, enforced disappearances, political murders, graft and corruption, regionalism, patronage politics and so on continue to plague all in spite of appeals to unity, sobriety, vigilance, or even change. 
But in an actual setting such as what happened yesterday both in Luneta and in People Power Monument, all in spite of their appeals for unity, truth, justice, or any bullshit, it is pretty much obvious that they are contesting who's really having the spirit of EDSA: is it PDP LABAN or LIBERAL? In fact, Both of these warring camps have known personages involved, having shared "principles" if there is, and perhaps even a same "aspiration" and even having the same hand sign during that 1986 scenario.

The problem, however, is that these two camps are currently having a feud about their legitimacy as forefront of that so-called "revolution" during that commemoration, intensified by recent issues pointing against each other and even marred by politico-criminal scandals such as De Lima vs. Duterte, of "Davao Death Squad", "Operation Tokhang", cases surrounding both current and past administrations, sometimes with the special participation of Juan Ponce Enrile who was also part of that "revolution".

But again, the ruling classes supported both sides all in pursuit of keeping their interests. That, alongside other ages-old bullshits, has tarnished further a so-called "revolutionary legacy" that was (or even is), offered by the Filipinos to the world.

source: Rappler
Meanwhile, the ones being shunned off for being truly, madly, deeply radicals desiring for national and social liberation insist a simple call: A JUST AND LASTING PEACE. Their desires are quite legit to be called as a legacy of that 1986 or even 1896 fervor, but the system sees it as hindrance in a way these protesters did marched towards Camp Aguinaldo as well as Edsa Shrine. Their desire is quite simple yet radical as what those who protested many years ago, compared to those who merely calling for a "regime change" and its related bullshit.

For these protesters, facing policemen at EDSA Shrine, Camp Aguinaldo, and even at the US Embassy during that "commemoration", they were simply but justly called for arable land, jobs with real living wages, civil rights, freeing political prisoners, an end to impunity, and restoring national dignity.

Obviously, their calls are as same as those from 1986 as well as earlier ones, for knowing that in spite of the system's promise of economic emancipation, political liberation, and social solidarity in an age of free data and iPhones, it is still obvious that the system keeps the nation in its still backward status with all its semifeudal-semicolonial kind of bullshit.

And that kind of bullshit has both tarnished a supposed "revolutionary legacy" as well as aggravated a wound people wanted to heal time and again. The system who afforded to babble words like "change", "democracy", "freedom" during that February 25 commemoration has made that "revolution" a failure.

And it is up to the people, like those who really struggled out, to take back and finish what it was supposed to many decades ago. 

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Still desiring for social freedom (In a still age of social repression)

Still desiring for social freedom 
(In a still age of social repression)

Notes on the 31st anniversary of the "People Power" revolt
The system's failure to pursue "Economic Emancipaton",
 "Political Liberation", and "Social Concord",
And the people's assertion for genuine social reform

It's been 31 years since Filipinos been liberated from the dictatorship. And like those past years, in keeping with both tradition and duty, people take time to remember a so-called "revolutionary legacy", of rekindling a "revolutionary spirit" brought about by unity, and perhaps as trustees of the country, everyone has to set new agendas for a still developing nation.

Basing on various statements, of desires for unity, change, and continuity of a revolutionary heritage, people should perhaps take note that this tradition surrounding that commemoration is as same as the actual event itself, in the light of so much talk abroad about the fragility of the country's democratic institutions.

Knowing that the country is as still under the clutches of both domestic and foreign repression, the desire for both national and social liberation will always be its call; and time and again, the ruling order still tends to say that the bedrock of both political liberation and social solidarity is necessarily the achievement of economic emancipation as shown by recent "developments".

(Still) the desire to unite and emancipate
in a still stunted, repressed society

Driven by the idea of creating a new order, economic emancipation, particularly the abolition of poverty means focusing on the common interests, objectives, and needs of the people, and having it take precedence over those of others.
And ideally, in seriously focusing on the commoner's interests, needs, and objectives, it raises living conditions and empowers communities, fosters solidarity and creates an atmosphere of freedom.

However, in a reality wherein a centuries-old repression prevails and aggravates its clear and present standing, economic emancipation, what more of political liberation and social solidarity is but an illusion parroted by those whose idea is to retain the old order. 
For as proven by the system's failure to curb unemployment, rising costs of goods and services, reluctance to a serious implementation of agrarian reform, obeisance to unjust multinational/transnational economic agreements, and treating social services as those of political patronages, hopeful words like "economic emancipation" is rather an illusion what more of being a word meant to sneer people through hearts and minds; with progress serves as a cover up for a semifeudal-semicolonial degeneration.

Sounds hardcore if not ages-old isn't it? For living in a still semifeudal-semicolonial order does not mean progress and stability, not even justice. Those who swore to uphold the status quo on the pretense of defending the constitution knows that in preserving peace and order means to have compromise with the ruling class and its interests, particularly those of foreign overlords and its multi/trans-national entities, while at the same time "trying to do with all their best to create a semlance of justice by creating 'reforms' in pursuit of averting possible discontent";
But in spite of such "efforts" and still seeing same old inconveniences, one would think and say that having an order that fails to create an atmosphere of justice despite its façade hath rather aggravates tensions than creates solidarity amongst classes, and that same atmosphere of repression against civil liberties and economic unfairness due to continuous crisis rather fails to emancipate millions of people from its current political and economic state, as well as aggravates tensions even further than "create concord amongst social classes".

And it's been 31 years and still seeing the same matter showing how the system has failed to realise the aspirations of the people; if not obviously describing the "revolution" as a counterreaction within the reaction, a thermidor after what the late dictator described his rule as a "revolution", and people who still desired to realise such profound aspirations, be it land for the landless, decent living wage for the laborers, a decent social policy that benefits the masses, industrialisation, and a nation meant to be freed socio-economically from both domestic and foreign repression, still insist that that the revolution as "not yet finished" even in this modern-day setting of wireless gadgets such as iPhones.

Reform? Restructuring? Or retention?
(And how the concerned 'within the system'
insist social justice as part of reform,
Or the system's attempt to subvert reform)

Also to think that various "reforms" and some semblance of restructuring made by the system are rather driven by the idea of ameliorating the most unpopular features of both feudalism and compradore capitalism; and most people, in spite of those "achievements" the system done, rather end skeptical if not dissatisfied and pressed further for greater change.
However, there are few concerned government officials, appointed or elected, tried their best to make programs as possible accessible and sufficient, efficient to many. The problem, however, is that as in the past, the system rides on the idea for reform, restucturing, welfare, clean and honest governance, or any other popular sentiment- but "on their terms" and not on the terms of the masses. On the first place, they invested in it as any other image building activity!
Quite strange at first knowing that those who seriously adhere to social emancipation does include "working within the system" and at the same time seeing the system itself trying to subvert the idea to make it appear theirs; perhaps let the "efforts" brought about by the present order consider a benevolent act or even a social responsibility thinking that such actions are driven by the thought of social amelioriation being those who swore to uphold public trust; but knowing that the present order seriously caters on the few and not on the many, then that act is becoming less if not nothing to do with benevolence and more of self-interest, knowing that the system whom also "provides welfare", be it in a form of "reform" or "restructuring", financial support or series of infrastructures done "for national well-being", is driven mainly by the thought of avoiding popular discontent and to stop every revolution; what more that it is treated as a mere personal sentiment than a duty of the state as the commoner who works hard and pays its dues.

Concerned officials shared this kind of concern in spite of working within the order. Besides that goddamn corruption, red tape, and favouritism, concerned government officials wanted to bring back idealism besides faith in public service, in spite of the system's failure to adhere in reform, or rather say failure to ensure the welfare of its constituents as well as uphold national dignity in an era of globalist hypocrisy.
For an example, those who stood on the side of nationalist economics tried to inject nationalist, and pro-people measures to certain policies if not debating two and fro against neoliberals and transnationals within government agencies like the National Economic Development Authority; or a Bank Manager argued against his bosses in a government bank knowing that the bank's charter has to do with funding government programs than to pursue commercial goals in pursuit of competition if not obeisance to transnational-globalist economic policies and agreements.

And this person would say that these concerned officials are driven by the idea of economic emancipation, in spite of being "within the order" yet the difference lies in its willingness to "destroy" that same poverty-creating order. After all, to use one of the late dictator's quotation:

"Of what good is democracy if it is not for the poor?"


Well, as people from all walks of life either still continuing the struggle or gave up, the country that has been still in its semi feudo-feudal setting cannot escape from its problems. And as everyone still hears debates from the session hall between those who insist genuine domestic-based development and globalist neoliberalism, of authentic agrarian reform and cash crop-oriented corporate landlordism, people knows which side has to support, and what path has ought to choose.

All for the sake of genuine and authentic economic emancipation, political liberation, and social solidarity towards national liberation even in an era of wireless gadgets, internet, and social media. Again, it's been 31 years after that revolt and unless these desires still fell on deaf ears, then expect marches and various forms of actions the system feared most.

Monday, 20 February 2017

"Again, painting Hong Kong- This time its the present"

"Again, painting Hong Kong-
This time its the present"

(Or how he depicted the merging of both past and present Hong Kong
 through the canvas)

At first, this person is ought to say that the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong is known for its modernity, with all its skyscrapers and commercial stuff enough to entice tourists and investors; however, its remarkable heritage, ranging from its use of the English language to those of its bagpipe bands, all came from its past as a British colony and still surviving.

And in it also somehow made this person felt inspired by that rich heritage as he painted it, as many days ago, he posted on this page about his Hong Kong-inspired artworks, most of which were focused on its past such as those of trading ships in the harbour.

But in this post, this person painted another, but this time showing those of the present yet still carries those that is, historical as the sailing junks. Strange to most but for this person finds it rather interesting.

A legacy based from an old emblem

In this picture above this painting seems to be quite familiar especially to those who rekindle Hong Kong's British past, particularly through its lesser version of the old coat of arms. 

For as according to Wikipedia, the old coat of arms was made in the early 1950s, replacing the old colonial badge that was used in the 19th century. The old coat of arms featured two junks, that symbolises the importance of Eastern-type of trade on the sea surrounding the colony. While the naval crown symbolises Hong Kong's links with the Navy and the Merchant Navy, and the crenulated line acknowledges the brief but valiant defence of Hong Kong against the Japanese during World War II.

And because of that coat of arms it somehow made this person served as a basis for his artwork featured above; only to be "updated" as he replaced the crenulated line with the city's skyline, the naval crown with the bahunia flower that also reflects HK's current flag, and on the left side, a British sailing ship instead of a junk that signifies the past as a trading port used not just by the British but also by the west.

Sailing towards its chartered course

On the other hand, another Hong Kong- related painting is partially inspired by the actual setting this person did sought during his four-day journey last December of 2016.

From that painting features a sailing junk and the familiar Hong Kong scene that is, full of buildings like the International Finance Centre (IFC), Bank of China, and the old building of the HongKong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC).

However, this person rather finds the "mixed Art Deco and Stripped Classical style" appearance of the old HSBC building, stood from the mid 1930s to the late 1970s, "Classier" or even "Stately" as he painted out instead of the current one in an entirely contemporary setting alongside the IFC and of the Bank of China building.

And as for the sailing junk, Hong Kong, being an archipelago of 260 isles also includes rugged coastlines and deserted coves, and in it perhaps makes those who can afford wanted to sail one of the region's symbols, load a picnic and a cool-box of soda, beer, or even wine, and set off through the scattered islets. Drop anchor somewhere remote and dive off the deck for a swim.
However, that junk cruise finds it costly in spite of being known as part of Hong Kong's maritime heritage, but everyone, including yours truly, did see how that ages-old boat continues to sail over the city with its sceneries mostly those of glass and steel.


But all in all, these artworks, in spite of showing the contemporary, rather appears to be a fusion of both old and new, all according to this person's imagination if not his observation and his love for things historical. 

Monday, 13 February 2017

"Inspired from an old Love Spell"

"Inspired from an old Love Spell"

Worth recalling your name amidst the cold nights
Out of your chivalrous kindness amidst all the frights
And in it brought me feel its lasting warmth
If not your charms that's felt further in my arms

With your songs so inspiring my heart made me wake
And thus it carries me from every journey I take
Your beauty and passion made me sway
Having a desire that made me say come what may:

A desire that's more than closeness
From a friendship brought by happiness
From cherishing each other that's closer
And thus made me hope say You and I be together

Let us be lovers, let us be we
And be sealed by our togetherness the way everyone see
Like a gem hard as our love long
Amidst turmoils we hope our love be bind us strong

No matter how it far hope our love be still close
And with our devotion to our tasks our love thus keep grows:
For our love is also more than us for we have others we put our trust
Like our family, friends, and everyone, a community we serve as we must

We may endure all the pains as our journey made us to take
For in the end we'll gain from these through tasks we both ought to ceaselessly make
And thus with all these words and times I hope our love can never break
For my heart tells me these words, worth compelling to make.

Monday, 6 February 2017

"Isn't it that too much?"

"Isn't it that too much?"

Notes after a controversial post from a social media site
And how most viewers abhorred over

It seems that most people think it is too disgusting to see a post, such as coming from a men's oriented page known by many as RBreezy, that also resulted to its deactivation a day ago.

Specifically through its post that deals about rape, RBreezy expressed quite stupidly in telling on "how enjoyable getting raped" and even calling "friends who are 'rapists'" to tag if not to share that stupid post.

To its fans, it sounds humourous the way they are trying to protect the page from its detractors; maybe because of the page itself as known for featuring curvaceous girls, flashy cars, electronic cigarettes, and of course, sex. 
In seeing that page in general, one would say that it is a page meant for men, tackling issues what men afforded to deal about as stated earlier; however, as some of its posts seemed to be less wholesome and more harassing, RBreezy rather failed to notice that controversial issues such as Rape and Sexual Harassment is a really-really serious matter just like Drugs and Money Laundering, regardless on how they're insisting that their post is a part of their right to free speech, no matter how "offensive" it is "just to have fun."

And if not mistaken, that page was also known for posting a sex video in a social media site several months ago, wherein it had gathered likes, shares, and comments that reflected those who favoured promiscuity.
But then it end taken down from social media (while still posted in its website) knowing that the sex video also created much criticism by many, especially after seeing its victim as not of her legal age and hence making the page liable for a case under RA 10175, known as the "cybercrime law".

And perhaps all because of these related somehow made most social media users wanting to take down the page altogether all due to its pornographic content if not its offensive language. While apologists, on the other hand, dared its critics to "criticise" further as if it made the page "famous".

And because of these, the page until yesterday* rather remained "defiant" in its stand thinking that their haters made them famous, not knowing that the page itself is becoming an unofficial voice for self-proclaimed "men's rights" enthusiasts. With a controversial post currently featured and tackled about, isn't it made the page less wholesome and becoming too rauchy?
Anyway, for an observer, he ought to say that despite seeing that page appearing itself as a page meant for "bros", of vape-puffing, car-priding, and boob-staring guys, and end rather becoming a page for fuckboys, RBreezy has rather end unbecoming an unofficial "voice" for those who justify misogyny in a guise of "man's world", knowing that they're trying to cater something what no other man's magazine or page can offer, especially via social media.

And admittingly speaking, it turned out badly against them especially after a post that stupidly deals with the word "rape" or even its earlier post such as those of a sex video; for sure with those examples one would remember related issues such as the late Secretary Manglapus's statement telling people to "lie down and enjoy" or a statement shirt describing Rape as a "snuggle with struggle"; and this time seeing a post that talks about getting satisfied or enjoyed in getting raped. 

That again made the concerned described these as plain simple wrong, and even a plain stupid idea that even sex advocates agrees its unjustness.

*it end deactivated while "new accounts" sprawled with the same intent.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

"Straight from the Fragrant Harbour"

"Straight from the Fragrant Harbour"

Trading ship scene
acrylic on canvas

Its been a month since yours truly had visited the "Fragrant Harbour" named Hong Kong.

Known for its bustling scenery, Hong Kong continues to be a trade and commercial hotspot in the Asian region, as various establishments has made China's special administrative region well known for.

However, for this person, Hong Kong's legacy as a trade entrepôt is a legacy brought upon by History. Especially during its early period as a British Crown Colony, that the once barren rock with few inhabitants became a place to deal with trade, both westerner and Asiatic, British or Chinese, creating a fusion of both Europan and Oriental settings as Clippers and Junks shown together in its deep watered shores.

That somehow made this person painted it instead of familiar ones. Maybe because he loved history so much that he conveyed it through the canvas during his painting sessions. And in featuring both two trading ships from both east and west showed how the once barren island been first known: as a trade entrepôt, and being a trade entrepôt means a showcase or even a fusion of both cultures that made the so-called "Fragrant Harbour" known as such.

"A continuing legacy"
(Inspired from the old Hong Kong coat of arms)
Acrylic on Canvas

Harbour scene near Lan Tau
Acrylic on Canvas

Admittingly speaking, painting these works is a product of both journeys be it through reading books and in wandering the streets of Kowloon and Victoria. Inspiring since in remembering a centuries-old heritage one would say that Hong Kong's life as a well known trade entrepôt was started with few inhbitants, a hilly terrain, and a deep water port that made Britons and westerners having a good trading area in the orient, besides those of Singapore or even Manila.

And perhaps with a fusion of Chinese entrepreneurship and British-style administrative work, of British-style settings and Chinese-style sensibilities, it made Hong Kong really "Hong Kong" that until today it continues to prevail.