Monday, September 6, 2010

Ordinary

Dangan at usong-usong pag-usapan ngayon ang tungkol sa bus sa Maynila, minabuti kong halukayin ang aking baul. Naalaala ko kasi, mayroon akong isang tula dati tungkol sa bus. 

Nang ako'y nagta-trabaho noon sa Maynila, madalas akong sumakay sa mga bus sa Edsa. Ayaw ko sa MRT, siksikan. Minsan ay mamalasin ka pang makadikit ang isang may malakas-lakas na power. Kaya bus na lang ako.

Subalit hindi aircon na bus ang aking sinasakyan noon, gaya ng bus na nakita ng buong mundo na nagkalasog-lasog dahil sa pangmamaso ng MPD SWAT. Ordinary ang paborito kong sakyan dahil mura ang pasahe. Hindi lang mura, pwede ka pang magmeryenda habang bumibiyahe dahil halos lahat ng street vendor ay nakaaakyat sa mga ordinary na bus.

Subalit para lamang sa may malalakas na sikmura ang ordinary na bus. Kapag sumakay ka sa ordinary, mamumulbos ka ng usok at alikabok; libre iyon. Kapag nakauwi ka na galing sa biyahe ay limahid ka na. Okay lang sa akin iyon dahil mura nang di hamak ang pamasahe sa ordinary.

Kaya nagawan ko ito ng isang maikling tula. At kagaya ng walang kaarte-arteng hubog ng isang ordinaryong bus,  pinamagatan ko itong tula na ORDINARY. 

"ORDINARY"

Masdan ang karuwaheng
ataul sa paglalakbay.

Karosang gusgusin at limahid,
sasakyang pangako ng mga bangkay.

Gumagapang sa kahabaan
ng purgatoryong trapiko.

Nagsusuka ng dalisay na lasong
utot ng tambutso.

Sepulturero ng manibela
bilis-bilisan ang pag-martsa.

Sapagkat mga pagal na kaluluwa,
nais nang mamahinga...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ang Timbangan ng Hacienda Luisita: Tinimbang Ka Noy, Pero Kulang

Maraming nagsasabi na ang isyu sa Hacienda Luisita ang magiging pinakamalaking pagsubok sa sinseridad ng bagong luklok na Pangulong Benigno Aquino III. 

Anila, ang magiging tugon ni P-Noy sa isyu ang magpapatunay ng katapatan niya sa kaniyang mga binitiwang pangako noong panahong ng eleksiyon tungkol sa pagsasakatuparan ng hustisyang panlipunan sa Pilipinas.

Totoo nga ba na ang isyu ng Hacienda Luisita ang magiging pagsubok sa panguluhan ni Noynoy Aquino?  Marapat ba na asahan ng mga magsasaka na maisantabi ni Pangulong Aquino ang kaniyang pang-pamilyang interes at paboran ang matagal nang hiling ng mga manggagawang bukid sa Hacienda?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Stop Killing Activists


Photos from Makabayan Coalition

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Bayle

Alas-dos na ng madaling araw. Hindi ako makatulog. Dangan naman kasi ay kainitan ng isang bayle sa di kalayuan. Imbes na iduyan ako ng antok ay kinakabog ako ng mga masisigla’t mahaharot na musikang disco.

Ano ba itong bayle? Para sa mga hindi pamilyar, ang bayle ay isang pasayaw. Ito ang disco sa komunidad.  Halos hindi na ito uso sa malalaking lungsod.  Subalit sa mga baryo, ito’y tampok na tampok pa rin.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

They Keep on Getting Richer and "Ettang Ina"

I get rich each month, around several K's, when my freelance pay day arrives. Unfortunately, I also get negative balance sheet after paying my bills. Month after month, my poverty level increases as the cost of living normally overtakes what I earn.

Not so for the Filipino-Chinese billionaires and a lone meztizo.  It seems these tycoons are immune to the economic crisis.  According to Forbes Asia, the net worth of the 40 richest Filipinos soared by 39% in 2010.  This translates to around $22.8 billion. (see: Newsbreak)

In contrast, the poverty incidence in the Philippines spiked by 1.5%. This was the estimate of IMF. It means some 1.4 million Pinoys will be joining the merry ranks of the poor and the dirt poor. 

Talk about the rich getting richer while the poor gets, well, really dirt poor.

This news item really unmade my day: "Ex-partylist Representative May Head CHR". Ettangina naman oo, these Akbayan stalwarts were the first to echo the military line that activists were being killed because they are refusing to denounce the NPA. Such line of thought assumes that it is alright to eliminate personages of the legal left simply because they are ideologically aligned with the National Democratic forces.

As one Facebooker said: "If this pushes through we can rename the CHR as Commission on Human Rectum".  





Tuesday, July 6, 2010

On Wangwangs and Symbolism

Lately, the Philippine political milieu has been deluged by discussions about the so-called “wangwangs”.  For those who are not familiar with the term, wangwang is a local slang which denotes a siren.  It is the ever conspicuous sound that one would hear when a police car or an ambulance pass by carrying a victim of a shooting incident or running after the perp, in the case of the former. 

So, going back to my first impression; one of the first political acts of Benigno Aquino III, the newly installed President of the Philippines, is to ban the use of wangwangs -- even for his presidential convoy. 

Friday, March 19, 2010

Aquinos Have No Right To Sell Hacienda Luisita

Sentro para sa Tunay na
Repormang Agraryo (SENTRA)
20-C Maaralin St.,
Bgy. Central, Diliman, Quezon City Telefax 434-6957

March 16, 2010

MEDIA RELEASE
Reference: ATTY. JOBERT ILARDE PAHILGA, Executive Trustee
0928-7021549

Noynoy is either confused or lying; Aquinos have no right to sell Hacienda Luisita

The statement of presidential candidate Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino that they would have earned billions of pesos if they had sold Hacienda Luisita belies his claim that he has only less than 1% share in it. This only shows that Aquino has not been upright all along on the Luisita issue according to Atty. Jobert Ilarde Pahilga, the Executive Trustee of Sentro Para sa Tunay na Repormang Agraryo (SENTRA) and lawyer of the farm workers of the hacienda.

As owners of the land, the Aquinos would have been paid by the government for its value but they opted to place the same under the Stock Distribution Option. This only shows that they have no intention to let go of their control of the land.

According to Pahilga, since the hacienda has been covered by the agrarian reform program, ownership over the same should have been transferred to the farmworkers. Hence, the family of Senator Aquino could not just sell the land without the consent of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the farm workers.

"The farm workers' equity in the Hacienda Luisita Incorporated is the land, which constitute 33% of the total equity of the corporation. As such, Aquino has no right to claim ownership of the land much more that they are entitled to 70% share if the land is sold" said Pahilga.

So where did Noynoy base his claim that they will have 70% share in the proceeds of the sale of the hacienda? Did he forget his earlier claim that he and his family have only minor share in the hacienda?

"The problem with Senator Aquino is that he is evading the Hacienda Luisita issue and his act of evasion has only immersed him in statements that indicate that he is either confused or lying.

If he said that they can sell the land, then they can very well have it distributed to their farm workers who have been tilling the same for years. The Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) has already ordered the distribution of the land to the farm workers and the revocation of the stock distribution option (SDO), yet, the family of Noynoy prevented the implementation of the order by going to the Supreme Court and asking for an injunction.

And if Senator Aquino has forgotten, it was the peoples' money that was used by his family to buy the hacienda with the condition that it should be given to the farm workers. He should not therefore claim that his family is the rightful owner of the land because it is the farm workers." Added Pahilga

"Before Senator Aquino presents his self as saviour of our country, he should first clean up the mess in his own backyard. He should first settle the Hacienda Luisita issue. His decisiveness on this issue will reflect his political will on the age-old problem of landlessness and unequal distribution of wealth besetting the country.

If he is truly concerned of the plight of the farm workers as he made himself out to be, he would have held no escapist thought about selling the land. He would have seen that their only choice is to give the land to the farm workers.


Friday, March 12, 2010

A Call to Stop the Distortion and Commercialization of the Bukidnon Kaamulan Festival

Press Statement
12 March 2010


Katribu Partylist – Northern Mindanao, an indigenous peoples sectoral party, expresses disappointment over the distortion of Lumad culture during the recently concluded Kaamulan Festival held last February 18 – March 10, 2010 in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.

The inappropriate and insensitive use of rituals, dances, and costumes and the prevalent commercialization in the Kaamulan has been a blatant mockery of Lumad culture and the festival’s history.

Rituals that are considered sacred and private are shown publicly at the city streets and the provincial plaza. To cite some, the Igbabasok and Pagologdok are rituals done before harvest and hunting respectively. These are supposedly observed at appropriate venues such as ricefields and forests and not on the streets. Pamalas or the lumad wedding ceremony was depicted with actors playing as husband and wife which bastardizes the rite and is strictly prohibited under the Lumad law.

Some non-lumad locals and tourists were seen wearing traditional indigenous garbs. These costumes and accessories were supposedly exclusive garments for traditional leaders such as the Datu and the Bai. Regrettably, these were commercially sold at booths around the festival grounds.

Street dancing, being one of the major crowd drawers of the festival, has showcased dances with inappropriate choreography. The Saot or war dance was depicted out of context. This wrong presentation has highlighted lumads as violent and barbaric people.

Traditionally, the Sibog and Bayle are the only accepted traditional dances for festivals.
“Kaamulan” is from the Lumad word “amul” which means “to gather”. It is an ethnic festival that annually celebrates the customs and traditions of the seven tribal groups that originally inhabited the Bukidnon region, namely, the Bukidnon, Higaonon, Talaandig, Manobo, Matigsalug, Tigwahanon and Umayamnon.

Yet through the years, the festival has increasingly become more commercialized and less ethnic. Bazaars, concerts with celebrities, motocross, basketball and airsoft tournaments are just a few examples of events that have nothing to do with the celebration of the culture of the lumads.

Any inappropriate use of indigenous culture not only offends the sensitivities but also demeans the integrity of indigenous customs and traditions which lumads passionately defend together with their rights to ancestral land and self-determination.

Katribu Partylist – Northen Mindanao strongly calls for the rectification of the errors and the restoration of the real essence in the Kaamulan Festival that would not only celebrate indigenous culture but would contribute to address the real concerns of the IPs for recognition, self governance, and economic sustainability. ###

Reference:
Datu Jomorito Goaynon
Regional Coordinator, Katribu Partylist – NMR
09303458010


Monday, January 25, 2010

The January 26 Confrontation

The January 26 Confrontation « The First Quarter Storm Library : Here is a stirring account of the turbulent nights and days of the First Quarter Storm of 1970.  On Jan 26 (that's tomorrow), the 40th year of the FQS will be commemorated.

To commemorate this historic event, The First Quarter Storm Library will also be launched on that day.  Actually, the Library is now online at http://fqslibrary.wordpress.com

I only read about the First Quarter Storm on Jose F. Lacaba's book, Days of Disquiet, Nights of Rage.  The creation of an online library that chronicles the events of the FQS is a welcome development. 

Kudos to Mr. PT Martin who pioneered this project.  Now, the younger generation will know and will not forget what happened during those turbulent days that defined the future of the Philippines as a nation.

Here is an excerpt from The First Quarter Storm Library taken from an article by Jose F. Lacaba which was published in the Philippine Free Press on February 7, 1970:

The khaki contingent broke into a run. The demonstrators fled in all directions, each man for himself. Some merely stepped aside, hugging the Congress walls, clustering around trees. The cops at this time went only after those who ran, bypassing all who stood still. Three cops cornered one demonstrator against a traffic sign and clubbed him until the signpost gave way and fell with a crash. One cop caught up with a demonstrator and grabbed him by the collar, but the demonstrator wriggled free of his shirt and made a new dash for freedom in his undershirt. One cop lost his quarry near the golf course and found himself surrounded by other demonstrators; they didn’t touch him—“Nag-iisa ‘yan, pabayaan n’yo”—but they taunted him mercilessly. This was a Metrocom cop, not an unarmed trainee, and finding himself surrounded by laughing sneering faces, he drew his .45 in anger, his eyes flashing, his teeth bared. He kept his gun pointed to the ground, however, and the laughter and sneers continued until he backed off slowly, trying to maintain whatever remaining dignity he could muster.

Please visit The First Quarter Storm Library at http://fqslibrary.wordpress.com






Sunday, January 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Lola Nena

This A/V presentation was created by my Tito Boy. In celebration of Nena or Jesusa Teodoro Martin, the grand matriarch of the Martin-Teodoro Clan, on her 107th birthday on January 19, 2010  



Nena.wmv