"Bakit ganun? Si Erap na halal na presidente, nanguha lang ng pera mula sa jueteng, pinatalsik na natin. Si GMA, ginastos ang pera ng bayan, nandaya sa eleksyon, tapos pinagkanulo pa ang Pilipinas, hindi pa napapatalsik?"
Ito ang isa sa mga topic sa usapan namin kanina sa faculty room. Ang hirap kasing isipin na ilang buwan pagkatapos pumutok ng Hello Garci controversy, nandiyan pa rin sa puwesto si Gloria. Kung nakaya nating mapatalsik ang isang presidente na may popular support mula sa masang Pilipino, bakit ang pangulo na may pinakamababang trust rating sa kasaysayan, hindi natin mapababa sa puwesto? Sa totoo lang, ang blatant ng double standard na makikita sa pagkakaiba ng treatment sa ating nakaraang dalawang pangulo.
this is exactly why reality TV sells. it (supposedly) shows the nitty gritty things that happen in 'real life' or what resembles that once the camera is pointed at you.
granted that the sensibilities of filipinos are relatively more conservative that the audience of the original Big Brother series, to discount "dressing and undressing, going to the toilet, doing body paints, going to rooms together, going bare from swimming pools" would be an outright negation of the whole spirit of the show. plain as heck; it just wont sell.
oh nobody is challenging that 'Reality TV' reflects the 'real thing' or 'everyday lives of common people' to do so would be stupid. Reality TV is a 'simulation of reality', a simulation of human reactions that are (hopefully) unscripted. that is as plain as it gets. this is audience share we are talking here. and as bad as it sounds, the people patronizing this (and the profiteering that goes with it) is what keeps it going
on the issue of 'sex on TV' i mean what the heck are these conservative groups thinking?
so what if a contestant has experienced sex when he was 8? that does not mean it should be emulated. that is not a suggestion that 8 year old kids should go on screwing their housemaids. to not talk about the darker side of sex does not make it go away. the reality that these things happen should be acknowledged and corrected.
these conservative groups are all too aware that sexual innuendos are everywhere. but what they want to do is to eradicate everything that talks about sex, or at least those that approach sex in a way that they do not agree with. they even cringe at the thought of a married woman having a crush on a guy, or men and women engaging in sexually suggestive behavior.and even cuss words and talking about their 'first times'. in this context, what then is so unreal about all this?
we are so concerned about 'Filipino values' treating anything new as coming from outside and 'therefore not ours', not realizing that the very things that we fondly call "filipino values" are nothing but an imposed culture by the yours truly Spanish conquistadores ages upon ages ago, imposed to pacify the natives and deem them as the messengers from heaven. it is not even ours to begin with. wake up people.
i watch Pinoy Big Brother, only because i'll grow cobwebs inside my head if i cannot have anything to jiggle my mind with at that time of the night. television is already saturated with sexual innuendos from the Vic and Joey's Sexbomb Girls, to Willie's showgirls (whatever the group is called). i mean these both are even more blatant commodification of the female body, why hasn't this been stopped?
at least Pinoy Big Brother, while still commodifying sex, does so in a way that people can relate with. and please do not say that married women cannot have crushes, or you haven't ever told anybody of your 'first time', or even cuss. this after all is a simulation of reality.
i too cringe at the commercialization of sex, female/male/children's bodies, and just about everything else. but let us not make a slippery slope argument that because of the fact that the show commodifies sex, everything in it is worthless. let us not be carried away by prudishness and self-righteous indignation. it is, many times, the stone that we stumble on our way down to hipocrisy.
we happily, aimlessly squander, scatter pieces of our sanity in each and everything we stare at, in each and everything we touch, grope, caress. in each lungful of air we expire. in each little colored stones, sometimes blood-red, sometimes sky-blue, that we step on.
each moment leaves us with less of ourselves; treasuring, re-using, reinventing what is left. we left the wombs of our mothers grinning, like dainty, happy, yellowed leaves from a branch, tossing and turning but always destined to lay gently, or drop dead, on the ground. joyous days are over as we watch ourselves rot.
and what about the jagged pieces of our minds that we have left behind?
ask her who listens to half of your mind revealed and you will see the words squirm from her eyes, "who are you?"
ask him whose ears have become receptacles of letters and words forming euphoria and hell, and he will tell you, "why speak more?"
ask them whose colors you have changed by your mere existence and the rivulets of poison that you have injected into their veins, not from anybody else's but yours and yours alone, and you will hear them whisher "why can't you just rest?"
because, my dear friend, we are little kindlings that do not ignite passion and emotion, but whole people. and we burn parts of them that they hold dear. we ignite prairie fires that rage out of control, and with the tempest within us that cannot be kept hidden, we scorch the villages at its rim. oh yes, we need to burn the weeds that choke us to apathetic lethargy and subservience. but somehow the both of us always seem to forget that we are easy pickings for those murderously hungry tongues of fire.
as we, after all, are forgotten spent little dried leaves on the ground.
the Integrated Bar of the Philippines has issued a resolution calling for her resignation. the IPB Cebu Chapter was first to declare their stand on the issue in a press conference around 8:00 pm today at the Capitol grounds. the said press conference was initiated by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan and was attended by various sectoral and allied groups. former presidential aspirant Bro. Eddie Villanueva's Bangon Pilipinas, as well as some opposition politicians were also present in the said press conference.
these recent and balance-tilting developments come after ever-strengthening calls for her to resign that was sparked by the "Hello Garci" phone conversations showing the president talking to the COMELEC Comissioner Garcilliano, with him telling her that he would "try our best" ("pipilitin natin") for her to lead by 1 million in the past election. GMA and Com. Garcilliano have already admitted that they are the ones on the tape.
it was dark and we were together. i was babbling about so many things. you did your share too as you fondled my hair. my head was on your lap and i was looking at your eyes. it was cute how you still stayed beautiful even if i was looking at you upside-down; your eyes the glittering reflections of little lights from outside the windows. and that sparkle that came nowhere else but inside you.
we somehow ran out of things to say. you were always the silent type. and me, well, i guess i just lost myself while i was staring into your eyes.
"tell me our story again, baby." i murmured.
"must i? i have told you about it so many times na." you with a playful tickle on my side.
"hehe. wala lang. i just like it when you tell our story. puts me at ease." i tickled your knees. you laughed. yeah, we both love tickles.
there is something special when you tell our story. you seem to make it more colorful with each and every re-telling; remembering little trivial things every time that somehow makes the story complete. you'd tell of the way we met that night, and i'd tell you how smitten i was with your smile. you'd tell me of the sweet things i sent you on your cell and i'd tell you on how my face was becoming numb of all the smiling i was doing for days on an end. you'd tell me of how you could never stare at me for long without turning beet-red and i'd tell you how i beat around the bush, raising little hells of frustration at not being able to say what i wanted to. until you said it for me.
you'd tell me about our first kiss, and the most special way we made love the first time. you'd tell me of the happy moments we had just after that.
and then the cracks in the horizon.
you'd tell me of how i suddenly grown cold. of how i didn't reply to your messages anymore. of how i'd reject your calls. and when i finally told you i could not carry on anymore. you always bring tears to my eyes when you tell me that part. i still cannot forgive myself for the pain i caused you.
you'd tell me of how broken your heart was. of those nights when you'd wait outside your house for more than one hour, hoping, just hoping, that i'd happen to pass by. only to come back inside and cry. you'd tell me how you pretended to smile all the while because i told you i did not want to see you with tears in your eyes.
you decided to hold on and wait for me even if i told you not to. you decided to hope. you decided to love me despite everything.
and i was there, denying you everything that you deserved, giving instead the pain that was never suppose to be yours. more than most, i denied the love that was there inside me. i wanted you to go away because i was scared of falling inlove so deeply, i may not be able to come back to the surface.
but you whispered that you were here to stay.
last night you helped me clean my room. and we placed the glow-in-the-dark stars up the ceiling. in their glow i was able to see the outline of your face, and the gentle hair that fell on it as you slept like a baby in my arms. moments like that never fail to make me realize how lucky i am.
and the stars that we both put up in our little sky are the witnesses of our love.
I did not know that someone declared an all-out war against bugs. Naphthalene balls are everywhere; under the sink (one), under the bed (two), in the stockroom (two), in the bathroom (one), inside the pots of plastic plants in the dining area (two), and I am thinking that there's more here the living room [edit: i actually found four!!]. Someone, obviously, had a falling-out session with the resident bugs in this house, and decided to rig it with naphthalene mines everywhere.
For the lack of better candidate, I think it was Sam. Daryl and Ron, my new housemates, also think so too. That wise girl; she left us to stumble over the grenades she planted all over the house and went to Dumaguete for some official business. I think people in this house are somehow afraid of some crawly critter, be it a roach, a lizard, or a mouse. Sam and Daryl are walking and breathing roach warning systems, while Sharon (another housemate) is a mouse detector. If souls were real then anybody’s soul will be jolted five inches out from his or her body for a millisecond or two when one hears them scream. The only sure way of putting an end to their hysterics is to kill the critter. I hate cleaning after squished bugs with dismembered legs and yellowish roach guts splattering everywhere so Ron usually does the killing. My part is to do the jeering and cheering whoever of the two happens to have the hysterics.
I do not know if naphthalene balls kill roaches (do they?) but somehow Sam thinks they do. I thought these things only discourage moths from eating clothes and books or something. When I got home last night the whole house was reeking with that sweet, woozy and somehow nostalgic smell of bug repellant. Daryl, who was allergic to it and was having the telltale signs of rhinitis before he left the house, asked us to remove it from the bedroom when he got home. Ron was able to remove one “bomb”. I woke up at 3 a.m. because of the thunderstorm rattling the roof, feeling woozy with the sick smell of naphthalene sticking at the back of my throat and was convinced therefore that Sam planted more “bombs” somewhere inside the room. And yes, I was able to find two underneath the bed this morning.
I hate the smell of naphthalene, if only because of the depression it brings when it reminds me of old things. My friend Dax gets depressed at seeing old people walking in the streets in their pajamas, or this certain girl sticking out her tongue, or any of the things usual people find funny yet curiously makes him angry and sad and scream out “NO! THAT IS JUST NOT RIGHT!” For me it’s naphthalene balls. It reminds me of yellowed, antique clothes and half-moth eaten books from the 40’s. It reminds me of things that wants to forcefully defy time by any means necessary, even if it means that they smell of naphthalene and look as grotesque as wedding gowns or hair-do’s on the cover of books from some almost alien time – so out of place.
Perhaps that was why when I woke up at 3 a.m. the only image I was able to think of was the old caretaker of the house who was here yesterday, pestering everybody with one month’s due rent. A relic of a woman with golden brown hair, tattooed eyebrows, red, red lips, glittering gold earrings, and a white, white face. Looking as grotesque as wedding gowns or hair-do’s on the cover of books from some almost alien time – so out of place.
No wonder I was not able to sleep until the sun came up. Imagine that face popping up in the middle of the night with hellish thunder dancing on the roof. It scared me almost shitless.
In my sky at twilight you are like a cloud and your form and colour are the way I love them. You are mine, mine, woman with sweet lips and in your life my infinite dreams live.
The lamp of my soul dyes your feet, the sour wine is sweeter on your lips, oh reaper of my evening song, how solitary dreams believe you to be mine!
You are mine, mine, I go shouting it to the afternoon's wind, and the wind hauls on my widowed voice. Huntress of the depth of my eyes, your plunder stills your nocturnal regard as though it were water.
You are taken in the net of my music, my love, and my nets of music are wide as the sky. My soul is born on the shore of your eyes of mourning. In your eyes of mourning the land of dreams begin.
You are one of the few who refuse – refuse to die despite of each and every finger in the world pointing at death as what people like you deserve.
Oh yes, you know for a fact that life has been cruel to you. The agony that screams from your eyes is enough to blow us off our feet, if only we knew any of it. Those who do not know you well cannot see the cracks in your sanity. Just the glow from your eyes, that flash of subdued bewilderment, gives a hint of the tempest ravaging inside making anybody uneasy with a mere stare from you.
You are a relic of your own ancient personal history. It seems a second for us mortals, is an eon for you. The lines in your face betray your youth. Your words betray your age. You, dying, betray your health.
Yet you refuse to die. Your heart is one big lump of insensate scar from the countless times it has broken itself. Your silent agony that magnifies itself in the void of the night, overwhelming and drowning you until all you can manage is a mere whimper. Yes, I have heard you cry mute sobs every night. I know you that well. Your silent bewildered screams jar my sleep.
You are a soul that simply refuses to die, not because you want to live and strive to stay alive, but because the nothingness of death may not be enough of a void for you to fill, now that you have suffered through the insanity of living.
You deserve death because existence cannot handle somebody who tries to violate it. Curiously you were thrust undeservingly into this maddening crowd whose very existence we insanely call a “gift”; you, whose preferred state is the flat-line of nothingness, simply do not belong here.
You deserve to die for each and every reason that humanity can come up with. Your flat rejection of existence and your insistence that life is an aberration in this otherwise dead universe has become your death sentence.
But still you refuse to die. The verdict has been given but the execution has continued to fail time and time again, wittingly or unwittingly so. Perhaps there are figures behind the curtains who revel at the though that you, life’s dissident, must suffer for having been born.
Thanatos is so strong in you that people wonder how in the world could you have possibly been born, let alone survive, in this world that retains some of its Social Darwinist tendencies, and what makes you continue to live, despite the fact that you have been dying ever since you saw things as you see them now. Dying ever since you saw every breath that you take as tearing the fragile fabric of you mind. Dying ever since you realized that every sensation you feel scatters irretrievable bits and pieces of yourself everywhere.
This world of life and existence does not deserve the likes of you. Nor do you deserve something like this. But still you refuse to die in this stubborn farcical turn of events that is our lives. Death and nothingness still refuses to admit its bastard son.
This is one of those cases when cold figures can heat one up. From February to May alone, a total of 276 cases of human rights violations were recorded in Samar, involving the controversial Brig. Gen. Jovito Palparan and his men. This means 76 cases per month, 17 per week or two every day.
it is pretty obvious that the opposition is having a field day.
the dilemma here is that erap and his alipores do not have the moral ascendancy to assume to carry the voice of the people. (i wanted to punch jinggoy's face last night when i saw him on TV together with JV) but if indeed it would be proven that gloria cheated, there is no other political machinery that can challenge the administration than that of the opposition.
the most unfortunate thing that is happening here is that the issue is being reduced (by both sides; gloria saying that it is "destabilization", the opposition says that she is an "illegitimate president") as a fight between gloria and the opposition, which it is not.
it's the political culture that spawns the likes of gloria, erap, de venecia, lacson, et. al. that has to change. and these reductionist arguments of 'lesser evils' and 'winnability' during elections.
the status quo electoral process does not offer us better alternatives. pretty obvious. and when we realize that the 'lesser evil' has just had her horns lengthen, then we realize we need to take another drastic measure to boot her out. either through extra legal or constitutional means. we did the former twice. the latter's failure lead to Edsa 2.
it's time that we realize we just cant go on lopping our heads of state and sit back and expect everything to be better. and when we realize that the weeds we thought we killed has grown again, (though much shorter, and with a mole this time) we panic.
oh yes, she has to go. even if this scandal did not came to the surface, the rampant violation of human rights under her administration (militarization in the countrysides, etc.), as well as the killings of journalists and activists, the poor state of education as a result of her favoring the military in the national budget, the Mining Act of 1995, the VAT law, her warmongering with Bush, her neo-liberal policies patterned after WTO ... and the list goes on.
"The present system, to state the obvious, remains in the hands of a small oligarchy, whose chronic inability to develop a robust economy and alleviate mass poverty is at the root of its recurrent crisis."
it's a classic have's and have not's story. the former, a divided minority controls the economic, political and cultural staus quo according to their interests. the latter, a voiceless majority, has their interests used and distorted by certain segments of the former to use against it's rival faction.
the voice and the interest of the majority is lost. it may resurface every now and then, but can only be heard and accepted if it resembles something that can be used by the minority. other than that, it remains as a passing news or as footnotes in history.
if we, as a people can only see our choices as water that is inside a cup, instead of water that is in the sea, we are doomed to repeat history again and again, and lose out of exasperation.
the realization must be that this is not between GMA and the opposition, but between the interest of the many, and the interest of the few.
(edit: if you people want the complete transcript, as well as downloadable audio of the Pagia CD, just proceed to PCIJ's blog.)