Welcome to my newest blog! I'm gonna post here all the things that are running through my mind and let you read them all... I hope you like my ideas and i expect your comments on them.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Why is the World so Superficial?

Has this question popped up in your mind? Well, in my case, it always has so many times. Indeed, the world is looked as a place for those who are nice and good-looking fellas. When switch on the television, a lot of celebrities are very conscious with what they wear and on how they look in the boob tube. Oftentimes, they wear a lot of accessories and apparel designed by famous fashion designers. They have a lot of make-up to make them stand out from a crowd. Moreover, they are always dressed up. Their hair styles show what’s ‘in’ in the fashion world. Also, there are programs who advocate plastic surgeries and all to make the ugly duckling an exotic princess or prince. And this fact really does make the other ‘ugly ducklings’ very unconfident with themselves. This is the psychological effect of media to their viewers. Viewers want to be like the celebrities who are very fashionable, and if they were not able to achieve this, that ‘psychological effect’ would come into existence. Magazines and other print media do the same thing to their readers. And those who can afford the available solutions for the ‘ugly duckling’-ness and who are already gifted with nice looks discriminate those who are not like them. It seems that love is undefined for a couple who are composed of an ‘ugly duckling’ and a good-looking being. Those who are gifted would not dare to have commitment with those who do not belong to their species. This is the reality that always slaps my face every day I wake up from bed. Worldup from bed. it that always slaps my face every day i ent with those who do not belong to their species.brities who are ver is, indeed, a place of discrimination and inequity. There are people who discriminate and who are discriminated. Oh why is the world so superficial? Is it still possible to say that the world is fair?

“Kings are subject to priests”: What would happen to the Philippine Politics?

The term “king” today refers to the politicians who are governing the country while the word “priest” refers to the Church clerics. Hence, the belief of St. Thomas, which is “Kings are subject to priests,” if applied to the Philippine setting, might result to a conflict between the two parties.
The Philippines obeys the rule of separation of the state and the Church, as stated in the Constitution. It implies that whatever the politicians want to implement in the country is not the business of the Church. Nevertheless, the Church still comments on political issues concerning the citizens. Now, what if the Church would head the officials in making decisions with regard to the nation? The possible effect, in general, is a conflict between the two parties. The issues on Constituent Assembly and on birth control are examples on which the two differ on their viewpoints.
The government wants to implement family planning to Filipinos as the best solution for overpopulation. The Church is definitely against it because it infringes one of the doctrines in the Bible, which is “to go and multiply.” If the government would be subjected to the Church, then the Church would absolutely interfere with family planning methods the government would like to impose. It will not permit the people to use condoms, contraceptives, and all.
Moreover, the talk-of-the-town, which is the “ConAss,” is now being debated by many sectors including the religious sector particularly the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). The CBCP dubbed “ConAss” as "fraudulently illegitimate" and "scandalously immoral" (Lagarde, 2006). They question the way the Congress eagerly wants the ConAss to push through because it is suspicious and improper. On the other side, the congressmen as well as Pres. Arroyo yearn for charter change because they see it as the answer for the problems being faced by the country like poverty, enactment of laws, and many others. If the CBCP would administer Cha-cha, they would prefer Constitutional Convention (Con-con) as the mode of revision of the constitution whose members are elected by the people (Lagarde, 2006).
Apparently, the Church has its own perspectives on national issues based on the Christian doctrines stipulated in the Bible. Thus, if the government would be under the Church, the decisions they will make will be monitored by the Church clerics, and the Church will assure the public that the decisions will be Christianized and will be beneficial for all the citizens. ■

Thursday, November 30, 2006


This is the latest song of Nina. And this, I think, is my favorite song right now. I hope you like it too.


I've Made It!

I know I've made it when I feel that I am already fulfilled with the things around me.
Self-fulfillment for me is satisfaction and success.
For me, I've made it when I feel I am already in the top of the world.
Oh gosh, what a cliche.
But anyway, many obstacles come my way and I know I can go through all those things because of determination, perseverance, inspiration, and self-confidence.
If these four ingredients were combined into one bowl, then, I would say I can overcome what seems to be unsurmountable and impossible.
And, hence, I can say that I've made it.
I'm fulfilled.
And, of course, I am overwhelming with gladness.

Greek as Pioneer of Civilization

This is a reaction on the film entitled "Greeks, Crucible of Civilization."
Why crucible? I had to consult Mr. Webster first what the word means before I got the point why Greece is dubbed as crucible of civilization.
Famous Greek philosophers came about then. Their philosophies changed the traditions and the misconceptions of ancient people. For instance, Xenophanes refuted what is written in the Bible. He said that “Man creates God in his own image,” which implies that this is the reason why various religions sprouted. In addition, Socrates, one of the greatest philosophers, said that people are to be governed by morality. He uttered a lot of maxims that are, indeed, for the betterment of one’s self.
Democracy was also born during antiquity. People were given equal chances of voicing out their opinions; thus, they already had freedom of speech.
Stoicism and the concept of truth are some of the other philosophies breathed into existence by the Greeks.
Furthermore, Greeks had various inventions and theories. They had artistic pottery, for example. There were jars and vases painted with images of people in black silhouette working, wrestling, making music, and other activities. Also, they were able to produce sculptures of humans, building with pillars, and some mathematical theories and paradoxes.
Also, drama and theatre were developed by the Greeks. During this time, there were tragedies and comedies staged before a crowd. Some of the playwrights were Sophocles and Euripides. Their plays are considered as classical today.
Additionally, the practice of politics arose. The philosophies and theories produced by them were put into practice most especially Plato’s and Aristotle’s.
Indeed, the Greeks are more than a crucible; they are pioneers of civilization. Imagine the world without politics or democracy. It would be chaotic. Hence, the Greeks should be credited for all the contributions they made in the civilization of the mankind.■

Which among the political systems defined by Aristotle is appropriate for the Philippines?

Each political system defined by Aristotle has its own advantages and disadvantages; however, looking through the current setting of the Philippines, there is a need for a polity or constitutional government.
First, in polity, collective wisdom is being emphasized, which means each person, being part of the state, has his say on every matter that regards his state. This, perhaps, is the reason why Aristotle opined that the state is composed of different kinds of men. This implies that each man has his own way of thinking. Applying this principle in the country produces a clear-cut picture of radical, liberal, conservative, and reactionary citizens. Radical and liberal want extreme changes while the conservative and reactionary desire superficial changes. Thus, the country will become an arena of contradicting ideas. Nonetheless, this will be effective because they are given the chance to say what is on their minds compared to a country ruled with a president, senators, congressmen, and other politicians who only mind their own ideas and who disregard that of the majority.
Secondly, according to Aristotle, this political system attempts to “unite the freedom of poor and the wealth of the rich,” without giving either principle exclusive predominance. (Ebenstein, 2000) Therefore, the gap between the poor and the elite will eventually be dissolved. In the Philippines, the line separating the two extremes is very apparent. When it comes to court trials, more often than not, “justice” is given to the affluent. Also, many necessities are not affordable for the marginalized ones because they are made “exclusively” for the rich. These are common scenarios of having that “big gap.” But, polity will make that “big gap” vanished.
Lastly, it is also stated in the Politics that “for a state in which many poor men are excluded from office will necessarily be full of enemies.” Here, poor men think that they have no right of being put into the offices that is why they will become “enemies.” However, Aristotle wanted to give some consideration for the poor. Like in the country, if there are candidates for any position in the government who are not famous, simply because they do not come from well-known families, are considered nuisance. This illustrates a discrimination as well as deprivation of their right to be a leader.
Thus, a constitutional government may be the best answer for the clash between the rich and the poor and for the unruly treatment of politicians to the citizens. ■

Will Plato’s notions about the ideal ruler work in the Philippines?

“No ruler, in so far as he is acting as ruler, will study or enjoin what is for his own interest. All that he says and does will be said and done with a view to what is good and proper for the subject for whom he practices his art.” This couple of lines lifted from The Republic really caught my attention of what a ruler should be.
Philippines is always faced with many problems like poverty, injustice, illiteracy, foreign debts and, most especially, graft and corruption. The question is why these problems have arisen. Basically, it boils down to the leaders since they govern the people and they are responsible for them.
The most recent issue of corruption, I think, is the alleged fertilizer fund scam by former Agriculture Undersecretary Jocelyn “Joc-Joc” Bolante, which was investigated and exposed by Che-che Lazaro in Probe. According to the Nov. 11 P.D.I. issue, Bolante invoked PGMA to acquire a political asylum because he accused the senators of “politically persecuting” him. Some other scenarios that fit in here are the plunder case of Erap and Atong Ang, and the PIATCO scam and election fraud of PGMA.
In cases like this, Bolante and PGMA as rulers “have used” their power for their personal interests and not for the ruled’s. An ideal ruler of Plato sets aside his personal interests and seeks answers to solve the problems of his people. The exact opposite of this is being exercised by most, if not all, of the Filipino politicians. They prioritize their own sake before their people’s. And to top it all off, the politicians don’t posses the gift of wisdom because only through this quality, they will be able to know the right and the just for their constituents.
Moreover, rallies take place because people see that there is something wrong with the government. They don’t protest for nothing. So, if the politicians are like the ideal ruler of Plato, the abovementioned problems of the country would be eliminated, and, hence, there would be no rallies or chaotic happenings because the politicians would give emphasis to the needs of their people and not to theirs. Less people would be below the poverty line if the politicians would allot enough national budget for education and would provide job opportunities to meet their financial needs. Foreign debts would sooner or later be paid off; thus, there would be already sufficient budget for health, housing, and education. Since they don’t think about themselves, graft and corruption would not be an issue anymore. This problem only arises when they become selfish and greedy for money. Therefore, Plato’s ideal ruler will definitely work in the Philippines. ■

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Revisiting the Dead

Once again, it’s the 1st day of November – All Saints’ Day. It’s been a tradition in the Philippines to visit the mausoleums or graveyards of our loved ones. Public cemeteries are always crowded. People are carrying different things such as flowers and candles for the dead, fans and umbrellas against the heat of the sun, drinks and food to fight thirst and hunger, and pocketbooks and newspapers to wrestle with boredom.

This is a very special day because we commemorate our loved ones; that once in our lives, they had touched our hearts. There are moments with them that we will cherish for a lifetime. These are priceless, unforgettable, and irreplaceable. It is just to give them some of our time, even once in a year, to let them know and feel that they are not forgotten, although, they already passed away.
Revisiting the dead is not merely going to the cemetery, lighting a candle, and offering flowers to their graveyards; it is a means of showing them they are always a part of our lives even if they do not already exist on earth.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Bukang - Liwayway

* Naalala mo pa ba sina Basilio, Isagani, Maria Clara, o kaya'y si Simoun? Natatandaan mo pa bang bitin ang huling kabanata ng El Filibusterismo ni Rizal? Heto ang aking sariling bersyon ng pagtatapos sa El Fili.
Habang nagmamasid si Basilio sa harap ng pinagdarausan ng piging, nakita niyang papalapit ang kanyang kabungguang-balikat. Makikita sa mga mata ni Isagani ang matinding kalungkutang nararamdaman niya at ang pagkasabik na makita ang kanyang iniirog. Dahil dito, nagpumilit siyang pumasok ngunit sa kasamaang-palad ay hindi siya pinahintulutan tulad ni Basilio. Namataan kasi ang binata ni Juanito at inutos sa mga guardia civil na harangin ito. Anumang pilit ni Isaganing pumasok, dahil binanggit na ng kanyang kaibigan na ilang minuto na lamang ay sasabog na ang bahay, ay hindi umubra.
Nakarinig ang taga-Ateneo ng pagdating ng isang karwahe. Nagbalik si Simoun. Sa isang kisap-mata, nagbago ang timpla ng mukha ni Isagani. Isang Apollo ang gustong bumulalas sa kanyang katauhan. Nilapitan niya ito na nakaakma na ang kanyang kamao na anumang oras ay maaaring ibaon ito sa mukha ng anino ng heneral. Biglang nawala sa eksena ang anak ng namatay na baliw.
“Napakawalang-hiya mo! Ang lakas ng loob mong magpunta rito. Para ano? Upang masaksihan ng dalawang mata mo ang pagtilapon ng mga parte ng katawan ng mga nasa pista? Waka kang awa! Ngayo’y naroroon ang pinakamamahal kong babae – si Paulita! Wala akong magawa upang iligtas siya,” ang naghihimutok na paninisi ni Isagani. Hindi pa niya natapos ang kanyang sasabihin sa karimarimarim na Dakilang Itim dahil naganap na ang nakabibinging pagsabog ng kabahayan….
“Paulita! Paulita! Hindi! Paulita, huwag mo akong iwan!” paulit-ulit na sinasambit ng binatang nakalupasay sa lupa at parang gripo ang kanyang mga matang walang tigil sa pagluha. Samantala, si Simoun nama’y tumalikod na mababakas sa kanyang mukha ang kagalakan dahil naipaghiganti na niya ang mga api.
Sa sobrang paghihinagpis ng binata, tumungo ito sa may ilog na kanugnog lamang ng bahay. Animo’y nakikipag-usap siya sa hangin at namamaalam na. Nais niyang makasama ang kanyang iniibig sa kabilang buhay. Di kaginsa-ginsa’y may narinig siyang sigaw. “Isagani, hindi mo dapat ituloy iyan. Buhay ako. Buhay na buhay!” Napalingon ang binata. Bumulaga sa kanyang mata si Paulita kasama ni Basilio. Kapwa basing-basa ang kanilang mga kasuotan. Bumaha na ng luha sa pagsisimula ng pag-uulayaw ng dalawa.
“Basilio!” Nagulantang na lang sila nang nakita nilang ang nagsalita ay si Simoun. “Patawarin mo ‘ko, Isagani, Paulita at Basilio…” ani ng anino ng heneral. “Batid kong napakasama nito pero mas masama pa rito ang mangyayari kung patuloy pang mabubuhaya ang mga nagpapahirap sa ating bansa.”
“Pagkatapos ho ng lahat ng ito, ibig ko nang bumalik sa San Diego. Gusto kong dumako sa kagubatan at makapiling ang aking ina. Nais ko na ring tuparin ang mga pangarap ko kahit nasa kabilang buhay na si Juli,” sagot ni Basilio na pinakinggan din ng mag-irog.
Kinabukasan, agaran silang nagtungo sa kagubatan. Palaho na ang kanilang mga anino nang nakarating sila roon. Tumulong mag-ayos ng libingan ang kanyang katotong si Isagani at si Paulita na kahit noo’y may pandidiri ito sa mga madadamong lugar. Malapit na silang matapos sa gawain nang umalingawngaw ang tinig ng dawalang tao. Nakilala nila ang isa – si Simoun. Hinanap ni Basilio kung saan sila naroroon. Tumambad sa kanyang paningin si Placido Penitente, ang estudyanteng tigib ng paghihiganti at poot ang kalooban sa mga prayle.
“O aming Maylikha! Kayo na po ang gumabay sa isa na namang bukang-liwayway na maglalakbay sa salasalabat na kakahuyan. Mahirap pakupasin ang mga pagkabigo at kaapihan ng kahapon ngunit nasa inyo nang desisyon kung Inyong pahihintulutang magsindi ang mitsa o aapulain ninyo ito sa pagkakabatid na hanay ng kabaong ang magiging bunga nito.”


‘Tis the most darkest room.
so helpless am I.
on bended knees am I.
a very lost soul am I.

‘Tis when mine mind’s not in peace,
so much perplexed head have I,
puzzled decisions have I,
bare yet gullible eyes have I.

Nothing can heal me.
Nothing can save.
Nothing can help me.
Nothing… nothing but I.

Leaden clouds, feeble moonlight,
the face of the sun hiding,
Noone seemed to outright.
All their heads back turning.

Lonely as a sea it could be,
lifeless as an untoiled soil,
unchained, loveless melody,
Killing me slowly as it used to be!

Fresh Strokes of Liberal Hands

Nota Bene: The SUSI Exhibit is still running until the end of this month in Metropolitan Museum in Roxas Blvd. That's tomorrow.
Future and fancy – these two are the main themes of the SUSI exhibit. Visual works included in the exhibit delve in the different views of Chinese painters of tomorrow.
Indeed, the exhibit can be considered as contemporary art because radicalism, mutation, fanciness, eccentricity, inspiration and liberalism are visible in the works in it.
Being radical of contemporary artists is shown in the paintings. For example, Rainbow presents different scenarios such as machineries, fire trucks, and buildings. Each painting has a rainbow with different things like McDonald’s, 7-11, The Café, Made in China and many others. This implies that, in the future, lives of people are governed with technology and industrialization. The primary focus of the paintings is the rainbow and not the scenes which only serve as background.
Apparently, the masterpieces in SUSI differ from that of ancient. Indeed, art is mutating. Artists are experimenting on the medium they are using to create their obra maestras. One model for this is the Ceramic Diorama. This art used monitors or televisions to show the said visual art. It shows different scenarios of the artist’s view of the future. Hijacking an airplane, caesarian operation, and assassination of a politician are some of the aforementioned scenarios.
Some of which are absolutely fancy. The best example is the Asian Tide. It is made up of plastic dinosaur dolls which create some sort of a wave. In this work, audience will be flabbergasted with the artists because it is very difficult to make a work like that. It really entails a lot of patience and perseverance.
In addition to that, there are also eccentric works of art. Audience can immediately differentiate some works from the others. Accumulating Eggs Project on the Sandy Beach and the New CCTV Bldg are good examples for this. Aside from the fascination the audience will get from them, the two stand out from the rest because they are made up of shining egg shells.
Furthermore, artists need inspirations to come up with an art. In the painting Two Arrows, a man is standing in front of a door in a dim place. At the top of the door is a board with two arrows on it. The painter might come from a place like that; that’s why he made it. Another example is the video on Where will I go?. This ponders on a short film on where the people will go in the future. Basically, it is a realization and a question in each person’s mind. The animated characters in the film shoulder a cross and some hold a thorn. This art perhaps inspired with religion. The artist might be involved in a religious movement or sector. In this case, he sourced his inspiration from religion and he sees the future as the last judgment.
Lastly, the artists now are liberal. They do any artworks because they feel like doing them, they want to express their thoughts, and they voice out their principles or philosophies through art. Some may make visual arts about religion, politics, ethnicity, gender or even race. Artists of today are not anymore boxed. They experience freedom in making a masterpiece they want to do. There are no tenets or rules now. What important is they can communicate with the audience with what they want to tell. This is contemporary art – liberal, radical, fancy and eccentric. Obviously, the artworks included in the SUSI exhibit have shown evidences of contemporary art. ©


Nota Bene: This is about how language of art is shown in the movie entitled "Bleu." I did not include the use of camera in here.
The movie “Bleu” is one of the best examples of art in which the visual elements of art can be vividly seen. The basic element of art is a line. Julie, the main character, copes with life as her husband and daughter passed away. The apartment where she transferred has a very sad atmosphere. It can be shown by the vertical line all over the place especially in the walls.
Light also plays a vital role in the film to make the scenes lonelier. The shading of the place is darkened during the scenes of Julie when she feels so down. The achromatic value scale is exemplified in this case.

The value in color of various scene ranges from dark to light color. Moreover, the light beams of color blue do add to the atmosphere being built in the story. It can also be noticed that the setting itself gives a very disheartening atmosphere. Most of the things in the setting of the story are color brown, which can also be considered as a warm color.
When it comes to texture, the film gives illusionary texture of the setting as well as of the characters’ clothing and the like. Lines are used here to make visual texture since viewers cannot touch the setting itself. Furthermore, pattern can be noticed in walls or even in cabinets in the apartment of the lead character. Specifically, a geometric pattern is used in the cabinet.
Shapes in a motion picture are very inevitable. The setting of this film has so many geometric shapes. Some are regular and others are not.
Indeed, “Bleu” evidently shows the language of art. Ω

After Two Decades

Nota Bene: This is a reaction paper on the PETA Presentation entitled "Walang Himala" which was a commemoration of EDSA People Power I.
The regime of Ferdinand Marcos when Martial Law was implemented is considered as the Dark Age in Philippine history. Freedom of speech was suppressed. Violence spread in the whole nation. Political killings and abductions were prevalent. Marcos dictatorship put an end to what is called the mythical belief of Filipinos regarding Bernardo Carpio, whom they believed would save them from slavery and tyranny. Martial law gave birth to a renewed and reborn nation, that is, EDSA People Power I last 1986.
Twenty years have already passed since EDSA I occurred. Its spirit is still in the minds of each and every Filipino. This can be vividly seen in the protests in schools, streets, and government agencies. EDSA I’s spirit does not rest on rallies perse, instead, it relies on what the protesters are fighting for. This gives a clear-cut picture that people have learned to fight and to exercise their rights, which were deprived from them by Marcos authoritarianism.
Through the theatrical play “Walang Himala,” the People Power I is once again commemorated. The said play involved documentary footages of the actual event and different narratives which mirror the lives of Filipinos then. Apparently, it is sympathetic in relation to the reasons why EDSA I transpired. For viewers who were not yet born when it transpired, the play is a very good supplement because it has shown various stories of Filipinos from different walks of life which would complete the picture puzzle of EDSA I in their minds. EDSA I was not just merely a demonstration of social anarchy, a weakening of institutional power, or a wrestling of power from state to street, but its real essence was that, through People Power, hope that leadership would be ethical and would follow the heroic spirit of Rizal once more was rejuvenated. It was said that there was also a big hope that the line separating the poor and the elite would eventually disappear so that the populace and elite would hold hand in hand to solve corruption and social injustice. Furthermore, EDSA I also symbolizes unity. Only in this event, Filipino people from politics, military, religion, private and public sector acted as one to overthrow the Marcos government.
“Walang Himala” also has raised many important points that Filipinos today can easily relate to them. The first one is the story of Edgar who is an OFW in Italy. He worked there for years to earn a living and went back home but his children’s emotional attachment towards him weakened. Then, he flied back there to work again but, unfortunately, he returned back lifeless. There are many cases of OFW’s who experience the same thing. Many corpses come back here from other countries because of the cruelty of their employers. Another one is the story of the rock musicians who want to commemorate EDSA I even though they were not yet existing when it happened. Also, nowadays, there are youth who celebrate it. It is not important if they were present or not. What important is they celebrate the spirit of democracy and nationalism depicted in EDSA I. Moreover, the narrative of Amelia also emphasizes the significance of patriotism. They go back to the Philippines from China because they reasoned out that they are Filipinos and China is not their homeland. In addition to that, the NGO workers try to assess what happened to Filipinos after twenty years. That is still a question that is needed to be raised if there is still a difference between Marcos regime and Arroyo government. Ω

Kweba ng Biyaya

Kung ikaw ay isang matayog (mayaman) o nagmamatayog (social mountaineer), maaaring hindi mo pa gaanong napagmamasdan ang kwebang ito o dili kaya’y wala kang balak pumasok dahil nga parang di ka nababagay sa lugar na ito. Nandidiri ka… Masuka-suka sa amoy at itsura… Hindi ba?
Kahit isa kang dayuhan sa isang lugar, mababatid mo kaagad kung saan matatagpuan ang kuwebang ito. Nagkakasunud-sunod ang pagbaba ng mga tao sa jip kung kaya’t nagdudulot ito ng masikip na daloy ng trapiko. Idagdag mo pa rito ang mga traysikel – mapa-de padyak o mapa-de motor. Sa rami ba naman nilang nagkalat, malilito ka kung kanino ka sasakay. ‘Di lang ‘yan, ang mga nagdedeliber na mga trak ay humaharang din sa kalsada. Doon kasi nagmamaneobra. Minsa’y sabay-sabay pa. At kadalasa’y nag-iiwan ng mga kalat sa pinagparadahan.
Ang mga tao, animo’y ‘di magkamayaw sa pagmamadaling makapasok sa nasabing kuweba. Pagkababang-pagkababa sa sasakyan nagkukumahog nang malasap ang nag-iintay sa kanila sa loob habang ang Haring Pebo ay paakyat pa lang sa kanyang trono. ‘Di na rin maaalis sa kanilang magdala ng mga bayong ngunit dahil sa pagbabago ng henerasyon o yaong modernisasyon, mas gamitin na ang mga naglalakihang mga plastic. Iba’t ibang kulay. At kung minsa’y kasya na ang isang tao sa sobrang laki.
Sabay sa pagpasok ng mga mamimili pa lang, ang paglabas naman ng mga hindi magkandadalang nakapamili na. Mauuri mo ang tao sa dasmi ng bitbit nilang mga plastic. Kung gaano karami ang dala nilang plastic, syempre ganun din karami ang perang lumipad mula sa bulsa nila. Dahil nga maraming nabili, karamihan sa kanila ay ‘di na sumasakay ng jip. Tatawag sila agad ng traysikel upang maiwasang magpaltos ang mga kamay nila.
Bukod sa mga sasakyan, malalaman mo rin ang kinaroroonan ng kwebang ito dahil sa natatanging itsura nito. Bubungad sa’yo ang mga nagtitinda ng bananacue o kaya’y turon o minsan pa nga’y okoy. Ito ang mga tindang hindi mawawaglit sa isang kweba. Kung wala nito, ‘di ito matatawag na kweba. Ang ingay rin ng mga bunganga ng mga nagtitinda ay pumapailanlang na sa ere. Ang mga gilid ntio ay parang mga butas na tinahi at tinagpian ng mga plastic. Sinasamahan pa kadalasan ng mga plywood at ibang putol-putol na kahoy. At syempre, para hindi mawala ang identidad nito ang nagsisilakihang “______ Market.”
Katulad ng nabanggit ko, marami ang mga nakaparada at nakaharang na mga trak. Sila ang numero unong pinagmumulan ng halimuyak na maaaring kumitil sa’yo. Masangsang ang amoy at ito na malamang ang dahilan kung bakit hindi man lang sumasayad ang naggigintuang mga paa ng mga matatayog at nagmamatayog.
Ilan lang ito sa mga pahiwatig upang malaman mong malapit o nasa may kweba ka na. Kung ganito ang kalagayan sa labas ng kweba, ganoon din kaya sa loob?
Malimit ang mga mga kwebang walang dibisyon – ang WET at DRY Market. Karamihan hati ang mundo sa loob ng kweba.
Unahin ko na ang Wet Market dahil ito ay hindi malapit sa puso ko. Ang implikasyon ng naturingang Wet ay syempre basa kung kaya’t maputik, minsa’y ubod ng putik – naglalawa ‘yung ibig kong ipunto. Mas matitiis mo ang amoy dito kumpara sa labas ng kweba kahit sabihin mo pang nagkahalo-halo ang mga amoy nito. Pero pangako, mas matitiis mo!
Bukod sa amoy, dito makikita ang mga manok (mula sa pagkuha sa kulungan hanggang sa gilitan, pakuluan at hati-hatiin sa bawat parte nito), ang bakang tilad-tilad na at namumula, ang baboy na nakasabit sa bawat tindahan, ang mga isdang nilulunod sa tubig na may yelo at mamula-mula na ang mga mata at malapit nang mabilasa ang iba, at ang iba pang nagmamahalang mga lamang-dagat tulad ng hipon, talaba, tahong, alimasag at paros.
Kung nais mong makabili ng kalidad at murang bilihin, dapat marunong kang tumawad. At ang karamihan nga’y pambabarat ang ginagawa para lalong makamura hanggang sa puntong sadsad na sadsad na ang presyo sa puhunan ng mga tindera. Ang iba naman mukhang nilalangaw ang tinda dahil puro langaw lang ang nagtatangkang lumapit sa paninda nila. Kung kaya naman, hiyaw nang hiyaw ng “Suki, bili na!” ang mga ito para may bumili kahit hindi pa nakakabili kahit isang beses ang mga ito. Ang iba namang desperadong manininda bagsak-presyo para lang mabili na ang kanilang tinda at may kitain kahit papaano. Sa kabilang banda, mayroon ding nagmamatigas at ayaw matawaran ang kanilang paninda dahil alam nilang ‘di makakatanggi ang mga tao dahil pangangailang o necessity iyon. Kadalasan umaabot sa puntong nagtatalo ang dalawa sa presyo.
Hindi rin mawawala sa eksena ang mga sumusutsot at nagsasabing “Tabi po, makikiraan lang!” – ang mga kargador. Sila ang mga tagahatid ng mga manok – mapapatay o buhay man. Nakatali iyon sa isang pingga na isinasakbit sa balikat ng mga ito. Hila-hila naman ng bartilyo ang banye-banyerang isda upang isakay sa kariton.. Kadalasang nakabota, walang pang-itaas at humuhulas ang pawis sa buong katawan ng mga ito.
Ngayon naman, ang medyo gusto kong parteng palengke – ang Dry Market. Dahil nga dry, hindi maputik sa lugar na ito. Nadadampian lang ng putik kung ang mga mamimili ay galing sa kabilang mundo at dumarayo rito upang bumili. Sila ‘yung mga huling pinupuntahan ito dahil ayaw nilang matirhan ng bilasang isda at pinagpiliang baboy o baka. Mas maayos dito kahit medyo mainit dahil talagang kulob ang parteng ito.
Medyo bihira ang mga gulay at prutas dito sapagkat ang karamihan nito’y nasa kabilang ibayo pero mayroon pa ring nagtitinda nito sa dry market. Ang mga plasticwares tulad ng mga pitsel, baso, jag, mangkok, tasa, baunan at mga footwears tulad ng tsinelas, sandalyas, bota at sapatos ay naglipana saanmang sulok ng bahaging ito. Naririto rin ang saku-sakong bigas na iba’t iba ang presyong binatay sa klase o uri (may bago o laon) at sa kahilaban nito. Laging kasama ng bigas sa tindahan nito ang monggo, malagkit, beans, noodles at iba pang kauri nito. Mala-groseri rin ito dahil makakabili ka ng mga sabon – panlaba o panligo, panghugas ng pinggan, detergents, at mga de lata. Hindi rin mawawala ang mga naglalakihang mga kainan na di maubusan ng taong kumakain. Dahil na rin siguro sa kayang-kaya ng bulsa at malapit sa tiyan ng mga mamimili ang mga luto.
Tulad ng sa Wet Market, ang sagutan ng mga manininda at mga bumibili ay hindi makakailang nakakabit sa bawat eksena sa loob nito. Mataas pa rin ang pamantayan ng mga mamimili kaalinsabay ng pagtaas ng kilay. Namumutawi sa bibig ng mga tindera ang mga katagang “Ate, ano po sa inyo?” o dili kaya’y “Shorts po ba o tsinelas ang hanap ninyo?” Tama, panghahalina! Bihirang tigilan ka ng mga taong ito hangga’t di ka nakakaalpas sa kanilang paningin. Pero ang mga nagdaraang mga manininda, dedma… parang wala naririnig at diretso lang ang paglakad…
Hindi maikakaila na ang kwebang ito o ang palengke ay isang pangangailangan. Hindi lilipas ang isang linggo na hindi mamimili ang bawat tao. Karamihan ng ating kailangan sa araw-araw ay naririto na. Bigas… Pang-ulam… Prutas… Damit… Kasangkapan… Gulay… Samatuwid, ang palengke ay maituturing na isang pangangailangan na rin ng tao.
Ang palengke ay hindi mo rin masasabing isang ordinaryong pook lang na may mga tinda. Sa halip, ito ay isang mahalagang pook kung na ‘di na natin matatanggal sa ating kultura at sa ating buhay. Lumaki ang bawat isa sa atin na nasilayan na ang palengke… Walang sinuman ang makalilimot sa pook na ito.
Kung inaakala ninyo naman na puro ordinaryong tao lang ang namimili rito o ‘yung ayos lang ang estado sa buhay, dyan kayo nagkakamali. May mga maykaya rin ang dumarayo rin dito, kaya nga lang, mayroon talagang mga taong sosyal kaya sa katulong na lang nag-uutos. Hindi maitatangging ang palengke ay isang tagpuan ng mga taong mula sa iba’t ibang karera o estado ng buhay. Mga taong iba’t iba ang personalidad, karakter, ugali, itsura, pamantayan, prinsipyo at kwento ng buhay. Datapwa’t iisa lang ang kanilang layunin sa pagpunta rito. Ito ay ang bumili ng kanilang mga pangangailangan sa kweba ng biyaya…

Ang Karunungan

Sapat na ba para sa iyo ang agham?
Marahil, ang sagot mo sa pambungad na tanong ay napalaking Oo dahil ang mga produkto nito ang naglalaba ng iyong mga damit, nagpapalamig sa iyong kwarto, nakapagbibigay ng aliw at kasiyahan, hinahayaan kang makipag-usap sa taong nasa ibang lugar, nakapagpapatagal ng buhay ng iyong mga pagkain, nakatutulong sa iyong bumiyahe nang mabilis sa malalayong pook, nakapagpapagaling sa iyong mga karamdaman at napakarami pang iba. Ngunit iyon lang ba ang ibig sabihin sa iyo ng siyensya?
Hindi maitatangging ang siyensya ay ubod ng lawak na disiplina kung kaya’t maraming nagbibigay-kahulugan dito. Ang mga diksyunaryo, ensayklopedya maging ang internet ay nagkakaisa sa iisang depinisyon nito. Ang siyensya ay isang organisado at sistematikong kaalaman na nilikom nang napakatagal na panahon upang maipaliwanag ang ginagalawan nating mundo at bilang isang batayan ng katotohanan.
Napakakomplikado hindi ba? Kung titingnan at babasahin nang pahapyaw, animo’y ito na ang gamot sa lahat ng suliranin ng ating bansa at ng ating daigdig. Sagot sa kahirapan, sa kawalan ng trabaho, at sa mga malulubhang sakit…
Isang dahilan kung bakit ganoon ang naging katuturan ng salitang siyensya dahil ito ay hango sa salitang Latin na “scientia” na katumbas ng karunungan o kaalaman. Dagdag pa rito, ang nasabing pinaghanguan ng salita ay mula sa pandiwang “scire” na nangangahulugang “alamin.”
Dahil nga sinabing ang salitang siyensya ay kasingkahulugan ng kaalaman, ito ay sinasabing sagot sa mga tanong, eksplenasyon sa mga pangyayari sa mundo, solusyon sa mga problema, at basehan ng katotohanan.
Ayon kay Prof. Perry Ong, ang siyensya ay tungkol sa kung paano nalikom o nakuha ang kaalaman at hindi sa akto ng pangangalap ng mga tunay na pangyayari. Ito rin ay tungkol sa pagpoproseso ng mga impormasyon. Malinaw na ipinahihiwatig na mas importanteng malaman kung paano nakakalap at pinoproseso ang mga pangyayari at iba pang impormasyon kaysa mismong akto.
Sa kabilang banda, mayroon ding tinatawag na “Non-Science” o hindi agham. Ang siyensya para maging totoong siyensya ay kailangang paulit-ulit na patunayan at kapag sa ilang beses ng pag-eeksperimento ay pare-pareho lang ang kinahihinatnan, ito ay maituturing na agham. Ang “non-science” ay ang kabaligtaran nito.Kung isang beses lang napatunayan at sa ilang eksperimento iba ang naging resulta, ito ay hindi agaham.
Hindi lang iyan. Ngayon ay tinatawag nang “Pseudoscience” o pekeng agham. Ito ay hindi talaga agham ngunit gumagamit ito ng lenggwahe o kaanyuan ng siyensya upang mangumbinsi, manlito o manloko ng tao na ang isang bagay ay siyentipikong balido. Kapag ito ay isinailalim sa pag-aaral o eksperimento, mapapatunayang peke ito. Ang halimbawang talamak na talamak ay ang mga komersyal ng sabon, gamut, shampoo at kauri nito. Napapansin niyo ba na gumagamit sila ng testimonya mula sa mga doctor o nagdodoktor-doktoran. Madalas marinig ang mga katagang ito “9 out of 10 doctors recommend Brand X.” Ito ay mga half-lies. (Ong, 2005)
Tulad ng nabanggit na, may eksperimentong isinasagawa upang mapatunayan o mapasubalian ang isang bagay. Ito ay nasa ilalim ng siyentipikong metodolohiya. Ang una ninyong impresyon, malamang, ay ang mga dalubhasa lamang ang gumagamit nito upang makapag-eksperimento ng mga kemikal o dili kaya’y makagawa ng bagong imbensyon. Pwes, dyan ka nagkakamali. Kahit pagtawid mo sa kalye ay gumagamit ka ng kaparaanang ito. Lamang ay hindi mo na kailangang isa-isahin ang mga obserbasyon, mga katanungan, haypotesis at kung anu-ano pa. Hindi ba’t pag tumatawid ka sa kalsada, uunahin mong tingnan ang mga sasakyan sa kaliwa’t kanan? Ito ay isang obserbasyon na. Pagkatapos ay iisipin mo kung paano ka tatawid at kung kailan. Kapag madalang na ang mga behikulo at saka ka palang tatawid upang maiwasan ang disgrasya. Napakasimpleng bagay ngunit ‘di mo lang naalintanang ginamitan mo na pala iyon ng siyentipikong metodolohiya. Ngayo’y alam mo nang hindi lang mga siyentista ang gumagamit nito, ang ordinaryong tao’y ginagawang parte rin ito ng kanilang pang-araw-araw na pamumuhay.
Sa pamamagitan ng nasabing metodolohiya, nabatid na mayroong tiyak na sanhi ang mga pangyayaring nagaganap sa ating mundo. Mayroon ding mga pattern ang maaaring magamit upang maipaliwanag ang mga nagaganap sa kapaligiran at ang mga paulit-ulit lang na mga okurensiya ay malamang sa malamang na may parehong sanhi. Dagdag pa rito, kung anuman ang nakikita ng mga mata ng isang tao ay nakikita rin nang sa iba. Ang mga ito ay magagamit din sa iba’t ibang phenomenon.
At ngayo’y babalikan ko ang pambungad na tanong, “Sapat na ba sa’yo ang agham?” Ang dapat na sagot dito ay hindi. Tulad ng karamihan, bagay man o tao, ang agham ay may tiyak na limitasyon din. Ang siyensya ay hindi isang gamot na lahat ng sakit ay maaaring malunasan. May mga tanging pangyayari, karamdaman, at eksitensya na hindi kayang bigyan ng kahulugan ng agham. Para mas lalong maintindihan, narito ang ilang halimbawa.
Hindi maipaliwanag ng agham kung ano mayroon sa utak ng tao, kung bakit ito nagiging mahusay na pintor, kompositor o di kaya isang makata, gayundin kung bakit niya mahal ang Diyos, itinatakwil ang kasamaan, bakit may puso para sa mahihirap o bakit siya humahanga sa paglubog ng araw. (Abesamis, 2001)
Ang bangungot na kinamatay umano ni Rico Yan ay hindi rin lubusang masabi ng
Siyensya kung bakit at paano ito nagaganap at ang masaklap pa nito kung bakit ito humahantong sa kamatayan.
Isa pang konkretong halimbawa ay ang mga taon, may malulubhang kanser na biglang gumagaling at hindi nag-iiwan ng kahit anong bakas ng sakit. Nalathala na ang mga ito sa dyaryo at nabalita na rin sa telebisyon. May mga ganitong pangyayari rin sa Lourdes sa Timog France. Hindi pa rin kayang ipaliwanag ito. (Abesamis, 2001)
Maliwanag na ang siyensya ay napakalawak na kaalaman. Masasagot nito ang lebisyon. May mga ganitong pangyayari rin sa Lourdes sao, ang agham ay may tiyak na limitasyon din. Ang siyensya ay hindi isang gamot y mamga tanong mo kung bakit sumisikat ang araw sa silangan at lumulubog sa kanluran, kung bakit may El Niño at La Niña, kung bakit halos wala nang buhay sa Ilog Pasig, kung bakit nagkakaroon ng sipon, ubo, o lagnat ang isang tao at napakarami pa. Pero maliwanag din na hindi lahat ng mga bumabagabag na katanungan sa isip mo ay nasa libro, ensayklopedia o sa internet. Kung gayon, pinapatunayan lamang na di pa sapat ang agham hangga’t may mga kwestiyon tulad ng kung bakit may mga sakit na di pa rin kayang pagalingin ng mga kasalukuyang gamot na mabibili sa botika at ng marami pang iba.
Sa ngayon, hanggang dito ang hangganan ng agham. Malay natin, ang mga kaalamang pinaniniwalaan natin sa ngayon ay maaaring pasubalian dalawampu o tatlumpung taon mula ngayon. Ito ay sa kadahilanang ang agham ay isang patuloy na proseso.


Hay! Sa araw-araw na ginawa ng Diyos, ganoon pa rin ako. Halos walang nagbago sa sarili ko. Iyon ang sa tingin ko lamang. Sabi kasi ng iba ang laki daw ang pinagbago ko. Ewan ko ba? Ba’t ganoon? Ang dali mong mapansin ang pagbabago sa paligid mo pero ang mga pagbabago sa sarili mo ni hindi mo maalintana. Kaya nga minsan, ang napagdiskitahan kong punahin ay iyong mga naging paaralan ko o ang aking mga alma mater.
Ang pagiging elementarya ko ay masasabi kong parang laru-laro lamang. Hindi ko gaanong sineryoso ang pag-aaral. Natatandaan ko pa nga noon, ang paaralan ko ay maliit at luma na kasi dati iyong bahay. Nirentahan at ginawang eskwelahan. Di ba ang galing? Mabibilang mo lang sa lima mong mga daliri ang mga silid-aralan doon. Hati kasi ang mga klase. Mayroong pang-umaga at mayroong panghapon. Panghapon ako noon kasi tinatamad akong gumising nang maaga at naintindihan din naman ‘yon ng nanay ko.
Mula sa dating bahay na parang mansyon na ring maituturing, nagpagawa ng dalawang bagong gusali. Kung kaya’t gumanda naman ang kapaligiran. Pwede pang maghabulan at magtaguan ang mga estudyante. Oo, gumanda… Tumaas ang mga gusali. Dumami ang mga kwarto. Ang mga mag-aaral – dumami kahit papaano. Ngunit sa kabila ng lahat ng ito, ganoon pa rin ang mga pasilidad. Dalawang bentilador kung kaya’t napakainit. Wala pa ring locker kada kwarto kung kaya’t magkandakuba kami sa pagdala ng halos pitong libro na ang iba’y makakapal pa at ng mahigit sa sampung mga kwaderno. Mala-kampanerang kuba ang labas namin. At ang blackboard… blackboard pa rin! Ang mga silya buti nama’y napalitan ng mga naggagandahang plastik na armchair na kalauna’y puno na ng mga kung anu-anong mga vandalism.
Swerte naman ako sa guro. Magagaling naman ang karamihan. Pero lagi nga lang nakabase sa aming mga libro kaya laging pasarap ang buhay namin. Ni hindi nga kami nakatapak sa silid-aklatan na ayaw naman talagang ipagamit sa ‘di malamang dahilan. Dagdag pa rito, mamamangha ka talaga sa mga titser. Biruin mo ang guro ko sa agham noong ika-anim na baiting, naging guro ko rin sa M.A.P.E. (Music, Arts, & P.E.). ‘Yung guro ko rin sa Math noong nasa ikalima at ika-anim na baiting ako, nagturo rin ng Biology at Chemistry sa hayskul. Kahanga-hanga naman talaga…
Pagdating naman sa kalidad ng edukasyon ng paaralan ko noong elementarya, maganda ang turo lalo na nang Grade 1 pa lang ako. Subalit, dahil na rin sa problema sa guro, hindi na gaanong naituturo nang mahusay ang mga leksyon habang tumatagal. Ito rin ang masasabi kong dahilan kung bakit ako inilipat ng tatay ko sa mas “sikat” at masasabing may reputasyong akademya.
Ayoko talaga lumipat ng hayskul dahil sa mga kaibigan ko. Tatlumpu’t anim na nga lang kaming nagsipagtapos doon, tapos mag-aaway-away pa kami. Pero dahil sa kagustuhan ng aking mga magulang, wala akong nagawa…
Isang Katolikong institusyon ang pinaglipatan sa akin. Maganda. Malinis. Pangmayaman. Malawak. Sa katunayan nga, muntik-muntikanan na akong maligaw ng pumasok ako isang araw. Sa gate sa likod ako nagdaan, ewan ko ba kung ano ang pumasok sa isipan ko at doon ako nagdaan. Buti naman sa tulong na rin ng aking mga magagaling na paa, natagpuan ko ang liwanag. Lalo ko pang binilisan ang lakad patungo sa klasrum ko. Ayokong mahuli sa flag ceremony dahil ‘di ko alam ang mangyayari sa’kin. Kasi nga new student ako…
Wow! Wala talaga akong masasabi sa mga kwarto, dingding, pasibilidad at kung anu-ano pa! Naka-airconditioned ang mga klasrum. Lahat! At eto pa, bawat kwarto, may apat na electric fan (‘yung iba ‘di gumagana!), kompyuter, telebisyon, amplifier, OHP o Over Head Projector. Saan ka pa? Para ‘kong isang alien o taga-bundok na ngayon lang nakakita ng mga produkto ng teknolohiya na makikita sa bawat klasrum. High tech nga! Kaya ‘pag may reporting isang saksak, mga pitong pindot, tanannn!!! Makakapagreport ka ura-urada.
Nakasanayan ko na noong nasa grade school ako na malapit ako sa mga guro. Paano naman ba hindi ka magiging close, ang isang guro halos dalawa hanggang tatlong taon mo magiging guro. ‘Yung titser ko ng sa English, mula unang baitang titser ko na! Ngunit iba na pala ‘pag hayskul Animo’y nakatuntong ang bawat isa sa amin sa numero. Bawat galaw kalkulado. Bawat galaw ingat na ingat. Mahirap matukoy ang timpla ng ugali ng mga guro. Baka kagalitan o dili kaya’y ipahiya sa klase. Mga bagay na kinatatakutan ko.
May mga titser na nakasundo ko kaagad. Magaling ang pagmomotibasyon sa klase. May mga props pa kadalasan. Nakikipagbiruan kahit bagong kakilala mo pa lang. Ang iba’y ‘di mahirap ispelingin at pakisamahan. Mayroon din isang beses pa lang nilatag ang aralin, kuha mo na kaagad. Pero mayroon din akala niya isa siyang napakagaling na guro. Papasok lang sa klase para makipagkwentuhan. At paglutuin ba naman kami sa sabjek niya – English? Tama ba ‘yon? Natapos ang taon, wala akong natutunan!
‘Di hamak na mas maganda at mas mataas nga ang kalidad ng turo sa pinag-aralan ko ng hayskul. Isama mo pa rito ang mga high-tech na mga kagamitan. Dahil na rin sa mas magandang turo, mas hindi ka patutulugin dahil tatabunan ka ng sangkaterbang mga takdang-aralin, dula, presentasyon, proyekto, babasahin, at mga pananaliksik. Maswerte na ako ‘pag nakatulog ako ng ika-10 ng gabi. Sa paraang ito ko lamang natanto na di lang pala dapat ibase ang mga aralin sa librong ipinabibili. Pero ang masaklap dito, napakagastos. Mabubutas talaga ang iyong bulsa.
Sa sampung taon ng mahirap-na-medyo-mahirap na pag-aaral sa elemtarya at sekondarya, marami akong natutunan. Sa sobrang dami kong natutunan, ang iba’y nawaglit na sa aking isipan… Ngayon nama’y nasa pinakamahirap na yugto na ako ng pag-aaral – ang kolehiyo.
Ngayo’y nasa unibersidad na ako pero hindi ko maiwasan na magbaliktanaw at minsa’y bisitahin naman ang aking mga alma mater.
Ang paaralan ko noong elementarya ay kahindik-hindik ang kinasapitan. Hindi ko rin alam kung bakit. Nakakagulat. ‘Di kapanipaniwala. ‘Pag dumaraan ang sinasakyan kong jip doon, sinisilip ko iyon. Tinitingnan ko kung may mga pagbabago. Ganun pa rin ang mga gusali na nasaksihan kong itayo. Subalit ang mga guro pasama nang pasama. Batay sa mga kwento ng dati kong mga kamag-aaral, kung sinu-sno nang mga guro ang pumasok at ipinasok ng prinsipal. Ganun pa rin ang sistema.Ang titser ng Computer pwedeng magturo ng Math o dili kaya’y C.A.T. Halos wala na raw silang natutunan. Nabulok na nang tuluyan ang dating ipinalasap sa akin na kalidad ng edukasyon sa paaralan iyon.
Kung mga estudyante ang pag-uusapan, nakakagulat din. Makikita mo na lang ang mga matitigas ang ulong mga estudyanteng naninigarilyo sa mismong tindahang katabi ng aking alma mater. Hindi ba’t malaking sampal iyon sa mga nagpapatakbo ng aking alma mater.
Ang bunga ng nabulok nang sistema ng edukasyon sa nasabing paaralan? Wala ni isa man sa kanilang nakapasa sa UP kahit ang naturing nilang valedictorian at salutatorian.
Sa paggradweyt ko ng hayskul, marami rin palang mga gurong nagsialisan kung kaya’t nang dumalaw ako roon kamakailan, nagulat na lang ako sa dami ng mga bagong mukhang naglalakad sa mga pasilyo. Napatanong na lang ako sa sarili ko, “Paano na kaya ang mga mag-aaral na naiwan doon?” Kadikit ng pagpasok ng mga baguhang mga guro ang pag-aalinlangan kung maibibigay ba nila ang kalidad ng edukasyong inihain sa’min ng mga nagsialisang mga guro o kung mahihigitan ba nila iyon. Kung hindi, kaawa-awa sila ‘pag nagkataon…
Ganun pa rin naman ang klasrum. Kompleto pa rin ang mga high tech gadgets. Lamang ay pinalitan na nila ang mga ordinaryong airconditioners ng mga split-type airconditioning units. Kaya lalo pang lumamig sa bawat klasrum at tumaas din ang matrikula. May mala-OPAC na rin ang silid-aklatan pagkatapos ng isang siglo ng pag-aayos niyon.
Sa pagbisita ko kamakailan, nakausap ko ang moderator namin sa paggawa ng dyaryo ng hayskul. Ani ko sa kanya, “Ms., nakita ko na ang malaking pinagkaiba ng SJA sa ibang eskwelahan at sa UP…” Nag-usisa siya at hiniling na ilahad ko ang nais kong sabihin pero hindi ko na pinalawig ang ibig sabihin ng aking dila.
Marami na akong nakilala sa unidersidad kahit magtatatlong buwan pa lang ako rito. Iba’t iba ang pinanggalingang mga paaralan, karamihan ay yaong mga Science High School. Syempre, hindi makakaila na karamihan ng mga mag-aaral mula sa ganung uri ng paaralan ay matatalino. Hindi maaalis ang kwentuhan na may kasamang pagmamalaki sa kanilang pinanggalingang paaralan. Kadalasan nga’y kahit hindi mo tanungin kung saan sila grumadweyt ay malalaman mo kaagad dahil sila ang kadalasang nagpapasiklab ‘pag may mga diskusyon lalo na sa mga klase sa Math at Science. Hindi na kailangan pang usisain, maganda at advance ang edukasyong inilatag sa kanila dahil sila ay mula sa isang Science High School. Sa kabilang banda, ang mga tinuturo sa kanila ay advance nga lang kumpara sa isang ordinaryong hayskul. Tulad ng sa dating kong paaralan, tutok sila sa mga sabjek tulad ng Math. Kaya talaga naman matitinik sa matematika ang mga mag-aaral na iyon. ‘Di ko maiiwasan na minsan manliit ako… Parang walang panama ang skul ko dati kung sa Science ang paglalabanan. Kakaiba ang kurikulum nila. Katulad ng nabanggit ko, mga advance ang mga asignatura nila. May mga dagdag pang mga asignatura o ‘yung mga electives. Hindi tulad ng sa amin…
Isang beses nang makakwentuhan ko ang aking nanay, nabanggit ko nga sa kanya ‘yung mga narinig at nalaman ko ukol sa kalidad ng edukasyon ng elementarya at hayskul. Ang dami-dami namang medyo malalapit na mga mas magagandang paaaralan sa Malabon, ba’t doon pa ako grumadweyt. Sana doon na lang nila ako pinasok. Sana doon na lang ako nagtapos. Sana nga…
Batid kong huli na ang lahat. ‘Di ko na maibabalik kung anu-ano na ang mga naganap sa buhay ko ngunit hindi talaga mawaglit sa aking isipan ang panghihinayang at pagsisisi. Nais kong balikan ang nakaraan nang sa gayon ay sa kilala at magaling na eskwelahan ako nagtapos. Mag-e-enjoy siguro ako nang husto at ‘di lang iyan, mae-expose pa ako sa tunay na mundo ng akademiko. Malamang malilinang ko kung anumang talento mayroon ako. Mas marami akong natutunan at malalaman. Ito ay tiyak. Dugtungan ko man ang linyang ito ng sangkatutak na “Sana…” wala na akong magagawa kundi punan ang mga naging pagkukulang…
Sa kabilang dako, masasabi kong maswerte pa rin ako. Maswerte kasi naging puhunan ko ang mga naituro at natutunan ko noon sa pakikipagsapalaran dito sa unibersidad. Malaking tulong talaga… Kahit minsan hindi maiwasang maramdamang nakapanliliit, hindi ako nagpapahuli dahil alam kong may ibubuga naman ako. Oo nga’t mas mataas ang kalidad ng edukasyon ng ibang paaralan lalo na ang mga Science high School pero hindi lang naman ang tulad nila ang nakapasok dito sa UP. Ibig sabihi’y hindi lang sila ang maalam at hindi lang sila ang may mataas na kalidad ng edukasyon sa bansa. Masasabi kong ang paaralang kung saan ako nagtapos ng hayskul ay humubog at humasa sa aking kamalayan at talino. Iyon ay sa pamamagitan ng training at kalidad ng edukasyong pinaranas sa akin. Mataas din naman ang kalidad ng edukasyon sa alma mater ko pero talagang hindi makakailang mas mataas ang sa mga Science High School.
Kaya, kung ako ikaw, ‘wag magpahuli kung alam mong may talino kang maipagmamalaki. ‘Wag magpaalipin sa ganitong uri ng kaisipan… tulad ko na ngayo’y nakawala na sa gapos…
Tama na ang “Sana…Nga”!!! Kuntento na ‘ko at ito ang panalo!


Ang Perlas ng Silangan ay muling nahaharap sa isang isyu na maaaring magpalubha o makagamot sa kanser ng lipunan na nananalaytay pa rin mula noong panahon ng Kastila hanggang sa kasalukuyan.
Naging usapin matapos ihayag ng Pang. Gloria Arroyo sa kanyang SONA noong ika-25 ng Hulyo, 2005 ang pagsisimula ng pag-aamenda ng saligang batas upang mapalitan na ang sistema ng pamahalaan mula sa pagiging presidensyal patungong parliyamentaryo. Hanggang ngayo’y pinagtatalunan pa rin ang nasabing usapin ng mga senador at kongresista.
Sa kasalukuyang estado ng Pilipinas, hindi napapanahon ang pagpapalit ng sistema ng gobyerno. Maraming salik na dapat isaalang-alang. Maraming problemang dapat munang pagtuunan bago isagawa ang pagiging parliyamentarismo.
Sa isang banda, napakaganda ng mga inihahain ng ganitong sistema para sa bansa. Ang ehekutura ay isang gabinete na pinamumunuan ng punong ministro na siyang pinuno ng gobyerno. Ang punong ministro ay itatalaga ng mga lider ng mga partido sa parliyamento. At ang mga miyembro ng gabinete naman ay maaaring ipatanggal sa pwesto ng parliyamento sa pamamagitan ng “vote of no confidence.” Dagdag pa rito, ang ehekutibo ay maaaring kadalasang alisin ang parliyamento at magpatawag ng eleksyon. Hiwalay rin ang kapangyarihan ng pinuno ng gobyerno o ang Punong Ministro, at ng pinuno ng estado o ang Pangulo. Sa karamihan ng bansang may ganitong sistema ng pamahalaan, ang pinuno ng estado ng kadalasang pangseremonya lamang ang papel at minsa’y rin nakikialam sa pagtatalaga sa “civil service.”
Isa sa mga bentahe nito ay pwedeng pagpaliwanagin ang parliyamento sa mga hindi nararapat na aksyon. Ang punong ministro ay kadalasang kinukwestiyon ng lehislatura sa mga gawain nito. Nangangahulugang kapag may hindi tamang ginawa ang Punong Ministro maaari itong patalsikin kaagad.
Sa nasabing sistema ng pamahalaan, mas madaling magpasa ng batas ang ehekutibo ay nananangan sa direkta o indirektang pagsuporta ng lehislatibo at kadalasan rin itong binubuo ng miyembro ng lehislatura. Kaya kung may batas na kailangang ipasa, mas madali na ang proseso nito. Samakatuwid, ang mga batas na kinakailangang ipasa para sa ikabubuti ng mga mamamayan ay madali nang mabibigay sa kanila.
Ang parliyamentarismo rin ay nababagay sa mga nasyong may pagkakahati-hati ng mga etniko. Kung sa sistemang presidensyal, lahat ng ehekutibong kapangyarihan ay nasa kamay ng presidente. Ngunit sa parliyamentaryong sistema, ang kapangyarihan ay hati-hati. Mas mabibigyan ng kapangyarihan ang mga lokal na pamahalaan sa bawat estado nila. Kung tutuusin, mas may boses ang bawat etnikong grupo sa kanilang sariling gobyerno kumpara sa mga presidensyal na uri ng pamahalaan.
Sa kabilang banda, may mga di-magandang idudulot rin ito. Ang pinuno ng gobyerno ay hindi maaaring iboto ng mga mamamayan di tulad nang sa presidensyal na sistema. Ang punong ministro ay iniluklok ng mga lider ng partido.
Dahil nga sa hindi pansing seperasyon ng kapangyarihan ng ehekutibo at lehislatibong sangay, marami ang naniniwalang ang parliyamentarismo ay nagbibigay ng mas maraming kapangyarihan sa ehekutibo. Samakatuwid, ang lehislatura at hudisyal na sangay ay may kakarimpot na kapangyarihan upang magsagawa ng “check” o “balances” sa ehekutura.
Sa parliyamentarismo, maaaring magkaroon ng eleksyon kahit anong oras kapag ninais ng lehislatibo na paalisin sa pwesto ang Punong Ministo. Kung gayon, ito ay pwedeng abusuhin. Maaaring kada buwan ay magpalit ng pinuno ng gobyerno.
Kapag ilalapat ito sa kasalukuyang estado ng bansa, mas mapapadali ang pagsususog ng mga batas na makabuluhan na siyang tutugon sa mga pangunahing pangangailangan ng sambayanang Pilipino. Hindi na kailangang dumaan pa sa kung anu-anu proseso ito na nagpapatagal lang sa paggawa nito.
Dahil kilala ang Pilipinas sa pagkakaroon nito ng iba’t ibang etnikong grupo, mas mabibigyan ng pansin ang bawat rehiyon. Mas mapapagtuunan ang mga pangangailan ng mga etnikong grupo na hindi maibigay ng presidensyal na sistema.
Kung may makita namang butas sa gobyerno partikular sa punong ministro, maaaring paalisin ito agaran sa pwesto at magtatalaga ng panibagong punong ministro. Tulad ng nagaganap sa Pilipinas ngayon, kung si PGMA ay punong ministro matagal na siyang natanggal sa posisyon.
Maraming idudulot na kainaman ito sa bansa. Kaya lamang ay hindi napapanahon ito sa kalagayan ng Pilipinas.
Ang isyu ng di-umano pandaraya ni PGMA noong nakaraang eleksyon ay hindi pa humuhupa kahit kinitil na ng mga kongresista ang “impeachment trial.” Kung isasagawa ngayon ang pagsulong sa pagpapalit ng sistema ng gobyerno, matatabunan na ang nasabing isyu.
Nandyan din ang kasalukuyang pag-iimbestiga sa pagtanggap at paggamit ng pamilya ni PGMA sa jueteng payola noong sa di-umano pandaraya sa eleksyon.
Ang isyu rin ng kawalan-trabaho ay problema pa rin ng bansa. Milyon pa rin ang walang trabaho at ang iba naming may trabaho ay hindi sapat ang panggastos sa pang-araw-araw.
Ang bansa ay kasalukuyang hati-hati dahil, una, sa karakter na rehiyonalistiko ng bawat Pilipino, at, ikalawa, sa pagkahati ng Pro-GMA, Anti-GMA at mga walang pakialam. Kung papalitang ang sistema ng gobyerno, mas lalong mahahati ang mga Pilipino sa kultura, sa paniniwala sa pamumuno sa gobyerno at sa bawat estado.
Isa pang dapat isaalang-alang ang pagiging hindi maalam ng mga Pilipino sa kung anu-ano ang nilalaman ng konstitusyon. Nang nasa kainitin ng usapin ang pagpapalit ng gobyerno, nagkaroon ng “ambush interview”ang TV Patrol upang malaman kung alam ba ng mga Pilipino ang laman ng saligang batas. Kamalas-kamalasan, wala sa kanila ang may alam kung ano ang laman nito. Sabi nga sa panayam ng Bise-Presidente Noli de Castro, ang mahalaga ay maintindihan ng madla kung ano at para saan ang konstitusyon.
Kung papalitan ang sistema, ang bawat estado ay magkakaroon ng sariling Korte Suprema, sariling konstitusyon at sariling pangongolekta ng buwis. Samakatuwid, mas magastos dahil maraming ipapatayong mga departamento o establisimento at maraming dapat pagkagastusang dahil magsasarili na ang bawat estado. Hindi maikakailang palobo nang palobo ang utang ng Pilipinas, kung gayon, mas mataas na buwis ang ipapataw sa bawat Pilipino kung matutuloy ang pagsasarili ng bawat estado. Mas magastos…
Kung aanalisahin ang estado sa ngayon ng Pilipinas, mas marami pang mga problema ang dapat munang bigyan ng solusyon bago isakatuparan ang pagpapalit ng sistema ng gobyerno. Maraming mga Pilipino ang walang pagkain sa hapag. Maraming bata ang nasa lansangan sa halip na nasa paaralan…
May mabibigat na suliranin ang bansa, ang kanser ng lipunan, na dapat munang bigyan ng lubusang solusyon. Matapos nito mas Malaya at mas madaling makakapagpalit ng sistema ang gobyerno.

Sanggunian: Wikipedia

Hubad na Katotohanan

Masakit nga bang tumambad sa ating mga mata ang hubad na katotohanan sa kabataan, sa gobyerno, at sa ating sariling bansa?

Sa kabataan…
Minsa’y sinambit ni Rizal na “Ang Kabataan ang Pag-asa ng Bayan.”
Sa ating henerasyon, buong-buong ibinubulalas ng mga telebisyon, pahayagan at radyo ang kalagayan ng mga kabataan. Unti-unti nang gumuguho ang mga katagang binaggit ni Rizal. Dahan-dahang nagugunaw ang kaisipang dapat taglayin ng mga murang isip sa panahon ngayon.
Sa pagbuklat ng mga dyaryo at sa pagbukas ng telebisyon o radyo, tatambad sa atin ang mga balitang mga menor de edad na nanghalay, pumatay o dili kaya’y nagnakaw. Palubha nang palubha ang mga balita sa bawat pag-usad ng mga kamay ng orasan. Bukas, makalawa, hindi natin alam kung anu-ano pang krimen ang maaaring gawin ng mga kabataan na nalilihis ng landas.
Minsa’y napapaisip ang iba sa atin. May mga katanungan at iba pang bagay ang naglalaro sa isip natin. Bakit nga ba ganito? Nasan na ang mga isip ng mga kapwa natin kabataan? Ano ang dahilan kung bakit ba nila mas piniling tahakin ang maling daan? Ano na kaya ang mangyayari sa ating bansa?
Sa pagkawala nila sa tamang landas, kaakibat nito ang pagkawala sa kanila ng pinakamahalagang bagay na dapat nilang dalhin sa pagtanda – ang edukasyon. Napapabayaan nila ang pag-aaral. Hindi nila batid kung gaano ito kahalaga sa buhay ng tao.
Posibleng itanong ng iba kung anong pagpapalaki ang ginawa ng mga magulang sa kani-kanilang mga anak. Dahilan marahil ng iba na ang pag-aaruga ng magulang ay isang repleksyon ng kung anong pagkatao mayroon ang kanilang mga anak sa ngayon. Hindi lahat ng kapabayaan ay dapat isisi sa magulang. Kadalasa’y ang mga anak ang may nais ng kanilang mga pinaggagawa. Wala nang sapat na kakayahan ang mga ina’t ama upang masupil ang mga ‘sungay’ ng kanilang mga supling. Marahil, impluwensya na ring iba pang mukhang nakapaligid sa kanila.

Sa gobyerno at sa bansa…
“Subalit ang pamahalaan po ay itinatag sa ikakabuti ng bayan,” sagot ni Isagani kay Ginoong Pasta, hango mula sa El Filibusterismo.
Walang humpay rin ang paggawa ng nakakapanting sa taingang mga balita. Away dito, away doon. Kaso dito, kaso doon. Batuhan ng mga kritisismo, insulto at bintang.
Hindi na estabilisado ang ating gobyerno. Ang mga kawani nito ay siya pa mismong nagdudulot ng mga problema, korapsyon at iba pang uri ng katiwalian.
Ngayon, may krisis na kinakaharap ang ating bansa. Pilit isinasaayos ng gobyerno ang lahat. Pagpapataw ng buwis ang balak gawing sagot para rito. Hindi ba’t dapat maputol ang ugat nito upang tuluyan nang maapula ang nasabing krisis. Ang ugat ay ang mga tiwaling mga opisyales, wala nang iba…
Itanim man lang sana sa mga isip ng mga opisyal na sila ay iniluklok sa kanilang mga pwesto upang paglingkuran ang mga mamamayan, upang pagbutihin ang bansa, upang isaayos ang pagtakbo ng Pilipinas sa lahat ng larangan at upang pamahalaan ang mga tao para sa kaunlaran nito.
Sa mga suliraning ating kinakaharap, unti-unting nawawala ang sinasabi nating pag-asa sa bawat puso ng ating mga kababayan. Naiisipan na tuloy ng ibang mangibang-bansa na lang at iwan na ang lugmok na Pinas. Iba nama’y walang pakialam. Iyon ang pinakamasakit sa lahat.
Lagpak na ang Piso. Nakalugmok na sa putikan ang ating ekonomiya. Hindi estabilisado ang gobyerno. Laganap ang krimen. Walang nababanaag na pag-asa mula sa kabataan.
Ito ang realidad, ang hubad na katotohanan. Masakit na isipin hindi ba? Pero ito ang totoo, ang tunay na katayuan ng bawat isa sa atin at ng ating kapaligiran…

Friday, October 13, 2006

Exhausting Day!

Whew! This day is very terrible. It's so tiring, I tell you. I woke very early this morning. It was around 4:30 am because I had an exam at 7 a.m. It was my final exam in Math 54, the second to the last math subject I have to take. I was in hurry this morning to get there on time. Fortunately, I arrived them around 5 minutes before the testing hour. But the story didn't end there. I prayed hard to God to help me to get through with this burden. I knew God was guiding me throughout the exam. I needed a 99.++ % to achieve a grade of 1.0. But I knew it was very impossible so I really did not expect to get that grade. It's enough for me to get a grade of at least 1.5.. Errr... Though sounds impossible too. Anyway, the exam was quite easy and not as nerve-wrecking as my other exams. It was our last meeting in our Math class. I had to say goodbye to my professor and to my classmates. Math 54 ended this day. And I feel so light right now. I only have two exams left. After the final exam, I went to the mall to eat lunch. My tummy shrieked already and I couldn't help it anymore. Right after that, I returned to school, met my partner to accomplish our problem set in Statistics. It was nearing to 12 noon so that library had to close for an hour. My friends and I went out and chatting for a while. We went back to work with the problem set which, indeed, ate a lot of time for us to be able to solve each. My partnet and I shared a lot of stories too while doing the problems. We talked about our families, studies, alma maters, lifestyle and a lot more. Actually, it took us 4 hours to finish all those problems and to share those stories. I lack sleep so I felt quite weak then. I needed to have enough sleep and to rest for a day! I feel very exhausted after all the things that transpired today. Sigh...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Sketch of My Life

It was an unusual thing for me to do something like that. An unexplainable thing drove me to an old cabinet. That was my grandmother’s.
I really hate to scrutinize old or antique stuffs at home. But, suddenly, my two feet neared me to that and my two bare hands opened it slowly.
As what was expected, it was full of pictures and other memorabilias. Two old photo albums, one old picture frame, my scrapbook, old clothes, rosaries, images, and all. I can still vividly recognize that the old picture frame is mine. It was made up of old newspaper and painted with reddish violet varnish. It was my project in my Arts subject way back seven years ago. Going back to the things inside the aparador, almost everything was unfamiliar to my eyes. I was blank-minded where those memorabilias and all came from until I asked my mother. Those images and other stuffs were from my grandparents. Right after, she told me everything about it; my mind boggled and became curious about my origin, my ancestry…
According to my mother, she could not clearly recall the names of her great grandparents and ancestors. I felt sad after hearing those words. It was exactly the opposite of what I wanted my mother to utter. However, fortunately, my father’s and her grandparents are still stored in her memory. What I did was to ask her to tell me everything she is able to remember.
Tracing my roots, I found out who are my great grandparents. Alas, I was not able to see even a picture of them. And now, here is my story…
An only child, I was born on August 10, 1988 at Salvador Villa Hospital in Caloocan City to Josefina Peña and Luis Santos, both natives of the city of Malabon. My mother gave birth to me six hours past midnight through a caesarian operation. In the 30th of November of the same year, I was made a child of God and an inheritor of the Kingdom of Heaven at the Iglesia Filipina Independiente.
My mother, Josefina Peña, is the eldest daughter being the second of the seven children of Natividad Trinidad and Ernesto Peña. She finished her secondary at Jose Rizal High School and proceeded to Polytechnic University of the Philippines (P.U.P.) to pursue her college; however, she was not able to finish it due to rallies of activists and chaotic happenings in Manila. Instead of doing nothing, she labored in a factory of cigarette in Makati for eight long years.
Often called as “Nati,” her mother was the second of the three offspring of Anselmo Trinidad, who had a Kapampangan blood and worked as a caretaker of a fish pond when Malabon was still called as Tambobong, and Justina Agustin, whose business was weavery and who departed this life because of goiter. Nati did not finish elementary because of penury. Just like her eldest daughter, she worked in a tobacco manufacturer. She earned a living at an early age by making balloons. Due to kidney trouble, she breathed her last.
Meanwhile, Erning, my mother’s father, was the eldest son among his five siblings. Also, he was not able to finish elementary. To have a source of revenue, he worked as a matansero and a driver who delivered banye-banyera of fish to the market. His parents were Gregorio Peña, a school teacher in Malabon and died at the age of 89, and Cristina Ignacio, a resident of Navotas and labored as a laundrywoman in an American depot. Five years ago, he passed away due to emphysema.
Nati and Erning’s love story was quite synonymous with what the soap operas in television have shown, though cliché-ish. My grandfather’s parents were against Nati because they wanted Erning not to marry a girl coming from a poor family; nevertheless, their bonds were not broken by the interference of my great grandparents in their affair. But everything seemed so hard to my grandmother because, although she was getting along with her parents-in-law, she lived as though she did not exist to my great grandparents. At the end, their love surpassed every obstacle along their way. It only proves that love knows no limit and no boundaries and they would do anything for love . Their love gave birth to seven offspring. Though they were dumped in the mud of poverty, they still managed to earn a living for their family.
Meanwhile, my father, Luis Santos, was the only product of the couple Severina Cristobal, who was a cigarette maker in Makati and died due to a heart disease eight years ago, and Luciano Santos, who was also a tabakero and deceased because of stroke. At the age of 6, my father and his mother were left by his father when he passed away making him stand in his own two feet. He worked as a hose boy distributing water to households in the vicinity just to help her mother in earning money. He persevered a lot just to educate himself. Self-supported, he finished his college degree in Technological Institute of the Philippines (T.I.P.) and is now working as a marine engineer employed in a shipping company in Manila.
Pet named as “Binay,” my grandmother was the oldest among the four children of Macaria Rivera, a plain housewife, and Roman Cristobal, a jeepney driver. Both were hailed from Pinaglabanan, San Juan. Binay had lived in a simple life since she saw the first light. In the same way, she raised her only son.
On the other hand, her husband, Luciano, was the eldest among his three siblings. He was born to Generosa dela Cruz, a housewife, too, and died because of heart attack, and Jose Santos, a carpenter. His parents were locals of Malabon.
Going back to my parents, I queried my mom if they had a unique and extraordinary love story. And she said in reply, “We had but not an against-all-odds story, I guess…” Actually, my grandmother courted my mom and not my dad. It sounds funny but it is true. My father was very sly and torpe. He wanted to court my mother when he already had a stable job. So my Lola Binay did the first step. In addition, my lola had my mother in the top of her list because she was a typical housewife and monogamous. She would not like his only son to marry a polygamous woman like the spouses of my dad’s cousins. After several weeks, my father approached my mother and tried to court her when he had a job already. When he got home from abroad, he asked my mom to get marry. When they underwent the sacrament of matrimony, they decided to rent an apartment. After about eight years of saving money, they were able to buy a lot and built a house and they left the old house for the better.
Afterwards, I diverted my attention to my own photo album when I was still a toddler until I evolved into a teenager. It is comprised with my images with my parents in Luneta Park, Malabon and Manila Zoo, McDonald’s and a lot more. But the only photograph that glued my eyes at it was when I was with my father riding a kalesa. It was one of my happiest and memorable moments with my father. I was extremely astounded by the horse and its kalesa. Riding on it completed my day. I went home with a smile on my face though quite exhausted that day. Moreover, the day with animals in Manila Zoo was also an unforgettable experience for me. I had a lot of fun with the giraffes, elephant, ostrich, and turtles. As a child, I was totally amazed with them. Indeed, it was a great, great adventure.
But behind those happy memories, according to Freud, sad and vindictive events in one’s life are stored in the subconscious mind. And I can prove it true. I was little then, about 6 years old. My father spanked and wept me a little when I threw a towel in his face. A wood stick and a broom stick left their reddish marks in my body. I hated my father for that. I just did a childish act and that’s what I got. This is one of the worst memories in my life that I won’t be able to forget even in the future.
My childhood is a helluva rollercoaster ride. I learned many things. I had good thoughts with my parents and my lola. I experienced the real sense of childhood in the loving arms of my parents. And because of that, I have been trying to return all this love to them by giving the so-called consuelo, my achievements…
Attaining something makes my spirit high; nonetheless, achievements are not the only thing that will fulfill my life and, perhaps, others’, too.
When I took out of the aparador the photo albums, I saw my unfinished scrapbook. I did it two months ago. I was looking for it because I am not yet done with the remarks and the captions. But because of my hectic college 1ife, I forgot it and misplaced it until I found it inside the cabinet.
My scrapbook envelops my high school life. And it was when I had feats. I graduated as the class valedictorian when I was in elementary in a non-sectarian school in Malabon. After concluding elementary, my father decided, for my betterment, to transfer me into a well-known, Catholic, and, maybe, the best school in our city in terms of education and high-tech facilities.
It served as an avenue for me to be exposed to the world outside our city. Though a new student, I was still able to join school’s curricular and extracurricular activities like quiz bees, intramurals, and play presentations. When I stepped into my sophomore year, I started to join inter-school tilts like MTAP Math Challenge, DLSU Chemistry and other academic competitions. Despite the shortcomings and hardships I encountered during my secondary school years, I managed to balance successfully my academic and non-academic life. All the things that I had during the contests were kept in a safe place. I.D.’s, letters, scripts, news letter, and all are posted in my not-so-good scrapbook.
To be one of the UPCAT passers, regardless of the degree program, is one of the best achievements I’ve ever had. I was completely glad and blissful when I knew the UPCAT results. My emotions then were uncontrollable unlike when I was informed that I also passed the other prestigious universities in the country.
But wait! Achievements don’t end there. Friends are considered as one of my supreme feats a person can ever have. It was only in my high school years when the word “bonding” entered my vocabulary. I had a lot of real and reel colleagues. One of them also studies in UP so we really have a great time together whether during peaks or pitfalls.
Through my friends, I can see myself as a person. They reflect who I am. Some of those who know me by name have this first impression that I am smart. I want them to stop bragging about the stuff. I want them to see who I am inside and outside.
Easily, I’m flabbergasted with people who can exactly define life and reality. Indeed, I hate to fizzle out; that’s why I do my level best not to be plunked into the sludge of pitfalls. I’m not yet in the right time to assert that I’m fledged in any discipline. I’ve got a rocky long road to take. If ever there are disputes between my pals and me, I seldom conciliate just for the sake of what they say “companionship.” I can be a loner, an island as what others claim. And I don’t want to converse with bunkums because, definitely, I won’t learn anything from them. I like talking. In fact, at times, I babble, babble, and babble… Rarely, I’m tagged as a recluse. Sad to say, but I have some (take note: just some!) dabs of insecurity with myself; however, now, I’m trying to do something about it to boost my confidence and tell the populace what I’ve got. Another thing I abhor the most are the passé stuffs. They don’t belong in this rapidly changing world. Slippery people don’t have place in my world. Moreover, I’m supah dupah sly, clandestine or whatever you want to call it. But when it comes to my real friends, I vent. An exceptional happy-go-lucky, I love emulating different personalities in fields of journalism and music. I typify any other ordinary dreamer out there. And if dreams can just be converted into money, I guess I’m the richest individual in the world surpassing Rowling and Gates. Gosh! Well, that’s just a figment of my wildest imagination. On one hand, I can completely demean you from head to foot if and only if you’re my foe. On the other hand, I can be grateful and appreciative for everything you’ve done for me and to me.
I’ve confronted my past… I’ve confronted my life… I’ve confronted myself… How about you? Have you done the same thing to yourself?

3, 2, 1 : A Comment

The trilogy masterpiece of Lino Brocka, “Tatlo, Dalawa, Isa,” merely depicts the situation of the Filipinos during the American regime. It does not directly show the events happening during that period; however, it reflects the characteristics and attitude of different Filipinos before.

First and foremost, in “Mga Hugis ng Pag-asa,” the lead character, Jay Ilagan had taken drugs because of his problem with his mother. He saw her mother with another man. Controlling his temper instead of releasing his grudges, he led to the road of darkness. As a result and as a consequence, he was rehabilitated. In that center, he had difficulties mingling with his inmates and had experienced terrible, foul, rude and unpleasant words. In such manner, he was being taught on how to be invulnerable and sturdy in dealing with the world outside.

Secondly, “Hello, Soldier” delves in with the story of a woman impregnated by an American soldier. Anita Linda’s daughter, who was Hilda Koronel, was wanting and hoping to go with her father in the United States. This thing saddened dramatically her mother who would be left alone, if ever. But the conscience and heart of a daughter dominated Hilda’s line of thinking. She decided not to go to US.

The last part of the trilogy is “Bukas, Madilim, Bukas.” It also focuses on mother-daughter relationship like the second one. Conversely, what made this different from the former was that Lolita Rodriguez’s mother, Mary Walter, barred her from being free. Mary pretended that she was bedridden. Because of that, she always asked her daughter to take care of her all the time; though, Lolita met a man in a church, they got to know each other, and in the end, she fell in love with the guy who was a gold digger. The bottom line of the story was that the lead character turned insane after her mother’s miserable death.

There are three relevant points the trilogy wants to convey to the viewers. The first one is being unassailable of what the people around may say whether it is uncouth or not. The second point that is emphasized in the movie is that Filipinas were easily fooled by the American soldiers then. After they had sex, the soldiers would leave them pregnant and would just turn their backs to their responsibilities and obligations on the child. And the last point stressed out is the interference of the parents in the life of their children. This meddling may possibly deprive the freedom and the rationality of their offspring. In effect, it would yield a totally-wrecked parent-child relationship.

Truly, Brocka’s trilogy simply delivers morals to the audience and these lessons and situations still linger in this generation.

The Exodus of Filipino People: For Better or For Worse?

In her winning piece “A Borderless World,” Patricia Evangelista quoted “We are the 40, 000 skilled nurses who support the United Kingdom’s National Health Service. We are the quarter-of-a-million seafarers manning most of the world’s commercial ships. We are your software engineers in Ireland, your construction workers in the Middle East, your doctors and caregivers in North America, and your musical artists in London’s West End.”

Filipinos are around the world, placing second if not the highest migrant population worldwide. (Bagasao, 2003) It is not flabbergasting to hear that almost 10% of the Filipinos are out of the country, working abroad. Most of them labor in the Middle East. They have blue-collar jobs like construction worker, carpenter, and driver. Next is Eastern and Southern Asia where more than 90,000 Overseas Filipino Workers, or OFW’s, work as caregivers and domestic helpers, commonly called as DH, in Hong Kong. Europe has at least 770,000, America has more than 840,000, and Africa has not less than 41,000 (Bagasao, 2003). These “new economic heroes” grew by 11.73% from 2004 to 2005 and almost half of them are based in Saudi Arabia, according to POEA. At most 8 million OFW’s work abroad. It is very alarming. It is an ill that badly need a panacea.

However, Labor Secretary Patricia Santo Tomas looks at it not as an illness but rather a contribution. She once said, “It’s not politically correct to say you’re exporting people, but it’s part of globalization, and I like to think that countries like ours, rich in human resources, have that to contribute to the rest of the world.” (Diamond, 1999) This is a mere euphemism of the fact that Philippines is now faced with joblessness. She views Filipino migration as a part of globalization and an involvement to world transition. But does she ever wonder if the migrant workers think the same way?

Orthodox Immigration Theory states that the advent of the Overseas Contract Workers can be explained by push and pull factors. (San Juan Jr., 2002) Apparently, there are several push and pull factors why Filipinos migrate to other countries; however, they are trying to escape not only the problems being suffered by the country but also their homeland in totality.

“Events and conditions that impel an individual to move from a location” are called push factors, on one hand. (Knox and Marston, 1998) In the Philippine setting, unemployment, low wages, poverty, political instability and dwindling economy push away the countrymen abroad.

Every year, many young and brilliant minds graduate from college. They have the potentials, skills, and talents. They bear new ideas. They have the capabilities to solve the problems of the country. The bad thing is the government cannot supply jobs suitable for them. As of 2005, the unemployment rate went up to 11.7%. (CIA World Fact Book, 2005) Thus, their last resort is to immigrate and find job elsewhere. This is the primary reason why nursing schools have sprouted like mushrooms all over the country. The in-demand job abroad is nursing. Now, the US market seeks nurses from foreign countries. The shortage of nurses will worsen as the baby boomers retire. A lack of 1 million nurses is expected by 2012 in the US according to Bureau of Labor Statistics experts. Other reasons why they take up nursing are being practical, many opportunities, great financial rewards and benefits, and not time-consuming. And since the government is not capable of giving job opportunities for the young blood, they would rather choose to take up nursing and, after finishing the course, they would fly abroad and work there for better opportunities.

Today, the minimum wage of an ordinary laborer is Php. 325.00 a day. It is not enough to buy daily necessities, to earn a living, to feed a family, and to provide other basic needs. Another push factor is the low salary the employers offer. Filipinos would opt to have low wages in abroad, specifically in Hong Kong where some OFW’s receive more or less Php10, 000.00 a month, than to stay in the country with nothing. Filipinos who have blue-collar jobs would want to fly abroad and try their luck most especially in the Middle East because they would not earn money here as big as they will in other countries. Furthermore, the number of nursing students, for instance, has skyrocketed because most countries in America and Canada hire a large number of nurses and offer a very high pay. United Kingdom offers 18,698 euros as a starting salary. (Nursing UK, 2005) In United States, a clinical nurse will earn US $39,500-64,000 a year. (Nurses Salary, 2004) Because of the exchange rate of Philippine peso with US Dollar and Euro, the figures aforementioned will be a big money. Compared to the nurses in the country, they only earn an average of Php. 9,000 monthly in urban areas while Php. 3,000 - 4,000.00 in provinces. It is truly a huge difference. This is one of the problems of the Filipinos. They want instant gratification.

Filipinos actually have to work very hard abroad. It is the fault of the government. In 1999, the labor force of the Philippines was composed of 32 million people. By the following year, it elevated geometrically to 48.1 million. However, when 2005 arrived, it diminished to 35.9 million Filipinos. (CIA World Fact Book, 2005) And the reason for that dramatic decline is the migration of the Filipinos who are drowned in poverty belonging to the 40% of the population below poverty line. (CIA World Fact Book, 2005) And the immediate solution for poverty is to emigrate.

Political instability is an additional push factor. Now, the political arena is always in the limelight. Debates are very inevitable in the Senate and Congress. Different issues regarding the government have sprung up and these have instigated confusion and uncertainty in each and every Filipino people. The advent of the Garci tapes which say that there was an election fraud, the coup d’etat plot against the administration of Arroyo, the repression of the media are some of the political problems of the Philippines. The country turns out to be chaotic and murky. Due to that, economy’s “take-off” seems so unattainable. Entrepreneurs and foreign investors would choose to leave the country and to look for other country that is economically and politically secure wherein they are assured and confident of their capital and profit as well. Therefore, there would be less investors and employees yielding to less job opportunities. This will result to emigration of Filipinos. As a matter of fact, the figures from POEA say there was a growth of 11.73% in the number of OFW’s.

On the other hand, pull factors are the “forces of attraction that influence migrants to move to a particular location.” (Knox and Marston, 1998) A pull factor can be highly personal or even structural. Personal desires, security, economic stability, and of course, well-paid job opportunities are enveloped in it.

Filipinos seek for “greener pastures” and they are able to see such in other countries. They want to go abroad because they like the culture, lifestyle, sceneries, and atmosphere there. For example, some Filipinos think that if they reach America, they are already in 7th heaven. They look up to America because they believe that people there are liberated, free, and principled. Perhaps, their way of living triggers Filipinos to immigrate in the United States. Perhaps, because of the American Invasion way back then, Filipinos acquired colonial mentality and crab mentality; that’s why they are really eager to go there. Also, they want to go there because they have relatives or friends living there. All these and more personal reasons are considered as pull factors.

Another highly personal factor is to experience the pleasure of adventure. “Migration is seen as freedom to seek one’s fortune.” (San Juan Jr., 2002) Going abroad is challenging, thrilling, and exciting. There are people who really love adventures. And to quench their thirst for that, they would go to other country which they think that it would be a lot of fun and excitement and that they could search their fortune there. In addition to that, 54 out of 78 respondents of a survey said they would have a chance to work in a different environment and to acquire new knowledge. (Labor Migration, 2005)

Pull factors can also be structural. One of which is economic stability. They are eager to immigrate to another country because its economy is stable. It implies that there are many employers and investors there. Job opportunities are found everywhere. And they do not offer meager salaries. Jobs are very well-paid and sufficient to sustain basic need. Working here as a crew in a fast food chain offers inadequate pay but working as such in United States, for instance, gives a salary higher than that of a fast food manager here. And these jobs invite Filipino to transfer to another country.

In addition to that, the security of the place is another factor to be considered. Lesser crimes, lesser political squabbles, lesser divisiveness, lesser economic problems, and lesser graft and corruption define security. Though very idealistic, many people see these in other countries. And all of these pull them to migrate elsewhere considering the fact that Philippines experiences crisis.

Filipino Diaspora brings about impacts to the migrants and to their homeland as well. It may be positive like remittances and sufficient income or it may also be negative like migrant worker exploitation, broken families, racial discrimination, identity crisis, and brain drain.

Based from the report of Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA), a total of US $ 9,727,138 was remitted by the OFW’s last year with a growth rate of 26.63% from 2004 to 2005. The dollar remittances add to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to come up with the Gross National Product (GDP). In 2004, the GDP of the country reached US $430.6 billion. (CIA World Fact Book, 2005) And if the OFW remittances would be added, the GNP would be very large. Indeed, the OFW dollar remittances contribute a lot to keep the economy afloat. Nonetheless, two years ago, US $ 55.6 billion of the GNP was allotted for the external debt. And this trend would not stop because the external debt is a very big amount. The country cannot pay the whole thing so the remaining balance would still continue to grow due to its annual interest which makes it bigger.

Another advantage of the exodus of the Filipino people in the economic aspect is it meets the needs of the migrant’s family. The income, most likely, is enough to send their children to school, to purchase appliance and furniture, to put up a small business, or to have personal savings. Additionally, 32% and 36% of the income go to household expenses and payment of debts, respectively. But still, working abroad alleviates their living condition. This, perhaps, caused the 1% decrease on the Filipinos below poverty line from 1997 to 2001. (CIA World Fact Book, 2005)

On the other side, brutal treatment to the migrant workers tops the list of the negative impacts. Exploited Filipino workers are a never-ending story. Every year, there are always cases of abused OFW’s. Who can forget Flor Contemplacion who died and suffered from injustice in Singapore? Another famous OFW who experienced harassment is Sarah Balabagan who defended herself against her boss who tried to sexually abuse her. Other tormenting experiences also happened to Maria Reyes, a domestic worker in Saudi Arabia, who was maltreated physically by her atrocious employer, to Glenda Giron Lorio, a DH in Hong Kong, who was found lifeless after a certain Michael Emeka left her corpse in a manhole, and to Sarah Jane Demetera, a domestic worker in Saudi Arabia, who was framed because her employer was murdered four days after she went there. (Briola, 2000) More of these unjust and cruel acts are experienced by some OFW’s all over the globe.

Racial discrimination is also an issue linked to migration. “Each square mile anywhere in the world is made up of people of different ethnicities, with national identities and individual personalities. Because of this, each square mile is already a microcosm of the world,” Evangelista stressed out in her speech. (“A Borderless World,” 2005) But the fact that there is a sense of foreignness cannot be evaded. People in receiving countries may treat Filipinos in a brutal way, may make them feel alienated, or may discriminate them because of race. They may suffer from ethnic exclusion and inferiorization from the inhabitants there. In the Middle East, Filipino domestic helpers are treated as slaves. This has yielded maltreatment and death of Filipinos there. In US and Canada are racially dubbed as “absconders” and “political terrorists” along with the Arabs, Palestines, and other migrants from developing countries in the ongoing war of terror being led by US government. (Migrante, 2004) Exceptions from these are the Filipino communities in United States and Canada to name a few. In contrary, alienation in the host country unites Filipinos because they have a “shared history of colonial and racial subordination and marginalization.” They also struggle for cultural survival through “hybrid forms of resistance and political rebellion.” (San Juan Jr., 2002)

Additionally, this may yield to identity crisis to Filipinos. When OFW’s experience the life abroad and realize that life there is much better than life in the Philippines, they may decide to alter their citizenship and to live there for lifetime. Migration brings about identity crisis in this case because it gives the migrant workers second thought in staying in their homeland or leaving for better. Then, the patriotism in their hearts will eventually fade away leaving the country hopeless and helpless. This just suggests that Filipinos will not come back to the “site of misery and oppression – to poverty, exploitation, humiliated status, unemployment, hunger, and lack of dignity.” (San Juan Jr., 2002) Hence, they will either be ethnocentric, believing that their own race is the most important and superior to those of other groups, or xenocentric, believing that other nations is more important than the well-being of one’s own compatriots. (Wikipedia, 2005) Those xenocentric workers are those who will leave the country.rfor better. Then, the patriotism in their hearts will eventually fade away leaving the country hopeless and helpless. Th

Another disadvantage of Filipino diaspora is working abroad breaks up families. Migrant workers are forced to leave the country and as well as their families. Children grow up without love and values parents should give because they are apart. No one will give proper guidance to the children unless their guardians are as good as their parents. Children’s longing for their parents is also a problem but they are just forced to work abroad because of money matters.
ill leave the country. other groups, or xenocentric, believing that other nations is mor
To sending countries like the Philippines, most people who compose the society may be encouraged to also leave their motherland for the betterment of their lives. Thus, the country will be left by people who have potentials to solve the crisis experienced by the country. This is the so-called “Brain Drain.” 10.82% of the Filipino migrants are the Professional, Technical and Related workers. They are roughly 740,000. The major reason for this is unemployment. They, most especially the professionals who earned masteral and doctoral degree, grab the opportunities abroad because they can earn more and learn more as well compared here in the country. Instead of contributing to the progress of the country in the field of science, particularly, they let the foreigners enslave them and use the products of their intelligence. For example, lack of skilled doctors and nurses has downgraded the services of hospitals. They leave instead of improving medical services and update the facilities and procedures. According to the National Institute of Health, 3,000 doctors and more than 50,000 nurses have left the country since 2002. The doctors take up nursing course, which de-skill them, so they could go to US for immediate employment. (Zenarosa, 2005) hildren en The by-product of this is a deserted and dilapidated country with a bleak future.

In conclusion, most Filipinos, if not all, make use of migration to escape not only the economy, poverty, and the employment, but the Philippines and everything that comes with it. First, the Diaspora melts down the patriotism in the hearts of the Filipinos because if they really love their country, they will stay and try to be possible problem-solvers. They would rather abandon the country and seek “heaven” somewhere else. Second, it turns migrants to be apathetic of anything that may happen in the country. They would rather concentrate in their jobs to earn more money and do anything for their own sake, thus being selfish. Lastly, Philippines will be sooner or later drained and left with unpreserved cultural heritage.

Now, will Filipinos who have migrated to create new nations essentially remain who they are as Evangelista claimed? And are the Filipino migrants know that this so-called “part of globalization” will eventually wreck their sense of nationalism and soon their motherland? ■