ningning. kislap. kulisapsap.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

i take it back

when this was written, i thought there would be nothing in it i'd take back. despite the hate e-mail that came with the i-agree-with-you mail from filipinos all over the world, including randy david, buboy garovillo, joey ayala, peque gallaga.

i love that the quote "katas ng hacienda luisita" is remembered at a time when it is most important to see the real victims and the real criminals in the Hacienda Luisita massacre, regardless of who fired the first shot, who has powderburns, and how many of those people were actually hacienda workers.

but i take this back:

"If there is any Aquino who deserves the limelight, who is intelligent and level-headed, who can truly say that he can do something for this country, whom we would like to see and hear more of. If there's one Aquino whom Ninoy can be proud of, it is Noynoy."

dalawang araw matapos ang massacre sa Hacienda Luisita ipinarada ng mga manggagawa ang ilan sa mga namatay sa harap ng isinumpang hacienda. nung gabing yun, lumabas si Noynoy Aquino sa TV, paano raw silang makikipagusap gayong mainit pa ang ulo ng kabilang panig? pinatutunayan raw ito ng pagparada ng mga patay sa harap ng hacienda.

tanong ni Noynoy, ano raw bang magagawa ng pagparada ng patay?

ano nga bang nagawa ng pagparanda ng bangkay ni Ninoy noong 1983, mula Times St. hanggang sa Sto.Domingo Church sa Q.C., at mula sa simbahan hanggang sa Manila Memorial Park? naging aksaya ba ng panahon ang paglalakad ng dalawang milyong Pilipino ng 25 miles, sa loob ng labing-isang oras para kay Ninoy? simpleng patunay ba ito ng init ng ulo, na hindi dapat patulan o bigyang-halaga? na walang kahulugang mas malalim, walang pinanggagalingang tama?

i take back what i said about Noynoy. he is no better than his aunt Tessie, uncle Butz, mother Cory, and sister Kris. they all just have Aquino to their names, and nothing else. and as it turns out, Aquino is just another name, like Marcos, that we Filipinos will apparently have to suffer through for a long time to come.

now, more than ever, Ninoy must be turning in his grave.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

where art thou patricia?

so patricia evangelista's story about faye (the young girl who, along with her mom, sold the story that she had won in an international competition that apparently didn't happen) IS FALSE. what can i say, but we should have seen it coming.

patricia had this coming.

not only did she believe a paid ad, she also decided that when people questioned the story, she would find this girl faye and interview her. and when she did interview her, she was had. she believed faye's and her mother's story, hook line and sinker. even pointing a finger at the filipinos who doubted what she saw as a fairy tale story for our poor third world country.

over and over, pete lacaba kept saying in the plaridel e-group -- bad reportage. i say, more than that, patricia is in over her head. the last thing you want to do when you get 10 minutes of fame, is to prove to everyone that it's all there is about you at this point. you don't want to go out there and take on everything that's offered to you: hosting stints and regular columns. the latter proving to be her undoing as it's what she used to say faye is her new cause.

a cause based on a fake story. if i were patricia evangelista, i would at the very least, apologize and then disappear from the public eye. at the very least.

at most, i'd tell her to migrate to america. then, she'd be part of the diaspora she so loves.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

kritik ka?

my general rule about poetry is: i need to understand it. and so there are few poets i enjoy reading: issy reyes, conchitina cruz, ricky de ungria, marjorie evasco, fatima lim-wilson, joi barrios, benilda santos. of course i know that if i try a little harder, i will gain more from these poets' works, but just the same when a first reading allows me to understand what a poem says and enjoy the way it sounds.. damnit, that's just a poem i like. so sue me.

and so it is with much hesitation that i write this -- i am no poem critic. but i do read a lot of it, and i do study it as a literary product in this third world country that is the philippines. and it was with much interest that i watched something unfold in the little circle of the pinoy blog-world that i frequent. at about the same time, as secondcup talked about recent and "new" poetry writing in english by filipinos, blogger-tibaks 1 and 2 were talking about poetry writing in filipino and something that's very old -- and given the discussion -- something that's getting stale: ang papel ng tula at makata sa lipunan.

now, i don't have a problem with demanding that poets (ang all writers) be conscious of where they stand in this society and the roles they need to and/or inevitably play. but really now, why are we still stuck in the-poet-as-revolutionary rut? i do not doubt that journals like Ulos and works by Ericson Acosta, Richard Gappi, and Gelacio Guillermo are being read in the countryside by those who are waging war against this gadawful government. and yes, poets,writers who decide to dedicate their lives to a cause, this cause, undoubtedly deserve our respect. but talks at the yenan forum was for china of old, NOT for the china that produces all these pirated DVDs, underground decadent books, designer drugs, and rave parties. given that times have changed, i'd like to think that our views and ideologies -- even communist literary theory -- has evolved.

so we shouldn't really be saying -- the way blogger tibak 1 does -- that anyone who reads knows that poetry is the most powerful of all literary genres, because saying so at this point is just plain unrealistic. unless of course these tibaks now consider april boy's "di ko kayang tanggapin, na mawawala ka na sa akin" as poetry. which they don't.

and so writing in filipino continues to be stuck in the rut that is left-right-center politics, the martial-law-rut as i like to call it, so unyielding and unwilling to compromise when it comes to the kind of literary production that is "not for the masses" -- when in reality the masses are watching TV.

this while, as secondcup observes, our writing -- particularly poetry -- in english has finally(!) started to evolve, veering away from the star that is jimmy abad, with young poets demanding to be read in their difference. i may not understand their poetry offhand, but i will never have anything against poets who write for other poets -- or people who study poetry. there is virtue after all in the craft of writing. and i find, that unlike those who continue to mouth the masses as an excuse for the kind of poetry they write, these poets in english are more conscious of where they stand in this society and are more realistic when it comes to why they write. there is less pretension, more growth.

now, if only writers in filipino could be open to learning that from their english counterparts, we readers would be in a happier place.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

state of the nation's population

in one of last week's Inquirer online issues, a miniscule article told us that Sec. Manuel Dayrit will be facing charges of graft because the deal his Department of Health (DOH) made with the group Couples for Christ (CFC) did not go through public bidding. Albay Congressman Edcel Lagman, on the other hand, was pushing for the suspension of the deal itself because the CFC lied about exactly where the money would go. as it turns out, CFC wasn't doing everything voluntarilly for the government -- they were going to pay themselves for all their work.

what i don't get is this: why aren't people making enough noise about this? as it turns out, even before the 2004 elections, this deal between the DOH and the CFC was in place. in fact, early in her term, our president-so-smart had said no to a family planning program -- remember her rhythm method statements? and then, in 2002, USAID decided to stop sending us free contraceptive pills and condoms, realizing that the government wasn't really committed to the same cause of keeping the population explosion under control. in 2003, GMA refused to put out a budget for family planning and instead delegated this expense to the local government units of which Manila under Atienza has been most vocal about NOT putting out money for it. this same year, news of the CFC deal also broke out. since then, the kind of family planning programs all over the country has not been monitored -- it wouldn't be surprising if in the end, no local government has been giving out free pills and condoms.

so why aren't people angry enough about this? regardless of what you believe causes this population problem, it doesn't change the fact that we are at a crisis. and in the past 4 years, this government has done virtually nothing.

and then this: awarding a P50 million contract to a private organization to do the government's job of educating the nation about family planning just wreaks of side deals and i-pat-your-back-you-pat-mine. even worse: awarding P50 million to a religious organization FOR population control is like giving the church money to teach us all how to deal with our libidos. pray to god, and it will all go away. ha!

what will it take to get us all angry enough to do something?

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

where are thou trillanes

there was something bold and makabayan about the oakwood mutiny that -- scared of the military as i am -- i couldn't resist admiring the Magdalo soldiers. it helped that trillanes etal were such good looking men! talagang pogi points help.

of course they weren't supposed to succeed, and everything seemed to be for naught. but i did not, DID NOT, expect the recent apology.

and now, in light of apparent corruption in the military, with our chief of staff and defense secretary having to answer -- and get pikon with -- congress, i can't help but wonder: was this all set up? can you just see GMA with that satisfied smirk? i've forgiven and have been vindicated by the oakwood mutineers, and now i'm allowing for my military officials to be investigated and questioned on live television! look at me, i was right all along, and i continue to be fair and just.

damn, i wish trillanes etal just allowed for their silence to speak for them. because in the end, it's sticking to their words that would've made them go down in history as the soldiers of our time.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

'di mapakali, kay tagal hinahanap...

my recent cravings for burger machine have been sustained by the consistent inability to get my teeth into their longganisa sandwich.

pagkatapos maglakbay ng ilang beses mula katipunan haggang kalayaan, lagi na lang wala! nauubos raw kaagad, sabi ni ate na nagtitinda. madalas, nakikisakay ako sa order ni yosiboy -- sige na nga jumbo burger na lang, o kaya bart burger. minsan nagtiyaga ako sa kanilang cheesedog, na di na kasingsarap ng burger machine cheesedog ng aking kabataan na pinupuno nila ng pickle relish at dressing. dati pati, ang cheese nasa loob ng dog, hindi pinapatong lang sa ibabaw.

bm kalayaan cheesedog 10.14

pero finally! pagkatapos ang halos dalawang linggo ng paghihintay! niluto sa harapan ko ang longganisa sandwich na pinakaaasam! waaaa! halos maiyak ako sa tuwa!

burger machine kalayaan1 10.20

at dahil namnam na namnam na ko, di ko na rin nakunan ng litrato ang mismong sandwich bago ko kainin. ang da best sa lahat? P25 lang 'to! overflowing with tasty grease and the egg (over)cooked sunny-side-up, this was enough to fill me through the wee hours as i write a completion paper, and through to lunch the following day. sarap!

burger machine kalayaan3 10.20

pinaka-da best sa lahat, ang pagbuo ng bagong alaala kasama ang burger machine na ito, na feeling ko, ay amin na amin lang.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

soap opera junkie 1

i'm a kapuso, more than i am a kapamilya (-- in fact i cringe just thinking of myself as one of the latter), but i do have a judy ann santos thang. i don't know, maybe it's because i grew up watching Mara Clara, and even remember watching Ula, Ang Batang Gubat, and who didn't like the fact that she was so powerful as Pachuchay in that last soap with piolo pascual?

and so it took a lot out of me to decide on watching
Krystala over Mulawin last night. and was i disappointed. so okay, the people behind the show wanted a superhero for the first ever superserye on primetime tv. but really now, if we're aiming for a modern superhero, why are the situations so ... old? last night, alma concepcion transformed into the villain Kabagona:

and what does she do on her night out? why, the unthinkable! she stops an armored vehicle, punches the lights out of the two guards inside, and gets (dramatic pause here) two bags of cash from the back! and then lets out this evil laugh. mwahahahahaha!

of course Krystala's flying in the air at about the same time that Kabagona's flying off with her loot. and they see each other. and Kabagona screams: zino kah? at vaket ka naka-costume? thank you, gay writers of this world!

as for judy ann, you know this is a step backwards, girl. from real anti-dramatics girl Pachuchay, to ass-kicking and crime-busting Princess, to ... fantasy superhero circa Darna?

i'll have Ate Vi anytime.