Archive for category Specials

East and West

Old map timor by pigafettamet at the Raffles Hotel in the evening. It was mid-July and the rains had just stopped, leaving the air a bit steamy. The project team working to get a Vietnamese corporation’s new systems running was on its final days in the city. Two Pinoys, a Singaporean and an Australian were drinking to having done their jobs. Flights home in a few days. “Well, we managed very well everybody” said Jack, the Australian project manager, an old hand in the IT business. “Inspite of a number of difficult phases and glitches” added Wellington Ng, the solution designer from Singapore. Ryan Santos and Manny Alcatraz, the functional and technical consultant respectively, were still very quiet Filipinos.

As the night proceeded, Wellington became progressively more drunk and silent, Jack stayed the same and the two Filipinos became a lot more drunk and talkative. “Well then, I am going home to the West tomorrow”, Jack said. “What West?” asked Wellington, as if waking up. “Sydney is Southeast of Singapore”. “The cultural West” Jack said. “As if Singapore wasn’t progressive enough for you?” Wellington grumbled. “It is progressive, but it stays Eastern” Jack interjected. “Yes, the Philippines is more Western than Singapore” Ryan butted in. “No, that is stupid!” said Wellington. “Because you imitate American music and accents?”. “We are like Singapore now!” Manny said.

“I know you like your Duterte” said Wellington. “but Duterte is far from being anything like our Lee Kuan Yew!”. “Far more effective!” said Manny. “Yes, like your programs done quickly and without thinking which took us a while to debug and would have caused delay if you hadn’t done overtime” answered Wellington. “Not thinking at all first”. “No it isn’t that bad” said Ryan. “What, Duterte or Manny’s programming?” said Wellington. “Manny’s programming is outside the box and found creative solutions which your over-formalistic British approach never would have” said Ryan. “Filipino cowboys?” said Wellington with a smirk. “Yes, that is why we are more Western than you!” “Cheers!”.

“Good that the matter of our basketball teams brawling is now settled”, said Jack. “In most matters, just like the errors made and lessons learned during our project, what you do is take stock, pay the price if any and move on. And in Manny’s case, the price paid was overtime that he didn’t write down.” “Unlike Duterte, Manny killed nobody” said Ryan who was in a good mood. “Gago!” said Manny. “Just like Gilas did not injure anyone severely, even if the one Aussie player they ganged up on was a close call” said Jack. “But they insulted us Jack” said Manny. “No, not true” answered Jack. “and in all fights there is a limit to how far you go”. “Oh, that gentlemen stuff again” said Manny.

“Both East and West have concepts of gentlemen. In the East there is the Confucian gentleman” said Wellington. “Filipinos are Southern people” commented Manny. “No, we Aussies are the Southernmost people” Jack grinned. “You are Western you said” Manny reacted. “Northerners, Eastern or Western, rely on Command and Control” interrupted Ryan: “Southern peoples base everything on Community!”. “yes. you and your barangays, like our Malays here with their kampongs” said Wellington. “You guys are getting too deep into the philosophy now” said Jack. “Liked it more with us getting stuff done. See you tomorrow, let’s call it a day” with day sounding more like die.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, 21 July 2018

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Diyos ko Lord!

Temptation Adam Evasabi ni Rico. “Bakit naman?” sagot ni Manny. “Iyong sinabi ni Duterte na bobo raw ang Diyos”. “Totoo naman ah, bakit niya pinalpak ang kanyang ginawa, tayong mga tao. Bakit ganito tayo. Hindi tayo ginawang mga Superman?”. Pumasok sa kusina si Ryan. “Anong kalokohan iyan?” sabi niya. “Kulang pa yata kayo sa kape”. Linggo ng umaga tila may hangover pa ang magkakaibigan, tulog pa iyong isa sa sofa. “Gisingin natin si Winston” sabi ni Manny. “Huwag, patulugin pa natin”. “Baka naman hindi lang halatang gising ang Intsik na iyan” sabi ni Rico. Tumahimik ang tatlo.

“Tama naman si Duterte” sabi ni Manny. “bakit tayo ginawang makasalanan ng Diyos tapos siya pa ang magbibigay ng parusa. Sadista yata”. “Tulad ng Lodi mong si Duts kung ganoon” sagot ni Rico. “Ulol, dilawan! Masyado kang bilib sa simbahan mong iyan. Dinala lang iyan ng mga Kastila rito para gawin tayong mga duwag at masunurin. Puro na lang opo sir, opo haciendero, opo prayle”. Naglabas si Ryan ng tinapay at peanut butter. “Kain muna kayo, usapang gutom iyan, tama na”. Sinimulan na rin niyang magprito ng kakainin nila. Tuyo, itlog at kanin, sabay bawang at sibuyas.

“Paano naging malice kaagad noong kinain ni Adam iyong mansanas?” sabi ni Manny. “Saging na lang” sagot ni Winston habang medyo nagigising. “Kabaklaan iyan, matulog ka ulit”. “Ummm..”. Lumabas si Ryan sa kusina para pumuntang CR. “Hindi naman malice ang kalibugan, ano kayo? “Pero ayon sa Bible, masama tayo dahil galing tayo sa tsuk-tsak” sabi ni Manny. “tama si Duterte!”. Tumayo si Rico para kumuha ng tinapay. “Pinapatawad naman ng Diyos ang original sin” sabi niya. “Si Duterte naman, walang patawad pati sa batang 10 years old, gustong i-drug-test”. Tumahimik.

“Bago dumating ang mga Kristiyano sa Pilipinas, masaya pa tayo.” sabi ni Manny. “Huwag mo lang patulan ang may asawa, basta dalaga at gusto ayos lang noon, at kung mabuntis pakasalan mo”. Naubos ang kape ni Manny, dinagdagan pa niya. “Malisya lang kung ayaw ng babae, kung rape”. “Ano ba iyang simbahan na iyan, ginagawang masama ang natural na bagay?” Bumalik si Ryan at binaba niya iyong ulam na prinito niya. Kumuha ng pagkain si Manny. “Mahirap naman kung sa libog lang idadaan lahat” sabi ni Rico. “baka magkasakit lahat, tapos di mo alam magulang mo”.

“Medyo malabo nga sa akin na pinagsasabihan tayo tungkol sa sex at pamilya ng paring bawal makipagtalik at magpamilya” sabi ni Ryan. “Pero kanya-kanyang paniniwala iyan. Kaya nga belief”. “Bilib ako kay Duterte” sabi ni Manny. “Alam na namin iyan” sagot ni Rico. “Dilawan!”. Nagising si Winston. “Ano ba na naman iyang pinag-uusapan ninyo”. “May Chinese plane na naman sa Davao” sabi ni Rico. “Bakit ako na naman ang tinitignan ninyo?” sagot ni Winston. “Magkape ka muna” sabi ni Ryan. “Magsisimba na ako” sabi ni Rico. “Lumad ako, di ko kailangan!” sagot ni Manny.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, 24 June 2018

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Kilig siguro sa akin si Sharon..

2397-sharon-cuneta-dead-serious-about-p10mn-bounty-if-husband-kiko-pangilinan-proven-guilty-of-pork-corruption-400x252 (1)isip ni Duterte bago matulog sa kulambo, tapos maglulô. “Tagal di nakatikim ng tunay na lalaki iyan, dilaw lang, wah buring!” sinabi niya. “e baka pati sa sex, simbahan palagi ang sinosonod!”. “Tapos ni walang excitement” inisip niya “e di ba gusto ng babae iyong marunong umaksiyon?” nagsalita ulit siya “anong silbi ng lalakeng puro opisina lang, e kung hamunin iyan ng nasa kanto tatakbo, ang babae walâ man proteksiyon”. “ay walâ, mahinâ” inisip niya ulit. “Tapos mawala pa trabaho ng disente, wala na. Buti pa tayong mga madiskarte, may lusot-lusot sa tabi-tabi”.

Umupo siya sa kama at nagsimulang magsalita ulit: “iyan, putangina, bakit kasi iyang mga disente, nakikialam sa hanapbuhay nating mga mi diskarte? Kung hindi nila hinabol ng hinabol ang mga Marcos, si Arroyo, pork baril, uki pa sana silâ ngayon, di bâ?” Nagkamot siya ng ulo. “Yaman yaman na ng dilaw, ayaw pagbigyan ang ordinaryong Pilipino tulad natin dumiskarti ng kontî man! Eh ngayon, bawi na tayo! Casino sa Boracay. Projek-projek sa Marawi.” Tumawa si Duterte. “Anong alam ng dilaw, Ingles-Ingles lang. Mawala Kano nila, wala na sila. Buti nga”.

Inantok si Duterte at natulog. Pagsikat ng araw, bigla siyang nakaupo sa labas ng isang cottage sa may beach. Tinignan niya iyong kapaligiran niya. “Ano ito, Boracay?”  sabi niya. “Partido ito” sabi ng boses sa katabing upuan. Lumingon si Duts sa kanan. “Leni?” “Oo.” “Anong ginagawâ ko dito?” “Bisita ka namin dito sa Bikol.” “Paano?” “Ikaw mismo ang nagpunta rito, kaya lang matagal kang natulog.” “Talaga?” “Heto muna suman, kumain ka”. “Baka magtae ako.” “Hindi”. Tatlong suman sa ibos ang kinain ni Duterte. “Saan ninyo ako dadalhin?” sabi niya “sa Den Haag na ba?”.

“Kung puwede sana, matauhan ka man lang” sabi ni Leni. “bigyan natin ng kinabukasan ang mga Pilipino, huwag iyong alila lang ng Intsik. Sana lahat may pagkakataon mag-aral ng kayang pag-aralan at makakuha ng trabahong sapat.” Sagot ni Digong “e di ba libre na ang kolehiyo ngayon” “Galing kay Bam Aquino ang batas na iyan” tugon ni Leni. “e paano kaming mga gago na tamad mag-aral? Ma, inutil talaga ako, Maaaaa” umiyak siya at sumandal kay Leni, pero itinulak siya nitong pataas. Kontrolado ang mukha niya, parang empleyado sa Mental.

“Tsaka paano iyong mga mawalan ng trabaho, anong silbi ng subrang pag-aaral? Sa sistema namin, magdependi sila sa amin na may diskarte.” “Sa pagnakaw ninyo, ibig mong sabihin?” sagot ni Leni. “Hende ah, my Lady, Madame Beautipul, utakan lang, abilidad! Mula pa noong 1521 ganyan talaga tayo kung mag-survive. E tanggalin mo ang moral, ang batas, survival of the fittest ang meron. Diyan tayo magaling, kahit walang pari, walang batas. Tsaka mga babae, sabaw ang poke sa lawyer and killer tulad ko! Dilaw lang natikman mo, sayang ang ganda mo!”

Mabilis na tumayo sa Leni, mas mabilis pa siyang sumampal. Biglang napunta sa buhangin si Duterte at paiyak-iyak: “Maa, huwag mo akong hampasin sa tenga, huwag na masakiiit”. Biglang nagising si Duterte sa may sahig, siyempre sa labas nang kulambo. Pumasok si Bong Go. “Anu ang kumalampag diyan?” sabi niya. “Bakit ka nasa sahig!”. “Eh wala, masarap lang ang panaginip ko!” “Gago, tumayo ka, bihis, maraming papirmâ sa iyoh Chinese Ambassador!” Tumayo si Duts. Kinuha niya ang pantalon niya sa may silya at sinuot niya, tapos iyong gusot-gusot na barong.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, 23 ng Marso 2018

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Drama lang daw ang EDSA

EDSAShrine0135 02sabi ng iilan. Siguro “drama” rin para sa kanila ang mga huling hingalo nila Gomburza sa garote. Mga ipokritong pari! Bakit hindi sila namatay ng tahimik! Ginalit pa nila mga kabataang Pilipino. Iyan tuloy, nagsayang pa sila Rizal ng oras sa may putanginang EU na iyan, mga aktibistang inutil!

Tumahimik na kayong mga biktima!

Maraming mapagsamantala na nagtatago sa kanilang kasamaan – maging mga manyakis, mga nambubugbog ng asawa, mga mamamatay-tao. Walang “drama” sana iyong pagpapatay kay Kian delos Santos, kaya lang ang daldal kasi ng CCTV, putanginang iyan. Di sana nabisto ang totoo.

Iyang mga madre naman sa may EDSA, pasalamat sila na maraming tao, maraming reporter, at pati internasyonal na press at TV nakatutok sa pangyayari – kaya drama lang ang tingin ni Mocha sa kanilang pagharap sa tanke. Kung walang nakatingin, nasagasaan na sana sila, di ba Mocha?

Malakas at matatag ang mga mangugulpi!

Parang sinabi ni SolGen Calida na (link): “Pasalamat si Jim Paredes hindi pinatulan nito kundi bugbog sarado ‘yang si Jim Paredes.”. Masaya siguro si Calida kung wala doon si Jamela Alindogan ng Al Jazeera na nakatutok sa eksena ng Duterte Youth at paghamon ni Jim Paredes.

Pasalamat din daw si Pia Ranada Robles na hindi siya sinaktan ng Presidential Security. Hindi na madali ngayong araw gumawa ng ganyan, sa dami ng camera na nakatutok. Noong bata pa ako, may nakita akong eksena kung paano binatukan ni Mayor Estrada ang isang lalakeng reporter.

“Buti nga” ang naisip ko habang natawa ako sa nangyari. Pero hindi bida sa pelikula si Erap doon, tunay na buhay na nangyari iyon. Siguro bida lang talaga ang pagkakilala ko sa kanya – sa movies. Ano ba talaga ang itinuturo ng mga pelikulang ganyan? Na lahat may solusyon na mabilis – gulpi.

Pusila, Pusila!

Walang nakarinig ng pananalitang iyon, nakasulat lang ito sa dyaryo. Pero nakita ng mundo kung paano dinala palabas si Ninoy Aquino noong pag-uwi niya sa Maynila. May masamang biro sa mga ka-edad ko na maraming namamatay sa akala – akala rin lang ni Rizal na mamasyal siya sa Luneta. Imbes na tuluyang maging manhid sa mapang-abusong asal na kumakalat noong Martial Law, dinaan siguro ito sa biro ng iilan. Nararamdaman naman ng bawat bata kapag may hindi tama sa paligid niya. Kasama na rin ang pagkukunyaring walang nangyayari. Nasira ito noong August 1983.

Ninoy naman, bakit ang drama mo kung mamatay? Bakit ka pa nagdala ng reporter para magfilm? Kung hindi sana nabulgar iyon at nashaim ang buong Pilipinas, buo pa sana ang Bagong Lipunan. Tuluyan kaming sanang naging mga manhid sa paghihirap ng iba. Hindi sana kami bleeding heart! Kung akala ni Ninoy na mamamasyal lang siya sa tarmac, hindi iyan nagdala ng repo-reporter! Tanginang mga dilaw na iyan, bakit puro ganyan ang zarzuela? Buti pa si Imelda na kumakanta! Gusto kong makita balang araw kung paano mag-duet si Duterte at si Imelda sa Malakanyang.

Pero tapos na ang panahon na iyan. Betamax lang iyon noong panahon ng ipinatay si Aquino. Tangina naitago nila iyong camera dahil maliit lang. Ngayon may mga digital camera at Internet. Lahat na-fa-fact check. Pati mga sila Tito, Vic and Joey hindi ko na puwedeng pagtawanan. Pambihirang Internet, nalaman ko tuloy iyong nangyari kay Pepsi Paloma. Hindi drama iyon. Nagpakamatay talaga siya. Tulad din ni Maria Theresa Carlson, asawa dati ni Rodolfo Fariñas. Hindi naman siguro drama iyong kanyang pagkuwento ng mga pang-aabuso ng asawa niya (link).

Mga abusador naman, takot mabisto kaya drama ang tawag sa pagsabi ng totoo. Tahimik at dilim ang kaibigan nila. Kakampi nila ang mga taong walang paki o manhid. Dahil mag-isa ang biktima. Hindi nag-isa sa pagdusa ang Gomburza at si Rizal noong pinatay sila. Hindi rin nag-isa si Ninoy dahil maraming kumampi sa kanya. Iba talaga ang dating ng isang bangkay na may sugat sa baril. Nakikita na walang kalaban-laban ang biktima. May natural na habag ang tao. Maliban sa manhid.  Bakit kaya ngayon, paurong na yata ang gobyerno, at ipinagkakailang balak pumatay ng marami?

Ah, expression of outrage lang daw iyong mga banta ni Duterte (link), hindi utos na pumatay? Drama lang pala – o matapang na “pagtanggol sa lahi”? Tulad ng pag-iskandalo ni Sassot sa BBC reporter? O iyong pagtaray niya sa TRT na hindi umobra? O iyong pag-eksena ni “Maharlika” sa isang US symposium ni Trillanes? Wala silang kaharap na tanke at bala. Persida Acosta naman na nakasuot ng pandoktor at hinihimatay, Batong kalbong umiiyak o tumatakbo sa labentador? Drama lahat iyan. Masakit nang panoorin. Kawawa kayo diyan. Buhay ninyo iyan. Hindi palabas.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, ika-25 ng Pebrero 2018

 

Madilim ang Paligid

Snowstorm in Tyrol - 02sa labas ng tren pauwi. May nakita akong mga lumilipad sa labas. Inisip ko: “sino ba kayo”? Sabi nila “kami ang mga magsasabi sa iyo kung ano ang mangyayari sa Pilipinas ngayon”. “Ano naman?” sagot ko sa kanila. “Babalik ang Pilipinas sa nararapat niyang anyo at sa tunay niyang kapalaran.” sabi nila. “eh mabuti naman siguro kung ganoon” sagot ko. “Hindi para sa mga katulad ninyo” sabi nila “pagka’t kayo ang sumira sa likas na anyo ng bansa”. Sabi ko naman “at sino naman kami, mga dilaw na naman? At ano kayo, mga DDS siguro. Ang papangit ninyo!”.

Biglang may malaking boses sa likod nila na nagsalita “babalik na ang Pilipinas sa pamumuno ng natural niyang naghaharing-uri. Wala nang pakialam ang mga sistema at pag-iisip na banyaga”.  Tumuloy ang boses “likas na lakas at galing ang ibinigay sa mga pinunong-bayan na katutubo noong araw, ngunit tinanggal ito ng pag-aaping banyaga, sa puwersa at sa pag-iisip, o kaya ibinakla ito ng moralidad ng demokrasya at ng simbahan.” Tumahimik ng sandali. Dinig ko ang malakas na hangin sa labas ng tren.

“Likas ang pakiramdam ng pinuno sa tama at mali, sa dapat patayin at buhayin, sa dapat bigyan ng posisyon at hindi”. Tuloy pa rin “kayong mga nag-aral ng mga kaartehan sa sistemang maka-kanluran, hindi ninyo alam ang likas na galing ng Pilipino na wala sa may degree na kung saan-saan. Sa isip ng isip, walang nangyayari. Gawa lang ang mahalaga.” Parang ang layo ng mga ilaw sa labas ng tren. “Kahit ano pang sabihin ng mga paimportanteng pilosopo, tama rin ang hatol ng mga pinuno ngayon sa kung sino ang itotokhang, kung sino ang ipapashut-up – dahil pampagulo lang”.

“Malapit nang makamtan ng bayan ang pagkakaisang tunay, wala nang pipigil o rereklamo pa”. Sabi ng malalim na boses “babalik ang gintong panahon, at makakamtan ng lahat ng tunay na Pilipino ang kaginhawaan”. Inantok na ako. “Ano naman ang kinalaman ko diyan?”. Sagot ng malalim na boses: “kinakailangan lang ng isang isasakripisyo sa bulkang Mayon, para matanggal ang mga masamang impluwensiya ng limang dantaon”. Tumingin ako palabas “anong tingin ninyo sa akin, isang Magellan?” 

“Hindi, isang hilaw” sagot ng mararaming boses. “buwisit kang pakialamero!”. “Hindi niyo ba napapansin kung nasaan kayo?” sabi ko sa mga buwisit. “napakalamig dito. Iyang parang asukal sa wedding cake” sabi ko “niyebe iyan, o baka naman snow lang ang naiintindihan ninyo?” Biglang nangisay ang mga mukha sa bintana. Nagising ako sa malalim na boses ng konduktor na nagsasabi sa wikang Aleman na “huling stop na, Munich main station, bumaba po lahat”. Iyong maleta ko na parang may diperensiya kanina, OK na noong hinila ko. Bumaba na ako sa tren.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, ika-18 ng Enero, 2018

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Binaril iyong Pranses

Title- Executed (6211517393)noong Dec. 30, 2018 sa harap ng Rizal monument. “Subrang bait ni Rizal” sabi ng Pangulong Duterte “nagtiwala masyado sa puti, o – siya pa ang pinatay!”. “Itong si Aquino, ganyan din, parang si Ibarra na subra ang tiwala sa Western solutions, ayan, niluko siya nitong mga Sanoping gago!”. Tuloy-tuloy magsalita ang Presidente, nakakapagtaka. “tayo ngayon, hindi na. Halimbawa iyang ebi-ebidensiya na iyan, kailangan lang ng mga Westerner iyan dahil mas tanga sila kaysa sa atin! Tayo, naamoy natin kung may maling ginawa ang tao”. “Mga konyo tulad ni Aquino, hindi na”.

“O, bakit laging mali si Presidente Aquino?” sabi ni Duterte. “Sa Mamasapano, sa Sanopi, kahit saan!”. “E tayo, alam natin, ramdam natin”. “Di ba nalaman sa imbestigasyon tungkol sa van doon sa Mandaluyong noong isang taon, may kinalaman pala sa druga iyong mga nasa loob?” Hinaplos ni Duterte ang kanyang pisngi. “O iyan, di tama naman pala ang mga barangay tanod at mga PNP!” “Pasalamat tayo kay Secretary Aguirre na magaling mag-imbestiga.” (Palakpakan). “Kaya ngayon, bakit pa natin kailangang magpunta rito si Calamaris? Bias naman talaga iyan mag-imbestiga!”.

“Tayo kapag pumapatay, para sa kinabukasan ng mga anak natin. Kaya ang Westerner, huwag makialam! Si Lapu-Lapu ba humingi ng permiso sa UN at EU bago patayin si Magellan? Hindi!” “Putangina talaga.” Patingin-tingin ang Pangulo sa kanyang mga panauhin. “Kasi parang amoy iyan. Iyong mga Westerner, kailangan pa ng ebidensiya dahil wala silang pang-amoy. Kaya sila ang baho ng kilikili, tayo malayo pa lang amoy na natin”. “Tulad ni Calamaris na iyan, sa itsura pa lang niya, alam ko na mabaho puki ng Pransesa na iyan.” (Tawanan). Biglang naputol ang livestream..

At napalitan ng isang video ng pagpapasabog sa aircraft carrier Liaoning malapit sa may Palawan. Matagumpay sila Anselmo sa kanilang misyon. Patago nilang nakarga ang tatlong Exocet missile mula Samar hanggang sa may Palawan. Papalit-palit ng barko, minsan pasimple pa nga sa ilalim ng mga kalawangin na passenger ship sa may Mindanao, minsan naman mabilisan sa gabi, sa loob ng mga speedboat. Sa bandang huli, ikinarga at inihanda sa may bundok at inabangan ang Liaoning. Kilalang missile ang Exocet sa pagwasak ng mga barko, maliit, mabilis at malakas ang pagsabog.

Isa sa gitna, isa sa harap, isa sa likod. Akala ng mga Tsino ligtas sila dahil jammed nila ang GPS at hawak nila ng Ruso ang Glonass, pero sistemang Galileo ang ginamit ng missile para hanaping ang kanyang destinasyon, sa tulong ng maliliit na drone. Isa ring maliit na drone ang kumuha ng video sa pagwasak ng aircraft carrier. Iyong pag-hijack sa Facebook Live ng Malacanan, ibang istorya. Nagulat ang PCOO, akala kasi nila sagot sila ng China Telecom – pero may taga-Pasig na nakalusot. Biglang itinigil ang hijacking para hindi matrace. Bumalik sa ngangang Pangulo ang livestream.

Pawis na pawis tignan si Andanar – habang naghahanap ng paliwanag kay Presidenteng galit na galit. Si Mocha naman, ang laki ng mata sa pagkagulat sa nangyari – habang nakaupo lang sa may kalsada. Dumilim ang livestream ng PCOO. “Buti nga!” Tumawa si Ricardo. Nakasakay sila ni Anselmo sa speedboat papuntang Puerto Princesa. Doon sa malapit bumaba. Pasimpleng nag-bus papuntang port. May ticket na sila sa barkong papuntang Maynila. Napakagulo ng halos tapos nang naging taong 2018. Malayo pa sa kaligtasan ang bayan. Hindi pagdiriwang ang pupuntahan nila.

Sana naman huwag maging ganyan ang 2018. O ganito (link) – o kaya naman ganito (link).
Happy New Year mula sa Munich galing kay Irineo B. R. Salazar, ika-30 ng Disyembre 2017.

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Speaker Barry Roque

Lechonwas served as lechon in Balintawak by the KFF on Human Rights Day 2018. “He was a pig, not human”, said the Punong Tagpaghusga of the Kalookan Freedom Fighters in Filipino. “sabi niya tutulungan niya kaming mga mahihirap samantalang ang dami sa aming mga pinapatay nila.”. “Bakit naman nila sinasabing mga terorista tayo, kung pinagtatanggol lang natin sarili natin?” isinagot ng Punong Tagapagtanggol, sabay shabu. “at heto naman, kailangan natin ito para hindi tayo mapagod, at walang tigil ang laban”. Sinigaw niya: “mabuhay tayo! mamatay ang kalaban!”.

“Putang ina kayo” sabi ng Pangulong Duterte sa isang talumpati sa Federal Palace na nasa Mactan. “pati Speaker ko kinain na ninyo”. “Bakit hindi kasi si Franklin Drilon ang patulan ninyo, iyong dilawan dapat ang parosahan huwag kami rito” itinuloy niya “iyang mga naglalason ng kabataan, kaibigan ng mga drug lord na ilegal pati na iyong mga drug lord na ligal kuno na galing sa pisteng EU na iyan, mga Sanopi.” Pinahid ng Pangulo ang pisngi niya. “they gone to an international court, can you imagine that? We are a sovereign country with our own justice system and witnesses!”.

“We even have forensic evidence but they say we are planting our evidence. Itanong ninyo kay Secretary Mariano what we are planting. Rice, kamote, coconuts, so use your coconut you stupid EU de puta dilawan who kill our children with vaccines!” Duterte continued. “and that crazy EU really removed our GSP+ privileges and are asking for us to pay duties, sons of BITCHES, what business do they have teaching us about human rights if they poison Filipino children? Tell me!”. Duterte looked at the audience. “Now they should not complain if our customs asks extra money”.

“Customs and traditions, kasama na doon ang corruption”. Napatawa si Anselmo sa harap ng TV. “Sa Catbalogan tayo tumuloy bukas” sabi ng kasama niyang si Ricardo. “Nasa may Sorsogon na ang Kano, nasa bandang Leyte na ang Tsino”. “Kailangan i-secure natin ang Samar to prevent landing”.

In the port of Catarman, Ricardo and Anselmo loaded the French Exocet missiles unto the harmless looking coast guard vessel. The rest of the crew were waiting in Calbayog, hopefully not too drunk. The last sighting of Chinese ships had been off the coast of Bogo City. There was little time left.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, 10 December 2017

 

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The New Constitution of the Philippines

Fisherman bugasongwas enacted on Mactan Island on November 30, 2018, in a ceremony presided over by Prime Minister Pimentel, President Duterte and Chief Magistrate Calida. In Accordance with Article II, Section 1: “The Philippines is an Asian democracy. All sovereignty resides in the barangays.” the three took their oaths in front of the 42 thousand plus barangay captains of all islands. In return, they assured all barangays of full legal autonomy in matters of communal cohesion, including the disposal of dissenters, drug addicts and other nuisances. Over 42 thousand fists greeted in return.

The BIR no longer existed. Tax collection has been given to the barangay captains, under the supervision of mayors, governors and state prime ministers. In his long, rambling speech, President Duterte once more defended the system, saying “the national budgeting system was too complicated, and it was also leaking – let us better be honest and let everybody have their cut”. COA, PCGG and CHR have been replaced by the Office of General Audit of Government (OGAG), with the President saying “just one check and balance is enough, so that nobody abuses too much!”

The President emphasized the importance of Article III, Section I: “Only real Filipinos have the right to life, liberty and property. Real Filipinos are free of the wrong ideas of Western liberalism and the temptations of drug addiction” and of Section II: “the right of the barangay to inspect the houses of its citizens to ensure peace, order and harmony shall not be abridged by any laws”. “This is finally a Constitution that is true to our way of life and customs”  said Duterte: “truly free of the ungodly Western temptations of liberty that led our youth to liberal disrespect and drugs”.

Outside the zone of the ceremony, a fisherman watched. Strange, thought Anselmo. No mention of the Bikolano separation, declared in Naga the day before by State Prime Minister Robredo and State Interior Minister Trillanes, a week after Leila de Lima was found hanged in her Crame cell. No mention of wide areas of Manila under Martial Law since the the May insurrections of Caloocan that spread throughout the Metro area after police shot a large number of middle class children. No curses yet in his speech, thought Anselmo: nothing to disturb his false picture of peace and order.

Chinese ships in the surrounding sea joined the Philippine Navy in giving the new Philippine Government a salute. We, the sovereign Filipino people, imploring the aid of the People’s Republic of China against colonial Western oppression.. was after all how the new Constitution started. Nonetheless, the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier was docked in Legazpi harbor, waiting for orders. Anselmo took a load of fish from his boat to take them to market. Then he would visit a woman he knew well. Better to wait for the high alert stage to end first. Then he would slip away.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, 1 December 2017

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Italian-American Vanessa Hessler

Vanessa Hessler @ Wind Music Awardsor “Alice” was fired by Telefonica Germany in late 2011 for publicly supporting the Gadaffis, calling them “normal people”. One of the sons of the dictator (link) had been her ex-boyfriend. Certainly normal compared to the likes of Uday Hussein of Iraq. Most people are normal if you don’t care about what they did – I am sure the Marcos family is friendly in person. Vanessa Hessler, blond, looong-legged, blue-eyed, was simply “Alice” to me then as the face of the new brand Alice DSL – later to become O2 DSL after Telefonica / O2 bought the original Hansenet.

Showbiz and politics

Miss Philippines Rachel Peters told Filipinos to “trust Duterte” (link) and to “give Mocha Uson a chance” months ago. Now I will admit that I found the reaction of the German public, which pushed Telefonica to fire “Alice”, exaggerated in 2011. And that she was close to a powerful man like the son of Gadaffi wasn’t anything special to me. My values still were a bit different then. Guess the person I was six years ago would not have cared about Rachel Peters being the girlfriend of Governor Villafuerte of Camarines Sur – the political family Leni Robredo (link) once challenged.

Binibining Pilipinas-International Mariel de Leon went against Mocha Uson in May (link): “She insults those who are against her. I’m not for her, I’m not for the other side (whatever that may be).. it breaks my heart to know someone like her got a position in the gov’t. There are so many [other] unbiased, educated, and respected (and respectful) people who deserve her place.” and got flak for it. Inday Sara Duterte, Mayor of Davao and Presidential daughter, even admitted to (link) a “Schadenfreude moment” when Mariel de Leon did not become Miss International. Wonderful.

Politics for people

Meanwhile, Chief Justice Sereno is under attack (link) by the Philippine Congress. What she already has done in terms of reforming the justice system (link) is recommendable, as the issues clogging the justice system and keeping it far from the masses have lead to an attitude of distrust. Probably her efforts were not fast enough to dispel Duterte and his extrajudicial shortcuts – most especially the approval for such within the population – but one must give her credit for work done. It takes time to rehabilitate run-down systems and organisations. Did she have enough support?

Most of all, she understands something many may NOT have understood yet (link): protection of human rights can only be fully accepted by our people if we have a truly functional justice sector. A justice sector does not function if the investigative and prosecutorial services are not doing their jobs. When people complain about criminality, it means they are clamoring for genuinely effective investigation, case build up and prosecution. Impunity is engendered because no one is being caught for crimes that our hapless citizens are suffering from. And when murders and rapes are being committed in such frequency and gore, you must expect people to be angry. They will not understand if you try to protect the right to life of a drug suspect, when the community is of the belief that drug addicts are the perpetrators of these crimes.

Hope more on the liberal and law-and-order sides of Philippine politics realize this way is correct. Even Rizal realized this in his time, criticizing the Spanish colonial justice system and praising the British colonial one. The one Singapore still has, to name a city idolized by so many Dutertians.

Politics for show

For the opposite of result-driven politics, Grace Poe comes to mind first. The Dutertian side will name Leila de Lima as a drama queen. She did have her CHR work, and as SOJ a hand in the German-sponsored draft of a better Penal Code (link). Even then I wonder why Duterte was seemingly no longer being investigated in the time of President Noynoy Aquino. Could his support for him have been the reason (link), the threat of possible investigations guaranteeing his “loyalty”? There is the term moro-moro for staged political confrontations, based on a folk drama (link).

I watched a moro-moro in Ilokano once at the UP Theater as a child. Lots of bluster by the Christian and the Muslim king, to the respective other king and to his followers. Then loud, smashing music like Blue Rondo a la Turk or Balkan folk music, both kings and their followers rise, move back and forth on the stage, crossing swords but never fully bumping into each other, with one group running away backwards at the end. It was funny, with both kings jumping exaggeratedly and pushing their bellies forward. Abroad in 1986, I asked myself if EDSA was just moro-moro.

Marcoses were allowed to return. The pursuit of their ill-gotten wealth was very slow I think, skeptics like me then tend to ask if it was just for show. Imelda acquitted in the Philippines. Nowadays, I wonder why Roxas and others only show their teeth now, when they are charged (link) – having tolerated a bit too much, too long in my point of view. Where I am skeptical, many directly affected are cynical (link) as little seems to move forward. More of the likes of Sereno – and  VP Leni and Risa Hontiveros – are needed I think. Also, less drama and beauty queens in politics.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, 26 November 2017

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Close to Collapse

Munich subway GBRis what Munich’s underground is according to a local paper (link). It is “not that bad” (link) Harry Roque might say if he rode here, as the elevators and escalators mostly work. Meaning that among 100 underground stations in 100 km. of underground, a non-working escalator is pretty rare. Yet people do crowd a bit more recently. The reason is that some new wagons don’t work yet (link). Haha, in Germany? Yes, from Siemens. Wagons of the C2 series from Siemens that look space age. While the quaint 1970s style old wagons keep on going it seems. What is happening over here?

Voltage spikes and squared wheels

U-Bahn-Wache

Munich U-Bahn after a soccer game

Well, the electrical transmission of the C2 series seems to generate voltage spikes that could cause the trains to stop or even damage the electrical systems of the Munich U-Bahn or underground. They are in the yards for maintenance, while the old wagons are stretched thin. People are not yet waiting up to the streets though like in Metro Manila. That only happens during the Oktoberfest. Then, extra staff make sure drunk people don’t push each other onto the rails. Central Europeans – which Bavarians are – are not as patient in waiting as Filipinos. And tend to like their own space.

What also happened according to a speaker of the MVG or Munich Transport Corporation is that when autumn came in, the sludge from rain and autumn leaves on some overground stations (yes, the underground also has stations above ground) caused “squaring” of wheels while braking. Making train wheels round again is specialized metalworking. Took some work in depot to get the wagons back into full function. Good thing, even if there was some inconvenience for everyone, as I can imagine the damage squared wheels can do to rails. Or voltage spikes to transmission systems.

Politics and colors over here

Well, is the Reichstag in Berlin discussing this under its modern dome? Is the Maximilianeum (link) in Munich, the Parliament of the Free State of Bavaria, going up in (self-)righteous anger? After all, the ruling party there is different from the ruling party in Munich city hall, so why not? Strangely it is a party that is not ruling that seems to make occasional comments about the SPD or Social Democrats, whose friends in the Philippines are Akbayan. It is the FDP or Liberals or if one wants yellow color – same party whose Naumann Foundation invited VP Leni to South Africa.

But one only knows that if one reads a bit deeper in some papers. No buzz in social media. If ever people are mad at yellow, it is at the OBikes (link) from Singapore which anyone can book and use via simple App. Tourists and others just leave them all over the place. And conveniently, they are of the color some Bavarians will think all Asians are – yellow. Yellow and Chinese, or maybe Japanese. You are only Japanese though if you take pictures of the central square, the Marienplatz, in spring. Now you finally know why Irineo sees the world so differently. I am on the other side, so to speak.

It was not long ago

Munich subway Goetheplatz

Munich’s oldest underground station today

In fact, I am red. Red as in Bayern München, not DDS. More a sympathizer than a fan or a diehard. Reds crowd the very same U-Bahn wagons – or underground trains – as commuters crowd daily when there is a game up in the Allianz Arena. The plans for the a north-south line were really old. Goetheplatz station was finished between 1938 and 1941 (link). The regime behind that probably never said “Bauen, Bauen, Bauen” (Build, Build, Build) as it sounds too much like barking, even if the one who shouted a lot did not come from the Bavarian Forest, where some say people “bark”.

The war stopped the project. Goetheplatz station and the tunnel to Sendlinger Tor were made part of the new underground lines built for the 1972 Olympics. Until now, Goetheplatz station is a little bit longer than the standard full underground train, as it was planned for another kind of wagons. And the design is more similar to Berlin underground stations built before the war. More cramped, and not always with escalators. The modern norm is deeper and with escalators always, often with elevators for PWDs, mothers with children and bikes. I don’t know if yellow OBikes are allowed.

Almost yesterday

Karte der S-Bahn München

The Munich suburban train network

another system in Munich was the subject of complaints. The Munich S-Bahn or suburban train. 150 stations and 434 kilometers into the suburbs of Munich. The trunk line or Stammstrecke (line) was also built for the 1972 Olympics. That was a Build, Build, Build period – without dictatorship. Half of Munich, especially the Marienplatz where U-Bahn and S-Bahn lines converge in a common station under the city hall, was excavated or tunneled then. No space for Japanese to make fotos. But then again, it is mostly the S-Bahn or U-Bahn that brings them there, escalators bring them up.

Almost yesterday is a decade ago or more. I don’t even remember the exact years when the S-Bahn was catastrophic as I lived outside town then – it only affected me when I went in on weekends. Frequent delays. Often the signalling systems at the Ostbahnhof (Eastern train station) got stuck. Electrical and signalling systems in the trunk line, the busiest train route in Germany they say, had to be renovated step by step as they had aged since the early 1970s. There was a time, I think an entire year, where the S-Bahn trunk line was closed for entire weekends – technical overhaul.

Some were bothered

Bothered me a bit coming from outside, as I had to switch to the yet seemingly perfect U-Bahn when I rode into the city. But new rails, signalling systems and more improved the S-Bahn. Meanwhile, the U-Bahn increased stations, covering more and more of the city, always having interoperability in mind – with the S-Bahn which belongs to the Deutsche Bahn or German railways, and of course with busses and trams, which together with the U-Bahn all belong to the MVG (Münchner Verkehrsgesellschaft / Munich Transport corporation) which is city-owned.

I have heard that Günther Beckstein (link) used to take the tram 19 to work in the Maximilaneum. Very probable during the time he was in the parliament, even when he was Bavarian Interior Minister. It is a beautiful ride which I won’t tell the Japanese about, passing historical monuments. Used to be the main ride between the East and the West of Munich, before the S-Bahn was built. Now a second Stammstrecke is being built to increase capacity, get the suburbs connected better. This goes until 2026, work has started. Even if it may get delayed, I think it will never just stop.

Tram München - Baureihen P, R und S - Betriebshof Einsteinstraße - April 2014

Tram depot Einsteinstraße with different generations of wagons

Why should it stop? And why should relatively young systems like the Munich U- and S-Bahn fall apart. What is 1972? 45 years ago. Berlin has really old systems. A major line of the Berlin S-Bahn had to be closed for MONTHS, also about a decade or so ago for complete overhaul. Under the management of Communist East Berlin, the citywide system had rotted. Not as much as New York (link) it seems which is of similar vintage. How Filipinos lost the late 19th century Spanish railway to Dagupan, the 1930s railway to Legazpi and may lose the MRT is another story. A sadder one.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, 24 November 2017

 

 

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