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Morals and Action

Daraga Church Albayoften seem incompatible in the Philippines. Women pray rosary, men act. Read the Bible or Constitution for theory, use the gun or fake witnesses to get things done. Be concerned about what the UN and the US think and deny EJKs – boast about them when one is with one’s “own people”. Colonial residues, when some Spanish priests used morality to make people subservient, while sneaking up on the wives even of chieftains – alluded to in the Noli with respect to Padre Damaso and the mother of fair-skinned Maria Clara, officially the daughter of dark-skinned Kapitan Tiago.

While Padre Damaso was sad when Maria Clara decided to become a nun after Ibarra was “dead”, Kapitan Tiago increased his consumption of opium until he eventually died. A barangay captain who was a drug addict, in Rizal’s novel? Yes! Nothing is really new under the sun. Or in Pilipinas. Will the disente people always be not decent as in good, but simply the rich who hobnob with the hypocritical Church, while the poor are subjugatedly obedient and polite? While the true heroes are pistoleros who tell Church and the disente to fuck themselves, and free the people into rudeness?

This simplistic interpretation has been handed down by generations of educators and activists, ignoring for example the role of Filipino priests in helping free their own people since the First Propaganda Movement – before the Second Propaganda Movement (link) of the intellectuals. Completely going back to the Philippines before 1521 is impossible, and stripping the country of elites developed during colonialism leaves us with Kapitan Tiago, probably on a stronger opiate, making rape jokes about a white missionary, or a mestiza (link) – to get even with Padre Damaso?

One would forget how the Filipino church has gone native since the Second Vatican Council, developing Filipino liturgy and preaching not in Latin anymore, but in a language the people understand. Like today’s homily by Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas (link): Kapag ibinuhos ng tao ang dugo ng kanyang kapwa, wala itong dulot na biyaya, kundi sumpa at parusa. One would forget that the time a socialite beauty contestant said “I speak Tagalog only to the maids” is past. But yes, the gap between action and morals remains. Nice words in theory, shortcuts in practice.

The ruling groups have taught the Filipino to be so obedient, so patient – until he no longer is, like in a recent riot (link) in the Quezon City jail. Was the rage that led to Duterte something similar? Morals is not about being nice always, especially not to Padre Damaso or Kapitan Tiago on opiates – they can also mean saying NO, setting limits. The Filipino I think is still learning to resist steadily – instead of exploding in useless rage. Grassroots groups against drug killings (link) or VP Robredo’s projects (link) are examples. The future may yet come, not loudly but in small steps. Let us see.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, 5 November 2017

5 comments to Morals and Action

  • sonny

    The cost vs benefit of civilization is stored in a nation’s memory, aka culture. Civilization is learned, communicated, practiced in what works and what doesn’t. When two cultures meet, there is a time lag for the new resultant culture to form and in turn be learned and remembered for future use.

    Civilization’s mechanism is live and learn or die.

  • https://www.facebook.com/lorraine.badoy/posts/10155778368004834 (an example of anti-elite cliches):

    For the Aliping Sagigilids of this world:

    Ang mga elitista, pag may kelangang gawin, papagawa nila yan sa mga alila nila. Yung mga tuwang tuwa na nabigyan sila ng pansin ng mga miembro ng mga buen familia.

    Elitists don’t like to dirty their hands so they let others do the dirty job for them. (So uso sa kanila yang mga anonymous anonymous na yan. Kelangan disente diba?)

    So pag may kelangan sila sayo, ngingiti-ngitian ka nyan. Hehello-hello. Picture picture, selfie-selfie. iPad-iPad. Tuition-tuition. Pagnaka-zoom in na sila sa mga aliping sagigilid, ayan na. Iimbitahin ka na sa mga mansyon nila sa Porbs Spark.

    Pero ang ihahain sayo, yung tirang hamon lang. Hindi yung porterhouse steak. Pang alila lang naman. Kahit nga Ma-ling lang, magpapakamatay na yan para sayo.

    Alam na alam nila ang tabas ng utak ng Alipin. Siglo na ang pamilya nilang nasa poder, nasa DNA na nila ang maamoy sino ang alipin at sino ang hindi paalipin.

    So ayan na. May seat on the table ka na. *KILIGGGG! SO HAPPY FOR YOU!* Belong na belong ka na. BFF!

    KALA MO.

    Sorry to have to break it to you but you’re nothing but a second rate trying hard elitista copycat!

    Once wala ka nang silbi sa kanila at naging pabigat at balakid sa mga plano nila–at naisulat mo na lahat ng kababuyang pinasulat sayo at inamin mo na lahat lahat pati mga kasalanan nila, tapos ka na.
    See that bus? You go under it.

    *Has anybody seen CocoyBets? Not even the NBI can find him. Nanganganib ang kagandahan ni JoverGanda!!*

    Yayaaaa, POPCORN PLEASE!!!

    • http://www.interaksyon.com/manlaban-lawyers-band-together-vs-ejks-rights-abuses/

      (another example of Filipinos pushing back and saying NO)

      MANILA, Philippines — A broad network of lawyers, judges, law professors and students was launched on Thursday, November 2, demanding an end to extrajudicial killings and the increasing human rights violations under the Duterte administration.

      The group, Manlaban sa EJK or Mga Manananggol Laban sa (Lawyers Against) Extra Judicial Killings, said it would join forces with other sectors and groups “struggling against the descent of the country into the dark abyss of lawlessness, persecution of the poor, attacks against critics and human rights advocates and authoritarian methods or rule.”

      The acronym of the group, which means “fight” or “resist,” is apparently their take on “nanlaban,” literally “fought back,” which is the invariable explanation police give for the thousands of suspected drug users and pushers killed in anti-narcotics operations.

      “Members of the legal profession and law students who value sanctity of human rights and the equitable rule of law cannot stand idly by in the midst of these attacks on the right to life, liberty, dignity and security of the people. Today, we join the ever growing voices of protest against rampant killings which target the poor, to defend rights and demand accountability,” Manlaban said at its launch at the Kamuning Bakery and Cafe in Quezon City.

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