Posts Tagged Life

Red Oktoberfest Horse

Oktoberfest-Kutscherdoesn’t exist, just by itself. There is Red Horse, but that beer may not be served at the Oktoberfest. Only beers brewed in Munich, as tradition dictates. But the Oktoberfest starts in September, why? Because the weather is still somewhat better then is what I know, as long as it ends in October, OK. Or passt scho, as Bavarians say. That’s OK is what it more or less means. No need to look further. Red October, or the October revolution, wasn’t really in October either. It was on October 25, 1917 in Russia and on November 7, 1917 – by the Gregorian calendar which most of Europe was using.

Reds turned Red October into Red November when they chose to switch to Gregorian in 1918. Greeks finally decided to go Gregorian in 1919 – for civil purposes. Christmas and Easter still differ for Russians and Greeks, this I know. Why should Orthodox bishops follow a calendar that was decreed by a Roman Catholic Pope? Gregory XIII, to be exact, way back in 1582, had reformed the Julian calendar, decreed by Julius Caesar in 46 B.C. – both being the Pontifex Maximus. These priests defined the calendar in ancient Rome, but sometimes misused that power for politics.

Weder-Weder and Seasons

Even Julius Caesar made the year of his third consulship 446 days long in the year of his reform. Being Pontifex Maximus and Consul was like being President and Supreme Court Chief Justice. Might be an idea for Duterte when CJ Castro retires. But even in Roman times, the additional days to adjust the calendar to the seasons (or political weder-weder) were done after February, like now. Except that February was the last month, and September – October – November – December were really still the seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth months, respectively. After Julius and Augustus.

Almost 16 hundred years later, the 365.25 days used to compute leap years every 4 years proved to be slightly inaccurate. Easter got colder and colder. 365.2425 days is inaccurate every 3000+ years. Pretty accurate though for a Catholic Church that still refused to believe Galileo – at least officially. But on the other hand accepted strong beer as a valid substitute for food during the Lenten season. There is the story that Bavarian monks sent beer all the way to Rome and it was no longer fresh when it arrived, so the Vatican approved it. In reality it is almost as strong as Filipino Red Horse.

Per centum

8% alcohol is what I have found for Red Horse, while the Lenten beers of Munich called Salvator, Maximator, Triumphator etc. have around 7.5%. Oktoberfest beer “only” has 6.4% – not inflation, alcohol percentage. Regular beer like Augustiner Helles has 5.2%, which looks like a little less. Unfortunately, whether we talk about alcohol percentage or inflation, small differences are big. Four half liter mugs of Augustiner Helles make you way less drunk than two liters of Augustiner in the Oktoberfest tent of the same name. Lenten Penance is two liters of Maximator – same brewery.

No October Horse is sacrificed to mark the end of the agricultural season during the Oktoberfest. That was in ancient Rome. There are brewery horses pulling carriages with beer barrels on them during the opening ceremony, but most “tents” are huge wooden pavillions nowadays with tanks and pipes for their beer. The Augustiner “tent” does still use 200 liter barrels though, traditionally. And still the Oktoberfest has a lot in common with other harvest and autumn festivals in Bavaria. Entire oxen roasted, with name and weight indicated, are most remiscent of sacrifice in one “tent”.

Sacrifice

Someone doubted whether one could roast such a large animal in one piece, wouldn’t it take days? After all, lechon takes around six hours if I remember correctly, turkey or goose like three hours. But I have seen that they cut off meat from the outside going inwards, much like with shawarma. Same with gyros or döner, the Greek and Turkish versions of Lebanese shawarma, respectively. Only Greek gyros is pork though, but ancient Greeks were known to sacrifice bulls etc. to Gods. Ancient Greek comedies made fun of the fact that most of the meat was grilled and eaten by people.

So before gyros, there was souvlaki – or similar. But I don’t think that the Greek attitude to sacrifice was imported to Bavaria by King Otto, first King of modern Greece, a Bavarian prince. The Greeks disliked him. Coach Otto Rehhagel was liked, as he helped the Greeks win the 2002 European Cup. Sometime afterwards the Euro crisis came, and Angela Merkel became a new hate figure in Greece. Somewhat like “Panot” aka President Aquino in the Philippines two years ago – for much less than the sacrifices – human and monetary, not animal – they have to endure today under “Lodi” Duterte.

Red Oktoberfest

never existed either, but there was a “Bavarian Soviet Republic” for a short while in Spring of 1919. The house of Wittelsbach, a truly old political dynasty, ruled Bavaria from 1180 until Nov. 7, 1918, when the Free State of Bavaria was declared. A right-wing nationalistic aristocrat killed its founder, a Social Democrat, on Feb. 21, 1919. The Social Democrats managed to get a government together by March 7, but it was so weak that by April, a Communist Republic was declared by somewhat crazy anarchists. A week later, Communists led by three Russian migrants loyal to Lenin took over.

There is a legacy of beer from that short-lived “republic”: the “Russnmaß” or Russian stein which mixes wheat beer (as opposed to beer from malt and hops) with sweet lemonade. Seems the Russn or “Russians” which the common people called all the Communists liked that sweet and sober mix. Didn’t help much. The democratic government had fled to Bamberg and got help from right-wing volunteer paramilitaries, the Freikorps, while the Communists quickly formed an own “Red Army”. Munich was reconquered by early May, democracy restored but true power was with the Right.

Extremists and democrats

Many of those in the Freikorps later became prominent Nazis (link) though some former members of the “Red Army” became Nazis also. Four years later, Hitler attempted a right-wing coup (link). Extremists from left and right clashed in the streets of the Weimar Republic, weakening democracy. Hitler himself got rid of most of the left wing of his Nazi party in the night of the Long Knives (link) in 1934. Non-extremist, meaning non-violent political parties did not stand a chance in those years, even if two became the major right-wing and left-wing democratic parties of postwar Germany.

Democracy is finally about taming our savage desire to hurt the other side, an agreement to deal with conflicts in a civilized, rule-based manner. Just like rule of law is about taming our desire to take revenge – or to just punish those we dislike for whatever reason. We can be very nasty inside. Especially when hungry. So it is better not to go hunting for Red October Horses to be sacrificed. Better sacrifice pigs, cows or oxen, eat them like Greeks or Bavarians, or the Ifugao during kanyaw. Drink Red Horse or Russian beermix. Lenten beer, yellowish Helles, or Cerveza Negra. Prosper!


Romans, Greeks, Filipinos, Bavarians, Russians. Pigs, cows, horses and oxen. Beer and festivals. Politics and calendars. Revolution and sacrifice. Inflation and drunkenness. Soccer and festivals. Greeks sticking to Roman calendars. Communists adopting Roman Catholic calendars. Bogeymen. Christian Popes adopting the title of a pagan priest of ancient Rome. Lodis. Octo = VIII, not X. Finally, just one horse at the Oktoberfest start carries the mascot of Munich, a young lady in a cape. Which lady will be on the Philippine October horse? Smiling, very short, or sharp-chinned? Who?

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, 2 October 2018

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Know Bady’s Perpek

Martin Andanar (cropped)not even the tall, blond and blue-eyed people from Norwegia (link)! A Filipino actually good at something is very suspect, or did a Filipino ever do things right? With a Chinese it is different, they are assumed to be capable of anything. I meant able to do anything, forgib me, for I am imperpek.

Besides, perfect is boring, boring, boring. Look at Mar Roxas, does he get the kisses, or Duterte? Who is more of a celebrity, is it studious Aika Robredo, or his father’s own scholar Sandro Marcos? Striving for excellence is so yesterday, so American neocolonial, Thomasite-inspired social climbing.

Professionalism is Square
Knowledge is Arrogant
Decency is Hypocrisy

are among the dont’s that the New Filipino is learning, quickly and well. Why be professional if you can always buy a professional to do things for you? Americans liked Filipino professionals because they were servants of neoliberal imperialist capitalism. Real Filipinos are free. Let others work!

Knowledge is arrogant. Remember how the yellow ilustrado pretenders nitpicked about Mar Roxas having graduated from Wharton? With no graduate degree? What is decent? Leni acts as if Duterte is not attractive. Honest women like Lorraine Badoy admit attraction to the country’s alpha male.

Sloppiness is Cute
Rudeness is Refreshing
Stupidity is Unassuming
Indecency is Honest
Negligence is Human

are the traits of true Filipinos. Now isn’t Norwegia a cute word, doesn’t that endear PCOO in the hearts of true Filipinos? Screw all the Westernized yellow Ingliseros with their ideas of spelling!

And isn’t Duterte’s rudeness refreshing to all of us who don’t want to behave like in a reception of Spaniards, friars and servants in Intramuros? And those of us who assume we are not stupid – are you saying you aren’t carabaos like the rest of us? That you are more highly evolved? Chinese even?

And would you trust Mocha who admits that she is as horny as the rest of us are, especially when we are abroad away from our husband or wife and sleep with someone else? Or do you trust Leni? And those pedantic moralistic yellows, what’s wrong with their attitude to life? Perfection is scary.

Germans and Japanese are too perfect. Chinese do not scare us because their products break down. But they are smarter than us and will help us where Uncle Sam has left us very, very disappointed.

We thought they were all white and blue-eyed, and then they showed us Obama. We feel cheated.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, 15 June 2018

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The Filipino is not crazy, Mr. Hussein!

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (21509596784) (cropped)(Achtung Satire!) our President knows who is a terrorist and who is not! This Tauli-Corpuz clearly is a suspect person. If our President already told the Lumads to behave properly and she is making it impossible for him to do his job properly, she is terrorizing him, just like this Pia Raissa Robles! Let me make clear that our President has no problem with women who are true role models, who help him in erecting his.. his idea of a nation, just like Mocha Uson is doing for him every.. daily. The women he has a problem with are those who make an old man’s… work.. harder than it is. Hm.

Besides, Tauli sounds like Tau’ri, the free human race in Stargate, a barely concealed work of evil Western propaganda. Did you not know that the Filipino ruling class, the real ones, not the yellow, are descended from the Goa’uld who once ruled Egypt, until that Moses stole their energy source? Dutertane, the powerful fuel that drove their chariots and made their eyes glow red with rage when the Jaffa disobeyed. Nowadays, the Jaffa in the Philippines, the slave race, no longer respond when their rulers look at them in anger. This is due to the drug shabu and too much freedom in society.

Now the descendants of Moses, known as the Mossad, still are controlling the Dutertane that they stole from our glorious ancestors. Together with your Jordanian countrymen, dear Mister Hussein, they are conniving with Loida Nicolas-Lewis and Leila De Lima to destroy our nation with drugs. They are even known to have directly contacted the International Criminal Court and met with Agnes Callamard at the Moulin Rouge in Paris just before taking the train to Brussels 3 weeks ago. We know because a friendly alien race has helped us. They were floating over Paris at that time.

Freedom, this stupid idea, is soon to be replaced by good old ways which served the world better. Enlightened and compassionate leaders like President Duterte, Solicitor General Calida, Public Attorney Persida Acosta, Honorable Imbecile Speaker Alvarez, Caped Crusader Dante Jimenez shall lead the way in doing what is necessary for those who must follow the leader to live a most comfortable life. That is the fate of the Jaffa, and they shall learn gratefulness, embodied in our most holy principle of utang na loob, once again from us, the galactic ruling class of the Goa’uld.

And besides, Dear Prince Hussein, how can a person be crazy who knows exactly what he is doing? Only the person who does not know what he is doing is crazy. Like Chief Justice Sereno, who thinks she can apply ideas of rule of law that are not native to our people, that are only her imagination? She is the one who is truly crazy! Because she thinks she can change the true nature of our country. This freedom that only brings drugs and disobedience. Maybe at home her husband is like a dog. Our President is not dog. He is MACHO! He is brillant! More than UN, EU, US and UP! We bilib.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, 10 March 2018

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Basta may postura

'Tis the seasonOK lahat, inggit lang sila, tayo pataas na. Hindi nahuhulog sa motorsiklo o nagpapakumbaba. Di bale kung ang apo mukhang Christmas tree sa dami ng kristal, bagay naman sa time of the year! At bakit naman bababa si lolo sa Biliran, ano siya isang Mar Roxas na magmumukhang tanga? Tama na hindi niya pinansin iyong itim na mayabang na iyan, iyang Obama – kay Trump siya ngayon malakas, sa puti mismo!  At problema ng dilaw kung kikita tayo ngayon sa bagong telecom na galing Tsina, pagkat sila kumita na, tayo naman ngayon. Balang araw, sila ang katulong natin.

At bakit daw masama ang Harvard ni Aika? Ugok, ang liwanag! Iyang pag-aaral na iyan, para lang iyan sa Ingles na magandang pakinggan. Anong napala ng tangang Mar Roxas sa Waharton niya? WALAAA!! Ni MRT di niya maayos! E si Aquino na Atenista? Nadenggoy sa bakuna! HAHAHAAA! Tayong mga DDS, matitinik talaga. Alam natin kung saan ang pera at kapangyarihan, so needed pa ba ang mag-aral ng marami? Tignan ninyo ang susunod nating Presidenteng si Manny Pacquiao! DISKARTE ang kailangan. Aasenso tayo, iyong mga dilawan na iyan, hahalikan nila paa natin!

Eh bakit daw kamo plastik si Leni? Siyempre, bakit ka pa bibili ng damit na simpleng tignan kung mamahalin naman pala? Ibig sabihin noon, marami kang pera masyado, ano iyon gagastos ka na hindi kita ng mga tao? Malay natin, may mga barko at Ferrari sila sa may bandang Hollywood. Iyong hindi natin kita, mga ka-DDS! Ganyan talaga iyong mga ipokritong maka-USA na ganyan. Kuripot sa Pilipino, pero pag sa labas sosyal! Lalo na pag nagpaplano sila nila Loida Nicolas-Lewis. Daig pa si Imelda sa luho! Buti pa tayo, tunay na tao. Nakikita kung saan napupunta ang pera!

At ano iyong puro ngiti-ngiti ni Leni na akala mo ang bait-bait? Walang tao na ganyang kabait! Magbait-baitan ka lang ng ganyan kung waitress ka na sumisilbi sa mayaman at mataas. Kung may class ka, dapat mataray ka. Tulad ni Mocha. Tulad na Isabelle Duterte na nagtweet ng “some dumbfucks think I am 15”. O kaya iyong sumampal sa taxi driver noong isang araw. Iyon ang tama. Dapat alam ng mabababang tao kung nasa lugar sila o hindi. Wala naman talagang pantay-pantay. At iyong mga adik at pusher? Alam naman nila ang mangyayari, bakit di sila nagbago? Mga tanga!

Petmalu ang uso talaga ngayon. Malupet! Kung mataas ka at puwedeng makipag-junket ka Tatay Digong, gud! Kung hindi, at least naman meron ka sanang wang-wang! Kung hindi pa rin, astig ka dapat kung mag-counterflow. Buti pa sa ganoon kung medyo may dugo kang Intsik at mukha kang siga, masisindak sila sa iyo, akalain nilang anak ka ng tulad nila Peter Lim, na hindi magagalaw! Kung madiskarte ka, gradweyt ka sa level nila Polong. Ganda ng kinabukasan. Iiyot ka ng maganda. Sa Solaire Casino ka tataya. Condo sa BGC. Tangina nila. Masagasaan man sila. Basta tayo asenso!

Irineo B. R. Salazar wishes all readers a Merry Christmas
from München this 20th of December, two-thousand seventeen.

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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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Poke niyo, poke niyo mabaho!

Sigmund Freud LIFEsigaw ng manyakis sa mga babae bago siya umalis – noong bandang 1975 ito sa harap ng UP Swimming Pool. Uso na yata (link) sa iilang babaeng OFW ang panalitang halos ganoon: The west use tissue to wipe their “pekpek”. The Filipina used tabo. There now you know why the Filipina “pekpek” smells so good. We do it the Asian way”. Ang itinutukoy pa man din, iyong si Dr. Agnes  Callamard ng UN na kabibisita lang sa Pilipinas. Ang ambassador naman ng Pilipinas sa UN, ganito ang isinulat (link): I was right after all and people thought I was flippant: never argue with people who don’t shower at least twice a day. It clears the mind. Buhok kaya ni Dr. Callamard ang itinutukoy niya? Parang bagong gising nga tignan, pero ganyan talaga ang buhok ng maraming dalubhasang pranses, style nila. Sana iyon lang – pasalamat po tayo na may class at diplomasya si Ambassador Locsin.

Balik tayo sa istorya ng manyakis sa UP. Lumalabas kaming mga bata sa swimming lesson. Bigla siyang tumayo sa harap namin at nagsabi ng “gusto niyong makita ang titi ko – heto!” sabay labas ng titi sa pantalon niya. Hindi namin alam kung ano ang magiging reaksiyon namin. Pero noong araw, bandang 1975/74/76, parang inosente pa ang Pilipinas. Totoong may bold movies na. Tuwang-tuwa ako noong lumabas iyong cover ni Rio Locsin sa Philippine Panorama na naka malaking T-shirt lang siya.

Ngayon Mocha na, boring sa kabataan ngayon siguro ang kaaliw-aliw para sa amin noon, halos iyon na ang suot ng marami. Pero saan ito lahat napapunta? Sabi ni Dr. Sigmund Freud: (link) – Der Verlust von Scham ist das erste Zeichen des Schwachsinn. Anong isprakenheit iyan? Sige Pilipino na: unang babala ng pagiging tanga ang nawawalang hiya. May mga preso raw sa Pinas, siraulo na sa tagal ng pagkakulong, kapag may nakita silang babaeng dumaan nagjajakol na sila kaagad sa harap.

Pananalitang “na-ano lang” at “dapat Mayor ang mauna”, pang-Senador at Presidente na yata ngayon, hindi lang para sa nag-iinuman sa may kanto. Iyong mga pagkilos namang panahon nila Maria Clara, sobrang ipokrito talaga – pero huwag din naman sana mapunta sa ugali ng mga aso sa bakuran ang ugali ng kasalukuyang Pilipino.  Sa bagay, uso na ngayon iyong kulungan na parang babuyan, o kaya kung hindi, gusto ni Bato na itali na lang ang mga taong hinuli sa poste (link) na parang mga kambing.

Anak ng tupa, paano ba iyan? Si Leni Robredo, plastic daw (link) – tingin ko friendly lang talaga ang natural niyang ugali. Tulad ng natural yata kay Mocha ang mukhang masungit at matapang, palibhasa hindi niya maintindihan ang ugali ni Leni plastic o peke na kaagad iyon? Pilipinas ngayon, ganyan. Gusto ko na bang umebak o umihi?

Irineo B. R. Salazar, 7 ng Mayo 2017, Munich

 

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Smugness and Contempt

Ernesto Abella, Malacanang Press Conferenceshow in the faces of today’s Filipino leaders (link), in the actions of the police (link) and rich people on the street (link). This is the kind of Philippines I never liked, the one that often showed its face during Martial Law. Those with that attitude considered themselves STRONG back in the days, and all-knowing; as Edgar Lores mentioned in his posting about faces of some leaders: “The main attitude of know-it-alls is hostility. And their main facial expressions consist of smugness and sneering. This is the smugness of arrogance and the sneering of contempt. Panelo is the poster boy of these expressions. Andanar comes a close second. And the President does not come last in the ranking.” And as a Martial Law baby, I knew you better not cross a cop. Or a rich kid in a big car, might have a gun – be insecure and easily pissed off.

Joe America observed well what the country will become if this continues (link): “this government by impunity will continue to stack Filipinos by worth, from powerful to powerless, and the least of them will continue to be exterminated.” But at least Marcos defended Pag-Asa island – the airstrip there was built in his time. Duterte has conceded to China (link) and three Chinese ships shall visit Davao (link) today – which is the last day of the ASEAN summit in Manila. National dignity may be dying next.

That human dignity dies first is a given. The report about police keeping people in a dark passageway just 1 by 5 meters that I linked above mentions this: “When someone defecates, sometimes the officer outside would shout at us asking who had relieved himself.  ‘You’re like pigs! We can smell it outside, what more inside’”. As if conditions already widely reported in Philippine jails had not been bad enough already. So much for the “just and humane” society in the Preamble of the 1987 Constitution.

Preachers like Abella can continue to mouth words of that sort in public, or even say the Philippines is like Singapore nowadays. They are not fooling any smart people.

Lee Kuan Yew did call Filipinos soft and forgiving – for letting the Marcoses come back. He did not in any way suggest that the Filipinos bully people like they do now. What Singapore does represent is a classic Confucian order where the rules are higher than everybody else. Where a very strict rule of law exists with no exceptions. Banning firms from contracts if found to be giving bribes to public officials. Not a fourth-world place where people are kept for weeks in dark passages behind bookcases. Not a place where a rich person in an SUV goes out of his car to slap a poor tricycle driver, just like that – exemplary for the attitude of the entitled who feel they can punish whoever crosses them and their inflated, smug and contemptuous egos. Rules and institutions lead to sustainable progress. Rule by clout back to the jungle.

Irineo B. R. Salazar, München, 29. April 2017

 

 

 

 

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For me, they aren’t human

Kosovo War Memorial, Pristinasaid the Kosovar: “I shall go home to kill Serbs”. This was in the late 1990s, and the Kosovar was an old friend I ran into then. Did he really go back to Kosovo, after the Serbs he said had burnt the house he and his brother had built by working in Germany for years? Did he hurt innocents himself, this strong and simple man, or did he look for the perpetrators? To take personal vengeance like what is the reputation of Albanians, which Kosovars are? Not the imagined Albanians of Balagtas’ Florante at Laura. Was his rage just in passing? Hopefully I will never find out, inspite of curiosity.

There is an old story I heard, of a young Cebuano boy who went to visit his relatives in Davao. His mother and aunts died in an ambush, he survived because he was under his mother’s corpse, presumed dead. He grew up, became a soldier, found the Moros who had done it – and killed them.

Revenge is one of the oldest parts of human nature, and in many societies a part of the culture. Rido is the Filipino Muslim vendetta, yet the Christian too may know venganza or paghihiganti.

Who isn’t human for us? Those who have harmed or destroyed something we love or worked hard for – or who threaten to do so in reality or in our minds, like the fear of some Filipinos in areas not as protected as subdivisions that a drug addict may kill and/or rape him or her for a bit of cash or a watch bought with hard-earned money from abroad. For many Kosovars, Serbs were not human, yet I ALSO know Serbs – in my IT profession – who experienced the bombs of NATO while young. One of them told me – around five years ago – that the tension upon passing Croatia had eased.

A Bosnian Croat – a Catholic – whom I chanced to talk to a decade ago once told me how the civil war had changed him, especially when he remembered how Muslim Bosnians had died next to him there. “People are people, politics divides us, religion doesn’t matter” he said. The bald and muscular man then turned and closed his eyes. He moved his arms to the music in the place we were drinking in, one could see the pain he tried to hide. From at least a decade before, in Bosnia.

Irineo B. R. Salazar, Germany, 27 April 2017

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Even Housing Projects

Trees4SaleBNativitasXochiin Germany have trees in them. This struck me looking at the projects occupied by Kadamay. They remind me of refugee camps over here in Germany. Except that refugee camps in Germany are usually container-based and not intended to be permanent settlements. And not intended for locals, while Filipinos are nasty to their own people. Forbes Park is in another world. There one cannot hear the traffic. Trees all over. Even UP has trees all over. Good thing I guess, imagine tropical sun frying those brains?

When I see Facebook photos of Filipinos very relaxed in their summer break, as it is summer there now close to Holy Week, I see them surrounded by nature and at home. Many living in Manila seem to feel genuinely at home only in their home provinces – if they are fortunate enough still to have them. Those living in slums probably don’t have any place to go back to anymore. With the first slums growing after WW2 and accelerating from the 1970s, they are generations removed from their old places.

Even the poor can be content if they have safety and can make a living – and happy if their surroundings are pleasant. Safety was destroyed in many provinces of the Philippines by a de facto civil war lasting for decades – with all sorts of armed groups terrorizing simple folks. Being able to make a living – not really possible for those who did not have at least a little bit of land, or the capital to run a small business. Surroundings – destroyed by mining, by overbuilding? You can’t eat money in the end.

Something in our human nature is programmed to respond positively to nature. We do not naturally take to concrete jungles, where we might feel like apes on Gibraltar. Recently the creeks in Munich were closed for cleaning, dammed up, the water was released against just a few days ago. The clear, fresh water of the creeks of Munich, of the Isar river. Priceless. There are things that matter more than money in the end – starting with our surroundings. Filipinos in Manila have destroyed theirs.

The trajectory of survival can turn into greed easily, wanting to catch up with the neighbors. And at the same time fearing the neighbors who will steal your new mobile – to buy some drugs to make their lives feel less painful for a while? For me, both the addicts in the slums of Manila and the consumerism addicts in its malls are zombies. Maybe the addict might be more able to find happiness under a tree, watching a clean river flow, breathing fresh air? The consumerist might just say – how boooooring!

Irineo B. R. Salazar, München, 8 April 2017

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