Posts Tagged Philosophy

Idols, Villains and Martyrs – the Endless Philippine Cycle

MorionsRecently, Senator Trillanes was deprived of his PNP security detail, leading to speculations that Duterte might make a martyr that will finally mobilize the people. Edgar Lores has mentioned idolatry as a major Filipino weakness (link), but I think that he mainly tackles the aspect of living idols. Figures perceived as strong like Bonifacio, Quezon, Magsaysay, Marcos and Duterte – or figures perceived as compassionate like Tandang Sora (link) and Corazon Aquino. Martyrs that mobilized the people like Gomburza (link), Rizal and Ninoy Aquino are also an aspect of idolatry.

Hoping for magicians

The father of one of my German university classmates said that Filipinos are “voodoo Catholics”. A bit true, especially if one looks at how Edgar Lores relates split-level Christianity and idolatry. Pro forma most Filipinos are Christian but in daily life it seems many forget the rules they learned. Same with democracy and rule of law – the entire system is gamed from top to bottom while lip service is rendered to its principles. The Preamble of the Philippine Constitution is the “clean kitchen” while the “dirty kitchen” is what one sees if one walks through Manila with open eyes.

From time to time, Filipinos want stern figures to force them to clean the dirty kitchen. Strongmen. They may be hated after a while, especially if they fail to really change things – or the economy fails. Martyrs are revered, but to some extent I think they, like Jesus, “wash away everybody else’s sins”. Large parts of the middle class that threw out Marcos were the same class that put him in power. Their materialism at the expense of society as a whole did not change after they ousted Marcos. Pointing at Marcos as a villain does not change the fact that they enabled him in his early years.

Same old song, once again

Kind and honest figures like Corazon Aquino and her son may rise to power after people are fed up with excessively ruthless and dishonest leaders like Marcos and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. But they become culprits much faster than the ruthless players, as there never are miracles in real life. The economic progress during the time of President Benigno Aquino III was respectable but not fast enough for many who said “they did not feel it”. The painstaking rebuilding of democracy in the time of Cory was considered a failure as well by many. Easy to blame idols of all sorts, I say.

  • Will a strongman make me stronger? Only if I learn self-discipline.
  • Will a good person make me better? Only if I learn to act better.
  • Will a martyr wash away my sins for good? Only if I forgive myself.

But changing oneself takes self-knowledge. Most Filipinos lack that, prefer pretense to reality. There is a story about how a lady guest professor from Russia got into trouble for saying most Filipino students cheat during exams. Just like many people got mad at recent tarps calling the Philippines a province of China (link) – more than at so many de facto violations of sovereignty. “Filipino pride” is often a stubborn kind of denial. Probably because of too many pontificating hypocrites in the country’s history. Sometimes, those who mean well also turn into naggers.

Be good – enough!

Expectations of perfection and saintliness make people cheat, because they can never be fulfilled. So many Filipinos admire dead heroes while living examples of virtue make them uncomfortable. The defense mechanism of many is call them “hypocrite”, to try to topple the idols of morality. While playing the split-level games most people play in a country where the system hardly works. And the system hardly works because people play games. Sometimes to avoid being blamed. Usually a culprit caught is blamed for the sins of the world, shamed for life, no holy martyrdom.

How about just being good enough for a start? Because in most modern countries, people are not heroes at all. They just do their job and follow the rules. And they mostly don’t game the system. Gaming the system is a clever workaround if you are under oppressive rulers who steal from you. The more people have been under unfair rulers, the more you will find game-playing, which is a spectrum with many shades of grey. People who have seen little fairness often don’t act that fair. Unfortunately, this is like the prisoner’s dilemma (link) – who is bold to take the leap of faith?

Possibly more would take the leap of faith if the priorities in Philippine society were the right ones. Concentrate on drug lords instead of drug users, for examples. Waive bank secrecy to investigate (not in general) instead of having that laborious and ultimately useless exercise called SALN filing. Otherwise, Passion Plays with idols, villains and martyrs will keep repeating themselves uselessly, with the same dysfunctional behavior on the ground and in the dirty kitchen of national reality. Society as a whole is required. Grown-ups who act, not children who wait for the magic of idols.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, 14 July 2018

Tags: ,

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

Tags: ,

Common knowledge ang mga narco-list

Tangena trial by ordeal Madagascardahil alam ng barangay kung sino ang adik. Pilipino may pakiramdam. Westerner lang ang bobo na naghahanap pa ng prueba, tulad ni Delimaw na puro ganyan ang hinihingi – e alam naman na ng buong Bilibid na siya ang No. 1 Drug Lord! At huwag kayong humirit ng facts-facts at logic-logic, mga putangina kayong mga dilawan. Rappler ang nag-imbento ng facts-facts, di ba mga dilawan sila? Logic-logic, pautot lang iyan ng mga propesor na Kastila sa Santo Tomas noong araw. Walang silbi sa tunay na buhay. Pampahaba lang ng kuwento. Tulad ng proseso. Kung alam na adik, tapusin!

Proseso pagkakakitaan lang iyan ng mga huwes at abogado na pumoporma sa bar exams nila. Putangina tapos iyong Konstitusyon pa na iyan. Para lang iyan sa mga tanga na di maka-adjust. Iyong mga tipong kailangan pa ng red light at green light para alam kung kailan sila tatawid. Ganyan daw sa Alemanya sabi nila. Bobong mga iyan. EU pamandin sila. Pero tanga talaga sila. Plano ng plano. Akala mo Mar Roxas. Buti pa si Tatay Digong, alam ang gagawin na walang plano. Kaartehan na iyan. Paano mo malalaman kung ano bukas? E bukas baka tinokhang na pamilya mo!

Hay naku, iyang mga de numerong prueba, facts-facts, logic-logic, proseso, batas, Konstitusyon, plano – papel lang iyan, wala ka pang tunay na nagawa. Buti pa si Digong umaaksiyon agad. Sa Boracay merong mga SWAT at helicopter. Sa Kuwait, umaksiyon sila Mocha at Thinking Pinoy. Ngayon, malapit nang umurong at makipag-usap uli ang Kuwait sa Pilipino. Kailangan nila tayo. Kasi genius tayo. Kahit walang plano kayang-kaya natin. Kung baga sa tugtog, widow tayo palagi. Tanginang mga Mozart at Beethoven na puro nota. Buti pa si Freddie Aguilar, magiging Senador.

Tsaka matapang tayo! Hinamon natin ang mga Arabo. Pinaalis ng Pangulo natin iyong taga-EU.  Ano ngayon kung nag-resolusyon na naman ang EU Parliament. Magrosaryo na lang kaya sila ‘no! Dilawan talaga sila, umaasa sa dasal at papeles. Tayo umaasa sa aksiyon, sa tapang at sa pusila! Resbak pa natin ang mga Intsik. Malakas tayo diyan. Bilib sila sa atin. Kaya pinapautangan tayo. Kaya magpapasok ng maraming negosyo sa bansa natin. Pati si Donald Trump niririspito tayo. Iyong Casino ng Galaxy, mauna pa sa Casino ng Kano. Mas sikat tayo kaysa Las Vegas at Macau.

Sa Hapon malakas din tayo. Kalimutan ninyo iyang comfort woman statue. Laos na Maria Clara. Biktima iyan tulad ni Sisa. Laos na ang paawa. Mautak na Pinay ngayon, kikita ng husto sa lalaki. Hapon, Intsik o iyong lubak-lubak na mukha man ang pinag-uusapan. Huwag bobo, sabi ni Mocha! Huwag sobrang guwapo, sabi ni Calida. Mga sobrang guwapo mga bakla. Si Coco Martin, tiyak na dumaan iyan kay Brillante Mendoza ano. Pero babae ka man o lalake, ikaw muna ang bibirahin bago ka makabira sa huli. Ganyan talaga ang buhay. Hindi tayo mga santo, kaya babuyin na natin.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
Munich, Mayo Uno 2018


https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/04/27/1810010/release-narco-list-does-not-violate-human-rights-palace-says-despite-past-inaccuracies

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said that the order of President Rodrigo Duterte for the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency to release the government’s list of so-called narco-politicians did not violate the human rights of individuals to be named as they were running for elective government posts.

He said that the list would just “confirm” what was supposedly common knowledge among residents of a village who knew the people involved in illegal drugs in their communities.

 

Tags: , , , ,

A city’s rebirth

Marawi lakecannot be just based on money, the people of Marawi have made clear (link). A natural sense of Heimat (roughly: home and heritage) is tangible in the statement of the Ranaw Multi-Sectoral Movement: “A city symbolizes its people. Built upon the aspirations and dreams of its people. Nurtured by and reflective of the identity of its people. We are not building a city from debris. We are rebuilding a city from history and from memory.” This sounds so very different from the mentality in Manila, which did not care enough about its legacy destroyed during World War 2.

Soul and tradition

“a city is not merely the sum of its buildings. Not merely an occasion for economic gain.” the statement also says. Metro Manila, for the most part, seemed to me at least 90% based on money.  “This is an invasion of a different kind. This one threatens to rob our soul.” the Maranaws say. Strange that Manilans did not notice or care about that kind of invasion just after World War 2.  Maybe only a few people really cared for Intramuros back then. But escaping into a wasteland of malls and subdivisions with nothing but commercialism and glitter does not seem like a solution.

German cities were practically all rebuilt, as much as was possible, from history and memory – even from plans that were hidden in caves to preserve them. People cleared wartime debris with shovels by themselves in small groups. While it is also true that many German city centers look similar due to quick rebuilding after the war, with the same chain stores and a non-remarkable architecture, there was an effort to rebuild, or to at least match the new with the old. Munich was rebuilt well. But that was because a sense of identification was there. Also part of the hard to translate Heimat.

A people adrift?

But what are people without roots, without any home? Just workers and consumers maybe. Or worse, not caring at all. Not caring if the dirt accumulates in the rivers of the city where one lives. Not one’s home really. Because one cares for one’s home. What do people without a true home in their hearts care for? To survive first, to get rich after that. They might not care if those who used to live next door to them when they were still poor and struggling are victimized by tokhang. They might not care who occupies their country as long as their economic lot is good and they feel safe.

Many families and regions have their sense of home – it isn’t as if colonialism destroyed everything among mainstream Filipinos, meaning Christian lowlanders. Whether it is ancestral homes that some clans have, or certain fiestas and saints, or churches. Quiapo Church and its living Nazarene tradition. The great churches of Albay. Or UP Diliman, the home of my childhood, which grieved over an old but beloved shopping center recently (link). But of course there was a lot of migration recently, from provinces to the cities and abroad. Part of the fabric of tradition may have ripped.

What future?

The pride of the Meranaw, their resolve not to sell out, is something that I feel deepest respect for. So unlike many especially in the cities of the Philippines who just care about malls, stuff, trends. My SUV is bigger and shinier than yours. Make way for my Ferrari, do you know who I am! No? Just went to buy the latest Dolce Gabanna. So what if I am the mistress of Mr. Ugly Toad? Haha! Most Filipinos lived in bahay kubos in 1910. Only a few rich had these ancestral homes. Now what? Many have uglier places now and take drugs to feel better, while some are rich beyond all belief.

And the protest against Chinese mega-casinos planned on Boracay has been weak – except for those directly affected on the island. This is no longer about the Spratleys, where only few Filipinos live. “The blueprint of this city is in the hearts and minds of the Meranaws” said the people of the lake. WHAT national blueprint do Filipinos have in their hearts and minds? Hopefully not like in Cambodia, where Chinese casinos abound (link) but “most Cambodians.. are seeing little benefit from this investment.” But would Filipinos even care? Maybe, like so often, when it is too late.

Or will they just be “resilient” – meaning adjusting to nearly anything. Chinese become dominant? Well, everybody will probably just whiten their skin like Persida Acosta! Enough of masquerades. Might be that many, even most, Filipinos have to find their way home inside themselves first of all. Then it might still not be easy to fix and rebuild so much that is damaged. But then it could be done without pawning the future of generations to come, without condemning them to being like slaves. “With fierce determination to keep our people free and dignified.” say the Maranaw. Much respect.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, 1 April 2018

Tags: ,

Ignorance and Confidence

Ignorance is bliss - shortbread cookie with a smileseem highly intertwined among Filipinos, according to a recent social media survey (link). This is not really surprising. Who has not encountered the obstinate kind of ignorance that many Filipinos mistake for firmness? And who has not encountered the phenomenon that Filipino groups very often believe the person perceived as most “firm” in his or her beliefs? Or finally the phenomenon that what the own in-group believes in is seen as true by many Filipinos? “Everybody I know says that Leila de Lima is corrupt!” is something I have literally heard, with the corresponding firmness. More exactly, the study (link) has the Philippines among the Top 3 that are mostly wrong – and among the Top 3 that think themselves mostly right at the same time. Norway on the other hand is among the Top 3 that are mostly right – and among the Top 3 that think themselves mostly wrong!

Hard knocks

That a country like the Philippines is admiring of a President who says he will “personally defend” himself before the International Criminal Court (link) is a given. Or wanted to have a public debate with UN special rapporteur Agnes Callamard (link) – which probably would have ended up similarly to the way an interview with Pia Ranada Robles went (link). Seen as a victory for him by those who are confident in their ignorance and see blustering confidence as a proof of superior knowledge. There are unfortunate comparisons between Bonifacio and Rizal that are part of this attitude – Rizal is seen by some as insecure for often questioning himself in his search for knowledge – which is even attributed to his having grown up with sisters, while Bonifacio is seen as strong and decisive – which is attributed to his having been the oldest brother, who took charge when his parents died.

I have personally seen similar attitudes to those attributed to Filipinos among people of peasant or working class origin – from different nationalities. In their spheres of life, what matters in order to succeed is to intuitively and quickly grasp the situation you are in and to act and decide similarly. There often is not that much time to think about the different aspects of possible wrong or right. Bonifacio, whose parents both died at 14 years of age, had no time to finish his schooling (link). That he was deeply insulted by Daniel Tirona questioning his lack of formal education during the Tejeros Convention (link) was understandable given his struggles. But it is also documented that Bonifacio read voraciously and that the Katipunan had a library for members. President Duterte was on the other hand too lazy to use the possibilities for education that his rich family provided.

Formal education

Sometimes, the formal education that is provided to the very rich does not necessarily help them understand life better. This is especially true for those who live a too sheltered or privileged life. This was not Rizal’s life though, even if he studied in Europe there were also difficult times there – and also difficult times for his family in Calamba, Laguna, which form a searing arc through his novels. There is a terrible prejudice in the Philippines that sees all educated people as elitists or as social climbers. This is fatal as it puts anyone who tries to improve himself in a bad light. Former Solicitor-General Florin Hilbay (link) comes from Tondo – same part of Manila as Bonifacio. To study law was a struggle for him, unlike for Duterte. Hilbay is the exact contrast to Duterte, shows how Filipino good-heartedness plus human rights education make for promising legal philosophy.

Life experience and proper education can make people and society as a whole better. If education has been misused by charlatans or by privileged classes as a status symbol – Rizal has a few asides at the Dominicans of UST in his novel Noli Me Tangere (link), showing that he disliked their conservatism and preferred the more progressive Jesuits – then resentment against it can exist. Additionally, a language very different from what is spoken at home can be a social barrier also. Recent reforms like MTB-MLE “Mother Tongue – Based Multilingual Education” in K-12 (link) –   may improve things for good: “Research stresses the fact that children with a solid foundation in their mother tongue develop stronger literacy abilities in the school language.”. There is often a gap in the thinking of many Filipinos, as if theory and practice inhabit separate worlds entirely.

Real learning

The language gap is only one factor I think. Rote is another, and even worse reactionary attitudes. Hopefully the kind of teacher with an attitude and stance similar to that of Persida Acosta is not as common anymore today – the kind that sees asking why as an offense, not a search for knowledge. Or the high-hatted type of teacher that ridicules students who make mistakes to prove “superiority” and thereby possibly creates anti-intellectual rebels. Or the kind that treat practice with disdain, seeing theory as the only field for the truly learned. Fortunately modern Filipino scientists like Dr. Mahar Lagmay of Project NOAH are the exact opposite of this. But the old reactionaries that looked down upon practitioners did help create the cesspool of resentment that dismisses the likes of Project NOAH as “useless”. Only societies that link theory and practice seamlessly win (link)!

It is good that voices like those of Dr. Gideon Lasco are also there now, who has among other things written about Dengvaxia (link) and the necessity to explain things properly to the public, even such difficult principles like “correlation does not imply causation” and dealing with large numbers. Because the issue of the Philippines remains one of insufficient public education, even if the literacy rate is nominally high and there are a lot of college graduates, one sometimes wonders what they really have understood and what they just memorized on time for examinations – unfortunately. What use will it be to oust Duterte now if in a few years the likes of Pacquiao or Sotto take over? Maybe even the likes of Persida Acosta and Mocha Uson? How to get the confidently ignorant on the trail of curiosity and learning? Stop laughing at them for a start. After that – don’t quite know.

Reasoning entails doubt – reasonable doubt. Confident ignorance creates people who believe that certain people are guilty without sufficient evidence. Confident ignorance makes things very much black and white, like in the discussions about the Dengvaxia matter centered mainly on blame, not on finding systemic reasons for certain failures. What shocked me more than the 14 children who allegedly died of vaccination but in fact didn’t was how many children still die of simple diseases in the Philippines, showing that the public health system might need a lot of improvements, still. Systematically improving public health in Europe took centuries of both practical policies and scientific findings. Fanatical screamers who accused Jews and witches and whatnot did not help. But if the Philippines wishes to repeat centuries of experience, that is its stubbornly sovereign right.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, 8. February 2018

 

 

Tags: ,

Dunong at Kaalaman ng Sambayanang Pilipino

The Healing of the Blind; The Healing of the Possessed - Google Art Projecttanging ibinigay ng Poon sa mga tulad ni Persida Acosta, Franco Calida at Dante Jimenez. Isang babaeng maganda at maputi, dalawang lalakeng dark and handsome. Kalimutan na ninyo ang mga kalokohan na itinuturo sa inyo ng mga katulad nila Florin Hilbay, Dr. Salvaña o Tony La Viña. Maling kaalaman ng mga Westerner ang isinusunod nila, iyong nakasama sa Pilipino ng 500 years. Bago dumating ang mga dayuhan, halos lahat ng Pilipino tumatanda tulad ni Enrile, at walang mga kriminal o adik. So bakit pa kailangan ng Western medicine, ng rule of law o lohikang paikot-ikot? Iyong simpleng kaalaman ng ordinaryong Pilipino, tama na dapat. Pero huwag isipin ng mga dilaw na kaya nilang gumamit nito. Para lang ito sa mga hindi pa nahawa sa tunay na lohika o ebidensiya. Mga palusot na itinuro ng tanginang mga prayle sa UST at Ateneo, at komunistang propesor sa UP!

Kakaiba ang tunay na kaalaman na Pilipino, na meron sa atin mula pa sa panahon ng mga Lumad. Iyong mga ipapasok siyempre ni Duterte sa UP, kung hindi pa niya ipinabomba ang mga eskuwela nila na nagtuturo ng mali at Westernized na pagtuturong komunista. Ang tunay na kaalaman na Pilipino, alam kung sino ang namatay dahil sa bakuna. Walang paarte-arte pa nitong PGH na bias. Alam din ng mahiwagang kaalaman nating katutubo kung sino ang kriminal at hindi, kaya hindi nagdadalawang-isip pa bago mamaril sa salot ng lipunan. Tanginang mga CHR na humahadlang! Ang tunay na Pilipino na hindi pa nahawa sa masamang impluwensiya ng decency na iyan at tunay pang matapang – tulad nila Mocha Uson at Lorraine Badoy, alam kung sinong tunay na tao at hindi! Tunay na tao, mga katulad ni Robin Padilla. Hindi iyong mga sobrang edukado at padise-disente!

Malapit nang lumaya ang Pilipinas. Lumaya sa mga kabobohan ng mga dilaw. Lumaya sa sobrang pagsunod sa mga batas na nakasulat lang naman sa Ingles para magandang tignan, at parang mga sagot ng mga Miss Universe kung pakinggan – anong silbi ng mga ganoon sa tunay na Pilipino? Ang tanging papel ng Bagong Pinuno ng Sambayanang Pilipino na si Rodrigo Roa Duterte ang alamin kung ano ang mali at tama para sa ating lahat. Walang mga batas-batas pang dapat humadlang. Kung gusto niyang ipatanggal ang isang opisyal, banal niyang karapatan ito, huwag magreklamo! Malapit na ring lumaya ang Pilipinas sa human rights – human rights na iyan. Mga pumipigil sa pag-unlad ng bansa, dapat lang ikulong o ubusin. Mga nagrereklamong estudyante, tanggalin sa pag-aaral para palitan ng mga tunay na magalang at masunurin na kabataang Tunay na Pilipino!

Tinanggal na ni Presidente ang Project NOAH dahil hindi naman talaga kailangan ng Pilipino ito. Bakit meron bang flood prediction at kung anu-anong computerized na paraan noon sa may 1521? Kung oras mo, oras mo – matira ang matibay! Kaya matatag ang Pilipinong panahon ni Lapu-Lapu! Pero mga gagong UP na komonesta, itinuloy ang NOAH. Mga Dr. ng DOH, tinoloy ang Dimbaksya! Iyan tignan ninyo, dahil sa Dimbaksya ang daming namatay. Huwag maniwala sa mga PGH-PGH! Si Persida Acosta ang ipinasok ni Presidente sa puwesto, kaya siya ang mas magaling at matalino. Siguro marami ring namatay dahil sa Project NOAH, kaya lang hindi pa nakita ang ebidensya dahil mga gagong dilaw na iyan, magaling magwala nito! Di bale, may araw rin ang mga ugok na iyan. At si Aquino, makukulong talaga iyan. Karapat-dapat lang. Dilaw ang sakit ng sambayanang Pilipino!

E iyong mga bagon ng MRT na dalawang taon daw hindi ginamit tapos biglang umaandar ngayon? Huwag kayong maniwala sa mga sinasabi ng mga dilaw. Ang tunay na Pilipino na pinalaki ng tama, hindi nagtatanong-tanong o nagdududa sa mga sinasabi ng mga kagalang-galang na nasa puwesto! Malapit na ang pederalismo. Maghahari sa bawat lugar ang mga karapat-dapat maghari sa mga tao. Tulad noong 1521 na may mga pinuno ang bawat bayan at alam ng bawat isa ang lugar niya rito. Hindi tulad ngayon na akala ng lahat na may karapatan silang mag-isip at lalo pang magsalita ng kumokontra sa mga may kapangyarihan. Itinakda ni Lord na may mga mayaman at mahirap, na may malalakas at mahina. Tunay na disiplina kapag ang makapangyarihan ang laging masusunod. Sige, matulog na ulit kayo sa pansitan, tama na ang reklamo. Malapit na ang maginhawang buhay!

Irineo B. R. Salazar sa Munich, ika-3 ng Pebrero, 2018
BABALA: satire ang kasulatang ito, pagkat ako’y pasaway

 

Tags: ,

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

Tags: ,

Luma na iyan!

Old House, Baaoang paboritong pananalita ng iilang Pilipinong nakakainis. Baka sabihin pa nilang BADUY. Ngayon naman, may isang Badoy na nagrereklamo tungkol sa mga lumang gamit na pinakinabangan ni Bisepresidente Robredo para sa kanyang anak sa Harvard. Sa bandang huli, si Badoy ang nagmukhang bakya dahil hindi niya yata alam na normal sa US ang makinabang sa lumang gamit. Basura ang tawag niya doon. Salitang kastila ito. May basura ba ang katutubong Pilipino? Ewan ko lang.

Baduy at Badoy

Dalawang extreme na uri ng Pilipino ang nadanas ko. Meron iyong mga galing sa hirap, marunong magtipid, alam pakinabangan ang lahat ng bagay-bagay sa paligid nila. Meron ding mga galing sa hirap na kapag kumita ng unang pera, gastos agad para sa pakitang-tao. Gustong pumorma, gustong magpasiklab, gustong magpasikat. Minsan pagtatawanan pa nila iyong unang grupo, mga baduy daw. Samantalang para sa akin, mas Badoy iyong pangalawang grupo. Walang bibilib sa mga hanggang porma lang.

Tulad ng iilang mga migrante sa New York, halos bagong salta, na mahilig magkuwento kung paano sila magshopping sa New Jersey. Matagal na ito, pero hindi ko malimutan kung paano ako nag-iisip-isip kung ano iyong Sikokos na pinagsasabi nila, iyon pala Seacaucus kung saan may malaking mall. Tuwang-tuwa pa silang magkuwento kung paano “nagalit sa pera” iyong isang kasamahan nila noong isang weekend. Iyan ba ang uri ng Pilipinong gustong ipagmalaki ni Badoy? Eh di wow!

Luma at Basura

May mga Pilipinong nagsasabing luma lang naman daw ang mga building sa Europe. Di bali, maayos namang tignan. Ako naman, naalala ko iyong kintab at ganda ng Ali Mall noong itinayo ito sa Cubao – at kung gaanong kadali itong nagmukhang bulok pagkatapos lang ng isang dekada mahigit. Ang MRT3, dalawang dekada lang bulok na. Ang mga linya sa Berlin, kadalasan mahigit isang daang taon nang tumatakbo, mas maayos pang tignan at tumatakbo ng maayos. Bakit kaya naging ganyan sa Pilipinas?

Siguro dahil naisaloob ng maraming Pilipino ang mababang pagtingin sa kanila ng iilang mga Kastila. Na mga basura raw sila. Baka basura rin sa Espanya ang nagsabi. Ano naman ang ginawa ni Juan at Juana? Binasura ang sariling kultura. Nasaan na ang magagandang mga lumang bahay sa Pilipinas? Sa Europe hindi ginigiba ang luma, binibigyan ng halaga. Binasura ang sariling itsura. Ibinabalot ang sarili sa imported goods, kaya nagpapakatuwad para sa dolyares. Sarili binasura. Sayang.

Pati tao binabasura

Sa mga kalye ng Pilipinas, pati tao ngayon binabasura – nakabalot ang mga ito ng masking tape o packing tape, ewan ko ba kung ano ang tamang tawag doon. Kadalasan doon sa mga lugar nila, ang dami nang basura sa kapaligiran. Baka hindi lang tamang pag-alaga sa gamit, sa tren at building ang dapat matutunan ng Pilipino kundi tamang pag-alaga sa tao – pagdating sa kalusugan, sa pag-aaral, sa makukuhang trabaho. Huwag na iyong maarte at nagmamataas na “Pweh, BASURA”! Tama na iyan.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, ika-2 ng Hulyo 2017

Tags: ,

Carpio Did Nothing

Carpio-jpg 070737according to Duterte (link). If one goes by “aksiyon” in street talk, maybe. He did not jetski. He did not swear. He did not even invite the Chinese to debate in Manila (link). Of course the winner of a public debate a la Duterte is defined by the crowd who “bilib” in the one who postures. By emotional affinity with the one talking – and the chance to taunt someone who represents something defined as the common enemy. Somewhat like the kind of taunts one has at the football field over here in Europe, the most tribal place we still have over here.

Power

Of course someone with a warlord mindset says he will ignore the Supreme Court and the Constitution (link) on Martial Law.  And his Secretary of Justice will say that the Supreme Court is powerless against a Martial Law OKed by Congress (link). To hell with the laws one has sworn to obey that say otherwise. Almost the same attitude to laws as China which ignores the UNCLOS filing which was indeed pushed by Justice Carpio (link) – they seem to prefer Mao’s “power comes from the barrel of a gun”.

Power is a great aphrodisiac, which Kissinger allegedly once said to Mao, might be something Duterte and Bill Clinton could agree upon. What their daughters think of their fathers in this respect is as yet undocumented. Yet there is a difference of several shades of grey between putting a cigar somewhere, grabbing women by the pussy or joking about soldiers raping women in a war zone. Yeah, he is just joking I hear people say. He isn’t like some Yugoslavian warlords whose men really did such things.

Rules

So sure? Someone who invites non-army troops to join the fray against the Maute group (link) sounds crazy enough. Sounds more like a real warlord for whom every man with a gun is just a hired gun for the powerful, not legitimate troops to defend a Republic and its people. And his man in Congress, Speaker Alvarez, says Congress should listen to the President on Martial Law (link) – which runs completely counter to the separation of powers – executive, legislative, judiciary – the Philippines has in theory.

Of course it does not run counter to the many a Filipinos idea of authority. There is NO equality there, in fact I once heard a Filipino say there has to be a hierarchy of ordering and following, otherwise chaos will ensue. No idea of everyone being under rules that are higher than everyone. No sense of abstraction whatsoever. In that world, someone who “only” files a case before the UN is a useless paper-pusher. Trump and Xi Jinping are respected with their respective gunboats. The UN and EU are not.

Law

Respect by Duterte for someone like Nur Misuari (link) who laid siege to Zamboanga in 2013 basically to “get some respect” – in the same sense as gang leaders in bad neighborhoods – is part of the same logic that only power constantly demonstrated is real power. A logic that only respects those that are willing to go to extremes. Discontent with Filipino institutions, perceived as elitist and ineffective, has been around for a while. But Martial Law, or even worse, Jungle Law are not the answers.

Irineo B. R. Salazar

München, 1st of June 2017

 

Tags: ,

God is Dead, Let’s Be Bad!

Ruins of Igreja do Carmo at 2009-06-15one is tempted to think in these days – especially in the Philippines. Jesus was just a white man, and colonialism is over now! No more lessons from abroad please! And who wants to tempt the joke made by some Filipinos about the American preacher saying: “kapag napunta kayo sa langit, magkakaroon kayo ng mga pakpak” with an American “a” that makes pakpak, wings, sound more like pekpek, pussy? Who wants to go to heaven if it means turning into a pussy? Better be mature: go to hell and have big balls.

To have big balls, swear and have at least two mistresses in the Philippines. Be bad, to use the Afro-American term. Bad is a gangsta type with a sexy bitch by his side, ya feel me? A front seat bitch be like Mocha, or like Lorraine Marie Badoy. Good is for the pusillanimous, whatever that highfalutin word means. Who needs education anyway? Mar has no mistress, inspite of Wharton!

Unless mistress means that Mar is Korina’s servant. Poor guy. That is what you get from being decent, meaning prim and proper. Sitting with your legs crossed is bad for your testicles and your production of testosterone. That decent stuff was what colonialists used to make us pussies, you see? Look at Alvarez. He has two mistresses at least, and a watch Mar Roxas can only dream of. The name of the game is Get Rich or Die Trying. And the more you kill the more respect you get.  That is the one true law.

The other laws can be bent. Nietzsche, who said that God is dead, said that the will to power counts. If he didn’t, well then the will to lie counts even more. Truth is for pussies who are too weak to stick to a good lie. And if you are the strong one, you can drive your car past all waiting, because you can. Everybody is cool with that because you have the money and the power to dispense. Everyone just wants a piece of the action. The bitches and the homeboys. But for now, let them all repent their sins.

Because Filipino forgiveness means that you can do it again, or even more. Unless you are the little guy, the kind who flagellate themselves on the streets. The same kind that you may find dead at times on the streets – with a cardboard sign. Those that Mocha never sees after her nightly shows, so forget them – they are Western fantasies. Or if you fight for the good. For those who are not bad must be hypocrites. God is dead. Mocha and Imee are authentic. Leni Robredo is a phony. Easter Sunday will not come.

Irineo B. R. Salazar, Black Saturday 2017, München

 

Tags: ,