abo sa dila

May iniisip ka? Oo. Ano? Ayaw kong sabihin. Baka magkatotoo.

 
Dahil makulit ka
Kilala kita. Oo, ikaw 'yun: Nagkasalubong na tayo minsan, sa LRT, sa Gotohan, sa kanto ng Aurora at Katipunan. Nagkatinginan tayo. Hindi mo ako kinausap, pero alam ko, nakilala mo rin ako. Kaya ka narito, di ba? Para sabihing, Oo, oo, ikaw nga 'yun. Naaalala kita.
O, ha, Plurk, o, ha!
Radyo? Radyo?
Libreng humirit

Mag-exercise tayo tuwing umaga
Tambay ka muna
Lokal Kolor
Ano'ng hanap mo?
Basa lang nang basa
Tropa ko

    na, mula noong 24 Enero, 2006, ang nakitambay dito

23.6
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Ano 'yun, 'yang 23.6 na 'yan? Tula 'yan. 'Eto, o:

23.6
Jay Snodgrass

My ghost’s art movie gives me some time before it kills me, so I’m
not sure exactly where I’ll be when I die. I think I’ll be at the beach.
That’d be a nice place to die. At some point I’ll think, I haven’t seen
the ocean in a while and I’ll get in the car and go. Night or day. This
scene is characterized by long roads into dark interiors. This scene is
the course of a river fighting against inward turning, to get back to
the water. I will die at the beach where all my poems will meet me
and beat me to death with pieces of drift wood and rubber
truncheons. I love you loneliness, ghost, you are a hard blow to the
head. I love you solitude, a sea shell on a mountain top.
A child waiting.

Ibig bang sabihin nito mayroon ding 23.1, 23.2, 23.3, 23.4, at 23.5? Aba, mayroon!

Ibig bang sabihin nito, mayroon ding 1 hanggang 22? Ewan.
posted by mdlc @ 7:46 PM   5 comments
Ilang Katotohanan
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Naghahanap ako ng sasabihin, 'yung makatotohanan, 'yung totoo. Kaunti lang kasi ang ganu'n sa mundo, e, 'yung totoo. Heto ang ilan sa mga naisip ko:

1. Palagi akong walang pera.

Hindi naman palagi; ayan, tingnan n'yo, umpisa pa lang, una pa lang sa listahan, sablay na. Hindi naman ako palaging walang pera; kung ganu'n, e di hindi na ako makakainom, makakapanood ng sine, makakabili ng libro, kahit 'yung gamit na. Ire-revise ko nang kaunti. Sige, ulitin natin:

1. Palagi kong kailangan ng pera.

Alam n'yo 'yung patalastas ng sky cable? 'Yung may bata, kyut at medyo chubby, na kinausap ang tatay niya tungkol sa cable account nila na naka-tap lang sa kapitbahay? Ang sabi ng bata, "E di ba, Daddy, masamang magnakaw?" O something to that effect, ewan. Kung dito sa amin nangyari 'yun e baka napalo ang bata. Baka napamaga ang malaman niyang puwet.

Sina Aling Baby lang ang may cable account sa magkabilang Makata. Lahat ng tao dito sa amin nagtitipid, kaya't sa magkabilang Makata, lahat ng tao may cable TV, kaya lang naka-tap kina Aling Baby 'yun.

Isang araw tumawag si Aling Baby sa opisina ng Sky Cable. Malabo raw ang reception ng TV niya. Kasi nga dalawang barangay ang nakikisawsaw sa linya ng cable niya. Kaya kinagabihan, pag-uwi ko galing sa trabaho (kuno,) nakita kong naglambitin ang mga pinagpuputol na kawad ng cable TV, parang mga putikang hibla ng spaghetti.

Kinabukasan, pumunta ako sa Nitron Electronics sa kanto ng Avenida at Blumentritt. Bumili ako nito:

1.1. two-way splitter, PhP 25.00
1.2. connector ('yung may nakausling alambre, kabilaan,) PhP 14.00

Hiniram ni Baratong ang forklift ni Roderick Ulo at isa-isang ibinalik ang cable TV ng buong barangay. Sadyang ganyan ang bayanihan dito sa amin.

Pagbukas ko ng TV, napansin kong wala nang HBO, walang Star Movies, AXN, ETC, Karera Channel, at marami pang iba. Iniba ng Sky Cable ang areglo ng mga channel. Nasa matataas na channel na ang mga 'yun.

Noong pasko, pumunta ako sa pier, sa may Intramuros. Doon ang bagsakan ng mga surplus na TV galing sa Japan. Bumili ako nito:

1.3. 27" Sony colored TV, PhP 3,100.00 (tinawaran galing sa PhP 3,600; may kasamang autovolt regulator, na kung bibilhin nang hiwalay e nagkakahalagang PhP 150.00 )

Sulit, di ba? 'Yun nga lang, sulat Hapon ang display, at hanggang channel 37 lang ang kayang kunin. Okay lang dati, pero magmula nang iangat ng buwakananginang cable company na 'yan ang HBO, Star Movies, AXN, ETC, at Karera Channel, mula nang nagkaganu'n e naging chess at solitaryo ang libangan ng tatay ko sa bahay.

Matapos ikabit muli ni Baratong ang cable TV namin, pumunta ulit ako sa Nitron Electronics at itinanong kung ano ang puwede kong gawin, matapos isalaysay ang dilema ko. Ito ang rekomendasyon ni Rootbeer, na siyang palaging nagbebenta sa akin doon:

1.4. Cable Converter, made in Taiwan, PhP 1,595.00

Umuwi ako at bumili ng Sarsi at isang istik ng Marlboro sa tindahan ni Baratong. Nagtiis ako sa CubeTV, 'yung parang chatroom sa TV. May isang nagsabi doon sa chat:

"looking for gudluking, inteligen female. 16-25 yr old. bawal pangit! txt landlyn to 09xxxxxxxxx."

Tapos kumatok si Baratong, hindi ko pala nabayaran ang binili ko. Biglang sumakit ang ulo ko. High blood lang siguro 'yun.

Isa pang katotohanan na napulot ko mula rito:

2. Lahat ng tao, palaging kailangan ng pera.

Aalis na sina Baratong sa Agosto. Inuupahan nila ang apartment sa tabi namin, nagpaalam siya sa tatay ko, kung kanino siya nagbabayad ng upa. Mahigit tatlong taon din ang inilagi ng pamilya nina Baratong dito.

Sa huling tatlong buwan nila rito, hindi nakabayad ng kuryente sa Meralco ang pamilya ni Baratong. Paano ba naman daw kasi, ang init noong tag-araw, kaya't maghapon-magdamag ang aircon nila. Inabot tuloy ng kung ilang libo ang utang nila sa Meralco.

Si Abner, kapatid ni Baratong, may traysikel. Gabi-gabi silang nag-iinuman sa kalsada. Madalas kong marinig na nagsisigawan sila ng asawa niya. Madalas kong makitang may pasa sa mukha ang asawa niya.

Noong isang araw, nakita kong tumatakbong papauwi ang asawa ni Abner, umiiyak. Nilapitan niya si Manong Bal, tatay ni Abner, at sinabing, "Papa, papa, si Abner nasa Singko!"

Si Manong Bal, mataba, maitim, at may-ari ng isang jeep biyaheng Blumentritt-Tutuban. Ang sabi niya du'n sa asawa ni Abner, "Ha? Sabihin mo pamangkin siya ni Major!" At sabay silang pumunta sa Singko, sa Presinto Singko sa may Manuguit, pagtawid ng Abad Santos. Napatrobol kasi si Abner.

Kung ano ang kinalaman nito sa paglipat nila ng bahay, hindi ko alam. Pero nu'ng gabi, pinatagay ako ni Abner ng Red Horse, na tinanggap ko sa pagkakataong ito, dahil alam ko ngang aalis na sila.

Habang umiihi sa iskinita matapos ang napahabang inuman kasama si Abner, habang pinapagpag si manoy, napayuko ako at napansing wala ang kuntador ng kuryente nina Abner. Naalala ko ito:

2.1 Law of Conservation of Mass and Energy.

The total mass and energy in the universe is constant. Energy and mass can neither be created or destroyed.

Saan kaya kumukuha ng kuryente sina Baratong? Hindi ko alam, kaya ko nga naisip na idagdag sa listahan ang dalawang katotohanang ito:


3. Kapag walang pera ang tao, kaya na niyang labagin ang mga batas ng pisika; at

4. May mga tanong na hindi na dapat binibigkas kung ayaw mong mapahamak.


Hindi lang pala ako ang nakapansin ng nawawalang kuntador nina Abner. Si Enteng, na palagi niyang kainuman at drayber rin ng traysikel, ang unang bumati sa kuntador. Ang hirit ni Enteng, kung tama ang pagkakaalala ko, ay parang:

4.1 Hahaha, pare, mukhang nagagamit mo 'yung pinag-aralan mo sa bokeysyunal, a! Naka-tap ba kayo sa kapitbahay n'yo?

Nakitawa si Abner sa lahat ng nakapalibot na nag-iinuman, pasimpleng pumulot ng bote, at hinampas sa ulo si Enteng. Hindi na ako nakigulo, dahil okey na ang amats ko. 'Eto ang dalawa pang katotohanan na napulot ko sa ginawa niyang 'yun:

5. Mas masarap maglasing kapag ang problema mo ay kawalan ng pera.

6. Madaling mag-init ang ulo ng taong lasing.

Ang sabi ni Abner sa duguang Enteng:

"Putanginamokangputanginaka, binabastos mo ba ako? Sa tingin mo gugulangan ko pa 'yang sina Mikael, e pare-pareho naman tayong gusto lang namang makaraos dito?"

Kaya ko naman naisip ang huling entry sa listahan ko ng mga katotohanan:

7. Hindi nanlalamang ng kapwa walang-pera ang taong walang pera.

Kahapon, bago ako umalis, nasilip ko ang mga kahon na nakatalaksan na sa may pintuan nina Baratong. Bumili ako ng Sarsi at isang istik ng Marlboro. Hindi ko na kinalimutang magbayad noon.
posted by mdlc @ 4:19 PM   13 comments
Acheche
Monday, July 18, 2005
Tangna.

You are Frank O'Hara
You are Frank O'Hara. You are a genius, but your
life just keeps getting in the way. Even
eating lunch gets in the way. You are totally
obsessed by bridges and water.


Which Famous Modern American Poet Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Ikaw, sino ka?
posted by mdlc @ 12:01 AM   7 comments
Ang Nakikita
Friday, July 15, 2005
Ang Nakikita

Una sa lahat: kailangan mong maniwala: wala akong kayang sabihin

kundi ang mga nakikita. Nagsanib ang tubig-ulan at dura at grasa sa pitak-pitak na mukha ng kalsada; namumuo ang liwanag at pinabibigat ang namamagang alangaang; ito ang madaling-araw; ito ang Maynila;

ito ang Maynila sa tuwing madaling-araw. Kanina lamang ay tinitigan mo ang buwang nakalambitin sa madawag na kalangitan.

Mamaya, kung sa pagtingala ay walang buwang nag-aabang sa iyo, tititigan mo ang espasyo kung saan, sa mga sukal ng iyong paghaharaya, ay iisipin mong may buwang tumititig pabalik sa iyo. Alam mo ito:

ang pagdilat ay isa lamang sa maraming anyo ng pag-asa. Nakikita mo rin ang nakikita ko: ito, ang akong nagwiwika; ito, ikaw na pilit humihinuha ng sariling kahulugan sa piling ng lahat ng nakikita; ito, ang lungsod na di makayang punan ang mga uka sa nababakbak mong puso. Kanina lamang

ay nakita ko kung paano, sa kabila ng sala-salabid na busina at huntahan ng pasahero, may isang marungis na aleng naglabas ng rosaryo, pumikit, at bumulong

nang para bang may nakaririnig. Ito, panalangin. Sabay tayong magtaka kung paanong nagkakasya ang gayong kalawak na pag-asa

sa pagitan ng dadalawang palad.
posted by mdlc @ 8:16 PM   4 comments
ewan ko, a...
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Ewan ko, a, pero matapos mabasa ang dalawang forwarded email na 'to, pakiramdam ko tungkulin kong i-post ito dito, e. Kaya saka na ang kuwento: saka na 'yung kuwento ni Mang Erning na drayber ng taxi na nasakyan ko nu'ng isang gabi; saka na 'yung kuwento ko tungkol sa lumang kopya ng Lord of the Flies na nakita ko sa bahay; saka na 'yung kuwento ko.

May mga bagay na mas importante, sa totoo lang.

(Hindi ko na ginalaw ito; kaya du'n sa mga mas maselan pagdating sa balarila, pasensiya na lang muna. At saka alam ko namang malamang e marami na sa inyo ang nakabasa nito.)

***


Walang Kwenta ang Pilipinas

by: jawbreaker (isang ordinaryong office worker na ayaw na magbayad ng tax…ever!)

Hindi ko na mapigilan ang sarili ko. Sukang-suka na ko sa mga nangyayari sa bansang 'to!

Walang katapusang corruption, walang kamatayang pangbabatikos, pagbabatuhan ng tae at pagpapa-taasan ng ihi ng mga pulitiko sa bawat isa, walang tigil na imbestigasyon ng kung ano-anong isyu pero wala namang matinong resolusyon, walang puknat na pag-aagawan ng kapangyarihan sa pagitan ng mga partido, patuloy na pagdami ng tamad at tangang pilipino, patuloy na pakikipaglaban ng ideolohiyang wala namang silbi.

Ang gobyerno ng pilipinas, talo pa ang septic tank na hinihigop ng malabanan – saksakan ng dumi at napakabaho. Kaya hindi nakakapagtaka na ang pilipinas ang isa sa pinakamahirap at

corrupt na bansa sa mundo. Kasi lahat sila bulok, lahat sila walang kwenta. Lahat sila sugapa sa kapangyarihan at sa pera.

Anak ng teteng! &!* @!!

Kahit kristiyano ako, hindi ko mapigilang magmura at hilingin sa diyos (minsan nga pati sa demonyo) na mamatay na silang lahat at i-bbq sila ng habang-buhay sa impierno.

Sinong "sila"? Eh di mga corrupt na government officials and workers, mga tambay na pilipino na ang lalaki ng katawan pero hindi naman nagtratrabaho at hindi nagbabayad ng tax, mga mayayaman at aristang tax evaders, pati mga aktibista, npa at iba pang ideological groups na hindi nagbabayad ng tax pero pang-gulo Mamatay na kayo Lagi na lang sinasabi ng mga pulitiko: ipaglaban ang masa! Tulungan ang masa! Mahalin ang masa!

Punyeta! Masa lang ba ang tao sa pilipinas?

Sino ba talaga ang bumubuhay sa punyetang bansang to?

Saan ba galing ang pangpagawa ng mga tulay at kalye? Saan ba galing ang pork barrel? Saan ba galing ang perang kinukurakot nyo?

Kami na mga manggagawa at middle class na bago pa makuha ang sweldo bawas na – kami ang bumubuhay sa walang kwentang bansa na 'to.

Bakit yang bang mga masang yan na lagi na lang sentro ng plataporma ng mga pulitiko eh nagbabayad ba ng tax???!

F**k you! Kahit isa sa mga nag-ra-rallying mga squatter na yan, kahit singko hindi nag-re-remit yan sa bir! Pero pinapakinggan ba kami ng gobyerno?

Lagi na lang opinyon ng masa ang iniintindi ng gobyerno. Kung sino ang nag-ra-rally, sa edsa, sila ang nasusunod.

Kung sino ang mas malakas sumigaw pero wala naming economic contribution, sila lagi ang focus pag may problema.

Sila lagi ang bida.

Kaming mga ordinaryong office workers, ofw's, laborers at iba pang nag-tra-trabaho at nagbabayad ng tax – kami ang nagpapakahirap para buhayin ang pilipinas. Kami ang mga tunay na bayani ng bansa.

Tuwing nakikita ko ang payslip ko, nag-iinit ang ulo ko at gusto kong maiyak sa inis. Napakalaki ng tax na binabawas sa akin pero ginagamit lang sa walang kwentang bagay ang perang pinaghirapan ko.

Lahat ng pagtitipid ginagawa ko para suportahan ang sarili ko, pamilya ko at ang punyetang bansang to. Ni hindi ako makabili ng chicken and spaghetti meal sa jollibee kahit gutom na

gutom na ko. Nag-tya-tyaga ako sa waffle na tig-p10, o kaya pag may konting pera, junior bola-bola siopao sa mini-stop sa halangang p20.

Eh kung yung pera ko na pinapangbabayad sa tax sa kin na lang napunta, eh di sana nakakapanood pa ko ng sine at least 2 beses sa isang buwan. Nakabili na sana ako ng bagong rubber shoes. Nakapagpagawa na sana ako ng sarili kong bahay.

Yung tax na binabayad ko, karamihan nun derecho sa bulsa ng mga corrupt na mga government officials at workers. Habang hirap na hirap akong i-budget ang pera ko, sila naman nagpapakasarap sa mga mansyon. Suv's at luxury cars pa ang dina-drive nila, samantalang ako sa pedicab lang sumasakay!

Putang-ina! Pera ko yang pinapagpapasasaan nyo!!

Yung tax na binabayad ko, pinapangsuporta sa mga mahihirap. Saan ba galing ang pera pangpagawa ng housing at pagtulong sa mga mahihirap, di ba sa mga manggagawa na nagbabayad ng buwis! Pero karamihan ng mahihirap, kung umasta kala mo inaapi sila ng sobra.

Sa totoo lang no, kaya ang mga mahihirap lalong naghihirap kasi mga tamad!

Ang daming mga tambay sa kalye na walang trabaho pero ang laki ng katawan. Eh kung sila ba nagkargador sa pier eh di sana may pera sila.

Tapos wala na ngang pera, anak pa ng anak!

Punyeta! Lalo nyo lang pinapadami ang tamad at tanga sa mundo!!

Naaawa ako sa mga batang pakalat-kalat sa kalye at namamalimos. Imbes na nag-aaral, dumadagdag lang sila sa bilang ng mga future criminals sa pinas. Hindi ako magtataka na yung batang nakita kong namamalimos sa cubao, pagkatapos ng ilang taon cellphone snatcher na.

Yung mga magulang naman dyan, common sense lang! Hirap na hirap na nga kayo sa buhay, mangdadamay pa kayo ng iba?! Paparamihan
nyo pa lahi nyo!

Palibhasa walang mga trabaho at walang pinagkaka-abalahan, kaya nagkakalabitan at nagsusundutan na lang maghapon, magdamag. Sa totoo lang, nakakabilib. Kasi kahit sa ilalim ng tulay o sa kariton lang, nakakabuo pa rin ng bata! Ibig sabihin, maabilidad ang mga pinoy. Kung gugustuhin, gagawan ng paraan. Kahit sa makipot, mabaho at maduming lugar – solve!

Isa pang mga grupo ng tao na nakakainis, yung mga aktibista, npa at kung ano-ano pang ideological political groups. Sabi nila, mahal na mahal
nila ang pilipinas kaya pinagpalalaban nila ang kanilang mga adhikain.

Punyeta! Eh hindi rin kayo nagbabayad ng tax! Ang kakapal rin ng mga mukha nyo!

Mga ipokrito! Mahal daw ang pilipinas ayaw naman magbayad ng buwis!

Bakit may bir collector ba sa gitna ng mendiola at edsa?! May tax collection ba sa bundok?!

Wala din naman kayong mga trabaho! Kung may trabaho talaga kayo, hindi kayo mag-ra-rally dahil sayang ang sweldo nyo pag absent kayo!

Paano nyo maipapakita ang pagmamahal nyo sa pilipinas kung wala na kayong gawang matino kundi mag-rally at mamundok??

Isa pa yang mga mayayaman at mga artista, na nangdadaya at hindi nagbabayad ng buwis. Ang kakapal ng mukha nyo! Ang dami nyo na ngang pera nangdadaya pa kayo sa tax! Hindi nyo naman madadala sa impierno yang mga kayaman nyo. Masusunog lang dun yan.

Kaya lalong bumabagsak ang negosyo dito sa pilipinas, kasi mga negosyante mandaraya. Pati showbiz industry, bagsak na din. Karma ang tawag dyan. Mga balasubas kasi.

Sana magkaron ng political and national cleansing.

Alisin (mas maganda kung patayin na lang) ang lahat ng pulitiko at political families sa puwesto. Tibagin ang lahat ng mapanirang organizations at grupo. Itapon sa malayong

isla o kaya i-pwersa ng hard labor ang mga sobrang tamad na mga pilipino. Ihiwalay ang mga bata sa kanilang mga tamad at tangang magulang upang makapag-aral sila at maturuan na maging mabuting tao at mamamayan. Magkaron ng bagong lider na walang political ties at utang na loob sa kahit sino. At higit sa lahat, dapat tax payers lang ang pwedeng bumoto!

Kung kinakailangang magka-giyera para magtino ang mga pilipino, ayos lang. Masyado na kasing matigas ang ulo ng mga tao dito. Gusto ng kalayaan, pero hindi naman handang panagutan ang responsibilidad ng pagiging malaya. Meron daw pinaglalaban na prinsipyo at adhikain pero takot namang mamatay para dito.

(sa mga nakaka-alam sa anime na gundam wing, yan ang inspirasyon ko sa new pinas hehe. I love you zechs! I love you treize!)


Hangga't hindi nagkakaron ng radical change, patuloy na walang kwenta ang pilipinas at patuloy na magiging tanga ang majority ng mga pilipino.

Sa dami ng nag-mi-migrate na pilipino sa ibang bansa, dadating ang panahon na minority na lang ng population sa pilipinas ang may utak. Yung mga magagaling na pilipino, malamang maubos na. Sobra na kasi silang na-fru-frustrate at na-de-depress sa mga nakikita nila.

Ilang taon pa at aalis na rin ako sa pilipinas. Wala kong balak na magkaron ng pamilya sa isang bansa na hindi pinapahalagahan ang kontribusyon ng mga taong tunay na bumubuhay dito. Kawawa naman ang magiging anak ko kung dito sya mabubuhay.

Sa totoo lang, broken hearted ako. Minahal ko din ang bansang ito. Pilit kong pinagtatanggol kahit bulok. Nakarating na ko ng ibang bansa, pero pinili kong bumalik. Pero ngayon, ayoko na. Suko na ko. Sayang lang ako sa bansang to. Simple lang naman ang hiling ko. Gusto ko lang mabuhay ng tahimik at maayos. Gusto ko na
kahit paano eh maipagmalaki ang pilipinas. Pero wala eh. Doomed to be jologs ang bansang to.

Alam ko marami pa ang umaasa at naniniwala sa pagbabago. Good luck and god bless! Sana tama kayo at mali ako.


We The Jologs: A Reaction to "Walang Kwenta and Pilipinas" by Jawbreaker

by ionaks

I am working class, I pay my taxes, I am an "ordinary office worker," I know how it feels..... but this person, whoever he or she is, does not speak for me. While the writer did not claim that he was speaking for anyone but himself, the same passion that compelled him to compose his message is the same passion which compels me now to say my piece.

I write this for several reasons. First, the email (or more accurately, the blog entry) now circulating, as strongly-worded as it is, is bound to reach more and more people and lest more are led to believe that most of us think in the same vein, I have to say that we do not, or at least I don't. Second, many of his statements do a great many Filipino grave disservice. Third, it is time to speak.

I am just as sick of the corruption and the scandals and the politicking. Pagod, sawa, at sukang-suka sa walang katapusang pagbabangayan, tama siya doon! Ang gobyerno ng Pilipinas ay saksakan ng dumi at baho... tama ulit! We are all sick of watching these politicians fight over positions in goverment like rabied dogs, all in the name of public service kuno when in fact the only interest they ever serve is their own. But this issue goes so far beyond politics! Sino nga bang kawawa sa mga nangyayari ngayon? Kahit naman anong mangyari doon sa itaas, wala naman sa kanila ang maghihirap. Even if Gloria resigns or is removed from office, she's not going to end up anywhere near the poor house scrounging for a daily living. Lahat sila, administrasyon, oposisyon, militar, the big business players... all those powers that be who seem to be driving the country further and further into the depths of oblivion... they have nothing to lose except the opportunity to accumulate more wealth at our expense. If this country does self-destruct, all they have to do is hop on an airplane and fly, business class at that, to some other country.

At sino ang maiiwan dito? Tayo. The so-called "middle-class"... and the so-called "masa". Sama-sama tayong maiiwan dito to drown in the muck. And because of this, I see no distinction between the purported middle-class and the masa anymore, definitely not one that will help us in these trying times. To hang on to the notion that our interests are different is myopic. To believe that the middle-class have more at stake is arrogant. To continue to keep a line between "them" and "us" is elitist and wrong. It also borders on prejudice, which is unacceptable. This kind of hatred is just as bad as greed.

Look around you. Unless you are surnamed Ayala (exception na lang siguro si Joey Ayala) or Cojuancgo or Gokongwei or what have you.... working or not, MASA ka rin! So what if you dress better, or went to a private school, can speak decent English, or listen to Coldplay instead of April Boy? Does it make you more of a person? Does it make you more deserving of a better life? Does it make you more entitled to decent service from an honest government? All it makes you is, well, better-dressed and eligible for a higher tax bracket.

You know what the real differences are? The real difference between "us" and "them" is that while "we" complain about not being able to afford a fancy dinner at some expensive restaurant or buy a new pair of sneakers or get the latest cellphone, "they" worry about where to get money for their next meal. "They" worry about diseases like pneumonia and TB and not having even a hundred bucks to even go to a doctor to ask for prescription that they won't be able to afford to buy anyway. Our children give up going to the movies; their children give up fare money and walk to school, if they are able to still go to school in the first place. The taxes that you pay may mean an out-of-town family vacation. The taxes that according to you they don't pay could spell the difference between life or death. THAT is the difference.

Paying your taxes does not make you better than anyone else. Haven't you thought about the fact that so many Filipinos are exempt from paying taxes precisely because they are too poor to pay any tax?

And for sure, kahit kailan hindi sila naging bida. Kahit kailan, hindi sila nasunod. Kahit kailan, hindi sila ever pinakinggan ng gobyerno. Pinarada si Mang Pandoy dati, yung tatlong bata naman nung panahon ni Gloria, pero nasaan na sila ngayon? The Government has always claimed to but has NEVER actually championed their cause. EDSA I? Mind you, hindi yun laban ng mga jologs na masa. Laban yun ng lahat ng Pilipino, led foremost by the middle-class! Lalo naman ang EDSA II which put Gloria in power? That was almost a purely middle-class movement. Maybe you're talking about the so called mob which rally to support Erap at every opportunity, but they have not been heard. More importantly, they do not properly represent the poor of this country. The "masa" can be found not only in Metro Manila; they are scattered all across these 7,107 islands of ours. High tide or low tide, they have never been empowered. They remain desolate and neglected and oppressed. True, pag kampanya sila ang bida sa plataporma, pero pagkatapos hindi ba yung mga crony na business tycoons at foreign investors din naman and naghahari? And you will deny them their right to basic government service? No need, because the Government never served them anyway.

And besides, OO, tayong working class ang nagbabayad ng buwis at OO dahil dun nabubuhay ang Pilipinas. But do you know who really keeps this country afloat, albeit barely? The farmers! The fishermen! Those people who still somehow keep the agricultural sector going. They feed you and me. Literal pa yan! Economically, agriculture is still our major industry. By traditional definitions, I'm sure kasama sila sa masa na sobrang kinagagalitan mo? Will you deny them their proper place in keeping this country alive for all of us? They probably contribute more than both you and I do. Besides, the way things are going right now, meron pa bang tao na hindi nagbabayad ng buwis one way or the other?

Yung mga big-time tax evaders, tama, sa kanila ka magalit. Pero wag doon sa maliliit na wala naming magawa.

Totoo, nakakainis ang mga tamad. At totoo naman na maraming tamad sa Pilipinas. But the poor do not have a monopoly of the indolence in this country. At sa totoo lang, hindi sila mahirap dahil tamad sila. I find it tyrannical, and such a terrifying recall to the Spanish colonial era, that some people still seem to think so. As much as there are lazy people in the squatters of Tondo, there are just as many lazy people in Forbes Park. The only difference is that they have Daddy's money to disguise their lack of productivity. At kahit tamad sila, hindi sila nagugutom.

Totoo, may mahihirap na hindi umaangat kasi tamad. Pero karamihan sa mahihirap humihirap dahil kahit anong gawin nila, hindi sila nabibigyan ng pagkakataong umayos ang buhay. Do we really believe the poor are content with their poverty and do not try to do all in their power to change their fate? Tell that to the driver of the next pedicab you ride.

The bare naked truth is, in most cases, they are simply not given the opportunity to prosper. For one, Government does not give them the education they need and deserve to equip and empower them to do better. And there's the capitalist economy of consumption and excess, where profit is the end that justifies any means, which simply will not let anyone other than the key players and investors and top-level executives have any share of the wealth. I find it strange that you shouldn't see this. You are the best example of what I mean. You complain of having to content yourself with a 10 peso waffledog at Mini-stop instead of your favorite value meal at Jollibee… yet you work your butt off, don't you? Hindi ka tamad, pero yumaman ka na ba? Like I said, masa ka rin. The simple fact is, for poor people like us, there is a much bigger hurdle than the fight against one's own "tamaditis."

You also attack those activitists who take to the streets. Unang-una, sana ihiwalay mo yung mga tunay na aktibista dun sa mga binayaran lang ng kung sinong pulitiko para manggulo. Hindi lahat ng nakikipaglaban sa kalsada walang trabaho at tamad at hindi nagbabayad ng buwis at nagbibilad sa araw para lang manggulo. There are those of them, and believe me there are many, who are decent hard-working people. They sacrifice time that could otherwise have been spent with their families to fight for what they believe in. They sacrifice the daily wages they might otherwise earn precisely because they feel that it is the future of their children at stake. And it is precisely because they are the disadvantaged lot that their sacrifices are even more proportionately significant. More than income, they have sacrificed life and limb for this country, and will do so again if the need arises. For anyone to scoff at this, no matter how much we disagree with the form their ideology takes, is disrespectful and cruel. It is an insult to those who have made such sacrifices, to their families who have made the sacrifices with them, and to those of us who still believe that this country, damned as it seems to be, is still worth fighting for.

Besides, ano nga bang masama sa ideolohiya? You use it like it was a bad word. What is ideology, really, but a principle by which we aspire to achieve our ideals? And what are our ideals? Better lives for ourselves and our families? A better future for our children? To live in a peaceful and just society, where there is enough for all and no one is hungry or poor or uneducated? To be called a great nation and take pride in our citizenship? Isn't that the ideal we all strive for? Ikaw, yun lang din naman ang gusto mo di ba? The ideologies may vary, but still, the ideals are the same. Bottomline: we all want the same thing. Masa man o middle class, (kahit nga yung mga mayayaman at corrupt na pulitiko, nasobrahan lang sila), we all want the same thing. Kelan ba kasi naging synonymous ang ideology sa idealismo at ang idealismo sa imposible? It is precisely because we have abandoned our ideals and idealism that we are in the muck. It is precisely because we have been so frustrated by our experiences that just the mere mention of the word "ideology" makes us cringe and turn away. But if all these ideologies die, then how will we even start to strive for our ideals? Siguro nga tama ka, mamatay na nga silang kumakapit pa sa prinsipyo at ideolohiya. Mamatay na tayong lahat.

We have different ways of fighting for what we believe in, different ways of contributing. Some of us take to the streets, some of us stand quietly by but in our hearts we protest the injustices that surround us and in our own ways, we do what we can. But I say, better do something than nothing at all. To give up now will do nothing but assure our doom.

The present political crisis is more than just political. True, this needs to be resolved and at the soonest possible time. But however which way this plays out… what we need to assure is that we do not let this happen again. Like I said, tayo ang kawawa. Buti sana if the effects of these political upheavals are contained only amongst those people who keep on playing musical chairs with the seats of power. Pero hindi eh. Lahat tayo, apektado. From ordinary office workers to the jobless man with five mouths to feed waiting at home, tamad man o hindi, we are the ones who suffer. These political maneuverings have translated into decades of poverty for so many and that makes me sick and livid with anger. It makes my heart break. And we are all accountable for that. Yes, all of us. And merely paying our taxes does not make us blameless.

We are accountable in so many ways that may seem innocuous but are just as dangerous nonetheless. We are accountable when we vote for a person because of nothing else than kababayan natin siya, or tatay siya ng kaklase natin sa elementary, o nakikita natin siya sa pelikula, o gwapo siya o maganda. We are accountable when we go to the LTO and bribe the employees there so we don't have to spend two hours in line. We are accountable when we solicit favors from politicians and public servants and contribute to the prevalence of patronage politics. We are accountable when we allow our friends or relatives to solicit (or grant!) those favors. We are accountable when we engage in business practices that deprive laborers of their fair and just wages just so we could keep our profit levels as high as we possibly can with nary a thought of how we owe to our employees not just to give them wages but to raise their quality of life. We are accountable when, in the name of job and investment generation, we develop industries and technologies that wreak havoc on the environment and the health of local communities thereby effectively pushing them once and for all into a place of irrevocable poverty and true disenfranchisement.

More so we are accountable when we sit by and say nothing or do nothing to register our dissent and make things change. We are our own worst enemies. But, we could also be our own best friends.

I say this to you in fellowship and with respect for the great love you have for our country, which is obvious in spite of your disillusion and decision to give up. Go. Be the proverbial rat who abandons the sinking ship. Save yourself and pursue the life you want. You have a right to it. Iwan mo kaming bayan ng mga jologs.

Like I said, I respect your opinion. Hindi kita inaaway, and if I sound like it, I apologize. Actually, ito naman talaga ang punto ko: Hindi tayo ang magkaaway dito, just as much as I believe na hindi yung mga aktibista sa kalye o mahihirap na hindi makapagbayad ng buwis and kaaway mo. I cannot accept that they should deserve this kind of ire. And I find it counterproductive, to say the least, to put the impoverished majority of this country on the other side of the fence. You are angry, which is how most of us feel, but your anger is somewhat misdirected. Para sa akin, nakakatakot kung ganyan ngang mag-isip talaga ang lahat ng "middle-class." Rage against the corrupt and greedy people in power and I will rage with you. Rage against those who resort to murder and resort to terrorism to get what they want. But please, spare the rest of us who just like you, flawed as we are, are just victims here.

And herein lies the crux: we may be victims here, but we are not helpless. We have to fight together. We must exercise discernment and distinguish propaganda from truth. Now is not the time to point fingers at each other and call each other names and wish each other one-way trips to hell. We must identify who and what the real enemies are; and in my heart of hearts, I know that I will not find them in the shantytowns of Manila.

There is so much that ails our country. There is something so terribly wrong when you live in a society where some people can afford 700,000 peso TV sets while just a few feet away there are children dying of malnutrition. The fact that even people with the greatest love for this country give up and leave, is the saddest commentary of all. As urgent as the need to change the people who govern us, is the need to change so many of the intrinsic things that make our systems and institutions so vulnerable to manipulation by the few. Not the least of these things is our own individual tolerance. There is much work to be done. And it must start, now.

You're right. What we need is radical change. A revolution is in order. A real one. One that will go beyond changing the names of the people we empower to abuse us. Take that statement however which way you want. Take it to the streets, if you will. But my real prayer is that you take it to your heart. Evaluate. Discern. Participate. Change. Sacrifice. Hope. Act.

And yes, leave if you must. I wish you the best of luck, too. And one day, I hope that you will come back to a Philippines that we, the jologs, will have rebuilt to make you proud.

***

O, say n'yo?
posted by mdlc @ 2:40 PM   8 comments
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Wala lang, inayos ko lang ang template nito. Dahil nga sumpungin. Meron pala akong mga tanong; huwag kayong mahiyang sagutin kung alam ninyo ang sagot.

1. Magiging impact player kaya si Andrew Bogut para sa Milwaukee Bucks?

2. Mag-champion kaya ang Ateneo sa basketbol ng UAAP? Kainin kaya nang buhay ni Jap Aguilar ang lahat ng iharang sa harap niya?

3. Bakit kaya ang pangit ng laro ni Bata Reyes sa Worl Pool Championships? Dahil ba hinigpitan ang mga butas ng mesa?

4. Kailan kaya darating ang suweldo namin?

5. Sa iyo ko ba ipinahiram ang kopya ko ng "Kundi Akala" ni Allan Popa? Ipinahiram ko ba, o sadyang hindi ko lang matagpuan?

6. Kailan kaya magkakadireksyon ang buhay ko, 'yung direksyon na gusto ko?

7. Nagagandahan ka rin ba sa susunod na tula?

Candles
Carl Dennis

If on your grandmother's birthday you burn a candle
To honor her memory, you might think of burning an extra
To honor the memory of someone who never met her,
A man who may have come to the town she lived in
Looking for work and never found it.
Picture him taking a stroll one morning,
After a month of grief with the want ads,
To refresh himself in the park before moving on.
Suppose he notices on the gravel path the shards
Of a green glass bottle that your grandmother,
Then still a girl, will be destined to step on
When she wanders barefoot away from her school picnic
If he doesn't stoop down and scoop the mess up
With the want-ad section and carry it to a trash can.

For you to burn a candle for him
You needn't suppose the cut would be a deep one,
Just deep enough to keep her at home
The night of the hay ride when she meets Helen,
Who is soon to become her dearest friend,
Whose brother George, thirty years later,
Helps your grandfather with a loan so his shoe store
Doesn't go under in the Great Depression
And his son, your father, is able to stay in school
Where his love of learning is fanned into flames,
A love he labors, later, to kindle in you.

How grateful you are for your father's efforts
Is shown by the candles you've burned for him.
But today, for a change, why not a candle
For the man whose name is unknown to you?
Take a moment to wonder whether he died at home
With friends and family or alone on the road,
On the look-out for no one to sit at his bedside
And hold his hand, the very hand
It's time for you to imagine holding.

8. E kay Angel Aquino, nagagandahan ka ba?

9. Wala lang. Alam ba ninyong sinabi rin ni Carl Dennis ito?

"About language poets, I appreciate their concern to point out the way in which common language is constantly being corrupted by the discourse of political and commercial manipulation. I disagree with them to the extent they conclude that the only way to resist this corruption is by creating an opaque surface that forces the reader to labor in deciphering. As I write in my book "Poetry as Persuasion," "In its suspicion of clarity, language poetry tends to limit its task to the undermining of conventional discourse rather than trying to reclaim ordinary speech for truth-telling. We may ask why the intelligence that is exhibited in the clear-eyed cataloguing of linguistic abuses might not be used to help purify more directly the language of the tribe, resisting demotic speech by trying to say as clearly as possible what the poet believes to be important."

10. Naaawa ka na rin ba kay Allen Iverson? Kailan kaya siya manghihingi ng trade sa 76ers management na mukhang walang kainte-interes na manalo ng kampeonato?

11. Kumain na kaya ng hapunan ang mga tao dito sa internet shop? Tangina, ang ingay, e.

12. Napulot mo ba 'yung kopya ko ng Tropic of Cancer ni Henry Miller na naiwan ko dati sa Kitten's, sa may Dapitan?

13. Naniniwala ka bang malas ang numerong trese?

14. Ikaw, kumain ka na ba ng hapunan?

15. Kailan kaya ako sisipaging gumawa ng matinong blog entry?

16. Kapag kaya nakita ko nang personal ang mga buwakananginang nananarantado sa tag-board ko, makilala ko kaya sila, at mapigilan ko kaya ang sarili kong tusukin ng bolpen ang mga tainga nila, hagurin ng tinidor ang mga dibdib nila at saka sabuyan ng gasolina?

17. Kung mapaaway ako, dadamayan mo ba ako? Hindi ka ba matatakot masaktan?

18. Magloko kaya ulit itong template ng blog ko?

19. Kumusta?
posted by mdlc @ 9:19 PM   6 comments
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