Selections from My

Multiply Account
(lastrepublic.multiply.com)
So, Multiply, a pioneer in popular social networking site is saying goodbye. I love Multiply. This is where I first encountered my all-time favorite student. Here are some bits of my voluminous Multiply works. Word of caution: some of these posts are overly sentimental etc. So, don’t laugh. Those were the days. Just the same, a number of pieces are somewhat prophetic. I am not Nostradamus but I did hit some things right. Enjoy. – David Michael M. San Juan ESSAYS A Republic of Cheats and Hypocrites (October 22, 2008) There's no such word as "cheater." The correct word to refer to someone who cheats is simply "cheat." One who cheats is a "cheat" as one who lies is a "liar." So much for boring grammar lessons. I was really shocked by a student who asked a really hair-raising question: "Sir, can we cheat?" That's when only two of them were left with me in the classroom. Chilling. Appalling. Shocking. Astonishing. Terrifying. For students who piously pray everyday, who join Marian processions, who claim to love Jesus, who look like angels, it would be really shocking to hear such question. It's as if the world has turned upside down. It's as if cheating is something normal and acceptable. It's as if cheating ceased to be a horrible offense. Tears! Tears! Tears! Tears for our motherland! Tears for the future! Tears! Tears! Tears! Shed a thousand tears! Cry me a river for we have become a republic of cheats and hypocrites!

Reading and Rereading List for this Vacation (October 29, 2008) I like vacations! They give me time to read and reread books which have been gathering dust in my chaotic library. To refresh my intellectual databank and social consciousness, I'm reading or rereading the following: 1. "The Master and Margarita" (Mikhail Bulgakov) 2. "1984" (George Orwell) 3. "Animal Farm" (George Orwell) 4. "Revolution and Peace" (Dom Helder Camara) 5. "Stupid White Men" (Michael Moore) 6. "One Hundred Days of Solitude" (Gabriel Garcia-Marquez) 7. "Autumn of a Tyrant" (Gabriel Garcia-Marquez) 8. "El Filibusterismo" (Jose Rizal) 9. "Noli Me Tangere" (Jose Rizal) 10. "The Jungle" (Upton Sinclair) and many more... Why do I read and reread then? Reading and rereading provides fresh insights on life. It helps one maintain his moral compass, his cognition of what is good and what is bad. More importantly, books provide living mirrors of the past and present which if interpreted wisely can help produce a plan for a good future. What has happened? What is happening? What will happen? It's as if one is using magic to review the past, experience the present and project the future. And on a personal note, writers can't write anything good without reading. Writing from nothing is tagged as "intellectual masturbation" by experienced writers. Reading improves one's ability to express his ideas clearer and better. Thus, instead of dipping into the blue waters of a torridly romantic island or visiting an overcrowded overseas tourist spot, this poor blogger would prefer to bathe, nay, drown in the vast ocean of words, ideas and expressions from memorable characters and stories.

Obama WILL win but I don't have an inch of care! (November 2, 2008) Yes, America and Philippine Islands, Barack Osama (yes that's his middle name) Obama will be the first African-American or Black or Colored president of the United States of America come November. But I don't care, I don't give a damn, it's all bullshit. American elections just like Philippine polls are all bullshit. When money speaks, everyone listens. Since elections are influenced by money, they are bullshit. Lest my pious readers think that my words are inappropriate, I suggest that they look up the meaning of "bullshit" in an unabridged dictionary. Bullshit means crap, e.g. too much ado about nothing, any useless information or unimportant event (a non-event, lexicographers would insist). That precisely is Obama's much-ballyhoed and well-trumpeted fate as the first black president of a still pre-dominantly white nation, the so-called lone superpower (that is another bullshit, of course, since Russia and China, not to mention the European Union have began to reassert their influence in world affairs; I tell you, in 20 years time, we will all be compelled to learn Mandarin whether we like it or not, but that of course is another story): A BULLSHIT. It's nothing. It's a trifle. It's no reason to celebrate. It's bullshit. Even if Obama wins (and of course HE WILL WIN), nothing fundamental will change with the way things are going there in America and here, an economic vassal of Obama's country. Simply put, yes, yes, Obama will win but nothing will change. The crisis will still be there. Corporate greed will be there. Lack of social services will be there. Racial discrimination will be there. Bogus elections will be there. Money will still be king. Businessmen will still control/manipulate the Whitehouse. Nothing will change. Sorry to be the wet blanket, the unwanted spoiler here, but I'm just telling the truth. American Democrats and Republicans are basically the same. They are all funded by big greedy businessmen who reaped and are still reaping enormous profits at the expense of a world now wallowing in what has been officially declared as a "worldwide crisis." Why would the beloved Obama be the same? Simple. He has debts to pay. He has fundraisers to please. Where did his election money came from? From the masses? From the middle class? No, no, no, a thousand times no! Politicians get their money from big businessmen. Are businessmen too good-hearted to give without expecting, nay, demanding something in return? That's a rhetorical question but I would still answer it for emphasis' sake: no. They expect something and they will demand it from Obama after his election. Even if Obama wants to change the system, his hands will be tied the moment he's elected.

Say goodbye to false hopes. Obama will not even instantly bring home their troops from Iraq and Afghanistan as promised, Halliburton would be mad at him. Well, just the same, to give you a very dim hope. As they say, in every rule, there is an exception. Pray, pray, pray hard that Obama would be the new exception. Or you can choose to help the Americans compel him to be the exception in the rule that says all politicians are indebted to businessmen and therefore beholden to their vested interests. But then again, you would be asking for the moon. You would be asking too much. Change we can believe in? Change that I don't believe will come from him. Genuine changes comes from below, not above, although a good change from above would signal but not necessarily lead to positive changes below.

Good Pirated MOVIES

(January 11, 2009) The Xmas vacation’s end is approaching. One good thing about vacations is that you can do what you want and forget about work. I temporarily tried to forget about work and spent my time rearranging my high school and college papers (which brought me nostalgia) and of course, watching pirated DVDs with my family (yes! support piracy! death to greedy corporations! Heheh!). What follows is a list of some pirated DVDs worth watching (you will find awesome films in pirate stores – films that stupid and tasteless movie houses won’t dare show; mind you, many films that reaped awards abroad aren’t shown here, I’m glad there are pirates) with a brief synopsis and my PERSONAL RATING (if you want to know more about the films, just google it. There are good links and even sites offering free view of these films):

1) The Wind that Shakes the Barley – an Irish film (Irish-accented English used is realistic) detailing the story of Damien and his brother, both of whom joined the revolution against the British; they’ll soon part ways as Damien (originally a reluctant rebel) remains steadfastly committed to continuing the revolution until absolute independence is won, while his brother would become a pro-British officer who would soon hunt down the remaining freedom fighters. (R for some steamy love scenes, 5 stars for awesome social realism and engaging flow of events) 2) Veronica Guerin – a film set in modern-day and real-life Ireland; a story of the real journalist Veronica Guerin (played by Kate Blanchett) who exposed the drug mafias of Ireland. Of course she will fell victim to extrajudicial killing (just like in the Philippines), but the brilliant story lies in between her expose and her death, and the moments after her death. (R for a brief frontal nudity exposure, 5 stars for touching story: I almost cried when she was shot while a touching song The Fields of Athenry is being sang by a child; I won’t forget the way the director shot the assassination scene: no dialogues but you will feel the emotion, people surrounding the car of Veronica, crying for their beloved journalist is dead, later, her husband would be shown receiving a call from someone, then he silently hugged his cute little child and then cried...) 3) Diarios Motocicletas (Motorcycle Diaries) – Spanish-language film with subtitles of course; Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s real life story as a charity doctor trying to travel around South America; band members and others who love to wear Che shirts should watch this and be informed on Che’s exciting life before he became Fidel Castro’s ally in their more exciting (and successful) revolution. (R for some steamy scenes; 5 stars for everything) 4) The Magic Gourd – Chinese film with subtitle; a magic gourd appears to grant the wishes of a lazy boy; the boy will later realize that magic can’t make you happy all the

time, that at times, a hard-earned victory is better than a magical one (GP, 4 stars for a simple yet values-ridden story) 5) Eagle Eye – (of course this was shown in movie houses); shows how computers would soon be able to destroy and unmake us (PG for violent scenes; 5 stars for cinematography and story) 6) Harold and Kumar: Escape from Guantanamo – (again, this was shown in movie houses, but with some deleted scenes; the DVD edition is uncensored); shows how cruel and stupid the USA’s Guantanamo Prison is, albeit, in a funny and outrageous manner (R for many frontal nudity scenes and sexually suggestive themes; 5 stars for political message and capability to make watchers laugh) 7) Voces Inocentes (Innocent Voices) – Spanish-language film from El Salvador with subtitles of course; MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE; provides answers to the timeless question about revolutions: are they just, will they benefit the people?; a real-life story of the director and the scriptwriter in the 1980s; child Chava’s heart-wrenching and touching story of survival; shows that love, friendship and everything good may survive even the worst events; a potshot against forced child soldier recruitment and the evils of war (I PLAN TO SHOW THIS TO MY 4 YEAR STUDENTS, GOD WILLING). (R for some violent scenes; 5 stars for everything) 8) The Battle of Algiers – French-language movie, set in circa 1950s in Algeria; narrates the long and painful struggle of Algerians to expel the French and become an independent nation (PG for some violent scenes; 5 stars for awesone cinematography, despite the ridiculous sound track) 9) Goodbye Lenin – German-language film with subtitle; tells the story of how a young man tried to keep a secret from his ailing socialist mother: that the socialist East German Republic has reunited with the West German one, virtually ending socialism and instituting capitalism; later, with his friend, he will be constrained to recreate the environment of the East German Republic so as not to upset his mother (who has just suffered a heart attack); the young man would come to love socialism after realizing that it is better than capitalism in the process of recreating it for his mother. (GP, 5 stars for everything, especially soundtrack) 10) Illuminados por la fuego (Enlightened by fire) – Spanish-language film; tells the bitter story of Argentinean soldiers who were defeated by the British in the Battle for the Islas Malvinas/Falkland Islands (GP, 5 stars for the awesome soundtrack, search it in youtube) 11) Imagining Argentina – another Spanish-language film; a story of searching for a disappeared loved one; what will you do if the military abducted your journalist wife for

what she has been writing? Antonio Banderas plays the role of the man embroiled in a long yet successful search for his courageous wife (GP, 5 stars for dramatic scenes; it is one of the few movies that made me cry). 12) Oliver Twist – a very old musical (probably older than another of my favorites, The Sound of Music); based on Charles Dickens’ novel with the same title; a bittersweet tale of an orphan, a cute boy with sad eyes, named Oliver Twist. (GP, 5 stars for everything except some unjustified triple and even quadruple repetition of lyrics)

Makati, Manila and Mumbai: A Short Critique of "Slumdog Millionaire"

(March 7, 2009) Mirpuri, Rishi, Hatesh, Dhruv and my other Indian students and friends would certainly be mad at this, but I must speak my mind. Prior to watching the film, I was bombarded with positive remarks on the brilliance of "Slumdog Millionaire." The film is a flash in the pan, after all. While the Oscars 2009 winner did impress me with its socially realistic portrayal of poverty in Mumbai (which can be easily imagined by anyone staying in Makati and Manila, with the exception of some blind posh village residents), the film should be dismissed as another failed attempt to preach the stupid mantra that progress for the poorest of the poor is possible UNDER THE CURRENT WORLD CAPITALIST SYSTEM. The film failed to smash the myth about our make-believe world. Instead, it lures the poor away from the needed confrontational tactics to change the system, giving them the stupid idea that through sheer luck and hard work, a poor man can attain progress. My life can disprove the director's lies about life. Also, in limiting its social commentary on a personal basis, the film merely reinforced the current tides of selfishness plaguing both the rich and the poor. The film seems to endorse an evil system where a poor man is compelled to attain progress on his own while believing that he should not care about others. It's a world where "I must save myself while turning a blind eye to the world." Slumdog millionaire? The title itself is a sick joke. Perhaps, the director is attempting to prick the conscience of the opulent through the use of sarcasm? The Oscars, at least in my humble opinion, has become a theater of the absurd and the fantastic, glossing over social realities in our world of real-life slums through movies that deceptively use a poor man's story to let the world of the rich stay (perhaps forever). And that is shit for genuine anti-poverty (and thus anti-capitalist) advocates like me.

English versus Filipino PART II

(March 15, 2009) In a program (general student assembly) held two weeks ago, a middle administrator in our school reminded a student to "observe the English campaign" after the said student used a mixture of Filipino and English in replying to a question of another student. Secretly, I was very happy that such thing happened. Such event reminds everyone about the advances, the steady progress of the Filipino language as the Philippines' national language. Years ago, a student in an exclusive school like ours won't dare use Filipino in a student assembly. Years ago, there's no need for an "English Campaign" because everyone's using English. These days, Americanist educators ("Americanist" is a term used by Filipino language advocates to scorn obstinately pro-American educators who, unfortunately, still dominate Philippine education today) are compelled to impose an "English Campaign" to a generation born in a world where English and Filipino are used widely everywhere. I wonder when will Americanist Filipinos would learn to accept the fact that they cannot and should not impose an ENGLISH-ONLY CAMPAIGN in a world where MULTILINGUALISM is the trend. If they insist in their myopic promotion of such Englishonly campaign, Filipinos would all the more be losers in the ever-changing world of globalization. The Germans, the Koreans, the Swedes, the Danes, the British, the Americans, citizens everywhere are STRIVING TO BE MULTILINGUAL AS THEY GROW RICHER AND RICHER, WHILE OURS, A POOR ENGLISH-SPEAKING COUNTRY SINCE THE 1920'S REMAINS DIRT POOR AND WILL REMAIN SO, PARTLY BECAUSE OF A STUPID LANGUAGE POLICY.

Jedi, Supreme Jedi, Last Republic, BAKIT? Addict na raw ba ako? SIGURO...

(March 18, 2009) Marami-raming nagbigay ng reaksyon sa mga edited Jedi pictures ko. Gusto ko 'yan. Kasi kapag walang reaksyon, ibig sabihin, walang impact, balewala ang sinulat. Obligado akong magpaliwanag para malinaw ang mga usapin/isyu. Halos related/magkakaugnay naman ang mga komento kaya isang sagot na lang. Hindi ko layuning magpatawa sa ginawa kong larawan. Seryoso 'to. Dati ko nang gusto ang Star Wars. Akala ko noon, corny pero nung mapanood ko, wow, astig! Sapul na sapul 'yung realidad sa Pilipinas at sa daigdig: maraming mga diktador gaya ni Palpatine na ginagamit ng mga demonyo gaya ng Sith Lord. Pero hindi nawawala ang mga walang sawang lumalaban sa kasamaang hatid ng mga kontrabida: ang mga jedi. Good versus evil ang tema ng Star Wars. Mas eksakto, pwersa ng demokrasya kontra sa mga pwersa ng diktadura/dictatorship. Hindi ba ganito rin ang dilemma/problema natin ngayon? Kunsabagay, inisip ko rin na makakahatak ng pansin ang Star Wars picture dahil walang kupas, classic na kumbaga. Pero sana huwag mahulog/mauwi sa katatawanan lang dahil sabi ko nga, seryoso 'to. Pansinin din ang bagong pamagat ng blog ko: "Supreme Jedi: Defender of the Last Republic..." Nabanggit ko na kung bakit jedi (good versus evil; integrity versus corruption; honesty versus cheating; light versus darkness). Bakit Supreme Jedi? Saktong-sakto rin kasi sa banal na apelyido ko. Bakit Last Republic? Ano ang Last Republic? Panoorin ulit ang Star Wars. Republican/democratic ang sistema ng gobyerno ng Star Wars galaxies noon, pero dahil sa pagbaligtad ni Palpatine na naimpluwensyahan ng Dark Side of the Force, unti-unting naging tyrannical, dictatorial empire ang dating republika. Dahil ang mga jedi ay likas na demokratiko (kaya nga lagi silang may council meeting di ba?) at dahil sila lang ang may kapangyarihan na pwedeng makatapat ng mga makapangyarihan ding kalaban ng demokrasya, natural lang na "defenders of the republic" ang maging tawag sa mga jedi di ba? Bakit Last Republic? Kasi, naniniwala ako na unti-unti nang gumuguho at naglalaho ang demokrasya natin. Wala na. Yung mga democratic gains dati, wala na. Hindi na pinapatupad. Wala nang freedom of expression. Pinapatay ang lumalaban sa korapsyon, ang mga ayaw sa pandaraya...Nakakalungkot, ang republika natin ay nagiging diktadura na. Kaya, bilang isang ipinanganak na makabayan, wala akong mapamimilian kundi maging "tagapagtanggol ng republika," tagapagtanggol ng demokrasya sa panahong unti-unti nang naglalaho ang mga ito dahil sa panunumbalik/return ng mga pwersa ng diktadura na pinalayas na ng mga Pilipino noong 1986. "Last Republic" din ang pamagat ng nobela na balak kong isulat sa wikang Ingles: mala-Star Wars ang setting pero ang sitwasyon ay batay sa mga aktwal na

nangyari/nangyayari sa Pilipinas. Sana matapos ko at maipaimprenta bago pa tuluyang maglaho ang REPUBLIKA natin. Sana dumami pa ang mga JEDI. So, malinaw na siguro na di ako naka-drugs? Siguro ang naka-drugs yung mga tagapagtanggol ng korapsyon, pandaraya at iba pang kademonyohan. Nakakalungkot, nabasa ko yung ibang blog ng mga kaklase n'yo na di ko contact sa multiply. Mga pro-corruption, procheating, as in. Naakit na sa Dark Side of the Force. Hindi pamalo sa estudyante ang hinahanap ko. Pamalo sa corrupt at mandaraya! Sana totoo 'yung light saber. Pero hindi e. Mas mahirap ang laban sa tunay na buhay. Bolpen at papel (o keyboard) lang ang pinaka-light saber ko. Addict sa Star Wars? Nasabi ko na kung bakit. Sa totoo lang, 'pag nabubuwisit na 'ko sa mga nangyayari sa Pilipinas, bukod sa musika, pinapanood ko uli 'yung Star Wars, LOTR at Harry Potter para magkaroon ako ng inspirasyon na ituloy ang ginagawa kong pagsulat laban sa kasamaan kahit na mahirap, kahit na minsan inaakala ng iba na baliw ako. Ok lang, ang mahalaga alam ko na tama ang ginagawa ko gaya ng mga jedi, ni Yoda, ni Chewbacca, ni Luke, ni Obi Wan, ni Quigon Jin, ni Frodo, ng fellowship of the ring, ni Sam, ng mga ent, ni Gandalf, ni Legolas, ni Harry Potter, ni Hagrid, ni Professor Dumbledore... Hindi sila fictional para sa 'kin. Nandyan lang sila sa tabi-tabi. Walang magic wand. Walang light saber. Walang special power. Pero gaya ng mga karakter sa pelikula, mayroon silang pag-asa, pag-asa na sa kabila ng lahat, sa kabila ng lahat (inulit ko talaga), anuman ang mangyari, magtagal man, sa bandang huli, magwawagi, magtatagumpay, mananalo, mananaig pa rin ang KABUTIHAN at madadaig, matatalo, madudurog din ang KASAMAAN.

Now I know why Hitler's cabal burned books in Germany...

(July 21, 2009) Books are subversive. They destroy myths. They expose the truth. And they endure. Ban a book and everyone will read it. Burn copies of a title and everyone will do anything to have a copy of that book. Tyrants everywhere still ban and burn books, lots of them actually for they are afraid of the truth. Now, more than ever, I am convinced that this wretched country of ours has little chances of achieving genuine independence and progress. We're a nation of non-readers. Indeed, even the so-called intellectuals are worse than illiterates. Intellectuals perpetuate the use of foolish books and the censorship of good ones. Look at the libraries in the Philippines. Miniscule compared to those in Europe, and Europe is still progressing while the whole world is in recession. Rebels and rallyists might not agree, but I still believe that books are the most powerful weapons against tyranny and poverty. As Rizal said, lots of books are enough to build thousands of "pyramids to bury tyrants." Now I know why Lady Voldemort hates books (in public schools, 10 students share a book). And now I know why I should write a book and why I should do everything to promote book-reading. So, what are you waiting for? Go forth and devour the library!

Isang Pagsipat sa Nakakainis na Pagkakaiba at Paghihiwalay ng Multiply at Facebook (August 2, 2009)

Paunawa: medyo puta-putaki o scattered ang pagtalakay ko sa paskel na ito. Paumanhin. Isip-pindot ang pamaraang ginamit ko. Mas madaling mag-blog sa Multiply pero lintik, naglipatan na yatang lahat sa Facebook. Ang problema sa Facebook, hindi user-friendly: lintik, hindi ko makita ang tab para makagawa ako ng note. Hindi ako nagmumura sa pagsasabi ng "lintik." Para sa mga Inglesero na ayaw magbasa ng diksyunaryo, ang lintik ay "kidlat" sa sinaunang Tagalog. Ang maganda lang sa Facebook, maaari mong i-tag ang larawan, pero malaking trahedya rin minsan. 'Pag may ungas na nag-tag sa 'yo sa larawang pangit, bastos atbp., yari ka hangga't di mo inaalis ang tag. Isa pang problema sa Facebook, talagang pang-social networking lang halos. Walang puwang o espasyo para sa mas masiglang pagpipingkian ng mga kaisipan. Hindi kagaya sa Multiply, maaari mong sipiin o i-quote ang sinabi ng isa pa. Kung gayon, mas malinaw ang usapan sa Multiply. Isa namang maganda pa sa Facebook, pwede kang sumilip sa profile ng iba nang di nila nalalaman. Mas pribado ang pagsipat. Gayundin, sa Facebook, mayroong tab para sa "causes" o mga advocacy/ makabuluhang mga usapin na isinusulong ng isang indibidwal o pangkat. Mas user-friendly pa rin ang Multiply. Ilang linggo lang, natutuhan ko agad ang mga feature nito, samantalang sa Facebook, nahihilo ako sa libu-libong application na karamihan ay basura lang o kaya'y napakahirap gamitin. Basta hindi user-friendly ang Facebook. Pero isa pa palang mainam din sa Facebook ay madaling makipagchat. 'Yung notification tab, ayos din. 'Yung "I like this" tag, maganda rin. Sa kabuuan, mabisa ang Facebook kung ang habol mo lang ay social networking. Pero kung pagpapalaganap ng kaisipan, pagpapaliwanag, intelektwal na diskurso, mas madali at mas mainam gamitin ang Multiply. Pero talo pa rin ng Friendster ang Facebook at Multiply sa coverage/saklaw (sa Pilipinas), bagamat mukhang malaon, mauungusan na ito ng Facebook. Maisingit lang, ang Twitter, mainam para sa mga may cellphone na nakalink sa internet, mabilisan, ilang pindot lang. Siya nga pala, nakakabwisit ang application na "Friends for Sale" sa Facebook. Masamang aral ang tinuturo. Sa malalimang pagsipat, maaari nitong ikundisyon ang

mga utak natin para tanggapin ang prostitusyon. At saka, mayroon pa nga akong nakita na mensaheng "Name asked you to flirt with Name2." Saka 'yung Mafia War, dapat alisin din. Kunsabagay, demokratiko nga RAW pala tayo. Sige, pabayaan na lang. Pero ang pangit talaga ng tinuturo. Huli na lang, sa Facebook, pwede kang mamili ng wika. Pero ang pangit ng salin/translation sa Tagalog/Filipino! Walang kalidad! [Paunawa 'uli: Ang buwan ng Agosto ay Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa. Bilang pakikiisa sa Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa, ang lahat ng paskel ko para sa buwang ito ay sisikapin kong gawin sa Filipino.]

Dropping by to say hello to the site of our first online rendezvous (though you might not be able to read this...) (April 10, 2010) And those were the days my friend... Now, we have Facebook and Formspring and Twitter too. What's next tomorrow? But Multiply is Multiply... This is where we get started...And I will always remember it though the days have changed in the same way that you had...(or have you?) Till then, my friend, till then...I really miss the good old days when I see you among the list of people who view my every post...Because you're special to me...Really special.Hahah...And nobody knows or perhaps they just don't care...(Or do you?)...or is it too obvious to be noticed? But, anyway, there's no substitute for conversation...So I just hope that someday, you'll be comfortable to really converse with me, chat with me in person, just you and me...talking about inane things, not the serious shit that I always post or we argue about...but the things that really matter, the glittering generalities that only the heart can see and understand. I am ready, but are you? hahah. But I guess that will have wait, for you no longer visit Multiply...You/We have a new addiction. So, till then, my friend, till then. Salute to Multiply! Cheers to the good old days!

Boto Mo, Ibenta Mo! (September 12, 2009) UNGAS ang magsasabing masama ang magbenta ng boto. LIPAS na ang panahon na bawal magbenta ng boto. DAHIL NAHIHIRAPAN AKONG MAMILI KUNG SINO ANG IBOBOTO KO SA 2010, PATAASAN NA LANG NG "PRESYO." IBEBENTA KO ANG BOTO KO. HINDI MALI ANG NABASA NINYO. UULITIN KO, MY VOTE IS FOR SALE. BILI NA! SIMPLE LANG BILHIN ANG BOTO KO. PARA IBENTA KO SA KANDIDATO ANG BOTO KO, DAPAT LANG NA IPANGAKO NIYA NA GAGAWIN NIYA ANG MGA SUMUSUNOD KAPAG NANALO SIYA: 1. Ibasura ang value-added tax sa pagkain, gamot, petrolyo, tubig at kuryente 2. Doblehin ang sahod ng lahat ng mga manggagawa (POSIBLE ITO; AT HINDI RIN MALULUGI ANG MGA KUMPANYA) 3. Ilaan ang pinakamalaking porsyento ng national budget sa edukasyon 4. Gawing libre PATI KOLEHIYO (pwede 'yan; ganyan sa ibang bansa) 5. Palitan ang CARP ng land reform program kung saan LIBRENG ipamimigay sa mga magsasaka ang lupa 6. Itigil ang importasyon ng bigas atbp. produkto na mayroon naman sa Pilipinas 7. Itigil PANSAMANTALA sa SUSUNOD NA 10 taon ang pagbabayad ng utang sa IMF at World Bank (ANG PERANG ITO ANG GAGAMITIN NATIN PARA PONDOHAN ANG MGA PROYEKTO NASA BLOG NA ITO)

8. I-nationalize (kontrolin ng gobyerno) ang lahat ng petroleum refineries, gold mines atbp. malalaking negosyo sa Pilipinas para ANG MAKINABANG SA YAMAN NITO AY ANG MGA PILIPINO RIN; gawing shareholder ang bawat Filipino citizen (kaya dapat bawat buwan, may share ang bawat mamamayan sa kita ng mga kumpanya; wala nang magugutom, wala nang magnanakaw, wala nang manghoholdap) 9.Palayasin ang mga sundalong Amerikano sa teritoryo ng Pilipinas; pagbayarin sila sa pinsala/damage sa kalikasan na likha ng mga base militar nila; ibasura ang Visiting Forces Agreement 10. Alisin ang pirma ng bansa sa World Trade Organization; ibalik ang tariff/buwis sa mga imported na produkto at taasan pa 11. Magtayo ng steel mill, chemical plant atbp. mga basic industry para hindi na tayo mag-import 12. I-professionalize ang buong gobyerno; dapat lahat ng position, pati pinakamataas sa bawat department, estilong "job application"; ang presidente pa rin ang mag-aapoint pero ang pangalan ay mula sa listahan ng mga nakapasa sa screening ng Civil Service Commission 13.Ipagbawal ang political dynasty (ibig sabihin, sa isang pamilya, isa lang ang pwedeng tumakbo bawat eleksyon) 14.Tanggalin ang pork barrel ng mga kongresista 15. Bigyan ng kapangyarihan ang Commission on Audit na magdemanda ng mga kurakot na opisyal MARAMI PA, PERO ITO MUNA. SA MGA KANDIDATO, IYAN LANG ANG KAILANGAN N'YO PARA MAKUHA/"MABILI" ANG BOTO KO.

“POEMS” Nostalgia (November 16, 2008) Nostalgia! Nostalgia! Nostalgia! Remembering the good old days when all the world seemed ours. Those times of rightful rage, days of light, struggle, faith, hope, love and a myriad of glittering generalities. Invincible solidarity of ragtag allies singing, rallying hand in hand for a just cause. Nostalgia! Nostalgia! Nostalgia! Star-gazing while grounded in reality, looking through fiery eyes of dream and passion, a long march to the utopian paradise, great illusions of a better world, looking forward to imminent victory, praying, working, struggling for the earth’s rebirth. Laughing with allies, friends and acquaintances all whom this fickle mind will not forget, whose names are forever remembered. Tired then and weary but still standing united, united, united in blood, sweat, tears and toils for a noble cause greater than everybody else’s: bread for every mouth, land for the landless toilers, higher wages for the slaves of capital, death to monster tyrants, justice to all oppressed, peace to a war-torn world, human rights for a wronged humankind,

regaining a lost paradise for the sons of earth. But how swift the time passes, how swift the glory subsides, how fast the years go by, how fast soaring dreams die, how fast old friends perish in the ashes and ruins of a broken utopia. Then standing tall with two wings for flying, soaring above the highest peaks of imagination, forcing the pace of everything, breaking all barriers and lambasting limitations. Now, still standing but lonely sighing a million heartbreaks, crying a thousand tears for a past worth recalling. Once mighty wings clipped by roaring realities, boxed in sanitized cubicles of monotonous paper works, stupefying silence and apathetic deadlines, lifeless liaison with mighty machines, endless calls from grumpy clients and everyday wrath of office puppeteers. Nostalgia! Nostalgia! Nostalgia! A bittersweet agony over what’s lost, what dreams were shattered, friends who perished along the way to the elusive promise land. Asking why the blue sky has fallen, the red sun refused to shine, the bright stars began to dim, the little sparrows failed to sing their songs of freedom, hope and redemption. Nostalgia! Nostalgia! Nostalgia! Bittersweet remembrance of a happy past

in the lonely embrace of the perilous present, a little prayer, a glimmer of diehard hope, a tireless dream, a persistent utopian vision amidst perennial darkness, a stubborn song for a fearless finale: the ultimate call of sanity amidst the chaotic noise of despair and misery, the reunion of old friends, a renewal of a communal covenant, a replay of the past minus the mighty pitfalls and petty quarrels, a resurrected rage against the dying of the light!

AMOR (November 23, 2008) You ask for a hug, just a hug, I thought

but a hug’s worth a million things. Could it be a hug of comfort, a hug to kill, a hug for old time’s sake or just one hug to heal hidden pains in your heart, just a plainly casual hug perhaps? Not that I refuse, but my hands can’t muster the courage to give a tight embrace. Not that I refuse, not that I don’t care, for I do care, I do care though at times my tired face shows nothing but nonchalance, devoid of love, passion, just plain cold madness, fiery anger, perhaps. Not that I don’t want to hug you or give you solace, comfort, love, hope or faith in the unseen, I just want to project distance, distance, the faked desire to be left alone to pretend feeling so far, so distant though so near with you. I speak truth but wear a camouflage. I perceive reality but live in a charade. You said I love you in jest and I replied the same phrase in the very manner I perceived it was said. But, lo, I am no god from a distant paradise, I have no monopoly for truth, can’t claim what I perceive is real for perceptions are easily distorted in an ever-changing and conflict-battered world. Perhaps you mean it,

perhaps you really said those stupid lines, if so, take my reply as good as real I love you too and I mean it. If you really need a hug badly and said those words in a desperate attempt to pierce my pride, my make-believe reality, my charade, my camouflage of nonsensical nonchalance, if that is so, come, take my hand and feel that yes I do care, just search within me, dive into my senses, penetrate my deepest thoughts, empathize with my emotions, prick my pride, teach me humility, smash my selfishness, do me a favor, let me love you, let me feel you, let me hug you, let me kiss you, let me take your hand and together we’ll walk away from this decrepit world of hate, madness, fear, lies, deceit, deviltry and pain. Together we will create a new world of love.

MAY NANALO NA SA 300-million peso JACKPOT sa LOTTO! (February 22, 2009) Wala. Gumuho na namang muli ang pangarap

ng milyun-milyong natalo sa dambuhalang sugal ng pambobola. Ako man ay naakit muling sumubok makisali sa pambobola at sandaling namag-asa, {asa ka pa!} na kayang makuha ang limpak-limpak na kwarta sa tulong ng dasal at sangkatutak na pag-asa. Wala. Guho nang muli ang libong pangarap ng pagliligtas sa bayan gamit ang tatlong daang milyong pisong kung ilang eskwelahan sana't pabrikang mapapasukan, pantubos sa hikahos na bayan. Wala. Tapos na naman ang bola. Tapos na naman ang pamamag-asa. Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! Sa mundong ibabaw, kayhirap mabuhay lalo na kung ikaw ay dukhang isang kahig, isang tuka. Kailan kaya magwawagi sa loterya ng buhay ang laksa-laksang dukhang gaya ko't gaya ng milyong Pilipinong maluha-luhang nanood sa balita, kani-kanina nang ianunsyo sa buong mundo, dalawa ang nanalo, lahat ng iba pa'y natalo {naihagis tuloy ang rosaryo!}, umuwing pupuwit-puwit wala ni isang singkong nabingwit

habang doon sa maluhong Palasyo, dinig na dinig ang halakhak ng mga heneral na nagtatampisaw sa pulang dagat ng dugo, kasama ang reynang nanaba, nanaba sa sobrang siba.

ODE TO GENUINE EDUCATION “Truth hurts...” --- The Bible “All your learning and you still don’t understand.”

--- from the movie “The Wind That Shakes the Barley”

Put away your medals, burn those ghastly certificates, smash the moldy trophies, throw the rusty plaques and forget the education that you think you have had for you have learned nothing all these years but bullshit, hogwash, nonsense, gibberish, garbage, crap, baloney stuff. You never learned Math despite perfecting every quiz and sundry homework. Math is not the art of counting high scores in your moldy card or a race to pressing your careless calculator’s dirty keys to arrive at a pile of meaningless shit. Math is the statistics of hungry mouths, counting those clanking tin cans of filthy beggars a mile away from your lush backyard, estimating the true cost of corruption, knowing how many mountains will be smashed by fearless bulldozers of foreign miners (once charter change is approved), plotting the graph of greed in our midst, analyzing formulas such as injustice + apathy = revolution and/or justice = peace, computing the area of that humungous pyramid – where the likes of Bill Gates, Zobel de Ayala, Henry Sy and Warren Buffet stay on top, stepping, stamping their fat feet at the back of a billion desperate paupers who cough blood up to produce gold for the gods – then afterwards finding the right amount of force enough to bring down that proud bastion of injustice. That, my friend, is Mathematics.

You never learned Biology either despite memorizing all bones and muscles of every living creature and extinct relics of past eras, not to mention defleshing a cat to expose its inner beauty, refusing styrofoam and plastic bags or mastering the laws of natural selection, genetics and other heaps of useless nuggets. Biology as a branch of science offers only one and only one inconvenient truth: you’re not alone and can’t live alone on earth, life is meant to be enjoyed not by a few spoiled brats for life is God’s gift to everyone, all humans ought to eat, drink, have a shelter like you do, enjoy all good things in this life, satisfy every biological need, and this in turn compels you to review the anatomy of injustices: the hydra-like head of a monstrous tyrant, the far-reaching tentacles of corrupt politicians and greedy businessmen, the broken bones and skulls, sternum, fibula, every piece of human skeleton in the killing fields dug by the queen’s loyal generals, the body of lies told and retold to you everyday about this world, discovering how this world can mutate or risk an imminent imposition of the law of the jungle, but most of all, learning biology entails feeling that small pounding thing beneath your chest (does it still throb or have you been turned into an unfeeling automaton, a robotic genius perhaps?) and stopping every now and then to hear what it tells you about the haunting cries of the poor, the sick. the oppressed, those who cannot enter nor enjoy the good life

in the fortress of your luxury. It’s a pity you also failed to learn English despite talking like fluent sons of Uncle Sam – draped in Stars and Stripes – quoting lines upon lines of empty babbles from Shakespeare, Boccaccio, Alighieri, Orwell, Tolkien, Rowling, Homer (mostly in translation, for Shakespeare wrote in an English so old that half of his original scripts may sound like shit to recent readers, while both Boccaccio and Alighieri are masters of vulgar Italian and of course you know that the blind Homer not only sounds Greek to many but is indeed a Greek who knows not only one, not even two but seven tenses) and a thousand more writers from a persistent past and these days’ terrible times, enumerating all rules of grammar without batting an eyelash or even more literally without stopping a bit. English, my friend, is not simply reading endless piles, tons of voluminous paperbacks and hardbounds – those source of empty babbles – English my friend, is the art of communicating with your fellow men here and abroad (for this stupid and God-forsaken land, thankfully or rather sadly doesn’t have a monopoly over extreme poverty), trying to know more about his poor plight, the injustices brought to him by this loveless life, the way he was made to work eight hours or more each day accumulating thousands of pesos as he labors, but paid a measly sum of forty bucks for all the tears he’s shed as he endures a monotony of backbreaking tasks, you don’t even need books to do this for more than half the files uploaded in the web are in English and half of this half are stuff about real life – injustices, poverty, hunger. But of course, English entails reading

reading with absolute comprehension, reading with a critical mind that tries to view the text as a reflection of stupid society. Every story has villains, victims and victors. English must teach you to stop being a villain and to start playing a victor, defending the victims against the villains of this world, use the power of words, all those idioms and figures of speech to eloquently condemn corruption, preach reforms (or risk being drowned in the turbulent waves of a coming revolution), blurt out all those bullshits, OMGs and dizzying interjections to show your shock at the appalling, outrageous disparities between the filthy rich and the dirt poor, exhaust your databank of dazzling adjectives to describe the world as it is for a great majority: sick, poor and revolting, and most importantly, act, act, act as the verbs tell you to change, reform, transform, convert, alter, modify, adjust or rework this world of apathy, in a nutshell: put a period to injustice the way you end a sentence. Sadly, you also didn’t learn Economics or History despite learning the Philippine GDP and GNP figures for the past 10 years identifying where in the world is Harare, Timbuktu and Mali, mastering the law of supply and demand, babbling dates – all dates – of births, deaths, wars and plagues, names – all names – of kings, queens, tyrants, demagogues, villains, heroes, the first, the greatest this and that, civilizations – all civilizations – their clothes, food, shelter, religion, politics, strengths, weaknesses and their sure end: destruction. Yes, you know why Bonaparte lost in Waterloo, how General Winter defeated both him and Hitler,

why the gargantuan walls between East and West Germany has fallen as Communist Russia relapsed to a capitalist cesspool, what barbarians sacked Rome, who were killed in the stupid Inquisition imposed by a myriad of Torquemadas, why Vietnamese guerrillas defeated arrogant Yankees, how many were killed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, what Obama, Merkel, Sarkozy say about the failed wonders of globalization and other capitalist shit, but, what a pity, you didn’t learn Economics nor History. Economics, dear friend is not the simple recitation of facts and figures. History is never the monotonous narration of past events with a spattering of occasional trivia. Economics explains how rich businessmen rob workers of their earnings, how much debt is incurred in every deal consummated by thieves in government, how taxes fill the filthy pockets of hoodlums in black suits, why a cup of your cappuccino is worth a day’s meal for few families, how inflation rates strangle the destitute pockets of your poor compatriots and gives you enough reason to smash the current regime of absurdities. Meanwhile, History is every poor man’s story, the narration of his everyday struggle for equal rights, freedom, justice and humanity long before Spartacus led an angry army of slaves, a million fists, hammers, stones, spears and arrows in shaking the foundations of a mighty empire. History teaches that the world is a pie divided into two halves: the haves and the have nots,

the filthy rich and the dirt poor, and that no matter what, history has repeated itself because man always makes it a point to repeat his errors, (as in the past, the stubborn rich controls everything and uses everything to preserve the status quo, laughing and at times shooting at reformist liberals, idealists, utopians, socialists, anarchists, communists, leftists and other sundry purveyors of hope to the hapless hoi polloi, the poor – depressed and mad at injustice and apathy – rebels, fights furiously, kills some of the rich, smash their mighty walls, burn their monstrous mansions, at times, succeeds in taking power and proving for a while that justice and democracy is possible if the greedy ones are dead) and thus, the only lesson left for us is to move forward, stop repeating History and create a new world story, fulfill every man’s hopes, his story of redemption from poverty, perhaps through peace or inevitably, if you and your kind insist on apathy, by the way of war to turn all seas red with blood and bodies of the glorious dead, a war to end all wars, a new world will then rise on top of the ruins of the old order. Pagans will laugh at you for failing to learn CLE despite praying everyday, reciting millions of tired Hail Mary’s, hundreds of Our Father’s and some occasional Glory Be’s, quoting grandiloquent verses and poetic exhortations from the Good Book, while invoking the names of all

angels and saints in an unseen paradise, calling the names of Amos, Obadiah, Haggai, Joel, Ezekiel, Isaiah and other prophets whose words you babble, imprinting on memory all edicts, doctrines, dogmas and encyclicals of the Church, as you fill up thousands of plastic bottles with unused and unwanted coins – the rich man’s refuse. My friend, CLE is not about memorizing the Bible or endlessly babbling formula prayers. CLE is living the ways of the Bible, letting justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. It is not merely praying but more importantly acting for the reign of justice and peace, establishing God’s kingdom on earth through feeding the hungry, eliminating poverty, killing every cancer of society: apathy, injustice and tyranny. Learning CLE is summoning fire balls from heaven to burn and kill every evil as the prophets have done in the good old days, finding the face of Jesus among the oppressed: landless farmers, penniless workers, homeless tribes, dwellers of cardboard palaces, hungry children, weary beggars, beneficiaries of your crumbs. I didn’t think you learned Physics either despite solving every problem on motion, or mastering the intricacies of theories and principles regarding inertia, gravity, quantum force, pressure, displacement and other incoherent scripts

of numbers and letters. Physics summarizes all events in one: for every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction. Thus, Physics explains why in a land of injustice, red flags are furiously waved in the streets, peaceful peasants in enchanted forests and verdant mountains carry guns to wage a war for peace, that is, to forcibly reclaim what is theirs, justice. Democracy can’t exist where corruption and tyranny does for the latter displaces the former as a stone forces water to spill over from a full cup. To top it all, you never learned Filipino despite tirelessly reciting a weekly oath of patriotism, babbling lines from Don Juan, Florante, Ibarra and Simoun, or memorizing everything written in misguided “guidebooks” “to understand” Ibong Adarna, Florante at Laura, Noli Me Tangere and El Flibusterismo. Unfortunately, it seems you will never ever learn the language of 7,000 pearls scattered in the Orient, for you have done nothing but try to learn Science, Math and English (at least the “Science,” “Math” and “English” that you know), the “three major subjects,” (as if there are minor ones!) and insist that Filipino is nothing but reciting

the who, what, when,and where of every story, as your Filipino teacher tries his best to resurrect patriotism, love for the poor, freedom, justice, peace, democracy, human rights, concern for common good, search for truth, through tirelessly explaining the way literature mirrors society and vice-versa. I failed. We failed. We, your teachers failed to teach you. You got no genuine education. We tried, but you didn’t learn despite scoring high and monopolizing all medals, plaques of recognition, trophies, awards, certificates of “academic distinction” in all contests. Education is dead. Long live ignorance! (with 33 comments: http://lastrepublic.multiply.com/journal/item/39/TO-MY-STUDENTS-ESPECIALLY-THEGRADUATING-ONES )

DILIM (isang tulang dagli) (June 14, 2009) magmatyag. dumaratal na ang dilim. ubos na ang sulo. basa ang posporo. wala nang kandila. patay na ang siga. mahaba ang gabi...

DARKNESS (a short poem) beware. darkness is coming. the torches are used up. the match sticks are wet. not a candle is left. the bonfire is dead. the night endures...

One World (August 14, 2009) I have shared nights with strangers, in alleys where shadows lurk, countless paths where peace is silent. ruins of past glories and lost grandeurs, huge towers reigned by opulence, where simplicity is subdued dim lights, sleepless cities, Italian cheese and Spanish brandies, green apples, dandelions and grape vines yet found no place, no comfort that bests my red sleeping mat

paved with green mosquito net reminiscent of mountain fireflies. My hands have touched textures of all sorts: the coarseness of adobe in Granada, ancient smoothness of Chinese silk, puffy pita and rock-hard Mediterranean bread, delicately soft sheets of creamy paper in British bookstores, huge furrows left by pilgrims in the Wailing Wall, but found none as exquisite as the good old mangoes in my home town smooth, unripe, peeled, quartered then soaked in a brownish paste that smells like hell to some. I shed tears as mirages meet at the crossroads of my memories, relics of past sojourns Parisians enduring cold winters in tents, pools of blood in the streets of Baghdad, cracked land patches that rain refuse to kiss, pictures of the lost, the disappeared in the boulevards of Bogota and realize that our world is one. Stranger, come, I'll soothe thy pain.

I'm sorry I cannot write a poem, my friend (August 14, 2009) Now I know why I can no longer write a poem. The city suffocates the rhythm and the rhymes I have with merciless dust, soot and smoke. The black smog permanently permeates the once cerulean skies. My city's dead and words lots of words, die with her.

Green fields, fragrant air and yellow flower; clear skies, chirping birds and fresh water. The old city's dead! Long live the old city! Brown bricks where green moss now thrive is still a sight to praise. Adobe walls now crumble as concrete slabs reign the landscape, but none can be so mighty as the good old ruins that once marked the tower of a bygone citadel. History remains where ruins lie. Memories endure as, slowly, we die.

Oda sa Ulan (September 9, 2009) Anim na buwang singkad kung ikaw ay maghari sa munti naming kapuluang nililigid ng asul na karagatan. Ang bawat patak ay sansaglit ng pagtigil at paghihintay – isa, dalawa, tatlo at laksa-laksang ulit ng gunitang matagal ding ibinaon sa sinadyang paglimot. Sa bawat sandaling pamamasyal mo sa aming daigdig,

malugod ang pagtanggap ng lupaing nananabik sa iyong basang halik. Ang bawat patak ay luhang tinimpi ng matiising langit – marahil, himutok at hinanakit ng Bathalang marikit. Mapagpalang tugon sa dalangin ng magsasakang ulap ang takbuhan ‘pagkat walang ibang maaasahan liban sa daluyan at dam na walang anumang laman. Daig ng iyong himagsik ang alinmang welgang naisatitik – tigil ang bawat dyip, kotse at trak, hinto ang tao sa kanyang araw-araw na pagmamadali, lugi si Don Kapital sa magdamag mong atungal ‘pagkat walang makapipigil sa paglikha mo ng sariling daan sa gitna ng kubol ng karukhaan, sa loob at labas ng pamayanang binakuran, ang aba at ang dakila’y kapwa mo pinaluluha, kapwa rin nagkaisang tao’t tao’y magkasangga sa panahong ikaw ang monarka. Ang patak mong mahiwaga maya-maya’y daluyong at sigwa – lahat-lahat sinasagpang, anumang abot ng tanaw, abot din ng mata mong masaklaw. O ulang ubod ng hiwaga, luha ng Bathala, hagupit ng langit sa bayang pinaghaharian ng lilo’t magdarayang kawatan. O ulang makapangyarihan, sa pagbalik sa mga ulap, mangyaring ibulong sa Diyos ang tinig ng bayang busabos: ipadala ka nawa sa pinunong salot

upang tanikala sa aming dila’y malagot, at nang kami’y malayang makasayaw habang hinahagkan ng iyong mga patak ang lupa naming maligalig. Ode to the Rain (my own translation of the Filipino original) You reign for six straight months in our tiny archipelago surrounded by the blue ocean. Every drop is a moment to pause and to wait – one, two, three and a myriad of recurring memories, for so long, submerged in deliberate non-remembrance. In every instance that you pay visit to our world, the earth, yearning for your damp kiss warmly welcomes you. Every drop is a tear restrained by a heaven that endures – perhaps, misery and anguish of the lovely God. Caring answer to the prayer of a peasant whose last resort are clouds for there’s nothing to rely on except empty channels and dams. Your grumble surpasses any labor strike in history – every jeepney, car and truck stops, man halts in his everyday haste, Master Capital loses in a daylong display of your wrath, for nothing can hinder you from blazing your own trail amidst tents of deprivation, in and beyond the gated villages,

you make both the lowly and the great shed tears, you compel them to agree that man and man are allies as long as you are king. Your mystical drops all of a sudden turn to huge waves and a tempest – everything is engulfed anything reached by sight also falls under your insidious eyes. Oh mystical rains, tear of God, heaven’s wrath unleashed upon a country ruled by an evil and cheating thief. O powerful rains, when you return to the clouds, please whisper to God the voice of the conquered nation: may you be sent to the virulent leader so that the chains of our tongue will be unshackled, and thus we will be free to dance as your drops kiss our troubled land.

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