Sunday, August 28, 2005

Frustration is Colored Blue

Have you ever been in a situation where you ought to do something but there isnt anyhting to be done?
Then you have been frustrated.
It's normal, it's mundane.
But what if it happens every single day?
How long can you stand it?
Or maybe you should just sit it down in the bottom of your head, forgotten for the moment but furious at the comeback.
That doesnt work

There is such a thing as giving up, though, to fall into the arms of blissful amnesia and a heaven of no regrets.
But that wont work too, because we all ought ot be strong.
And to be strong, you dont run away from...
You run away to.

Where then?
Frustration is the color blue.

Friday, August 26, 2005

A Piece Of The Sky

I sometimes get the urge to be autistic. You know, to sit alone and get lost in my mp3 files. Usually I’m in my comfy chair in front of the computer. Sometimes I’m in my snug bed or in the windy terrace with Bogart.
Right now though, I’m not.
I am in a monobloc chair in a humble house in Payatas. Here, looking at a piece of the sky framed by barbed wire and yero roofs.
The community called Waterhall is in danger of being demolished. A Wilma Villote, president of an organization called Kapit Bisig, presented the papers for the demolition order. The people, with the help of crooked lawyers, lost the case they filed against the order.
The worst part though, is that the government does not have any relocation plan for the dispossessed.
I wonder. How many more injustices like this before the spark of a revolution ignites in the country? How many more suffering do the masses have to face before they say ‘tama na’ and solidly unite against the system? How many more sacrifices from both sides of the fence before compromise is reached?
The Waterhall situation is not a unique one. There are many other cries for equality and equal opportunity. Nothing is happening though, but a slow degeneration of conditions in the Philippines.
From the people of Payatas, I understand how hard it is to ask for a piece of the sky.
What I don’t get is why it’s so hard to give it.

Greed on the part of private developers?
Or ignorance from the side of the people?

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Precious Comprehension

I am not a devout Catholic but neither am I an atheist. One could say I am an agnostic, believing in a higher power but not acknowledging it to be God, Jehovah, Allah or any god other religions worship.
I have always held on the belief that the more intellectual and critical a person is, the more questions the person asks. The person will not be satisfied with a given explanation just because it exists since time immemorial. The person will not settle in peace until either the dogmas are proven right…or wrong.
I am such person.
I have had a long theological discussion with one of my critical, as well as very religious, block mates. He is a pious Catholic who worships Him in his own way. I asked him why he believes in God. He said that it has been taught that he exists ages and ages hence even before Jesus Christ, through the popes, now to the ordained priests. He said the Bible is the word of God, the basis of proof of His existence.
But if God exists, who said so?
It’s a circular argument, one that does not prove anything.
Therefore, belief in God is blind faith; a trust in everything He stands for. But once again, that doesn’t prove anything.
There are three famous arguments that seek to validate the existence of God. The first is the ontological argument, as expounded by St. Anselm and Rene Descartes. It says that it cannot be denied that the concept of God exists in the human mind. Therefore, God exists. A classmate of mine said that through this argument, atheism is invalid if atheists themselves have the idea of God to not believe in and recognize.
Of course, there is a counter- argument as proposed by the philosopher Immanuel Kant. The basis of the argument, he says, is that it lies in its claim that God’s existence is a predicate. A predicate is the part of a sentence that describes the subject or what the subject is doing. If one says that Lizette is stupid and Lizette is writing, then, one tells you two things about Lizette: that she is stupid and she writes. But to tell you the Lizette exists doesn’t add anything to the body of information about her, simply that she exists, period.
Same goes with the argument about the statement “God exists” if we have a notion of Him.
The cosmological argument says that if there is something rather than nothing, there is a creator. He is recognized to be God. It implies that there is a creator, God or not God.
In my researches, though, I have yet to find a counter-argument.
The last major argument is called the ‘argument from design’. It notes that there is a certain degree of order and perfection in the world that it must have been designed for a purpose. Enter the concept of the ‘divine craftsman’.
However, David Hume raised four arguments against it.
First, that inferring an effect from a cause is to infer only what is particular to the effect. Noting that there is order and perfection in the world does not prove that its ultimate cause is God.
Second, that the universe is unique. Having no other example to compare it by, it cannot be inferred that anything like God created it.
Third, if God designed the universe, then who designed God? Who designed, then, the designer of God? And so on so forth.
Fourth, there is much disorder as order in the universe, so to seek an explanation for order only explains a part of the universe and not as a whole.

Tita Marlyn and Betch says that God is beyond comprehension. If all of us settle for that, what else will be beyond comprehension? The truth?

This is our report in SocSci, but my specific topic is atheism. I am exhausting myself thinking about it, but I don’t mind. I have to know. All I’m after is precious comprehension.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Ang Mamang Alam Ang Lahat

Nakaupo ako ng matiwasay sa isang St Anthony nang biglang may bumulalas sa likod ng upuan ko:
“Putangna tong bansang to wala na tayong mapapala dito! Dapat talaga magsi-alisan na ang mga Pinoy dito dahil wala nang pag-asa ang Pilipinas!”
Ang sabi naman ng kasama niya: “Oo nga. Tama ho kayo.”
“Talaga. Tignan mo nga nagtataasan na ang lahat ng bilihin dahil sa lintik na pagtaas ng presyo ng gasolina! Pero kunsabagay sa ibang bansa lalong mas mataas ang presyo. Kaya lang, mataas naman ang sweldo.”
Mukhang nagkita lang ang dalawang mokong sa bus papunta ng Lawton.
Mamang kasama: Di kayo nagakamali. Bakit hindi kayo magtrabaho sa ibang bansa?
Mamang maingay: Eh sitenta anyos na ako eh. Wala nang tatanggap sa akin.Bakit ikaw ilang taon ka na ba?
MK: Trenta’y nuebe.
MM: O pwede ka pa! Tatanggapin ka basta hindi ka lalampas ng kwarenta. Kung ako sayo maghanap ka na ng ibang trabaho. Dun ka lang kikita ng pera. Kasi, kung sa Pilipinas ka lang mabubulok ka.”
MK: Parang ganon na nga siguro. Teka lang san ba ang lakad niyo?
MM: Sa Harrison Plaza. Iinom ng kape. Wala naman kasi akong trabaho.
MK: Hah? Ang layo naman yata ang iinuman ninyo ng kape? Bakit di na lang kayo magpahinga sa bahay?
MM: Kapag nasa bahay kasi ako eh nanghihina ako. Mabuti na ang nakakapag-ehersisyo para mabanat ang buto.
MK: San kayo nakuha ng pang-ehersisyo niyo? (sadyang makulit ang mamang ito)
MM: May natulong naman sa akin eh. Basta pag asingko maraming nagbibigay. Tama na sa akin iyon.
MK: …
MM: May anak akong nagtatrabaho sa Starbak sa Saudi. Don maliit lang yung sweldo pero yung tip, lintik na yan, dun lang siya nakakabawi. Maganda rin sa Starbak kahit dalawang taon lang ang kontrata niya.
MK: …
MM: Malapit ka na bang bumaba?
MK: Oho.
MM: O sige ha. Basta tandaan mo lang yung sinabi ko at nang hindi ka magaya sa akin.

MK: …

Saturday, August 13, 2005

The Throne


The greatest achievement of man is also his most humbling creation. Here he is human in the most basic sense; here he is half-naked to the world, figuratively and literally. Here his identity is stripped and all that is left is the animal urge to satisfy nature’s call.

It’s a dynamic, fast-paced world today. Technology has revolutionized communications and transportation. The world does not sleep anymore. There is noise at any minute of the day, at any second of the night.
Noise has overpowered silence.
Except in your throne.
There you can think and explore your thoughts. In the time you excrete there is eternity and eternity is more than enough to discover. There you are at your most vulnerable and helpless state; where all your defenses are down, along with your underpants. You get the rare chance to contemplate your mortality, your humanity, and what you ate this morning for you to deserve such a pain in your abdomen.

The throne is our sanctuary from the world without borders and increasingly with no silence. We all need time to reflect, to look inside ourselves and realize those things that should really matter to us. If we have problems and think the human race has dropped us, there is the throne to soothe our soul with its solidarity and ceramic purity.

Monday, August 08, 2005

File Case of Dreams


It’s been raining since last night. I woke up to find out that I am swamped in homework left over from last week. As an act of defiance, though, I refused to stand up and study. I am depressed because of the rain, and the early morning signal of a dreary day.
While deep inside my thoughts, I spot a green file case lying around in my dirty room. I picked it up, remembering that it was the one I used last school year. I last opened it well, a long, long time ago, in another time, another place.
No harm in opening it today.
I am pleased and surprised at finding my protractor which I have been searching for since last October. There are my Calculus papers, my test papers, there’s even my article about failure that I’m sure I’ve thrown away. There’s a ‘happy birthday’ paper written by my good best friend. Papers, papers, more papers.
Somewhere in the middle of the trash I found treasure.
For the JS Prom I wrote the Class Prophecy, but of course one has to gather the hopes and dreams of the prophesied. I have it in my file case.
Imagine that. I thought they were lost forever.
Their dreams are in a stapled collection of bits and pieces of paper, where all my batch mates’ ambitions were written in their own handwriting. Some are simple:
“Ambition: chemical engineer.”
Some are elaborate:
“For me is to become successful in my career. To be a role model in everything, to everyone. I want to spend my life full of happiness with the girl that I really dream of. I don’t need to mention the name of the girl coz it’s obvious. If it is possible for me to replace Michael Jordan as the greatest player ever I will coz I want to be as popular as him. I want to be the idol of the masses and someday, or somehow, when I die someone will follow my footsteps. LUV YOU ALL GUYS! MWAH!” (In verbatim form)
Some are funny:
“Doctor sa International Red Cross at the same time owner ng funeral homes para package deal.”
Some are practical:
“Seafarer and sideline jobs of carpenter, painter and musician”
“To be engaged with Josh Hartnett.”
But nothing is impossible.

We are four years away in achieving everything we have written. We are just starting on the road, stepping on the gas.
Today I wonder.
Where will we end up?
I would like to believe that we, Batch 2005, will end up where we plan to. We’re young, innocent, and unaware about the workings of the world but I have faith that our Class Prophecy will be fulfilled.

Faith in the file case of dreams.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Balance and Utopia


There’s always one of those days when you lose faith in yourself and all that you are. Those days when you walk aimlessly in the streets, under the rain, feeling left out by the world.
Corny, but we must admit that we have those moments.
We wish we never have to experience them.
But think.
What if everyone was happy all the time?
Imagine that guy at the waiting shed smiling as his happy girlfriend is slapping his face. Imagine the old lady smiling as she is begging for her survival. Or the jeepney driver grinning as his jeep is smashed by a drunken co-ed.
Just impossible. In life’s perfection there is balance. In positivity, negativity. In happiness, sadness. . In every smile, an equivalent tear. The universe and life as it is now will never exist if there is no negating factor to every creation.
Is utopia, from this view of the world, possible? Where all are content and productive? Where everyone is inspired to laugh and smile, free from the cynicism and hypocrisy that envelopes us even now?
I don’t think so.
Utopia is everyone’s dream, articulated using this word or not. It is the dream of the laborer as he walks home and wishes he has more money for his family. It is the dream of the broken-hearted and the romantically disillusioned for “The One” to come around. It is the dream of the orphan as he looks up at the stars and wishes for a family he could call his own.
Being the humans that we are, though, and having the perfection which we are based on, we make mistakes and end up giving up those dreams.
Balance is the keyword. Balance.
Utopia may exist for an individual, but for only a finite period of time. It will never last, since if there is eternity, there must be an end. We are talking about balance here, and how everything, even the undesirable parts of life, constitute to the perfection of nature, which we are a part of.
I hope you understand this, for all who read this.
If you are sad today, you will be happy some other day.

(Lintik na yan! Yun lang ang summary nito eh!)

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Berday Parti


Nung isang araw ay berday ng pinsan ko, si Vicente. Pitong taong gulang na siya. Hindi kami close at hindi ko rin siya paborito; ang naaalala ko lang sa kanya ay sumasayaw siya dati pag kinakanta ko yung kanta ni Jolina Magdangal.
Sa totoo lang ayokong magpunta dahil may LBM yata ako noon, o ulcer. Basta! Masakit ang tiyan ko. Pero natitimbre na naman ang boses ng aking ina na “Lizette pag hindi ka sumama dot dot dot”, masama ang maaaring mangyari.
Kaya ano ba ang magagawa ko?
At pagkain din yun no, masakit man ang tiyan o hindi.
Nagsimulang nagdatingan ang tito at mga tita ko. Siyempre, kasama ang mga pinsan ko. Tinatanong ko sila lahat kung kilala nila ako. Si Dexter, yung pinakabata, tinitigan niya lang ako ng matagal hanggang tumulo yung laway niya.
Tapos nilaro niya na lang yung kotse niya na Mickey Mouse.
Kunsabagay di naman ako nalabas ng bahay. Suplada pa. Kaya nakipag-bonding na lang ako sa kanila.
At siyempre, meron bang berday parti na walang picture- picture? Dala ni tito yung gigicam niya at isinabalikat ang mabigat na misyon: kuhanan kaming magpi- pinsan ng maayos. Siyempre kaming mga gurang na henerasyon madaling kausap at pa-cuta lagi. Pero yung mga bata parang laging merong rebolusyon. Si Sam, pitong taong gulang din, na kapag nag-flash na yung kamera ay tumatalon ng tumatalaon ng walang malinaw na dahilan. Si Dexter naman ay merong “Burlesque King Pose” kung saan ay hinahawakan niya ang kanyang leeg kasama ang mapang- akit na tingin.
Matapos ang lahat ay nagkaroon din ng bonding kaming tatlong babaeng magpi-pinsan na tinedyer na, kasama ang mga tita. Kuwentuhan ng mga manliligaw noon at ngayon. May titang hinihimok ang pinsan kong malandi na mag- audition sa isang shampoo commercial.
Huli sa lahat, may star of the show din. Ito ay si Uchiro, ang 15,000 pesos na psychedelic na aso ni Tita Edna. Para siyang munting basahan ng banyo na hindi nilalabhan. Pero cute siya, patakbo- takbo, nilalapitan ang lahat ng nagchoo- choo. Kinakagat ang kahit ano: paa, kamay, tsinelas, sofa.
Pero siempre walang tatalo kay Bogart.
Kung iisipin minsan ko nga lang silang makasama. Nakaka-miss din ang tipikal na Pinoy na berday parti. Pamilyang nagsasama- sama sa mundong sumobra ang lawak dahil sa pagpapa- buti ng komunikasyon. Iba pa rin kapag nandiyan sila.

Eto asteeg.
Nawala ang sakit ng tiyan ko.

Nothing More Than Glass


Ding ding ding.
A few friendly reminders to all passengers: you are now entering UP. Please leave all that you are, all that you believe in, and your superhuman abilities at the customs desk before boarding. You can only reclaim them upon leaving the university if they are still there. Please fasten your seatbelts and we hope you have a great ride. Thank you and have a nice day
Ding ding ding.

In your high school, you were the hero. You were everything everyone wanted to be.
But then, you enter UP.
You have the brains, the talents (singing, dancing, great handwriting), the sazz (can I safely add “the looks”?).
So does your fellow Iskos.
Everyone is so inhuman that it makes everyone human (in UP anyway). The negation is much too evident that finding over-gifted people like you becomes common, their extraordinariness and yours too erased. It goes like this: if diamonds were found on the streets, they would be nothing more than glass.

In your high school, you had your own quiet little niche, surrounded by a wall of your principles and philosophy. It separates your secure little world from the real world where everything isn’t what you thought they should be.
But then you enter UP.
You meet people who are radically different from you that you are amazed by their idiosyncrasies every single day. You wonder, “How can he exist by that way of thinking? By that view of the world?” And then you think. If UP tells, no forces you to do anything, it is to THINK.
Constantly, inside the campus or not.
Once you’ve thought about it, whatever it is, you come to a conclusion: it’s right, or wrong.
And you are never the same.

In your high school, you knew who you were. You have defined yourself as inhumanly talented and extremely opinionated. You knew. You knew.
But then you enter UP.
Do you know the rest?

Can you claim them at the customs desk?

Staying in UP is a constant challenge to prove yourself. To your parents who expect so much (too much) from you, to your classmates who are on their toes to do the same, and to yourself who is changing everyday. It is true that you become nothing more than glass; once a diamond, now commonplace glass. There enters the challenge.
Polish yourself and be a diamond again.