Monday, February 25, 2008


I am unbearably busy. Gods, I hate that word. Busy. It stars with a nice rounded sound in 'bu' and then ends up with a sharp, hissing noise in 'sy'. So many papers and reports to do. I hate this time of year, but I suppose things will end pretty soon. Just less than a month and boom! Vacation! Also known as practicum, meh.

I can't wait for school to end. Since this year started, two people sort of offered me a job. As in a real job, with real pay. You can't believe how tempted I am---so near, and yet so far, graduation. School isn't that terrible for me to drop out of it. Well, not yet, even considering the state that I'm in. But stiiiill. Job equals living on your own equals late night outs equals more time with Marco equals my own money to buy the stuff I really like equals tons of other things I want to have right NOW.

Ah well, as usual, one just lives with it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Deeper Struggle

In politics, we usually view the Left as radical and violent. In other countries, being “radical” and “violent” is something that is welcomed or simply ignored, but in Philippine society, these two words are anathema. We are a very conservative and traditional people. Anything that threatens the way of life that we are used is to something that we should fight. It doesn’t matter if our lives are steeped in inequality and abuse from the ruling class---as long as we get a salary to feed the kids, as long as we live in relative comfort and peace, it doesn’t matter how many people die on the streets fighting for better things that we deserve.

I think that is one of the reasons why the leftist elements in the Philippines do not receive the support they ought to have. They are fighting for our rights, our future happiness, but most Filipinos ignore this and even respond to it with hostility. Roland Simbulan said that as long as there is oppression, there will be a Left. However, it might be that while there is a Left, it might not gain enough power to fight this oppression effectively and thoroughly due to the lack of support from a majority of the Filipinos.

It is easy to say that we don’t support the Left because of the threat from the ruling elite (including the government), but I believe that it is more than that. The Filipinos, as a whole, have become cynical and apathetic throughout the years, especially after Martial Law. We would rather look after ourselves and our families as life becomes harder along with the unstable economy which in turn leads to the loss of a sense of community and social cohesion. It’s hard to think of the greater good, of noble things, when the stomach makes a familiar, painful dance. This hopelessness is harder to fight than the government.

“Social change does not belong to one group or another, but it has to be the work of the entire people,” says Simbulan. There is no question of the Left having a future since oppression has an uncanny staying power, but there is a question of the Left having a successful future. As long as the masses remain ignorant, cynical, and apathetic to what the Left really stands for (equality and freedom, among other things) the movement will never be truly triumphant.

Love Love

I love love. I like seeing people fall in love with each other especially if these people aren't really the sort to fall in love. Okay, okay, maybe it's too early to say it's the four-letter word yet---but my heart is seriously bursting with the news! Have you felt ever your heart burst? This should be my first time. It's so amazingly uplifting to witness two people have a go at romance for the very first time.

When I read the complementary blog posts of my two friends who obviously have a thing for each other, I felt so happy. Why? Because both of them are probably what you'd think to be the last two people to fall in love. It might be difficult to think about it, but when you meet them, you'll know.

Read more »

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Absence of Will

The textbook definition of a democracy is a government that is of the people, by the people, and for the people. Thus, the most important feature of any democracy is a competitive election which reflects the people’s will. The most obvious and direct manifestation of this will is the Congress, wherein we confer the power to make laws to 240 individuals who we trust to represent our interests from the grassroots. The executive and the judiciary serve secondary functions: one administrates and the other judges according to law. This is how a democracy ought to be. Of course, we know that what is is very far from the ideal—in fact, in this case, the ideal does not truly exist in practice anywhere in this big chunk of rock we call Earth.

Now so what? The point is, don’t feel too bad whenever you hear of news that trample your right to a democracy. Such an emotionally loaded word, democracy, for something that does not exist. What you should really feel bad about is a dictatorship. It is here in the Philippines, right now, and we are letting it happen.

When we allow the President to remove the Speaker of the House and replace him with a new one, we have a dictatorship. In allowing this, we allow one person to control our country’s law-making body which we voted to represent us. The Executive having the Legislative in its pocket and letting the world know it is a dangerous thing. Yet we let it happen.

However, I think it’s not a matter of letting but of not caring and deciding. Apathy and neutrality seem to be reasonable standpoints but both of them contribute positively only to the status quo. You see, not caring or doing anything about an issue is as good as supporting it. Dissent without action is consent, as General Lim is so fond of saying. He forgot to add: inaction, in the very first place, is consent.

A popular will precedes a democracy. An absence of will precedes a tyranny.