Monday, August 31, 2009

electoral deja vu

[Post for Bloggers Unite: New Hope on 2010 Philippine Election]

The few previous political reigns, particularly that in the presidential bowl, have been inglorious and stark, per se. To the voters who cast their hopes of national prosperity to their adored presidential candidate before, nothing much has been actually prosperous over the years. The statistics tells it all – the Philippines still underway in getting up from being a third world country, the deplorable economy, the luxurious rank of being one of the most corrupt country, the deficiency of jobs for the working population – you name it, there’s a lot more in the list.

In the coming 2010 presidential election, the chance to renew the country from its present state of affairs is on the run. Again, it’s up to the Filipino people, with their votes, to decide whether to change the country for the better or dig more depth to its current hole. But with the present electoral breeze, it seems that the time is being transported back years ago, to the realm of old politics, when the traditional politicians have been roaming the racetrack for the national posts.

In the mass media alone, I cannot help but wonder if the present time of the year is already the campaign period. It brings me disgust seeing the politicians’ advertisements and other propaganda of themselves implying their sense of charity or goodness or integrity or whatever qualifications they have come up with. First off, there are Senator Manny Villar’s ‘Galing sa mahirap, para sa mahirap’ and ‘Sipag at tiyaga’ famous punch lines in the television, and then there’s senator Mar Roxas’ version of the TV advertisement of his own. In Metro Manila, you will easily notice MMDA chairman Bayani Fernando’s smiling photo on different kinds of MMDA billboards and posters through almost every street and public places. These are only few of those politicians, and there’s a lot more. Out of nowhere, the faces of the presidentiables mysteriously come into sight to every corners of the country just, as these politician say, for no political reason at all. Really?

The world of old politics in the Philippines is the context on which the political arena functions under the way of thinking of the traditional politicians or “trapos” (dirty rags). For the “trapos”, their concept of “winnability” is to have, most importantly from the beginning, name recognition, political machinery, financial and other resources, and endorsements. This concept is very dangerous to the people for it lulls their sense of judgment from the true gauge of the viability of a candidate, which are supposed to be the qualifications, track record, good advocacy, leadership, etc. This “trapo” concept, apparently, is what the present electoral breeze has been blowing, like that of the old, old, political days.

As a citizen who had been under the reign of the same traditional politicians who have been lodging the posts for a couple of terms, I’ve already grown tired of blowing the same wishes for our country over and over. With the current electoral condition, I cannot help but worry with the outcome of the election. Obviously, the country does not want another set of “trapos” in its administrative post. The Philippines and its people have had enough, and a better change is a crucial need.

In the end, the successful product of the 2010 election eventually lies on the hands of the Filipinos themselves. If we understand and be able to see the emerging political déjà vu and be vigilant not to be deceived by its trick, that is, we put in mind that the true determinants of a viable candidate counts on her/his qualities and quality of her/his vision for the nation, not just on her/his elementary sense of “winnability” which is supposed to be only the minor enablers of the essential determinants, then the Philippines would have welcomed its glorious years.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

the taradiddles of a homeless

The western country tunes of the 80’s were filling the early Sunday morning air. Here, at the only temporary refuge that I can afford, the place looks accommodating and kind, but almost desolating with the total absence of sunlight.

It’s 2 am. Yet I was alone, sitting at a small solitary table on a 24-hours establishment facing a sleepless street of Metro Davao. It’s cold out here, in the open air of Panadero bakeshop, but at least, this unfamiliar little place can cater me for three or four more hours until when the oriental dawn breaks in.

At the moment, I’m donning a cup of instant coffee and two pieces of a kind of cookie (I don’t know what it’s called), while I flip my pen, scribbling over my little notepad. I’ve just scrutinized its poor quality, the notepad I mean. Its thin and inadequately bleached pages are reasonably suited for its cheap price – this little pink rectangular stuff for only eight pesos. But I’m glad of its existence, especially at the moment, for it is doing its humble chore – to be blotted by the stream of the ink, through the steering of the hand, through the rhythm of the taradiddles spun by the writer – specifically a homeless writer at this case.

About seven meters at my back, a dozen or so of habal-habal (motorcycle) and tricycle drivers were buzzing over some coin game of them (they call it taksi, I guess, as I heard one of them said in a conversation). They were on stand-by for early morning passengers, occupying themselves with their time killing amusement as they wait.

For every minute that passes as I sit here, the deeper the cold penetrates through the layers beneath my skin. Every van and truck and bus and car and jeepney that gets by fans in a wave of dust and smoke which adds the chill with an unpleasant smell of the damp street. I don’t know if I can last at least an hour longer, but I should have to; I need to. Just a little more time, I can get back to my den again, under the warm and comfortable sheets of my bed.

But apparently, the stretch of time I should endure wouldn’t come to conspire.

My cell phone clock displays 3:56 am. This time, I was sitting on the steps outside a 24-hours convenience store. It started drizzling about ten minutes earlier, so I decided to retreat to this fairly covered place.

Before I went here, about an hour earlier, I had managed to find an establishment that offers a public toilet. Fortunately I haven’t had to search the streets for so long to find one, but unfortunately, it happened to be a bar. As I waited for my order of second cup of coffee, the drunken man at the table adjacent to mine had his head swinging, swinging as he was brought in and out of his consciousness in every interval of three of four seconds. He had certainly drunk more than enough alcohol, as I perceive it. I looked at the empty bottles of liquor scattered on his table, and I counted, there were eight of them. Poor man, either I was sorry for him that perhaps he was an unhappy being that’s why he got so drank, or I was thinking of his deplorable liver, little by little spared by the ruinous liquid, he didn’t have an idea.

At quarter to four, the bar lady announced that they were closing. And so, I had no choice, I had to find another refuge. I wandered under the streetlights, and my feet finally brought me here. Davao Central Convenience Store, that’s the name of the place. On the front steps, beside the entrance door, I sit here, my back resting on the cold cement of the building. Imagining the scenery I was into, I made out a picture of an exhausted young lady, her arms folded tight against her chest, trying to fight the cold, trying to shield her skin off the curtain of drizzle.

And you may ask why. Why was she there, out in the streets, at this sober occasion of the night?

It’s simply because the gate of the boarding house I’m staying was locked, and I just cannot snatch the housekeeper from her dreamy sleep and probably bountiful snores. The battery-operated doorbell had nearly muted its tune as I had pressed its button over and over for almost an hour already. Feeling hopeless and harassed by the blood-hungry mosquitoes, I gave up the miserable device and wandered for shelter when I finally had enough nerves to face the stray dogs on the way.

And so I was here, tiredly gazing at the passing vehicles through the street, fairly aware that the security guard had been scrutinizing my unwanted presence at beside their store doorway. I wish he wouldn’t shove me away like dirt on their business; I don’t want to wander again to find another refuge. My body had long given up to exhaustion after hours of struggling to compose myself against the hard environment of the outside and fighting off falling asleep.

Poor being, she’s utterly homeless. I guess that’s what the passersby had had the impression on their minds. I was aware, surely aware that they stare at my spot, those store costumers, the people walking at the street, the street sweepers. But surprisingly, I hadn’t bothered; I simply cannot find myself to care. It was the dumbness perhaps, compiled by the situation and the inability of my psychological stimuli to operate, tampered by the numbness of my nerve endings due to the angry cold.

A glance at my cell phone clock tells that the sun won’t be out just yet.

Again, it’s cold out here.

Ahhh, way to go.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

bloggers unite: art day

Beautiful Things and the Others

Art is an imagery of the mind
But not all artworks are beautiful
Perhaps like the one above

But does it matter?
Are all paintings supposed to be beautiful?
Does that painting above
Supposed to please you, the observing eye?

Art is an imagery of the mind
Not all imageries are beautiful
Like the one above

Yet it is art
Because the painter said so
Because there exists no standard
To demarcate which is, and which is not
Because whether it is beautiful or another
It is a product of the mind’s creativity
And so on and so forth

Saturday, August 8, 2009

a song

The first time I heard this song, I instantly fell in love with its lines. Know why?

It poured me a pure joy within...
I may haven’t yet born during the late president Cory Aquino’s humble reign in the Philippines, but as to what I’ve read and learned, she really was a loving servant to the people. And though it seems I’m a couple of days late [as ever]… to the crème de la crème, I pay my most sincere respect, and…

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

et ceteras

Etc #1

I’m currently working on a research paper these days. And my topic? You can check out that garbage below…

Or just skip it since it’s not that interesting anyway. Hehehe.

Etc #2

I have two Bloggers Unite Events to watch out this August. Here they go…

International holiday for artists of all kinds.

It started out as a simple idea for people the world over to set aside a day for appreciating artists and for enjoying the kind of art they like. And it has now turned into a debate, not dissimilar to the conflicted international views about whether the arts deserve funding and where the arts fit into a technologically advancing culture.


Mobilize filipino bloggers /interested parties join/ come out with blogs crystallizing a progressive election result for the Philippines

On August 31, bloggers will unite and come up with blogs , text , images , videos all relating to a progressive result of the coming May 10, 2010 national and local election in the Philippines.

But a comment from the admin in here had seized me for a little while.

rod4dphil has posted a new message to your shoutbox:
"Hello taong gubat , i hope you’re not on the jungle as what your name says. But you’re a conscious taong gubat ready to explode our mission to our native pinoys. Thanks for joining…"

O yeah, I’m starting to believe that I’m getting pretty much conscious about society issues these days, but what had suddenly got me more conscious was my pseudonym. Why in the world have I chosen taong gubat anyway?

Actually, I can’t think of anything why. Gotta think about it later, and blog it soon. Watch out.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

taong-gubat with 'Bloggers Unite for Human Rights'

I was supposed to publish this post last July 17 as my activity pledge for ‘Bloggers Unite For Human Rights’, but as you can see, I’m almost 2-week late here. I just can’t clearly explain what made the fuss of not complying with the deadline. I was too busy, perhaps. Or it’s just that I’m an expert procrastinator, as ever, and I was just exercising my master skill for the last two weeks. [Possibly the latter one.]

So without any further yadda yadda’s, here is my statement…

A Penning For Human Rights
I really can’t find any specific piece of stored knowledge in my brain that directly speaks of human rights. But as I contemplate its definition - (law) any basic right or freedom to which all human beings are entitled – I immediately thought of circles; on how these circles draw innumerable consequences in the issue of human rights.

Recalling what I’ve read years ago, there exists a lot of attachments or sentiments that bombards every individual in the society. Geo-sentiment and socio-sentiment comprises the major kind of these sentiments in the roster.

Geo-sentiment is born from love for the indigenous land. Originating from this geo-sentiment, many other sentiments arise, such as geo-patriotism, geo-politics, geo-economy and many other geo-centered sentiments, including geo-religion. This geo-sentiment tries to confine humanity to a limited part of the world. It says, “This is my land and I will give my life for its development, for the happiness of all who live within its borders.” This sentiment is very dangerous in that it leads to being unconcerned with the lives of people in other lands.

Socio-sentiment differs from geo-sentiment in such a way that it does not confine people to a particular territory, but rather it extends to an entire community. This means that instead of thinking of the well-being of a geographical area, people think more of the well-being of a particular community, even excluding all other communities in this process. Thus, while they worry about the interest of a certain community, they do not hesitate to violate the interests and the natural growth of other communities.

And so, from these sentiments appears the construct of circles. We draw narrow circles around those and ourselves who are similar to us with their configuration of existence and lower minds. We separate ourselves to the totality of our fellow human beings and create social barriers to demarcate our sense of social separation – walls of sentiments that supposed to be aimed for the common good. We say to others: “Get out! You do not belong to our circle! You do not belong to our family, gender circle, religion, land, church, social status, etc.!”.

This false sense of identification with our lower selves has created endless conflicts in the history of the earth. And so had incurred significant damage in the aspect of human rights. If we will not be able to recognize the approach of these sentiments and let them grow to their destructive stage and devour our sense of goodness, directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously, we ourselves may deprive others of their entitled rights. A human society that we pursue to establish with peace and harmony may not be able to take its final form.

Uhhh, I was really sad while writing this post. Sigh.

Taong-gubat says:
It is not enough to just seek justice for the abused and find cure for the deprivations. In the fight for human rights, we must contemplate the factors – the dangerous sentiments – that manifest its cause and how they can be managed. Else, we might not be able to reach the finish line.