Sunday, December 25, 2005

merry xmas everyone!

merry xmas everyone!

just wanted to share here something different that happened to xmas this year. just got off an emergency situation where i had to assist in the stitching of someone's wound. talk about trying my hand on new things! hehe...

my main role was to wipe the blood off from the wound every now and then (if you're eating or you have a weak stomach, please excuse me). i'm still feeling kinda dizzy right now with the sight of all those blood, hehe, but i'm glad i did it. i know i was able to help that guy, and the doctor too since it was so late at night and there weren't that much nurses around to help.

i can't really say that this one's the best xmas i ever had, but this one sure is the most exciting.

before the actual operation, i was in my room when i heard a big thud just above my floor, followed by the sound of broken glass or something similar. a friend and i rushed up to check what happened, thinking that maybe one of the 5th floor tenants broke their windows or something. when we reached one of the doors with its lights on, we knocked, opened the door and saw that the man there broke his sink. he was probably leaning too much on it, and he fell with the sink. he had a big lump on his forehead when we first saw him.

after getting an ice bag and giving it to him, we noticed that he had scars on his right arm. the doctor who was with us already at that time asked if he can have his polo opened. that was when we saw that he had a deep cut in the left part of his tummy. sheesh, whenever i think about that first time that i saw it, it makes me squirm. it was about the length of a normal adult's mouth, maybe a centimeter deep.

the doctor thought about whether we should rush him to the hospital or if he can do the operation in our infirmary. when he found out that we had enough supplies and equipment, he decided that there was no need to go to the hospital. he can do it there. only, he needed us to help him.

whew, i asked the people around if they have candy, cause i started to feel like vomitting, hehe. but, i don't know, when the actual time to do it came, i didn't really feel that weird. it's dizzying to see blood flowing from the wound but not dizzying enough for me to puke. and besides, the guy who had the wound is a "brother" of mine.

that's it. this one really is a different xmas.

merry xmas to all!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Enlightened Warriors' Statement (?)

(Got this from an email. Anyone here knows the veracity of this claim/statement?)

Earlier this morning. a group of good men of the Armed Forces carried out an attack against the LTA Building along Perea St. in Makati.

This attack symbolizes the widespread frustration and anger among AFP soldiery against the illegitimate and corrupt administration of Gloria Arroyo.

The attack was carried out despite the so-called full alert status of the Philippine National Police ordered by the PNP chief.

Also known as "The Firm," corporate and corruption headquarters of the Arroyos, the LTA Building in Makati is the real Seat of Power in the Philippines right now. It is here where the biggest unscrupulous covert deals are made among those in power against the interests of the great majority of people. It is here where money flows–the people's money transacted as private funds.

It is here where every rotten politician and sleazy operator in secret league with the official center in Malacanang line up to get their share of the spoils.

Today, as we carry out this this attack, we, Enlightened Warriors, declare our presence and issue the following statement:

A Declaration by Enlightened Warriors
December 2005

We are officers and men of the Armed Forces of the Philippines who vow to serve God, country and fellow Filipinos. We decided to stand together to make our voices heard and take decisive action.

We are one with the Filipino people. We agonize with them in their daily sufferings under a corrupt, uncompassionate, insensitive and remorseless government. We suffer from high prices, inadequate salaries, stolen insurances and social benefits, and rotten government service.

We hope of reforming the AFP and government. We are inspired by the memory of our fallen fellow soldiers who valiantly stood against corruption and for the interest of the country: Navy Ensign Philip Pestano, 2nd Lieutenant Jessica Chavez, Air Force Captain Panfilo Villaruel Jr. We are illuminated by their spirit and vow to pursue their ideals and make every drop of their blood worth their ultimate sacrifice. We are ready to sacrifice our own lives for the cause.

We have been taught honesty and genuine service. We have, however, seen otherwise: dirty deals, dirty money, dirty jobs in the military, government and politics. We puke at the sight of top officials and bureaucrats enriching themselves at the expense of the majority of the people. We refuse to be devoured by this dirty system. We reject all that is rotten. We vow to hold on to our ideals and declare our transformation into enlightened warriors in the Service.

We speak in behalf of an overwhelming majority of officers and men who are always ordered about, overworked, underpaid, unrecognized, neglected and made scapegoats of illegal, unjust and immoral commands and evil deeds of some superior officers and top leaders in government.

We oppose corruption in the armed forces and in government especially at the highest levels. We believe that the Service should dedicate itself to the interest of the people and not of a few.

We are against any and all forms of tyranny. We believe that the armed forces exist first and foremost to serve and protect the people. We stand against using the armed forces to protect the interests of a few and to silence those who oppose—all in the name of defending the State. We clearly understand that the prevailing unrest among the people is one rooted in the deep-seated political, economic and social problems and should thus be adequately addressed as such.

We are against the illegitimate, cheating and thieving presidency of Gloria Arroyo. We will no longer be mute witnesses and accomplices, witting or unwitting, to the grand theft of the people's will and the people's wealth. We will never recognize Gloria Arroyo's usurpation of the authority of the commander-in-chief, covering up her crimes, scheming and lying endlessly to fool the people and remain in power.

We sympathize and unite with the all those who have tried to resolve the present crisis of governance through the various means provided for by law and by the constitution. We, like them, have deep feelings of frustration as the Arroyo administration keeps on blocking all venues for seeking the Truth. We see no sign that Gloria Arroyo is going to relent and resign–the people and are left with no other choice but to bring it down.

We, too, have exhausted all means within the existing system. We have lodged appeals. We have filed complaints. We have been ignored. We have been bribed, threatened, pushed back and silenced. We have come to the conclusion that no reform in the Service and under the rule of Gloria Arroyo can ever be achieved as long as those on top are the very ones who benefit from its rottenness.

We have come to the conclusion that, together with the people, we can, with the force of arms put a decisive end to Gloria Arroyo's illegitimate and immoral rule.

We have just began. We are still a minority. We know, however, that majority in the Service agree with us and will eventually join our war against the present rotten Command and administration. We are ready, willing and able to do battle with an illegitimate and immoral command.

We will openly declare our break from the present illegitimate chain of command at the proper time. We will submit to a new government of genuine reforms supported by the people. We are determined to see genuine reforms for the future of our Nation.

We call on all our fellow men and officers in the armed forces and all the Filipino people to rise up as one to bring down the Arroyo regime and help set up an entirely new government of genuine reforms in the soonest time possible.

Monday, December 05, 2005

about terrorists and rebels

i was reviewing the daily newsbriefs which we had sent in november til the first part of this month and saw that there had been several news reports on ambushes resulting to deaths on the government side. there was one in the middle of november done by the abu sayyaf in sulu. their camp was eventually overrun by the govt forces, but lo and behold, several days after, they were at it again, this time in zamboanga.

the same goes for the npa's. they ambushed a truck full of soldiers in iloilo, leaving around 7 dead and more than 20 wounded. govt forces attacked the following day, but 2 days after, there was another ambush, this time up north, in quezon province.

this just makes me think that maybe we have a bigger political problem here than the problem of whether gma cheated or not. according to a source, our forces out there in the battlefields are in their 30's, fighting insurgents who are aged 16, 17 to 20's. according to a report today by, they are also getting high-powered weapons from these ambushes. according to them, they have done, "from September 20 to Nov. 21, a total of 68 ambuscades, tactical offensives and harassment of government forces in different parts of the country."

our soldiers are not only aging, they also have to fight them at different fronts. plus there is the abu sayyaf and the rajah sulaiman movement, two groups which also demand a great deal of attention from the govt forces.

im not saying we forget the issue about cheating, but maybe we can also put these rebels and their "friends/benefactors" into the picture, when we choose whom to ally with.

if you want to read the 3 latest reports on the npa's, please click here

From Fr Intengan SJ


4 December 2005

This concerns the series of articles in The Manila Times from November 23 thru November 25, 2005, which claimed that National Security Adviser Norberto B. Gonzales and I had presented an exit plan for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Supposedly, the plan contains: (1) a description of the country’s political condition being “a revolutionary situation aggravated by political crisis,” (2) a proposal for the abolition of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP), and (3) conditions for the President’s “stepping down.” Major parts of the above mentioned articles were picked up by other news agencies and given very wide dissemination.

I absolutely deny having submitted or having taken part in preparing any “exit plan” for the President. The so-called exit “conditions” are not of my making, if they exist at all. Most probably these are pure fabrications fed to media practitioners for purposes of political intrigue.

There exist not only one, but two documents which I authored, that do contain, but separately, two of the points raised by the source of the reporter who wrote the Manila Times articles. The first document, the 50-page “The Armed Forces of the Philippines: Defender of the Nation, Guardian of Democracy, and Servant of the People,” carries my assessment of the present national crisis which, indeed, I describe as a “revolutionary situation aggravated by a political crisis.” It also exhorts the country’s armed forces to partake in the tasks of radical reform, social revolution, and national unity.

The second document, the 24-page “Program Points for Addressing the Revolutionary Situation,” does include the proposal to “(s)tudy the possibility of abolishing the ISAFP.” This proposal, however, is but one (and not even a major one) of the many initial policies and measures comprising my proposed “revolutionary agenda.” The entire agenda, which is comprehensive, is aimed at “renewing and strengthening the state,” “rectify(ing) the main defects and dysfunctions of our political system,” and “making our democracy an authentic one.”

Both documents are published by the Center for Strategic Studies (CSS), the office of which is on the Loyola Heights campus of the Ateneo de Manila University. Both documents are endorsed by the National Security Adviser. Both are also widely-circulated. Neither constitutes or contains an “exit plan” for the President.

A story published in the November 24 issue of The Manila Times alleges that I submitted the plan to the President “at the Jesuit House in Quezon City.” The last time the President was in one of the Jesuit houses in which I have resided or held office was in the year 2000.

I can only wonder if the source of the report regarding an “exit plan” thoroughly read the documents referred to above, or if they did so, what was their intention in distorting the significance of their contents. I am also amazed at that source’s capacity for invention.


Romeo J. Intengan, S.J.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

national situationer in radio veritas

simbahang lingkod ng bayan (slb) will be guests tonight in radio veritas (846khz). the title of the show is "mib: mga isyu ng bayan" hosted by harvey keh. slb will be giving a report on the current national situation, specifically data on politics and the economy. please do listen to get updates and to join the discussion. thanks...

Sunday, November 27, 2005

south parketeer me

thanks chinks!

the people's will last elections

i heard cabinet secretary ricardo saludo give malacañang's side on many of the different issues targetted against it last week. i would like to share here what he presented regarding the results in the 2004 election.

first he was quick to "not say that there was no cheating last elections". basically, what he said was that the results of the presidential elections (gma's having won) "reflected the people's will". he proved this basic point by presenting the blow by blow monthly results of studies from different survey groups months before the may 2004. he showed how the lead of fpj over gma at the surveys got trimmed down slowly until eventually in may, gma was leading by around 6% over fpj. he cited controversies hounding fpj's citizenship, his "animosity" towards the media, and the opposition's being divided. on the other hand, he factored in k4's strong election machinery in gma's eventual overtaking of fpj.

he also gave statistics presented by 4 independent media who made exit polls, and there were in fact "agreement" in all. gma won according to these exit polls.

he presented also namfrel's partial results and cbcp's declaration that the elections didn't have any significant anomaly to have such a great effect on the results.

everything it seems points to either a collusion of all these independent groups or to the fact that it was gma whom people wanted to be president during that time. even with my bias, i can't really subscribe to the collusion theory.

however there are still things about it that need to be asked.
1. secretary saludo claims that gma's triumph reflected the people's will. but it's not the same as saying that gma won fair and square. "i'm not saying there was no cheating that happened." <-- his exact words. i don't suppose he is referring to fpj's camp who cheated.

2. if gma cheated, imagine the compromises that she had to make (and the side of the deal she has to fulfill perhaps even up to now). to think that fighting corruption is on top of her priorities.

3. and lastly, secretary saludo's general argument about all the issues during that talk were all practical. if it's true that he's speaking the side of malacañang, and all he talks about is practical reasoning, the government might lose sight of (or drop the desire totally for) the ideal, the true, the upright.

i think it's still cheating that is at the core of all these, and not whether it's her whom the people wanted to win in 2004. from that core, we can ask next what the surrounding conditions were there that made cheating possible, then make the people concerned go through the proper consequence. and also a restructuring of all offices concerned, if needed.

i will post next parts of the discussion on the other topics he covered, like the impeachment, other venues for the truth, ofw remittances and the economy, and alleviation of poverty.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


i went through a 3day silent retreat last weekend, and happily i was able to sketch again. i think the last time i tried to draw was in grade school, in our art classes.

i liked what i was able to come up with since i didn't really expect much. i'm just someone who tries his hand at new things every now and then.

so what do you think? :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Pulse Asia dims GMA’s glad return


President Arroyo’s happy arrival -- she brought good news from the APEC summit, where the Philippines was hailed as a model in the antiterrorism war, and enjoyed a relaxing stopover in Hong Kong with her family -- was dimmed by the result of the latest Pulse Asia survey.

The research company’s "October 2005 Ulat ng Bayan," released Monday, shows that her following in the Visayas has gone down. Forty-seven percent of the Visayans believe her resignation would be most beneficial for the Filipino people, while only 43 percent think the best thing is for her is to remain.

Nationwide, nearly 6 in 10 Filipinos, or 58 percent, preferred exit scenarios for her.

What would be the most beneficial thing to happen after her exit?

Seventeen percent think it would be a presidential election. Twelve percent believe it would be Vice President Noli de Catsro’s assumption of the presidency. Only 11 percent want her replaced by a temporary junta, which would prepare the nation for the election of a new president or a prime minister.

Monday, November 21, 2005

step back and rest

the evening local news tonight had nothing to say anymore about any of the following issues: jueteng, hello garci/cheating last elections, hyatt 10, gma resign, fvr, cory aquino, cbcp, black and white, rallies, mendiola, satur ocampo, communist, charter change/venable deal, graceful exit. except for several opposition congressmen who toyed with the "arrovo" booboo in some of the new 100-peso bills issued by bangko sentral, there was nothing in the news that could remind people that only several weeks ago, gma was under extreme pressure coming from various camps to step down. this is totally the opposite of the images of gma in the news tonight, enjoying a popsicle with his family in disneyland hk.

though the news was sadly still mainly about killings and carnapping and npa offensives, i thought that the absence of anti-gma news was a welcome breather for everyone. it's been there since late may, when the jueteng payola hearings started, and everyone, starting from those who love and adore gma from head to foot to those who would love to see her crucified upside down, would surely have good use for the break that we are in right now. for those who believe that gma deserves to stay in the position that she is holding right now, they will be sleeping sound tonight. for those who believe that there are questions which still needed answers, and that there is no quick way to close the various issues which hounded our nation the last 6 months, tonight's a night to recollect, rethink, replan.

and to rest. everyone needs to rest every once in a while.

sweet dreams everyone...

Friday, November 18, 2005

forum on the jesuit guidelines

fr danny huang sj, provincial superior of the society of Jesus in the Philippines, will be leading discussion on the guidelines he endorsed to jesuit partners and institutions this coming wednesday, 430pm at the ateneo de manila university (escaler hall). he will also try to answer questions and receive comments and suggestions regarding the said guidelines. everyone is invited...

Friday, November 11, 2005

3 stars & a sun

" It's been 4 hundred years of tears
For the brown man,
Still and all the fight has just begun
...3 stars & a sun!
...3 stars & a sun!
I'm ready to defend the 3 stars & a sun! "

lyrics from a song by francis magalona

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

reflections: 1

in addressing socio-political issues, the catholic church prescribes that its people use the pastoral cycle as guide to understand deeply the situation at hand and to find its meaning for oneself and for the people concerned (the society). it is believed that having processed the different available information surrounding a particular socio-political concern will have produced a more well-thought of and effective action plan.

the month-long sembreak that is given us has somehow afforded me enough time to withdraw from the political crisis besetting our country to do the third part of the cycle, the reflection part.

it is not a conscious effort though on my part. after immersing myself into the various issues which started piling up since late may this year till the middle of last month, i have experienced a very strong pull inside me forcing myself to stop following the daily goings-on in our country's political life. i guess that pull has always been there ever since, being a novice to the nuances of almost all of the political issues i am being exposed to (i am an AB Interdisciplinary Studies graduate, now taking up MA Philosophy, obviously with very minimal formal political studies). seeing how bad things are getting is a constant source of disappointment as i slowly get initiated to the adult world of politics and government. that's why after the last political briefing i was invited to give (to ateneo student leaders, 25 oct), i told myself that i am going to enjoy my break and leave this confused world of philippine politics for a while.

i should say that this withdrawal has somehow given me time to place myself on a different vantage point to look back at the past 5 or so months, to find which of the experiences has given me meaningful insights about the filipino, our society, and myself of course. this "reflections:" series will contain what i think are fruits of that stepping back.

to start off, i must admit that for the bigger part of last semester, i was practically lacking in hope. a friend priest in rome enthused that it seems that i am "more angsty" now than before. many friends whom i invited to view the posts i place here in this blog couldn't believe that i am suddenly very serious, and the mood seems too dark (i might soon change the page design of this blog again to something lighter than black, hehe). i noticed too that for the many times that i posted something about hope, about how much we need to believe that something positive for the filipino is goin to come out of this crisis, i was actually praying for hope, searching for it in myself.

i think hope is a gift. i can't fabricate hope and say that i have it. and precisely because it is a gift that i again remember to fold my knees and beg God to grant me enough of it that i will need. this i guess is the difference of my being a Jesuit who writes about present national issues against other writers. we witness the same events unfolding in our nation, but we see things differently.

for this next semester, there will still be more events to write about, many experts say that the crisis is still very far from over, but i hope that i shall write based on what i see, and that i shall see differently.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Jesuit Guidelines on the Political Crisis

These guidelines were prepared by the Society of Jesus Philippine Province Commission on the Social Apostolate whose members are Albert E. Alejo, S.J., Miguel B. Lambino, S.J., Jose Cecilio J. Magadia, S.J., Antonio F. Moreno, S.J., Karel S. San Juan, S.J., Primitivo E. Viray, S.J., Peter W. Walpole, S.J. and Roberto C. Yap, S.J. (Chair).

FR. DANIEL Patrick L. Huang, S.J., the provincial superior of the Jesuits in the Philippines, recently endorsed the "Guidelines in a Time of Confusion and Crisis," which was prepared by the Province Commission on the Social Apostolate. Produced after much discussion and consultation, the document is an attempt to provide specific guidelines for a Christian moral reflection on the ongoing political crisis and confusion that have engulfed our nation.

Father Provincial asks that these guidelines be read, reflected and prayed upon, and made the subject of serious discernment, toward action by individuals, communities and institutions. Father Huang recognizes that not all will agree with what is presented in the guidelines: some will judge that they go "too far"; others will doubtless think they do not go "far enough." For his part, Father Provincial personally believes that these guidelines offer sound directions to help us "read" our present situation and to orient us in our common search for authentic solutions to the grave problems of our country today. Nonetheless, these guidelines are not
presented as positions that all are compelled to accept and adhere to. If some, in conscience, differ with the positions taken in the guidelines, Father Huang is asking them to present their dissent with civility and intelligence, as input for the continuing task of communal discernment toward that which will serve the true good of our country.

Father Provincial exhorts the Jesuits and their lay partners to be united in prayer and deep concern for our country and our people. He prays that the Lord show us the way toward the truth, freedom and justice that our people yearn for; and that God bless us with courage and hope.

We are presenting nine guidelines here to share them with those who may be seeking direction and guidance in these troubled times.

1. The struggle to bring out the truth must go on. The freedom to advocate this struggle must be upheld. The President has not sufficiently rendered an account to the people (of the) serious charges (that) have been raised against her, and the efforts to hide the facts only confirm the suspicions of many. To dismiss the concern for truth in the name of stability is to condone the culture of impunity, under which those in power have long been able to commit crimes unpunished, and our people have become cynical-accepting corruption and deceit as normal in public life.

2. Those who claim that the "rule of law" (triumphed) in the recent impeachment proceedings confuse proceduralism with law. While it is true that the procedures of law were (followed), the spirit of the law was subverted. Evidence was not allowed to emerge.

3. Peaceful and legal means that protect and strengthen our democratic institutions must be used in the continued search for the truth. In this same spirit, the legislature, especially the Senate, must not be remiss in its oversight function, to ensure (that) the system of checks and balances, set in place by the Constitution (serves its purpose). Likewise, care should be taken that concrete actions do not support or strengthen groups with covert anti-democratic, adventurist or power-grab agenda.

4. We respect the decision of those who in conscience have reached a judgment that the President should not remain in office. Part of this process is the moral obligation to seriously consider alternatives that will be truly good for the country, and not abet the struggle for power among the elite and corrupt politicians.

5. The search for truth must include a search into the deeper truth of Philippine political life, the factors which make the present crisis just one of a series of political crises that hinder the country's development. It is necessary to listen to, reflect seriously on, and address the concerns of a large majority of people who seem apathetic or whose dissatisfaction does not seem to translate into political action. Some, for example, have lost trust in all politicians of whatever camp. Others, especially those in the provinces, feel excluded by and resentful of what they perceive to be (a status quo that allows Manila to make decisions) for the country again. Efforts must be made to address this disillusionment and sense of exclusion,
so that our people will be motivated to participate more vigorously in our country's political life.

6. If many of our people seem to be uninvolved or uninterested, it is primarily because of an overriding concern for economic survival during very hard times. The real and urgent concerns of the poor should be given highest priority amid (the) search for truth. Indeed, the search for truth is integrally linked to the fate of the poor. Corruption and dishonesty have made the lot of the poor worse.

7. Government and private sector to address the urgent needs of the poor in fields (of major concern), such as education, health, housing, livelihood and the like, should continue to be supported and, indeed, intensified. This is especially urgent in view of the looming international oil crisis.

8. While there may be reasons to consider amending the Constitution for the sake of greater responsiveness to the needs and aspirations of our people, Charter change as a diversionary tactic in times of political conflict, or as a means of perpetuating elite democracy, should be rejected. Thus, the rush to change the Constitution, especially through a constituent assembly, should be resisted. Furthermore, while major constitutional changes such as parliamentarism and federalism may seem to have merit, their concrete realization and implications should be carefully studied and discussed, rather than prematurely decided upon.

9. There may be no clear solutions or exit strategies to our present state. But our past history, especially during the martial law years, reminds us that we can continue being vigilant and work for truth and justice even when the alternatives are not clear. Thus, the following courses of action should be pursued:

a. Our educational institutions, parishes and other institutions should become centers for conscientization. Discernment groups must be organized to combat apathy, to heighten awareness and involvement and to prepare for future action. We echo the call of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines in the statement of 10 July 2005, to "urge our people in our parish and religious communities, our religious organizations and movements, our Basic Ecclesial Communities to come and pray together, reason, decide and act together always to the end that the will of God prevail in the political order."

b. Conscientization that leads to organizing and reorganizing base groups and forming community or sectoral organizations should be given priority. Such groups can also be invited to deal with local problems, to engage local government and to do network-building with other sympathetic groups.

c. These and other groups should be mobilized toward vigilance and monitoring:

. First, the continued effectiveness of government programs for the poor.
. Second, appointment to public offices made by the President.
. Third, acts of apparent retribution against those who are critical of the government and the President.
. Fourth, the actual use of pork barrel by legislators and their possible abuse of it for themselves.
. Fifth, the preparations for forthcoming electoral exercises, through advocacy for automation, and the continuing task of voters' education.
. Sixth, the use of funds that will be made available in the event of a peace agreement in Mindanao.

d. Deeper study and reflection on institutional alternatives (such as parliamentarism, federalism, etc.) should be conducted at various levels, from university think tanks to grass-roots groups.

Monday, October 17, 2005

water cannon incident

yesterday, a friend priest asked my opinion about the mendiola incident wherein several hundred rallyists were "cannonized" by the police to stop them from coming any closer to malacanang. honestly, by the time that i was asked, i never really had any opinion about it yet, maybe because i didn't see the event as surprising. everything went as expected.

well first of all, i think the rallyists (kme, kme bishops, along with several politicians) really were testing the police, and in effect the calibrated pre-emptive response stance of the administration. i mean, why have their demo there in the first place? they were allowed to hold mass at plaza miranda, where they were given a permit to demonstrate. according to reports, they were also allowed to proceed to san sebastian church. but there were several who moved towards mendiola, supposedly to have another mass in san beda. that was where the police broke the demonstration. (plus, how many masses can one attend in a day without one's soul going beyond heaven eh? just kidding folks!)

so i guess, i am one with the hawks (bunye, ermita, claudio) who think that these rallyists really wanted to provoke the police.

i am however not one with what the police did. i think they should have just allowed these rallyists to move on, if they pose no real danger, for tactical purposes. what is happening now is they just invited more and more criticism to their policies. and invited more enemies.

look, whereas before, they have bishops labayen, iniguez and tobias (plus cruz) who are openly against gma, now they will probably have more, who will agree not with the views of these bishops, but will sympathize at how they were "objectionably" handled by the administration.

"a little more of this and this thing will explode," says bishop tobias, and i agree with him, if the "this" in his statement refers to the lack of foresight of this administration. this is about arousing the sympathy of the people again, and in this particular battle, i say the anti-gma forces win.

Friday, October 14, 2005

one by one...

undersecretary miguel luz is gallantly fighting for what he thinks is right.
read his story, copy - paste the following url:

ombudsman simeon marcelo has resigned already.

anti-corruption czar tony kwok (hongkong expert) allegedly is contemplating leaving too, seeing half-heartedness in the commitment of the government to fight against corruption.

the good guys: either they want out, or they are forced out.

i hope they continue putting their best efforts for the sake of our people when they go back to the private sector. the same wish goes for all ordinary citizens including myself. may we strive at leading upright, productive lives. let us make ourselves our own models of being Filipino. till in the end, the supposed leaders of this land will start noticing that they have become useless, that they're not interesting anymore for the media to even cover them. they can go on making fools of one another but the ordinary, hardworking Filipino will not care. he will strive at bringing about a new generation of leaders. if the present crop of leaders that this country has refuse to step down, and insist on shaming the offices they are occupying, then we will just wait for all of them to die. we shall suffer in silence, but work day and night. the Philippines after all is more than just its government leaders.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


funny how the rain pours down
each time we see each other
not dampening our spirits
but sprinkling sunshine rays
on cold and gloomy
rainy days

funny how the world colors itself
a purple-painted sky
his eyes a shade of hazel
grass of green and yellow
and his spirit:
a crazy mix of rainbow

funny how time runs and stops instantaneously
making a few minutes precious
and five hundred friends a bore
ten years really don't count much
my dear,
each second is what life has in store

funny how nonsensical things begin to matter...
there is delight in conversations,
comfort in silence,
and a feeling that makes my heart smile.
simply extraordinary,
his presence is worth running a mile.

i don't need the rain
a yellow lampshade to set the mood,
spanish guitars or vodka
a cup of ice cream,
or short poetic dreams
a sip of my coffee
or a heartwarming movie.

because when i am with you
i am me.

(by someone who resides in a purple-painted sky. grazie!)

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Long Goodbyes

Counting footsteps while catching breaths
Soiled pants sweep the ground
The gray sky stirs some emotion
Our slow heartbeats resound

I'll see you tomorrow
Although it's not true
Hold my breath for a second
Smile my sweetest for you
Stop my heart for a beat
And lightly drag my feet
Tomorrow is not coming
And forever lasts in a minute

The path is coming to an end
The sky cries no more
The door is widely open
What are we waiting for?

So I'll see you tomorrow…

(lyrics of a future song. written by the vocalist of a future band.)

Thursday, October 06, 2005

what if

just what if dilg sec angelo reyes and nsa norberto gonzales are in fact telling the truth, that there are terrorists now in the country? and what if filipinos find it difficult to believe them?

if it happens that what they're saying is true, and we witness (or become victims) of a terror attack, there is a lot of reason for people to still think otherwise. it's easy to say that the government, or the afp themselves did it. they may say that it happens all the time in zamboanga city, and other parts of mindanao. it happened also last feb 14 here in manila. there are no terrorists here, it is the government who are sowing fear among the people, they may say.

but what if it's not really the government, that there are in fact terrorist elements here in the country? abu sayyaf, rajah sulaiman movement, etc.

this is the problem when a people's government has very low credibility. when trust is gone, even efforts at winning it back easily gets laughed at and doubted. on which side must trust start to slowly spring up? who can risk it?

my prayer is that none of these threats ever happen to materialize. aside from the cost of such an event, it's always pathetic to look at how people may get vindication from such tragic events.

Monday, October 03, 2005

what's up next?

two things have reached me recently, both about a possible threat to the present administration. first, the "tsismis" coming from sen miriam defensor santiago about the plot to kidnap then kill gma. no less than former pres cory aquino, along with sen franklin drilon, are the alleged mastermind behind this, according to santiago. second is the "promise" given by ex presidential candidate bro eddie villanueva to his jil flock last night. he said that they should watch carefully the events of the coming days. he vaguely described it as something that will have great impact on the lives of each filipino.

about the first, im not sure whether pres cory has the capacity to will the death of gma. i don't think this has ever been her style. i however believe that they're planning something. there were reports that as early as first week of july, cory had met with drilon, along with some bishops, to talk about the possibility of a decastro-drilon tandem. this is open source. cory talked to gma and asked her to resign last 06 july. just recently, cory was also seen in a meeting with prof nemenzo and other groups, possibly talking about the transitional revolutionary government that prof nemenzo had been advocating since the start of this national crisis. about drilon, i don't have much info about him, except that i have the impression that he is really one "good politician." imagine how he managed to be always present in every administration, in varying positions, ever since the time of marcos. i won't be surprised if he finally gets himself in the position to be future vp. then kicking de castro out will be the next logical step. tsk, tsk, tsk...

if one puts sen santiago's tsismis, and the proclamation of bro eddie, one can have a vague sense that something's really brewing behind the little that we get from the news. if we also add the recent actions of gen gudani and col balutan, former marines heads and presently involved in the pma. i mean, they won't really go and defy orders if they're just by themselves right?

now the next question is whether this underground plan will succeed. im sure this plan will have violence as a crucial component. most of the high ranking officers in the military and the police is still with gma, at least this is what can be observed from their statements and actions.

is bloodshed really the next logical step to this crisis?

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


The best (rulers) are those whose existence is (merely) known by the people.
The next best are those who are loved and praised.
The next best are those who are feared.
And the next are those who are despised.
It is only when one does not have enough faith in others that others will
have no faith in him.
[The great rulers] value their words highly.
They accomplish their task; they complete their work.
Nevertheless their people say that they simply follow Nature (Tzu-jan).

Two kinds of feelings were elicited by the above excerpt from the Tao-Te Ching when I read it.

Fear is the first. If one is to use the above teaching of Lao Tzu as benchmark or some kind of a model of a leader, and one is to put it alongside the present set of leaders that we have in the Philippines right now, we flunk big time. Sure there are still a few who actually pass (like Education USec Miguel Luz), but precisely it’s their being “few” which is disturbing and makes me feel afraid about the where our leaders shall bring the Philippines to. Oh, I thought of another one, Commissioner Haydee Yorac. And yes, former Captain Rene Jarque. But the sad fact is they’re both dead already. Whew! The good ones are not only rare, they must be dead too!

I hate to sound too negative. But I think I am one with many Filipinos who feel the anguish and the insecurity of our land’s future. It’s important to go through this kind of desperate situation, to really feel what the concerned citizens of this country feel. I remember the many nights when I find my self with this feeling of doom, not being able to sleep. Many nights, no kidding.

When one has leaders who are not loved and praised, not anymore feared (as evidenced by the media’s –especially Inquirer’s- depiction of them in their front pages), who can sleep well at night? I don’t even think I despise them. Despise is a reaction to an unpopular decision. Sometimes a leader has to sacrifice to be unpopular for a while, for the sake of the greater good. But from how I feel towards the majority of our present leaders, it’s not even despise that I feel towards them. I don’t even see them as leaders anymore. They’re totally hopeless. And what I am afraid of is that if they’re totally hopeless, the country will not be far behind.

But wait a minute. Did I just say we’re nearing becoming hopeless? When I first read the excerpt, honestly, that’s how I felt. But I am a man looking for that redeeming aspect. I read the excerpt again. And then there was light. Hope was the second feeling that was elicited by the excerpt.

The first line of the teaching above talks about the best leaders, those who are virtually unnoticed, those “whose existence is merely known by the people.” Perhaps, there are those leaders, who don’t reach the front pages of the dailies, or the headlines of every evening news. They are those who silently “accomplish their task; they complete their work.” These are the best leaders.

Do I know many of them? No. But that’s precisely why they are the best. Aside from not getting themselves into anomalous or scandalous positions, they don’t go around publicizing the good works that they do. These are the ones who keep to what they are naturally are, letting their actions do the talking.

This is the set of leaders, unknown for now, who will redeem our country. This is also the set of leaders whom I hope all of us are, or will become. AM+DG.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Call of the King

This is how it’s going to be.
Come closer then, and listen very well,
if you say you want to follow Me.

Conquest of the whole world and all my enemies
shall come, let the hours tell.
This is how it’s going to be.

Every land, every king will be on their knees
before me. In your soul, faith in my words must swell
if you say you want to follow Me.

You will be on my right hand as we feast on my glory
amidst crying trumpets and triumphant yells.
Surely, this is how it’s going to be.

But before it all happens, you must be ready
to stay with me and guard the place where I dwell
if you say you want to follow Me.

Until you perish, for believe me
Everyone who went before you died and fell
For this is how it shall always be.
Will you still want to follow Me?

(here's an attempt at making a villanelle. done in 2003)

Friday, September 23, 2005

let all the truth come out

whatever it is that national security adviser norberto gonzales says he has to say against the opposition he must say soon. and he must say all. i don't think there's anything this country can't bear anymore since the jueteng and garci issues came out.

first, the presidency is clearly going down. congress is surely going down, after they have chosen to apply to impeachment the cheaper definition of "political process." the military (implicated in the garci tapes), the church (receiving money from pagcor), other offices (comelec- is there even an investigation or any action going on to find out about comelec's culpability? lgu's in jueteng) have all been tarnished. restoration for all these it seems will take a miracle.

second, if everything is going down, i don't want to be in a future where i will have to obey or give honor to some of the politicians in the opposition. so if there's anything gonzales can say, i hope he says it all out now. if most of everything's going down anyway, the last thing that i want to see happening is for the likes of imee or zamora to be excluded. i can't say hail to them.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

From Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan will be convening this coming Saturday, from 1 to 5pm, representatives of different organizations, congregations, and groups concerned with the current political crisis, to facilitate a communal discernment activity dubbed as "May Kuwenta ba ang Kuwento?" The objective of this activity is to inform everyone of the current national situation, come up with universalizing principles, and design courses of action. Interested groups may call 426-6101 loc 3440, 3441.

Venue will be at the Cardinal Sin Center, Loyola School of Theology, Ateneo de Manila University. 50 pesos will be charged for every participant. Please limit participants to 10 members per group.

Monday, September 19, 2005

no end in sight

one controversy after another. this is what i have been saying before, for as long as there is no definitive closure to this crisis, there will be more and more mudslinging and backstabbing.

the next round is no longer about the truth. it's about making the other camp's life more and more miserable. venable issue vs gma. fbi spy case vs lacson camp. whoever gives up loses.

the more this drags on, the more institutions will be affected. till in the end, there won't be anything about the state for the people to trust. there will be wide-ranging discontent, irritation, anger. then there will be more reason for violence, death, and then what?

i don't think even death will put an end to all these.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

signs of hope

last friday, we gave a briefing on the current national crisis to more than 150 college students coming from different organizations here in the ateneo. calungsod hall was so jampacked, they had to bring in additional chairs, while others had no choice really but to stand along the sides. in previous briefings, we would normally just speak before an audience of 10-15 students, but this time it's 10 times more.

personally, i see this as a sign of hope. these students could be among the busiest college students in the whole country, especially at this time when the semester is about to end, plus the many activities they have in their respective orgs. and they still have the heart to take on and know more about the national situation.

at this early these students are widening their circle of concerns to embrace issues more complex than where to eat for lunch or how to look good. when they share that their hearts were broken with the recent death of the impeachment, i see that a sign of hope too.

i hope to see these students growing up to be the rizals of our days. it's been more than a hundred years since the ateneo produced heroes like them. or the evelio javiers in the martial law years. crises are opportune times for the emergence of such heroes. and they have to start emerging now.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

lozano does it again

lozano has done it again. i think he has actually mastered the art of doing things wrongly. this i think is what he has made himself an attorney for. learning the legalities for him to know how not to follow them. i can't believe how one man can have that much "apog". i wonder how much he's paid this time to commit this booboo. he actually gets paid for playing stupid, my god, how can he even afford to use that money? how can he even walk the streets and hold his head up? i'm so angry right now that if i had a gun in hand and he happens to pass by i won't even hesitate to shoot him.

Supreme Court rejects impeach appeals
First posted 01:17pm (Mla time) Sept 15, 2005
By Tetch Torres

THE SUPREME COURT has dismissed the petitions filed by lawyers Ernesto
Francisco and Oliver Lozano in connection with the impeachment case
filed against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

In a resolution, the tribunal dismissed the appeal filed by Francisco
asking SC to order Congress to admit the amended impeachment

It noted that Francisco's petition was premature as the
pro-impeachment lawmakers could still file a motion for
reconsideration at the House of Representatives, where the impeachment
complaints were quashed last week.

Meanwhile, Lozano's petition was dismissed for violation of the Rules
of Civil Procedure.

Under the law, the petition should come first before a motion. On
Lozano's case, he filed a motion for extension while his petition has
yet to be filed.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

on apathy

apathy is a response, to keep one's sanity. i don't think anybody chooses apathy at the outset. when faced with a concern, the normal thing to do is do something about it. but sometimes the concern/issue seems to great to even attempt to start addressing it. this is when the mind opts to label the concern as a "non-concern". when one finds in him/herself a lack, whether in terms of skill, talent, means, resources, etc, to fight, many people often take the easier route. that is to say that "this issue doesn't concern me at all". in that way, he keeps him/herself from the anguish of not being able to do anything, and in the process keep his sanity intact.

therefore, i think that one way of addressing apathy is to make people aware that they can do something about a particular concern, to make them see the value of not easily giving up. putting emphasis on the value of little contributions to fighting against a big problem is one way. another way is to show that a big problem manifests itself in smaller places, where definitely, one's little actions can have bigger chances of success.

on impeachment again

fr bernas told us last night that there's a probability that the supreme court might reverse congress's decision about the junking of the two other complaints (amended and lopez) and the justice committee's report on the lozano complaint, declaring it as sufficient in form but not sufficient in substance.

about the junking of the two other complaints, the supreme court might rule that since they include elements that are similar, they may be combined to form one complaint along with the lozano complaint. they will all fall under betrayal of public trust.

about the justice committee's report itself, fr bernas says that the committee on justice may come up with a report only after it has gone through a hearing. meaning, only after evidences are presented. this never happened in the justice committee's proceeding. they came up with a report to the plenary, which the majority eventually voted to accept, without any hearing. all they did was talk among themselves.

the only problem is the supreme court, according to fr bernas, usually just says, for example that the congress decision is unconstitutional. it doesn't say what congress must do to rectify their wrong. it still depends on congress if they will do anything about it.

Monday, September 12, 2005

new face, apologies

to everyone who have been faithfully reading my posts here, as you can see, this blog has a new face. i actually did it by mistake, hehe, it's a very long story.

to those who have posted comments here, i apologize for having them all deleted. i don't know how to bring them back automatically. i have copies of them in my email, so if i get some free time i'll put them back one by one.

thank you for visiting. by the way, today is already exactly a month since i first discovered blog-ging and this site has counted more than 500 pageloads already. not bad for an amateur who rarely writes about uplifting stuff right? :)

vox populi, vox dei

(don't know why i am consistently being convinced by recent events that "vox populi, vox dei" is not true. pls see previous post, "enemy of the people")

Solons tell bishops: Respect House vote
First posted 00:59am (Mla time) Sept 12, 2005 By Philip C. Tubeza, Christian V. Esguerra
Inquirer News Service

SAYING "the voice of the people is the voice of God," administration lawmakers yesterday urged Philippine Catholic Church leaders to respect the House decision to quash the impeachment complaints against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Representatives Marcelino Libanan of Eastern Samar and Salacnib Baterina of Ilocos Sur issued the call after some members of the influential Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) expressed resentment over the Sept. 6 vote in the House squelching the move to unseat Ms Arroyo.

"Vox populi, vox dei, the voice of the people is the voice of God," Libanan said in a statement.

"The representatives of our people have spoken and their decision was to uphold the justice committee (report). We urge our Church leaders to respect this, coming as it did from a free, fair and collective decision of the House majority, whose members are elected representatives of our people."

Sunday, September 11, 2005

some thoughts on how to proceed

now that the impeachment it seems is dead, here are some of my thoughts on what to do next.

1. keep the issue alive.
this experience in our stage of nationhood is a rich source of education for all Filipinos. this one's going to be a long fight against forgetting. i think that the moment that we do, then we're dead as a nation.

this means looking for more creative ways. mobilizations i think must continue. rallies as i have experienced it are good venues for fortifying one's opinions. but there must be more to just rallies. like what i said in a previous comment, this one's going to be a very long one (unless armed forces get in the picture).

2. sharper discernment
let's not sacrifice principle with practicality. if this is in fact going to be a long one, then let's not compromise ourselves by joining people or groups whom we think contradict the principles we espouse. let's stop thinking tactical. as i said, this one's going to be a long one. let's drop the illusion that if we join forces with other big groups, we can bring down this government. it would be ideal if these various groups are getting together for dialogue. but if it's only to get the numbers, then just drop it.

sharper discernment means that we base our actions on principles and values. not sheer emotions, nor mere practicality. this will then guide us on who to join, and what movements to participate in.

3. pray
the situation we are in is still so beyond anyone. even the sharpest thinkers from the academe and the church presently don't have any solution to offer. everyone it seems is so clueless. i think that at this kind of situation, it is important that we remind ourselves that the people of this country is loved by God, like every one else. he is the God of all nations, the God of history. he will help us get through this stage in our nation's life.

these are the ones i have thought of. feel free to add any of your thoughts on how we can move on with this fight.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

it's mama's bday

i was pleasantly surprised with how i was feeling this morning, minutes after i woke up at 5am. i was unusually feeling light, joyful even, very much unlike the past mornings. whereas before i would drag my feet to wash up my face before i go to our morning mass, this morning i had the energy to even fold my blanket and fix my bed, then go straight to bath and enjoy every minute of my shower. then i realized, yes, today's mama's birthday.

i knew that today's going to be different. it still feels different at this moment, 10 minutes before 6pm. even if i missed the answer to our epistemology exam this morning. even if i still have the term paper i am slowly starting to write and am hoping to finish by tonight. even if there's still that memory of defeat a couple of days ago, and there's that great challenge to find meaningful and effective means to carry on the fight for truth.

this feeling of lightness, of calm, i welcome very much, and am very grateful for.

i should be the one giving Her a gift.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


158 - voted to accept the justice committee report (junking all impeachment complaints)

52 - voted not to accept

4 - abstained

i wonder what's going to happen next. bukluran para sa katotohanan peeps might eventually drop off the "katotohanan" word and replace it with "pagpapatalsik kay gloria". this would make them truer to themselves.

what other peaceful means are left? people power - no, it will not happen. it would take a lot more than the susan-cory tandem. there are people who are in fact turned off because of that unlikely mix, plus the left and right groups.

truth commission? this was long forgotten.

coup d' etat/civil war? then martial law?

or let's-just-forget-all-about-these-craziness-and-move-on-with-our-own-lives scenario?

among the above possibilities, the last one i'd say is the least probable. no one can just forget about what's currently happening, even if they try their very best to do so. people will move on, but not forget.

Monday, September 05, 2005

triumph of truth, non-violence

(from jescomm's calendar, september 2005. calendar doubly speaking about the present days...)

" i believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final words in reality. this is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.

i believe that wounded justice, lying prostrate on the blood-flowing streets of our nations, can be lifted from this dust of shame to reign supreme among the children of men and women.

i have the audacity to believe that people everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.

i believe that what self-centered people have torn-down, people other-centered can build."

martin luther king jr
nobel prize acceptance speech

Saturday, September 03, 2005

facing defeat

i am not at all optimistic with what's going to happen on monday when the report by the house justice committe is presented to the plenary. i am readying myself for defeat. here are some of the signs.

first, it seems that nobody is believing that the pro-impeachment congresspeople lack only 6 signatures, except them of course. if they have it, surely those in the other side should have jumped on board, thus making the number of signatories reach up to even 90 or 100+. many of these congressmen are just waiting, to watch whether they'll be joining the victors if they sign. this is how it is in congress, as it is in many other places.

second, should the amended impeachment complaint reach the 79, it won't automatically be transmitted to the senate. there is a legal question involved, since the justice committee's choosing (and eventual junking) of the Lozano complaint constitutes one proceeding already. this might block the amended complaint transmission. i am seeing that this will end in the supreme court again. the longer it takes, the more reason will there be for violent forces to do things their way. this one means defeat for me.

what if we're meant to lose this one? i know that in life, one doesn't get what he wants all the time. normal kids learn this at age 7 or 8 (the spoiled ones learn it much much later). what if we're not supposed to get gma impeached this time, and the worst case scenario of violence-then-emergency powers ensues? to push it further, what if what we really need this time is this "emergency powers" scenario to happen? everything seems to be disintegrating and divided, our economy is taking a beating because of the rising crude oil prices, maybe something drastic has got to be done?

one last question: shouldn't we start thinking seriously about this one by now?

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Portrait of Integrity

a reminder to everyone, especially myself...

In order to restore integrity, we need to have a clear ideal of what it looks like. Here is a general portrait of a person with integrity. Like a jigsaw puzzle, it is made up of hundreds of little things we do or say on a daily basis. The picture is incomplete, wherever any piece is missing. Integrity may also be liken to a brick house. We need to build it one brick at a time. Each of the following habits and attitude represent a brick.

  • Keep your word and promises
  • Back up your word with action
  • Be honest with people
  • Accept people as they are
  • Treat people with respect and candor
  • Let others know where you stand and how your feel
  • Speak the truth in love and with sincerity
  • Be mindful of what your own actions and thoughts
  • Make sure that your actions and words do not harm others
  • Be genuine, transparent in relating to people
  • Be humble and vulnerable towards people
  • Be true to your convictions, values and beliefs
  • Be true to your callings and ideals
  • Do the right thing even when no one is watching
  • Do your very best in whatever your do
  • Do what is right regardless of the cost
  • Have the courage to be different
  • Have the courage to stand up for what you believe
  • Have the courage to obey the dictates of your conscience
  • Live up to your own ethical standards
  • Practice what you preach consistently
  • Admit the gap between your actual self and ideal self
  • Admit your own mistakes and failures
  • Accept your self and your limitations
  • Assume responsibility for your own actions
  • Don't compromise your core values
  • Don't use people as instruments
  • Don't manipulate and mislead others
  • Don't betray your friends
  • Don't hide the truths from your friends
  • Don't hide behind the façade of pious platitudes and rituals
  • Don't let others down in order to save your own neck
  • Don't lie in order to get out of difficulties
  • Don't tell white lies to make you look good
  • Don't make promises which you cannot keep
  • Don't exaggerate or bluff in order to get your way
  • Don't bend with the wind in order to play safe
  • Don't promise anything which you cannot deliver
  • Don't claim to believe what you do not
  • Don't pretend to be what you are not
(i got this from a recent ehem! seminar-workshop. i'm sorry i was not able to get the name of the author, my sincerest thanks to you and i hope you don't mind my posting it here...) :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

alternative classes

maybe it's just because i have four major papers lined up for this sem, plus other talks, seminars, workshops, and many other small and big tasks to do here in my house that i have from time to time entertained the thought of the "no classes" scenario. how about going back to the old spirit behind the ACP (alternative class program) in Ateneo? it started in 1986 where students' classes were held in the streets, in EDSA 1. they may have missed attending formal classes, but i bet some other important things were inculcated in their minds, like the importance of nation and being involved.

presently, many of the college students are in fact in the dark about what's happening right now. it's not surprising to hear students who would ask, even at this stage of our country's crisis, the following questions: "bro, bakit po nag-sorry si GMA?" "sir, what's a rally?" "ma'am, sino po si lozano?"

in fairness to these students, they have lots of projects to submit too, and exams to prepare for (i don't know, maybe some professors think that their class is the single most important thing in the world) . add to that their responsibilities to their respective orgs. plus of course, being young, they have to spend a significant amount of time in waste. that's what being young is really all about. but normal students can only waste so much, and the time left for productivity is already filled up by what i said above.

doing all these intellectual stuff will surely educate them, will nourish their spirits. but why not take this current crisis, and turn it into opportunity for these students to nourish their spirits with other noble ideas and emotions too. crises as big as what we're having right now doesn't come too often (at least not as complicated as this one, maybe it's black and white to many who have access to a lot of info, but to these students, i doubt it). maybe Ateneo should seize the moment, turn it as venue for a different kind of learning.

and who knows, maybe it's time that some of the professors get a different kind of education on what education is also about.

more of the same

minutes before the impeachment hearing at the congress started, one of the pro-impeachment congressmen told us (who were standing by the doorway to the session hall) that today's going to be an MTS session. we asked what MTS meant. he said that nothing extraordinary will happen. there will just be "more of the same".

fast forward to 5 hours later. most of the opposition lawmakers walked out of the hearing, some of them throwing some of the piled up documents to the air, some waving "it's over" to the crowd watching them in the gallery.

though hearing the lengthy speeches of the congressmen and witnessing the regular "point of order" outbursts of congressman paras are enough to convince me that it was indeed an MTS session, the walkout was what drove home the point. these men and women have just proven that what they can offer is only more of the same. they were still in a unique position but then they opted to go the multitude's way.

i am pro-impeachment, but i just want to express here my disgust over what these congressmen and women did. shall we now go back to the streets? after having hoped for the peaceful and constitutional process of impeachment, shall we now go back to hoping for people power? my god, isn't this what these opposition congressmen and women hoped for in the beginning?

everyone, prepare now to witness more of the same. (see impeachment 2 post)

Sunday, August 28, 2005

impeachment 3/ the filipino saga

on tuesday i'll be supporting ateneo and simbahang lingkod ng bayan's call to march to congress to appeal to the congressmen to forward the impeachment cause. i am in fact calling and texting all the people i know to come.

i do not however have any illusion that these congressmen will heed our call. that march will not have any impact whatsoever on those congressmen who have eversince listened only to the call of their personal agenda.

i do not go there also to support the opposition who have filed the amended complaint.

i support going there because i believe that it's an opportunity for people, students more especially, to immerse themselves in what's happening right now in our country; to know what are the issues (political and moral) involved, on what basis must they build their decisions upon. when they march, they will feel that they are a part of this nation, and they will be pressed to form their own opinion. that in itself is a good thing to hope for. they must find themselves involved.

that is the reason why i am supporting this rally. nevertheless, i still pray that i am wrong about these congressmen...

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Enemy of the People

7A:5 Mencius said, “To act without understanding and do so habitually without examination, following certain courses all their lives without knowing the principles behind this is the way of the multitude.”

It’s amazing how ancient thinkers from both the eastern and western philosophical traditions have emphasized the value of reflecting and examining one’s life. A “version” of the above text from the book of Mencius would be Socrates’ “the unexamined life is not worth living” dictum. There’s agreement even with contemporary thinker Paul Ricoeur’s “the untold life is not worth living,” for narrating one’s story presumes an attempt to reread and interpret one’s experiences. Agreeing therefore with the “understanding and examining one’s life” part of the above excerpt is easy. What’s difficult to accept upon first reading of Mencius is the latter part: the part about the way of the multitude.

Vox Populi, Vox Dei. This is the principle behind many of the procedures we follow. This is the main premise behind all democratic institutions, notwithstanding the possibility of having “godless” people behind these institutions. Many take it for granted that there is wisdom behind what the multitude decides upon. This is the wisdom behind “majority rule” and the democratic process we call elections.

Going back to Mencius, what is implied in what he says above is that there are very few who manage to extract principles from the way they live their lives. Thus, the rest of humanity live their lives unguided. Is Mencius right? If he is, then it is totally irresponsible to leave important aspects of a nation’s life for example to the “wisdom” of the many. If Mencius is right in his regard of the multitude, then a great cloud of doubt is to hover around the principle of Vox Populi, Vox Dei.

So is Mencius right?

I recall a play staged by Tanghalang Ateneo which I watched two years ago. It’s entitled Enemy of the People. The message of that play is how the majority could be so devastatingly wrong. The one who knows what should be rightfully done is persecuted.

I actually don’t have to look very far. A story close to my heart provides a sufficient argument for Mencius. The story of Christ’s condemnation to die on the cross. The multitude wanted the head of Christ more than they wanted Barabbas’.

This is hard to say, I hope I don’t get judged as “enemy of the people” if I side with Mencius. My agreeing with him doesn’t mean I am regarding the majority’s opinion as containing no value. My agreement with the above saying of Mencius makes it imperative for me to rise above in terms of being more reflective and evaluative of my decision-making and my living of my life. It’s a call to rise above the multitude not because the multitude is in a “lower thinking class”. But because my every decision will probably have consequences not only to myself, but also to people around me.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


i learned something new today: the difference between mourning and melancholia. i got it from Ricoeur, citing Freud's essay "Mourning and Melancholia". mourning is about reconciling with a loss of an object of love. melancholia is reconciling with the lost object of love. melancholia therefore is an attempt at what is impossible, since it attempts to reunite with what is forever lost, like a loved one who passed away. mourning is reconciling with the loss, not with the object. it is therefore a reality check, an activity to keep us able to move on and deal with life.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

looking for positive vibes

since the past several weeks have been so distressing due to the vast amount of work which never stops piling up, plus the hounding possibility that this nation has not reached its deepest, most chaotic state yet, i have learned to look for mini-sources of positive vibes to keep me going, to keep me from choosing to stop doing everything that i am supposed to do, and add myself to the growing number of filipinos who have called it quits, who have chosen to limit their circles of concern to as small as their immediate families or their personal lives.

one source i just recently discovered is that person filled with passion for anything. this afternoon, i just had to talk 10 minutes with this person about the stuff he's into right now, then there was a quick change in my inner disposition. i guess it's the belief he has in the importance of what he's doing that really struck me, cause sometimes when there's no immediate observable result in what one is doing (like in most of the work that i do), one can lose sight of what was once very clear in the beginning: that it's worth doing what you're doing right now.

whew, thank God for people like these. i'm sure there are many of them. thank God i got to talk to one of them today.

Monday, August 22, 2005


has anyone ever thought about what will happen should the impeachment debate in Congress end without PGMA getting impeached? here's one scenario.

in the event of a walkout of opposition lawmakers (which is highly probable), there will be mass protests again, with numbers just about the same as those which filled the streets of makati in early july, unless this newly formed black and white movement joins them, and call for the president's ouster. if they do join one another, they will probably have access to the edsa shrine. if it happens soon, then it will not succeed, since we are still in the rainy months, that's as simple as that. this is too sad but i think it's real. all our noble desires and hopes for our nation easily extinguished by rain.

then everything will still be "as it was in the beginning". in the beginning of all these mess that is. i expect lies to be thrown towards both camps, as it was in the beginning. i expect cayetano, escudero, golez, to say that the majority blocked their evidences, so they shall continue bringing their evidences to the media, as what was done by the opposition since the beginning. i expect PGMA to continue saying she will focus on her reform agenda, but continue politicking, visiting bishops and other moral leaders, as it was in the beginning.

our economy will be as it was in the beginning: going down. the faith of the people in our leaders will be as it was in the beginning: going down too.

lastly, the poor will still be as they were since the beginning.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

3 stars and a sun

In a speech before the Malolos Congress, Gen Emilio Aguinaldo added the following nationalistic interpretation of the meaning of the three colors of the flag:

Behold this banner with three colors, three stars and a sun, all of which have the following meaning: the red signifies the bravery of the Filipinos which is second to none, a color that was first used by the revolutionists of the province of Cavite on the 31st of August 1896, until peace reigned with the truce of Biak-na-Bato. The blue signifies that whatever will attempt to enslave the Filipinos will have to eradicate them first before they give way. The white signifies that the Filipinos are capable of self-government like other nations. The three stars with five points signify the islands of Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao. And lastly, the eight rays of the rising sun signify the eight provinces of Manila, Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Morong, Laguna, Batangas and Cavite where martial law was declared. These are the provinces which gave light to the archipelago and dissipated the shadows that trapped her. By the light of the sun, the Aetas, the Igorots, the Mangyans, and the Moslems are now descending from the mountains, and all of them I recognize as my brothers.

(from -

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

adversity quotient

my teacher in one of my philosophy classes pushed through with giving us an exam this morning even if she hadn't checked and returned our previous exam papers. this is against the magna carta for students here in Ateneo. this is also against what she promised the class at the beginning of the semester; that she will not give a new exam unless she has checked and returned the previous one.

i am disappointed a little. she talks a lot about how everyone seems to not be doing it right. how some of the recent actors in the current gloriagate issue have failed to go straight to the facts before acting. how ateneans seem to be too laxed, owing to having very low "adversity quotient"

above anything else, i think it's how people have continuously dishonored the words they utter, whether promise, vow, or oath, that have really pulled our country down. we find it in many promises broken during election campaigns, in religious and matrimonial vows unkept, in teachers saying one thing but doing another. nobody asked her to make that promise, but she did.

Monday, August 15, 2005


Just got wind of news claiming to have come from a reliable source which says that the attempt to impeach PGMA is not really serious. The opposition are not really interested in placing VP De Castro to the highest throne since they will not benefit anything from doing so. Speaker JDV and cohorts also are allegedly allowing the creeping impeachment and the amended impeachment complaint to blackmail PGMA to doing things favorable to them.

Whew! I actually am pinning my hopes on this process. And news such as this really kills the faith one has in the value of going through legal and constitutional means.

I hope this is not true.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Helped by Confucius

(17:2) Confucius said, “By nature men are alike. Through practice they have become far apart.”

Consoling is how I will describe the analect. The consolation comes not instantly though, but through a difficult struggle. I believe that I am in the same situation as many Filipinos who see past the issue of whether PGMA committed more than just a “lapse in judgment” but observe how fragmented our nation appears to be at the moment.

I have been following closely the events surrounding the “Gloriagate” scandal hounding our country today. There’s no clear resolution to this political impasse yet. For me that’s sad. I also try to read every opinion and statement that come from different groups and personalities. And this is where it gets even sadder for me. Everyone seems to be not only split but totally disjointed. The different universities (UST, UP, La Salle, Ateneo), the academe (e.g. Ateneo faculty), the leading opinion makers (Amando Doronila, Fr Joaquin Bernas, Solita Monsod) Church hierarchy (CBCP, AMRSP), business groups (Makati Business Club, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry), former presidents (Corazon Aquino, Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada) have all called for different actions, have different and oftentimes opposing views. Even the so-called “United” Opposition is not united.

This is the state of the nation right now. Through practice they have become far apart. I am also not sure if the Jesuit brothers I share the same house with - and “break bread with” - are of the same mind.

Through practice they have become far apart. I think the wisdom which led Confucius to say this may lead me to say the same thing about what I see now. Even if I assume that everyone wishes the country good, everyone seems to have different ways of how to analyze the data that they receive. Also, everyone perhaps gets different information about key sub-issues, thus leading them to differing conclusions.

This is the part where I struggled a lot. It’s not that I wish that everyone of good conscience will have come up with the same views. I take that as a natural fact of life. What I struggled against was the despair that this fact seems to carry with it. Despair coming from the possibility that there will never be continuity through this cacophony.

However, what I think will help me through this dilemma is the first part of the analect. By nature men are alike. Though not totally dismissing the truth of the second part of the analect, my hope will come from the first. This is what brings me consolation. When I say consolation I mean a greater faith in our nature (and not far behind is a greater faith in Him who created us this way). There must be something in our nature that would help us unite as a nation. Shared values perhaps, or principles. Or a sharing of this hope itself.

Will this come in the near future? Many experts say no. This however does not mean that I will cease to hope.

Friday, August 12, 2005

About "My" Picture

para malinaw lang, hindi ako ang nasa larawang nasa kaliwa (kahit alin dun sa taas at sa baba syempre naman). nagkataon lang na walang thumbnail view dun sa pagpipilian ng mga litrato at nagmamadali ako. pero baka bukas makalawa meron na akong sariling litrato. hindi naman sa itinatakwil ko ang lalaking may-ari ng litrato sa kaliwa, kaibigan ko rin yan. hindi lang kasi bagay na intsik na intsik ang litrato dun eh halata namang pilipino ang gumawa ng blog na ito, three stars and a sun nga eh. intsik nga pala siya, peter wang ang pangalan, at hindi tsinoy.

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Si Weng Bava ay guwapo daw.