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...) :)