Sunday, September 11, 2005

It takes time and social momentum to unleash an upheaval.

Social uprisings do not solely rest on the clarion call of particular personalities.

It’s the meeting of the people’s minds, the tapping into the collective consciousness, the gathering and unifying of symbols of dissent, that produces the groundswell which erupts into an energetic dismantling of existing social orders.

But there will be respites. Looking back, it took us 300 years to unburden the Spanish yoke, 20 years to topple a dictator, 15 years to regenerate a mass uprising.

But when the moment arrives, those who foolishly undermined the capacity of the people to unite and defy the powers that be, will find themselves in the most woeful state as they find their versions of ancien regime crumble.

Nothing can be more sorrier than to see the faces of those Spanish peninsulares and frailes while they were being surrounded in Intramuros by Filipino insurrectos.

Or Marcos, as he was being ferreted out to Hawaii while insisting to take refuge in Paoay.

Or Erap, while he was being ferried out of Malacanang while the militant groups were marching towards Mendiola.

Verily, in this conflict-ridden country of ours, political storms may take time to brew, but they are sure to make landfall.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

History is seen differently from both ends of a gun. What may be seen as a victory for political institutions and power wielders may be viewed as the demise of truth and justice in civil society. Even so.

Let us take consolation that we remember our past not with exultation of victories brought by might but with solemn recollections of those who sacrificed in the midnight of time, at the height of evil’s domination.

Thus we remember GomBurZa, Rizal, Bonifacio, Ninoy…

The usurper and her minions may have prevailed for the moment, but those whose conscience has been touched by the truth will make sure that this injustice in our history will never be forgotten.

The names of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, de Venecia, Ramos, Gonzales, Defensor etc. and those 158 members of Congress will forever be etched in our country’s annals of iniquity.

In the final reckoning, that’s all that matters.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


First a caveat. Beginnings are critical, so Muad Dib says (or is it his Bene Gesserit mother, Jessica?) Honestly, I don't know. I just find it dramatic to say beginnings are critical. But we should try to pinpoint where and when the ensuing madness emanated in order to find a cure. Before you try to wrap a deranged man in a straight jacket, you must first try to find where the beginning of straps are, or is it you must first try to put the madman in a headlock, or is it you must first try to stop screaming like a girl while the madman is biting you in the thigh? Again, I honestly don't know. I was in the other cell that night and I only heard the steward's high octave while that schizoid is gnawing on his groin like a pit bull with a lechon manok. But I digress.

The beginning.

I remember it vividly...It was in Sipocot, a sleepy little town north of Camarines Sur. It was an hour before noon about a decade and a half ago. My mother was cooking lunch when she asked me to buy vinegar in a nearby sari sari store. The Guardian of Fates must had a drink too many that day because one thing led to another and I found myself hopping on a bus bound to Manila and enrolling in UP Diliman. After n+2x years later with a BA Pol Sci degree in hand and a half finished MPA, I decided to check if my mom still needs her vinegar. I really could not recall the circumstances but I found myself again going the opposite way. Now half a world away and very much bewildered by my wanderings (Odysseus was a Sherpa guide equipped with a GPS device compared to me), I try to write down every thought/observation/experience so as to unravel the cause of my peripatetic (read: very pathetic) existence. Illuminated by the flickering light of an ancient monitor and guided by trembling hands, I write down these ramblings together with a sacred intonation: may my mother forgive me for her ruined stew.