Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Aristotle's Resignation on Filipino Democracy

Previous to the Fair Elections Act, TV ads as a medium for campaign were limited by the Omnibus Election Code. After its institution, we see among ourselves campaign cum commercial ads spawning in our TV screens and few days later a list of the top spenders who shelled out millions to avail of their right under the said Act. I just want to bring to the public’s attention the guiding principle behind the passing of RA 9006 which is “to ensure equal opportunity for public service xxx among candidates”. The present trend does not, in my opinion, lead to this end for it only renders those who are financially capable to avail of TV ads. As a result, it makes the playing field more uneven among candidates considering that the general Filipino electorate relies on “name recall.” I can’t but ask myself if my country, a land of heroes, has deteriorated in the most deplorable State that maybe even Aristotle can’t imagine to exist in democracy. I will not probably cast my vote again in view of the fact that my vote will never work for the betterment of the country.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

On how the raven fell for the cat: An anecdote on felicide

Ravencat6 On a night quite unenchanting, when the rain was downward slanting,
I awakened to the ranting of the man I catch mice for.
Tipsy and a bit unshaven, in a tone I found quite craven,
Poe was talking to a Raven perched above the chamber door.
"Raven's very tasty," thought I, as I tiptoed o'er the floor,
"There is nothing I like more."
Soft upon the rug I treaded, calm and careful as I headed
Towards his roost atop that dreaded bust of Pallas I deplore.
While the bard and birdie chattered, I made sure that nothing clattered,
Creaked, or snapped, or fell, or shattered, as I crossed the corridor;
For his house is crammed with trinkets, curios and weird decor -
Bric-a-brac and junk galore.
Still the Raven never fluttered, standing stock-still as he uttered,
In a voice that shrieked and sputtered, his two cents worth -
While this dirge the birdbrain kept up, oh, so silently I crept up,
Then I crouched and quickly leapt up, pouncing on the feather bore.
Soon he was a heap of plumage, and a little blood and gore -
Only this and not much more.
Then my pickled poet cried out, "Pussycat, it's time I dried out!"
Never sat I in my hideout talking to a bird before;
How I've wallowed in self-pity, while my gallant, valiant kitty.
Put an end to that damned ditty - then I heard him start to snore.
Back atop the door I clambered, eyed that statue I abhor,
Jumped - and smashed it on the floor. (from End of the Raven by Edgar Allan Poe's Cat which, in the chain of events-foodweb-, died later at the hands of the Labrador) . . .I wonder, could the cat likewise said Nevermore.) haha

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Time Flies

In the bosom of your mother, a lugubrious thought expanded another night, another century. Nascent like a tiny sprout vulnerable in a desert of privation, you crawled a journey, of faith and deliverance. To pontificate the darkest hours. . . you stood by the chair. Slowly in a libertine manner, myth be told, you sat and conquered spaces in the phlegmatic ardour of flies. . .of tiny beings who must remember the peripatetic slump to no where.

The rest is history. They say.

To presage the quake of your existence thereafter is forbidden, just to understate the whole lie of it. The vacuum in the story is the senescence.

Then blank spaces to mark the pulchritude, the height of the matter.

C'est la vie. For, another day in your life, your ephemeral life.

Chasing Cars - The postscript

Music can make the world a much more bearable place, definitely. We couldn’t live without other people's music and making our own.- Gary Lightbody

A fishbone had been stuck somewhere in between my pharynx and epiglottis, so I guess. it has been there for two days now and it’s so awful to imagine swallowing eternally rice balls for a cure. (At least you’ll gain a few pounds for that-Mr. Standard). I couldn’t bear so much of the chewing but for the pain of gulping down because of that little fishbone which surreptitiously entered my system.

A few days more of this experience will grow me into a petulant being for sure. The drowning sound of Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars was a quick sedate. I remember a doctor telling me to bite my tongue hard to ease the pain of injecting the syringe. According to him, this will retract my attention to the squalid pain of the syringe into the pain of biting my tongue, my own tongue. (And that’s more dignified?) The song did just that. It took my attention relentlessly away from the pain and the throbbing.

I first heard Chasing Cars from Marian, my guru of alternative music. It is from her that I came to know what passion in music is. Passion in music is Keane’s Walnut Tree, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah’s Maps (with the drooling and the melting mascara), Urbandub’s Quiet Poetic and Cynthia Alexander’s Comfort in your Strangeness. As Marian always quipped, these songs forebear the wisdom and non-chalance to the nth degree: emong emo!!!

Chasing Cars has been played for the 91st time according to the stats in my Winamp player and it never loses the thrill and interest I felt the first time I played and heard it. Gary Lightbody said that this was “the most pure and open love song he has written.” Pure and open it is, the swooning of the chords and the natural croon combine perfectly to bring mirages of fast-moving scenes in the window of the car and the profile of different emotions appearing on the background. Chasing Cars ' lyrical archetype depicts a solitary refusal: I-refuse-to-be-alone-but-I-most-enjoy-the-feeling-caused-by-it thing.


Lightbody’s attempt in the asymmetry of a dog chasing a car and infatuation is a real flabbergast. Still, to me it is in the nature of a comic and goes beyond the stationary picture. The postscript of the moment is that the dog continued to chase after the car in vain and barked its way to frustration and destiny.

This Silence

I wished I’ve got the guts to inquire about the pain. I should have tried to reciprocate and shared in your affliction. You seemed so distant and you’re looming in trickles of despair. I might have conquered the distance albeit immeasurable and an eternal journey. But none of me. None of the begotten temerity that cast awe and splendor among eyes of hallowed. None of the kindness and compassion that made sheaves of comfort among barren spheres. I wished I had you here beside me, in this studio, and feel with me this silence. As I try to hum the melodies of time and space to transport the oblivious and elusive memories of you. . . as I gently strike this bow before these strings of detachment to bond spans of futile restoration.


When all is but a Utopia

Once in a history class in the university, we had this nun-teacher-activist who posed this question to us: “Is there still hope for the


?” (hope as in what hope?). All was turbid except for one who had the guts to stand up and give what is the what. She stood up and surprisingly answered that there’s none and mentioned about the culture inherent in Filipinos-of our tendency to forget things, to forget our history. The nun-teacher-activist necessarily flared up-as to what degree? I can only retrieve the 100 decibel-high-pitched-tone-which-vibrated-and-echoed-round-the-halls-of-the-building memory of that history teacher. We’re all shocked but Aveline who managed to stay put with all the composure of a courtroom lawyer who had just been reprimanded by a judge. As for the teacher, she never regained her consciousness, I mean her cool, and made a pulsating sermon up in her imagined pulpit for the rest of the period. The gist of it all, is that she was so frustrated and disappointed to hear such answer from young people like us. She told us that it was so unnerving to see such gloomy and negativist thinking in this era where all that we have to do is to sit beside our tables and eat the fruits of democracy. She is so disappointed because it’s as if all the efforts of our heroes who endured and battled wars to defend our sovereignty were just put into waste.

This horrifying incident came to mind after reading the column of Pat Evangelista: Rebel without a clue in the Inquirer just this morning. It became a habit for me to read into the thoughts of Ms. Evangelista because she speaks the truth eloquently in her words to the embarrassment of national leaders. (If they still don’t get embarrassed by it I just don’t know what monster is living in their spirits.) Her column today staged, what I believe, is the current reflection of the Filipino mind: disillusionment.

One who, all his life, has been hopeful that change will reign in due time can never coexist in the vacuum of falsity. However, in these times where even the pettiest of hopes is all but Utopia, you will be forced to become tolerant to the point of letting your ideals be fooled and taunted. In Pat Evangelista’s words: “Once upon a time, there was a country:

Pearl of the orient, cradle of the brave, whose islands are caught between sea and sky and bright blazing sun. In this country, they tell a story. . . We know that, we just don’t know what to do. And without a narrative, without an end to aspire for, even Bamboo’s “Noypi” and Rivermaya’s “Liwanag sa Dilim” may not be enough to keep us fighting. We’re not on the streets, because we’ve been there before, and look what that got us.” Idealism is within us, Pat, it’s just that that idealism seems to be defenseless for the moment. Time will come. A hungry man who’s offered with a spoonful of worms has three options: to eat it, to refuse to eat it and die, or to refuse to eat it and find strength to kill the person who’s offering it.

Of Kill Bill and the Aviatrix (Points of Departure & Arrival)


If I start to hear rhythmic whistling in my ears as if in a hiatus of moment in Kill Bill where in a split of second the tendering slices of the samurai upon unnamed and unheard antagonists spurts out splashes of the red ink on cam in an endless bloodbath, I also try to find ways to live out an addiction of inexplicable wandering. I try to burden my back with my bulky mailbag and sore the toes of my feet with this striding-along-addiction with a matter of miles in mind to and from points of departure and arrival. (Weird for you, normal for a natural weirdo.)

Last night, I tried to halt a seemingly unending and non-sense journey by going to my favorite shop in the mall near-by, the second-hand or maybe third-hand or maybe nth-hand bookstore where books go for the price as low as 10 pesos. I saw John Knowle’s Separate Peace in paperback at 15 pesos, got hold of it for few seconds and ponder if I would buy it but settled on considering the morbid drawings in between leaves of harrowing human figures in red. Thought this might have come from the penitentiary, in one of those basement cells where hard-liners and psychopaths dwell. . .grr-eerie.

And so I kept on looking and digging (perpetually) hoping that I could spot a worthy book. Luckily I found one, few minutes before the shop closed, by Beryl Markham. Found it interesting when I read a good comment from Ernest Hemingway at the back cover. Hemingway lauded her style of writing as: “marvelous. . .suddenly I am ashamed of myself as a writer”. What of me to reject West with the Night as his/her previous owner did for 77 pesos? I paid and left the bookshop.

At home, I took out quickly the loot from my bag and read it. Hemingway was candid; she’s one hell of a writer. However, as I scour the pages of this notable memoir, the writing subdued the basic fact of spectacle that this human figure imposes upon the reader. Ms. Markham was an Aviatrix of her time in British East-Africa; The first to fly the skies of the


and maybe among the firsts (women) in her continent. Her writing immersed me into the aero-experiential world of the pilot and the romantic intertwining of mobility with the points of departure and arrival. I suddenly felt one with her:

“There are all kinds of silences and each of them means a different thing. There is the silence that comes with morning in a forest, and this is different from the silence of a sleeping city. There is silence after a rainstorm, and before a rainstorm, and these are not the same. There is the silence of emptiness, the silence of fear, the silence of doubt. There is a certain silence that can emanate from a lifeless object as from a chair lately used, or from a piano with old dust upon its keys, or from anything that has answered to the need of a man, for pleasure or for work. This kind of silence can speak. Its voice may be melancholy, but it is not always so; for the chair may have been left by a laughing child or the last notes of the piano may have been raucous and gay. Whatever the mood or the circumstance, the essence of its quality may linger in the silence that follows. It is a soundless echo.”

. . .suddenly I wanted to be an aviator myself and dispense with childhood daydreams as well as those in the night of the transcendental experience of flying with the wind above all matters settling on the ground : )

Non omnia possumus omnes (We can’t all do everything) - Virgil

Frustration1_1 Non omnia possumus omnes (We can’t all do everything) - Virgil

The holiday fever lasted just as when the rambling and rat-tat-tat of fireworks faded out at dawn-break, January 1st. A year that almost broke my nerves and patience fizzled out into the dying chambers of forgotten days and memories. A calendar year that was once again thrown into the trash bin or to shoulda-woulda-coulda’s emblem and shroud of frustration.

And when everybody’s in the process of looking back and forward in endless gatherings, small talks and soliloquies, post-new year, I will always rest my case in the loser’s embodiment of Virgil’s credo: We can’t all do everything. (period!!!)

Venal Institutions

People in the


are all the more stupefied by the rise and fall of fundamental institutions. Just lately the definitive factory of these emerging and venal institutions is no less than the political-turned-boxing arena (a clear affirmation of their true being and purpose). These institutions are so outlandish in their form and the dynamism they reveal before Juan dela Cruz is staggering . . . Really, they may be called the “sign of the times.”

Worth mentioning are the following:

1. According to Sen. Santiago: the High Court is but a “Company of Idiots.” Although, one can never tell, if this high-toned language was made in her lucid interval. This may be another chimera, a hallucination brought out by the fact that she’s nominated to be a part of the “company” she’s referring to; she’s nominated to be the head of the Doc30001_1 idiot cluster. However, we can’t discount the fact that she may disguise herself as the foreteller this time as the High Court’s independence is constantly befuddled with the lingering interests of politicians.




2. The die-hard parliamentarians. These guys more or less don’t differ from preachers in that they both have messianic complex. But if I have to choose who’s more honest, I’ll go on the side of preachers because they’re more likely to mouth words from the heart. Members of the House of Congress are necessarily pretentious. They are brazenly corrupt and inept and this was reaffirmed just last night by foolishly passing the rules that will create a constituent assembly without the participation and concurrence of the Senate as provided in the Constitution.

3. The shattered people. Should I say more? The venerable sovereign has lost its might against the government whose flock is infested with abominable and greedy beings.

Once in a gathering, I was asked with this profound question: “What’s the solution to the problems that are plaguing the country?” Only the omnipotent deserves such question but since I found it profound, I nevertheless answered in the same manner. “The answer lies in the Japanese tradition. . .harakiri being a clear option to all who’s in position. We need to cleanse the government from the culture of greed.” The audience took it in jest. I never joined them because I mean it, really. . .

An Apostasy to Mr. Gump’s Creed

I rubbed my eyes in clear disgust over my clock’s hostility. It’s November 27th and I never had an all-night’s sleep but it’s time to get up again and prepare my body for another ordinary day. An enormous cat bristles over the the rooftop of our neighbor’s house signaling that everybody’s up except for indolent beings who remain undaunted by the day’s requirements. I shouted at the cat aghast over his overbearingness of the laid-back life of the animalia kingdom. “You may never know Mr. Cat but destiny may betray you. There’s this news last night that there’s a shortage of meat in the city!” . . .(only to be embarrassed) The cat shouted back in shrill voice: “How are you today? You look grumpy and pale!”

Mr. Cat clearly scored against me. I may never know he is rejoicing at the back of his head. A fact is never understated by those who never had insecurities like Mr. Cat.

Sometimes, or if I may say always, we hoped and prayed for the better. But destiny-wise, many hoped and ended up dying in hope. Life’s philosophy, that according to Mr. Gump, is oblivious and all but passe. True, life is like a box of chocolates. But most of the time it’s only the box that’s left and you’re down to choose from empty and crumpled foils.

Today, the schizophrenic who always passes by our office was in a tight-fit denim shorts. As usual, he does his routine relentlessly: walking to and from his area; the corners of the veranda. He’s thinking deep and prostrate. I could only wish for his sanity this Christmas. But his tics confronted me intuitively. “The world’s getting bigger and better,” he jostled.

“Tell me, is happiness pervasive there?”