Tuesday, March 28, 2006

People Power in Two Places


In France, thousands of students are turning up in the streets to protest a law that would allow companies to fire those under 26 without cause during their first two years in the job. Unions have joined the students in protesting the law. Protest leaders have refused an invitation for talks from Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin unless he rescinds the law. News accounts say that the protest actions have gone to call for the resignation of de Villepin.

It's the re-emergence of people power in France. The opposite is happening in the Philippines.

People power has largely been discredited. After two successful revolutions that toppled two Presidents, people power has largely been criticised as a short-term solution to long term, systemic woes. Some have even gone as far as to say people are tired of it. "People power fatigue" is a term recently coined to describe the disinterest.

But there lies the danger.

Once you describe to this idea that people power is no longer effective then we are giving the government the right to do whatever it wants to do.

In a recent report (Destabilization of the Nation) I did for Reporter's Notebook" Bayan Secretary General Renato Reyes admits that it's hard to muster enough crowds for protest actions against the government. Bayan alongside other anti-Arroyo groups are pushing for the resignation of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

It's a dangerous trend.

Don't believe your friendly neighborhood politician when he says people power won't work again. Maybe it hasn't yet. But recent failures do not invalidate its effectiveness.

Because people power is the only thing we have. When government can use the law to further its interest, where and to what else do we turn to?

Summer Song

"So Sick"

Mmmm mmm yeah
Do do do do do do do-do
Ohh Yeah

Gotta change my answering machine
Now that I'm alone
Cuz right now it says that we
Can't come to the phone
And I know it makes no sense
Cuz you walked out the door
But it's the only way I hear your voice anymore
(it's ridiculous)
It's been months
And for some reason I just
(can't get over us)
And I'm stronger than this
(enough is enough)
No more walkin round
With my head down
I'm so over being blue
Cryin over you

And I'm so sick of love songs
So tired of tears
So done with wishing you were still here
Said I'm so sick of love songs so sad and slow
So why can't I turn off the radio?

Gotta fix that calender I have
That's marked July 15th
Because since there's no more you
There's no more anniversary
I'm so fed up with my thoughts of you
And your memory
And how every song reminds me
Of what used to be

That's the reason
I'm so sick of love songs
So tired of tears
So done with wishing you were still here
Said I'm so sick of love songs so sad and slow
So why can't I turn off the radio?

(Leave me alone)
Leave me alone
(Stupid love songs)
Dont make me think about her smile
Or having my first child
I'm letting go
Turning off the radio

Cuz I'm so sick of love songs
So tired of tears
So done with wishing she was still here
Said I'm so sick of love songs so sad and slow
So why can't I turn off the radio?
(why can't I turn off the radio?)
Said I'm so sick of love songs
So tired of tears
So done with wishing she was still here
Said I'm so sick of love songs so sad and slow
So why can't I turn off the radio?
(why can't I turn off the radio?)

And I'm so sick of love songs
So tired of tears
So done with wishin' you were still here
Said I'm so sick of love songs so sad and slow
Why can't I turn off the radio?
(why can't I turn off the radio?)
Why can't I turn off the radio?

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Summer Sea

After two years I was back at her feet. This time, I swim confidently and take in the sun while I enjoy a few minutes floating.

Summer is here and I am renewed.

From the moment I saw that blue vastness, I knew I've recovered myself. There was a tiny pang of loneliness still but it quickly vanished, like the foam on the sand.

There was a sense of liberation, which, however long it took, was cherished for its coming.

I was back at her feet, but she knew it was a different person.

Last night when we left, I looked up the sky and saw the same constellations and for a minute wondered, if they would be the same constellations that P. would see. It would then be like we were looking into each other's eyes once again.

But suddenly, like epiphany, I muttered, would it matter?

I examined the black sky's vastness. What was that saying? "There are many fishes in the ocean?" The stars are as plenty as our chances of finding that one great love.

Some day, a shooting star will announce his arrival.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Mothers Know Best

This morning, my Mom had enough of my refusal to send some moolah.

"Why do you not always have money? I know you have a hidden agenda. I did some research," my Mom texted.

"What are you talking about?" I replied, suggesting the improbability of it all. Research? (Mayeb she meant investigation.) Like how? She has not even seen where I live and assuming she knows, she has not set foot in Manila in the past two years or so. If she desires so, she will need the help of my cousins who have not ever seen my place even. It's like my general address is Quezon City. And Quezon City is not small.

I don't need counter-intelligence to say she is working on a hunch, at the very least or what we call in Filipino "duda." But even the word "hunch" suggests something has a basis.

My fear has been confirmed. When my friends convince me to "out" myself to my parents I decide against it. Considering her context (she lives in the province) and her awareness about homosexuals, it would be more stressful to be out than helpful for any of us.

One such instance I'm trying to avoid is that she would accuse me that I'm--what's the rough translation of "nanlalalaki" in English?--It suggests that homosexual relationships are based on economics; of one paying for another in exchange of whatever. Fortunately for me, my first boyfriend never asked me for anything, and neither did I ask anything from him (aside of course from eternal love whahahahaha).

So when she texted me: "Baka nanlalaki ka na d'yan!" I felt a little affirmed. It was the right decision not to tell her.

"Of course, not," I replied, avoiding to argue any further. There's no use arguing my case.

There's no use telling her what she already knows.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

I've Been Tagged

Four jobs you have had in your life:
1. news desk assistant
2. news editor, philippine collegian
3. flash report, writer
4. contents editor, www.peyups.com

Four movies you would watch over and over:
1. El Bola
2. A Very Long Engagement
3. Kill Bill 1
4. Kill Bill 2

Four places you have lived:
1. Quezon City
2. Batangas
3. Lucena
4. la pa. wanna take me in?

Four TV shows you love to watch:
1. American Idol
2. Will and Grace
4. American Idol Ulit

Four places you have been on vacation:
1. Batangas
2. Boracay
3. Galera
4. Sagada

Four websites I visit daily:
1. www.inq7.net
2. www.nytimes.com
3. www.villagevoice.com
4. www.crimsonpage.blogspot.com (under duress)

Four of my favorite foods:
1. oysters
2. special chelo kebab
3. adobo
4. sinigang

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. In Spain
2. On a beach
3. In a spa
4. At home, sleeeeeeepinggg.

Seven friends who I have tagged that I think will respond (i'm keeping my fingers crossed)
1. myla
2. isao3. (list your name here)

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Shameless Plug

This was taken from my former professor's blog. Hehehehe. Sir Paolo, I'm originally a Theater Arts Major then shifted to Journalism at my father's insistence. Hehehe. Entry here.

Joseph the Dreamer
Apr. 11th, 2005 04:02 pm

Seeing Joseph Morong's face on television as he reports for 24 Oras makes me proud...and quite old! Wasn't it only a few semesters ago when I met him and his classmates for Comm II (now known as English 10) at the National Institute for Geological Sciences? It was one of the academic years where the university had a shortage of classrooms for English and general education courses in Palma Hall. Most of the English junior faculty were assigned to far-flung buildings like the NIGS.

Joseph was in that section composed of MassComm and Theater Arts majors that included Neil Ryan Sese. Joseph was having problems with some of his blockmates...or rather, some of them had problems with him, and I recall this because they came over for consultations about this matter. But it was just some minor tampuhan--personality differences that easily resolved itself as the semester progressed. Other than that, I always looked forward to Joseph reciting in class. He had the beginnings of that naturally modulated voice that we hear on the news. It was a pleasure to see and hear him bug Eddie Gil to explain how he could solve the national debt problem.

I'm not sure if Joseph started out in theater arts then shifted to MassComm (I know several theater majors from that batch shifted out). Today he's a familiar face on national television delivering the news responsibly and doing public service. If I could go back in time to when he had doubts about his direction in college, I'll tell him he'll have a kooky interview with a man with an awful toupee waiting in his future. And also that he'll be in Basilan to cover the Bangsamoro peace process. This was his segment in last week's Reporter's Notebook, and from the looks of it, there'll be more segments waiting to be made.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

A Parable Told

"Son, when you grow up, be careful," a father bird told his son.

"Things are not always what they seem to be," he added. The young bird listened intently, though the look in his innocent eyes say, he has yet to understand fully what his father was saying.

"Sometimes, it's safer to stay with your friends. Keep a small circle, so flight is easier," the father told his son.

"Cherish your freedom. Fly freely. That's what your wings are for. Challenge yourself. Stretch your horizon," he continued.

"Other birds may be envious," he admonished his son. "And that's probably because you fly higher, or you have stronger wings, or maybe you have more colorful feathers," he said.

"It's easy to stoop down to their level but resist the urge. You cannot change them. Instead, cherish what you have. That would be your best revenge, if you have to, at all," the father bird told his son.

The look in the young bird's eyes said he may not be able to understand the lessons yet, but some day soon he would.