Sunday, February 28, 2010

On (my) Drama of Blogging

A view of my first blog, revised through the passage of years; the title seen here is second -to-the-the last one I gave to that blog

This weekend has been spent on cramming on the poem submissions I have set for myself. And upon rummaging through my written stuff in the past – written ones on small paper scratches, salvaged entries on my earlier blogs, among other – I could feel this sort of nostalgia (yes, I have used the word!), for essentially, each of those piece facilitated my recollection of my not-so-distant past.

But I know for certain that I am now old, as an intimate has said. Not in the most literal sense, but in the way I handle things now. It’s just that, for most of the time, I tend to act as if I am ten years younger. Hell, yeah. Many times. And what better things to have than to reread those things I’ve written ten years earlier and less?

My very first blog was born out of…yeah...strong emotions about a crash of a relation. A wholly lopsided thing. But I was able to grow out of it. But not out of blogging. It was then that I saw a period where I could almost describe myself as toooooo-romantic, making metaphors for every single event and experience. It was fun. Even had a small following. My longest running series at that time was about our math crush, well my math crush. It seemed that I was possessed by something that could only express itself on blogs made obscure by romance lines and strong feelings.

Fast forward to five years. I cannot say that I have perfected things on this blog endeavor. I cannot even say that I have improved or moved on from the romantic aspects. But I believe that, for the most part, doing this thing is therapeutic for my spirit (my belief in the term ‘spirit’ as I used it here requires a separate entry). One gets to feel that comfort in knowing that those fleeting or heavy feelings inside would have this chance of getting read. It’s not a selfish wish that one’s troubles might transfer to other people. In the end, one need not think of ‘readership’. I believe blogs start out with personal thoughts and motives. And from that, we can expand the horizon, the scope, of our world – that is, our blog-world.

(March is coming and I can only guess the current of activities that would come my way. Attack!)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Historia-Coma


No amount of opinions written for the reading public can satisfactorily fill in for the almost-perennial issue of how much of the EDSA People Power of 1986 sprit is still alive today. And noises made by angry youth voices in protest and cannot fully answer the questions of why the present administration seems to ignore, in every possible way they can, the commemoration of what could be one of the most important events in our recent history.

The Philippines does not lack the mechanisms to make the Filipinos every year aware of the historical events that need commemoration and recollection. It’s such that the people themselves undergo their own “historia-coma”, embracing lame excuses as work and multitude of activities in skipping to remember, even mentioning historical evens, at least in passing.

Of course I am entrenched right now in the realm of pessimism. For having immersed myself is the past few months in digging in Philippine history from the late 50’s up to the EDSA Revolution of ’86, I cannot help but have this feeling of regret for two reasons. One, because so much of what is being taught in the basic education (and I am talking of what I have experienced as a student) cannot fitfully serve as strong foundations for giving the students a context to hold-on regarding the nation’s history. Yes, lame, and certainly inadequate. Do we have to wait until the kids of the present generation reach young adult age to understand the beginnings of the communist insurgency in the country and the constellation reasons for declaring martial law and the dark times that went with it? Practically, we cannot really earn money just by knowing something about history. But man, how can you call yourself fit and healthy when, despite having money in your pockets, you know nothing about our local history? It’s the same with being a gastador – a spendthrift – for we have not invested out time very well.

For the second point of regret: that personally I am lagging behind in terms of the understanding of our history. I do not, in any way, disown my stay as an applied physics students; it has taught me so many things that I cannot imagine to learn anywhere else. But that excitement upon seeing the connections about this certain published historical event to the other moves me into digging more on them. In a way, I am self-publicizing on the possibility that some institution or organization can sponsor a budding history buff like me to pursue a history-related degree. But what’s this rant all about anyway?

EDSA, of course.

For it is so easy to say that ‘yeah, we join the people in celebrating EDSA I’. It’s like a birthday party. Practically anyone can go there, join in the celebration, eat the food there, but not really understand the reason for the celebration.

If we are to just spend every February 22-25 in passive acknowledgement of the EDSA People Power, we would only be breeding a later generation of ignorant children, totally uninterested in the details of its own country’s past.

Malalim ang pinag-ugatan ng EDSA I; ang pagkakapaslang kay Ninoy ay isa lamang malaking paggising sa mga Pilipino na tuluyan nang nawalan ng kumpyansa sa rehimeng naghahari noon, rehimeng may kaniya ring malalalim na mga aspeto at katangian sa pagtatakbo ng bansa. At marami pang bagay tayong malalaman, mga kaganapang mas maaga pa sa Agosto 21, 1983 na malaki ang maitutulong para bigyang larawan ang mga nangyari bago at habang nakababa ang batas militar sa Pilipinas.

I do not say that we spend our lives in seclusion in the libraries. Books are one of course, for they have the almost permanent status of detailing to us the part of history that we want to understand.

Next to it, I believe in discussions, discussions with people of older generation, of the same generation, to whom we could share our thoughts, insights, and experiences, and gain in return their own thoughts, insights, and experiences. With this, I believe, we could nourish our arsenal of Philippine history knowledge. It’s sad to say that I really long to have those discussions with people. Crippled temporarily by present activities I have to finish, I wish to see myself touring the country in search of people to talk with, be it with tribe people sharing their myths and legends, to the elders about their World War II experiences.

In the end, dear chance reader, do forgive me for having this form of thoughts. Do not take this as arrogance or anything. I only wish to stir the minds of those who would chance to read this and perhaps plant in them that germ of conviction to participate actively in cultivating a vibrant history-oriented attitude among the Filipinos.

[This entry appears also at ‘Back Trails’, pransisempilipinas.blogspot.com]

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pit Stop

Pensees, Yet Again

It is essentially possible to count those entries here in ‘Viole(n\)t Mugs’ that has been my attempts at best to spill into the fast-paced world of the public those thoughts that have haunted me; those ‘personal’ things that could not have been relayed into VM, to other people who may chance to read upon it, except that they are so grave; things that I had the option of keeping to myself, except that I cannot handle them anymore.

Indeed, the stay in the university has crafted me to hold firm in my new-found, new-formed beliefs like a stubborn little lizard. My stay has also facilitated the inflation of my pride, the term ego being an exaggeration already. But what’s with that? When often I find myself in wreck from the things I cannot do effectively and efficiently, relations that I cannot handle maturely, and pursuits of pleasure far beyond the limits of the context of morality that we have. This rant leads to only one thing, an admission. An admission of frequent breakdowns in the face of varied activities. And only in these low times do I attempt to communicate those feelings, despite some reservations, out here in VM.

Growing Up, Growing Back

There is no more appropriate time to decide whether to ‘grow up’ or to ‘grow back’ than now. And that ‘now’ pertains to that every single moment when we are consciously aware of this particularly thing. And it would do us well, if we decide firmly with that every ‘now’. It would be stupidity on my part to squeal everything here, but my problems have created in themselves the image of connectivity and thus I am left with NO other choice but to choose to face them and act on them. To do what is right for them, and to stay away and distance myself from the things that would aggravate the problems. As in mathematical ones, man is not confined to short or long solutions. What is practical and would result to lasting solutions would be more favored.

I have denied myself of chances before but I think and believe that ‘now’ is the time to proceed in facing the phantoms of my past, the ogres of relations that faded into the haze of neglect and misunderstanding, and make the necessary explanations and apologies. There are so many people to date that needs to receive those words of reparations, even if no longer relevant or necessary. For I do not think that I could move forward that well if I would hide myself away again and deal with the present as if my past did not have any single blemish. Nothing is perfect anyway, and so why should I make an illusion of my largely irrelevant life?

Atrasos abound, things which I could not possibly reform if I would not start now. Being carefree has served me well before, but it is not so anymore. For growing up entails responsibilities, in small scale or in large one, that need to be attended to conscientiously and courageously. I have come to realize that I am too late for my age, but it is good to know these facts now, however gross and hurtful they may be to one’s pride, than to never have the chance, the resolve to reform at all.

“…Firm, undaunted…voices…”
*from [V] oices [F] rom the [A] ttic, by Munting Vibora, KM64 Chapbook

With all these, I am still holding strong to my resolve to fully delineate what is for public consumption and what is private for me. And I think secretiveness will stay. But nevertheless, for as long that I can manage starting from now to attend to people without strings attached, to proceed with activities and decisions with courage and excellence, to fulfill my responsibilities from the personal ones up to the social ones, and to establish a respectful image, then those two petty whims can be forgiven. I do not intend to emulate the great man ideal, but only to make the most of the things, capabilities and opportunities available to me.

If I have been sketchy, you might want to rake through the entry. It’s the best that I could do and share at present.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine Thoughts


[Disclaimer: I would reiterate once again my repulsion about ‘choreographed’ celebrations with no clear basis and coherent significance. It would be better to recall my contempt of the Christmas celebration, and so Valentines Day cannot be an exception to that. My title only serves to situate my thoughts for this day. It should not, in any way, be mistaken that I participate in the celebrations. Call me a killjoy, dear reader, but I have come to learn to defend my beliefs.]



It has been months seen I started thinking about again the last few adventures of mine in the almost unbelievably tumultuous and unpredictable realm of love. Yeah, it sounds awkward even for me, having no more toned-down term to describe. But what should I do? Disown my past and force myself into ‘selective amnesia’ (as an organic chemistry classmate termed it)? Nah. That would a loser act. Relations will always be related to love. Period.

Perhaps in almost ninety nine percent of all those connections, things started to go bad for one sole reason, me. But it would be an injustice and a breach to the unspoken agreement of privacy to divulge the details of those connections. That is one thing that I should carry on until my death, and that is not to give out unsolicited information. And for an equal number of percentage, I have gone to the regret periods, even with my hard face and rough manners in terms of relations. I don’t need any extensive look back to say that I have always been carefree, thinking that the other party shall take care of the technicalities of the relations. I have always thought like a child, always putting too much confidence in the strength of fundamentally vulnerable relations.

I am not saying that it is not possible to have truly romantic relations. It’s just that in actuality, and especially in my case where an open show of emotions was not really encouraged, it is pretty hard. Of course, it has been my secret hope before, and strived in many ways to achieve it. Adventurousness overrode me in many cases.

As I stand today, I realize relations go beyond just mere dating, going to many places, eating together, calling each other intimate names, among other. They even go beyond what they say that a god is necessary, to be the center of the relations, for this is an embellishment only, a mere excuse of the religiously devout.

Love for me must be experienced and understood in human terms. And I mean in human proportions. If we blow up the concept of love into abstractions or cloak it in metaphors, we’ll never be able to grasp it at all.

I have to agree that it has to be a two-way relation, both of whom must give and take, equally. Only the intensity makes the difference. A constellation of words (like what I used to do when I wrote those almost novelistic letters) is not needed; for even the simplest of look and holding of hands can communicate our deepest feelings for each other. Much of what transpires in connection with love needs not any mortal expressions. Love is not just a mere thought, an abstraction. If I would be allowed to excuse the concept of a soul, I would say that love is a spirit, inherent, permeating the very essence of us all.

In the end, these are but simple and very personal views. It would be a long way for me in order to fully philosophize about it (if it’s even possible). The good thing about this day is that all lovers are able to recheck on themselves and re-internalize the meaning of love for them. Dear reader, you don’t have to have a partner, or a significant other to muse about love. Singleness is not impairment, but a free chance to look deeper into love.

Am I in love? Suffice it to say that my understanding of love grows more and more as I continue to think and get myself to share and experience it even in small ways.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Salute to Ma'am Asuncion

"If health is lost, all is lost." These were the words I have always remembered when we came to talk of Professor Ruperta Asuncion, words that perhaps I would now be keeping for as long
as I can. She has been very comic in many instances and thus her words, indeed, has the capacity to be engrained to the minds of their hearers.
I heard of the death of my former professor aboard a jeepney. They were probably her former acquiantances. At first I did not want to believe, thinking that it would be better to consult that rumor or fact to an intimate. And it was confirmed.
It's quite hard to put any view on the news. It is my belief that she has had a fulfilled life. A mere conjecture this is, but true as far as my experiences of and with her are concerned. She was the typical terror teacher, moody in so many instacnes, but one cannot but feel that ride in having such a high-caliber teacher.
She probably has her own reasons for not entertaining too many visitors during her final days (so the rumors go). After all, she always had that different line of thinking. And that thing, quote collecting aside, would be the one I'd get from her - to put confidence in what we are and what we do. A big salute to you Ma'am!

*Photo from: umpil.org

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

On Bible Verses and History

I am currently reading ‘The Grand Collision’ by Manuel Martinez, a book about Ninoy Aquino and Ferdinand Marcos. Having a bible verse on its opening chapter, I naturally checked out on my bible (for I have often observed that people tend to get only a piece of the thought of a particular verse). To my surprise, I did not find it! The book said Genesis 20:37 and I tried skimming through all the verse 37 of Genesis and it was not there.

As much as I want not to resort to search engine, I had no choice. Just seen it. They got it wrong. It should have been 37:20.

Anyway, the book is opening up on Manuel Quezon and the rivalry, if one may call it that, between him and Osmeña. A good read so far.