Tuesday, May 25, 2010

‘Duguang Lupa’ Chapbook by Kilometer 64

The said collection of poems, mostly about the Maguindanao Massacre or Ampatuan Massacre, is published by Kilometer64 Poetry Collective, 2010.

The lay-out was done by Mr. Jordan Santos. And its contributors include: Arbeen Acuna, John Marc Acut, Maryjane Alejo, Kislap Alitaptap, Louise Vincent Amante, Angelo Ancheta, Mark Angeles, Maria Baleriz, Noel Sales Barcelona, Trevor Batten, Diana Cabote, Jef Carnay, Rustum Casia, Maureen Gaddi dela Cruz, Kiri Lluch Dalena, Francis Emralino, Dennis Espada, Danny Fabella, Rom Factolerin, Richard Gappi, Jonathan Vergara Geronimo, John Carlo Gloria, Lolito Go, Roge Gonzales, Severino Hermoso, Sinta Isaac, Pia Montalban, Francisco Arias Montesena, Patrick Orquia, Ayesha Osop, Wilmor Pacay III, Jujj Padin, Piping Walangkamay, M.J.Rafal, Alexander Martin Remollino, Aris Remollino, Ayesha Sarapuddin, Rey Tamayo Jr., Amos Tarana, Abet Umil, and and Cindy Velasquez.

You can have a copy for free by visiting the following sites:

Friday, May 14, 2010

Election Apprehensions: History

For those who went out and cast their votes, we are all now part of our country’s important point in history – the first automated election in its electoral history.

One should be glad by all these at least. For one, beyond priding ourselves as history makers, the results – although still partial and unofficial – were handed out incredibly quick, spreading that general atmosphere of integrity with regards to the counting and canvassing of the votes. Unless there are really shrewd groups of people who rigged parts of the automated election to their favor, I don’t see why we should rant about the flaws we see as the counting goes, through the media.

* line to a poll precinct

Again, I find it amusing to see myself being optimistic. For me this is the least that we could do. We cannot complain in perpetuity against leaders manning the positions because of fraud. We cannot forever spearhead protests in the streets, hold strikes, among other, against those who are in the position. I may be just a small speck of dust in this wide expanse of political scenario in the country, but I can bravely put forward that unless we – the citizens – participate and cooperate with the way the (incoming) government shall run the country’s affairs, then we are doomed to the cyclical and boring process of election, protests, impeachment, revolution, again and again and again.

* voting reminders from COMELEC

At the very least we could hope to find in the incoming leaders the manifestations of their promises and platforms. There will always be the proper forums in which we could voice out our objections to their actions or policies. I am holding on to some of the radical ideas I have encountered in recent years, but with the way the country and its people move seemingly prematurely in their affairs, we cannot afford to set the stage – this country – for a bloodshed that usually comes out of the discontentment of the people.

We have just set ourselves and our country into a pedestal of its history. Why not continue it as we witness and anticipate the setting up of the new administration?

At the backstage, there is still electron-related violence reported. I do not know if it’s lower or higher than the ones reported during the last national elections. But the point is we cannot have overnight a clean-cut scenario. We might want to be contented with the fact that the reality cannot be as perfect as we conceive it to be.

In the end, the Maguindanao Massacre should be a constant reminder to each and every one of us, that as we have the power to vote for our leaders, catapult them to the leadership positions, we have all the equal power to set down the verdict to them, as tested against their actions. We should just be reminded of the proper processes in which we could do it, however.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Election Apprehensions: History Maker

A simple poster I’ve made (together with two other ones from another orgmate) as part of the late campaign to urge the people to vote. I hope that the opportunity to take part in our nation’s upcoming historical event entice them to go out and vote.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Election Apprehensions: Musing on the 2010 Elections

*a view of the spectators in a campaign rally

It would be too hypocritical on my part if I would disregard, yet again, that desire to talk something about the upcoming election, however small or insignificant this may be

It’s true that I have, as early as last year, already made a choice of some of the names that I shall be electing. A skim of the back pages of Viole(n)t Mugs would prove it. But then again, I thought that it would do no harm to immerse myself with the activities of the campaigns just to know more about those who are vying for the most coveted positions in the country, both national and local.

Attendance to three major campaign rallies of three big parties in the country certainly brought to me some similarities, for lack of a better term to describe them: 1) the usual banters about their rivals, 2) the storms of promises and lists of accomplishments, and 3) the same old pa-pogi tactics onstage. I witnessed this one and really forced myself to walk out, out of boredom, no matter how much I wanted to stay and absorb the speech. There was this another which looked more of a cultural show than a campaign rally.

But all in all, nothing beats their decade-old trick of including the Almighty God in their testimonies and speeches. I don’t know, but to some extent it seems that campaign period beats the Christmas season in the remembrance of God. They certainly have their reasons for doing so, knowing that this country is predominantly Christian. And in trying to put up an image of a God-fearing servant with a God-guided platform, they certainly go after the moral and religious receptacles of the people. In such a scenario, religious blessings are fearfully important, as we have seen recently, where some religious denominations have already put on their bets to some of the national candidates. Good for them, but simply one hell of a propaganda and mind-conditioning for the people at large.

* forgive me for a little show-off; other than the desire to seat over the political speeches, I could not resist asking for this photograph when I saw these TV personalities, here Jorge Carino (a Kapamilya) and Jiggy Manicad (a Kapuso)

With the horrors of faulty flash cards gradually being eradicated, we now go down to the one of the most fundamental and effective battle attacks – propaganda. I have recently talked to a local candidate running for a crucial position in the city, and this candidate looked very harassed and tired with all their activities and campaign. This candidate simply could not believe on the heavy accusations and bad publicity being thrown at this candidate. Add to that the open knowledge that some of his rivals in other groups really, and I mean really, extent money to those potential voters. If our automated elections would prove to be effective in destroying the traditional forms of cheating in the elections, the crooks would certainly find their way to push things to their favor. That is to be expected: if this is what they are, then this is what they are.

Even if the outside is in turmoil, swept by the tides of promises and questionable surveys, it is all up to you, my dear chance reader-voter, to go out and cast your vote. This goes beyond having the experience of doing the first ever automated election in the country’s history. This may well be the point where could actually see the genuine turn out of the popular (not to be interpreted in terms of its ‘pop’ connotation) votes. You vote for your choices and you see that they are counted for real.

As to the new gradates, this may very well be a short reminder. For the election of our new officials would certainly redefine our future, perhaps a whole new set of economic polices that would affect the way our employments would move and grow.

Even if this would sound a little irritating to those who have heard it a million time, let us not forget that it is a vote for the future.

Not a vote for convenience or popularity.

But vote for the future.

We may still have our own apprehensions about the mechanisms of this automated election but we are here to vote. I may be compelled to believe to some extent that it is a sacred duty of every Filipino.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Toil Tribute

Of all the holidays in existence now in the country, there is far more power in commemorating our laborers. Whether it is for personal reasons or grounds that are geared for the good of the nation, the Filipino worker should be hailed for their activities. Mabuhay ang manggagawang Pilipino!