Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Maguindanao Massacre as a Reminder to Filipinos

Two years after the bloodbath that was the Maguindanao Massacre we are yet to see closure and sufficient justice served for the families of those murdered. But as the blood stains over those grounds in Maguindanao percolate underground let us be reminded by the sobering fact that the massacre is a direct show of our capability and incapability of handling power, of handling that hunger for power. Our political maturity (if not stability) is still a utopian state. But let us hope for the best. For now, we’ll do better if such a horrible thing as the Maguindanao Massacre will not happen anymore.

* Photo credit: "They Own the People" Human Rights Watch Report, © Reuters


One must come to that moment when an activity must come to an end, however temporarily. And for my case inaction must now come to an end.

I have not been breathing for a long time; having not able to write anything except for a few lines I have tried to scribble in my free times. I miss my extensive scribbles of drafts, late night writings and readings. Yes, I have attempted to dislodge my self-realized ‘writer’s block’ (see that particularly entry here) but it seems that I still have not exerted much effort to triumph over it. Events—both domestic and relational—have severely affected this writing aspect of my life, something that I wish yet again to exorcise by doing this simple musing.

But will this thing still work, discussing my thoughts in my blog? Perhaps. I still have faith in this blog activity after all.

As to those thoughts: I realize each day that personal life is balanced by putting one’s attention to the world beyond one’s bedroom. Too much brooding over domestic stuff rots you inside, while too much attention on outside affairs makes you an abstract entity. The merging the two gives you a corporeal identity. Life isn’t always about yourself; it is also sharing the living with the others. But most of the time, we cannot have those ideal situations, and we have to wade through a flood of struggles. True, it makes life spicier but makes us susceptible to surrender.

But in any case, one must have to press on forward, carry a dog tag of optimism, and continue to live life. I cannot afford to sit down with my knees on my cheeks letting the world turn with all its ugly affairs. I know I am in for some extreme feats and decisions in my personal life in the coming months and I have to go for them. There is NO other choice. This is the ONLY definition of choice for me—to go for them. Only then, I believe, will I be able to fully say that I am living that ‘free life’ that existentialism has tried to define.

I wish my fingers would bleed ink so that words would now flow freely after this.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Business of Busyness

The word ‘busy’ has earned both my respect and my contempt. It is viewed in a good light whenever an active engagement in some work is necessary and a complete turn-off when I see it being used as an excuse by individuals just to escape. I wish people would stop overusing the word.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

KAPWA sa UPLB Continues to Bloom at 22


The coming of the month of November brings to mind not only the nearness of the Christmas season but also of the celebration of the anniversary of our organization, Kapatirang Pitong Lawa sa U.P. Los Baños or KAPWA sa UPLB. The twenty-two-year-existence of our org is a testament already of the members’ commitment to keep the group intact and active.

Yes, there have been those years (which I have witnessed personally) when the organization seemed to be on the brink of division and extinction but the small embers of encouragement that came from some of the members gave way for the org to bloom more beautifully. The success of the recent Clean Up the World activity which drew hundreds of students proves the resident members’ newfound compelling powers. It is, so far, the org’s first activity with the largest number of participants. Alumni and resident members await bigger challenges for the organization. Bigger activities. Bigger goals at least until the 25th-year anniversary.

At this point, I send out my sincerest wish that KAPWA sa UPLB will continue to grow internally and that such growth be manifested in the quality of its activities for the city of San Pablo, for U.P. Los Baños, and the Philippines.

Confronting Writer’s Block

The word ‘frustrating’ would not suffice to describe those moments when the eager hand and pen cannot connect to the mind. The mind, being the formative source of thoughts and inspiration, sometimes fails to open up its metaphorical wells and provide the willing writer – professional or not – of those seeds to be planted on paper. In this fast-paced world, such elaborately described phenomenon will only be relegated to the label of a “writer’s block.”

Such ‘writer’s block’ for me involves those harrowing nights of complete emptiness. Those harrowing nights when I spend the early hours of the day just staring onto the lined pages of my draft book, occasionally focusing on the soft tapping of raindrops on the roof or on the hum of our battered electric fan motor. It was grueling to glide through a vacuum where even anger or thoughts of anger do not inspire you to write even a single word. It is, to say the least, a living nightmare.

But inspirations come quite ironically on seed-like moments too, when mental vacuums are turned onto seemingly simple things:
Watching a child dance to the music of a children’s song.
Scribbling onto post-it notes.
Smiling in front of a comfort room mirror.
Listening to a movie sound track rendered by an orchestra.
Singing loudly in the jeepney.
Talking to an acquaintance.
Putting one’s head against a wall.
I’ve seen how such awkward activities have turned my complacency in writing to a raging task which I have to do for it is a part of my life, for it is a life. I have already mentioned many times that to write is to breathe, and to breathe is to write. That is personally true for me.

In the end, one effective counter-attack to a writer’s block is to engage in activities so devoid of any characteristics related to writing that they would actually turn your attention back into writing and will let you see the vast space of inspiration for the writer, a space whose fabric is composed of intertwined reality, fiction, dreams, and the unknown. One just has to open one’s eyes and see behind what these mortal eyes can perceive.