Philippine TV is way too far from being Filipino.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
It takes no rocket science to find out how material resources influence the fate of the elections. A political candidate might refute that his campaign expenditures are paid for by his own pocket. I agree with him, for his campaign funds are generated by friends and cronies who can yield and be yielded upon with influence. But isn't the presence of influential friends make the elections a bout between personalities of huge followings, followings acquired not in expense of platforms but from social circles? And since one would not be accepted in such circles if not for the reputation of one's wealth, cannot it be assumed that only a few are given this privilege of having powerful cronies, that is, that they must have wealth or influence which is seen by the materialist as in itself a potential to power? And since in the statistical frame of the Filipino population the wealthy class makes up no more than 20%, then what we have in our politics is a contest between parties whose wealth and influence make them afford expensive campaigning.
And since we always pretend to be a democratic country, our electoral system recognizes no requirement save that one be a citizen of the Philippines. The ideal of democracy, too, is demonstrated through the voting empowerment of sectors such as the youth, OFWs, gays and lesbians, etc. (though this is often a strategic advantage to the candidate who seeks to obtain their mass support.) Anyway, this is democratization supported also by oligarchs, and by this the Filipino has invented a brand new ideology, the first and only one that is not theoretical, but rather, empirical.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Welcome to the tavern, you all!
I used to admire that collective blog which roster included illustrious figures of political punditry. Though a few times marred by confused philosophies and skewed logic, they are still outweighed by the significance of its impact to the Filipino webspace and beyond. Yet the more it grew, the heavier it seems to have become. It gathered into a snowball not only valid thinkers and debaters, but also idiots, madmen and charlatans who by virtue of overconfidence felt free to plague its threads with indecency and irrationality to the repugnance of the civilized.
If its state of unmoderation continues, it will soon be no different to opinion exchange sites frequented by drunkards with pustular tongues and worse than tumorous brains. Should the ruckus of a pretentious mob ruin the noble causes of FV`s origin?
Let us bring them back again.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Maraming salamat sa ating kamakathang si Oliver S. Carlos sa pamamahagi ng mga taludtod na ito.
Isang Leksyon sa Pagpapahalaga sa Sarili
Ni Oliver S. Carlos
Walang magpapahalaga sa iyo.
Malibang igapos mo at gawing hostage
ang lahat ng empleyado ng recruitment agency
na nanloko sa iyo, sa paniniwalang
ito ang kahulugan ng salitang TABLA
Walang magpapahalaga sa iyo.
Maliban kung agawin mo ang isang school bus
at magbantang pasasabugin ang mga musmos
na nasa loob, sa paniniwalang
ito ang katumbas ng salitang EDUKASYON
Walang magpapahalaga sa iyo
Maliban, kung dahil sa lipas ng gutom, akyatin mo
ang tuktok ng isang billboard sa EDSA, at doo’y
pakaway-kaway na magtangkang tumalon
sa harap ng nagigimbal at nakatingalang mga tao
kapatid ng kawalang-pag- asa ang KATAPUSAN
Walang magpapahalaga sa iyo
Malibang magtanim ka ng granada’t bomba
sa lobby at parking lot ng kongreso
sa paniniwalang ito ang selyo
at lagdang magbibigay kahulugan
sa mga salitang KURAKUTAN at PANLILINLANG
Walang magpapahalaga sa iyo
Malibang buhusan mo ang sarili ng gasolina
at ikaskas ang palito sa gilid ng kahon ng posporo
sa ibabaw ng tulay ng Mendiola. Sa paniniwalang
ito ang dapat itawag sa salitang PROTESTA
Walang maniniwala at magpapahalaga.
Kailanman ay wala.
Malibang pahalagahan mo muna at paniwalaan ang sarili.
At tulad ng lahat, makita ang pinag-uugatan ng lahat ng ito,
na sa sama-samang pagkilos
may mararating ang salitang PAG-AAKLAS.
ERRATUM: In a recent post entitled The Banishment of Common Sense, I originally wrote that the Customs has violated the Nairobi Protocol to the Florence Agreement (the two are different). It is the Florence Agreement and not the Nairobi Protocol which is being violated, and the Philippines is not a signatory of the latter but of the former. It seems that in the protocol the Florence Agreement's 0% duty-free provision of imported books is amended in favor of 5% imposition of duties for books that are not "educational, scientific and cultural." However, since RP did not sign the protocol it means that we still legally go by the Florence Agreement which states that duty-free importation of all books should be implemented.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Suddenly the BoC thought they should be levying 5% taxes on books that according to them aren't "educational, scientific and cultural." Suddenly it occurred to them to review certain rules such as the Customs Code and R. A. 8047 and interpret them in a different way. Suddenly they decided on this when they discovered that the Philippines makes a big market on books, especially when Twilight sales made a big boost among young Filipinos.
Something pretty weird spread in the atmosphere when Usec. Espele Sales explained the case to trouble-ridden booksellers and importers, whose products are stranded on bay and stacked with tariffs they have to pay as days go by. Usec. Sales said R. A. 8047 (otherwise known as the Book Publishing Industry Development Act), which provides of "tax and duty-free importation of books or raw materials to be used on book publishing," means that tax exemptions are put only on books which pertain to book publishing, since according to her there is no comma after the word "book." R. A. 8047 is, in fact, several miles away from the issue. The act concerns availability of materials and references useful for publishers, while the issue at hand is about the finished product and the dilemma of marketing them, which is an isolated stage of the process. Usec. Sales was talking of two different aspects of the industry, and was confusing the importers through twisted language in a manner that was indeed, to agree with Hemley but from a different vantage point, clearly memorable of George Orwell's description of how language is manipulated by governments (read his novel Animal Farm, one of the titles taxed five-fold by the BoC).
The Customs also denied that some literature are "educational, scientific [or] cultural," hence, the duties imposed. Literature, in whatever genré, is reflective of real or artificial, modern or classical culture. Even sci-fi novels are not devoid of culture, and are often educational in nature too. Every book is borne out of the writer's intellectual and external culture, and about their being educational, it takes but a little common sense to see that there is obviously a dredging of imagination, creativity and discovery there.
Another thing which makes this issue anomalous to me is that according to the BoC they are going to be the agency concerned with the classification of books whether to fall taxable or non-taxable. Wake up, what are the credentials of the Customs to determine the nature of books? What is their reasoning for claiming this academic and intellectual responsibility? Does this mean they would also tax Nabokov's Lolita 5% because it is not educational but erotic?
Aside from, in my gentle opinion, being outside the boundaries of common sense, it is also a violation of the Florence Agreement of 1952 (a later Nairobi Protocol, available below, says that custom duties may be imposed by governments, but the Philippines is not a signatory) protecting the free-flow of books to signatory states (the Philippines joined the pact in 1979). It smells of what else but seawater in the most lucrative portion of Philippine government and society - the Customs. Treating books this way just because they bring shiploads of revenue is completely idiotic, literally completely idiotic if we are in a nation aiming to spread literacy. I cannot see why money should get weightier than Grass, Achebe or Garcia-Marquez, whose values are most important to a country such as the Philippines representative of mankind's moral fracture. Even fantasies such as those of Rowling or Meyer or Gaiman do great benefit especially to children, who are reeling towards a dangerous sea watered by the proliferation of pornographic media; books save them from such widespread pollution.
There are times when we have no idea what is running in people's minds, unless we take a look at the object of their affections; that carnal lust for lucre able to bend the mighty steel of the law, and worse gets shielded from the outstretched arm of Justice nowadays groping in the lightlessness of impunity. Just tell lawmakers of its profit, and they will be convinced so as to cooperate for the regulation of our literacy and the exile of common sense.
Nairobi Protocol - Full Text
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Time for me to rest at home and work on some of my private ends. By the way, tomorrow I'm posting my take on the unusual reasoning the Bureau of Customs has put about incoming book shipments, imposing as much as 5 per cent taxes on books that are not educational, scientific or cultural according to their definition. Fellow blogger Robert Hemley calls it The Great Book Blockade of 2009 in his Dispatch from Manila over at McSweeney's, and he is very critical to it. Laying heavy taxes on books is really very contradictory to the promotion of knowledge, which as an agency of the government the BoC must support. MLQ3 on his updated entry at The Daily Dose has illustrated its extreme polar contrast to Malaysia which is very supportive of books and electronic literature that they are imported in their country duty-free.
That's for tomorrow. For now I'm going to engross myself on some few chapters of a novel which I intend to publish pseudonymously. Cheers for the rainy season!#
The National Historical Institute once again expressed its ire over Martin Nievera's show-off rendition of the Philippine national anthem, which is ought to be sung in a tempo of 2/2 (formerly 4/4, but still is in an identical speed), at the beginning of Manny Pacquiao's east-west match against Ricky Hatton at the MGM Grand Sunday.
Sarah, Lani, Bituin, and now, Martin. The Schtroumpfs each had their day while I almost ceased to recognize with all my idiotic piece of brain my revered anthem. I was sitting under the comfort of home yet that comfort just crept away on my horror-stricken skin, as even in the moment of solemnity and sanctity one of my fellow Filipinos would not sacrifice his Divo status for a few minutes of glorifying his own flag and paying due reverence to the brief symbolization commemorating the founding fathers of our struggling land. And when we say commemoration we imitate in our minds the same exact setting in which history conducted the ocassion, that is, without lyrical, musical or tonal modifications and translation of any kind, and absolutely without exploiting the moment for the purpose of just SHOWING OFF.
We are a people renowned for our quasi-nightingale voices, and none is more beautiful than the voice of a Filipina singing in Caesar's hall, nor more dangerous than the shrill cries of the suppressed in EDSA's walks. And with all our nation's bravery and legacy embodied in four stanzas of marching undertones the entire nation gets alienated once a representative of our nationhood veers away from something Philippine culture has embraced as a major legacy. Yes, by altering the tempo of Lupang Hinirang one is detaching his nation away from him, as if he is saying that the song is his and it's his time to grace the ring and forget that what's he's doing is representative of our collective identity.
The longer the egg stays in boiling water the harder it gets. The more the light floods their faces the more stubborn they become.#
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
When she looks fair, you say she's lovely.
You tell her grace, her every bit;
Is this your way to choose your lady?
Be cautious of her radiant face,
Behind her smile's a hidden lie.
There's filthiness among her ways;
Is she the girl for whom you'll die?
Enjoy her flesh and have her wed,
With lust within but love without.
Do all the things where reason fled;
But suffer all the pain throughout.
Then time will come you want escape,
Resort to paths that make you worse
As beast of hell in human shape;
This awful thing they call divorce.
Indeed men's eyes can't see the whole,
You choose all things which fade or rot.
Love her body and not her soul,
It`s better if you've loved her not.
-Gapan City, 2006
Copyright 2009 Vin#
Friday, May 1, 2009
Corruption is a plague. Once a virus infects a lymph, a people with as weak a resistance to let us say power would easily yield to its infection just like any leader else. How I have witnessed Filipinos in their most inexcusably crooked ways, from student groups to businesses and other organizations, to party lists and NGOs and politicians. Almost everyone of them are infected with the ambitions of power and wealth, and this has convinced me how our problem turned out to be; that we lack not of a moral leader, but of a moral people. For where does vicious, immoral and predatory presidents and congressmen come from? Where else but of course, from a vicious, immoral and predatory people.
A corrupt nation by any other law is still a corrupt nation, just as a thief in any other coat remains a thief. It doesn't change anything if the character remains the same. If children are taught to bully and to brag, if students are trained to boost their high selfish ambitions instead of training them to be just and offer a hand to their fellows; the makings of future tyrants are done.
We must work from below all the way to the top. We must not rally in the streets yelling for change while leaving out our responsibility to our children and our families, escaping from our obligation to teach them to become honest followers of the law and good implementors of public will. Our efforts only incite violence.
The honor and dignity brought by human integrity is superior to everything else, and have I failed in this, my most preferrable answer to myself is death.#