25 September 2006

mulling over some writerly stuff


semester's nearly ending and i'm happy about it. i've been longing to really rest, as in for real, but other official duties permit me to do that. well, we'll see.  if i don't go out of the city and head for some beach somewhere, i'm gonna go nuts. as in. might go surfing na lang. i'm not in the mood for galera anymore. basta. hate the sight of banana boats.

i've also been longing to get back to my writing. haven't had the chance to face my french language reviews so i'll probably have that exam by november. i'm still trying to finish that young adult novel, though. haaay... at least i'm in the shooting/writing break of my classes na kaya i'm free to write na rin before film thesis defense time comes again. well, konti lang naman this sem so this should just be a cinch.

hay... i so miss writing but for the life of me, i really can't focus on writing when i'm here in my desktop anymore. as in i really need to be outside somewhere in a café to do my stuff. i am more creative that way lately. well, i've been doing that naman ever since but these days, mas malakas ang calling ng ganitong style. and no, i'm not procrastinating. kaya nga i do all my work things outside na rin eh. 

ewan ko ba. sometimes there are times that you just need to do stuff outside of your home. i think my home is not too homey anymore. i don't know exactly why, but it has been like that since this sem started. so i'm really thinking of moving into a new place. somewhere cheaper (cheaper than 8k), and away from a main street sana. the freaking traffic noise/pollution is getting to me, saka yung endless nawasa drillings. just why do they have to drill at night?

ewan ko ba. i really feel like i need a new environment, a new space, a smaller space to be exact, one that's not so hard to maintain alone. i'm contemplating on going back to the village area near UP since all my time's in UP rin naman lately. so if anybody got leads, just holler. drop me a line here or at leaflens at gmail.

minsan senyas na sa akin yun e. pag di na ko makapagsulat sa isang lugar, it means changes have to be made, soon. a friend of mine called it wandelust daw but i beg to disagree. if you're not a writer --  a creative/literary writer at that -- you won't really understand this thing about writing and the space where you do it. the space matters, man. may relationship yun e. just ask hemingway. well, i mean, just look at him. and the others like ezra pound who flew to paris to just write. it really has bearing. man, if i only can escape to paris for a while with a laptop for a month, oks na ko dun. sayang, naghanda pa naman yung isa kong friend dati doon sa pagpunta ko. well, maybe i'll get to do that next year, when netherlands beckons. hay sana lang matuloy ang mga ito.. i so want to see europe na talaga. as in.

sometimes, the place you inhabit becomes a crucial character in the story you're writing. tignan mo nga dito sa local scene. lots of stories are set in baguio. i myself am guilty of placing my stories in baguio, especially the baguio after the big earthquake of early 1990s. i just noticed that when i shared my past filipino stories with a new writer  acquaintance who herself is from baguio (UP baguio).  her newly acquired palanca is also for a story set in baguio.

speaking of palanca, congrats nga pala are in order for some friends and acquaintances who won this year. at ang dami pala! dami ring first time winners according to this listing. syempre first kudos went to cenon na for the sceenplay and job for the play. hoy mga kuya di pa kayo nanlilibre ha hehehe. congrats din pala kay carlo arejola for that script. dude, saan ka na ngayon? (if you're reading this) kay mamu liza din pala for her play at kay elyrah para sa kanyang sanaysay. fellow akdang bayan peeps emman (tula) and vlad congrats din, also to former a_b dude mykel who, like vlad, won sa futuristic fic fil. fellow female fictionists migs and myrza (very nice short "sink or swim," albeit a bit coño -- my guess as to why it didn't make it to first place) in english and det (a very out lesbian story for children! good going, det! sock it to them!) for filipino also bagged prizes for their shorts. mam joi barrios (tula at dula) also won pero nagtataka lang ako bat kelangan pa niyang sumali gayong institusyon na siya, saka si sir leoncio deriada (hiligaynon) rin at si mam amelia bonifacio (play). oh well, kanya-kanyang chorva! i guess ang motto diyan ay "try and try until you get to the hall of fame!" congrats everyone! saya naman nito. read some of the winning entries here at ian's site .

pero once again, this proves na mas marami pa ring babaeng nagsusulat ng fiction/sanaysay/dula at ang mga kelots ay nasa tula. misteryo sa akin ito eh, ever since our UP cebu '97 workshop. sa workshop na iyon, all females, as in all, are fictionists while all men are poets. it really gets me thinking. hmm... kahit yung dumaguete workshop batch ko e, isa lang yata sa aming mga babae ang poet (there's bambi) and then the rest fictionist na. then the guys are... well, at least the jologz barkada are all poets. anyone have any theories on this? it's really something i've been mulling over over the years. la lang...

hay... i miss writing. well, if the beach doesn't see me, i guess it's baguio or bust. at least for a whole weekend. 

let's see. 



20 September 2006

portrait of the filipino artist as a survivor


came upon this speech by gilda fernando, my UP baguio co-fellow sa workshop circa '97. yes, magka-fellow kami, can you believe it? nagulat nga ako when she was there. i thought nakiki-sit in lang siya at si karina bolasco. well, it's fun to have book publishers in our workshop. that was quite a batch. (funny quip lang i remember from her from that workshop, on mentioning another co-fellow of ours: "and where did he get that accent?!!!" hahaha marnie, do you remember this?) >:P

but this one is more from ms. gilda the writer. and a very good one at that. (and if you don't believe, me, secure yourself a copy of her book THE BUTCHER THE BAKER THE CANDLESTICK MAKER) speech niya ito sa isang umpil event. medyo longish pero worth the read. and i love the points she raised. plus of course her ageless humor na laging swak sa panahon. so emphasis mine.


'De kahon'  by Gilda Cordero-Fernando
SOME TIME IN MY LIFE I heard that UP was offering a Ph.D. in creative writing. I said, Wow, pagkakataon ko na. I wanted so much to take up the course but then my friend Myrza Sison said, "Siguro hindi ka na puwede riyan kasi ang inaaral namin short stories mo."
Well, that's good, I thought. Now I'll finally find out what my colleagues think of me.

Then I asked Dr. Jing (Cristina Pantoja) Hidalgo of the UP faculty, who is my friend, if I should take up this Creative Writing Ph.D. She hemmed and she hawed and then said, "Ay naku, Gilda, may poststructuralist theory diyan, may semiotics, may postcolonial theory, may hermeneutics at marami pa."

Sub-text: "Baka hindi ka pumasa."

E bakit ako di papasa! Akala ko ba doctor of "creative writing"! Alam kong sulatin ang kini-critique-critique nila—essay, short story, poem kung mapilitan, nobela pa rin, bakit hindi puwedeng pumasa?

Come to think of it, I had trouble with my master's degree in Ateneo, too. My classmates were doing theses on Katherine Ann Porter, James Joyce, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, T.S. Eliot, cribbing from every book they could get hold of. I just didn't know how to do that. All I knew was how to be orig all the way.

So one day I told the dean: I have 13 short stories that I can make into a book. Why don't you give me a break and let that be my thesis? That was 1960. I had four children by the time I got my MA diploma and "The Butcher, the Baker, the Candlestick Maker" became the first-ever creative writing thesis approved by Ateneo.

Sa mundong ito, kung orig ka, lagot ka. Alam ninyo naman 'yon di ba? Siguro mas marami kayong experience diyan kaysa sa akin.


The shape of the majority of institutions around us is square. They fit very well in boxes. Boxes or categories are everywhere you go, stacked on top of one another. They're religious, government, corporate, bank, academe, painting, writing, fashion design. It's the box people who run our lives. Being in a box is what people call normal. But somehow we all know it's unhealthy.

For years cultural institutions had a very hard time trying to categorize artists for awarding. Is he a writer? Then why is he composing librettos? He should fall under "music." And he did a rock opera. He must be "theater." Can even paint! So is he a visual artist? That's strange because I never met a single artist who could do only one thing.

And yet fusion has been around for so long. There's fusion of eastern and western cooking, of rock and opera, of performance and art. There's mixed media art, creative nonfiction, ecumenical mass, gender-bender clothes.

Why does everything still have to fit the seven boxes of classical art, when maybe all one has to do is ask—is he in artist? And if so, is he a good one? Ah, but that means breaking down all those ironclad boxes!

How we love the comfort zone of old forms! Look at what has been showing in Araneta Coliseum—Andy Williams, the Four Aces, Barry Manilow, Paul Anka, the Lettermen—all repackaged as "revival" or "retro." And for crying out loud—"Gulong ng Palad"—the sob story of the '60s, is back, too! As if there had never been anything newer! Ah, but new is risky. New is a zone of discomfort.

In the meantime, highbrow formal theater was having trouble breathing and staying alive. Every other Jack was jumping out of the box to put up his own starving thing. These were the living, breathing, evolving pockets of art, snubbed by the very institutions that should be supporting them.

In music, explains my friend, Manny Chaves, there was Club Dredd where the Eraserheads and Parokya ni Edgar began. Then Mayrics on España, with Maegan Aguilar and Cookie Chua, then the popular 70s Bistro, venue of Noel Cabangon and Joey Ayala. And now—SaGuijo in Makati where three to five live bands a week fight to be heard. In Intramuros there was the Sanctum which, with the Republic of Malate, began the "Spoken Word" and its "open mike." It was followed by Conspiracy on Visayas Avenue, with its 99 owners, and Rock Drilon's lively Magnet on Katipunan.

Serious art

Oh, but the canons had long been set—what was popular art, also known as pang-masa, was not to be considered serious art. This very much reminds me of Dr. Doreen Fernandez's columns on food, which were looked down upon by academe because they appeared in dailies and not in literary journals or read in scholarly lectures (which no one attended). But Doreen stuck to her pancit luglog and pochero. Today food is internationally considered an important aspect of a country's culture.

Eventually, too, the rock bands, indie movies and the comics were accepted by our powers-that-be of culture. But not before the artists had struggled so hard to make their name! How easy to join the bandwagon! And the movie stars of the bakya crowd? FPJ made it to National Artist for being a political figure. Dolphy and Nora Aunor before him never had the ghost of a chance!

In literature there were great magazines like Ermita, Jose, Pen-and-Ink and Goodman that died raging against the night. Now it's Story Magazine gasping for sponsorship. Memorable stage pieces like Bienvenido Lumbera's "Tales of the Manuvu," "Rama Hari" and "Bayani" were hits in the '70s. But how could they be memorable to people who had missed them or were too young to see them? That's because we have no boxes where filing boxes ought to be! There is no adequate and readily accessible documentation, in print or in video, of the works of major artists nor are these given importance.

In the '70s I remember trying to access from LVN and Sampaguita Studios something as banal as their movie stills.

"Ay wala na ho 'yan," what passed for the librarian said. "Kaibigan ho ni direk hiniram, 'di na nakabalik. 'Yung iba na-damage ng typhoon Dading."

Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

And yet, with the right stewarding, that is so easily remediable. In the visual arts, for instance, there is no complete file simply of all the art shows every year. In literature there is no file, simply of all the books by every publisher, campus or independent or professional, printed during the year—just title, author, date, and a brief description. In the visual arts with only a digital camera and a ball pen, it's so easy today to document every exhibit or gallery happening all year round. Yes, there are books and magazines but they cover only the shows of the bookstores and galleries they work for. In one art awards for young people, several fine works were overlooked simply because the judges didn't know they existed.

Recently I was sharing a pizza with two young friends, Mich Dulce, a fashion designer, and Cecile Zamora, a fashion columnist. Suddenly a whole family from the next table complete with grandkids descended upon Mich, asking for her autograph. Not because she was a talented prize-winning designer, but because they had seen her in "Pinoy Big Brother"!

Cecile and I were introduced and ignored. For the next 15 minutes I looked on in awe as they drooled over Mich's clothes, her hair, her makeup, her bling-blings. I had never been through such an experience of marginalization and it amused me no end.

Then a friend who visits Havana described to me its cultural scene. Support of the arts is in the constitution of Cuba. Its artists are national treasures and lionized just as much as its movie stars. Fans run after architects, painters, sculptors, writers, musicians, stage actors and directors for an autograph or to exchange a word or two. Not that I crave such attention, but it could help sell more books and tickets.

Class act

By the way, in the writing scene of the '60s and '70s, the Palanca Awards were a class act. Initially there were only a few categories—short fiction, one-act play, and poetry. People remembered the winners and it helped us get additional fruit for our labors.

Now the prestigious Palanca has been cut up into so many little categories—15 at last count, with first, second and third prizes for each category in English and Tagalog and some vernaculars. I always try to remember who the young winners are. But with 40 or so names to keep up with each year, I just gave up. Dare one suggest that the awards be cut down and the prizes raised to dazzling amounts? Surely complaints will arise. Bakit elitista?  Why stop the multiplication of the loaves? Because an award is a distinction. It recognizes a major achievement and should be as elitist and exclusive as it can be!

Having so many categories, moreover, leads to a shortage of competent judges. And so writers become alternately contestants and judges which could very easily lead to horse trading. Kayo ang nagsabi niyan, ha?

Too many winners—not just in the Palanca but other contests as well—make winning ordinary. There are wholesale awards, too, where the whole town is with you on the stage. Not that I have not myself gone through a number of those. Once, in addition to the usual writer-publisher citation, a prestigious awarding body cited me as an "outstanding fashion designer." And I can't sew a stitch! I was relieved that there wasn't a couturier in the audience. I thought I'd just let it be, they'd realize their error in time. But then two months later the same awards with our pictures appeared in a newspaper! I brought it up to the awarding body. The official was surprised and promised to look into the matter. I am still an outstanding dress designer.

Another area where the-more-the-merrier seems to thrive is in the distribution of grants. The awarding body says, "There is only this much money to give away and there are so many of you applicants. So we are forced to spread it thin."

Now if a P1 million application for a performance or a film is awarded P400,000 and the proponent has no other source of funding, that is programming the project to fail. And so the theater and film landscape is littered with carcasses of failed grants. I think cutting a big thing up into little pieces whether it is a grant or an award is an invitation to mediocrity.

Who, by the way, checks the outcome of grants—the shows, the books, the researches, the conferences? Who assesses what succeeded and what failed? Who looks for new grantees? Who checks whether the funders are not also the grantees and the checkers, too? Who assesses which should be given more weight—a delegation to an important conference or the funding of a promising digital film?

What accounts for our small consumer market for the arts that it cannot make any cultural project survive for long? Even the best performances in CCP, the best art exhibits and the best books? Because the arts have never been considered necessary or important!

In New York everyone knows which new book is out, which play is showing (on Broadway, off Broadway) which exhibit, which musical. People talk about them because the papers seriously cover art happenings. Cultural events are as much a part of their lives as a hotdog. And so people are eager to pay for a ticket or a book they read about.

Who to blame?

It's media after all, that shapes our tastes. The acceptance of any creative work very much depends on what is said about it. But an inordinate importance is given by media to society goings-on, fashion and especially beauty, that is why so many people covet a botox, a belly tuck or a pair of Havaianas more than a book. A real review of a cultural event is a rare treat. And you'll never find a short story.

So, who is to blame? The readers? The editors? The publishers? The government? But the government can't even generate jobs for starving people! This is when I get a real nostalgia for Imelda Marcos. She had an artistic vision for the Filipino. She could spot budding talent. She gave scholarships to Cecile Licad, Rowena Arrieta, Coke Bolipata, Raul Sunico and other gifted kids. She established the Cultural Center, the Film Center, the National Artist Awards, the OPM Awards, the Bagong Anyo showcase for Filipino couture, the Makiling High School for the Arts, the Central Bank antiques collection. She was the embodiment of the Filipino terno, and you never caught her, even at 6 a.m., looking anything but radiant in it. But, of course, it all came with the hole in the sky and needed an entire dictatorship to support it!

Some say it was just her coterie that fed Imelda ideas. But then, she knew whom to co-opt and they were the cream of the crop—Leandro Locsin, Lucrezia Kasilag, Jaime Laya, Kerima Polotan, Carmen Guerrero Nakpil, Johnny Gatbonton, Yen Makabenta, Adrian Cristobal, Virgilio Almario. I mention this because I never saw such enthusiasm for culture in the two women presidents of the next dispensations. In fact, in a rare appearance, one actually left before Act II of a ballet. No attempt, please, to get Mrs. Marcos back into the limelight, just giving credit where it's past due.

I think the Filipino artist is a hero. He gives so much for so little. He can never collect royalties for his plays or musical compositions, otherwise Freddie Aguilar would be a millionaire now. Poverty is the artist's lot unless he finds means of support other than his art and a wife to hold up half the sky. The government hardly remembers him except when he can be politically used. Big business does not ask him to be an endorser of whiskey, slimming tea or underwear.

But he will passionately craft his piece with no other thought than to give it to the world. At what sacrifice! For next he will abjectly beg and borrow or sell some material possession to send his unrecognized creation abroad to compete. Where it will reap award after award—for filmmaker, actor, singer, painter, writer, musician, dancer. Ang galing ng Pilipino!

The artist is aware of the boxes and boxes that surround him and that the only way to be free of them is to blaze a trail for the bastions of culture to follow. Thus he becomes invulnerable. Because creation is the only divine act of which man is capable and the artist is most like his Maker when he is pouring his soul into his craft.

The article is the author's keynote speech during the 32nd Unyon ng Manunulat ng Pilipinas (Umpil) Writers' Congress.


was just remembering a conversation i had with a friend which echoed what ms gilda said about imelda marcos -- that imelda cared for the arts, really, and supported it wholly. putting her "edifice complex" aside, she really cared for the arts and supported it talaga. tama si ms gilda -- wala nito ang dalawang babaeng president after the marcoses. tsk. and they say women are what? right-brain mode, more artistic/creative/emotional chorva? hmp. kaya nga ganyan na lang ang state ng ncca at ccp ngayon noh. chakaness.

agree din ako sa pov niya regarding film grants. tama naman e. e sino nga ba ang makakakumpleto ng isang digifilm with half a mil? get real. e kung yung BATAD nga nag-overbudget ng 300k at yung DONSOL e umabot ng 2M (tangina e tadtarin mo kaya ng underwater videography), and then remembering raymond's dilemma of not being able to pull out ANG PAGDADALAGA NI MAXIMO OLIVEROS sa editing house kasi kapos na sila sa pambayad/pangtubos, wow indie headaches. tapos magbibigay nga, babawiin naman for some unfair reason or other, like what happened with ANGELA last year and sigrid bernardo's film this year. sayang... and then they let crap like IN DA RED KORNER and ROTONDA see the light of day? ay, dedma nah...

the filipino artist. kawawa nga today. kaya minsan nagpupumilit o nagkukumahog sumiksik sa mga lugar na masikip na. reminds me of these sampu sampera types of music events which i read posted on egroups everywhere -- mga multiple artists fare in one night at one bar/venue. ni hindi man ito special night na parang may "featured anthology of musicians" o may theme kumbaga. daming ganyan -- sa saguijo, kolumn bar, and now even the quiet sanctity of conspiracy is victim to these sampu sampera programmings. at least other genuine venues like 70s bistro still keep the spirit of truly listening to music alive and well, na focus ka sa isang grupo/musician at ninanamnam mo ang musika niya/nila ng tunay. i miss that. kaka-turn off kasi ang mga multiple-artist set-up minsan. nung huli nga akong nasa conspi, naiingayan lang kami ni teta e. at musikero na yun ha. e tas dumating pa si cynthia at nangati sa bad chord progression hehe. oh well. dati kasi mapayapa ka pang nakakapagkuwentuhan sa mga kaibigan mo doon e. ngayon, hindi na. sa mga bands pa lang, puno na ang lugar kaya nakaka-alienate minsan sa mga audience, parang sa saguijo. i love that place pa naman eh kaya lang ganun nga sila. alangan namang tumambay ako sa iloveyou store o sa gallery sa taas habang pinapalipas ko ang tugtugang di ko gusto di ba? oh well...

hay pinoy artists... sino ka na nga ba ngayon? i remember having this conversation like ten years ago with some boylets in a service van after a shoot. ito kasing isang ta-artits namin sa premiere dati, si richard quan, started asking me if i considered myself as an artist (whatever the hell started the conversation i cannot remember anymore). dahil sa boredom sa van and to humor them, i said yes. tapos sabi niya, naniniwala daw siyang dapat ang magde-define sa isang tao kung artist siya ay ibang tao at hindi yung taong iyon mismo. eh? nais ko siyang patulan pero well, hinayaan ko na lang ang boylet. nainggit siguro sa mga intellectual conversations ng isa kong kaopisina at ni romnick. e naman, we'd all rather talk to romnick no. jusme. so hinarap ko na lang yung isa pang boylet sa tabi ko na pinagkakatuwaan ang mga bracelets kong suot, si lawrence...something, basta yung lumabas sa SIBAK MIDNIGHT DANCERS dati. hmm, ano nga bang shoot yun? DAMONG LIGAW yata yung ginagawa naming pelikula noon. o CARIÑO BRUTAL? i can't remember...

pero may point si boylet. sino nga ba ang magde-define kung artist ka? parang sino ba ang magsasabing photographer ka bang tunay kahit ang exhibit mo ay gamit ang isang lomocam at kung anu-ano lang ang kinunan mo pero "art" na ito na tinuturing kasi lomocam ang gamit mo? (parang tanong sa akin ng isa kong student lately: mam, what do you think of lomocams? sagot ko: eh, wala. camera lang siya. i care more how the person making pindot that thing uses it) also checked out the lomography exhibit at future prospects sa cubao x kagabi kasi and hm... sige, kanya-kanya na nga lang ng definition ng artist/photographer, hane? hay...

artist. what a word. very loaded. when i hear that word being applied to me, it makes me feel like i should cut off my left ear or something or splash a can of paint on a wall while i'm naked (or worse, write a bunch of poems and then put my head inside a stove with the gas on or write a bunch of short stories and stuff my pockets with stones and walk directly towards the raging waters of a river or put the barrels of a de-sabog gun on my mouth after writing brilliant novels).* i saw a bunch of people during my fine arts stint who dressed more like an artist than being an artist on paper.  er, black lipstick/nail polish and tattoos with skull jewelry? but look at their artworks... hay. wala. i'm just whining.

and then there are legitimate super-established artists around who seem to be threatened by hyphenated artists of the younger generation. artists as teachers, writers, visual artists, musicians, performers. puwede na kasing all of the above ngayon, but the older generation seems to look down on this. sasabihin nila, jack of all trades, master of none kami. i beg to disagree. multiplicity counts this day and age in a world run by multi-tasking and tasking multiple lives.

ah well. i'm just rambling.

minsan kasi iniisip ko kung saan ba talaga matatagpuan ang tunay na community of artists, yung talagang nagkakaintindihan at hindi nang-e-exclude ng ibang tao. minsan kasi, may lalabas na mga produksyon na swak sa general umbrella ng "kami-kami productions" kasi basically, sila-sila na naman ang naghahari at nangingibabaw. tapos kapag sinabi mong gusto mong sumali o sumuporta, hindi ka nila papansinin dahil hindi ka "sikat" tulad nilang mga artist-artist daw. so again, who defines kung artist nga sila? oh well.

masama pa niyan minsan kung artist-artist daw sila tapos sinusubukan nilang kumuha ng mga adbokasiya at ipangalandakan na ito ang raison d'etre nila sa kanilang art chorva. pero the moment na nagkalintikan naman sa adbokasiya eh kanya-kanya na lang ng pagtatago at pagtatakip sa kani-kanilang mga puwit at naaabandona na ang mga tunay na sinawing-palad. minsan, naitatanong ko sa sarili ko kung talagang naiintindihan ng mga artist-artist na ito ang pinaggagagawa nilang abdokasiya. kasi minsan, sa pinakasimpleng aplikasyon lang sa buhay e di sila makapasa. paano pa kaya sa mas grand and grandeur na mga chorva? well...

wala lang, rambling again. ang dami na kasing thoughts sa utak ko regarding artists and people who persecute/undermine/revere them. well, eto na yun. pardon the chenelyn; it might be the rhum speaking. viva cuba!

*sige nga, name these artists who died this way/suffered this fate! go! one kiss for each correct answer hehe.

19 September 2006

do jamming sessions not war mongering: music for peace!

crucial week this is. the anniversary of the martial law dictatorship is on thursday, september 21. that infamous day in our country's history will turn into a musical sojourn as musically-inclined rights advocates perform for peace.

if you're free this thursday night, punta na kayo sa CHUNKY FAR FLUNG GALLERY within cubao x (marikina shoe expo cubao near the old COD dept store). my kawomenan friendships will be playing music from 9pm onwards. AND IT'S FOR FREE! donasyon na lang na bukal sa kalooban ninyo ang hiling nila.

don't miss CAROL BELLO BANDIDAS at the CHUNKY FAR FLUNG GALLERY in cubao x this september 21, 9.30pm.

pinikpikan's lead vocalist/composer/lyricist Carol Bello will be headlining this feminist-inspired but very down to earth "mini-gig for big peace" event this thursday night.

carol bello bandidas will play all-original compositions that reflect her and the group's angsty, sensual, spiritual and intellectual personas all packaged into fun yet through-provoking rhythms.

come and absorb these unique music fusions which she will play together with her own all-female band of equally rockin' women composed of former agaw agimat guitarist teta tulay, former kontragapi member guitarist jhen gamboa, UP-based musicians kwame biasbas and dibayn leaño, and malou matute who also plays percs for cynthia alexander/joey ayala.

this event is for free!

chunky far flung is within the marikina shoe expo compound in cubao near the old rustan's / COD dept store area (10 minutes away from the gateway complex). for a map of the arae, please visit http://cubao-x.blogspot.com .

see you there!


at isa pa! free concert din, this coming friday night. also for peace. yea, we can't say enough about how this freaking world needs PEACE! as in, now nah! no more wars, you testosterone-driven world leaders! stop the killings! stop the bombings! don't make the world into merely a "collateral damage" tienes! 

peace concert



15 September 2006

new technology news as plot patterns


c'mon, you just gotta love this headline:


"Jilted woman seeks hit man to kill rival spied on MySpace"

 sabi pa:

A jilted girlfriend tried to hire a hit man to kill her boyfriend's new love in Arizona after spotting her rival's picture on his MySpace social networking Web page, police said on Thursday.

"Basically, we got a murder for hire," said police Detective Jerry Gissel. "A young lady was jealous that her boyfriend moved in with another girl." "She did her own investigative work and found out the girl was one of the people on her boyfriend's MySpace.com friends list."

MySpace, a website considered the hip place to socialize online, has become a globally popular place on the Internet for people to bare details of their lives.

After identifying the target, Kane told an acquaintance she would pay to have the woman killed, according to police.


read it all here.

love it! in six months, may pelikula nang ganyan ang isang plot pattern sa hollywood. pustahan.

sa klase ko nga the other day, may nag-pitch na student na horror story na sa friendster naman iikot para sa kanyang script project. nakakatuwa. sana maganda ang kalabasan nun. parang dati naman, yung dati kong estudyante, sa blog naman pinaikot ang kuwento. natawa lang ako sa sinabi niya nung sinabi kong nagba-blog din ako. sabi  niya "ay talaga mam nagba-blog ka din?" as if gulat wsiyang alam ko what a blog is. hello lola, nag-u-UPCAT pa lang kayo, nagba-blog na ang byuti ko. hm, siguro ng students have a hard time thinking of their teachers as hip, in the know and updated with current technological trends and fads. well sorry na lang sila pero ganito kaming mga bagong guro ngayon e. pa-hi-tech-an nga sa faculty meeting e. tulad nung dean namin, may-i-ladlad siya ng kanyang palm at yung accompanying keyboard na natitiklop for that. sosyal! the gadget freak in me died with envy. Tongue out pero ayos lang. nag-mellow down na nga ako sa pagiging gadget freak e. simple lang. you can't take it with you, man. at pag nasira o nawala, iiyak ka lang. kaya i can make do with the basics na now. ewan ko ba, back to nature chenelyn ang drama ng lola niyo lately. Cool

muling pagsilip sa kalawakang ito


matagal-tagal na rin akong di nakakasulat dito kaya minarapat kong magsulat ng kahit kaunti ngayong gabi, lalo na't nawala na sa kandungan ko pansamantala (hay salamat) ang isang mahilig magpakandong diyan... ang aking kuting na si em-em.

medyo sumambulat ako kaninang umaga sa di inaasahang kadahilanan at sa gawaing iyon, nakasakit ako ng isang nilalang na aking pinakaiingatan. humingi na ako ng paumanhin at nagkaintindihan na kaming muli, pero natakot akong baka umulit na naman ang ganoong kabanata kaya napaisip ako...

paano nga ba iiwasan ang mga panandaliang sambulat ng emosyong negatibo? ito ang lagi kong kinakaharap na demonyito sa mga nakaraang linggo. kadalasan nama'y natitiis ko ito at di siya lumalabas. pero bakit kaya ngayon ay madalas siyang magparamdam?

minsan naiisip ko, kasi maraming hunghang sa paligid ko. maikli ang pasensiya ko sa mga hunghang sa paligid, lalo na't katrabaho mo sila. kapag mabait ka sa kanila, aabusuhin ka. kapag salbahe ka sa kanila, itsitsismis ka nila sa buong lupalop ng opisina. paano na kaya ang pakikitungo sa ganitong mga nilalang? hay kay hirap. baldado't pilay ka na nga dahil hunghang sila, ganiyan pa ang gagawin nila. numinipis tuloy anpang-unawa mo at umiikli lalo ang pansesiya mo bilang tao sa kabuuan. hay buhay...

kaya minsan, nais ko na lang maglagi sa bahay ko, kung saan nakakaramdam ako ng panandaliang kapayapaan ng isip at kaluluwa, malayo sa mga hunghang. may internet naman at cable tv kaya alam ko pa rin ang nangyayari sa labas ng bahay, bansa at mundo. marami namang kainan sa tabi-tabi kaya di ako magugutom. ayoko yatang lumayo sa panandaliang santuwaryong ito. kahit sandali lang.

kaya lang, kelangan na namang lumisan. hindi na maganda sa katawan at kalusugan ang kinalalagyang ito kaya kailangan na namang kumilos...

hay buhay.

sa ibayong balita, nagugulat lang ako sa mga naririnig ko sa tabi-tabi ukol sa mga kaibigang naghihiwalayan sa pagiging magka-ibig-an.  pero sadyang ganyan ang buhay. kahit itinali ng diyos at binasbasan ng batas ang isang samahan, kung di na talaga ukol ay di na bubukol. kaya kailangan nang lumargang muli at maglayag. siyempre madaling sabihin pero mahirap gawin. pero naniniwala ako sa tibay ng damdamin ng mga kaibigan kong ito kaya siguradong makakabangong muli ito. 

minsan ganyan talaga. may pag-iibigang kailangang tapusin na, lalo na't kung di na akma sa ugali at panahon. kailangan talaga nating tanggapin na walang sagradong samahan. walang ugnayang pinagtitibay ng panahon. walang pagniniig na pangangatawanan ng tadhana.  walang kasunod ang happily ever after. ang maniwala sa ganyang konsepto ay isang ligaw na nilalang na nabubuhay sa loob ng isang mito. kailangan nating magising lahat. nakakabaliw ang makulong sa konseptong laging ibinebenta sa atin ng midya sa tulong ng pasko at balentino. pinanganak kang nag-iisa -- kahit may kakambal ka, isa-isa pa rin kayong lalabas -- at magtatapos din ang buhay natin nang nag-iisa (di ka naman dadamayan ng mga kamag-anak o kaibigan mo diba, na sasamahan ka nila at mamamatay din sila kasabay mo).


sa ibang ibayo naman, ang matalik kong kaibigan noong haiskul ay naghahanda na sa kanyang nalalapit na kasal. nais ko siyang batiin ng malugod pero di ko magawa dahil di ako naniniwala sa konsepto ng kasal. ipagdarasal ko na lang sa mga diyosa na nawa'y maging masaya ang buhay niya kasama ang lalaking napili niyang pakisamahan habambuhay. at sana'y walang magkasakitan sa kanila.


nitong mga nakaraang linggo at araw, may mga kahuntahan ako tungkol sa depresyon. naalala ko tuloy ang isang sesyon naming magkakaibigan sa sunken garden kung saan nag-usap-usap kami tungkol sa sabjek na ito. nakakagulat pero nakakakalma ring isiping lahat pala kami halos ay tinatamaan nito. at sa tulong din ng isa sa amin na talagang seryosong kinaharap ito sa isang bahagi ng buhay niya, nalinawan kami sa maraming isyu at istigma n patungkol dito. 

minsan tuloy, naiisip kong wala talagang nilalang ang makakaintindi ng hangganan ng sakit na ito. oo, sakit siya pero tulad ng sinat, di ganoon apektado ang lahat at minsanan lang kung dumating. o kaya'y parang sipon na minsan wala naman pero minsang paggising mo ay ayaw kang tantanan.

kung may katuwang ka sa buhay ay dapat handa siyang intindihin ang iba't ibang pasakalyeng pagdaraanan mo bilang nilalang na may ganitong minsanang karamdaman. dahil kung hindi, lalabas ka lang na mababaw, tinotopak na walan saysay o nagkakatoyo nang walang pakundangan -- na hindi naman talaga. malakas kasi ang diskriminasyon sa kultura natin laban sa mga taong nakakaramdam ng depresyon. maraming bansag. sabi nga ng kahuntahan ko, "sira ulo" ang laging binyag. at dahil kay miriam santiago dati, "brenda" (brain damage) naman ngayon. napakabaluktot na pananaw pero ganoon tayong mga pinoy kadalasan -- mapanghusga.

kaya dati ay natutuwa ako tuwing may paambong raket sa akin ang isang batikang direktor diyan na nagpapasulat ng talumpati tungkol sa mga ganitong sabjek. nakakatulong sa pang-unawa ko ang pananaliksik na ginagawa ko para sa kanya. syempre masaya rin dahil maganda ang bayad niya :)

nakupo at narito na naman ang kuting. saglit.


sa pagtatalon-talon ko sa mga blog ng iba't ibang kaibigan, sakto namang natagpuan ko ang isang tulang akma sa sinusulat ko. at isa sa pinakapaborito kong tula. sinulat ni ruth mabanglo. pinamagatang "kung ibig mo akong makilala."

gusto ko ang tulang ito dahil sa huli niyang mga linya:

kung ibig mo akong kilalanin

sisirin mo ako hanggang buto

liparin mo ako hanggang utak

umilanglang ka hanggang kaluluwa --

hubad ako roon: mula ulo hanggang paa.

kung hindi ka kikilabutan riyan, ewan ko na lang. wala ka sigurong kaluluwa.

naalala ko nung sa wakas ay natagpuan ko ang libro niya ng mga tula sa dumaguete salahat pa ng lugar sa pilipinas, nakatiwangwang sa sahig kasama ang ibang librong malaki ang bawas sa presyo noong 2000. natangahan ako sa may-ari ng restawran kung saan ko ito natagpuan dahil di niya alam ang halaga ng koleksiyon na ito. pero mabuti na lang din, kundi mataas siguro ang presyo nito at di ko nakuha ng mura. kaya kung may mabuting kinalabasan ang tag-init na palihan ng taon kong iyon sa dumaguete, isa ito doon.


kakarinig ko lang din nito noong isang gabi nang kinanta ni susan fernandez ang bersyong kanta nito. ang galing. nasa eve-olution concert ako noon at nakakatuwang marinig siya sa entablado, matapos magwala ang ilang mga walang katuturang bandang puro lalaki ang tumutugtog (na di namin mawari kung bakit naroon dahil selebrasyon ng kababaihan ang gabing iyon). 

nakakatuwa. nakakatuwa ring maobserbahan siya sa backstage at ang anak niyang musikero din na tumutugtog sa brigada. mag-inang musikero, tugtugan ang koneksyon. nakakaaliw. at nakakainggit.

minsan kong pinangarap na matutong maggitara. magaling maggitara ang tatay ko at lumaki akong pinakikinggan ang mga kantang tinutugtog niya at pinakikinggan. pero tuwing hihikayatin ko siyang turuan akong tumugtog, ang sagot niya sa akin lagi ay "ayan ang isa pang gitara at chordbook, aralin mo!" naturalmente, hindi ko nagawa iyon. nais ko kasi ng may magtuturo sa akin. hindi pala siya iyon.

kaya sa ibang tao ako nagpaturo. pero ibang  instrumento nga lang. tambol. pero ibang kuwento naman iyon.


sa usaping gitara, naalala ko lang noong isang linggo dahil napagitna ako sa dalawang gitarista isang gabi. bihira mangyari ito kaya parang kakaiba yung pangyayari sa akin. yung mas nakatatanda sa kanila ay napipikon na sa bandang naririnig naming tumutugtog sa kabila. paulit-ulit niyang sinasabing "it's just the same chord progression!" tapos sasabihin isa-isa kung anong chord. sabi pa niya "ayan nangangati na ako!" sabi ko tuloy "wow, you're allergic to bad music?" sabi naman ng nakababatang gitarista sa kanya "alam mo ba yang kantang yan? pakinggan mo kasi yung lyrics." at medyo paulit-ulit ng kaunti ang ganitong usapan.

sabi ng isa kong kaibigang musikero din, ganoon lang daw talaga silang mga musikero; di maiwasang magkomento ng mga ganoon dahil sensitibo sila sa musika. sabagay, kung may di magandang pelikula naman, ngumingiwi rin ako na parang babolgam na nawawalan na ng tamis. kaya parang naintindihan ko na ang sinasabi niya.

ang maganda sa nakatatandang gitarista ay naaalala niya kung sino ako, di tulad ng isa pang musikerodaw diyan sa tabi-tabi na sampung beses na kaming pinakikilala sa buhay na ito ay di niya maalala ang pangalan ko -- hanggang sa nakita niya akong kasama ang isang kaibigan kong kaibigan niya rin, at nagsimulang mang-intriga sa kaibigan naming iyon nang walang katuturan (hay, sadyang ganyan yata ang kapalaran ng isang lesbiyana na mapatabi lang sa isang matalik na kaibigang babae ay pag-iisipan na ng masama ng iba at iisiping may relasyon kayo ng babaeng katabi mo, kahit wala naman). kaya di ko na siya pinapansin ngayon dahil tulad ng sa hunghang, wala akong pasensiya sa mga intrigera.

batid ko nga sa kaibigan kong kaibigan niya rin, ang mga intrigera ang may pinakamaraming tinatagong lihim/baho sa pagkatao kaya mas inuurirat nila ang buhay ng may buhay kesa sa atupagin ang buhay nila. kaya ang teorya ko ay lesbiyana siguro itong intrigera -- na kung di may pagnanasa sa akin ay may pagnanasa sa kaibigan kong kaibigan niya rin. pero talo siya sa parehong aspeto dahil (1) di ko siya papatulan kahit siya pa man ang huling babae sa balat ng lupa matapos dumaan ang isang delubyo at kami lang ang nabuhay at (2) di pumapatol sa babae ang kaibigan kong kaibigan niya rin.

kaya para siyang isang mekong country. laos.


sa muling pagtalon-talon sa mga babasahin, nakita kong ang isang nilalang naman na lagi nilang sinasabing may pagnanasa sa akin ay tila may pagtingin na sa isa pang nilalang. mabuti naman dahil kung lagi lang siyang nakatanaw sa aking kinaroroonan ay pareho kaming walang patutunguhan. di kasi ako naghahanap ng relasyon at kahit anong pilit ko ay di ako magkakagusto sa may gusto sa akin kung di ko sila gusto. mabuti't masaya na siya ngayon.

ang di ko lang gusto ay ang pagpaparamdam pa ng isang nilalang na katulad nito. nagkukunwaring kaibigan pero pagtalikod ko ay nais palang saksakin ang mga babaeng natitipuhan ko para siguro mapasakanya ako. napakababaw na nilalang at masyadong manlilinlang kaya ayoko nang madikit pa samga kinabibilangan niya. matapobre siyang tao at tulad ng hunghang at intrigera, wala akong pasensiya sa mga taong matapobre.


at bilang panghuli, nagpabiktima na naman ako sa isa sa mga ito. 

1.Pano pag mahal ka ng taong mahal mo?

- e di happiness! 

2.Pag di ka mahal ng taong mahal mo?

- e di sadness!

3.Pag iniwan ka ng taong mahal mo dahil di ka na niya mahal?

- e di tanga siya!

4.Pag iniwan ka ng taong mahal mo kahit na mahal ka pa niya?

- e di alam kong totoo ang nararamdaman niya para sa akin dahil sakripisyong tunay at wagas ang gawaing ito

5.Pag iniwan mo yung taong mahal mo dahil sa ibang bagay kahit na mahal mo pa siya?

- sana ay maunawaan niya kung bakit ko ginagawa iyon at huwag niyang iangkla sa pagsasama namin dahil di naman iyon ang dahilan. bagkus nais ko siyang protektahan kaya ako lumalayo at sana ay mapatawad niya ako sa ginawa kong iyon.

6.Pag iniwan ka ng taong mahal mo dahil may mahal siyang iba?

- ay puta siya. lintik lang ang walang karmic retribution.

7.Pag inagaw siya sayo ng iba?

- buwisit silang dalawa. muli, lintik lang ang walang karmic retribution.

8.Pag napunta sa iba yung mahal mo kahit na ikaw ang mahal niya?

- baka kailanang pagnilay-nilayan kung talagang mahal niya ako dahil bakit di niya mapanindigang sumama sa akin kung ako daw ang mahal niya. sa madaling salita, bomalabas sha.

9. Pag pinagpalit ka ng mahal mo sa taong hindi niya mahal?

- itatanong ko kung bakit ko siya minahal in the first place

10.Pag ginamit ka lang ng taong mahal mo

- kung mindblowing sex naman ang namagitan sa amin e di ayos lang. ginamit ko na rin sha. devah? 


08 September 2006

of old farts and ancient wisdumbs


Despite the subdued tone in Isagani Cruz's Sunday column (The Right To Criticize, PDI Sept 3, 2006), he is still his recalcitrant self spraying his bile of anti-gay and anti-women descriptions when he thinks he can get away with it.

He's in a snit over his employer, the Inquirer, publishing a pro-gay editorial and eight letters to the editors attacking him in bald contrast to the one letter for him. He should have asked the Letters Editor first for he would have been told there actually was only ONE letter of support as opposed to the hundreds that were critical of his mean spirited attack on the gay community.

He grouses about being the victim of name-calling. "Old fart," "asshole" and others he cynically describe as "typical endearments." (They're not.) My, my. Isagani conveniently forgets that he started the name calling in his first column with vituperative words that civilized people no longer use out of respect for gays, lesbians, bi-sexuals and transgenders. So, if we, the aggrieved party should sling shit back at him (he won't admit receiving thoughtful criticisms as well) he needn't get too uppity.

Did you read that comment about how he takes accusations in good grace and that he does not "…scream and faint like a woman spurned?" Aside from being a sexist swipe at women isn't that comment so out of context? So Victorian? Women these days dump uncooperative boyfriends, find mates who'd treat them fairly, and take virile and abusive men to court. Fainting women, Isagani, went the way of smelling salts.

Sometimes you just have to wait patiently to see a snake bite its own tail. Isagani cites American Senator Joseph McCarthy's anti-communist witch-hunt in the early 1950's. McCarthy, along with his sidekick, the right wing lawyer Roy Cohn dragged many people before congressional investigations and accused them of being communists. Isagani forgot to add that McCarthy and Cohn went after homosexuals as well, hauling them into congressional investigations, accusing them of being a "lavender menace," "a pervert peril," and a "homosexual underground" abetting a "communist conspiracy." As a result, many homosexuals saw their careers ruined, were fired from their jobs, went underground or shunned.

Compare these to Isagani's recent homophobic statements of gays : "association of homos, " "gay invasion," people being "…converted into a nation of sexless persons." There is no mistaking the similarity of mindset.

McCarthy and Cohn's rabid anti-gay witch-hunt has been attributed to their having been closeted homosexuals. And, closeted tormented homosexuals have a record of being extra vicious with their own, more open kind.

Of course, this is where McCarthy and Cohn part company with Isagani. McCarthy after being exposed as queer married his secretary. Cohn would continue his closeted ways. While straight-as-an-arrow Cruz begat, in his own words, "five sons (all machos)" all having grown up at a time when "students were certifiably masculine." How terribly reassuring.

The McCarthy anti-communist and anti-gay witch-hunts so offended the American public's sense of fair play that the Senate censured him and he died in 1957 an alcoholic and despised man. In reaction American gays began to organize and in ten years time would come out and start the gay liberation movement. The media began to review and revise the reporting, treatment and description of the gay community. Today, anyone attempting to write a column about the "pervert peril" or, in the Isagani style, an "association of homos" would be ridiculed and his story never see print.

With the advent of the civil rights and the women's movement, a new cultural norm developed that Americans adhere to no matter their personal sympathies. In the media, discriminatory and offensive articles are no longer acceptable not for "fear of a vindictive minority" as Isagani wrongly contends. Rather, decent Americans find such writings counter productive to the greater good of a fair-minded and all-inclusive society.

This bout with Isagani Cruz actually bodes well for Filipino gays. We were challenged and we fought back. The wave of indignant letters the Inquirer received, the calls for a boycott, the visit of a gay contingent with the Inquirer publisher, the television coverage and other militant actions indicate that gays have come out in full force and will no longer tolerate hate-mongering. It feels like 1957 all over again when Americans decided to be rid of McCarthy and his inquisition. Isagani Cruz should take a leaf from that page in history or else be ignominiously noted in some future historical footnote as the last columnist to insult Filipino women, gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders.

Given Isagani's obstinate outbursts, we ask the Inquirer to stand by its own code of ethics which clearly state that their writers not "ridicule, cast aspersions or degrade persons by reason of" among others, "sex and sexual preference." Isagani is piqued that his own newspaper has not sided with him. But he still persists in provocatively insulting women and gays in language that violates that code. Your next editorial on this matter needs to be less pabulum and more principled, a disavowal of hate-mongering journalism. Failing to do that lowers your paper's standards and you will become the object of opprobrium from media colleagues here and abroad.

Mga kafatid, Kahit paano napagtagumpayan natin si Isagani Cruz... ngayon eto naman si Jose Sison, na sa palagay ko lamang kailangan nating sagutin bilang komunidad kasama siyempre ang kilusan ng mga kababaihan dahil ultimo sila ay tinara ng article na ito (actually mas maraming dahilan ang mga kababaihan).

Time to speak out A LAW EACH DAY(KEEPS TROUBLE AWAY) By Jose C. Sison The Philippine Star 09/08/2006

Congressional committees are created purportedly to expedite sound and correct decision-making by the bigger legislative body composed of people with varying degrees of knowledge and expertise and with differing persuasions and opinions. They are supposed to achieve unity in diversity and promote efficiency especially in matters of governance for the common good. To serve their purpose, these committees usually call on or even hire experts, conduct researches, gather facts and hold open and fair hearings first before coming up with their recommendations to the larger assembly that created them.

The public expects that the members of these committees vote primarily according to the dictates of their well informed consciences after a complete and thorough study and consideration of the facts gathered. They are not supposed to allow pakikisama, horse trading or quid pro quo, or political affiliation to influence their decisions. When bills or other legislative actions are reported out by a committee for consideration and approval of the entire House in plenary session, people should feel comfortable that they are either ripe for enactment into laws or for approval by the body because they are supposed to be for the welfare and interest of the public in general.

In the House of Representatives however, committees are now being invariably used to ram through some proposals and courses of actions that are pre-conceived and designed to suit the purposes of certain political personalities with self-serving political agenda. The recent Justice Committee resolution on the impeachment complaint and the last resolution of the Committee on Constitutional Amendments on the draft proposals for Charter change through the questionable Constituent Assembly are obviously but a few examples of committee decisions done purely for partisan purposes.

On the other hand, other committees in the lower house are likewise becoming instruments of some of its members or of certain powerful lobby groups working through some members whose views have apparently been narrowed or dimmed by limited or total lack of knowledge or ignorance of the subject of the proposed bills. Thus some bills hurdle the committee level despite shallow grounds backing them up. Conscientious objectors to some bills also recall encountering difficulties in airing their stand when some committees decide to conduct hearings behind closed doors or when hearings are shifted to committees more friendly and more inclined to favorably act on the bills. Situations also arise when some congressmen or congresswomen who are on opposite sides of the political fence find themselves working together for the passage of some bills after realizing that they still belong to the same "old boys' club". These prevailing practices have elicited suggestions that the lower house create instead "fact facing" committees rather than the present "fact finding" committees.

Unfortunately, due perhaps to these practices some bills having detrimental repercussions on the temporal and spiritual welfare of Filipinos and their families have finally been reported out by various committees for possible consideration and approval by the lower house in its plenary session after being introduced, shelved and reintroduced in the previous Congresses.

Currently on the pipeline and ready to flow out into the floor of the lower house for debate are: (1) House Bill (HB) 3773 approved by the Committee on Women although originally heard by the Committee on Health which is a comprehensive "Reproductive Health" and Population Control oriented bill euphemistically titled "Responsible Parenthood and Population Management Act of 2005"; (2) HB 5285 approved also by the Committee on Women graciously titled "The Magna Carta for Women" recognizing certain inviolable women's rights including birth control and contraception; (3) HB 634 appealingly entitled "The Anti-Discrimination Act" approved by the Committee on Civil, Political and Human Rights obviously removing all sorts of discrimination and thus legalizing and licensing same sex unions; and (4) HB 5012 approved by the Committee on Labor and Employment which is an Act requiring private employers to give free annual seminars on women's rights, gender development and equality etc.

Needless to say, these bills contain many fallacies, wrong premises, ambiguous terms susceptible to misuse or abuse, and erroneous conclusions of facts. They have harmful consequences on the health and welfare especially of women and pernicious effects on the Filipino family as a basic social institution. While these fatal defects have been pointed out and extensively discussed in previous columns, there is still the danger and the possibility that despite these fatal defects the bills may be approved simply because the improper practices during the committee level hearings may spill over to the floor of the lower house during its deliberations. But in fairness to our congressmen and women, many of them may be in good faith. They may not be fully informed of the gut issues involved in these bills.

So instead of wringing our hands in fear or distrust let's ring the congressmen or women in our districts; or write them letters especially those in the far flung areas. Tell them of the real score about these anti-life and anti-family bills and gently remind them that the real score of their votes in the next election may depend on how they will discharge their legislative functions in this regard.

E-mail us at jcson@pldtdsl.net

SEPARATE OPINION Separate Opinion : The right to criticize

First posted 06:01am (Mla time) Sept 03, 2006

By Isagani Cruz Inquirer

Editor's Note: Published on page A10 of the September 3, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

THE right to criticize is inherent in every person and is recognized as included in the freedom of expression guaranteed by the Constitution. It is as powerful as the right to agree, perhaps more so because it keeps democracy alive and not a mere conformist regime of automatic assenters.

When Sen. Joseph McCarthy began his communist witch-hunt that ruined many reputations in the United States during the '50s, the US Senate reacted sharply, albeit rather belatedly, and formally censured him. His constituents in Wisconsin followed suit in their disgust and consigned him to a well-deserved disgrace.

The Watergate scandal would never have been exposed were it not for the courage of two reporters from the Washington Post who dared criticize the then majority Republican Party and their sitting President of the United States. If the press had simply kept docilely quiet, Nixon would have remained in office to commit further misdeeds.

Susan B. Anthony complained against the treatment of women as second-class citizens and joined the campaign for their right to vote. She was convicted of voting illegally, fined $100 she refused to pay, and persisted in her right to criticize her detractors. In the end, women suffrage was granted by the 19th Amendment of the US Constitution.

It is not only in political matters that the right to criticize is important. It may also be exercised in civic, moral, financial and other issues affecting the public welfare.

John Scopes was prosecuted in 1925 for teaching the theory of evolution in the Bible belt of the United States. He was derided and physically threatened for his right to question the worshipful story of Adam and Eve. Despite his brilliant defense by Clarence Darrow, he was convicted for his then unconventional beliefs that are now accepted throughout the world.

Some views are generally held by the public but are not openly expressed because of fear of retaliation from their prickly subjects. Even supposedly free newspapers are intimidated and toe the line of discreet silence. Or they may even assist the angry "victims" and accommodate them with shrill publicity, to the prejudice of their well-intentioned critics.

In a healthy democracy, controversy is encouraged, not avoided. But the media, while they should not remain neutral, must not forget their responsibility of balanced reporting. They should not allow themselves to be daunted by the noisier side with its threats and vituperation. What they should understand but refuse to accept is that the other side may be the silent majority.

It is silent because it fears the wrath of the vindictive minority. The objections will be based supposedly on high principles of human rights, decency and equality before the law. But it is in reality a malignant opposition that refutes ideas with name-calling.

I often dissented from my colleagues on the Supreme Court and one of them even described me as "coddling criminals." I took his accusation in good grace because I knew it was made without malice or rancor. I did not scream and faint like a woman spurned.

As a columnist in this paper, I have written on many controversial subjects and expressed ideas not to court public agreement but to invite healthy debate. My feelings are familiar to many of my readers and, while sometimes provocative, are never evil-minded or discourteous.

I have criticized the President of the Philippines and the Cabinet, the members of Congress, the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Commissions, the military, local officials, actors turned politicians, the entertainment industry, fashion shows, the conversion of farmlands into golf courses, and other matters relevant to the public welfare. My views have mostly been received agreeably, some resentfully but politely, others silently, but in every case respectfully.

That is why I felt challenged when I was attacked with feline ferocity for criticizing those homosexuals (and only them) who by their vulgarity were demeaning their class in general. Many of them contradicted me not with ideas but with venom. They called me an asshole, an old fart, a bigot, a hate-monger, a neo-Nazi and other typical endearments.

Fortunately, their more vicious letters did not see print in the Inquirer, which nonetheless published eight attacks against me compared to only one in my defense. Its editorial of Aug. 21 was also clearly in their favor.

A letter from Germany, published in this paper's website but not in the more accessible broadsheet, was from a reader who said he did not have anything against homosexuals. But he added that he could not accept the sight of persons of the same sex publicly kissing each other on the lips. That is the common sentiment of the silent majority in this country who are afraid to speak up as I did.

04 September 2006

isa munang paalala

kasalukuyang lunod sa trabaho ang lola niyo pero nakasingit pa rin ng panahong magsulat ng konti. at magliwaliw.

eto at gumawa ako ng bagong film review blog. unang binyag diyan ang mga cinemalaya short films. check it out.

balita ko lang na nakawala at okay na si teta! yey. kaya tuloy na ulit ang pagproseso namin ng papers niya dahil kukunin ko siyang magturo ng animation next sem :)

at habang nagmumuni-muni, sinagutan ko na rin ito:

Ten years ago, it was 1996. Take this survey, post the results, and see how many things have changed since then:

1) How old were you?
THEN: 23 nene pa. ching!
NOW: 33 nene pa rin. ching!

2) Where did you go to school?
THEN: tapos na ko by then. just got out of the film dept of masscomm in UP Diliman
NOW: back in that dept only now as teacher. and finishing my MA in CAL. next up is phd in MP

3) Where did you work?
THEN: premiere entertainment productions under the office of the president cirio santiago
NOW: up film institute

4) Where did you live?
THEN: marikina pa at that point
 NOW: kyusi

5) How was your hairstyle?
THEN: long shiny straight
NOW: long shiny straight

6) Did you wear braces?
THEN: i think natanggal na by that time
 NOW: wala. sungki ulit ako

7) Did you wear contacts?
 NOW: reading glasses na

8) Did you wear glasses?
THEN: nope
 NOW: reading nga

9) Who was your best friend?
THEN: i think si tk
 NOW: si tk pa rin at si moist

10) Which of your pets were still alive?
THEN: si archie the dog
 NOW: si frutagurna the dog, si mm da kitty, si bast da cat and her kitties hitler and liner

11) Who was your boyfriend/girlfriend?
THEN: actually i was at the 'cusp' of my sexuality back then. i just dumped my bf and was about to acquire a gf
 NOW: e ayun. gelay na ang type hehe. wala, i'm single. don't want a relationship. hada only. okay? at least malinaw yan. yes i have become a gay guy. :P

12) Who was your celebrity crush?
THEN: hanga kami kay jaclyn jose
NOW: hm... wala e

13) Who was your crush?
THEN: wala
NOW: e lalong wala

14) How many piercings did you have?
THEN: i remember one of my ears having three holes
NOW: i don't like piercings na

15) How many tattoos did you have?
THEN: wala
NOW: e henna lang kaya ng powers ko

16) What was your favorite band/singer?
THEN: wala yata, puro foreign pinakikinggan ko. pero we trip on regine's r2k album nun ata. i think. saka osts. and alt groups plus the burgeoning grunge sound. i hate mainstream pop
NOW: osts pa rin. mga women singer-songwriters' songs. i hate mainstream opm ek; all bands sound the same

17) Have you smoked cigarettes?
THEN: as in. from marllights to gudang menthol to sampoerna lights menthol
NOW: i quit. but i miss my indonesian cigs. was reminiscing nga about this days ago with the new zealand amba's wifey (she's indonesian kasi). she used to smoke clove cigs din daw pero had to quit kasi nagka-baby

18) Have you gotten drunk?
THEN: then more than now. we used to tambay at sidebar sa el pueblo (ortigas opis ko) and wait for the happy hour and order 3 drinks each hehe. was with my officemates, my 'girl friends' in that sex and the city mode.  then we stay the whole night. yuck i was so het then. kadiri.
NOW: hinay na lang

19) Had you DRIVEN?
THEN: yea. call me schumacher. edsa is indy500
NOW: nothing to drive na eh

20) If so, which car?
THEN: toyota...hm. forgot
 NOW: tuyot na

21) Looking back, are you where you thought you would be in 2006?
no. i expected to be in hollywood e working at jodie foster's egg pictures. hehehe. ching! no, i really don't plan that far in my life. what's the point? tomorrow you might get hit by a truck and die. so enjoy what you have today.

22) so how do i see myself in 2016?
eto, still a lesbian, still writing, pero siguro somewhere in a villa somewhere not in the pinas, like hemingway hidden in cuba or something. hm let me pick a latin country... sige brazil hehe.

dapat meron ding tanong na ganito:
ten years ago, what was everybody doing? -- writing a screenplay
today, what is everybody doing? -- shooting a music video
ten years from now, what will everybody do? -- direct a full-length digital film

eto pa isang tripping.

I have lived through 72 out of these 99 things

Message:put numbers in the boxes instead of x's (ex.1,2,3,4) repost this as "I have lived through __ out of these 99 things"

[1] I have read a book before (i wish i had more time to read now!)

[] I have run more than 2 miles without stopping.

[] I have been to Canada. (muntikan)

[2] I have been on some sort of sports team. (basketball player in hs)

[3] I have watched cartoons for hours before (saturday morning ritual)

[4] I have tripped UP the stairs. (oo tanga eh)

[] I have fallen down an entire flight of stairs.

[] I have been snowboarding/skiing. (but i wanna try this)

[5] I have played ping pong.

[6] I swam in the ocean.

[]I have been on a whale watch.  (dolphin watch pa lang)

[7] I have seen fireworks.

[8] I have seen a shooting star.  (meteorite or comet dapat)

[9] I have seen a meteor shower.

[10] I have almost drowned.

[11] I have been so embarrassed I wanted to disappear

[12] I have listened to one cd over & over & over again.  (alanis' jagged little pill was a blast when it first came out. saka rent)

[] I have had stitch(es).

[] I have licked a frozen pole and got stuck there.

[13] I have stayed up til 6am doing homework /projects. (when you're in film, you do this all the time)

[14] I currently have a job. (how i wish i could bum around lang now)

[] I have been ice skating.

[] I have been rollerblading.

[] I have fallen flat on my face.

[15] I have tripped over my own two feet.

[16] I have been in a fist fight.

[17] I have played videogames/com for more than 3 hours straight.   (try playing those city-building games)

[18] I have watched The Power Rangers before.

[19] I have attended Church regularly. (when i was still a good catholic gurl)

[20] I have played truth or dare. (with scary and sexy results)

[21] I have already had my 16th birthday.

[22] I have already had my 17th birthday.

[23] I've called someone stupid. And meant it.

[24] I've been in a verbal argument.

[25] I've cried in school.

[26] I've played basketball on a team.

[] I've played softball on a team.

[] I've played football on a team.

[] I've played soccer on a team.

[] I've done cheerleading on a team.

[] I've swam on a team.

[27] I've been swimming more than 30 times in my life.

[28] I've bungee jumped.  (yea and i want to repeat it. sarap! sa macau tower naman! hehe)

[] I've climbed a rock wall before.

[29] I've lost more than $20.  (try 200 dollars)

[30] I've called myself an idiot

[31] I've called someone else an idiot

[32] I've cried myself to sleep

[33] I've had (or have) pets.

[] I've owned a Spice Girls cd. and or tape  (puwede bang i have one or two of their songs?)

[] I've owned a Britney Spears cd  (same with this. trip ko yung remake nya ng 'my prerogative' ni bobby brown. and nothing more)

[] I've owned an N*Sync cd

[] I've owned a Backstreet Boys cd

[34] I've mooned someone

[35] I've sworn at someone in authority

[36] I've been in the school newspaper /insights.

[37] I've been on TV  (there was even a time somebody said she saw/heard me on tv speaking in a rally but i wasn't there! but i think she's just crappy)

[38] I've eaten sushi.

[39] I've been on the other side of a waterfall

[40] I've watched all of the Lord of the Rings movies. (tho i cant remember if i finished rotk)

[41] I've watched all the Harry Potter movies. (naman)

[42] I've watched the 3 Stooges at least once. (favorite ko si curly e)

[] I've watched "Newlyweds" Nick & Jessica. (no but my sister used to text me jessica's hilarious inanities kasi she watches that in the US)

[43] I've watched Looney Tunes before. (naman. official cartoon of my generation. dedma kay disney. ke-rooowk!)

[] I've been stuffed into a locker

[44] I've been called a geek.

[45] I've studied hard for a test and got a bad grade.  (chong, i hate natsci)

[46] I've not studied at all for a test and aced it. (tsk. cinematography was my thang before kasi)

[47] I've met a celebrity / music / TV artist. (too many for my own good sometimes. nakakasawa na)

[48] I've written poetry.

[] I've been arrested

[49] I've been attracted to someone much older than me (i always go for owlder women hehe)

[50] I've been tickled till I've cried

[51]I've tickled someone else until they cried

[52] I've had / have siblings

[53] I've been to a rock concert (try being pulled up onstage by the concert performer. hehe kahiya man sabihin pero si debbie gibson yun hehe nung uso pa siya)

[54] I've listened to classical music and enjoyed it

[] I've been in a play (behind the scenes lang)

[] I've been picked last in gym class

[] I've been picked first in gym class or so

[55] Ive been picked in that middle-range in gym class.

[56] I've cried in front of my friends

[] I've read a book longer than 1,000 pages (i wonder if the bible counts in this category)

[] I've freaked out over a sports game

[] I've vomited in public

[57] I've washed someone else's vomit

[58] I've ran away

[59] I've had a stalker (yea and no thanks to friendster, they can track me anew. ayan block user ka tuloy tangina ka)

[60] I've had a fight with someone on txt

[61] I've had a fight with someone face-to-face

[62] I've been on a car accident  (yea my hood was totaled)

[63] ive forgiven someone who has done something bad to me (but it takes eons to forget it)

[] I've personally seen someone die

[64] I've been confronted by a police officer but got away  (just speak in english; it works)

[65] I've lost someone who meant the world to me (or so i thought) (so i thought talaga! good riddance!)

[66] I've had crashed a party

[] I've been a member of a frat