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Archive for August, 2009|Monthly archive page

Signs of Life

In Culture, Philippine Issues, Politics on August 6, 2009 at 1:36 pm

by Rosselle Tugade

When Corazon Aquino called for the resignation of the current administration and the moral restoration of the country about four years ago, the public barely budged from the fixity of banal modern life, mainly out of discomfort at the thought that another interruption in the everyday cycle of bureaucratic governmentality and putting everyday societal routines at risk through another upheaval. Soothsayers of mainstream media and popular analysts alike have declared since then that the Cory magic has faded into the recesses of memory of an era long gone.

These past five days, I became a scavenger for the sparks set into flight by that same magic. Being the daughter of a former hard-lined activist who joined the millions of people twenty-three years ago in a revolution which resounded all throughout the democratizing world, it was but natural for me to grow up to the tales of the tragedy that was Martial Law and the victory that was EDSA. I remember the sad eyes of my father which were now marked by the lines of time and change. Every story and recollection hungered my naive passion and imagination, fueling my dreams of fighting for my people.

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Us? The Future?

In Culture, History, Politics on August 5, 2009 at 8:57 pm

by Leiron Martija

In memory of Corazon Cojuanco Aquino, 1933-2009


Like most Filipino children, I grew up hearing the adage of the youth being the future of this country. I am aware that the statement has been brought up hundreds of times and that more often than not, it has crossed the lips of great people, written either in pensive ink or sacred blood. It borders on the cliché and is often discarded as a blindly accepted fact of life. Of course the children are the future; once they are adults and no longer children, they shape their present which was actually our future when we were younger in their place. That’s a complicated way of putting it simply. But if there is one reality I would wish to impose on my fellow youth, it is that there are no simplicities in the real world, especially in the gravity of our responsibility to our country.
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A Mother Not Like Any Other: Postscript to Cory Aquino

In Culture, History, Philippine Issues, Politics on August 5, 2009 at 5:56 pm

by Hansley Juliano

Look around you! Look at these people. Do you see the suffering and unhappiness in this world? Their only hope is the Resurrected Jesus. I don’t care whether you’re Jesus or not. The Resurrected Jesus will save the world — that’s what matters…

I created the truth out of what people needed and what they believed. You don’t know how happy he can make them. Happy to do anything. He can make them happy to die and they’ll die… all for the sake of Christ. Jesus Christ. Jesus of Nazareth, Son of God. Messiah…

My Jesus is much more powerful.

– Paul the Apostle, The Last Temptation of Christ

Nick Joaquin, in an attempt to placate the anti-clerical bent of the traditional reading of the Filipino revolution, once proposed that we look kindly on our culture of festivities as it is these that bred the preferable ground for the Katipunan to launch their revolt on the eve of their discovery. We Filipinos, despite our pervasive liberal-democratic institutions, nevertheless have a legendary penchant for communal activities. We appreciate and bask in festivities not just because we swallow the shallow one-liner of John Donne of “no man being an island,” but because we value familial ties so much we want the familial mode of relations to be the dominant paradigm of transaction in any context. We have established superiority and authority in the parental figure, infusing it with such attributes that the private sphere has already become the priority of people, an ethic of sincerity and relationality.

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Apotheosis of Mobocracy

In History, Philippine Issues, Politics on August 4, 2009 at 4:21 am

Why Arroyo’s Gimmicks at the SONA Do Not Cut It
by Hansley A. Juliano

(Abstract: Following the trajectory inaugurated by Reynaldo Ileto, who champions the writing of “history from below,” this piece attempts to make sense of the little peculiarities characteristic of incumbent President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s State of the Nation Addresses since 2001, when she was swept into the Presidency at the aftermath of the second People Power Revolution, and how these peculiarities contribute to the very nature of the spectacle employed by liberal democracy in perpetuating its hegemony on the masses, kept ignorant by the failure of its very institutions.)

Most members of what almost all oppressive regimes tout as “the silent majority” that tolerates their rule are usually so because they are disillusioned with political participation, which seems to have no valid and effective resolution. They are likely disgusted with the systems of governance practiced the occupying rulers, it must be given, but they are at the same time apprehensive of the opposition sectors which methods are somewhat questionable and disadvantageous to their beliefs and priorities. As such, there is the prevailing ethic of enforced apathy which promotes a fetish for “cooperation” and “consensus,” criticizing any effort for critique and analysis of the underlying presumptions and suppressed actions never shown to the public. This outrageous “demonization” of political practice finds it culmination in the stereotypical notion of politics as “dirty, and therefore a useless endeavour which will only endanger our ethical perceptions.”
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