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Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

History Lessons

In Culture, History, Politics on February 26, 2011 at 3:22 am

By: Ross Tugade

This week’s EDSA euphoria has given me a lot of room for contemplation, not only because I’m currently in the process of finishing my Master’s thesis about People Power 3 and the EDSA narrative in general, but also in light of what’s happening right now in certain parts of the world where people are beginning to stand communaly against unjust socio-political structures.

Ever since the African-Arab revolts have erupted, I constantly hear smug remarks from some fellow Filipinos that “we did it better in ‘86” because the almost-miraculous rate by which people flooded the lanes of EDSA happened before the age of the internet and social networking sites. The EDSA People Power Revolution is indeed a source of pride for my people, but I would like to think that what Tunisia and Egypt have accomplished should remind us as well of the still-monumental task of deepening democracy and equality in our very own land. With what is transpiring now in another part of the world, I am humbled as a student of politics, a Filipino, and more so as a human being.

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Pagsalitain Natin si Rizal

In Culture, History, Philippine Issues, Youth on December 31, 2009 at 4:21 am

Isang nahuling paggunita hindi sa pagkatao ni Jose Rizal kundi sa kung ano ang nais sabihin at iparating ni Jose Rizal

ni Hansley A. Juliano

Buong buhay ko, wala kayong ginawa kundi husgahan ako, basahin ako. Kinuha niyo na ang lahat sa akin. Kung anu-anong hiningi ninyo, pero hindi niyo pa rin makita kung sino ako. Marami na akong ibinigay, bakit pati ang buhay ko? Patahimikin niyo na ako, para makita ko ang sarili ko!

– Jose Rizal, sa pagganap ni Cesar Montano

Sa pagkakataong ito, hindi ang aking mga opinyon o ang aking paniniwala, kundi kung ano ang paniniwala ng isang mamamayang itinuring nating propeta na magpasahanggan ngayon ay hindi binibigyang-halaga, ang bibigyan ko ng puwang.
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Ekonomiko Pa Rin Ang Tanong

In Culture, History, Philippine Issues, Youth on October 3, 2009 at 5:09 pm

(o kung bakit sa kabila ng aking pakikibahagi magiging walang-kwentang “footnote to history” lamang na naman ang mga mobilisasyon para sa nasalanta ng Bagyong Ondoy)

ni Hansley A. Juliano

Marahil may mga bagay na kailangan akong alalahanin sa pag-alis ni Ondoy at maaaring pagsaglit ni Pepeng. Hindi naman siguro masamang sabihin na naging kabahagi ako ng sanrekwang mag-aaral ng Pamantasan na lumubog sa baha, gumawa ng iilang patawang patama sa ibang lugar na binabaha, at nakaranas ng existential crisis sa kung bakit inabot din ang Katipunan ng ganitong kalaking sakuna. Gaya ng naikwento ko na, naramdaman ko ang pagdating ng bagyo noon pa lamang naglalakad ako patungong Alingal Hall, kung saan pinagtulungan ako ng hanging habagat at ng mga luha ni Tungkung Langit na bigyan ng baradong ilong pagkatapos. Alam na natin ang nangyari. Napanood na sa YouTube. Naipost na ang lahat ng retrato at na-tag na tayo ng mga kaibigan sa ganoon kalaking problema. Seryoso: wala na tayong masasabi pa. Walang pinagkaiba sa isang malupit, nakapanunugat at matalim na pagtatanghal ng isang trahedya. Dalawa lamang ang posibleng ating magawa kapag hinarap ka ng ganitong sakuna, at least sa pananaw ng iba: ang magitla’t umiyak nang mapait sa libu-libong namatay, o ang umiyak habang nagbabalot ng mga tulong, kundi ang makasama mismo sa pag-aabot ng tulong sa mga buhay pa nguni’t lubhang nasalanta. Dito lang sa pagkakataon ko ito siguro masasang-ayunan, bahagya lamang, si Ninoy Aquino nang noong Abril 6, 1975, sinabi niya sa kapwa niyang senador na si Francisco “Soc” Rodrigo:
If we want our people to follow, I propose, we must cease arguing and start acting, doing what a freeman must do to assert his rights and defend his freedoms. Actions, not words. Selfless examples, not ideas. The time for talking is past!

Pero, siyempre, hindi yun ganoon kadali.

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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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In Culture, History, Philippine Issues on July 10, 2009 at 10:46 am

Philippine Prostitution in the Spanish Colonial Era in Light of Pre-Colonial Notions of Sexuality

by Hansley A. Juliano

(a joint paper with Jore Vergara in Hi 165-B, Summer 2009 under Dr. Ambeth R. Ocampo)

We have a held perception that there exists in Philippine pre-colonial history a relatively peaceful society, occasionally interrupted by “inter-barangaic” wars. They believed in many gods and spirits, known today as paganism. We were a developing society then having a lot of sophistication and knowledge during our time. These include metallurgical works of gold, pottery, tools out of metals, stone and the like. With the increase in sophistication and knowledge, social stratification inevitably emerged, likely for the maintenance of an organized society back then. The main status symbol during the time was the gold ornaments stated earlier. Amidst all of this, however, our ancestors displayed a relatively primitive regard to fashion, based from how they dressed themselves merely by wearing minimal cloth, save possibly those belonging to the pre-colonial nobility depicted in the Boxer Codex.

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In Culture, Economics, History, Philippine Issues, Political Economy, Political Theory, Politics on June 24, 2009 at 12:17 pm

An Analysis of Local Government Units’ Role in the Current Politico-Economic Crisis and How To Mobilize Against an Arroyo-sponsored Con-Ass

(First of a series)

by Hansley A. Juliano

Leon Trotsky once mentioned how, despite the growing apathy of many people towards political processes, the complexities of political participation loom above everyone and are desirous of including them in it. In a liberal-democratic situation such as which the Philippines possesses, there is this desire to stay away from being involved in governmental undertakings in the desire to undermine the intrusion to their private and personal prospects, unknowingly alienating themselves to the ideal of communal activity and, in a way, an affirmation of themselves. It is no surprise, therefore, that repressive regimes have done well in preserving this order of assemblages in order to perpetuate themselves into power and, therefore, maintain their definite advantage over the majority of the population of the country, recalling to mind the Thrasymachean doctrine of justice being the advantage of the stronger. Read the rest of this entry »

Econo-Mysticism: Unravelling the Illusions of JPEPA

In Culture, Economics, Philippine Issues, Politics on June 19, 2009 at 10:19 pm

by Leiron Martija

The Japan-Philippines Economic Partership Agreement – signed and ratified as a bilateral treaty back in 2006 between the two countries with the goals of improving foreign relations, establishing jobs and an economic alliance. The treaty itself contains interweaving agreements concerning economic policies, trade fences and governmental limits of power. Amidst heavy protest from Filipinos, the JPEPA was signed, and while the lobbyists and protestors argued politically, their demagogy was met by the Arroyo administration’s economic arguments. Suddenly two disciplines, two schools of thought, not too far from each other, found themselves at odds. The problem with addressing an issue such as JPEPA proves to be rather pedagogical in this matter: a political activist will either view it as another political machination for furthering government’s preponderance, while an economist will view it as a rather plausible way of addressing national fiscal problems, with some stipulations needing correction. Nevertheless, to take a closed side in such an issue proves to be irresponsible and myopic. An issue such as JPEPA – which marries economic and political concepts – requires a perspective that is integrated, not bifurcated. The problem is a misunderstanding of the legislation, and this paper seeks to address that problem by engaging the treaty at both terms, at both perspectives.

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In Culture, Politics on June 2, 2009 at 7:38 am

by Leiron Martija

Technology has indeed provided our world today with a myriad of comforts and improvements, things that people today unknowingly take for granted; electricity, flight, telecommunications, microwavable foods, automobiles, computers, the list can only go as long as assembly lines and R&D teams will it. However and as always, we must consistently pay closer attention to the greater factory, the greater assembly line, the greater product that is produced: socio-political repercussions. With the progressive march of technological advancements comes the socio-political luggage that either deadens humanity’s weight or plants it firmly in the ground. Where automobiles provided the 19th century convenience, nuclear missiles and Russian artificial satellites induced fear and catalyzed moves for the Cold War. Unarguably, however, no technology has inspired more immediate, pervasive and life-changing effects than that of the Internet; the most immediate of changes, at least for me, being the provision of a virtual public sphere for political discourse.
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