A Failure of Imagination

This Patrick Henry guy must have been a real macho. I don’t care much about his looks (Alexander Hamilton is more my type);  but his resume would give a girl pause.

Patrick Henry — lawyer, politician, orator, planter, slaveholder, a typical 18th century macho, who had the gall to say these words: “It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.” I am rolling my eyes.

Girls, FYI, Patrick was that guy in the American Revolution who said these famous words: “Give me liberty or give me death.”

Yep, I know … he is the typical guy who thinks the world is only composed of apples and oranges.

I mean, really … there are worse things than death (being tortured out of your mind; a 36-hour labor that results in intrauterine fetal death and genital fistula; seeing everyone you love die before your eyes like what is happening to a lot of Rohingyas, etc etc) … and things that can be preferable to freedom depending on one’s circumstances (i.e if I am on the verge of starving I would probably be willing to go to jail where the meals are assured anytime).

The problem with guys and their  and/or view of the world is a failure of imagination.

But hey, we can’t blame them so much, right girls? It is a very rare male who will ever experience what it feels like to be the minority, the second sex, the one who will be harassed by Harvey Weinstein. For them, freedom is something to fight for above anything …

****

Women are the ones who have been trained over and over on how to crouch and wait and endure that which are unendurable. We were trained by our mothers — those women who preferred their sons over their daughters because, what is the point of favoring the daughter who will just eventually turn out a slave? (Our mothers did have a point you know.)

 

****

Women can imagine … and we do it a lot.

This is the reason why we are sooo hopeful — because we can imagine alternate realities to our destitute situations.

This is the reason why we fall for bad boys … because we can imagine how he can be a better man (As if! Men NEVER change, not if they can get away with being assholes, what would be the point of changing? … if girls can get the fact of men’s unwillingness to reinvent themselves through our frontal lobes, we would be so much better).

This is the reason why the world has not dissolved into the self-destruction of mass suicides — the fact is  the Universe will end someday, so if women are anything like Woody Allen, neurotic pessimist that he was, then we would all shoot ourselves or fling out bodies into the nearest cliffs by now.

But we don’t do that. Because we are women.

Go figure.

****

References

Give me liberty, or give me death!

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/958077/filipinos-of-the-year-2017-pinoy-ako-blog-and-other-voices-vs-fake-news

http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2017/05/it-is-really-important-to-humanize-evil.html?mid=fb-share-scienceofus

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/06/lolas-story/524490/

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Just Because Today is Feast of the Immaculate Conception*

I have always been a Mommy’s girl.

*****

When I was 5 years old, my brother got sick; so my mother would not let me sleep beside her because I might disturb my brother who had the privilege to sleep with her in view of his illness (that malingering twerp!). So Mommy told me to sleep beside Daddy instead. I erupted into a humongous insufferable fit of tantrums which resulted in a particularly vicious spanking. (When I related this tale to G, he just laughed and said that I totally deserved the punishment. G is another rascal, in the same league as my brother.)

I hated my Dad because he did not speak my language (Ilokano); he always wanted me to hug him (which seemed so needy and hence uncool); and he had all these hair on his face that made him look like a villain (see Max Alvarado, Paquito Diaz et al; all self-respecting Pinoy movie villains have moustaches).

So I loved my mother more (sorry Daddy). Given the choice between being a slut and being an old maid, I would have chosen the latter, not because of any deep abiding principle or a lack of proclivity — but out of love for my mother (who, after she died, I learned had been a slut after all, but that’s another story — courtesy of my Dad).

*****

from Reporter.ph

I got into all that personal introduction because of Leila de Lima. 

Yup, that Leila de Lima — the one with the alleged sex video and who was an alleged drug lord and is now imprisoned without bail.

I love Ms. de Lima, the same way I loved my mother.

I do not care if she fucked the whole basketball team and made a documentary out of it. (I mean, really, Mocha Uson and Sass Sassot have probably done worse.)

I do not  care if she was a strict, by-the-rules, priggish marmalade who was into human rights in ways that are impracticable in a slave-country like the Philippines.

I do not care if she is fat (although she lost weight after a year in prison and now she looks really great — eat your heart out Digong!), has boring outfits (fashion sense borrowed from Dinky Soliman; Ms. Leila, you should borrow Kris Aquino’s stylists more often), and a pedestrian taste in men (Really? Your driver?).

*****

from pinterest

I love her for all that she reminds me of my Mom — the steadfastness, the tenacity, the you-don’t-give-me-no-bullshit attitude.

I love that when she testified during the impeachment of Renato Corona, she brought her aging father who was a former government servant into the august halls of the Senate.

I love that she went after human rights violators who ordered the killing of children in their bailiwicks because of drug use — only a woman with true sense of compassion can understand that no, KILLING A CHILD IS WRONG. The child became a monster because of the adult. And if anybody should be blamed and gutted here, it should be the adults that allowed these kids to go out into the world in the first place. Only a mother can understand a mother’s heartbreak when that same child (no matter how Lucifer-like he/she is) dies.

I love how she carried herself during the time in the Senate when every self-righteous so called anti-drug-wannabe in this world ganged up on her. On the other hand, maybe I do not love her that much during that time — she appeared shrill and harpy-ish. But then, with all that stress, can we blame her?

And now, I love her while she is in prison, because of the patience and grace with which she handles this ordeal.

*****

from Pinterest

When she died, my mother gave me the most precious gift — my freedom.

Fact is, I do not consider her giving me life (as in allowing her egg to be fertilized, going through almost 9 months of gestation and expelling me out of her vagina) as something she gave to me; rather, it was something she gave to herself.

(I did say in so many words, somewhere in this blog, that wanting to be/being a biological parent entails a bit of narcissism.)

But my mother’s dying was another matter. It set me free; in every way a person can be free.

It is probably morbid of me to thank her — but here it is: Thank you Mommy.

====

*This is such a looong post, but the point of it is (as the title suggests): It irks me no end that the only time we consider women to be heroes is when they go through Virgin Births. I mean, seriously!?

Margaux Stalks JL Or How to Plot the Perfect Revenge

(a continuing  story)

I’ve always hated ugly smarty pants bitch do-gooders. I don’t trust them. People who do not have apparent skeletons in their closets are elitist cunts who love to lord their lily pure resumes over you.

I have done plenty of stuff  that I am not proud of. But I am honest enough to admit them. Besides, I have paid my fucking dues, lots of times, most of them on my knees.

I am trying to better myself, you pig-face – that’s why I posted those photos of myself studying.

(By the way, I totally agree with Mam Lory when she said you are ugly enough to arouse reverse erection in a man. Lory should know what she’s talking about since she studied Anatomy and actually finished medical school, while you are just a fucking law student.)

And yeah, assholes, I read that book. Not cover-to-cover, as I do have a day job that I try to fulfill as faithfully as I can; but I read enough to know that what differentiates  so-called lawyers from me is just the amount of words that they use. Hell, I can infuse my fucking sentences with wherefore and therein and you scumbags will be impressed by my erudition. (Hah! See I do know big words you motherfuckers!)

So, JL you fat-porky-excuse-of-a-female, yeah see you in school … and we will see if you will still be laughing when I seduce your fucking boyfriend right under your nose. The only reason he sticks it in you is because he’s never had anyone better. He thinks you are the pot of gold. Well honey, wait til I make him come. Ha, ha, ha ….

Being smart does not mean you can make the world a better place. Look at all those smarty pants debating on whether giving the vaccines to the kids was right or wrong. Some of them are saying only 1% of those vaccinated will have a severe infection. That 1% is more than a thousand children, pea-brains. If your kid is one of those 1% what would you fucking feel? Not so good, yeah?

The problem with know-it-alls like you is that you do not recognize that you are already doing Oplan Tokhang in your own way.

You. Are. Hypocrites. You accuse my Big Daddy of genocide when all he wants is to rid this country of hopeless criminals who do not deserve to live anyway. But you cannot even see that you are committing the same thing to this country’s children. And yeah I’m not a scientist or a doctor but between killing children and killing criminals, well I think killing criminals is way better.

Enough with this ranting. I still have that goddamned book on Constitutional Law to plod on and pictures to upload on FB. It’s getting late and I haven’t removed my makeup and put on my moisturizer. Dry skin is the least of my worries though. These genital warts are killing me. I really have to get them cauterized. Again.

I wonder which dickhead retard SOB gave me this infection. I swear if I find the bastard I will castrate him and feed him his balls!

This is what Kris and I have in common. I love her! That’s a secret but I do — I mean, have you noticed that I do not bash her too much? She is just sooooo inspiring (I love her skin, her style, her hair and her bags are just glorious!) …. and if she could beat Chlamydia, then I can survive genital warts!

Maybe I should have listened to my OB when she told me to get that HPV vaccine?

Shit.

****

References:

https://pinoyakoblog.com/blog/mochang-studious/

https://pinoyakoblog.com/blog/epekto-sa-mga-health-worker/

http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/up-to-200-filipino-children-risk-severe-dengue/

http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/philippines-rolls-out-worlds-first-dengue-vaccine

 

 

Stalking Teddy

I have a new crush.

His name is Teddy and he has long hair and he comes from a tribe of warriors.

The Northern part of my country had been infamous for head-hunting activities in their distant past; on the other  hand, the north is also famous for one of the Eight Wonders of the World, the Banaue Rice Terraces.

from Mr. Baguilat’s twitter

Mr. Baguilat is the representative of the lone district of Ifugao. He is 51 years old and I cannot find any details of a wife or partner  when  I googled him.

Can it be that he is still single? Waiting for THE ONE ? 🙂 🙂

In any case, Rep. Teddy is one of the more principled, outspoken, hardworking congressmen we have.

=====

I came across this interview in The Philippine Star … here are some excerpts:

What is your favorite occupation?
Writing documents, doing my communications, letters, project proposals, concept plans. My laptop is my loyal sweetheart. (imagine that, the guy is unattached!!!!)
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
As a constituent, patience. “Please be patient,” I tell constituents when they ask me for work or about their projects. (Teddy, I am the queen of Patience)

======

And no, this is definitely not a paid advertisement.

I just love the long hair.

from aminadoditalentado.blogspot.com

 

 

Polarization

What worries me is that these days we are often “preaching to the choir” as the idiom goes.

Do our words matter if we only end up reinforcing convictions that are already stubbornly rooted; and alienating those whose outlooks we want to want to win to our side?

What is the point of being right if we end up being more divided anyway?

We are so like this Juan Luna painting … a bunch of gladiators killing and torturing each other. Do we really know who (or what ) the enemy is?

****

“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

The Kind of Story I Would Like to Write

Your Life Under The Next Dictator

You still believe that it’s only the ‘bad guys’ that will be hurt and somehow that is miraculously determined by vigilantes with guns

It’s Monday morning and you are late for work because your kid’s yaya didn’t make it to your house in time. Her son disappeared over the weekend while out with his friends, and she doesn’t know where he is.

You’re not worried, he’s always been a troublemaker anyway. Rumor has it he even smokes outside his house.

You are rushing because you’ll miss the mass transit bus that replaced the cars in major thoroughfares. You have a car but you can only use it around your neighborhood. You have to be careful because of the traffic enforcers you heard are very strict. You’ve seen by the look on their faces that they really don’t mess around.

You’ll be fine. The streets aren’t congested after the president eliminated traffic by his strict regulation of vehicles. The public transport systems are affordable, and they are clean – thanks to the no littering, no smoking, and no gum-chewing ordinances in all public places.

Foreign investments are up because peace and order is evident. The crime rate is close to zero. All employees are versed in business math. Economic progress is unprecedented, and the president has made the Philippines great again, as he promised. At least that’s how it’s portrayed by media, whose positivity has been so refreshing, right?

You expected this. You voted for him. Despite his detractors who accused him of becoming another violent dictator, you knew he would follow through. He would clean up the Philippines’ act.

A cleaned up act

One look at the city shows it. There are no street children, no vendors, no panhandlers, not even smokers. The streets are tidy enough for you to eat off them. There isn’t even a blaring horn to startle you, not even a misplaced signal light.

On your ride you pass the statue of Ferdinand Marcos who was declared a hero by presidential decree. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is now the president’s advisor. Bongbong Marcos is the vice president. It makes sense. The culture of this administration is in his blood.

Even the newspapers have no crimes to report. Everything seems fine and dandy thanks to a presidential memo to media on “positive” news. You ignore the rumors that defiant news reporters are being detained somewhere outside Manila, same with emergency room doctors who report violent crimes. Serves them right for creating trouble, you think. Things are really better when only the good things are publicized.

“Puro kriminal lang yung mga nakakulong (Only criminals are jailed),” say your like-minded friends. You agree. After all, your chosen candidate said he will eliminate crime no matter what, and not to expect him to follow the rules. He’s just keeping his promise and you can’t fault him for that.

You forget that this already happened 40 years ago, because you only heard stories and never studied martial law.

“Kailangan nating ng disiplina (We need discipline),” you insisted to those who disagreed with you in 2016, even if they all warned that this “disciplinarian” president would cause citizens doom.

There is no doom as far as you’re concerned. The birth rate and unplanned pregnancies are down due to the president’s aggressive population control initiatives. The church first opposed this, until the cardinal disappeared when he spoke up about the immorality of contraception and armed guards watched the content of homilies during mass.

Proud of your decision

You’re proud of your decision to vote for a brave and proactive man. He’s developed initiatives his opponents and former incumbents could only dream of. You were right all along that an iron fist is what the Philippines needed. People follow a strong leader. Citizens are disciplined if there are consequences. You are glad that petty thieves are removed from the streets. You don’t really care where they end up, much less if they’re alive.

After a day of work you get back home without traffic to be able to spend time with your son – something unheard of before this administration when city traffic made it impossible to get home in time. The boy talks about the day’s school civic lesson about the president’s “Citizen Justice System,” where civilians are allowed to arrest, detain, and turn over offenders for community leaders to punish as they wish. You remind your boy how important it is to be good or else suffer the consequences of misbehaving. You warn him that “bad guys” are killed like the president wanted, and it doesn’t matter how and why.

You fall asleep quickly and without worry of locking your doors or activating your security alarm. It’s so quiet outside and you don’t remember the last time anyone reported any break-ins or other crimes. You’ve slept soundly like this for a couple of years, without worry for yourself or your family night after night.

But this time, at 1:30 am, you are shaken from your sleep because your brother was arrested for breaking the curfew. Your mother is hysterical and wants you to find him, but forbids you to leave the house before morning lest you be arrested as well.

You insist on leaving because you’re only looking for your brother and not doing anything wrong. There are cops patrolling everywhere, and soldiers man checkpoints. You get stopped by a plainclothes man with an AK-47, and you think that’s a good thing. You can ask for help finding your brother – a teenager who was probably just late coming home from studying in a classmate’s house – and maybe explain his side.

“Where do you think you’re going?” he says.

“I’m looking for my brother who was just arrested for breaking the curfew,” you say. A simple explanation should lead you to him in no time.

“So you’re breaking the curfew as well?” he responds, sizing you up, nodding at his fellow enforcers in some kind of code they’ve developed doing this night after night.

“No, I just–”

“Get in the van,” he says, pointing his gun barrel at a police vehicle nearby. You turn your head to find more armed men behind you. Lacking alternatives, you oblige.

The van is filled with street kids, homeless people, and those like you who were out after dark. The ones who are quiet are resigned. The ones who were angry have been beaten up. A guard silences anyone who makes a stir.

“You can’t do this, you can’t arrest me for nothing,” you say.

“President’s orders,” he says, making room for one more by his side.

You look in the corner where a teenage boy lies lifeless on the floor. You take a seat and calm yourself, confident this will all be cleared up in no time. You’re not a criminal. You’re a good citizen. You’ve never even so much as littered or passed a red light.

You believe someone will eventually listen to your explanation, lead you to your brother, and you’ll both have a good laugh.

But what if that doesn’t happen? Who will look for you? Will anyone even know where you’ve been taken? Will anyone be brave enough to report your abduction or death? Is there a newspaper that will question your arrest, or a lawyer who will fight for your rights?

Due process?

In the back of your mind you hear the warnings of those who mentioned terms you ignored when you pledged your full support for your president: due process, summary execution, death squad. You shrug it off, still believing those were all exaggerations. A noble leader cannot possibly allow injustice under his administration. Surely, like God, the president is all-knowing and has eyes on every single “law enforcer” of the hundred thousand he has appointed to maintain order on the ground. Of course they’re all good, conscientious, and not corrupt. Of course they are specialists on wrong and right. The president said so. He is always right.

You relent and believe for a second that you’ll be fine.

“Excuse me, sir–” you say one last time.

“Shut up or I’ll shut you up,” he says, cocking his gun.

You don’t understand. You fully supported rounding up the undesirables in society and dumping them in Manila Bay. When your president bragged about the thousands he killed to eliminate criminality, you believed it was hyperbole and that he didn’t really kill anyone. He was just so convincing that he scared people into behaving. Those were just rumors that hundreds disappeared because of the anti-crime initiatives in his hometown.

You appreciated the cleaned up streets and the visible peace that your idol has created. It’s a system that works in favor of those who follow the law, like you do. As long as you were good, you believed, you would never be harmed.

Surely there’s another way around this misunderstanding. This cannot be happening. Abducting an upright citizen like you cannot be in your idol’s plans.

You want to speak up, but who will listen? You did approve of the rounding up of journalists who portrayed your beloved president in a negative light.

You didn’t realize that giving power to anyone to arrest, detain and execute without due process means that any person may be taken on a whim. There is no paper trail to track their whereabouts, what crime they committed and what punishment is suitable for them. There is no accountability for the loss of life or serious injury. There is no press to report wrongdoings. There are no lawyers and judges brave enough to go against an administration that has abolished Congress to ensure power for as long as they want.

You keep your fingers crossed as the children in your van of “criminals” start crying. “Inosente rin po kami (We’re innocent too),” they say to you, but the guard tells them all to shut up.

“Lahat kayo kriminal (You’re all criminals),” he says, giving you a special glance. You know you’re not a criminal and you have done nothing wrong, so you want to say it out loud. You scout the streets for anyone you can yell at who will listen to you, to hear what you say and help get you out of the danger of being a wrongly accused passenger in this van.

Peace and order

But alas, the streets are empty due to the curfew. It is quiet, crimeless, and very peaceful. No undesirables. No lowlifes. No troublemakers. No whistleblowers. No one could hear you even if you screamed or if you were shot in the head in plain sight.

The van speeds up to take you to your final destination. You still believe that it’s only the “bad guys” that will be hurt and that somehow this is miraculously determined by vigilantes with guns without need for investigations or trials. Your beloved president cannot possibly allow injustice, and determining the fairness of executions is solely a divine act.

You voted for this, so you should be proud. This is how the president made the Philippines “great” again, and you fully supported it. Now it’s your turn to pay the price that others have paid before you when you claimed this is what we needed. You didn’t care about the lives previously snuffed because you were content in thinking that they were guilty and deserved death because they’ve been “bad.”

Congratulations on being part and product of making the Philippines great again. Don’t even say you were not warned. 

 ***
Yep … I have shamelessly cut and pasted Shakira Sison’s Rappler article in my blog.
She is an award-winning Filipino writer and I greatly admire her works.
As of this time, this story has garnered 111 comments in the Rappler website. The tone of the comments range from throught-ful to defensive to stupid to outright bitchy.
But hey, freedom-of-expression and all that jazz, right? Something we so take for granted in this messy “democracy” of ours 🙂

To Tell the Truth or (and) Die

jose almonte

I do not usually read memoirs, especially memoirs by Filipino hero-wannabes. They are often narcissistic and self-serving (the “why” is self-explanatory).

There is a new book by former Philippine politics power-broker, Jose Almonte, that I will look for in National Bookstore (Powebooks or Fully Booked,  depends on where it will be available.)

I was intrigued because of my favorite journalist, Raissa Robles’s reaction upon reading it:

“I was therefore pleasantly surprised when I read “Endless Journey: A Memoir.” This 395-page book breaks the unwritten rule (at least in the Philippines) of memoir writing. Local memoirs are largely bland, inoffensive and (of-course) self-serving. Almonte’s book is predictably self-serving but explosive and quite deliciously offensive in parts, at least to some prominent personalities he mentions by name.” (from: http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/focus/03/06/15/joe-almonte-alan-purisima-president-fidel-ramos)

In a gist: Mr. Almonte was a military man who is now retired. He was in the highest echelons of power, 3 Filipino president’s ago.

I think he may be dying — the man is old, as you can see from the book cover picture of “Endless Journey: A Memoir.”

Older people, I found, tend to spill the truth. That is, if they want to meet their god in good faith. But if they were like Ferdinand Marcos or Adolf Hitler … well that’s a different banana.