Catching Fires (or Different Definitions of the Word “Revolution”)

This is a classic award winning picture of a monk that caught on fire. He was Thích Quảng Đức from Vietnam. And he started the Vietnam War, which we all know, didn't end up very well for the US.

This is a classic award winning picture of a monk that caught on fire. He was Thích Quảng Đức from Vietnam. And he started the Vietnam War, which we all know, didn’t end up very well for the US.

There is something about fires and people that somehow signal revolutions.

To illustrate:

I can't wait for November! Final installment of The Hunger Games Trilogy will be shown on theaters!

I can’t wait for November! Final installment of The Hunger Games Trilogy will be shown on theaters!

Katniss Everdeen in Hunger Games who was, obviously, a bad-ass reluctant revolutionary was “the girl on fire” who became the mockingjay. I am not sure if Barack Obama is a Katniss Everdeen or a Peeta Mellark.

King Abdullah of Jordan is bad-ass too. Recently, he did the revolutionary thing of openly condemning and going after ISIS terrorists for burning one of his country’s pilots.

Let me just say that if I am a Jordanian and I saw this picture of one of my country's pilots, I would ask my king to go ahead in annihilating ISIS too.

Let me just say that if I am a Jordanian and I saw this picture of one of my country’s pilots, I would ask my king to go ahead in annihilating ISIS too.

One can say that ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood are as revolutionary as the fascists and Nazis were revolutionary circa 1930s. In fact, once upon a time the PLO was revolutionary too — well before Hamas came into the picture.

There is currently a trouble brewing in Mindanao, which is south of my country. However, despite that, I still maintain that it's more fun in the Philippines. I mean, Hongkong or Singapore can get so staid, yes?

There is currently a trouble brewing in Mindanao, which is south of my country. It started with a certain Malaysian terrorist named Marwan (who is now dead, thanks to the Special Action Force of the Philippine National Police). However, despite the brouhaha, I still maintain that it’s more fun in the Philippines. I mean, Hongkong or Singapore can get so staid, yes?

In my country, the MILF are the flavor-of-the-moment revolutionaries. In the 1970’s during martial law, it used to be Joma Sison’s boys. However, my people have been disenchated with Maoists since China started its road to capitalist heaven (good for them, I say!).

There are different kinds of revolutions. There are revolutions that are waged for freedom, like one that happened in 1898 in my country. There are seemingly incomprehensibly large revolutions that irrevocably alter the world as we know it (WWI and WWII are classic examples).

And then, there are revolutions of the heart.

Like when we fall in love and it changes us.

 

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References:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/03/jordan-executes-isis-prisoners_n_6609754.html?ir=World&utm_campaign=020315&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Alert-world&utm_content=FullStory&ncid=newsltushpmg00000003

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/02/03/isis-burns-jordanian-pilot-alive-in-cage-on-video/

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/670588/replacing-aquino-with-binay-its-like-jumping-from-the-frying-pan-into-the-fire?utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=social&utm_source=twitterfeed

http://www.rappler.com/nation/83089-clash-biff-milf?utm_content=buffer3bb69&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-immolation_protests_by_Tibetans_in_China

 

 

Fallen Heroes

The fallen men of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force. They died because they went after a terrorist bombmaker in Maguindanao. I hope they have not died in vain. (Photo from Rappler.com)

The fallen men of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force. They died because they went after a terrorist bombmaker in Maguindanao. I hope they have not died in vain. (Photo from Rappler)

My country has never lacked for heroes.

There are the oversees Filipino workers or OFWs who, as a group, has propped up this country’s economy for years.

One can rattle off names from forgotten Philippine history books

… Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Apolinario Mabini, Gregorio de Pilar, Diego Silang, Macario Sakay

… and the lesser known names that have yet to appear in textbooks … Macling Dulag, Bobby dela Paz, Edgar Jopson, Eman Lacaba …

Why does it seem like, as a definition, being a hero means “to die”?

… and in this country anyway, being a hero, seems to mean “to be forgotten”?

A few days ago, 44 men, Filipino soldiers all, died in a godforsaken place called Mamasapano which is in the south of this country. A place where “peace” is a theoretical concept that is not grounded in reality.

 

These men were soldiers. They went there to extract a terrorist. And in the course of doing their duty, they died.

Soldiers die. That’s probably a fact. Or an occupational hazard.

But what I can’t get my head around  is that yesterday, the bodies of these men arrived in Manila and their President was nowhere to be found.

What the fuck!!!! Not even a “hello, thank you for laying your life for this country” Mr. President?

How unfeeling can you get?

How can you choose going to a factory inauguration over honoring your soldiers? Men who have died for you, and me, all ungrateful bunch of us?

Whose death are now causing me to sob like a baby, emotional nitwit that I am. I do not know these men personally and I cry for them … YOU ARE THEIR EFFING PRESIDENT FOR CHRIST’S SAKE! And all you could muster was to deliver a stilted report about the Maguindanao encounter on national TV?!!

Barack Obama is probably an imperialistic asshole American (I doubt that, though; I love him because he let Michelle wear a nice blue dress and with no head scarf in Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah’s wake), but at least he knew how to honor his soldiers.

A salute to my brave soldiers. I do not know you, but you died for me, so the least I can do is not to forget this great sacrifice.

A salute to my brave soldiers. I do not know you, but you died for me, so the least I can do is not to forget this great sacrifice.