Friday, December 26, 2008

Leaving and living

December 26, 2008


What a beautiful year, despite the seemingly insurmountable social realities, I enjoyed the year with a flash.

The year opened with a baby.

I thought becoming a dad, papa or tatay is impossible for me. But there’s the rub. Unknown to many, I end up a dad, papa, or tatay to someone so cute, charming, depressing and hopeful child,

The baby is actually a product of the youth’s inconsistency. Their abject poverty of mind, coupled with inept understanding of life’s difficulties constituted their utter ignorance in producing an angel.

But who can ignore an angel?

It was, first and foremost a test of one’s responsibility and commitment. Not just in raising a child to become a responsible being, but in understanding his daily needs. And I dare say, to a certain degree, I succeeded where he (sic) failed.

Having a baby is a welcome respite in these silly times.

It was just a tactical relief from my workload, or so I thought.

Often, during my “silly times” I checked the child before I go home. Buy him some milk and other needs like vitamins, fruits, and, oh yes, diaper.

Silly, indeed?

But being silly, sometimes is romantic. You romanticize the tactical relief only to be fooled again.

Surely, all dad, papa or tatay will never forget the time when they hug their baby, wipe their tears and cry with. That is the greatest gift of all.

And I was once a proud dad, papa or tatay to my baby Coco whom I will never forget.

The year 2008, too, offered some realities which can hardly be ignored.

Two of my distant relatives died in the C-130 plane crash in Davao City. It was expected.

Like any sane people, I am deeply troubled when a comrade and friend perished in the greatest encounter of her life. Rachelle, whom I admired the most, offered her life beyond our capacity to understand. Her death cannot be ignored and we cannot ignore her.

Whether you agree with me or not but dying is actually different. We don’t die equally. We don’t exit quietly. Others died lighter than a feather. Still, others died heavier than they thought.

And the greatest gift of all, 2008 offered us that after the last day of the year, a new year will emerge.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas, Caroling and Children

Should Christmas be celebrated despite the harsh times?

I asked myself as early as September when children caroling inside a dilapidated public utility vehicle (PUV).

You see, September is not just the start of “ber” months but also the month when marketing materials and Christmas extravaganza are lavishly unveiled at the expense of baby Jesus or using thy name to earn more.

It was Christmas in September while the whole world collapsed.

And the children caroling are just a reflection of glimmer of hope while the entire Christendom will savor the birth of the Savior.

All this because of our consumerist culture, a culture deeply ingrained in our mind that we don’t think it isn’t wrong anymore.

No amount of pity can surpass the accumulated drying and staggering voice of two to three malnourished and mature-looking children singing in our midst. And in an attempt to lose our constancy to the world, we hear them politely introducing who they are, albeit in a disturbing voice (typical of a hungry child):

“Ate…Kuya…Dili mi mga tulisan, bisan tulisan ang among dagway. Dili me mga kawatan. Dili mi kung unsa inyong nahunaan. Mga manaygunay mi.”

Carefully reading (or listening) to their introduction, you will realized not just the abject poverty attached to them but the anti-social activities attached to the people like them. Typically Filipino, wit and humor attached. And they, children in the streets will utter that with due respect.

Does your typical kid do that?

And then, their typical Christmas song:

“Ang Pasko ay kay saya…”

Does your typical kid sing that?

Often, I don’t give my coins in the streets particularly to our brothers and sisters earning a living by asking alms. I just don’t want to provide them with the opportunity of becoming ever more beggars and creating several (if not hundreds) of them to beg more just because I gave a cent or two.

On December 16 is the start of Dawn Mass or Simbang Gabi or Aguinaldo mass, the tradition of pre-dawn nine-day novena mass, one that is widely followed throughout the country is an opportune time to reflect the songs this children are singing and let’s see if they really touched our heart.

May the coming of the holiday season lead us to reflect where we have come and what has brought us to the point where we are.

Merry Christmas, still, even if I wonder sometimes if it is really meant for all.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Occupational Health and a New World

The health practitioner of the future will give no medicine, but will interest the patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease. --THOMAS A. EDISON

Malate, Manila – Last September 27-29, 2008, I attended the 8th annual meeting of Asian Network for the Rights of Occupational Accident Victims (ANROAV).

Attended by occupational health experts, labor rights advocates and victims in Asia, North America and France, the annual meeting tackled experiences in occupational health hazards and offered new hope to the expanding advocacy for the advancement of occupational health and safety development as well as to the victims of occupational accident.

Most notable during the 3-day meeting was the attendance of Bhopal tragedy victims, their first time, and the entire participants was presented with an update of their struggles. The Chinese delegation offered hope that a new China will emerge soon.

Papers were presented and updates on current struggles discussed, emphasis was given to the following:

First, the issue on silicosis was discussed with stressing on gem polishing produces lit of silica dust that has been killing thousands of workers in many Asian countries. The session highlighted the struggle of silicosis victims in China and India and the joint strategies they are developing.

The session also highlighted different initiatives and struggles in different Asian countries towards banning asbestos in Asia.

Video presentation of a Nepalese woman about the state of reproductive and sexual rights in her country brought about by decades-old neglect of working women. The video presentation provided a succinct situation of a country so proud of Mt. Everest and its beautiful landscape while undermining the dying women.

The era of globalization is also an era of ever intensifying contradiction between labor and capital. The annual meeting provided a subtle though not comprehensive development of occupational health situation particularly in Asia.

I am glad that experts in the medical and sociological field offered their expertise and contributed to the struggles for the protection and advancement of occupational health – the often neglected and ignored in the medical profession.

I am much gladder that labor rights advocates all over the globe met and discussed, spending endless nights just to ensure a safer and healthier world for our working people. Such advocacy offered new hope that a new world, a new and safer world is possible.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

From nursing school to the mountains of Negros

Rachelle Mae, R.N.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Speak out SunStar Daily:

“REMOVE the chains of oppression and the yoke of injustice; and let the oppressed go free…” –Isaiah 58:6

She studied nursing like the others who want to work abroad, seek greener pastures and heal foreign patients—-and she excelled।

But she ended up in the mountains and forests of Dauin, Negros Oriental to be with the ordinary folks, the farm workers and peasants, and learn from them।

Rachelle Mae Palang R।N., 22, who died on Oct. 18, 2008, was outstanding in her chosen field in the academe, activism and revolution.

Her death added new meaning to what nursing care should be।

Her death debunked the myth that Filipino nurses are only for overseas work, that Filipino nurses are only for hospitals, and that Filipino nurses are only good in nursing foreign client

Rachelle died right in the heart of a revolution, right in the heart of her motherland, caring for and helping the sick––the victims of class oppression and exploitation in our cancerous society.

It was truly inspiring

As an alumnus of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), I met Rachelle almost four years ago when I was invited by the Vital Signs (official student publication of Velez College) to interview applicants for members of the editorial board।

Since then we met often, conversed on various issues, from academic life, love and relationships, and activism and revolution।

I last saw her on May 10, 2008 during the nuptial of our fellow activists।

Sadder but wiser, we always learn lessons, appreciate life and progress as we move along।

Rachelle’s death is proof that adherence to and actual participation in the national democratic cause will continue to inspire the youth and students।

This is particularly true for intellectuals like her, who frequently ask questions on issues affecting the lives of millions of people।

That has been the case since the late ‘60s with the likes of Lorena Barros, Emman Lacaba, Arnulfo Ortiz and MarvinMarquez, to name a few।

Rachelle, my good comrade and friend, you will never be forgotten।

You will always be in our hearts and minds।

The ordinary people, including your ever increasing comrades, will always cherish your memory.
History will judge your supreme sacrifice and you will inspire others to make their own sacrifices for the oppressed masses of workers and peasants.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

AKAP Bata - Cebu

Akap Bata Seminar launches Community and Home Based Early Child एजूकेशन९७

Akap Bata Philippines launched a seminar on “Revised Manual for Daycare Workers” last July 5-8 at Calajo-an Daycare Center, Lower Calajo-an, Minglanilla, Cebu. Attended by 40 daycare worker-trainees from different parts of Metro Cebu, the seminar is seen by child advocates as an initial step towards strengthening community and home-managed child care program for the urban and rural poor in the mega city.

Akap Bata plans to set up centers in Metro Cebu to serve children’s and women’s needs for early child care and development, adolescent and maternal health.

The program emphasizes building of capacities of the communities and families to take proper care of the young from conception to under five years says Ms. Cherry Castillo-Malaga, Akap Bata’s Training Coordinator.

Taking care of the young by providing them with proper care at the earliest stage of their life and early education strengthens the role of the poor in transforming society, says Sarah Alforque-Dayoha of the Women’s Resource Center of Cebu, Inc. (WRCC). WRCC is Akap Bata’s program partner and current project officer of Akap Bata’s Regional Field Unit 7.

She adds, ‘this seminar will lead to the launching of community and home based centers for children, and later, with the help of barangays, NGOs and Churches, comprehensive programs of the Community of Hope project will follow. Community of Hope is Akap Bata’s model to provide ‘continuum of family and community based and sustainable care and services through the life stages of women and children’.

Mr. Roxanne Omega-Doron of the National Council for the Protection of Workers’ Rights and one of the speakers during the seminar affirmed the key role of education in transforming societies and individuals. “Community and family participation in this huge task of educating the young must be enhanced and supported”, he stresses.

Ms. Catalina Jacela of Philippine Scholars elaborated on the role of daycare workers in establishing the values of human dignity and human rights to the young. She says that as early as possible, our children should be aware that as human beings, persons have rights that must be respected, enhanced and promoted. “What we need now are defenders and promoters of human rights, and we are hopeful of the results of this program, especially to the children and women”, she adds.

Other speakers include Ms. Ruth Mendoza-Tibus of the Association of Women and Theology.

Two volunteers from SERVE IRELAND, an international NGO based in Ireland sits as observers during the entire duration of the seminar and will immerse to different communities with daycare funded project in the next few years.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


(July 25, 2008 Gisulat sa akong tambayanan kauban ang mga tiguwang nga retired na)

Maabot naman kuno ka
Matud pas kahimtang sa milabay’ng
Duol napulo ka tuig
Dugay-dugay napud siya wala kabati nimo

Miaging semana, gipabilib mo sila (og gipakuratan)
Bisan gani siya, nakalitan (og gamay)
Pero, makuratan diay ang nangandam?
Diba sukwahi kini sama sa miagi?

Ambot kung unsa pud ang istatus
Sa inyong pagplano ug pagpatuman niini
Kampanti kaha kamo nga ma-inyo siya?
O, siya makuha niya?

Apan, dili ika-tinga
Kay sulod duol sa usa ka dekada
Padayon man mo nga naa

Apan ang pundasyon nga iyang naabtan
Sama kalig-on sa kawayan (nga igo rang pasayawon sa bangis nga hangin)
Dili matumba. Og ang tunok niyang makalilisang, iya rang giligiran
Mabati ang kasakit og ka la niini

Kay ang imo unyang pag-abot
Tayming sa iyang paningkamot
Nga mohigda og balik sa tunukon nga kawayan
Higdaan og gakson

Asa naman diay tuod ka?
Usahay makalimtan, usahay mahinumduman
Basin ang kalit mong pagpakita
Mao unya’y rason nga magligid siya’g balik sa kawayanan og higdaan

Samtang gipasayaw kini sa bangis nga hangi’ng amihan.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What price marriage?

By all means marry: If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher. Socrates (469 BC - 399 BC) Greek Philosopher

What price marriage?

With boundless joy, I deeply extend my red congratulations to the “orange” wedding of my beloved comrades Edward and Troie for celebrating a truly wonderful time of their life today। To their immediate family and loved ones for extending the kind of support they deserved. And to their friends and comrades who wish them all the best in life. Congratulations!
I। Bourgeois Concept of Marriage


Traditionally there are two major reasons for marriage। Marriage provides society with the guarantee for the structured perpetuation of the human species and the assurance of some security for the caring of the offspring of that marriage. This historical framework is based on the assumption that the results of procreation, children, are the responsibility of the two individuals involved and that they are obligated to provide support for these children until which time these children are able to provide for themselves.

In modern society where child rearing is not necessarily the primary purpose for committed relationships, the institution of marriage has evolved to be a reflection and expression of two individuals desire to offer or to provide support and protection to each other। Thus, marriage is based on mutual love, affection and an abiding desire to develop a relationship that is free of loneliness and fear.

Marriage is the partnership of two human beings, each bringing to the relationship love, caring and acceptance। It is a mutually beneficial relationship based on equality and respect for each other. Neither of the partners is superior to the other and neither of the partners has any overriding power over the other. It is truly a shared experience that is both fair and mutually responsible.

Christianity and Marriage
Most Christian denominations view marriage as a permanent and life long commitment between a man and woman। Christianity also views marriage as a holy sacrament and as a reflection of the relationship of Jesus Christ and the Church, in parallel to the Old Testament's teaching of the relationship between God and Israel.

By including the concept that all true believing Christians should submit one to another, the Evangelical view of marriage is considered hierarchical in nature with a loving dominance of the man over the woman। This loving dominance brings with it the responsibility for the care, sustenance, support and well being of the woman. The woman, who has submitted to the man in loving respect to him as the head of the family, sees herself as a follower in this family with the man heading his family as Christ heads the Church.

Marriage beneficial
Marriage is the first and best of all human institutions, if it can properly be called human, since it was first solemnized in Paradise, by the Creator himself, who then said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him।" And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it।"

It is impossible to enumerate all the benefits of marriage, since there is no vital interest of mankind which it does not affect favorably. Marriage perpetuates the human race; lays the foundations of organized society; promotes industry; accumulates wealth; cultivates the arts, and maintains religion. It builds the house, tills the soil, supports the family, and fosters every charitable and benevolent enterprise.

But that is the bourgeois sense.

II. Proletarian love, sex and marriage
On the other hand, what is the norm is not always what we wish to adhere।
I am fully aware that the personal or sex love that you have right now is because of your deep commitment to the national and democratic cause। If not because of your involvement to uplift the standard of the youth and students and the marginalized sectors and classes, you will never know each other, perhaps.

With that, we should be grateful to the seemingly insurmountable social volcano that has engulfed our dear motherland for it provides fertile condition to sprout two seeds named Edward and Troie; and also it encourages both of you to restore decency and respect in our benighted land.

But what a grateful Edward and Troie, unlike those getting married in the prime of their youth, your marriage is well tested and has a deep sense of accountability to our political commitment – our real, undying, and selfless vow.

Surely, both of you are forever grateful to the kind of people you encountered and talk to regarding the ups and downs, twists and turns of the relationship you cared for and of the love you cherished and established. Its effects to our commitment and how it changed the landscape of the youth and students movement which both of you are spending time, energy and commitment.

Our endless meetings made your love grow stronger. Our commitment to the cause brought both of you to realize that the future of your marriage is a bright one.

Now is the correct time to say that both of you contributed par excellence to the cause. Now is the most opportune time for both of you to look back and reflect your personal and political experience and reminds us all that the one who is justice without law, gift without return, welcome with out condition, whose last name is love – is what we value most.

III. What matters most?

Finally, my comrades Edward and Troie, you should realize that either of you own each other. Not even your future children. Not even their future. You belong to each other solely as a reminder of our self and of our society and the need to achieve victories for the oppressed masses of workers and peasants while both of you realizing the need to provide a viable atmosphere for a truly wonderful union.

Msgr. Dakay’s statement

Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Speak out: Msgr. Dakay’s statement
By Roxanne Omega-Doron
Provincial Coordinator, BisdakPride

LAST week, a statement from no less than Msgr. Achilles Dakay, media liaison officer of the Archdiocese of Cebu, added burden to the emotionally and physically problematic “Jan-Jan.”

To a certain degree, I am no longer surprised by his reality-detached statement.

It was un-Christian, common to some high-ranking Catholic church leaders, and an insult not only to Christian doctrine but to universally accepted human rights.

The Roman Catholic Church's position on issues is selective and biased.


Consider that the Church is mum about shanties of churchgoers demolished the past several years in the city and neighboring municipalities.

Even the demolition of stalls of Sto. Niño vendors several years ago did not catch its fancy.

Issues on extra-judicial killing of members and supporters of cause-oriented groups and media practitioners, wage and
benefits of workers, land problem and others should be given highest importance because the victims are the faithful.

But either you here nothing from the Church or you will hear it say a thing or two, nothing more.

As far as I know and based on teachings of Bible scholars (both Roman Catholic and its religious enemies) the Bible does not condemn homosexuality.

It is the individuals within the Church who are homophobic.


The good Lord understands and respects; the good Lord does not condemn.

The Song of Songs, Chapter 8:5-10 (new translation by Ariel Bloch and Chana Bloch) says:

“There, beneath the apricot tree, / Your mother conceived you, / There you were born./ In that very place, I awakened you.

“Bind me as a seal upon your heart, / A sign upon your arm, / For love is as fierce as death,/ Its jealousy bitter as the
grave./Even its sparks are a raging fire, / A devouring flame.

“Great seas cannot extinguish love, / No river can sweep it away / If a man tried to buy love/ With all the wealth of his house / He would be despised.

“We have a little sister / And she has no breasts, / What shall we do for our sister /When suitors besiege her? /

“If she is a wall, we will build / A silver turret upon her. / If she is a door, we will bolt her / With beams of cedar wood.

“I am a wall / And my breasts are towers / But for my lover I am/ A city of peace.”

Homosexuality cannot be regarded as punishable offense by persons who respect the mysterious laws of nature.

Its presence in the sexual practices of all cultures everywhere and at all times is proof that it deserves recognition as a natural human phenomenon as much as heterosexuality.

By condemning the act, the homosexual question has become a genuine question, one which has given rise to lively debate, and which will continue to be discussed until it has been resolved in a satisfactory way.

That's why I am no longer surprised by the statements of Msgr. Dakay.

He is just an inheritor of a feudal bias and homophobic Church.

The best way to argue is within the context of respect – you can't go any deeper than that.


While no longer surprised, my gay friends in the religious community, including myself is hemorrhaging profusely.

A lot of things need to be done to correct the evils in our midst, we uttered.

Finally, “Jan-Jan” is answerable to his God, which is truly private between an individual and his Creator.

What he really needs now is respect, comfort and love like what the good Lord taught us.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

We want justice

Saturday, April 19, 2008
Speak out: We want justice
By Roxanne Omega-Doron
Provincial Coordinator, BisdakPride

WE strongly condemn the act committed by the medical personnel of Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City. The dastardly act by few medical personnel violates the basic principle of human rights: respect.

Those responsible should be held accountable for violating the right to privacy of the victim and should be brought to court so they can no longer do what they recently did.

We also extend our deepest sympathy to the victim, his family and friends. Now is the appropriate time to consolidate our ranks against systemic bias towards us.

Two things should be considered:

First, the incident is medical malpractice, pure and simple. Medical personnel nowadays are trained primarily to earn and not to serve. Such orientation contradicts what the medical profession is supposed to uphold.

While we agree that these people are just few, government and the public should not give space to individuals laughing at the expense of an innocent victim.

Second, the issue also exposed our misconception, bias and phobia towards members of the lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgendered (LGBT) community.

By laughing at and taking video of the victim, those responsible showed deep and historical bias towards us.

A society that degrades the LGBT community is not a free society. An individual or group of people who shamelessly disrespect the rights of others, particularly the LGBT people, is a product of a cruel society who breeds them.

We are shivering and we are bleeding in pain.

We want justice!

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Unfaithful to the faithful

It was the best commentary*, though said in jest, that I’ve heard from Engr. Jun Lozada, NBN – ZTE deal star witness (the latest in the string of controversies hounding the fake, inutile, evil-bitch, fascist, puppet and bureaucrat-capitalist Gloria "Macapal-Arrovo**").

It was a joke too serious to ignore. And they never did. The laity in the Kingdom of the Diocese of Malacañang ignored the tumult in Indonesia or the once in a lifetime explosion of Supernova that took place 160,000 light-years away in the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy.

Too, it strikes the nail right on the head. And it boomerangs from the Capitol to the City Hall. And shattered the all too willing puppies to eat thy shit of Malacañang.

Oh, His Eminence.

And, what can I say? A statement like that is worth pondering. And while listening, I almost lost my constancy to the world. And while listening (and reading) to the disgruntled laity, I almost collapse. Almost! It was connivance between religion and politics, stupid!

And of course, they should react the way a threatened lonely snake in the metropolis did. Just to say, one might open the pandora’s box of a million votes in her favor while the dreaded Intelligence Service Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) is recording her conversation with former election commissioner Virgillio “Garci” Garcillano. That will further open the mouth of Injustice Secretary Gonzales to defend the wrongdoing (which in the book titled “1984” is actually truth doings) of the luckiest evil-bitch.

Oh, His Eminence.

So alarming, indeed, that when a local steward of the Gospel of the Holy See, according to the unwritten verses and chapters of Ricardo 60:9 to be exact, one should not openly conduct masses for “truth seekers” because we are in a 1984, that book written by an anti-Marxist!

And so, the mass for truth was cancelled. And the mass for the evil-bitch in the Diocese of Malacañang (also known as Cebu Province), together with His Eminence, and all the clergy and politicians in front of the suffering faithful.

All: Let’s kneel and pray. Oh, Pidal*** este Vidal. (See, it rhymes)

*When Jun Lozada visited Cebu a week ago, he found it amusing that no priest can officiate a mass for "truth and accountability". It was so controversial that brought him to utter: "Diocese of Malacañang" referring to Cebu province. Which eventually and naturally brought the ire of local government officials a.k.a “the faithful”.
**Remember the 100 peso bill Arroyo was misspelled as “Arrovo”? In spanish, it means “a robber”
***that controversial bank account of Jose Pidal, which according to Panfilo Lacson is owned by the First Gentleman - truly, 1984 - but actually “owned” by his brother, Iggy.

Friday, March 14, 2008


Lessons (still, let’s underSTAND)

I am fully aware that the StudentsAlliance for Nationalism and Democracy(STAND) Political Party won bymajority vote (and seats in thecouncil) almost 4 years ago because ofthe support of the students,particularly in the University of SanCarlos - Talamban Campus (USCTC). Thebasis of their unity is the new policyon haircut and uniform.

Several hundreds were mobilized.Since then, STAND dash-off its studentpolitical rivals.Convening student organizations toprotests on the issue includes theLeague of Filipino Students (LFS),Anakbayan (AB), the Fratertinity andSorority Council and other traditionalorganizations included in the broadalliance, which focuses on the issueon uniform and haircut policy.

It wasa triumph of genuine understanding ofbroad alliance vis-à-vis strengtheningthe activists’ mass movement insidethe University of San Carlos whileisolating the narrowest target.It was also a triumph of selflesssacrifice to the leaders and membersof national and democratic (ND)organization such as LFS and AB inUSC. Never in the entire campaignperiod had I heard that the leaders ofsuch ND organizations telling me itwas they who make it possible to winin the SSC election. They alwayscredit to the broad support theyreceived from the Carolinian community(including the teaching and non-teaching personnel).

The latest update I received throughtext messages coming from theincumbent, supporters and alumni ofSTAND regarding the status of thecouncil election is depressing. Priorto the campaign period, severalutterances flying like wild-saucersproclaiming, among others, the pendingvictory. I am glad to hear thoseutterances, both the positive and thenegative.

Indeed, the broad masses of studentslive through what they are doing.Their message is clear. If we failedto listen and serve to theirinterests, rejection is on our way. Ihope that in the next few days andweeks, we will set aside ourdifferences, recognize and rectify ourerrors and move forward like we neverdid before.That is the only way to reclaim ourmorals—which is essentially thejustness of our cause. (rod)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

ON STAND, Let’s understand

For the past several days, I am awed so much (both positively and negatively) to the comments raised by several comrades regarding the non-participation of USC-SSC, in particular, STAND Political Party, to the events that rocked our country even to the ruptures. Past issues was raised and I am glad a certain level of militancy is popping out to pressure (and condemn?) the current occupant of USC-SSC.

However, while we adhere to the historical rule STAND played in key events in our country, it is also notable to be objective when we criticize STAND as a Party and when we criticize STAND members and officers, whose current stand now is contrary to ours.

When one shares his idea and challenges the others, it is important to observe the historical roots of our criticism vis-a-vis the principle of dialectics in order to understand fully the circumstances of different opinions. Assess the objective conditions and the subjective forces that currently hold ideas which deviate from ours.

Do not assert your idea, stand, views or perspective even if you think you are correct. Let the mass movement assert it. What I mean is that if we want to see STAND to be militant, progressive and nationalist, please create a movement that will change its current stand. If we can’t do that, our criticism, however objective cannot change anything. It will only add up to the ever widening gap between history and current realities.

It will take a process, a protracted process to change something. To understand a wrong idea, it is better to get inside of that wrong idea and challenge it from within. Be confident to penetrate!

Let the individuals of that organization we so deeply love and cherish to take time and reflect to become objective. Let our criticisms take time to nourish and develop into something we want it to be.

As far as I know, the current officers and members of STAND did not amend the Constitution and By-Laws of the organization we so deeply love. So, that is a good sign that current members and officers of STAND still adheres to. It is another story if we see them act differently. On the other hand, let us examine our own constitution and by-laws first, if we, too, commit grave errors as grave as “theirs.” Or else we might end up talking to our own.

That is the greatest tragedy of all. You can’ change them. (by me proud STAND since 1995)

Nota Bene: I can’t write a long blog, am in a hurry “nilatch” is waiting. Just wanted to share a piece. I know, that Loyd, will definitely work for the revival of TC and VOT. Ingna kung bakakon if dili ma revive during his term as USC SSC President!

My Prince sprouts in the land of suffering

My Prince sprouts in the land of suffering

My Prince sprouts
In the land of suffering

Yesterday, I saw green scenery
Full of hope

The birds sung freely
Without minding the agony

The peasants toiling the land
They till for centuries

The land cried, shed tears, and drew blood
She can no longer cope the hotness of the sun.

Its rays followed me
Wherever I go

Which was yesterday, kept her green
Came the hour of reckoning

Truck came and dust became the color of the day
No more birds.

The dark man wearing a black shirt

The dark man wearing a black shirt
MARCH 2000

I wanted to ask him
Whether or not he prefers
To write essays, poetry, and

But I dare not
While he continues to open
The pages of newspapers and magazines

I, too, wanted to make friends with him.
Together we will read the newspapers and magazines
But, I dare not. I prefer to write essays, poetry and

The black shirt he wore
Was my favorite. I haven’t
Wore it now because the
Closet was locked.


Chapter 8:5-10
(A new translation by Ariel Bloch and Chana Bloch)

There, beneath the apricot tree,
Your mother conceived you,
There you were born.
In that very place, I awakened you.

Bind me as a seal upon your heart,
A sign upon your arm,
For love is as fierce as death,
Its jealousy bitter as the grave.
Even its sparks are a raging fire,
A devouring flame.

Great seas cannot extinguish love,
No river can sweep itaway
It a man tried to buy love
With all the wealth of his house
He would be despised.

We have a little sister
And she has no breasts,
What shall we do for our sister
When suitors besiege her?

If she is a wall, we will build
A silver turret upon her.
Is she is a door, we will bolt her
With beams of ledar wood.

I am a wall
And my breasts are towers
But for my lover I am
A city of peace

What does Courtney Act and Rich Fernandez have in common?

Self-proclaimed Courtney Act fanboy Rich Fernandez does a fun and quirky shoot with Filipino photographer Adrian Gonzales. So who is Ri...