Thursday, October 20, 2016

Harinawa, Pareng Jojo Mejia...

ANG usapan nilang mag-asawa, kapag may isang nagkasakit nang malubha, hindi na pahahabain pa ang paghihirap niya.

May tawag kami diyan dito: “DNR” o “do not rescuscitate” o “allow for natural death.”

Joke lang po. Ang totoo po, hindi po angkop ang waiver na iyan sa ikukuwento ko sa inyo.

Halos naman siguro ng mga mag-asawa dumating sa ganitong usapan, lalo na kung hindi naman mayaman. Isa sa mga pangunahing dahilan kung bakit ayaw nating maratay nang matagal sa banig ng karamdaman: Ayaw nating pahirapan ang mga mahal natin sa buhay; mentally, emotionally, physically — at higit sa lahat — financially.

Hirap kasing isipin na mawawala ka sa mundo at iiwanan mo pa nang sandamukal na problema at mga utang ang mga mahal mo sa buhay. Hindi ba naman, ‘yan ang madalas na kinakatakutan natin?
Uulitin ko, ganoon nga ang naging usapan nina Pareng Jojo at Mareng Nette.

Noong nakaraang Huwebes (Oktubre 13), nagulat kami ni misis sa Facebook post ni Mareng Nette. Inatake si Pareng Jojo. Naitakbo pa siya ospital pero hindi na umabot nang buhay.

“Bigla, wala man lang signos,” kuwento ni mare kay misis nang mag-usap sila sa voice call ng messenger.

Pumanaw si Pareng Jojo isang araw bago magdiwang ng kanyang kaarawan ang kanyang maybahay. Ang sakit ‘di ba? Kung tayo ang nasa katayuan ni mare, kakayanin kaya natin ito?

Sa aming mga Katoliko, sagrado ang pagiging magkumpare. Bagama’t hindi naman talaga kami ganoon kadikit, mayroon kaming matibay na hugpong. Una na nga, ‘yung inaanak namin sa kanilang mag-asawa. Pangalawa, bilang magka-opisina, magka-trabaho, magkabaro sa industriya ng pamamahayag.

Prudencio Mejia ang tunay na pangalan ni pare. (Basta Jojo, Jun o Junior ang palayaw, asahan mo na medyo sinauna ang tunay na pangalan niyan).

Nakilala siya sa byline na Jojo Mejia. Matagal kaming nagkasama sa People’s Tonight. Nagkaroon siya ng kolum sa diaryo namin noon na kinagiliwan ng marami. Mahusay na manunulat, may sense of humor at may malasakit sa mga tao, sa lipunan at sa bayan.

Halos kailan lang, nagpapalitan kami ng like sa FB. Pinupuri niya ako ‘pag may nagustuhan siya sa mga isinulat ko, at ganoon din naman ako sa kanya. Noong minsan, sa tuwa niya sa isang FB post ko, binansagan niyang Abnerism ang aking sense of humor.

Kaming mga diyarista o mamamahayag, hindi palaging nagkakasundo sa aming mga paniniwala. Pero nitong kamakailan, dikit na dikit ang mga opinyon namin sa mga kaganapan sa bayan natin. Kasama ang isa pa naming kumpare, si William “Pogi” Chua na beterano rin ng People’s Tonight (at aaminin kong pinakamahusay sa aming tatlo) kapit-bisig at “kapit-pluma” kami.

Saklap! Nabawasan kami. Malungkot. Pero siyempre tuloy ang laban.
Iniisip ko, siguro masaya naman si Pareng Jojo kung saan man siya naroon ngayon. Hindi niya naabala ang pamilya niya. Hindi sila naiwanan ng utang sa gamot, doktor at ospital. Hindi sila nahirapan na makita siyang nahihirapan. Ganoon ‘yun, di ba?

Harinawa, maging maalwan ang paglalakbay ni Pareng Jojo patungo sa kung saan man ang hantungan ng buhay.

*Ang mga pananaw sa artikulong ito ay sa sumulat.  Maaring hindi ito ang opisyal na posisyon ng Beyond Deadlines.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Evil time, evil men

Cayetano said tourism is down because media is always reporting the killings triggered by the De Lima Senate inquiry on extrajudicial killings. Now she is demoted, but I think media will still report every significant events every day. If the killings continue, so will the reports.

Any sensible tourist will choose Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, Hong Kong, China if they want relief from stress and have a good time. In the Philippines, a tourist has a good chance of seeing a riding-in-tandem execution even in broad daylight, or a procession of policemen going house to house as part of Operation Tokhang, or during a nighttime stroll see vigilantes pulling a suspect out of his house and pumping several bullets into his head and body. An early morning stroll can offer a surprise in the form of cadavers wrapped in packing tape, hands tied, and a cardboard signs beside the corpses, and the tourist will say, "Wow! Only in the Philippines!" or "Honey, take a picture of this blood spatter on my arm."

I never thought I can feel sympathy for someone like De Lima, but evil men can make her appear in a positive light. Duterte and her stamp-pad Senate and House of Representathieves may be able to constrain her, but the truth will struggle out as long as there are decent citizens left. So far, it has been established that a four-year-old girl was gunned down with her father recently. Duterte and General Bato consider her a collateral damage; but it is, legally and morally, murder. This administration, like the Martial Law regime, is recruiting the evil elements in the AFP and PNP to do its savage policy. After Duterte leaves, these killers will be left behind, used to impunity from any system of justice, waiting for Marcos Jr. to resume his father's plunder, tortures, and murders.

There are times when I succumb to the thought of: "If the Filipinos are ignorant enough to enslave themselves under tyrants and thieves, they deserve the fruits of the seeds they sow." Then I hope some intelligent men in government and in the armed services will rise and protect us, but then I realize that I cheered for Duterte just a few months ago, and Aquino in 2009 because he would not steal like Arroyo, and Arroyo in 2001 because she replaced the corrupt Estrada, and Ramos in 1992 because the cronyism of Cory would end, and Cory because I thought she put an end to the Marcos dynasty. 

EDSA 1986 was a sham, though the Marcoses were temporarily dislocated. We cheered Enrile and the RAM boys and other military men, not realizing that they were the executors of Martial Law. Honasan, Kapunan, Matillano, Bibit, even PC Major General Fidel Ramos, and the good Panfilo Lacson were involved in torturing dissidents and making desaparecidos of thousands of young Filipinos still lost in unknown graves.

We saved our torturers and killers from Marcos, and here we are now -- the president is a rabid Marcos loyalist like Estrada, who is mayor of the rich city of Manila, whose son from a mistress (now mayor of San Juan) is a senator like Marcos Jr., whose thieving mother is congresswoman of Ilocos Norte, where his sister is governor. Marcos first cousin ex-President Fidel Ramos, who failed to settle the Mindanao dispute, is now negotiating with China about territorial rights. And Duterte has recently negotiated with terrorists and freed one hostage in exchange for P50 million, which will certainly encourage more abductions in the lucrative trade which the president has revived. Was the Davao night market blasts financed by the ransom money? I hope not. Wait and see.

Last night De Lima was demoted and it made the evening news, but the police killings also were reported. Cayetano thinks when reports of the killings stop, the tourists will flock in. The only way to stop the news reports is to stop the bloodbath, but Duterte's pet project shows no sign of abating. 

I hope there is a heaven, because it follows that there will be hell. And those that made a hell-on-earth of this country will have a certain destination, hot and bood red.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Sophistries and epithets

The president seems to be misleading the public about the killing of innocent victims, including children, in his bloody war against drug lords and pushers. Is it because his messiahiad turn of mind has led him astray too?

Let's see how this president uses reasoning or arguments that sound true but are off the mark. I never thought anyone in this world can make De Lima look good in my eyes, but it takes a Duterte to shatter my misconception. Against my will (and taste), I find myself defending the scarf lady against the imputation that she's the star of the sex scandal tape. Duterte's personal vendetta against the former Justice Secretary, who investigated him for the summary killings in Davao when he was mayor there, went overboard when he used his dumb crony, appointed DOJ Secretary Aguirre, to hurriedly present half-baked evidence against her, and her driver. They are trying to impeach her character, as if facts against the extrajudicial killings will be negated if De Lima and lover were proven guilty of receiving money from the drug lords and making love with each other.

It's as old as the New Testament, this defense of sinners against their accusers and critics, Duterte's retaliation against Obama and UN's Ban Ki Moon's comments about the mass killings: "Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her. [John 8:7]" refers not to De Lima (though she is getting on in years) but the woman in the Bible who was caught in adultery (well, maybe it's De Lima), and Duterte certainly is not defending her against himself! If this is confusing it's because Duterte uses arguments that can backfire on him. On one hand, he entreats Obama and the US not to be so righteous; on the other hand he keeps hurling charges (and epithets) against all who does not approve of his murderous campaign. He is the pot calling the kettle black, but he can also be the kettle. We tread a double-edged blade when we accuse any one, or if we are accused. Matthew 7:1 -- Do not judge, or you will be judged.

The main point, after sweeping away all the sophistries, is that even if the United States massacred thousands Filipino rebels and hundreds of Moros in order to take control the Philippines, will that make right the extrajudicial killings happening here every day?

If a dropout says one and one and one is three, will he be considered wrong if a mathematician says the right answer is 3.1416? During Hitler's genocidal campaign against the Jews, hunders of German physicist gathered to prove that Eintein's Theory of Relativity is wrong. Told about this, Einstein said, "If I'm wrong, just one of them is sufficient." Duterte points to the more than 16 million who elected him to office as the source of his mandate, but what about the more then 84 million who still believe that the death penalty is still out of the bounds of our law?

The death penalty was repealed by Duterte's close friend Gloria Arroyo when she became president. This act certainly saved her from the lethal injection for plunder and electoral fraud, all heinous, all acceptable now as long as you are a presidential friend. Even presidential kumpare Peter Lim escaped Duterte's avowal that this Chinese drug lord will be killed the instant he lands in our airport. Instead he was presented on TV, with Duterte casting doubt whether he is indeed the one on the police drug list. What kind of intel was Duterte being fed that thousands were killed without verification and this kumpare is not properly identified? No photos of him was included in the government files? So Peter flew back to China. And when Media asks why only small time druggies were being killed, Duterte says, "Because only the henchmen are operating here. The bosses are in China. Kung gusto mong hulihin sila, pumunta ka sa China." So much for consistency. How long this zarzuela will go on before the Duterte trolls wake up? Well, Marcosian fools are still growling long after 1986. Let me like the Devil, quoting Scriptures: Proverbs 26:4,5 -- Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like to him…

Friday, September 9, 2016

Looking back

When President Duterte was just starting, he declared that he would not look back and point fingers at what the previous administration had done wrong, had not done right, and should have done. "Move forward," sounds good, if you agree to the honor burial of his patron, deposed dictator Ferdinand Marcos, and just forget EDSA 1986 happened and mattered.

When crooked politicians suggest we move on and forget the past ("What's done is done." "Minalas sila.") -- and forgive!-- the first thing a good citizen must do is turn around and look at his wallet, family, and past. In 2005 Gloria Arroyo, whose cohorts are now in Duterte's Cabinet, exhorted us on TV to forgive her for lying about the Hello Garci tape and to forget that she usurped the presidency, which should have gone to FPJ. Electoral rigger Virgilio Garcillano, after things had cooled off and the electorate's reliable Alzheimer had set in, returned from hiding abroad and even ran for Congress in 2007. Recently, Arroyo was released from hospital arrest, as if no massive plunder and other heinous crimes had been committed. Looking back, during Duterte's campaign, he said he was in favor of releasing Gloria. What he did not say was that he and Gloria were BFFs and that he has a blind side: he cannot see his friends' sins against the Filipinos he avows to love and protect.

Now Duterte is blaming Media for his latest foot-in-mouth gaffe, which caused the cancellation of his meeting with President Obama. What, exactly, is Media's role, except to air his announcement precisely as it was captured by the cameras. What I find fault in today's broadcast media is the tendency to bleep out the presidential "putang-ina" and "shit" in his tirade against Obama and other victims of his ire -- thus shielding Filipino families from the complete presidential pronouncements, with the decorum of every hood in the neighborhood.

During the Summit, Duterte and Obama somehow managed to avoid each other and shake hands. The diplomatic fiasco stung the very sensitive Duterte. But he anticipated the humiliation and prepared some photographs showing atrocities by the Americans during the process of colonizing the Philippines, from 1898 to 1904. Filipinos who fought for freedom were killed and labeled as bandits; in 1901 American soldiers were ordered, as retaliation for the natives' killing of 48 members of the US 9th Infantry, by Gen. Jacob Smith to kill every male over 10 years old in Balangiga town, Samar. Graphic photos were shown to the other world leaders to remind Obama that human rights violation is not an exclusive prerogative of the Philippines. Duterte emphasized the hypocrisy of the critics of the extrajudicial killings in his anti-drug campaign, wherein there are more unofficial murders than the government-instigated murders. So Duterte looked back in time, selectively.

And Duterte trolls lapped it up, even if nearly all, millions, have no idea that we had been Spanish Indios from 1521 to 1898, America's Little Brown Brothers (1898-June 3, 1946), and Japanese puppets from 1942-February 1945. And now we are slaves of the Filipino oligarchy, from which Duterte's father benefited much, especially during Marcos' Martial Law. 

Looking back a little closer in time -- from September 21, 1972 to Feb. 21, 1986 -- we can see what this president, this Duterte, refuses to see: the disappearance of thousands of people whom Marcos' military goons labeled as communist rebels, which included students protesting against warrantless arrests, abductions, and the curtailment of their freedom of speech, freedom to assemble, and other basic rights. Are there graphic photos of coeds nabbed by members of the constabulary or Metrocom, then raped, subjected to water torture and electrocution, brutally killed, their mutilated bodies thrown into still unknown graves? Among the victims were human rights advocates (Etta Rosales et al), writers who criticized Marcos' rule and corruption ("Pinasuka ako ng dugo." -- Ricky Lee), and rivals in politics and business monopoly. Before Duterte reaches the distant past, he cannot avoid the evidence of murders, and of plunders that impoverished the country, caused by his friends, the Marcoses, and, still closer in time, the Arroyos.

Hypocrisy can mean declaring not looking back but still looking back, beyond the big chip on your shoulder, and stating, as President of this damned Republic, that the US ambassador to the Philippines is "bakla" and a "son of a bitch." Ambassador Philip Goldberg's past sin? Goldberg had criticized presidential candidate Duterte for a hideous joke he made about the rape and murder of Australian missionary Jacqueline Hamill. After he became president, Duterte recalled meeting US State Secretary John Kerry: "I quarreled with his gay ambassador [referring to Goldberg]. I am pissed with him. He meddled during the election, giving statements here and there. He was not supposed to do that. That son of a bitch really annoyed me." Whelp of a doggie for an ambassador, bastard of a whore for a president. There must be a clinical explanation to this madness.

De Lima, former DOJ chief and now senator, did not escape Duterte's memory and wrath, either. He is now gathering evidence against De Lima and her former driver for their alleged coddling of drug lords in the National Penitentiary. Then there's Ban Ki Moon. Duterte, after shaking hands with the UN Secretary General last week, did not spare the man for issuing his concerns about the extrajudicial killings in the present administration.

Looking back, I thought Marcos was the worst authoritarian thief elected to the presidency. Then I thought Cory, after a brief admiration in 1986, was the caregiver of cronies and relatives in government. Ramos, in dotage still a political butterfly, flitting from his cousin Ferdinand's garden to Cory's yellow canvas to Gloria's team to Duterte's street corner. Estrada, instigator of EDSA 2001, was just a cut from the old Marcosian cloth as was Benigno Aquino III a chip off his peevish mother. What could be worse?

Well, after looking back at lot, we still have to look forward, wondering why Duterte insists on just six months to wipe out a serious drug problem, when he can -- methodically, without murdering "collateral damages," setting a bright example to the world community -- ensure the success of his vision in six years: 2,191 days instead of the silly 180 days he imposed on himself. That it's a campaign promise does not hold anymore, after he failed to jetski and plant a Philippine flag on Scarborough Shoal to fulfill another campaign pledge. Or was it another joke? The jokes and excuses are running thin; at least, through this eerie and deadly transparency, we can clearly see how worthless the lessons of History are, when we entrust our future to less worthy men.

Look back to affirm, not to deny, the truth.

Thursday, August 18, 2016


Today, 2016 August 18, President Duterte's 50th day in power, a documentary of his "achievements" airs beyond PTV4. The document starts with his inauguration speech, in which he said, "we have become our worst enemies," and followed that with a statement that he serves no special interest but that of every citizen.

Today, it has become very clear to all, through Duterte's own efforts, that he is the most powerful Marcos loyalist to be elected, to replace the anti-Marcos but inept and moronic Aquino. A few days hence, ex-dictator and plunderer Ferdinand Marcos will be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, because, according to Duterte, Marcos "was a soldier. Period." And, Marcos was a president. Period.

Those two "periods" -- or full stops -- are indicators of what kind of man the new president is; after all, he has repeatedly declared that what he said he will do, he will do. What he did not say, yet is so open to all but to Marcos and Duterte fanatics, is that he will not tolerate opposition to his will, that those who dare to curb his plan will be treated as personal enemies who will be subject to his impulsive and almost immediate retaliation.

Marcos is a soldier. Period. The full stop is there to forestall any argument, that Marcos, during the war, was involved in the black market with the approval of the Japanese administration; that he was hunted by the guerrillas, who had executed his father, Mariano Marcos, for treason, and wanted the same fate for the young Marcos; that after the war he tried to scam the US government by claiming reimbursement for non-existent cattle and equipment he allegedly supplied guerrillas during the war. He also claimed he was in battles where official records proved he was miles away. He faked papers and 32 medals to bolster his delusion as a hero, rather than the cheap crook that he was.

He was a president. Period. Marcos had sworn to obey the constitution and defend the interest of the country, yet he tyranized and looted the country, made his own laws to fit the interests of his thieving wife, relatives (including his mother), and cronies in and out of government. But in Duterte's viewpoint, treason does not undo or besmirch Major Marcos' military record. The high crimes of tyranny, plunder, and murder do not dislodge Marcos, the benefactor of Duterte Sr. and this Duterte, from the pantheon of nonmurdering presidents and true soldiers who had lived and died loyally. Duterte's period is heavy indeed.

A fanatic is not necessarily stupid -- although millions of Marcos and Duterte fanatics are -- but deliberately blind to all facts, reasons, and arguments; the specific purpose, of doing honor to Marcos, supersedes morality. In other matters Duterte can inspire by his unorthodox methods and declarations. But can a president be deliberately deaf to the cries of Martial Law victims and still believe that his conscience still has a voice? -- when that voice is telling him that he has become his own worst enemy, that he is serving not all but only the Marcoses in this matter. Period.

But in real life, morality does not win against injustice, theft, murder, corruption of the soul. Countless criminals, gambling lords, drug lords, kidnappers and carjackers, smugglers, money launderers have lived and died in comfort, at the expense of the peasants, of course. Our movies and TV shows are not so dishonest now: they no longer say Crime does not pay. Who pays for masterminding the murder of Ninoy Aquino? On August 21, twenty days before Duterte lends presidential weight to Marcos' burial, we commemorate Ninoy's 33rd death anniversary. At least Ninoy lies beside his wife Cory at the Manila Cemetery, not at the soon-to-be-desecrated Libingan.

Why oh why is it the people who must always pay for the personnel debts of our politicians? Maybe the politicians know they will always be sheltered and even pushed on by the fanatics, mighty always and mighty ever. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


This is Albus, a very loving Ragdoll who, like any kitten, loves companionship and play. He is born on Jan. 7 with two siblings. When people took his siblings to their homes to lead better lives, he had at least two younger persian kittens and one stray left to play with. Then one by one his playmates moved to good homes, too, leaving Albus alone. When I see him looking forlorn like this, it breaks my heart. Of course I don't feel so good whenever a kitten moves to other homes, but I have come to term with this fact of life: Leaving is not so bad if the destination is a happier life. Every father learns this at his daughter's wedding day -- that no love is lost and life moves forward.

When I see Albus alone, silent, with no playmates no tumble with, my human problems, no matter how deep, diminish and are replaced with just one wish -- that this lonesome kitten gets a better shot at life's bounties. If there is kismet, I hope someone out there with the capability to make a kitten smile and purr with delight meets Albus. Full of trust, Albus purrs when we hold and stroke him. Certainly I will be sad when Albus leaves this home, but I will be consoled that he will not be alone anymore. I'll be all right if in his memory I'm replaced by a loving companion.

I quote Christina Rossetti about leavetaking, whether it involves human sweethearts or kittens that I love:
"Better by far that you forget and smile,
Than that you remember and be sad."

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Duterte's blind side

This must be taught in schools
Very very few people know that my birthday is celebrated every week, and that I believe heavily on gift receiving, even without twisting of arms or shameless reminding.

Popular Bookstore ran out of stock of the Raissa Robles book (1st photo), so I'm looking for it as a weekly birthday present (wink! wink!) to me, which does not mean I'm forking out the cash, after asking wifey to buy the two books shown in Photos 2 and 3. What are reminders for?

So I have two books about Martial Law at hand and I currently lack the Robles book. Meanwhile I'm reading Primitivo Mijares' "The Conjugal Dictatorship of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos", which is being offered free in eBook form online, to refresh the memory of old people like my friends -- who had experienced the censorship, terrors and murders of the New Society -- and to teach millennials, like me, and this generation's dumb voters who voted for all Marcoses last May. Why not read the new books you bought, you may ask, and the answer... umm, it fell to earth I know not where.

During the election I rooted for Duterte and cursed Binay and Roxas for trying to impose their incompetence on this unfortunate country, which allowed the birth of Mariano Marcos (shot by guerrillas as a spy of the Japanese invaders), who begat Ferdinand, who with Imelda and cronies plundered our resources. Then they were ousted in 1986 with their begotten gremlins Bongbong, Imee, and Irene. After Duterte won, I began pulling roots, after he declared his fealty for the Marcoses. Part of his priority now is to pay his debt of gratitude to the Marcos clan, whom he said took care of his father and him even while the Marcoses looted the coffers, closed tne media, tortured and killed thousands of activists, and borrowed so much from foreign institutions that we, in this year 2016, are still paying for what the Marcoses, Romualdezes, Benedictos, Tantocos, et al. had hoarded, splurged, and hidden. 

Now I'm preparing for the dire results of Duterte's inconsistensy and contradictions. He has, even before the beginning of his term, started purging the system of its entrenched drug lords and crime kingpins. How he hates drugs. Me too, except my maintenance tablets. He says "Stop it!" to crime. Yey! He will bury Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Huh?! Ok, he's not a hero, Duterte concedes, but he was a soldier. Now I want to know Duterte's birthday, so I can give him Mijares' book. That book reveals that Marcos was hunted by guerrillas, who wanted to execute him as a collaborator. Not a soldier at all, the book said, but as a buy-and-sell man during the Japanese Occupation. Possibly a traitor. Ferdinand and Imelda spawned Ferdinand Junior -- or Bongbong, who will certainly try to wrest the vice presidency from the duly elected Leni Robredo. 

Duterte has already instituted a lot of changes. For the first time in Philippine politics, the vice president will be given no tangible post as part of the administration -- because Bongbong's feeling will be hurt. Another first is that the president-elect and the VP-elect will hold their inaugurations separately, because Duterte wants it that way. Maybe he cannot have both Bongbong ang Leni together in the inauguration ball?

Duterte feels he has a debt of obligation to the biggest family of crooks ever, but why oh why, like that fool Noynoy to Purisima, must the country pay for Duterte's debt? We are still paying for the Marcoses' debt! A consolation is that the dumbos who voted for Imelda, Imee, and Bongbong have joined the old timers in paying debts incurred long before they were born. This early we are reaping the fruits of our elected leader's contradictions. When there are two opposing sides, one side will falter in the long run, and Duterte, who purportedly hates criminals who destroy our society, is on the side of the biggest looters of resources and of the killers of thousands of dissenters. What strange bedfellows you have, Mr. President. May fate be kinder to this unfortunate land.


Monday, June 6, 2016

Boss Joe

Joe Burgos, mas mainam pa sa mga panggulo ng Pilipinas
Boss, pinili namin ang putanginang Duterte dahil di ko alam na mas mahal niya ang mga Marcos kaysa sa mga tapat na mamamahayag na tulad mo, na sa panahong mapanganib ang isiwalat ang totoong kalagayan ng bansa, sa ilalim ng kamay na bakal, ay sinimulan mo na ang pagbaklas sa tanikalang sumisikil sa kalayaan at disenteng pagka-Pilipino. Ngayon ay nananaig ang paglait sa mga kapatid sa trabaho dahil pikon si Duterte at ginagawang ehemplo ang corrupt nating mga kasamahan para lagyan ng uling ang mga tapat, masigasig, at naghahayag lang ng kabulastugan nitong probinsiyanong lumaki na ang ulo hindi pa man nakaupo sa puwesto.

Pero relax ka lang diyan, Boss, dahil kung ang kaibigang Marcos ni Duterte, na berdugo rin, ay hindi inurungan ng mga tapat na journalists noon, ito pa kayang nagbabadyang bagong diktador. Killer nga pero tiyani bandang huli yan.

Parang di alam ni Duterte na maraming anyo ang corruption: hindi pera-pera lang, na inihahagis niya laban sa media; meron ding corruption ng moralidad -- kawalan nang galang sa magandang asal (buksan mo ang balita sa TV at maririnig ng mga bata sa bahay na nagmumura ang putanginang magiging panggulo ng bayan), kabastusan sa mga babae, pagmura sa pinatay na corrupt journalist (dahil kritiko niya sa Davao) at pinabayaan na lang yung pumatay kahit kilala niya. Hindi lang droga at pangungurakot ang salot sa bayan. Ang pag-unlad nang nga mamamayan sa disenteng lipunan ay ankla ng tunay na pag-ahon, hindi pagbaba sa imburnal ng buwang na Duterte.
Ang ganda ng mga sinasabing gagawin ni Duterte. Talagang hahanga ka pag naniwala kang malakas ang malasakit niya sa mga maralita, sa mga inaagrabyado, sa mga niyuyurak ng pamahalaan. Pero gising na ang ilan sa amin -- parang nakabasa kami ng We Forum sa panahong hanga pa ang karamihan sa pagbabagong pangako nitong Duterte, parang nung hanga pa ang mga magulang sa disiplinang idudulot daw ng Martial Law.

Ang We Forum ang naglatag ng daan para sa pamamahayag na tapat at kontra sa diktaturya, kaya nung pinatay si Ninoy, nag-usbungan ang mga ibang pahayagan -- Mr & Ms Special Edition na sa unang pahina ay lumantad ang litrato ng duguang mukha ni Ninoy. Pumalag din ang Malaya, kapatid ng We Forum; lumakas ang loob ng WHO at Business Day. Sa paglilitis ng 25 sundalong inakusahang pumatay kay Ninoy, inilunsad ng founder ng Mr & Ms Special Edition, Eugenia Apostol (at Editor Letty Magsanoc), ang weekly tabloid na Philippine Inquirer para ituon ang pansin ng mga tao sa pangyayari sa korte. Sa 1986 ang tabloid ay naging Philippine Daily Inquirer, na hanggang ngayon ay kinaasaran ng mga presidenteng gumagawa ng kabulastugan at nahahayag sa pahayagan at balita sa TV channels. Ang mga asar na presidente: Marcos na ipinasara halos lahat ng mga diyaryo at TV stations, puwera sa tatlong crony papers (Daily Express, Philippine Journal ni Kokoy Romualdez, at Manila Bulletin ni Emilio Lim); Cory Aquino, na tulad ng sinto-sintong anak na si Noynoy, ay pikon sa sa masamang balita kahit totoo; Gloria Arroyo; at ngayon, na tila susunod sa yabag ng matalik na kaibigang Marcos, Duterte, berdugo ng mga drug lords (okay lang) at berdugo ng pamamahayag na hindi sipsip sa kanya ngunit totoo.

Hanggang ngayon ay nawawala pa ang anak mong si Jonas, Boss. Dinampot siya ng militar ni Gloria at hanggang ngayon ay kasama sa libo-libong desaperidos ng Martial Law ni Marcos, na pinayagan ni Duterteng ilipat at bangkay sa Libingan ng Bayani. Ang marching order ni Duterte sa mga tauhan niya, tutukan ang kriminalidad at corruption. Gandang pakinggan, pero hindi tugma sa gawa. Gagawin niyang bayani ang isa sa pinakamalaking mamamatay-tao at mandarambong sa kasaysayan ng napakaabang bayan na ito.

Ang daming mabulaklak na pambobola ang iniitsa ni Duterte sa tulog na namang madla, kaya di napapansin, o ipinagtatanggol pa, ang lason ang kanyang mga gawain. At, tulad ng dati, binubugbog ang tagahatid ng masamang balita.

Pero kaya natin ito, Boss. Ano ba naman ang sangganong Duterte sa agos ng kasaysayan at katotohanan? Bullet day, Duterte -- Balang araw...

Panggulong Dodirty

Painting by Fernando Amorsolo
Ang ganda ko, ano? Kinuha akong modelo ng pintor na si Fernando Amorsolo. Una mong mapapansin ay yung dala kong mga manggang hilaw; susunod ay mapansin mo yung dimples sa maamo kong mukha. Pero putangina naman, sino ba yung naka-checkered na matandang ang lakas sumipol pagdaan ko? Ang buwang, hindi sa mangga nakadikit ang tingin. Gilit lang yung maliliit na mata, pero hanep kung hubaran ka sa tingin.

Mabait naman daw, sabi ng isang ale, kung di nakasumpong ang pagkamanyakis at pagkaberdugo. "Bilib it or nut," sabi ng ale, "yan ang susunod na panggulo ng Pilipinas. Dininig ang iyong panalangin, iha, na mawala na sa eksena ang autistic na si Abnoy!"

Mamumura ko ang mga pari at obispo sa diskarteng ito -- aalisin nga ang sinto-sinto, papalitan naman nang mas malala ang topak. Nung panggulo si Gloria inip na inip ako at gusto ko siyang mawalis sa upuan, by coup or by tiris, dahil siguradong wala nang mas grabe sa unanong ito. Kaya tuwang-tuwa ako nang parang sisiw na sumipot si Penoy. Nang nabistong kulang ang palito sa ulo ang buwakanangina, sabi ko, ang lupit ng tadhana sa Pilipins my Pilipins. Pero imposibleng may malala pa sa panot na ito. At -- tsaran! -- nasilip yung sipolpol na Dodirty raw ang pangalan. Change is coming daw! Pero naman naman! Anong klaseng sukli itong dumarating: Di pa nakaupo ang laki na nang ulo, arogante, bastos, bully sa hindi kayang lumaban. Siya ang tanging nilalang na dahil sa kanya nanaisin mong manalo ang mga drug lords para maasar lang siya. Mistulang banal mismo si Satanas kung ihambing sa matulis na ngusong manyakis na yun. Sasabihin ko sanang may problema ang mama kaya laging nakangising aso. Pero ano naman ang kasalanan ng aso para insultuhin ito?

Anyway, laging galit sa mundo itong mama kaya di mapakali, kamot nang kamot; ba't di kasi maligo para at least may masabing malinis sa kanyang nilalang kahit hindi ang utak. Laging hinihimas yung isang pisngi. Minsan parang sinasalo niya at baka malaglag at di na siya makasipol. Malaglag na nga sana!

Lahat ng tao may malalim na lihim, pero sa kilos, ugali, at OCD nito, huwag sanang mapinsalang lubos ang bansa sa halimaw na ito. Sige, pabahain niya ng dugo ng mga drug lords ang ating lupa; sige, magsabog siya ng binhi nang pagkasuklam sa mga ayaw sumund sa kanya, pag-awayin niya ang mga Pilipino, pero putangina lang ang walang ganti. Kahit major-major na buwang itong uupo, marunong namang magbasa. Minsan, nung may pag-asa pang palitan ang turnilyo ng kukote nito 60 years ago, nabasa niya ang isang aklat -- na laging ring binabasa ng minura niyang si Pope Franciis, mga pari, obispo, kasama na ang buong relihiyon na marahil di niya kinagisnan sa tahanan -- ang isang babala: Kung anong itinanim, siyang aanihin.

Harinawa. Putangina naman kung walang sukli.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

A Pictorial History of National Stamp Collecting Month

1995 mini sheet introducing NSCM month
In 1995, President Ramos, also a well-known philatelist, signed Proclamation 494, declaring November every year hence as National Stamp Collecting Month. This mini sheet shows the President and the four stamps of the first NSCM set issued in November 1995.

1995 NSCM Local Paintings complete set

I don't really know why there was no NSCM set printed in 1996. However, the Post Office made up for their lack, in 1997.
1997 NSCM Local Paintings complete set.
1997 Philatelic and Philatelic Division Paintings complete set.
This set, I guess, was supposed to be for 1996.

The Stamp and Philatelic Division also had issued a beautiful set of local paintings in 1972
1998 NSCM Vintage Movies complete set
1999 Local Sculptures complete set
2000 NSCM Local Nude Paintings complete set
2000 NSCM Local Nude Paintings complete FDC set
2001 NSCM Local Paintings complete set
2002 NSCM Great Achievers in Arts complete set

2003 NSCM Comics complete set

2003 NSCM Comics complete FDC set
2004 NSCM Comics complete set
2004 NSCM Comics complete FDC set
2005 NSCM Printmaking complete set
2006 NSCM Abstract Paintings complete set
2006 NSCM Abstract Paintings complete FDC set
2007 NSCM Juan Luna Paintings complete set
2008 NSCM Carlo Caparas Comics complete set

2008 NSCM Carlo Caparas Comics complete FDC set

2009 NSCM Children's Games complete set
2009 NSCM Children's Games complete FDC set
2010 NSCM National Artists complete set
2010 NSCM National Artists complete FDC set
2010 NSCM National Artists FPJ sheetlet & S/S
2010 NSCM National Artists FPJ FDC complete set
2011 NSCM Hernando Ocampo Paintings complete set
2011 NSCM Hernando Ocampo Paintings complete FDC set
2012 Young Artist of the Philippines mini sheet
I don't know if this is really NSCM. No FDC of this was made. This was printed because the Postmaster General, former Bulacan Governor Josie de la Cruz, collects painting, and the artist is reportedly a crony of hers. The postgen, whose bureaucratic mess has still to be cleared up, was appointed by morally corrupt President Noynoy Aquino.

2013 NSCM Dolphy mini sheet

2013 NSCM Dolphy FDC

2014 NSCM First Stamps of the Philippines 160th anniversary complete set

2014 NSCM First Stamps of the Philippines 160th anniversary FDC
2015 NSCM Philately sticker stamps mini sheet
2015 NSCM Philately sticker stamps FDC