Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Agony of the Poor

Mang Jose is praying at the garden of Gethsemane in Lucban, Quezon. His callous hands were trembling in the same rhytmn as the grumbling of his stomach. He got only P25 pesos in his pocket. His jeepney fare going to work will cost him P15 and the remaining P10 can only buy 3 skyflakes for his lunch. As he walked into his construction barracks , he remember what his daughter said to him. "Tatay, if the cost of jeepney fare ate a lot of your daily income it means our economy does not benefit the poor". He can not understand what his daughter told him but what he experienced daily taught him that he is in much worst situation than before.
In the store near the construction place, Aling Maria replaces the price of rice. The Sinandomeng that Mang Jose bought every payday now costs P32. Mang Jose shook his head as he estimated that he can buy only 5 kilos of rice for his family this coming payday. As he is riding the jeepney going home, his Pareng Jun, a jeepney driver told him that the drivers will go on strike next week to demand P8 jeepney fare. Mang Jose did not say anything as he felt a sudden anger on his soul that he need to let it out or else his mind will explode. I could not take it anymore..... I could not take it anymore....
Meanwhile, the moneyed class are in their usual mode. They go on shopping abroad, watching concerts of foreign artists in Araneta and buying the latest Italian shoes & bags.
The upper class can not feel the pain of their poor brethren and sisters.
Our country is not blessed of people who love their country deep.
The poor will think of first of having something to fill their stomach before they feel that they are part of country.
The upper class will need a painful lesson before they feel that they are part of country.
The middle class need to be awaken in order for them to rekindle the feeling that they are part of the country.
Meanwhile, Mang Jose is now thinking of something radical. On his head he will go on a riot if he can not feed his family in the coming days. He has nothing to loose because he feel that he is already dead anyway.
We got few days to help Mang Jose and his kind in convincing not to do it. Let us talk to Mang Jose that it is against God and the law to go on a riot. But will they listen to us?.
Jesus said that the poor will be in our midst always but he did not say that we let the poor starved.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


(Photo by Brian Craig. Thanks Brian!)
For a Beatlemania like me, the film "Across the Universe" made by renowned director Julie Taymor and written by the prolific writers Dick Clement & Ian La Frenais, forces me to sing and dance on the classics songs of Beatles when I watched it last night.
"Across the Universe" is a 2007 Academy Award-nominated musical film that incorporates 34 compositions written by members of The Beatles.

The film is a love story set against the backdrop of the 1960s amid the turbulent years of anti-war protest, mind exploration and rock 'n roll, the film moves from the dockyards of Liverpool to the creative psychedelia of Greenwich Village, from the riot-torn streets of Detroit to the killing fields of Vietnam.
Songs such as "Girl" ("Is there anybody going to listen to my story, all about the girl who came to stay"),"Hold Me Tight", "All My Loving" ,"I Want to Hold Your Hand" , "With a Little Help from My Friends" (both The Beatles' and Joe Cocker's versions) ,"It Won't Be Long" ,"I've Just Seen a Face", "Let It Be"; in a gospel rendition,"Come Together" ,"Why Don't We Do It in the Road?" , "If I Fell" ,"I Want You (She's So Heavy)"; "Dear Prudence","Flying","Blue Jay Way" , "I Am the Walrus" ,"Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!", "Because", "Something","Oh! Darling" ,"Strawberry Fields Forever", "Revolution"; ,"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" as a memorial to Dr. King, "Hey Jude" , "Don't Let Me Down" "All You Need is Love" in a cappella.
All in all is a total joy ride!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Philippine Patriot

It is quite clear that our country is divided. The daily printed announcement on newspapers of people for and against GMA made me wonder if this country is really in the right direction. If their purpose is to make the newspapers rich, they are doing it great. But rather the paid announcements are pathetic that it creates more negative energy zapping our collective strength.

While these politicians amazed us with their never-ending talent on “talking”, the lower and middle class are now experiencing the cost of living that is the highest in Philippine history. The era of cheap food prices are over in case you didn’t notice.

Prices of rice, sugar, coffee, fish, meat, LPG and all other necessities are sky-rocketing or to follow the jingo of FVR pole-vaulting. More families are starving and these problems will explode in our face through class struggles.

The poor will reach the boiling point that they can not take it anymore and will do everything including crime in order to survive. These people have nothing to loose and that is fearsome. If they will have access to murderous weapons, the peace loving middle class will be the first to be hit because they are accessible.

We don’t want bloods in the street.

The politicians and the Filipinos in general are focusing their strength on an issue that will not put food on the table at the end of the day.

Their issues are political issues and should be solved by politicians. The Filipino people will be happy to see and hear the truth but they should not depend on it as if it can save the Philippines. The church is right in protecting the witness but they should not negate their primary responsibility of promoting good human behavior on their flock. Because the accused came from their convent and exclusive schools, they have a failure that until now they can not face the truth that somewhere in-between they are involved.

Meanwhile that the country is suffering on the pain of divisiveness , the scale not seen during the time of Marcos, many families are experiencing nothing to eat. The unemployed are thinking of various ways on how to feed himself and his family. His ways are possibly illegal and violent. The newly graduates can not find a decent job and some are forced to accept job that is not related on his skills or education, that will pay him less and working in long hours.
The price of food in the public market and mall and tuition fees continue to rise that those who are earning fixed salary can not stretched their money anymore and their tightened belt need a lot more tightening thereby sacrificing nutritious foods in exchange of anything that can fill their stomach.
The church,ahh the church. I am looking for the church that will go back to the ways of the early apostles. More time with the poor, less time in the temple.

At this point, we have only one country, I guess, loving it will make us one. We can do that, right?.