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What if Allen Ginsberg was a Filipino?

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Or how I syncopated the essence of “Hadda be Playin’ on the Jukebox”
José Mario Alas

Hadda be flashing like the Philippine Daily Inquirer
Hadda be playing on Wowowee
Hadda be loudmouthed on The Buzz!
Hadda be announced over loud speakers
The military and the Abu Sayyaf are in cahoots
Hadda be said in socialite language
Hadda be said in Pinoy headlines
Aguinaldo, Magsaysay, and Aquino stretched and smiled and got doublecrossed by low life international goons & agents
Gay bankers with criminal connections
Dope pushers in NBI working with dope pushers from China working with big time syndicate Parañaque City
Hadda be said with a big mouth
Hadda be moaned over factory foghorns
Hadda be chattered on barber shop news broadcast
Hadda be screamed in a rural slaughterhouse
Hadda be yelled in the plazas where young lovers are petting it out
Hadda be howled on the streets by newsboys to jeepney barkers
Hadda be foghorned into Pásig River
Hadda echo under hard hats
Hadda turn up the volume in cheeky high school proms
Hadda be written on unused library books, footnoted
Hadda be in headlines of Sagad, Hataw, and Toro
Hadda be barked over TV
Hadda be heard in side alleys thru KTV bars
Hadda be sent via SMS
Hadda be cellphones ringing, comedians stopped dead in the middle of a comedy bar joke in Las Piñas,
Hadda be GMA, NEDA Neri, Mayor Atienza, and COMELEC Ábalos golfing together weekends or whenever/wherever —
As reported by almost all dailies across the islands
Hadda be the Freemasons and the neocolonialists together
Started war on Mindanáo, poison on Recto, assassination of Luna and Aquino
Hadda be dope cops and the kidnap-for-ransom crooks
Kidnapped all those filthy-rich scions in Chinatown
Hadda be the NBI and the military working together in cahoots against the leftists
Let Lucky Manzano campaign for both mommy and daddy… family relations, party fidelities, political madness
Hadda be religious goons bribing cross-eyed officials with vote-rich members, singing gospel gobbledygook, praising money and recruitment
Hadda be heard inside the classrooms:
Nationwide brainwashing by UP professors
Hadda be the police, and organized crime, and the military together
Bigger than Gloria, bigger than ZTE-NBN!!!
Hadda be a gorged throat full of murder
Hadda be mouth and ass a solid mass of rage
A red hot head, a scream in the back of the throat
Hadda be in Obama’s brain
Hadda be in Clinton’s mouth
Hadda be the Pinoy language committe, pidginizing our tongue,
erasing our identity, forgetting who we are, what we were…
The Palace, the military, the billionaire cronies, the police, UP historians teaching the leyenda negra,
Protestants and Freemasons,
Dope pushers and sadists,
One big set of criminal gangs working together in cahoots
Hitmen, murderers everywhere, outraged, on the make
Secret drunk brutal dirty rich
On top of a heap of slovenly prisons, industrial cancer, burned plastic bags, garbage cities, Hollywood movies, Erap’s resentments
Hadda be the rulers, wanted law and order they got rich on
Wanted protection, status quo, wanted junkies for poll watchers, wanted influence, wanted Magsaysay to die in an air crash, wanted war over the Spratlys for oil to feed their diamond-laced cats
Hadda be the police and organized crime and the military and Gary V.
Multinational capitalists’ strong arms squads,
Private detective agencies for the very rich
And their armies, navies, and air force bombing rival political clans and their hapless supporters.
Hadda be neocolonialism, the vortex of this RAGE
This “gobbleization”
Man to man
Nation to nation
Hayden to Katrina
Horses’ heads in the haciendero‘s bed, Luisita turf and farmers’ rallies, hit men, gang wars across political landscapes,
Bombing Basilan with “firecrackers” will not settle the score (because they never wanted to settle the score for hunger for funds)
Joma’s red democracy bumped off with the Palace’s pots and pans, a warning to rural local governments
Secret armies embraced for decades, the military and the Palace keep each other’s secrets, the Freemasons and the anti-Catholics/Protestants never hit their own,
The KKK and Ku Klux Klan are one mind
Brute force and full of enmity
One mind, brute force, and full of enmity!
One mind, brute force, and full of enmity!
One mind, brute force, and full of enmity!
One mind, brute force, and full of enmity!
It hadda be rich, it hadda be powerful,
Hadda hire history from US universities
Hadda murder in Indonesia — 500,000
Hadda murder in Indochina — 2,000,000
Hadda murder in Czechoslovakia
Hadda murder in Chile
Hadda murder in Russia…
Hadda murder kids over 10 in Sámar
Hadda murder in the Philippines — 1,250,000

Hadda milk us more till we fall apart…



Mindanáo: When Will The War Ever End?

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Certainly not in my lifetime. But neither am I happy about it.

Mindanáo, particularly the terrorist-infested regions, will continue to be drenched in blood and fear as long as we have complacent government leaders who wine and dine like monarchs while their tired and hungry and lonely soldiers fight a never-ending war against godless psycopathic criminals who pretend to be Muslims.

Very recently, more than 20 Filipino soldiers were brutally murdered by these motherless cowards who brazenly call themselves the Abu Sayyaf. The war against these scumbags has been ongoing for many years with almost no end in sight. They were almost wiped out from the face of the earth during President Joseph Estrada’s term. But –and strangely– when Gloria Arroyo usurped power, their number ballooned once more. And their killing and kidnapping spree has soared to new heights, enough to grab the attention of Washington, D.C. and the European Union. But even with the presence of the US military in Mindanáo, these self-proclaimed Muslim extremists still seem like roaches; you keep hitting ’em with your sandals, but they keep on coming back to crawl toward a safe, dark corner.

Perhaps if we still have a leader like Sebastián Hurtado de Corcuera, the tide would’ve turned much differently. Fortunately for these terrorists from hell, Hurtado de Corcuera’s already resting up there in the firmament.

Sebastián Hurtado de Corcuera (Gobernador General, 1635-1644). Without him, there would have been no Mindanáo in the Philippine map.

Sebastián Hurtado de Corcuera (Gobernador General, 1635-1644). Without him, there would have been no Mindanáo in the Philippine map.

Sebastián Hurtado de Corcuera was the 22nd Gobernador General during Spanish-era Philippines. He presided over archipelagic matters from 25 June 1635 to 11 August 1644. During his reign, the then Philippine military had one of its most glorious days as it has defeated its Muslim enemies from the south.

And yes, without Hurtado de Corcuera’s amazing military efforts, the late nationalist musical performer FrancisM would’ve been rapping Two Stars & A Sun instead of three. In one way or another, Hurtado de Corcuera was able to keep Mindanáo as part of Philippine territory. He even participated in the battlefield. Thus, in the words of National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquín, the “once separate and warring kingdoms of Manila, Cebú, and, yes, Joló were steadily projected as a single entity: Las Filipinas. Divide and conquer? The Spanish policy seems rather to have been: ‘Keep ’em one! Keep ’em together!’ There were any number of times when the Spanish could have dropped Mindanáo –or, at least, Sulú– from their empire; but (at the cost of much headache) they opted to keep Mindanáo and Sulú Philippine”.

If we were only able to make our present leader stay where the action/problem is, bloodshed would’ve been mitigated, if not totally avoided. To say that Arroyo should also take up arms and go straight to the battlefield like what Hurtado de Corcuera did is indeed ludicrous. But the point is that precious time should’ve been allocated more into this centuries-old “Mindanáo crisis” as compared to her recently concluded and almost nonproductive thirty-minute meeting with US President Barack Obama which focused mainly on US interests and not our own.

In contrast, Hurtado de Corcuera had a goal, a vision, a mission: to unite the archipelago against all odds. And he even earned the respect of his Muslim foes. Such passion should be inherent among our present-day national leaders in order to make sure that Mindanáo remains on our map. But the contrary is true. Alas, what Hurtado de Corcuera almost died fighting for was almost lost when the Arroyo government unconstitutionally gave way to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s lack of historical and ancestral logic last year. Thank goodness Lady Justice never slept on it.

For having added and kept Mindanáo as part of our patrimony, it is correct to say that Sebastián Hurtado de Corcuera was the last of the conquistadores to have ever set foot on our shores. He physically toiled –sweat, blood, and all– to make sure that Luzón and Visayas will remain a threesome together with Mindanáo. May the present-day Filipinos respect Hurtado de Corcuera’s efforts to keep the Philippines complete.

But that’s another problem — almost everything from our Spanish past is considered as worse as the present administration.

The Country’s “Green Czar” Should Spare Pampanga’s Iconic Acacia Trees!

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A photo in the frontpage of the Manila Bulletin, formerly the nation's leading newspaper.

A photo in the frontpage of the Manila Bulletin, formerly the nation's leading newspaper.

Not too long ago, Mrs. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo appointed herself as the Philippines’ “green czar”. It drew criticisms from various environmental groups. Nobody from the green sector seemed to trust her “green leadership” especially due to several controversies she’s been involved with.

So far, she’s done nothing newsworthy for the environment. But with the above photo which I saw in today’s issue of the Manila Bulletin, I believe this is the right time for Mrs. Arroyo to make herself worthy of her designation and “dedication” to protect our country’s environment no matter how small the task or the issue at hand is.

The caption in the paper says:

OLD ACACIA TREES IN PAMPANGA. These old acacia trees in Pampanga, several of which are 50 years or older, are scheduled to be cut down to give way for a road widening project of the government. The Save the Trees Coalition has assailed the cutting of some 5,000 trees along the length of MacArthur Highway from San Fernando City to Angeles City.

Hopefully, when Arroyo gets back from her 45-minute meeting with US President Barack Obama in Washington, she’ll find some time to take this matter into her own “environmental hands” if she is really serious AND sincere about being the country’s environmental czar. Besides, Pampanga is her and her father’s hometown. She should also at least do something to save those iconic acacia trees which have beautified MacArthur Highway for many decades. The nation is already knowledgeable that she has all the political power to save these trees, to have them replanted elsewhere instead of being cut down for good. What the nation needs to know is if she has the political will to do it.

It would be hypocritical of Arroyo if she does nothing to save these trees when one of the things she would discuss with Obama is another environmental issue: climate change.

Sic Transit Gloria: Arroyo’s 9th State of the Nation Address

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Mrs. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

Mrs. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

As of this writing, thousands of anti-Arroyo rallyists have already converged along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City to listen to her ninth (and supposedly final) State of the Nation Address (S0NA) which will commence moments from now.

It was also reported that at least eight senators (all from the opposition) and other militant lawmakers are planning to boycott the said event. This could mark the first time in the history of Philippine politics that numerous lawmakers will skip the president’s SONA.

All this may no longer negatively affect Arroyo’s mindset. Since grabbing the presidency in 2001, she’s certainly become accustomed to collective ad hominems and massive rallies against her. With all types of allegations being hurled against her person and her government through the years, she’s been through hell and back (what with all those countless protest rallies and coup d’états she had experienced). But what could certainly be troubling her mind all this time is a scathing editorial from the influential US daily The Washington Times. And this editorial was released at a most inopportune time: yesterday (Manila time), on the eve of her SONA.

The editorial criticizes US President Barack Obama’s decision to welcome Arroyo to The White House this coming Friday (Thursday, Washington time). It will be his young presidency’s first visit by a Southeast Asian leader. But this doesn’t sit well with the newspaper’s team of opinion generators.

The newspaper did its homework quite well because it cited Arroyo’s current standing in public approval polls (a ghastly 26 percent), the growing discontent of the masses (“Street demonstrations against her are routine and growing in size.”), not to mention her questionable victory during the 2004 polls (which many believe should have been won by local film legend and Filipino idol Fernando Poe, Jr.) and the bribe and extortion scandals. Furthermore…

The Philippines has become less free during Mrs. Arroyo’s 10-year presidency. According to Freedom House, “Corruption is extensive throughout the Philippine state apparatus, from the lowest to the highest levels. Bribes and extortion seem to be a regular element of the complex connections among bureaucrats, politicians, businessmen, the press and the public.” In Transparency International’s 2008 Corruption Perceptions Index, the Philippines ranked 141st out of 180 nations on a list in which No. 1 is the least corrupt. The level of Philippine corruption is tied with Iran and Yemen and worse than in dodgy places such as Libya and Nigeria.

The corruption problem is affecting Manila’s relationship with other allies. A senior Philippine official told The Washington Times that German Chancellor Angela Merkel sent Mrs. Arroyo an ultimatum last month that Berlin-Manila ties are at risk if the Philippines doesn’t pay $60 million owed to the German government for Manila’s new international airport. The Philippine government seized the airport and refused to pay a German company — which is partly owned by the German state — for its construction after revelations that the contract allegedly was laden with millions in bribes and kickbacks.

There are also serious human-rights abuses in the archipelago. According to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, “The Philippines ranks sixth worldwide among countries that fail to prosecute cases of journalists killed for their work.” Between 1992 and 2008, at least 34 journalists were murdered in the Philippines; there were convictions in only three of these cases. Four more members of the press were killed this June alone. Opposition voices regularly disappear as well.

Surprisingly, it is apparent that the editorial shares the sentiments of many Filipinos, and in much precise fashion. For some political pundits and analysts, it remains to be seen if Arroyo’s spin doctors and speechmakers did hasty overnight revisions to her SONA just to counter the editorial. Or perhaps Arroyo will simply ignore it.

Whether or not Arroyo ignores the editorial content of The Washington Times in her SONA, the fact of the matter is that it has already disturbed her enough. She nor her spokesperson doesn’t have to admit this. Any major leader of a nation who has been loyal to the most powerful country in the world must win not only the attention of the American president but the American press as well. For as in most countries, the media still guide the flow of a body politic’s opinion.

Obama is still young. And such political youthfulness carries the innate wisdom to listen to the wise discernment of the Fourth Estate.

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