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Edsa 1 and Its “Benefit of the Daw”

On the way home, I happened to pass by the People Power Monument along the corner of White Plains Avenue and EDSA. The image of “Inang Bayan”, with hands raised up in the air, was striking against the backdrop of the summer afternoon skies. I was so mesmerized by the imagery that I grabbed my phone and tried to grab a clear picture of it.

Incidentally, we are only a couple of days away from the commemoration of the event that freed us from the hands of a dictator some 31 years ago… as what we have been told. Where has this famous “People Power” revolution led the Filipinos and the country, three decades after?

The claim-to-fame of the bloodless revolution was it overthrew the dictatorial regime of the late Ferdinand Marcos. It overthrew an oppressive government whose alleged crime involves corruption, human rights violations, mysterious disappearances, and brutal deaths. Crimes that Filipinos hope and pray would stop after the Marcoses flew to the US to escape the fiery emotions of Filipinos that was oozing along EDSA.

The EDSA revolution kicked out the dictator “daw”.

Although true to their claim of having successfully kicked out the former President and his family, it is interesting to note that the same family is back in the order of things in Philippine politics. What is REALLY funny is the tremendous noise created by EDSA 1 personalities and their “believers” on the controversial burial of the former President and yet they only managed to simply ring the bell as the Marcos family slowly got back to power. The culmination, so far, is having Marcos Jr. finishing 2nd in the Vice Presidential race and now has a pending election case in court. I have no words for these EDSA personalities. They feared the dead more than the living Marcoses. Truth be told, EDSA 1 definitely kicked out the Marcoses TEMPORARILY.

The EDSA revolution brought back power to the Filipino “daw”.

School text books and prominent EDSA personalities brandish that the said revolution gave power back to the people. We have been overwhelmed by pride for this grand declaration for years. Imagine having ordinary people numbering to thousands, and possibly millions, in one gathering demanding for change. But was power really transferred to us or was power transferred from a few to a broader few? Come to think of it, all national and local elections from then on have been mired by alleged electoral fraud. Why? Because some people wanted to retain the power with them. We have been blinded that the EDSA revolution gave power back to us but reality is, it never did. It just gave birth to a new and broader batch of power-yielding families who simply infatuated us by blasting us with the propaganda that the EDSA People Power was for the people by the people. Reality… they asked Filipinos to go to the streets to transfer political and economic power from them to a bigger them.

The EDSA Revolution was the road to justice “daw”.

People Power was a sigh of relief for the thousands of Martial Law victims. It was a turnaround for them to finally start their search for justice. But 30 years after, some of these victims still has to receive their compensation after winning a landmark case. In fact, it was only a few months back that PDuts have given the nod to start the release of these compensations to its rightful owners. Yes… justice still has to close its loop for these victims. Well how can we expect justice to be served fast when even after two Aquino Administrations, we are still in the dark on the mastermind behind the death of their patriarch, Ninoy Aquino.

The EDSA revolution gave way to reforms “daw”.

The hope when common people occupied EDSA was a hope for reforms. Reforms that would trickle down to the majority of Filipinos. But I guess most of these reforms remained as a hope, some 31 years later. Case in point, while the Cory Aquino administration brandished its success on Agrarian Reform, the vast land in Tarlac owned by them remained in their stead. And when the Supreme Court upheld its ruling to distribute it to the farmers, the PNoy Administration retaliated by having the SC Chief Justice Corona impeached from office. To this day, we have yet to see the actual implementation of the reform by the family of the former Philippine President who signed it into law.

Some may say that there were a lot of reforms in place and it is true. But far from these reforms are those that needs to be implemented and felt by the common Filipino. The Agrarian Reform is a just example of the many hypocrisies of some of the ruling parties in Philippine government. Reforms that would make the lives of common Filipinos better are being held in bay in favor of the ruling class’ whims to hold on to power.

The EDSA revolution gave Filipinos their freedom “daw”.

We were made to believe that the People Power Revolution gave back to the Filipinos our freedom. Sadly, the freedom that we claim to have regained is the same freedom that we make as an excuse to justify our wrongdoings. Most Filipinos have a skewed understanding of freedom. It does not surprise me that media personalities have gone far with their lies in their field and when apprehended will hide under the guise of “press freedom”. But give them a dose of their own medicine and they will be the first to raise heaven and hell to claim that their rights have been trampled on. It is only in the Philippines where our rights and freedoms get to change depending on one’s convenience.

I hate to say it but the EDSA Revolution managed to blind a lot of Filipinos with hypocrisy. As a GRAB car driver placed it neatly, EDSA was simply used for our mind conditioning. It infatuated us enough that we lived in helm that it was a pride that we all stood up against a dictator and that we regained our freedom. What it doesn’t show is the fact that it paved the way for a larger scale of oppression for common Filipinos. The “diwa ng EDSA” bounded us to the whims and tantrums of the ruling class. That is probably the reason why it has lost its flame because there was none to begin with. The generation who got drunk from its popularity eventually realized that there was really not much difference from the old to the new except that you have more people sharing the power. They realized that it was starting to be an embarrassment when the same problems propped up and it was better not to talk about it. It was the same feeling that I felt after participating in EDSA Dos and then see the rise of Erap back in power. The efforts of heeding the call to go to the streets led to simply nothing.

The People Power Revolution is ONLY for the books to make Filipinos feel our “alleged” freedom. But truth been told, we have never been free from the oppression of the government. It simply shifted power from a dictator to a larger group called Oligarchs.

Yes, there were changes that happened but I wonder how life would have been without Kris Aquino screeching on TV.

The Story of Mommy Meng

Mommy Meng died in the hospital at the age of 57. She died on a hospital bed surrounded by the people she selflessly loved and who loved her back even more. She lived a meaningful life – one where she chased her passion and owned it.

Mommy Meng chose a career that many women probably won’t even consider at this day and age. She chose to be a full-time housewife and has been one until her untimely demise. The economical challenge to raise a family have resulted for most partnered women to take jobs as the family’s breadwinner or help in generating income for the family.

In the article “How Working Moms Defines Success” published by CNN Philippines on May 21, 2015, working moms define success by balancing supporting the family, career fulfillment, and maintaining a healthy relationship with their kids. However, the same survey by CareerBuilder also yielded that a substantial number of their working mom respondents felt that they were unable to find the balance in all three measures. The survey also showed that the mom-children relationships are affected by their work, more than their male counterparts.

In the case of Mommy Meng, she chose a life that was traditionally defined by Philippine culture – a life where the mom stays and cares for the home. She was the homemaker. She was in-charge of making sure that everyone woke up and came home to a hot meal, made sure that the kids are guided right, ensures that the family’s finances are managed appropriately, and she had to make sure that everything is running smoothly at home. She was a manager-on-duty for 24 hours and 7 days a week.

If there was one thing where Mommy Meng really stood out, it was her complete love for her four “marias”. She wanted and drove them to be successful in their chosen fields. She accepted them for who they were and was always there to guide them. Of course, there were times where she had arguments with one of her daughters but her being a mother always surpasses whatever heartaches she may have felt during those times. She was often heard saying that she would be okay after her “bunso” graduates from college. The fate of her daughters mattered dearly to her.

She had spent many sleepless nights for her daughters, be it trying to figure out where to get the money for their tuition or for challenges that she was facing with them. There was one incident where one of the “marias” ran away from home. The family did not know where she was. She spent many sleepless nights reaching out to her daughter’s friends who can help them find her or, at least, give them any news that her daughter was fine. There were a lot of times where you would catch her staring blankly… worrying whether her daughter has already eaten or has taken the maintenance medication that she needed on a daily basis. I guess, Mommy Meng was the most relieved person in the family when her daughter finally went home.

Mommy Meng’s motherly love goes beyond the four corners of her house. She was a mother even to her extended family, neighbors, and even to complete strangers. She was the busiest person during family gatherings making sure that everyone was comfortable or had their full from the meal. She was the last person to eat because she was so busy attending to everyone that she forgets that she also had to dine with the family. Everyone remembers her as the Mommy Meng who will not stop offering you the last piece of fried chicken even if you are already full. The only way to stop her insistent prodding is for you take and eat the last piece. With that, you simply made her happy.

It should not come as a surprise that Mommy Meng has touched a lot of lives, even to regular people that you see in the streets. The vegetable street vendor will always find a willing customer from Mommy Meng, even if she has a full cupboard. It is her way of helping out. She will not hesitate to give what she can give to someone in need. It was very easy for her to give an extra free shirt when a stranger buys from her garage sale. She will always find a way to help or be generous despite just having enough.

Dressing up was one thing that Mommy Meng loved. Every occasion was an opportunity to be fashionably beautiful. This was how she pampered herself. She just had to be beautiful in her cute and funny way. She was often chided by family members whenever she goes to the market because she goes there prepared – prepared in the most fashionable way. But that makes Mommy Meng unique. She shows you that there is nothing wrong with being beautiful whenever you do things, even the mundane ones.

Mommy Meng had her own funny moments which her daughters loved to capture on video. She was funny in her own little way and, often times, in the most unguarded moments. She had her own mishaps which gets everyone rolling with laughter but she would always join in the fun. She was not afraid to laugh at her own mistakes or to make fun of herself. I guess, she never knew that she was a natural comedian.

She may be bubbly and carefree but Mommy Meng is her own biggest critic. She criticizes herself more than anybody else. And when she critics herself, it takes a very long time to convince her that it is not really the way she thinks it is. She loves to cook and the kitchen is probably her favorite spot inside the house. This is also where she criticizes herself to the brim. She would always be the first one to claim that the viand that she dished out lacked a particular taste even if no one has even tasted it.

If there was one word to describe Mommy Meng, she was selfless. She lived a happy and fulfilled life in a chosen career where she gave more than what she can actually receive. She offered herself to a career where she was always on-duty for her family and friends. She was not defined by the societal norms but it was her who designed her role the way she wanted it to be. She chose being a housewife and passionately owned it. It was a career that only a few can handle and Mommy Meng did it excellently.

As the cries of loss echoed along the hallways of hospital, the spirit of Mommy Meng echoed with it. She echoed the spirit that women can be good at their chosen career as long as you are passionate about it. She echoed that you cannot let society dictate on what you can be and what you can do. She imparts a very strong message that it is only YOU that defines how you live your life so live it!

The Deafening Noise In Silence

I really do not get it why some people would go to the point of trying to close down pages of individuals who support PRRD. Social media is a platform for free expression and, honestly, you always have the option to unfollow or block individuals and pages that may have a different view from yours. Tolerance and common sense are something that some people lack nowadays especially on social media. Individuals who cannot respect other people’s opinions should not even go try social media.

Senyora is one of the popular social media personalities in the Philippines and is the latest victim of anti-Duterte individuals. Her popularity goes even before declaring her support for Duterte. She has endeared a lot of Filipinos with her wit and straight forward posts that had a very soap opera touch. She was the “contrabida” that everybody loved. Her posts were so popular that she was able to compile in a book and have it published.

So what do these people get from trying to silence pages that are pro-Duterte, like Senyora?

NOTHING.

Their attempt to shut down these pages reflect the own frailties. These people cannot stand a different opinion and, worse, these people cannot make their arguments stand that they would try to just shut down the people who make sense. I mean, how do you win a losing argument? Just ask your opponent to shut up. These people would go leaps and bounds to try to shut people up because they cannot win the arguments. BUT remember that when you silence people up, it does not mean that you won your case. It just shows how lame your argument is, that the only way to win is to go unopposed.

It is also funny that they do not realize that shutting these pages down make people more curious about it and the person behind it thus giving the affected party more leverage in terms of platform. More people become interested to read their posts. Sooner or later, the similar point of views are reinforced to the reader and, better yet, the differing positions offer a better and more logical stand point. The next thing you know these readers become followers of the very people that was blocked initially. I mean how do you think did I come across Sass? Thanks to those who attempted to shut down her page.

Have you ever wondered why these people who request to shut down pages are called hypocrites? It is simply because they are full of contradictions. They play on the strong belief that their voices should be heard and that they offer a different point of view. And yet they are the very same people who cannot take the differing opinions of others hence they request to shut it down. Most Filipinos are smarter now and that they can see these things through. These two contradictions define one thing… the people who request for the closure of these pages are THE contradictions.

One thing that I also find intriguing is that why do we always find Pro-Duterte pages and individuals getting the brunt of all these request for shutdowns. Let us put this logically, who would requests for the shutdown of these pages. The fingers will all point to the anti-Duterte groups and individuals, and with the news of these group trying to label pro-Duterte pages as false news, it is reinforces the idea that they are the ones responsible for it.

Now with the popularity and the affirmation that PRRD is getting from most Filipinos, these anti groups are seen as self-serving more than being nationalistic. When they try to shut down these pro-PRRD pages, they are seen as antagonist who cannot accept change so they try to shut down those pages that become partners of the government.

In reality, the attempt to shut down these Pro-Duterte pages reflect the perpetrators fear that they have lost their grounds on the social media realm. It proves that the shakers and movers behind political figures have shifted to the men and women behind the keyboards. Social media has broken the monopoly of information that was previously controlled by mainstream media. It has given birth for common individuals to share the real facts against the “polished” facts thus giving their followers the convenience to really make educated decisions.

These anti-Duterte groups requesting for the shutdown of these pages, in reality, does not gain anything from their actions. They spend a lot of their time and resources trying to silence individuals and pages but what they do not realize is that they are bringing up a louder echo from the group that they are targeting. While these anti-Duterte try to gather their troops, the pro-Duterte movement have long banded together towards a common goal. It makes the anti-PRRD groups look desperate to the point that they are losing more than gaining grounds.

Social media is a huge expanse that these attempts will provide futile in the future. Affected parties can create new ones and use other applications to reach out to their followers and, guess what, their followers will always radiate towards them so these “anti” groups head back to square one. Science clearly explains it very well, it is hard to put a moving object to a complete stop because of momentum. The pro-Duterte groups are enjoying the momentum while the anti-Duterte desperately tries to gain theirs.

So… nasaan si Senyora?

Yes, I miss her. I really hope that she gets her Facebook page back so I can follow her. I actually did not know that she had a page until she was taken out, thanks to the perpetrators. If her page gets re-instated or she makes a new one, please buzz me so I can follow her.

By the way, don’t worry Senyora, I will be heading to National Bookstore today to get a copy of your book. This is my way of showing you that I fully support you. Again, thanks to the idiots who were trying to shut you up.

Nasaan Ang Lugawan Ni Madam?

I did not want to start my 2017 with a blog that spews out negativity as I have always wanted to start fresh with a positive vibe. But I found it hard to control my disappointment with VP Leni Robredo after her return from her US vacation. It was already disappointing that the OVP, who claimed that the VP was “hands-on” with the situation, was just churning up sh*t after sh*t trying to make the VP look good but was doing more mess with its publicity. The VP returns from her hiatus clacking like a chicken in an attempt to regain her composure with how she handled, or mishandled, the situation. To top it all off, her pictures visiting the affected areas are all over her social media trying to make it look that she was really concerned. Well, publicity is still publicity even if it is late.

Let us face it madam, the class act that you are trying to pull through is not working, so stop… please stop it. Hindi na po natin nabobola ang karamihan sa mga Pinoy. Enough of the talk and publicity. We already had too much of that from your office.

Honestly, I really do not have an issue with VP Robredo’s travel to the US. It is her right and it is not as if the whole country had to depend on her leadership at a time of crisis. In fact, I was one of the first people to get annoyed when SOME Dutertards were making an issue out of it. I just thought to just let her be. Besides it is not a new act coming from the political party that she is associated with because I remember a former President who prioritized attending an automotive event as the bodies of SAF members who died in Mamasapano were being flown in to Manila. Again, the automotive event was already planned and was in the former President’s schedule ahead of time. That was the alibi then. Do you see the similarities? In short, I was not bothered by her absence.

It started to get into my nerves when all of the sudden the OVP made it look as if VP Leni was VERY involved in the response to attend to the victims of the typhoons aftermath. This is where the problem started. It was already enough that they were actively publicizing the actions being undertaken but I guess I just found the attempt to be a little “cheesy” or should I say that there was just too much icing to hide the cake. Gets ninyo?

Let me share with you, madame, two reasons why I am not buying your publicity?

First, there was the class act where your office claimed that you were trying to find an earlier flight back to the Philippines as reported in a CNN Philippines report. In the effort to help you, some netizens even went further by posting screen captures of available flights to Manila. In the end, it was just proven to be an act. You had no intentions of going home earlier to be with the Typhoon Nina’s victims. All of it was just publicity… an attempt to make us think that you care.

My second reason was a realization 5 days after Typhoon Nina struck. I did not hear your voice on live television or radio sending out words of encouragement and hope directed to the victims of the typhoon. Yes, I was seeing your tweets and reposts but I never heard your actual voice through a phone patch of some sort. I guess a live phone interview, while you are in the US, where you can offer your assurance that you were really on top of the situation would have mattered to the victims, to your detractors, and even to me. I figured that it would have been more reassuring that you were “actively” involved when you can say it out loud yourself. Sorry, I can’t seem to bridge the gap between you being “hands-on” to the situation and yet you cannot afford even a 2-minute fast-talk interview, off your time for us to hear you as one of our elected leaders… for assurance lang na you are really with us. Why tweet when a call would have made your “actions” more personal and credible.

So your back in the Philippines, croacking like a frog who is out to redeem herself.

VP Robredo starts by saying that relief efforts were slow. Hindi ba’t yan din ang sinabi mo tungkol sa Yolanda Housing noon nung kakaupo mo lang na HUDCC head? It made me think that it’s probably your style to start getting the “pogi” points. I mean each President had his or her own style. Remember PNoy’s signature blame-it-on-anyone-except-me moves? I think you are getting quite a training with your party.

I mean, you come home 6 or 7 days after the typhoon and you start off by undermining government efforts despite the fact that national government officials and the Philippine President, himself, were already on the ground a day after the typhoon struck trying to manage on what needs to be done first. Here you are coming in and starts claiming that response was slow. You might be forgetting, madam, that the plane that was suppose to bring you home was slower. It took them 6 days to get you home so you can be on the ground and finally be “hands-on” with the situation.

She further went on to announce on the news that it was unfortunate that she was out of the country when the typhoon hit and that she was worried. The comparison to her being a mom was already too much where she tried to make it look as if she can only do as much. But then again, she was the type of mother, who despite her growing concern, did not even bother to give her “children” a call just to let them hear her voice and to give them the reassurance that she was doing all that she can do to help them.

And please let us not BS our way by saying that you tried to look for earliest available flight back to Manila unfortunately you had a hard time looking for tickets for you, your mom, and your three kids. You could have gone home first, ALONE. I believe that your eldest turned 29 years old recently, or will turn 29. She could have taken charge of her other siblings and your mom while you head on home first, if that was what you really wanted. I presume that you can also rely on your relatives to help you in taking care of them while they await their flight back to Manila. Your kids and relatives would understand the situation. Again, if that was what you claim that you wanted to do.

And besides with you being the Vice President of the Philippines, I am sure Philippine Airlines would have moved heaven or hell just to get you on a plane back to the Philippines. Again, if that was what you really wanted.

I recently saw the call for help of the OVP for construction supplies to aid the reconstruction of damaged houses in the affected areas. At a certain point I would like to believe in the sincerity of the request but the hypocrisy that has been going around is making it look that it is all for a show. Come to think of it, VP Leni was one good fundraising person. Imagine being able to raise millions from “pagbebenta ng lugaw” for her campaign. This would be a great opportunity for her to show her skills and really establish the truth behind her “lugaw” story. Who knows it might even answer the question on where you got the money for your recent US trip.

On a side note, I am fascinated with the pictures that are coming out recently showing your visits to the affected areas. It exuded a very Mar-Roxas-Post-Yolanda feel. The motorcycle ride was perfect, without you falling over. It was nostalgic. I am just waiting for that magazine cover where you get to take the cover with your over-the-top haggard look while on ground zero.

Again, I do not condemn her for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. She had every right to go on vacation. What I condemn is the act of trying to make her look like she was damn worried about those who were affected and the publicity that goes with it. She should stop making excuses and just work on what she can do now instead of trying to make it look that she cared enough. Yes, she was worried when and after the typhoon hit us, but she was not worried enough to even give us a damn call.

Now, saan ako makakabili ng lugaw ni madam?

Wish List for 2017

So this is the time of the year where we get to work on our goals for 2017. We look back to the year that was and start listing how we want 2017 to look like. This is a great time to put the past behind and put our learnings from 2016 into motion for a better year ahead.

2016 was awesome year for me. It was a year that was full of blessings and learnings. It was also a year that I saw myself politically involved with what was happening in the country. While my Instagram feed was a gallery of my travels, my Facebook account was a gallery of my political views.

And yes, I am a well-informed Dutertard and a passionate Filipino.

This would be my last post for 2016 so I opted to make a wishlist for 2017 for some of the most colorful personalities this year. I have chosen these personalities based from my perceived notion that they made 2016 a colorful and vibrant one.

President Rodrigo Duterte

You rock! This is a man who shook and is still shaking the foundations of Philippine politics creating ripples in the country and around the world. A lot of things are being thrown at PRRD but you have to admit that this is a man of action, and not mere words. The former Davao City Mayor is THE only Philippine President who made Filipinos feel that there is a government that is working for Filipinos – free tuition for SUCs, free medicine, free hospitalization for indigents, free irrigation, etc. His actions go beyond the words that come out of his “filthy” mouth. He is a man who is now showing the world that the Filipino is not a pushover. You cannot deny that.

This is the same reason why he is upsetting SOME people.

I wish for good health and safety for PRRD. Your accomplishment over the past six months have been awesome and is felt by many Filipinos. We still have 5.5 years ahead, dear President, and I am excited to see more pro-Filipino actions in the years to come. OUR country badly needs you.

Vice President Leni Robredo

I still have high hopes for you, VP Robredo. I have a strong gut feel that if you and PRRD work together towards the common good for the country, we can move forward faster.

I just wish that you can go beyond your political affiliation in 2017 and REALLY work for the best of every Filipino. I wish that you stop the publicity and I wish that we would see more quantitative results from your office.

Senator Grace Poe

Senator Poe really stood out for me after showing the real measure of grace after the election when she was the first to concede in the presidential race. I wish that in the next six years, she would be able to gain more experience in public office that I hope would make her a viable candidate in 2022.

Senator Leila de Lima

I find you outrageous and desperate. I pity that you are not getting enough support from any of your political mates. You definitely gave “saba” a new sexy twist. I just wish that the truth regarding all the accusations against you gets cleared out so, once and for all, you either get cleared or simply go to jail for it. That way, we can all sit down and have a nice merienda of fried “saba”.

General Bato

The “rock” behind the anti-drug campaign. Saludo po ako sa inyo. It takes a lot of will power and guts to clear the police ranks of its evils. I wish that the Lord gives you strength to put your plans into action. We need you in this country.

Secretary Manny Pinol

Thank you for showing us that it can be done without the pomp and pageantry. You have been the silent worker who has essentially touched the lives of a lot of our fellow Filipinos. You are crucial in making PRRD human to Filipinos on the ground. I wish that you would continue to be a shining example of what a public service should look like – that it is not about you, it is about the people.

Yolanda Victims

You have gone through a lot over the past three years and it is only now that we are seeing the lack of government assistance from the previous administration.

I sincerely wish that you will now get the necessary assistance that the government owes you these past years. I hope that you will get a better life under the PRRD administration. I also wish that ALL government officials responsible for your continued suffering be held accountable and sent to jail.

Mocha Uson

I STILL do not read or view your blogs but I must admit that the common people are aligned to you. That is a fact that we cannot deny. I wish that you could go beyond just fighting for Duterte but be able to provide a comprehensive look at what we are facing as Filipinos and be able to make common people understand.

Ethel Booba

People may poke fun at your english but your tweets are not only hilarious but some do make sense. I wish to read more of your tweets and a second volume of your book “Charotism”. Charot!

Grupong Dilawan

You can try to hide your colors in the guise of fake patriotism but the smell of your disgrace just seeps out. The people have spoken and you have to accept the fact that things have changed. No amount of hatred and negative publicity can mask your attempt to try to look good.

PRRD is the President so you have got to deal with it now. I believe in constructive criticism but your criticism borders on too much negativity and is based on hatred – plain hatred and defeat.

I wish that the Grupong Dilawan finally accepts the change and the changes that is forthcoming. I wish that you can go beyond mere criticisms to that of criticisms that contribute to nation building. I also wish that you also recognize the good stuff that PRRD has been doing and please stop the no sense nitpicking on Duterte. Lalo kayong nagmumukhang spoiled yellowtards.

Dutertards

To my fellow Dutertards, we have gone through a lot over the past months. Yes, we love PRRD and that we hate the negative publicity that others have thrown at him but we also need to recognize that PRRD is not god.

I wish that we remain vigilant to the fight for a better Philippines under PRRD. I also wish that we learn to balance what we say for PRDD with his imperfections. At please lang… hindi lahat ay pinapatulan.

Former President PNoy

Hmm… please spearhead the distribution of the Luisita land to its respective recipients as accorded by the law. Please abide by the SC’s decision and follow the law.

adobongpinoy.wordpress.com

As for adobongpinoy.wordpress.com, I promise to remain vigilant in the search for a better Philippines.

Having said that, I wish you all the best for 2017 and Happy New Year!

The Deafening Silence After The Storm

Yolanda.

November 8, 2013.

The most powerful storm to make landfall in history.

1, 473, 251 families affected.

6, 300 dead.

It has already been three years since the destructive typhoon hit our shores and yet majority of those affected are still reeling from its effects. Most of our fellow Filipinos struggle on a day-to-day to pick up the pieces and they have done so over the past three years. They have tried to rebuild their lives on their own or with very minimal assistance from OUR previous government.

I remember at the height of this year’s election when Mar Roxas gallantly paraded that 93% of Yolanda rehabilitation projects under the DILG has been completed (http://news.abs-cbn.com/halalan2016/focus/03/20/16/fact-check-93-of-dilg-projects-for-yolanda-completed). This includes evacuation centers, municipal halls, public markets, and multi-purpose halls. His claim may be partly true as stated in a fact-check done by ABS-CBN. He claims that by this virtue alone, he has done what he can do in his capacity. That is true.

However during a recent inspection by Vice President Robredo, she called for an audit of the Yolanda’s government housing project after discovering that only 1% have been completed (http://www.philstar.com/nation/2016/09/18/1624843/robredo-only-1-houses-yolanda-victims-completed). Her frustration can be felt when she said “I am disappointed because it is called emergency shelter response, but three years after Yolanda, it is still not there.” It is frustrating that out of the 205, 000 families who needed it the most, we only had a measly 2, 500 families who had proper shelter as of September 18, 2016.

If you still do not get it, let me put it bluntly. What is the use of having a municipal hall or a public market when the basic RIGHT for shelter is not even there for the Yolanda victims?

The point is simple – the previous administration failed the Yolanda victims dramatically when it came to providing a decent home for every family. The very slow action on housing, compounded by other issues on poor execution, spoiled relief goods, and politicking, is no match to what was supposedly done. It was more prudent to admit that the PNoy government was not able to properly manage the post-Yolanda rehabilitation. Yes, they could claim that they have done what they could in their capacity but, the bottom line, they failed considering the financial outpouring of support both locally and internationally.

But you know what I find more disturbing, I do not hear any clamor for accountability on this issue despite the glaring revelations that are being presented. I do not see any human rights activists, political groups, concerned citizens, or even millennials calling out those who are responsible for this post-Yolanda tragedy. I am bothered by the deafening silence of the supposed “concerned” Filipinos.

What I cannot comprehend is that how can the previous administration could have let the basic right for shelter be trampled on despite the glaring need for it to be addressed for the past three years. It is interesting to seek accountability on this issue considering that we received a huge amount in assistance for the very purpose of addressing these pressing needs of our fellow Filipinos affected by Yolanda.

So what is my point?

Where is your voice on this issue?

I have seen people raise up their arms, raise their voices, use their power on social media, abuse the “share” buttons on Facebook, and share their thoughts on supposed human rights violation at these times, and even to a dead man, BUT I do not see their supposed voices on this particular issue. Why turn the blind eye on this one and the many other cases of failures that we need previous administration to be accountable for? Why?

I was actually surprised that VP Leni Robredo even raised the issue and even gallantly stated that she will be asking for a government audit. Why am I surprised? Mainly because I did not expect her to go against her political affiliations. But at the time that she made the announcement, I was relieved that it was her own way of showing that she was working for the “laylayan ng lipunan”. But almost two months after the announcement, what happened then? There was complete silence on her end. I think we deserve to know what happened to your findings, VP Leni. I mean, she cannot speak about the “laylayan”, a promise that she branded during the election, and yet turn a blind eye now because of her affiliation. There was no update on this issue even on her achievements as HUDCC head that circulated after she resigned. Don’t you think that this would have made a bigger impact on your achievements more than the meetings that you attended, which I heard was just one by the way. I just hope that this is not one of those issues where you intentionally set aside the “laylayan” because it will have a tremendous effect on the people that you are affiliated to – the very reason why I made a last minute vote switch against you during the last election.

Again, where are the “cool” statement placards on this issue?

When I see people on my timeline or in the news re-posting articles that demand accountability from former Philippine Presidents and even to the alleged EJKs, I excitedly anticipate their stand when issues come up that involve the previous administration. Interestingly, these very same people seem to have a knack to skip the last 6 years in their demand for accountability. I reckon that they either turn a blind eye on it making then accomplices of the previous administration or they were all hibernating somewhere in the past 6 years.

It is the same case that I see in the Yolanda Housing Issue, most of these “concerned and principled” Filipinos, as their claim, stay silent on the issue. I do not see the statement placards. I do not see them re-posting and stating their demand from the Aquino Administration’s accountability. I do not see them going to the streets to demand drivers to make “beep beep” their horns for the victims of Yolanda. They remain silent.

They remain silent despite of the fact that our fellow Filipinos in Leyte were left on their own for the past three years as shown in the housing problem that they face. The problem is glaring at us at the moment and one that you cannot deny.

If you claim to fight for human rights then you have got to do it across all administrations. You cannot demand accountability from one and yet turn a blind eye on another. That is not what you call principles. It is called political partisan.

Such a tragedy after a tragedy, to think that we have not yet talked about where the financial aid that the Philippines received went to.

“Nakakabingi ang katahimikan ninyo.”

Hashtag Para Sa Mga Millenials Mula Sa Isang EDSA Dos Alumnus

Nakakahiya man aminin pero isa ako sa mga kabataang tumayo at nag-akalang lumaban para sa pagbabago noong #EDSADos. Ito yung mga panahon na kung saan naghangad ako maging isang instrumento ng pagbabago sa pamamagitan ng pagpapatalsik kay Dating Pangulong Estrada na noo’y dumadaan sa isang paglilitis ukol sa kanyang “questionable bank accounts”.

Hindi kami naging marahas. At tulad ng mga millennials, kami ay nagtungo sa EDSA at nagpakita ng aming kagustuhang pagbabago. Naniniwala kami noon na tama na ang isang Marcos. Ayaw na namin ng isa pang pangulo na nanakawan ang kaban ng bayan. At tulad ninyo, tuwang-tuwa ang mga nagorganisa at ang mga poltiko sa amin noong mga panahong iyon.

“We know our history and we do not want it repeated in any way.”

Yan ang pag-iisip naming noon at sabi nga… #NeverForget.

Pero makalipas ang ilang taon at matapos kong panoorin sa telebisyon ang inyong pagtitipon noong “Bonifacio Day”, napaisip ako – ano na nga ba ang nangyari sa pinaglaban ko noon sa EDSA?

Hmm… alam mo ba na si Estrada ay muling tumakbo sa pagka-Pangulo noong 2000 at pumangalawa sa laban nila ni PNoy? At ngayon ay Mayor na ulit ng Maynila. #WTF!

At eto pa… yung iniluklok namin noon na si Dating Pangulong Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ay nakasuhan din matapos ang kanyang termino. Buti na lang napawalang sala ng hukuman dahil, kung hindi, #TaenaNaLang – #nganga ang tawag sa EDSA Dos.

Akala ko ba #DontTellUsToMoveOn? E mukhang may mga nauna na yatang nag-#MoveOn. Akala ko ba “we value our history” pero bakit nagkaganoon?

Kaya nga nung mapanood ko ang mga nagtipon-tipon sa People Power Monument, kasama ang mga millennials ay napailing ako at naisipan kong isulat ito. Gusto ko magbigay ng payo sa mga millennials. Isang payo mula sa alumnus ng EDSA Dos, you know, #BeenThereDoneThat.

Marami sa inyo and lumabas ng biglaang ilibing si Marcos sa Libingan ng mga Bayani. Wala naman masama doon dahil ikinagulat ng lahat ang pangyayaring iyon. Pero nang lumabas kayo at biglang may #NoToTheMarcoses na placard at nag-astang “history experts” ay medyo nag-alangan ako sa paninindigan ninyo.

Bakit?

Ayaw ninyo sa mga Marcos pero nasaan ba ang pamilyang Marcos sa mga panahong ito? Hindi ba’t nakabalik na sila sa politika. Kung susuriin natin ang ating kasaysayan, mga ilang taon na po silang nakupo sa iba’t-ibang pwesto sa gobyerno – mayroong senador, may gobernador, at may kongresista. Hindi nga ba’t tumakbo pa si Bong Bong Marcos bilang Bise Presidente noong nakaraang eleksyon? At aminin mo na kinilig ka noong una mong nakita si Sandro.

Nasaan kayo ng mga panahong iyon? Bakit hindi kayo nagtungo sa EDSA noon at nagrally? Bakit hindi ninyo nilabas ang #NotAgain placards ninyo?

Nasaan ang #NeverAgain ng mga panahong iyon?

Ang panindigan ay hindi lumalabas sa isang pagkakataon lamang. Dapat sa umpisa pa lang pinakita na ninyo ang pagkakahindik ninyo sa pamilyang Marcos at hindi ngayon lang. Lumipas ang kanilang termino at ang eleksyon, ni kaluskos ay walang narinig sa inyo. Bakit ngayon lang? #NoonPaLangDapatNanindiganKaNa

“The dead Marcos cannot do us any harm, it is the living that we should be mindful.”

Sabi ninyo – “we know our history”. Totoo yan. Lahat naman tayo alam ang ating kasaysayan. Ang tanong na kailangang pagtuonan ng pansin – naiintindihan mo ba? Marami sa inyo ang magsasabing naiintindihan nila pero ang totoo mas nakakararami ang hindi. Marami sa inyo ang mababaw ang pagkakakilanlan sa mga kaganapan ng Martial Law. Malamang karamihan sa mga kaalaman ninyo ay nakuha ninyo sa mga nabasa ninyo sa Facebook, sa Twitter, o kaya sa mga sinasabi sa inyo ngayon lang. Marami sa inyo ang aalma sa sinabi kong ito.

Sige #Prangkahan… ilang libro na patungkol sa Martial Law ang nabasa mo na? Nabasa mo na ba ng librong “Dekada Sitenta”? “Maynila Sa Kuko ng Liwanag”? Ilang Martial Law movies na ba ng napanood mo na hindi ni-require ng prof mo?

“With passion comes the desire to learn and find out the real story behind the curtain”

Nakakatuwang makita kayong naninindigan pero kelangan ninyong maging mapanuri sa mga kaisipang nilalatag sa inyo. Mula sa paaralan ay nahuhubog kayo at ngayon pa lang ay nakikitaan na hitik kayo sa ideyalismo.

Ngunit mayroong mga tao sa lipunan na pagtatangkaang gamitin ang inyong “idealism” para sa kanilang sariling pang-interes. Mabilis kayo mag-alab at mabilis kayong pagalawin. Masabihan lang kayo ng katagang “you are the future of these nation”, tiyak mapapalakad kayo ng EDSA, mula Monumento hanggang MOA.

Huwag kang mag-alala… nauto rin ako niyan. Naaalala ko pang sinabihan ko ang aking ina, na nasa Estados Unidos ng sumiklab ang EDSA Dos, ang mga katagang… “I am doing this for myself and for my country.” #Naknampucha… natatawa ako sa sarili ko ngayon. Nauwi din sa wala ang lahat ng pinagtatatayo ko sa EDSA noon. Ang pinatalsik at ang pumalit ay nakapag-move on na at malamang #BeshiesForever pa.

Taena… pinagloloko lang nila ako noon at sinama pa ako sa drama.

Simple lang naman ang gusto ko sabihin – bago ka lumabas sa EDSA at gumawa ng cute mong #StatementPlacard, alamin mong maigi kung ano ba talaga ang pinaglalaban ninyo, magsaliksik ng husto, huwag umasa sa impormasyon na pinipilit sa inyo, alamin ang totoong pakay ng pagtitipon, at kung sang-ayon ka dito. At gaya ng una kong sinabi sa post ko sa Facebook, alamin mo din kung anong ginagawang hakbang, na naaayon sa batas, ng nag-oorganisa para ayusin ang problema… yung sila ang gumagawa at hindi inaasa sa iba.

Dahil kung puro rally lang ang pinag-gagagawa nila… #Nakupo… nag-iingay lang ang mga yan.

Oo nga pala… mom, sorry. Sana nakinig na lang pala ako sayo noon para hindi ako nagmukhang tanga. Ang kaibahan lang ng EDSA Dos sa ngayon ay mas marami kami noon.

#MasMaramiKamingNatangaKayaMagIngatKa