Enter The Nether

Enter if you dare, Stay if you must, Welcome to my Asylum

Spagghetified

Some people are black holes. There’s just a density and gravity to their humanity that you can’t help but feel drawn. But at the same time you dare not come so close. You feel this pressure, this danger, even from a distance. You feel that if you do get drawn in, that escape would be impossible. The closer you get, the faster you fall into them. You feel your own humanity being drawn out into strands. Your own being expanding and thinning to a breaking point. Until, almost instantaneously, it’s over. Nobody knows what happens when you, yourself become part of a black hole. Nothing with sentience or that could transmit data for sentient life has ever survived being dropped into one. But Hawking theorized that what goes in, eventually comes out. Albeit in infinitesimally acute parts. Merely echoes of a former self. Maybe that’s why we feel so empty after encountering one.

 

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What I’m Afraid Of

That i wont talk to you mama

That I wont hear you laugh papa

That you’ll never see my fat mug again Tatay

That I’ll forget to take care of you Nanay

That I wont make you proud lolo

That I’ll disappoint you lola

The Merits of our Treasonous Case

      There are merits to persisting in illusion but those merits lie in the fact that those illusions are beneficial to the people in question. There is a concept connected to the idea of the nation-state that simply put is “one nation, one language” it believes in the proliferation and formalization of a single language. Now before we see the merits of such an idea we must first understand that language is not merely language. Language is culture, language is thought. More and more studies into how language affects cognition show that indeed it affects cognition in a big way. From color perception to the handling of abstract thoughts and even affecting physical phenomena in the body. Language is not merely a means of conversation but is also deeply ingrained with the culture of peoples. With that brief overview we now see why it is deemed important to subject a nation to a single language. Doing so, as some would argue, would provide a means of communication, provide a common culture, and provide a common identity. Indeed a single language is necessary for a proper nation to be built. . . However, there is something quite nefarious about this concept and especially with the way it is being implemented in our country. You see erecting a “national” language does not merely provide but rather it enforces. To provide something entails that an individual has a choice in the matter which is clearly not the case in our country. With the choosing of Tagalog as the national language we also built entire structures to not only protect it but to enforce it upon the various peoples of the isles. The drafters and protectors of this move envisioned that it would serve to unite the Philippine nation.
 
     From that day on, the Manila dialect of the Tagalog language was formalized and given the title “Filipino” making it congruent with our national identity as Filipinos. It became a major mode of instruction alongside English. Textbooks, classes, tv programs and many other things were written in Filipino. We were taught again and again and again. We were conditioned to take it into our very identities that Filipino was our national tongue, that to betray it was equal to betraying the nation. To use Filipino was patriotism, to use a foreign tongue was colonialism and to use the mother tongue was regionalism.
 
     It’s been decades since this became our national reality but a peculiar thing happens when you take a trip around to the various provinces of this republic. Once you leave the capital and its neighboring cities you’ll find that in most of them, there is this indirect rejection of the Tagalog imposition. It may be totally unintended but in each province you’ll find a stronghold of the various mother tongues. Yes it is not to be denied that speaking Filipino here would allow you to converse with the populace but that only happens between you, the cultural foreigner, and the local. Almost all of the interactions between the locals will be in their respective mother tongue. We’ve chosen a national language and yet Filipino is as foreign to the Bisaya as English is.
 
     It is not everywhere that this rejection is unintended for in this republic of ours there are places, entire peoples who have chosen to speak exclusively in the mother tongue or in a foreign one but as little as possible in Filipino. So then I ask, has Filipino attained even a portion of the huge expectations placed before it? It has allowed communication amongst all the isles, a feat it shares with English and Espanol. Has it galvanized Filipino sentiment and fostered nationalism? I would say that it has not done so something that will be made clear by examining the huge cost of the Tagalog imposition. 
    
     What have we lost for, in my opinion, so little gain? Firstly we have lost an opportunity at enriching other languages other than the capital’s. We have denied the other native languages any state recognition and formalization of the other native tongues and also having done so, denied the enrichment of these cultures. Secondly, we have created a divide between the native Manila Tagalog and all the other Native Tongues, the other Tagalog dialects, notwithstanding. It shows in how the Manila born view the “Promdi”. An example of which is how the term “Bisaya” is even used as a derogatory fashion by its young. It shows in that in popular culture only Filipino is a language and all other tongues are dialects. It seems that this move to unify has served more to fragment us. Thirdly this imposition has further crippled many Filipinos from forming a national identity. If we continue to spout that to speak Filipino is part of that national identity then how Filipino am I who merely was forced to learn it? Lastly and most heinous of all, this imposition has cost us and will continue to cost us, the deaths of native languages. 
 
     Not all native languages are widely spoken, that is why for our purposes native languages will refer to those languages which have provincial strongholds of speakers. While ethnic languages on the other hand are those spoken in singular tribes, whose speakers number in the hundreds or even less. It is these ethnic languages that are in danger of extinction. The imposition of the Filipino language has amongst these peoples of a few done irreparable damage. With the older generations steeped in the mother tongue and merely 2 generations removed, failing to see any usefulness in such a mother, reject it totally and embrace the Filipino of the schools. 
    
     How then should we judge the effectiveness of this national language, a force of unification, or a chain of cultural oppression? 
 
     To merely speak of the latter is to shake the hornet’s nest that are the ultranationalists, “ISANG BAYAN, ISANG WIKA” they cry out. “SEPARATISTS, REGIONALISTS, DOGS OF THE COLONIZER” they do us decry. They repeat these mantras as if defending our mother tongue was tantamount to treason. An attack on Fillipo was an attack on the Filipino nation disregarding how Filipino was an attack on the Filipino people. How is it that in these times of globalization that the concept of multiculturalism, of unity in plurality still attacked as a foreigner on Lapu-lapu’s shores. Is not the foundation of democracy, of the republic, that of the plurality of ideas? Why are we to seek homogeneity when those ideas are culture and language? 
 
     We live at the edge of cultural disaster. With the various native languages who have had not had universities formalize them facing the plank. The vast stores of their vocabulary in the minds of the few. The opportunity for depth, for art, for expression in these tongues, fading into forgetfulness.     
 
      If the nation is our mother (inang bayan), then why is our mother tongue not Filipino?      
 
     What is then the call of the multiculturist? English as a national language? NO. It is the total uprooting of the concept of a national language. We may accept Tagalog as an official language, better if the other major native languages are also given this right, but no more. The elementary years will be taught in the mother tongues, in Secondary schooling they will study a languages subject with all foreign and native tongues given equal standing. The structures built to defend the national language will now defend the national languages, coordinating in the keeping of the multicultural culture.

     Our dream is the national identity of the Banig, a beautiful mat weaved out of many colors, supporting and enhancing one another. We are a Republic of Peoples’ not a People’s Republic. 

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Lima…..Tatlong Araw na lang pala

Unang Araw

 

Isang bote po ate, baso tsaka ice. Tara mga kaibigan, damayan niyo muna ako. Dito muna ako makikinig lang, dito muna ako mag-iisip lang.
 
 
Ganda ng kwento mo pre, nakakatawa. O sige magsasabi din ako pero maya-maya pa. Hayaan niyo munang lasapin ko ang tamis nitong alak, maramdaman ang init at mapagpalayang amats.
 
 
Ayos ang usapan, katulad ng dati. Pulitika, basketbol at buhay estudyante…
Tapos na… Kelangan ng gumising. Tapos na… Kelangan nang tanggapin. Heto na amat na. Heto na klaro na.
 
 
Oo di pa ako ok, Oo di pa kita mapagkakatiwalaan, pero Hindi ako galit sa yo. Ang galit ko’y nakakalusaw, hindi nakakapaso. Ito’y  nakatuon sa pagwasak at pagsira ng pagkatao. Ito’y walang awa at hinding hindi mapapakiusapan. kaya masasabi kong di ako galit sa yo ng walang alinlangan. Oo nasaktan ako kaya nga nandito ako ngayon, kasama ang bote at ang mga iba pang kaibigan ko.
 
 
Tapos na… ubos na ang unang bote ng beer.
 
 
 
Pangalawang Araw
 
 
4 na bote para sa tropang malupit. 5 baso, isa para sa musika.
Oh bente-bente para sa pulutang paborito. Antagal na rin nating di nagsamasama rito.
Buhos niyo na ang beer, dahan dahan lang sa pulutan.
Oh eto na di na makapaghintay. Makinig, makinig sa kwento ng aking buhay.
Ganito kasi ganyan. Eto yun eto yan.
Bakit ba kamo? Eh ganun talaga.
Bakit ba kamo? Kasi ganyan.
Masakit pre, tsaka anlabo rin.
Bakit ako pa ang gaganitohin?
Pero ganun talaga, gulong ng buhay
minsan nasa taas, minsan nasa baba, minsan nasasagasaan ng todo.
Hit and run minsan, minsan natatakbo pa sa ospital
pero di na tuluyang mababalik sa dati.
 
 
Tama na ang kwento, tara magkantahan na tayo. Oh bakit nanaman para sakin? Sige lang, eto singko, tara damayan niyo ako.
Mr. Brightside, Masaya, Pakiusap Lang, mga magagandang kanta, Oh Beer naman sarap na pampares sa beer na nasa mesa.
Tagay na, tagay pa, matagal tagal pa tayo rito. Oh eto pa, me parating pa. . .
Eto nanaman, iuulit ang kwento, tara tagay pa salamat sa mga libre niyo.
 
 
Gabi na, tara na, uwi na tayo, ok lang na umuulan, mga luhang tinatago.
 
 
 
 
Pangatlong Araw
 
 
Walang klase, walang inom walang dahilan para tropa’y magtagpo
Pero sige lang, di pa rin mag-iisa, tatapat sa laptop at makikibalita
Andyan mga kaibigang nasa malalayong lugar
Palaging kausap, palaging andyan
Umabot sa panahong wala nang mapagusapan
pero sige lang, keri lang andyan pa rin naman
 
 
Teka alis muna ko sandali,
Magbababad sa trabaho, magpapaka-importante.
Masarap mapakinggan at makadinig ng pagbabago
Buhay college natin, pagyamanin lalo
 
 
Eto na nakabalik na rin, dala ang bote at pulutan para ok pa rin
Ayan na, buhay na ang chatbox, eto na sabihin ko muna ang gawain
“Bakit, bakit, bakit?”
Onga no, bakit nga ba?
Kasi masakit, masakit na masakit, di ko maisip ng walang pangpamanhid
Kasi kelangan ko ng lugar na di nagmamaskara, kung saan puedi ako maging ako
Di naman para sa alak “eh bakit ka umiinom pa?” aba, ewan kasi nagpapasaya siya
Sorry kung ang labo, kung ang bobo ng mga sagot, parang di ako, parang di akong nakilala niyo
Hayaan niyo muna siguro, isip-bata muna ako, pero di naman sana magtagal na ganito.
 
 
Dito ko na tatapusin siguro ang pagmuni muning ito
Dapat limang araw naputol sa tatlo
Mga sugat, tapos na ang pagdurugo
Hayaang maghilom, hayaang maging marka nalang ng kahapon.
 
 

Ramble Ramble: Of Hearts and Minds

Impeachment is such an interesting, polarizing topic and there is much to be said about it that I’ve no interest in a lengthy introduction so let’s jump into the boiler room shall we.

Let’s start by making a few assumptions a) That the current trial is being undertaken with the purest of intentions or that at the very least political interests are kept at a minimum b)  that the charges being presented are ,as was decided upon at the last GA, valid and that there is sufficient evidence to go to trial and c) This trial is urgent and necessary as it endangers the credibility and integrity of the council. That being said let’s move on to the meat of the discussion.

[Another overarching assumption needed to make sense of this analysis is that the voting public has the sufficient political maturity to exercise their political will not only in voting but in being vigilant and holding their elected officials accountable for their actions.]

What is very interesting about impeachment proceedings is that they aren’t your run of the mill court proceedings of guilty or not guilty but there is that additional dimension of it being very political. Political, not in the Party A ousting Party B member sense but political in that you are essentially messing with the political will of the student body. This fact was even called to attention during the impeachment trial of ex-CJ Corona by Senator JP Enrile. An impeachment proceeding is basically telling the majority of the voting public that their choice has committed so and so offenses, betrayed the public trust given to him/her, and is unfit to continue as representative and advocate of their needs and wants. Besides proving that he/she is guilty, the accusers must also win over the hearts and minds of all those who voted for said officer or else face very harsh political consequences either during the remainder of his/her current term or during the next elections if said candidate chooses to run again.
In order to win hearts and minds, in my opinion. Accusers should make it a point to ensure that at every nick and turn they are able to follow due process. That is very important as making a grave mistake as not following a certain section of the article of the constitution which handles impeachment, however insufficient it may be to actually conduct a trial, may be very well the end to the complaint.
At times when existing protocols and procedures are unclear one can take inspiration from examples outside of the campus such as, well, the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines or the Penal Code at times.
Another thing that the body conducting the trial should ensure is that, especially if it is publicized, that they appear to be competent and capable and with the bare minimum amount of common sense to know that a dictionary is not used to define terms which require legal and constitutional context.
Let us take as an example the Article IX Section 1a. which states that ‘Gross Neglect of Duty’ is an impeachable offense. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary has the following definitions: Gross [very obvious or noticeable], Neglect [to fail to take care of or to give attention to], Duty [something that is done as part of a job]. So our final definition is that it is “a very obvious failure to take care of something that is part of a job”. That definition is not half bad except for the fact that it does not provide any context as to how to apply that definition. It’s very open to interpretation and that is something which should be avoided by a decent impeachment court.
Instead what could’ve have been done was to define it contextually. We look first towards Article II and Article VII of the USC Constitution for our definition of duty. After that it’ll be easier for the body to agree upon what constitutes gross neglect. A sample definition would be “repeated and consistent failure to perform duties outlined in Article II and VII.”.It’s still a bit raw and might be further refined but there is a clear difference between the two.  From these contextualized definitions it will be a lot easier to validate the charges raised and once validated it’ll be a lot easier to decide on guilt.

We have yet to see what kind of physical and material evidence there is for the court but again the council should not forget that they are basically trying to overturn the people’s political will.

It’ll be interesting to follow this episode in the ever unfolding drama that is student politics however pursuing such a cause comes at the constituents cost.

Tulog-tulugan

Tol gising na! Anong oras na, ano ba??? TOL GISING!

 
Konting tango sabay iling, pagkukunwaring ingay lang ang mga hinaing.
 Mataas na ang sikat ng araw, nakabukas na rin ang mga ilaw.
Mga mata’y pikit na pikit pa rin, nagbabakasakaling sa pananaginip muling dalhin. 
 
HOY! Me lakad pa tayo, GISING NA!

Alam kong tapos na ang panaginip at di na ito magbabalik. 

Pero pumipikit pa rin at nagtutulogtulugan, nag-iisip, naghahanap ng dahilan.
Patagalin pa ng konti kahit segundo lang,
 kahit dito lang muna, dito na lang.
PREEE! Iwan ka na namin eh, TARA NA!

Ayoko pa nga, nakakatakot kasi. Matatanggal na naman sa kumportable.
Pero kelangan na, gising na, bangon na.
 
 Onti-onting binubuksan ang mga mata, humaharap sa liwanag ng umaga.
Sa simula’y bulag pa pero dahan-dahang mayroong nakikita. 
Mga kaibigang inis man ay nakangiti pa rin, handang makinig, handang umintindi
at handang makitagay para sa mga problemang matindi. 
 
 

The Search for Questions

    A big wall of darkness before me. A question hangs in the air “should I brave the darkness?”. The answer comes “yes, to see the stars”. I walk on slowly, one foot after the other, allowing my eyes to adjust. Total darkness turning to the concrete of a port only lit by starlight, brilliant starlight. Looking up, the stars take me. There’s Ursa Minor, Ursa Major, Libra, I can’t find Orion but I know it’s out there. Alone in the dim light, gazing at the numerous stars, the vast universe they represent. I don’t feel lonely, afraid or small.
 
     Science has taught me that the very molecules that make me up and everything around me come from the same solar crucibles, millions of years ago.  
 
    I am the thrashing of the sea, I am the breeze that blows through, I am the moon rising. I am everything as much as everything is me. it’s weird and fantastic, almost magical but it is true, and that makes it all the more wonderful and awe-inspiring. Inspiring enough to carry one off to lands rich in ideas and thought. One can do nothing but think and let the thoughts take lives of their own. There he stands as the world around him shifts and swirls, as he sees light. The dawn of a new age before him, he sees past and present and from that springs forth the bridges to the future.
 
    He thinks to himself: 
 
     ”’There are bigger questions than “Is there a God?” or “What is the purpose of my life?” and those questions have yet to be found. No individual will come across those questions. Only a species capable of overcoming it’s own prejudices.
 
The more we better the circumstances of the people around us the more people we free from the daily toil, the more people are free to join the search for both questions and answers.
 
I’d like to live in a world searching for those questions. Would you?”’
 

A Theory of Accommodation

It is for unceasing want that we impinge on the happiness of others.

Life has told us all that someday we’ll be millionaires and rockstars, that’s our conditioning, we never think of being the millions of fans in the crowd or the servants in the opulent houses of the rich. However it is impossible for everyone to be at such a high level without impinging on the happiness of others. The problem therefore is of accommodation, that we are not able to accommodate also the happiness of others in the pursuit of that which makes us happy. However if Adam Smith is to be believed, the act of sacrifice is not completely a loss for the individual for empathy allows him to partake in the joy of others, and if that influences more people than himself then he his more happier than if he pursued happiness for his own sake. A theory of accommodation. 

Appalled

     I need release. 

 
     As I am writing this, the official results are not yet out but the partials are quite grotesque in my eyes. Though mustering what we know of Philippine politics, these results are not surprising. The system isn’t broken, it works rather well, it just benefits those who put it up and not everyone. This is a system of power preservation, a system by the traditional politicians for traditional politicians. Using efficient logistics, well established distribution systems and lots and lots of money, traditional politicians control areas and the voting power that resides therein. By capitalizing on the false safety of familiarity and the exploitable quirks of our culture and norms, these TraPos are not only able to stay in power for a long time but are also able to pull off a bloodline succession that would make the classical monarchs envious. 
     
     Every election period we are hopeful for change and for the system to work in our favor. Every election we are disappointed and offended. Though sometimes there are a few good ones that get through, the rest are just spoiled rotten. We are forced into the corner and accept that that’s the way it is and we should just hope for the best, maybe they aren’t that bad. However, the facts say otherwise, the more related elected officials are in an area the more likely there is to be corruption and stunted progress in those areas. Despite that, they still win and keep adding more of their family to the governing body.
 
     Is it a case of there being no real alternative, a case of a majority unfit for the exercise of democracy or is it that the safeguards needed for such are either not in place or aren’t implemented properly? I’m not really sure, maybe the truth is somewhere in the interaction of all three. What I’m sure of is this. The system, the machine, has people for cogs. People who are victims and at the same time victimizers. Set in their ways and afraid of what’s out there, the cogs turn as is necessary for the system, not asking, not resisting. And no I’m not only referring to the masses I’m talking to each and every one of us. We are all cogs in this machine and unless we try to stop it then there is no real hope for any of us. 
     
     It takes a few good men to start a revolution but it takes an entire nation to complete one. 

“Welcome to Science!”

     When people think of science, they think of huge laboratories and specialized instruments. They think of the mad scientist screaming “FOR SCIENCE!” at the top of his lungs as he unveils yet another doom machine. They think of complex equations and science jargon, unintelligible to the uninitiated. They think it as a practical, wonder-less, boring enterprise for a special set of people with special skills.
     The scientist to them is an introverted individual, more familiar with math and jargon than actual conversation. He spends his time in his lab or in his study, devoid of wonder, accepting only the cold hard facts that are the basis of his profession. A calculating individual more at home, alone in the lab than elsewhere with other people.
     With this kind of perception bordering on animosity, Is it a wonder then why students in the Philippines perform very poorly in Science and Math? Ask any ordinary elementary or high school student what they think of science and more often than not you’ll here something negative. Ask them to list their subjects by how much they like them and you’d often find Science and Math at the bottom. If you ask them what they want to do when they grow up, they’ll say doctor or teacher or nurse or engineer but you’d very rarely hear scientist as an answer.
     This is all very troubling in that it all stems in a misrepresentation and misunderstanding of what Science is and who can do it. However that also provides us with the remedy to it.
Science is often seen as boring and without wonder, often contrasted with the imaginative worlds of literature and art, because that’s how it is treated in the classrooms all over the country. Memorize facts, names of scientists, processes, molecules etc. then, come exam time, to retrieve and write that information down. Mechanical, repetitive, boring. It’s the products of science without appreciating the process or inculcating any of the values. It misrepresents Science as merely another means to an end. The end being to make our lives easier. Though Science does that, it’s not, oftentimes, the reason we do Science. As Richard Feynman puts it, “Science is a lot like sex, it has practical applications but that’s not why we do it.” Behind every scientist is a kid playing detective with the mysteries of the universe.
     Absent in the Science class is the eternal curiosity and childlike wonder that is at the heart of every scientist. It is that permanent burning question, the search for answers and what Feynman called “the pleasure of finding things out” that makes Science a fulfilling endeavor. It’s what makes the tedium of the scientific process, days and nights spent slaving in laboratories, wrestling with highly complex math problems and going through mountains of,  all worthwhile.
     The main values of science are anchored on a firm duty to truth. Assertions remain as assertions unless they are verifiable by facts and can withstand inquiry. There are no free passes, all laws and theories first underwent the trial by fire that is the scientific process and even when accepted as fact, remains open to questioning. In science, we slay our heroes. This does not however take anything from the wonder, the amazement. In fact it multiplies it tenfold. I find it much more enchanting to think of what Neil Degrasse-Tyson deemed “the most astounding fact” that we are not only descended from the Earth but actually we can trace our very origin to long dead stars who went supernova just for their molecules to form our ancestors and ultimately us. indeed as he further exclaimed “We are the Universe, and the Universe is within Us”. I find that fact more stimulating than any origin myth. “We are Starstuff” as Carl Sagan put it. Himself so enthused by wonder and gifted with verve and eloquence that recordings of his “Cosmos” series continue to spread love and interest in science to this day.
     Scientists are often misconstrued as unimaginative, or uncreative or at the very least unable to appreciate the arts in the same way as other people do. One could only agree with that fact if he/she does not consider the vast amount of time scientists spend in their imagined universes. Einstein became famous for his thought experiments while Nikola Tesla was rumored to build entire machines in his head before actually building them. A good portion of a scientist’s time is spent daydreaming. Every concept, every law, every theory was at one time an unverified idea. The unlocking of further facts does not weaken this but only stimulates it to grow further and take on new shapes and forms. One can point to the relationship of sci-fi and real science and how what was once considered merely fiction being realized as reality. Science does not prevent us from dreaming and oftentimes “fact is weirder than fiction”.
      There is nothing that unlocks as much wonder, opening up as much excitement and mystery as science. It is the unending adventure, the unanswerable question.
       “Welcome to Science! You’ll like it here” – Phil Plait

Ikot Mundo, Ikot

Hay buhay, musikang malungkot.
Makulimlim na langit at pusong takot.
Takot sa kulog at kidlat na malupit,
sa pagsayaw ng mga anino, paulit-ulit.
Takot sa hagupit at huni ng hangin
sa paglipad ng yero, saksakan ng talim.
Takot na takot harapin ang pagbabago
at sa kinabukasang yun lang ang sigurado.
 
Ngunit akin rin napagtanto,
dapat nga bang matakot sa pagbabago?

Ang pagbabago ay musika, 
mula sa pagkaiba-iba, pagkakaisa.
Ang pagbabago ay palagiang nariyan, 
nakakaapekto kaninuman.
Ano nga ba ang magagavva natin
kundi harapin ang alon at manindig.
Isama na rin sa mga panalangin
damdami’y di madala ng tubig. 

Enchant the Seasons

I’d spend all spring in cloaks of summer 
regardless of heat and drought 
if all that spring I mere but glimmer
at  such a wondrous sight
 
Id rather brave the chill of winter
than spend all fall without
Sunny smile and  cheerful banter
Never that I’d doubt
 
I’d prefer winter to spring
If it’d meant even an hour beside
a lovely sprite who sure can sing
and has made my heart cry
 
Id rather not see the sun again
and the beaches of my home
If that summer were to be spent
without you along
 
It’s funny how I’d try to change
the very idea of seasons 
If only you could manage
to see that you’re my every reason.

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