Tag Archive | morality is a hard stuff to discuss

Battosai No More

Fight and Live to Tell

A post about chosing life.

This scene is from Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends (2014).

Kenshin was the best assassin of the past government. He was famously known as Battosai. He had since sworn to not kill anymore, carrying a sword that has the sharp egde at the wrong side.

The new government has asked for his help to kill a rampaging ex-assassin, who is threatening the safety of the nation.

Aware of his weakness after a recent duel, Kenshin asks his teacher (also called “master”) to teach him the ultimate sword tehnique of their school so that he can defeat the enemy.

His teacher agrees. They fight-train —physically, mentally, emotionally— a holistic approach.

Teacher tosses a real sword to Kenshin. It is a real fight with real swords today.
He’s figured out that he’s afraid of neither his teacher nor of death.
But his teacher has warned him that if he cannot figure out what’s wrong with him, then he will not be able to defeat the villain. Moreover, he might even die in today’s training-duel, without having learned the final technique at all.
He resolves that he will not die just yet, and fights back. After some time, he eventually slashes at Teacher and scores a point!
His guilt has made his fighting resolve distorted. His guilt has numbed his positive purpose for fighting, which was why he was defeated recently — his sword broken, and was not able to rescue Kamiya Kaoru also.
His fierceness in fighting will not return if he continues to be weighed down by the guilt of having killed so many people before.
He has to embrace his guilt, forgive himself, and be positively fierce again in order to defeat his enemy, who is also the enemy of the people whom Kenshin is trying to protect.
(This has something to do with his failing to rescue Kaoru. She was shouting at him to look after himself, to fight fiercely but to stay alive, but he was distracted by his fear for her safety . So, Teacher seemed to be saying that being on the defensive position, on the side of the helpless people, has somehow weakened Kenshin’s fghting prowess).
(I wish I can understand Japanese!) Teacher seemed to be saying that Kenshin has denied his life-loving fighting self—his innate positive personality, and his life’s discipline and upbringing with his Teacher—ever since he resolved not to kill anymore. Indeed, his Teacher never trained him for the purpose of killing, but so that he can protect people. However, he made choices that led him astray and caused him to kill even defenseless people. The senselessness of his deeds caused him to gamble with his life many times—fighting fiercely without regard to his own life. So now, if he can resolve his guilt and embrace again the purpose of his life’s training, then he can fight the villain and live to tell about it.
Teacher’s important lesson: YOUR LIFE IS AS WORTH AS OTHER PEOPLE’S LIVES.

Kenshin and I learned something very valuable from Master today.

Domo arigato gozaimashita. (That’s a very respectful ‘thank you very much.’)

Hoping for Hope

(September 20, 2021. Hello there. How are you today? I have to insert a note here, saying, that I am not “politically motivated” regarding this post. My personal sentiments here is from a person-to-person, or human-to-human, standpoint. That is, I am seeing President Duterte as a person raher than as a politician. Yepper, these are two diferent things where the Philippines (and many other countries) is concerned right now. This post may be polarizing, but I’d rather not remove it because this is true not only for me but for many Filipinos as well, especially those who have experienced the president’s heart ever since he came into the political arena decades ago. Alles gute und viel Spass! Danke!)

(Update. 14th July 2021. Good morning, Everyone. As you can see, this post is already more than half a decade old. And this is on politics. We know how things in politics change very fast. I ask myself how much Pres. Duterte has changed over the years while he’s the president. Honestly, I have no answer. I am a bit disappointed at how much he missed doing what he had planned to do at the start. I’m sure he is, too. My heart goes out to him. His dear friend, the Honorable Perfecto Yasay, Jr., whom he appointed as Secretary for Foreign Affairs (please see blow) is not with us anymore. He succumbed to cancer-complicated pneumonia last year. May he rest in peace. Of what I can sense from the president’s speeches lately, he has become increasingly tired, more tired than when he first said so years ago. I’ll see which Filipino-authored biographies of his speak out from the heart of the common Filipino. Oh, no foreigner-authored biography for me, please. It will be bound to be propagandistic (just being cautious here!), for the revenue and fame. Thanks all the same.)  

I’ve just decided that the world is free to condemn Duterte an a_s.

However, for us who understand what’s happening, he’s our chance at making it good in this life ever since European Christianity destroyed our society until today (one can read about it in, for example, “Colonial Mentality: A Review and Recommendation for Filipino American Psychology” by E. J. R. David and Sumie Okazaki, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign). That’s about 500 long years. But whereas Europe has “devalued Christianity,” we to this day remain a “God-fearing people,” maybe all not meticulously “religious” but certainly with a very strong sense of the spiritual <<< this I have no doubt.

The other day an illegal-drug laboratory capable of producing 400 kilos in one day was discovered. The operators abandoned the building when Duterte won the election.

The world can call us a nation of idiots, that’s fine. We’ll just do what we think is right. Anyway, when Duterte talks publicly he actually means it for our consumption, ergo his complete array of colorful expressions — such contextual emphatic expressions that non-Filipinos will find difficult to understand — so that we finally begin to think for ourselves, be free from “colonial mentality” that is our bane.

We had been stu_id as a people and now is our chance to make up.

The industrialized world does not know all this, how we have suffered all these centuries, so they have no right to meddle with how we solve our problems. Instead they should be asking us in what ways we need help, because we urgently need help. But Duterte will not sell our national soul just to get help. If we can educate ourselves to the truth within Duterte’s term, either before he retires or before he is assassinated, then we’d have a hope at stopping the oligarchs’ excesses and give more chances to our poorest folks to better their lives.

The world condemns Duterte just on the basis of his stupid stupid mouth but for us his mouth is the least of our problems. And if indeed he was a cold-bloodied killer then that’s his business before God. (How can his neighbors of/for decades love him if he violates human rights?) But right now he’s not being a cold-bloodied killer as a president. I understand what’s happening. As of now he has restored the power of the law in the land. He constantly lectures us in all of his speeches that we must abide by the law. We have hope now in witnessing the culture of impunity disappear among the elite moneyed class. These are little gods, out of the reach of law. These elite are the remnants of the colonizers. Duterte has made enemies among them simply because he won the election. (There are mga elitista, many of them, who work for the plight of the people, and they are not part of who I’m referring to. There are non-elitista who are biased against Duterte simply because they are embarrassed of his rough ways and they want to distance themselves from him — these are the ones who are slaves to colonial mentality and many of them are fans of Leila de Lima<– that’s link to a video where she hysterically defends herself in front of media, a very un-lawyer-ly and cowardly procedure, instead of facing her accusers at the parliamentary investigations.) 🙂

The police and the wo/men-at-arms have once more become honorable to the people’s eyes. They’re back with their dignity in their correct places because they are sure now that the law will not abandon them to the moneyed-powerful. My people have not felt more safe and more hopeful for a very long time. The 700,000 who voluntarily identified themselves to the police got scared of the power of the law by way of the police. This was what Duterte wanted to happen. The majority were identified, had their names put on record, and were released back to their homes. The rest of us who have not violated the law are not scared of anything at all.

When the world calls Duterte an ass it’s us the people who feel the pain and we are at a loss because the world is more quick to condemn that to find out what’s true. The only way to stop Duterte’s foul mouth is to simply not provoke him in the first place. If the world thinks we’re a stupid primitive bunch, then so be it. We are only trying to survive as humans with dignity.

Here is the Philippines’ foreign policy (DFA Secretary Perfecto Yasay privilege speech, UN General Assembly, Sept. 20-26, 2016). The Secretary of Foreign Affairs Pefecto Yasay, Jr. is a pastor’s kid, a lawyer and teacher in the U.S., and Duterte’s dormitory roommate while both were in law school. Watch and listen:  https://youtu.be/ySLG0NVdUZc

—–> Here is a summary of that speech from the UN webpage, below. (Source: https://gadebate.un.org/en/71/philippines )

Statement Summary: PERFECTO R. YASAY, JR., Secretary for Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, said that after his country’s hard-fought and hard-won independence, it zealously valued and guarded its rights and liberties through democracy and a system of checks and balances.  Five months ago, the people had elected new President Rodrigo Roa Duterte with an unprecedented and resounding electoral mandate.  For far too long, the Philippines had been unable to fully advance due to corruption, worsening crime, and the prevalence of illegal drugs, and corruption had become the breeding ground for the illegal drug trade.  The Government was determined to eradicate illicit drugs and their manufacture, distribution and use.  The rule of law and strict adherence to due process fully governed the campaign against corruption and criminality.  Noting that the Government’s actions had grabbed national and international attention for all the wrong reasons, he urged everyone “to allow us to deal with our domestic challenges in order to achieve our national goals, without undue interference”.  Extrajudicial killings had no place in Philippine society, and the Government did not and would never empower its law enforcement agents to shoot-to-kill any individual suspected of drug crimes, though police had the right to defend themselves when their lives were threatened.

The goal of the Government was to “leave no one behind” in its development strides, he said.  The Philippines continued to enhance the delivery and quality of social services, including in health, education, food, water and housing.  As one of the most disaster-prone and vulnerable countries to the adverse effects of climate change, the Philippines reiterated its call for climate justice and the principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities in the implementation of obligations under the Paris Agreement.  The country remained committed to the rule of law and to peace, including the recent decision on the Arbitral Tribunal of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague with regard to the disputes in the South China Sea.  Noting the final and binding nature of the Arbitral Award, the Philippines reaffirmed its commitment to pursuing peaceful resolution to regional disputes.

Here’s another speech that Secretary Yasay gave on September 15 at the CSIS Southeast Asia Program (Center for Strategic and International Studies):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1F1kgh7cbg

. ❤ . I pray that no evil intents interfere with the plans of the president and his cabinet for the nation. I pray that the cabinet officials and their staff stay motivated and creative in all their activities. I wish them all the best of health. I pray that the malicious elements in the senate and the house of representatives listen to their conscience, and change their hearts for the better. I pray that the elite who insist on being blind, up there in their white fanciful tower, come down and have their fancy shoes dirtied with farm manure so that they begin to see reality. I pray that the youth, the young ones who are in schools, study their lessons well and study some more beyond what their teachers could deliver to them because there’s much more truth out there that is not taught in our schools. I pray that all teachers and all of the religious and sacerdotal add to their duties the aim of eradicating “colonial mentality” from the nation’s collective consciousness. I pray for the complete healing of everyone who has decided to turn their backs on drug addiction, and start to be really happy. I pray that persons in government who used their positions for the purpose of enriching themselves stop at their tracks and start giving back to the people the money and goods that they have stolen from everyone. I pray that the person on the street, the ordinary everyday person, hold on to his/her God-given strength, continue to hope, continue to work hard and honestly, until our nation is collectively delivered from the constant threat of poverty. I pray that Filipinos all over the globe take care of their health, stay sane and reasonable, not be blinded by the power of money, and stay spiritually intact in the face of any form of discrimination and cold treatment. I pray that the foreigners in my country stay safe, healthy, happy, and appreciative of the people’s friendliness. And I pray that the little ones, the children, imitate the president’s sweet little daughter and not follow our Tatay or Lolo Digong in speaking bad words. 🙂

My dear president, my virtual teacher, our leader, our elder brother, our friend, please continue to be in good health, stay humble, stay grounded, don’t forget to pray everyday, don’t forget your children’s and grandchildren’s birthdays, stay strong-willed, stay sane and lucid, stay reasonable, stay “transparent”, and manage your stress so that it doesn’t affect your rational judgments. Stay compassionate and sensitive to the poorest among us. May God bless you, our nation, and all peoples of the world.


Source of picture above:  http://rarehistoricalphotos.com/moro-insurgents-1906/

That was the picture that Duterte was referring to at the meeting with the ASEAN leaders. Here is an account of that meeting:  https://www.eaglenews.ph/duterte-shows-obama-asean-leaders-photos-of-moros-killed-by-americans/

…   and here is an account in relation to the picture when he was not yet a president: http://www.mindanews.com/top-stories/2005/10/the-bud-dajo-massacre-a-hundred-years-later-will-america-apologize-2/

…  and here is a 2011 scholarly/academic study of that 1906 event

Hawkins, Michael C. “Managing a Massacre: Savagery, Civility, and Gender in Moro Province in the Wake of Bud Dajo.” Philippine studies 59, no. 1 (2011): 83-105.

We are not a country of haters. Japan was not less cruel to us (that’s why my grandfather had bitter memories of such cruelty) but we have no problems with Japan anymore. My cousin even teaches English to school kids there and is now starting her own family there, too.

Stay well, everyone, and let’s try to be happy in whatever peaceful we can. It doesn’t need much to be happy (yeah, and here’s my recommended book on that topic: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28254.Stone_Age_Economics


❤ .

Not Likeable: Duterte and His Swear-Words

(September 20, 2021. Hello there. How are you today? I have to insert a note here, saying, that I am not “politically motivated” regarding this post. My personal sentiments here is from a person-to-person, or human-to-human, standpoint. That is, I am seeing President Duterte as a person raher than as a politician. Yepper, these are two diferent things where the Philippines (and many other countries) is concerned right now. This post may be polarizing, but I’d rather not remove it because this is true not only for me but for many Filipinos as well, especially those who have experienced the president’s heart ever since he came into the political arena decades ago. Alles gute und viel Spass! Danke!)

Once I shouted “bullshit” to a bunch of kids. That was when I was only a little more than a kid myself, my control on my emotions not as good as expected of adults, and besides my country does not cater to a culture that prevents and frowns on the public display of emotions.

It was actually at a classroom of seventeen or eighteen year-olds, I think, and they have known since they were seven what was expected of them inside the classroom: order, hushed voices if any, and avoidance of chaos MOST ESPECIALLY when a class activity is being conducted. And especially when a person of academic authority is present. They violated the standards of decorum at all counts and I wasn’t able to hold my strong dismay over their lack of respectfulness. So there was silence all at once, they knew that they deserved the strong reproach, they were strongly reminded where the class stands with respect to misbehavior, and they didn’t do it again.

As little kids until adolescents we were taught and expected to stand up and greet a visitor in unison. When a teacher was at our classroom door everything stops in the classroom because we’d all stand up as one and say together, “Good morning, Mrs. Santos.”, or something like that. If we did not know the person’s name we’d say, “Good morning, visitor.” All public primary and secondary schools in the Philippines, and even the private ones, practice this. So when I went to college I felt awkward when we weren’t allowed to do that kind of greeting anymore. I felt that it was disrespectful. But it seems that “adult” education does not expect such standard of respectfulness anymore. I slowly learned to live with the awkwardness and adapted to the non-practice. However, all teachers that I met in campus always got a “good mornig, ma’am” or a “good afternoon, sir” from me and from most of the other students, too.

That was the only time, as far as I can remember, when I spoke a swear word in public. I would remember it because I do not speak swear words at all in the hearing of another person. Not even with my family. Not even with my closest friends. I hardly think with swear words except when I am aggravated and then I can let myself deal with the issue with swear words that are commensurate to the gravity of the disturbance created in me — but all this would be silently and mentally, where only I can hear them being spoken out in my brain. I only “swear to myself”, so to speak.

The complementary set-up to my no-spoken-swearing stand is that I also do not receive swear words from anyone, and that I would take it as a grave insult if anyone swears at me. At home this is easy because nobody speaks swear words in our house. The worst that we would concede to is “gaga” or “gago”, for female or male as the case may be, and this not straight out but instead we modify it to “gagagaga” or to “ogag” to soften the impact to our own ears AND ALL THIS NEVER TO ONE ANOTHER IN THE HOUSE BUT TO SOMEBODY ELSE OF WHOM WE MAY BE ABLE TO CRITICIZE AS SIMPLY A MATTER OF OPINION DUE TO THEIR MANIFESTED ACTIONS AND NEVER DUE TO GOSSIP, AND ABSOLUTELY NEVER TOWARDS A RELATIVE. “Gaga” and “gago” may be best translated as “stupid”. There are families who speak swear words freely to each other, I have friends who use swear words freely, and I have nothing against them. I understand the context of their usage and they don’t swear at me besides. I leave them be and we stay friends. I know many persons  who hold similar opinions to mine regarding this matter. There are also many families who are like mine.

However, as it stands now I could hear myself freely speak to my close friends (BUT NOT AT HOME!) this opinion: “Dipuga! Din ka pa kakita prisidente nga parihas sini?!!” This will elicit amused chukles all around because this signals a concession on my part on behalf of a strong conviction as evidenced in the emphatic use of a ‘dirty’ swear word.

Translated into English that will amount to: F**k! Where else can you get a president like this one?!!

Or, that swear word can also be Bu*s*it!

Dipuga is a mellower variant of yudep*ta or of the shorter dep*ta.  “Yudep*ta” is the short form of “iho de p*ta”. Those who speak Spanish can see it clearly that it is the adaptation of “hijo de p*ta”, which into English is the common expletive SOB. However, not everyone prefers the length of that expletive even when the end part is modified into “gun!”. Many would ordinarily use the faster-said f**k or b**ch. English speakers know that this expletive, SOB, does not say anything about one’s mother. The expletive is not directed to mothers. The expletive is just an expression that is commensurate to the degree that an emotion is felt. It, or any similar to it (like “damn”), may even be breathed out in times of pleasant surprises.

I do not buy the disdain of the elitists in my country towards the foul mouth of our president. That’s all BS and they can all go to he*l. They can go f**k themselves. If they do not like swear words then so do I. If they have a high standard of abhorrence against swear words then so does my family. They do not even know from what standpoint they are on in their attack against the president’s manner of speaking. If the son of a pastor, and a former pastor, and a friend of a pastor can work closely with our president then I have no problem with their willingness to do so. Their participation speaks volumes about the character of the real Duterte. (If you think that these principled persons surrounding him will condone what is being accused of him (read: “illegal executions”) then there is something wrong with your basis. The head of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), Atty. Acosta, can help you be clarified with this issue. )

Those who just keep on harping (without saying anything else analytical, informative, and substantial) that the president “behave himself” are a bunch of gaga and gago. The executive branch of government has a mountain-load of urgent matters to attend to and all they recommend is that the  president soaps out his mouth. These misguided elitists have opinions and preferences that are more blind than a bat. More than being blind they are navigating at a wrong course, and in this instance a bat’s non-sight is not a matter for criticism because bats zero in perfectly towards their aims even without sight.

These elitists in my country (I’m describing those who fit in the description; it does not mean ALL  ELITISTS; I concede that there are possibly many exceptions), those who are shoot-high-up-to-the-moon-proud about their prowess in manipulating the English language, they generally know nothing about real life and real poverty and real suffering. (They’re the kind who who have the skills to write in opinion columns of newspapers.) All they know is how to keep their faces smooth and white like porcelain and how to keep their car tires mud free. And how to keep smelling like flowers and cologne the entire day. And how to keep dirt from under their fingernails. They know nothing about having to skip a meal because there simply are no means to get one. If ever they’d skip a meal it would be because they wish to subtract from the fat that’s jiggling in their overfed bodies. Being fat is not the issue here: the picture in this context that I speak of points to the indiferrence to human suffering that’s surrounding these elitists.

Today I heard the president reiterating his purpose of keeping friendly relations with all nations, and this without any exception. We are a small nation and we cannot afford to pick fights with anybody, as the president also says so. If his speeches are, again and again, painted out of context and with colors that feature only one or two hues then the richness of his thoughts are wasted. When he gives speeches (this one that I heard today is for the Philippine Air Force at Villamor Air Base) he is like a professor who is giving a lecture on contemporary governance in the Philippine context against the perspective of recent history. His speeches are extemporaneous and are sourced from his own decades-long observations and conviction as a public servant, aside from being an academician himself. His speeches are for the purpose of putting forth the real picture, the more comprehensive picture, the bigger picture, that part of our national reality that does not get talked about in the mainstream media’s just-bits-and-pieces-commercialized-segments. Of course we can hardly demand more from mainstream media. They are running a business, after all. They have to figure out how to have lots of income.

Our president, for the most part of his speeches, is actually expressing his disagreement in his own authentic way of the so-called ‘educated’ Filipino’s lack of capacity to analyze deeper and wider the implications that their dearly held colonialistic views are continuing to disregard the real issues that are right there before their eyes. There is a severe lack of venues for discussing opinions beyond the simple and safe pat labelling. It is a kind of ‘education’ that has not kept up with the global movements and is continuing on its course of mis-educating the young ones. It is in fact preventing our youth from being empowered, keeping them relatively ignorant against the present global situation. If being modernized means having citizens who are capable of thinking out things for themselves and not to simply depend on cooked-up peddled views, then my country is far from modern. However, there are ‘modern’ nations that are suffering because big range media that started out as an institution for the people have digressed from their noble profession. If you are keeping up with the news then you know what this nation is.

Peace. Stay healthy. Thanks for thinking out with me. I wish you the best in life, in whatever area you wish blessings for. May He-Who-Blesses-All bless us all in His and our own good time.

Our Traditional Elder

(September 20, 2021. Hello there. How are you today? I have to insert a note here, saying, that I am not “politically motivated” regarding this post. My personal sentiments here is from a person-to-person, or human-to-human, standpoint. That is, I am seeing President Duterte as a person raher than as a politician. Yepper, these are two diferent things where the Philippines (and many other countries) is concerned right now. This post may be polarizing, but I’d rather not remove it because this is true not only for me but for many Filipinos as well, especially those who have experienced the president’s heart ever since he came into the political arena decades ago. Alles gute und viel Spass! Danke!)

. ❤ .

Hello, everyone.

Before being convinced that our president, Duterte, is a monster who condones illegal procedures and careless nonsensical killings by so-called vigilante groups, please give yourself the chance of being further informed from other sources aside from the gossip-like sensationalizing media.

Rodrigo Duterte is an “old” man, an elder in the community, and as such he has the privilege of speaking out his mind. We give this privilege to all our elders. These elders speak according to their personal character, and the younger ones react to them variously. Generally, however, the old people are given respect just because they are old and for no other reason. So if Duterte likes to lace his sentences with harsh expletives then we let him be. That’s who he is and some of us don’t like it, some don’t like it very much, and some don’t care about how he expresses himself. For some of us who understand where he’s coming from, we just chuckle away his nasty expletives. But as we all can see that he knows what he’s talking about and that he has determined what needs to be done, then we give him additional respect.

In this webpage: http://www.gov.ph/tag/sona-2016/  are links to the recent State of the Nation Address that he gave. It was composed around 25 days into his term. It is available in English and Filipino, both official languages of the nation, and in Bisaya, which is his mother tongue and is the most widely understood vernacular compared to the hundred others.

pdf file:   State-of-the-Nation-Address-of-Duterte-2016

I have here, by the link above, a copy of the English version. I have put marks and remarks on spots that especially mean something for me or where a tiny annotation is appropriate. Aside from relating how the country fares, the president is projecting a six-year plan. This means that some plans may be done in a year, others until six years, and a few for after he is gone from the political scene. It’s not riddled with numbers and figures so even a high-school student can understand it. I saw him deliver this speech, via internet. While I was reading the transcript I could picture out how he said the particular part. There were parts that I did not hear very clearly and the transcript helped me get them clarified. Still, the president tends to talk in a conversational manner and so there are thoughts that are best conveyed by pauses or tonal emphases or even unfinished sentences, also using body language. So the transcript is not a perfect basis for issues that are too sensitive, so that the only way to get an idea of the issue’s enormity is to both see him speak and read the transcript, and, of course, be cognizant of the context that he is speaking from. There are parts in his talk that elicited chuckles from the audience who have a very good idea of what he is talking about, and of the implication of his being able to “speak” publicly of the issue at all. That is, the president pushed himself onto the boundaries of being respectful but at the same time being open and no-nonsense. Nope, he did not utter a single expletive.

——— 🙂

Excursus: The expletives that contained much of “killing you” and all such threats is a CONTEXTUAL way of expressing how grave the situation is, how serious the intention is of solving the problem fast, and how unwavering the drive will be so that all who are accountable will be brought before the law … if these “threats” and expletives are taken out of the context, in the way Duterte says them, then the sensationalizing of these statements is acceptable and valid … but as such and within the recognized context, the Filipinos understand why he is saying such things and because they know that on the other side of the “cleansing” is the intention to rehabilitate the drug victims/addicts/dependents … therefore, contrary to it being summarily called “all-out war against drugs” it’s actually an all-out effort to rehabilitate those who are affected, personal- and family- and community-wise … so, nope, it’s not a “genocide” at all (good grief!!!)

——— 🙂

To the question of why are there so many “killings”… were there “mistakes” on the part of the police?— I say, yes, there possibly were, and these cases are being investigated. Were the police “careless”?— no, they have not been. There’s an Operation called Tok-Hang, or Tokhang. It’s name is from the two words “toktok” and “hangyo”. Toktok is an onomatopaeia for the act of knocking on doors of homes and requesting for a conversation. Hangyo pertains to the act of asking for a favor. The police took the time to go to persons’ houses, those who are suspected of participating in the drug related problems, and asked them to surrender to the authorities for the purpose of consequent investigation. Moreover, prior to the president’s term and while he was still campaigning for the office, he had repeatedly warned the nation that he will give priority to solving the drug problem. So, why are there so many “killings”?—one: when a police officer is doing an apprehension and the suspect fights back then the police officer has to defend his life. Everybody knows this.—two: the chain-of-drug-supply renders the more dispensable ones as fodder to the effort of not-be-traced-back-to-the-source <<<any durglord does this and blames it on the police or the government. Why do I answer this way? <<< I get my information from the televised hearings of the Commission on Human Rights; I watch/listen to the press releases via the PTV4 station (non-commercial government media, here: https://www.youtube.com/user/RTVMalacanang/videos   ); I watch/listen to the interviews that journalists continuously engage in with the president.

Does the president intend to alienate all foreign nations? Nope. Look especially at page 29 of the attached pdf-file, the SONA. He is asking for their help, in fact. Is the president a deranged narcissistic macho-man? Nope. He acts the way a self-confident non-academic non-elitist self-effacing person-of-the-street Filipino male does with added deadpan effects and who is not shy about flirting with women — but he is humble and respectful and non-pretentious. How do I know?<< I hear him and I see him and I can tell, me as a Filipino who lives in that culture.

Will he keep all his promises and execute all his plans? Time can tell. Will he make mistakes? He’s not cowarded by the possibility. Is he and his cabinet doing their best? Yes, they are. Do the Filipinos understand what he is doing? Yes, they do. (The Commission on Human Rights hearings, with the senators, allowed the senators to express their support for the efforts of the police. The videos can be accessed here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8f9L8CPuxtvALODAlXvG5w/videos   ) Are the Filipinos hopeful about this president? Yes, we are. ….But what about the killings????—this is a very tough question, yes, very disturbing, yes, but what about the millions of lives destroyed and is being destroyed by the illegal-drug industry that is choking the families in the neighborhoods? But do I mean to say that we have to kill in order to save? Nope, I don’t mean that and I don’t like that, and the president and the nation agree with me … so??? … (((we have to ask the collective opinions of ethics, anthropology, sociology, history, economics, philosophy, … ))) >>> Come and live in the Philippines so that you can help me talk about this issue with more clarity.

I wish you all robust health and a hopeful disposition.


Idiots and Non-Idiots

(September 20, 2021. Hello there. How are you today? I have to insert a note here, saying, that I am not “politically motivated” regarding this post. My personal sentiments here is from a person-to-person, or human-to-human, standpoint. That is, I am seeing President Duterte as a person raher than as a politician. Yepper, these are two diferent things where the Philippines (and many other countries) is concerned right now. This post may be polarizing, but I’d rather not remove it because this is true not only for me but for many Filipinos as well, especially those who have experienced the president’s heart ever since he came into the political arena decades ago. Alles gute und viel Spass! Danke!)

(Update. 14th July 2021. Good morning, Everyone. This post is five years old. I have decided to retain it. There was an update to this two months after I put it up [please see below]. I see how strongly I have put across my feelings into the title, like a battlecry, defiant and distinct. I don’t think I should put it down for now [maybe in a few more years], even after all these years of having mellowed down from such sentiments, now having more existential things to entertain in my head and in everyday practical living—all brought about by the covid-19 pandemic. I still do feel defiant whenever I see evidences of psyche-destruction that was brought to my people because of colonization. On the other hand, that there has been an evolution going on on top of these colonialism-pain-vestiges is very likely, and not always detrimental to us as a people. I pray blessings to us all. Viel Spass!)

I get negative feelings when I hear foreign journalists criticize Duterte’s speeches — which inevitabley zero in on how he wants thugs and druglords eradicated.

Not long ago I heard a discussion in The Young Turks show and that discussion did nothing for the public’s knowledge. They just chewed on how they perceived Duterte’s platform to be ‘horrendous’ and they offered nothing by way of starting on how to get a grasp of his ‘horrendous’ ideas. With the discussion is the implication that the Philippines, which overwhelmingly voted for Duterte, is composed of people majority of whom have twisted sets of values, i. e., values that are against those held by the TYT talk show hosts who were discussing the matter on air. (Okay, actually here’s what I think: These two ignorant clowns — yes, I laughed at their opinions — who are discussing the matter are arrogantly giving out their prescription on a symptom of which they know nothing of the underlying causes. They’re definitely just plain ignoramuses shooting out stupid recommendations and all based on what they read on some newspaper or such. This is altogether pathetic jounalism.)

Just now Secular Talk has an emotionally delivered session expressing disgust at how this “planned massacre” by Duterte isn’t even ‘discussed’.

Here’s the funny part: The stance by Duterte — forcefully going after the thugs that are wreaking havoc to so many families in my country — is precisely the reason why people, including me, voted for him. But it was clear to me that he was going to do it according to what the law allows, according to the legal police procedures plus extra caution to boot and without blind emotional-laden engagements. That was clear to me and so I voted for him. So did 16 million other Filipinos. We do know how to discern behind tall-talk, as we do know how to look behind sweet-talk.

How do I know that it could be done? Davao City is the proof. That’s number 1 reason.

Number 2 reason: no powerful clans financed his campaign. He is not beholden to the oligarchs. Number 3: he won the election without having had any agent compose a public image of him. He was not ‘packaged’ to attract voters. What one sees of Durte in public is what one gets — he talks and works for the oppressed and the marginalized in society, he has no interest whatsoever in making money out of his activities, he does not show off or market his intellect, and he does not put himself above anybody else. He is far from the proverbial white-washed tomb. Anybody is welcome to inspect the skeletons in his closet.

So, since Duterte has such ‘horrendous’ ideas and Filipinos voted for him, then Filipinos agree with his ‘horrendous’ ideas. Ergo, the Philippines is a nation of (mostly) dumb and stupid people.

One has to break down the above logic or it becomes in itself a ‘horrendous’ conclusion. Why horrendous? Because the arguments espoused by the talk show hosts mentioned above, and all other ‘foreign’ venues similar to these, are all based on assumptions the foundations of which are foreign to the Filipino way of thinking or looking at things. Hence, their arguments are invalid — null and void.

Sure, such words as killing, bloodbath, etc. are in themselves universally associated with horrendous acts. However, the “killing” that is of the talk show hosts’ perspective, and most likely the viewers’/listeners’ perspectives, is not exactly what Duterte has been talking about.

It will take a shelf of dissertations to systematize Duterte’s ideas and actions, including the legitimizing of his plans by the voters. Foremost of the discussions will focus on worldviews, on historical factors, and the contemporaneous situations. So I cannot start to give them to you here, in just a handful of paragraphs.

Moreover, the moral ascendancy that America has been marketing since I don’t know when (emphasize on the ‘marketing’, ergo, the public expressions of such that do not reflect the views of those who have no avenues for expressing what’s otherwise === remember: “History is written by the victors” — tangentially related, but you know what I mean 🙂 ❤ .) is now being put to clear light as illegitimate with all the mess that is being revealed, one after another, because of the present election season and through social media. Anyway, this isn’t a gripe about America or Americans (my best friend is American! ❤ ). This is a critique on any entity that establishes itself as superior to another.

How the Ignorant Liken Duterte to Trump
How the Ignorant Liken Duterte to Trump

They don’t care about research and truth-telling. They just care about the fanfare and the sales. Pathetic.

– – – – – – – – – –

Again, on the Secular Talk segment that I was referring to above: Of course I understand why the host talks that way. He’s put himself into the situation by way of the words in the news that he’s read and also inevitably bringing along with him his own (present) context. Had he immersed himself first into the situation in the Philippines, say a minimum of 20 years, then he’d be talking differently and he would not have been this horrified about the words he’s read. Similarly, had Duterte been an American, or had the Philippines been like America, then Duterte and we would never had thought that/this way (as reflected in the news). But, well, a little learning on the part of the speaker will eventually make him see how he has been idiotic in going about this topic.

But the damage is done. Duterte has been painted with foreign colors and this imposed image doesn’t look right both objectively and subjectively (…but who is the judge of both, really??) — as many other similar ‘foreign’ opinion-givers have done. But let’s say that the Secular Talk host wasn’t giving an opinion at all, merely posing a question or opening up lines for discussion, then he/they should have said more so as not to leave the air with a picture of a horrendous Duterte and the Philippines. It’s simply unfair, it’s made from an arrogant stance of moral supremacy, and it hurts us common everyday ordinary Filipinos. You are trampling on our human rights to freely choose our leader and the way we want to solve our problems.

Leave Duterte alone. He was a prosecutor; he knows the law; he will abide by the law. If you can’t say anything qualifying about him then shut the f**k up. We know he’s not a saint. He does not live like a god. We trust the people who are working with him; they know that their responsibility is primarily to the everyday person and not to Duterte. We have risked this oncoming term with him as the head of the executive branch of the government and we are willing to cooperate with his vision of a more live-able society, albeit a ‘poor’ one compared to the highly industrialized nations. But being “highly developed” is not the priority for now (and I hope it will never be (notice the quotation marks); but this is another lengthy topic). We do not need much to be happy; we just need to be assured that our families and loved ones are safe in their locales as they go along their simple everyday lives. We do not need much of the crazy and senseless commercial products flooding our dingy streets and poisoning our traditional values. We just want a safe and and dependable society for now and then we’d be able to figure out what to do next to better our children’s and grandchildren’s, and our neighbors’ children and grandchildren’s lives.

Filipinos are not idiots. We are confused, I can say, because of the combined factors of gentleness, meekness, insane colonialism, and energy-sucking globalization. (A paper on “colonial mentality”-> “Colonial Mentality: A Review and Recommendation for Filipino American Psychology” by E. J. R. David and Sumie Okazaki, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign). Greed and misinformation have muddled our value systems relative to what should have been sustaining and uplifting for us collectively. It had been a very long journey for us, of attempts at changing for the better. We have a new chapter now. We are willing to work it out. If you have nothing qualifying to say about us, then please just save your precious breath and keep your nice mouth shut.



I wish everyone an envigorating day. Thanks for dropping by.

Update September 17, 2016.

I will have to comment on the accusations tagged “extra-judicial killings”. This topic was not urgent in my mind because the deaths attributed to the police were not extra-judicial. Our police are not thugs — well, around the world some police are thugs but not all police are thugs and not all thugs are police — and they just do their duties. If a police officer perceives a threat to his life then by law he has to defend himself. Duterte’s war on drugs involves apprehension of drug addicts –> particularly those whose brains have been damaged by the LONG use of shabu, irredeemable brain material by all medical standards, and hence cannot perceive the boundary between life and death, between right and wrong, many are capable of raping children and killing their own family members, thus easily capable of the reckless use of a gun which CAN  KILL and which, by the laws of ethics, society must very well see that it’s either the police officer’s life or the other’s; this argument has to apply otherwise society must conclude that the police officer should rather die than the other.

As of today around 700,000 (that’s addicts and pushers) have given themselves up to the authorities. That’s 700,000 that were not killed by the police but were taken into custody. So if 700,000 surrendered then we can safely assume that there were more than a hundred who would not surrender and would fight off the authorities. The pushers who surrendered will be dealt with by law. The addicts will be rehabilitated. Those with slight addiction will be rehabilitated in the community : religious communities and organizations have volunteered to help in this. The government is putting up several rehanilitation centers all over the country – BUT since the administration started at a point when there is no more money (extra budget) to spend for this NEWLY DISCOVERD CALAMITY OF THE TRUE DRUG SCENE OF THE COUNTRY then the rehabilitation centers will take some time to be put up, although THANKFULLY several rich people have started to donate specifically for this purpose PLUS many Filipinos working abroad have also gathered funds for this purpose, like those who are working in Indonesia.

Now, the question again: Are there “extra-judicial killings”?. Answer: Yes. Next question: Does the government have to do with this? Answer: No. And how do I know? I watch the videos of interviews with the police chief and videos on the speeches and interviews of the president and the cabinet members and senators. I watch closely, I listen to what they say, I scrutinize how they answer, their facial expressions, their body language, how they interact with the journalists, how long does it take for them to answer a question, how spontaneous do they answer a particular important question, and especially if they distance themselves from the questioning. What I see is only openness. This was how I did it so that I knew that CNN was screwing Bernie Sanders (and here’s a protest at CNN‘s in Los Angeles, and you’ll get many results if you search “mainstream media bias against sanders”) even before I discovered Democracy Now! and Sane Progressive and Lee Camp of Redacted Tonight and Tim Black and Jimmy Dore and H. A. Goodman and Jordan Chariton and and …

Again, then who are responsible for these REAL extra-judicial killings? The simple and obvious answer is this: in a war on drugs the “lords” will have to dispense with their liabilities. It’s a no-brainer!

And now there’s a soap opera of a senate hearing involving a so-called witness Mr. Matobato who could not stand even a moment’s cross-examination. He’s telling lies about the president. He may have been a gun-for-hire but certainly he’s making up stories here about the president’s involvement.

For the so-called extra-judicial killings I recommend the videos on the interviews with the Chief of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), Atty. (Dr.) Acosta (<– click for a sample; she starts speaking at video-time 03:29 and this was made around July 2016; she may have had other similar interviews). She explains very well why all accusations by international media against the government regarding this matter are groundless. For the fakeness of the so-called witness, Mr. Matobato, I recommend the videos of the entire senate hearing on this (<– click for a sample; other similar videos are also available; here Senator Cayetano reads the Ombudsman’s findings in January 2016 that the so-called Davao Death Squad (DDS)  does not exist, at video-time 14:30).

I would have gladly provided transcripts for the interviews done in Filipino with accompanying Elglish translations but I have no time as of now. I am urgently trying to finish a major paper regarding one of the statements in the Ten Commandments, of the Hebrew Scriptures ( = Old Testament).

Please, if you are rich and if you have a big heart, in behalf of my country I ask for your help so that the drug addicts can get their rehabilitation centers fast and those who can be saved will be given the attention that they need. President Duterte needs medicines, doctors, psychologists, nutritionists, and nurses, not to mention the food for all these surrenderees. If you can connect to a legitimate Non-Government Organization there, or a religious organization, then they will be happy of your help. Sorry, I do not know any of these and I have no recommendations. But if you can’t trust the organization then DON’T GIVE YOUR MONEY LIGHTLY. I do not actually know if it’s possible for foreign nationals to donate to my government.

The government is now also giving attention to the living conditions of the police officers and soldiers, giving them incentives and raising their salaries above the poverty level so that they will be motivated in going about their duties — this because their lives are at stake every hour, their wives may be widowed and children orphaned any time, what with the drug traffickers and dealers now out of their wits on how to survive this purge against them. As of now the illegal drugs supply to the country has been greatly reduced, about the level of at least 80% reduction, but still there are powerful people who are running desperate on how to cover up their involvement in the over-all drug business. The drug dependents are having a harder life becuase the price of shabu has gone up. If you say that all that I’m saying is fantastic then just look for yourself these information that I myself get from the first-hand sources, the videos that I referred to above being just 2 instances.

If indeed a certain police officer has killed an innocent person then he will be investigated, this is no big matter as it is an SOP, and it does not need the intervention of the UN. If the UN wants to investigate then it should be on where the illegal drug trade originates especially on shabu, from which countries, and who are involved in this. The use of shabu in the US is becoming higher than that of cocaine, so heads-up, UN. If you want to solve the world’s problems then go ahead, do it. Duterte is solving the country’s problems and he has results now. Don’t mess up with his job because he has 700,000 surrenderees to take care of and it’s urgent, plus eradicating the thugs who are using the southern islands as base (and thankfully Indonesia and Malaysia are helping solve this matter).

The government is exploring a railway project that would more efficiently connect the Mindanao areas to each other and to the rest of the country, and I myself am very happy with this because I can soon conveniently visit my friends there anytime I want. The areas of agriculture, public health, and social work are very busy with changes in their paradigms. People are more hopeful because many potentials may now be tapped due to the increasing empowerment of the common person. Hopefully the system of education will finally be geared towards our particular way of looking at things, contextual-existential and at the same time retaining the legacies of our historical learnings from the medieval Spanish-European influence and newly-industrialized-late-1800’s-US-supremacy. We are a democratic nation, after all.

What’s important here is to note that we are not a society of guns. We do not have a culture of wanting to have guns or finding the need of owning guns. Some have licences to own guns but they are only a very small fraction of the population, they do not flaunt this, even children of the family mostly do not know of this, they keep such things secret and well-kept. I do not know about requirements for being allowed to own guns. Such a topic never interested me or any of my many circles of friends. A friend of mine had an air-gun when he was a teen-ager but that was only an episode in his life when he was interested enough in it to buy pellets for it, to practice shooting at plastic canisters at an empty lot beside their house. He hasn’t since used it again; no sense in spending for silly pellets. Some know how to make real guns and they do not have to get a licence to own one, yet still they keep this out of the public’s eye and their neighbors’ knowledge.

We do not have a culture of “taking the law into our own hands” and we do not suspect each other of keeping guns beneath our pillows. A household that owns a gun is a highly unusual and “different” household. If any so-called vigilante does take part in these so-called extra-judicial killings, then a moneyed person who has invested into the illegal drug business must have hired him. Any ordinary Filipino who has no business with this issue will never take it into his or her head to go around taking down criminals — unless he or she is already brain-damaged by drugs! We ordinary and common everyday Filipinos understand what the tall-talk or hyperbole that we hear from the president means: it is for the purpose of scaring criminals and are not supposed to be taken literally. He means to tell them that if they don’t straighten up then the full force of the law will swiftly take care of them. This is the best way that the president can for now efficiently address the culture of impunity among the supposedly trustworthy public officials. If ordinary thugs understand that the president is capable of running after the powerful thugs, then they themselves don’t stand a chance against the law now. (Here’s an amateur video made by young students way back in October 2015 explaining this situation in very simple terms.)

We voted for a government that is of the people and by the people and for the people, and that’s how it is trying to perform its job now. So, please, UN and all other hecklers, investigate factually before you fire your guns because you do not know what you are doing by being rash, judgmental, reckless, irresponsible, and shamefully unprofessionally careless.

May God bless us all. Peace. Thanks for dropping by. Stay healthy 🙂

Please help me check if this quote is really the Buddha’s. Thanx!!

absolutely appalling

I heard the news today.

They destroyed ancient artifacts. Those were not there for the sake of art admiration. Those were not there for the sake of national pride. Those were not there to attract tourists.

Those were mirrors of humanity. Those belonged to the entire phenomenon that is human life. Those were priceless. Nobody deserves to privately own them, any of them. They were kept there, rightfully so, so that humanity does not forget who s/he is.

I join the entire collective civilization regardless of epoch, identity, worldview; I join all who choose life rather than death; I join all who take care of fellow human beings rather than those who only seek personal “salvation”; I join all who celebrate life in the condemnation of the actions that led to the destruction of the Mosul Museum today.

Update 6March2015:





Move, On

Once a long time ago I meditated on the instances of happy and painful relationships, either between lovers or between spouses. In my country divorce is not possible. The main reason is that it’s predominantly Roman Catholic, about 98% of the population. The other reason is the way we look at marriage as a permanent thing. Of course separation of spouses happen, as well as infidelity. But since the norm is marriage then even co-habitation is frowned upon. For many families it can incur ostracization of the young lovers. Parents who have cohabited for a long time do not generally make the set-up known, knowing that it will earn some stigma and will affect the children. If they have caring friends these will encourage them to officiate their union even if it’s only a civil rite. Also, civil rites are not as respectable as a church or a sacerdotal sanctioned ritual.

As part of our public education we would discuss marriage and domestic issues in school. One question that came up was if we are in favor of divorce being legalized. That question was taken by us seriously, us not having been raised in an environment where divorce is an open option. The sound of the word “divorce” is equivalent to that of “disaster”, “failure”, “destruction”, “insecurity”, “shame”, “secret”, “lies”, and even “outcast”. The challenge of even saying anything for it, for just the tiniest bit, was daunting.

I did not care much about the question until one lazy summer afternoon as I was spending my usual dreamy lounging time in my parents’ bedroom, where there’s always wonderful lighting streaming inside from two adjacent walls, I came to suddenly put my thinking into considering under what circumstances would I be found to agree on legalizing divorce. I zeroed in on my only answer: violence. I concluded then that a person cannot be made to stay in a set-up where he or she (in our context it’s she predominantly) is constantly in fear of being hurt. But I also thought about what if one of the spouses falls in love with somebody else. Ah, this was difficult stuff to answer as I haven’t been there myself. I had to consider this angle because it seems to be a popular reason why partners split.

Is it possible for a committed person to fall in love with another not her/his partner? If I were married and it happened to me what would I do? This part I had also answered for myself, which in turn made me conclude that choosing the mate isn’t a joke nor a thing to be taken lightly. It definitely cannot be based on hormones alone, although at that time I, too, knew little about this side of things. But, hey, rhetorics is free for everyone, even for budding snotty-nosed university graduates.

spring deer

1 Corinthians 13      (click to enlarge)

Of course it’s possible to fall in love with anyone anytime. What kind of question is this in the first place? Is it even a valid question at all? Are emotions and attraction things that can be channeled the way arguments can be tiered one after the other? Is there even a fool-proof theory about loving? I mean, if God is Love, then how does one deal with this phenomenon? All peoples have their own ways of talking about this phenomenon, and does one group of people or language or worldview define the entire humanity, then and now?

For a “love” between two persons who can’t take it to the socially accepted commitment status, like for instance in my country having it labeled as bigamy, which is illegal, then how could this “love” be handled? “If I were married and it happened to me what would I do?” I guess I have to decide and move on. But since I haven’t been married and so have not been initiated into this level of existence, I will not presume that I know anything about it. Therefore, I can’t openly say here anything by way of response to it. Theoretical musings is fine but I would rather show respect to the real circumstance experienced by real people who can’t even start to find words to deal with it, not even in their own private thoughts.

But what if a married man makes me feel loved and I found it honest and genuine and non-restricting, what do I do?

Certainly not go out on a date with him. Certainly not encourage the flirtation. Cetainly not fan my vanity into a blazing ember. Am I nuts? The guy is married. He has committed himself to something that excludes anything else at par with it. As one of my favorite shows would say, “Wake up and smell the coffee.”

But what if I, too, have started to love him? Ah, then that’s another story. To smell the coffee I think I would first and foremost honor his honesty and courage in making me aware of his care for me. I mean, who am I to reject such a wonderful gift? It’s “love” after all, it’s something unfathomable. It’s from God. It’s God’s language.

Then I would refrain from asking too many questions. I won’t even ask questions at all. I would nip all questions in the bud. Here Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle applies: defining an electron’s state alters its state. I will refrain from putting my finger on anything in order to pin it down, they be descriptions, qualifications, quantifications of this “love”. Any attempt to pin it down, in this context, will result into a failure. Defining it will destroy it. Getting hold of it will cause its demise. I would leave things as they are, without defining them — be they concepts, words, situations. They will not be turned this way and that for closer examination. They will be left as a blur and will not be designated into compartments or categories. Their rawness will be respected. That way they will not be suffocated, robbed of air, and fester for the lack of it.

As this “love” is there, then what could be done with it? Why, celebrate it, of course. It is not “forbidden”, for goodness’ sake. Love is free, is encouraged, is induced, is given, is spread out, is scattered. The world has been constantly suffering because love has been twisted and restricted and deformed and castigated. But since, in the context I’m talking about here, it’s in an instance where care has to be exercised on its behalf, then I would suggest to take this “love” into another plane of existence. It cannot be insisted on the same plane where it will foster suffering, because that’s not its purpose. Love is something that affirms our humanity, it is a life-giving phenomenon, and hence it does not belong to the arena of suffering. Don’t ask me more about how I speak of it here because, my dear, words are not adequate to speak of this phenomenon in this angle.

So maybe I’d say I’d let this love dwell with the clouds, let it float on the calmest of ocean surfaces, let it flit with the wind among the many branches of as many trees that greet me on my way to wherever everyday, let the leaves’ rustle talk of it to me. Let my echoed footsteps be chants of meditation on it. Silent. Abiding. Subdued. Sometimes even forgotten for a while but certainly there, accompanying me, holding on to the tips of my hair as the breeze blows imperceptible strands here and there, sometimes.

So I won’t conjure physical manifestations of it. “Fantasies” and “possibilities” are words not even entertained. I will not “insist” it; will not “force” it into “fruition”; will not “fight” for it — these avenues does not belong to “love”. Read 1 Corinthians 13. This is the only way I can show respect to my emotions, by not straining it with emptiness, not feeding it with conjectures the probabilities of which approach zero. This, too, is the way I could love my self in this context, and so lift my self up from the plane of senselessness.

It was a poem by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) that prompted me on this reflection. Here it is:

I cannot live with you,
It would be life,
And life is over there
Behind the shelf

The sexton keeps the key to,
Putting up
Our life, his porcelain,
Like a cup

Discarded of the housewife,
Quaint or broken;
A newer Sevres pleases,
Old ones crack.

I could not die with you,
For one must wait
To shut the other’s gaze down,
You could not.

And I, could I stand by
And see you freeze,
Without my right of frost,
Death’s privilege?

Nor could I rise with you,
Because your face
Would put out Jesus’,
That new grace

Glow plain and foreign
On my homesick eye,
Except that you, than he
Shone closer by.

They’d judge us-how?
For you served Heaven, you know,
Or sought to;
I could not,

Because you saturated sight,
And I had no more eyes
For sordid excellence
As Paradise.

And were you lost, I would be,
Though my name
Rang loudest
On the heavenly fame.

And were you saved,
And I condemned to be
Where you were not,
That self were hell to me.

So we must keep apart,
You there, I here,
With just the door ajar
That oceans are,
And prayer,
And that pale sustenance,

There’s an explanation of it here:


I also wanted to explore what I could say in resonance to it, from a different context.

So, I’d say, “I love you, and I must pick my self up from here and carry on, as well as I can possibly do. This is the only way I can show God, and you, how much I honor and value Him, and you.”

I hope that the way I spoke of it isn’t as sad-sounding as Dickinson’s expression here, of her love. Here’s another of her poems, an encouraging sounding one that I copied from http://www.shortpoems.org/emily_dickinson/

Have the best of days, everyone! 🙂

You Will Always Be Loved

There are things that can never be fathomed; but ….

There is One who does this the best way possible. His love is unconditional.

If there’s someone in this world that you love like the freshness of mornings then let the person know of it, in your own way, in the way that God will show you from there, deep in you, where His river of life flows.

…also in memory of Mr. Robin Williams, one who has deeply moved me more so now in his passing away. May he find peace in God’s tender care at last.

My Journey to Non-Nationality

When I first came to Fangorn I didn’t know what kind of folks Fangornians are. Though I could have consulted the web or the prints still there simply was no time to even think about doing so. At that time I had to function like a crazed morph, having to sprout extra limbs and cerebral lobes. I had to prepare for the take off yet my feet was at a work place that screamed for organization. I’ve been alone on the road plodding for decades already and I’ve built a facade so camouflaged that my family and so-called friends couldn’t see how my internal gauges have been showing erratic fluctuations.

I even told an elder that I just came from shingles and he thought I was telling him that I’m single. If it wasn’t for my semi-‘conservative’ friend Netz I could have gone vegetable over those viral remnants of childhood chicken pox. The presence of persons such as Netz in my life make me think twice about labelling either my own self or other people.

Whether a person is from my gene pool or not the laws of biology and psychology are the same.

When I first came to Fangorn I was not so wistful of my different gene pool nor was I apprehensive of faces that I used to see only on screen. I was actually busy trying to figure out how the heck could I stay standing on the pavement without my brains freezing out before the coziness of the bus comes. I was preoccupied trying to figure out if the room lighting’s luminousity is up to my system’s survival threshold. I was foraging for sources of nourishment, the ones that would make my stomach aware that I have already put some into it.

Later, after having seen for myself that I could survive here, my brain started to grow out calmer dendrites. I started reflecting outside the context of immediate survival. I explored new turf.

I looked at the Fangornians. I couldn’t see much. That was a culture shock that I had seen coming. Even until today I still couldn’t see of them as much as I wanted to although a few have already welcomed me into their homes. I looked at the Flip-Flops. I saw more than I expected. I looked at the Zirconians as well as my fellow Zaps. Then I looked at the entire pulsating planet.

Ipensive contemplative reflective meditative thoughtful arrived at the conclusion that it is greed that has to do with all our woes. But when I talked about this to my classmate Moira he said that he thinks greed isn’t inherent in us humans, but that it’s a function of the environment. We’ve been brought up, he told me, to be greedy.

I still have to take the time to reflect on that. I have to look at original-sin side by side with tabula-rasa, too. I honestly don’t know from which angle to approach the topic with new eyes. I may have to go back to Moira, to pick up where we left it off because we had ran out of walking space.

In this picture are my new friends JDG, RK, and TCD.

Since two years ago when JDG heard me call a colleague “manong” (older brother) he told me that he, too, was my manong. So I started to call him that using the equivalent word in his mother speech, orabeoni. We started to relate to each other more freely than before but calling him manong didn’t take our friendship into a quantum leap, to that manong level. So I think next time I see him it would be more appopriate to substitute “sunbaenim” (respected senior) for orabeoni. I sense old and newly erected fences, all invisible to me, around which I should maneuver and in which in the end I’d possibly be left with a bye-bye to a friendship that could have been really great.

Shikataganai. East Zapians are of a machismo worldview and even fellow Zapians can’t do anything about that, lowering the gaze and clipping the arms by their sides upon meeting the so-called strong ones. But it is the East Zapians who taught me to reflect on loyalty and steadfastness, on endurance and single-mindedness. On appreciating the fullness of silence. Just as Treebeard said I shoudn’t be hasty at my conclusions.

Again, on the picture are RK and TCD, who are Zirconians. When I first came to Fangorn and was just learning to walk on snow, mustering the fear of my feet being singed through the soles of my shoes, I had thought of how to get out of the thinking that Zirconians, collectively, are responsible for the many woes of the Flip-Flops and of the pulsating planet. The peaceable consequence that I reached at was that whoever was responsible for the mess should be the one to clean it up. Whoever tipped the balance must do something to restore it.

thoughtful CNI needed to see at least one Zirconian who was exactly doing this, innocently and with integrity, without even being aware that there are Flips who think the way I do. Honestly I am vaguely aware that there are many Flips out there who echo my sentiments but that they are faceless to me. I do not personally know of one, and thought trains like these are, well, what can I say, camouflaged among thick forest undergrowths.

Not long after I met CN, a huge Zirconian with clear shining eyes. He and his friends have an ongoing program for ending world hunger. It’s a blatantly naive and gigantic ambition. It’s hopelessly lovable. He has tried to describe how the church could be functioning in our present context.

Like RK he has tried to talk in terms that would welcome anyone who’s eager to participate. Many would call it a post-modern paradigm, similar to several, both named and yet obscure, that are groping in the unchartered multiple-contexts we now find ourselves bewildered in.clear brilliant eyes

Now I know that I shouldn’t take Zirconians as a “people”, a generalized collective, but as “persons”, one individual at a time. There are Zirconians who, like RK and CN, are neither threatened nor limited by labeling.

Back home there was a Fangornian with whom I’d started to befriend. Of the extremely short time I spent with her I was able to ask her of whom did she thought we women should be modelling ourselves after. Her answer was startling to me then: after no-one. It is only now that I’m starting to understand her. It is only now that I’m starting to she what she meant when she said that first and foremost it is my own individuality that I must be looking out for.

As per the conversation I had with Moira, about greed, I tried to put it into a logical diagram and see what I can come up with:

Venn 1 & 2_greedy, people

Without bothering with defining the Universal Set, these four Venn diagrams show the possible relationships between all people and all greedy entities. My musings led me nearer to the idea pictured by Figure 4. Moira’s counter-arguments tend towards Figure 1, although not as how things are but rather as a starting point, when conditioning is taken out of the picture. Moira seemed to be telling me that humans do not have greediness as a necessary attribute, although he did say that he’d be needing all the evidences that he can get his hands on before being sure of this.

Venn 3 & 4_greedy, peopleFor me I just based my conclusion (Moira did tease me, that I have “concluded” already) on the historical events. Empires rising and falling. Countries getting richer and poorer. Parents in a frenzy about giving the A-class education to their children. Young professionals eager to show off the brands of their possessions. I have wanted to look into the machinery that fuels the global dynamics and if I start at the grass roots, at the level of an individual’s needs and wants, then I would pinpoint to the human’s propensity to get hold onto and retain something, incorporate it into the personal space. Of course some can readily recognize when the level of this “acquisition process” is becoming toxic and so it is readily called off. Bastante. This situation may be pictured by either Figure 2 or 3, above. Not everyone is helpless against greediness.

Still there’s something about my Venn diagrams that bother me. I’d like to replace “people”, a faceless mass, with “persons” — attributing now the sense of responsibility to individuals. Yet either way something still doesn’t quite fit. I feel like I’m figuring things out by ossifying phenomena with labels. It’s the same dynamics as when I talk of Fangonians, Zirconians, Zaps, and Flips as groups. Not all Zirconians are alike and I have yet to find a Flip who resonates in my frequency. Perhaps I never will. TCDTCD, a Zirconian whose personaliy I would zig-zag away from back home (chatty, readily friendly, flashy smile) surprisingly has become the first Zirconian I can relate to with ease, without being conscious of the cerebral gap. Because of him, CN, and RK, I now have little use of the label “Zircon”.

I had a Rilkan penfriend for eight years. I’m looking for her whereabouts now and I’m sure she does think of me sometimes. But, alas, we both cannot be found among the social media websites. I had a Shtoi dormmate. Her brother became my student and so we three have become friends. I will search for her home address among my files so that when I go to their country I will be able to visit them, as she invited me to. Now I have Moira a Milesian, and Benga a Huzz. We call ourselves “the three idiots” after that hilarious but enlightening Indian movie. There’s Peth the Fangornian lady back home, happily married to a fellow Flip of whom I am more at awe than friendly.

These non-Flips became friends because we related with expressions that connected persons, not peoples. We did not pre-define each other. We didn’t bring labels into our relationships. We simply faced each other, talked openly, and became one human being to another human being.

I had thought that it is only the word “race” that we should be doing away with. Now there’s national-classification as well. A wo/man’s context does not ‘define’ her/him. Honesty, trust, and thankfulness speak in a language that have nothing to do with culture, nationality, or genes.

Benga & Moira

Benga & Moira

Many Zirconians will continue to be jerks. Many Flips will continue to be clueless. Many Zaps will continue to be mesmerized by anything Zirconian or Deltan. Many Fangornians will remain cold and rude. This, however, is not the only lens with which to view humanity. Any human can equally be a jerk, clueless, impressionable, cold, or rude.

For purposes of conversations Moira and I could still use the Venn diagrams but now it has become clearer to me how all persons are configured by the tracks that they had to run on. Each landmark we pass by morphs us. Had I not found myself abruptly shoved into Fangorn I wouldn’t have started to trust a Zirconian for a long time yet. I relate to TCD as TCD, as himself, and not as someone with a Zircon-labeling.

Now I’m happier.

The Term “Cruel” and Its Derivatives in “Tarzan of the Apes”

(Update July 30, 2021. At last, I got it looking better. I did not want to delete the original post, still shown beneath, right below the paper’s now edited CONCLUSION. Yepper, I sure did edit the featured paper! You can download a PDF copy of it here. So, it is an edited work, not the original one, but I think my professor would have seen it as an improvement. I submitted it to my university here in Philippines in 2019, but I haven’t heard anything regarding it ever since. So, rather than let it just die out, I’m giving it out to the world, for anyone who might have good use for it. You may simply use the blog post’s permalink as the web-source, https://sacadalang.com/2014/06/12/cruel-in-tarzan-of-the-apes/

Thanks. Cheers and blessings!!

Here now is the CONCLUSION, from my paper’s page 16:

CONCLUSION (of the paper, “Tracing Cruelty in Tarzan of the Apes” by Mona Lisa Siacor). Edited July 30, 2021.

Cruel and its derivatives are used in describing all characters or their actions in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novel Tarzan of the Apes. They are used to state that Tarzan has no cruelty inherent in him. They are used in describing objects that are inanimate, or most of the time even when no concurrent action is present to qualify as cruel. The Whites, especially the Porter group, see the jungle as threatening the most, attributing cruelty to it even when there is no concurrent action. However, where actions are concurrent to the usage, the Porter group is more responsible for cruelty than any other character group in the novel. In most these instances it is one of them who is being cruel to another of their member, by the use of words. Significantly, almost all of the cruel terms are not essential at all in building up the meaning of the phrase where the term is found, within the novel’s narrative.

Using many cruel or violence related terms to describe the jungle and its inhabitants contradicts Tarzan’s perception that his jungle home is peaceful (Burroughs, 1914  217; ch. 17). Tarzan excuses the jungle’s violence as a way of life, as a matter of survival. Usually he kills dispassionately, but sometimes for pleasure (Burroughs, 1914  117,118; ch. 10). D’ Arnot lauds Tarzan’s survival. He tells him, “it is mind, and not muscle, that makes the human animal greater than the mighty beasts of your jungle… Otherwise, …how long would you have lasted in the savage wilderness?” (Burroughs, 1914  324: ch. 25). All jungle inhabitants are Tarzan’s enemies except his ape tribe and Tantor (Burroughs, 1914  103; ch. 9). This is reflected in the many times cruel is directed from the jungle inhabitants to Tarzan. The jungle is peaceful for Tarzan and he is “lord” of himself and of his world, as Burroughs puts it (“Tarzan Theme”), because with his “mind” and physical prowess he is able to subdue threats against him. Only Tantor is not afraid of him (Burroughs, 1914  48, 59; ch. 4, 5).

Outside the jungle the facility of the word is important. Civilization uses words the way Tarzan uses his mind and his strength to subdue threats. In civilization, the “greatest” are those with the best minds such as the novel’s characters Prof. Porter and the Claytons, who are intelligent and are good with words (Burroughs, 1914  9, 83, 194; ch. 1, 7, 16 ). Prof. Porter and Cecil Clayton are the only characters in the novel who inflict cruelty using words. In the preliminaries, John Clayton (Tarzan’s father, Lord Greystoke) as well had earlier dismissed the ship Fuwalda’s captain with “you are something of an ass” (Burroughs, 1914  18; ch. 1).

The jungle “beasts” are man’s enemies, says D’ Arnot (Burroughs, 1914  324: ch. 25). In the face of this, civilized man’s recourse is to subdue the jungle in the eyes of civilization by using words, which is the case with the novel Tarzan of the Apes. Albeit in reality, the jungle and its inhabitants are impervious to words. In Tarzan of the Apes, it is only in words that the jungle is cruel to civilized man—though this assertion itself is false even within the novel, based on the findings above. This may be seen, therefore, as a case of demonizing an imaginary enemy through propaganda. But since Burroughs’ aim was simply to sell a story, in which he was indeed very successful, then looking into propaganda as a matter of popular consumption, so to say, is another consideration.

(Here now was the original blog post: )

🙂 Hi!

I made a term paper in class and when the professor handed it back with a heart-warming grade I asked him if it was okay to share it online. He said yes! So here it is. Why? Because I spent energy on it and now that I got a grade for it I felt bad that its use ends up just there. I made it to pass, yes, but it was only me and my teacher who got to read it, so, what the heck. Better let it out and be done with it. I hope you can appreciate the way I made it, at how crazily easy and difficult it is at the same time.

Tarzan of the Apes in All Story 1912

The cover of the magazine that let out the first Tarzan story into the world, in 1912. The picture was copied from: http://pdsh.wikia.com/wiki/Tarzan

I had to edit the format before uploading because the tables musn’t be cut at the wrong places. It has lots of tables. So that’s the difficult part. Attention has to be given to the descriptions that accompany each table that appears, one after the other. Attention has to be given to the placements of elements inside the tables, within rows and columns alike. Otherwise, it’s all just a bunch of jumbled gibberish. Honestly, I really found myself laughing at my work for a long time 😀

The easy part, eh?, was that since I couldn’t come up with how to say things nicely after months of reading about Tarzan and his world both in and outside the book I decided instead to find a pattern within the product itself, the finished sold-like-hotcake novel that turned Edgar Rice Burroughs into an instant sensation. The idea came to me while I was noticing that many words alluding to cruelty keep appearing one after the other as I turn the pages. It became a sort of a game to me, wanting to find out if I could distill something out of the prolific appearances of such nasty words in such an innocent-sounding story. Yosh! I was on my way. I felt that it was the cleanest way I could do the requirement without getting bogged down in the arguments for or against this and that, not the least being what kind of guy and gal Tarzan and Jane are. The arguments touch on psychology, history, sociology, literary criticism (which I don’t know much on!)… the works.

Papers are among the craziest things in the world. That’s a personal opinion 🙂 and you can argue ’til you’re blue with me all I’ll give out is an I-don’t-know-anything chuckle.

So do I like Tarzan? I used to, but not anymore. However, both that question and that answer may first have to be verified as to which particular Tarzan is being asked of and which particular Tarzan did I like. Anyway, the Tarzan of the apes is a caricature of a wish that originated from a context that won’t get a vote from me. That Tarzan’s outside-the-book world was a time when discrimination was a respected norm.

Needless to say I learned much from and through my readings on Tarzan, many of which were not used in this paper. However, those are the more important ones. 🙂 My teacher’s parting comment was that the presentation was nicely put up but I should have written more on the conclusion. I agreed with him, too, but at that time I was already fed up with so much thinking about Tarzan, day in and out, that I was simply relieved to have wrapped up fast and get the load off my hands 😛