February 25, 2006

I Say 1081, You Say 1017

Now boys and girls, can you spot the difference??

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested upon me by Article VII, Section 10, Paragraph ('2) of the Constitution, do hereby place the entire Philippines as defined in Article I, Section 1 of the Constitution under martial law and, in my capacity as their commander-in-chief, do hereby command the armed forces of the Philippines, to maintain law and order throughout the Philippines, prevent or suppress all forms of lawless violence as well as any act of insurrection or rebellion and to enforce obedience to all the laws and decrees, orders and regulations promulgated by me personally or upon my direction.

NOW, THEREFORE, I Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President of the Republic of the Philippines and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested upon me by Section 18, Article 7 of the Philippine Constitution which states that: “ The President…whenever it becomes necessary,…may call out (the) armed forces to prevent or suppress…rebellion…, “ and in my capacity as their Commander-in-Chief, do hereby command the Armed Forces of the Philippines, to maintain law and order throughout the Philippines, prevent or suppress all forms of lawless violence as well any act of insurrection or rebellion and to enforce obedience to all the laws and to all decrees, orders and regulations promulgated by me personally or upon my direction; and as provided in Section 17, Article 12 of the Constitution do hereby declare a State of National Emergency.

February 19, 2006

Poems of Angela Manalang Gloria

Through life, I have never been a poem-lover so to speak. The only ones I've appreciated are those by authors who wrote classical and lyrical poems- the ones that are strict with the meters, the rhymes and so forth. I enjoy my poems structured, because it represent order and talent. It's like comparing Picasso and Rembrandt on the merits of their technical acumen to which I am biased towards the latter. My only idols in this genre are: Edgar Allan Poe, Rudyard Kipling, and Jose Rizal. Now, I shall add to the list the illustrious Angela Manalang Gloria (1915 - 1996).

Her poems are almost song-like but full of wit and wisdom. Since she was a feminist during the colonial years, her works are centered mostly from a woman's point of view. Even that is such the case, her talent resonates in everyone who reads them. Her biography can be read here in PinoyLit.

I have collected her hard-to-come-by poems floating in the net because hers are quite rare to find. She has only published one book called Poems (1940) and it's out of stock. So, sit back and enjoy some of her better known ouerves.

Old Maid Walking on a City Street* (1950)

She had a way of walking through concupiscence
And past the graces her fingers never twirled:
Because her mind refused the heavy burden,
Her broad feet shovelled up the world.

Querida* (1940)

The door is closed, the curtains drawn within
One room, a brilliant question mark of light...
Outside her gate an empty limousine
Waits in the brimming emptiness of night.

Revolt From Hymen** (1940)

O to be free at last, to sleep at last
As infants sleep within the womb of rest!

To stir and stirring find no blackness vast
With passion weighted down upon the breast,

To turn the face this way and that and feel
No kisses festering on it like sores,

To be alone at last, broken the seal
That marks the flesh no better than a whore's!

Any Woman Speaks*** (1940)

Half of the world's true glamour
Is held--you know by whom?
Not by the gilt Four Hundred
Parading in perfume,

Nor by the silvered meteors
That light the celluloid sky--
But by these eyes that called you,
Blind fool who passed me by!

Ermita in the Rain*** (1940)

It is not the rain that wanly
Sobs its tale across the bay,
Not the sobs of lone acacias
Trembling darkly in the gray,

Not the groans of harried breakers
Flinging tatters on the shore,
But the phantom of your voice that
Stays me dreaming at my door.

Soledad*** (1940)

It was a sacrilege, the neighbors cried,
The way she shattered every mullioned pane
To let a firebrand in. They tried in vain
To understand how one so carved from pride
And glassed in dream could have so flung aside
Her graven days, or why she dared profane
The bread and wine of life for some insane
Moment with him. The scandal never died.

But no one guessed that loveliness would claim
Her soul's cathedral burned by his desires
Or that he left her aureoled in flame…
And seeing nothing but her blackened spires,
The town condemned this girl who loved too well
and found her heaven in the depths of hell.

Words*** (1940)

I never meant the words I said,
So trouble not your honest head
And never mean the words I write,
But come and kiss me now goodnight.

The words I said break with the thunder
Of billows surging into spray:
Unfathomed depths withhold the wonder
Of all the words I never say.

Cementerio del Norte****
To the memory of Consuelo

And so, it all must come to this—a dying afternoon,
Thin cerements of rain around the forlorn ghost of weeping,
White tombs so desolately splendid, a priestly monotone
Drifting in sacramental grace, and then—the final sleeping.

What else is there to say? (The last word has been said too soon
For you and all the golden hopes once minted for your keeping)
White tombs so desolately splendid, bone unto alien bone,
What else is there to say, now that the sleepless dead are sleeping?

* Missives from the Teacher
Babaylan Speaks
Best Philippine Short Stories Index

February 06, 2006

Word of the Day: Wowowee

Wowowee: /ooa'ooa'ooee!!!/
verb. To incur undue physical injury due to greed and desperation.

1. Tuloy na-wowowee ang mga tumakas na mga snatchers nang masagasaan sila ng jeep.
2. Si Congressman Sipsip ay winowowee ng kanyang querida pagkatapos niya sinara ang joint bank account nito.
3. Sana makikita mo magwowoweehan ang mga contestants sa Pinoy Big Brother 2.

February 05, 2006

What's Up Mohammed?

From the Study of Revenge Blog

When the Danish newspaper, Jyllands Posten, published the 12 caricatures satirizing the prophet Mohammed, it unleashed an unbridled fury over the Muslim world condemning the Danish blasphemy. The reason why they published it is because they wanted artists to show that they don't have to be afraid in illustrating sensitive Islamic themes like Allah and Mohammed. Norwegian, French, German, and Spanish newspapers followed suit and reprinted the or or two of the caricatures sparking a domino effect of hate across the Middle East. Of course, the Danes took the brunt.

The European alliance of journalists rallied around their kin proclaiming that secular and democratic societies (like Denmark) have freedom of expression and according to a German newspaper, "the right to blaspheme". While it is true that western journalists bank on this statute, they did not foresee the backlash their cartoons would unleash. They should have been more circumspect and sensitive to Muslim sentiments because they're targeting a people whose religion has been fanaticized and radicalized into Medieval zealotry.

And do Muslim zealots, moderate or extreme, respect "all" forms of free expression? No. They are acutely sensitive towards Western criticism and anything that ridicules them, they immediately give a knee-jerk reaction. And criticizing Mohammed may have been their "Jollibee" (see preceding entry) of some sort. If the Danes caricatured the Pope or Jesus, can we expect people joining rallies? No. It's because the enlightened West has separated the issue between Church and State, and has the wisdom to protect the rights of man. L' Droit d' Homme! However, if one goes to repressive states such as Saudi Arabia where women are treated a little better than cattle, how can we expect them to respect the freedom of the press, much less the freedom of self-expression? It's only natural to see such mobocratic rhetorics inciting to jihad to come from repressed rogue countries. The Europeans should have known better.

What I find disturbing is the fact that the current Islamic interpretation of the Quran "espouses" violence and annihilation as a form of retaliation towards any religious criticism. It is all an "appeal to force" as the fallacy of Ad Baculum would say. With such a Muslim line of argument, how can one then, diplomatically rebut? I'm not sure if words would be enough in quelling the anger of the insulted. And Denmark and Norway have already apologized (reluctantly) for their actions but still, the rage goes on.

The contention here being that it is supposedly blasphemous to depict Allah and his prophet in any form of illustration because it will lead them to idolatry. Huh??? They why don't they look at their own historical manuscripts again and see how the Persians and the Ottomans have handily drawn Mohammed. Why was there no complaint over them? Then why don't they burn them first before rallying against the West? It smells a bit of double-standard, don't you think?

Borrowed from Mohammed Image Archive

In the name of Allah the merciful, can we just get along?