Entering my Lola’s House

It’s been years since I’ve visited my ancestral home at Tomas Mascardo Street. I had lived there as a little boy and now I’m finally returning as one. Things look so different with her now making me feel more like an intruder than her favorite son. Yes, time the barbarian has mercilessly drawn the scars of pillage on her face, yet she still carries that dignified gaze of a captured queen. But lo’ she is quiet now…resigned to her fate it seems. There is no barking to be heard even as I fumble to reach for that creaky gate lock from the back. Bandit, the dog who protected me as a child as I played with my toy soldiers under that big guava tree on her backyard, Bandit, who licked my knees after scraping them against her pebblewashed floor is nowhere to be found. Just a silent breezy welcome…a blank stare, a cold embrace. The warm sound of laughter of those who once cared for me now cruelly replaced by some distant muffled videoke singing…staccatos of joy that can only be heard not felt. Inside as I enter I can only see darkness and sadness mixed with fond memories. Memories, yes memories…the only thing I have now…the only thing I can play with, like those little toy soldiers under that big guava tree. Suddenly the gate slowly whines as it closes outside. It is fine I tell myself…it is well.

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Central Anarchy

Another stinking cadaver has been dragged out from the closet of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The massacre of 46 innocent civilians by the monsters she created clearly shows how Arroyo truly sold the soul of our country to the devil by exchanging sovereignty for power and control. The Ampatuans apparently have been given free reign over Maguindanao in exchange for the overwhelming support given to her

Philippine Massacre

Philippine Gestapo's Artwork

through vote rigging and strong-arming during past elections.

The vicious crime perpetrated last Monday made the Abu Sayaff look like frat boy tweeners. It has brought our country international shame and stigma as the worse country for journalists. It’s even being labeled as the worse mass killing of journalists in history. Hitler, Pol Pot and Stalin must be growling in envy down at their 666 Hades St corner Beelzebub condominium. As it is written in Mark 3:27 of the King James Version of the good ol’ Christian Bible: “No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house”. How soooo true and relevant is this verse to our case! Just makes you wonder who really is the strongman now huh? Ever wondered what happened to GMA’s slogan “Strong Republic”? Isn’t it the same statement proudly molded on your plate number and on every plate number of the vehicles of the lawyers, media men and pregnant women who were slaughtered and raped by Gloria’s Ampatuan Gestapo? As worthless a slogan it is, Its seducing a thought enough to gather all these plate numbers and melt them then mold them into bullets then use them on all concerned.

 

Patron Saint of Philippine Politics

I ran into post about a little known Philippine incorruptible and unrecognized local Saint named Sta. Filomena (Check out the interesting post at FILIPNO eSCRIBBLES on my blogroll) A prayerful young lady who died in her 20’s, she was buried and was found totally preserved when exhumed. Apparently more interesting is the claim that even her eyes

incorruptible

An Incorruptible

were found untouched by decay. Sta. Filomena, already considered an unofficial Saint by many in Binan Laguna and is highly revered due to the many claimed miracles already attributed to her intercession. Unfortunately though the Catholic church has not progressed on canonization many believe to be due to the fact that she is now under the auspices of the Iglesia Filipina Indipendiente or the Aglipayans. The IFI, if you’ve read our history separated from Vatican control to pursue a more nationalistic approach to religion.

It’s sad enough how politics sometimes gets mingled with religion but  it’s even sadder when crime becomes part of it. Case in point: Jesus Malverde aka the Mexican Patron Saint of Narcotics. Yep you’ve got it

Jesus Malverde

Santo Jesus Malverde

right, our cultural cousins in South America have their own Patron Saint for selling mind poppers. Apparently Santo Jesus Malverde in one form or another can be found in the possesion of most South American drug pedlers from the mansion of  Don Joaquin “Shorty” Guzman  in Sinaloa to the little twig hut of Uncle Hector down in Tijuana. St. Malverde is said to protect and bless not only drug barons and pushers but narco-politicians as well (Check out the funny resemblance to a former president…mustache and cowboy hat and all). He is also said to be floating out there keeping an ever-watchful eye out for the poor and the oppressed. 

Mexico and the Philippines are married by vitue of religion, culture, trade and some would even argue in terms of psychology. Raised by Mother Spain, both countries inherited the Latin machismo attitude and the short fuse that comes with it. Tutored by the Catholic faith, Mexicans and Filipinos enjoy similar religious practices and dabble  and enjoy in familiar customs and superstitions. Similar economic situations force populations to immigrate or work abroad to survive. Mahathir of Malaysia was once quoted saying that Filipinos are actually not Asians but rather misplaced South Americans. I must confess that I tend to subscribe to this point of view. Now with a tequila in my right hand and a burrito on my left, I can’t help but wonder if our local politicians deserve to have their own Saint to call out to…or maybe they already have. Some say the sacred name to mutter would be Santo Mike de la Malacanang others claim to petition directly to Santa Gloria de Lubao. Although I highly doubt if they would make it as incorruptibles 🙂

Sympathetic Magic

I just read an article on Bon Beliefs about emotions. What I found quite compelling was how they understood and treated human feelings like love & hate. But before going there, I’d like to give you a quick runabout on what Bon is. Today Bon is commonly associated with Tibetan Buddhism. This may be due to similar traditional practices and cultural aesthetics but Tibetan scholars and records claim that the Bon Spiritual tradition Sympathetic Magicactually pre-dated Buddhism by a thousand years. Some say that Bon actually originated from Iran sprouting from the fertile mind of an obscure fellow named Shenrab before he decided to do a quick stroll to Tibet. Given the history, we could logically say that Bon is uniquely separate from Buddhism in terms of origin but through the years became similar due to philosophical and cultural coitus. Like a longtime couple who broke-up, Bon and Buddhism retained both similarities and animosities they shared through the years. One particular issue is the Buddhist contention on the aspect of Shenrab’s enlightenment status. Their argument is simple: Buddha is enlightened while Shenrab is not. My personal comment is simple as well…”Show me someone who can freak’n prove it.” Will the real illuminated one please stand up? After 4000 years can anyone really tell?

Going back to subject…love, hate and other emotions according to Bon are treated as persons or external forces not as innate human emotions. Baffled? I won’t blame you. I was confused as a seahorse in the mating season when I first read about it. To make things simpler, try this…imagine enjoying an afternoon tea in your room called life. Suddenly someone rings the doorbell, you put the tea away and hesitantly stand up. You wonder who the hell it could be knocking on your door this late in the day. As far as you know you haven’t bumped into any Mormon Brethren or Jehovah’s Witnesses lately. In a vain effort to shoo the unwanted visitor away, you shyly shout “If you’re selling Bibles…I already got one!’” But nobody answers…Annoyingly, you make your way to the door. You gently turn the knob half hoping to see an Avon lady…the door creaks open…there’s nobody there. You look to the left then to the right…not a soul. Your mind gives you a nudge to look down and to your surprise you find a little creature…the kind with big fluffy ears… one with dough eyes…a cute member of the K-9 species…a beagle breed of some sort. Worse of all it has a sign hanging from its neck saying “adopt me please”.

Now you find yourself in a conundrum. Will you keep the mutt? Or will you just shoo or shoot the animal and close the door? Never had a harder choice since the 3rd grade didn’t ya? As innocent and simple a choice it may seem, it’s just the same thing when it comes to emotions. Anger or in this analogy…Love as the beagle might more appropriately symbolize is nothing more than an intruder or a guest depending on how you see it. Emotions according to Bon don’t emanate from you as most western religions and philosophies suggest…therefore you don’t have to carry the guilt of expressing them when they visit you. All you can do is manage them at the door after opening it or deal with them as a visitor after deciding to let them in. At the end it all boils down to choice and management when living with the consequences…without the guilt of course. That’s why I keep my door shut closed, double locked with an external security camera installed…specially at night when crows and monsters abound. Though sometimes I forget to close the windows…where mice and spiders tip toe and crawl in. But what the heck…an occasional afternoon tea time guest won’t hurt you after all…well…sometimes.

Arbeit macht frei

I felt like a concentration camp inmate yesterday. Slowly dragging the whole Sunday from twelve  in the afternoon till Nine in the evening doing stuff for the bosses. With my laptop and Powerpoint decks as substitute for ball and chains, I slowly Arbeit macht freitrudged  the lonely hill of data dumps and graphs till just before i wrote this dying worker’s brain fart. Leaden-eyed and with my mental sinews flaccid, i faintly remembered the camp motto on all the labor camps that jolly ol’ Adolph  had installed on all the gates welcoming those to be gassed: Arbeit macht frei (Work makes one free). Funny but I seem to agree. Work drowns away the pain of time and senselessness. It puts things into perspective just like a poor man’s Prozac to life’s depressions…it brings about a semblance of purpose and order. It takes away  the feeling from the fact that you are about to be burned to a feathery grey chaff of an existence. I guess atleast the architects of the gas chambers got it right on that point.