the gapanese invasion is nigh!

"pinakamaganda ka nga sa buong kapuluan, pero latina na naman ang magwawagi ng korona at sash sa miss world! racism ba ito? lupasay!"

Saturday, May 30, 2009

sining bilang produkto ng karanasan

Produkto ng karanasan ang sining, dahil mahalagang maisakatuparan ang anumang imahinasyon sa pamamagitan ng pagsasakatotohanan nito. Pansining ginamit ang salitang “imahinasyon” para katawanin ang anumang bungang-isip, dahil sa katunayan, ang sining ay ang pagtatagpo ng bisyon at reyalidad. Hindi basta kung anong kaisipan lang ang pinagsisimulan ng sining; marapat itong tumugma sa kahulugan ng imahinasyon bilang kalipunan ng mga imaheng nabubuo mula sa iba’t ibang pandama. Kung walang persepyon ng mga imaheng nakikita, nalalasahan, nahihipo, naririnig o naaamoy, paano magiging malikhain ang sining?
Ngunit hindi puno at dulo ng sining ang malikhaing imahinasyon. Maaaring sa isip ng isang tao ay samu’t sari ang mga imahen, pero nararapat na lapatin ang mga imaheng ito sa katotohanan upang makabuo ng isang likhang-sining. Samakatwid, ito na ang pagsasanib ng bisyon—bungang-isip—at reyalidad—paglalapat ng bungang-isip sa katotohanan. Ito ay walang iba kundi ang pagdaranas ng malikhaing imahinasyon una sa artistang bubuo ng sining at ikalawa, sa mga taong makakaugnay sa binuong sining. Ang proseso ng pagdaranas na ito ang mag-aanak ng sining mula sa misteryo ng imahinasyon tungo sa liwanag ng katotohanan. Maaaring nagsisimula sa imahinasyon ang lahat, ngunit sa wakas ay produkto ng karanasan ang sining.
Parehong mahalaga sa sining ang imahinasyon at karanasan. Lamang, hindi maisasakatuparan ang imahinasyon kung walang paglalapat. Ang paglalapat na ito ay pinakamabisang makita sa anyo ng imahinasyong pinatotohanan ng karanasan.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

shakespeare’s sonnets as queer autobiography

Apart from dull legal cases involving unpaid taxes and actual references (albeit lacking) from his contemporaries, there is practically nothing about Shakespeare’s life that is publicly known. Hence, his works are the remaining things which could shed light regarding the mystery shrouding the life of England’s and the world’s most celebrated poet. Because of their fictionality, Shakespeare’s plays, histories and poems may not entirely satisfy in terms of revealing details about this cryptic life; notwithstanding, his sonnets—by virtue of having been written in the first person—invite autobiographical readings that include one of a queer vein.
To begin with, Shakespeare’s sonnets were dedicated to an unknown Mr. W. H—a man, instead of a woman, something that went against the heteronormative grain of the poet’s Renaissance milieu. This speculation on the poet’s sodomitic tendency (his time’s reference to homosexuality) increases with the undeniable fact that most of the sonnets also have a man for an addressee—from the first 17 procreation sonnets up to sonnets 18 to 126, which declare the poet’s love for the male addressee. On the one hand, his tamer sonnets refer to a male whose “living flowers” “many maiden gardens yet unset/with virtuous wish would bear” (Sonnet 16) and whose “fair flower” had been bestowed “the rank smell of weeds,” and “dost common grow” (Sonnet 69). However, in Sonnet 20, wherein the “passion” for the male “Master Mistress” seems solely platonic, the notoriety reaches a titillating degree: the addressee may be for the “use” of women only, but the term “pricked...out” has phallic overtures about it in such a manner that the rhetorical reference to sexual pleasure is realized through a suggestively sodomitic language. It may already be that their allusions are toward a man, but Shakespeare’s sonnets’ erotic details are such that they would appear to decrease their rhetorical weight had they been directed toward the opposite sex. In addition, the gender crossing evident in many of these sonnets may be interpreted queerly, from the womanly reference to the addressee to that of the speaker himself. In Sonnet 20, the addressee has a female’s face, heart and eye, and in Sonnets 53 and 93 he is compared to Helen and Eve, respectively. The speaker, meanwhile, is compared to an unwed mother in Sonnet 35, to a widowed mother in Sonnet 97, to Philomela in Sonnet 102, and to a housewife in Sonnet 143. Ultimately, the speaker’s “mistress” in these sonnets is actually and even concurrently a “master,” someone bestowed with beauty and passion.
If the sonnets ascribed to Shakespeare were really by a poetess in disguise or if the sonnets were addressed to a woman, there would have been no queer arguments flying all over. However, this was not the case, opening up a controversial reading of most of Shakespeare’s sonnets as an indication that they comprise a world literary superstar’s queer autobiography.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

pinoy filmmaker wins cannes' best director plum

my sincerest congratulations to sir dante mendoza for romping off with the cannes film festival's best director prize for sir bing lao's "kinatay," beating the likes of quentin tarantino, ang lee, jane campion and pedro almodovar. mendoza and lao compose the same team that produced last year's "serbis." it's the philippines' time to shine in world cinema!:)

Friday, May 22, 2009

bewitched yet again

Just today, I found out that at least two of my friends in Facebook were connected to this charming student of mine whom I lost touch with for years. After his brief sojourn at the tutorial and review center I taught him in, I had seen him in a TV commercial for a telecommunications network which Judy Ann Santos now endorses. Often, when I chance upon old print ads featuring him, I never fail to be reminded of how I enjoyed reviewing with him way back when he was still an incoming senior at Xavier. How time flies! And how it effects maturation among young, reckless people! My Italian-Chinese student—I’ll call him L—was the makulit type, sporting a cap that reads “pornstar” and claimed he moonlights as one, for example. However, that one fiery summer afternoon when he was scheduled for a special session changed all the brat attitude perception I had about him. Whatever transpired then, I’ll leave you to guess because my lips are sealed (to borrow from my Pangga, “period lips”). All the same, what you’ll about to read below shows the conventional notion of time lending wisdom.
Littlegapanese: hi, L. how are you? graduating ka na, right?:)

L: i'm doing good! i've graduated na!! hey i wanna be totally honest, i know that i know you, but i forgot from where! hehe sorry!

Littlegapanese: haha. this is teacher cesar, remember, from where you reviewed for college entrance exams?:) i've left since; i'm now connected to both up and la salle univ systems. too bad na kung kelan pa ako natangap sa la salle, nakaalis ka na pala. what are you into now? it surprised me to discover that we have the marcos siblings (eo and mandy) as common friends. hope to see you around.:)

L: Aha! Now it's all clear.
Well, i graduated a few months ago. I went straight to work for my family business up to now, pero part time lang. I’m also doing some modelling and acting. I intend to pursue that and am going to pull out of my family business as soon as it picks up.
Yeah! neighbors ko sila dati. They also used to attend there. How about you, you’re a professor now?

Littlegapanese: good for you; my belated congratulations! hamo, ipagtatayo kita ng fans' club, pangako 'yan.:) i believe you mentioned in passing that your family biz is about hotel or something; good luck.
eo and mandy used to be my students, too. kinda miss them; they're mabait like you.
hmm, yeah, i'm just a junior faculty, not naman a prof. i'm still rounding up my thesis in the state u; pagkatapos nun, prof status na, haha. all the same, it's gonna be enjoyable teaching the new arrivals in college.:)
last i saw you was in a cosmo mag supplement; hope to see more of you in the future. wherever you're headed, be in your best elements. tc.:)

L: Haha, thanks for the support! i believe i'll be needing all the support i could get as this industry is pretty unpredictable. Yep, we are into hotel and restaurant supplies, but for now, i wanna make it within my own means.
mabait? if i remember it right, medyo pasaway yata ako! hahaha! Either way, i'd like to believe i've grown up to be a purposeful human being which i have you to thank as well because you contributed to me by helping get a great college education.
If professor is what you're intending for, then my bet is that it's gonna be in the near future. I'm sure it will be enjoyable as well as fulfilling sharing your knowledge and contributing to even more students in that profession of yours.
Yep. I've got some pretty ambitious goals this year with the best intentions in mind. I'll see you around!

Littlegapanese: true, showbiz turnover's so rapid that it takes more than good genes to last. talent for reinvention, huge fan base and sheer luck often do the trick; these have made judy ann, for instance, a pop culture icon. whaddahey, count me in as your fan.:) i'm positive that you'll make your mark in due time.:)
we all pass through a phase naman (i've been a bully back in high school, can you imagine?), and it's not as if you're the troublesome type. up to now, my colleagues at the center consider you adorable whenever we get the chance to wax wistful of our memories with former students. a number of you have chosen the path leading to tinseltown, as it turns out. lately, i saw two in some prestigious modeling competitions. lots have appeared in tvc's.
haha, baka matawa ka, i appeared albeit briefly in a very controversial film that did (and is still doing) the rounds of festivals abroad. but apart from doing that fully-clothed, i just agreed to be a sort of filler as per the screenwriter's request and it's not something i'll do often. i'd rather write reviews which preoccupies me besides teaching. like you and the rest of the thinking humanity, i want to gain an identity, too. when a suite of poems of mine gets anthologized in a UP publication, i'll reserve a copy for you.
thank you for looking at the teaching profession in a wonderful light. it's challenging and, indeed, fulfilling. i can't imagine trading this for anything else.
hay, naku, this verbal gymnastics is becoming a mouthful. let me end it with my sincerest wish that your well-motivated objectives for the year will all be realized. i'm pretty sure you'll make it. keep on rocking!:)

L: Best of luck with your endeavors! We'll be in touch!
End note: Good luck, L.:)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

defining a leader

Leadership is an extraordinary human quality to create a difference in the lives of many. The ability to initiate social change is central to the idea of leadership.
A leader is charismatic because without the command for followership, the leader will not be able to foster progress in the institution the leader and the followers are part of. Also, a leader is a good manager because he is able to optimize what meager resources are available, is able to hold grace under institutional and external pressures and is able to sustain the motivation in people to effect change all together. Finally, a leader is likewise a follower, because he is not installed in the position to wield power excessively, but to use that position of power to cater to the people’s desire for development.

Monday, May 18, 2009

ang prosang hiligaynon sa panahon ng pananakop ng mga amerikano

Kahit na sa pagdating ng mga Amerikanong mananakop sa Pilipinas ay naipakilala ang mapanggayumang wikang Ingles na naitadhana ng batas na maging pangunahing wikang banyaga sa bansa, itinuturing na ginintuang panahon ng panitikang Hiligaynon ang panahong namamahala ang mga dayuhang ito, partikular noong dekada ‘20 hanggang 1942, o bago dumating ang mga Hapones.  Sa relatibong maikling panahong ito, namulaklak ang mga nobela, sanaysay, sarsuwela, at tula ng mga Ilonggong gaya nina Delfin Gumban, Miguela Montelibano at ang dalawang higanteng manunulat na magiging sentro ng papel na ito, sina Magdalena Jalandoni at Angel Magahum.  Ipapakita sa papel na ito kung paanong masasalamin ang mga institusyon ng ekonomiya, pulitika at relihiyon sa halaw mula sa nobelang Benjamin ni Magahum at sa mga sugilanon (o ang katutubong maikling kuwentong Hiligaynon) na “Si Anabela” ni Jalandoni, at “Si Montor” at “Bugay sang Kapalaran” ni Magahum.         
Ang pinagpipitaganang babae ng panitikang Hiligaynon na si Magdalena Jalandoni ang itinuturing na unang babaeng Filipinong nakapagpalimbag ng kanyang nobela.  Marami sa animnapu’t anim na volyum ng kanyang naisulat ang nagkamit ng gawad, kabilang na ang pinakamataas na gawad pampanitikan mula sa pamahalaaan ng Pilipinas, ang Republic Cultural Heritage Award.  Kanonikal na tekstong pampanitikan hindi lamang sa Hiligaynon kundi sa Pilipino ang maikling kuwentong “Si Anabela,” isang matimyas na alaala ng dekada ’30 ng magsing-irog na pinaglayo ng yaman ngunit itinadhanang yaman din ang magpabalik sa isa’t isa.
Maraming imahe ng institusyon ng ekonomiya sa sugilanong nabanggit.  Patunay ang “malapalasyong tahanan” ni Tito at ang mga makikita rito gaya ng “bulwagan” at “aranyang kristal” ng pagkaangat sa lipunan ng pamilya Navarro.  Dahil sa angking yaman ng pamilya, may kakayanan silang magkaroon ng ganitong mga ari-arian.  Bukod dito, may kakayahan silang makapaglakbay sa ibang bansa at makapag-aral ng kursong gusto nila nang hindi kailangang magkompromiso sa pangangailangang pinansiyal.  Makikita ito sa pagtutulak ng magulang kay Tito na “pumunta sa Amerika” upang “makasa ang [kanyang] pagtugtog ng biolin,” isang layaw na tanging mayayaman ang makasusugal.  Samantala, taliwas naman ng marangyang pamumuhay ng binata ang sa dalaga, na nakatira sa isang “bahay-kawayan at nipa” ang pamilya at, sa mismong pananalita ni Anabela, “nabubuhay lamang ako sa tulo ng pawis ng aking ina, at sa kanyang paghihirap.”  Nagtatagis ang magkaibang estado ng ekonomiya ng magsing-irog na naresolba lamang nang biglang yumaman si Anabela sa pamamagitan ng minanang ari-arian sa ‘di-nakagisnang mayamang ama. 
Sa institusyong pampulitika, ang pagpapadala kay Tito sa Amerika ay indikasyon ng impluwensiya ng panahon kung kailan lumitaw ang kuwento.  Sa panahon ng pananakop ng mga Amerikano nasulat ang “Si Anabela,” kaya matibay ang ugnayan ng kolonyang Pilipinas at Amerika, daan upang sa doon ipadala ang binata sa halip na sa mas tanyag na mga dalubhasaan sa musika sa Europa, na hindi naman malakas ang pagkakaugnay sa Pilipinas.
Sa institusyong panrelihiyon, ang pagkabanggit sa “pagsilang ni Hesus,” “pasko ng Pagkatao,” “Belen”, “Niño Hesus” at “paghahandog ng Tatlong Hari” ang magbibigay-hinuha na may impluwensiya ng relihiyong Katoliko ang pagkakasulat ng sugilanon dahil may paniniwala sa ganitong pananampalataya ang mga tauhan. 
Sa kabilang banda, ang bantog na sarsuwelista sa unang bahagi ng ika-20 siglo na si Angel Magahum ang siya namang may akda ng unang nobelang Hiligaynon, ang Benjamin.  Kinakatawan din niya ang henerasyon ng mga manunulat noong panahon ng pananakop ng mga Amerikano na nagsisimulang mag-eksperimento sa klasikal na reyalistang sugilanon.  Makikita ito sa maiikling kuwentong “Si Montor” at “Bugay sang Kapalaran” (“Handog ng Kapalaran”).
Sa sugilanong “Si Montor” na tungkol sa composo o naratibo ng isang mandirigmang nakipaglaban sa mga dayuhan, makikita ang institusyong pang-ekonomiya sa suhestiyon na kaya nakikidigma ang mga katutubo laban sa mga Kastila ay upang bawiin ang kalayaan mula sa mga mananakop.  Subalit matindi rin ang paglaban ng mga Kastila para supilin ang pag-aalsang ito sa kadahilanang hindi nila basta-basta maibibigay ang kolonyang nakadaragdag ng pagkakakitaan para sa Espanya ang mga likas na yaman.
Makikita naman ang institusyong pampulitika sa kalagayan ng kuwento: ang rebolusyon ng mga katutubo ay pag-aalsa sa isang uri ng pamamahalang kolonyal na hindi katanggap-tanggap para sa mga nasasakupan.
Makikita naman ang institusyong panrelihiyon sa pagtawag kay Montor bilang isang Moro, taliwas sa mga binyagang Ilonggo na nakakasalamuha niya sa kuwento sa kumbentong kinainan at pinaglagian. Sa kalagitnaan ng kuwento ay “[b]ininyagan siya at si Heneral Rios ang ninong.”  Ang pagiging binyagan pati na ang pagkabanggit sa kumbento ay pawang patunay na may impormasyong panrelihiyon ang sugilanon.         
Sa “Bugay sang Kapalaran” naman na tungkol sa isang binatang nagpunta sa Amerika upang mag-aral ng medisina at bumalik sa Pilipinas, makikita ang institusyong pang-ekonomiya sa pag-aaral ni Miguel sa Amerika na nagbunga ng pagkakatayo niya ng isang klinikang dinarayo kahit ng mga puting kliyente.
Makikita naman ang institusyong pampulitika sa pagkakaroon ni Miguel ng Amerikanong guro.  Hindi ito nalalayo sa katotohanang panlipunan kung saan sa pagkakalatag ng pamahalaang kolonyal ng Amerika sa Pilipinas, nagbangon din ito ng institusyong pang-edukasyon sa pamamagitan ng mga Thomasite.  Ang presensya ng mga gurong ito at ang pagiging pensionado (Pilipinong iskolar na nagdadalubhasa sa Amerika) ni Miguel ang patunay ng gobyernong Amerikano noon sa Pilipinas.
Impormado rin ng institusyong panrelihiyon ang kuwento sa pagkakaroon ni Miguel ng pamilyang umiinog ang buhay sa Simbahang Katoliko at ang una niyang ginawa pagkarating sa Pilipinas kasama ang Amerikanang asawa: ang pagdalo sa misa.
Panghuli, sa nobelang Benjamin na tungkol sa isang binatang naglaro at pinaglaruan din naman ng tadhana, makikita ang institusyong pang-ekonomiya sa pagkakabanggit kay Benjamin bilang isang anak-mayamang pagsusugal ang inaatupag habang pinapag-aral sa isang unibersidad sa Maynila.  Pati na ang pagkakabanggit sa pagkuha niya ng pera sa kinakasamang babaeng si Inocencia ang magpapatunay na sa isang kauri rin niya siya nakahanap ng katuwang.  Naghirap din si Benjamin pagbalik sa Iloilo matapos madambong ng mga rebelde ang kanyang pinag-ipunan.
Mahihinuha naman ang institusyong pampulitika sa pagkakabanggit sa mga rebeldeng nagnakaw ng impok ni Benjamin, dahil ang mga rebeldeng ito ay nag-aalsa sa isang uri ng pamahalaang umiiral sa konteksto ng nobela ngunit hindi naman nila sinasang-ayunan.
May impormasyon din ng institusyong pangrelihiyon sa nobela sa pamamagitan ng pagdalo sa misa ni Benjamin kasama ang bagong panganak na asawang si Margarita, isang pasasalamat nila sa Diyos sa paggaling mula sa pagkapanganak ng babae.     
Ang pagkakawing-kawing ng mga institusyong nabanggit sa mga panitikang sinuri ay isang repleksyon ng mga sosyal, pulitikal, relihiyoso, ekonomikal at iba pang salik na nagyayaman sa partikular na lipunan ng Kanlurang Visayas na siyang pinagmulan ng mga prosa, at sa pangkalahatang lipunan ng Pilipinas, noong panahon ng pananakop ng mga Amerikano.  Samakatuwid, buhay na testamento ang mga nasulat nina Jalandoni at Magahum bilang mga panlipunang tala ng mga pangyayari sa mga Ilonggo at, bilang ekstensyon, sa mga Filipino.  Higit dito, ang tumpak na representasyon ng mga manunulat na ito sa sistema ng pangkasaysayan, panlipunan at pangkulturang anyong umiiral sa kanilang konteksto ang magsasabing pamilyar nga sa bayang Hiligaynon at bansang Pilipinas ang mga pangyayaring nagbibigay impormasyon sa atin hinggil sa mundong ginagalawan.  Kung para lamang sa matagumpay na pagpapahiwatig ng mga manunulat na ito ng pamilyar nilang mundo sa atin na maaaring hindi pamilyar sa kontekstong pinagmulan ng kanilang panitikan, integral nga silang kabahagi ng ginintuang panahon ng panitikang Hiligaynon.

Friday, May 15, 2009

excellence and catalysis amid globalization

(A speech delivered at the 12th Commencement Exercises of my colleague and friend Edwin's administered language school.)

I am overwhelmed by the privilege of having to stand before an audience and address it about two things that are both hallmarks of the contemporary times, the globalization age. We have heard so much about globalization that we can easily dismiss it as among the most abused words of the present period, much in the same manner that “centennial” was the word of the year in 1998 and “millennium” had its heyday at the turn of, well, the new millennium. However, we can do more than satirize the term and the people who seem to mention it once every 20 seconds, especially when our lives are all caught up in the phenomenon whether we are conscious of it or not.
If you or someone you know had been, is, or plans to be an Overseas Filipino Worker, that’s a sign that globalization has struck this side of town. If you studied or are studying English to shore up your linguistic skill, again, globalization is creating its impact on you. Not that it’s bad to migrate especially in consideration of the scarcity of well-compensating career opportunities hereabouts, nor to try to master the colonizer’s language to make it our own, but globalization has its ugly hair of snakes overshadowed by the more prominent, beautiful Galema face. It is failing to fulfill the promise of progress equally among developed and underdeveloped countries, since the profits of capitalism hasten the social developments of the multinational companies’ countries of origin only, small enterprises all but die being pitted against giant corporations, cultural imperialism increasingly erases our identity and slave-master relationships make a notorious comeback via neocolonialism. It appears that social justice remains an elusive dream among idealists, an escapist propaganda of fantastic fiction, some figment of an artist’s imagination.
But ladies, gentlemen and people from alternative genders, the present-day, like the previous ones, is a challenging moment to appropriate globalization in our very context in our vigorous bid to refuse being swallowed whole by this fresh systematic imperialist violence. We can localize the global, and we can look up north for the Japanese’ style of glocalization, or turning something Western into an entirely indigenous thing. While we do not own the capital and we risk being branded elitists and colonial-minded for speaking our Waray-, Iloko-, or Kinaray-a-accented English with American or British twang, we can be catalysts of change and paragons of excellence right in the midst of pro-Western globalization. Now, perhaps you are wondering, “What is he blabbering about? He is just twentysomething—too inexperienced to lecture about life!”
I expected that this audience would be composed mostly of youngish people, and much as I desire to colonize your attention and for you to take my words seriously, some of you might be itching to return home, eat buko pie, surf the Internet, cheer on as Ingrid recovers the supermarket from Marlene, sleep, or chat with your crushes somewhere out there. So much for transforming the world, for achieving the best. There can only be one Jose Rizal the province of Laguna will ever produce for the entire history of the world and last you looked, the nation’s hero is someone who will retry a hand at politics after reigning in the boxing ring. With the right advisers, machinery and virtues, who does not deserve to become a leader of the people? However, we need not all turn into politicians to do that, in much the same way that not all of us can become world-class boxers without the right training and temperament. In your own way, regardless of the degree, you can make a difference.
How, you ask. It’s a giveaway: excel. In all you do, be your best. You can be your best if you focus yourselves on it. Do not let distractions like envy for others’ talents and success or fear of failure defeat your purpose. If you so much as rest on your current laurels or yield to your tendency for mediocrity, time will come when personal rust will have covered you. Pursue what you plan to attain, but never be too naïve as to ignore external cues that you cannot dismantle certain things altogether. Not all of us can turn into beauty queens, but certainly we can perform our best in showing the beautiful people that we actually are by being kindhearted, by caring for mother nature, by respecting the law, by upholding the dignity in every person, by showing filial piety, by taking up advocacies that will improve gender relations, poverty conditions, socio-cultural awareness and the like. The possibilities are endless. If you have not believed before that you can excel, do so now. Practice this belief often, with such frequency that it will become your personal philosophy. Trust me, putting your faith into action engenders the paragon of excellence in you.
As for becoming a catalyst of change, yeah, sure, it’s easier said than done. What can you do, there is just one you, unless you are Krystala, Dyosa or Darna and the distressed masses will only have to rely perpetually on you. However, the conventional wisdom of strength in numbers is true, but each single element should prove excellent enough to contribute to the desired change. I repeat: you can make a difference, no matter what kind of identity you cultivate so long as you ascertain the asset that you are. Do not follow the tracks of others who were born into and then departed from this world without leaving lasting impressions. You are not here in this institution and all the institutions you have been parts of if you are no more than gainfully employed skilled worker materials. By doing your best in your respective institutions, you are in the process of helping contribute to institutional growth, which in turn responds to the required functioning of the integrated elements of a nation-in-progress. Who says then that you cannot change the world? Alone, yes, but even if in your lonesome you get to inspire colleagues to maximize their fullest potentials, there goes the agent of transformation that society’s wildest fancies are made of.
How shall these challenges intersect with the issue of globalization? I say yet another contemporary cliché: think globally but act locally. This can mean that as you attempt to excel and to catalyze change, the world will ultimately be your stage as well as benefactor. Nonetheless, do not limit yourselves to this personal meaning of mine. All the same, in realizing your global competitiveness and capacity for social transfiguration, do not forget your roots. Look back at your country, see that it also reaps the rewards of globalization and make it proud for actualizing the quality citizens of the world that you all have become.
Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

ang ugnayan ng relihiyon at pagpapakatao sa dulang waiting for godot

Pinanghahawakan ni Samuel Beckett ang kaisipang hungkag at ilohikal ang relihiyon. Ipinakita niya ang pananaw na ito sa dulang Waiting for Godot. Ginamit niya ang mga tauhan sa dula upang ilarawan ang maparunggit at eksistensyal na pagtinigin sa relihiyon. Ginamit ni Becket si Godot bilang isang mapaghiganting manliligtas kina Estragon at Vladimir. Gaya ng isang taong naparusahang magdusa sa impyerno dahil sa pagtataksil sa Diyos, nakaranas ng parusa sina Estragon at Vladimir dahil sa pagtataksil kay Godot. Sa usapan nila, maparurusahan sila kung ilalaglag si Godot. Sa kabaliktaran, maaaring makatanggap ng biyaya sa langit sa pagsunod sa Diyos kaya nga makatatanggap ng pabuya sina Estragon at Vladimir sa pagsunod nila kay Godot. Dagdag pa rito, inaalipusta ni Becket ang kilos ng tao sa kawalan ng Diyos sa pamamagitan ng mga kilos nina Estragon at Vladimir sa kawalan ni Godot. Makikita ito sa pagkukumpisal ni Estragon na nalulumbay siya matapos yugyugin ni Estragon ang batang mensahero upang palitawin ang katotohanan. Kinakatawan ng batang mensahero ang mga naliliwanagan. Gumagawa ng malinaw na pagtatambis si Becket sa pagitan ng bata at ng mga disipulo ng Diyos. Inilalarawan ng bata ang isang propetang isinugo mismo ni Godot para ipaalam kay Vladimir, o sa kaparian, kung paano pangungunahan si Estragon, o ang mga deboto ng simbahan. Ipinadala ni Godot ang bata upang ipaalam na hindi makararating ngayong gabi si Godot kundi bukas. Kinakatawan din ng bata ang nag-iisang taong nakakakita o nakakaugnay kay Godot. Kaya nga nang malaman nina Vladimir na nagtatrabaho ang bata para kay Godot, ipinagbilin ng mga ito na nakita niya sila. Ginamit naman ni Becket sina Lucky at Pozzo upang ipakita ang kahinaan ng tao na makita ang sariling kabulastugan. Naiisip nina Estragon at Vladimir na abnormal ang kilos ni Pozzo, smaantalang ang pagtrato nito kay Lucky bilang ‘di-makatao. Hindi naman nila makita sa kakaibang pares na ito ang kanilang sarili o ang pagbabalewala sa kanila ni Godot. Gaya na lamang nang gisingin ni Pozzo si Lucky para pagsilbihan ng maisusuot. Kung papaanong nakaantabay si Lucky para kay Pozzo, nakaantabay din sina Estragon at Vladimir para kay Godot. Ginamit ni Becket si Vladimir bilang paring namumuno kay Estragon na kumakatawan ng naliligaw na tupa. Hindi naliligaw sa pananampalataya si Vladimir kay Godot. Siya ang buhay na paalaala na darating si Godot. Kahit gusto nang umalis ni Estragon, nanatili sila ni Vladimir dahil hinihintay nila si Godot. Dahil sinasagisag ng batang mensahero ang isang banal na sugo, nakikipag-ugnay lamang siya sa paring si Vladimir. Naniniwala si Vladimir na ayos na ang lahat bukas at nang tanungin ni Estragon kung paano nito nahinuha, sinabi ni Vladimir na ayon ito sa sinabi ng bata. Sa pagkatanggap ng magandang balita, gawain ng pari na ipaalam ang mensaheng ito sa mga nananampalatayang tao. Dito mapatutunayan na may mapagduda at eksistensyal na pananaw si Becket sa relihiyon sa pagpapakitag mga taong may tunggak at impraktikal na paniniwala sa relihiyon. Eksistensyal ito sapagkat may paniniwalang walang-saysay ang buhay at walang kahulugan ang tao.
Mararamdaman ang presensya ni Godot dahil totoo at naroroon siya sa knyang kawalan. Makikita sa Bibliya ang basikong dramatikong sitwasyon sa Godot: “Mabuti na umaasa at tahimik na naghihintay ang isang tao sa pagliligtas ng Panginoon.” Samantala, sa Romans naman makikita ang saysay ng kawalan: “Sapagkat maililigtas tayo ng pag-asa, ngunit ang pag-asang hindi nakikita ay hindi pa-asa, dahil anuman ang nakikita ng tao, bakit hindi pa rin umaasa? Ngunit kung umaasa tayo sa hindi nakikita, dito tayo nagtitiyagang maghintay.” Ang paghihirap ng mga tauhan ay ispiritwal at pisikal. Sinabi sa Bibliya na “matiyaga akong naghihintay sa Panginoon; natawag ko ang Kanyang pansin at napakinggan ang aking mga hikbi. Hinila Niya ako mula sa bangin at putik at iniapak sa isang bato upang masigurado ang aking paghakbang.” Natupad ang propesiyang ito sa Bagong Tipan sa pamamagitan ng batong si Simon Pedro, ang pundasyon ng Simbahang Kristiyano at ang una sa linya ng mga apostoles. Pinarunggitan ni Beckett ang imaheng ito sa pamamagitan ng pagtalakay ni Lucky sa naglahong gawain ng dalawang bato. Ang ginagawang pundasyong inaasahan ng mundo ay naging kahungkagan na lamang.
Dahil sa eksistensyalismong ito, nagiging mahirap na tanong ang saysay ng buhay. Mahirap hanapin ang kasagutan sapagkat hindi alam kung saan magsisimula ng paghahanap ng tanong o kung sino ang tatanungin. Ang pagpapakatao ay tila ba inihatag na lang ng kung anong hindi malirip na puwersa. Tila walang malinaw na kahulugan ngunit nagdurusa ang tao dahil dito. Magulo ang mundo kaya nga sinusubok ng tao na maintindihan ang kahulugan nito sa pamamagitan ng mga balangkas at napag-isipang aysay upang gumaan ang pakiramdam sa kalagayang hindi tuluyang mauunawaan ang pagpapakatao. Sa dula, nahuli ang ganitong pakiramdam at pananaw sa mundo kaya nga makikita sa mga tauhan ang mga arketipong sumasagisag sa pagkatao. Ayon sa dula, nakadepende ang buhay ng tao sa pagkakataon kaya nga tila walang saysay ang panahon. Samakatuwid, wala ring saysay ang buhay ng tao kaya sa pagkaintinding ito ng sitwasyon ng tao, nagtitiwala sa mga panlabas na puwersa totoo man o hindi upang magkaroon ng kaayusan at direksyon.
Sa pagkakataon nakasalalay ang pagpapakatao ayon sa dula. Kung gayon, pagkakataon ang humuhugis sa buhay ng tao. Makikita ito sa pagbanggit ni Vladimir ng parabula ngf dalawang magnanakaw sa Bibliya. Isa sa mga magnanakaw ang nailigtas at makatwirang porsyento na ito. Mahalag ang kaisipan ng porsyento dahil kinakatawan nito kung paano hinuhulma ang tadhana ng tao; puwedeng mangyari ang anuman kaya may porsyentong maaaring maisalba ang tao o hindi. Nagpatuloy si Vladimir sa pamamagitan ng iba-ibang bersiyon ng Bibliya hinggil sa dalawang magnanakaw. Ipinapamalas ni Beckett ang mahalagang punto sa halimbawang ito kung paanong nahahabi sa pinakasagradong teksto ang pinakamakatotohanang patungkol sa pagpapakatao. Lahat ng disipulo ni Kristo ay naroroon noong Kanyang pagkakapako st nakasaksi sa dalawang magnanakaw na kasabay mapako ni Kristo na maaaring maisalba I hindi depende sa pagtrato la sa Kanya sa mga huling oras. Sa apat, dadalawa lamang ang nag-ulat g may kakaibang pangyayari sa mga magnanakaw. Sa dalawang nag-ulat, isa lamang ang nagsabing isa ang nailgitas samantalang isa naman ang nagsabing nailigtas ang dalawa. Samakatuwid, naglalaro sa 100% hanggang 50% hanggang 25% pagkakataon ang pagkaligtas. Ang lahat ng ito ay sumasagisag kung paanong pagkakataon ang salik na humuhugis sa pagpapakatao, at ginamit ni Beckett ang Bibliya upang patunayan ito dahil ito ang teksto na pinanaligan ng kahulugan ng sangkatauhan sa loob ng maraming milenyo. Kahit ang Bibliya ay nagpapaliit ng buhay ng tao sa pagkakataon. Sa kahit anong araw, may ilang porsyentong pagkakataon na may isang taong maililigtas o mapapahamak, at walang kapangyarihan ang tao upang impluwensiyahan ang desisyon. Ang tadhana ng mga magnanakaw, naligtas ang isa habang napahamak ang isa pa ayon sa apat na kuwentong pinaniniwalaan ng marami, ay nagiging simbolo ng kalagayan ng tao sa isang mahirap maintindihan at pabagu-bagong mundo.
Kung umiiral ang Diyos, nakadaragdag siya sa kalagayang ito sa pananahimik niya. Sa pagpayag na magpatuloy ang pabagu-bagong sistemang ito, nagiging kasapakat siya. Sa pagbabagu-bagong ito at sa paggalaw ng sansinukob ayon sa salik ng porsyento, maaari ngang magamit ang mga ito para sa kapakinabangan ng iba pati na paniniwala sa Diyos dahil kung hindi Siya umiiral, walang makikialam ngunit kung umiiral Siya, walang mapapahamak. Ganito rin ang kaisipan ni Vladimir: na isa itong makatwirang porsyento. Lamang, ang pananahimik ng Diyos sa lahat ng ito ang nagiging sanhi ng totoong kawalang-pag-asa kaya nga trahedya ang Waiting for Godot sa kabila ng mga nakatatawang kilos ng mga tauhan:ang tahimik na pakiusap sa Diyos para sa kahulugan, para sa mga kasagutan, na siyang sagisag ng pakiusap ng sangkatauhan, at ang pananahimik ng Diyos bilang tugon. Maaaring hindi umiiral ang Diyos, o wala Siyang pakialam. Anuman ang kaso, pagkakataon ang humuhugis sa buhay ng tao sa kawalan ng pakikialam ng Diyos.
Walang malinaw na makahulugang balangkas ang mundo ng dula, na sagisag ng kaguluhan na siyang dominanteng puwersa sa mundo. Walang maayos na pagkakasunud-sunod ang mga pangyayari. Ang isang punong kalbo sa isang araw ay may palumpon na ng mga dahon sa ibang araw. Pababalik-balik ang mg tauhan sa eksaktong lugar araw-araw upang hintayin si Godot. Hindi nila maalaala kung ano ang eksaktong nangyari noong nagdaang gabi. Bigla ang paglatag ng gabi at hindi dumarating si Godot. Nakadepende sa pagkakataon ang panahong iniiralan ng dula, kaya nga pati pagpapakatao ay depende sa pagkakataon.
Walang saysay ang panahon dahil sa direktang bunga ng pagkakataon na siyang pangunahing salik ng pagpapakatao. Kaya nga, may paulit-ulit ngunit paiba-ibangtakbo ng pangyayari sa dula. Pabalik-balik sina Vladimir at Estragon sa parehong lugar araw-araw upang hintayin si Godot at nararanasan ang parehong mga pangyayari nang may kaunting pagkakaiba kada araw. Hindi malinaw kung gaano katagal na nila itong ginagawa sa nakalipas na panahon, o kung hanggang kailan nila ipagpapatuloy ito, ngunit dahil walang saysay ang oras sa dula, masasabing walang saysay ang nakaraan, ang kasalukuyan at ang hinaharap. Nakaaapekto ito sa pagpapakatao ng mga tauhan sina Pozzo at Lucky sa Act I at Act II. Dahil depende sa pagkakatang oras kaya walang saysay, nababalewala ang pagpapakatao, na siyang makikita sa paglalakbay ni Pozzo sa merkado upang ibenta si Lucky, ang kanyang alipin. Malusog si Pozzo, at tila walang mali sa kanya. Nakaaaliw na alipin sa umpisa si Lucky, ngunit naging nakakairita kay Pzzo kaya gusto na niyang idispatsa ito. Sa ganitong kalagayan sila sa unang pagkakatagpo kina Vladimir ar Estragon. Sa sumunod na araw, nabago na ang lahat: bulag na si Pozzo, at pipi naman si Lucky. Walang natatandaang anuman si Pozzo sa nagdaang pagtatagpo, at sinasabing datin nang pipi si Lucky kahit noong nagdaang araw ay nagbigay ito ng mahabang pilosopikal na diskurso nang utusang mag-isip. Nang tanungin kung kailan pa siya nabulag, sumagot itong nagising na lamang siya na singbulag na ng kapalaran. Dahil hindi naniniwala si Vladimir, nangulit ito para sa mas malalim na detalye. Nagwala na si Pozzo habang nagsasabing hindi siya dapat tanungin dahil walang kaisipan sa oras ang mga bulag dahil nakatago sa kanila ang mga bagay ng panahon. Sinasagisag ng kalagayan ni Pozzo ang epekto ng oras sa mga tao. Ang kawalang-saysay ng mundo base sa pagkakataon ang nagpapababa ng pagpapakatao ng tao sa antas na wala nang saysay at maaring paglaruan ng tadhana. Ginamit ni Beckett angf ganitong kalagayan ni Pozzo at Luckyt upang ipakitang walang saysayang pagpapakatao yang wala ring saysay ang panahon.
Pilit pa ring nagpapakatao ang mga tao sa kabila ng kanilang kalagayan. Sa buong dula, patuloy na mukhang tangang nagpapakasaya sina Vladimir at Estragon, at inaaliw nila ang kanilang sarili sa pananalasa ng mga walang kuwentang gawain. Inaaliw nila ang kanilang sarili mula sa walang katapusang paghihintay sa pamamagitan ng pagbabangay sa mga walang kawawaang bagay, pagtulog, pakikipag-usap kina Pozzo at Lucky, at pati na pagpapakamatay. Ang lahat ng ito ay para subuking magbulag-bulagan sa katotohanang naghihintay sila sa malabong tauhang hindi na talaga darating. Hindi nila ibig mapagtantong walang saysay ang buhay. Ang mga pagsubok na ito para maaliw ay mga pagsubok na mag-ubos ng oras, upang ilapit sila sa oras ng pagdating ni Godot upang masolusyunan ang kanilang mga suliranin. Suntok sa buwan ang pagnanais na ito, ngunit ito na lamang ang kanilang maasahan, kahit na hungkag ang kanilang pagkilos. Ang tanging alternatibo rito ay kamatayan, na pinag-isipan ng dalawa ngunit walang sapat na lakas ng loob at simulain upang isakatuparan. Sa wakas, ang tanging naiwang magagawa ng mga tao ay manatili sa walang kuwentang pagkilos o mamatay na lamang.
Upag magkaroon ng balangkas at saysay ang kanilang mundo, kailangang umasa ng mga tao sa mga panlabas n puwersa para gumaan ang pakiramdam sa kanilang suliranin. Sa pagpapakataong ito nauugnay ang puwersa ng relihiyon na panlunas ng tao sa kahungkagan ng buhay nilang maaaring magbunsod sa kanilang magpakamatay, pumatay, o basta na lang gumawa ng mga dehumanisadong bagay. Ito ang tanging bagay na nagtutulak sa kanilang magpatuloy. Kaya nga, sa dula, simbolo si Godot ng panlabas na puwersa, na tila tahimik at walang pakialam. Kahit pa, balangkas pa rin si Godot, at binibigyan niya ng saysay ang buhay ng mga desperadong tauhan. Sa paglalagay ng kaayusan sa gitna ng kaguluhan, nakakukuha sina Vladimir at Estragon ng atas ng kasaysayan. Sa Act II, pinag-iisipan ni Vladimir kung tutulungan si Pozzo o hindi. Pinag-iisipan niya kung ano ang ginagawa nila roon. At masuwerte silang alam nila ang sagot. Sa gitna ng gulong kinalulubugan ila, may isang malinaw na bagay: na hinihintay nila ang pagdatingt ni Godot. Ang ilusyon ng kaligtasan—samakatuwid, relihiyon—ang kailangan nila upang makaraos sa kahungkagan ng buhay, upang manatiling nagpapakatao sa gitna ng tuksong abandonahin ang pagpapakatao. Ilusyon lamang si Godot, ngunit ang katotohanang walang silbi ang panahon, walang silbi ang buhay, kinakailangan ng mga tao na umimbento o maniwala sa mga ilusyong Godot dahil ikamamatay ng kanilang pagkatao ang tuluyang pagkalubog sa desperasyon. Ang ilusyong ito ang siyang kumakatawan ng kaligtasan na walang iba kundi relihiyon.
Hindi malinaw kung totoo o hindi si Godot, kaya nga komportableng tawagin siya bilang halimbawa ng panlabas at malabong puwersa. Sa Act I at Act II, nagkamali at angsuspetsa sina Vladimir at Estragon na si Pozzo at Godot ay iisa. Wala ni isa sa kanila ang nakakita kay Godot, at hindi nila ito maihihiwalay sa kahit sinumang tao sa paligid. Tanging ang batang mensahero ang kaugnayan nila kay Godot, ang dumarating sa katapusan ng araw upang ipaalam sa kanilang hindi darating si Godot ngayon di bukas. Hindi naaalaala ng bata ang araw na nagdaan sa kinabukasan, isang patunay ng kawalan ng saysay ng panahon. Sa dulo ng Act II, ang pilosopikong si Vladimir ang nakatanto ng bahagi ng katotohananh habambuhay silang maghihintay kay Godot, na isa lamang siyang panggulo sa inutil nilang buhay at mahuhulaan niya ang muling pagdating ng bata upang sabihin ang lahat ng sasabihin ng mensahero ni Godot. Sa puntong ito binalot ng malaking depresyon si Vladimir sa pagkaalam ng katotohanan. Napatunayan niyang nakabilanggo siya, na kailangan niyang manatiling mananampalataya ng ilusyon, at wala siyang ibang pagpipilian. Kaya nga sa ganito humahantong ang lahat ng pagpapakatao: ang magpatuloy sa kabila ng ilusyon. Walang punto ngunit ito lamang ang tanging pagpipilian.
Ipinakita ng Waiting for Godot na magkaugnay ang relihiyon at pagpapakatao base sa katotohanang nakasalig sa pagkakataon ang buong mundo. Sa mundong nakabase sa pagkakataon, walang kaayusan ang oras, kaya walang silbi ang panahon. Kung gayon, wala ring saysay ang buhay ng tao. Sa reyalisasyong ito, pagpapakatao ang lumikha ng kaaliwan at ilusyon upang makabuo ng balangkas mula sa panlabas na puwersa na siyang maglalaan ng saysay at kahulugang hindi matatagpuan sa buhay ng tao.

Monday, May 11, 2009

bartering: its advantages

Joining a barter exchange can be beneficial to a business by virtue of the following: (a) trade improves productivity in that companies maximize their material and human resources, raising revenue to assist the business with or obtain better performing assets with; (b) it boosts sales by sourcing out cash transfers and utilize income-generating paid ads. In case of non-monetary transactions, it augments revenue efficiently and renders workers to maximize their assets; (c) barter exchange minimizes less productive assets by trading them with more valuable ones to generate important revenue; (d) exchanged credits allow the acquisition of materials and services even without cash involved, thereby decreasing monetary expenditures and expanding cash reserves; (e) just like in a bank’s, barter trade’s clearinghouse idea comfortably offers control, record accounting and management of exchange transactions; (f) with the goods or service merging, companies decrease seasonality or months during which business drags along when they permit credit exchange to fortify their financial standing; (g) trading credits participation widens a company’s contact network, building new professional links and, most likely, accumulating cash dealings; (h) for a service-centered company, exchanged credits offer sales even at times when services are not tapped; (i) an access to alternative trade financing gets rid of bad debts by undergoing a buy today, pay tomorrow policy with the offering of the company’s products or services to other participating members; and (j) bartered credits enable the purchase and sales among cooperative businesses, thereby sustaining the local economy.
Relying not on cash, participating businesses gain membership in a corporate trade by deciding to interchange products and services. Such exchange inflates their account deposits with their gained barter currency. Their earned trade credits will enable them to obtain goods and services from other members. The membership network permits companies to purchase their necessities using what available credits they possess as payment.
Trade bartering produce their money by way of fees. Joining the exchange calls for fees which include membership, broker, management and renewal. A proportion of purchases and sales transaction payments is ordinarily required to stand for a fee on generated growth sales for clients within the contact network. Not a few companies have sign-up, set-up or initiation fees to cover all the startup expenditures, client training, and salesperson commission. The charge should not be in any way a hindrance or remuneration in participating in barter. Some companies post exorbitant fees to try a company’s commitment while others do not in order to attract clients. Varying rates on association fees are pegged monthly regardless of the company’s participatory activity or lack thereof, in order to cover ongoing expenses. Varying transaction or usage fees are charged whenever companies purchase or sell or both, in which case the fees are divided.
Trade joiners get to buy goods within the network in place of their incremental barter credits, or are allowed to loan currency from the exchange company. The current-day thriving barter exchanges and the massive vale of trade products cannot be a contradiction inasmuch as goats are bartered with exchange credits. Trade exchanges grow since exchanges maximize the purchasing power of participating companies. Meanwhile, Trade income is increasing and does not necessarily experience fixed or overhead expenses. Therefore, exchanging one’s products or services permit the buying of other’s at one’s own goods’ wholesale or marginal rate.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


The echoing cries of frogs
Sink into my nerves, yet I
Better overlook their brags
And only heave a sigh
As I stand here still
Facing my Arayat
No younger than a hill
As the dying sunrays cut
The bloodied skies turning
Vermilion, finally black
I begin realizing
The dead cannot come back.
You disguise yourself upon
The spread of darkness
Over the lonely meadows of Gapan
And I feel helpless,
Drowning in a field of tears,
In what seems a million years
Vainly waiting
For your return
Though you are long dead
And I must learn
To believe what I dread:
Your life is already taken
And never will you come again.

Friday, May 08, 2009

utilitarianism, filipino-style

Utilitarianism is a universal system for measuring happiest end possible. As such, it seeks the ultimate good for the ultimate number of people. Whatever benefits the highest number of individuals is deemed the best, whereas that which benefits the least number of individuals is deemed the least good.
Regardless of what is best or least good for whatever number of people, the quest for the best in life—one that is long, healthy and happy—is the concern of most people across the globe no matter what the race, religion, age and gender is. Tangent to this pursuit is the existence of many organizations whose lone objective is to help the ill, the aged, and the poor to live longer and more fulfilling existence. These organizations—governments, religions and various social agencies—are fueled by the practice of utilitarianism.
The organizations mentioned above carry the primary notion of utilitarianism which is to act in such a manner that the majority and society in general get benefited by the action. However, it one is to look deeper into the real meaning of benefiting the majority and society in general at the same time that utilitarianism is examined, there seems to be a need to include the future members of the society and the conditions they will acquire from the present generation. It is easy to see that the lives of the contemporary society’s grandchildren will be affected by the actions being done currently. In that case, the benefit of the majority and the definition of majority appear to be in question.
History tells the present generation that from the time of the cavemen down to the turn of the 20th century, the human longevity spanned 20 to 35 years. Nevertheless, beginning 1900’s, the average life span jumped forward, whether the countries involved are advanced like United States and China or are still developing like India. The sharp climb in this human longevity is attributed to medical science as well as the great decrease in the infant mortality rate. Other contributing factors include the collapse of the economic world, the enlargement of importing and exporting, and the modern comfort and technology. Not to be overlooked, another major contributing factor to the increase of average life span on Earth is the utilitarian task to make all individuals the happiest people that they can be.
Nonetheless, if a believer of utilitarianism were to consider the abrupt ballooning of this planet’s population, doubled with the average individual living about twice as long as individuals the past three millennia, coupled with the escalating consumption of needed natural resources, one might begin looking to the local culture where there are certain utilitarian penalties which may run opposite to the ideals of other utilitarian organization or societies.
For example, the Ilocanos are known to be thrifty no matter what the season is. This is partly due to the fact that the true-blue Ilocanos up north lived in constricting geographical conditions where the isolating mountain and valleys made their salt—a commodity made precious by their distance from seas—a precious product. By extension, the food supply had to be short and, therefore, consumed little by little. With the sacrifice the Ilocano elders performed before, undergoing organic as well as psychological pain, the future generation are assured of a characteristic that contributes to the perceived happiness of Filipino people.
The Ilonggos, meanwhile, are known for their cariñoso attitude which is extraordinary given the economic circumstances of people living in the Panay-Negros milieu. The filthy rich people of the haciendas lived off through the hardships of the sakadas, creating a sharp contrast in their respective economic status. Nonetheless, those who suffered poverty as a result of this feudal condition remain loving, at least to their family and at most to the people in their social circle. Hence, they are known to be romantic which is somehow connected to the positive approach to happiness that is the ultimate good in utilitarianism.
Also, the ethnic minorities of Mindanao are exposed to hunger, poverty and land displacement as a result of the military and rebel clashes as well as the lack of economic opportunities in the region. Hence, it seems that happiness is farther away from them. However, the fact that they have to subsist on what they have has made them content with the resources they possess and can find. They have learned to live within their means, making them content in the process. Happiness them is not so much as the abundance of material things but of the capacity of the human spirit to endure even the most trying circumstances in life.
As the population climbs as steeply as it is now and people living increasingly longer, many of the world’s natural resources are being exhausted. More houses must be built to accommodate people and more resources are needed for their survival. As such, material things seem to be reaching their optimal limits, leaving other options such as socio-cultural resources to achieve the pursued end of utilitarianism.
The common worldview of utilitarianism is the duty to address current socio-economic problems, since it is the right thing to perform for the majority of the people. An alternative worldview is to accommodate the most people to whom the best chance to find happiness is being offered. If the future must be considered in this utilitarian pursuit of happiness, then non-material alternatives be explored in order to realize the ultimate good of happiness being sought for the majority.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

masked rider

Toothache, testpapers, unanswered texts
Seemed trivial against writer’s block
That rendered tapes winding at extra speed.
Enemies in masquerade left essays undone;
Visions oozed from the pen’s ink
To Gapan.
Temperate moods opposed the
Raging tempest,
Colds lingered in bed,
Earnest for the kindred
Of the visage that launched
A thousand vessels.
The ruthlessness of the private wars
Long prevailed in the midst
Of throbbing all against
Blissful obliviousness;
Rivulets steadily streamed down
Unpainted chinawares.
Why choose to stay
When I dare now throw hands
In sweet defeat?
Crushed to the marrow,
I vainly wait for snows to drift
In summertime.
Heading home but never quite—
The morning bus—
I always miss the ride.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

kant’s moral view of happiness

Immanuel Kant rejects that happiness can be a healthy ground for moral actions. He asserts that empirical concepts cannot be the foundation for moral laws. He adds that universal validity of moral laws for all thinking beings is not derivative from a specific tendency of human nature. Of all things, he disagrees against the concept that one’s own happiness can serve as basis of morality. He denies this probability since well-being is not consistently commensurate to virtuous behavior. He finds it hard for a man to be happy just by becoming good. Most importantly, he rejects happiness as the principle of morality because it blurs the particular difference between virtue and vices.
The possibility and necessity to differentiate virtues and vices by category rests on showing how Kant argues that one must be under a moral law. For Kant, the moral agent puts inclinations and desires under reason. As an outcome of being a subject to such a law, actions must be categorized based on their fullness or lack of worth. For Kant, being happy cannot be substituted for morality for virtue does not exist in it. The idea of happiness cannot be a source of the idea of the supreme good. If happiness was the end of a human, nature would have been inconsistent, since happiness could be achieved better through instinct rather than by feeble insight of reason. In his synthesis of virtue, Kant portrays inclinations as the basic opponent of moral disposition. According to him, virtue is fortitude or the capacity to endure a vigorous yet unfair enemy such as inclination.
The appropriate task of reason for Kant is to generate the highest good which cannot be happiness. In truth, the development of the reason of yielding the highest good will male happiness less than nothing. For Kant, the highest good is unconditional, something that cannot be conditioned in time being. Reason may be used to serve inclination as a function of the will, but this is a lesser function and cannot approximate the ultimate principle of morality. It only shows a conditional worth.
Kant argues that a moral theory cannot be based on conditionality. He points out that lacking the principle of an unqualified good, emotions and passions, self-control, among others can e corrupted by the dialectic of reason, which is a process that happens in the thinking when the law of duty appears to contrast the inclination to perform the opposite. Reason essentially thinks how to go against the laws of duty to harmonize them with inclinations. Man feels within a strong contradiction to go against all commands of duty which reason shows as respect-worthy. This contradiction is man’s needs and inclinations, the consummate gratification known otherwise as happiness.
Kant asserts that the dialectic of reason corrupts the laws of duty in their grounds to ruin their dignity. To avoid the dialectic of reason from working as the basis of morality, Kant formulates the idea of the good will as analytically the source of the idea of the unconditional good. To attain the level of a good will, the human will must be defined by a moral law. Lacking that law, the will would work depending on the dialectic of reason. The will would be an exhibition of accordance to inclinations devoid of the unconditional law to control it. Kant says that the principle of the moral law possesses the trait of universality and the categorical imperative.
The hypothetical imperative that is Kant’s idea of end is not happiness. The hypothetical imperative regulate behavior to accord the ends set before by inclinations. The maxims which are the principles shown in action toward happiness are empirical and, thus, they contain moral worth that are nothing but conditional. Nonetheless, Kant claims that happiness as a universal end cannot serve as a ground for morality. This is because the determining basis of goodness or evil in the search for happiness can never be universally good or evil. For Kant, something good is that which is moral. Actions that are solely morally good possess moral worth. The maxim of those actions is formal since a desired end is not the objective. Kant formulates the idea of duty to manifest that one acts from duty because one respects the law. One must respect the moral law by acting from duty for one’s action to be morally worthy inherently.
For Kant, the contrast between virtue and vice is the trait of moral worth which is pursued only in the definition of the maxim as a respect for the law. Kant shows that the disposition of manifesting good management is not the reduction of one nor the augmentation of the other. Instead, vices have their separate maxims that cannot be equated with virtues. Lastly, Kant asserts that ethical duties must not be approximated depending on the capability of a man in fulfilling the law. The law with categorical commands defines the moral capacity of an individual. Kant practices his belief that ethical duties taken from the knowledge of the empirical activities must be subjected to the rationality of the expected. Therefore, no moral worth can be deduced from an action grounded on love because there can be nothing like extents of moral worth. Either the action which is defined by the universal law is a duty or not.
For Kant, the need to submit to law is an effect of the relationship of worldview of reasons to a world populated by natural laws. Reason is freed from the property of natural need which belongs to the causality of irrational organisms, so rational beings are liberated. In short, each rational being whose behavior is defined by a will acts only according with the notion of freedom. The idea of choice obviously shows that reason defines itself, thus, reason must take itself as the author of its concepts, isolated from external influences.
When Kant puts forth that freedom is assumed in the simple knowledge of the moral law, he makes a demarcation between the intelligible world from the determining causes of the sensible world. He supports this relationship through the concept of autonomy. A rational being can separate the laws of freedom from those of nature by assuming that the laws of freedom are self-imposed. The causal action of the human will in contrast with the causality of the sensible world must happen depending on self-imposed laws. It is important to touch on the principle of autonomy to suggest that it can be the ultimate principle of morality. This can be manifested by an analysis of the notions of morality. Through such an analysis, the principle must be a categorical imperative and this imperative commands this autonomy. Hence, moral actions are shown only by this principle. Actions have moral worth only when done out of duty because otherwise, no recognition of duty, no respect for the law and no moral responsibility exist.
Kant does not mean to rob humans of the need for happiness. He only intends to show that happiness as a basis for moral behavior is only a product of the imagination. No imperative, strictly speaking, commands man to do what amounts to happiness, since happiness is an ideal of imagination and not of reason, according only on empirical foundations which man would expect futilely to define an action by which the entirety of consequences—something that is infinite—may be attained. Kant asserts that determining unmistakably and universally that action which promotes happiness of a rational being is improbable since a person can never constantly declare his inclinations without hesitating, being confused or being divided.
Nevertheless, Kant believes that happiness partly composes the highest good but only when it is commensurate to morality. He argues that the highest good is a mixture of happiness and morality which cannot be recognized analytically. For Kant, the goal of happiness will in the end corrupt human innocence so this goal necessitates a sense of moral development. It is best to see Kant’s proposition that one deserves happiness instead of being motivated to be happy.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

is being good simply obeying the law?

Being good cannot be manifested in simply obeying the law. There must be a consideration of what is lawful or fair, since the opposite of that is injustice. The laws enjoin citizens to behave virtuously, so the just (therefore, lawful) person is necessarily virtuous. Goodness deals with following the dictates of one’s morality, but lawfulness means relating fairly with others. If one must be good, one must perform voluntary acts of justice. If one does not obey the law, one is not automatically bad because the mistake might have been done out of rationally inevitable ignorance. Only when injustices are done knowledgably do they become injurious and their actors, bad. The word “simply” should not be equated to fulfilling the requirement of obeying the law. Being truly just derives from one’s virtuous character, and one who is not good will never be able to understand the idea of justice in all stances. Not all laws breed perfect justice, since certain laws are perverted to protect the interests of dominant groups in society. Only equity will address the imbalance which means one cannot just follow laws blindly for fear that it will defeat the purpose of injustice. It is therefore good to follow rules discriminatingly, otherwise these laws followed strictly without premeditation can result in disaster, as may be gleaned in Socrates’ Crito. In Nicomachean Ethics’ Book I, Chapter 7, Aristotle said that “We have found, then, that the human function is activity of the soul in accord with reason or requiring reason.” One becomes good as an outcome of using his reason to discern whether a law applies justice in specific contexts. A person who religiously follows one’s conscience but in the process overlooks the fact that his conscience goes by a defective rule, is not necessarily virtuous. The law is not necessarily defective, it approaches what id just for everybody, so it cannot be that one should always break it just because one deems this violation necessary in pursuit of a greater goal. As his Book I, Chapter 1 asserts, “Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and pursuit, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim.” One is good when obeying the law makes him and others achieve the end goal of happiness.

Friday, May 01, 2009


Matagal nang minamahal kita.
Habang lumalaon,
Ang pag-ibig ko’y
Sumisidhi, lumalalim
Nguni’t paano mong malalaman?
Sa iyo’y isa lamang akong isda sa aquarium,
Buhay man, humihinga
Ay ‘di mo maaaring mahalin.