Ampatuan Massacre: Four Years After

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This day marks the 4thyear, the 1,461st day of the gruesome Ampatuan Massacre, a horrible event in our history where 58 people were killed, 34 of whom were journalists or working for the broadcast industry. Justice is yet to be served, but do you still care?

It seems like the attention of the public on this issue is slowly going to the depths of the abyss of the forgotten. It’s in one of the infamous characteristics of the Filipinos. We have a short attention span. We tend to forget our past easily. Mabilis makalimot. Mabilis magpatawad.Or it is being overshadowed by other news and events.

I partly blame this mentality in our Teleserye culture. For years, or for decades, we have been fed by these drama series shown every weeknights. The stories, though made of recycled plots and formulas, are fast-paced. We are not given an ample time to processwhat we have seen. We are bombarded every night by the same stories to the point that most of us hardly remember the development of the story, the plot, and the characters. Most TV series abroad are shown on a weekly basis. After each episode - with a definite plot and development - viewers are given an ample time to think, to scrutinize, to discuss, and to process what happened. That ample time, in my opinion, is the way people remember what they have received. And in a larger view, I view this as the way of constantly remembering events that affect our lives in general. 

Or perhaps we no longer care about the issue anymore? As I write this piece, the local Twitter trending topics are filled with obscure statements of support for these pseudo-reality love teams and famewhores and other unimportant, self-gratifying topics that would make oneself ‘known’ on the cyber universe. I have always believed that the trending topics on Twitter in a particular country reflects its people’s priority, interest, and views. It’s a tragedy that these fantards behind the so-called ‘famewhore trends’ on Twitter seem to be more influential than the people behind the voices of reform, vital information, advocacy, and policy making. What a shame!

Whenever there is a viral sensation sweeping online, most of the Filipinos (or those with access on the internet which, I think, is a substantial number) rally behind that thing - giving opinions, fumed reactions, and emotional outbursts. Like an angry mob during the medieval era holding torches and pitchforks, storming the house of an alleged witch or heretic. Take for example the Anderson Cooper-Korina Sanchez flak last week. Almost every Filipinos with social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter expressed their two cents on the issue. It even caught a national attention when the news programs and news portals made a story out of the Anderson Cooper 360-versus-Rated K incident.

If we can stand, forgive me for the term, united on this showbiz-esque brouhaha with lesser significance, then why can’t we do the same with the issues of health, education, poverty alleviation, information, and social reform? Why can’t we do the same thing to rattle the authorities, the justice system, to call for justice for the victims of the Ampatuan Massacre and other extrajudicial killings?

By letting this event just pass us by our consciousness; it would appear that we are condoning the perpetrators of this crime; or depriving justice to the victims and their families; or killing the fifty-eight (58) victims repeatedly. The victims’ death will not be given justice if the perpetrators of the crime are not prosecuted and punished.

The victims of this gruesome massacre died doing what is right - the victims, in the sense of a change of leadership by means of a lawful and honest election and the media men, by telling their (victims’) story and by acting as our eyes, ears, and mouthpiece of that event.

This massacre is caused by the warlord’s struggle to keep their power and to protect their self-interest against any possible threats. Bad politics, bad leadership, and people continuously feeding these beasts by means of the culture of tolerance, impunity, and patronage politics. But we have seen that it is not impossible to have a good, efficient, and selfless leader to rule among us.

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One of the factors why these horrible events happen is because nobody seems to be punished. People choose to be silent for fear of retribution. People choose not to speak out to avoid trouble for them and their family. We are allowing the culture of impunity in our country

Impunity. Kawalang pakundangan. It’s like saying "Go ahead, kill everyone who are against your plans! Shoot the story tellers! We allow murder in our country! No one is punished by the way."

And we don’t want it that way, right? So what can we do as an ordinary citizen?

  1. Never forget. Let us always put the Ampatuan massacre into consciousness. One way of doing it is to post something about it every 23rd of the month for everyone to see (on Facebook, Twitter, and in your blogs). This will help those who have forgotten to remember. You may notice, especially those who frequent on my blog, that I see to it that I post something every 23rd of the month to commemorate the Ampatuan Massacre and to raise awareness for those who seem to have forgotten.
  2. Be an educated and wise voter. The Ampatuan massacre is an election-related violence which involves (an alleged) private army. Choose your leaders wisely. Do not be swayed by their goods during the campaign season. Yes, we can always say our criticisms against these politicians via our tweets, blog entries, and Facebook posts. But do you know what’s more powerful? Our vote. One single vote can help kick the ass of these ‘powerful’ men of power.
  3. Be vigilant.Stay on guard, be watchful. Let us be our brother’s keeper. And let us keep an eye on the proceedings of the trial (even if it takes 55,000 years, according to Atty. Harry Roque). Let us not lose hope even though it may appear that there is no end in sight for the trial. Believe. Have faith. By means of our watchful eyes, we can achieve justice.

It is painful to admit that the wheels of justice in our country are not well-oiled, causing it to roll slowly. And it is more heart-wrenching to know that the witnesses of this massacre are either being killed one-by-one or being abducted never to be seen again.

But let us not give up, let us not lose hope. As cliche as it may sound, the only way for evil people to triumph - or the culture of impunity to prevail in this country - is for good and responsible people to do nothing.

Let us chase Lady Justice no matter how exhausting, no matter how it seems to be hopeless, and no matter how long it takes.

Justice for the Victims of the Ampatuan Massacre. Never Forget. Never again. 

Elsewhere:

Source: juanrepublic

Because screw being waterproof! We, Filipinos, are resilient.

Because screw being waterproof! We, Filipinos, are resilient.

Saw Erik Matti’s OTJ “On The Job” earlier and here are my few thoughts about the movie:1. The cinematography and the screenplay was superb. I am no film nor movie expert but this has to be one of the best that I have seen!2. The dark theme and noir-esque mood of the movie was perfect!3. The musical score! And the sound track! Dong Abay's version of Juan Dela Cruz's 'Maskara' and his 'Mateo Singko' fits perfectly in the movie!4. Erik Matti has redefined Pinoy action movies - and Filipino movie, in particular - with OTJ.5. JOEL TORRE! YOU BLEW MY MIND! ‘Nuff said.6. And oh, never forget Gerald Anderson, Papa Piolo, and other Pinoy movie greats like Michael De Mesa and the perennial politician, Mr. Leo Martinez.7. Tsong Joey Marquez’s role could have been played by another, more serious actor but that’s just me.8. Bonus points: Shaina Magdayao and Dawn Jimenez. Plus Empress. Hihi.9. I have stopped watching Star Cinema movies in theaters after ‘When Love Begins’ but this movie has lifted my curse against the film outfit.I might post a full-length review in my blog sometime this week.YOU. SHOULD. DEFINITELY. SEE. THE MOVIE. NOW!

Saw Erik Matti’s OTJ “On The Job” earlier and here are my few thoughts about the movie:

1. The cinematography and the screenplay was superb. I am no film nor movie expert but this has to be one of the best that I have seen!
2. The dark theme and noir-esque mood of the movie was perfect!
3. The musical score! And the sound track! Dong Abay's version of Juan Dela Cruz's 'Maskara' and his 'Mateo Singko' fits perfectly in the movie!
4. Erik Matti has redefined Pinoy action movies - and Filipino movie, in particular - with OTJ.
5. JOEL TORRE! YOU BLEW MY MIND! ‘Nuff said.
6. And oh, never forget Gerald Anderson, Papa Piolo, and other Pinoy movie greats like Michael De Mesa and the perennial politician, Mr. Leo Martinez.
7. Tsong Joey Marquez’s role could have been played by another, more serious actor but that’s just me.
8. Bonus points: Shaina Magdayao and Dawn Jimenez. Plus Empress. Hihi.
9. I have stopped watching Star Cinema movies in theaters after ‘When Love Begins’ but this movie has lifted my curse against the film outfit.

I might post a full-length review in my blog sometime this week.
YOU. SHOULD. DEFINITELY. SEE. THE MOVIE. NOW!

Galit kami ni Ronnie Lazaro sa Pork Barrel system.

Galit kami ni Ronnie Lazaro sa Pork Barrel system.

Drunk Ukulele Sessions (Episode 1.5)
Viva La Vida (Coldplay)

What’s up, ladies and gents? It has been a while since I posted here in my blog. My work as a high school teacher has been keeping me busy over the past months and I have already, in a way, neglected this blog. But from time to time, I always find ways to revive this blog and post something (even though most of the time, it has turned into an Instagram dump site, sorry).

As what some of you may have already known, I started this project named Drunk Ukulele Sessions last summer. Drunk Ukulele Sessions is not exactly me, drunk, playing a ukulele in front of the camera (though I might do that soon because I swear, I sound better when I’m drunk). I just named it as such because my uke sounds ‘drunk’ - in the broadest sense of being drunk. And because there is honesty, there is truth, there is a heart whenever one is dead drunk (Remember the Latin dictum In Vino Nobis Veritas?)

For this second video, I have decided to share this impromptu session with my siblings. I put episode 1.5 because technically, this isn’t exactly the second episode. It was just a product of us, having a good time, and our mother grabbing the camera and recording this session (so much foe being a supportive and proud Nanay. Haha!).

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And just to give you an update, as promised on the previous episode, I have already bought a new, better-sounding ukulele a few weeks ago. On the right is my new Greg Bennett Samick UK-50 (beside the Cebu-made ukulele which I used in this video) which produces a better and fuller sound. But I have yet to post a video using that new ukulele. Hopefully, it will come soon.

Please forgive us for the poor quality of this video (and our performance, you judgmental, omniscient creature! Haha!). As what I have written above, we were just having fun. I hope you enjoy listening to this beautiful song by Coldplay.

Let’s all get drunk and play that ukulele!

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Drunk Ukulele Sessions (Episode 1) - Read more about Drunk Ukulele Sessions and watch the first episode featuring Robin Gibb’s ‘Boys do Fall In Love’.

Pinoy Alternate History (Part 2)

Just like last year’s celebration of Independence Day, I joined RocketKapre.com’s Twitter discussion/trend/story telling about alternate Filipino history. By means of the hashtag #RP612fic, Twitter users shared their tweet-length stories about our country’s alternative history and realist micro fiction.

I decided to collate and post my #RP612fic tweets here in my blog because eventually, these stories will be covered with other stories, opinion, and whatnots on my timeline. I would like to preserve these precious tweets and let it reach a wider audience through Juan Republic.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am presenting you the product of my love for history, pop culture, conspiracy theory, and Game of Thrones.

  • Before Jose Rizal was given a mercy shot in the head, the commanding officer told him “The Lannisters send their regards”.
  • Simoun/Crisostomo Ibarra’s plan to sabotage Edmure Tully and Roslin Frey’s wedding failed when Isagani threw the lamp to the river
  • "Di lang ako Presidente! Artista rin ako at hindi ako basta-basta artista! Ako si Da King at ang orig na Panday!" - President FPJ
  • The White Walkers defeated the Night’s Watch under General Gregorio Del Pilar. They later chased Aguinaldo in Palanan, Isabela.
  •  Andres Bonifacio sensed that something was wrong at the Tejeros Convention when ‘The Rains of Castamere’ was played by the Cavitenos.
  •  The last words of Captain Pedro Janolino to the bloodied corpse of General Antonio Luna: “And now his watch has ended.”
  •   Pol Medina Jr. declared National Artist for Visual Arts - much to the dismay of St. Scholastica administration.
  •  Bossing Vic Sotto unites with Peter Jackson! ‘Si Bilbo Baggins at si Enteng Kabisote’ eyed for the 40th Metro Manila Film Festival
  •   In the Battle of Manila Bay, the Americans implored the help of Tyrion Lannister to use wildfire against the Spaniards.
  •  The City of Manila was declared an ‘Open City’ to save it from further destruction from Khaleesi’s dragons and her unsullied army.
  •  The City of Manila was the second most destroyed city during the War of the Five Kings - next only to Winterfell.
  •  PNoy named Hannibal Lecter as Malacanan’s new executive chef. The palace received good feedbacks from guests at the Vin D’Honneur
  •  Bonifacio rose up from his grave and punched ER Ejercito in the face over the former’s ‘bad image’ in the movie ‘El Presidente’.
  •  Before Aguinaldo’s men could kill them, Procopio and Andres Bonifacio contacted USS Enterprise and shouted “Beam us up, Scotty!”
  •   In 1892, Jose Rizal was exiled to the planet Vulcan. There, he became friends with Spock and the rest of the Vulcans.
  • In the year 2080, due to the numerous archived pro-Marcos posts, kids believe that Ferdinand Marcos is a member of The Beatles.

I could have added other insane stories on my tweets but I didn’t want to flood my followers’ Twitter timeline and I was then in the middle of rushing (read: cramming) my diagnostic examinations for my students (Yes, I’m a High School teacher. Yey.)

It is said that there are no ifs in history. We cannot dwell on the past and try to change it. But we can always learn from its lessons. As what George Santayana said: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

But we can always use our imagination and think of a good and creative historical fiction. And have a good laugh.

Mabuhay ang Kalayaan! Padayon!

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Elsewhere:

  • Pinoy Alternate History - My #RP612fic tweets from last year - inspired by pop culture, television shows, and conspiracy theories.

Drunk Ukulele Sessions (Episode 1)
Boys Do Fall In Love (Robin Gibb)


Hola, ladies and gents. First of all, I am asking for your forgiveness for turning this blog into an Instagram dumpsite over the past few weeks. I have run out of things to blog so I decided, for the mean time, to just share some of those pictures with you. But I have also promised to return to ‘regular programming’ soon so here we go.

As some of you may have noticed, my blog Juan Republic has been ‘dead’ for over a long period of time. I am no longer as active as in 2010 and early 2011. I just occasionally post my thoughts and two cents on various issues and current events. I told myself that if ever I ‘resurrect’ this blog, I will do something new.

And this is where the idea of uploading a series of video blogs come. Since my ‘mojo’ in writing hasn’t returned yet (naks!), I decided to just turn into another medium of communication to share my thoughts and to express myself which, are the very essence of Juan Republic. I love to talk (I’m a high school teacher) and I love to do stuff in front of the camera (sans the indecent stuff) so I decided to turn into video blogging. (In fact, I already made one during the height of the Janine Tugonon-The Script vocalist issue)

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Also, while on an indefinite ‘Tumblr hiatus’, I turned my attention and energy on learning how to play the ukulele. I got this last month from my father after he came back from his trip in Cebu City. the one I have is just a 350-peso ukulele but I think it’s a great start to learn the instrument.

After weeks of playing, I have learned a handful of songs and it pushed the ‘pasikat’ in me to share some of the them on YouTube. And this is where the concept of Drunk Ukulele Sessions was born.

Drunk Ukulele Sessions is not exactly me, drunk, playing a ukulele in front of the camera (though I might do that soon because I swear, I sound better when I’m drunk). I just named it as such because my uke sounds ‘drunk’ - in the broadest sense of being drunk. And because there is honesty, there is truth, there is a heart whenever one is dead drunk (Remember the Latin dictum In Vino Nobis Veritas?)

For the first episode of Drunk Ukulele Sessions, I decided to cover Robin Gibb’s ‘Boys Do Fall In Love’. Aside from the fact that it’s easy to play in the uke, this song holds a significant part in my heart. I grew up listening to this song from my uncle’s boombox and I frequently sing this song in College during some of our jamming sessions (This was the time when Parokya ni Edgar covered this off their album ‘Solid’).

So, I hope you enjoy watching this video and I hope this doesn’t damage your eyeball and your eardrums. Don’t worry, the next episodes of Drunk Ukulele Sessions will hopefully sound better. I will start saving for a high-end ukulele and other recording gears. Ka-career-in ko na ‘to since I don’t think I have a future playing the guitar and piano. Haha!

Jake Shimabukuro, during one of the TEDx talks, told that the ukulele can be an instrument of peace. Only a few people consider the uke as a ‘serious’ musical instrument. I long to see the day when people of all ages are playing this instrument, spreading the message of peace.

Let’s all get drunk and play that ukulele!

Source: juanrepublic

Dos Sentimos

We live in a society where we laugh at rape jokes and we kiss the ass of the comedian who ‘insult’ people to give his audience a good laugh. We have fallen as a nation and as intellectual human beings. We’re fucked up.

"Rocker si Mother"

It’s the time of the year when we salute the women whose womb brought us and whose breasts, we nursed. We have different and unique yabang stories about how great, cool, and loving our mothers are.

How cool was your Nanay? What’s your story? I have already shared this to my old readers for the past two (2) years but let me share this again to you, my own yabang anecdote about my beloved Nanay. This story never gets old for me:

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The year was 2010. After months of being a bum after quitting my work as a researcher in UP Manila, I landed a job as an editor in a publishing company. And since I learned about the Eraserheads: The Head Set earlier that year (when rumors began to spread like wildfire on the internet), I made a vow to myself to allot a portion of my paycheck for the box set - no matter how expensive it would cost me.

The Box Set was released on September 9, 2010 - and I still haven’t received my paycheck. I was in panic. Since the box set is limited, I feared that I will not be able to buy myself a copy. I also feared that the box set will not be available here in the Southern Luzon area (you know, some music materials are just too Metro Manila-centered).

I received my paycheck by mid-September and the first thing that I did was to go to the nearest (and only) Greenwich here in Los Baños. I asked the crew if they have the Heads Set. And the rest was months of nostalgia, rockin’ with the Eraserheads.

As most of you who have the Heads Set, the box includes a coffee table book/ lyric sheet/ photo album (I don’t know how to exactly call it), complete albums, EPs, and a DVD, and the Heads Set Shirt.

Now, the Heads Shirt came in free-size-one-size-fits-all-that’s-a-fuckin’-fashion-discrimination!  And if you who know me personally, you know that that shirt will not fit me - and I rarely wear body fits (bakat ang man-boobs pare!). So I decided to just hang it in my room for art’s sake, for bragging, and for future self-centered consumption (I just love to use that word).

Months went by and the shirt still hangs in my room. One day, my Nanay entered the room and asked me: "Aanhin mo yan kung hindi mo isusuot? Sayang lang ang Php 2,500 mo."

Jokingly, I replied "Kapag pumayat ako, maisusuot ko na yan".

"Ipahiram mo na lang muna sa akin. Ako ang magsusuot.", she replied.

At first, I was taken aback. My Nanay will wear an Eraserheads shirt? Is she trying to be bagets or what? I can accept it if my father wears this shirt (because he is jeprox and young at heart) but my conservative Nanay? She got to be kidding.

I asked her, "Seryoso kayo?".

"Oo nga!", she replied.

And she removed the shirt from the hanger, went to the other room, and wore my shirt. And it fits her perfectly. Panalo!

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This is the modern world where being fit and sexy is in and being fat with man-boobs is a big no. It’s just so unfair for us fatties. Come on self-proclaimed fashion experts! There are more of us who are not sexy, fit, and macho. The world is full of non-sexy and non-fit individuals. You should consider us whenever you make these shirts.

Okay, enough of the ranting. Alam ko namang olats ako diyan at kailangan ko na talagang magpapayat. Hindi na din kasi healthy.

I have cool parents. It’s good to see them having the same trip and vibes as ours. They borrow and listen to my CDs. They watch the same TV series as mine. And they both love the Eraserheads.

Nanay, you can wear that shirt forever if you want to. It’s all yours. I can buy you more Eraserheads shirt if you want to. Keep your cool. I love you po! :’)

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I don’t have a perfect mother - we all are. And sometimes, whenever I lose my temper or just under the weather, I treat my mother’s imperfections as a curse. It has always been my temptation (and I am struggling to fight it day after day) to look at my Nanay’s imperfection as something that the universe has conspired to punish me. And I hate myself for that.

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But whenever I hear her story, I understand her. It’s inspiring to hear the stories of her youth. I almost cried when I heard that she has to stop going to school for a year because of her health conditions and how she struggled to be a working student and pay for her own school fees. I laugh whenever I hear her stories of youth, crazy office tales, and day-to-day experiences. Hearing her story made me understand my Nanay more. I guess I have to hear from her more in order for me to view her imperfections as a blessing. How about you? When was the last time that you had a heart-to-heart to your Nanay?

When I was young, I hated my mother for not letting me listen to the music of the Eraserheads. She always treat it as a noise and not a real music.

But now things have changed. She sings with me whenever I play Eraserheads (and Beatles) songs in the guitar, ukulele and the piano. She even borrowed some of my CDs to listen in her computer in the office. And the last time I heard, she’s also singing some radio pop hits (some of which I have never heard of). How cool was that?

I guess music, being the universal language, helped us to understand each other.

And the last time I checked, my Eraserheads shirt is still in her closet.

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Thank you, Nanay, for all the things that you have done for us. Thank you for being a good mother, a good wife, and a good friend. I am sorry for being a pain in the ass sometimes (or most of the time). that is how I show my tough love (Nuks!).

May the Good Lord bless you with good health and a happier life. Madaming rounds pa ng Scrabble ang lalaruin natin at madami pang bote ng alak ang patutumbahin natin.

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To the womb that bore me, and the breasts at which I nursed, I love you. Happy Mother’s Day po, Nanay!

Rakenrol!

A Force-Driven Life

This is not a rip-off or a critique of Rick Warren’s classic opus, The Purpose-Driven Life. This is the story of my midichlorian-infused journey to the galaxy of far, far away aboard the Millennium Falcon with The Force as my guide.

Okay, that sounds too geek.

Every once in while, a great fictional saga is born and made. Classics such as James Bond, Indiana Jones, The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Star Trek, and Batman are just some of the well-loved series by different generations of fans, geeks, and movie buffs.

Among the above-mentioned series, there is one that always stands out for me among others - Star Wars. I am a Star Wars fan. Call me a geek but seriously, I am a die-hard fan of the universe created by George Lucas. I am also a Harry Potter fan but my obsession with Star Wars started when I was young long before I discovered the magical world of Harry Potter.

But I am not into the story of a dramatic young lady who is obsessed with a sparkling vampire. I will just leave it there for kids to devour.

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I blame my obsession with Star Wars to my father. Back when I was still a little kid, he introduced me to the epicness of Master Yoda, Luke Skywalker, Obi Wan Kenobi, and Darth Vader. I can still remember how he brought home cutouts and scanned pages from the magazine about Star Wars (This was the time when scanners and colored printers were just a new technology, for common people at least.). He even gave me printout of all the characters - from the whole Jedi council to the Ewoks - pasted in an illustration board and covered with a plastic cover. The internet was a new technology then and the graphics were not as good as it is today so I consider those cut-outs as a priced gem.

That’s how my obsession for Star Wars started. I am thankful to have a geek and cool father (Sometimes I think he is a Jedi in disguise, a man conceived by the midichlorians themselves. Seriously).

And today, May 4, as what most of the Star Wars fan knew, is Star Wars Day

Star Wars Day (also sometimes known as Luke Skywalker Day) because of the popularity of a common pun spoken on this day. Since the phrase "May the Force be with you" is a famous quote often spoken in the Star Wars films, fans commonly say “May the fourth be with you” (May 4th) on this day.

A few months back, I wrote about my obsession with covers and front pages of magazines and broadsheets. I decided to check the TIME Magazine cover archive and found this interesting covers on Star Wars and Science Fiction. What caught my attention was this favorite cover of mine which was released on 2002, when I was still in High School:

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This was released prior to the showing of the second part (chronologically fifth) of the Star Wars saga. This issue contains a complete guide to the Attack of the Clones - from characters to space ships and other vehicles.

Due to my obsession for the series, I made something, uhm, dark back in the day. I nenok-ed this issue in our library and cut the pages dedicated to Star Wars. I think the dark side of The Force forced me to do so (insert evil grin here).

So much for my mission to destroy the Death Star.

This particular installment came as a surprise for the fans of Master Yoda - myself included - when he, for the first time, used his light saber to fight Count Dooku. and I tell you, that was one of the most memorable sword fights in movie history.

Browsing the archives of Time Magazine’s website and the web for Star Wars-related stuff brings back good memories of my childhood as a little Star Wars fan, sharing the story with my father. And I think this will last until I grow old, and probably, when I have children of my own.

The acquisition of Lucas Films by Disney Pictures and the recent news about star wars episode 7 made me stoked and screamed like a teenage fan boy. And to add to my excitement, I heard that SciFi genius JJ Abrams will be directing the next trilogy. How cool was that? I can’t wait for 2015 to see that movie.

And just so you know, young ladies who know Order 66 have an edge to meShall we talk about Star Wars over a cup of coffee?

Happy Star Wars Day everyone! May The Force be with you!

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Elsewhere:

  • John Williams is the Man - In celebration of Star Wars day, here’s an a capella tribute of cinematic themes dedicated to composer John Williams - composer of the themes of Star Wars, Jurrsic Park, E.T. among others. The lyrics of the song contains some of the parts from the Star Wars series.
  • I Sense a Disturbance in The Force - Something that I made and wrote back in 2010 - my favorite Philippine Senator meets the Sith Lord of the Galactic Empire.
  • Star Wars Day Advertisement: Say No to The Force - A not-so-friendly reminder from the Galactic Empire

Source: juanrepublic

Padayon

Isang basong tubig galing sa poso inutang na kanin at malamig na ginamos
kaunting asin sa plastik na platito busog na bay, puwede nang magtrabaho 
Sa aking balikat ay papasanin tatlong-daang kilo ng asukal limandaang sako ng denorado sanlibong kaha ng delata sampung tonelada ng arina

Kalawanging bubong, pader na may butas posteng pilay at sahig na paduyan-duyan ang aking palasyo’y pagkatibay-tibay pero puwede na ‘pre - tuloy ang hanapbuhay Ngayong araw ay tatapusin ko isang subdibisyon, limampung hektarya tatlong dosenang mansyon na magara higanteng gusaling likha sa semento kilo-kilometro ng kalsada

Oo, kay tamis ng buhay oo, kay daling umasenso  hangarin ko’y makatikim ng kaunting hayahay subalit kailangang ipagpatuloy ang hanapbuhay Pagkat walang ibang makagagawa nito paandarin ang makinarya bigyan ng buhay ang industriya patakbuhin ang ekonomiya padayunon ang pagpangita

Padayon!

Isang awiting obrero, para sa mga obrero, sa araw ng mga obrero.

May isa akong tweet na nabasa noong panahong wala pang masyadong jologs sa Twitter, mula yata kay ginoong Ramon Bautista. Kung gusto mong magkaroon ng inspirasyon sa araw-araw, pagmasdan mo daw ang mga ordinaryong taong pumapasok sa kanilang mga trabaho tuwing umaga.

Oo nga naman. Madalas, puro reklamo tayo sa hassles ng buhay. Puro reklamo sa trabaho at pag-aaral. Puro hinaing sa kung ano ang mga bagay na meron tayo. Gayong marami sa ating mga kababayang obrero, halos mamatay na sa trabaho na magkaroon lamang ng marangal na pagkukunan ng ipangtutustos sa kanilang pamilya. Ganoon ba dapat ‘yun? Kailangang mamatay upang makabuhay? Isang napakalaking kabalintunaan.

Hanga ako sa mga obrero, lalo na yung mga (mababa pa sa) minumum at arawan lamang kung sumuweldo. Tapos, hindi pa mga permanente at puro kontraktwal. Sila yung mga taong pinaghuhugutan ko ng inspirasyon para hindi sumuko sa buhay. Nakakahiya nga sa kanila. Ako na nga itong nakatapos at nasabing mas may pinag-aralan, ako pa itong tatamad-tamad sa trabaho. Paano kaya kung nagbiro ang tadhana at iyong skill at knowledge ko ay nasa kanilang mga masisipag? Napakalayo na siguro ng narating nila.

Kung hindi lang sana kalakaran dito sa atin ang kontraktwalisasyon. Kung ang trabaho ng mga obrero ay permanente at hindi na mamomroblema makalipas ang limang buwan. Siguro nga, metaphysicaly speaking, sa mundo ng negosyo at Kapitalsmo, maituturing na ‘necessary evil’ (o kinakailangan talagang umiral dahil ito ay nasa kaniyang natura gaano man kasama ang epekto) ang kontraktwalisasyon. Pero naniniwala akong hindi dapat iyon ang kalakaran sa tunay na mundo.

Isa sa mga paborito kong kanta ay ang ‘Padayon’ na orihinal na inawit ni Joey Ayala (na muling binigyang buhay ng Rivermaya sa kanilang album na “Isang Ugat, Isang Dugo”). Napakaganda ng mensahe nitong nagbibigay buhay sa manggagawa na huwag susuko at ang kanilang importansya sa lipunan.

Ang ‘Padayon’ ay isang salitang Bisaya na ang ibig sabihin ay ‘magpatuloy’ o ‘tuloy lang’. Sa katunayan, ginawa ko na ito bilang aking personal na ‘mantra’ at motto sa buhay. At kung hindi ka kabilang sa 85% ng mga tagasubaybay sa blog ko na hindi naman talaga nagbabasa (at may attention span lang ng dalawang talata), malamang ay napansin mong madalas ko itong gamitin sa aking mga naunang akda.

Ngayon ay Kapistahan ni San Jose, ang manggagawa. Siya ang itinuturing ng Simbahang Katolika na Patron ng mga obrero, ng mga manggagagawa. Ngayong araw din ipinagdiriwang sa buong kapuluan ang Araw ng mga Manggagawa o ang Labor Day.

Noong bata ako, itinuturing ko lang ang ika-1 ng Mayo o Labor Day bilang araw ng protesta ng mga aktibista at iba’t-ibang mga unyon ng manggagawa na kung misan, mapapa-“Punyeta!” ka na lang sa kanila dahil nagiging sagabal sa daloy ng trapiko, maingay, at parang mga ngawa lang nang ngawa na wala nang ginawa kung hindi magreklamo.

Pero kahit minsan, naisip mo ba na kung wala ang mga “maiingay” na ito, ang mga raliyista na nagreklamo, ang mga may hawak ng placard sa kalsada na dahilan kung bakit ka naipit sa ga-impyernong trapiko, hindi dapat  natin tinatamasa ngayon ang ilan sa mga pribilehiyo bilang mga manggagawa? Kung wala ang mga nakipaglaban na yan, wala tayong weekend, overtime pay, social security, sick leave,health benefits, at iba pa?

image

Imbes na magreklamo dahil nahuli ka sa pagpunta sa mall para manood ng Iron Man 3 ngayong holiday, magpasalamat ka na lang kahit papaano.

Isa sa mga pangarap ko para sa ating Patria Adorada ay ang dumating ang araw na ang Araw ng Manggagawa ay maging isang araw na punong-puno lamang ng kasiyahan at pagdiriwang. Walang protesta. Walang sinusunog na effigy. Isang araw na pinapangaralan at pinasasalamatan ang lahat ng mga dakilang manggagagawa.

Sana, magkatotoo.

Mabuhay ang mga dakila at masisipag na obrerong Pinoy! Padayon!

Elsewhere:

  • NagResignAko.com - Kaunting katatawanan mula sa iba’t-ibang istorya ng mga manggagawang nagbitiw sa kanilang trabaho. Akala mo ay pinaka-impyerno na ang trabaho mo? Bakit hindi mo ikumpara sa kanila?

Source: juanrepublic

Philippine Daily Inquirer: You Got Trolled!

It was no surprise that for most of us who have been religiously following the happenings on the cyber world (half of which are journalists and the other half are bored individuals like me) - whether it be on Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr - that President Aquino made it to this year’s list of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. The news came last April 18 at 7:03 PM, Manila time.

In response, President Noynoy Aquino said that he was merely the “face” of the Filipino people, that the recognition is due to his countrymen and of the whole country and that if success was achieved, it would be the success of everyone.

As most of you know, I have always been fascinated with covers and front pages of various local and international broadsheets and magazines. In fact, it is my daily habit before starting a day’s work to browse and to look at various front pages and covers whether it be in print or in digital format. I consider it as an exceptional art and as a part of history as well. So when the list came out, I eagerly waited on who would be on the cover of TIME’s special issue.

An hour past midnight earlier, while waiting for the developments on the manhunt of the marathon bombing suspect in Boston (and while waiting for my 'Homeland' episode download to finish), I dropped by the website of the Philippine Daily Inquirer to see if they have already uploaded their page one for today. As I looked at the digital format of the front page, aside from the photos of the two Boston bombing suspects, I saw the photo of President Aquino in an apparently, a cover of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.

image

But here’s the catch: The cover looked fake and the photo of President Aquino that was used was one of his, excuse me, unflattering photos. I immediately searched TIME magazine to verify its authenticity and lo and behold, it turned out to be fake. The cover for this year’s special issue is Jennifer Lawrence. Not President Aquino.

So what? Some trolls and pranksters probably made that “false cover’ to fool on people.  But here’s the thing, it landed on the cover of one of the most respected broadsheet in the country (and they have repeatedly said that they are the leading broadsheet in the country, which, I believe by the way). The fake TIME Magazine cover landed on the front page of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. What a shame! (I later discovered that this fake cover came from one of the memes of Showbiz Government, a satirical Facebook page. Good job guys!)

I have a love-hate relationship with that broadsheet. Though I have repeatedly praised some of their creative front pages (like the false cover and the bloodied cover for the Philippine Independence Day celebration), I have also criticized (if not make fun of) some of them. to name a few, there was the juxtaposition failure, their tabloid-esque layout, and the headline that’s more appropriate in the entertainment section.

It has been a buzz in the social media that the Inquirer is “too yellow”,  a broadsheet that is always in favor of President Aquino. In fact, my (new) favorite blog, The Spin Busters, describe the Inquirer (or PDI) as the President’s Daily InquirerThe Inquirer later apologized in a tweet saying that it was an honest mistake. But here’s the catch, they also said that they wish it was President Aquino on the cover. With that being said, I think it is evident that there is no statement “more yellow” than that.

I once worked for the publishing industry and it is a mortal sin among us to run and print non-factual information and materials. Though my previous job is not that of the news industry (I worked for a private company publishing textbooks), this broadsheet, In my opinion, with their hundreds of employees, should have exercised diligence in publishing their paper. Now that the boo-boo has been published and distributed nationwide, I think this broadsheet has lost a bit of their credibility. That’s the price you pay of falling for a troll’s trap.

Going back to President Aquino’s statement that he is the face of the Filipino people, I cannot but take a look again at his unflattering photo. The trolls have successfully used the President’s signature “nganga” image. In the local pop culture, “nganga” - or the act of leaving your mouth wide open - has a connotation of emptiness, laziness, tardiness, and stupidity.

If this is the real face of the Filipino people, then we are travelling not in a promised Daang Matuwid. We are in a Ngangang Matuwid.

Elsewhere:

Source: juanrepublic

My Two Cents on the Janine Tugonon Issue

Over the past 48 hours, the Philippine social media went abuzz on probably the most important and most essential issue that this country has to face since Kris Aquino’s ‘resignation’ from her TV shows - Miss Universe 2012 First Runner-Up Janine Tugonon’s breakup with her boyfriend.

And of course, just like every other important issue here in our country, the Filipino people, through the power of social media, need to react. Numerous tweets have been posted. Hundreds of Facebook posts have been repeatedly liked and shared.

And to add insult to the injury, I will give my two cents about the topic. For a change (and because a handful of blogposts have already sprung up like mushrooms) I recorded myself while trying to convey a thought-provoking point.

Don’t worry, this video runs for only 40 seconds.

Done watching? Good. Can we please move on to the next issue? How about the elections? How about our claim to Sabah? How about the conflict in West Philippine Sea? How about the Ampatuan Massacre? No? Okay.

Source: juanrepublic

Yes, this is the headline of the Philippine Daily Inquirer Today
Since the advent of my bumming in our school library and in my parents’ office library, I have been always fascinated with covers and front pages of various local and international broadsheets and magazines. In fact, it is my daily habit before starting a day’s work to browse and to look at various front pages and covers whether it be in print or in digital format. I consider it as an exceptional art and as a part of history as well. (See my blog’s archive for some of my articles written in the past regarding that matter).
One of my favorite websites is that of the Philippine Daily Inquirer which has been my favorite broadsheet since those bumming days in the library. But it is no secret here in my blog that I have a love-hate relationship with that broadsheet. Though I have repeatedly praised some of their creative front pages (like the false cover and the bloodied cover for the Philippine Independence Day celebration), I have also criticized (if not make fun of) some of them. to name a few, there was the juxtaposition failure, their tabloid-esque layout, and the headline that’s more appropriate in the entertainment section.
Earlier this morning, I woke up to the sad news about the Boston marathon bombing. While reading articles from foreign news outfits (like the Associated Press, Hufftington Post, and The Atlantic), I decided to pay a visit on some of our local news websites to double-check the facts and figures and at the same time, to check their banner stories for today. Lo and behold! It’s our favorite Presidential sister headlining today’s issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
I have nothing against Kris Aquino being the top tax payer. I have nothing against Kris Aquino being Kris Aquino. In fact, just like Lourd De Veyra who has repeatedly wrote about her on his This is a Crazy Planets column on Spot.PH, I have also repeatedly wrote (satirical piece and praise) about her (with this being my all-time favorite). What moved my palm into my face was the fact that she conquered the front page and that she and her multi-million tax is today’s banner story for the respected broadsheet.
But of course, I have nothing against the story showcasing this country’s top taxpayers. As what every students in College learned in their taxation class, taxes are the blood that supports and gives life to a country. We need taxes. We need efficient tax collection. We need to penalize those who do not declare their taxes correctly and those who do not pay them. But unfortunately, with our favorite Presidential sister being this country’s top taxpayer, we also need to know that fact. Or do we really need to? Have we had enough of her life and her stories? Is it necessary for the Philippine Daily Inquirer to shove her story in our faces?
But maybe, just maybe, it was a slow news day yesterday and the biggest story (at least, based on their discretion), is Kris Aquino’s. I have seen this story being repeatedly tweeted yesterday but I did not expect it to land into the Inquirer's banner story. Well, with their history of previous facepalm-inducing front pages, I was not completely surprised.
_____________
Enough of my disappointment. I miss doing this in my blog so let me do this once again - dissecting and giving the items on the front page a bit of scrutiny, sarcasm, and humor. Here we go:
NKKLK! - According to the news, Kris Aquino, with her three television shows and tons of product endorsements, paid almost 50 million pesos in taxes in 2011. Aside from me, who among you thinks that you can earn that amount until your retirement? Why not? Explain using the BIR form no. 1700.
"Daang Maalog" - Yesterday, President Aquino rode the locally-developed monorail at UP Diliman for a test run. He described the ride as “bumpy” and the tracks “wavy”. And according to the resident trolls, er, readers (who leave their comments via Disqus) of the the Inquirer's website, that ride perfectly describes this administration's “Daang Matuwid”. Boom!
Beauty. And brains. - I failed to catch last Sunday’s Binibining Pilipinas Gold (because I was busy watching the Jose and Wally concert on the other channel). But do you know what’s more gold? Twitterverse. And the tweets, comments, and reactions on the pageant, the hosts, and the contestants. Twitterverse was so awesome the pageant itself became so boring. Anyway, congratulations to the winners and to the aspiring beauty queens who are planning to join next year’s pageant, please don’t forget to bring Mongol pencil no. 2.
Practice what you Preach. - Pope Francis told Priests to practice what they preach. This news item has a special place in my heart. It is not a secret here in my blog that I almost became a Priest. But I was too awesome, er, badass so they have to send me out of the Seminary. (How badass? Let’s just say that I wrote this controversial piece entitled “Of Sacerdos and Politicos: A Comparison Between Priests and Politicians”. Read on!)
Smart Communications is the number one corporate taxpayer. I guess Globe Telecom, as usual, is having a problem with their network at the BIR Office.
_____________
It has been ages since I last wrote a decent blog entry. My work as a high school teacher - and the real world - drove me away from my love of writing and sharing my thoughts and a part of my crazy imagination here in my blog.
But I guess, I have had enough rest. It’s time to resurrect this blog and once again, share stories and opinion with the rest of the Tumblrverse and the interwebz. I hope I am still welcomed here in the blogging community.
Brace yourselves, it’s gonna be a fun ride.

Yes, this is the headline of the Philippine Daily Inquirer Today

Since the advent of my bumming in our school library and in my parents’ office library, I have been always fascinated with covers and front pages of various local and international broadsheets and magazines. In fact, it is my daily habit before starting a day’s work to browse and to look at various front pages and covers whether it be in print or in digital format. I consider it as an exceptional art and as a part of history as well. (See my blog’s archive for some of my articles written in the past regarding that matter).

One of my favorite websites is that of the Philippine Daily Inquirer which has been my favorite broadsheet since those bumming days in the library. But it is no secret here in my blog that I have a love-hate relationship with that broadsheet. Though I have repeatedly praised some of their creative front pages (like the false cover and the bloodied cover for the Philippine Independence Day celebration), I have also criticized (if not make fun of) some of them. to name a few, there was the juxtaposition failure, their tabloid-esque layout, and the headline that’s more appropriate in the entertainment section.

Earlier this morning, I woke up to the sad news about the Boston marathon bombing. While reading articles from foreign news outfits (like the Associated Press, Hufftington Post, and The Atlantic), I decided to pay a visit on some of our local news websites to double-check the facts and figures and at the same time, to check their banner stories for today. Lo and behold! It’s our favorite Presidential sister headlining today’s issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

I have nothing against Kris Aquino being the top tax payer. I have nothing against Kris Aquino being Kris Aquino. In fact, just like Lourd De Veyra who has repeatedly wrote about her on his This is a Crazy Planets column on Spot.PH, I have also repeatedly wrote (satirical piece and praise) about her (with this being my all-time favorite). What moved my palm into my face was the fact that she conquered the front page and that she and her multi-million tax is today’s banner story for the respected broadsheet.

But of course, I have nothing against the story showcasing this country’s top taxpayers. As what every students in College learned in their taxation class, taxes are the blood that supports and gives life to a country. We need taxes. We need efficient tax collection. We need to penalize those who do not declare their taxes correctly and those who do not pay them. But unfortunately, with our favorite Presidential sister being this country’s top taxpayer, we also need to know that fact. Or do we really need to? Have we had enough of her life and her stories? Is it necessary for the Philippine Daily Inquirer to shove her story in our faces?

But maybe, just maybe, it was a slow news day yesterday and the biggest story (at least, based on their discretion), is Kris Aquino’s. I have seen this story being repeatedly tweeted yesterday but I did not expect it to land into the Inquirer's banner story. Well, with their history of previous facepalm-inducing front pages, I was not completely surprised.

_____________

Enough of my disappointment. I miss doing this in my blog so let me do this once again - dissecting and giving the items on the front page a bit of scrutiny, sarcasm, and humor. Here we go:

  • NKKLK! - According to the news, Kris Aquino, with her three television shows and tons of product endorsements, paid almost 50 million pesos in taxes in 2011. Aside from me, who among you thinks that you can earn that amount until your retirement? Why not? Explain using the BIR form no. 1700.
  • "Daang Maalog" - Yesterday, President Aquino rode the locally-developed monorail at UP Diliman for a test run. He described the ride as “bumpy” and the tracks “wavy”. And according to the resident trolls, er, readers (who leave their comments via Disqus) of the the Inquirer's website, that ride perfectly describes this administration's “Daang Matuwid”. Boom!
  • Beauty. And brains. - I failed to catch last Sunday’s Binibining Pilipinas Gold (because I was busy watching the Jose and Wally concert on the other channel). But do you know what’s more gold? Twitterverse. And the tweets, comments, and reactions on the pageant, the hosts, and the contestants. Twitterverse was so awesome the pageant itself became so boring. Anyway, congratulations to the winners and to the aspiring beauty queens who are planning to join next year’s pageant, please don’t forget to bring Mongol pencil no. 2.
  • Practice what you Preach. - Pope Francis told Priests to practice what they preach. This news item has a special place in my heart. It is not a secret here in my blog that I almost became a Priest. But I was too awesome, er, badass so they have to send me out of the Seminary. (How badass? Let’s just say that I wrote this controversial piece entitled “Of Sacerdos and Politicos: A Comparison Between Priests and Politicians”. Read on!)
  • Smart Communications is the number one corporate taxpayer. I guess Globe Telecom, as usual, is having a problem with their network at the BIR Office.

_____________

It has been ages since I last wrote a decent blog entry. My work as a high school teacher - and the real world - drove me away from my love of writing and sharing my thoughts and a part of my crazy imagination here in my blog.

But I guess, I have had enough rest. It’s time to resurrect this blog and once again, share stories and opinion with the rest of the Tumblrverse and the interwebz. I hope I am still welcomed here in the blogging community.

Brace yourselves, it’s gonna be a fun ride.

Source: inquirer.net


This is a personal blog where rants, raves, and everything in between is written and posted.

About the Blogger: His name is Juan, a frustrated writer who hails from a sauna town at the foot of Mount Makiling. He spends his being an overworked and underpaid High School teacher and being a self-proclaimed superhero who is dreaming and trying to make a difference, one post at a time.

For correspondence, please email me at juanrepublica@gmail.com

You can also find me at these websites:



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