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JOSE RIZAL

rizal

He may no longer be a household name unlike some five decades ago.  Nobody from the present generation would even attribute to him any of the nationalistic fervor it usually cherished sometime past.  As a matter of fact, the name Rizal could no longer be related to heroism anymore.  It is more often than not a term which is encountered by travellers moving southward from Metro Manila to towns in, yes, Rizal province.

Historian Ambet Anotonio lamented the deterioration of Rizal’s historical importance as his name became brands of various commercial commodities from matches to cement.  Of course, his image is everywhere in the grocer’s cahier machine to every common man’s purse.  The one peso currency of the country is still the most visible coin when asking for change.  It is not only used to toss when a parking attendant gesticulate when a motorist would leave the slot, it is also a thoughtful memento when leaving a carinderia.  Of course, no body does this in a five star restaurant.

Ask any from the selfie generation their impression of Rizal and one gets a blank stare.  One even tries to rummage his thoughts whether this Rizal is a fellow dancer of Lady Gaga or the musical arranger of Justin Bieber.  But for scholars, they who try to replicate erudition, Jose Rizal is the country’s national hero.  His significance however could no longer be appreciated from the vantage point of globalism.  Rizal stood out as a nationalist and those who espouse this ideological mannerism are either bed ridden already or fighting with Alzheimer’s disease.

Rizal’s importance however does not rest in his occupation at the center of Luneta Park.  He was one among the most celebrated Overseas Foreign Worker (OFW) in the late 19th Century.  Against family advise and despite economic dislocation, Rizal went abroad.  First, to seek advanced education while working on the side.  And secondly, although he was apprehended, to evade possible criminal prosecution by joining medics for Mexico.

Europe was foremost considered a paradise during the early stage of the country’s nationhood.  It was USA then for us to day.  The greener pasture lies in those faraway lands.  Salvation from economic ruin is situated somewhere in those lands.  That was before as it is today.  The Philippines is, yes, one country one could not attain prosperity.  No matter how industrious, how creative, how studious one can get, he would not be repaid accordingly.  He was born a pauper and chances are, he might get bumped crossing the road and would die a pauper still.

Rizal knew that despite scholarship he would still be a second citizen abroad.  Anywhere abroad discrimination then, and even at present, is the order of the day.  He may have relished the beautiful landscape, the flawless complexion of women, the democratic space in government and the pervading fairness but he would rather be back to his country.  He would rather embrace the dusty posts, the pot-holed streets, the lack of discipline, the intrigues, the roaming grease people, growing number of those packed below poverty line but it is his country of orientation.  Rizal, like all OFWs, dreaming of capturing the proverbial gold abroad  is a prime concern so that he could bring home the figurative bacon.

Rizal may have been relevant before because of his nationalistic commitment.  And Rizal may still be relevant today because of his OFW’s occupational roots.  His close friends were all foreigners.  He even mastered their language so that he could easily communicate with them.  Like an OFW working as domestic in Saudi Arabia, they too have learned not only the language but also their cultural upbringing.  Wherever the OFW is, he immediately acculturates accordingly.

Rizal’s term in Germany was a notebook torn from an OFW’s diary.  His stint in Spain was a documentary of how an OFW ought to survive.  Rizal is still a pertinent reading today.  His life is a picture more appreciated as an OFW than a rebel.  Rizal was hunted down by invaders and his counterpart today haunted by taxes.  There seems to be no difference before as it is today.

LEGISLATIVE DREAM

electorate

 

If there is a law that would remove the power and capacity for any elective official to explore and exploit contracts and limit its power to supervision and formulation of programs for the well being of the people, then it would no longer be an attractive incentive to hold public office for the shady kind.  Only those with a heart to help people will remain.  Those who intend to earn and amass so much will just be turned off.

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Election fever is catching up and it is, as usual, reaching the deadly pitch with the fatal shooting of a village chief who was running as vice mayor in Masbate, followed closely by numerous death threats on candidates which as the election date draws nearer, it would, as expected, a murderous pick at the finish line.  It is also a season which insurance companies have marked as a sad period for their business.  On the other side, it is the funeral business which is enjoying briskly its ventures, not to mention church services and cemeteries.

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Juan Manuel “El Dinamita” Marquez was finally persuaded to take Pacquaio for the nth time, but this time for $20 Million, as his former purse of $6Million paled in comparison.  That’s the price of a lucky punch.  Marquez’s should be lucky to get that much.  Assuming that the fight is agreed on proposed date this coming April, Marquez may play it safe, hop around the ring to evade danger, jump a little for theatrical and after the final bell, run laughing all the way to the bank!

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Meanwhile, Pacquaio can just go back, basking in his fearsome posture once again and may opt to go back where he left of—-as a TV host, concert wannabe, legislator and perhaps as a budding pastor, whatever.  He will no longer be the pain reliever king, or an endorser of sleeping beds but he may regain his commercial luster by appearing in ads for government conditional cash transfer.  The million dollar purse for Marquez, it must be said, is a genuine conditional cash transfer scheme!

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Over in London, a Scottish cardinal who was a staunch advocate of the church teachings against homosexuality was charged for homophobic conduct and hypocrisy and has admitted of committing homosexual acts—offenses which he blames others—this time,  against his fellow priests and visiting seminarians.  This is no longer a rehash of that novel Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide, but perhaps another sequel entitled, Mr. Hide Hides.

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NOTES:    Senatorial candidate Ricardo Penson is a lighted candle in the dark.  There is still a glow in the political firmament.  Hello to correctional officer Pearly Placido, a consistent reader of political views, Imelda Lapitan, a favorite mother figure of Dapecol personnel in NBP; the Bucor-ODC gals and guys—Arlene, Fe Emy, Isa, Nida, Janus and Jonathan.  Greetings to Gambino family—Ong, Yet, Sosing,Iboy, Toti,Onju, Inin, Rich, Edgar.  We salute the ICRC Davao:  they conducted a comprehensive review on the security and program administration of Davao Penal Colony which resulted in significant institutional accomplishments.

(Lifted from my daily column —Warden’s Corner—in Daily Sun)

THE YEAR OF THE SNAKE

snake

How would you like to find yourself in a dark room with a guy who is bald, with poor eyesight (who never blinks also), no eyelashes, no eyebrows, no forehead, snub nose, big mouth, no chin, no cheeks, without ears, without neck, without shoulders, very thin, without arms, without legs?  I bet that you will feel superior and a cut above the fellow.  You might in your imagination even feel that you are next to a patient in the orthopedic hospital.  But what if someone whispers that the fellow is the slithering kind, a real snake?

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Mexican boxing great Antonio Barrera at the height of his pugilistic career and was beaten twice in a convincing manner by Pacquaio had a point when he was asked if El Dinamita Marquez had finally settled who the greater fighter among Marquez and Pacquaio is.  Barrera said, what broke Pacquaio was just a lucky punch.  And a lucky punch is so ordinary and it does not make anyone greater than any water boy in town.

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Dr. Eric Tayag, DOH undersecretary revealed that there is an increase in the number of HIV cases recorded for this year compared previously.  He also disclosed that of this number, 82 percent were cases where males were having sex with other males.  At this rate, one day, the Philippines will be populated only by women!

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Finally, the much vaunted relationship issue among candidates with direct lineage with their popular political relatives is slowly creeping and showing at the declining survey as their superiors are being lambasted and shoved into one scandal —even if shallow—to another.  The anti dynasty issue would merely militate against those affected.  Worst, the term relationship eventually becomes “relationshit!”

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Headline:  Honasan files bill banning election surveys.  Pagkatapos niyan baka isunod ang pag ban na rin ng menu sa mga restaurant!  And then perhaps, banning weather forecasting na din.

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Notes:   Condolence to my friend Bambi Tensuan.  His beloved wife Cheryl is already an angel in Heaven.  Kudos to Kraig Recalde, a musical wizard at a tender age, shades of his guitar legend great-grandfather, Ben Tesoro of the famous Hi-Jack Band of the 70s.

(This was lifted from my column “Warden’s Corner” in the Daily Sun.)

NATIONAL ISSUES AT A GLANCE

banana

The Sabah issue is almost bordering into an international conflict between two allied countries in Asia.  But for most Filipinos, Sabah is a delicacy when marinated with brown sugar and made into a banana-Q!

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 The result of necropsy  is out.  Stress aggravated fungal pneumonia is the cause of death of Lolong, the planet’s largest saltwater crocodile in captivity (a one ton behemoth at 6.17 meters or 20.17 feet)  as determined by the Guinness Book of World Records.  Well, captivity (17 months) reduced its lifespan, even triggered its termination.  The lesson here is this:  It pays to be wild if you want to live longer, not sometimes,  but all the time!

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 Thousands of jobs but no takers says DOLE.  It has been said that in the Philippine setting, a family is already contented when one of the members is  gainfully employed.  When that member dies, get sick or terminated or separated, that sends everyone crying for instant employment.

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 A big drop in the price of palay and climate change drive farmers to shift from farming to praying instead.  According to a partylist candidate, For one harvest season, farmers usually have a gross return of P60,000 for five months at palay price of P17.20 per kilo. Minus cropping expenses of about P40,000, that leaves farmers with at least P4,000 a month.”  That explains the fact that farmers and their families would rather migrate to urban areas to become househelp.  They earn more because of the Kasambahay Law, enjoy perks and other perquisites.  Yun nga lang wala na magtatanim ng bigas.  When confronted with this dilema, the farmers respose is,” hindi naman maiwasan kasi ang rice smuggling, bakit pa kami magsasakripisyo.”  So there you are.

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Notes:  Happy celebration to the Correctional Institution for Women in Mindanao.  It is observing its March 6 soft opening anniversary.  It’s now on its 6th year, the newest correctional facility in the country.  On the board is the resumption of my radio program “Oras ng Katarungan” over at DXAM, 1017 on AM every Saturday, 10AM to 11AM, just awaiting for some formalities lang.  Scam artists in Mindanao shifted from easy money scheme to land speculation instead.  Mindanaoans beware!

(This is lifted from my regular newspaper —Daily Sun—column—Warden’sCorner.)

THE LANGUAGE OF VIOLENCE

daily sun 2

  WARDEN’S CORNER

By:   Ven J. Tesoro

THE LANGUAGE OF VIOLENCE

 

Kiram’s approach in sending combat troops to Sabah triggered numerous talks and even threatened the comfort zone of Philippine and Malaysian leaders.  Had it not been undertaken, the claims of the Sultanate of Sulu would merely be swept under the table.  Sometimes, geopolitics understands the language of violence more than overtures of peace.

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There is nothing new when it comes to having fair weathered friends.  Manny Pacquiao had lots of them.  Well, they come mostly in pastoral robes.  Their motto as usual is “Nobody loves a loser.”  It is not true that the Pambansang Kamao is already endorsing products like sleeping beds and foams.

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Juan Miguel “El Dinamita” Marquez ,some reports claim, is demanding a payment of $20 Million should the fifth and hopefully, final installment of Pacquiao vs Marquez materialize.  Better produce a low budget movie featuring Pacquiao vs Joey Marquez instead.  Although the real contenders are more hilarious.

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Why don’t we transfer Divisoria to the Scarborough Shaol area.  That way we have a Chinese community who loves the Philippines (as a matter of fact, their nationality is Filipino already) and preserve the islets as ours.  Of course, this is crazy.  But a singer once put it, “call me maybe.”

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Leadership at times can been seen through a bloodline.  The great kings and rulers of Israel came from the bloodline of King David, his son King Solomon, up to Jesus Christ, onwards to the family of St. Claire.  Nothing is wrong.  What makes it awkward and uncomfortable if not thorny an issue and problematic bordering on suspicions, is when the bloodline begins to claim several seats all at the same time.  Isa-isa lang and huwag naman sabay-sabay.

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NOTES:  Birthday greetings to Msgr. Ernesto Esperidion on his 75th year.  Check out also ideas from www.philippineprisons.com, it’s very instructive.  Welcome home, Manny Patriarca, after spending a week at Thailand, he came back convinced that its more fun here in the Philippines (naubos pa pera niya dun).  Kudos also to Bucor OIC Rafael Ragos and company for representing the country in the recently concluded UN Conference in Thailand pertaining welfare of female prisoners.

The Educational Value of Social Networks (My column in Daily Sun)

daily sun

  WARDEN’S CORNER

by:  Ven J. Tesoro 

The Educational Value of Social Networks

 Facebook and other social networks including the use text messages have virtually encouraged everyone to be literate and electronic savvy.  Even a toddler can already access the internet.  In depressed areas where reading and writing are lost skills, they are instantly introduced and gaining a momentum with the introduction of cellphone in their midst.

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China is planning to send a manned space mission in the summer of this year.  Naalala ko tuloy nung binalak magpadala ang pinas ng space mission sa araw!  Space authorities thought that it was impossible.  Pero sa gabi naman daw palalakarin ang space mission para malamig!

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Pope Benedict XVI resigned the seat of Papacy on Thursday, February 28, 2013, a non-leap year month, the first Church authority to vacate in 600 years.  He is 85 years old and almost ailing.  If he is here in the Philippines, a lot of his followers might convince him to undergo stem cell procedure to live up to the age of 200!

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Candidates for senators are promoting their program of government through television commercial plug ins.  It features promises of advancement and development.  Senators are legislators and never executives like those on the ground.  They are suppose to formulate laws and rules.  The hype they generate in their commercial spiels play on the guillibility of the electorate.  An insult to their intelligence to say the least.

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Notes:  Congratulations to Rev Joel Tabada and his equally illustrious son, Rev Callum Tabada for the successful hosting of the 2nd National Conference of Prison Fellowship Ministry held at Brokenshire Convention Center, Davao City on February 28-March 1, 2013.  Retiring in the Prison Service without bruises—mental and physical, deserves commendation.  Ka Sosing Berroya merits such accolade.  Its March already, the month dedicated for all Women in the world.

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