Monday, April 30, 2007

Some Days It Pays to Be A Geek

Well, I've always been called a geek. I have a number of theories why people don't like geeks, starting with that quote by Hermann Hesse in "Demian" where he says people hate the things which make them hate what's within them, i.e. no one wants to stand out and look like they don't belong.

And why is that? Maybe because people are just, well, plain dumb and don't like to called smart. (I know I'll get shot down for this, but hey, whatever you say, the same goes for you!)

For those who think they're special, here's some hot stuff for you:

The 10 Real Reasons Why Geeks Make Better Lovers

Eat s**t and die!


I filched this quiz from Diane's blog.

You're Watership Down by Richard Adams

Though many think of you as a bit young, even childish, you're actually incredibly deep and complex.

You show people the need to rethink their assumptions, and confront them on everything from how they think to where they build their houses.

You might be one of the greatest people of all time. You'd be recognized as such if you weren't always talking about talking rabbits.

Take the Book Quiz at the Blue Pyramid.

Fallen Heroes

I spent some part of the late evening Saturday and early morning yesterday to read up on "Huling Gabi sa Maragondon," Rene Villanueva's Palanca Award-winning one-act play way back in the early '80s. In the piece, Gregoria Bonifacio begs for the life of her husband Andres, condemned to death along with his brother by the Revolutionary Government's military court.

I had no real reason to read the play except that I was thinking of staging it for the benefit of the community here. The material is written in an archaic Tagalog of an older time, a Tagalog you hardly hear or read these days, what with the obscenity of mass media mangling the Filipino language. I have my doubts about how people would react to this piece, but I have hopes as well.

History has not been kind to Emilio Aguinaldo. On the one hand, he had the privilege of being the Philippines' first President, though the ink on Andres Bonifacio's execution was less than seven months old when he sold out at the Pact of Biak-na-Bato, thus beginning his exile. He did, of course, regroup his forces and declared independence for the Republic.

History has even been worse to Bonifacio. He was always painted as a doting follower of Rizal rather than someone capable of independent thought, and later on the revolution of the masses he started was hijacked by the bourgeoisie. That internal struggle cost the Revolution precious ground through the outbreak of the war and later would claim Bonifacio's life. He even lost his billing on the five-peso denomination and has to share a sidelight with Mabini.

An interesting sidelight here: despite all our pulling for the underdog, in reality Filipinos have tended to follow the safe, established, conformist path. How many heroes have fallen that we were not aware of? Even more, what kind of valuing do we have that makes heroes of people who run out of their country --- and worse, keep on coddling the people who drive these people away from the country?

Case in point --- name any common Filipino family from the middle class whose aspirations for financial security are dependent on one of the daughters or sons going abroad. Second case in point --- how many times have we heard the government, particularly this administration, crow about the "success" of the Philippines because we remain a viable source of cheap labor?

For this mid-term election, how little, indeed, have we heard that the need for change starts from acknowledging that we must. How little, indeed, has been our capability to perceive beyond the convenient images being churned out by the candidates' PR machines.

I must confess that I am rather cynical about the youth of today, they of the high-powered electronics and Portable Play Stations and iPods. I do pray that they remember the smattering of blood of all those common people who cared for more than comfort, whose love for freedom and their countrymen have led them to sacrifice their lives. In particular I am the product of those who weathered the privation of the Pacific War, and my life has been nowhere near as scarred as their entire generation was.

The best we can do is honor their memory and challenge ourselves to make sure their legacy lives on in the transformation of our society.


Aling pag-ibig pa ang hihigit kaya
sa pagkadalisay at magkadakila
Gaya ng pag-ibig sa sariling lupa?
Aling pag-ibig pa? Wala na nga, wala.

Pagpupuring lubos ang palaging hangad
Sa bayan ng taong may dangal na ingat,
Umawit, tumula, kumata't at sumulat,
Kalakhan din niya'y isinisiwalat.

Walang mahalagang hindi inihandog
Ng may pusong mahal sa Bayang nagkupkop,
dugo, yaman, dunong, katiisa't pagod,
Buhay ma'y abuting magkalagut-lagot.

Bakit? Alin ito na sakdal ng laki,
Na hinahandugan ng busong pagkasi,
Na sa lalong mahal nakapangyayari,
At ginugulan ng buhay na iwi?

Ay! Ito'y ang iang bayang tinubuan:
Siya'y iona't tangi sa kinamulatan
Ng kawili-wiling liwanang ng araw
Na nagbigay-init sa buong katawan.

Kalakip din nito'y pag-ibig sa Bayan,
Ang lahat ng lalong sa gunita'y mahal,
Mula sa masaya'y gasong kasanggulan
Hanggang sa katawa'y mapasa-libingan.

Sa aba ng abang mawalay sa bayan!
Gunita ma'y laging sakbibi ng lumbay,
Walang alaala't inaasa-asam
Kundi ang makita'y lupang tinubuan.

Pati ng magdusa'y sampung kamatayan
Wari ay masarap kung dahil sa bayan
At lalong mahirap. Oh, himalang bagay!
Lalong pag-irog pa ang sa kanya'y alay.

Kung ang bayang ito'y masasa-panganib
At siya ay dapat na ipagtangkilik,
Ang anak, asawa, magulang, kapatid;
Isang tawag niya'y tatalidang pilit.

Hayo na nga, hayo, kayong nagabuhay
Sa pag-asang lubos ng kaginhawahan
At walang tinamo kundi kapaitan,
Hayo na't ibangon ang naabang bayan!

Kayong nalagasan ng bunga't bulaklak
Ng kaho'y ng buhay na nilanta't sukat,
Ng bala-balaki't makapal na hirap,
muling manariaw't sa baya'y lumiyag.

Ipahandug-handog ang busong pag-ibig
At hanggang may dugo'y ubusing itigis;
kung sa pagtatanggol, buhay ay mapatid,
Ito'y kapalaran at tunay na langit!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Talking It Up A Little

I've missed blogging on this space for some time now. I needed some time to assess where exactly should I be going with what I'm doing.

Naturally some events have been overtaken during the time I was away from my blog, and for the faithful (and few) who continue to read on, I would like to beg your apologies. There are no metaphysical reasons why I missed blogging, I just felt I could express myself better elsewhere.

Or maybe it is because I have found some measure of peace?

The poet Kahlil Gibran sums it all ---

On Talking

And then a scholar said, "Speak of Talking."

And he (Almustafa the Prophet) answered, saying:

You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts;
And when you can no longer dwell in the solitude of your heart you live in your lips, and sound is a diversion and a pastime.

And in much of your talking, thinking is half murdered. For thought is a bird of space, that in a cage of words many indeed unfold its wings but cannot fly.

There are those among you who seek the talkative through fear of being alone. The silence of aloneness reveals to their eyes their naked selves and they would escape.

And there are those who talk, and without knowledge or forethought reveal a truth which they themselves do not understand.

And there are those who have the truth within them, but they tell it not in words. In the bosom of such as these the spirit dwells in rhythmic silence.

When you meet your friend on the roadside or in the market place, let the spirit in you move your lips and direct your tongue.

Let the voice within your voice speak to the ear of his ear;
For his soul will keep the truth of your heart as the taste of the wine is remembered

When the colour is forgotten and the vessel is no more.