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Sunday, March 29, 2009

RIDDLE, RIDDLE THE MAN IS IN THE MIDDLE


Any serious research on sociology, politics, economics and history, man is the centre of study. Before becoming an authority on animal behavior, celebrated English zoologist Desmond Morris was one-time curator at the London Zoo. His well-documented observation and research studies on human and animal behavior became a best seller in 1967 when he authored a book aptly titled, “The Naked Ape”. Morris keenly noted that out of “the 193 species of monkeys and apes on the planet only man is not entirely covered in hair”! Thus the catchy phrase, ”Naked Ape” makes Man not one but a talking, thinking intelligent animal among primates. In the past hundred years Man was the focus of an interesting and controversial scientific search to identify who was his immediate ANCESTOR.

Paleontologists, anthropologists and writers went crazy looking for what they dubbed as “THE MISSING LINK”. There were several “pretenders” to the title but Piltdown and Neanderthal were the most prominent contenders. When Piltdown was voted out as fake, Neanderthal came under close scrutiny.


It was the leading pathologist at that time, Dr. Rudolf Virchow, who was invited to look into the fossil dated 110,000 and 35,000 years old. It was his highly valued opinion that put the “the burden of proof” in support of the contention that the fossils purported to be of the Neanderthal were indeed of human remains and NOT of an ape. It strengthened the claim by a French scientist, Gabriel de Mortellet, that the Neanderthal is Man’s immediate COUSIN!


Dr. Virchow was one of the scientists and colleagues introduced to Rizal by Dr. Blumentritt. Upon receiving the news of Rizal’s execution in Bagumbayan (Luneta) in 1896, Virchow used his position, influence and reputation to deliver the historic obituary during the annual general meeting of the Berlin Society for Anthropology, Ethnology and Pre-history. It was delivered in Berlin, Germany in 1897.


Reading the Rizal-Blumentritt letters shows how much Rizal admired the German people and their culture. It is not surprising to find out why the Spanish friars spread rumors that Rizal was a German spy!


In the last paragraph, you will be impressed by Virchow’s words in the obituary on what Rizal’s death meant to the Germans.


“We are losing in Rizal not only a faithful friend of Germany and German scholarship but also the only man with sufficient knowledge and resolution to open a way for modern thought into that far-off island world.”


Full text of the obituary can be found at the Knights of Rizal
Wilhelmsfeld-Heidelberg Chapter.

A nice weekend to everyone!


Jose Sison Luzadas, KGOR, Scarborough Chapter, CANADA



Friday, March 27, 2009

THE THREE MAJOR SOCIAL PROBLEMS IN THE PHILIPPINES


Minamahal, D
inadakila at Pinagpipitaganang Mga Kapatid at Kalahi sa Nagdarahop Nating Inang Bayan:

Nangangamba si Ka Pule2 na matapos ilahad ang kanyang aiibang mga pananaw ay pwedeng mangyari na siya'y sumpain, itakwil at pagtawanan ng mga hindi makasasang-ayon at maniniwala sa kanyang pag-analisa ng kanser sa ating pambansang lipunan. Ka Pule2 is apprehensive that after baring his divergent views he could possibly be cursed, disowned and ridiculed by those who would not believe in his analyzation of our national cancer.

Aliw na aliw si Ka Pule2 sa pagtunghay ng mga kapahayagan tungkol sa tatlong (3) pangunahing mga suliraning panglipunan sa ating bansa. Ka Pule2 is very much amused on reading postings relative to the three (3) major social problems in our country.

Nguni't bago po ang lahat, si Ka Pule2 ay humihingi ng paumanhin sa sinumang pwedeng magdamdam. Ang tatlong mga pangunahing suliraning panglipunan ng ating bansa, sa pag-abakisa ni Ka Pule2, ay ang mga sumusunod: Before all however, Ka Pule2 asks pardon from whoever might feel agrieved. The three (3) major social problems of our country, in Ka Pule2's analysis, are as follows:

UNA. Ang ating kulturang wasak ay bunga ng matinding paniwala sa pangkalahatan na humantong sa tinatawag nating colonial mentality. Walang mahusay na mga bagay para sa ating pang-araw-araw ng mga kailangan kungdi ang mga kultura, paniwala, kaisipan at produktong inangkat. Nangunguna na rito ang wikang ating ginagamit sa pamamahala ng gobyerno at sa sistema ng edukasyon. Our damaged culture has been the outcome of a generally firm belief that there are no good things for our daily needs but the culture, beliefs, thinking and goods that are imported. Foremost on this is the language we employ in the administration of government and the system of education.

Ang bagay pong ito ay malawakan na ang ginawang pagtalakay ni Ka Pule2 sa marami nang kapahayagang kanyang naipangalat; lalo't higit ang kaugnayan sa kawalang-muwang ng mga mamamayan sa mga batas at kautusan na sa wikang banyaga isinusulat at ipinapahayag. This matter has been extensively discussed by Ka Pule2 in his past postings; more so in relation to the lack of understanding by the populace of the laws and ordinances which are written and promulgated in an alien language.

IKALAWA. Malabis na pamumulitika ng mga namumuno sa gobyerno, at maging mga mga mamamayan; lalung-lalo na sa larangan ng mga pagbabalita. There's too much politicking among the leaders in government, and even among the populace; more so in the realm of news dissemination.

Kahi't sinumang lider ang nahahalal, hindi pa man nag-iinit ang puwet sa luklukan ng kapangyarihan ay lahat nang balakid ang isinasambulat sa kanyang harapan, at sa ganun ay wala nang magawang makabuluhan para sa kapakanan ng bayan.

Whoever is elected leader, he has not even warmed his seat on the position of power but all obstacles are strewn before him, and therefore he can no longer do worthwhile things for the good of the governed.

IKATLO. Ang kaayusan ng pambansang lipunan, lalung-lalo ang sandatahang lakas at ang sistema ng edukasyon, ay hindi angkop sa mga pangangailangan.

Hindi po wasto ang pagka-bahagi ng mga kakayahan sa ating mga pwersang panglupa, panghimpapawid, at pangdagat. Ang ating nabal at marino ay siyang dapat na mahigit ang lawak at saklaw sa kakayahan. There is a faulty allocation of logistics among our land, air, and naval forces. Our navy ang marines ought to have a broader preponderance of capabilities.

Alalaong baga, ang mga kagamitan, pananalapi at dami ng mga marinero ay sila ang dapat higit nakalalamang. Higit na malawak ang teritoryong karagatan ng ating bansa keysa katihan; at ang taas-o-lalim ng ating himpapawid ay hindi masusukat. That is to say, the materiel, budgetary allocation and the naval and marine manpower strength ought to be bigger. Our water territory is more expansive than that of the land; and the extent of our country's aerial expanse is immeasurable.

Sa larangan naman ng edukasyon, ang kagandahang- asal ay hindi na pinaguukulan ng higit na panahon at timbang sa programa ng pagtuturo. Karamihan sa mga kabataan ay nahuhubog ang kaugaliang walang-galang sa mga nakatatanda. In the realm of education, the concept of good manners and right conduct is no longer given sufficient weight and time in the program of instruction. The majority of our youth are being trained in the manner of disrespect for the elderly.

Marami pang mga kakulangan sa ating kasalukuyang lipunnan. Nguni't pwedeng saka na lamang sila talakayin. There are still so many other deficiencies in our present society. But they can be discussed later.



PINOYS AND PINAYS


Meron akong gustong ibahagi para sa ating lahat na mga PILIPINO. Simple pero parang mahirap gawin ng karamihan sa atin. Hindi ito makukuha sa puro daldalan lang or walang kabuluhang pagtatalo, kumilos tayo ngayon na.

Sa ibang bansa: Pag nagkasala ang Pinoy, pinarusahan siya ayon sa batas.

Sa PINAS
: Pag nagkasala ang ang Pinoy, ayaw niyang maparusahan kasi sabi niya mali raw ang batas.


Sa ibang bansa: Pinag-aaralan muna ng Pinoy ang mga batas bago siya pumunta roon, kasi takot siyang magkamali.

Sa PINAS: Pag nagkamali ang Pinoy, sorry kasi hindi raw niya alam na labag sa batas iyon.


Sa ibang bansa: Kahit gaano kataas ang bilihin at tax sa USA okey lang, katuwiran natin doble kayod na lang.

Sa PINAS: mahilig ka sa last day para magbayad ng tax minsan dinadaya mo pa o kaya hindi ka nagbabayad. Rally ka kaagad kapag tumaas ang pasahe at bilihin sa halip na magsipag mas gusto natin ang nagkukwentuhan lang sa munisipyo o kahit sa alinmang tanggapan.

Sa Singapore : Kapag nahuli kang nagkalat or nagtapon ng basura sa hindi tamang lugar, magbabayad ka na 500 Singapore dollars. Sabi ng Pinoy, okey lang kasi lumabag ako sa batas.

Sa Pinas: Kapag nagkamali ang Pinoy katulad nang ganito, Sabi ng Pinoy, ang lupit naman ni Bayani Fernando, mali naman ang pinaiiral niyang batas eh akala mo kung sino. Ayun nag-rally na ang Pinoy, gustong patalsikin si Bayani Fernando kahit na alam niyang mali siya.

Mga igan, ilan pa lang iyan baka may iba pa kayong alam.


Bakit ang PINOY, pwedeng maging 'law abiding citizen sa ibang bansa ng walang angal' pero sa sarili nating bayang PILIPINAS na sinasabi ninyong mahal natin, eh hindi natin magawa, BAKIIITTTTT?????????


ETO PA,
'Ang Pilipino NOON at NGAYON':
NOON: Wow ang sarap ng kamote (kahit nakaka-utot)

NGAYON
: Ayaw ko ng kamote gusto ko French Fries (imported eh)
NOON: Wow ang sarap ng kapeng barako

NGAYON
: Ayaw ko niyan gusto kong kape sa STARBUCKS (imported coffee 100 pesos per cup)
NOON: Bili ka ng tela para magpatahi ng pantalon like maong

NGAYON
: Gusto ko LEVI'S, WRANGLER, LEE (Tapos rally tayo 'GMA tuta ng KANO ') Di ba tuta ka rin naman.
NOON: Sabon na Perla OK ng pampaligo

NGAYON
: Gusto mo DOVE, HENO DE PRAVIA, IVORY, etc. may matching shampoo pa
NOON: Pag naglaba ka batya at palopalo ok na, minsan banlaw lang sa batis pwede na

NGAYON
: Naka-washing machine ka na plus ARIEL powder soap with matching DOWNY pa para mabango. Alam ko mas marami pa ang alam ninyo tungkol dito, pero mangilan-ngilan lang iyan para bigyan ng pansin.

Mga Pilipino nga ba tayo? O baka sa salita lang at E-Mail pero wala naman sa gawa.


My Fellow Filipinos,

When I was small, the Philippine peso was P7 to the $dollar. The president was Diosdado Macapagal. Life was simple. Life was easy. My father was a farmer. My mother kept a small sari-sari store where our neighbors bought sang-perang asin, sang-perang bagoong, sang-perang suka, sang-perang toyo at pahinging isang butil na bawang. Our backyard had kamatis, kalabasa, talong, ampalaya, upo, batao, and okra. Our silong had chicken… We had a pig, dog & cat. And of course, we lived on the farm. During rainy season, my father caught frogs at night which my mother made into batute (stuffed frog), or just plain fried. During the day, he caught hito and dalag from his rice paddies, which he would usually inihaw. During dry season, we relied on the chickens, vegetables, bangus, tuyo, and tinapa. Every now and then, there was pork and beef from the town market.

Life was so peaceful, so quiet, no electricity, no TV. Just the radio for Tia Dely, Roman Rapido, Tawag ng Tanghalan and Tang-tarang-tang. And who can forget Leila Benitez on Darigold Jamboree? On weekends, I played with my neighbours (who were all my cousins). Tumbang-preso, taguan, piko, luksong lubid, patintero, at iba pa. I don't know about you, but I miss those days.

These days, we face the TV, Internet, e-mail, newspaper, magazine, grocery catalog, or drive around. The peso is a staggering and incredible
P47 to the $dollar. Most people can't have fun anymore. Life has become a battle. We live to work. Work to live. Life is not easy. I was in Saudi Arabia in 1983. It was lonely, difficult, & scary. It didn't matter if you were a man or a woman. You were a target for rape. The salary was cheap & the vacation far between. If the boss didn't want you to go on holiday, you didn't. They had your passport. Oh, and the agency charged you almost 4 months of your salary (which, if you had to borrow on a '20% per month arrangement' meant your first year's pay was all gone before you even earned it).

The Philippines used to be one of the most important countries in Asia. Before & during my college days, many students from neighboring Asian countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan and China went to the Philippines to get their diplomas. Until 1972, like President Macapagal, President Marcos was one of the most admired presidents of the world. The Peso had kept its value of P7 to the $dollar until I finished college.

Today, the Philippines is famous as the 'housemaid' capital of the world. It ranks very high as the 'cheapest labor' capital of the world, too. We have maids in Hong Kong, laborers in Saudi Arabia, dancers in Japan, migrants and TNTs in Australia and the US, and all sorts of other 'tricky' jobs in other parts of the globe.

Quo Vadis, Pinoy? Is that a wonder or a worry? Are you proud to be a Filipino, or does it even matter anymore? When you see the Filipino flag and hear the Pambansang Awit, do you feel a sense of pride or a sense of defeat & uncertainty? If only things could change for the better....... Hang on for this is a job for Superman. Or whom do you call? Ghostbusters. Joke. Right?

This is one of our problems.
We say 'I love the Philippines… I am proud to be a Filipino.'

When I send you a joke, you send it to everyone in your address book even if it kills the Internet. But when I send you a note on how to save our country & ask you to forward it, what do you do?

You chuck it in the bin.


I want to help the maids in Hong Kong... I want to help the laborers in Saudi Arabia... I want to help the dancers in Japan... I want to help the TNTs in America and Australia...

I want to save the people of the Philippines... But I cannot do it alone. I need your help and everyone else's.


So please forward this e-mail to your friends. If you say you love the Philippines, prove it. And if you don't agree with me, say something anyway. Indifference is a crime on its own.


Juan Delacruz



Wednesday, March 25, 2009

RIZAL IN I AM TAO

By Edwin D. Bael

2008, because of the number 8, is said to be a year of new beginnings and resurrections; it is also the 'Year of Grace' for Catholics. But by the way things are in our country, we seem to face another year of the same: for most of us - crisis, corruption and poverty with entertainment from politico-military theatrics; for the very few - the good life. The whys and wherefores of this national situation rattle our consciousness as we try, once more, to recall and make sense of the martyrdom of Dr. Jose Rizal 111 years ago.

Was his death at the hands of a Filipino firing squad who themselves were at the mercy of a Spanish firing squad behind them, worth all his hope: Yo muero cuando veo que el cielo se colora y al fin anuncia el dia tras lobrego capuz (I am to die when I see the heavens go vivid, announcing the day at last behind the dead night) that he could one day behold his beloved joya del Mar de Oriente secos los negros ojos, alta la tersa frente, sin ceno, sin arrugas, sin manchas de rubor (Jewel of eastern waters: griefless the dusky eyes: lifted the upright brow: unclouded, unfurrowed, unblemished and unashamed!)?

One hundred and eleven years have passed and still Inang Bayan's dusky eyes are full of grief, her brows are still neither lifted nor upright - still clouded, still furrowed, still blemished, still ashamed! Paradoxically, the problems are different yet the same: nor more foreign colonizers, only the Filipino elite; no more struggle for independence, just the daily struggle for freedom from want and freedom from fear.

As generation Y would ask: what's up with that? Could we perhaps be approaching our national problems with the same mind sets that created the problems in the first place? If we are, could we be bound to go round and round till we die of exhaustion, like the caterpillar that follows its own tail? Albert Einstein is known to have observed: "No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it".

Gawad Kalinga stalwart Tony Meloto, in his 'Spirituality in Nation Building' speech, said: "My choices define who I am, influence those around me and affect the state of my country and my world." No one can disagree with such a statement. But one could add: My choices are marked and circumscribed by my own definitions, perceptions, beliefs and understandings of myself, my family my nation. In other words, my own definitions (beliefs) delimit my choices.

Examples of the distortive effects of such beliefs and internal definitions are provided by the classic stories of humans raised by wolves/gorrillas, or those of swans raised by ducks, or of eagles raised by chicken, or pigs raised by dogs, dogs raised by cats or lions raised by sheep. For humans exploited by other humans and made to believe their supposed inferior nature, there is no end to possible citations on the abominations of slavery and of the oppressive conditions starkly expressed in Edwin Markham's poem "The Man With the Hoe", which we can very well relate to our own "Men, Women and Children with Scavenger Hooks" in Tondo and other garbage dumps.

Is it possible we truly are of a higher, nobler nature yet have come [or made by others - more appropriately, allowed others to pressure us] to believe we are only good for a little corner of this downtrodden world (as in the song: DITO BA [sa sulok na ito])?

For we could ask, like Rizal in 'Cervantes in Argamasilla de Alba': "Miguel,Miguel [Filipino, Filipino], why does your courage surrender to the blows of fate? If the cedar of Lebanon [molave of the Philippines] defies the horrid roaring of the hurricane; if the hard rock, when the violent sea rages against it to the clamor of wrathful tritons, can stand firm: why do you, invincible genius, despair?" (emphasis provided).

In the same poem, Dr. Rizal prefigured the difficulties we now face: "I heard your groans against strict destiny; and I opened the awe-inspiring book where your tremendous fate, inscribed in ominous colors, can be seen. Thorns shall you find along the way, sown there for you by fraud and falsehood; and you shall grapple with your dark fate as the maimed gladiator grapples with death." (emphasis provided).

And then counsels a way out: "So go, Miguel, [Filipino] let your clear mind , focus of light, shine on your land to redeem a demented multitude by tearing down the dark, dark veil. And like fraught cloud, hurl expertly in your lofty flight a sizzle of lightning to tumble down the god of madness and to bring forth celestial good." (emphasis provided).

What is this "dark, dark veil" we must tear down? And whence do we get this "sizzle of lightning"? Is the veil perhaps related to our conception of our own "pagka-tao"? Our being human?

If we try to reach back into the dawn of time, we cannot be sure, but can only grasp some straws of data: like forbears travelling across land bridges from mainland Asia, the archipelago getting settled at least 50,000 years ago [Tabon cave man was carbon-dated at 22,000 years], peoples coming in as seafarers, living as separate tribes, spawning at least 171 native languages-not dialects, practicing animism, getting influenced by Buddhism and Hinduism (Shri Vijaya,7th Century and Majapahit,13th Century), Islam (14th Century), Catholicism (16th Century), Protestantism (19th Century) and the rest of global influences up to the present---all piling on top of another, for the Filipino survives by adapting...

Yet almost all our languages refer to our being human beings or persons as "tao" or "tawo" or some phonetic variation thereof. These are the languages referred to, in the felicitous words of Dr. Rizal in "Sa Aking Mga Kabata": Ang hindi marunong magmahal sa kanyang salita mahigit sa hayop at malansang isda (Who does not love his own tongue is far worse than a brute or stinking fish). There are reportedly 13 native Philippine languages with at least one million native speakers; one or more of these languages is spoken natively by more than 90% of Filipinos and we call humans/persons/ man-woman as "tao" or similar sound: Albay-Bikol: tawo; Bikol: tawo; Cebuano: tawo; Hiligaynon: tawo; Ilokano: tao; Ilonggo: tawo; Kapampangan: tau; Kinaray-a: taho; Maguindanao: tawo; Maranao: taw; Pangasinan: too; Tagalog: tao; Tausug: tau. When we say "tao" we mean some human, one with higher consciousness or noble nature. Thus we say, "magpakatao ka!" Be free, aware and responsible! When we knock on a door and say "Tao, Po!" (definitely not the equivalent of 'any body home?'), we are declaring a human being is here, not an animal or the wind! Nothing inanimate!

Did our various ethno-linguistic groups get influenced by the Chinese tradition of "tao" from their philosophical heritage of taoism? May be. But if there was that close an influence, why not use the Chinese term for persons, as in shen or gui? "Tao" in Chinese conception "can be roughly stated to be the flow of the universe, or the force behind the natural order. Tao is believed to be the influence that keeps the universe balanced and ordered. Tao is associated with nature, due to a belief that nature demonstrates the Tao. The flow of qi as the essential energy of action and existence, is compared to the universal order of Tao. Tao is compared to what it is not, like the negative theology of Western scholars. It is often considered to be the source of both existence and non-existence" . That concept seems to be too big and grandiose compared to our daily usage of 'tao'.

Might not this lower level conception of "tao" be a part of the dark veil?

In Mark 12:28-31, when Jesus was asked by a Scribe as to which of the commandments is first and most important of all [in its nature]?, the Lord replied: " The first and principal one of all commands is: Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God is one Lord; And you shall love the Lord your God out of and with your whole heart and out of and with all your soul (your life) and out of and with all your mind (with your faculty of thought and your moral understanding) and out of and with all your strength. This is the first and principal commandment. The second is like it and is this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these. (Amplified Bible)

The logic of our mind would ask: Where is the instruction to love 'yourself'? Why did Christ immediately go from loving God with all-our-all and then to loving our neighbor as we love ourselves? Shouldn't there have been the progression of loving God, loving yourself and then loving your neighbor as yourself? Shouldn't the directions of love have been up, in, then out? Why is there no distinction between the 'up' and the 'in'? And why is the second like the first?

Did the Lord, Jesus Christ, mean there really is no distinction between "the Lord your God" and "yourself" because God is within each of us? And therefore when you love God, you actually love yourself (no 'up' but simply 'in')? Thus, there can only be two commands--which are like each other--because when you love your neighbor, you also love God?

If that be so, can I dare say: I AM GOD? AND SO ARE YOU? Can each of us say, like Christ: "I and the Father are one"?

Can we conclude then that the dark veil is the wrong belief that each of us is separate and distinct from God? And that all the evil in the world are but the consequences of our ignorance of "God within" and of our insistence that God is simply out there from Whom we can ask any thing, Whom we can treat as an ATM, and Whom we can blame for every thing?

This is worth considering. After all, "all descriptions of reality are temporary hypotheses" [Buddha]. In Peter Russell's "A Scientist's Oddyssey", he found that "when mystics say 'I am God', or words to that effect, they are not talking of an individual person; their inner explorations revealed the true nature of the self, and it is this that they identify with God; they are claiming that the essence of self, the sense of 'I Am' without any personal attributes, is God".

Yet even to think of it, has been fraught with danger. Tenth century Islamic mystic al-Hallaj was crucified for using language claiming identity with God. Fourteenth century Christian priest and mystic Meister Eckhart was summoned before Pope John XXII and forced to "recant everything he had falsely taught", when he preached that "God and I are one".

Thomas Merton, a contemporary scholar and mystic, wrote: "If I penetrate to the depths of my own existence and my own present reality, the indefinable am that is myself in its deepest roots, then through this deep center, I pass into the infinite I am which is the very Name of the Almighty." St. John of the Cross, acclaims: "The soul is in itself a most lovely and perfect image of God".

A teaching from 'The Impersonal Life', Anon, states: "I AM you, that part of you who is and knows... that part of you who says I AM and is I AM... I AM the innermost part of you that sits within, and calmly waits and watches, knowing neither time nor space... It was I Who directed all your ways, Who inspired all your thoughts and acts ... I have been within always, deep within your heart."

So, can we say that when we declare: I AM TAO, we really mean I AM GOD in principle: co-creator of all that happens to me, my nation, my world?

Can we then cite our constitution that "Sovereignty resides in the people, and all government authority emanates from them" and mean it from the divine perspective of sovereignty? Therefore, can we then take any person or group of persons, natural or juridical, who seeks to undermine, defeat, modify or in any other way prevent or make difficult the full and free expression of the people's will (as in election fraud) to be perpetrators of treason or the substance thereof, because these are acts of treachery against the sovereign and designed to injure the integrity of the sovereign?

Can we then call upon the Armed Forces of the Philippines to judiciously exercise its role of being "the protector of the people and the State" ... "to secure the sovereignty of the State" against any and all who would prevent or otherwise disturb the full and free exercise of such sovereignty by the people?

Given the lifting of this veil of separateness and being at-one-ment with the Lord, can we now make sense of Dr. Rizal's exhortation of the Philippine youth?: "Look up with tranquil face, Philippine youth, on this day and shine, manifesting the grace and gallantry of your line, fair hope of this land of mine! xxxx Bearing the good light of art and science, to the battleground descend, O youth, and smite: loosen the heavy pound of chains that keeps poetic [and national] genius bound".

In the same vein, can we now appreciate Dr. Rizal's optimism about the capabilities of the Filipino in his 'Hymn to Talisay'?: "We are children that nothing frightens, not the waves, nor the storm, nor the thunder; the arm ready, the young face tranquil, in a fix we shall know how to fight. We ransack the sand in our frolic; through the caves and the thickets we ramble; our houses are built upon rocks; our arms reach far and wide. No darkness, and no dark night, that we fear, no savage tempest; if the devil himself comes forward, we shall catch him, dead or alive."

What did Dr. Rizal expect of us, who now remind ourselves of his ultimate sacrifice?

In "Hymn to Labor" he has 'The Boys' end the play with the following stanza: "... And the ancients will say when they see us: 'These are worthy, behold, of their breed!' Not by incense are the dead more honored as by sons who are glorious indeed. For his country at war, for his country at peace, the Filipino will stand guard, will love and will die!" (emphasis provided).

There is then the matter of honoring him (and other heroes passed into the great beyond) by being 'glorious indeed'.

Could we honor him with right words and right actions?


After all: "You shall also decide and decree a thing, and it shall be established for you: and the light [of God's favor] shall shine upon your ways." (Job 22:28, Amplified Bible). Moreover, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life] (Proverbs 18:21)

By the power of our tongues, let us 'hurl a sizzle of lightning' by decreeing, in full realization at the moment of utterance, the significance of our unity with the Lord God Almighty, coupled with the complete intention [you could say: New Year's resolJustify Fullution] of acting as such:

I AM TAO! Uncommon. Sovereign.

"Out of Time's abyss and Eternity's vast cavern I rise: I am the New Year. Now I have come to govern".*


Sunday, March 22, 2009

A NATION OF CANNIBALS

By Leandro V. Coronel
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 04:27:00 03/21/2009

Filed Under: Graft & Corruption


Exposés about theft of the people's money hit us almost nonstop. Every day the news assaults us, the rapacity is mind-boggling.

The extent of the plunder is almost beyond belief, certainly for the naive and uninitiated among us. When will all this stealing stop? A wise man once wrote: There is enough in the world for everyone's need, but not enough for everyone's greed.

What hurts most is how our fellow Filipinos can do this to us, plain and simple citizens who have no power in our hands, no influence in the corridors of power, no recourse to the right connections.

Never before has this kind of widespread plunder been brought upon our people. In the hitherto darkest chapter of Philippine governance, the reign of Ferdinand Marcos, only chartered members of the dictator's kleptocracy were privileged to join in the plunder. A small circle of cronies and court jesters had their hands in the public till.

Today the plunder has been democratized. It seems everybody in government, from the most powerful to the lowliest barangay [village] functionary, is sucking the public coffers dry. Leeches!

Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist Juan Mercado cried out: Is stealing citizens blind now a qualification for public office? A lengthening litany of scams crams the public consciousness, eclipsing earlier scandals. We risk forgetting earlier scams, he wrote.

Government is today not the arena where good men serve their country. Government today is the hunting ground of thieves and favor-peddlers. Poor senators, congressmen, Cabinet members, if there are any, are the exception. It's not unusual to see city barangay chairmen zooming around in SUVs. Petty bureaucrats live in luxury. The quickest way to make bucks these days is to wangle a government post.

Meanwhile, the common people marinate in poverty. Living standards here aren't even fit for beggars. The quality of life, even for the middle class, is very low. Teeming numbers of common people have no basic amenities in their homes.

All this while a small minority helps itself to the public treasury and feasts on the nation's wealth. Have these people no shame?

How could someone live in a palace, enjoying all the perquisites of wealth and a good life, and allow massive poverty to stalk our people every day?

How could people in Congress make deals left and right and amass wealth they had only dreamt of before, and read statistics (I doubt they see actual scenes of poverty) about redundant poverty among their countrymen without lifting a finger to do something about the problem?

How could provincial governors, town mayors and barangay officials live day to day surrounded by sick elderly, dying children and young people bereft of any future? Have these people no consciences?

Stealing is today not an exclusively white-collar crime. If the rich steal from the poor, the poor also steal from the poor. Kidnappings, holdups and snatching plague ordinary people daily. The excuse of the criminals? They have families to feed. But don't their victims have families to feed too?

Have we all been reduced to being leeches who suck away the blood of the next person? Vultures that swoop down on every vulnerable person in view? Piranhas in a feeding frenzy as they smother the next victim?

Why, we've become a nation of cannibals, preying on each other. Is this survival of the fittest or preservation of the greediest and of the conscience-less? We've rejoined the lower animals that eat their own species.

We're gnawing away at the core of a dying nation. Before long, all that will be left is a discarded carcass of a nation.

Who said that in a few years we shall have attained First World status? Bah, humbug!

But where is the people's outrage? Are we a nation of masochists, begging pain and punishment from those in power?

Other commentators have rued in disbelief the tolerance and patience of the Filipino people. Why aren't they out in the streets screaming for the heads of those who are supposed to be accountable to them?

Unfortunately, we're still a people locked in a feudal system we had inherited from the colonizers. Our current lords and masters have succeeded in preserving a caste system where an elite rules. Well-meaning amendments to the Constitution haven't made life more equal and better for the common people.

Most of us commentators would rather be optimistic about the future. We're loath to issue pessimistic predictions that tend to become self-fulfilling.

But reality is persuasive. We cannot close our eyes to the grim reality that stares us in the face daily. Until a well-meaning and selfless government attains power, prospects for a better life for the people remains a distant dream. Any promises of relief from the current crop of leaders are just cruel hoaxes.

Who has time for decades more of the same? Do we have any choice?

Gather around, fellow masochists, let's watch as our lords and masters feast on a dying nation.



Leandro V. Coronel is a former World Bank spokesman and a semi-retired columnist.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

TRUE CONFESSIONS

Confession #1

A married Irishman went into the confessional and said to his Priest, 'I almost had an affair with another woman.'

The Priest said, 'What do you mean, almost?'

The Irishman said, 'Well, we got undressed and rubbed together, but then I stopped.'

The Priest said, 'Rubbing together is the same as putting it in. You're not to see that woman again. For your penance, say five Hail Mary's and put $50 in the poor box!'

The Irishman left the confessional, said his prayers, and then walked over to the poor box. He paused for a moment and then started to leave.

The Priest, who was watching, quickly ran over to him saying, 'I saw that. You didn't put any money in the poor box!'

The Irishman replied, 'Yeah, but I rubbed the $50 on the box, and according to you, that's the same as putting it in!'

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Confession #2

There once was a religious young woman who went to Confession. Upon entering the confessional, she said, 'Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned….'

The Priest said, 'Confess your sins and be forgiven.'

The young woman said, 'Last night my boyfriend made mad passionate love to me seven times.'

The Priest thought long and hard and then said, 'Squeeze seven lemons into a glass and then drink the juice.'

The young woman asked, 'Will this cleanse me of my sins?'

The Priest said, 'No, but it will wipe that smile off of your face.'

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Confession #3

An elderly man walks into a confessional.

The following conversation ensues:

Man: 'I am 92 years old, have a wonderful wife of 70 years, many children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Yesterday, I picked up two college girls, hitchhiking. We went to a motel, where I had sex with each of them three times.'

Priest: 'Are you sorry for your sins?'

Man: 'What sins?'

Priest: 'What kind of a Catholic are you?'

Man: 'I'm Jewish.

Priest: 'Why are you telling me all this?'

Man: 'I'm 92 years old... I'm telling everybody!'

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Muldoon's Dog Has Died...

Muldoon lived alone in the Irish countryside with only a pet dog for company…

One day the dog died, and Muldoon went to the parish Priest and asked, 'Father, my dog is dead. Could ye' be sayin' a Mass for the poor creature?'

Father Patrick replied, 'I'm afraid not; we cannot have services for an animal in the church. But there are some Baptists down the lane, and there's no tellin' what they believe. Maybe they'll do something for the creature.'

Muldoon said, 'I'll go right away Father. Do ye' think $5,000 is enough to donate to them for the service?'

Father Patrick exclaimed, 'Sweet Mary, Mother of Jesus! Why didn't ye'tell me the dog was Catholic?'

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

DEMYTHOLOGIZING RIZAL

by Ambeth Ocampo

Whether you are talking about your neighbor, your enemy, a politician or someone who lived 200 years ago, sex never fails to catch people's interest and imagination. Despite columns I have written about Apolinario Mabini's polio and that he died of cholera after drinking infected gatas ng kalabas [water bullfalo's milk], people still insist on the tsismis [gossip] that syphilis caused Mabini's paralysis. So many readers have asked me to elaborate on the sex lives of former Philippine presidents or our heroes.

I am always asked if Andres Bonifacio's widow, Gregoria de Jesus, was really raped by Colonel Agapito Bonzon when they were in captivity, or whether it is true that General Antonio Luna's girlfriend really was a presidential ancestor named Isidra Cojuangco. Whenever I volunteer information, it is always seen as tsmis regardless of my documentation. Maybe this is a way of copeing, because our heroes have been so glorified that people cannot imagine them eating, drinking, womanizing, or having plain human emotions like you and me. It is for this reason that we go into the national hero, José Rizal.

Doctor Maximo Viola, as every schoolchild knows, was the man who paid for the printing of Rizal's Noli me Tangere. What the schoolchild doesn't know, however, is that Rizal and Viola traveled together around Europe and that Viola had written an account of this trip.

Rizal stayed with Viola in Barcelona around June or July 1886 at a time when Viola was preparing for his medical examinations, so Rizal was forced to roam the city alone. Viola writes:

"It can be said that the life of the illustrious traveler in this city had nothing notable about it. He visited without pomp and ceremony... During the day I couldn't accompany him in his excursions as much as I wished, for I was preparing for my final examinations. At night, I sometimes accompanied him to the Café Pelayo -- gathering place of the Filipino expatriates -- and sometimes to other amusement centers, including casas de polomas de bajo vuelo (in Pilipino, kasa ng mga kalapating mababa ang lapid); in English brothels whose ways, luxury or poverty, and other customs of refinement of vice were unknown to him in Madrid. In as much as he was eager to know everything, because the day when, as a writer, he would have to combat such a vice in its diverse manifestations for being unnatural an anti-psycological, according to him, he would be informed of its cause the better to correct it. It must be noted that in these excursions, rather of a character more inquisitorial than voluptious, he always hinted to me thathe had never been in favor of obeying blindly the whims of nature when theeir call was not duly justified by a natural and spontaneous impulse."

The original Spanish is florid and corny, so much the better to veil Rizal's "educational-observation" trips to the brothels. I use a translation by the José Rizal Centennial Commission because if I translate these notes to their bare essentials, it will appear as if I were trying to denigrate Rizal. What one should keep in mind while reading Viola is that these recollections were not written in 1886 but in 1913, so many years after the actual events. Rizal was already the national hero and so, Viola had to paint a dignified picture of his friend. It is because of writings like these that Rizal has become a figure of myth to today's Filipinios.

Viola says that the brothels "were unknown to him (Rizal) at Madrid." But if you take the time to read the volumes of Rizal's correspondence, you will find a letter of Rizal to his brother, Paciano, from Madrid dated 13 February 1883 (three years before he visited Viola in Barcelona). Rizal says: "Women abound even more (here in Madrid) and it is, indeed, shocking that in many places they intercept men and they are not the ugly ones either."

I have seen these dark esquintitas in Madrid, like Calle de la Montera, where my sisters were always warned never to go after six. Here you find pretty young things (but it's hard to be seen in the semidarkness) who lie in wait; the ugly ones are aggressive out of despair, so they pull men off the street into their sleazy little rooms. I wonder where these kalapati [doves] were in Rizal's time. From Rizal's letter it is obvious he know what he's talking about.

"With respect to morality there are some who are models of virtue and innocence and others who have nothing womanly about them, except their dress or at most their sex. Rightly it has been said that the women in the South of Europe have fire in their veins. However, here prostitution is a little more concealed than at Barcelona, though not less unrestrained."

Now, tell me, how can Viola say with a straight face that these "amusements" were unknown to Rizal?

In May 1887 Rizal and Viola traveled together around Europe. It was in Vienna where Rizal "encountered the figure of a temptress in the form of a Viennese woman, of the family of the Camellias or hetaeras of extraordinary beauty and irresistible attraction," who seemingly had been expressly invited to offer for a moment a cup of mundane pleasure to the apostle of Philippine freedom who until then had enjoyed among his intimates the fame worthy of his glorious namesake, St. Joseph.

"With these exceptions of this case, I knew of no other slip of Rizal during more than six months that we were traveling together..."

Is this column tsismis (gossip)? The documentation exists. The point is that there is not need to hide the humanity of our heroes because it is precisely their being human that makes them admirable. Whether Rizal was a saint or a sex fiend does not detract from his greatness. The problem today is rewriting all the distorted hagiography teachers force students to read. What of today's sex scandals?

I'll leave that for the historical columnist of 2089 A.D.


Monday, March 16, 2009

THE STORY OF SIMOUN


Revenge was sweet, however, for the Montecristo of Dumas. The Simoun of Rizal is unhappy even in revenge. He is one of the darkest creations of literature, a man who believes salvation can come only from total corruption.

"I have inflamed greed," he says. "Injustices and abuses have multiplied. I have fomented crime, and acts of cruelty, so that the people may become inured to the idea of death. I have maintained terror so that, fleeing from it, they may seize any solution. I have paralyzed commerce so that the country, impoverished and reduced to misery, may have nothing more to fear. I have spurred ambition, to ruin the treasury; and not content with all this, to arouse a popular uprising, I have hurt the nation in its rawest nerve, by making the vulture itself insult the very carcass that feeds it!" Simoun is beyond any wish for reform, or autonomy, or representation in the Cortes.

"I need your help," he tells Basilio, "to make the youth resist these insane cravings for hispanization, for assimilation, for equality of rights. Instead of aspiring to be a province, aspire to be a nation... so that not by right, nor custom, nor language, may the Spaniard feel at home here, nor be regarded by the people as a native, but always as an invader, as an alien."

And he offers Basilio "your death or your future; with the government or with us; with your oppressors or with your country"; warning the boy that whoever "declares himself neutral exposes himself to the fury of both sides" -- the most poignant line in the novel; though Rizal, when the moment of choice came, did not exactly declare himself neutral.

But Basilio, even when finally converted to the revolution, shrinks from Simoun's command to exterminate not only the counter-revolution but all who refuse to rise up in arms:

"All! All! Indios, mestizos, Chinese, Spaniards. All whom you find without courage, without spirit. It is necessary to renew the race! Coward fathers can only beget slave children. What? You tremble? You fear to sow death? What is to be destroyed? An evil, a misery. Would you call that to destroy? I would call it to create, to produce, to nourish, to give life!"

Unlike Montecristo, Simoun fails. Dying, he flees to the house beside the Pacific where lives Father Florentino; and through Father Florentino, Rizal seems to annul what he has been saying so passionately, during the novel, through Simoun. What had sounded like a savage sneering at reform becomes a celebration of reforms, of spiritual self-renewal. Salvation cannot come from corruption; garbage produces only toadstools. In Dumas, the last words had been: Wait and hope. In Rizal, the last words are: Suffer and toil. And the jewels with which Simoun had thought to fuel the holocaust, Father Florentino hurls into the ocean, there to wait until a time "when men need you for a holy and high purpose."

This final chapter is beautiful [end of page 71] but unsatisfactory. The Noli Me Tangere had mocked the naiveté of the reformist, the futility of collaboration; El Filibusterismo should, therefore, have unequivocally justified revolution -- but it takes back in the final chapter what it pushed forward in the preceding ones.


Excerpt from the "Anatomy of the Anti-Hero" by Nick Joaquin


Sunday, March 15, 2009

THE FILIPINO IS NOT INDOLENT

The Enemy from Within:

The Indolence of the Filipino

by Rosalinda N. Olsen


Indolence is defined as the disposition to be idle or, put another way, the lack of inclination to work. More than a hundred years ago, Jose Rizal wrote a brilliant essay in defence of the Indio, whose Spanish colonial master had called indolent. With flawless logic and irrefutable examples, Rizal demonstrated that the supposed indolence was an effect of the dehumanising conditions in which the Indio was forced to live. Still following the logic of cause-and-effect Rizal, in fact, twisted the knife back to the accuser and showed that the Spanish colonizers were the indolent ones. Thus, Rizal added one more definition of “indolence”: the inclination to live off the labor of others.

The Spanish colonizers were the indolent ones, not the Indio, because the Peninsulares and the Filipinos preferred the good life without working for it. It was justifiably easy to enrich themselves because they could always say, “What are we in power for?” Let the Indio work for the honor of Spain and for us who labor to see that Spain and Mother Church is obeyed at all times and without question.

The hapless Indio had to secure a permit in order to work their farms. Quoting Morga, Rizal wrote, “The natives were not allowed to go to their labors, that is, their farms, without permission of the governor, or of his agents and officers, and even of the priests. Rizal also quoted Gaspar de San Agustin who wrote that in 1690, the people of Bacolor had fewer people because of the uprising during Don Sabinianano Manrique de Lara’s time, and because of continual labor of cutting timber for his Majesty’s shipyards, which hindered them from cultivating the very fertile plains they have These two quotes show clearly that 1) the Indio was totally controlled by the Spanish which included forced labor but, 2) the Indio was capable of rising in armed rebellion against their colonial master.

It is strangely curious that when the natives succeeded in breaking the chains of slavery, they were no longer the “Indio” and took the name of their colonizer, the Filipino or the Spanish who were born in the Philippine islands. One would think that the enslaved would take a name farthest from the memory of the hated master. Instead, the Indio became the new Filipino and one wonders if the Indio inherited not only the name but its master’s cultural characteristics too, particularly indolence.

Shakespeare wrote that a rose is a rose by whatever name it is called. Even so, the Peninsulares who came direct from Spain held the Filipinos in lower esteem because they were born in the colony and therefore “less Spanish”. They had the same Spanish blood flowing in their veins but the accident of birth made the Peninsulares feel more superior. The ilustrado class—the Indio with wealth and education—personified by Emilio Aguinaldo, took over the revolution from that poor Indio named Andres Bonifacio whom they believed should not have aspired to be other than cannon fodder. Well, the ilustrado class won the revolution and, therefore, it is to the ilustrado class that present-day Filipinos owe that dubious honor of being named after the colonial masters. The descendants of that ilustrado class and of the original Filipinos continue to be the ruling class in the Philippines; sharing what power they will with the Catholic hierarchy. What about the descendants of those below the ilustrado class, are they still Indio? No, of course not, they are Filipino citizens. However, since the socio-political structure has not changed except for the takeover of the ilustrado class from the colonizer, the Indio is still an Indio by whatever name he is called. The present-day Indio comprises about 80% of the population. No matter, there is no loss of face in that, for as Rizal had proven, the Indio is not indolent. In fact, the Indio shall redeem the Philippines from the enemy within—the affluent and the politicians who make a mockery of democracy and justice.

As it was then, so is it now. Separated from the rest of the population by an insurmountable wall of wealth and political power, the Filipino ruling class easily make a great show of benevolent paternalism under the guise of democracy in order to hide the indolence they have inherited. They wrote a Philippine Constitution by and for themselves, which, of course, they invoke or subvert according to how it serves their interest. Obedient and trusting as always, the masses continue to believe that they actually elected a democratic government despite the chronic cheating in the polls.

It was easier then to identify the enemy because it was foreign. First came the Spanish colonizers and then came the Americans. With the declaration of Philippine Independence in 1946 the Filipinos were finally free to determine how the country shall be governed. It also removed the excuse of blaming a foreign power for the idiocies and the greed of the new political cliques. In the early 1950s, the Philippines was considered the richest nation in SouthEast Asia with the highest GNP per capita. Today, the Philippines is second only to Bangladesh that is at the bottom of the list of the ten most impoverished countries. What has happened, or what did not happen? Who made this happen, or who did not make it happen?

Scapegoats are necessary where nobody wants to face the truth of their own failure. It is ridiculous that the Marxist groups in the Philippines blame everything on the USA, as if everything that is wrong or evil in government is due to American machinations, blithely ignoring the direct hand and the initiative of the corrupt politicians. Ang Bayan, both the print and the online editions, continue to mouth the “party line” of revolution and the overthrow of the American stranglehold on the Philippines. The sad fact is there is no stranglehold except that made by the government officials, from the President down to the mayor of the smallest town.

This essay does not at all mean to be an apologist for the late President Ferdinand Marcos, but he was really the only president who had a vision for the country. He was brilliant. Marcos had an iron will that could turn to ruthlessness, and his enemies were powerless against his wit and charm. One morning in September 1972, Filipinos woke up to find that there was no radio and no newspapers. Martial law has been declared. Everyone was in the grip of fear, and because they were afraid, they obeyed. Marcos called for discipline and he believed that “this nation can be great again”. At first, corrupt officials curbed their greed, for fear of being arrested. Then they became what was called the “backsliders” and then more and more went back to their old bad habits, until the usual cycle of graft and corruption was back in place. In 1986, the Filipinos went to the streets and ousted the 20-year dictator through what has been called “People Power.”

For the first time since the Philippine Revolution in 1896, the masses rallied to the call of the leaders and again put their lives in the hands of those in power. Once again the people were betrayed. No sooner were the Marcoses out of the country than the old politicians and the oligarchy came crawling like worms out of the woodwork. As the masses went to the streets and created what could have been a real revolution called EDSA People Power, the disenfranchised politicians appeared on television and gave speeches by radio, clearly meaning to take over the vacuum. They did. Today, it seems that the people no longer care or perhaps they are now in the depths of hopelessness and helplessness. So, the question arises, is the Filipino indolent now at the time when they could least afford to be so?

Clearly the Filipino masses have lost faith in politicians and they clearly indicated this by voting an actor as President of the Republic, Joseph “Erap” Estrada. According to an exclusive article written in October 30, 2002 by the Daily Tribune editor and publisher, Ninez Cacho Olivares, a group that calls itself “Omerta”, “composed of representatives of business groups and Catholic Church leaders as well as representatives of celebrated personalities, came together and met formally early this month to fine tune the plan to "constitutionally" oust President Estrada under "Oplan Excelsis." They succeeded. Gloria Arroyo, who was herself also under impeachment charges at the time, now occupies Malacañan. Now, the Philippines is worse off than under Estrada and everybody believes that the solution is in having a new and incorruptible president.

Nobody seems to realize that it is far more difficult to eradicate corruption in the government institutions like the BIR and the DPWH, than it is to oust a duly elected President. Apparently, most Filipinos believe that the Philippine President should be no less than a superman and a miracle worker who will put everything to right. Nobody seems to ask himself what he should do as an individual and as a citizen of that country. Governance is every citizen’s business, particularly in a democracy. It’s like everybody is to blame except himself. A corrupt system will not continue unless the people knowingly or unknowingly support it. The corruption is so ingrained that if one were to give all civil service employees a test on corruption, very few will it. This only means that the citizenry tolerate this corruption in one way or the other. Here is an anecdote to illustrate this.

A young man was driving his mother to her appointment when a traffic policeman stopped them. The young man was sure he had not violated a traffic law but he stopped and, before the policeman came to the car, he took out a one-hundred pesos bill from his wallet. Aghast, the mother asked him if he were thinking of bribing the policeman. Calmly, the son said, “I have no choice. You know, I know, and that policeman knows that I did not violate any traffic rule. But if I let him give me a ticket, they will simply make it harder for me and I won’t be able to drive through this area again without being victimized by that same policeman or his colleagues.” The young man then folded the money and inserted it in the plastic holder of his driving license. The policeman came, wrote something on a little notebook, told the young man to be more observant of traffic rules, and left. The young man then showed the plastic holder to his mother; the money was gone.

It would not be a distant analogy to compare this incident to what an Indio farmer would have done if confronted with similar circumstances. The feeling of helplessness against prevalent corruption has gone from bad to worse that, really, nobody quite knows where to begin. The Indio of today is not powerless like the Indio during the Spanish colonial period, but the same feeling of helplessness prevails. According to statistics, the Philippines has an 83% literacy rate, but how much of this is functional literacy? Each year, schools and colleges graduate thousands of young people, but how many of them can and actually use what they have learned?

Today’s Indio is not helpless. He has, in fact, more education and access to modern and traditional technologies that would give him a fighting chance to battle against the socio-political evils that has dragged the Philippines deep into the muck. The problem is that individual and group efforts have not been coordinated into one united front.

In Part 3 of his long essay, “The Indolence of the Filipinos”, Rizal wrote,

Man works for an object. Remove the object and you reduce him to inaction. The most active man in the world will fold his arms from the instant he understands that it is madness to bestir himself, that this work will be the cause of his trouble, that for him it will be the cause of vexations at home and of the pirate's greed abroad

Filipinos are not lazy, nor are they indolent by whatever definition. Even so, it is apparent that they work only for themselves and their family, not because they are indifferent to the fate of their country. It is because they see no object worth their labor. The present socio-political structure has robbed the Filipino in the same way that the Spanish colonizer had robbed the Indio of an object to work for. There are no scapegoats available, except those in the fantasy of Ang Bayan; there is no bogeyman either as the Church would have the Filipinos believe. There is only the Filipino individual who should work together with his countrymen. There is no lack of Filipino individuals and groups working for the betterment of the Philippines, but they must organize. In short, they must put their act together. Only then can we truly say with Rizal that the Filipino is not indolent.