Honoring this young girl for saying No! to becoming a suicide bomber.

ORDINARY TEACHER'S NOTES. 25 DEC 2014. N4.
Honoring this young girl for saying No! to becoming a suicide bomber. 
NOW, NOW: the story can be told. 
Someone is hijacking the minds of young girls, and some of them could be their parents who voluntarily give them to the Boko Haram to become suicide bombers.
How on earth could the logic of giving away your daughter for a cause like Boko Haram's is be within the bounds of the reasonable is something that escapes the minds. No can, this. 
You are a parent, you take good care of your child.
You have a young girl, you protect your young girl. 
Existentially, you are the very reason for your child to come into the world, and this, you cannot renege on that duty to remain committed to your obligation no matter what.
And not this--this giving her away so she would become a suicide bomber, because, when she becomes a suicide bomber and kills others, she will go straight to heaven.
We do not which heaven is being offered here, but let us do the math: Boko Haram, for whatever its worth, does not a franchise of heaven, dear Lord!
HON/

The youngest feels the emptiness, or the prospect of one on Christmas Day 2014.

ORDINARY TEACHER'S NOTES. 25 DEC 2014. THURS. N3.
The youngest feels the emptiness, or the prospect of one on Christmas Day 2014. 
[For Leah Antonio Agcaoili, Ie Agcaoili, Cams Agcaoili, and Nasudi Francine Agcaoili. Here is Merry Christmas to ya ol!] 
WITH her sister gone to the Philippines to link up arms again with friends and family and do some freelance graphic arts work there, and with an elder brother, our first-born, leaving the coop soon and figuring out what is in store for him in the US Mainland, today, at Christmas Day in Honolulu, the youngest went on a sentimental mood.
She says she is going to miss her brother. 
She says she misses her older sister. 
She says she is going to be left alone in the household, and no one--not any one--to fight with. 
She will miss the sibling fights, the sibling rivalries, and the sibling shouting matches so natural for siblings, but so natural for them to find ways to make peace right after, after the verbal EIDs have died down, and after the tsunami of unsibling-like language has ebbed to find their quiet in that ocean of emotions we call sibling love. 
"I shall be by myself. And alone," she wails. 
"We are here for you, sweetie," her mother tells her.
"I shall have no one to fight with," she wails louder.
"I am around, and we shall fight everyday, do not worry," her mother tells her, and she wails some more while I hold the iPhone and video-documenting all that is happening. 
"I am missing my sister. She tells me things, good stuff, and I do not listen to her. Soon she will be gone too!" 
"No worry, we are," her mother reminds her.
"For how long yet?" she asks, her wailing unstoppable and becoming less subdued, tears profusely falling on her tanned cheeks. 
"Eight years more," her mother tells her. "Four years in high school and four years in college. And each day in college, you will be with your father. Because he will drive you to school. And he will bring you back home. Everyday!" 
"Waaaaaah," she wails louder. 
Ah, Christmas Day 2014.

'So many tears this Christmas.'

ORDINARY TEACHER'S NOTES. 25 DEC 2014. THURS. N2.
'So many tears this Christmas.' 
THERE IS A NEED to redeem Christmas from the hijackers. 
The hijackers are many, and one of them are those commerce people who have no mercy making us believe that Christmas is about conspicuous consumption, that one heck of a feel-good act of gobbling up whatever Walmart and Costco and chain stores can offer.
All these are meant to give a balm to our already wounded hearts, souls, spirits.
All these are meant to bandage our bodies, bruised, brutalized. 
All these are meant to put some Band-Aid to our broken sense of self. 
For Christmas and what it means, from its non-Christian beginnings (think of the reverence to the sun here!) and to its transformation into something that reminds us of our duty to others and to ourselves, in that one heck of solidarity in the name of humanity that we have forgotten, is lost. 
Has been lost. 
We need to call it back, call out its name and what it means so that, like Pope Francis, this would not become a Christmas of tears again. 
In the meantime, however, let us be real: today, with the world going awry, with the world going berserk, with the world going nuts, we can only kneel in prayer and say, plead: Lord, Lord, Lord: Take these tears away from your people, from the women, from the children, from the orphans, from the persecuted minorities, from the displaced, from the hamletted, from those who have nothing to eat, from those who have no bed to lie down and rest. 
Lord, Lord, Lord: give us a Christmas without the tears.
Amen.

It is Christmas. It is Christmas. It is Christmas.

ORDINARY TEACHER'S NOTES. 25 DEC 2014. THURS. N1
It is Christmas. It is Christmas. It is Christmas. 
WE HAVE GONE past the noche buena ritual. 
We still do it some of the time. But only some of the time when the spirit moves us. Otherwise, that is reserved for the remembrance and the remembrancers alike. 
When the first two kiddos were smaller, and when we were still in da Filipins, the noche buena was a rite and a ritual to remember. 
By the start of the '-ber' month, the missus would start to plan: What put to put on the table, what fruits get there for the display and for presentation, who is selling the best--ever!--fruit cake, and where to get all those expensive ingredients that go with the fruit salad that I always liked. 
Today, in a faraway land, the noche buena has lost its magic, enchantment, seduction, temptation. 
No can. 
We live a different life over here, with solitude marking our days, and that inward spirit that goes with children having grown up, and soon, soon, the coop will be empty except for the last daughter, young at 13, still figuring out her way in the world. 
Ours is a 24-hour life, with children doing things in the evening and some of them asleep during the daytime, their rooms unmoving like a monastic cell. You can hear the sound of a needle falling on the floor. 
The hours are not ours over here when we live lives that are as nuclear as the dreams of those wanting to go back to da Filipins every chance they got. 
Rootlessness defines our life, at least, the many that see that to go away is to take up the task of a pilgrim, moving and moving and moving and not staying put.
It is a metaphor, this, this life of peregrination, in the constancy of change and mutability and finitude. 
Ah, Christmas. 
Merry Christmas to all of you out there. 
HON/

Coming to America, Retracing Bulosan, and Gathering Narratives of Exclusion, PART 1

Coming to America, Retracing Bulosan, and
Gathering Narratives of Exclusion, PART 1


I came to America for the third time to write that book I have long kept in my heart. It would be a book about migrants defining space and place in a new land. It would be about exiles finding roots in a strange country, big roots, small roots, gnarled roots, earth-bound roots, airborne roots, protruding roots, damaged roots, alienated roots—roots of all shape, kind, color, form, some the reason for sustenance, some the cause for some form of dying within, some life-affirming, some providing anchor in the sea of life.

The book would be a labor of love, written from the heart, written with blood, written with sweat, sorrow, song, sadness—yet also written with the critical eye of a struggling ethnographer trying to decipher whether there is at all a difference between the narrative of a people –their big tales of struggle and survival interspersed with their raw, hard, sweet daily life –and that big novel that draws so much on fact and history, fiction and imagination, artistic license and freedom, longing and desire to dream of another time and place and space, another history perhaps beyond the deplorable memory of what is left the islands of their birthing, the islands of remembrance because precisely it is there where the placenta has remained, twin to the soul, twin to all that which makes up the man, all men born of sorrow and surrender, triumph and victory.

Or so we think—or so we believe.

But we must remember that there are so many things that could happen in other lands and other times and other tribes in situations that are strange and foreign.

In the areas beyond the familiar, there could be redemption, forgiveness, too. But all told, redemption comes after the fact; forgiveness comes after the grave and callous deed.

I vowed to myself: I would be the homo amatis of the philosopher of love that I tried to deconstruct sophomorically in my freshman class of philosophy of man in that royal and pontifical university in the heart of Manila somewhere between the believing people of Quiapo and the political fanatics and idiots of the Batasan complex where the laws are negotiated to protect the interest of the power holders.

Well, yes, indeed, it should be so if I were to speak the speech of the story-teller of alienation and exile, of departure and more departures from the homeland, of arrival and more arrivals in this new land of snow and rain and wildfire and exported war.

I would take the love component as the passionate perspective through which I would angle my seeing of the exilic experience.

I would take love as epistemology to guide me in my adventure of discovering what is it that is not said in the act of telling in order to see more the beautiful and the ugly in the construction of human realities—the ever-colorful realities, in fact, that pre-shape and pre-form our understanding of the Filipino that leaves hearth and home to eke a living in places so far away, so unknown, sometimes so unkind, unforgiving, unsympathetic.

I would dedicate this book to all those migrants who have come here in America before me in order to seek a greener pasture in this Promised Land. For the Promised Land is the eternal Utopia, the beautiful topos, the place where suffering would eventually come to a cessation, the place where finally justice would be served, the home where there would be food on the table and hunger would have been eliminated from the lexicon of life.

I have come to America for a number of times before and I have witnessed a life of abundance I have not had the chance to see anywhere.

It is this scene of abundance gaining a tropic value that has moved me to believe that indeed—and it must be so—that America has remained a land that promises so much to the one who is willing to put his life and limb to try it here, figure out what is in store for him, and hope that someday soon—someday soon—he would strike it rich, perhaps not so quickly but in time.

I have seen all these possibilities and have come to believe that America is one green pasture—greener than the islands yonder where the exile comes from not because the land is more verdant, the skies more blue, the seas more expansive but simply because those who lead here have the decency and self-respect to the people who toil, who contribute to the social wealth.

I use this “greener pasture” concept as a metaphor to account all those countless stories of leaving the homeland.
Having read Carlos Bulosan in college and in graduate school, and with Bienvenido Lumbera for a teacher, to boot, in a graduate course on Philippine literature, that belief now comes with certain conditions.

It must be so. For the migrant’s life is a metaphor of sorts, a metaphor of a country wishing it to be something else, a metaphor of a private soul going public, exposing the tall tales of milk and honey and golden treasure and narrating the pains of taking roots.

Check another part---
First published in the The Weekly Inquirer, 2005. 

Coming to America, retracing Bulosan.

ORDINARY TEACHER'S NOTES. 24 DEC 2014. WED. N2.
Coming to America, retracing Bulosan. 
SOME years ago, I wrote about this essay published in one of the local newspapers in Los Angeles where I was residing at that time. That was 11 years ago, I believe.
The essay, "Coming to America, Retracing Bulosan," was a meditation on my decision to leave da Filipins forever. 
By then, I had seen two EDSA People Revolutions. Both were useless.
Both of these were squandered by those afflicted with what a medical activist, and borrowed by Pope Francis, call as 'pathology of power.' 
I was asking myself if I made the right decision to quit the homeland. Like EDSA People Power I, I also invested in that EDSA People Power II that gave way to another opportunist in that palace by the murky river. 
I was part of the movement, even took part in writing manifestoes that got into those flyers for distribution at those rallies and demos we participated.
That Jericho March was the height of that political action, that march that saw the likes of bussed Fernando Poe Jr men and women, in their Fernando Poe shirts, harassing us marchers on our way to the Senate by the bay. 
I gave her two years, this Arroyo lady. Like Cory, she had dangling rosary on her hands. And like the Lady Peron too, in Argentina and in da Filipins. 
Two years after, I told myself: this homeland is not going anywhere. And so I said: I quit. 
And then like Bulosan, I came to America, da great America.
But now, I am watching this film below. It is fiction. It is from 'The Newsroom,' but whoever said that truth is stranger than fiction?
HON/

15 cardinals sins of the Roman Curia.

ORDINARY TEACHER'S NOTES. 24 DEC 2014. WED. N1.
15 cardinals sins of the Roman Curia. 
THERE ARE 15 of these cardinal sins, and most likely, the sinners would not be redeemed if authentic penitence is not done right off. 
And yes, these are cardinal sins requiring cardinal purgation from the ordinary believers, not from 'em cardinals giving remission of each other's sins. 
We have seen 'em, these Roman Curia bureaucrats, and their head, once a pope but now retiring to pray for them at a Vatican villa somewhere, was just like them. 
The list of their sins are a commonplace. 
We know these.
People who have lived in walled lives either personally or collectively know these workings of power, and the end result, power itself, is an aphrodisiac. 
I have taught in four--yes, Virginia, four--seminaries, and I have seen how this pathology of power has afflicted all those occupying all the rungs of power from the lowliest to the highest of 'em all.
Somewhere, this teaching Vatican Curia must teach itself how to become a student of life again.
And more so, a student of spiritual life. 
Even as Pope Francis was telling them--and telling the same thing to himself--of these 15 cardinal sins of excess and abuse, the Curia people remained stone-faced.
We know they could be saints, or maybe sainted soon, and their statues would be cut our of the best Italian marble mined from some ancient place with the blood of gladiators and their emperors.
But we know too well that their feet are wooded, now and forever. 
Even as we say this, we declare: we still believe in the generous spirit of the Spirit of life. 
HON/

A student graduates, and he was a son to me. And now, he confronts the world out there.

ORDINARY TEACHER'S NOTES. 23 DEC 2014. TUE. N6.
A student graduates, and he was a son to me. And now, he confronts the world out there. 
I AM NOT GOING TO NAME HIM in this post, but I must write this to document his triumph against all odds. 
Let us call him Mr B. 
He came to me straight from high school, and under an initiative that allowed public high school graduates to be mainstreamed into university, he became my student assistant under a federally-funded work-study grant. 
That means he could work and study, and could work for me, and given a salary equivalent to a federally-approved per hour pay. 
For 20 hours a week, he came to work for and with me, laboring it out sometimes, until the wee hours of the evening. He volunteered his time too, when he lots of those in his hands. 
When in 2009 we were working for the Nakem, he was there with me, preparing all the things that we needed for the international conference. 
And at past 0100 AM--that is the small wee hours of the morning for you--the phone rang.
The call was from Canada. 
A company in Canada needed someone to be an interpreter for an emergency medical case in California. They needed someone who can speak Ilokano, and they got hold of me, and they were sorry that it was too early in the morning, but that I needed to help in the emergency case. 
And then the quick, rapid, frenzied interpretation work at 0100 AM. 
I told Mr B of the need for him to get hold of his ancestors' language. Local born but of Ilokano parents, he understood Ilokano but not in a professional, competent, and academic way.
I told him--even insisted--that he needs to pick up his Ilokano again so he can be of help to our people in Hawaii and in the diaspora. 
Mr B was my only witness in this act--in this other work I do as an interpreter. He understood, which made him decide to minor in Ilokano. 
I think he was just a freshman at that time, new to the vagaries of university life, new to the idiosyncrasies of academics like me who work up to the time when even the night has fallen asleep. 
He was a young man with his pain, his dad just died on him even as he was graduating from high school. 
His older brother is not keen on doing academic work, does his own thing, gets married early. A younger brother followed a different path, got hooked up in something addicting, and then one day a year ago, met his ugly death on the streets, knifed and left to bleed.
In all these, a widowed mother became the reason for him to hold on. And his younger sister, she who needed someone to look up to as an exemplar. I was there for him during those dark days of doubt, despair, despondency. I pushed to go on, to get on, to get up and walk again. And again. 
All through the years, he came into my life, and he came out into my life too.
But there was one thing in this young man I could never forget: he knew what responsibility was. And he knew that he needed to succeed for his mother, to make her stop crying, to make her remember her blessings. 
He made it sure that all those who came to work for me--in my office--worked hard. 
In all these years, I assigned him that unenviable role of being my office manager. And yes, he used the whip: he made it sure that those who were paid worked accordingly. 
And now this young man graduated last Saturday, triumphing against all odds, and getting that diploma that would not have been possible if he did not persevere. 
To you, young man, you know who you are. 
There is one thing I want you to know: I am proud of you! This is to honor you. 
HON/

Pope Francis is late in his verdict. But better late than never

ORDINARY TEACHER'S NOTES. 23 DEC 2014. N5.
Pope Francis is late in his verdict. But better late than never.
THOSE OF US who studied in seminaries of all kinds are of two kinds:
One, those who persevered, and therefore, blessed by God to serve him. AND 
Two, those who did not persevere, and therefore, blessed by God to return to world of the real and the raw and the ugly--the world not at all protected by convent walls and prayers and penitence galore. 
Either way, we are blessed.
This is in contradiction to what we heard from our rectos and formators in the past--'em who blackmailed us into believing that those who leave that four walls of the seminary, literally, are wont to have a good life at all! 
Ah, we were blackmailed into kowtowing to the demands of unruly formation, and some became the pit bulls of formators, snitching on others, and like the Gulag, telling on the human frailty of others so that those snitching men would be given special favors and graces and privileges. 
And now, Pope Francis tells those bishops and thus, those who rule over the lives of the faithful: REPENT ON CHRISTMASTIME. 
Ah, good for you, your excellency. You had it coming--and this should have come a long time ago except that the former pope kowtowed to your whims and caprice even as you also kowtowed to his stranglehold of church affairs. 
There is a lot to change, and let the lessons of Vatican II come to the Philippines and all countries similarly situated. 
Now just rosary-wielding lady presidents, por favor!
HON/

Freedom for West Papua

ORDINARY TEACHER'S NOTES. 23 DEC 2014. TUE. N4.
Freedom for West Papua. 
BEEN READING up a lot on the West Papua movement for independence. Our Apo Mike Pangilian, our Kapampangan scholar and language advocate based in Germany has been updating us on this, with his constant posting of the West Papuan case. 
My concern, initially, was linked up with the East Timor case, and this act of a former colony of the Dutch, Indonesia, to gobble up everything it can gobble up.
We have East Timor, freed unconditionally by the Dutch, but then invaded by the Indonesians, and for decades, the East Timorese suffered under Indonesian rule. 
Lives were sacrificed in the altar of independence and freedom.
So were limbs of fighters and the civilian populace.
So were their dreams of the good life, of a justice and fairness, and of liberty.
Until that day when East Timor became a country, a nation, and a state. 
And now this same case of the West Papuan. 
Read the story here, and you will cry rivers.
Or, you must.
HON/

Lessons in hegemony: genocide, myopic sense of empire, nation, language, and faith

ORDINARY TEACHER'S NOTES. 23 DEC 2014. TUE. N1.
Lessons in hegemony: genocide, myopic sense of empire, nation, language, and faith. 
THE ARGUMENT of even the talented and intelligent ISIS/IS/ISIL fighters fighting for the IS caliphate is scary. 
Below is the exchange between a German journalist, J Todenhoefer, and an IS spokesperson: 
"So do you seriously think that beheadings and enslavement actually signal progress for humanity?" Todenhoefer asked.
"Slavery absolutely signals progress," the man said. "Only ignorant people believe that there is no slavery among the Christians and the Jews. Of course there are woman who are forced into prostitution under the worst circumstances.
"I would say that slavery is a great help to us and we will continue to have slavery and beheadings, it is part of our religion ... many slaves have converted to Islam and have then been freed."
The argument is reducible to this one: That enslavement of women and children is a sign of progress, that the enslaving of women who do not share the faith of the IS is reasonable as this advances their cause, and the pursuit of their faith. 
Put in another defense, as metaphysical as can be: That this is Allah's will.
Things are not pretty OK down there in Iraq and Syria. 
Mosul city, reports have it, is now a no-Christian place, and no diversity is ever tolerated as this is the bastion of the caliphate. 
Never mind the 130,000 Christians going on exile, and in the deserts of their wandering, never mind the cost of human lives. 
These are complicated issues. 
But the argument for humanity is never a question of nation, faith, caliphate or its derivatives. 
This should be a good lesson for national languages fascists of the da Filipins, their act of clamping down the right of other peoples of that country they justify by invoking the fascist national language. 
Here you go--and we never learn. Not at all.
HON/

Lessons in diversity, pluralism, and difference

ORDINARY TEACHER'S NOTES. 23 DEC 2014. TUE. N2.
Lessons in diversity, pluralism, and difference.
THE PROBLEM in the world is that we have reduced everything to a binary.
Either you are Christian, or you are not.
Either you are Moslem, or you are not.
Either you are a Catholic, or you are not.
Either you are a Protestant, or you are not. 
Either you are a Sunni, or you are not.
Either you are a Shiite, or you are not.
Either you are IS, or you are not. 
Either you are a Daesh, or you are not. 
The binaries are endless, and we look at the world in this light, and we punish people in this light, and we exclude people in this light, and we take others as are our friends in this light, and we claim others as our brothers in this light. 
This is Manicheanism once more. 
And we are led in to this trap, seduced by it, even enchanted. Some are even tantalized, and with Tantalus lording it over our mind and heart and soul and spirit, we define our world in the way we want, a world excluding others, othering them, making them our foes. Friend or foe, this is how we have become. 
It is a discourse of tyranny.
It is a discourse of dictatorship, like the dictatorship in da Filipins administered faithfully by Enrile and his pit bulls: Either you are for the New Society, or you are not.
And now, today, still in the da Filipins: Either you believe in nationalism couched by the national language of hegemonic Manila and its suburbs, or you do not. 
Gardemet, we are not progressing at all. 
And we even make our women and young girls slaves, like the IS!
HON/

Slave markets

ORDINARY TEACHER'S NOTES. 23 DEC 2014. TUE. N3.
"Slave markets." 
HOW ON EARTH can we ever justify the use of women and girls as sex slaves is something that belong to the incredible. 
IS--or now, the Pentagon's term, Daesh [or tramples on the foot]--is precisely doing that.
They are in the pursuit of the promised virgins, a foretaste of that warped ideology of nonsense. 
We have had errors in human history, like this error of slavery of Christianity, like this error of trading people because they are slaves. 
God bless us, but this act was done in the name of other ideals, and the perpetrators, at least many of them, were Christians who believed in the eternal goodness of God.
And now this, among those who profess a faith of peace and goodness and goodwill, advancing a cause that is questionable, and using means and methods that are as questionable as their demonstration of inhumanity.
Decent and self-respecting people out there in the world must come to their senses. 
We must call a spade a spade, and say, for once, that women and young girls are never commodities, goods, or objects to be sold, trades, used, abused, and offered for sale to the highest bidder. 
Please!

This sanctuary is no sanctuary, not at all. Or, how to make sense of the zombie apocalypse, Philippine-style.

ORDINARY TEACHER'S NOTES. 22 DEC 2014. MON. N1.
This sanctuary is no sanctuary, not at all. Or, how to make sense of the zombie apocalypse, Philippine-style. 
FOR THOSE who have been following, like an addict, the AMC Netflix film offering, "The Walking Dead," you must have seen the parallelism between the zombie apocalypse and the kind life we lead in da Filipins. 
We can extend the logic of that parallelism to include all other homelands, countries, states, and nations that are similarly situated. 
Towards Season 4, we see clearly a sanctuary offered to the survivors of the apocalypse, those survivors headed by Rick, but survivors that are also affected by the virus that causes them to become zombies right after dying. 
By the time we hit Season 5, we see clearly now the plot: that Terminus--that sanctuary offered to those who want to live and thrive once more--is a terminus of some sort, a sanctuary of some sort: Terminus as death, sanctuary as no sanctuary. 
This is how I hermeneuticize this parable, and I am over-reading it in some sort of way to make us remember that popular cultural expressions do not come out of the blue but reflect, however twisted or refracted the reflection is, our current reality. 
We bring this story as parable in da Filipins, and we see clearly the twists and turns of our lives: there are those offering us sanctuary but what we get in the end is the exact opposite of that: YOU are made to bleed, literally and figuratively. 
That is how it is in da Filipins, with OWFs made to bleed, with the poor made to bleed, with the wretched made to bleed some more. 
And now this announcement from SWS about that someone who could be the best bet for our redemption for this Philippine zombie apocalypse?
Gardemet! 

"The Interview," pop culture, and the vagaries of our contemporary lives.

ORDINARY TEACHER'S NOTES. 22 DEC 2014. MON. N2.
"The Interview," pop culture, and the vagaries of our contemporary lives. 
THE PLOT thickens. 
Either that North Korea orchestrated the cyber hacking or it did not. 
President Obama calls this cyber vandalism, this thing that happened to Sony, and he called Sony's move to pull out The Interview from being screened on Christmas Day an act of giving in to the demands of NoKor, or to its blackmailing at the cost of freedom of expression. 
President Obama, of course, is worried that a large company in the US like Sony thaws like an iceberg after being exposed to some heat. 
The attacking--okey, let us follow the lead of President Obama, 'cyber vandalism'--of the Sony Pictures' site exposed that filmmaking company's vulnerabilities: embarrassing emails, some tidbits you would rather that these remain in the emails, and some such other things that ought to remain private but are now out there for the whole world to see. 
Ah, this is a case of revelation with a revelation, an apocalypse with an apocalypse. 
But Sony explained: the cinemas, a corporate chain most of them, were threatened by the hackers, and that they decided to not screen The Interview because of that. 
In effect, there was not platform left for Sony because it did not own these cinemas in the first place. So this is division of labor, division of the means of production and consumption, and division of who to blame and who to spare from being blamed. 
Our lives are getting complicated. And so is our political life, our collective life, our life lived in earnest (or its oppisite) in this world of capital, chain of chains, and cyber world, and threats. 
So what gives in The Interview? It is a satire. 
And that satire centers on an assassination (attempt or no attempt) of the NoKor dictator pretending to be a leader of his people. 
During the Philippine dictatorship, we have these in a different form, a variety of artistic expressions that exposed the emperor, and we we saw that he did not have his clothes. 
Where all these things lead us is something.
HON/

Sex slaves, Yazidi women, and the ISIS agendum of non-sense.

ORDINARY TEACHER'S NOTES. 22 DEC 2014. MON. N3.
Sex slaves, Yazidi women, and the ISIS agendum of non-sense. 
LET US BE CLEAR about our premises and conclusions now. This is not right, this turning of the Yazidi women and girls--their number at 3500 by estimates--into sex slaves. 
The whole thing is under the pretext of advancing the cause of ISIS/IS/ISIL revolution, whatever that revolution means. 
Today on NPR/HPR, there is a report as well of turning women into commodities, with those with blues eyes more expensive than those with just ordinary black or brown. 
So: the more smoldering the eyes--the blue hue of the eyes speaking of unspeakable commodity power for whatever that is worth--the higher the fee for (a) the use of women and (b) determining the cost of trading them. 
Ladies and gentlemen, we are NOT referring to cattle here. 
Ladies and gentlemen, we are referring to people, to women, to children. This could be our people. 
And these children could be our own children. 
And now, even as we struggle for that which is redeeming, that which emancipatory, that which is liberating, we cannot just sweep under the rug the need to critique our means and methods. 
We just cannot, in much the same way that we go by the line of Pope Francis that bishops and priests, by their being men of the cloth, can be justified for (a) their careerist tendencies, (b) forgetting their vocation, (c) forgetting the mission by which they are called to serve, and (d) for collecting antique images of gods and goddesses, in much the same way that that priest from Cebu has collected Santo NiƱos, some made of ivory from 'murdered' elephants from the African continent. 
Under the pretext that we are doing what god wants, we cannot summon these stupid things and justify the stupidity that we do. 
Not at all.
HON/

Babassit a Lungon, Nadagsen a Lungon

The smaller the coffin, the heavier it is to carry. --
Pakistan Minister for Defense, on the massacre of children by the Taliban, 17 Dec 2014

Allaalla

Storming heaven with prayers is evacuee Teodora Factor, 82, who recites the “Oratio Imperata” at the bishop’s residence in Borongan City, Eastern Samar province. Raffy Lerma, PDI, 7 Dec 2014.  

Siak ni Teodora, ti butttuon ti Dios. 
Kaniak ti panagsagaba kadagiti amin a panawen, 
siak nga inanak dagiti dalluyog, bagio, ginggined
siak a naipusing manipud kadagiti adu a kari
dagiti rabii a nasipnget
dagiti sardam a mamagpadpadanon kadagiti sayyo
ni manglimlimo a gasat ditoy Borongan. 
Ita ket addaak iti palasio ti obispo, ket kas iti kaaduan,
agkarkararagak tapno iti kasta ket koma
ti dios ti mannusa nga angin ket dina ipakat kadakami ita
ti kabaelanna a mangparukma kadagiti balabala
ti tagainepmi, dakami a mamati iti baro a biag.
Saan ta saan a pudno nga addan abung-abongmi
manipud kadagiti balikas ti presidente wenno kadagiti amin
a mamati iti saona, kas ti mararosas a kinnikinni 
ti sekretaria dagiti amin a gulib ti ili kadakami.
Ania koma  dokumento ti mangipakita nga ita, 
wenno kadagitoy nga agdakiwas dagiti butengmi 
ket maarikapmi iti barukong dagiti un-unnoy ti aldaw
kadakami tapno, iti idadateng ti milagroso a darikmat
ket ti panagkansion ti pul-oy tapno iti pannakigubal
iti diosa dagiti mammapatay a danum ket ti talinaay
iti pusomi iti laksid ti agpatnag nga ablat 
ti mannusa nga angin kadakami?

Ita ket bay-andak nga agkararag, ipapuso ti araraw
kadagiti amin nga espiritu, kadagiti anito 
ti ili. Gapu ta din mapilko ti tumeng, bay-andak 
a ti rikna ti pumarintumeng tapno ipukkawko
ti agdung-aw iti nagmanto a langit, ket kunaek,
Apo Dios ti langit ken daga, degdegam, degdegam, 
degdegam, Apo aya, ti manangngaasi kadakami
nga inaramiddan a kakaasi ket, wen, Apo aya, 
saan, dimo degdegan ti panangngaasim 
kadagiti amin a mangar-aramid kadakami a bambanti. 

7 Dec 2014/Hon

Linguistic injustice in Tibet.

ORDINARY TEACHER'S NOTES. 30 NOV 2014. SUN. N3.
Linguistic injustice in Tibet.
IF THE PHILIPPINES is a country saddled with the layers and layers of linguistic injustice and cultural tyranny, Tibet, bless that country, is saddled with the same thing as well.
For promoting Tibetan culture and Tibetan language and Tibetan music, a music artist--and singer--was sentenced to several years of imprisonment by a Chinese court.
The courts--and every court for that matter--is part of the very idea of repressive state apparatus, alongside the police system and the asylum, or if you want, the hospital and its ideological power of categorizing who is sick and who is healthy.
The Philippines continues to be blind to the reality and the power of diversity.
The country's educational administrators at Deped, CHEd, TESDA continue to be blind to the reality that our people are not Tagalog, and the belief that Tagalog is all there is in our collective and political life is an act that is fascistic.
Yes, let us use that word: linguistic fascism.
For that is the very history of every 'national language' including the 'national language' being rammed into the throat of every Filipino, and which every Filipino now is beginning to belief because Goebbels was right about repeating the lies until the lies become truth.
Goebbels, of course, was Hitler's propagandist until one day, both he and Hitler were found out to be clanging cymbals even as they pursued that fascistic project calls Nazism.
Here is the account, and all those well-meaning people out there must start a campaign to pressure the Chinese government into releasing the imprisoned artist.
Below is the account.

90,000 a hello a mapan idiay Mars

90,000 a Hello ti Mapan idiay Mars
Radio telescopes on Earth will beam 90,000 messages to Mars on Friday to commemorate the launch 50 years ago of the first robotic probe to visit the planet., Irene Klotz, "Earthlings to send 90,000 hellos to Mars," Reuters, 27 Nov 2014. 
Anansata ti pay agkir-in ti tao
tapno koma sagidenna ti kaawan
iti daga, daytoy a Daga
a ti piskel ket adda a mailako
kadagiti makabael a gumatang.
Uray pay ti panunot kas ti buteng,
dagitoy ket ar-artiok kadagiti sinandios,
isuda nga agtagikua kadagiti amin a libunglibong
tapno ditoy ita ket ti panagarapaap
iti sabali a planeta a sadiay
ti biag dagiti addaan biag
ket mataginayon.

Isu a kastoy ti aramidentayo,
datayo a taga-Daga a di met mangtagikua
iti daytoy: ipatulodtayo ti 90,000
a hello, ti isu met laeng a panagmag-anka
kadagiti siudadano iti ballasiw a lubong.
Namak pay no adda agindeg sadiay,
aduda a kas kadatayo,
ngem addaanda iti kinalinteg,
talinaay, bileg iti panagparnuay
iti metafora dagiti saduday
tapno kadagiti linabag
ket makitadatayo, maammuanna
ti maminribo a kinakurapay
manipud sellang agingga iti puso,
manipud bulsa agingga iti apro.
Mangurkuranges, kunada,
ket pakapilawagan dayta,
a kasla ketdin ti panagsagaba
ket gusto, kaay-ayo, wenno mutia
a kadagiti sabunganay ket matnag
iti agsapa nga agsampaga dagiti agbukar
a karakara.



Daniw para iti kabsat a pinatay ti bileg

Duapulon a tawen ita a sardam. Ditoy a naibisibis ti daram. Nakikammaysa dagiti asugmo kadagiti naganus a bulong ti tabako. Kalaegan itan nga aruyotan dagiti tedted ti idatonko a kandela. No koma laeng agkalaegan met ti lagip. No koma laeng kas ti sugat, agpiglat. Anansa ta agsubli ita ti bursi, dumegdeggang ita ti dara ti lagip. Piman, addaka ngata koma a kaduak nga agtaltalaytay iti tambak ti bisin. Addaka koma ngata a kaduak a makitagtagay iti rigat wenno kakinkinnatawak no padpadasenta nga iwallages ti puon dagitoy a kinakurapay a nariinganta. Daniel Nesperos, 22 Nov 2014, iti kabsat. Manipud iti FB-na. 

Five years of Ampatuan and nothing

ORDINARY TEACHER'S NOTES. 23 NOV 2014. SUN. N1.
Five years of the Ampatuan massacre and nothing. Zilch. Zero. Ibbung. Nunca.
A DEAR friend, Attorney Romel Bagares, reminds us of that horrific act of a regime known for impunity: the Ampatuan Massacre.
Even the dreaded Marcos Dictatorship or whatever it represented in history in our most recent history did not have that sense of the tragic. The Arroyo Regime had that, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo enabling the Ampatuan to claim that part of the country as their fiefdom.
It is the same claim of contemporary political leaders to claim a piece of earth under the Philippine sun as their own, and guarding that piece of earth fiercely with their deceptions, ruses, and donations for basketball courts, waiting sheds, and what-not, and putting up their own billboards and tarpaulins alongside these projects and saying that so-and-so donated this waiting shed good for waiting cows and waiting people with mindless brains.
In the Philippines, there are two kinds of lawyers.
First, those who understand the substance, and thus, the spirit of the law, and deploy this understanding to effect justice.
Second, those who understand the ways to circumvent the law, and thus, become instruments for justice to be delayed, and thus, effectively denied, by invoking useless technicalities in an effort to free the non-so-innocent so that in that newfound freedom, they continue to roam the earth scot-free.
Five years of Ampatuan, Dear God of Justice, is not purgatory.
It is Hell, infierno, the wrong end of justice in da Filipins.
HON/

Baro a Mannaniw-- DANIW

Baro a Mannaniw


Sursurotek ita ti tema
Ti pannakatnag da Camus ken Sartre
Iti saning-i dagiti binatog
Nga adda iti barukong dagiti duduogan

Ammok a diakto manen makagatang
Iti ayat iti tarabiit a pitik ni lagip
No dagiti maipusing a babawi
Dinakto aliawen
Pannakalmesko iti mangrabrabii a tagtagainep

Agsubliakto a matnag iti saning-i
Ti sinamar kadagiti mabuniagan
Iti nagan ti langit
Tapno itedkot bendision
Ti makipagnanaed iti agdama a temat
Napabaro nga ibabangon

Ta di latta malipatan dagiti mannaniw
Panagkeppet ti busel a di nagukrad
Uray no naiyuper iti dara ti tapok
A pug-aw dudugel di nagteng a pantok
Ni malmalanga a lasag met
Ti tibbayo ni taktakuat

Gudasek maminsan pay
Biag kadagiti pluma ti panagsubli
Tapno matnagak lubong
Ti naruay a panaglibas
Iti siled dagiti linumoten a bara
Kas iti indayon no saan nga aglallay
Wenno no awan dumngeg iti lallay

Didanto manen aglako iti palpalakpak
Ngem takuatenta, baro a mannaniw,
Takuatenta  ti saning-i dagiti binatog
Nga adda iti barukong dagiti dudungsa
Tapno agsublita a dua iti pintas




AURELIO S. AGCAOILI
Published in Bannawag, Jun 1983/Revised for accuracy and prosody