The peasant rises early

The peasant rises early
to plow the fields
not of his own
and then to reap
what’s left of the harvest
he has sown
with his bare hands

He rises early
so he may
stake his claim
to the bounty
promised by the land,
purloined by the lords

The peasant rises early
so somehow, he may bring food
to the table –
after setting aside
payment for rent,
taxes and usury
to the landed gentry

He rises early
so he may provide
for his family,
that society
has already
abandoned

The peasant rises early
to revolt!

(Photo from the Internet)

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Help OFWs in distress! Watch Migrante (The Filipino Diaspora)

Gusto mo bang makatulong sa mga kababayan nating OFWs na palagiang dumaranas ng pang-aabuso sa ibayong dagat? 

Suportahan at panuorin ang pelikulang “MIGRANTE (The Filipino Diaspora)” ng batikang Direktor na si Joel Lamangan. Tampok sa pelikula sina Jodi Sta. Maria at Allen Dizon. Kasama din sina Luis Alandy, Bangs Garcia, Chynna Ortaleza, Ryza Cenon, Rich Asuncion, Jaime Pebanco, Raquel Villavicencio, Alex Castro at Tony Mabesa.

Ika nga ng mga taong nasa likod ng pelikula:

Of the many films on the Filipino migrant workers, we are proud to say that “Migrante (The Filipino Diaspora)” makes a difference. While it may have hewed to the commonplace story of a Filipino family forced by circumstances to join the perilous diaspora of migrant workers, it offers a critical insight on the OFW phenomena and the quicksand that is government’s labor export policy.

Ipalalabas ang “Migrante (The Filipino Diaspora)” sa July 15, 2012 sa Robinson’s Galleria Cinema 5, Ortigas.

Ticket prices:
10am screening – P50
1pm – balcony P120, orchestra P100
4pm – balcony P120, orchestra P100
7pm gala premiere – sponsor tickets (limited seats only) P1,000 and P500

Bahagi ng kikitain ay mapupunta sa  Rights and Welfare Assistance Program ng Migrante International – na pinakamalaking alyansa ng mga samahang OFW sa buong mundo. Ang grupong ito ay kilala bilang pinakamasigasig na nakikipaglaban sa kapakanan ng sektor.

Para makakuha ng tickets, makipag-ugnayan lang sa Migrante International sa telepono bilang (02) 9114910. Hanapin lamang si Pam.

Tara nuod tayo!

Night Drifter

I drift
aimlessly
in the dead
of night

Counting
each lamp post,
the blinding glare
of headlights;

And even
as kilometer posts
zoom past,
even as the numbers
on my speedometer wall
tick fast;

I always end up
staring at roadsigns
that read:
No you haven’t arrived

And so I drift still…

OFW at IMF

“We have a substantial number of OCWs (overseas contract workers) and we have to protect… It’s in our interest to protect–to help those economies because we have a substantial number of Filipinos there,” Edwin Lacierda, on defending the $1B loan to IMF

 

Bakit tayo may OFW?
Kasi may IMF –
na imperyalistang instrumento
para gipitin ang mga hutuhutang
kolonya at mala-kolonya –
‘gaya ng Pilipinas.

Pilipinas
na magpapautang pa ngayon
ng $1B sa IMF.
Pang-tulong din daw ito sa mga OFW,
sa mga nasyong apektado
ng krisis at resesyon – na
niluwal din naman ng mga
baluktot na polisiya’t imposisyon
ng IMF!

Isang bilyon itong
kontribusyon, pang-bayad
sa lubid na siyang ipang-bibigti natin
sa sarili nating mga leeg!
Isang bilyon itong sampal
sa mukha ng naghihirap
at pinahihirapang si Juan dela Cruz!

Spittin’ on sovereignty. More fun in the Philippines

Random listing in the Party-List ballot

The Commission on Elections, on June 15, 2012, issued a Resolution calling for the conduct of a raffle of accredited party-list groups “for purposes of determining their order of listing in the official ballot,” to be used in the May 13, 2013 national and local elections.

COMELEC Resolution No. 9467 states that “only party-list groups/coalitions accredited by or duly registered with the Commission, and which have manifested their desire to participate in the party-list election, may participate in the raffle for purposes of determining their order of listing in the ballot.”

The COMELEC said the raffle will be conducted on December 14, 2012 at the poll body’s main office in Manila.

But the move to abandon the alphabetical listing in the party-list ballot was met with criticism from several party-list groups. Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares averred that this move “will cause massive delay in the voting.”

“We do not support this move because this will clog up precincts (as) it will take more time for voters to look for their party-lists. And if they do not find it or have a hard time doing so, they may just forgo voting for party-lists which would lead to their disenfranchisement,” said Colmenares.

Yacap Representative Carol Jane Lopez and DIWA Representative Emmeline Aglipay, meanwhile, said the new COMELEC rule would pose a problem to visually impaired voters.

Focus on the heart of the issue

Personally, I see no problem with the COMELEC’s move. I think this is a step in the right direction, as this finally addresses the shameful practice of some party-list groups who deliberately start their organization’s names with the letter “A” or the number “1” just so they would land in the top spot of the party-list ballot.

Party-list groups desperately scramble to the top spot precisely to take advantage of the hordes of Filipino voters who have little or no knowledge about the party-list system. This, for me, is the heart of the issue. 

That more than half of the Party-list groups that vied for seats in the 2010 elections had names starting with “A” or “1” is just symptomatic of this bigger problem.

Party-list legislators should then focus their attention in calling on the COMELEC to launch a massive and systematic information and education campaign on the party-list system. 

After all, an informed voter, who knows what is at stake in his party-list ballot, wouldn’t dare waste his vote by conveniently choosing the one on top of the list.

The problematic scenarios raised by our well meaning party-list legislators are, in fact, not new. We have been experiencing them even before when we still had the alphabetical sequence in the party-list ballot. But be assured, the same problems will still plague us even after we make the switch to randomization.

Because, again, the lack of education on the party-list system is the heart of the issue.

Kayong mga walang alam sa kasaysayan

Mangmang sa kasaysayan
ang sinumang maniwalang
mapipigilan ang pagdaluyong,
ang pananagumpay,
ng paglaban
ng aping mamamayan

Ang mga estrelya sa balikat
ng mga nagtataasang Heneral,
ang mga armas pandigma
ng pasistang militar,
ay yuyuko sa kayang itumbas
ng taumbayang hindi na
nakadarama ng takot,
ng taumbayang hindi na alam
kung ano ang ibig sabihin ng hirap
at pasakit sa pakikihamok;
dahil inari na nilang
kataas-taasang tungkulin
ang pagtatanggol
sa laya nilang
malaon nang ginupo

Ano’ng panama
ng pasistang may baril
sa magsasakang
karit lamang ang bitbit?
Kung ang karit namang ito
ay mabisang ginagamit
hindi lamang sa panamin,
lalo’t higit,
sa paggapas sa ulo
ng mga palalong magkakait
sa kanila ng katarungan,
kung kinakailangan

Ano’ng saysay ng ‘bullet proof vest’
kung hindi mo man lang makita,
ni mamalayan ang dahilan
kung bakit mo ito suot?
dahil ang tunay na hukbo ng mamamayan
ay parang mga hunyangong
humahalo sa paligid ng kaparangan,
sa sukal ng mga kagubatan,
maging sa mga larangan ng labanan,
dahil wala nang mas mabisang ‘bullet proof vest’
kundi ang wagas na pagmamahal
ng masang pinagsisilbihan

Kaya’t kayong mga mangmang sa kasaysayan
nararapat lamang na matuto
sa mga maningning na aral
ni Bonifacio, ni Ho Chi Minh, ni Mao Ze Dong –
kakapit-bisig ang mga mamamayan
sila’y nagpaluhod, nagpalayas,
sa naglalakihang mga pasistang hukbo’t mga emperyo

Ano pa’t ampaw
ang ipinagmamalaki ninyong
mga ‘kontra-insurhensyang’ operasyon.
Nagawa ba nitong maampat man lamang
ang paglagablab ng deka-dekada nang
makatwirang digmang mapagpalaya?

Sa tuwing mangdudukot o papatay
kayo ng inosenteng walang kalaban-laban,
nadadagdagan ba ang inyong kapangyarihan,
o mas lalo lang humuhulas ang katangian ninyong
mga nag-komoplaheng halimaw?

Nanininiwala pa rin ba kayong
kayang ikubli sa ngalang ‘bayanihan’
ang inyong terorismo?

Kung gayon, mamangha kayo sa di mapigil-pigilang agos
ng mga bagong dugo sa rebolusyon!
Mangatal kayo sa pagpula ng mga nayon!

At bago kayo matauhan sa kasaysayang
matagal na ninyong kinukutya’t dinuduraan,
tapos nang likhain ng mga mamamayan
ang sarili nilang kasaysayan!