Ang Kalunus-lunos na Kalagayan ng Edukasyon ng Pilipinas

Ang Kalunus-lunos na Kalagayan ng Edukasyon ng Pilipinas
Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Mismong mga guro ay nagsasabi na maraming kabataan ngayong kahit umabot na sa Grade 3 ay hirap pa ring bumasa at sumulat. Nang interbyuhin ang isang mataas na opisyal ng DepEd tungkol dito, ang paliwanag niya ay: “kasi hindi sila dumaan sa prep at kinder”. Nang marinig ko ito, lumabas sa ilong ko ang kahihigop ko pa lang na kape. Kung mismong isa sa mga namumuno ng DepEd ay may ganoong kahindik-hindik na takbo ng pag-iisip ay talagang wala na ngang maaasahan sa kabuuhan nito ang sistema ng edukasyon ng bansa. Kawawa naman ang mga kabataan!

Nang tanungin naman ang bangag yatang assistant Secretary tungkol sa K to 12 na ayon sa mga teachers ay hindi pa napapaghandaang mabuti, ang sabi niya, kailangan daw talaga ito upang paggradweyt daw ng mga estudyante sa high school ay maaari na silang magtrabaho. Isa pa ring hangal na sagot, dahil kung ang college graduate nga ay hirap makahanap ng trabaho, high school graduate pa kaya? Kung ang iniisip nitong isip-tungaw na tao ay trabahong pang-construction tulad ng paghalo ng semento na isa yata sa ituturo sa K to 12, tanga talaga siya, dahil maski hindi gradweyt ng elementarya ay kaya ang ganitong trabaho. Ang isa pang ituturo yata ay trabahong pang- beauty parlor na kaya naman pag-aralan ng mga tumatambay sa parlor. At, ang isa pa rin ay pagluluto na pwede namang pag-aralan kung papasok sa mga restaurant. Bakit kailangan pang pahirapan sa gastos ang mga magulang?

Yong tungkol naman sa mga textbook na ginawa nang workbook dahil nilagyan ng mga test questions kada katapusan ng chapter, alam pala niya at alam din pala niyang hindi na magagamit ulit ang mga textbooks kaya dagdag gastos talaga para sa mga magulang. Nang tanungin kung may ginagawa ang DepEd tungkol dito, ang sagot-bangag uli ay “kasi yan na ang kalakaran ngayon”. Kung nakamamatay lang ang long distance na pagmumura, siguro ay nangisay na ang opisyal ng DepEd sa dami ng nagmumurang nakikinig sa interbyu!

Mabuti hindi tinanong ng radio announcer yong tungkol naman sa mga libro na sa dami ay halos isang maleta na kaya ini-stroller na lang ng mga bata pagpasok sa klase. Baka ang sagot niya dito ay: “mabuti yang habang bata pa lang ay marunong nang humila ng maleta, bilang paghanda sa pagpunta nila sa ibang bansa upang maging katulong o di kaya ay construction worker pagkagradweyt nila sa high school ng K to 12 program”.

Nakakagulat malamang, “normal” lang pala para sa DepEd ang daming 45-50 na mag-aaral bawat kwarto. Kaya pala, yong iba, makaupo lang ay nagdadala ng sariling plastic na upuan, yong iba naman ay nakasalampak sa sahig. At ang lalong hindi pagtatakhan ay kung bakit talaga walang natututuhan ang mga bata dahil hindi natututukan na mabuti ng mga guro….dahil sa dami nila.

Ang pera ng bayan ay binubulsa ng mga kawatan sa pamahalaan. Ang presidente ay nagrereport ng mga kaayusan na daw sa mga paaralan batay sa mga binibigay sa kanya, ngunit ang hindi niya alam, karamihan sa mga ito ay imbento lamang. Ang hindi niya pinapakinggan ay ang mga guro mismo na direktang nakakaalam ng tunay na kalagayan ng sistema ng edukasyon sa bansa.

Ang malinaw, minadali niya ang pagsabatas ng K to 12 at ang pagpatupad nito upang maisama niya sa kanyang SONA, at para may masabing accomplishment pagbaba niya sa puwesto. Kung sakaling tumuluy-tuloy ang pagpatupad, madadagdag na naman ito sa habang-buhay niyang batik sa katawan, tanda ng kapalpakan niya bilang pangulo, at hindi maitatago sa likod ng isang apelyido na akala niya ay may madyik pa rin ang dating sa mga Pilipino hanggang ngayon.

Hazing…an eye-opener with the onset of the school year opening

Hazing
…a eye-opener with the onset of school year opening
By Apolinario Villalobos

Now and then, front pages of newspapers scream expositions on deaths that result from hazing. Investigations are conducted. Parents and concerned organizations hold rallies to put an end to the fatal ritual…and most often, they bark at the wrong tree.

There is already a law against it. Some schools ban fraternities. The police is doing its part. Meanwhile, concerned parents and organizations forgot to call the attention of other parents, especially, the students, themselves. The fact is that, most students who join fraternities to have a feeling of security and belongingness, are already of age, and know what they are doing, yet they do it. They read news about death resulting from hazing, yet, they take the risk by still joining.

With all those mentioned circumstances, why should parents blame the school?…and the police who cannot solve the crime immediately? Some parents blame the world, but themselves and their sons and daughters who upon entering the portal of colleges and universities become ambitious and arrogant. These sons and daughters thought that they can have a share of prominence in the campus by joining fraternities, and have their fingers or knuckles bear the mark of affiliation.

Some parents of hazing victims, on the other hand, insist that they did their part by warning their sons about joining such kind of organization. Really?… It has been found out that parents of some students who died from hazing belong to the fraternity that the departed tried to be part of! Some parents are even known to remind their sons and daughters to see to it that the fraternity that they will join, also has government officials as members, so that the latter can be approached for help in times of need. The price of selfishness is too expensive, indeed!

Some schools are doing the right thing by letting their students sign a release waiver, so that they will not be blamed if the latter would insist on joining a fraternity. The police is not in the position to pass on the blame, in view of the existing law, because it is their duty to solve a crime. Besides, passing on the blame will not solve the problems on hazing that is pestering the campuses. Many cases of hazing that result to the death of neophytes are left unsolved, hence, relegated to the sidelines, with their folders turning yellow and accumulating dust in filing cabinets of courts.

Doubts are floating if hazing can be possibly put to a stop, as officers of the fraternities involved are entrenched in the different nooks and corners of the government, with some even staff of schools, and who just remain silent every time a new case hits the pages of newspapers and aired over TVs and radios. Helplessness and futility of the effort is very evident.

The hazing victims have been given the opportunity to enjoy a much coveted, but expensive education, but they wasted it because of their arrogant social climbing attitude and desire to be part of the elite crowd in the campus. And, most unfortunately, many students who were known to be shy, have learned to smoke and imbibe alcoholic drinks after joining fraternities.

Before viewers who are members of fraternities will misjudge me, I would like to make it clear that I am not referring to all students as arrogant with social climbing attitudes that push them to join fraternities. Most, especially, I am not contending that all parents are selfish enough as to encourage their children to join fraternities known for their members who are government officials. I know that there are still many students who are sane enough to make use of the hard-earned money of their benefactors – parents, elder brothers or sisters, by focusing their mind in their studies.

A student need not join a fraternity to shine in the school campus. The school is intended for learning and not for negative socializing.

The Flourishing Culture of Fakery

The Flourishing Culture of Fakery
By Apolinario Villalobos

The unprecedented flourishing of fakery has cultivated a culture that became an integral component of life. It has made virtual luxuries affordable, such that anybody can be covered with “gold” jewelries; window shop wearing “branded” shoes, apparel, and knick knacks; sport a sweet smile to show beautifully crafted false teeth, some even tattooed or embedded with diamonds; strut along busy lanes, chest out, to vaunt proud breasts implanted with silicon; look pretty in false eyelashes and eyebrows; and assume another personality with transplanted sexual organ.

Practically, one can be transformed into a “he” or a “she” by undergoing a total physical makeover, from the face down to the rest of the body parts. Society has become lenient to those who are undergoing gender change to make their lives comfortable and fulfilled. For health’s sake, some people are walking the streets with battery-operated fake heart. And, of course, the fake appendages such as arms and legs should not be forgotten, as well as, the fake eyes, nose, ears and hair – all for comfort’s sake.

Digitization did not solve the fraudulence in the use of passport. While before, the original photo on the stolen ID can be easily peeled off, with that of the look-alike user pasted on its place, today, the user’s face is changed, instead, through plastic surgery to “fit” the photo which is permanently printed on the document.

In Manila, there is a short portion of Recto Avenue that could make a great transformation on the life of a person, where the manufacture of fake scholastic documents and post graduate achievements, as well as, status in life, are advertised intimately. “Agents” approach pedestrians to whisper the expertise of their colleagues in printing diplomas and transcripts of records – name your school or university, they will do it in less than an hour. The same can also be done for the driving license and for the practice of trade in the fields of medicine, teaching, engineering, etc. They have prototypes of practically all schools all over the Philippines. Even ID cards are not spared, as all they need is just a sample that the customer will show. Even old birth certificates, marriage certificates and land titles, complete with signatures can be faked with a flourish.

Man’s way of life presently is already overwhelmed by fakery. The food he eats are manufactured and imbued with the necessary nutrients. What is bad is the double fakery being committed by the unscrupulous, as even manufactured foods such as instant noodles are further faked using unhealthy and cheap ingredients. There are fake sugar and salt, even food flavors and colors. There is also the fake meat that the vegetarians eat. Unfortunately, natural food products such as vegetables, fruits and marine products are either soaked in or injected with formalin, so that they will maintain their fake fresh look for days.

The only way, perhaps, to tolerate these fake, manufactured, and poisoned foods is to have fake metallic or rubber guts– from the small to the large intestines which should be imbedded with “squeezers” that shall process the foods taken in for their nutrients until they come out as waste. With that, it is no longer embarrassing to slush out waste from the body even in public places, as all it needs is discreetly attach a tube to either of one’s side. That particular hole down there, the traditional exit point of the body, may already be plugged permanently. Expect something of this kind to be manufactured in China being the forerunner in this kind of trade, as they also manufacture fake rice, fake salt, fake cellphones, fake brands of apparel, fake drugs, fake beauty products, raise fake peking ducks, and the ultimate – transform coral reefs into fake islands! Who knows, the waste that shall come out of the fake guts may still be recycled by the overly resourceful Chinese into biscuits! Take note, there is now an expensive coffee manufactured out of the coffee beans that come out as waste of civets. These civets are raised on coffee beans that come out as their waste, still whole but peeled and undigested.

On the other hand, time may come when the wealthy members of society may no longer flaunt jewelries which are among the gauge of affluence. Instead, they may proudly brandish arms of pure 24k gold or fine strands of gold or silver implanted on their head to accent the shade of their hair. Their fluttering eyelids may already be made of thin softened sheet of silver or gold imbedded with diamonds. Their lips may be permanently coated with a new kind of lipstick to better enhance the smile with a certain kind of sheen. And, also the sole of their feet made of titanium may be strapped with retractable wheels for swift mobility as necessary.

The world is teeming with people clad in pretensions. Some of these are the hypocrites in the government who pretend to be diligently dedicated to their jobs. They try to support their claim with fake accomplishments. Worst, fakery in the government has also spelled disaster and anguish among the constituents, with the proliferation of fake documents being used for the release of budgets, resulting to the depletion of government funds in no time.

As prophesied, fake messiahs are now boldly evangelizing with gusto in the open, while enjoying the fruit of their fakery which suckers who want to be “saved” have bitten with all their heart. These fake messiahs live in mansions and are driven around in luxury cars. From their humble status as struggling pastors with a few followers who congregate in rented apartments and small commercial stalls, they are transformed into jetsetters who maintain vacation houses in the Mediterranean coast or high-end cities for weekend jaunts. And, their mesmerized followers now meet in palatial and air-conditioned houses of worship. Some even maintain slots on TV and radio to ensure that they can lure more suckers.

Finally, only death can free man from all the shams, as such state serves as his final solace, after enjoying all the blessings that God gave him, though, spoiled by his earthly and narcissistic greed!

May Pag-asa pa Kayang Makabawi ang Pilipinas sa West Philippine Sea?

May Pag-asa Pa Kayang Makabawi
ang Pilipinas sa West Philippine Sea?
Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Masakit sabihing parang wala nang pag-asang magkaroon pa ng katuturan ang mga paghihirap ng Pilipinas sa pagsampa ng mga kaso sa international court laban sa Tsina tungkol sa usapin sa West Philippine Sea. Hayagang sinabi ng Tsina na hindi nila rerespetuhin ano man ang kalalabasan ng imbestigasyon. Ibig sabihin, hindi nila pinaniniwalaan ang poder ng korte.

Ang ASEAN naman na inaasahang magbubuklod laban sa Tsina ay halatang wala ring magawa bilang isang organisasyon. Ang Amerika na halos panikluhuran ng administrasyon upang masandalan sa harap ng banta ng Tsina, ay pinaiigting ang joint exercises at ng sinasabing kasunduan sa pagkakaroon ng animo ay pansamantalang “kampo” at mga daungan sa Pilipinas, mga bagay na hinahadlangan naman ng iba’t ibang makabayang grupo. Sa isang banda ay tama ang mga grupong ito dahil parang ang gusto lang ng Amerika sa Pilipinas ay gamitin nila itong harang sa anumang hindi kanais-nais na kilos ng Tsina sa mga susunod na panahon. Kaya, magkabombahan man, Pilipinas ang unang tatamaan!

Subali’t habang nagpapakita ng pakikipagtulungan ang Amerika sa Pilipinas, pinapalakas naman nito ang ugnayan sa mga Tsino. Ibig sabihin, parang pinaglalaruan lang ng Amerika ang Pilipinas. Malaki daw ang utang ng Amerika sa Tsina.

Nagkaroon kamakaylan lamang ng isang exhibit ng old maps na nagpapakita na noon pa mang unang panahon, ay talagang wala namang ginawang pag-aangkin ang Tsina sa kahit na anong bahagi ng mga karagatan sa paligid ng Pilipinas. Ang mga Tsino noon ay “dumadayo” lamang sa mga isla ng Pilipinas upang makipagkalakalan, hanggang sa magkaroon sila ng sariling distrito sa Maynila na tinawag na “parian” noong panahon ng Kastila, na ngayon ay ang maunlad na Chinatown sa Manila. Sa exhibition ng mga lumang mapa, wala ni isa sa mga ito ang maski may kapirasong pagtukoy ng pag-angkin ng anumang bahura ng Pilipinas, lalo na sa pinag-aagawang West Philippine Sea.

Ang bagong henerasyon ng mga lider ng Tsina ang malinaw na may pakana sa pangangamkam ng mga bahura sa bahagi ng kanlurang karagatan ng Pilipinas, kaya pati ang mga karatig- bansa ay nadamay na rin, dahil pati ang dati na nilang kinikilalang mga bahura ay inaangkin na rin ng Tsina.

Sa mga bansa na may kinalaman sa problemang angkinan, bukod tanging Pilipinas ang mukhang kawawa. Ang nag-iisang barkong kinulapulan na ng kalawang at talaba, na ginawang headquarters ng mga bantay-dagat ay nagmumukhang yagit kung ihambing sa mga dambuhalang barko ng Tsina, at maski ng Vietnam. Maaaring kung hindi pa nabahura ay hindi pa ginawang headquarters at malamang naiwang nakatiwangwang ang bahurang inaangkin ng Pilipinas. Malamang pa rin na, natayuan na rin ng headquarter ng Tsina tulad ng ginawa nila sa ibang bahura. Ngayon, may isa pang bahura silang pinatatayuan din mga estruktura, at pasok na pasok din ito sa teritoryo ng Pilipinas. Sa kabila nito, walang magawa ang Pilipinas kundi manood!

Paano pang matatanggal ang mga estruktura ng Tsina sa mga bahurang pinag-aagawan, kung yong iba ay kung ilang dekada nang nakatayo at ang isa pa ay patapos na?

Malaki ang tiwala ng Tsina sa kakayahan nito ngayon pagdating sa mga bagay na may kinalaman sa kaunlaran – pang-ekonomiya man o pandigma. At dahil dito, hindi basta-basta yuyuko ito sa anumang ipag-uutos ng maski isang international Court. Nakikita ng Tsina na humihina ang United Nations bilang organisasyon ng mga bansa. Wala itong nagawa sa mga nangyayaring kaguluhan sa Middle East at Yuropa. Nakikita at nararamdaman ng Tsina ang kahinaan ng Amerika na dinadaan na lang sa verbal bluff ang mga babala. Napahiya si Obama nang may ilang bansa sa Middle East na hindi lubos na nagbigay sa kanya ng supurta upang “mapulbos” ang Islamic State (IS). Kaya ano pa ang magagawa nito sa Southeast Asia na ang ekonomiya nga lang ay nakagapos na sa Tsina? ….kaya kahit toothpick at cotton buds ng mga bansang miyembro ng ASEAN ay galing Tsina!

Malamang sa malamang, kompromiso ang mangyayari sa West Philippine Sea kung saan hahayaan na lang na pangasiwaan ng Tsina ang mga bahurang napatayuan na nito ng mga estruktura, dahil wala naman talagang kakayahang bumangga ang Pilipinas dito. Maaaring naghihintay lamang ang Tsina ng isang provocative na kilos ng Pilipinas upang gumawa ito ng nakakabahalang aksiyon…na sana ay hindi mangyari. Kaya, kung sa tanong na may magagawa pa ang Pilipinas, sa kabila ng mga inihain nitong reklamo sa international court…para sa akin, ang sagot ay isang malungkot na…wala.

We All Belong to the Same Race…why hate one another, then?

We All Belong to the Same Race
…why hate one another, then?
(this is about the Muslim/Christian conflict in Mindanao, Philippines)
By Apolinario Villalobos

The inhabitants of the archipelago that Ruy Lopez de Villalobos (not related to the author), named “Las Islas de Filipinas” in honor of his king, Philip II, all belong to one race. There is no reason therefore for an inhabitant to assert his being different just because he is a Muslim and lives in Mindanao. Along this line, there is no reason also, for another inhabitant to assert his being a Christian who lives either in Visayas or Luzon. The “Filipino” that we know today, regardless of his region, is the result of cultural impregnations by the different races that came to the archipelago, either to trade or colonize. Most importantly and very clearly, too, our ancestors were not born Christians and Muslims. They were converted by missionaries who were converts, themselves!!! How can we be proud then, of such imposed faith and culture???

Before Mohammed became a prophet, his people were practicing a different religion. He even went through persecutions before he finally succeeded in converting his people and such effort that took a route is the one being followed by those who undertake the “haj”. On the other hand, the Romans were pagans and it was only through the diligence of St. Paul that Christianity took a foothold in that city, but still, only after a series of persecution of Christian missionaries. And, that is how the Roman Catholic religion was developed, spread to as far as Spain, and finally, brought by the Spanish friars to the islands of Visayas and Luzon, as well as, a small portion in Mindanao, particularly, Zamboanga.

The natives of Luzon and Visayas were formerly animists – worshippers of nature. But, long before the Spaniards came, Islam as a religion was already widely practiced in the archipelago. When they set foot on the shores of Manila and Visayas, they already found Mohammedan inhabitants, some of whom they successfully converted into Christianity. Those from Mindanao, who pestered them with piratical raids, they called “Moros”, with barbaric connotation, as it was derived from the “Moors” who were driven out of Spain by Christian Crusaders. This shows then, that the “Moro” which was originally used by the Spaniards with reference to the Muslim pirates from Mindanao does not even have the slightest “native” hint in it. The Spaniards used the reference to show their disgust at the barbaric ways of those from Mindanao, all of whom they thought were pirates, robbers, and uncivilized. In other words, such reference was not concocted by the Mindanao Muslims. So, how can pride emanate from such Spanish-given name with horrible connotation?

Our ancestors were never referred to as “Filipinos” during the Hispanic regime. During the time, the “Filipinos” referred to, were actually the indolent Spanish settlers who lived comfortably in Manila out of the revenue derived from the galleon trade. When the trade faltered, the Spanish king was even forced to send financial replenishment for their sustenance, resulting to the clamor to abandon Manila. These colonists occupied the minuscule stronghold and walled city of Intramuros – the Manila of the old.

The affluent natives were called “Indios”. Those who lived far from the moot-ringed walled city were the Chinese who were forcibly clustered in Parian by the Spaniards with an objective to control their movement. The Parian eventually became the present-day Chinatown, reputed as the oldest in the world. The non-converted Mohammedan natives dwelt along the length of the Pasig River, and as far as Tondo. The friars even called the natives ugly “chonggos” (monkeys)! So how can we be proud of our so-called Hispanic past, when our ancestors were also treated as serfs who provided forced labor in building galleons?

The only time the natives were called “Filipinos” was when the Americans took over the reins of colonization. But, still in the eyes of the new colonists, the natives were still a helpless lot who need succor and further conversion as if Catholicism was not enough, that is why they brought in their own Protestant missionaries and teachers who forced the natives to sing “The Star Spangled Banner”.

That is how we were pitifully victimized as a race and treated as ignoramus, when in fact, before the two colonizers came, the natives were already enjoying a brisk trade with the neighboring southeast Asian states and kingdoms, even Japan and China. Mindanao had its own “royal houses”, too. Our ancestors were already weaving fabrics, manufacturing cannons, and mining for gold. The primary reason why the Spaniards came was to take over the wealth of the natives and bring them back to Spain. And, history books are clear on that. The natives of the archipelago were never helpless. The conversion into Christianity was just secondary and even still with questionable sincerity.

On the other hand, had there been a reversal of events, in which the Arab missionaries concentrated their evangelization effort in Luzon and Visayas, those who are living in these islands would be clinging to the Islamic faith. And, had the Spaniards decided to drop anchor in Sulu or Zamboanga, to put up permanent colonial outposts, those who are living in the whole of Mindanao including Sulu, Tawi-tawi, and Sabah groups of islands would have been embracing Roman Catholicism.

The Filipinos as a race are victims of historic events that dwelt on the scramble for overseas colonization by former western powers such as Spain, Portugal, Holland, and England. We are now suffering from identity crisis due to imposed faiths and cultures. Worse, this dilemma threatens the unity of the whole archipelago. And still worst, the effort to unite is greatly hampered by an inutile and deteriorating government due to incorrigible corruption.

The mistake of the early political leaders was their failure to change the name of the archipelago into something more nationalistic and encompassing when “Commonwealth” status was granted by the United States. The early leaders’ minds were focused on the imposed erudite Hispanic and American cultures. They forgot that somewhere down south, there were other inhabitants, albeit, with different faiths and dialects – the Muslims and Lumads.

The so-called “Filipino” historic leaders whose questionable reputations are beginning to be exposed today had a short-ranged view. They did not consider the geographical situation of the country when they came up with a governing system, such that control may pose a problem in time due to its fragmented situation, which is happening right now. They adopted the unicameral system of other countries, but in framing the Constitution, they followed the “structure and formal appearance” of America’s own. Curiously, they did not copy the Federal system of the Americans who introduced “democracy”. Is it because they did not want to share the authority with those living in the far south? Does this show that greed for power has prevailed as early as that time to benefit a handful pretentious “Filipinos” who framed the hybrid Basic Law of the country, but which proved to be a flop today, despite two revisions?

As a native of this archipelago, I ask: why do we have to begrudge one another today, just because we differ in faith and dialect? Is it the fault of those living in Luzon and Visayas that Mindanao is being neglected by the dysfunctional government? The “enemies” are the faulty government system and corrupt officials. The solution to the problem is not the separation from the organic homogenous system to become a separate state or annexation to another country. There are options that can put an end to the problem on unity, among which could be the federal system, relocation of the seat of the central government somewhere at the midpoint of the archipelago, or review of the current Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to make it more service-oriented. But the eventual solution could be the 24-degree turnaround in our attitude as inhabitants of this archipelago, specifically in the way officials are chosen that is shamelessly hinged on vote-buying!

It is a disgrace, indeed, that we, as a people who came from the same stock should hate one another based on what were imposed on us to become what we are now – Christians and Muslims. We should, instead, fight for our real identity, to enable us to maintain our unity!

Ang Pagbatikos

Ang Pagbatikos
Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Ang pagbatikos ay hindi nangangahulugang galit ang nambabatikos sa kanyang binabatikos, kung malinis ang kanyang hangarin o layunin. Ang hindi maganda ay ang pagbatikos na ang dahilan ay mababaw lamang at pansarili tulad ng inggit. Ang malinis na layunin ng pagbatikos ay ang pagpamukha sa taong binabatikos tungkol sa kanyang pagkakamali na maaaring hindi niya alam.

Madalas mangyari ang pagbatikos sa larangan ng pulitika tulad ng nangyayari sa mga Binay. Sa kabila ng lampas-taong batikos na natatanggap ngayon ng pamilyang ito, pinipilit pa rin nila na sila ay pinupulitika lamang. In fairness na lang sa kanila, siguro naman, ayon sa standard of morality ng kanilang pamilya ay wala talaga silang ginawang masama. Naalala ko tuloy ang isa kong kaibigan na sinabihan kong may bahid ng lipstick ang kanyang pisngi. Sinagot niya ako ng, “ah, yan ba? biniro lang ako sa opisina”, pero umaalingasaw din siya ng pabangong pambabae na dumikit sa kanyang damit. Kahit halata namang dumaan siya sa bahay ng kanyang kerida na alam ng mga kaibigan niyang ibinabahay niya, todo palusot pa rin siya.

Binabatikos din si Pangulong Pinoy na dahil sa hindi malamang kadahilanan ay bihirang sumagot at kung mangyari man ay idinadaan na lang sa paulit-ulit na pagsabi ng mga pangako niya noong panahon ng kampanyahan na sumentro sa “matuwid na daan” at pagmamalaki ng mga report tungkol sa pag-asenso daw ng bansa na hindi naman pinaniniwalaan . Yon nga lang sinasabayan naman niya ng pagbatikos sa isang babaeng pasyente na may brace sa leeg, na dahilan daw kung bakit naghihirap ngayon ang Pilipinas. Dahil sa ginawa ni Pnoy, biglang nalusaw ang good breeding, na inakala ng mga taong meron siya. Teacher din pala niya ito noong siya ay nag-aaral pa sa Ateneo kaya lalong hindi maganda ang ginagawa niya…batikusin ba naman ang mahal niyang teacher! Dapat ay magpasalamat siya dahil very obvious na may natutunan siya sa kanyang teacher….nakikita naman ng mga tao kung ano ang mga ito.

Sa isyu kay Purisima, ang gusto lamang siguro ni Pnoy ay tumanaw ng utang na loob dito dahil iniligtas daw siya nito mula sa bingit ng kamatayan . Ang pag-apura naman sa pagpasa ng BBL na ngayon ay BL na lang ay dahil siguro sa tangka sanang pagtulong ni Iqbal sa kanyang ama kung hindi ito pinaslang sa NAIA. Ang ganitong pagtanaw ng loob din siguro ang gusto niyang ipakita sa mga taong sinasandalan niya tulad ng mga tagapagsalita niya, lalo na si Abad na itinuturing niyang matalino sa “paghawak” ng budget….marami pa sila sa kanyang gabinete. Siguro para sa presidente, hindi masama ang tumanaw ng utang na loob sa mga best friends. Kaya dahil best friend siya ng mga ito, sinasalag na lang niya ang mga kaliwa’t kanang batikos ng mga tao na gustong pumalit sa kanya. Isa siyang maituturing na best friend na martir na handang sumalag ng mga batikos!…siya ay maituturing na isang rare na species ng tao.

Ang mga mambabatas naman, binabatikos dahil marami daw sa kanila ay mukhang pera, mga korap, mga magnanakaw sa kaban ng bayan, nagbebenta ng budget sa mga taong ang negosyo ay pekeng NGO. Subalit may napatunayan ba? …yan ang tanong nila! Dahil sa fair kuno na justice system, sila ay “innocent until proven guilty”, kaya lahat sila ay matamis pa rin ang ngiti kung humarap sa tao. Meron ngang gusto pa ring tumakbo sa susunod na eleksiyon kahit nasa kulungan na siya. Masama nga namang batikusin ang halos himatayin na sa pagsabing inosente sila, kahit nagsusumigaw ang mga ebidensiyang biglang pagkaroon nila ng mala-palasyong bahay, maraming mamahaling sasakyan, malalawak na lupain, nagkikislapang alahas sa katawan, at maya’t mayang weekend outing sa ibang bansa. Pero ang iba ay wise dahil gumagamit ng mga kaibigang dummy.

May mga nagsabi pang naiinggit lang daw ang mga nambabatikos sa kanila, kasama na diyan ang mga pari dahil hindi nakakagawa ng gusto nila. Dagdag pa nitong mga malilinis kuno, kung gusto daw ng mga nambabatikos, pumasok na rin sila sa pulitika upang madanasan nila kung paanong maipit sa trapik sa pagpunta sa Malakanyang upang maki-tsika sa Pangulo; makipaggitgitan sa elevator sa pagpunta sa opisina ng NGO upang makipag-business talk tungkol sa mga “projects”; makipaghalakhakan sa mga sosyalan after office hours na umaabot hanggang madaling araw kaya nagkakaroon sila ng sore throat; matulog nang nakaupo sa session hall habang ang mga kasamang mambabatas ay nagbibigay ng walang katurya-turyang talumpati; lumamon ng nakakasawang pagkain sa mga 5-star restaurants at hotels; sumakay sa eroplano ng kung ilang beses sa isang linggo dahil ayaw sumakay sa walang class na barko kung umuwi sa kanilang bayan; piliting pangitiin ang mga labi habang ang talukap ng mga mata ay lumalaylay sa sobrang antok, o hindi kaya ay nanlilisik dahil nakipag-away sila sa asawang nahuli nilang may kabit. Ganoon pala kahirap ang maging mambabatas! Kawawa naman pala sila!

Siguro ang maganda ay hayaan na lang dumami ang dumi nila sa kanilang mukha upang lalo pang kumapal at upang lalong hindi nila maramdaman ang kahihiyan dahil sa mga karumaldumal nilang ginagawa!

To be an Artist

To be an Artist
By Apolinario Villalobos

To be an artist is difficult…yes, in a way, that is, if one tries to acquire other skills. But all creatures on earth are with inborn skill or skills, even those that belong to the plant kingdom. Every creature has an inborn “something” to show for the amusement of the world. And, that for me is what I mean by art – anything done by a creature to delight any or all senses.

Plants with their adaptation become natural artists by developing beautiful appendages such as twigs, branches, leaves, flowers, and scents for the pleasure of man and animals. Cats for instance become excited at the smell of catnip. Animals are amused in the artistically natural movement of their kind, such that a dog may bark in wild abandon at the sight of a wriggling worm.

As for man, painters compose landscapes on canvass for the discriminating view of visual art enthusiasts, sculptures form woods and metals to come up with beautiful decorative objects, cooks concoct savory foods to delight the palate of foodies, literary people write poems and essays for the romantics and the serious, photographers skillfully capture images in their cameras for the “aahhs” and “oohhs” of their viewers, hair cutters snip at clumps of hair for the appreciation of their customers, the same as with facial artists who dab faces with colorful rouges – to name a few.

Mobile creatures can even escape death with artistic cunning. Monkeys in their own domain, for instance, gracefully swing from tree to tree, while lizards and worms camouflage themselves to meld with their surroundings to escape their predators; schools of small fishes form a giant and deceptive “ball” by swarming together to scare away big fishes; and in circus shows people gape at escape artists do their ware.

Unfortunately, artistry has gone out of bounds because the skill has spread to the halls of government edifices where found are lawmakers and office personnel who, with artistic skill manipulate budgets. With artistic expertise, they deviate the flow of budgets through conduits to finally end up in their bank accounts. Their conniving cohorts can even come up with artistically-worded words in coming up with make-believe projects to justify the release of budgets.

In front of microphones, the demagogical artists in the lawmaking Halls, weave stories of great accomplishments in the hope that constituents will still vote for them for the same position, or for a higher one, come election time. Not to be outdone is the guy on the highest pedestal of the land who artistically claims similar accomplishments, making him the pun of jokes as constituents know them to be just lies!…his effort eventually, transforming him into an artistic liar!

The above “learned artists” have joined the rank of the con artists – masters of deception who bleed others for their hard-earned money.

Living is an art. We need to artistically brush aside disheartening events in our lives if we want to live on. We need to artistically console ourselves with an inspiration that beyond the stormy clouds is a silver lining…an equally artistic line that can push the struggling man with a grumbling empty stomach to live on for another day and for many more days to come.

Man is an artist, bad or good. It is the only way that he can’t become harsh and hard on anything that comes his way…. because as an artist he is patient.