Thursday, April 28, 2016

Elections and Friendships


Pinili-ay og Panaghigala

Nag-anam-anam na og kaduol ang adlaw sa pinili-ay.
Daghan na kaayo'ng mga panaghigala
Ang nabungkag tungod sa kalainan sa baruganan
Ug mga kandidato'ng gidapigan.

Ang kadaugan sa atong mga manok,
Labaw pa ba g'yud og bili sa panagsu-on
Nga pila na ka-tuig gi-amumahan?

Masayon-sayon ra diay og gubâ
Pinaagi sa bulok sa atong mga baklaw
Ug sa mga hulagway nga gipatapot
Sa likod sa atong mga sakyanan?

Dili ba diay malungtaron
Ang gugma sa matuod nga higala?

Nangabuang na ta'ng tanan?
Mangligid sâ uroy ta sa Banat-i
Ug magpapaak og iring!


Elections and Friendships

The day of elections is drawing nearer and nearer.
Too many friendships
Have been shattered by differences in principles
And candidates we support.

Are the victories of our chickens
Of greater value than the bonds
That we have spent years to nurture?

Can they so easily be destroyed
By the colours of our bracelets
And the faces on bumper stickers
On the back of our cars?

Is it not resilient,
The love of a true friend?

Have we all become fools?
Let's roll down Banat-i Hill
And have cats bite us!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

On Blaming and Putting Down Millennials

I wonder what today's non-millennial grown-ups were called back when they were younger and were considered the ultimate cause of their days' social problems. I wonder if some older people are thankful for the evanescence of youth and are being consciously vindictive towards millennials because of the hangups they have from the past. I wonder if they are telling their parents, "See this, ma/pa? You thought I was the problem? Get a load of today's generation of youngsters!"

It's funny how lots of older grown-ups constantly rely on the proverbial rhetoric,"You are the future," and yet enjoy laying so much blame on us for things like the purported slackening of society's moral fabric, whatever that means. When has this so-called "moral fabric" ever been stiff and impervious, anyway? Isn't the point of calling it a fabric because it's permeable and adaptable? Didn't mores develop over time rather than spring up out of nowhere? Even the Tanakh, the Bible, the Qur'an, the Pali Canon and the Vedas were written. Divinely-inspired (yeah, ok) but written, nonetheless.

Why are we so uptight about preserving what's familiar and normal to us? Why are we so keen to label divergence from social conventions as wrong or evil? Did you know that polyphonic music was banned from the Roman Catholic Church in 1322 for being too innovative? Did you know that before 1600, Roman clerics appealed to ban coffee? Yes, that's right. In the 14th century, what today is considered the music of the culturally refined was deemed impious and lascivious. In the late 1500's, coffee was almost dogmatically forbidden from consumption by Christians as it was regarded as a Muslim drink. What if the church had persisted in their crusades against these wonderful things? Claudio Monteverdi's Vesperis in Festis Beata Mariae Vergine would have never been composed. Cappuccino would have never been invented and that Starbucks two blocks away from your flat wouldn't even exist.

Remember that normalcy is an illusion. As Morticia Addams once said, "What's normal to the spider is a calamity to the fly." I'm well aware that there are certain limits to what we can change or keep, but cut us some slack; we're all just trying to find our place in this world, just like you (older grown-ups) probably were when you were our age--back when you were the ones ripping society's moral fabric to pieces and giving adults massive headaches.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Call a Spade a Spade but FCKH8

Call a spade a spade. Call an act of evil what it is and condemn it. Don't condemn the person. The person may just be a blind and ignorant victim of circumstances. I'm not going to condemn and hate Duterte for his misogynistic jokes (about rape, nonetheless) and sheer acts of violence. Maybe his parents didn't raise him very well. Maybe he didn't grow up in an ideal environment. Maybe he had bad teachers. Maybe he was exposed to several negative influencing factors throughout his life. Who knows? But I'm done with hate; it doesn't help. It only turns me into the object of my abhorrence. It makes me weak, emotional, illogical and irrational.

With all that said, though, even if I don't hate Duterte, he is not getting my vote. Elections are an exercise of people's personal choices and I'm absolutely and vehemently certain that Rodrigo Duterte is not my choice for the highest political position in the Republic of the Philippines. If he's yours, so be it. That's your right and it's not my place to tell you what to do. I may judge you for it and maybe our friendship will deminish to a certain extent if you're heavily and fanatically into him, but, ultimately, I have no right to interfere with your decisions. You have your reasons and I have mine, so don't tell me what to do either.

May peace prevail in the Philippines.

May peace prevail on Earth.