screw the status quo. we need change and we need it now. we need not a leader who plays with words and public funds. we need not a leader whose years of service fall under the 'fiction' category. we definitely need not a leader who knows nothing. we require a leader who has conviction, who has the guts to change the seemingly unchangeable. we need... to prepare for 2007. Now.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Congratulations, graduates!

I've had a really nice breakfast chat with my a friend who happens to be a professor in the University of the Philippines. He teaches history and an avid visitor of my Blog. His name is Victor. Hi Victor! *kaway* teehee...

We were classmates way back in college. He studied AB History, as a pre-course to Law. He's studying Law in the same university while doing teaching stints on the side, for extra-gimmick income, he says. Good for him he still finds time to spend the night out, considering how difficult training for his future career is.

While sharing cups of simple instant coffee in CASAA, our conversation shifted to a "nationalistic" mood, so to speak. It's not very surprising for a Katie and a History prof to touch topics such as what we discuss here in my blog, but I do want to emphasize one point that I'd like you guys to know.

Part of the curriculum he's currently using in teaching Kasaysayan 1 is Nationalism. It used to be a very interesting subject among UP students, specially during the Martial Law days. But Victor feel very left out nowadays, as the spirit seemed to have died out as time went by.

Nationalism, by simple definition, is love of country. He starts the lesson by defining what love is- a very interesting subject for youngsters these days. When I say I love you, what does it really mean? Giving your all without expecting in return. Or perhaps the concept of being selfless is another way to put it.

The best kinds of marriages is the one where two couples grow old together- two people holding on to happiness while it lasts, while facing challenges as a couple, while they go through everything by minding not only one's self, but most importantly the other. It's two different people living one life. What binds the two is that universal love that we always know.

Love of country- nationalism- works this way, too. Citizens take care of the land they have considered their only home since they were born, and the nation takes care of it's people to survive. People go on with life knowing that the state is always there to provide them protection, and to somehow make living sufficient. Love of country grows while a child grows up. From being taught how to stand up straight while raising the Philippine flag, to being good and responsible citizens of the country, these are simple expressions of love that we've learned to live with. The most significant kind of love are the ones expresses unnoticed.

Unconditional love. Love without conditions. You give yourself with only one expectation- that it will cause only good things to the one to whom this feeling is expressed. Selfless. True. Divine.

Nationalism like love between a mother and a child. The love of a mother to her child doesn't end after risking her life while giving birth. It could even not end at all. She will raise the child, feed him when he's hungry, stay up until the child falls asleep, risk her life again for his safety, do everything to keep him in school. As the child grows up, so does unconditional love grows in him, too. Both gets hurt when the other one is hurt also. Love involves geniune trust, so if the child goes away, the mother is confident that he will always go back to where his home is- or at least make the mother feel that he still thinks of him. The child would feel that way because of gratitude and love. He loves her mother as he won't be there without the love and guidance that he felt since the days he was just learning how to stand.

The lesson concludes with this question: Do you love your country this way? Do you feel that you are loved by the country as a mother loves her precious child? It never fails to make the whole class silent for a couple of minutes before Victor finds an answer. And as time goes by, the sadder his Kasaysayan 1 gets at this point.

I went to see my Elmo's brother graduate in UP Manila last week. He finished Medicine school. Their guest speaker was Senator Manny Villar, who, I think, is the current Senate secretary for the Finance Committee. He addressed the graduates just as how a politician would always address his audience- political blah blahs. But he did stressed one point that took my attention: Instead of imploring the doctors to stay and serve the country, never mind if they stay poor and miserable because of the present economic conditions. He said these future doctors should decide where they want to practice their chosen careers. He's right: Who in the right mind would think of slowly dying here, if they know there really is hope somewhere else? (Besides, when you live in the U.S., for instance, thinking that you don't love the country anymore is such an absurd claim.) He said he's in no position to tell them to stay in this country. The doctors should choose where they think their lives would be better- just don't forget to, at least, return to the country once in a while to help their fellow Filipinos in need. Even a Senator seems to have given up hope and trust towards the government he is now serving. Sad.

More and more doctors and nurses leave the country every year, despite the worsening health condition of our countrymen and service of our health sector. Can we blame them? Can we blame these people if they feel that they're left out, that life could be better abroad? Do we receive what we really strive for here? Even if we say love is not like that, isn't it that consider love that is blind as hipocritical?

The government seeks for blind love, blind nationalism. Conserve everything for the country's sake, when most of us receive less energy than we rightfully should receive. They want us to pay our taxes, yet we don't see where our taxes go. They promised us unconditional love through service, then they make us regret why we voted for them, while gnashing out teeth in misery and dismay while we see them living in limbo on TV. The law is supposed to protect us, yet in these times, the law is being twisted and used against our interests. People are even deprived of basic needs like shelter, food, water and education. A mother would quiver in fear and sorrow seeing her child live a day in hunger.

Most of us don't feel this, as we are easily convinced by news about life becoming a bit better due to improvements in numbers pertaining to the economy. But whose economy are these numbers pertaining to? Whose lives are getting better? Does their economy speak of everyone's economy? In a classroom filled with students coming from low walks of life, Victor can barely expect a happy response to his simple question nowadays. The streets are humming in people's misery, and even though some of us can hear now it, people up there still haven't. It's as if they're still waiting until the small humms grow into loud cries of angry starving children.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Sith Happens.

It's a tragedy that took 6 years in the making. Now the circle is complete, and has left people heartbroken and emotionally stirred. George Lucas is absolutely correct when he said the movie's going to be emotional- The later parts of the movie would make any Star Wars fan want to cry. A very few cried, actually. Me? Just almost.

But it's a wonder how Lucas managed to kill off almost every character that we've already loved since Episode 1, the most disturbing being the concluding part of the Duel of the Fates, and the Jedi massacre. In the first, we witness hope being torn to pieces in every clash of the ex-brothers' lightsabers. In the second, the betrayal to beings we've acknowledged as righteous. Remember Mace Windu's death? This, after having confused the audience of who the righteous party really is... "The Sith and the Jedi are much alike, young Jedi..." During the struggle between Windu's saber and the dark lord's force bolts, a questions came into mind: "Windu wishes death to this enemy. Isn't that against the Jedi Order, as Anakin claims?" This is Deconstructing the Jedi Order 101.

I guess time bends when you're caught in a tight spot. They say the last bout lasted 17 minutes, but I didn't notice. While the two were exchanging superfast blows, my mind was into what the two are feeling at that moment. For Obi Wan, he was once his mentor, but now, he's his executor. For Anakin, no matter what happens, even if he'd kill his mentor, his brother, his only friend, he'd do it for the only one purpose- absolute power. This scene, superimposed by the clash of two symbols of their reality (Yoda in the light and Sidius in the dark), has surpassed my expectations as a movie lover. Adrenalin rush was what I felt when I witnessed Neo battle against a hundred Agent Smiths in The Matrix Reloaded. This time, it was a mix of adrenalin rush and heartache- a weird combination. Never had I been stuck on my chair for thirty more minutes after the movie credits because of awe and disbelief.

Remember Anakin when he first appeared in The Phantom Menace? Remember Anakin falling in love for the first time with Padme? Remember Anakin when he first saw Qui-gon Jin's lightsaber before he decided to join the pod race? Remember the funny elevator scenes with Obi-Wan? Remember the camaraderie? All these memories rushed into my head I saw Anakin's body eaten by volcanic fire, and his heart totally consumed by his pure hate towards his brother as he cried, "I hate you!" The air was filled with sorrow and hopelessness. "You WERE the chosen one."

My aunt, a super fan of the old Star Wars trilogy, considers this movie "historical". She thanks God she was able to make it to the last parcel of the whole story alive. She's 60, by the way, and she's happy. So many questions have finally been answered- questions that seemed to be ignored since The Phantom Menace. She plans on going to the New Worlds III convention on Monday to celebrate with her fellow woids. From then on, she can live in peace. (Oh please don't tell her about Dark Horse comicbooks, please!!!)

To those who have seen it, let me ask you these questions: Did you see George Lucas in the movie? Did you hear JarJar Binks say anything? (As one critic say, Jar-Jar Binks appears only for a moment and is gone before he has time to be annoying.) Did you see a Millenium Falcon in the background during the Coruscant War? Oooh. More reasons to watch the movie again, eh?

I miss Han Solo. I'd probably submit to Lucas's sinister plans of getting wealthier everyday since March 19 this weekend, by watching the old trilogy again. Picture this: You've come up with a potentially great story- one that will redefine pop culture. How are you going to maximize profit from it? Start telling the story in the middle. You know the rest.

Three years ago, I've dealt with the dilemma of what happens after completing the series of epic flicks Lord of the Rings and Star Wars. The future was bleak during those times, but so we enjoyed the era while my friends and I can. Now that Star Wars Episode III is done, it's deja vu. What next?

Batman Begins, The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Universe, Spiderman 3, War of the Worlds, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Fantastic Four, Superman Returns, Final Fantasy: Advent Children, Katie's Sassy Movie... God bless the cinemas.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Star Wars Prerequisites

Before you go to the cinema to watch the last Star Wars movie of George Lucas, you should watch these first! (And we're so lucky they're all available on the internet...)

1. George Lucas in Love (

I love watching parodies, specially this one. Just when I'm in the mood to write an epic movie about love... *sigh* Anyway, description says "A young George Lucas fights writer's block while trying to complete his final screenplay for USC Film School. This satire of Star Wars and Shakespeare in Love has Lucas searching for the true origins of the Star Wars saga."

2. The Clone Wars Microseries (

Anakin is already a Jedi Knight in "Revenge of the Sith"? But how?!?! Know more about the story in between Episodes II and III here. Powerful in Episode 23 Yoda is... hrmmmm....

3. Star Wars Episode II (Attack of the Clones) and Star Wars Episode I (The Phantom Menace)

Who's Qui-gon Jin? Who's Princess Padme? What's a Coruscant? Duuuuh...

4. Star Wars Fan Films (

They make fun of Star Wars, whereas Star Wars is their life. Ahh... life is a comedy, indeed.

5. Star Wars: Jedi Academy, Star Wars: Outcast, Star Wars: Battlefront, Star Wars: Clone Wars, Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic I and II...

And you just can't get enough of Star Wars. It's not enough that you've watched the flicks... now you want to play with the Force. I feel much fear in you... tee hee hee...

6. New Worlds Episode III (

Yeees... you don't want to be alone in the universe. Meet your fellow woids in the New Worlds convention that's gonna happen on Monday in Makati. Lurk in the shadows there, I will. ;-p

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


This is just a test entry. For a while there, I thought someone had erased this blog from existence. All I see is white space in Internet Explorer when I go visit this place... shiish. :)