Category: history

duterte and history

in gina apostol’s President Duterte and our revolutionary history and sylvia mayuga’s The politics of memory, the thinking, basically, is that the president’s anti-imperialist rants are not worthy of attention, much less of celebration, not because he has his facts wrong but because his “indiscriminate” and “chilling” war on drugs makes him as bad, even, as morally bankrupt, as the powerful ones that massacred our people in the filipino-american war, and as the recently powerful ones that have taken over our territories in the west ph sea and killed our coral beds, among other depredations.

i get it naman, the outrage over the lack of due process for victims, guilty and innocent, especially the innocents caught in the crossfire of the president’s war on drugs.  but the prez also speaks the truth about the enormity of the shabu problem.  as my brother, a balikbayan doctor who has been living in the boondocks of tiaong quezon for some 20 years, and who has seen it up close, wrote 10 years ago:

… the illicit drug market has successfully gained inroads into subcultures of users, into collegiate life, and deep into the bowels of Philippine rural life, burgeoning into a raging epidemic of drug addiction…

and recently, in Duterte and the War on Shabu:

…the scourge swelled and raged on
brought stories of despair, violence and deaths
ho-hum stories of day-to-day life.
thousands of sons and daughters
trapped in the quagmire of addiction
countless petty crimes to buy the high.
drugs paid for by sex favors.
the violent turf wars
the salvaging of drug pushers.
there was frustration among the tanods,
the police and local folk who cared.
di pa tapos ang barangay report,
naka-piyansa na.

… as the drug cancer continued to spread
the powers that be turned a blind eye
government wore blinders
as drug syndicates came to our shores,
from nearby and faraway,
setting up shop in our gated communities
and countless small towns across the land
under the guise of legal commerce,
cooking shabu to feed the addicts of the world
while they fed the greed and filled the coffers
of the corrupt and the powerful
who provided protection
who for the price of a million or ten or fifty
would turn a blind eye
would provide sanctuary and deliverance.
make evidence disappear.
provide passage on the next boat to china.
the masa watched helpless
as the drug commerce prospered.
emboldened by decades
of government apathy
impotence and corruptibility
the masa resigned in collective sadness
at the ruination of their communities.
it was a sad commentary, often heard
kay marcos, di mangyayari iyan…

and then came duterte, and like my brother i grieve the wrongful deaths, but what’s the alternative?

… shabu is a gold mine of immeasurable riches
to fuel the needs of power and greed.
shabu will merely recede into the shadows
selling clandestine highs
while kingpins and drug lords
figure out their next moves
patiently waiting and reassured
at their chosen sanctuaries
that duterte will not win his war
or that he will not last the war
or that six years is an easy wait
for them to reclaim the land.
unless we see kingpins
dangling on a noose
or strapped on a chair
unless we hear
the cracking of firing squads.

… we stand conflicted at this crucial crossroad
but we have seen an alternative to apathy
and the possibility of change.
i pray, hope duterte survives the bounty on his head,
and i dream, wish for his victory on his war on drugs.

and i get it, the outrage over the marcos burial, the cursing and the jolog ways, the many extemporaneous speech boo-boos that he has had to back out on, at kung ano-ano pang utterances and behavior deemed unpresidential and uncivilized and unacceptable by his critics.  maybe prof. antonio contreras is right:

President Duterte is postmodern in the sense that he escapes any attempt to be named and labeled. He is unpredictable. He is an iconoclast in that he challenges conventions in almost everything. His identity rests on fluidity rather than on certainty. He forces people to pay attention to the nuances of language if only to make sense of what he says.

He interrupts the usual, subverts the conventional, and challenges the traditional, and deploys a kind of unpredictability that becomes his own weapon. This is why the elites and those who lived comfortably in the certainty of the “daang matuwid” and black and white politics hate him.

He is the master of simulations, in the sense that one could no longer distinguish his image from his reality. Unlike his predecessor who lived on contrived imaging courtesy of staged narratives by media spinners, Duterte’s obliteration of the divide between joke and hyperbole on one hand, and serious policy statement on the other is so organically rooted that it acquires enormous political power, to the consternation of media and the elites so used to predictability and plasticity of messages.

but also, too much is going on behind the scenes that we are in the dark about.  where is the promised transparency.  i pray that the duterte admin gets its act together, inspires some confidence that the changes the prez promises are indeed doable.  i have yet to get a sense, for instance, of how the president plans to lift the masses from poverty and to make OFWs and the diaspora things-of-the-past.

most disturbing is the charter change move via con-ass towards a shift to federalism, something our elected representatives are themselves ill-informed about and ill-prepared for and which threatens to fracture further our divided nation.  there has to be a smarter way of giving our moro brothers and sisters the self-rule they deserve.

just as sinister is the plan to change the economic provisions of the constitution.  read bobi tiglao’s The big lie: ‘Charter’s restrictions have limited foreign capital inflow’.

The move to lift the Constitutional restrictions on foreign investment in public utilities and media is based on false arguments repeated over and over again in the Hitlerian fashion of the “Big Lie.”

… Sadly, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez seemed to have believed this Big Lie, based on his statements in a forum with Japan’s big businessmen in Tokyo recently. I don’t think President Duterte, with his strong sense of nationalism, would follow the cue of Dominguez, who is after all, the sole big capitalist in his Cabinet….

Dominguez should first clear such policy announcements with the more nationalistic Duterte. It is he who was elected to office, not Dominguez.”

as for the pivot-to-china at the expense of our “special relations” with the US, my question always has been, why did america stand by and watch as china took over the west philippine sea?  and did china dream up that nine-dash line as a response to the return of US troops and bases to the philippines?  anyway, it’s really more like a pivot to asia.  read malou tiquia’s The Duterte Initiative.

Derisively called mad man by his critics, there is serious thinking in his “madness.” Visiting Laos, Indonesia, Vietnam, Brunei, China and Japan, PRRD has set the stage for a peaceful region, lights on for Asia and ASEAN and a face-to-face diplomacy that has never been seen from a David like the Philippines. There is rhyme and reason where he went and the key messages he called out in those visits. The Duterte Initiative has made the Philippines top of mind. Apart from Manny Pacquiao, foreigners meeting Filipinos have been asking about Duterte. Seriously, the “mad man” is a rockstar.

and if he’s serious about ending the visiting forces agreement and EDCA, a joint advocacy of senator miriam defensor-santiago and partylist rep walden bello in 2012 and 2014, he can easily do it.  read LEADER OR BLUFFER? | How the President can send the Americans packing as early as April 15, 2017. 

Article IX, titled “Duration and Termination,” of the Visiting Forces Agreement reads:

This agreement shall enter into force on the date on which the parties have notified each other in writing through the diplomatic channel that they have completed their constitutional requirements for entry into force. This agreement shall remain in force until the expiration of 180 days from the date on which either party gives the other party notice in writing that it desires to terminate the agreement.

Since VFA is an executive agreement, Duterte does not need Congress’ approval for his action. If the president wants the United States out of the Philippines by, say, April 15, 2017, he can simply give written notice to Washington by October 15.
As for the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, the Supreme Court in its decision on the constitutionality of EDCA on January 12 of this year stated:

The admission and presence of US military and civilian personnel in Philippine territory are already allowed under the VFA, the treaty supposedly being implemented by EDCA. What EDCA has effectively done, in fact, is merely provide the mechanism to identify the locations in which US personnel may perform allowed activities pursuant to the VFA. As the implementing agreement, it regulates and limits the presence of US personnel in the country.

The Court’s words are crystal clear: since it is merely an implementing mechanism of the VFA, EDCA loses its character as a legal agreement once the VFA is terminated. With VFA terminated on April 15, 2017, EDCA will be null and void on that date.

…It is time the President proves to the nation and the world that he is really serious about asking the Americans to leave. The action required is simple; it is a notice from the Department of Foreign Affairs that does not even need his signature. Not following through will not only translate to a loss of his credibility among his constituents. It would lead to his being dismissed as a bluffer, a “tin pot” ruler, by Washington, which can easily adjust to living with his curses and his tantrums.

meanwhile, i have finally seen the sense in, and have stopped scoffing at, the president’s speeches, never mind that he repeats himself from one gig to another, almost ad nauseam.  he is, after all, addressing himself each time to a different group of filipinos, whether the soldiers, the police, the OFWs abroad, or the masses here at home, from one local event to another, and indeed it behooves him to explain again and again about his roots and worldview, about mindanao and the moro problem, about how and why we were colonized by america, and why we continue to have this relationship with the US that is special only in a lopsided sense.

except when he speaks (rarely) of marcos as the best president we’ve ever had who deserves burial in libingan ng mga bayani, which thankfully he leaves up to the supreme court, digong lifts my spirits with his lectures on philippine history, especially our history with america.  the elephant in the room whose continued intervention in our affairs past presidents have never dared question or criticize, much less speak about in public.  how spain, without consulting our lolos and lolas, simply sold us to america for 20 million dollars.  and after and beyond the massacres of our patriots and heroes, how they took over our educational and cultural institutions and turned us into caricatures of themselves, shaped us into little brown brothers who would rather be americans than filipinos, the better the easier to take advantage of us, to manipulate us into unquestioning submission down the century, past “independence”, all the way to the new millennium.

rare history lessons that no doubt the filipino masses are hearing, learning, for the first time.  this to me is priceless.

and so when gina apostol says filipinos are “gaslighted”, i.e., manipulated, deceived, by duterte when he invokes historical facts — an abuser condemning an earlier abuser of the nation in order to sanction his own abuse — i can only say, take a second hard look, please.  it is america, the master manipulator, that has been gaslighting our people for the last hundred years.

The big letdown

Ernesto P. Maceda, Jr.

We have had two chances in our history to write a Constitution (1934 and 1986) and one to revise it (1971). All three were done through the mode of having a dedicated group, elected or appointed, working solely on the Constitution and nothing else.

The most recent attempts at Charter change (under the Arroyo and Aquino presidencies) thru the con-ass mode failed to harness popular support. This was largely due to the perception that they were self serving efforts: perpetuation in power, no genuine political dynasty resolution. They would originate usually from the House (De Venecia, Nograles-Puentevella, Rodriguez, Belmonte).

The prism of self interest. President Rodrigo Duterte was an avowed proponent of the con-con mode for his prized shift to federalism. He confirmed this before, during and after the campaign. Like the public, he believed the con-ass mode to be self serving. Other No-Chance proposals under a con-ass would be the FOI law, political party reform.

Plus, of course, would you seriously expect Congress to vote to diminish its own power? This surely happens under the federal form where the National Congress castrates itself and shares responsibilities (and funds) with the state legislatures. As for the upper house, I don’t see Senators consenting to possibly playing a lesser role in legislation much like the House of Lords in the UK or, worse, being abolished outright if no separate voting by chamber takes place. The model federalism resolution of Senate President Nene Pimentel actually proposes the election of 75 Senators and 350 Congressmen at the national federal level. Incumbents voting for a proposition that dilutes their power? That’s novel. Its also absurd to expect it would happen.

Revision by con-ass may likely bring out the worst in the Legislature. And this likelihood is doubled with the current supermajority in Congress. I can see it now – suspensions of Rules, calls for closing the period of debate, drowned out points of order, calls for a vote. Might of muscle over might of merit. Personal heroes were routinely created or unmasked by the ANC coverages lasting deep into the night of the House’s many blatant and dishonorable past attempts at con-ass. The tyranny of supermajorities on display.

Unparalleled opportunity. No one trusts the House to decide in favor of con-con. It was such pleasing news then that Speaker Alvarez, in his first press conference, turned out to be pro con-con like his friend, the President. And with the Senate firmly on board, the Filipino people had, for the first time since Charter change was openly debated (began in 1997 nearing the end of FVR’s term), an honest chance at meaningful reform.

Opinion ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

This may even have been the best opportunity at crafting the Constitution that we will need for the future. The 1934 draft was intended for a commonwealth government. The 1971 version was not given a bona fide chance. The 1986 output was rushed by a President who did not want to rule by revolutionary fiat. There would be no such pressures for this 2016 or 2017 iteration.

The populist President Duterte who, time and again, in just this first month in office has shown himself to be the emblem of popular sentiment, has made a decidedly unpopular choice in this con-ass change of heart. Virtually every sector of society has come forward favoring con-con over con-ass.

Expensive if Amendment, a bargain if Revision. Our own personal position is that the economy, efficiency and expediency of a con-ass are valid arguments only when the proposal is for mere amendments – whether of one or a group of provisions, e.g. economic. For constitutional amendment, it would be inadvisable to spend the P 7 billion price tag of a Con-Con (the price goes down dramatically to around P1 billion if Con-Con elections are synchronized with the Barangay or 2019 elections).

But a Revision of the Constitution deserves more than just the sideline attention of Congress acting as a constituent assembly. If the proposal would be to adopt a new federal structure or to try out the parliamentary form, this would mean throwing out virtually the entire Constitution and all of our present constitutional history. We would be starting blind.

Not as exhaustive. A con-ass that will be taking this on as an added duty will not be as thorough as a con-con with this as its only duty. We should make sure we get the best debate. We will not be served by Congress, with its supermajority, rubber stamping the President’s telegraphed message.

Public opinion is equally crucial. But trimedia is informal and space and time compromised. Essays and researches are sterile efforts where the author, even if attempting a balanced output, basically just debates with himself.

There is no substitute for well reasoned positions presented in an impassioned debate – without the time limitations and whose only guideline is to come up with a majority after making sure all sides are ventilated. Even those with full belief in Federalism should welcome the open, thoughtful and enthusiastic exchange one gets in a Convention. This will only serve to fine tune and produce not only the best version of a Constitution but one that is strong and solid having survived the crucible of intelligent debate. In this sense, a con-con is priceless.

In the previous conventions, we were well-served by the articulate expressions, stentorian tones and ardent convictions of men like Rodrigo, Recto, Bernas, Concepcion, Munoz-Palma, Manglapus, and more. We have to listen to all arguments even if we disagree for this will create a critical history and a rich record to aid in its better understanding later on.

Not democratic. These imperatives are best served if we send delegates who, having presented to us their intentions and their qualifications (matapos mamanhikan), are entrusted with our own sentiments on what we feel we need to see in the document they will be crafting. Did we elect our Congressmen and Senators to do that for us? No. This, above all, is why the President’s change of heart was surprising. Because it confiscated from our hands the one opportunity we had of a meaningful participation in writing the next chapter of our country’s history.


ishmael bernal’s dream film on the luna brothers

on this the national artist’s 77th birthday, as the film Heneral Luna continues to drive a rare national conversation on philippine history and heroes, here are some notes of jorge arago on a film that ishmael, until his last days, dreamed of doing.

Progress was slow on [Bernal’s] research for a film about a Filipino painter by the name of Juan Luna, whose brother Antonio, a general, was assassinated a hundred years ago last June, when Filipinos were somewhere between revolution and war. The date is important for us, for that was when the amerasia in our show-biz hearts got started. Admiral George Dewey had brought a cameraman along and I reckon that he must have gotten some interesting footage — of the Spanish clergy begging the Yanks to spare the noble and ever loyal city that today is a golf course; of the indios curiousos who crowded the shoreline of Manila Bay and for whom Admiral Dewey had his band play La Paloma and other Hispanic turns towards late afternoon while he sipped tea in the tropical heat which must have been intolerable for men in uniform; of the fury (in the absence of a sound-camera) of a predetermined battle with remnants of the Spanish armada, in which Admiral Dewey’s superior fleet suffered one casualty and that as a direct result of the humidity.

… The story of the Luna brothers is the stuff of pure cinema and lies at the very roots of our little explored Amerasian amnesia.

… Juan Luna painted in the classicist style of a time when the impressionist movement was catching on; he killed his Creole wife with the precision of a pointilist and his mother-in-law (who paid for half the rent on their Paris villa) with the inclusiveness of a socialist realist. It was also considered a sensational crime of passion triggered – as the French judiciary would conclude after a trial in which a French servant was star-witness – by culturally conditioned insanity, which was apparently the first time the idea was bandied around. The culture bit is interesting. It was no sub-culture, as we frequently refer to the world of drug-dependents; no “third world”, as the technocrats over there have gotten into the habit of referring to us island-dwellers and other infinitesimals over here.

At any rate, the fellow was acquitted and, after a reclusive period when even Jose Rizal – poet, physician and propagandist of his time and a hero of ours – hesitated to communicate with him and left him well enough alone, responded to a summons from Filipinos who had just successfully mounted a revolution against Spain but now in the face-saving transition confronted foe-and-ally alike in the visiting forces of America. Luna accepted the diplomat’s job of advocating independence from the lion in his den. He was in Washington when he learned that his younger brother Antonio, hypertensive commanding general of the self-same Filipino revolutionists had been assassinated by another faction of patriots.

… Juan Luna died in Hongkong enroute to Manila. He came home to be with the dead. An uncle of the painter’s wife is a most distinguisHed scholar in Philippine history who travelled with the Americans at the turn of the century, monitoring and auditioning a variety of talents (for an ongoing shoot of the New Governmental Organization) in the course of a pacification campaign that did not bother to look into the preceding Spanish sequence and wouldn’t teach Americans enough to enable them to avoid Viet Nam. He’s supposed to have said, according to one probably apocryphal anecdote, that he understood why some men would want to kill unfaithful wives but why a dead-shot like Juan should include his mother-in-law was perplexing.

ambeth & the supremes, rizal & his ultimo adios

it is ironic that 3 supreme court justices i cheered on for dissenting on the enrile bail case are the same 3 justices i am now jeering at for  buying (so to speak) not just DMCI’s, but even ambeth ocampo’s, arguments against the demolition of  torre de manila.

given her husband’s connections with DMCI, i don’t understand why chief justice sereno did not inhibit from the case the way associate justice perez did, his son being the owner of a torre unit.  and, take note, just a week after the court issued the TRO (that she voted no to) on june 23, almost a month before the first oral arguments, cj sereno in a letter to associate justice jardeleza (ponente of the case) enumerated “issues” that should be tackled in oral arguments and en banc deliberations, among them:

“What is the total damage to be sustained by private respondents [DMCI], including the workers, the subcontractors, the investors, and the buyers of the project, in case the building is demolished?”

Sereno even put a footnote quoting “Article III, Section 9 of the 1987 Constitution [as it provides] that private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation.”

excuse me, your honor, ma’am, with all due respect, the original clear-sky background of the rizal monument is public property that DMCI, by building beyond the 7-floor limit, dared despoil for private profit.  it’s not as if torre de manila deserved to be in the same sacred space, looming over and distracting from, the rizal monument.  it’s not as if the kind of progress and development that DMCI stands for has brought any prosperity except to a privileged few (at the expense of the many).  DMCI took a gamble, big time, on getting away with it, and deserves to lose, big time.

as for the overrated ocampo’s argument that rizal did not even want a monument, all rizal wanted was a simple grave, he said so himself in a letter to his family, which is to say that the monument does not honor rizal’s wishes, and therefore torre de manila does not dishonor rizal?  i can’t believe that sereno, carpio, and leonen swallowed  that hook line and sinker.

sixth orals

the one shining moment was when associate justice teresita leonardo de castro pounced on NHCP chair serena diokno for the NHCP statement re the front view of the rizal monument not being obstructed by the torre.  duh, nga.

The justice said the NHCP was to be blamed for what she branded as “miscommunication” and “inefficient way of dealing with the situation.”

De Castro told the NHCP chief that the “issue about the background was raised before your commission but you did not deal with it.  You had a very clear idea of what the issue is about — the background [view].”

De Castro … criticized the NHCP for not taking a stronger position on the issue so as to guide the local government. The magistrate said that even if its guidelines were merely recommendatory, part of NHCP’s mandate is still to provide the correct opinion to LGUs. 

indeed, NHCP has been glaringly inconsistent in its official recommendations.  june 2012, to the manila city council,  it was a no to the torre (keep vista points and visual corridors to monuments clear for unobstructed viewing appreciation and photographic opportunities).   november 2012, to DMCI consultant alfredo andrade, it was a yes (Your project site is outside the boundaries of the Rizal Park and well to the rear of the Rizal National Monument, hence it cannot possibly obstruct the front view of the said National Monument).  august 2014, in a position paper submitted to the senate hearing, it was back to a  no (Diokno’s letter said that the front view of the monument is not the issue, but the obstruction presented by Torre de Manila on the Rizal Monument’s back view. … the condominium adversely affects the monument’s visual corridor).  sa oral arguments, day 6, it was back to a yes (The property of Torre De Manila is not part of Rizal Park and well beyond).

still on day 6, some embarrassing gems from sereno, carpio, and leonen.

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, on the other hand, asked how other cities are treating the monuments if there are any in their area, like the Bonifacio Shrine in Caloocan, which is facing the LRT 1 station and being surrounded by malls, the EDSA Shrine, which was built in front a mall and the MRT and the Ninoy Aquino monument in Makati, which is crowded with high-rise buildings.

uh, ma’am, none of those locations are sacred like luneta, formerly bagumbayan, where rizal (and many more filipino martyrs) were executed by the spaniards.

Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said “his (Rizal’s) dying wish was to face east but the captain of the guard said no so he died facing west.” …“Now, Rizal is still facing west. We still deny him his dying wish…”

uh, sir, rizal’s wish to face east was so he would die facing the firing squad that faced west.  is the good justice suggesting that if the firing squad had been facing east, rizal would have been okay being shot in the back?  facing east was the important thing, and not facing his killers?

Associate Justice Marvic Leonen added that “when the Constitution says conserve and promote historical heritage, it also means that we should actually grant Rizal his dying wish so that our people know that our heroes should be humble, that our leaders should not have billboards, should not have markers, should not be ‘epal’ because that is somebody that we should emulate.” … “Therefore, what we are fighting for in this case is really a monument which Rizal did not want.”

uh, sir.  sino ba talaga ang epal dito?  di ba’t ang torre de manila ng DMCI ang medyo bastos at garapal, butting in where it’s not wanted, intruding brazenly shamelessly on our vista of the rizal monument to make capital of the wonderful view?

and, grabe lang, sir, the way you dignify a message that was only for family, a message that rizal did not even bother to smuggle out, or to hide in his other shoe.

“Bury me in the ground, place a stone and a cross over it. My name, the date of my birth and of my death. Nothing more. If you later wish to surround my grave with a fence, you may do so. No anniversaries. I prefer Paang Bundok.”

rizal, of course, would not have asked more of his family.  but of nation, he certainly did, ask more, in his last poem that begins, “Adios, Patria adorada.”   ito mismo, hindi ang bury-me note, ang final testament ni jose rizal.

adios, patria adorada

this untitled 14-stanza poem, that presumably rizal finished writing on the eve of his execution, was found hidden in a lamp (some say a stove) that rizal gave a sister after a last visit on that last day.  the family made copies and sent them out to friends.  bonifacio’s tagalog translation of this emotional farewell reached, touched, the masses and fanned the flame of revolution.

needless to say, i am surprised, nay, shocked, that ocampo dares talk about rizal’s dying wishes without acknowledging, even once, this poem that we know as “Mi Ultimo Adios” – as though it did not exist, as though it did not matter, as though it were not relevant to the public outcry against torre de manila.

does ocampo really think we have all forgotten, too, or that, like him, we are content to thrill at the trivial, and glorify the mundane, about our heroes?  or maybe he’s just not into literary masterpieces, least of all one that makes you think, and feel, and weep for inang bayan?   isn’t that the height of academic irresponsibility?  rizal would not be amused.

not only is it great poetry by the most brilliant filipino intellectual ever (saludo sina adrian cristobal at jorge arago), this last poem reflects rizal’s state of mind the day before he was to face a firing squad, full of fervent hope that his dreams for a free and proud filipinas would come true, yet fearful that his sacrifice might be for nought, uncertain that he would even be remembered.

from nick joaquin’s translation

Should you find someday, somewhere on my gravemound, fluttering
among tall grasses, a flower of simple frame:
caress it with your lips and you kiss my soul.
I shall feel on my face across the cold tombstone,
of your tenderness: the breath – of your breath: the flame.

Suffer the moon to keep watch, tranquil and suave, over me;
suffer the dawn its flying lights to release:
suffer the wind to lament in murmurous and grave manner
and should a bird drift down and alight on my cross,
suffer the bird to intone its canticle of peace.

from andres bonifacio’s:

Kung sa libingan ko’y tumubong mamalas
sa malagong damo mahinhing bulaklak,
sa mga labi mo’y mangyayaring itapat,
sa kaluluwa ko halik ay igawad.

At sa aking noo nawa’y iparamdam,
sa lamig ng lupa ng aking libingan,
ang init ng iyong paghingang dalisay
at simoy ng iyong paggiliw na tunay.

Bayaang ang buwan sa aki’y ititig
ang liwanag niyang lamlam at tahimik,
liwayway bayaang sa aki’y ihatid
magalaw na sinag at hanging hagibis.

Kung sakasakaling bumabang humantong
sa krus ko’y dumapo kahit isang ibon
doon ay bayaan humuning hinahon
at dalitin niya payapang panahon.

rizal imagined a gravemound and wildflower, and in the next breath, a cold tombstone, and further on, a dark graveyard where only the dead keep vigil.  he knew it was possible that he would be forgotten, but he himself would not forget, and he would haunt us.

And when in dark night shrouded the graveyards lies
and only, only the dead keep vigil the night through:
keep holy the peace: keep holy the mystery.
Strains, perhaps, you will hear – of zither, or of psalter
it is I: O land I love: it is I who sing to you!

At kung ang madilim na gabing mapanglaw
ay lumaganap na doon sa libinga’t
tanging mga patay ang nangaglalamay,
huwag bagabagin ang katahimikan.

Ang kanyang hiwagay huwag gambalain;
kaipala’y marinig doon ang taginting,
tunog ng gitara’t salterio’y mag saliw,
ako, Bayan yao’t kita’y aawitin.

rizal did not imagine a national monument such as the one we have built him, and improved on over the years.  i have no doubt that he approves, even, that he cheers us on who see torre de manila as a symbol of capitalist oppression in a land no longer as enchanted or beautiful as when he lived and died for inang bayan.

take it down.


consunji,semirara, torre de manila, atbp. 
Much ado about Ambeth Ocampo
jeremy barns on torre de manila
sona, tsona, torre de manila #takeitdown
TAKE IT DOWN #torredemanila
Rizal, the Noli-Fili, and the Torre de Manila