Category: values

the state of the zodiac

woke up at noon to an email from my son joel asking, “so am i a virgo now?   seems to be all over the news — but no mention of it on any astrology sites :-)”   followed by an email from my brother louie:  “am i now a virgo!  did you know about this?”   both with links to last night’s breaking news:   astronomer park kunkle reveals that because of earth’s wobble our zodiac signs as we know them may no longer be our signs.   according to his calculations, i would be a leo, but i know i’m not ;))

the good news is, libra pa rin sila, virgo pa rin ako.   and to all katrina’s friends who have been asking, stressing out, having identity crises, including two whose birthcharts i recently read, relax, nothing has changed, this is nothing new.   it’s an old issue that astronomers have long been throwing at astrologers to debunk derogate diminish the celestial grounds of astrology.   and really, it’s not that astrologers don’t care to know the earth, stars, and constellations as astronomers do, it’s just that we have a whole different way of viewing the whole.   read astrologers kevin burk and dane rhudyar, if you have the time and the inclination.   it’s all there.   (i love the web!)

i will admit that the first time i learned about the precession of the equinoxes, nagdalawang-isip ako for a while and cut down on readings (this was back in the 80s) while getting my bearings.   so far my experience had shown astrology to be compatible with the psychology, traditional and new age, that i had i learned in and after diliman, but suddenly i wasn’t sure…

it was around this time that direk ishmael bernal gave me his birth time and asked for a reading.   couldn’t say no to ishma, so best efforts na lang.   to my dismay he mostly took my reading with a blank stare.   but a month or so later he phoned, apologizing, he had given me the wrong birth time.   this time he was sure, galing mismo sa kanyang birth certificate that he had to get from his mother.   vastly different a birthchart it was, and so was his reaction.   i got a lot of vigorous nods, a sparkle in the eyes, and in the end, say niya, yes, ako yan mismo.   it was validation enough.

the precession problem i came to terms with via the basic principle of astrology, the moment of birth (whether of a person, or an idea, or a project) as the crux of the matter.   i found i could live with the original zodiacal elliptic and its properties codified by the greeks over 2000 years ago as reference point.   just because it works.

but i’m not talking sun-sign astrology which is what daily horoscopes are about.   there’s more to it than the sun-sign alone.   there’s the moon, too, and at least eight planets, their signs and configuration (the angles / aspects they make with each other) at the moment of birth, to take into consideration.   the sun is the most significant of them but always taken in the context of what the sign represents in the 12-step process of personal growth and development — from individual to collective concerns — that the zodiac wheel offers the seeker.

this is not to say that i don’t read daily horoscope columns.   there are a couple that i follow because they keep accurate track of the moon, which moves very fast, just two days or so in a sign.   they give me a sense of the day’s vibes without having to check out my ephemeris.   also i send joel daily readings for his sun-sign, moon-sign, and ascendant-sign (based on birth time) whether he reads them or not.   today i also sent him the reading for virgo, with a smiley, just in case.   and this was his response:

I’ve always been aware that there was theoretical and proven science out there that just probably totally messes up the foundation of astrology. Earth spinning off its axis, moon drifting farther away by the decade, expanding universe, uh, Pluto’s planetary status (although that’s arguably more a matter of semantics)… but between its hit-and-miss record and generally vague advice, I’ve pretty much settled on viewing my daily horoscope as reminders of proper conduct, patience, managed expectation, tempered behavior, etc…

More than anything else, the daily horoscope you send is like motherly advice. Be good, be cautious, show enthusiasm, start something, be diligent, watch out for opportunities, etc. That they’re copied off a newspaper or a site doesn’t make much difference to me — this is part of your personal value system which I respect and, considered responsibly, hasn’t ever steered me wrong.

o di ba.   sulit na sulit naman.

and finally, can’t help wondering why it’s taken astronomers all this time to go mainstream on this.   or maybe it’s mainstream media that just never cared to pick up ’til now?   maybe astrology’s getting too popular in these troubled and much-too-interesting times?   incidentally, the church has always frowned on astrology but i hear the vatican has the best and biggest library of astrological materials dating from ancient times ’til the present, under wraps of course.   so there.

currency: how cheap is rizal

it was the inquirer‘s ramon n. villegas in Coming up-the redesigned Philippine currency who said:

From the ’70s to the ’90s, the lower denominations of paper bills which featured the revolutionary founders of the nation—Rizal, Bonifacio, Jacinto, Mabini—were eliminated. Their demotion to coins is symbolic of the diminution of their radical ideas by the country’s elite.

yes, jose rizal is on one-peso coins, emilio aguinaldo on five-peso coins, and andres bonifacio and apolinario mabini on ten-peso coins.   si emilio jacinto nawala na lang.   it’s like american colonial times pa rin, sa totoo lang, when nationalist aspirations were discouraged, repressed, disparaged.

this disturbs me more than the the new currency designs’ inaccuracies re the parrot the map the whale the scientific-name fonts and other trivia.   lalo na after reading this letter to the editor:

Currency designs reflect values of ruling class

… Let us not forget Lapulapu who resisted the Spanish invasion in 1521. His image is on our one-centavo coins, now virtually demonetized in value and sense. If it’s any consolation, Lapulapu is remembered today as a pricey fish. But then, maliputo is more expensive and has replaced Lapulapu as the fish recognized on the new currency bills.

We agree: the “peso bills … also qualify our aspirations as a nation, our values as a people.” However, the “aspirations” and “values” printed on our money may not be reflective of our people’s.

Sergio Osmeña’s claim to fame in the P50 notes is that he was with US Gen. Douglas MacArthur in the US forces’ Leyte landing in 1944. This occasion is deceitfully dubbed as the start of the “liberation of the Philippines” from Japanese forces. In 1942, US forces, trapped in Bataan and Corregidor, surrendered to the Japanese. Actual resistance thereafter was led by Filipino forces, some of whom were fighting American occupation in the Philippines before the war erupted.

Manuel Quezon (of the P20 notes) was originally barred by the Commonwealth constitution from running for reelection, but he lobbied US Congress to amend this provision. Had this happened today, Quezon would have been the subject of people power.

During the presidency of Manuel Roxas (P100 notes), the controversial Bell Trade Act, which granted free trade between the Philippines and the United States, was signed. Also ratified was the Treaty of General Relations. While recognizing Philippine independence, it ensured American control by granting them use of 23 military bases in the country, and gave special property rights and investment privileges to US citizens.

Roxas’ administration was tainted with corruption scandals.

The P200 currency is of course a “vanity” bill. Issued during the regime of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, it features her father and her inauguration as president. Even Ferdinand Marcos did not dare to place his face on peso bills.

Generally, the personalities featured in the currency notes come from the same class—the bourgeoisie.

Workers and peasants played a big role in Philippine history. They formed the bulk of the fighting Filipinos in the anti-Spanish and anti-American wars, as well as in the anti-Japanese war. They play a major role in our development as a nation as well. Peasants produce our food, and indigenous farmers are stewards of our forests. Workers, through their labor, raise the value of capital goods produced in our country.

Even though short of cash, they should at least be honored by the value of their worth. Thus, it is more accurate to say that present currency note designs reflect the ruling class’ values and what it aims to promote to further its reign.

JULIE L. PO, Linangan ng Kulturang Pilipino,

i don’t agree lang that “the personalities featured in the currency notes come from the same class–the bourgeoisie.”   manuel quezon, sergio osmena, manuel roxas, diosdado macapagal may have started out poor or middle class but all ended up rich and powerful in their time and their descendants are fully of the elite, the ruling class, whose values and influence are part of, or every reason, why we remain a poor undeveloped basket-case of a country.