Posted by: rexsorza | June 23, 2007

What’s up in Iloilo?

Kadamo na gawa sang bag-o sa Iloilo. Damo na gid ang bars sa Smallville, a party strip along Diversion Road. May manugtapos na nga flyover sa Infante Avenue. Ah basta, kadamo na gid sang bag-o. I just hope that on top of these, mabag-o man ang mga tawo. Meaning, mangin mas disiplinado na ang tanan para wala gamo.

I seen this vid sa Youtube while killing time surfing. Watch niyo. I’m proud not only with the body of work, but the people behind it. World-class.

Oh, di bala nami no??

Posted by: rexsorza | July 31, 2006

Gays

There is one real big world event that we Filipinos seem not to know of: The First World Outgames. It’s a sports competition, yes, of Olympics magnitude. It won’t be any other sports event if not for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered players involved.I am not very certain if our beloved The Philippines is represented. I wish we Filipinos are present there, too. 

At its opening on July 29th, in one of the world’s gay-friendliest cities, Canada’s French city of Montreal, 28,000 people of all genders and sexualities trooped to witness the event. There are 12,000 athletes participating in the games held inside and out of
Montreal’s Olympic Stadium. 

“Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered athletes from 111 countries took to the field from the four corners of the stadium in a winding procession, unfurling national flags, rainbow flags, pennants, glow sticks and, in the case of the German team, bright yellow umbrellas,” reads the Montreal Gazette. 

Not only that, they all “danced and waved to the beat of high-energy dance music and Bob Marley’s Get Up, Stand Up. The largest cheers were reserved for participants from about 20 countries where homosexuality is still a crime.” 

Canada’s public works minister, who stood in for the prime minister, got booed by the crowd. The government’s position on LGBT issues, particularly on same-sex marriage, is wanting, that’s why. Performances threw the Olympic Stadium into a party place and capped the opening day. 

Prior to that, however, an equally important if not more important event took place. It is the adoption of the “Declaration of Montreal,” a product of the International Conference on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Human Rights. 

It is a framework to promote gay and lesbian human rights which sounds off universal declaration of human rights, which states in its introduction: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” 

Montreal’s leading daily, Montreal Gazette, reported: “Human rights advocates plan to present the declaration – a manifesto that sets out guidelines to protect the rights of gays and lesbians – to the United Nations and national governments. The goal is to gain ‘unequivocal’ support of gay rights worldwide. 

“The document declares that homosexuals must have protection against state-sanctioned violence and gay bashing, freedom of expression and association, as well as freedom to engage in consensual sexual activity. 

“It also spells out some key issues facing the community internationally: Fighting ignorance and prejudice, working for a safe environment in every country, fighting the HIV/AIDS pandemic and gaining recognition for same-sex partnerships during immigration.” 

I am certain that an LGBT group in the country would push for its ratification. What I am not certain about is whether the Arroyo government would stamp it OK. Like most of the Filipinos, the government has been wrapped in lack of respect for the beliefs and practices of people.  

Our hope is in all of us who understand that there is a need for such a legal instrument to protect and shield the LGBTs from harm, discrimination and all of the violations that have been committed all this time. I wish the government realizes that there are people whose beliefs and practices should be respected the way they respect that of others. 

It may not be an easy battle but it could be won. Based on my unscientific observation, fathers do not send their gay sons to military schools or seminaries anymore. Maybe they have realized their sons would end up gayer than sending them to coed schools. More and more gay couples could be seen exhibiting their sexualities in public. There is “Ang Ladlad” Party that would test the political arena in next year’s polls too. 

Oh, how I wish we would have a Rue St. Catherine here the way Montreal has. It’s got clubs like the Parking, where men in leather could either dance, play billiards or simply booze, or enjoy the sights and sounds of the Campus, and others where gays and lesbians party, party and party.  

But more than that, I want the whole Philippines to be a Rue St. Catherine, a street whose churches, people, commercial establishment welcome, respect and love gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders.

Posted by: rexsorza | June 16, 2006

Homosexuality I

Homosexuality is never a dull topic. "Gays are everywhere" is now a cliche. Gays have become more and more visible, a far cry from how gays are seen a decade ago. Gays might have reclaimed many of the freedoms due to every human, but a questions that pops out endlessly remains: Is homosexuality moral?

It maybe so. It maybe not.

Before arriving at conclusions, however, I guess it is best to survey our history. My own effort led me to reading stuff on Pederasty. It very well explains a kind of homosexuality that once ruled certain societies, the way hetero relationships of today rule.

To be brief, let's go over what's on Wikipedia:

In antiquity, pederasty as an educational institution for the inculcation of moral and cultural values, as well as a sexual diversion, was practiced from the Archaic period onwards in Ancient Greece.

As idealized by the Greeks, pederasty was a relationship and bond–whether sexual or chaste–between an adolescent boy and an adult man outside of his immediate family. While most Greek men engaged in relations with both women and boys, exceptions to the rule were known, some avoiding relations with women and others rejecting relations with boys.

In Rome relations with boys took a more informal and less civic, often illicit path.Analogous relations were documented among other ancient peoples, such as the Thracians[1], the Celts and various Germanic peoples such the Heruli and the Taifali. According to Plutarch, the ancient Persians, too, had long practiced it (though according to Herodotus they learned of pederasty from the Greeks[2]).

Opposition to the carnal aspects of pederasty existed concurrently with the practice, both within and outside of the cultures in which it was found. Among the Greeks, a few cities prohibited pederasty, and in others, such as Sparta, some claimed that only the chaste form was permited. Likewise, Plato's writings devalue and finally condemn sexual intercourse with the boys one loved, while glorifying the self-disciplined lover who abstained from consummating the relationship.

The Judaeo-Christian faiths also condemned sodomy, a theme later promulgated by Islam and, later still, by the Baha'i Faith. Pederasty in particular was a target. The second century preacher Clement of Alexandria used pederasty as an indictment of Greek religion: "For your gods did not abstain even from boys. One loved Hylas, another Hyacinthus, another Pelops, another Chrysippus, another Ganymedes. These are the gods your wives are to worship!" [3]

The early Christian emperors quashed pederasty, together with the other manifestations of Greco-Roman religion and culture, as part of the imposition of Christianity as a state religion. Early legal codes prescribed harsh penalties for violators. The law code of Visigoth king Chindasuinth called for both partners to be "emasculated without delay, and be delivered up to the bishop of the diocese where the deed was committed to be placed in solitary confinement in a prison." The Visigothic Code At Rome, the punishment was burning at the stake.More recently, pederasty was widespread in Moorish Spain [4], and Tuscany and northern Italy during the Renaissance[5][6].

The Baha'i faith, which claims to be the fulfillment of all major religions and comes after Islam forbids pederasty. Indeed, it is the only mention of any type of homosexuality by Baha'u'llah. "We shrink, for very shame, from treating of the subject of boys. Fear ye the Merciful, O peoples of the world! Commit not that which is forbidden you in Our Holy Tablet, and be not of those who rove distractedly in the wilderness of their desires."[7] "The word translated here as "boys" has, in this context, in the Arabic original, the implication of paederasty. Shoghi Effendi has interpreted this reference as a prohibition on all homosexual relations." [8]

Elsewhere, it was practiced in pre-Modern Japan until the Meiji restoration [9], in Mughal India until the British colonization, amongst the Aztecs and Maya prior to the Spanish conquest of Mexico and in China and Central Asia until the early 20th century.

In the Islamic world spiritual pederasty was incorporated into many mystic Sufi teachings. The tradition of pederasty persists to the present day in certain areas of Afghanistan, the Middle East, North Africa, and Melanesia.—xxx—

This is only the introduction. There is so much to be learned of Pederasty and Homosexuality. You will be surprised at how Japanese and Chinese have had this culture before the West influenced their worldview.

Now, kindly do your reading to know more. And ask yourself: Is homosexuality moral? Is it a sin? Is it bad?

Posted by: rexsorza | June 15, 2006

Press secretary

She was intellectually gifted. She was brilliant. She spoke in an almost perfect American English. She wrote real well. She was sexy. She would tell me once she becomes the President of the Philippines, I will be her Press Secretary.

She exerted no extreme deligence, burning brows nor spending extended hours to pour over our books nor do assignments, but she ended up our high school valedictorian. When all of us in the classroom would share answers like we would share popcorns or packs of Chippy, Mr. Chips and the like, she would stay on her seat. Consigned to what she could pick out of her brains.

She was firm: Cheating is bad. And so, cheat she did not. Her closest thing to succumbing to this fun practice was to share her answers with us. Phyllis had a Xeroxy memory, so she was in-charge of Filipino. Yes, lines from Noli and then El Fili. I would take charge of History and current events. She is definitely the to-go-to for Math: Algebra, Trigo, etc. She shared her answers but still she did not had ours. It was a one-way traffic.

To prepare herself for Malacañan, she took up economics at the famed UP School of Economics. It was not easy to be there, she would tell me. But she finished. She worked somewhere but then went on to teach at Mindanao State University, the premier university in the south.

Dropping by here in Iloilo one Good Friday, we ended up at Sarabia Manor Hotel for coffee and a long chat. It was the only place we could spend a brief but quality time together after months of being away from each other. She said: Many of her students didn't do well in class; She would quiz them with easy stuff but still they'd submit blank sheets; She found it hard to let them pass even if they deserve 5's, but I guess she did with some. She had a good heart.

Mindanao, particularly the Islamic city of Marawi, is a nice place, she told me. Green, cool, serene, relaxing. But she missed the urban noise. To a nearby city they would drive and get some booze, she said.

After a year, or was that two, off she went back to Manila. Yes, near to Malacañan and her dream. She wanted to enrol in a law school to prepare herself for the presidency. She earlier took the UP College of Law's LAE [law aptitude exams] but did not make it. Maybe she didn't give it her best, we both agreed. So she eyed Ateneo, San Beda and others.

She looked for sponsors, she recalled to me. "But no one took the tab. Everyone kept silent when I told them about it over dinner." She was with her sisters and brothers. The youngest in the brood felt bad. She unleashed tears and vowed to earn her way into a law degree, and then the presidency.

A friend rang her up that same night. The next day, she qeued up for a call center job. While others were asked to come back for an interview, she was readily quizzed. The next day, she was asked to sign a contract. Hours after signing, her sister said she would send her to law school. "But I thought I couldn't take back my signature, so I went on to work here," she recounted to me at Something Fishy, a few steps away from where the call center was.

While taking in calls every minute, the dream of becoming the president did not escape her. We would root out all the corrupt people in government and have them bombed, we vowed together. We would sorround ourselves with the best, brightest and cutest to bring this country out of the fucking poverty, we would tell each other sending oursleves laughing out loud.

To inch her way into achieving her goal, she planned to apply for post-graduate studies in a Japanese university. The best in Asia and near to Manila, she explained why Japan over an Ivy League or Europe. After several years of threading an unchartered path, there she was, planning a strategy to realize her goal.

But it would never ever happen anymore. Shortly after she phoned telling me she would take the exams that would make her get a scholarship, she was mugged. A bullet slipped and got stucked on her spinal cord.

The fighter in her struggled. It was one of the greatest battles I have seen with my whole being. She kept fighting for five days. It must have been tough but she was in control. She asked for prayers. She was telling us she was not losing. But God has other plans.

Alisa Normita Delgado Macawaris. My friend, I miss you.

This I would be telling you no more: Madame President, happy happy birthday…. your Press Secretary.

Posted by: rexsorza | June 14, 2006

I love coffee shops

I love coffee shops. It's not because I love coffee but because I enjoy killing time locked on a comfy chair exchanging thoughts, ideas, gossips and what-nots with friends. Pouring over the pages of newspapers or magazines on top of tha talks and chats is not complete without sipping my dose of cappuccino, froccino, or, my fave, hot choco. After all, no one can stay in a coffee without ordering for something.

Tikkie deserves the credit for introducing me to coffee-shopping. She was the one who hailed me into one. Which one? I cannot remember. (I'm Alzheimeric. Retrieval of dates in a snap is simply impossible. Poor me.) It must be Ground Coffee, that shop on the ground level of the building where I use to go to work. Oh, it's been years ago. Right, Tikkie?

I love Ground Coffee. It has a tastefully done interior replete with art installations in its display and magazine racks. [I found out a month ago that art-kitek (read: Architect) Goody Arancillo and his team did the interiors. You've got taste Goody.]

The couches on the second level do not only offer comfort but more importantly space. I love giving away hugs and hugs with whoever is available while enthroned on its soft, spacious couch. Its staff has been accomodating. They're not only nice and hospitable, as Ilonggos as known for, but friendly as well. I don't know them by their first names (again, I'm Alzheimeric!), but they know me. Yes, by my first name.

Bo's Coffee is another fave. Bo's at SM Delgado that is. I love it for, again, its couches. If you're into urban planning, Bo's is the place for you to census the population of mallgoers: hetero couples into dating, husband and wife doing marketing, yaya-and-ward pairs, homo-homo lovers, and so on. Bo's frappucino and hot choco shun't be missed out. Try a cup of either or both and you'll spew an aromatic yyyuuuummm.

I had my first Starbucks in Kyoto. (Tikal ko gamay ah.) My first Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Kuala Lumpur, Tim Horton's in Montreal. And I simply loved these nooks.

Starbucks is Starbucks. And when I saw one to the left of Rhino Kyoto Hotel where I was booked in, I made sure I check what a Starbucks is. Hehehe. Hillbilly me? Oh, yes. Well, it was another cool coffee shop. The aroma enveloping the place was simply soothing.

That Coffee Bean some 10 minutes away from the Petronas was a nice tambayan. Very much akin to how its sister in Eastwood is laid out, the place, being along the party strip, offers a nice view at people of all races. If you've got the face, you can meet new friends there.

But Starbucks, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, and Tim Horton's, are part of history now. I might enjoy these spots and other, such as Cafe Havana in Greenbelt, which I did, and more, like Seattle's Best and Figarro whenever I get to places where these are available.

Today, you can find me at Coffee Break. Still, I don't enjoy its coffee but its location. Coffee Break Jaro is near where I live and work. Its offerings are so affordable and its staff are friendly. Yes, they are well-picked. Their HR chief has got the taste.

Coffee Break is where we chat over ghosts, brainstorm over our love lives, concoct counterstrikes against those who attempt to take our lovies, draw up strategies on what to take against the enemies of the state, line up our schedule of movies to watch, think over what food to have next time we spend dinner together, and crack our brains on which resto and bar to go to.

Bo's at SM city serves the same plus we stay there when we are tired of going around window-shopping, or assisting Gerty in her shopping sprees. It's where we wait for each other or wait together for the screening time of the movie we are watching tom come. It's a fantastic place to have coffee. And most of all, to kill time. Coffee-shopping, I love you.

Posted by: rexsorza | June 10, 2006

Kill Death Penalty

Hours after I sharedmy thought against Death Penalty, the Chief Justice was reported to have put forward his arguments reiterating his opposition to the extreme penalty.

Inquirer reported: "In a recent speech before the Free Legal Assistance Group, Panganiban reiterated his stand: 'I maintain the view that the death penalty has no place in our legal firmament. Indeed, in spite of the meticulous scrutiny that the Supreme Court gives to death cases, it is still possible that an innocent person would be held legally guilty and thereafter judicially executed,' he said.

'As humans are imperfect, judges can make wrongful evaluations. A perfectly innocent individual could die due to human error, not to mention the guile and deceit that could accompany trials. Once carried out, the death sentence can no longer be reversed or modified. This opinion is not a mere sterile speculation. It is real,' he said, citing the Echegaray case."

Read more of the story http://news.inq7.net/nation/index.php?index=1&story_id=78660

Posted by: rexsorza | June 8, 2006

Death Penalty and death

In this what used-to-be "the sole Catholic country in Asia," the abolition of the law prescribing the extreme penalty of death is welcomed with extreme gladness.  Catholics or Christians as we are, we feel that it is a triumph over an immoral and un-Christian edict. After all, killing even if s/he has murdered or raped should have no place in our society. Killing is a mortal sin, we were taught.

I am all for it. I am for death penalty's abolition simply because of the human frailty if not conscious effort that could send an innocent person to the death row. Our justice system is not fool-proof, just as that of the other nations. We have heard tales of convicts waiting for their time to undergo lethal injection but were later found  out to have nothing to do with the crimes they were declared guilty of.

In our beloved Pilipinas, we still cannot say that our officers of the court are fair and just as they should be. Witnesses could not only be bought but testimonies could also be manufactured. Justice, or say that injustice, could be very well bought in this beautiful but poverty-gripped state.

I say no to death penalty not because I believe that the tooth-for-a-tooth and an-eye-for-an-eye rule is inhuman, immoral and un-Christian. I am against it because I fear that innocent persons could be meted out with it.

It's equally interesting to note that death here is equated with penalty. Why have we come to consider death as a punishment? Why do we always classify death on the negative? Why do we fear death? Why do we not talk about dying? Why, oh, why?

Now, if only we had a different worldview: That which regards death on a positive light, that which, for example says death is a reward to the other but better world, would we employ death as the extreme penalty? Would we still detest dying? Would we fear even just thinking about our own deaths?

Hmmm. Hope this is not my premonition. Hahaha! I still wanna talk more about death.

Posted by: rexsorza | May 17, 2006

Tikyaism for rxljhnsrz

Time moves on without any reason or excuses. It brings off many experiences that sometimes the consciousness grasps hard for its meaning and its purpose. As we tread on the thin ice of uncertainties and despair, there lies the passion for the journey towards happiness and truth. It is unimaginable to let go of the "what if's" without trying its possibility to bloom, and there is without any doubt, however, that the world is offering each one of us the chance to feel and embrace anything that life has to offer.
We stand proud and weak at the same time. But it is far beyond our reach to just fall into the abyss of nothingness. We may be visitors of this void, but this won't last long. We are born to fall and to stand up. With grace and with much acceptance of life's realizations to just let go…and live.
-Tikyaism for rxljhnsrz

Hot is the topic of cha-cha nowadays. Cha-cha the charter change not the dance which is one of the few i can execute with a little bit of flair. Malacañan wants Filipinos to dance cha-cha, the shift to the fuzz called federal-parliamentary.

Proponents, like Jose Abueva and Jose De Venecia, have enumerated scores of reasons outlining benefits that a shift would bring about to our now-jaded pearl of the orient seas. I can't remember these, sadly. But if I remember it right, they said the federal-parliamentary would bring about a better Philippines: people in federal states would have control over their coffers, they wound have stronger voices, so on and on.

The champions of the shift foresee a better national government as laws of great import would be speedily passed by a unilateral legislature, the parliament could easily elbow a corrupt official (i.e. prime minister) out of office, etc. Basta, all they are saying is that we would have a better country once we become like Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and other neighbors once we trash our presidential form of government in lieu of parliamentary.

Will this be so? I'm pessimistic. It's going to be Arroyo, De Venecia, Ramos, Aquino, Estrada, Angara, Marcos, Enrile. It's going to be the same faces whom we see now who we will see even if we change the charter. Will parliamentary make a difference when it is going to be steered by the same skippers?

I guess a change in the form of government is totally unnecessary. What we need, I believe, is a change in people running the government. 

Posted by: rexsorza | March 21, 2006

V for Vendetta

“People should not fear the government. It’s the government that should fear its people.” -V

 

Unlike my gorgeous seatmate Groover, who can download lines and lines of dialogs by simply closing his eyes and blurt these out whenever he finds it right, I only managed to stock up the quote above from V. Yes, it’s political I know. And this must have tickled the political in me, in my memory that I retained it. And I blurt this out here because I find it too relevant.

In a democracy, such as ours, the government should be “of the people, for the people, and by the people.” The power should be on us, the people. We choose the best among us not for anything else but to serve the entire people. We choose our mayors, governors, senators, and president not to serve them but for them to serve us. To do what is best for us. To lead us. This is democracy. But probably only in the books. Or, probably, in the minds of the great thinkers who engineered the so-called “democracy.”

We pride our democracy. We boast of having gotten awake from 300 years of deep, painful slumber under the Spaniards. We were duped by the Americans. We fought, lost and suffered but eventually won over the Japanese. We thought we are so fortunate that after the Spaniards, Americans, and Japanese we have become independent. We are a way ahead of our neighbors. Malaysia was “liberated” from British colony after us. And so are Cambodia, Burma, etc. Hong Kong was “freed” only recently.

Democracy is what we thought would bring us better lives. Utopia maybe. We thought that since the Filipinos are the ones picking out our leaders, it would be best for everyone. We thought our leaders would be able to deliver services that we need because it is what we told them to do. It is clear to them that they are there as public servants. Public servants.

What is taking place, however, over the years is the total opposite, in most if not all cases. I need not jot down specifics here to make us all see how our public servants have themselves served ostensibly by the people whom they should be serving.

Not only those who should be served are being served and those who should be served have been serving but the government, too, has went farther by making the people fear it. With 1017 and General Order No 5. With the “monitoring” of media institutions and personalities. By banning protest actions. By trying to eliminate dissent. By cowing the freedom advocates.

Amid all this, I hope everyone shall remember that the government should be the one fearing its people and not the other way around. How I wish, we, Filipinos, particularly those in Malacañan, should have watched “V for Vendetta.”

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