Tuesday, March 22, 2011

P-Noy And The Fable Of The Mermaid And The Drunks

Mermaids, though putative for their enchanting voice and a beauty like no other, are almost always ill-fated in folklores. They are soulless creatures.

The mermaid in Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Mermaid, Sirenetta, roused by love, traded her voice for a pair of leg to be with the mortal prince in the human world. She must earn the love of her life, lest she will not gain a soul. In the end, her love, unrequited turned her into foam, however.

Such fate was told not of the mermaid in Oscar Wilde’s The Fisherman and His Soul, where it was rather the young fisherman who fell in love with the mermaid and had to lose his soul to join the sea folk’s kingdom underneath the sea.

Though his love was recompensed, the fisherman was forced to abandon his love and the sea kingdom to be with his soul again because of a condition that wasn’t revealed to him until it was violated. In the end, the mermaid died of a broken heart. The fisherman chose to die then and there.

The tragic ending of mermaids in literatures might be because such creatures, though created by imaginative human minds cannot co-exist with mankind, even in an imaginary world.

In Pablo Neruda’s Fable of the Mermaid and the Drunks, the mermaid was interpreted in three levels by the greatest minds in our time—man vs. animals, man vs. woman, and man vs. nature. The mermaid portrayed the animal, the woman, and the nature, while men played the drunks. In all three analyses, man is the cause of the beast and mankind’s suffering, including women’s.

During the months that the revolutions are taking down dictators in the Arab world one after another, and followed by three consecutive tragedies that devastated Japan, it dawned on me another analysis of the mermaid.

She was the collective citizens of a state, particularly of the Philippines.

All these fellows were there inside when she entered utterly naked.
They’d been drinking and began to spit at her,
recently come from the river, she understood nothing.
She was a mermaid who had lost her way,
the taunts flowed over her glistening flesh
Obscenities drenched her golden breasts."

I see P-Noy and his government as the drunks who betrayed Filipino citizens when it was declared publicly that his government shall follow a “voluntary repatriation policy” for OFWs in Japan. P-Noy’s regime also crowed that those who cannot afford to buy their own plane tickets to evacuate from radiation-stricken Japan should settle for a flight from C-130 of the Air Force.

While it is not uncommon to use a C-130 aircraft during rescue operations, using it in a situation like this is uncalled for especially when P-Noy had just spent more than P12 million for his trip to Indonesia and Singapore together with 53 crew members, including the salingket Mar Roxas.

P-Noy’s thrift policy is inappropriate. I deem it as boastfulness notwithstanding that he unabashedly offered $14 million assistance to the Japanese Prime Minister, who instantly and wisely declined; and not to mention his increased pork barrel as the president.

If P-Noy could easily issue a huge cash of that amount to someone or to another government, why couldn’t he issue the same for OFWs in Japan who remit $880,000 yearly?

What was it for him with such arrogance? In Pablo Neruda’s fable, the barbaric greetings continue:

"A stranger to tears, she did not weep,
A stranger to clothes, she did not dress.
They pocked her with cigarette ends and with burnt corks
And rolled on the tavern floor in raucous laughter
She did not speak, since speech was unknown to her
Her eyes were the colour of far away love
Her arms were matching topazes
Her lips moved soundlessly in coral light"

In today’s circumstance, the OFWs cannot rely on their government at a time when the latter is expected to make a decision in their favor. Truly, while Senator Franklin Drilon admitted that the available financial resources— which were previously denied by P-Noy when asked by media on how he should respond to the OFW’s equally dangerous situation in Libya—were not enough to shoulder the chartered flights for OFWs in Japan and Libya, not all are willing to go home.

This should lighten the burden of OWWA and aid in ensuring that those who want to come home should be accommodated.

But no, we cannot expect wisdom in P-Noy. He has since been caught always with his rigmarole remarks each time his governance encounters events that could supposedly display his competent leadership. He has every opportunity. Yet, he disappoints each time.

The combined dollar remittances of OFWs in the Middle East and Africa were $3 billion, an anchor that keeps Philippines’ economy lofted.

Because the government cannot provide jobs not only for sustenance, also for self-growth of Filipinos nonetheless, the country is being depleted of talents, thereby, missing development opportunities and slacking further backward.

Worse, the drunks in the government persist intoxicating themselves with the spoils from the mermaids’ toil abroad, with no regard for their welfare. They keep on receiving without the intention of giving.

Neruda’s fable has a melancholic ending.

"And ultimately she left by that door
Hardly had she entered the river than she was cleansed
Gleaming once more like a white stone in the rain
And without a backward look, she swam once more
Swam towards nothingness, swam to her dawn"

History tells of Filipinos who swam to nothingness, which is the destruction, which is the death.

Was it the mermaid’s beauty that maddens the drunks to violate her? Could it be her voice then, which myths said that when heard in a chant, may bewitch men and make them succumb to her every wish that made the drunks to rather abuse her to death?

Photo credits: http://ow.ly/4jKby

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?

Having had a very old tale of mankind's creation astutely asserting a woman coming from a man’s rib passed on to many generations until it examines our comprehension ability today, entails two interpretations:

That a woman complements a man. And that a woman is seen as a weaker vessel.

What a woman can do in a man’s life is best described by an American actor and singer, Groucho Marx, when he said:

“Behind every successful man is a woman, behind her is his wife.”

Stories of men who find their wives complementary to their lives call to mind a classic song of Bryan Adam’s Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman:

“To really love a woman

to understand her

you’ve got to know what’s deep inside

hear every thought see every dream

and give her wings when she wants to fly"

A woman decides not by impulses, but with after careful discernment. In every decision she makes, there are emotions invested. A woman nourishes. A woman nurtures. That’s why her understanding is beyond a man’s.

“You've got to give her some faith

hold her tight

a little tenderness

you’ve gotta treat her right

she will be there for you

taking good care of you”

That’s why our planet earth has a gender [Mother Nature]; because a woman’s love resembles that of the nature’s: unselfish.

She puts the interests of her loved ones ahead of her own.

When a woman’s emotions are hurt, she may shudder with pain. Nonetheless, the same excruciating pain becomes her motivating factor. She will falter many times, yes. But she will never abnegate in fighting what she feels she deserves. In what she believes are her rights.

That’s why names of typhoons, cyclones, and hurricanes are feminine. Because a woman can storm out anytime to fight for her family, friends, society, and the principles she dearly believes in.

Morbidly however, most men today see a woman as a weaker vessel from an unpleasant perspective. A woman’s natural compassion has been used against her.

Rampant worldwide are millions of deaths of women who asserted for equality of rights. More millions of women are burned with acid simply because of exercising their right to make a decision.

Horrible accounts of women who, because of ridiculous culture and religious beliefs have been castrated, tortured, prostituted, discriminated, and deprived of their much-deserved life persist even up to the present, a time when advances in technology are on the peak and which are thought to ameliorate a woman’s conditions.

Or at least liberate the minds of more men.

Thousands of terrifying news about physical, psycho-mental, emotional, and sexual violations against women and little girls moved many writers to pen stories about a woman’s afflictions from across the borders, motivated many lyricists to compose songs about a woman and her worth, and inspired thousands of artists to adapt into films the life’s journey of women.

These also send governments and their politicians to enact laws intent on protecting women and mitigating the abuses hurled against them. Ironically, some religious institutions and governments were behind the massive killings of women and their children as what the pages of world history tell us and they are among the culprits aimed to govern by the said enactment.

Sadly, most men fail to understand what Bryan Adam’s song would like to convey:

“To really love a woman

to let her hold you

till you know how she needs to be touched

you’ve gotta breathe her

and really taste her

until you can feel her in your blood”

A woman is vulnerable, especially to love. But the analogy of her being a weaker vessel does not mean she is inferior. Having been created out of a man’s rib does not afford men the right to possess her.

When Bryan Adams sings in conclusion:

“When you love a woman

you tell her that she’s really woman

When you love a woman

you tell her that she’s the one

She needs somebody”

The message is not really about needing a man in her life being equal to enslaving a woman and confining her to a house or a cell. Nor is it about a man earning the right to use a force, pain or intimidation against a woman to love him back. Neither is it to see her as a mere sexual object.

The essence is about women's right to respect. Their right to life. It is about women, like all men, who are as well intellectual beings endowed with equal will. A woman, therefore, is never a possession.

Perhaps, what men ought to learn is to love women like their own bodies.

So, have you ever really loved a woman?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Silly Thoughts

Resisting my mind is quite a battle I’d always rather end up giving in to an already due impulse than to endure a long thread of agony from brushing it off almost every chance of listening to it.

Quite many are the reasons why I shouldn’t write you another of my unsolicited messages. But I am twins with stubbornness, and writing is my way of depleting something that stirs bafflement, which does not bless me with peace of mind by the way.

Writing my mind off is my favored egress. Besides, my mind is being selfish on how I must structure my sentences to complete my tasks tonight, whatever date tonight is for if there’s one thing that’s certain, this ridiculous squiggling won’t find its way to the compose message part of my FB only to be mocked and laughed at by you.

Too, my mind rather wants me to scribble words from a personal perspective. So here I am writing you another of my silly thoughts.

Let me be straightforward thenceforth.

I write because I want to say sorry. More than pissing you off, I might have frightened you. Frightened with how you must have been acquainted with my reverence to your written and spoken mind. Frightened you that I almost became your virtual stalker.

The truth of the matter is that, I as well, find myself frightened to a possibility that the very reason of frightening you was a misreckoning of how I marvel at how your mind works.

No, it’s not what you think it is, if that’s what your instincts told you. I simply take delight in individuals having minds like yours, nothing more. Nothing less to be aggrandized with either.

But it scared you that you blocked me from detailing on your wall, which was already tantamount to un-friending me.

Your silence is like a sickness that cripples even my bones.

It seems like you whispered to the winds how you detest every inch of me. And I feel that each time I gasp for air.

My soul has been agitated, like Job's.

I thought that your “we really do need to put this behind us” last line in your message was true to its meaning in a positive way.

Or did you unmistakably mean to say never talk to strangers?

Still, my apology.

P.S. Look, it's March, your month. Greetings on International Women's Day.

Photo credits: http://ow.ly/47ZYg

Thursday, March 3, 2011

RH Bill: To Whom Does P-Noy Owe His Governance?

In addressing social, political, and economic issues, the Philippine president forgets his discretion. In matters concerning making national decisions, P-Noy is not known to formulate his own.

Despite the supposed separation of powers between church and state, which ought to characterize the system of government in the Republic of the Philippines in lieu of democracy, the head of state continues to allow his mandate be besmirched by a religious sector, the Catholic Church to be exact.

Of late, the said church crosses the borders again and overuses its powers to block the enactment of the Reproductive Health Bill, which when ratified could provide safe and efficient maternal healthcare among women, thereby abbreviating the number of maternal deaths; mitigate the contagion of sexually-transmitted diseases including AIDS, and avert the ballooning of our population, among others.

The constitutional doctrine of church and state separation clearly implies that there is no religion recognized by the state to be the national or official. This means that no church in the Philippines shall use its beliefs or employ its powers to mold the minds of politicians during legislations as part of their functions.

Apparently, the Catholic Church does not respect it, in as much as it does not acknowledge its own blemishes. Instead, it professes dominance over the government by claiming divinity.

No one—including any institution—should be above the law.

However, the way the incumbent administration is handling its national affairs, it impresses even to the international community that the president and his government is under the Catholic Church’s laws, or another’s.

Also, the same doctrine signifies that the government must not favor a religion or church over the others in exercising its authority.

Certainly, the state’s executive fails to uphold this as it lets the Catholic Church’s self-professed morality impede the consummation of his presidency, while refusing to listen to the grievances of groups that represent collective opinion of the greater populace.

Where is the rule of law?

It has performed a disappearing act a long time ago. Equality was lost among individuals and institutions as interests of the select few were given more emphasis over the others. The very principle of unity itself has divided the peoples. Many of whom cry for justice. While others pursue different endeavors with varied motives, sometimes, to the extent of trampling on others' rights.

As the ensuing days project to unravel more hideous scenarios in the political arena in and outside the nation, the picture would likely depict a regular theme: a president married to the Catholic Church (Oh, why not when he even consulted during a retreat the Bishops’ wisdom whether or not he should gun for the highest position in the land).

Could it be the reason why the incumbent president acts like the CBCP’s puppy, este, the anointed?

Obviously, this term’s president is collared by the CBCP.

Photo Credits: http://ow.ly/4706Y