Friday, April 27, 2007

Back to blogging soon

Hello folks. I'm still in Melbourne for four more days. I should be back in Gold Coast Wednesday evening. Back to blogging then. See you!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Machine is Us/ing Us

A brilliant video about Web 2.0

And equally brilliant responses.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Circumcision and Pre-colonial Sexual Politics

When I should be finishing my paper on Argentina, I've been reading up on Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas from Gutenberg. I slept through pretty much most of my Kasaysayan I class under (god bless his soul) Prof. Asuncion ("Its prIHvee not prAYvee"), so this bit to me is interesting.

Since its that time of the year for boys back home, here's a fun excerpt from the appendix on British captain Thomas Cavendish. Some notes on the weird spelling. U means V and UU means W.

Steering a general southwest course they reached the Strait of Magellan January 6, 1587...

Euery man and manchild among them, hath a nayle of Tynne thrust quite through the head of his priuie part, being split in the lower ende, and riuetted, and on the head of the nayle is as it were a Crowne: which is driuen through their priuities when they be yong, and the place groweth vp ag tine [sic], without any great paine to the child: and they take this nayle out and in as occasion serueth; and for the truth thereof, we our selues haue taken one of these nayles from a Sonne of one of the Kings, which was of the age of tenne yeeres, who did weare the same in his priuy member. This custome was granted at the request of the women of the Country, who finding their men to be giuen to the fovvle sinne of Sodomie, desired fome remedie against that mischiefe, and obtained this before named of the Magistrates. Moreouer all the males are circumcised, hauing the fore skinne of their flesh cut avvay. These people vvholly vvorshippe the Deuill, and oftentimes haue conference vvith him, vvhich appeareth vnto them in moft vgly and monstrous shape.
And more from Morga himself:

They are not very chaste, either single or married women; while their husbands, fathers, or brothers are not very jealous or anxious about it. Both men and women are so selfish and greedy that, if they are paid, they are easily won over. When the husband finds his wife in adultery, the is smoothed and pacified without any trouble--although, since they have known Spaniards, some of those who assume to be more enlightened among them have sometimes killed the adulterers.

Adulteries were not punishable corporally. If the adulterer paid the aggrieved party the amount adjudged by the old men and agreed upon by them, then the injury was pardoned, and the husband was appeased and retained his honor. He would still live with his wife and there would be no further talk about the matter.

Concubinage, rape, and incest, were not regarded at all, unless committed by a timagua on the person of a woman chief. It was a quite ordinary practice for a married man to have lived a long time in concubinage with the sister of his wife. Even before having communication with his wife he could have had access for a long time to his mother-in-law, especially if the bride were very young, and until she were of sufficient age. This was done in sight of all the relatives.

Single men are called bagontaos, [327] and girls of marriageable age, dalagas. Both classes are people of little restraint, and from early childhood they have communication with one another, and mingle with facility and little secrecy, and without this being regarded among the natives as a cause for anger. Neither do the parents, brothers, or relatives, show any anger, especially if there is any material interest in it, and but little is sufficient with each and all.

As long as these natives lived in their paganism, it was not known that they had fallen into the abominable sin against nature. But after the Spaniards had entered their country, through communication with them--and still more, through that with the Sangleys, who have come from China, and are much given to that vice--it has been communicated to them somewhat, both to men and to women. In this matter it has been necessary to take action.

Some of these traditions persist today. For all intents and purposes we are a matriarchal society. And our gays, although still ostracised in many ways, have a bit more freedom to act as outlandishly or as demurely as they like. For a 'freedom loving' country such as Australia, and such a multinational campus as mine, I've yet to see overt display of 'gayness' in public.

On adultery, I wonder why wives sleeping with as many other partners as their husbands didn't quite make it through three centuries of Catholicism?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Bantay Bilang

Since I wont be home come elections, here's something fun for you to do this summer!

WHAT: Bantay Bilang

Bantay Bilang is the NAMFREL QC CHAPTER Operation Quick Count.

Ateneo Loyola Schools has volunteered to head the tabulation for the Operation Quick Count of the Quezon City Chapter of NAMFREL this May elections.


We need 456 volunteers per day starting May 14 so that we can finish the count in 6 days (That's 2736 people). Even non-Ateneans can volunteer.

Volunteers will attend a General Assembly on April 16, 6 PM, at the Escaler Hall of the Ateneo Loyola Schools Campus. Volunteers will sign-up for the training session and shifts they are available for.


Email your name, organization, cell phone number and other contact details, or

Sign-up at the Sanggunian room, or

Sign-up on the Sanggunian promo board along the EDSA walkway

Make a difference this summer, mag Bantay Bilang
For any questions, you can email us at or contact Karl at 09157882132.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Dr. Martin Bautista on YT

A US documentary on Dr. Martin Bautista preparing to come home.

On ANC a panel discussing migration.

Hello Garci New Remix

We've probably all heard the 'In Da Club' version of Hello Garci. Here's a new remix I found on YT. Medyo techno, pero aliw.


The other day, while preparing dinner for me and my friend M., I couldn't believe the words that came out of my mouth; "I feel like I'm regressing. I feel like I'm in undergrad again. All this angst. All this soul searching. I think its because I'm far away from home and there's no one to worry about but me. Maybe its the whole university environment I'm in."

A few seconds later I caught myself. I've never left the damn university setting. Albeit for the past four years I played the role of teacher instead of student. Huge difference.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Philippine Ranking in Press Freedom Index

Conrado de Quiros writes about journalist Alex Adonis going to jail for exposing Prospero Nograles' alleged sexcapades.

Rapporteurs Sans Frontières ranks the Philippines 142 out of 168 countries surveyed on press freedom. We're tied with the Democratic Republic of Congo. We have slipped from rank number 89 five years ago. It doesn't help that there's an escalation of our journalists either being harassed or worse. So, for those of you who complain about certain journalists being "too hard" on GMA, think again. Obviously this administration isn't going to target big fish like de Quiros or any of the more well-known broadsheet writers. They go for small fry, those who don't have resources or mass following.

I've always thought GMA and her team of doubtlessly brilliant machinators were great at maneuvering her administration from one crisis to the next, starting with Hello Garci.

Our neighbour Malaysia has recently started cracking down on bloggers, accusing them of trying to overthrow the government. The information minister demands that everyone register themselves, no more anonymous blogging. I'm sure GMA's camp has noted this. They may start getting ideas.

Really people, how long do we have to wait 'til we react? There's a reason they call it "creeping" authoritarianism. You ignore it til it bites you in the ass.

Sexual Politics

Manolo's column today had me alternately laughing and smiling from ear to ear. He writes:

...usually women live longer than men, doesn't seem to have been made. But it underlines the validity of the older woman-younger man theory. Men are only useful, sexually, at a younger age; women have a much longer, shall we say, shelf life. So nature does away with men after they have served their purpose, while women are more useful longer.

God's grand design. And you wonder why men, over the centuries, have tried to brainwash women into thinking they're second class: why, if more people realized these things, they would eventually have to accept the fact that men are mere drones. And that's no fun.

Read the rest here.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Pinoy Rock Resurrected

With the Philippine Rockscape littered with the likes of Cueshe, Hale et. al. I'm glad real Pinoy rock is alive again. Wolfgang played right before I left. My friend C. and her boyfriend M. got to catch this concert...If only I'd known about it beforehand! Hemingway, enjoy!

Mata ng Diyos

Natutulog Kong Mundo

Aussie Lent

Yesterday, Good Friday, I witnessed untold suffering, blood and gore, and mutilated half-naked bodies aplenty. I, along with a good number of people, collectively winced at each blow, at each thrust of spears. No, we were not witness to self-flagellation or crucifixion so common this time of year in the Philippines. We were munching popcorn as we ogled Spartans' spectacularly muscled bodies get pummeled and bruised by the Persian army.

The absence of melodrama and fanfare over lent is novel for me. Here in Ozland, people were already anticipating Easter as early as Holy Monday. On Thursday the Student Council were giving away Easter egg chocos in the library and greeting us "Happy Easter! Have a choco! No, take two! Enjoy the weekend!" On TV, there are no network reminders to reflect on our sins and ask for forgiveness from the Saviour who gave up his life to redeem us wretched lot. There are no subtle reminders of our collective guilt, and the need for penance and self-chastisement over wrongs imagined or not.

For us Filipinos, the highlight of Lent is Good Friday. We have all sorts of traditions to honor Christ's death. Some don't take a bath. Some skip a meal. Some forgo meat. Some don't eat all. The fanfare is in singing the pasyon and visiting Churches and doing the station of the cross. Amidst the guilt there is also an almost repressed gaiety.

As devout Catholics we tend to focus on Christ's passion and suffering over his resurrection. I wonder if this reflects our psyche as a nation? Is self-abuse the path to salvation?

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Ang Pagkalalake ng Kaliwa't Kanan

Isa marahil sa mga dahilan ng aking 'di pagsang-ayon sa mga elementong 'rebolusyonaryo' patungkol sa pagbabago ay ang agarang pagtanggap na ang lunas ay kinakailangang marahas. Ang tunay na pagbabago, a'nila ay makakamtan lamang sa pamamagitan ng dagliang paglupig sa poot na sistema at ang pagluklok sa isang mas 'mapagpalayang' pamahalaan at lipunan.

Kung susuriing mabuti ang pinagmulan ng kaparaanang ito, ito'y nagmula sa taktikang Maoist na nagtagumpay sa bansang Tsina, kung saan naitaguyod ng sandatahang lakas ni Mao and is kumunistang rehimen. Marahil isa pa'ng inspirasyon ng mge rebulusyonarong kilusan sa Pilipinas ay ang halimbawa ng Cuba. Ang kaparaanang ipinipilit na gamitin magpasahanggang ngayon ay ang digmaang girilya.

Ang karahasan, ang paggamit ng armas at pagsasanay sa digma ay muling binigyang diin ng isang dokumentaryong lumabas sa YouTube kamakailan. Dito idinetalye ang mga gawain ng New People's Army. Mapapansing ilang beses na ginamit ang mga salitang 'giyera,' 'laban,' at 'taktika' habang ipinakikita ang mga kalalakihang tangan ang armas. Sa ilang beses na ipinakita ang mga kababaihan, sila'y biktima ng karahasang militar, mga inang nawalan ng anak, mga anak na binawian ng magulang.

Sa saliw ng maramdaming tugtugin, ang paglupig sa pwersang NPA ay inilapat sa pang-aapi sa 'masang' Pilipino.

Kapansin-pansin na walang ipinag-iba ang lingwahe ng NPA sa lingwahe ng militar. Sa parehong panig, ang solusyon sa paglutas sa mga suliranin ng bayan ay dahas. Ngunit sino ang gumagamit ng dahas? Sino ang may tangan ng armas? Sino ang susugod sa laban? Sino ang kakalabit sa gatilyo? Sino ang walang habas na magpapatayan? At habang ang mga ito'y nagaganap, sino ang masasaktan sa pagitan?