by rlgospe

HEAD ON!

By virtue of this site, my mind and everything else in it are now tangible. You can expect to encounter things from the left hemisphere of my brain and watch out or you might bump-in with those which are from my right. Swim on and press something that will hit my neurons!

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Rose of Olongapo

The Cast

Jennifer Laude, 26, Filipino, Transgender-woman, Joseph Scott Pemberton, 19, U.S. Marine Soldier and the People of the Philippines

Case in Point

marine15n-8-webJennifer Laude is a Filipino who was murdered by an American soldier on October 11, 2014 during the Rest and Recreation of the Marine Soldiers who recently did series of exercises in Subic port. Her body was found in a motel room by a staff minutes after her assailant left the building. She was seen with her face dipped in the toilet bowl; no movement; no sign of life. This showcases how little we are as citizens of this country in the eyes of the “visiting” Americans – how little are the women, transgender women, and Filipinos. That exemplify how the United States of America treats the Philippines. They can slap us, they can maltreat us, they can bang our heads in a toilet seat and they can kill us. This, for a few knows, is not an isolated case. There are many cases filed in the court against the violations of American Soldiers in our local places yet nothing happened to them, not even to one. This is why we are clamoring for the cancellation of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).

Visiting Forces Agreement

imagesThe Philippine government has an existing agreement with the American government – it states how visiting American forces should be treated, though they are classified as visitors, we, the Filipino people cannot tell them to leave our country. We cannot even dictate what they should do or where they may go. This agreement reflects what kind of agreement our government has with that of the United States of America. This is therefore, a test, to our leaders where it is being showed the real effect of the agreement. If the perpetrator is also a Filipino, he could have been arrested as soon as possible, or put on trial or already undergone DNA testing, but it is otherwise, the process of justice and due process is more complicated – things are more difficult simply because the perpetrator is an American. So what does this show? There is that special treatment to U.S. soldier to those who commit violations. But this case is not a simple violation – this is a violation of human rights – this is murder. Does this mean it is free to strangle anyone, or to rape or to kill anybody so as long as you are an American soldier? If this issue does not get good action, it will only develop among all American soldiers that they are protected and can do whatever they please. They develop that sense of immunity and sense of impunity as if they can commit freely all sorts of crimes because they are very much shielded with VFA and this makes the case of Jennifer Laude different. We should further understands that this is not a simply ending of a life because it has to be understood in its whole context. They say that the VFA is beneficial to our military forces because they train our Filipino soldiers but some reports are otherwise. Take Zambales for example, the Aetas (Indigenous filipino people) are the one training them. Its them learning from us not us learning from them. And aside learning from us, the can hurt, rape, kill anyone they pleases to. I hope that we will all take this as not only Jennifer’s case but a case of us all against the American violators – that this is a fight of the Filipino People seeking justice against the abusive agreement we have. How in the fucking blue hell are we expecting a 19 year old American to “train” our Filipino Soldiers.

The Battle in Custody

Joseph-Scott-Pemberton.2As for me, in this sole case, I equate Custody with Justice. If the Philippine criminal law will not have the criminal custody of the accused then it’s like justice hasn’t been served at all. We can’t have the custody even after proving Pemberton is guilty because that is what is stated in the VFA. Up until today, nobody can ever attest that they have seen Pemberton. Allegedly, he is currently detained in a facility where no Filipino police nor soldiers can get inside. Whereas it is being guarded by American Soldiers. Whereas even if that facility is inside a Philippine Military Base, it is considered a territory of the America because that is what is being stated in the VFA. The side of Laude filed an Omnibus Motion to the court to have Pemberton undergo specimen testing to be cross-matched with the condom with fresh seminal fluid and fecal materials found in the motel room where Jennifer was found dead. The American embassy said that the case have their full support but when asked if that mean they will show Pemberton before the court as a form of cooperation to the case he said only what is being stated in the VFA is what we are going to follow. This is a clear circumvention of the law where we use law in their sole interest. U.S. serves no interest other that its own interest – nothing more. U.S. is not here to serve the Filipino people, U.S. soldiers are not here to protect us. Aren’t our government need to serve our interest? If the U.S. government is so determined to protect its soldiers and care for their interest, then why can’t our government do the same to the Laude Family, to us – the so called boss? This is the kind of government we have today: not-so pro-filipino.

This can happened not only in Olongapo, but in every place where VFA happens.

Dear Bashers of Laude (Honor)

CYMERA_20141024_004609Jennifer is gay, in fact, a transgender-woman. She has a German fiance but still wanted to have sex to other man. But this, all these, does not serves as permit to kill her. For those of you who have been saying that it is only just for her to suffer what she did, you are clearly siding with evil. We, as imperfect people, have freedom of opinion but we are not called to cast them with prejudice.

Happy Birthday Jennifer

CYMERA_20141024_010811Allow me to call her “she” as this is her gender preference and I want to give that choice to her until afterlife. November 4, 2014 is Jennifer’s birthday. She is a good daughter and a selfless one, too. She takes care of her mother’s medicines, her younger sibling’s education and her uncle’s treatment to stroke. Jennifer told her nephew who is also gay: “Don’t let anyone look down to us just because we are gay. We have worth, and we will show them that.” She is not moneyed, she is poor. But she is able to help her friends financially to the last coin she have. Selfless, indeed. For one night, she thought about herself, what she wants, what makes her happy for a very short time, but it took one ruthless man to take away the life of the rose from its garden in Olongapo. This should be treated as a Hate Crime. May this open  positive discussion on gender sensitivity, LGBT rights that will encourage tolerance and acceptance. May the power of rainbow be with you and your family. and to all members o the LGBT community and to all victims of VFA and to all Filipinos fighting for sovereignty.

The poem says “Jennifer, Jennifer, why so quiet, are you there? We don’t need to send you flowers, to those who love you, you’re a flower. When you’re gone, out will come, multitudes will bloom, thousands will flower!”

This song I dedicate to all those who, in every morning they wake up, faces prejudice that stabs through and through:

*Guided by the Kilusan Para sa Pambansang Demokrasya perspective,

One Song At A Time (MusiKARAMAY)

“I try to live my life in relation to others, by putting myself into other people’s shoes. I believe in the importance of empathy and compassion because I see if all of us can come together and work as one we can all be advocates of change. And I want to inspire and encourage everyone to take up a personal advocacy such as my own…because I believe it is truly in giving that makes us beautiful.” said Valerie Weigmann as her winning answer on the night she was crowned Ms. World 2014. Not so many days after her triumph, I was invited by Raoul, a good friend, to see a concert for a cause. And in this benefit concert, I knew Valerie Weigmann was right when she said we should choose our own advocacy like the proprietor of the said event, Climax.

The real life super hero, Climax!

The real life super hero, Climax!

Climax is a music band consisting of four Filipino musicians/performers. The vocalist of the band is Max Guerrero, who prefers to be called “Climax”, he wears a mask in and out of the stage. When asked why wearing a mask is such a peg of their band, he explained that we have been long believers of super heroes with super powers to save the world – that in order to be able to do something good, one needs to have a cape and fly, or summon thunder and fire or have extraordinary speed and strength. But Climax believes that heroes can be ordinary humans too or should I say we can all be heroes, too. Climax is a real life super hero that uses music to change the world.

It all started when they (Climax) performed in the walking subway of a train station in Manila, Ph, where blind musicians perform to receive alms from passers by. They thought of performing for the blind musicians and give all the money they have collected to them. Then MusiKARAMAY was born. Since then, they have been performing in the street to raise fund for the young cancer patients, disaster survivors and other needy and marginalized people in our society.

MusiKARAMAY is the social responsibility arm of the band. It aims to use street music to change the world one step at a time. What makes it a cool advocacy is that they believe in the power of common goal that is why it is also their aim to influence other musicians/artists to do the same, this way, a more positive attribute will be given to the Filipino bands by their society. While the formation of the cast of this heroic band and their cause-oriented direction will not be possible if not for the efforts of Laila Chikadora and Alagang Kapatid Foundation.

October 14, 2014 marks the 1st anniversary of MusiKARAMAY. Climax threw a benefit concert, organized by Stanley Seludo in drums,  where ALL proceeds will go to the Aeta Community in the municipality of Mayantoc, Province of Tarlac, Region-III, Luzon, Philippines. Their plan is to buy a hectare of land and donate it to the Indigenous People of the said place for them to use in producing their crops, thus, giving them a sustainable livelihood within their community. The said event was held at The Music Hall, Metrowalk, Ortigas In this remarkable event, I saw a league of heroes. I am sure that all of the people who were there was inspired and I am one of them. Their original song, Pangarap, made eveything more meaningful.

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#ClimaxExperience #TeamClimax with the Super Base, the Mask, the Director and the Man!

The Crib was the opening act of the event, Jeff Cole, their lead singer was his last night of performance with his band, I guess he is leaving them for some good reasons but it was a good venue for one last group performance. Njel De Mesa, a board of director of the Philscap, a nationwide organization for the writers and composers, was also there. He gave us a refreshing performance I didn’t thought I will have the chance to hear live. Thyro Alfaro and Yumi Lacsamana were the only performers via duet, aside from being good singers, they are also damn good song writers. Julianne was one of my favorite performers that night, she delivered a good sense of positive songs. Sheng Belmonte is undeniably one of the powerful performers ever stood on that stage, she is an advocate of woman empowerment, its not a surprise she did a Beyonce song. Top Suzara expresses feet-on-ground advocacy for even if he was an established icon in the music industry, he still supports, first hand, this kinds of movements while Kettle Mata is simply one of a kind. Zion Aquino admits that he is currently in a war against cancer and that he is able to because of the help of friends in the industry, “When I get well, I will do the same.” he promised. Voices of 5 is a surprise for me, thumbs up! Angela Torres stands her name as she was a sweet thing in the late night full of hope. Filipinas, well, what can I say, beauty, talent, goodness is awesomeness for these Pinays! And other performers like Mike Chan who made the night impossible to yawn. Forgive me if I didn’t get all your names.

Its a mad world we live in, but these guys declares hope – hope to better the world one song at a time.

At the end of the show, Climax said “As long as there are streets and there is music, Climax is here to stay.” With that, may all the odds ever be in your favor, Climax Band.

PicMonkey Collage

If any of you want to take part in this movement, you are most welcome to get in touch with Mr. Stanley Seludo. 🙂

BARELY EMOTIONAL OR PLAIN STRATEGY? (5th SONA of the Yellow Army)

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Vague and expansive charges notwithstanding, I sat for some time thinking about the topic. I sat staring at a blank screen, the blinking icon mocking my lack of inspiration. And then it hit me- why I was so caught up on the topic, and why I wouldn’t be able to answer it all. It was simply a matter of inspiration. I am not sure what the operating premise of this assignment is. And I wouldn’t know how, in good measure, be able to honestly answer it without jeopardizing principles long since solidified in my mind. And in times when we find there is no right way to answer, we must find it in ourselves to say something from our hearts. For the die-hard fans of PNoy, it could be a speech of hope but then as a speaker and a ghost writer, it is in my knowledge that speech are in form, structure wherein every word and every pause and every tone creates a desirable impact. It is all planned.

I wouldn’t mention here in the paper what PNoy mentioned in his speech, what I want to stress are the things I did not here yet seemingly important for me to here. As I write this, I have been forming a chain in my mind, a chain that goes a long way from issue to issue and thought that everything that our country is facing right now, and since in the past, are undeniably connected to the point that I find it hard to decipher where it all started. And suddenly a word popped-up: Mismanagement. Yes. Maybe because our government is pressured on what America wants and not on what Filipino needs. Why am I saying this? I am digging from the money we borrow from the international Fund and the agreements that comes along with them. Making us feel pressured to target universal goals in quantity, in compliance with their conditions, and failing to focus on the quality.

To make it more clearly, the Philippines needs a high quality education that will teach the young how to be competitive globally but by serving our own country. K-12 and TESDA is creating a country of employees, private company servants, job-order workers which will not in any way makes our country progress and will only prosper international and private companies. As far as I believe.

Another point, the Philippines needs an economically advantage industry favourable to agriculture because that is what our country is- an Agricultural Country, yet farmers themselves who feed the nation are starving and what does we get from PNoy as his answer? Importation.

Another thing, it is good to let the law-makers and abusers of Pork-barrel funds are made accountable to what they do, and the recent development about this national issue is very much appreciated but wouldn’t it be better if aside from prosecution, we will also develop a preventive action to minimize this kind of magnanimous corruption? Yes, I am talking about the Freedom of Information Bill.

All these and more were not realized or mentioned or acted upon. All because we are tied up with an agreement to Mr. Sam. We, Filipinos, should think to ourselves ‘is the SONA for us, or a sort of accomplishment report to PNoy’s real boss? Who is his real boss?

Let me justify the title of this paper before I put this to end. It refers to the widely talked about emotional part of speech. Because we, writers and public speakers, studied how to create a compelling emotional impact to our audiences. Yet, our president must try a little more.

And so I sound like a real antagonist.

Meanwhile I remember, “The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.” The immortal words of Abraham Lincoln encourage us to be resolute in our convictions. Philippines is not the greatest country in the world. But let us beat on tirelessly in full measure to ensure our mistakes are never borne back ceaselessly into the past, but in a direction the world would applaud. Let us take the road less travelled by; maybe that’s all it ever took to make a difference.

Bobong Aktibista (Dumb Activist)

“I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” ― Malcolm X

I am for truth that’s why I expose it while you are for injustice that’s why you bury it. Human being is the steward of humanity; humanity is the soul of humanitarian; humanitarian upholds human rights to whoever for whatsoever. (The dumb activist explains.)

“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” ― Elie Wiesel

You who condemn me has taken their side – the safe side of silence. (The dumb activist pointed.)

“Get up, stand up, Stand up for your rights. Get up, stand up, Don’t give up the fight.”
― Bob MarleyBob Marley – Legend

If they can’t do it, we, who are able, are challenged to do it for them. But unfortunately, you are all coward. (The dumb activist described.)

“It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

Now I have seen the result: A few said “You are incredibly brave”, some said “Thank you”, more said “I can relate.”, but the majority said “Why? Asshole!” But It doesn’t mean I stop doing the right thing, and it surely means you will keep on silencing yourselves. (The dumb activist heard.)

“To sin by silence, when they should protest, makes cowards of men.”  ― Ella Wheeler Wilcox

I have many sin of commission, and I don’t want sin of omission aggravates them. But you who are silent in front of your oppressors and mocked the dumb activist, congratulations, you have committed both. (Greetings from the dumb activist)

 “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

I am the dumb and you are not so i guess you already understand this. (The dumb activist admitted sarcastically.)

“Silence becomes cowardice when occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

Silence = Coward (Oh, I did not mean that was you. Sorry I am so dumb.)

“A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.”  ― Edward Abbey

I thought patriotism is what government employees should have in character. I don’t know but it seems you are all good actors. Far better than me. (The dumb activist assumes.)

“We declare our right on this earth…to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary.” ― Malcolm X

By any means. (The dumb activist repeated.)

“Because it’s no longer enough to be a decent person. It’s no longer enough to shake our heads and make concerned grimaces at the news. True enlightened activism is the only thing that can save humanity from itself.” ― Joss Whedon

Now I shake my head, but this press is no longer enough to knock out the silence in you. (The dumb activist regrets.)

Below is the material I published when I was branded “bobong aktibista” by some smart people.(LOL) Well, the scholars, philosophers, and great names have spoken. YOUR SILENCE IS SO LOUD THAT NO MATTER HOW FORCEFULLY WE SHOUT, WE CANNOT BE HEARD.

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2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

City of San Fernando’s cycle of 40

August 7, 2012, the first day of rain, my mother said back in 1972, San Fernando, Pampanga experienced a 40-days rain which left San Fernando hungry, flooded and damaged. Exactly after 40 years, waters above fires again.

Before all these happened, San Fernando emerged into a prosperous city of safe and quiet roads railed with lanterns at night and perhaps one of the first to respond in calamity affected municipalities in Pampanga.

Then…

August 7, 2012|4pm|Flood of 5ft|12,819 families or 50,990 individuals affected.

August 7, 2012|9pm|Flood of 6ft|12,951 families or 51,621 individuals affected.

August 8, 2012|10am|Flood over 6ft|13,076 families 52,177 individuals affected.

August 8, 2012|4pm|Flood over 6ft|14,410 families 57,530 individuals affected.

August 9, 2012|6am|Flood over 6ft|16,618 families 68,407 individuals affected.

With reported casualty (4) and a number of missing people.

This was the height and slowly subsided. During the calamity, an enormous relief and rescue system emerged within the city government of San Fernando. I won’t anymore enumerate what they’ve done for surely it was something that mitigated the damages and sufferings of the Fernandinos and some people in the neighboring municipalities. Just good job.

After all this, can you tell I was here?

Untold Stories:

There was this rescuer who is shivering in coldness because of being out in the rain in line of his duty to rescue. He tried to ask for some donated clothes to warm him up. They refused to give him and said that the donated clothes are only for the victims. This rescuer’s home is affected by flood, too.

One of the government employee was tasked to go to a certain affected place with all the rescuers (take note, all the rescuers). They were there to respond. This father attended to his duty to the government but later on sobbed when he knew all rescuers were instructed to respond in A SUBDIVISION all at the same time. Looking back, this man left his family on the roof, cold and hungry only to know that the rescue team has poor strategy in dispersing their people.

Raw Photos taken from CSFP Facebook Page

Insidious Naked Women Playing MAHJONG

Take a close look at the painting.

One of the surrealist paintings of Lui Liu

Interesting to see, I know because it even invited me to search more about it. As I did, I found out that before it reached my laptop, it has already come across countries, uploaded on facebook, drawn attention and created controversy o’er the internet. If you are the type of a person who is busy being a consumerist, you won’t pay any attention to such simply because you don’t know any whys.

As a rule of thumb, an artist is not obliged to explain the meaning behind his work; on the contrary, the audience assumes freedom of interpretation, thus highly subjective and opinionated. Let me throw a support to the controversial interpretation:

Right in front, the Asian lady with a tattoo on her back is China.
On the left, the lady full of concentration is Japan.
Dressed at the top looking sideways is USA. Lying rather seductively is Russia. The little girl standing by the side is Taiwan 

China “tripled” the Dong tiles (East Winds, this is a double up). This means that China has arisen with the circumstances (the winds); maybe that is the display of the “East Wind” missiles she possesses now. It looks like China is doing ok, but there is no clue about the other cards (tiles) since we don’t see them. Meanwhile she is up to no good under the table.

USA, appearing confident, is looking at Taiwan. Perhaps she is reading Taiwan’s expression since Taiwan has the freedom to look at the deck of the other girls. Maybe USA is trying to get information.

Russia may appear funny on her position but it is far from that. One leg is on USA and one hand is passing card(s) to China. There are some discreet exchanges going on, suspicious is it not?

Japan has all eyes on the cards, unaware of what others are doing. Ignorant of what is happening around. She neither pays enough attention to what is going on outside Japan nor knows what other countries consider Japan to be like.

Taiwan wears a red abdominal vest, maybe implying she is the last successor of the Chinese culture. She holds a tray of fruits in one hand and a fruit knife in the other, looking quietly at China with resentment. But she has no option. She is not in the game, all she can do is to cut and serve fruit (a little girl too young to play the game?). She seems to hate the great.

Dark clouds hang over the river outside the window implying an imminent cross-strait crisis. A storm is about to come.
And the portrait on the wall, it won’t be hanging there if he is no one. He has the mustache of Sun Yet Sun, the bald head of Chiang Kai Set, the face of Mao Tze Tong. If you don’t know them, they are the great men of China.

The painter is known for his naked works. However, in here, the way the ladies are dressed seems to imply something.
China bares her top, with panties and a skirt; USA is almost fully dressed but bares her bottom; Russia is left with only panties; Japan, naked. Do you see these as a reflection each nation’s status? The attire of USA appears to be most complete, probably because she is still the most powerful. Others are short of something here and there. Though USA is most presentable, she has nevertheless exposed her bottom (line). China and Russia look naked but keep their private parts covered.

We assume this is a stripping game where the loser removes a piece of clothing. A game it is where losing and winning matters.

In this game, if China loses, she will be like Russia today, lying down and broken like the collapse of Soviet Union. If USA loses, she will also be like Russia. If Russia loses again, then she has nothing left while Japan is already left with nothing.

Russia may appear to have drawn an extra tile (by the rule of the game, she cannot complete the game i.e. cannot win) and is hanging on for nothing BUT she is actually exchanging tiles with China. The other person hanging on is Japan since she has no more “chips”. She is out of the game if she loses.

In conclusion:

USA is pretending. She looks most glorious but faces great dangers. If she loses this game, she loses her dominating position. Shame. To win, she must use countries that can look over China. Like how she looks at Taiwan perhaps. Trying to guess what her face reads.

Russia has a leg each on a boat, most sly. Her situation is a little like China after liberation (when the communist took over China), sometimes with the USSR and sometimes with USA. Due to her lack of self sufficiency, she has to yo-yo between two parties for survival and room of development. She stays in both sides of the swing.

China has many tiles but they are not in view. Does that imply China keeps her strengths under wrap? And she is exchanging tiles with Russia under the table.

USA can only guess from the expression of Taiwan what may be happening between China and Russia.

Japan looks ignorant as she continues to focus on her cards.

China’s hand (of tiles) is most unpredictable.

Poor Japan … there are so many things happening around her. She has no chance of a win and she is out the moment she loses.

Taiwan keeps watch as a bystander. She sees all that transpired in the game and she understands. But she is not qualified to, nor capable of participating in the game. She has no right to speak. She is full of grievances and is utterly helpless. She can only be the maid, offering fruits to the winner(s). Does she want to be in the game and use the knife instead?

The winner should be a pick between China and USA, there is little doubt about this. Then again if you notice, they are playing Chinese Mahjong, not Western Poker.

Playing with the rules of a Chinese game, what are the odds for USA?

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