Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ganito kami sa Mindanao

Magulo dito. Sabi kasi ng national media, warzone daw ang Mindanao. Tanong pa ng isa sa isang presscon na nadaluhan ko: ang BJE ba ang solusyon sa “kultura ng baril” sa Mindanao? Huwat? Eh, halata namang wala siyang alam sa konteksto ng conflict sa rehiyong ito. Nakalimutan din ng The Imperial Manille na nandidito din ang Davao, Cagayan, Zamboanga, General Santos, Butuan, Surigao at iba pang mga emerging cities na promising ang mga potentials pagdating sa business and tourism. Marahil di din nito alam na kaya may nakakain pa sila sa taas eh dahil panay pa rin ang supply natin ng agricultural produce.

Siguro nga dahil they need to feed their own agenda, and Mindanao is an easy scapegoat. Sabi pa nga nung isang executive ng BPO ng minsang dumalaw sa isang conference dito sa Davao: di daw akalain ng ibang dayuhan na may BPO industry na palang natayo sa Mindanao, kala nila puro giyera, puro Abu Sayyaf.

Di nga naman tulad sa Makati, kung saan makakita ka ng mga professional at sophisticated-looking people who sashay and brandish their cigarettes outside high-rise buildings like the RCBC tower, at hindi mga baril. Talagang, what a sight of civilization and modernization it is.

Ganito raw kasi sila sa Makati. Yung lahat ng kailangan mo – edukasyon hanggang mga health benefits at welfare ng mga matatanda – ay sagot ni... Aba, kung kaya niyang gawin ‘yon eh di dapat ngang ihalal natin siya, by all means. Lalo na kung nung bata ka pa eh nagpapakain ka ng baboy habang kinukutya ka ng mga kalaro mo.

Ganito rin sana sa buong bansa… Naku, napaka-misguided at napaka-baluktot na logic. Hindi pwedeng i-replicate mo na lang ang Makati at gawin mong Makati ang buong bansa. Talagang hindi pwede yun. Hayaan nating ang Manila ay magpaka-Manila, ang Makati, magpaka-Makati. Ang bawat rehiyon sa bansa ay may kanya-kanyang strength, sa agricultura man or sa larangan ng industriya at services.

Op kors, hindi naman sasabihin ng ad na kaya dahil libre ang notbuk at Paracetamol sa Makati eh dun halos lahat ng malaking establishments –central financial district kung baga, parang Wall Street. Kahit na ba ang mga kompanyang ito ay may mga operation or yung mismong largely operating outside Metro Manila -ang iba sa liblib na parte ng Pilipinas kahit dun sa mga tinatawag naming conflict-affected areas. Mas nakakagulat kung sa laki ng revenues na pumapasok sa lungsod nila ay ‘di pa malilibre ang basic social service.

Kung gusto ng pagkakapantay-pantay, paigtingin at bigyang puwang ang local autonomy, coupled with greater transparency at accountability to its people. Sa isang banda, mukhang mahihirapan nga tayo sa huling ‘yon, dahil the katiwalian is deeply entrenched in the higher echelons of power. Pero subukan natin ang patakbuhin ng mabuti ang local autonomy. Patotohanan natin ang katagang decentralization, dahil magpasa-hanggang ngayon mukhang kakarampot lang ang natatamasa ng mga nasa kanayunan. Okay the term is too provincial, make it outside-Metro Manila. Diba, probinsya naman talaga ang tawag nila sa mga lugar outside their territory…

Let’s make local autonomy work. Decentralize. Look at the examples of Galing Pook and the untold stories of LGUs making it out on their own. Headline readers will be shocked that away from politics and crime, good things are actually happening on the ground. At siguro, tsaka natin masasabing, ganito kami sa Pilipinas, hindi lang yung Ganito kami sa Makati…

Saturday, September 26, 2009

ZaNorte travels

The trip to the west coast road in Mindanao, practically covering most of the Zamboanga del Norte region is a favorite, maybe because it was the first. Some portions of the road are whack but the paving is gathering up speed so I hope to see travel next time minus the vehicle massage. A portion of the entire stretch of the west coast road remains problematic because of lawless elements. We weren't allowed to pass through it, which is not possible anyway because of its condition. We pass through some very far-flung areas, barefoot children marvel at the sight of muddied pick-up.

A fishing are nearing Dakak resort

Shot while standing in front of Rizal's Dapitan residence

A portion of the Zamboanga Peninsula, shot along the mountainous road in Baliguian town

A small village in the town of Siocon, ZDN

Nope, the world has not tilted to a degree. The tricycles in Pagadian are skillfully built
to match its inclined terrain.

Runway of the Dipolog airport

Students brave the difficulty and danger of transportation to get back home
in this sleepy town in Zamboanga del Norte.

A shore somewhere between the towns of Liloy and Labason, ZDN

This ship sails alone while the sun sets somewhere between Liloy and Labason, ZDN.

Dried fish lines up some of the streets in Pagadian. Don't miss to bring them home.

A man sits relaxed on a furniture seemingly newly-bought on top of tricycle. Somewhere in Midsayap.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

read away

This is actually a lazy kind of post. Read it before and saw it via Adrian's blog, so I thought I would kinda do the same thing. Best novels of all time according to a poll by the Modern Library Editorial Board. I have read TIME mag's best list and skimmed through 2 versions of Peter Boxall's 1000 books you must read before you die, but then I guess this should do for now. These are really classic classics. I found some titles in super-cheap booksales before, which I expect to still find if said sale resumes. The will read are books that have been in my shelf for like a thousand years already. I remembered this incident when the editor of the college paper I used to write said that I was too reading too slow. In my hand was a copy of the first Lord of the Rings (which I never finished). I had it for a week already and I barely managed a few chapters. So many, too little time to read (especially if you consider Boxall's list). But anyway, this might interest.

  1. ULYSSES by James Joyce
  2. THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald (have read)
  4. LOLITA by Vladimir Nabokov
  5. BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley
  6. THE SOUND AND THE FURY by William Faulkner
  7. CATCH-22 by Joseph Heller
  8. DARKNESS AT NOON by Arthur Koestler (will read)
  9. SONS AND LOVERS by D.H. Lawrence (have read)
  10. THE GRAPES OF WRATH by John Steinbeck (will read)
  11. UNDER THE VOLCANO by Malcolm Lowry
  12. THE WAY OF ALL FLESH by Samuel Butler
  13. 1984 by George Orwell (have read)
  14. I, CLAUDIUS by Robert Graves
  15. TO THE LIGHTHOUSE by Virginia Woolf (have read)
  16. AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY by Theodore Dreiser
  17. THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER by Carson McCullers
  18. SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE by Kurt Vonnegut (will read)
  19. INVISIBLE MAN by Ralph Ellison
  20. NATIVE SON by Richard Wright
  21. HENDERSON THE RAIN KING by Saul Bellow
  23. U.S.A. (trilogy) by John Dos Passos
  24. WINESBURG, OHIO by Sherwood Anderson
  25. A PASSAGE TO INDIA by E.M. Forster
  26. THE WINGS OF THE DOVE by Henry James
  27. THE AMBASSADORS by Henry James
  28. TENDER IS THE NIGHT by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  29. THE STUDS LONIGAN TRILOGY by James T. Farrell
  30. THE GOOD SOLDIER by Ford Madox Ford
  31. ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell
  32. THE GOLDEN BOWL by Henry James
  33. SISTER CARRIE by Theodore Dreiser
  34. A HANDFUL OF DUST by Evelyn Waugh
  35. AS I LAY DYING by William Faulkner
  36. ALL THE KING'S MEN by Robert Penn Warren (have read)
  37. THE BRIDGE OF SAN LUIS REY by Thornton Wilder
  38. HOWARDS END by E.M. Forster
  39. GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN by James Baldwin
  40. THE HEART OF THE MATTER by Graham Greene
  41. LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding (have read)
  42. DELIVERANCE by James Dickey
  43. A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME (series) by Anthony Powell
  44. POINT COUNTER POINT by Aldous Huxley
  45. THE SUN ALSO RISES by Ernest Hemingway (will read)
  46. THE SECRET AGENT by Joseph Conrad
  47. NOSTROMO by Joseph Conrad
  48. THE RAINBOW by D.H. Lawrence
  49. WOMEN IN LOVE by D.H. Lawrence
  50. TROPIC OF CANCER by Henry Miller (will read)
  51. THE NAKED AND THE DEAD by Norman Mailer
  52. PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT by Philip Roth (have read)
  53. PALE FIRE by Vladimir Nabokov
  54. LIGHT IN AUGUST by William Faulkner
  55. ON THE ROAD by Jack Kerouac (reading)
  56. THE MALTESE FALCON by Dashiell Hammett
  57. PARADE'S END by Ford Madox Ford
  58. THE AGE OF INNOCENCE by Edith Wharton (will read)
  59. ZULEIKA DOBSON by Max Beerbohm
  60. THE MOVIEGOER by Walker Percy
  62. FROM HERE TO ETERNITY by James Jones
  63. THE WAPSHOT CHRONICLES by John Cheever
  64. THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J.D. Salinger (have read)
  65. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE by Anthony Burgess (have read)
  66. OF HUMAN BONDAGE by W. Somerset Maugham
  67. HEART OF DARKNESS by Joseph Conrad
  68. MAIN STREET by Sinclair Lewis
  69. THE HOUSE OF MIRTH by Edith Wharton
  70. THE ALEXANDRIA QUARTET by Lawrence Durell
  71. A HIGH WIND IN JAMAICA by Richard Hughes
  72. A HOUSE FOR MR BISWAS by V.S. Naipaul
  73. THE DAY OF THE LOCUST by Nathanael West
  74. A FAREWELL TO ARMS by Ernest Hemingway
  75. SCOOP by Evelyn Waugh
  77. FINNEGANS WAKE by James Joyce
  78. KIM by Rudyard Kipling
  79. A ROOM WITH A VIEW by E.M. Forster
  80. BRIDESHEAD REVISITED by Evelyn Waugh
  82. ANGLE OF REPOSE by Wallace Stegner
  83. A BEND IN THE RIVER by V.S. Naipaul
  84. THE DEATH OF THE HEART by Elizabeth Bowen
  85. LORD JIM by Joseph Conrad
  86. RAGTIME by E.L. Doctorow
  87. THE OLD WIVES' TALE by Arnold Bennett
  88. THE CALL OF THE WILD by Jack London
  89. LOVING by Henry Green
  90. MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN by Salman Rushdie
  91. TOBACCO ROAD by Erskine Caldwell
  92. IRONWEED by William Kennedy
  93. THE MAGUS by John Fowles
  94. WIDE SARGASSO SEA by Jean Rhys
  95. UNDER THE NET by Iris Murdoch
  96. SOPHIE'S CHOICE by William Styron (have read)
  97. THE SHELTERING SKY by Paul Bowles
  99. THE GINGER MAN by J.P. Donleavy
  100. THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS by Booth Tarkington
You should also check out the reader's list (in the same website) which has Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead and Stephen King's The Stand, both of which I have read too.

Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family, Choose a f—king big television. Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol and dental insurance. Choose fixed-interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose a three piece suit on hire purchased in a range of f—king fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the f—k you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing f—king junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, f—ked-up brats you have spawned to replace yourself. Choose a future. Choose life . . . But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life. I chose somethin’ else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?

Renton, Trainspotting