Achieving Happiness

May 6, 2008

Post May 1

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ina Alleco @ 9:27 am

The mercury really shot up last Thursday, but on the whole suffering through the scorching heat was nothing compared to the feeling of fulfillment I got from being able to attend (and march from UST to Liwasang Bonifacio) the International Labor Day rally led by the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU).

Best speakers this year were Carmen ‘Ka Mameng’ Deunida of the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap; Ferdinand Gaite, chairperson of the Confederation for the Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE), and Connie Bragas-Regalado of Migrante International. Ka Mameng was her usual tiny but fiery self, speaking with force and fire. She’s the only one who can use the words’demonyo’, ‘Hudas,’ and ‘ dorobo,’ in her speech and get away with it: she completely speaks her mind, and taps into her audience’s own outrage against the illegitimate president.

Ka Connie’s speech was the most researched ( by that I mean she gave a lot of information and updates), while Ka Ferdie yet again betrayed that he can adopt an alternative career as a political stand-up comedian (his speech centered around the theme of Gloria Arroyo’s liking for the name “Mikey”. I will spare you and not give the details here because the joke is fist-eatingly corny — but Ka Ferdie deserves five stars for the effort and the delivery. Quite entertaining.

The paragraph above was written Friday, May 2 and I only got to update it today. Been busy, been pre-occupied, and been troubled by many otherthings.

Right now am shocked and saddened by reports that almost 15,000 people have bee killed in Burma because of a killer cyclone that hit the country last weekend. I had lunch with my mom today and she was all but crying when she shared what she had read about what’s happening in Burma. It really is somewhat unfathomable and it blows the mind – 15,000 lives gone.

This led some of us in the office to look up the difference between cyclones and tornadoes. Turns out that tropical cyclones can last for weeks while tornadoes only hours; cyclones can have a coverage of over 100 miles (in terms of circumference) while tornadoes only a mile across. With storm centers both, tornadoes occupy the bottom part of the spiral while cyclones are around the middle. Imagine the devastation cyclones can cause, and to think that before I came across this information, my only other knowledge about cyclones came from reading L. Frank Baum’s ‘The Wizard of Oz’ , specifically the Kansas cyclone that took Dorothy and Toto to Oz.

-Food riots in Somalia and Haiti. Dito kaya magkaka- riots na din? Gad, P50 na halos per liter of gasoline, and fares will inevitably go up. With increases in transport costs, it’s also a foregone conclusion that there will be an effect on the prices of commodities.

-GSIS’ head honcho and head magnanakaw and racketeer Winston Garcia involving himself in the Meralco overhaul row and projecting himself as pro-consumer by espousing the anti-electricity rate increase cause. Utang na loob – isang magnanakaw pinupuna ang kapwa magnanakaw! Like Garcia has the least amount of credibility! After everything he’s done and continues to do in the GSIS, making it Malacannag and Gloria Arroyo’s best, most reliable cash cow at the expense of beneficiaries? Aaaaargh!

This government sucks big-time. Di na ako magpapalawig.

Last Friday, May 2m 2008, the Philippine Star came out with an article (under Ms. Pia Lee Brago’s by-line) titled “UN: Pinoy kids suffer grave rights abuses from AFP, NPA, Abus.” Compared to other reports that came out on the same issue such as the stories in the Manila Times and the Daily Tribune, the Phil. Star gave a subjective, not to mention biased interpretation of the United Nations Report released by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The newsreport cited the paper “Child Soldiers in the Philippines,” by Merliza Makinano of the International Labor Affairs Service of the Department of Labor and Employment and its exaggerated and erroneous allegation that for the New People’s Army (NPA) , “anyone who is physically fit, regardless of age, sex, race, nationality or religion and has the capacity to fight and ready to participate in a protracted armed struggle against the government, may be an NPA fighter.” Pinagkukuha ni Makinano ang kanyang data sa mga press releases and so-called researches ng DSWD at sa AFP – so obvious naman ang bias.

It would have been better (and it would have heightened her credibility as an informed, objective reporter) if Ms. Brago did more research and discovered that since 1988, an entire year before the United Nation’s General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of Children (CRC) , the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army had already implemented the policy of prohibiting the recruitment of children below 18 to serve as combatants. The NDFP has consistently declared both the policy and the law of the revolutionary government prohibits the NPA from recruiting children below the age of 18 to serve as combatants that can be deployed for military offensive campaigns and operations.

According to the NDFP, those between the age of 15 and 18 may be trained and directed by the mass organizations not for the purpose of participation in combat or hostilities but for the purpose of safety and self-defense in their own homes and communities. They are civilians and are not required to carry firearms. The NDFP’s position is obviously far more advanced than the standard set by the Geneva Conventions, given that the Geneva Conventions allow the military recruitment of children or youth from the age of 15 to 18, provided that within this age bracket priority is given to the recruitment of the older ones.

Kailangan din talaga na mag-research ang media nang mas malalim because so many important issues are not just black and white, and history has a way of being distorted (often deliberately by the government). Gaya na lang ng patuloy na paglabas ng mga reports na ang peace negotiations between the GRP and the NDFP have stopped because the latter pulled out after the CPP-NPA were included in the US and European Union’s terrorist listing. What actually happened (as far as I’ve learned), is the GRP suspended the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Gurantees or JASIG (which is not provided for in previous agreements with the NDFP) and put up more impediments in the way of the peace talks such as charging NDFP Chief political adviser Jose Ma. Sison with terrorism. Paano nga naman makikipag-usap sa ganung sitwasyon?

Watched “Iron Man.” Ang galeng-galeng! Of course, it’s a relief na hindi na sinama yung previous anti-communist angle ng original comic strip kung saan tagapagligtas ng American and imperialist way of life si Iron Man. In the updated movie version, he’s more of a man acting out of a change of heart, common sense, and heightened conscience. I wonder if the children and families of businessmen in the techno-military and weapons industries in the US think that the movie is a crap or if they think the film made very valid, pointed points? Tanga na lang ang hindi makakakuha ng simpleng mensahe ng pelikula; but on a personal level, it’s this: you are what you create, and the impact of your actions on others will define you.

The third ultrasound revealed that we really are having a girl! We’re naming her Kimiko.

Sabi ni Anthony Ian Cruz I should broadcast the fact that am looking for Moses basket. Well, am looking for a Moses basket, and can anyone tell me where I could get one? It’s a literal basket, but for carrying babies around the house. Most carry cots being sold in the department stores are made of cloth; I would like one of sturdier material.

Favorite baby equipment for the moment: slings!

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