Pagdating sa pag-aaral ng mga ibang wika

30 Oct 2012

Panukala ng pamahalaang Australya na pataasin o bigyang-halaga ang pag-aaral ng mga wikang Asyano, tulad ng Mandarin, Hapon at Hindi, sa mga mag-aaral nito bilang bahagi ng paglalalim ng ugnayan nito sa papaunlad na mga ekonomiya sa kontinenteng iyon.

Kung para sa pag-iigting ng ugnayan sa pagitan ng mga bansa, para mas lalong maalam at makilala ng bawat bansa ang isa’t isa, aba’y walang problema.

Pero kung para makisakay at kumita sa kaunlaran ng mga bansang Asyano, aba’y ‘wag na lang.

‘Di bale na gusto ng mga mag-aaral ng mga bansang Asyano na mag-aral ng Ingles.


Distress

24 Oct 2012

Distress covers me like a blanket

A blanket I cannot escape from.

It wraps and wraps itself around me

Showering me with her embrace

So suffocating and comforting at the same time.

Where is the peace,

The reality of things to come.

I’ll wait for better things to arrive,

As soon as thy comfort arrives.


Ang mga makukulay na kandidato at ang tradisyon ng “mesianismo”

19 Oct 2012

Nakatutuwa man ang mga makukulay na kandidatong sinubukang tumakbo para sa Senado sa 2013, meron silang isang bagay na nararapat na bigyang-pansin: ang kanilang mga isinusulong.

Nakakatawa man ang ilang mga bagay sa kanilang mga plataporma, mula sa pagtatalaga ng mga “acting little president” sa Luzon, Visayas at Mindanao hanggang sa pagbibigay-kulay sa lahat ng Filipino (parang GMA, na pinagkuhanan ng mga “link” sa talang ito), isang bagay na maaaring matuklasan sa karamihan sa mga plataporma nila ay ang kagustuhan na matamo ang isang ideyal na lipunan, kung saan walang katiwalian, lahat may kaayusan at kasaganaan. Sa wika ni Daniel Magtira (na hindi ko pa po nakakalimutan ang nakaraang tangka niyang tumakbong presidente mga ilan taong nang nakakaraan bago ako napunta sa Kanada), “Ang aking sinusulong na batas ay pantay-pantay at patas para sa bawat isa sa atin.”

Tagapagmana ang mga makukulay na kandidatong ito, o ang karamihan sa kanila, sa tradisyong pulitikal na “mesianismo” sa Filipinas. Sa kanilang sariling paraan, itinutuloy nila ang isang tradisyong nagsimula marahil sa mga naunang pag-aalsa sa Sangkapuluan, inabot ang tuktok sa himagsikang sinimulan ng Katipunan, at nagpatuloy sa mga pag-aalsa ng mga sektang Colorum noong mga unang taon ng pananakop ng Estados Unidos. Kalakip ng tradisyong ito ang pagtatatag ng isang bansang ganap na malaya, maunlad at pantay-pantay ang bawat mamamayan nito, at iwinaksi o inalis ang bawat kasamaan. Tunay nga po talagang “mesianiko” ang tinatanaw. At hindi rin po kailangang pagtawanan.

Kinakatawan ng tradisyong mesianiko ang layunin o pangarap na pagtatag ng isang bayang may katarungan, kaayusan, kabutihan para sa lahat, at kaunlaran. Nararapat na ipagpatuloy na matamo ang mga adhikain ng mga makukulay na kandidato, kahit sila mismo ay ‘di makapapasa sa pagsasalang ng Comelec.


Hindi kapani-paniwala…

19 Oct 2012

Ipinanukala ng Mga Nagkakaisang Bansa sa isang ulat na i-“decriminalize” o hindi gawing krimen ang prostitusyon sa Filipinas at ibang mga bansa sa Asya.

Ang mga dahilang ibinigay nito para sa legalisasyon ay kakatwa at hindi maganda. Magbibigay man ito ng proteksyon sa mga “sex worker,” mag-eenganyo ito sa mga kababaihan na pasukin ang gawaing ito, sapagkat madali at walang problema sa batas, di ba? At hindi tayo makatitiyak na ang legalisasyon ay pipigil sa mga abuso at ibang mga masamang bagay na nakatali sa gawaing ito. Ang tawag na ito para sa legalisasyon ay magle-lehitimo sa prostitusyon at magdudulot ng mga dagdag na kadiliman sa lipunan. Ang mga kasalukuyang batas ukol sa prostitusyon ay nandiyan hindi lang para pigilin ang pagpasok ng mga babae sa ganitong propesyon kundi pati na rin pagpigil sa anumang pagluluwag sa lipunang maidudulot ng legal na prostitusyon.

At sa oposisyon sa panukalang ito, tiyak na hindi ako nag-iisa rito.

 

PS: Tingnan na hindi ginamit ang salitang “prostitusyon” sa ulat ng MNB, kundi “sex work” at “sex worker” sa halip na “prostitute.” Ang kapangyarihan ng mga salita.


On “Tory nationalism”: a (very) belated rebuttal to Mr Bondy

19 Oct 2012

In his 21 July 2011 article in the Guelph Mercury, Matt Bondy spoke about a new type of Canadian nationalism propagated by the Conservative government. This kind of Canadian nationalism, Bondy argues, revolves around three elements- “military, monarchy, and — maybe counter-intuitively — French Canadian nationalism.” The first element is symbolized by the recent government sponsorship of celebrations to mark the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. The monarchist element is represented by recent royal visits, while the inclusion of French-Canadian nationalism can be represented by the Commons-wide resolution to recognise Quebec as a nation within Canada. Bondy finalizes his article with this:

“If the Conservative party is successful, after the next four years these conservative cultural and political values will have so decisively marginalized the alternative, liberal nationalisms made available at election time that the Tories will be the so-called natural governing party.”

The Conservative nationalism described in the article is problematic on all three aspects. On the military aspect, government emphasis on the military’s role in the country is part of the change in our foreign and defence policy from one oriented towards peacekeeping, diplomatic solutions and relative non-taking of sides to one of participation in (mostly US-led) policy initiatives against “enemy states” (like the Islamic Republic), lack of hesitation to use military force if necessary to achieve diplomatic goals, and a renewed alignment towards the West (particularly with the US and Great Britain). There is no problem with the emphasis on the monarchy in Canada – after all it forms a part of the heritage of this country, and one that separates us from the Union – but to elevate one aspect of the Canadian heritage to the relative non-elevation of other aspects of that heritage (not that the government doesn’t talk about it if important) like that of the First Nations and French-Canadians, is one-sided and partial. Yes, those 1812 ads really do include First Nations (Tecumseh) and French-Canadians (de Salaberry), but they are both “unified” under the monarchy. While the monarchy is important, it isn’t the sole important thing in Canada. As for the French-Canadian aspect, that resolution might have been made for political purposes, and in any effect may have lost its importance in the Conservative ladder of nationalist themes after its victory in Ontario during the last federal election.

The type of Canadian nationalism Bondy describes, and perhaps supports, in his article is problematic for Canada. It shifts us away from an independent type of nationalism that puts the needs of country and people first to a type of nationalism that not only is militaristic but also US-inspired. The importance of the military and “monarchy” effectively the Canadian version for “country” in the US – the “Conservatives” of today are bringing us ever closer to become like the US.


“Bangsamoro”

09 Oct 2012

Meron nang kasunduan ang pamahalaan at isa sa mga patuloy na lumalabang grupong Muslim sa Mindanao. Bilang kapalit sa pagbaba ng armas at pagsuko sa hangaring isang malayong estadong Muslim sa Mindanao, papalitan ang ARMM ng isang mas malawak na rehiyon na tatawaging “Bangsamoro”, may sariling awtonomiya at interes sa mga gawaing panloob nito.

Isa ba itong magandang hakbang? Magagawa ba nitong wakasan ang matagal nang kaguluhan sa katimugan? Sinabi ng pamahalaan na pauna pa lang ito, na kailangang pang ituloy ang gawain tungo sa tiyak na kapayapaan. Ang masasabi ko lang – kung ito’y tutungo sa pambansang pagkakaisa at mapayapang pagpapaunlad ng kapakanan ng mga mamamayan ng Mindanao, bakit hindi?


A proposal on Canadian foreign policy

09 Oct 2012

Anyone who has lived in Canada long enough will be conscious of this country’s traditional conflicted relationship vis-a-vis the United States. Anyone who has studied in college or university, who has taken up a course that has something to do with Canada, will know that not only the U.S. but other core industrialised countries have taken advantage of this country’s preference for natural resources export over domestic industrialisation, making Canada a source of their raw materiel and market for their manufactured goods. In this matter, Canada has become no different from other nation-states and regions of the periphery, exploited for the prosperity, well-being and security of the core region, despite the First World nature of this country not to mention its own possibility for, and indeed active, global exploitation. Due to this almost-similarity in political and economic conditions, an idea comes to mind when it comes to Canadian foreign policy, which traditionally aligns with the First World.

Canada must realign or reposition its foreign policy in favour of developing countries.

At first sight, this won’t appear as shocking. Hasn’t this country provided numerous amounts of aid to those developing countries? Has it not advocated those countries’ causes to the world stage, both as country and through the efforts of its globally active citizens? What I am speaking here is the whole realignment of Canada’s foreign policy with that of those countries it shares the most political and economic conditions with. Canada and the so-called developing countries are natural resources exporters and manufactured goods importers. Any domestic industrial base is almost, if not wholly, foreign-owned, even if it may be domestically-operated in Canada’s case. Internal and external politics is influenced or controlled by the bigger countries. Such a similarity in conditions necessitates that Canada realign with those places it shares the most when it comes to exploitative experience. Canada is the “Third World” of the First World.

Changes have occured since the term “Third World” appeared; it is now a much-denigrated term. Countries that have once been categorised as such have now risen to positions of global influence – the so-called BRICS as well as other nations mainly in Latin America and eastern Asia – and are now challenging the established developed nations for political and economic influence on this world. Should Canada unite ranks with the First World in the face of such a challenge? Well, no. Rather, it should develop an independent foreign policy that would depend on its sovereignty and values. Alignment with those economically and politically oppressed, who might share the same history with Canada even though not the same poverty, is part of such a policy.


Forest Chatter #1

06 Oct 2012

(Inspired by the 3 1/2 Time-Outs Tuesday by Acts of the Apostasy, once or twice – or a few times – a week GUBAT features comments on various events and topics appearing on the World Wide Web and beyond. Enjoy…)

First of all, I would have to say the above phrase was written a few whiles ago (with a current addition involving dashes), which may give you an idea of how long I didn’t – or failed – to touch this blog. Well, here I am and back, so let’s get this show on the road:

= the theme song for “Skyfall”, co-written and sung by Adele, differs from the previous two songs of the Craig Bond films in that while those songs are kinetic, with energy and noise, this one is laid-back, melancholic and sad. It gives yours truly the idea that this latest outing of the OO7 franchise is going to be a tragic one.

= so the younger Trudeau has finally decided to join the fray also known as the Liberal leadership race. Moi concerns: the supporters may say he has the dedication, good intentions, and “values” to enter the race and that he doesn’t need to be as intellectual as his father to be competent as a candidate – or Opposition leader or PM. It’s just that not only because of his youth – he still has got some time in his political life and yes, the family – but, you still need high intellectual ability (not to insult Justin) to be effective as leader of either opposition or government. I still just don’t see Justin as fitting for those roles.

UPDATE: this article by Dan Arnold on the National Post has made me stand up and take notice, if not reconsider, my anti-Justin position. And this article by Greg Weston makes you stand up also, especially the possibility of an opposition Liberal leader for the near future.