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  • Dont end here!

  • Do you know that

    If all your life you have always aspired and you think the one on top is no good, you must think again. Maybe you are no better. Or maybe you look worse!.. Or, why not think God. You're good but he loves you. You could end up that egotist stooge you hate in the mirror.
  • A small thief and a big thief are the same. They are both thieves... Uh uh, OK, we have a small thief and a big thief - they are not exactly the same... size.
  • People don't know good until they have seen bad, or they don't know bad, did not have any idea about bad, until they've seen good. Before all them could be hollow strings of words. [Tumen's doctrine]
  • Gagged people can sometimes be as dangerous as the non-reasonable. [Right of Reply]
  • One thing is always better than nothing. [When hope is gone; Kapit sa patalim.]
  • There will always be something better or advanced than the thing. [Law of Dialectic]
  • Putting down good or perceived good you lose. If good puts you down you lose as well. Try to be good. [Politics and propaganda]
  • Tyranny and rape belong to the same set of mind. They believe and look at themselves as too good.
  • When a person has lost credibility the best thing for him is to stop issuing statements because politically he has already lost any and all arguments. [Everything to a person - Integrity]
  • If truth can bring you down you must be stood on weak or false ground. If lie can bring you down then you must be stood on worse than scum!
  • Have you ever thought

    "True" church or true religion is a squabble between theists. Whatever it is people believe in must be of no problem to God. I bet He can speak very well the language of any man - any creature, actually. [A Universal God]
  • A man's gain may be another man's loss. A man's happiness may be another man's woe. A man's ease may be another man's sacrifice and misery.[Expropriation/Profiteering/Bureaucrat capitalism/Government corruption]
  • To err is human. That’s why it is not good habit to drop God’s name just to drive the self. It might be standing stinking shit aside Him. [Cashing-in on the gullible]

  • Man has sometimes relegated God to a mule. Religion and State need to separate. [Religions in politics]
  • Heroes are remembered for their greatness. The bad sides of them are all in the hidden files and folders. Villains are the other way around. Nobody is perfect.
  • Except for being a figure of speech, nothing is really absolute.
  • Some people are hard headed. They cannot be told once. Well, try and try again, who knows. [Big names that flopped in politics]
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Aftermath, One Small Step That Never Was

Eight tourists from Hong Kong lay dead or were fatally shot by the time the police seized control of the bus after a 12-hour standoff on Monday, during which the hostage taker also spoke by mobile phone with local radio stations.

That’s fact or factual.

“The fact that there was essentially live video was mistake number one,” said assistant professor John Harrison, a homeland security analyst at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

That is an opinion.

Maybe professor John Harrison should reiterate further and fully his opinion as he already sounds disgusting viewed from freedom of the press and viewed from rights of people to Information i.e. right of people to know what really is going on in the world. The fact that there was essentially live video was no mistake. It was very unfortunate. It was a misfortune. A case of bad luck to a group of tourist that day, to simplify the matter. Society cannot sacrifice the riding public and the whole world just because of one man holding a dozen or more hostages, denying people of information when they need them in what actually is happening.

Right now media is free to cover, as long as their own safety allows it, and as long they don’t hamper actual ground operations of authorities. Maybe Professor Harrison, especially in his stature, should be careful in what he is saying because he could actually be influencing a return of this country to fascism.

Today,  media can cover police precincts anywhere, any day, anytime. No, you don’t see names like Jake Maderazo, Mike Enriquez, Ted Failon, Erwin Tulfo, and many more of their kind hanging and speculating in there. But if you go in there, the odds are that you’ll find media rookies always hoping for some big break there. That’s how we got to learn  in our homes that a couple was charging their neighbor of molesting their child, or a carpenter stabbed an electrician with a chisel and got stabbed with  a screwdriver in return.

But, you see, police have nothing to hide and ought not to hide because what they always do is right [or they don’t do anything at all]. They have no closets stuffed with unwanted skeletons so to say. At least in principle. Surely there are things that they need to be privy and they have that in some quarters, like the privacy of their conference rooms.  And despite that kind of press freedom, we still saw in You Tube a suspect being tortured inside one police precinct. And I bet the suspect was reported to have died of something else, somewhere else! And if that dead felon did not even have a formal complaint or a warrant of arrest on him I doubt  if we can even call him a “suspect” of anything. Now, let’s imagine a law passed that could easily be invoked by any such criminal in police uniform to furtherance their acts.

He told AFP there should have been a media blackout to deny the hijacker feedback on what was going on around him.

Instead, he was able to follow events — including frenzied speculation by serving and former police chiefs appearing on Philippine networks — via the bus’s internal TV.

Surely Professor Harrison is not instigating a law to gag TV and radio right at or from the broadcasting stations. OK, maybe he means pushing reporters a few miles away from where they ought to cover. I think we should have a law that says media must cover right there where a hijacker and the police are negotiating face to face so we get a close up of their faces, instead.  But are  not they equally crazy?

OK, maybe Professor Harrison is saying No TV on board buses. That also must mean public transport in general, all public places, in fact everywhere, where hostage-taking might happen. Bus commuters – people,  won’t like that though it sounds better than all other implications of his thoughts.

But wait, the Professor means a law that will make it mandatory for bus operators to install bus television in such manner that they can be disabled or rendered useless from the outside. Now that sounds like the professor John Harrison and not any unthinking moron who does not know what he is talking about.

How about that folks?  An invention that will knock out any electronics as they are, inside a bus, or inside a building. I’m sure governments will pay handsomely for that than sacrifice freedom and democracy! You see, a free press and a free society are the pillars, the bastion, of democracy. We cannot talk of democracy without meaning the people, mind you.

A press that is subservient to a state is masked fascism. Maybe they can have that in My nm r but not in the Philippines, please. Because they are the initial points [attributed to] of the professor. And there is no such thing as a good fascist and a bad fascist because fascism is fascism. Democratic governments and states are by the people but power is something passing. They can be administered by the Pope one day and by Satan, chanting papal song while doing satanic deed, the next day.

Hong Kong newspapers bemoaned missed opportunities by police to end the siege much earlier, including a moment when the gunman waved from the bus door. Protestors Tuesday picketed the Chinese territory’s Philippine consulate.

Fostering hair-trigger mentality. Be trigger happy, some people will like that. Yeah, shoot at the first and earliest opportunity. Kill at the first hint of violence, which include hostage taking because the mere act  itself  is an act of violence. And hope it does not involve any foreign national gone nuts in Philippine territory or we will have an international row in our hands. Let’s imagine police did that. Now police is faced up with public out-roar why they did that when there were wide chances of resolving the crisis without any loss of life and property. Worst, the sniper grazed the hostage-taker in the ear and no square hole in between the eyes, so that it made him kill all his hostages before he was taken down! Damn!

You see Ex-police Rolando Mendoza was not a quacking duck like some people are telling themselves. I think he tried to be a respectable warrior – putting the act where the mouth is [or was it putting the mouth where the act is?] Whichever, or don’t open the mouth. They don’t talk peace and friendship while their fingers are in the trigger guards, or their holsters’ fly are open and with their fingers wriggling over their guns.

Ex-Captain Mendoza, by “carelessly” exposing himself, was clearly  and perfectly communicating by his actions. He knew police won’t shoot him that early and he was very well aware and in control of his own situation. He trusts so he should be trusted.  He means no harm so he should not be harmed.  A little back-step by him at that point would have put everything back to where they once belonged; he must have been thinking of that. But later he saw deceit that generated mistrust and distrust, and not even his shadow did he put in the skyline or put on anymore. Because, as some people know, lurking not far behind those tips is the thing called treachery, and yes, as we all saw, atrocity.

Dennis Wong Sing Wing, an associate professor of applied social studies at City University in Hong Kong, said the police operation was “really shocking” to watch as it unfolded live on TV.

“I am very angry about their unprofessional performance,” he said.

What we saw is what it was. I mean, the world saw reality. Focus seems to be in how police handled the operation. Some saw it as “ill-coordinated”. But it could also be ill-executed, ill-prepared and what might ills. I think SWAT, especially its assault teams, should be composed of field combat, battle tested, experienced personnel. I must be imagining too much of scenes in movies like Band of Brothers and comparing them to what we saw.

Looking back at them, just one small step  that never happened could have changed it all. And I think there was not one but more of them one small step, not any was realized, that converged to one sorry sad destiny mark in history that day.

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Of Politics and Popularity

Does the politics of popularity really exist? The complaint is directed primarily against movie stars getting into politics. The phrase is based on some perception of the word popular to mean simply a face widely seen and widely heard, and nothing more to them. Then, I think not. Because, sometimes things deemed like that happened and sometimes they did not. So, the cause why say a movie star got elected is not really in their being a superstar. Vilma Santos made a break as mayor, and then later became a governor, got re-elected in there. Her co-equal Nora Aunor did not make it in her first and last try, was it in Camarines.

The noted rash and rise of movie stars in politics came during the time when the country was developing the consciousness against traditional politicians popularly known as Trapo. In fact the trend was not limited to movie stars as they included other virtually unknowns in the world of politics, but names heard enough – not necessarily in the movie industry.

People grew tired of trapos who gave the impressions of promising too much and delivering very little or nothing. People then tried candidates, not traditionally politicians, whom they hoped might bring some change.

Anyway, people got to see that some of them non-trapo worked while others did not. Some made better while others turned for worse.

Popularity in Politics

Politics of popularity was introduced as another disease in Philippine politics. But if I may take the good side of it, I think popularity is a MUST in politics. To win in an election one must be popular. To stay in there one must maintain popularity. It was popularity that made Father Ed Panlilio scored against traditional political forces in Pampanga province. He must have fallen from  popularity, reason for his now staggering defeat in his bid for re-election.

With its sour connotation set aside, I think there is nothing wrong with politics of popularity. Politics IS popularity.

popular [póppyoolər] adjective

  1. appealing to the general public: appealing to or appreciated by a wide range of people  • the most popular name for babies this year
  2. well-liked: liked by a particular person or group of people • popular with young audiences
  3. of the general public: relating to the general public • popular appeal
  4. aimed at non-specialists: designed to appeal to or be comprehensible to the non-specialist • a popular gardening magazine
  5. believed by people in general: believed, embraced, or perpetuated by ordinary people • popular myths
  6. inexpensive: designed to be affordable to people on average incomes • a new popular car

[15th century. Via Anglo-Norman populer from Latin popularis ‘of the people’, from populus ‘people’ (source of English PEOPLE and PUBLIC), of uncertain origin: probably from Etruscan .]
Microsoft® Encarta® Premium Suite 2005. © 1993-2004 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

So, will making it in TV and the big screen make one popular?  I think not really and not automatically. In there Popularity as defined is sometimes make-believe. An obsession for some actually. Let’s take the manner of the alien named Mr Chip who once got the ire of the entire Filipino nation for making a publicized statement that the Philippines is a nation of servants. He might be well recognized but spat upon everywhere he’ll go in this country, if we can call that popularity.

The concept of popularity in the world of movie and television may be different somewhere else.  Viewed somewhere else, they may be warped, twisted and out of perspective. All that I think is product of commercialism and of aggressive marketing, or should I say manipulation, by those out to benefit from them.

An eye is an eye and a nose is a nose. When an eye is called a  nose, well, I think we have a case of distorted minds trying to distort the world. Notorious, controversial, and popular are all distinct different words.

By the way, as much as I would like to make exceptions, the world of Philippine entertainment impresses me as one preposterous and at times distorted. In there tears might be laughter and laughter might be tears. Controversies might be put-up and scripted, if you will take them seriously. And, cheats, dishonesty,  scandalous fornication  or the likes can put one on a pedestal, if you call that good. They have their own perception of popularity. [Or, is not it just a few out of a crate full, so repugnant to my taste buds, that left so deep an impression of the whole in me?]

Whatever, OK, this is a free country.  People have right to believe that they have assets when others see liabilities. We have M.T.R.C.B. watching in there so, so much about them by you or me.

[Entertainment shares a room in media. It should be media riding on entertainment and not entertainment, or I should say some of its greedy elements, overriding media. And media happens to have social advancement  and not social corruption for one of its cause to explain Review and Classifications Board over  there.]

But more about politics of popularity,  many years ago I might have easily agreed with those who complained about it. Today, I think it is just a myth. In today and for tomorrow is issues in politics. One gets to the top because of them, or goes down with them, or simply goes nowhere because they did not have  them. Say hello to politics of issues, folks. For those long enough in politics, spotlight can easily focus at politics of deliveringperformance. [I think there’s nothing really new in politics because everything  has been there  all the time… probably very little noticed though. ]

Popularity in politics, I think, is too broad and  too blanket a word. Going into the matter  will show specifics such as: deliverance of services, management of public funds, handling of public affairs, direction of governance or projection of them,  integrity, credibility, consistency, and many others. And they all sum-up to the word popularity [or unpopularity]. The most popular tops all, or the most unpopular gets the least.

Even in politics the word popularity has its own warps, too. If surveys are conducted on the order of candidates  as electorates put them in the their list, I’m sure this can be confirmed that  those on top of the lists finished average and below average where there is multiple choice as in the Senatorial position. Popularity [or unpopularity] may be gained by engaging  in issues or controversies. They show where one stands. But they can also be divisive because they can be of thesis and anti-thesis. This will put a candidate either on top or not in the list at all. But the lists of both  – of the thesis and the anti-thesis, are usually not completed and voters need other names to fill. And most likely the fillers are old names who have never been subject of critical controversies thus presumed good. Mga tipong wala kang masabi, which is Filipino way short of saying that a person is good. And even with their names not usually at the top of the lists, they are carried by both sides. So, what do you think made  one walang imik top considered champions like Senators Enrile, Santiago and others, folks? What? mga saling pusa who finished first? There must be a warp  somewhere, from wherever one looks at it.

The Philippines happens also a politics of focus at negatives – of scandals and anomalies in government, of allegations of pangungurakot and plunders, of crab mentality. OK, if we put it that way, popularity there means getting the least of negatives. People must choose, they liked them or not.

Whatever, assuming clean election, I guess all twelve senatorial winners have always right to very well say that they enjoy political popularity.

With the rise of politics of issues and politics of performance politicians need to do better than giving the impression of saling pusa. A highly competitive political world will leave no room for fillers.

Politics of popularity, Pinoy meaning of it, anybody, folks?  😉

As the Smoke Clears

The king of comedy, the king of boxing, and the king of entertainment turned out to be not three kings but three stooges!

Well, we all live in our own virtual  world. Everything is real but only in so far as each world of virtual reality.

Meantime, in the objective world, it proves only that things sold primarily by their own merits and not really because of who endorsed them. At the end of it all, Manny P is still the best boxer – now another head to count in congress, while Willie R is the highest paid entertainer, and Dolphy is still Dolphy always the comedian. And, mommy Deonisia, whose movie flopped, is no more than the mother of the boxing champ, no more and any less. Popular actor Kabayan Edu for Vice president did not win in any province. Not even big winner Noynoy swayed his voters for a clean Aquino-Roxas swift sweep in the race.

Some popular Stars won and some of them did not. The politics of popularity as alleged and believed by some is history and has become a myth.

I guess we all live inside our own well, drinking our own concoctions too, and got intoxicated ourselves! I mean, make-believe affects only people who live inside that world of make-believe. And pastor Quiboloy exists only in his own little different world far from being a king maker in Philippine politics. There is only one proven religious vote in the Philippines and that is the Iglesia Ni Kristo.  [And they used to be very discreet about it because in some places and times it could also be a kiss of death.] However, majority of Christian Filipinos believe in the separation of church and state, in Democracy. Politics is another intricate world by itself very distinct from religion and entertainment.

Interesting however is [the defeat of] Mar Roxas who has been a consistent winner in all the surveys until a week or two before election. Between him and Jejo Binay are about 800 thousand votes which meant only a difference of around 400 thousand votes, actually. I guess a lot of small mistakes seemingly insignificant blunders by him accumulated to a considerable loss. Also, Chizz Escuderos’ endorsement of Binay where there is even ground, I think, paid. And also, while everyone tried to identify with the “masa” I guess Mr Binay edged.

But I think one of the biggest misfortune of Mr. Mar Roxas was the absence of the Erap factor in the vice presidency. What’s that? If Erap was barred from running it can be said that Senator Manny Villar would have possibly probably won.  At the onset, apparently everyone saw Erap as their advantage to have really questioned the matter which in one such petition the Supreme Court decided in favor of Erap anyway.

The Erap and the Villar votes sum up greater than the Aquino votes. And what we see Aquino votes is probably less if the opportunistic block votes – the types who, for their reasons go only with who they see is sure winner, are fragmented.  Unlike in the presidency, the race in the vice presidency became more of a one-on-one contest between Mr. Roxas and Mr. Binay.

With the PCOS reports at over 90% in, and still hoping victory, Mr Roxas needs banging howling unbelievable miracle to overturn history from this point.  What’s that? That’s my description of matter that people won’t be able to explain and that nobody will believe anyway.

Some 90% results by COMELEC/PPCRV in about 48 hours is amazing in the history of elections in the country.

I missed writing posts these past two months. Filipinos indeed “celebrate Presidential elections as if  ……. “. I usually write with the situation out there in mind i.e. what the nation is feeding in real time, that which I feel is interesting. However, in the case of the presidential election, that being the situation, I thought it better observing at the side rather than joining the fray.

But, really, in the community where I have lived, life was as normal as could be all the while of the election period.  Yes, Sire/Ma’am, there exists a so called silent majority in politics. It is one world where I would like to believe I belong in. Or, maybe it is the world where I used to be, because by authoring a blog I have, in fact, now become part of the noisy minority. Partisan and politicized people comprise a very minor part of communities, of the whole nation, actually. Politics for many Filipinos is simply looking at their left, looking at their right, and then casting their votes.

The loud difference is in media and also in the world of high-tech communications – the internet. Indeed, it was mostly about politics in connection with the May 10th polls in there. There were the pre-election surveys and the noise that came with them. There were all the noise about the first automated election in the country and about the machines to be used. There were all the noise about the candidates; some did not even spare their cats and dogs.  And a lot more in politics for Filipinos.

I guess media, or should I say people running media, simply dished out what they think should be fed the nation – or what they think would interest the nation. And they can’t be wrong because the place is where intellectuals, most of them are very concerned of issues related to governance, are mostly tuned in for information. Filipino farmers and farm workers are more interested in radio and TV soap operas than by anything else. And generally, they are computer illiterates.

For those bored by televisions I guess nobody can do anything about it. Like one radio commentator I heard once, that if people did not like what she’s been saying on air, then people should throw away their transistor radios out the window!  Like, if you feel indignant because absurd people like mommy Deonisia [I never met anybody who approved of her!] is being forced on your senses, then bash your TV. No, we don’t do that. Since there is no escaping, the trick is to learn to be tolerant. We are a free country allowing freedom of beliefs as well as freedom of expressions. You can be more tolerant by identifying each thing and putting them in their perspective folders of the mind so you don’t get mixed up, polluted, hurt inside, or worse corrupted by some of them. [Bio-computers do not have ability to delete. They can only modify what is in the memory.]

Expect all noises to linger a while over something that is all-time loud – politics.  Haahhh, is not it nice for Filipinos that election has [almost] left 🙂

Trick or Threat?

Halloween just went. In the Philippines, which is predominantly Roman Catholic, yesterday in the calendar was All Souls Day. Every Filipino family, or at least member, has been to the cemetery to visit the dead ones. Every Town, village and locality has a Fiesta day.  This is Filipino tradition, Hispanic in origin. Filipinos brought or extended festival to the cemeteries.  Halloween as fiesta for all cemeteries has now become national tradition of Filipinos. Because of complaints, many cemeteries have banned liquor and music by late generation, though. Marginalized indigenous Filipinos do not have Halloween season. After sending the dead off, Indigenous Filipinos simply regard burial grounds as all-time reverend.

Philippine Halloween Celebration is November 1 and 2, which are All Saints day and All Souls day respectively. In Hiligaynon, All Souls day is translated Tigkalalag or Tagkalalag [root Kalag, to unintangle/departed] translated: time of, for spirit, soul, or ghost. In Pilipino, the national language, the day is called Araw ng mga kaluluwa – literally Day of the spirits/souls/ghosts, and also Araw ng mga patay or Day of the departed /dead. Another word for  All  Souls day is Undas, whatever that word actually means as nobody can tell the origin and meaning.

The season is one of the heaviest in term of  human traffic,  of people going to and from urban centers and the provinces.

All soul’s day celebration is a mix of old tribal and Church customs thrown into one. Old Malay custom in the celebration, for example, is preparation of delicacies, mostly sweetened rice preparations, that is or are offered to the dead. Offering is usually done in some quiet corner of the house or in cemeteries. Originally, offering of food is done where spirit is or are believed to be, of no specific time or special day.

Burning of candles for offering is Church influence. Urban Filipinos have developed a weird practice of burning candles in front of homes and in sidewalks on All Souls day. Here in Payatas, many homes had it and everybody now is doing it. There was nothing like that in the place some ten or fifteen years ago. I guess many Filipinos who have migrated to urban areas have no opportunity to visit their dead because of social and or financial constraints, so they expressed it in, around the homes, and in the streets.

We do have western Trick or Treat that has gotten into our culture. I first encountered this in Marikina some twenty five years ago. I opened the door surprised to see some kids in ridiculous costumes demanding candies! I could not give them some sticky rice cake we did have in the house so I gave them the go-away-from-here threat 🙂

And, yes, Floral offerings. I remember, flowers used to be daily decoration of homes, schools, offices, churches.  It is also given to special people. Philippine cemeteries are now full of them on All Souls day. A very lucrative business during the celebration. Flowers for the loved ones that’s how it is. The influence is western and modern in the country.

What a week. I mean it’s all been scary ghosts and Para normal movies dished out in TV everywhere I switched. I had settled for Flatliners starring Keifer Sutherland, Julia Roberts and other familiar faces I know I can tell when I see their names flashed again.

It’s one movie I’ve seen before, actually, that I decided to see again because I could not remember very well what it was all about. The movie is about a group of medical students who secretly experimented with death experience. They took turns experiencing being dead. Death as defined by the movie is cessation of breathing, heart beat, and electrical activities in the body, as in real dead. By turns they put one of them to total sleep, or dead. Then the subject is stimulated back to life when it was at the limit where they can be brought back.

What the film showed of people while they were in their dead moments can never be real. What the subjects told after they were resurrected was their story, their nightmares, their Imaginations. Our characters were there dead on the experiment table. They were there being watched by their live peers ready to revive them when it is time. Subjects were there at the table all the time. That they were going places and meeting people while their body lay dead is but a dream and cannot be real. I guess nobody can really tell or impart what goes when a person has gone dead.

Now, that reminds me about nightmares. Nightmare, from people who have experienced them, is dream, scary dream, a product of  the mind. Most people translate the word nightmare to Bangungot. Bangungot and nightmare are not the same. They may have similarities. Nightmare in Hiligaynon is Daman, scary dream, like when a person wakes up screaming running away from something not there.

I have experienced nightmares in my boyhood. I can no longer recall most of them except that they were usually associated with scary folklore, or dreams near those I saw  in scary movies. From the experiences, I have learned ability to re-awaken myself. Like, ‘hey, I don’t like this; this is a dream’ so, I woke up. I have only one unforgettable  nightmare. It was nothing to do with  the metaphysical or supernatural world. Whew! I woke up really panting and to remember the nightmare all these past 25 years. What about? I was with wife and three toddlers in some crowded city street I did not know where.  Suddenly they were not with me. I ran everywhere looking for them and asking strangers if they knew. I lost them! thanks God it’s just a dream.

Bangungot or Hupa the Killer Disease

People have died in their sleep.  That’s  Bangungot. It’s known as Hupa in Hiligaynon.  Bangungot is also a Hiligaynon word. In there, bangungot and hupa are not the same. Bangungot in Hiligaynon means asphyxia or near-asphyxia  like when one has a severe case of nasal congestion. Hupa or calm after [storm, rage, etc] is one major killer of Filipinos. I believe it killed more than many people think. The figure is around half of all natural deaths in the community where I have lived since 1984. Old people dying make no wonder. Young healthy people suddenly dead bring out many stirs.

The young actor Rico Yan died, as medico legal said, something of disorder of the pancreas during his sleep. A taxi driver neighbor died, blood oozing out his mouth and nose, while taking a short nap at a parking lot. He was diagnosed a cardiac arrest. Another neighbor living next door could not be awakened one morning. He was breathing but pale except for his lips that had darkened. Hospital declared him clinically dead of stroke. Yet another was dismissed by people as caused by his drinking habit and for going to bed drunk. Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson might not be different from them.

Bangungot is something I think people know little about because apparently most victims of bangungot did not live to tell the experience. I have been searching for survivors but I saw only people who apparently say things that they have heard and not out of experience. There must be survivors or there won’t be many stories. Some of the stories are in fact very old like the folklore about the Aswang that I think is a product of bangungot. Bangungot is something physical and real but perceptions and imaginations, which are unreal, might have been added to them by survivors. I suspect some writers of scary movies have gone through the experience.

I happen to be one survivor. It first happened when I was around eighteen. The Tiktik is real. It is a nocturnal flying creature nobody can tell the look, but makes a sound that gave it its name. [It probably is a kind of bat, or irregular sound made by some of them] That when there is a Tiktik there is an Aswang or evil being not far behind. I was a stranger in a place. A nice couple had said that it was safe if I slept inside the house. People had died in the locality killed by aswang, they said. I belong to the generation that no longer believes in many old tales. In some places and times, I could have laughed the matter off as I always did. In fact earlier that evening I did.

A tiktik did make a pass later that night. It triggered bangungot in me. It must have been instinctive like, ‘hey, wake up, you have an appointment and you’re already late!’ only it said like ‘hey, danger around!’

Then I realized I could not move. I tried to scream for help but I realized I had no control. Odom or damned by evil spirit is what the folklore has said about that. I have no control of my body except perhaps my eyelids. Vision was hazy but yes, there was some control because I was able to shut any light coming in. It must have been instinctive not to want to see things. Consciousness, yes, which was exactly why it was most scary. I was in panic. I did not only feel my heartbeats, I thought I heard my heart pounding very fast and hard. There was loud ringing in my ears like a lingering aftershock of a powerful firecracker exploded too close . I suppose it was caused by sudden and extreme blood pressure. That the aswang was there and it was staring down at me [in the manner of the alien getting the smell of helpless Segourney Weaver] well, I did imagine it. I had almost felt the presence of some supernatural being. However, nothing touched me. I heard nothing except the snore of my sleeping companion, as I was not alone. I did not see a thing because vision was shut.

Have you ever tried lifting a truck? At least the truck lifted a little. The efforts, the emotion, the feeling, while under bangungot were more than that. All efforts are useless. I could have blown my heart attempting to move a finger or a toe. [How fast can the human heart go? Probably any figure is short. They are records from live subjects and do not include heartbeats that blew organs and killed people. I could have blown a lung, an ear, a pancreas, a brain cell, some weakest link, lucky I did not. Few more bouts happened in the months that followed. And then for nearly two decades I had none of them until it kept recurring again. About a dozen times in all, maybe, because it never came to me to record the count. Latest occurrence was about 9 years ago.

I remember the second experience was scary absurd, funny you might say. It was the Tiktik again! I thought I saw a human silhouette as my shutters opened that by second instinct I also closed as fast. “You cannot touch me, devil!” is all I can say in myself. This time I really felt it breathed down on my face. Nevertheless, no, I felt my hand was lifted and placed on its head! “No, you are not real, devil! This is a dream! I am sick! It is just my mind playing against myself! I have a disorder!”

Back to reality later, everything must have been a dream. My mind must have been mixed up or confused between reality and imaginations.

The latest was most interesting. It settled the last lingering doubts whether consciousness is real or not. It happened in daytime and not in the stillness of the nights when they usually occurred. Children were yelling and laughing in the street while I was in it. There was nothing to do but listened to them most of the time. They were there all right when I regained myself. I also happened to be facing where the wall clock was so I noted the time was not far different. The tiktik and the aswang were finished and gone long time ago. I think bangungot is too complicated to explain in brief.

To explain it in near medico terms, by some cause I must have been through temporary comatose state. A near death situation. Mind is helpless over the body. They have always been scary. Every time always seemed the end. One may regain oneself or one may not. In my experience, things went like these: 1 Struggle 2 Resignation 3 Calm 4 Blank [no idea how long or brief] 5 wake up [automatic]. In later experiences, struggle has been done away. That leaves 1 Resignation 2 Calm 3 Blank 4 either wake up, or back to normal sleep to summarize the experience later. I guess sad will be when blankness turns to final sleep. For most Bangungot cases, I suppose there were only struggle that ended in permanent sleep.

How does one regain the self in a very helpless situation? You cannot. You just regained. I guess I was lucky my mind was equipped enough to overcome the situation especially the first time it happened. The mind is all you have since body cannot be willed in such situation. Thinking is all the mind can do. And when it is clear that there is no way, mind started to wish. Wishing is praying, and praying is wishing… helpless resignation.

As taught by bangungot, prayers that I learned when I was a kid are mostly trash. Since then, I have archived almost all in some dark corner of my mind. Praying for Saint Cory will not help. Maybe, impromptu and direct ones are better. There is only one prayer valid at the end of the road that I will not even change a word. For me, guess what, it is the only prayer that makes sense. The Credo left only one sentence intact and valid. Well, what worked for one may not work for all, vice versa. The Absolute of people is variable, so mine here are no rules.

Bangungot is like driving a car to the max with its clutch down or its gears in neutral. Let us put it another way. Bangungot is as if my CPU just hung. I happened to be equipped with automatic restart or reboot. On second thought, maybe I was not. Just some finger simply decided to push Restart button for me and I was not time for the junk yard. 🙂

related post: [Mind over body]

People are leaving the country, Sire/Ma’am

Yo! It’s really been long since my last entry. I was gone away from the net actually the whole month of June. Except, I remember having visited only once [to discover that I had about 50 “spam” in my Akismet!]. No, I was not down with A[H1N1] flu. Well, it’s all been killing time all month-long by me. That’s Filipino for passing time doing nothing.

I’ve been literally, totally, lost in wars with Duc De Puce the Rat, Duc Beauregard the Snake, Duc Truffe the Pig, Duc Volpe the Wolf, Saladin the Wise, Caliph the Scorpion, Sultan Abdul the Poet, and yes, the courageous Lion heart Richard.

Opening the computer one day, I noticed this new program installed. Nothing real in mind then, I decided to take a look what’s in it. It turned out to be a game called Stronghold Crusader by Firefly Studios installed by one of my boys.

H mm… castle building… Crusader…Maybe that would be interesting. Choose your adversary to proceed. I came to build castle but … Ok. I’ll know things when I get there – has always been my spirit. U mm, maybe the Lion Heart is less troublesome among companies. Later, groping through the menus and options I heard what sounds like an asungot [side kick] telling me “Your popularity is falling” [my  Lord or Sire], [In my mind, so what, I came to build castles]. And yet later, “People are leaving the castle.”

Ok, so, I am one warlord. I need serfs to work for me. And they work for food… I must put up the granary… put up bakery to supply the bread…bakery needs windmill to supply the flour…that needs a farm to supply the grains… and they all need workers which I must entice back since they all have run away… Shit, things should have been done systematically the other way around. Why?

Anyway, I don’t know what’s with this guy Richard. ” We are being attacked!”, cried the frantic asungot.  Lion Heart started harassing me with his creeps, destroying everything I had put up, with ballisters and catapults! And I did not even have a fortified castle  built yet, nor been able to build a considerable army for defense! I needed funds for everything. I have nobody, and my treasury is empty! I ought to have developed my industries – which are agriculture, forestry, mining and manufacturing [whatever are available under different map conditions] to fill my stockpile and beef up my treasury… Game over… Restart mission… over, again and again.

It was past 5:00 a.m. the next morning when, Hah, I finally marched what survived of a formidable army, bigger than what troublesome Richard had ever sent out, in through the shambles that used to be his castle, and finished him in his Keep. [After several routed attempts, actually] No mercy, just returning all he did to me. Ah, what a great day!

I realized I forgot to eat for lunch and supper. I must have consumed more than a dozen cups of coffee, though, extra sweet for  needed energy in times like that. And I felt sore in my eyes for no sleep.  Also, I felt a little pain at my elbow that must have been caused by too much mouse work [I got the joint badly sprained in my younger years actually]. But most of all, I forgot to build any castle, or should I say finished the one that I was supposed to build! I taught Richard how modern mobile warfare are. [I learned  mostly from him, actually, improving on his tactics.]

I could have learned the game the easy way if I had entered Castle Builder which said Build peacefully, with just the camels for company. [In fact,  the next day, remembering all my ordeals, maybe feeling a little chicken, I did just that. But to my horror, before came the camels were herds of lions that devoured everyone so that I could not do anything until I have somehow learned to get rid of the lions first! How have I done it? Because nobody was left except me, I went out of my keep and chased and beat up the lions myself! [I was devoured in my first attempt, of course.] And that was just the start of an addiction that lasted about a month.

Nice game really. There are more to it. A good grasp of history, of early development of nations, of basic political-economy or its earlier forms, by the creators of the game. Too complicated for young children. Less complicated and more realistic [no magical powers by characters] compared to Dota, Frozen Throne which is currently most favorite of Filipino gamers. Parental guidance may be necessary.

I would recommend Stronghold Crusader for Filipino politicians and bureaucrats – especially the types that see, think,  speak, and act like Filipinos going abroad to find work is a good thing.

Our best minds and hands are going abroad, Sire, Ma’am. Good. It means dollar and more dollar remittances pouring back in. It is a sign of national progress! It sounds the same as people getting out of the castle to tend to the farms and mine pits, bringing in the goods to the castle.

Sure, it sounds the same as people getting out of the castle to tend to the farms and mine pits, bringing in the goods to the castle, but… God bless the Filipinos with these twisted minds at the top!

Yeah, what about some ten million Filipino bread winners separated from their families, Sire, Ma’am? And what about countless Filipino families broken because  of  that.

A Shining Light in the Dark – the Philippines

The Philippines has a positive economic growth! Malacañang says or predicts a plus 0.03 to 0.04 economic growth for the current year 2009. Would you believe that? We have a light that stands in the dark! Every country in the world is saying that they are registering or expecting negative for the same period.

So, somebody came up with some figures showing that the Philippines has out best the world in weathering the crisis. This is interesting because earlier figures by IMF-World Bank showed negative for the Philippines. I’m no economist and I don’t know how people do or come up with their economic arithmetic. No doubt, there must be economic growth. That’s something expected. Positive growth is another thing. It’s like saying that a ship is pushing at 11 knots against a storm of 10 knots to be gaining 1 knot. Whatever, the simple man in the street does not understand any of them. Fact is, more and more Filipinos are going abroad to find work even before the world’s economic crisis. Fact is, the country today is one of the poorest in the region. Fact is, more and more Filipinos are going deeper into poverty and deprivation.

Let’s go about facts. Something that is seemingly conflicting always comes from one or same facts that caused conflict.  It is views and interpretations of same facts that differed or conflicted. Or, people could possibly be talking of entirely different things while appearing to be in conflict. What are the facts, because facts and truths are the same.

The Philippines is doing great. Right, one can say that. But it is a partial truth and not a total one. It is true only in so far as those who are living above poverty line. When one is beyond poverty, he has surplus earnings actually, and he is in a situation where he may become rich or richer – if he has got that ambition of course. Because we have types who will simply enjoy life when they have that opportunity, which is what life is all about for many of those above poverty. Yes, things like house, appliances, car, jewelries, vacation and the likes. We could be talking there of something like 30% of the total population, or less than that by western standards. What the world calls economic crisis is in fact, to some Filipinos, nothing but economic slowdown, or economic contraction – the latest term coined by whomever.  Filipinos have been buying more brand new cars today when the western world reported decline. That’s mostly by the Filipino business, managerial, and executive castes as usual, surfing high with every economic wave. In the western world construction workers, farmers, market baggers, ordinary people,  they all buy car. Cars are for Hacienderos here.

And we can pretend 70 percent of 90 million Filipinos  do not exist. That would leave 27 million Filipinos, with zero poverty rate! The business climate  in the country is never been dull  is  a fact. The world recession has little impact in the Philippines. They are  all facts, yes, depending where one looks at it.

The Philippines is becoming worst. The situation seems most shaky at around the section where haves and have-nots meet. The present world economic crisis did not make many Filipinos poor. They have in fact become poorer as they were already bellow poverty line when world recession started. They never had amenities normal of people elsewhere in the world. Many Filipinos have long time ago ceased to be part of economic statistics, or factors that contributed to or affecting economic statistics. There is no considerable drop in consumerism contributed by those who have ceased to be economic factors. No wonder we have things now like “positive economic growth” amidst all negatives.

Ok, what we have there are called viewpoints, conflicting [class] viewpoints. We see two truths, two worlds apart, all in one.

Then what is Objectivity? Objectivity is seeing and giving recognition to the A to Z of the matter. Objectivity is impartiality. It is totality, a form of classlessness. Other than that would be frog-in-the-well trying to tell everybody the sky is round and it’s as wide as the mouth of the well. Everybody without exception lives inside a well. That’s right, all people do. Other than that is Superman – alpha humans. But, if one has to summarize a matter briefly, then I guess it is the main that must be given weight. 70% describes the whole better than 30% would!

But what are figures displayed to us all about? I mean, is the nation really progressing as figures would show? Say, we had P95 Mn yesterday when it is  P135 Mn today. That’s amazing growth there, right? Wrong. The figures I showed represent dressed chicken at P95.00 per kilogram then, which now sells at P135.00 per kilogram.  If production was at a million kilograms then that now is still at one million kilograms, what impressed us as monetary growth is in reality stunted economy. And, since population has surely grown bigger today than it was yesterday, the figures are, in effect and in reality, actually, quantitative and qualitative retrogression. Add to that the drop in consumerism because of the economic contraction.  Ah, I’ve been buying less for quite sometime now. So do all the families I see around me.

Sure, there has been a rise of ordinary Filipinos buying motorcycle, lately. Public transport fares have increased. With two wheels now, people save time through hectic traffic. They now ride  head high as owners of vehicles that they can also use for purposes other than  going to and from work. A progressive economic leap for them, no. Savings on bus and jeepney fares are not enough. They have to cut on many things to keep up with monthly amortization. This is more on shifting lifestyle brought about by the situation than by economic progress.

So, what is the higher truth? What is the bigger fact as shown by all the facts?  We have a system here that people have always talked about – Rich-getting-richer while poor-becoming-poorer.  We have a whole that is separated, virtually drifting apart.  There is nothing new to that.  That’s  an old story, older than anybody.

Ok, we have the best managers in Malacañang. We are chugging fast forward. We have positive economic growth. Other than them are lies, deceptions and/or narrow minds.

Meantime Filipinos need foods on their tables, roofs over their heads, clothes to wear, education for their young ones, hospitalization when they get sick, etcetera, etcetera, and not words and numbers that they can hear or see in television but they cannot relate to their everyday existence.  I think this is what made state-of -the-nation address boring every time for Filipinos.  They usually show only achievements instead of showing the objective situation. Comes 2010 whoever seats in the Palace had better be good. I think nothing comes nearest to realism than Senator Miriam D. Santiago when it comes to the situation after 2010.

The Filipino people is very fond of self-flagellation because they celebrate presidential elections as if they have anything to look forward to, and then after only six months they begin to make a death wish for the elected president. That is so Filipino.//Excerpt,  Senator M.D. Santiago

Filipinos are hopeful and wishful people. They dream of becoming a Japan, an America, a Europe, or an Australia. But reality drifts them somewhere else. We have a system that has not worked, without indication that it will work. We have social tensions that have ever been building up. We have a State that is becoming dependent on police and military powers to counteract tensions and to prop itself up.

No, Filipinos do not want to be in a Vietnam, a Myanmar, a China or a North Korea. They are shores farther than Pakistan and the Banana republics wherein I think the country has been consistently drifting. That’s the picture I see, which must be ridiculous and impossible in a country like the Philippines.  I must be seeing warped!

Change reality to change the mechanics. Change the dynamics to change destiny. Now, who’s going to deliver all that, folks? Because Mother Nature has always been on the job, doing things by herself… her own way, people like it or not.

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