My Freedom

Thursday, August 15, 2013

If I were you

"Funny you should say that..." And he ends there. It was a strange reaction to my comment about brushing his teeth when all that's left are two molars; the rest replaced by off-white dentures. I waited for him to continue but he was silent. That was his way of brushing comments aside...almost like brushing away a fallen white hair on his shoulder. His expression has always been fit for a poker game, passive and bereft of emotion.

Even now, I know that he is very good now at hiding that irritation of being made fun at while he was brushing his er, dentures...

"Which reminds me..." and he is off to his room. He reminds me of Alfred Hitchcock. The British master storyteller was a genius at leaving people hanging when he narrates a thrilling tale and then leaves unceremoniously at the climax. I am left standing. Alone.

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Game of Our King

I see the board clearly. Two neat lines of shiny white figures on one side mirroring their dark twins at the other end. Each figure in this kingdom board has a role to play and they know it.

In the front rows are found the pawns; government clerks and soldiers, drivers and gardeners, cooks and staff sargeants, etcetera etcetera... all meshed into one stoic row of obedient, one-directional robots; doomed to die on the middle board like mindless CAFGUs waiting for landmines to explode at their steady advance.

The second row house the elite. Hemmed in by two towers manning each corner, the officers and cabinet members, the congress and the senate, the landlords and the tycoons, the mayors and their dutiful clones, plus all who perceive themselves as higher than someone else....dwell.

Their position is enviable.Unlike the lowly pawns, their moves have greater reach and therefore expel more power.

In the middle of this elite row are two strange figures. One is the queen. She is the most powerful of all. Gifted with an almost indefinite armory of moves, she sits beside the king, whom she deems pathetic and lame. He can only move one at a time; like a turtle painfully crawling in the mud-filled battlefield that is the board. At most times during the battle, his only moves are designed for one thing: evading capture.

Whew! Chess is really deeeep. :)

Post Election Blues

When discussing the disappointing results of the elections, where clearly incapable people where elected, I do not subscribe to the idea, that we as a people, deserve them because "what we reap is what we sow".

Personally, I hate to be bunched up like leafy green vegetables. I did not vote for these idiots. Sad as I am when my choices didn't make it, I am just content in the fact that I PARTICIPATED in the election process. I believe in my right as a citizen to vote. I exercised this right, along with the millions of people.

Now, if one does not agree with the results, do we cry to the heavens and declare that the majority is wrong, short of implying that they are downright stupid?

It is not their fault. Did you honestly believe for a minute that the ruling elite would allow their candidates to play dead and lose?  Remember that since time immemorial, Philippine politics has been the common playground of politicians who protect their interests. Just read the papers.  The will go at great length to protect these.

So why blame the voters? Is it saying that your opinions are better? By concluding that "what we reap is what we sow", we collectively treat them as a whole. In turn, it disrespects the right of each and every one of us.   Remember, every individual has her story. Perhaps yours is above the rest… you think.

So, enough of this bull (I’ve been hearing this since college.)  Let’s not train our sights on the people who merely exercised their RIGHT as citizens.

Instead, let’s focus on DEMANDING that these so-called politicians become true to their service mandate. If they fail at this, we should then, this time as a "bunch" banish them from their lofty places.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

State of the Nation 2011

Next week, the leader of the country will give, on his one year in office, the so-called State of the Nation address. Therein, he will outline what has been done during his term, what needs to be done and what were the factors that made the nation what it is at present.

Already, everyone has dipped their dirty fingers into the pie. The opposition insists that the president will cover up his administration's mistakes and blame the past resident (or president) for all his woes. They maintain that things have already been leading up to that conclusion. The sudden appearances of witnesses to the past election fraud who point their fingers at the then-president (and ex-resident) is one. The fast-tracking of sensational criminal cases against people from the elite is another. All the media giants are likewise conjuring up intelligent-sounding analysis upon analysis what on earth is happening prior to the said date. So far, stupid ideas abound.

And while this exercise drags on, both the opposition and the present administration engage in a mud-slinging contest that seem to infer in the public eye that what we have in the country is child's play, meaning: politicians don't really care what we see, it's play to them, at our expense.

I used to say that, in the start of his presidency, PNoy was a really bad and immature amateur. Now, a year after, I'm convinced that not only are politicians on both sides amateurish, none are exempt from the severe case of immaturity and lack of respect for a simple fact of politics: they were voted into office and have no right to waste our trust.

The most pathetic lesson from all these is the fact that we, the citizens will continue to suffer, not so much for being witness to this sad state of politics, but more important, for having put our fate in the hands of incompetent, selfish, and immature "dignitaries" who suck up on all that we have as a people. Criminals have it better. While all these confusion rages among our leaders, they roam freely to plunder and wreck havoc. As the joke goes, what is the difference between government and the mafia? One of them is organized. Sad. True. But not at all funny.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lessons of History

I would just like to share this piece of news I got from the upaaToronto. It's really worth sharing.

History Lessons: Very Interesting‏


They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot & then once a day it was taken & sold to the tannery. If you had to do this to survive you were "Piss Poor"
But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn't even afford to buy a pot. They "didn't have a pot to piss in" and were the lowest of the low.
The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be. 

Here are some facts about the 1500's: Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June. However, since they were starting to smell, brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married. 

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water!" 
Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs."

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection.That's how canopy beds came into existence. 

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, "Dirt poor." The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside.. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way. Hence: a thresh hold. 

(Getting quite an education, aren't you?)
In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme: Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old. 

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, "bring home the bacon."They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.
Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or "the upper crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey.. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake. 
England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, saved by the bell or was considered a dead ringer... 
And that's the truth....Now, whoever said History was boring ! ! ! 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Argumentum Ad Misericordiam

I've been listening to the news on TV lately and I've come to one frightening conclusion: it's quite all right for children to watch violence on cartoon networks... Compared to the reality seen on the evening news, anime and superheroes are all sissies and nothing compares to the pathetic stupidity of adults.

Consider the people in the Philippine Congress for example. In a nutshell, the so-called-representatives-of-the-people are up in arms because the Supreme Court has dismissed their filing of TWO impeachment complaints against the Ombudsman. The law states that only one can be filed and these bright guys still insisted on having the complaints passed. Now they're calling the justice branch names like crony of the past president (who put the supreme court members there in the first place) and etcetera... They're even accusing it of creating a constitutional crisis, one that they are actually starting themselves.

A city mayor is seen crying and pounding the table with his fists because he is implicated in the hostage crisis that claimed many lives. He's crying that all the police have ever done was die for the people and so on... all that what he has worked for and the name he created for himself ... are all down the drain because of this accusation that as mayor, he should be blamed... more tears.Duh

Squatters clash with the police and members of the demolition team in a supposed private lot near EDSA. It is known that notices of eviction have been served many times in the past months and still the illegal occupants refused to budge. In a final sign of defiance, they seek the intervention of the reigning popular president to order a halt in the demolition. This is of course done through the watchful media whose coverage is seen worldwide. The president, who is presently in the US on a formal state visit orders a halt in the demolition. The squatters are happy.

The lawyers of the Ampatuans continue to create one delaying tactic after another to postpone the hearing of one of the most gruesome massacres in history. It is clear that for all their millions, the Ampatuans are happy because their lawyers are doing a very good job indeed.

I can't wait for tonight's evening news...and may God forget about Justin Beiber for a while and seriously bless this country. Amen

Thursday, July 15, 2010

In Search Of...

I've read so much about friendship, lasting friendship, true friends, and so on, that the grey area seems like an ocean and the islands are spread farther apart. Yet jaded as I am, I've learned a few things about friendship and I constantly sift through the countless acquaintances and relations, always on the lookout for that unpolished jewel that lasts forever. They are not so easy to find you know. The merry mix isn't at all pleasant and they can lead you into so many blind corners. There are friendships that gleam at first and you're blinded by their beauty. Then they fade like a cheap lightbulb. There are those that moisten their lips and kiss your existence with praises. Then they turn into leeches that drop away when sated. However, there are others that blend with the scenery and it's difficult to notice them. Then slowly they bloom and develop depth, never to be forgotten.

Years ago, I met an older woman in Koln whom we all regarded as mother. In the short time we were there, we became very close so that when the time to part came, it was difficult for me. Then she told me something I will never forget. True friends, she said, wherever they are, no matter how far apart, shall remain that. When they meet, they shall simply start where they left off and begin the cycle once again. No gaps. No pretenses and most certainly, no sadness.

I admit that I have acquired some really interesting jewels in my heart's closet and they remain there still, safely tucked away until my last breath. They know who they are, confident in our friendship and needing nothing else. For those who whine away over errant friends, "fake" friends and "f_king" friends, remember only one thing: use or abuse them... and you lose them. Another thing, the moment you demand that they be with you in your time of need, YOU are not a friend and they have become nothing but crutches. True friends come anyway whatever weather in your life.

P.S. So let's stop wasting our jewels. We have to be reminded that we have to HELP OURSELVES FIRST and not rely on those around us to fight our battles for us. That's watching too many cavalry movies.

-From an older blog, "Grey Matter Extensions: Things that go bump between the ears"