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Archive for May, 2011

It crept on me like a serpent. It stayed on my shoulders and reared its head up, looking intently in front me, surveying those who surround me.

Once I was nobody. I can slip in and slip out without anyone knowing. My voice never mattered (and never been heard before). This is a choice I made after leaving The Firm. Power burned me. Fame blinded me.

But I am on the same path again. A creature born as a shark will always be a shark. I now prominently show my coronet. My voice is slowly being heard. My ideas are slowly being considered.

In every kingdom, there would always be royalties. You must bide your time lest you be accused of usurping power. But in all kingdoms, there would always be jesters, soothsayers and loyal soldiers. A prince yearning for the crown must know who these are underneath the garb.

I felt the power some days past after making a critical decision that would have changed the lives of some for a few hours. It was a difficult one to make, emotionally. The stolid equation was clear : hand down the verdict, assert your political will and see the kingdom walls stand the test of times.

But it did not come without a cost. Few jewels of friendship I hold so dearly were lost among the rubble. I searched after the dust has settled but they were not to be found. Perhaps, they are in hiding? Or has abandoned me for good? I cried over the lost. The weak child peeped through the mask of iron I wear every day. But as said, it was a peep, no longer than that. For many others are counting on unbiased decisions I would have to make. The iron mask was put on again.

I am afraid for as I make these decisions, my best friend, my other self, my prince, is in a far-away kingdom no Gandalf horse can take me to him. There are times when I know I stand vulnerable. Vulnerable not only to vultures who lie in wait till I make the limb-crushing ill decision, but vulnerable also to my own self – I might be so true to my responsibility and end up as stolid as the algebraic equations I once hated in high school.

I fear a moment when you are so blinded by your own luminescence, you no longer see the truth around you. I fear a moment when you shine so brightly, so quickly, you burn out ahead of the others. I fear a moment when your pull is so strong it creates galaxies but sucks you in yourself.

This is not new to me. I must learn from past mistakes. File the budding of horns while I still can. There are too many mistakes and too little time and one must learn from the mistakes of others.

I will continue to struggle in the snow. To work in the darkness while the numbing coldness of the breeze kisses my cheeks all the time. I can try to please as much people as I can, but I know it would be in vain. Let me be true to the cause without losing sight of my loved ones and friends. I just wish we stand the test of time.

I just wish the snow would melt soon.

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Squat!

The recent incident at the Laperal Compound in Makati City has again showed how quickly evolution happens.

Squatters, no matter how the law or charitable institutions would describe them, are people who occupy lands and/or existing structures without due benefit to the owner. In short, parasites.

For the longest time, these people have argued poverty over and over again. It is forgivable, say, for the first generation of squatters to reason poverty as the driver of their occupancy for that, in itself, is admission of the problem and the first step towards solving it. But for the second generation (and how thick-skinned of the first generation to even multiply without even having the resources to provide decent shelter for themselves!)to argue poverty again is blatant evidence of a hereditary disease – laziness!

I, myself, once argued poverty as the reason why I should be accepted at PUP Manila as a scholar. My family, though working, could not provide for all of us to go to private schools and thanks to FIFO (first-in first-out), as the youngest, I was the one who had the smallest budget allotted for education. But I knew I can only argue once and I have the make the most out of it.

I am still not rich. In fact, we are still renting a house for our family and I don’t even have a car. But I know I am no longer poor. And I do not abuse anyone’s kindness.

Well, the squatters aren’t really abusing the kindness of the private owners. But they are just bright enough (with the government stupid enough) to take advantage of the infamous Lina Law or RA 7279 protecting squatters from eviction or demolition without due compensation and relocation (sec 28). The nerve! Lupa ko nang ginamit ng walang bayad, ako na nga maglilinis nun, tapos babayaran ko pa ang mga squatters?!

Well, let us thank Mr Joey Lina, a former senator under the Cory Aquino administration who then went to head the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). Sakit na kaya ng ulo ng DILG dati ang mga squatters na na-realize ni Mr Lina salamat sa batas nya? Or just like his president, all problems, especially those they promised to solve, but could not solve, should be blamed against Marcos, and all will be well as soon as they start to pray in front of cameras! I could not blame Mr Lina for coming up with the bill. Helping the ‘poor’ and condemning the ‘rich’ was the fad at that time. But what this law, together with other government agencies’ ineffectiveness, has done is to further train the current poor to get even poorer because the government is taking care of them. Parasites!

Or perhaps those against the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill should step in and help these ‘poor’ families (who threw bottles, stones and human feces at the police and officials) since they multiplied according to the dictates of their faith.

I believe the sudden increase in squatters is further proof of what a former professor of mine once said (which I do not believe yet, please) that we are the viral race. Put one Filipino in one place, wait for some time, and there would surely be a thriving Filipino community there. The multiplication can be due to natural reasons or immigration. In the case of squatters, it’s both. Due to lack of anything better to do, they resort to sex without proper family planning. Due to the wonderful way of life (look ma, I don’t have to pay for rent or mortgage!), they invited their friends and families who are probably much better living in the provinces than they do here, to live with them and taste the sweet life in the metropolis.

Let me close my case by saying that I do not have anything against those who were born poor for it is not their fault but I have everything against those who remain poor for they are not doing anything about it other than cry in front of cameras, beg the government for alms, and suck the blood out of our economy which in turn is fed by the sweat and blood of those, rich and poor, who pay taxes. Man should evolve with better selves generation after generation. The squatters are evolving. They are getting brighter and brighter, taking advantage of laws to protect them and their lazy habits. The sadder thing is that our laws are not evolving fast enough.

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