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Posts Tagged ‘philosophy’

Traveling: My Mental Escapade

July 27, 2009 14 comments

drivingLiving 30 kms. outside the city of Iloilo, I have to get used to traveling everyday. That means if I want to be in the office at 8, I have to get ready before the sun rises to catch a transport bus to Tagbak Terminal at 6:30. Since it usually takes an hour of bus ride from our place to Tagbak Terminal, I usually disembark the bus at 7:30 and have to board a jeepney right away for the office. Sometimes it takes more than 30 minutes before I reach my destination depending on the speed of a jeepney. Presumptuously, my travel is far longer than the SONA that President Arroyo will be delivering this afternoon – for if you sum it all up, you will notice that I travel one and a half hours for just going to the office. Actually I really don’t mind because this seems to me a natural routine and I have been used to transporting myself to at least 76 kms (to the city and back) daily excluding the distance traveled during my field works. In short, I am a traveler by my own rights.

But the distance doesn’t matter to me.  As you might notice, I even enjoy it. The farthest my destination is, the better it becomes. Let alone the problem of fares for I have the way to abate it by showing my UP ID which will expire on 2012 pa (hehehe). Anyway, traveling is such a leisure for me despite trudging the same route everyday. Why? Because when I travel, my mind travels with me and I couldn’t help but to think deeply on some things that crosses my attention. Let me share some of the most apparent things that I noticed today:

UNO: While looking outside the bus, you could see that the election is steaming up. This might be the same with other places around the country where electric posts and school façades are awfully ornamented by smiles of the prospective presidentiables. In particular, have you noticed Villar’s visage is becoming ubiquitous? From congratulating the graduates to welcoming the freshmen, from greetings of Mother’s day to that of Father’s day, from simple punch lines of Sipag at Tiyaga to Murang Pabahay, from Iloilo, Banwa Ko to Villards-tulong sa pagsulong ng Philippine sports, you could see his smiling face  in every corner through tarpaulins and streamers. Quack! If you notice, he is actually standing for his motto Sipag at Tiyaga – that is why he is campaigning as early as now. But if you think deeply, it’s about Pera at Tiyaga. Remember that politics connotes a big-shot money game, and whoever has the biggest pocket coupled by publicity and Tiyaga will definitely triumph; and Villar knows that very well. Don’t be fooled brethren! I just hope when you look at his picture, you would also think of the price of his smile or what’s at stake behind his smile. It is only by that that we come to think of other prospects who possess characters like integrity, intelligence, managerial skills, etc; or try to turn our gaze to other candidates that doesn’t speak but has engraved remarkable accomplishments like Bayani and Gibo Teodoro. Just think wise.

DOS: Who cannot notice of garbage in our surroundings? It flies, it rolls, and it happily crosses the street when blown by the wind. Although it provides opportunities for the poor to make money out of it, it nevertheless remains an eyesore. Let’s accept it: there is no such thing as waste. When man creates something, I am sure he creates it out of necessity. Whatever man created surely has use and possesses potentiality for other uses. Take the example of a plastic bag: aside from using it as a basket, it could also serve several uses such as container for other things at home. What is more interesting about a plastic bag is the fact that it can be recycled. And this is not just about plastic: all non-living things especially non-biodegradable are all recyclable.  And when you come to think of it, cleaning our planet is always in our reach and all you have to do is to think that “there is no such thing as waste”. So, when necessity is the mother of all inventions, waste is the most foolish invention a man has ever had – and it is not created out of necessity but lavishness and lethargy.

TRES: From 2008-2009, Real Estate developments in Iloilo increased by more than 50%.  This is quite amazing in so far as real property tax is concerned but may endanger the agricultural production over the year. At about 30% of some agricultural lands are converted if not declared as idle lands for further residential developments. The result is the appearance of streamers and ads on “House for Sale” or “Lots for Sale” that competes with the face of Manny Villar. Because the market in Iloilo is big, streamers doubled up in a matter of just one month. Tsk tsk tsk….Oh, Lord what happened? You gave us the land for free but were subjected into the enterprising elements of some. First, the land was divided into continent (Fine). Then by country (still fine). Then by administrative areas (ok, still fine). But this was divided again into small pieces down to a basic square meter which costs more than an average annual income of the poor (very bad!). Please have pity, oh God.

CUATRO: From Tagbak Terminal to office, I had a funny time counting the many Purified Water and Refill stations. In a matter of 7 kms.interval between the bus terminal and my office, I counted 13 stations. The number is believed to be unlucky by popular culture. Of course, it is unlucky since it will be doubled in a year because the demand for mineral water is constantly increasing. And surely there will come a time that when you speak of water, it automatically entails money. It is just amusing that big cities as New York, calls for the residents to take underground water because it’s clean and free. But that’s not the case in the Philippines. Whew!

CINCO: Last but not the least: When you are riding a jeepney, who wouldn’t notice a sexy lady sitting in front of you? In my case, she wore a green spaghetti dress with a very short skirt that will make you wonder if there is a shortage of textile in global market.

You know, it’s a big irony that amidst the global warming, clothes are becoming shorter and skimpier when in fact they should be made to hide our skin against UV rays. I guess the trend had turned a total opposite now. Today, nakedness becomes a trend where minimal clothing will suffice (hahaha). However, it could also be seen in a different way. Since we are sweating like hell due to extreme heat, I guess the picture below has a very good point.

global-warming-underwear

Anyway, that’s all for my travel amusement. Got to watch GMA SONA pa…hope something good will come out of it.

***

P.S. 1. President’s SONA is done. Superb! If there is one thing that can attest to her accomplishments – it is the statistics. Numbers just dont lie.

2. How would you imagine our country being managed by Estrada and Villar, or by rhetorical Legarda and Escudero amidst the global crisis?  I just couldn’t imagine. What we definitely need is a managerial president who knows every nook and crook of governance and have strategies to keep it working. With all conviction, backed by my experience economic research and urban planning job, GMA has provided that well.

3. “Too much for  Cory’s matter. Let’s shift our attention to her hacienda,” says an uring anakpawis.

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Payo’ng Kuya

July 24, 2009 10 comments

warning-sign-thumb4385840‘Cuz, after a very busy week in the office, I feel happy now to get back to my computer and write things that caught my attention during my entire field work. I have noticed that while traveling, my mind soars high to think why the sun has to be yellow or why water has to be wet. And as exactly what I had feared, I have now turned out to be very speculative. Grrrr!

By the way, forgive me if I have been damn serious about some things with the tendency of attaching peculiar thoughts on them. This blog has been colored by some as a philosophy page simply because I was thinking weird. Sorry, I cannot help it. If there is anything or somebody whom you could trace back as to why I have been behaving like this, please turn your gaze to my course and my teachers for inculcating oddly ideas in my hollow cranium. Even when I have been speaking with ideas, deep inside I hate philosophy that I was eager to unlearn everything to get myself back to the ground.  But much to my gusto to keep away from it, I know it is now too late. Once philosophy takes hold of your brain, you no longer have the power to pull it out.  It is like the HIV virus – once you get infected, you have to bear with it for a lifetime. It will flow in you like blood and will grow like budding Parkinson’s, too capable to distort your cognitive skills. Once philosophy lures you, be sure to stand on guard or else you’ll be washed away with delectable baits of intelligence which serves like narcotics to drown you in elation. And you will be the biggest fool if you succumb to it. Why?  Because, in the end, after having been subjected to thorough indoctrination, you’ll realize that the simplest principles in life are what we learned from the children, from the farmers, from the priest, from your friends, and not the airy ideas of Santayana, Marx, Wittgenstein; and other boring names such Kierkegaard, Sartre, Bergson, Jasper; not to mention of course the hard to stomach lines of Mills, Hobbes, Spinoza and Descartes.

You see, there is a terrible risk in taking philosophy. My advice is simple: do not drink it nor eat it.  It might send you to a pedestal where you will be transformed into an oracle of Plato or a mooter of Aristotle and would be very busy cogitating about fascinating topics all for the sake of discussion. But I assure you in the long run, you will be too pre-occupied with ideas and you will start to get forget to put on your slippers or bakya in ascending to the pedestal – the more you progress, the bigger the gap grows between your feet and the ground.  Anyway, I just hope that I made myself clear. The risk of philosophy is high and I suggest do not take it as your course in college. Aside from the danger of losing your ground, you will find it hard to earn money to feed your stomach; and not just that, if you ostentatiously prove your mind, you will be mistaken to be crazy. So save your best for something worthy and while you still have time, SHIFT! After all, there is so much beauty in natural sciences than liberal arts. But if you really want to know about philosophy, all you have to do is read. It doesn’t need 4 to 5 years of finishing the course, either AB or PhB, to know it by heart. A little brain will suffice.

***

P. S. Joke! Hehehe.

Mr. A Outwits Devil Genie

May 11, 2009 15 comments
the defeated genie

the defeated genie

The genie ascended from the lamp in form of thick smoke and filled the room with terror, and his overwhelming presence shook the earth. Aladdin held his ground while gripping the lamp and sweating from the horror that the evil might overpower him. The fear he experienced was like nothing he ever felt during the thousands of war-stricken Arabian nights in the desert, where men were cut with hatred and left as carcasses for vultures to feed on. And yes he was afraid, more afraid than a man whose perished soul awaits the eternal damnation in hell. He thought this would be the last of his life where the only person that mattered in his life would be taken away from him forever.  The genie was very fierce in his stance that any violation in the contract would mean an endless plague to his tribe. So he prayed hard that his last wish would be right as the smoke enveloped his torso spiralling up to his head and wringing every single nerve of his body. He never felt heat like it before, not even when the desert sun’s heat was duplicated ten times, thus draining his energy. Yet Aladdin never gave out for he knew he had to finish the last wish. “Allah,” he said in silence, “let the coolness of your embrace protect me and blow your breath on my face to refresh my drooping spirit to overcome my bravado”. He knew his last wish was crucial as this would be the very end of his dream. The pact had been agreed – Aladdin would have his wish granted in exchange for Jasmine. He turned his gaze to the smoke that filled with various souls from the underworld. How horrifying the sight was for a man who wished nothing but the happiness for his people.  First, he had wished for the abundance of the crop in the sand; secondly, for the effacement of poverty along the street; and now, the end had come…a single mistake would mean an onerous consequence for him and his people. He closed his eyes and fervently prayed as the resounding voice thundered in the dark room calling his name: “Aladdin, utter your last wish that I may have my taste of your lover’s blood.” Aladdin with all his courage trudged the darkness and raised his head. “I have nothing left in this world but legacy – legacy that would create a harmonious world where people share the blessings of Allah and partake in eternal jubilation in his name. There is no nobler wish than to see people walking hand in hand in peace  and transcending the differences in the world. And you can never take that dream from me for my heart does not succumbed to human greed as you expected. Therefore, I wish that I will have a million more wishes to be granted, lest my village’s death be served. That alone devil, is my wish and never will it violate the agreement.”

***

P. S. My youngest sister, Trisha, always asks me to tell her stories… did I invent an acceptable one?

The Cry of Lemo-Ulan Batur

March 18, 2009 7 comments

Every race and every age gives God its own mask. But behind all masks...is always the same never-changing God - Nikos Kazantzakis

Every race and every age gives God its own mask. But behind all masks...is always the same never-changing God - Nikos Kazantzakis

Holding the staff in his hand, he sat on the ground and palmed the sand, feeling its smoothness wringing gently on his hand down to his wrist. The grains were like living creatures that struggled to escape the frame of human bars the way water spontaneously evades the bedrocks that block its way; that is because everything in this world is free yet moves accordingly to universal norms. The sand will always have its way in the ground as the smoke always tends to ascend in the sky. And in this blackness of the night, no matter how apparent the contrast among things, the intensity of darkness engulfed all colors and the only thing that illuminated the world was the terrestrial flicker way above its sphere. He knelt on the sand and ardently prayed that life for humanity would progress in perfection in the multitude of human civilizations. Feeling the pricks of the sand and the sweetness of the night he knew that in the desert would man find the greatest harmony in the world. It is the only place where heaven copulates with earth like intimate lovers that constantly desire each others beauty. This desert with its enormous space provided is an ineffable source of heavenly wisdom that transforms the self into a prophet of peace. Yet, even when he tried to convince himself of the peaceful atmosphere, his mind asserted that what he had witnessed signified that violence originated in this very sand. How ironical that the world ‘s greatest moralist was reared and nourished in this place yet unable to make any changes to abate human conflict.  It had even gone worse in consequent years. Yes! He knew that it all started with the Word; and things were all beautiful that God called it his greatest masterpiece. But the Word became  a sword; and the only difference between them is the letter “s”. Its “S” for Satan or for serpent which creeps on the sand tempting Christ to denounce his obedience and sneaking its way to human weaknesses and atrocities. What happened to the world was nothing but mere transgression of human desires that consequently distorted man. And this grotesque serpent seemed to enjoy his legacy- the wars and the dying of million lives. The sword as opposed to the Word  blinded man of its own place; and that even God’s writ has been interpreted in various ways which proved onerous to the hope of unity.

In this vast desert, its not human cry that can be heard but also the lamentation of the land which has been soaked not with water but with human blood that either torments its spirit or curtail its hope; and how sad that it began with the idea of God whose name resulted to horrific wars in the world tinted by what we deemed religion.  This is totally reciprocal to what the Red Crescent speaks, or the blood-laden Cross preaches, or the Magein David symbolizes. This is a fiasco of human follies and hidebounds in comprehending the universal essence of peace.  With this terrible angst that overwhelmed him, he turned his gaze up to the sky and searched for immanent constellations that have been witness to the rise and fall of religion and the devil behind it.  He beat his breast and shouted his song: “Lord, when will this world see your face that lurks behind the cross or the crescent or the mark of David; when will your people know that unity can only be achieved in embracing the differences in this world.” He then stood up to his feet removed his black robe and shouted, “I am a priest in Muslim faith, and I am Muslim with a Christian God, and I am a Jew living in both ways. Will this meager soul quench its thirst when I embrace You, Oh God, unbounded by human constructs and ephemeral symbols? Tell me Lord, when will your kingdom come? Or shall we fight the serpent on our own? Help us God for the sand has now turned red.”

***

P.S. Sr. Rose, you take care always in Israel.

Categories: philosophy Tags: ,

The Artist and the World in Time

March 3, 2009 8 comments
"Without poets, without artists, men would soon weary of nature's monotony. The sublime idea men have of the universe would collapse with dizzying speed. The order which we find in nature, and which is only an effect of art, would at once vanish. Everything would break up in chaos. There would be no seasons, no civilization, no thought, no humanity; even life would give way, and the impotent void would reign everywhere."   --  Guillaume Apollinaire

"Without poets, without artists, men would soon weary of nature's monotony. The sublime idea men have of the universe would collapse with dizzying speed. The order which we find in nature, and which is only an effect of art, would at once vanish. Everything would break up in chaos. There would be no seasons, no civilization, no thought, no humanity; even life would give way, and the impotent void would reign everywhere." -- Guillaume Apollinaire

What makes an artist? Some claim that the artist is a product of an external-objective inspiration; others say that it is wrought by a Freudian projection of ego that needs to be channeled through brush strokes or the inkblots in poetry. Although these might be valid answers, I still hold one single notion of a true artist: the one formed by pain – either caused by obscurity, or by the complexity of political systems that either oppress or prevent one from realizing herself – but reciprocally finds beauty in it. Remember that an artist life is deeply wedded with pain yet exalts it with jubilation. It is through this pain that an artist has able to understand the world better.

To add more, an artist speaks with experience and understands the way of life. She is like a saint in the middle of the street stressing her isolation from the crowd; yet, despite being ridiculed and misunderstood, never departs from what is real and continues to nourish life with joy and holiness amidst the majority. She knows the way of the world yet humbly abides in the will of God. Yes, God, because she knows that life is temporary and that our mortal being is nothing but a mere manifestation of a higher being. Although she finds overwhelming wonders in this world, she perpetually seeks the permanence of beauty in a higher degree that can only be achieved by relating herself to the higher being. So she makes use of her life as instrument to make others realize of the passing world; and, despite the relative notions of practicality of having faith, she perpetually believes on a heavenly covenant that awaits man. In this unstable world, a flower may bloom for days but will never stay forever, for soon the wind will blow and fill the heavenly basin with torrent, then will clear out the view for a grandiose sun and the flower will die wilted under its heat. But unlike a flower, an artist will remain constant in her endeavor despite the changing winds and the hurdles of time. She knows her place in the plurality of the world, like a heart is deemed to be for one purpose – love. She is forever steadfast in her faith no matter how tempting the tides are, and even grows stronger with it the way sand solidifies into rock  in time. Her goal is one: to recreate the soul to bring it back to where it really belong by means of literature, of music, and of encompassing colors of love.

But an artist lives like a normal man does. What distinguishes her from the rest of the pact is her demeanor in dealing with the world. She loves the world bound in time but better loves the world that awaits permanence for all of us. An ordinary man will cling to time for direction while an artist try to ride with time with great control of herself. Thus, an artist always keeps her ground in order to read the signs of time and transposes her knowledge through her art.

When some become slaves of time, an artist, on the contrary, struggles to transcend it. By transcending it, she understands the world better and the mechanisms that cause man to act. But transcending it is already an explicable “pain embraced” because time, by its illusive nature, creates perdition that draws man away from the truth (from self and from the world). Yet, through this pain, an artist is wrought and that her soul is fulfilled. With how the world transpires now, the complexity of life increases and human systems are but pell-mell hindrances to the true realization of one’s self. It is then the role of an artist to stand out from this demeaning ordeal and to be saints in all accord. After all, an artist is known to be a re-creator of beauty, a true philosopher, and a herald of change.; and that an artist, against all odds, has be a Miracle to humanity, that even when her limbs become lifeless, her lips will never cease to praise: Ah! What a Wonderful World!

***

P.S. 1. Thoughts for two great artists in my bloglist: Mira and Gabi. If time is eternal, so the hope of an artist prevail because her aspirations transcends it…when others look at the world at a pace length, an artist eyes looks at the way beyond.

2. When science scuttles for development and understanding, art beautifies and exalts everything.

Categories: arts, philosophy Tags: , ,

Stability in Gray

February 27, 2009 7 comments

"We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love" - Anonymous
“We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love” – Anonymous

Looking at the blossoming nara trees and watching the passing clouds beyond it, one could only wistfully accept that these passing beauties would be off in a few days. The flowers would drift from the branches and the clouds would grow darker to obliterate the royal azure of heaven. Nothing would be the same again in this world. Heraclitus said you cannot step on the same river twice; even man is confined with free will to stay as he is, other things in this world will move him eventually. The fact that we are all connected in one single universe, a mere flip of a butterfly’s wing can create a great impact in global disposition. This was what I thought of looking through the bus casement as I passed the length of the Barotac Nuevo highway that had been beautified by local officials with mesmerizing nara trees.

Sitting beside me was a couple who must have been in their late 70’s. The woman tugged the man’s sleeve and laid her head on his shoulder. She must have been exhausted during the trip and wanted to rest her heavy head on the man’s arm. The man obligingly drew her closer to him and lovingly kissed her on the forehead, assuring her of his protection. All the while I thought that the most beautiful thing of the day could be seen through the lovely yellow flowers of nara, but after spotting the old couple affectionately comforting each other, nothing can really contest the true beauty of our own kind. A long time ago, I used to like the sight of young lovers walking aimlessly at the street while clasping hands because their images made me think of passion, of romantic love, of the blossoming emotions so natural and innocent… but I now realize that authentic love requires “stability” which these young lovers missed out. That stability can only be experienced in God and our family and not to the trial-and-error affinity of the young blood. Even though the moment was brief I could sense that the old couple’s love for each other was steadfast and had that stability. It was simply fascinating!

In this secular world, it is quite comforting that even when the trends are rapidly morphing in seasons, love never loses it sfumato. It constantly moves us together, in sickness and in health, in poverty and in wealth, and in sorrows and in happiness. By this, I think that that there are exceptions in general rule. The notion that there is no stability in this world may seem a bad generalization after all. Reflecting on this beautiful sight of a wonderful couple, I am sure that there is in fact one indispensable argument to counter this gross generalization – love binds. This alone is constant because love by nature never separates nor destroys but instead unifies and solidifies.

When we disembarked the bus, I asked the couple where they would be going. The old woman replied, “We will be visiting our dying brother in the hospital. I and my brother are the only family he has.” I expressed my hope for their brother as I helped them settled in the jeepney. They smiled at me in return and said, “God bless you noy.”

God Bless you too, Lolo and Lola.

***

P.S. To neutralize the tone of this blog, please turn to the picture and tell me what you see.

Categories: philosophy Tags: , , ,

The Life’s Paradox

January 10, 2009 12 comments

93fantasy-3d-03-m343He took the pen with bright hope that life, with its complexities, moves the self to progress and urges the mind to desire for improvement. He wrote his first amendment then pondered on it. Yet no matter how he configures his life, along with the things that should be done correctly, would eventually revolve back to the axis of its past ; and he could never escape the angst of breaching his new promises, that,  with its tendencies, may lead to his doom – a state of despondency and self expatriation. But still, he thought life must go on, not for attaining perfection, but for denying the mistakes of the past by creating resolutions to believe that the phantom of the past can be resolved by the angel of the present who eradicates the scars of  mortal heart and bathes life anew. And while looking at what he wrote, his body shivered in terror and he shed the tears of bitterness in believing in ideas that betray the genuine concept of human agony along with the cognizance of the ego that perpetually stirs in the pit of human composition; and to which with all ambiguity, constantly reminds him that sooner or later, life with its new temporal form, by principle or by common consciousness, would be revived back again to its evil arche. Realizing that he could no longer go on writing, he gathered what he wrote, crumpled the paper in his hand, wringing the pain which he felt in his palm. The text he started to scribble were just mere ink dots now, staining the clean paper sheet and proving no less than a sheer shadow of false hope that everyone deemed to salvage life from wickedness to sainthood. He broke down with regrets for living another year because it means another year of anguish: that his life is another step closer to the end. And yes, did he think how his life was infested with malaise as parasites enjoy the glory of eternal elixir of blood. He felt suffocated by his abject mind that drowns him stupor, yet he fought back and clutched to his senses as he stood up laughing with no other sensible reason but oblivion from any hope. Then his breathing was no longer that that sustains life but that the gasping of desperation for death. Even when his heart told him to go on to find the brightness of the day, his brain on the other limb, simulated an impact to paint his logic a tinge of darkness thus proving there is no sense of finding the sun for the world revolves in perfect bi-polarity; anything that has light would coherently succumb to the emerging darkness. So he stepped down to the abyss of his room, now clutching the devil’s blade; and with no clear vision of his steps, alas, he told himself as he continuously descended down to the darkness: “We are all going to die anyway.”

Categories: philosophy Tags: ,