Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lethal Injection

I am currently listening to the live stream of the on-going coverage of the promulgation of the sentence of the three Filipino OFW's in China. After everything has been said and done, it seems that only a miracle can stop the impending execution by Lethal Injection under the Chinese Laws. Even as early as two weeks back, the Chinese Ambassador has already expressed his regret saying that the Chinese Supreme Court have already a final decision and asked that the Philippine Government respect their laws and procedures. I just can't help but give my two cents worth on the issue as well. Here are my thoughts.

1. It is disappointing how China, and other countries still uses the death penalty by Lethal Injection as capital punishment for crimes. What makes it more disappointing is the fact that China has been a signatory to the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. China signed the International Instrument on December 12, 1986 and ratified October 4, 1988. Debatable as it is, to my mind, Death by Lethal Injection is a Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading form of punishment.

2. It is also disappointing that there are still Filipinos who are being victimized and used as drug mules by big time syndicates. Whatever happened to the supposed job of governmental agencies to protect OFW's orient them of the dangers they face and other such follow-ups for them to protect them from these dangers.

3. I just wish that the media would give space to the families and allow them to grieve privately. All this media attention seem like a feeding frenzy to me. Media people seemed to have flocked to the family's houses in the hope of getting a 'scoop' or an 'exclusive.' To my mind, this adds to the stress to the families of the said OFW's. The hope of them relenting and not adding burden to the already frayed nerves of the families seem as dark as the chances of the stay of execution for these poor OFW's.

4. Finally, let us move forward from this experience. Let us reexamine the reasons why many Filipinos still brave the dangers, knowing wide awake the risks that they put their own selves through. Let us try to look for solutions to prevent this from happening again and again. Let us then be vigilant and be very cautious with our work abroad. Let us remember and honor the brave men and women of the Philippines who face thousand and one risks and dangers for the sake of their family's betterment. In closing, let us take a minute of silence to offer a prayer for the three OFW's in China and other migrant workers the world over.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Protect our Children

Before I slept earlier, I reposted a video in my facebook account condemning the beleaguered TV host Willie Revillame of the show Willing Willie on TV5. The said video features a child contestant, six year old jan-jan who was made to dance ala macho dancer gyrating suggestively.

When I woke up, the news has gone viral, with the DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman writing a letter to the TV5 management to refrain from using children this way saying it was clearly a violation of the R.A 7610

I laud the feisty Secretary for acting swiftly on the issue. The MTRCB has also recommended that a panel study the said incident. Meanwhile, TV5 and Willie Revillame have issued apologies and even guested the kid on their latest show with the kids parents saying that they did not feel that the boy was traumatized or abused in any way.

I can not help but express my thoughts on the issue, being a trained Child Rights advocate and paralegal intern at that, trained and immersed on Developmental Legal Issues from the Alternative Law Groups and having completed internship programs from the Children's Legal Bureau.

Here is my piece on the issue:

First and foremost, I have long decried the blatant disregard for good manners and a lack of tact and tasteless tirades of Revillame on National TV. Again and again, he has presented himself as bastos, walang modo and continually put to shame the contestants, the audience and even his own staff in his shows, even before when he was still in ABS CBN. I have stopped watching these shows too.

Secondly, I have long found it abhorrent and loathsome how these shows portray children in very inappropriate roles or portrayals. I have long been indignant and have long held the opinion that making children cry on National TV, for the sake of ratings, getting sympathy for cash or for fame/notoriety is clearly violative of the rights of children to be duly protected and thus constitute a clear violation on the laws pertaining to these protection of the child. I remember an episode where Willie repeatedly asked a child to 'say something' to his father who, allegedly has abandoned them. The child repeatedly said that everything was okay and he had nothing else to say to the absent father, but Revillame kept goading and prodding, which resulted to a tearful message of the child to his absent parent. In my mind, the relieving or the opening of such sensitive issues for a child who has long been trying to forget and get on with life is clearly a form of emotional and psychological abuse at that. In fact, the ridicule he gives are well seen,poking fun at their appearances, and to highlight, sexualities. To subject a child to ridicule because of his apparent effeminacy is clearly a form of abuse and exploitation.

Thirdly, the statement of the parents that no such abuse or trauma was brought about by the incident should be taken with a grain of salt. After all, they were the ones who stand to be benefited with what Jan-jan earned in exchange of his public humiliation, and they too are the ones who will be portrayed evil if found to be amiss and remiss in their rearing and protection of his rights. But of course they will protect themselves and deny such allegations. They too, should be made respondents and party to the exploitation of this kid. Remember that on these issues, the paramount concern should be on 'what is for the best interest of the child,' not what these parents would stand to benefit or lose. Remember too, that matters of these nature are a 'social crime,' hence, people have the obligation to see fit that the rights of the child be protected and to stand up when they see it being violated. Let us also remember that, sad as it may seem, in many cases and even those decided by the courts, it has been proven that sometimes, the parents themselves may not be the most qualified people to protect these rights, and in fact, are the number one violators and exploiters of their very own children.

Fourthly, Willie says that there was no exploitation and they merely wanted to provide entertainment. Further, when he asked the child at a later part why he cried, the kid said that he was merely afraid of basketball star Bonel Balingit, whom Willie called in to stand beside the child. The very act of calling Bonel is already clear abuse. Surely, the intent of such an act is to intimidate the kid. Furthermore, when they saw the child crying, they should have stopped making him do what he was doing and asked the child why he was crying. The belated asking prompts one to think that the child might have been 'coached' already, and his hesitance to say the reason at first must be because he knows that if he, in any way, displease the host, he might not be able to 'win' something in the program. I also agree with Sec. Soliman in an interview aired on Radyo Singko that the mere 'repeated' performance of the child constitutes an abuse or exploitation. To ask the child to do the dance five or six times in the name of entertainment is just too much. He was even placed on an elevated floor that rose up while he was doing his tearful dance.

Finally, I also agree that with this issue, not only Willie or TV5 should be put spot on, but it would also be high time to examine other instances of children being abused on National TV. I agree that little female children should not be asked to dance and gyrate in a suggestive manner seemingly following more mature female sexy stars, or dressed in such manner as well. I agree that when children are being put on the set, the female dancers should also modify their dance steps to make them child-appropriate. In fact, even the courts are modified as per rules when placing a child under the witness stand so as not to create trauma to these poor children whose minds and psychological make-up are fragile and must be protected. I am one with the indignation and condemnation. Let us protect our children and let us not find amusement to the detriment and at the expense of our young ones. Let us be vigilant in protecting those who are not able to protect themselves from the harshness of the world. If we find humor and entertainment in these things, then maybe we should reexamine our entertainment values. Shame on us!

This issue is an indication that we do have a problem in our society. This is bigger than Revillame, or the dancing Jan-jan incident. Let us then take closer looks and be vigilant in reporting analogous cases and please, stop clapping or cheering on children being embarrassed and put in exploitative positions such as these. Let us be discerning and let us remember that these are real, living children, with rights to be protected, and not dolls or toys that exist to provide us with entertainment, pique our curiosities or afford us a laugh or two.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Duh! Kumusta naman ang Department of Tourism ng bansa? After launching, or rather attempting to launch the controversial new slogan "Pilipinas Kay Ganda!" which earned a lot of flak from the public and was highly criticized, they pull it off saying it was just on 'test-run.' Well it seems they are gonna bomb out once more. Here is the alleged new 'concept' for the new slogan.

Sabi ng Secretary of Tourism eh sa local tourists daw naka target ang bagong slogan. Nakikita daw nila na dapat palakasin ang domestic tourism at hikayatin pa sila na maglagalag sa buong bansa.


How elementary could you get? How frustrating!

Una: Why do they insist, in the first place to replace the existing and very successful WOW Philippines campaign? Bakit kailangan palitan samantalang napaka successful nitey at malakas ang dating at recall value?

Pangalawa: Why do they insist on adopting a Tagalog/Filipino slogan? Rasunan pa na domestic ang target teh? Well, kung ganon nga, eh di ba mas epektib ata kung ang kampanya instead of Tara Na! Gawin na lang "WER NA U, HIR NA ME!" di ba? Mas simple, naiintindihan, masa direkta at mas epektibo? WER NA U, HIR NA ME sa DINAGYANG FESTIVAL ILOILO oh dava!

Pangatlo: Kumusta naman ang poster teh? Mas magaling pa yata ang pamangkin ko gumawa ng poster noh! At ang tatlong bata, I'm sure tatawagin nilang sina Luz, Vie, at Min. Wanabet?

Hay naku, kaloka lang. Sa panahon ng digital technological advancements, ito na yun? Ito na talaga teh? Kalurkeibelles! Yun nah!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Asians in the Library

Kaloka lang ang Alexandra Wallace. Napanood ko sa youtube ang bilat. Nilait lait nya lang naman ang kultura ng mga Asyang. Kesyo daw tiga UCLA sha at nag aaral ng political science. Naiimbey daw sha kumvakit pag weekends eh more ang gorabelles ng mga jumag aneyk ng mga asyang sa apartment at maglalaba ipagsa-shopping, lulutuan at kung anek anek pa ng mga kamag-aneyk ang mga studyanteng Asyang. Eh gaga ka fala, ganun talaga kami teh! Servitude kami teh sa mga familyey gagah!

Tafos, nasa library nga daw sha nag aaral at nung malapit na daw sha magka Epifany eh bigla mag riring ang isang nyelpown at mag kukuda ang isang Asyang. Sabi pa ng bilat. Wooooohhhh!!! Ching Chong Ling Long Ting Tong! Gagang toh! Laitin ba ang lengwahe ng Asyang na mas matanda pa kesa sa markanong lengwahe na hiram hiram lang sa kung sa anek anek na lengwalalur?

Ang pinakanakakaloka, aba, di pa na kuntento ang hitad, at doon na talaga ako na jiniz de belen sa kanyey~ Aba'y pakialaman ba naman ang tsunami! Kesyo na iintindihan daw nya na nagka tsunami kayah lang nakaka disturbances daw sa Epiphany nya! Gaga! Sino ka ba sa kala mo si Chaka Khan na magkaka epiphany ka? Kalokah! Kailangan daw mag ka American manners ang mga Asyang. Gagang toh! Di ko ipupromote ang video nya kasi shinonggal na nya at kinlose ang channel nya pero kalat na sa youtube ang panlalait ng gaga. Instead, in my own way, itrak ang masasabi ko lang. Kung itrak ang mga Asyang na magchi-Ching Chong Ling Long Ting Tong sa library, gagah, magpapatayo ako ng sariling Library ko. Well, Music Library at least. Gagang bilat na toh! Honey you need to get laid. Nandun ang Epiphany na hinahanap mo.

Oh well... itrak na ang mga Asyang na felt ko maka Ching Chong Ling Long Ting Tong sa Library ko. Enjoy Batchoy Denizens. Pakisabuyan ng mainit init na batchoy ang hitad na bilat pag nakita nyo. Please lang!

Nung 2008 ko pa na feature ang Asyang na to kaya nangunguna sha

Love ko ang Song. Love ko na rin sha! Anuver!

Yummy lang sha! Ganda ng song. Atchaka, love nya daw ako. Kaya sha na talaga for now. Hehehehe. Gruff Chubby lang! Woof!

Kaya kay Alexandra Wallace, because I am a nice decent Filipino and Asian that my Mom raised well, with free laundry over the weekends, grocery shopping and all that shit, and growing up talking to my friends without any Ching Chong Ling Long Ting Tong thing, hindi ka pwede sa Library ko letche kah! Peace on the Batchoyan Library. Chos!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I feel very very sad. I dunno why I only blog here when I'm sad and I certainly would not want this to be a habit but here I am updating this blog because I'm sad.

Tonight, my photo artist friend Babak Niaraki and I drove around the city to look for subjects to photograph for the pictures for my poetry book. We were looking for doors. Good doors. Solid doors, bamboo doors, battered doors, shattered doors. Basta, doors. We passed by my favorite ruins. This is the Laguda Mansion at Gen. Hughes St., near Colegio del Sagrado Corazon De Jesus. He told me that a new hotel was being constructed, and I didn't realize what he was telling me until I saw that the ruins were gone. Nothing left! Everything was cleared out and the hotel he was telling me about will rise in the same exact spot where the ruins were.

It broke my heart! Gone! Nada! Nothing.

I have always been proud of those ruins. I have always found deep mystery and beauty in those ruins. Remember an old post I wrote about Fort San Pedro, calling the place my secret sanctuary? These ruins are actually somewhere near, and every time I'd go to Fort San Pedro, I would pass by these ruins all the time.

Those ruins have always meant so much for me. I find beauty in the structure. It represented so much for me and it has always been poetic for me. I always told myself that if I had the money, I would buy the property, secure the ruins by checking its structural integrity and augmenting it if needed be or restoring it, then having an open air cafe on it. Now its gone. Razed and bulldozed to the ground. I dunno what else to say. My heart simply bleeds. I feel at a loss.

Here are photos taken from the net of how the ruins looked like.

Credit: Photo above by Marcos Chymera
Suceeding Photos from

I scanned my old friendster account remembering I once posted pictures I took with my cellphone camera. I found two. Only two of them.

Tonight I mourn yet another personal and artistic loss. No more grand photo shoot by the ruins. No more performance poetry sessions to be held there. No more book launch. Goodbye my favorite ruins.