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Showing posts from August, 2009

Musing about bookstores and Galileo: Antichrist

I have to thank Nanay's (Soccoro Ramos) National Bookstore (NBS) for making available decent books at affordable prices. I'm not advertising NBS but the truth is my bibliophilic generation is truly "Laking National". When we were much younger, only NBS had carried good books in many of its branches. True there were other more specialist bookstores with fine books like Erehwon, Bookmark, Solidaridad and Popular, these bookstores were located in faraway Makati and Ermita (I lived in QC) or in the case of Popular just off Avenida Rizal near the Rathaus beerhouse. The first two bookshops are defunct, Sionil-Jose's Solidaridad is still around and Popular has moved to a trendier location on Quezon City's Tomas Morato near the Boy Scout roundabout. When I was an undergrad, a lefty friend of mine and I would take public transpo to get to Popular since this was the only place where we can read "commie" books. This is where I got my whole edition of Marx'…

Another instance of Philippine Daily Inquirer idiocy!

Today's editorial in the Philippine Daily Inquirer I believe is the most silly and idiotic one ever to see print in that blurb.
"Ominous Offensive" takes the pacifist and anti Arroyo spin to its most ridiculous conclusions with non sequiturs worse that what Dan Brown can dish. The editorial link the service call of an American warship on the way to exercises with the Indonesian navy, the fact that MILF insurgents can never be expected to hold to on a ceasefire, the wisdom of offensives against a single insurgent group, fear of upsetting Malaysia with (drumrollls.....), the President's supposed plan to declare a national state of emergency just because a group of bandits waylaid a marine platoon in order to remove the public's bad taste of a Frenchy and Yankee dinners in Washington DC.
Read this
"What haunts the imagination of the public is the mutilation of some of the slain soldiers – this desecration of the dead is forbidden under Islam and has horrified pio…

When dad comes home in a box

Army wives are soldiers too and by extension army brats are soldiers also. My father served in the Armed Forces of the Philippines and saw action in Korea, Vietnam and the numerous unresolved insurgencies of our republic. My mother in many instances had to raise us by herself and was resigned that one day, her husband will come home in a box. The children too had to accept that and that duty to the Republic will take their father from them. I never had the concept of Sunday being a "family day". Dad was on duty on Sundays or at the front. We had to soldier on.

When my father passed away years after retirement from the Armed Forces, my mother thanked the good Lord that her husband did not come home in a box. We brought the box home to bury our father.

But it is very heartbreaking to see a picture in the blurbs of a 3 year old boy rousing his dad to wake up from his coffin. But I believe that the boy had an inkling of his dad as a soldier. And all army brats are proud that thei…

Military honor guard gets accolades

The military honor guard over Mrs Cory Aquino's bier had their 9 hours in the public spotlight. As the funeral cortege passed, they had to stand for more than 9 hours in the rain, sun and wind. The four soldiers represented the four services, army, navy, air force and national police. I would have wanted that at least one of the honor guards was a woman. When Mrs Aquino became president, all reasons for not having women as soldiers became moot. After all if your Commander-in-Chief is a woman, what is wrong in having a woman take the orders?

The four men had been interviewed by media and the press. Still dressed in their snappy uniforms, they were asked how they were able to manage it.

Well that's the post-ROTC generation asking! These young people have no idea of what it means to stand motionless for hours! It requires discipline of course but also requires compartmentalizing what one feels.

In ROTC we were taught to think of nothing distressful when doing these duties and of cou…

What makes a national hero?

n August we mark National Heroes Day on August 31, Ninoy Aquino day on the 21st and Quezon Day on the 19th. It may be a good time to reflect on what a national hero is now that some people propose that Congress make the late Mrs Corazon Aquino, 11th President of the Philippines a national hero.Mrs Aquino's husband Senator Ninoy Aquino was finally granted national hero status with Congress creating a national holiday in his honor. It was much belated since Mrs Aquino would never have thought of making her husband one during her term. President FVR recognized Ninoy's hero status by presidential proclamation. The vast majority of Pinoys agreed although there is some dissent.Foremost of the dissenters is Frankie Sionil Jose who writes that Ninoy is indeed heroic and a martyr, he is no national hero. For him it is Rizal and Rizal only that should have the honor for his deeds alone made this nation for what it is now. Of course not all agree with Sionil-Jose. What about Andres Bonif…

Her duty done, our country served: Well done Mrs Aquino!

Mrs Corazon Aquino, once President of the Philippines passed away before dawn of Saturday morning. In the family we always referred to her quite formally, calling her Mrs Aquino and never "Tita Cory". It was as if she was our next door neighbour, a gracious lady.
Mrs Aquino has passed on from being democracy's icon to democracy's legend.

The martial law baby that I am, my and countless others of my generation's political awakening paralled her catapult into politics. There are four images of Mrs Aquino that will be burned into my mind. The first one is her standing by her husband Senator Ninoy Aquino, when the death sentence was read by a military tribunal. The second is during her victory rally after the Marcoses have flown the coop to Hawaii. The third is when during the "God save the Queen" plot against her. She said "this queen need not be saved!" And the fourth is during Fidel V Ramos' inauguration when she left the grandstand for th…