We Deserve Justice

by prodebate4
January 22, 2008 at 2:24 pm ·
Greetings to you Mr. Asuncion! This is good news– one of the nicest websites of Bulanenos–salamatonon tabi saimo!Ive read through the write ups here. You & Mr. Malajakan both shared very interesting insights and opinions, yet not new to my thinking. I was actually engaged, once–in both sides! I started as the plain-ideological rizalist–the peaceful-thinker and -writer of the campus, inspiring and indirectly influencing the intellectual, rebellious minds of the elite student organizations. Undoubtedly, the same strings of ideas and concepts of changes pulled me into realizing my writings into LIFE.In the end, i myself became the Bonifast(cio)! I became politically aggressive with innumerable factors: esp. of impatience and zero Tolerance capabilities to then Marcos dictatorial, unjust, corrupt regime!

I do understand the bitterness of Mr. Malajakan-for one, i hailed from a very poor family too. Where no opportunities seemed to be in sight-no matter how one tries. Where Hunger is urgent and couldnt wait another day or week.
Where the urgent need of medicines to an ailing brood or mother wouldnt be healed by my brilliant thoughts.
When i struggled for the scholarship, i fought for it. When i was maintaining the scholarship, i also fought for it. Before i graduated, i fought again to abolish dictatorship, long agonies of mass assemblies, vigils, per se joining demonstrations as a Symbol of consistent manifestation towards our Defiance or Resistance to the most degrading Suppression of all human rights!!! When i graduated, i fought again to secure a job against the children of the most influencial sons & daughters of manila`s elite. I was struggling both for my existence and for the freedom of my fellow-vigilant students arrested, disappeared. I was all the while fighting for the causes of my own principles..the democratic rights we all would want to enjoy and live for.

Alas! When Marcos escaped, we won half the battle! A complete Deliberance! Weve finally proven that IF WE ARE GOING TO FIGHT FOR A JUST CAUSE, SEALED ON TIGHT CONVICTION THAT WE DESERVE JUSTICE, NO TASK IS IMPOSSIBLE!


After this era, i should admit im still indirectly struggling with the remnants of the 20 years deep rooted corruption or evils in all sectors of our society. But–this is my country. It will take time to re-educate and create a new breed of disciplined, self-reliant, intelligent filipinos loving their own country and trusting their fellowmen.

The Bulan Municipality is maintained to look clean but it has obviously a powerful-secured- indoor Corruption Hall.

Let this website and other Tagabulans (Kabatas, Kaadman, etc) be the foundation for crushing this indoor corruption hall. Lets build together, with years of undying devotion towards a free-corrupt-justice hall soon!

Mabuhay kamo intero!

Sakaling Umpisahan Nila

 A Letter from a concerned Bulan citizen
kahapon lang muli ko pong nakausap ang aking kasamahan na takot na takot dahil sa kanyang mga nababalitaan na meron na daw pong banta sa aming seguridad at buhay.nag-usap kami at nag palitan ng mga ideya, at pina -liwanag ko sa kanila na natural na ganon ang magiging reaction ng mga decastro sa kadahilanan ayaw nilang mamulat ang ating bayan para sa ganun manatili sila sa kapangyarihan.si mang dolfo na medyo may edad na nag salita at sinabing nanaisin ko pang lumaban at mamatay kesa makitang patuloy na yinuyurakan ang ating karapatan at malugmok ang bulan sa mga katiwalian sa walang humpay na panggigipit at pananakot ng diktadurang mayora at kanyang kasabwat na ex mayor at buong sangguniang bayan.
naka handa na rin po kami sa mga darating na araw na may dugong dadanak at mga buhay na malalagas sakaling umpisahan nila ang bagong antas ng labanan.pagod na rin po ang mga nakakaraming sambayanan ngunit may takot sa isip na baka balikan kong sila ay maki-alam at lumaban sa mala diktadurang pamumuno ng mayora at ex gimeng.patunay lamang na isang instrumento ang pananakot na ginagamit ng administrasyong ito para manatili sa poder.

muli para sa malayang bulan

The Solid Foundations Of Your Rights

We treasure the Universal Declaration of  Human Rights as declared by the General Assembly of the United Nations and adhere to our Constitutional Rights as described in our 1987 Constitution under Article 3: Bill Of Rights. They are the solid foundations of our Rights. From these International Agreements and Philippine Laws we draw our understanding of personal protection in our town Bulan. They give us peace of mind and security. Only we have to be conscious about these laws, that they exist and  are made for us. There is nothing wrong to know and to follow the laws of the country. If some people are threatened to know that you are conscious about your rights and that you abide by the laws, then there is something wrong with them. It is our duty to adhere to our constitution to help us realize our vision of becoming a  morally and politically upright people.

jun asuncion

Bulan Observer

Bill Of Rights

Article 3:
Bill of Rights


SEC. 1.
No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.

SEC. 2.
The right of the peole to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.

SEC. 3.
(1) The privacy of communication and correspondence shall be inviolable except upon lawful order of the court, or when public safety or order requires otherwise as prescribed by law.
(2) Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.

SEC. 4.
No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the Government for redress of grievances.

SEC. 5.
No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. No religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights.

SEC. 6.
The liberty of abode and of changing the same within the limits prescribed by law shall not be impaired except upon lawful order of the court. Neither shall the right to travel be impaired except in the interest of national security, public safety, or public health, as may be provided by law.

SEC. 7.
The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and to documents, and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law.

SEC. 8.
The right of the people, including those employed in the public and private sectors, to form unions, associations, or societies for purposes not contrary to law shall not be abridged.

SEC. 9.
Private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation.

SEC. 10.
No law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be passed.

SEC. 11.
Free access to the courts and quasi-judicial bodies and adequate legal assistance shall not be denied to any person by reason of poverty.

SEC. 12.
(1) Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel.
(2) No torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any other means which vitiate the free will shall be used against him. Secret detention places, solitary, incommunicado, or other similar forms of detention are prohibited.
(3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or Section 17 hereof shall be inadmissible in evidence against him.
(4) The law shall provide for penal and civil sanctions for violations of this section as well as compensation to and rehabilitation of victims of torture or similar practices, and their families.

SEC. 13.
All persons, except those charged with offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua when evidence of guilt is strong, shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, or be released on recognizance as may be provided by law. The right to bail shall not be impaired even when the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended. Excessive bail shall not be required.

SEC. 14.
(1) No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law.
(2) In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved, and shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and counsel, to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him, to have a speedy, impartial, and public trial, to meet the witnesses face to face, and to have compulsory process to secure the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence in his behalf. However, after arraignment, trial may proceed notwithstanding the absence of the accused provided that he has been duly notified and his failure to appear is unjustifiable.

SEC. 15.
The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended except in cases of invasion or rebellion when the public safety requires it.

SEC. 16.
All persons shall have the right to a speedy disposition of their cases before all judicial, quasi-judicial, or administrative bodies.

SEC. 17.
No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.

SEC. 18.
(1) No person shall be detained solely by reason of his political beliefs and aspirations.
(2) No involuntary servitude in any from shall exist except as punishment for a crime whereof the party shall be duly convicted.

SEC. 19.
(1) Excessive fines shall not be imposed, nor cruel, degrading or inhuman punishment inflicted. Neither shall death penalty be imposed, unless, for compelling reasons involving heinous crimes, the Congress hereafter provides for it. Any death penalty already imposed shall be reduced to reclusion perpetua.
(2) The employment of physical, psychological, or degrading punishment against any prisoner or detainee or the use of substandard or inadequate penal facilities under subhuman conditions shall be dealt with by law.

SEC. 20.
No person shall be imprisoned for debt or non-payment of a poll tax.

SEC. 21.
No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense. If an act is punished by a law and an ordinance, conviction or acquittal under either shall constitute a bar to another prosecution for the same act.

SEC. 22.
No ex post facto law or bill of attainder shall be enacted.

Social Justice and Human Rights

Human Rights

Here’s what our Constitution of 1987 says on  Social Justice and Human Rights :

Article 13:
Social Justice and Human Rights

SEC. 1.
The Congress shall give highest priority to the enactment of measures that protect and enhance the right of all the people to human dignity, reduce social, economic, and political inequalities, and remove cultural inequities by equitably diffusing wealth and political power for the common good. To this end, the State shall regulate the acquisition, ownership, use, and disposition of property and its increments
SEC. 17.
(1) There is hereby created an independent office called Commission on Human Rights. (2) The Commission shall be composed of a Chairman and four Members who must be natural-born citizens of the Philippines and a majority of whom shall be members of the Bar. The term of office and other qualifications and disabilities of the Members of the Commission shall be provided by law. (3) Until this Commission is constituted, the existing Presidential Committee on Human Rights shall continue to exercise its present functions and powers. (4) The approved annual appropriations of the Commission shall be automatically and regularly released.

SEC. 18.
The Commission on Human Rights shall have the following powers and functions: (1) Investigate, on its own or on complaint by any party, all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights; (2) Adopt its operational guidelines and rules of procedure, and cite for contempt for violations thereof in accordance with the Rules of Court; (3) Provide appropriate legal measures for the protection of human rights of all persons within the Philippines, as well as Filipinos residing abroad, and provide for preventive measures and legal aid services to the underprivileged whose human rights have been violated or need protection; (4) Exercise visitorial powers over jails, prisons, or detention facilities; (5) Establish a continuing program of research, education, ad information to enhance respect for the primacy of human rights; (6) Recommend to the Congress effective measures to promote human rights and to provide for compensation to victims of violations of human rights, or their families; (7) Monitor the Philippine Government’s compliance with international treaty obligations on human rights; (8) Grant immunity from prosecution to any person whose testimony or whose possession of documents or other evidence is necessary or convenient to determine the truth in any investigation conducted by it or under its authority; (9) Request the assistance of any department, bureau, office, or agency in the performance of its functions; (10) Appoint its officers and employees in accordance with law; and (11) Perform such other duties and functions as may be provided by law.

Protect The Integrity Of The People Of Bulan

In accordance with the objetives of Bulan Observer, we will now find ways in helping protect the integrity of the people of Bulan. To start with, below is a copy of the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights as proclaimed by the General Assembly Of The United Nations. The Philippines was elected as a member of the new United Nations Human Rights Council in May 2006. There will be more possibilities to expose crimes and abuses to the people and environment and we will deal with them soon.

jun asuncion

 Bulan Observer

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 1.

    All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2.

    Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3.

    Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4.

    No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5.

    No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6.

    Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7.

    All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8.

    Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9.

    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10.

    Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11.

    (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Article 12.

    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 13.

    (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 14.

    (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 15.

    (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

Article 16.

    (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 17.

    (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 18.

    Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19.

    Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20.

    (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21.

    (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Article 22.

    Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 23.

    (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Article 24.

    Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25.

    (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26.

    (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Article 27.

    (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Article 28.

    Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29.

    (1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30.

    Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

This Is Their Job

History tells us that merciless japanese soldiers schocked, molested and awed the Bulanenos during the II WW! That time, the Bulanenos had only bolos and ancient armories. Still, this did not stop the Guerillas to let them succeed. Nowadays, its even difficult to hide. We are equipped with censor locators, hohoha!Seriously, if anyone would harm you, we know who are the prime suspects. If anyone would harm leading Oppositionist of Bulan, there would be a leader accountable for Investigation. No one can escape forever covered with Golds!
Suppression and Fear is not our fight.
WE are crying out for a Democratic Government, reducing (rampant) Corruption forces, and for the governmentt officials to uphold these rights, to respect the souvereign will of the people.They are public officials elected by the people. They are accountable to us.Thus, they must fulfill their duties to come into terms with the opposing, investigative constituents.

How? Its also one of their governmental challenges. This is their job. Stop gaming..lets work seriously!

The Opposition

To oppose is to fulfill an important duty that is demanded in a democratic society; to offer an alternative view, argument or action to that which is proposed by the ruling party.This is what makes democracy an important tool in the people’s quest for progress for it gives space for creativity and intelligent ideas. In a room with ten people who are given a task to solve a problem, expect no good ideas to come out and fill up the room when nobody is allowed to talk, or when all other parameters like seniority, gender, beauty, social status and tradition, academic titles, etc. would rule other than sharp thinking and creative spontaneity. The outpouring of ideas can cause collisions among some of them ( hence democracy is loud from time to time). However, in such a group one can only show the best that one has  if given the chance to speak. This is the group dynamic inherent in a democratic society- it applies that healthy dosage of pressure to each allowing everybody in an atmosphere of freedom to function at his maximum.
This enhances growth as we can see in western countries that have already drawn huge benefits from democracy. Economy, Arts and Sciences flourish. Did the former Soviet Union, China or East Germany produce Nobel Laureates during the last two decades? Nobel Prizes in Sciences  practically went to the USA, West Germany, Switzerland, Japan. On the other side we have witnessed how totalitarian regimes literally deprived themselves of  progress as in the case of Eastern Germany after the annexation by Krutschev. The east Germans remained underdeveloped in many aspects in big contrast to their West German counterparts who benefited from socio-economic progress. ” I was practically switched-off growing up in such an atmosphere of control” said an (ex-east) German friend of mine, and  his colleague added, “I grew up in East Germany with only one thought in my head – to escape”.
 There is no progress when everybody thinks only of escape. Progress is there when people love to stay in their place, make the best out of what they have and continue working together in realizing their vision. One of the paradoxes of democracy is that it needs  opposition for it to survive, not just a friction-free working together where no critical thinking is allowed. There lies the beauty of the system. Like chess, the credit of the match does not go only to the winner but also  to the loser for he equally worked hard in opposing the moves of the latter thus co-producing in the end the beauty of the whole match. This is how I define political opposition. It is  a series of intelligent moves that force the ruling party to be careful and watch their actions and give out their best, whether they like it or not.
 Therefore, to oppose is to offer alternatives, not only criticize and offer nothing concrete. When the government falls to corruption, it also means that the opposition did not do their job well , for either they were not united among themselves or they also became corrupted. Here we are talking about opposition as a political party which performs  partly the check and balances function in a democracy. Hence, a good government owes a lot of its beauty and  good performance to an able opposition, just like our chess winner. Without opposition, a government is ugly, unsure of itself,  lacks a genuine legitimacy and that necessary pressure from the other side, thus it mostly retrogrades to tyranny and corruption.
Vladimir Kramnik used to be a student and chess training partner of the former world champion Kasparov. Later on he even defeated Kasparov himself and became world champion. The same is true with a good opposition, it may be the next government. Interestingly Kasparov has joined the Russian politics after he left the world of chess and is now in the opposition, no longer fighting against Vladimir Kramnik but against Vladimir Putin. It keeps me wondering if he is really several moves ahead of Putin.Would it come to a mate or a draw? In any case, to oppose means to be intelligent and offer good, if not, better alternatives if one  really wants to capture the king someday.
 No doubt, we have in Bulan very good chess players. But I doubt if there is a good opposition in the government, for if there were one, the present government administration have been a lot better. On the other hand, if the administration had systematically repressed the opposition, then it had voluntarily deprived itself of the positive use of a mirror, so no  wonder why this administration cannot see the scars on its face.
jun asuncion
Bulan Observer

The New Filipino- or never give up

This is a mail from a stranger who is also fighting for the same cause like you do. I just discovered your site and I’m really impressed by your courage in saying what you think. Our difference is that I have given up lately our national politics and started focusing on the local politics of Bulan, a town in Sorsogon province, my little town. This may sound funny to you but I think we can solve the national political problems if we start from below, “from the bottom to the top” so to speak – beginning from the individual, the family, the neighborhood, the barangay and then the town. My logic is simple: If the people of Bulan would become morally strong and politically conscious then they would start electing good leaders, too. The town would become proud and progressive. And let us say if the rest of the 1, 529 towns (or municipalities) of the country would do the same, then we would end up having 1,530 morally upright and serious town mayors in all corners of the Philippines. Indeed, already a solid foundation for better provinces and cities. Following the equation we would end up with around 81 equally good governors, again already a good figure to start talking about national government and national political maturity.
Don’t accuse me of wishful thinking for it is not if we start from the bottom, from me and you and so on. It is more wishful thinking to attempt to change the national politics as it is now the way it was. No chance. Even if by a good chance an intelligent, educated, noble and morally upright person would become president for the next eight years, the Philippine society would never an inch be better because the foundation is still the same- weak and corrupted. After his term it would be mess again. A friend told me that the dream- of you and me- about a better, progressive Philippines would remain nothing but a dream and that we need to kill all the Filipinos first and start fresh ( innocent, pure, not corrupted ) all over again. I may add to his comment that indeed it’s a dream, but one that leads to a nightmare the moment you wake up! Anyway, I reflected upon his idea and said to myself, if I would take him literally, then my question would be : Who would start when there’s no one left? And soon I saw in my mind an empty Philippines, except for the flora and fauna left on their own and and the empty towns and cities and other infrastructures. Then I playfully thought, let the Japanese, Vietnamese, Germans or the Swiss occupy the empty land and let us see how it would go. Let’s take for instance the Swiss or the Germans for I know these people more. The Swiss when transplanted into the Philippines (without their money, start from a scratch, just their human resources), using the existing infrastructures of the Philippines would need about 20-30 years to build and transform the country into a first-world country, well managed and well-developed one, taking into consideration the time they would need to adjust to a changed environment and climate, to multiply themselves and fill up the land slowly (for they are roughly only 7 million in numbers) and the marine economy and its  mangement experience they must first make ( for they don’t have oceans or seas ). And they would need time learning how to manage the abundant natural resources they now have and coordinate all these sources of production. In Switzerland you only have water as the most abundant natural resource, otherwise you just have the massive alps and a few acres left for the crop. But it’s in the human resources where their wealth reside. However, one thing is for sure: That within a year they would already have organized among themselves a stable and functioning government that’s there for the people and by the people in the truest sense of the word and- a year more or so- a functioning economy with an intricate banking system, watch and pharmaceutical industries, educational system, health care, insurances, etc. If applied to the Philippines, these 20-30 years would mean nothing but more miseries in all levels assuming people wouldn’t wake up and act and work together right now.
 From this mental experiment going back to reality ( grim reality of Philippine society) to change the society from the bottom up will require generations, hence a lot of time, until we come up with a New Filipino, after all his poisoned mind and spirit had gone through layers of filtering and cleansing, equipping him at the end with a good moral make up, ready to apply what he learns, seriousness towards duty and responsibility, proud and conscious of himself. I wittingly excluded intelligence for we already have this resource from the beginning, only that our mind was and is easily corruptible due to lack of knowledge, self-esteem and self-respect. There are also Swiss or German people who have these deficiencies and Switzerland and Germany are far from being a perfect society , but they have these personal qualities that we badly need in the Philippines for us to be politically, socially and economically progressive. Don’t be impatient if this would require a lot of time, our dream becoming a reality only then by the emergence of that New Filipino we talked about. He would be “lucky” indeed but in him lies also the responsibility to retain what his ancestors had worked for. Not lucky was the New Society of Marcos in the 1970’s, for out of a corrupt intent he forgot his intelligence and behaved like a moron and came up with such an idiotic concept of changing the society forcefully from above and down to you and me. Clearly it did not function if seen from our honest intent for our country.But if by his concept of a New Society was based on himself as the New Filipino, the model of a corrupt politician and greedy New Filipino, then he had succeeded fully in changing the society from top to bottom, for after him it went downhill in everything about Filipino, a succession of corrupt presidents and corruptible population in the entire archipelago. Indeed, viewed from this angle he was very, very successful!
Back to our approach of changing also from the top to the bottom, I think it would require eternity, hence a dream that would never come true. We might as well shift our attention to what we as individuals can do to educate myself and yourself morally and politically and share our ideas with others. Forget Mrs. Arroyo’s monkey politics and the equally corrupt monkeys around her for awhile for it is a hopeless case. And let the Filipino suffer the consequences of their own corruptible character, ignorance and stupid choice. After all it’s them who sold their votes and placed her above themselves. Therefore, I think we are on the right side if we take the bottom-up -approach. There is no need to be discouraged even if it needs a lot of time and commitment and sacrifices of many , but do what is left for us, namely to continue working for this dream by thinking globally (nationally?) yet acting locally.
So keep going, and never give up.
jun asuncion
Bulan Observer

A sign of defeat?

All over the world it is known how corrupt our president and her administration is. The killing of journalists , political and student leaders critical to her regime, the “hello, garci tape”, the cancelled broadband deal with China are all stinking trash so pungent and obnoxious that no typhoon that devastated the archipelago until now has ever made it to   neutralize this stench. Our president is small in  stature yet her doings are monstrous in the true sense of the word. She has a large appetite and, together with her equally voracious husband, surely has the capacity to devour the entire Philippine provisions within a few feeding sessions. This is the image of the national government from the outside, the  number one export article of the Philippines: Greediness. And these  are the socio-political associations that come to mind among expatriates and non-Filipinos alike the moment they hear the word Philippines: poor, sick-man (or woman?) of Asia, corrupt, greedy and primitive politicians, underdeveloped. If the person is of different nationality, he might add to it the beautiful landscape, the beautiful people, nice hotels , etc. just to inject in you an antidote to your reddening face. But as you know, these beautiful landscapes are not our own making. You will sense the difference  though through his or her facial expression when you talk about Taiwan, Vietnam – or Japan for that matter. The eyes inflate out of fascination and respect. This time you may not feel embarrassment but depression, your eyes dropping to the floor as you wonder again- why are  we like this? A Filipino carries with him the whole Philippines unwittingly the moment he embarks on a journey in search of a place that would nurture his  dreams, that would justly compensate his  skills and  get respected. With him are the memories of entire life , the recent farewell hugs and kisses from his  dear ones at the airport. But with him  travels also the entire burden of a country’s scams and failures that would increasingly confront his expatriate’s Dasein sooner or later. And he is not alone, but they are by the thousands who  leave the country for this common purpose. And thousands, if not, millions, are being indignated, embarrassed or depressed the moment  a scandal caused by  a vicious few in the Philippines dominates the news media again. For then all these known cliches are endorsed once again. No matter how  the expatriate considers his relationship with his old country, his  reflex to “cover up” his country against malevolent ( yet true) remarks from others is omnipresent. Adan Silangan hit the truth when he wrote that it’s the expatriates who suffer the most  from these scandals. To be outside is to be vulnerable, like being at the front line. Interestingly, the government keeps sending many to the front and proclaim them as Ambassadors of Goodwill and – to make the irony perfect- reward them with the scams they export.Truly, this is unfair towards this group of people who help keep the economy run by sending millions, if not billions of pesos every year. This is a public display of  egregious ingratitude on the part of the government.

Now with the Internet connections becoming more accessible everywhere, new more political burdens are added to the life of an expatriate- for now he is receiving not only the national but also the newest developments from  his local town or barangay! In the case of Bulan, it is interesting to observe how the national government is mirrored in  our present  administration, perhaps just differing in scale- a big fish vs. small fish ? Be that as it may. But they have one thing in common, namely their voracious appetite and their export business. In Manila you have the First Gentle Mike, in Fabrica the First Gentle Geming, with their respective little wives  but with appetites far  bigger than themselves. So Bulan is now also an exporting town, but not fish,- for fish are suspiciously disappearing in Bulan-, but  the trash of corruption and moral decay. Not all expatriates suffer this time, but the taga Bulans expatriates  everywhere who are still connected with their town and who someday will be coming back home.

So, is leaving home and being an expatriate a sign of defeat? Categorically, I think not. On the contrary, it is heroism, for now you stand at the front line, and  far from that comfort of being  home  and yet carries that home with you in your  daily life and the burdens you are getting from home and the often times offending remarks you’re getting from people in your chosen home. Did  you get it right?

jun asuncion

Bulan Observer

All or Nothing

Ginoong galvesmalajakan, pahintulutan mo ding sagutin kita sa Ingles para maintindihan din ng mga ibang nagmamasid ng ating nayong  Bulan. Maraming salamat sa pagsagot mo sa sinulat ko dito sa Bulan Observer. Mabuhay ka rin!

Yes, revolutions have in some cases catalysed social and political change in many societies like America, Germany, the early Soviet Union, etc. Even our very own country, the Philippines, has also experienced revolutions. Think about those battles fought against the Spaniards, the Americans and the Japanese. These had changed the course of our nation. The Edsa revolution also ended Marcos’ dictatorship.We fought against these invaders because we valued freedom. The fight for freedom is in my opinion the best fight one can do. This fight defines your strength and your identity, your convictions and values and shape your future. But revolutions do not necessarily improve people’s life thereafter. Russia, China and the rests of the communist  block at that time suffered even more from poverty and isolation.The fight against poverty and social injustice is a fight that happens in another level, for this can not be resolved by bombs and bloodshed alone. This fight must occur in times of peace when enemies have fled and fallen comrades long buried.

Now, our fight in Bulan is a fight not against a foreign invader but against our very own leaders people voted for who promised to serve yet neglected the poor and misused the town in the end. I don’t see a need for a big scale revolution to dislodge these people there. Corrupt leaders come and go anyway as long as the whole society is not acting as one in defining its identity and safeguarding its democratic ideals. As I have written somewhere else, it’s you and me who shape the future, it’s you and me who decide whom to put  up there to lead the town, and it’s you and me who decide to remove him again when he begins to be corrupt and abusive. This would be easy if the people were  serious and conscious enough of their rights and responsibilities. This is the fight I am now engage in- a fight to motivate people to reconsider their position, to question their attitudes toward our politics, to reflect on the power of democracy and to participate actively and conscientiously in protecting the town, each according to his or her own experience and perception. This is a long term task, as opposed to just eliminating anybody by force, which maybe sensational but only has the effect of removing the symptom than the illness itself. I do not suggest that the Bulan society is ill. I only think that it’s not as a whole conscious yet of its identity as a group of people which still has all the potentials for social, political and economic growth. A conscious society is strong in fighting its internal enemies, is not easily intimidated by the goons and display of power by the vicious few. In Germany, they say that somebody must die in order for the rest to survive. How you understand this, I leave it to you. Situations will change in Bulan when people would want it. The chain of events and circumstances over which we have no direct influence is naturally ever present in any society that grows and develops. However, I emphasize and stay by  my method of effecting  change according to the definitions I have laid down in my previous writings.

I understand your feelings and emotions especially if you are experiencing poverty happening right inside you and social injustice right between your eyes. I can only tell you that in Bulan you’re not alone, there are many who are in this situation. It’s hard, indeed. This is a good reason to stay together, be creative in order to survive and  continue the fight for a just cause, for in fighting we grow together and learn a lot.

jun asuncion

Bulan Observer