Admin to implement new STFAP in June — Page 5 Philippine Collegian Opisyal na lingguhang pahayagan ng mga mag-aaral ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas - Diliman 15 Nobyembre 2011 Taon 89, Blg. 16
Order to Occupy Kultura
Dibuho ni Marianne Rios
Mga kwento ng kanseladong biyahe at karapatan sa PAL Lathalain Pahina 6-7
Breaking the deadlock Editoryal Page 2
Pacman and the myth of social mobility Kultura Page 8
The gift of death Terminal Cases Delfin Mercado
n the past days, numerous deaths filled the evening news. The fatal end of Ramgen Revilla and Charice Pempengco’s father managed to grab national headlines. In UP, news of the murder of a mother and her child in CP Garcie Avenue and the tragic end of a young teacher who fell from the UPIS footbridge and speared by a metal pole spread like wildfire. For days on end, people talked about the absurdity of it all—dying and the impossibility of knowing when it will exactly come or how it will happen. When it comes to death, most people talk in hushed and worried voices. After all, it seems normal for one to be afraid of one’s end. But not my sister. When my little Nina was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 13, I thought the idea of having to bear the moments of consciousness before certain death will surely destroy her. But as her cancer progressed, she found herself become more cheerful, talking to us as if being confined in a hospital was the greatest thing that happened in her young life. Few weeks before she died, I asked her why she was so happy. “Because finally, I am dying,” she said, smiling in a cryptic manner. “What do you mean?” I asked. “Dying is a gift that comes whether you like it or not. For very sick people like me, who somehow know that the end is fast approaching, it is quite exciting,” she said. “It’s the same feeling you have when you know you’re going to a field trip the next day.” Some days before her death, my sister asked for a catalogue of caskets, and detailed to my parents how her funeral should be like. I was at awe with her at that time, for her to treat death like some celebration. But I thought, why should one wish to live forever? To be immortal is a curse – endlessly existing while the world fades away. Dying is actually a gift, a relief from the burden of living. But why are we afraid to die? Is it because we fear to lose our precious possessions – money, power, friends, our loved ones? Not really. We don’t lose these when we die. They lose us. We are afraid to die because we are uncertain of what death has to offer. Will we become souls and enter heaven or hell? Will we be reincarnated into another form, or will we just cease to exist? As my sister said, no one but the dead knows. Therein lies the fear – from uncertainty. We live to die. We know that we are alive because we know what death is. We cannot know what lies between birth and death without death. Death is some sort of limit of life, and from that limit we know that we have lived. Without death, all we have are random experiences, endless aggregations of events, people and places. To consummate life, to put meaning to it, we must die. Hence, one should not fear death. Rather, one should fear of dying without meaning, of ending a story that has never really started. To prepare for death, one must live. ●
2 • Kulê Opinyon
Martes 15 Nobyembre 2011
Breaking the deadlock Negotiations between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have reached yet another deadlock. With the continuation of the conflict in Mindanao, peace talks between the two contending parties are nearing collapse, and the threat of all-out war is imminent. The recent clashes between government forces and the MILF in Basilan, wherein nineteen soldiers and five MILF fighters were killed, left the already shaky peace talks between the government and the MILF on unstable ground. In response, President Benigno Aquino III vowed that his administration would be pursuing “all-out justice” against “lawless elements.” “Justice,” Aquino explained, is different from “all-out war.” His government would simply enact a manhunt for “fugitives of the law.” The irony in Aquino’s pronouncement made itself felt a few days later. On October 24, Aquino ordered an aerial assault in the town of Payao in Zamboanga Sibugay, which was said to be targeting a rogue faction of the MILF. Due to the air strike, at least 27 people were killed while around 20,000 refugees fled from the area. These figures are only the latest in a long list of victims of violent clashes in the region. Since 1997, the conflict between MILF and government forces has resulted in the death of over 120,000 people, displaced two million, and stunted economic development in the poor but otherwise resource-rich Muslim regions in Mindanao. To again inflict upon this land the ghastly effects of the allout war waged in 2000 by then President Joseph Estrada would be nothing short of state-perpetrated terrorism. What then, could be the solution to this impasse?
QUOTED Wala na ‘yung sigla niya gaya nung dating Pangulo siya. ‘Pag natutulog siya nakaupo, hindi nakahiga.
5.5 x 3.5 in
spokesperson of Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo, describing the condition of the former president in a talk show on ANC, abs-cbnnews. com, November 9, 2011
Certainly, not the “all-out justice” which has translated, under the Aquino administration, to intensified battles in the region. Neither is the continuation of farcical negotiations an acceptable resolution — historically, the MILF itself began as a breakaway faction of the secessionist group Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), which was the leading rebel Muslim group in the 1960s. The MNLF negotiated with the government for a substate for two decades, ending with them accepting in 1987 an offer of semi-autonomy in several disputed regions and forming the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). However, the autonomy of the ARMM touted by the government during the peace talks was eventually revealed to be nothing but a limited privilege. This time around, the option offered by the government to the rebels is equally unpalatable:
reforms in ARMM, instead of the real autonomy that the MILF seeks to attain, through the creation of a Bangsamoro substate. As the past decade has shown, the determination of the MILF to reach this goal is almost boundless, even to the point of enlisting dubious allies such as representatives of the government of the United States. Yet most analysts agree that the government will never be amenable to the creation of a substate, since such move would create a constitutional crisis and would entail revisions in the Constitution. In this case, the most likely outcome of the current peace talks is a dead end, which would inevitably spawn more bloodshed as separatists protest the breakdown in negotiations and the government moves to quell the dissent. Indeed, the Philippine government has been ruthless in attacking rebel groups, as the recent air strikes have shown, since even a tenuous peace in the region is necessary to forward multibillion plans for developing and
harnessing the vast natural reserves of Mindanao. Amidst such complex conditions, the major stakeholder in this issue has been forgotten: the Bangsamoro people. They need a rallying force that would untangle the knots of internal strife in the region, forging and reuniting a long-neglected people into a united Mindanao that could rightly assert their rights to self-determination without getting into violent warfare against the armed forces of the Philippine government. Resolving the Bangsamoro conflict involves far more than appeasing two clashing forces. To resolve the protracted struggle in Mindanao is to return to the roots of the crisis — a troubled economy compounded by government neglect and unceasing strife. Whether the solution is autonomy or reform is for the people to decide. ●
Philippine Collegian www.philippinecollegian.org Punong Patnugot Marjohara S. Tucay Kapatnugot Pauline Gidget R. Estella Tagapamahalang Patnugot Dianne Marah E. Sayaman Panauhing Patnugot Glenn Diaz, Larissa Mae A. Suarez Patnugot sa Lathalain Mila Ana Estrella S. Polinar Patnugot sa Grapiks Chris Martin T. Imperial, Ruth Danielle R. Aliposa Tagapamahala ng Pinansya Richard Jacob N. Dy Mga kawani Ma. Katherine Elona, Kevin Mark Gomez, Marianne Rios Pinansiya Amelyn J. Daga Tagapamahala sa Sirkulasyon Paul John Alix Sirkulasyon Gary Gabales, Ricky Kawat, Amelito Jaena, Glenario Ommalin Mga Katuwang na Kawani Trinidad Gabales, Gina Villas Pamuhatan Silid 401 Bulwagang Vinzons, Unibersidad ng Plipinas Diliman, Lungsod Quezon Telefax 981-8500 lokal 4522 Email email@example.com Website philippinecollegian.org Kasapi Solidaridad: UP Systemwide Alliance of Student Publications and Writers Organizations, College Editors Guild of the Philippines
The idea of a global participatory process to engage millions of people in thinking through a list of top seven natural wonders of the world, strikes me as a good idea. Charging countries fees to promote marketing is not —
British environmentalist Tony Juniper, on the controversy hounding the New7Wonders of Nature poll, guardian.co.uk, November 10, 2011
From where I sit, [Philippine Airlines] is not the victim of labor unions (leftist/Redleaning, is the submessage) but the exploiter of labor. It has been doing it for a long time, but this is beyond the pale. It should not be allowed to get away with it. —UP Prof. Solita Monsod, Philippine Daily Inquirer column, November 4, 2011
3 • Kulê Balita
Martes 15 Nobyembre 2011
DBM denies issuing pro-TFI policy Impending cuts enough proof of state abandonment, youth groups say Keith Richard D. Mariano Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Florencio Abad has denied reports that President Benigno Aquino III issued a new policy that allows state universities and colleges (SUCs) to increase tuition and other fees next academic year. In a news article published on The Manila Standard Today last October 11, Aquino reportedly issued a new policy allowing SUCs to increase tuition and other fees “to help them make more money” in light of the decrease in SUCs budget allocation for 2012. “The President has not issued any policy or guideline to that effect,” said Abad in a statement. However, even if Abad denies issuing such policy, the decreasing allocation for SUCs is enough proof that the government is “indeed pushing state schools to increase tuition and other fees,” said Anakbayan Chairperson Vencer Crisostomo. “The Aquino administration has, indeed, not released a new policy statement allowing SUCs to raise tuition and other fees but the effects of the continued budget cuts tell differently—in order to survive, SUCs have to increase their tuition and other fees,” added Philippine Association of SUCs in National Capital Region Chairperson Juan Torres. In his first year as president, Aquino has already laid out his administration’s plan to “gradually reduce the subsidy to SUCs to push them toward becoming self-sufficient and financially independent,” according to his 2010 budget message. For 2012, the Office of the President cut the allocation for SUCs by P142.4 million from the current P22.04 billion to P21.89 billion. The proposed budget for UP, meanwhile, is only P5.54 billion, which is 3.6 percent
or P208-million lower than the current P5.75 billion budget of the university. “Ang pagkaltas sa pondo ng SUCs to increase self-sufficiency and financial independence is tantamount to saying that they want tuition increase,” said Crisostomo. In Rizal Technological University (RTU), for instance, the administration has to increase the tuition from the current P200 to P1,000 per unit to cover its full budgetary requirement, said Torres. “Most of students enrolling in RTU belong to low-middle income families. If the tuition is raised, we will deny a great number of our students their future, the skills and knowledge,” added Torres. Due to the high cost of education, 32 percent of Filipinos aged 16 to 24 are not able to attend formal school, according to the results of the 2010 Annual Poverty Indicators Survey conducted by the National Statistics Office. In UP Diliman, enrolment dropped by 4.5 percent in academic year 20082009 after the implementation of the 300 percent tuition and other fees increase in 2007. “Constructively for SUCs, if you reduce the budget, you are pushed to raise tuition. Makikita natin na ang budget cut ay isang issue ng krisis sa edukasyon at sa lipunan,” said UP Student Regent Ma. Kristina Conti. Senate is currently deliberating the 2012 General Appropriations Bill. Once passed, representatives from the two chambers of Congress will then meet in bicameral committee to reconcile differences in House and Senate version. The consolidated bill will then be transmitted to Aquino for approval. Congress is targeting to finish the budget deliberations before Christmas this year, said Senate Finance Committee Chair Franklin Drilon. Various progressive youth groups are organizing mobilizations in time for the budget deliberations in the Senate this week. “Habang hindi pa naipapasa ang appropriations bill, may pangangailangan na palakihin ang protesta para igiit ang isang propeople budget,” said Crisostom. ●
WWW.PHILIPPINE C O L L E G I AN . OR G
WALANG PAUMANHIN. Nagsagawa ng kilos-protesta ang ilang estudyante, guro at kawani ng UP sa harap ng Vinzons Hall noong Setyembre 14. Nanawagan ang grupo sa mas malaking badyet sa edukasyon at iba pang batayang serbisyong panlipunan. Chris Martin Imperial
PMI students slam closure of 2 flagship courses Keith Richard D. Mariano Students and faculty members of the Philippine Maritime Institute (PMI) Colleges staged a protest action on November 10 to call on the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) to overturn its decision to close down the school’s two degree programs. In a resolution effective this second semester, the commission ordered the closure of PMI’s courses, BS Marine Engineering and BS Marine Transportation, due to non-compliance to the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping and other deficiencies in facilities and faculty development programs since 2006, said CHEd Director Catherine Castañeda. CHEd has to ensure that maritime schools comply with both local and international standards for the Philippines to remain in the International Maritime Organization White List or the list of countries that are able to meet international standards on maritime education,
Castañeda explained. Section 8 of the Higher Education Act of 1994 gives CHEd the power to “monitor and evaluate the performance of programs and institutions of higher learning for appropriate incentives as well as the imposition of sanctions [including] program termination.” As early as June 24, CHEd has announced the recommendation of its regional offices to phase out 331 courses including the two flagship courses of PMI. However, the commission only issued a closure order two weeks before the scheduled start of classes for the second semester, said PMI Student Council Chairperson Glory Mamisao. With the closure order issued in the middle of the academic year, around 12,000 students are either pushed to enroll in schools with higher tuition rates or drop out of school, Mamisao added. “[The students], of course, will have to undergo some sort of difficulty. They might not like the way the schools are run, or tuition in other
schools may be higher. We are trying our best to help them,” said Castañeda. In PMI, students pay only P300 per unit, which is only around half of the tuition rates in other maritime schools, said Mamisao. While CHEd assured that the 12 maritime schools in the National Capital Region will absorb the affected PMI students, only 9,000 can be accommodated, said Castañeda. “They will have to be enrolled in schools in the nearby region. At kung kaya nila, sa Visayas,” she added. Also, some maritime schools reportedly declined to accept PMI students due to course and curriculum mismatch. “The schools are just being careful because when these students graduate and take the board exam, pwedeng ma-pull down ang rating nila,” said Castañeda. “While CHEd is urged to fully exercise its mandate to ensure quality education in the country, it should always do so with consideration to the welfare of students and employees,” said Kabataan Party-list Secretary General Athena Gardon. ●
4 • Kulê Balita
UPD to scale up security measures Isabella Patricia Borlaza
Following a spate of heinous crimes committed within the premises of various UP campuses, including the recent Given Grace Cebanico rapeslay case in UP Los Baños (UPLB), the UP administration is planning to invest on “technological solutions” to improve campus security by next school year. UP Diliman (UPD) is planning to purchase CCTV cameras and mechanical checkpoints to scale up security in the campus, said UPD Chief of Security Elvin Ebreo. The mechanical checkpoints will be used to ensure that only vehicles with student identification or UP stickers can enter through the side gates of the university, forcing other vehicles to enter and exit through the University Avenue, Ebreo explained. Meanwhile, the installation of new CCTV cameras will only be an upgrade, as cameras are already installed in some of the buildings in UPD, Ebreo added. The UPD University Student Council (USC), however, brought up the issue of privacy upon the installation of cameras. Ebreo explained that the cameras will only be used to monitor student activities in common areas.
By upscaling security devices in UPD, the administration can actually save funds, Ebreo said. It would cost a lot more to hire additional security agencies to man the campus, he added. At present, there are 41 personnel
Axl Ross Tumanut
in UP Diliman Police (UPDP), 56 in the Special Services Brigade, and approximately 300 security guards who cover the 493 hectares of the UPD campus, according to Ebreo. As UP spends a lot on security agencies, UP President Alfredo Pascual said that the administration will review the budget for security and safety to consider the proposed technological solutions.
Suspect in C.P. Garcia double murder still at large
Justice for Cebanico
In UPLB, the administration has already begun upscaling security measures by adding lights, adjusting the recently installed CCTV cameras, and placing checkpoints at all entry and exit points in the campus. The recent talks on tightening campus security has been triggered by the death of UPLB Computer Science major Cebanico, 19, who was found dead in a canal in the Institute of Plant Breeding Road in Barangay Putho-Tuntungin on October 11. The suspects behind the rape-slay case, PSBank security guard Lester Ivan Lopez Rivera and tricycle driver Percival de Guzman are now under police custody and are awaiting trial. Pascual said that UP will be extending legal support to Cebanico’s family once the prosecution begins. “Hopefully, this [Given Grace incident] will not be used to further build an ‘exclusive nature’ [on UP]. We need to open the university to the people that it serves while, at the same time, ensure the safety of the students,” said UPD USC Chairperson Gemimah Grace Garcia. ●
Martes 15 Nobyembre 2011
IN MEMORIAM. In commemoration of UP Botanist Leonard Co’s first death anniversary, an exhibit was opened at Palma Hall to call for justice for the slain scientist and other victims of human rights violations. The exhibit runs from November 14 to 18. Chris Martin Imperial KULANG SA PANSIN. Tuwing may bagong proyekto ang gobyerno o espesyal na okasyon gaya ng graduation at Pasko, hindi na bago ang makakita ng naglilipanang mga poster at streamer na nagtatampok ng mga mukha ng mga pulitiko. Kung maipasa ang “Anti-Epal Bill” na inihain ni Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, maituturing nang isang krimen ang tila pag-ako ng mga pulitiko sa mga proyektong pinopondohan ng taongbayan. Chris Martin Imperial
SA BAGONG COLLEGIAN WRITERS NA SINA ELIZABETH SHIE AT
KARA MEDINA __ JAMES LIWANAGAN, IHANDA ANG SARILI PARA SA MALUPIT NA GRAPIX INTERVIEW NGAYONG BIYERNES, 6PM, SA SILID 401, VINZONS HALL
Authorities are still searching for the primary suspect in the murder of a mother and her son along C.P. Garcia Avenue, Barangay U.P. Campus. After establishing the suspect’s identity as one Lito Arsenia alias “Jugno” through his medical records from the University of Santo Tomas Hospital, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (CIDU) began a manhunt for Arsenia, the lone suspect in the stabbing of his 39-year old live-in partner Edna Macaraeg and her seven-year old son, Jadie Aldrin Magsakay on October 24. The bodies of Edna and her son were discovered in their home along C.P. Garcia Avenue when Edna’s brother Danilo Macaraeg, visited his sister’s house at around 2:30pm on October 24. When Danilo found that the house was locked, he sought assistance from the victims’ neighbor Ronie Rodriguez to forcibly open the door. Danilo and Rodriguez found Magsakay lying on a bed in the victim’s bedroom with a stab wound on his chest. The police later discovered Edna’s body hidden in a wooden cabinet with a stab wound on her abdomen. Edna and her live-in partner Jugno had a heated argument on the morning of October 22, the day when the victims were last seen alive, according to Mary Grace Rivera, a boarder in Edna’s house. Rivera added that the suspect left the victims’ house carrying a bag at noon on the day the victims were found dead. Meanwhile, victim Edna Macaraeg’s sister Mary Ann Macaraeg already filed charges against Arsenia at the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office last November 8. The City Prosecutor will assign an investigating prosecutor to conduct a preliminary investigation on the case, said SPO2 Rafael de Peralta of the CIDU. “If suspect will not surface for the three consecutive hearings of the preliminary investigation, the investigating prosecutor will file charges in court so the court can issue an arrest warrant and resume the manhunt for the suspect,” de Peralta added. ●
2 rooms in PSSC catch fire
A fire has swept through two rooms in the Philippine Social Science Center (PSSC) Building along Commonwealth Avenue on November 3 at around 6:40 in the morning. The blaze, thought to have been caused by an overheated air-conditioning unit, started in Room 306 and spread to Room 305 and was put out at around 7:30am, according to Ernie Acosta, building administrator of PSSC. Field Services Agency, a private market research company occupies office in both rooms. No one was hurt in the incident but several documents were destroyed in the fire along with equipment and appliances reported to be worth P300,000. The Philippine Social Science Center is located near the Asian Institute of Tourism and houses the Philippine Social Science Council, a non-profit private organization of social science institutions. ●
UPDP, SSB nabs suspects in UP Coop burglary
The UP Diliman Police (UPDP) and
Continued on page 5 »
5 • Kulê Balita Police Briefs « from page 3
peace and order body Special Services Brigade (SSB) have caught the suspects in the robbery of both the UP Consumer’s Cooperative (UP Coop) and the home of an Art Studies professor in a joint operation on November 14. SSB and UPDP operatives caught two of the suspects, Jonathan Aguas and Junry “Archie” Casañarez while serving as “watch your car” boys at the Shopping Center at around 7:45 in the morning on November 14. The UPDP was able to establish the identities of Aguas and Casañarez through clues given by people around the immediate vicinity of the UP Shopping Center. Two other suspects, identified as Francisco Bayoneta and Jonas Sanches, were also apprehended through the help of Aguas and Casañares. The four suspects allegedly stole P43,840-worth of cash, cell cards and a mini-laptop worth P5,000 in UP Coop sometime between November 7, 8:00pm and November 8, 5am. The suspects were turned over and detained at the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) Station 9 at around 6pm on the same day. One of the UP Coop robbery suspects, Sanches, was also reported to be involved in the burglary of Art Studies Professor Patrick Flores’ residence at Agoncillo Street last November 13, along with an accomplice identified as Paolo Pablo. A mini-component and a digital clock approximately worth P12,000 were stolen from Flores’ house. The police were able to recover the mini-component from Pablo’s residence. However, Pablo was not at home during the police operations and remains at large as of press time. ●
Woman found skewered on UPIS steel fence
A woman was found dead after being skewered on the spikes of the steel fence of the University of the Philippines Integrated School (UPIS) near a footbridge at Katipunan Avenue last October 31. The woman was identified as Charlot Fetalvero, a preparatory teacher from San Andres, Romblon who was undergoing treatment in Metro Manila for a swollen larynx and palpitating heart. Records from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit show that the woman fell from the nearby footbridge and landed directly on a spike of the steel fence, which pierced the right portion of her back near her armpit. Fetalvero asked for permission to jog around UP Campus in the early hours of October 31, according to the victim’s aunt Amely Martinez. Fetalvero was supposed to have a check-up for her throat problem at the Philippine Heart Center on November 2. While authorities believe that Fetalvero committed suicide, Fetalvero’s relatives believe that foul play was involved in the incident. Martinez said that the angle of her fall hardly suggests suicide because she landed on neither stomach nor head. Martinez explained that it is possible that Fetalvero was a victim of burglary, as there were no lights on the footbridge. “Charlot is a model teacher, hindi siya magpapakamatay, masaya ang usapan namin bago siya umalis,” Martinez said. Martinez said she is planning to ask the city mayor to install lights on the footbridge, as UPIS students mostly use it to cross Katipunan Avenue. ●
Admin to implement new STFAP in June Isabella Patricia Borlaza In response to the growing number of complaints from students, the UP administration is set to implement revisions in the Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program (STFAP) by next school year. The UP administration is currently studying ways to “revise the family income cut-off, shorten the tedious application process and possibly increase the allowance [for the lower brackets],” said UP President Alfredo Pascual. As an initial action, Pascual has recently assigned Vice President for Academic Affairs Gisela Concepcion to head the STFAP policy review with the end goal of “simplifying and streamlining” the application process and bracketing scheme. The STFAP is a bracketing system that categorizes the students’ capacity to pay based on the family’s declared income, assets and liabilities. The program was first implemented alongside the tuition increase in 1989, wherein the base tuition was raised
from P40 to P300 per unit. When tuition was again increased from P300 to P1000 in 2007, the then Numeric Bracketing Scheme which categorized students into nine income brackets was condensed and replaced by the current Alphabetic Bracketing Scheme, which categorizes students into six income brackets. Students with annual family income above P1 million are categorized under Bracket A and pay P1,500. Students categorized in Bracket B have an annual family income ranging from P500,000 to P1 million and pay P1,000 per unit. Meanwhile, students in Bracket C and D, pay P600 per unit and P300 per unit, respectively. Students with annual family income ranging from P80,000 to P135,000 fall under Bracket E1 and enjoy free matriculation, while students whose family income is below P80,000 fall under Bracket E2 and also enjoy free tuition plus a P12,000 semestral stipend.
Among the changes which will
be implemented is the creation of a separate STFAP office, said Prof. Richard Gonzalo, officer-in-charge of the Office of Student Services and Scholarships (OSSS). At present, the STFAP is under the supervision of the OSSS in UP Diliman (UPD) and the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) in the other UP campuses. With a separate STFAP office, the management of the STFAP can be “centralized,” with all bracketing procedures for all students in the UP System being handled by one office, Gonzalo explained. Also, the government can also provide separate allocation for the office to increase its staff and improve operations, he added. Currently, there are only 19 employees in the OSSS that cater to the needs of the 17,000 student population in UPD, Gonzalo said.
Student leaders, however, are skeptical about the planned STFAP revisions. “Our stand remains on junking
Martes 15 Nobyembre 2011
and scrapping the STFAP though we welcome administrative reform… but the STFAP merely makes the tuition increase more palatable to the students”, said UPD University Student Council Chairperson Gemimah Garcia. Pascual said that students, particularly under the bracket E1 and E2, will be greatly affected if STFAP will be removed. “Yes, STFAP is here to stay, but if the government guarantees to continue to support [UP], then we don’t need to resort to financial assistance”, said Gonzalo. “Para sa akin, flawed mechanism talaga ang STFAP. ‘Yung idea niya kasi ay kung sinong may kaya ay magbabayad at ‘yung hindi naman ay sinusubsidize. ‘Yung goal pa rin natin ay i-rollback ang tuition at bigyan ng sapat na badyet ang UP at iba pang serbisyong panlipunan,” said UP Cebu College Student Council Chairperson Liezyl Gomez. ●
Labor groups ask HOR to pass pro-worker bills Richard Damian With the resumption of regular sessions in the House of Representatives (HOR) yesterday, labor groups called on lawmakers to immediately pass two house bills which aim to increase wages nationwide and ban contractualization, respectively. House Bill No. 375 or the P125 Across-the-board Wage Hike Bill, filed by Anakpawis Party-list Representative Rafael Mariano, proposes to increase the daily wage of workers across the country by P125. In celebration of the Labor Day last May, the government increased the cost of living allowance (COLA) of Metro Manila workers by P22. However, the present P426 minimum wage in Metro Manila still “remain a mere 40 percent of the amount needed by a family to live decently,” said Roger Soluta, secretary-general of labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) in a statement. “The P22 COLA granted last May for Metro Manila workers was quickly eroded by the rising prices of basic commodities and services brought about by the increases in oil prices, toll
fees and electricity rates,” added Soluta. The bill has been pending in the HOR for more than 10 years now. Meanwhile, Mariano also filed House Bill No. 5110 or the Regular Employment Bill, which seeks to “strengthen workers’ security of tenure” by amending Article 106 of the Labor Code that permits contractualization. “With President Benigno Aquino III’s decisions on the Philippine Airlines labor dispute, workers’ basic right to job security is under serious attack. The Aquino regime is blatantly promoting contractualization to satisfy big capitalists’ greed for bigger profits and attract foreign investors,” said Soluta. Workers employed under the contractualization scheme do not enjoy benefits, just wages, security of tenure and freedom to join unions as compared to those employed as regular employees, according to KMU. “The fight for substantial wage increase and against contractualization is a fight to be fought by every worker especially now that their economic and financial situation worsens,” said Anakpawis Party-list Executive Vice President Joel Maglunsod. ●
PANINDA. “Education for sale,” sigaw ng isang aktibistang suot ang maskara ni Obama habang nagmamartsa sa isang snake-in rally na ginanap sa Palma Hall noong Nobyembre 9. Kinundena ng grupo ang mga makadayuhang palisiya na pinaiiral sa ilalim ng administrasyong Aquino at ang pagsasapribado ng mga batayang serbisyong panlipunan. Chris Martin Imperial
6-7 • Kulê Lathalain Nagngingitngit ang buong kalangitan noong umaga ng Setyembre 27. Mabagsik ang paghambalos ng hangin sa mga bintana ng Terminal 2 ng Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). Kanselado na ang ilang biyahe ng Cebu Pacific, Zest Air at iba pang airlines noong araw na iyon bunsod ng paghagupit ng Bagyong Pedring. Ngunit iba ang sitwasyon sa Philippine Airlines (PAL). “Hindi masamang panahon ang dahilan ng pag-cancel ng flights,”ani Danny Manlangit*, 38, empleyado sa Central Baggage Section ng PAL. Pagpatak ng alas siyete ng umaga, sabay-sabay na itinigil nina Danny at 400 miyembro ng PAL Employees’ Association (PALEA) ang kanilang pagtatrabaho bilang protesta sa napipintong pagtanggal ng pamunuan ng PAL sa mahigit 2,300 regular na empleyado. Determinado ang pamunuan ng PAL na tanggalin ang mga regular na empleyado upang magbigay-daan sa pagpapatupad ng bago nitong outsourcing scheme, kung saan ipauubaya na sa iba pang pribadong kumpanya ang pagpapatakbo ng catering, call center at ground services ng flagship carrier ng bansa. “For ten minutes, naparalisa namin totally ang operations ng PAL,” ani Danny, na 18 taon nang nagtratrabaho sa PAL. Bunsod ng tigil-paggawa, napilitan ang PAL na ikansela ang lahat ng biyahe nito, at mahigit 14,000 pasahero ang naapektuhan. Maya-maya pa, pinasok na ng mahigit 400 pinagsamang elemento ng pribadong grupong panseguridad ng PAL at pulisya ang lobby at checkin counter ng NAIA Terminal 2 upang paalisin ang mga nagpoprotestang empleyado. Walang nagawa ang mga kasapi ng PALEA laban sa mga pulis na pilit silang itinaboy palabas ng NAIA, kung saan patuloy na lumakas ang pagbuhos ng ulan, waring nagpapahiwatig ng higit pang paghihirap na kanilang haharapin. Ang istorya ng marahas na pagtaboy at pagtanggal sa mga empleyado ng PAL ay isa lamang sa maraming insidente ng banggaan ng interes ng mga pribadong kumpanyang nagmamay-ari sa kabuuan ng industriyang panghimpapawid sa bansa at ng kanilang mga empleyado. Sa patuloy na pagnanais ng mga negosyante na palakihin ang kanilang kita, walang pagsisisi nilang sinasakripisyo ang kapakanan ng kanilang mga kawani.
Kalagayan at kalakaran ng indus John Toledo at Kevin Mark Gomez
“Asia’s first, shining through”
Naitatag ang PAL noong 1941 matapos bilhin ng negosyanteng si Andres Soriano ang prangkisa ng Philippine Aerial Taxi Company, isa sa mga pinakaunang kumpanya ng transportasyong panghimpapawid sa bansa na namamahala sa mga eroplanong naghahatid ng mga pasahero, sulat at kargamento sa buong Luzon. Noong taon ring iyon, nagsimulang mamuhunan ang pamahalaan sa PAL kaya’t naging pag-aari ito ng bansa. Noong 1946, unang kinilala ang PAL bilang pambansang flag carrier o pangunahing kumpanyang panghimpapawid na may mga espesyal na pribilehiyo mula sa
Mga litrato nina Richard Jacob Dy at Airnel Abarra, at ilang ambag na litrato Disenyo ng pahina ni Kel Almazan
Martes 15 Nobyembre 2011 pamahalaan sa kalakhan ng rutang panghimpapawid. Unang nakaranas ng pagsasapribado ang PAL noong 1964 nang bilhin ng negosyanteng si Benigno Toda, Jr. ang kalakhan ng stocks nito. Sa panahon ng Batas Militar noong 1972, muling nabili ng pamahalaan ang kalakhan ng stocks ng PAL. Noong panahong iyon, ipinatupad ni dating Pangulong Ferdinand Marcos ang “one-airline policy” kung saan tanging PAL ang pinahintulutang magbigay ng serbisyong panghimpapawid habang ipinasara ang dalawang kakumpetensiya nito. Nanatiling pagmamay-ari ng pamahalaan ang kalakhan ng PAL hanggang 1992, kung kailan binili ng negosyanteng si Lucio Tan ang mahigit 80 porsyento ng stocks ng kumpanya.
“It’s time every Juan flies”
Tuluyang naisapribado ang PAL noong 1995, alinsunod sa pagpapatupad ni dating Pangulong Fidel Ramos ng Executive Order 219 o Civil Aviation Liberalization Policy na nagbigay-pahintulot sa mga pribadong kumpanyang mamuhunan at magmay-ari ng mga kumpanyang panghimpapawid katulad ng ginawa sa ibang mga serbisyong panlipunan ng pamahalaan tulad ng tubig, kuryente at telepono. Ayon sa gobyernong Ramos, makatutulong ang bukas na merkado at kumpetisyon sa pagitan ng mga kumpanya upang mapabuti ang kalidad ng serbisyong panghimpapawid at mapaunlad ang turismo at kalakalan sa bansa. Bunsod ng pagbubukas ng industriyang panghimpapawid sa mga pribadong namumuhunan, nagsulputan ang mga bagong kumpanya ng transportasyong panghimpapawid tulad ng Cebu Pacific at Asian Spirit (na Zest Airways sa kasalukuyan). Umigting ang kumpetisyon sa pagitan ng mga airline, na nakatulong sa pagpapababa ng pasahe sa eroplano, at pangunahing dahilan ng pagdami ng mga bumibiyaheng pasahero, ayon sa isang pag-aaral na isinagawa ni Prop. Wilfred Manuela Jr. ng UP. Ngunit mahigpit na kumpetisyon rin ang naging dahilan ng mga pribadong kumpanya upang magpatupad ng mga palisiyang hindi pabor sa kanilang mga kawani. Upang lalong mapalaki ang kanilang kita, nagsimulang ipatupad ang mga iskemang gaya ng kontraktwalisasyon at outsourcing na nakatuon sa pagpapababa ng gastusin ng kumpanya para sa pasahod at benepisyo ng mga manggagawa, ayon sa Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU).
“With Us, You’re Always Number 1”
Matapos ang tigil-paggawa noong Setyembre 27, nagtindig ang PALEA ng picket line sa paligid ng PAL InFlight Center malapit sa NAIA 2 upang doon ipagpatuloy ang protesta, sa kabila ng pormal nilang pagkakatanggal bilang mga empleyado ng PAL nitong Oktubre 1. “Mahigit isang buwan na kami rito,” ani Aling Weng Navarete*, 49, habang nagsasandok ng bagong saing kanin para sa mga kapwa manggagawang nakahimpil sa piket. Nakahain sa
karaniwang mesa sa piket ang isang malaking kaldero ng kanin at ginataang puso ng saging. “O, kain na,” tawag ni Aling Weng sa mga kasamahan. Bagaman walang maayos na kusina, bihasa si Aling Weng sa kanyang ginagawa, dahil na rin sa 20 taong karanasan niya bilang kusinera sa PAL Catering Department bago siya natanggal. Bahagi si Aling Weng ng mga empleyadong tinanggal ng PAL bunsod ng iskemang outsourcing ng kumpanya. Sa ilalim nito, ipauubaya ng pamunuan ng PAL sa mga kumpanyang SkyKitchen Philippines, SPi Global at SkyLogistics Philippines ang pagpapatakbo sa catering, call center at ground services ng PAL. Inalok ang mga natanggal na empleyado na muling magtrabaho bilang mga kontraktwal na kawani sa tatlong kumpanya. Gayunman, tinaggihan ito ng karamihan ng mga manggagawa. Liban sa mas mababang sahod na matatanggap, madadagdagan rin ang oras ng paggawa, at mawawala ang mga benepisyong dati nilang tinatamasa bilang mga regular na empleyado kung pipiliin nilang mamasukan sa mga bagong outsourcing company, ani Aling Weng. Bunsod ng pagiging kontraktwal na kawani sa mga bagong kumpanya, wala rin silang karapatang sumapi o bumuo ng unyon. “Outsourcing is our last resort,” ani PAL Deputy Spokesperson Jonathan Gesmundo. Paliwanag niya, malaki na ang nalulugi sa PAL at makababawi ang kumpanya kung bibitawan nito ang direktang pamamahala sa mga ground crew nito. Ayon sa pamunuan ng PAL, nalugi ng $10.6 milyon o halos P458.980 milyon ang kumpanya sa unang apat na buwan ng 2011 bunga ng sunud-sunod na pagtaas ng presyo ng krudong pang-eroplano mula $154.6 milyon o halos P6.7 bilyon noong 2009-2010 tungong $210.8 milyon o P9.1 bilyon noong 2010-2011. Tumaas rin ang mga gastusin sa operasyon mula $393.4 milyon o halos P17 bilyon noong 20092010 tungong $464.7 milyon o halos P20 bilyon noong 2010-2011. Bago pa tuluyang ipatupad ang outsourcing, inalok ng PAL ang mga nakatatanda nitong empleyadong maaapektuhan na boluntaryong magretiro, kalakip ang isang “separation package” na nagkakahalaga mula P250,000 hanggang P1.1 milyon. Sa halip na kampihan ang mga manggagawang nakatakdang matanggal sa trabaho, dalawang ulit pang kinatigan ng Department of Labor and Employment ang nasabing outsourcing plan ng PAL at tinawag itong “valid exercise of management prerogative.” “Kelan ba kumampi ang gobyerno at ang DOLE sa mga manggagawa tuwing may labor disputes? Never naman naming naramdaman ang kanilang tulong,” ani Danny. Hindi na nga bago ang ganitong pangyayari sa PAL. Noong 1998 at 2010, ginamit din ng PAL ang dahilang pagkalugi upang mapatanggal sa trabaho ang libu-libong piloto, flight attendants at ground crew. “’Di namin kinagat ang offer nila.
Mauubos din naman ang makukuha naming pera. Pero walang katumbas ang pagiging lifetime na regular,” ani Aling Weng. Umaasa pa rin ang kalakhan sa mga manggagawang tumanggi sa nasabing separation package na makababalik sila sa kanilang mga trabaho. Hindi rin naniniwala ang buong PALEA na nalulugi na ang PAL. Kamakailan, naging pang-61 ang PAL sa nakaraang World Airline Ranking ng magasing Airline Business batay sa $17.5 bilyong kita nito para sa 2010-2011. Sa nasabing taon, siyam na milyong pasahero ang naserbisyuhan ng PAL at nagdagdag din ito ng 12 ruta. Masalimuot ang kaso ng PAL sapagkat nagtatakda ito ng mapanganib na halimbawa para sa iba pang mga industriya, kung saan nagiging sapat nang batayan ang pagkalugi upang magpatupad ng malawakang pagtatanggal ng mga empleyado, ayon sa KMU.
“It’s all about experience”
Sa pandaigdigang kalakaran ng industriyang panghihipapawid, hindi na bago ang pagtanggal ng mga empleyado upang makatipid sa operasyon. “Throughout the world, airlines have been doing it,” ani Gesmundo. Nitong nakaraang Oktubre, nagsara ang Qantas Airways ng Australia bunsod ng patuloy na kilos-protesta ng tatlong unyon nito. Kinalauna’y sinuspinde rin ng kanilang gobyerno ang lahat ng kilosprotestang nakaaapekto umano sa kanilang ekonomiya. Samantala noong nakaraang taon, nagkaroon ng tigil-trabaho sa British Airways (BA) dulot ng protesta ng unyon ng cabin crew na Unite the Union. Sa kabila ng pagtutol ng unyon, itinuloy ng BA ang pagtigil sa pagpapasahod, malawakang pagtatanggal ng empleyado at pagpapalala ng kondisyon sa trabaho. Ang ganitong kalakaran, kung saan isinasakripisyo ang kapakanan ng mga manggagawa kapalit ng pagkasalba ng kumpanya, ay nakaayon sa balangkas ng malayang kalakaran na sinusunod rin ng iba pang industriya sa Pilipinas at sa buong mundo. Sa panahon ng paglaganap ng pandaigdigang krisis pampinansya, lalong lumaganap ang mga iskemang tulad ng outsourcing at kontraktwalisasyon. Sa huli, ang mga manggagawa ang sumasalo sa epekto ng krisis sa mga pribadong kumpanya. Kapalit ng malaking kita, handang isantabi ng mga pribadong kumpanya ang karapatan ng kanilang mga kawani. Patuloy pa ring nakahimpil ang mga kasapi ng PALEA sa kanilang piket sa NAIA, alerto at handang harapin ang anumang bagong sigwa na ihahambalos ng PAL. Dahil para sa kanila, ang isyu ay higit sa pa sa pagkansela ng mga biyahe. Ito ay usapin ng pagkansela sa kanilang mga karapatan. ● * Hindi tunay na pangalan
8 • Kulê Kultura
Martes 15 Nobyembre 2011
r e k c u S h c n u P Elizabeth Shie Sweat drips from a face that shows no trace of fear or distraction. The parallel ropes of the ring pulsate with the steady rhythm of his feet until he delivers the first blow, signaling the real beginning of the match. The rough exchange of forces harks back to the spectacle’s primitive roots: a raw interaction of brute force unfolding before every spectator’s eyes. The explosive sounds reverberate through MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, all the way to movie houses, barangay halls, and living rooms, where his countrymen stand by their screens to support their idol. The tension rises and the viewers hold their breath, clinging to their rosaries to pray for their hero. Hearts pound hard as his punches do not land clearly with his opponent stepping ahead on the score cards. The Mexicans celebrate as the fight draws to a close, but their expressions turn grim the moment the winner is announced. The crowd in the arena roars in distaste. The blinding flashes of the cameras immortalize his feat, and for the first time, it is one that cannot be called a victory. But even then, when he returns home, he will be welcomed by grand motorcades plus numerous TV appearances. He will remind us of the glory he brings to our country, the instances he has made our nation one and whole. He is, after all, a true blue Filipino hero. His story has become a symbol of patriotism, of athletic victory, of endless possibilities. However, a closer look will reveal that Manny Pacquiao as an icon is hardly what he seems, and the type of unity and nationhood he represents is ironic, especially once the gloves are off.
The masses, to whom most of his fan base originate, love stories of tragedy. The long reign of primetime teleseryes is telling. And so every controversy Pacquiao finds himself in has only made him a relatable past time, a favorite source of
entertainment. The large-bosomed mistresses, the faithful wife, his lack of education and humble beginnings follow the script of an unfolding drama series. People are drawn to his reluctant heroism, to his seeming humility, to his being an everyman. Pacquiao is the realization of every athlete’s dream: someone who has gone a long way from baking pan de sal and selling cigarettes on the streets of Manila, who now rubs elbows with politicians and the elite. And so people bask in his every achievement, for they embody the possibility that they, who come from the same background, may reach it too. His proud title – Pambansang Kamao – had even helped him in other arenas beyond the boxing ring. He leapfrogs from one rank to another; recently, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel in the Armed Forces, a reward that came shortly after his winning against Shane Mosley on May 7. Before that, he was a senior master sergeant, the highest possible position for someone who does not have a college degree. In that light, the military considered his honorary doctorate in human kinetics from Cebu’s Southwestern University in 2009. It is a perfect demonstration of the power of what French theorist Pierre Bourdieu calls symbolic capital, something that Pacquiao clearly has in spades. His embodiment of nationalism has given him a certain loftiness in the social landscape of the country. His success in the boxing ring has allowed him to don many hats, wear many faces: as Saranggani representative, as endorser, actor, singer, military reserve officer, even a PhD holder. Critics have called his promotion “misplaced idolatry.” For instance, people in the academe viewed this decision of the military as ultimately unnecessary. A dean insisted that his honorary degree in human kinetics does not suffice for him to be promoted in such position. She said that he would not even be given a single chance if he were not a worldclass boxer. The honor that he brings to the country, they argue, need not be
tainted by the government’s inclination to bias and over-glorification.
Tale of the tape
Clearly, Pacquiao has not been as glorified in other fields as in boxing. “More than anything, I think, people weren’t ready to lose him as their boxing icon,” said Darlene AntoninoCustodio, who defeated Pacquiao in the 2007 polls. For his part, Pacquiao did not give up on his dream and ran as the representative of Saranggani. And so what Custodio said might as well have been a sugar-coating of Pacquiao’s poor reception as a politician. In July, the ultra-exclusive Manila Polo Club, which boasts of having only “A-listers” in their roster, denied Pacquiao’s application for membership, citing a need to “preserve a lifestyle.” His P388-million Forbes Park home was not enough. His billion-peso net worth was not enough. His eight championship belts might as well be tin cans. Even with his searing wealth then, he is still held back by the things he was deprived of in his impoverished past. Despite being one of the most well-paid athletes in the world, he remains wanting in what the entrenched elite has: education, a neutral accent, and, above all, the old rich pedigree. And so the unity he represents is not what it seems. If anything, he brings to fore the disparate conditions of social classes in the country, highlighting the inequality after momentarily seeming to fuzz over it. The rich and the poor have different ways of receiving Pacquiao, and as French theorist Roland Barthes said, “cultural consumption are predisposed, consciously and deliberately or not, to fulfill a social function of legitimating social differences.” Pacquiao then, while seemingly a harmless icon that cuts across different classes and tastes, is in fact a symptom of a society that is grossly divided. As he waves the Philippine flag after a victory, we see that the myth that places him in apolitical light, with nothing but a message of unity and nationhood, is a hollow one. ● Dibuho ni Luigi Almuena Disenyo ng pahina ni Roanne Descallar
9 • Kulê Kultura
Martes 15 Nobyembre 2011
“We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.” - From the Declaration of the Occupation of New York City One afternoon in September, around 200 New York policemen prepared for a protest march in Liberty Square. Using movable metal fences, they have divided the street into squares, like corrals for cattle. White police vans stood at various intersections, anticipating the arrest of protesters. As if together with the rain, a group of around 300 protesters arrived carrying their banners with rather simplistic slogans like “Wake Up”, “Close all the Banks” and “Occupy Wall Street for a Day, for a Week.” The police obligingly escorted them towards the East River and led them back towards Broadway and Trinity Church before they were gone. A month later, this seemingly small and innocuous protest of the young and the unemployed would eventually grow into a worldwide phenomenon determined to change a prevailing world order.
Gathering the troops
Occupy Wall Street is a peoplepowered movement that began on September 17, 2011 in Liberty Square in Manhattan’s Financial District. Inspired by the popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, men and women of all races, backgrounds, political and religious beliefs, held non-violent protests and demonstrations in Wall Street, claiming to represent the 99 percent of the population that partake on a small amount of resources, while the wealthiest one percent of America enjoys the lion’s share of the pie. The movement’s agenda is to fight the immense power that major banks and multinational corporations have come to hold over America’s democratic processes. Foremost of which is the role
of Wall Street in creating an economic collapse that has caused the greatest recession in generations, resulting to a need for the federal government to bail out numerous banks using taxpayers’ money. When the original projections for the protest were not met, with barely a thousand marchers gracing the first few days of the movement, mainstream media and corporate America dismissed the movement as a bust. But as the days progressed, the movement has spread to over 100 cities in the United States and has led to actions in over 1,500 cities globally.
Facing the wall
In a speech delivered to the protesters in Zuccotti Park in Manhattan, Slovenian theorist Slavoj Zizek said, “The solution is not found in the slogan ‘Main Street, not Wall Street,’ but to change the system in which Main Street cannot function without Wall Street”. Wall Street has always been synonymous with the financial markets of the United States as a whole, representative of “Corporate America,” with its big business interests. When Zizek used the distinction between Wall Street and Main Street, he did not merely call for a shift in people’s attitudes about greed and corruption: he is calling to change the system that allows and encourages such greed and corruption to thrive. Mass culture and media representations have constructed in our collective imaginations the seeming inevitability and necessity of capitalism, that it is impossible for people to picture a world that functions without its machinations. Movies, TV shows, and books depict Wall Street and midtown Manhattan as seductive spaces of social mobility, First World affluence and cosmopolitan ease, a space that operates within a system where the accumulation of wealth is the foremost goal to strive for, never mind if it necessarily entails the disenfranchisement of the majority. Rather than interrogate this inherently unequal system, mass culture, media and other ideological apparatuses have instead created a 99 percent that aspires to be the one percent. The Occupy Wall Street movement, then, is by itself an act of interrogation, blatantly questioning the system that enabled the existence of the ruling one percent to begin with. A more important question, however, as Zizek poses, is the type of economic organization that can replace the existing model of capitalism. The self-designated 99 percent at Wall Street seem to offer many alternatives, yet our imaginations, constructed as such, would always deny their possibility. A world without capitalism is just not acceptable. In our minds, there is no other currency except money.
Sources: “Occupy Wall Street: The resistance continues at Liberty Square and worldwide”. (http://occupywallst. org/) Harvey, David. “Rebels on the Street: The Party of Wall Street meets its Nemesis”. (http://davidharvey. org/2011/10/rebels-on-the-streetthe-party-of-wall-street-meets-itsnemesis/) Zizek, Slavoj. “The Violent Silence of a New Beginning”. In These Times, 27 October 2011. (http://www. inthesetimes.com/article/12188/the _violent_silence_of_a_new_ beginning/)
ccupy Moving to occupy
The truth is quite simple: space is power. Thus, the simple act of reclaiming a space brings with it the reclamation of power. While New York graffiti serves
Dibuho ni Marian Rios Disenyo ng pahina ni Roanne Descallar Ambag na litrato
as a visual reclamation of space, merely leaving “a presence in their Presence”, Occupy Wall Street entails an actual, concrete presence, warm bodies inhabiting, by force or any other means, a contested terrain. Wall Street protesters assert their presence and leave traces of their lifestyles on the formidable territory of financial moguls and CEOs. Colorful banners, dishevelled tents and evidences of “guerrilla gardening” now plague its sleek and modern landscape. While the movement may not overturn the primacy of capitalism overnight, nor change prevailing economic relations, the act of occupation itself reclaims a certain power for these protesters and serves as the concretization of their reimagining of a world devoid of economic disparities and social injustices. The movement beyond Wall Street, with the order to occupy other key cities all over the world, seemed inevitable. Cities are territories of symbolic significance, for they serve as the cultural, political and economic cores of a nation. The movement adheres to the simple logic that the more cities are occupied, the more power they reclaim for the movement. And now its call to occupy key cities all over the world has finally reached our shores. Insinuations of Occupy Mendiola, Alabang and Makati by the end of November surface on social networking sites, igniting the interest of the young and the unemployed to participate in such a movement. Disparities expressed by the movement are very much present in local conditions, and it would be no wonder if most Filipinos share the sentiments of the Wall Street occupants. But let us not dwell on the seeming romanticism of the movement. Protesters stay, not because it gives them a false sense of power and collectivity. They stay because they hope that their act of occupation would not be just another sidebar in the news, but be the flame that would actually ignite drastic changes in the global state of affairs. ●
10 • Kulê Opinyon
Martes 15 Nobyembre 2011
Paano ka ba magiging akin? Isa lang naman ang pamantayan ko sa paghahanap ng karelasyon: ikaw. Pero siyempre bola lang ‘yun. Gusto ko lang kunin ang atensyon mo, dahil hindi ko alam kung magkikita pa tayo ngayong semestre. Nababaliw na nga ako sa kaiisip kung ano ang kahahantungan ng “love story” natin. Malas mo dahil mahilig akong magbasa ng Tagalog pocket books at manood ng mga Asianovela. Mula sa mga tauhang sinubaybayan ko, alam kong kapag nakuha ng isang babaeng hindi nagsusuklay at hindi naliligo pero kaiba at mukhang madiskarte ang atensyon ng isang lalaki, posibleng maging sila. Kung bakit mo ba kasi pinipitik ang mga daliri mo sa harap ng mukha ko sa tuwing nagkakasalubong tayo. Lagi mo pa akong kinakalabit, at kahit na sitahin pa kita ng pinakamalulutong na mura, ngumingiti ka lang at tahimik na tumatawa. Tapos bigla kang magsisimula ng mga usapang may kinalaman sa akin—kung saan ako nag-hayskul, ano ang binabasa kong libro, kung masaya ba ako. Buwisit na buwisit ako sa klase natin last sem, pero isa ka sa mga
dahilan kung bakit hindi ako nag-drop. Kahit na naririnig kitang tumatawa mag-isa sa tuwing napapahiya ako sa recitation, at kahit panay ang turo mo sa akin tuwing nagtatawag si Prof ng volunteer, okay lang sa’kin. Kasalanan mo kung bakit bigla kong pinag-isipan nang mabuti kung ano ang ilalagay kong profile picture sa Facebook. Kasalanan mo kung bakit napadalaw ako sa ukay-ukay nang mag-isa para lang, oo, mag-shopping. Nabasa ko kasi ang payong ito sa Internet: If someone’s flirting with you, please cooperate. Oo, walang biro. Pati mga payo sa internet, pinatulan ko na. Hinanap rin kita sa Internet, akala mo. Nagbasa ako ng mga blog entry kung saan binabanggit ang pangalan mo; inalam ko kung sinu-sino ang common friends natin na posibleng magpalalim sa kung ano mang meron tayo. Pinagtanong kita sa mga kaibigan mo at lahat sila, nagkakasundong mabait ka nga. Urong-sulong ka rin kasi. Hindi ka masyado assertive sa pakay mo sa’kin, kung mayroon man. Sa dami ng mga pagkakataong nag-usap tayo, hindi mo hiningi ang number ko kahit
Sa lahat ng nagustuhan kong lalaki, ikaw lang ang hindi celebrity
kailan. Hindi naman ako madamot sa “oo.” Hinihintay ko lang na gumawa ka ng first move. Nang tinawag mo ako noong huling araw ng klase natin para sabay tayong maglakad, nag-usap lang tayo’t naghiwalay na parang talent ni Kim Chiu sa pag-arte: wala lang. Siguro nga wala naman talaga ako sa‘yo bukod sa isang kaklase. O marahil naghahanap ka lang ng Ate. Siguro kapag nagkita tayo ulit, tatango ka lang at bahagyang ngingiti pero hindi ka lalapit para makipag-usap. Kaiba ka rin kasi. Hindi ko rin alam kung bakit pero sa‘yo lang talaga ako natutuyuan ng laway at napapangungunahan ng duda at kaba. Siguro kasi sa lahat ng nagustuhan kong lalaki, ikaw lang ang hindi celebrity. Sakaling makilala mo ang sarili mo sa akdang ito, alam mo naman kung saan ako maaaring puntahan o kausapin. At huwag kang mag-alala— hindi pa rin ako madamot sa “oo.” Aanhin ko naman ‘yun. ●
Paglimot at pag-alala Hindi lahat ng lumilipas na segundo ay nagiging alaalang mababalikan sa hinaharap. Madalas, ang mga minuto, ang mga oras na nagdaraan ay sadyang nagdaraan lang at natatapos. Walang memorya o anumang patunay na ito’y nagdaan. Walang nakaraan. Maging ang pag-alala ay isang pamamaraan ng pagpili. Naaalala lamang natin ang nais nating maalala. Paglimot ang lunas sa mga tagpong nais nating burahin. Ngunit kung gayon, pinakamahirap kalimutan ang mga nais nating malimot. Sapagkat upang malikha ang pagnanais na makalimot, nangangailangan ng malawak na pag-alala sa sandaling nais burahin. Napipili natin ang nais nating alalahanin, ngunit hindi natin napipili ang nais nating makalimutan. Gaya ng Kulê. Saglit lamang ang panahong lumagi ako sa unibersidad nang hindi ako kasapi ng Collegian. Ikatlong linggo pa lamang ng Hunyo noon nang una akong umakyat sa ikaapat na palapag ng Vinzons. Hindi ko labis akalain noon na ang susunod na mga taon ay sa Silid 401 ko palilipasin. Kalakhan ng aking alaala ng buhay kolehiyo ay nalikha sa loob ng institusyong ito.
Sa Collegian ako natutong magsulat at bumasa nang higit pa sa pagsulat at pagbasang itinuturo sa aking mga klase. Mahigit apat na taon na at narito pa rin ako, nalipasan na ng panahon at naiwan ng mga taong dati-rati’y lagi kong kasama, mula pagtulog hanggang sa pangangarap. Ngayon, pakiramdam ko’y mag-isa na lang ako, ang tanging kapiling ay mga alaalang hindi kaugnay ng alaala ng mga taong nakapaligid sa akin sa kasalukuyan, mga alaalang nabuo kasama ang mga lumisan na. Gaya mo. Araw-araw, wala akong ibang nais kundi ang ibalik ang panahon at iwasang makilala ka. Ngunit hindi iyon maaari. At hindi ko rin magawang makalimot sapagkat malawak ang aking pagkaalala sa mga sandali ng ating pagkakakilala. ‘Di tulad ng iba, nanatili ka. Nanatili ka dahil sa pangangailangan. Ngunit hindi gaya ng dati, kung kailan ang bawat sandali’y nagiging alaala. Ngayon, ito’y lumilipas na lamang, dumaraan nang walang iniiwang bakas, sapagkat ito’y pinalilipas natin habang gumagampan sa pangangailangan. Ang kasalukuya’y tila reyalidad na hindi kayang patotohanan sa hinaharap, sapagkat
Pinakamahirap kalimutan ang mga nais nating malimot
walang bagong sandaling mababalikan kapag natapos. Tila nagpapaanod lang tayo sa bangungot ng kasalukuyan, at anumang sandali’y magigising tayo’t malilimot ang buong panahong ito. Kapag lumilikha tayo ng mga alaala, lumilipas ang mga araw nang hindi natin napapansin. Sapagkat dumaan man ng mabilis ang bawat sandali, maaari naman natin itong paulit-ulitin sa ating isipan, sapagkat may memoryang mababalikan. Ngunit kapag pinalilipas natin ang mga oras nang walang tangkang alalahanin ang mga ito sa hinaharap, bumabagal ang panahon. Sa pagitan ng kahapon at hinaharap, naroon ang katotohanan, ang reyalidad. Ngunit para saan ang katotohanang hindi naman magagawang maalala? Samakatuwid, higit na mahalaga ang memorya kaysa katotohanan. Sapagkat ang mga panahong nagiging totoo lamang habang nagaganap ang pinakamadaling pasinungalingan. Sapagkat ang tanging patotoo sa anumang katotohanan ay ang mga memoryang nakikintal sa ating isipan. Huwag sana tayong makalimot kailanman.●
A Forum on Media & Human Rights The Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication is holding a forum entitled “A Forum on Media and Human Rights: Commemorating the Ampatuan Massacre” on November 16, 2011, 2:00 p.m. at the UP CMC Auditorium. The forum is also the GSA’s humble contribution to the commemoration of the Ampatuan massacre which brutally took the lives of over 30 media practitioners. For more information, contact Jefferson @ 0916-302-5568 or jeffragragio@ gmail.com.
UP SPECA Speech Cup For its tenth year and the commemoration of the national hero’s 150th birth anniversary, the University of the Philippines Speech Communication Association proudly presents its flagship event, the UP SPECA Speech Cup with the theme “Now Hiring: Post Modern Heroes.” Join us as we build avenues for the youth in expressing themselves through artistic performances. Be one of us in utilizing speech communication as a tool to promote patriotism and in upholding Rizal’s most cherished belief that the youth is the hope of the motherland. See you at Abelardo Hall, College of Music, UP Diliman on November 19, 1pm. For more details, text 0917458166.
UP ASTERISK Naghahanap ang Kubo #5 (CAL Tambayan Complex) ng mga bagong artista, kritiko at iskolar ng sining at kultura. Hihintayin kayo ng UP ASTERISK sa Applicants’ Orientation sa CAL305 sa Nobyembre 29, 5:30pm. Para sa karagdagang impormasyon, mag-text sa 09175643744.
11 • Kulê Opinyon
Martes 15 Nobyembre 2011
UNIVERSITY STUDENT COUNCIL UP DILIMAN Financial Statement First Semester, A.Y. 2011-2012
Next week’s questions
Ze masaraaaaaap ang bawal edishun!
Income USC Trust Fund Balance1
USC Ways and Means2
UP Kilos Na Laban sa Budget Cut Finance Committee3
UP Kilos Na Tulong Kabataan4
Total Funds Available
92, 148.00 289, 096.51
Less: Expenditures USC 2010-20115
Supplies and Materials
Refund of Student8
1. Payag ka bang palabasin ng bansa si Gloria Arroyo? Bakit o bakit hindi? 2. Anong tingin mo sa pagkapanalo ni Manny Pacquiao laban kay Juan Manuel Marquez? Send in your opinions and feedback via SMS! Type KULE <space> MESSAGE <space> STUDENT NUMBER (required) YEAR AND COURSE (optional) and send to:
09175312630 268, 121.10 20, 975. 41
Certified true correct:
Amancio M. Melad III Treasurer, USC UPD 2011-2012 FInance Committee Head, UP Kilos Na LSBC Convenor, UP Kilos Na TK
Jemimah Grace N. Garcia Chairperson, USC UPD 2011-2012
1 Status of Funds from USC Trust Fund from UP Accounting Office – UP Diliman 2 Figure accounts for UP Lifestyle Planner collections 3 Figure accounts for UP Kilos Na solicitation efforts 4 Figure accounts for UP Kilos Na Tulong Kabataan monetary donations. Non-cash inventories totaled 250 relief bags of consumable goods together with bundles of 250 sets of clothing distributed in Bulacan, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Pamapanga and Nueva Ecija during relief operations last October 2011. 5 Deducted from the figure is the USC’s share used for UP Fair 2011 expenses. The amount from UJF 2011 profit is evenly divided to USC’s partners, UP Adcore and ESC. 6 Figure includes computer rental expenses for administrative and operational functions of USC and two (2) issues of The Oblation, the official newsletter of the USC. 7 Figure includes room reservation expenses that were not waived by certain colleges. Deductions from USC Trust Fund due to non-continuing enrollees during the semester covered.
They, too, deserve justice
For several weeks now, news programs and commentaries have been flooded with the killing of Ramgen Revilla and Charice Pempengco’s father Ricky, both celebrities and public personalities. The killing of Charice’s father was declared “case closed” by the police, while that of Ramgen continues to land the headlines, with the media giving a blow-by-blow account on the case. We share both of the family’s cry for justice. These killings cruelly remind us of the fact that killings happen to almost everybody. We are shocked that such killings happened to prominent families. At one point, we feel envious at the public attention driven at these cases. We are more dismayed, however, at how the police investigation with both cases seems so fast and efficient. Yet, beyond the public’s eye, we know that more killings remain unsolved and lack public attention. In fact, a number of them are remembered this November: 1. Just last month, we were shocked over the killing of Fr. Fausto Tentorio, the well-loved Italian priest in Arakan Valley, North Cotabato who was killed on October 17. Nobody has been arrested. Also, few know that after Fr. Pops was killed, soldiers strafed the houses of farmers in Fr. Pops’ parish community. A farmer, identified as Ramon Batoy, was killed. 2. On November 15, a year has passed since top Philippine botanist Leonard Co was killed in Kananga town, Leyte while doing field research on plant species. The term “huge contribution” is not enough to the amount of work he had done in the field of botany and taxonomy which earned him posthumous awards. Yet, Co’s family still waits in agony for the DOJ resolution which was supposedly released three months ago. 3. The preliminary investigation on the killing of Palawan broadcaster Gerry Ortega is still ongoing. Ten months into the investigation and shortly a year since he was killed on January 24, 2010, the respondents continue to delay the investigation. The accused mastermind, on the other hand, remains scot-free. 4. Seven farmers were killed in the Hacienda Luisita massacre on November 16, 2004. The Ombudsman dismissed the case against Army and PNP officials in 2005. Where else do the victims search for justice? This nation is thirsty for justice. Perhaps this is one of the lessons we can learn from the overwhelming public attention to the murder of Revilla and Pempengco. Yet, many of the victims of killings, who became the voice to the voiceless and stood their ground even at the face of death, remain unsolved. They deserve justice nevertheless. Cristina Guevarra Secretary General, HUSTISYA (Victims United for Justice)
Masayang pagbabalik sa University of Pilipenis, mga teh! Aminin ninyo, na-miz ninyo aketch! Nandito na muli ang inyong beking tita na laging on-the-go sa balita. Heniwey, para sa marami, ang bawal ang pinakamasarap gawin. Kaya ingat lang sa mga hidden adventures nyo, teh! My cameras are always ready to shoot! Pero kung pangarap mo ma-feature dito, gora lang te! Bawal #1: Bawal mag-feeling intelektwal! Ang una nating feature ay isang babaeng newbie sa unibersidad na itago na lang natin sa pangalang Uhm, Like Yeah. Habang nag-babask under the sun at nagliliwaliw sa buhangin si Uhm, Like Yeah with her newly met Arrhenean friends, pasikat si ate in the game of categories. Sa category na recent political events, confident na confident si ateng nang sabihin niya ang “The Death of Abu Dhabi.” Ahhm, diba Gadafi iyon? Bawal #2: Bawal magtago! Nakaka-marshmallow naman ng feeling ang istorya ng dalawang lovebirds na itech! Sino ang makakaguess na ang mahahabang gabi sa opisina at ang matagalang pagdadraft ay mauuwi sa pag-iibigan? Pagkatapos ng isang buwang pagkukubli sa publiko, hindi na maitago pa ni ateng nang mapansin ng mga taga-Kulot na suot niya ang jacket ni loverboy. Ang mahahaba nga bang oras sa opisina ay ginamit sa pagda-draft? Charot! Wala akong sinabing bawal ma-in love. Hihi. Bawal #3 Bawal maging saksakan nang landi! Si ateng ay hindi man lang nag-attempt para itago ang kanyang raging carnal desires. Hay nako girlet! Nung sinabi ng dentista na “open wide,” ibig niyang sabihin ay bibig mo at hindi ang mga hita. Kaloka ka! Heniwey, eto namang isa pang ateng na itago na lang natin sa pangalang Junie Tiktikan ay walang pakundangang pinapatos at minomomol (make out make out lang) ang lahat ng lalaking gumagalaw, all day, everyday. At wala pang pinipiling lugar. Aba, nag-momol sa banyo ng Starbucks sa Katipunan (ang excuse ni girlet: nalasing raw siya sa kape), sa audio room ng isang party, sa bahay ng isang kaibigan. Ay, san na nga lang ba hindi? Heto na lamang, mga teh! Hanggang sa muli! ●
KulĂŞ The Back Page
Martes 15 Nobyembre 2011