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Showing posts from November, 2007

The polite language of the new rule

People don't get arrested anymore. They get "invited". And then they get "processed", like canned meat. What exactly do the officers of the PNP mean, when they say that people are being "invited for processing"? It sounds so benign, it's got to be a lie. Meanwhile, in Shoemart, a sign at the entrance asks us to kindly "submit" ourselves to the routine security inspection. And we are only too willing. What the hell are we coming to?

Cordillera Youth Eco Summit

Organized and funded by the Cordillera Green Network December 1 at the Baguio Convention Center 2pm Lecture on Environmental Education by Dr. Syusaku Minato, The Kiyosate Educational Experiment Project (KEEP), Japan. 5pm Ecological Community Theater Festival AANAK DI KABILIGAN (Children of the Mountain) Teatro Kabbakab (Hapao, Hungduan, Ifugao) Aanak Chi Kabilbiligan Abra Amdec Cultural Ensemble (Bucloc, Abra) 7pm Planet Love concert by KURI (Japan) Playbacktheatre Rashinban (Japan) and Agi (Kabayan) December 2 at Baguio Convention Center 2pm Lecture on Sustainable Development by Mr. Takao Okemoto, KEEP, Japan 4pm Ecological Community Theater Festival AANAK DI KABILIGAN Kalinga Treasure (Pasil, Kalinga) Tanghalan Niyal ni Kabayan (Kabayan, Benguet) Obon di Malayad (Lubon, Tadian, Mountain Province) Guest Performers: KURI (Japan) and Playbacktheatre Rashinban (Japan) December 9 at 1pm in VOCAS, La Azotea, Session Road Impromptu theater workshop for living with nature by Playbacktheatre


A post From the Boondocks about child abuse has prompted me to share this striking poem on a difficult subject, by Chinee Palatino of Ubbog: TAGU-TAGUAN tagu-taguan wala pa man ang buwan Pumanik kami sa hagdanan Dahan-dahan. Lumalangitngit Baitang na dinaraanan. pagsapit ng tatlo nakatago na kayo Doon. Doon kami nagtungo Sa may banig at kulambo ‘Di pa naliligpit ng lola ko Isa… dalawa… tatlo! Apat. Apat na taong gulang na’ko Si tito, dise-otso Siya ang kalaro ko. Mata niya’y nakaluwa Payat. Humpak ang mukha Nangingitim ang labi,Nanggigitata Nganga. Subo. Kasama po ba ‘to sa laro? Parang malabnaw na sipon Sa bibig ko naiiipon Nakakaduwal. Nakakasuka. Buka. Buka pa. Kumikirot na po. Pilit na isinusuksok ‘Di naman kasya. Namamaga na. Papanaog na sa hagdanan Tapos na tagu-taguan Sa araw na kainitan Bakit ‘di ako natagpuan? CHINEE PALATINO, along with fellow Ubbog members Junley Lazaga, Rachel Pitlongay, Rommel de Guzman, and Clifford

Re-think pink

I can't explain why I chose pink for my blog. I have hated pink ever since the day my grade one teacher told me in front of all my classmates that blue could not be my favorite color because I was a girl. She insisted that my favorite color had to be pink. We had a small debate about this. I don't remember who won, but I decided that "pink-for-girls" and "not-for-girls" had to be two of the stupidest rules of the adult world ever and I was going to break them every chance I got. "Pink, pink, you stink," became my favorite taunt for girls that I thought were "too girly" because they followed the rules. On my 8th birthday I went to school in a blue, glittery disco suit that might have landed me a spot as an extra in Staying Alive. (I was in love with John Travolta.) As I grew up, I consistently rejected and passed on every pink gift I ever received. But now! Now I have a pink blog. By choice! My tatay is sure that I chose pink just to irrit


In lieu of last Saturday's full moon, which was hidden by Mina's storm clouds, here is a wonderful pomme de terre written in Ilocano by Junley Lazaga, a member of Ubbog. Patatas Ket patatas nga naukisan iti bulan daydi umuna nga lawas ti Oktubre, sibubuo ket amarilyo; Ken dagiti kudilna nga nagalip-sina ket ti daga nga taltalunen kadagiti bakrang ti bambantay; Patatas ket iti bulan idi diak makaturog rinabii, Ukisna ket idi iti daga di adda kadagita sadya; Kas iti patatas iti bulan tinaripatok ket inug-ugasak sakbay isab-it iti langit ti arapaap; Patatas ket met ita nga tinubuan kadagiti mata iti bulan nga puson iti pagbalinanna. The Tagalog translation, by the poet: Patatas At patatas na nabalatan ang buwan noong unang linggo ng Oktubre, buo at dilaw; At ang mga balat nitong nahiwa-hiwalay ay ang lupang sinasaka sa mga tagiliran ng mga bundok; Patatas ang buwan noon di ako makatulog gabi-gabi, Balat nito noon ang lupa noong nasa iyong ta

Ribbed, Dotted, Strawberry or Durian?

One of the most memorable things I ever saw in Jakarta was a bus with a condom ad emblazoned all over it's side. In bright pink, green, and yellow letters it promised pleasure and variety in its line of different shapes and flavors of rubbers. (Nash, don't chastise me. I know rubbers are erasers in Oxford.) On this particular bus, the highlight of the ad was The Durian Condom. A giant durian was painted on its rear end. I couldn't figure out from the ad whether it was a durian-spiked condom, a durian-flavored condom, or both, and whether the condoms were available on that bus line. Much to my disappointment, the durian condom was out of stock in every drugstore, grocery, and warung in which I looked and asked. It is either extremely popular, or a total myth, or I was hallucinating. By the way, unlike the Peelipins, where we are still sooo 19th century about sex, Indonesia has a policy of two-children-only per family and this is kept in place by the easy availability of birt

Mariannet Amper and Vachel Lindsay

He could have written this for her . The Leaden-Eyed Let not young souls be smothered out before They do quaint deeds and fully flaunt their pride. It is the world's one crime that its babes grow dull, Its poor are ox-like, limp and leaden-eyed. Not that they starve, but starve so dreamlessly, Not that they sow, but that they seldom reap, Not that they serve, but have no gods to serve, Not that they die, but that they die like sheep. by Vachel Lindsay


I don't seem to have anything original to say these days (did I ever) so here is one of my most favorite poems ever, plucked out of my bible, Staying Alive: Real Poetry for Unreal Times. For a Five-Year-Old A snail is climbing up the window-sill into your room, after a night of rain. You call me in to see, and I explain that it would be unkind to leave it there: it might crawl to the floor; we must take care that no one squashes it. You understand, and carry it outside, with careful hand, to eat a daffodil. I see, then, that a kind of faith prevails: your gentleness is moulded still by words from me, who have trapped mice and shot wild birds, from me, who drowned your kittens, who betrayed your closest relatives, and who purveyed the harshest kind of truth to many another. But that is how things are: I am your mother, and we are kind to snails. FLUER ADCOCK

I finally did it

When I started working on my bloody dissertation, DearD warned me that I would be asked a thousand times: "So what are you working on? What are you writing about?" Her sage advice was to think up three simple sentences that would sum it up nicely. For the first time in the past six years (SIX? WTF?!), three sentences came out of me effortlessly when the dreaded questions were addressed to me by a friend I hadn't seen in years, who, he updated me, now grows chemical-free, non-gmo, traditional rice varieties in Tabuk. Ashamed somewhat of the seeming uselessness and pretensiousness of what I do by comparison, I said, while squirming: "I've been looking at what happens when indigenous peoples' rights are combined with environmental issues in protected areas. My basic questions are, what happens to indigenous peoples' daily lives, and what happens to environmental problems when you put the two together? That's it." Actually that's just two wh

Random Diss Excerpt #8

"Our work depends on nature. If it floods, then we can build canals and float logs out. If there are no floods then we have to build a jalan kuda [which is a handbuilt railway made of hardwood, over which logs are manually dragged out of the peat swamps].” -- Indigenous logger in Central Kalimantan To any environmentalist, this statement may seem like a contradiction. How can one speak of interdependence with nature, and yet destroy nature by cutting down trees? For the Ngaju however, there is no such contradiction. Environmentalists may label certain aspects of the current livelihood repertoire of Ngaju Dayak as destructive, but Ngaju Dayak in the village of Baun Bango consistently describe their work and their livelihood as being interdependent with nature. "When I'm in the village I get restless. But I'm happy when I'm in the forest because that's where my work is. When I'm in the forest, i don't feel uneasy. I always know exactly what to do. I feel

Self-Professed Antipatikos

If you're in town, it's worth climbing the six flights of stairs in La Azotea to see the works of these two antipatiko artists and to have a cup of brewed coffee in the Victor Oteyza Community Art Space. The show hangs til November 21. If you're lucky the artists themselves may be hanging about and they might even let you buy them a cuppa. Mark Dungaw has found religion. Demi del Rosario, proud to be pagano.

Creative journal writing workshop offered

THE Baguio Writers Group will conduct a creative journal writing workshop Nov. 23-24 at the Episcopal Church in the Philippines Mission Center's conference hall on 356 Magsaysay Ave., Baguio City. The workshop, which starts Nov. 23 at 1:30 p.m. and resumes on the 24th at 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., is open to college students and adults who would like to learn the discipline of keeping a journal and drawing writing and other artistic ideas from it. Facilitators are Prof. Grace Subido, who teaches literature and writing courses at the University of the Philippines Baguio, and Merci Javier Dulawan, a teacher-writer enrolled in advanced studies to enable her to teach the Ira Progoff method of journal writing. Twenty slots are open for participants. Workshop fee of P1,200 covers handouts, snacks, lunch and certificates. To reserve call or text Babeth Lolarga at 0916-242-1637.#

Bon Voyage!

Baguio boy photographers Ruel Bimuyag and Dave 'Kulot' Leprozo have flown to Arizona to participate in the exchange program of Through Each Others Eyes , an organization of Arizona-based professional photographers that promotes cultural understanding through photography ek-ek. They will spend two to three weeks there getting trigger happy (with their cameras, of course!), hosted by local photographers. Next year, two photographers from Through Each Others Eyes will come to Baguio where Ruel and Kulot will host them and assist them in shooting our beloved dugyot city. When the exchange is completed an exhibition of the photos will be shown in both Baguio and Phoenix. Yipppeeee! Something new to look forward to! Here are my favorite mug shots of da boys Ruel at play in Sadanga, 2006. Yes that is a human jawbone. Kulot at play in Baguio, 2003. Yes those are his horns showing.