Ako mismo, Pacquiao: When Reality is made to Conform to Theory, Not the Other Way Around

Originally posted in my Facebook on May 4, 2009.

In his Facebook status yesterday, Bikoy Villanueva said “Here you go again with these illusions of social change through individualism–pay taxes? clean your backyard? pray?? isn’t that what you’re supposed to do regardless of any campaign for social change?”, referring to the website akomismo.com

Another UP student, Will Mardo, said in her FB status “Sabi ng kuya ko nang hindi ako manood ng pacman-hitman chuchu: “wala ka man lang kahit anong nationalism sa katawan mo!”…. asus, gawin bang basehan si paquiao!!!”, something RG Tesa had to blog about here [http://rgtesa.blogspot.com /2009/05/pacquiao-nationalism.html]

Nowadays, it seems money, DVDs, noses, boobs, vendors’ partylist groups, and perjury charges, are not the only things being faked: so is Nationalism.

A lot of Facebook-ers and bloggers would react (or already have reacted) “What’s wrong with that?”. Some would argue that before one can change society, one must change individually. Others go even further, and argue that one can only change society on an individual basis. As for finding any arguments to justify Pacquiao pride as a basis for being nationalistic, one has to bring his thinking back to the grade school level.

Let’s first take a look at the word itself: Nationalism. What is it’s most popular translation? Not “makabansa”, but “makabayan”, which is formed by two words: “maka” and “bayan”. “Bayan” itself while being used to mean “country”, is more used as “village/town/community” (malawak na bayan ng Novaliches) or “the people” (‘ang tao, ang bayan, ngayon ay lumalaban!’).

In short, Nationalism also stands for ‘for the people’.

So what is being ‘for the people’ about supporting Manny Pacquiao? Aside from the fact that traffic (to the verge that it was almost like a transport strike here) and the crime rate goes down, there are no material benefits to ‘the people’. The main argument is about ‘national pride’, or how we have something to brag about our being Filipino. Which, as we said earlier, is grade-school logic. National unity (the main argument for Pacquiao as a basis for nationalism) and national pride can’t be the basis/bases for nationalism.

If it was, then here are a few other leaders that can be considered great nationalists:
1. Adolf Hitler, because he made the united the Germans and made them feel proud about being German since they kicked the crap out of Poland, France, and almost every other country in Europe.
2. Saddam Hussein, because he united the Iraqi people (using fear, and only for a time).
3. George Bush, similar to Hitler’s reason.
4. Ferdinand Marcos, similar to Saddam’s reason.

(Don’t get me wrong. I’m proud of what the Pacman has done. He’s brought down, aside from Hatton’s carcass, is the myth of white and western superiority. Unfortunately, he is being used by the most unpopular officials in our country since Marcos to keep their popularity from going even more down.)

But even worse than using Pacquiao as the basis for nationalism, is what can be termed as “individual/individualist nationalism”. And it didn’t begin with akomismo.com. It’s been in our country, especially among the middle class for a long time: From iamninoy all the way to the anti-SAMASA parties in UP Diliman during the 80s.

The basic thought behind this counterfeit brand of nationalism is that we can change things solely on an individual level. But as Bikoy already mentioned earlier, this “individual nationalism” is nothing more than the things which we are already expected to do so. Throw your trash in the right places, don’t smoke where it might offend people, vote in the elections, pay your taxes, work hard, and so on and so forth.

How then does that become ‘for the people’?

Take for example the our last two examples of individual nationalism. We are always being told if do those things, we would become prosperous. And it’s based on the concept of the “American Dream”: anything is possible with hard work.

But where is the United States right now? Smack in the middle of the worst economic crisis, since, well, since the Black Plague?

In short, the historical and ‘factual’ basis for individual nationalism is anything but factual. It’s as true as Salen-Ga.

But Bikoy goes further: He explains that by promoting ordinary routine as nationalism, we already are led to believe that we don’t have to do “anything else”. We don’t have to question why things are so fucked up in the world today, much less do anything about it that is beyond “individual nationalism”. And of course, it makes for good advertising, as this Multiply entry from my former friend (and continuing lunatic) proves: http://akosikee.multiply.com/journal/item/244/Ako_Mismo

And this counterfeit brand of nationalism proves to be very popular for the middle class because it justifies the idea that they DON’T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING! Voting in the elections, studying in school, graduating, working hard, and paying taxes, are all part of the middle class routine! And that’s what we mean when we say ” Reality is made to Conform to Theory, Not the Other Way Around”. Individual nationalism is convenient, that’s why some people go to any length to defend it!

Even the children of workers (anak ng anakpawis) join the latest May One rally.
No matter what some may say, nationalism is like The Highlander: there can only be one. And we have had the benefit of the experience of previous nationalist experiments: graduating on time, not going to rallies, paying taxes, and voting during elections, did not kick out the Spaniards during 1898, bring down the Russian monarchy in 1917, kick out Chiang Kai-Shek in 1949, made Vietnam independent despite U.S bombings, and ousted Marcos in 1986 and Erap in 2001.

It was collective and militant action.

P.S
For the average member of the middle-class,one can begin on the road to collective and militant actions by attending “alternative classes”. These can be as simple as impromptu discussions on the sidewalk during rallies, regular discussions set by organizations like the LFS & Anakbayan (never Akbayan), or they can even be day-long or week-long exposure trips to peasant communities such as Hacienda Luisita and other communities of the basic masses. The thing is, these alternative classes teach us stuff that the present education system is trying to repress, much like in the Spanish era when our ancestors were thought Filipinos were lazy because of their physiology. Most of the time, these classes have the benefit of having actual experience of the poor on their side.

Ang gwapo mo RG! Hahaha.
http://www.anakbayanhq.multiply.com

anakbayanphils@gmail.com

PRESS RELEASE

June 8, 2009

Youth group challenges pro-Chacha officials, lawmakers: Join our classes on June 10

“Ganito kami sa June 10, matututo. Sana pati kayo”

This was the challenge of ANAKBAYAN chairperson Ken Ramos to Administration officials and pro-Admin lawmakers: to learn alongside the youth why, and how, they oppose Charter Change.

Ramos presented a ‘curriculum for the day’, which included topics such as: perspectives of various sectors regarding Charter Change, how it will affect them, how Gloria Arroyo’s term can be extended, and various ways to show one’s opposition to Chacha.

“From flooding their cellphone and email inboxes to boycotting them on the 2010 elections, It will be good for pro-Chacha lawmakers and officials to hear first-hand how the youth plans to punish them for going against the people’s will” said Ramos.

“Baka sakaling matauhan sila” he added.

Ramos meanwhile continued to stress the importance of the youth’s participation on June 10, saying “Hindi na tanong kung ayaw mo sa Chacha o hindi. Tanong na ito kung bakit dapat kumilos na tayo, at kung ano ang pwede nating gawin”.

Ramos said they would also be holding discussions on ‘campaign training’, so that the June 10 participants will be able to hold their own activities in their communities, and in their schools once classes start on June 15.

“Expect more protests on June 15 and beyond. And if the Administration is set to convene the Constituent Assembly by July, we are also prepared to convene ‘campus strikes’ on that month” warned Ramos. ###

http://www.anakbayanhq.multiply.com
anakbayanphils@gmail.com

PRESS RELEASE
June 7, 2009

Despite suspension of classes, youth group vows to spread ‘virus’

“Don’t self-quarantine your outrage, infect everyone with your desire for change.”

This was the message of ANAKBAYAN chairperson Ken Ramos as he urged youths today to join anti-Chacha protests despite the CHED order moving the opening of classes to June 15.

“Like a real virus, outrage against the railroading of HR 1109 is infectious. But unlike swine flu, we want it to spread. It won’t infect anyone if we stay at home and/or stay silent. That’s why we urged everyone to go out and make themselves heard” said Ramos.

Ramos presented several ways how the youth could ‘spread the virus’.

“Tell everyone you know you’re against Chacha. Spread it through text and the internet. Make your own anti-Chacha artworks and stick them anywhere, whether its cyberspace or real-space. Make your own ‘anti-Chacha freedom wall’ so other people can express themselves. If you see If you’re driving and encountered a street protest, beep your horn to show your support. You could even organize your own noise barrage near your home or school, preferrably every 11:09. But most of all, join the protest on June 10”.

Meanwhile, Ramos had the opposite advice to Palace officials, telling them to ‘shut up’ and ‘put themselves in self-quarantine’.

“They have symptoms of ‘Gloria flu’, such as compulsive lying to the Filipino people. They say that they had no hand in the railroading of HR 1109, that Con-Ass will not be used to extend Gloria’s term, etc. But Gloria said way back in 2001 that she would not push for Chacha. She also said in 2004 she would not run for president. For the sake of the country’s health, they should just shut up and put themselves in self-quarantine”.

###

PRESS RELEASE

Militant youths march to Mendiola today against Charter Change
Gloria Arroyo and Congress allies, positive for “power abuse” – ANAKBAYAN

“Mga adik sa kapangyarihan”

As ANAKBAYAN today joined other youth groups in an indignation rally to Mendiola, this was how ANAKBAYAN chairperson Ken Ramos described those who are railroading the passage of House Resolution 1109 before the House suspends its session on June 5.

According to Ramos, the passing HR 1109 and the changing of the Philippine Constitution has a simple objective: to protect Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from criminal cases awaiting her once her term expires on June 2010.

“Arroyo and her allies can’t ‘quit’ their addiction to power. Without it, they will not be able to protect GMA from prosecution in the same way they blocked all impeachment complaints against her. Short of declaring Martial Law, this is her last chance” said Ramos.

“ChaCha offers many routes to protect Arroyo. One, she could be elected as Prime Minister if our form of government is changed to parliamentary and she runs for Congress in her home province of Pampanga. Two, they could remove the passage restricting her from running for a third term. Three, she could have her term extended by serving as an ‘interim president’ to guide us with our new constitution” he explained.

Meanwhile, Ramos slammed the misguided set of priorities shown by the Congress in railroading HR 1109”.

“Ibang klase” was how Ramos described the June 2 session which lasted until midnight, “You couldn’t get them to attend deliberations on bills the people are clamoring for, such as the Three Year Tuition Increase Moratorium, P125 Wage Hike, and Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill. Pero dahil HR 1109 ang nakasalang, full-house bigla!”.

Ramos called on to the youth to join and initiate protest actions in the coming days.

“Like any substance abuser, the Arroyo Regime will stop at nothing to get what it wants. It’s time the people used the same therapy used on previous ‘power addicts’ like Marcos and Erap.”###

Revolution will put an end to backwardness and poverty

Gloria Arroyo’s vision of the Philippines becoming a First World country by 2020 is a huge delusion. Arroyo deceives the Filipino people by repeatedly telling them that their century-old poverty will be coming to an end in a few years’ time through her efforts and the measures she has taken. No one, of course, actually believes her when she insinuates that she has to stay in power in order to save the Philippines and deliver on her promise of prosperity.

The intensified crisis of the country’s semifeudal economy and the blows inflicted by the current crisis of the world capitalist system have worsened economic backwardness in the Philippines. The same assessment has been made by the imperialist financial agencies.

So long as the Philippine economy remains a mere supplier of cheap raw materials and cheap labor for the imperialists, so long as it remains tied to exporting semi-manufactured goods, and so long as superprofits are extracted from it in exchange for a tiny amount of excess capital invested, the country will forever be condemned to backwardness and will remain agrarian and unindustrialized. It will also be constantly in the throes of permanent crisis and will never prosper under this rotten system.

The Philippine economy and Philippine society on the whole have been at a standstill since US imperialism imposed colonial and neocolonial rule, plunder and oppression. The implementation since the 1980s of the imperialist policies of “neoliberal globalization” and the concomitant policies of liberalization, deregulation, labor flexibilization, privatization and denationalization have worsened this already dismal situation.

The solution to the Filipino people’s poverty and misery does not lie in Arroyo’s empty promises. The US-Arroyo regime is in fact responsible for the continued backwardness of Philippine economy and society. This regime has not done a thing to develop the economy, industry, agriculture and the Filipino people’s quality of life. It has in fact blocked national industrialization, land reform and programs and bills for the people’s betterment.

It is the most rabid implementor of imperialist “globalization” policies that have further condemned the Filipino people to poverty. Imperialist “globalization” destroys productive forces, depletes the country’s natural resources and deprives the poor of the most basic social services.

Worldwide distribute of the world’s wealth
Revolution will put an end to the country’s backwardness and rottenness. Through the new democratic revolution, we can overthrow the existing semicolonial and semifeudal social order and achieve national liberation, democracy, justice, peace and the prosperity that has been denied the country and the Filipino people for more than a century. Only through revolution can economic development be attained and the people’s quality of life uplifted.

The socialist revolution that will lead to the establishment of a far more developed political and socio-economic system that will mainly benefit the working class and the toiling masses will be advanced as soon as the national democratic revolution is completed.

In advancing the Philippine revolution, we must wage allout resistance against the ruling US-Arroyo regime and all other puppet and reactionary regimes that prop up the ruling system until the entire rotten system is overthrown.

[from the 21 May 2009 edition of the underground paper ANG BAYAN; link: http://www.philippinerevolution.net/cgi-bin/ab/text.pl?issue=20090521;lang=eng;article=17]

how many times do you pee a day?
dont know.

who would you have sex with if you get to PICK?
the one who tagged me with this survey

what if george bush took a dump in your bed? what would you do?
CUT HIS HEAD OFF.

what would you do if gloria macapagal arroyo gets taller?
AYOS LANG, PERO SANA WAG NA SYA MAGING PRESIDENTE SA 2010.

are you horny?
if you could say that someone who feels the need to jerk off after doing it for the whole afternoon is horny, yes, you could say i am horny

what do you think about people who have hair like pubic hair?
id like to ask them if they smell like genitalia. haha

do you think god is a girl or a boy? explain.
Neither, and both. Omnipotent beings wouldn’t pass up the chance to experience the benefits of screwing both boys and girls.

is Michael Jackson gay? or is he your idol?
yes. and yes, if only for his fashion sense.

Hang out with: Gay? Lez? Bi?
it doesnt matter.

who would you prefer to be a sidekick, GOD or SATAN?
SATAN NA. MAS DIGS KO GUMAWA NG MASAMA. <– pwede bang kasama ako dun sa pag-gawa ng masama. haha

define FUCK.
FORNICATION UNDER THE CONSENT OF KING. IDIOT. <– good as any definition i’ve heard

what is it like to be you?
never satisfied

do you think that people find you hot?
a few do. most just think im on fire

would you prefer: Asian, American, Latin, Hindu to be your girlfriend/boyfriend?
Asian please. I can’t stand races that don’t bathe regularly

Where do you study?
Nowhere State University

are you proud of where you’re studying right now?
yep!

who would you kill if you had a chance to pick?
a delusional girl out to screw my relationship (just because i didn’t screw her)

which would you prefer? family guy? or simpsons?
either, basta may cameo appearance ng the other

when was the last time you peed on your bed?

what age did you stop wearing diapers?

what age did you stop drinking from a bottle?
i still drink from bottles! hahaha

are you vain?
no

do you think that you’re HOT?
yep. in heat.

do you cheat?
ON EXAMS, yes. ON FRIENDS, NO. ON BOYS, only if you’re THAT special

when was the last time you cheated in school?
i can’t remember.

have you done bad things to yourself? if yes, then what?
slept late, ate too much, ate too little, smoked

what would you do if madonna was shitting in front of you?
yuck. ewan.

are you a cry baby?
no

do you love nerds?
kinda. i found nerds are full of raging hormones

wanna get married?
not now

wanna have sex someday?
WHY NOT NOW? <— siya nga naman

what would you call your child’s name IF you had one?

state your name.
anton

state your name again.
Lord

i meant your full name. JACKASS.
rafael antonio dulce

are you pissed right now?
NO.

pick: cocaine, marijuana, shabu, nicotine, rugby?
JUTS. <– hell yeah

barbie? or bratz?
Transformers

emo? or love?
LOVE.

what’s your blood type?
Blue? Hahaha

what’s your shoe size?
8

havaianas? or ipanema?
Chucks

chucks? or vans?
Banana Peel

billabong or quiksilver/roxy?
Artwork

pizza or fries?
PIZZA.

what do you like doing the most?
fornicate

are you happy with your life?
of course. its the only way to prolong it

do you hate the backstreet boys?
NO. I JUST DON’T LIKE THEM.

is zac efron gay for you?
YES. THAT FAG.

do you think pete wentz and ashlee simpson fit?
DON’T KNOW, DON’T GIVE A SHIT.

what do you think they would name their baby?
THEY HAD A BABY? I THOUGHT ASHLEE WAS JUST BLOATED. xd

how many siblings do you have?
1

if you have, state their names.
yeah, like the CIA’s gonna get lucky. haha

do you have a pet?
LOTS.

What kind?
3 labrador retrievers

math or science?
social SCIENCE.

cow or pig?
COW.

are you a wimp?
outside the bedroom? yes.

do you watch the news?
YES.

what’s your favorite TV show?
Dexter, Spongebob Squarepants, UFC

do you think your parents will allow you to watch sex shows?
NO. OF COURSE NOT. VISIT DAILYFLESHASIA.COM. BWAHAHAHAHA. INYERFACE MUM AND DAD! <—- ang galing. haha.

are you stupid?
yep. why else would i answer this survey? hehe

are you crazy?
totally. off the rocker. out of control

do you love someone?
oh yeah

how many fingers do you have?
10. AND 10 TOES.

how many teeth do you have?
2 too many

did you try licking your elbow?
NO.

you think you can lick it?
no. but i can lick you. and even down there, long as you shave it

WALANG PINAGIBA
Mula ng simulan ng Kabataan Partylist ang kanilang programang BFF Hotline (Bulok na Facilities at Fees), dumagsa ang mga reklamo ng mga estudyante mula hayskul hanggang kolehiyo, mula Cordillera hanggang Southern Tagalog. Pare-pareho pa rin ang reklamo sa mga nakaraang taon: mataas na mga bayarin kahit sa mga public schools, bulok na mga facilities at kagamitan, at mga represibong Administrations.

[Ang Hotline ay http://www.kabataanpartylist.com/hotline/]

WALA PA RIN
Patuloy na nawawala ang mga kasamahan ni Melissa Roxas nung dinukot sila sa Tarlac noong nakaraang linggo. Si Melissa, edad 32, ay Pilipina at residente ng Los Angelos. Miyembro siya nung isang kultural na grupo at ng chapter ng BAYAN (Bagong Alyansang Makabayan) sa U.S, bago siya nagpasiyang maging “full-time” na community health worker. Bagama’t pinakawalan na siya kaninang umaga, ang kanyang dalawang kasama na sila Juanito Carabeo at John Edward Handoc, ay patuloy na nasa kamay ng Armed Forces of the Philippines.

WALANG KAHIT ANO
Dalawang beses nawalan ang magsasakang Pilipino. Ang una ay ang matagal na nilang kawalan ng sariling lupa. Sa kasalukuyan, 7 sa kada 10 magsasaka ay walang sariling lupa at nakikisaka nalang sa mga panginoong may lupa. Dahil dito, sila ay nababarat at napipilitang mangutang sa napaka-taas na halaga. Kaya naman ipinapasa (at sa katunayan ay lumalaki pa) ang mga utang nila sa bawat henerasyon.

Ang pangalawa ay nung marahas na binuwag ang kampo ng mga magsasaka sa labas ng Kongreso nung Friday. Ang mga magsasaka, sa ilalim ng Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, ay dapat magkakampo hanggang sa June 6 para i-pressure ang pagpasa ng House Bill 3059, o ang Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill.

WALANG IMIK
Bagama’t nagsusulong rin daw ang partylist group na ito ng mga karapatan ng magsasaka, walang imik ang Akbayan sa ginawang marahas na dispersal ng mga magsasaka na naka-kampo sa labas ng Kongreso nung Friday. Katunayan, mayroon pang balita na nagmula sa grupong ito ang request para buwagin ang kampo at palayasin ang mga magsasaka.

May kinalaman kaya ang pagsusulong ng Akbayan ng CARPER (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program with Extension), isang panukala na tinutuligsa ng mga magsasaka mula Cagayan Valley hanggang Compostela Valley?

WALANG PINAGIBA PART 2
Walang pinagiba ang administrasyon ni Gloria Arroyo sa panahon ni Ferdinand Marcos, kung paglabag lang sa karapatang pantao ang paguusapan. Isa sa mga pinaka-bagong patunay nito ay ang paglagay sa mamamahayag na si Carlos Conde sa “Order of Battle” ng Armed Forces of the Philippines. Ang OB ay listahan ng mga tinuturing ng AFP na “kaaway” nila. Katunayan, marami sa mga nailalagay sa OB ay hindi nagtatagal sa OB dahil sila ay na-“neutralize” ng AFP, tulad ng ginawa nila kay Jonas Burgos.

WALA ba tayong gagawin para baguhin ang ganitong kalagayan? Wala na ba tayong ibang gagawin kundi magdahilan imbes na kumilos?

Ang lahat ng nakakabasa nito ay, sa isang parte ng kanilang buhay, naging bahagi ng pambansa-demokratikong pakikibaka ng mamamayan. Dalawa lang naman pakay ko, mag-kwento at mag-tanong sa inyo.

Yung kwento, nagsimula lang kanina. Kakabukas ko lang ng YM. May napansin akong isang 05 na hindi ko na nakikita dun. Naisip ko, “miss ko na ang lokong ito ah”. Tapos naalala ko: naging bahagi na pala siya ng pinaka-mataas na klase ng pagbabagong panlipunan. Si “Lee” ay tumungo na sa kanayunan para kumilos sa isang yunit ng Bagong Hukbong Bayan, para mag-organisa ng mga magsasaka doon, para ipatupad ang isang programa ng tunay na reporma sa lupa, para magtayo ng mga bagong gobyerno labas sa GRP (Gov’t of the Republic of the Philippines), at para palakasin ang BHB hanggang sa punto na kaya na nitong palibutan ang mga siyudad ng Pilipinas.

Kasabay nun ay naalala ko na simula ng aking batch sa Kisay, ang ating mataas na paaralan ay may isang naipapadala “doon” sa bawat batch.

Lahat sila, may kakaibang mga kwento. Yung taga 06, ang bilis nung pagpasya niyang pumunta dun. Hindi pa siya nakakapag-isang semestre sa pamantasan niya, andun na siya. Sa huli kong balita, mukhang naihanda na niya ang buhay niya para buong-buo na magsilbi sa mamamayan. May asawa na daw dun, mandirigma na rin katulad niya.

Yung 05 naman at yung isang 07, kung alam lang ng mga ka-batch nila, hindi sila maniniwala. May reputasyon kasi ng pagiging burgis, maarte, at kung ano-ano pa. Pero kung titignan natin, sila talaga ang pruyeba na walang taong hindi pwedeng mamulat. Kailangan lang abutin ng mga pagkukusa natin.

Siyempre yung pinaka-mabigat ung 04 at yung 03. Yung pangalawa, “pumunta” nung pangalawang taon namin sa kolehiyo. “Tahimik” at “misteryosa” ang pagkakakilala sa kanya sa batch namin. Miyembro pa siya ng barkada na may reputasyon nun bilang mga “unapproachable”, hindi dahil maaarte sila, pero dahil ang trip nila ay makinig sa System of a Down. E hindi pa naman yun ganun ka-sikat noon. Dun sa mga kapwa Xientians natin na bumibisita o nagpapasyang kumilos sa kanyang rehiyon, nakikilala nilang lahat siya. Ganun na daw siya “kabigat” dun. Pero hindi malaki ang ulo. Mabait, masiyahin, maaalahanin lalo na dun sa mga hindi pa sanay, at “crush ng bayan” pa nga. Haha.

Yung una naman, kamakailan rin lang lumipat. Pero yun ay dahil ayaw pa siyang pakawalan ng grupo niya. Ganun siya kahusay sa kanyang mga tungkulin. Siya naman, hindi ko nakilala sa personal.

Ang tanong ko naman, paano kaya natin maipapakilala sila sa mga bagong henerasyon ng mga Xientians? Sa panahon ng indibidwalismo at pagiging maka-sarili, sila ang pinaka-angkop na mga “role model”. At sila ang perpektong proyeba ng kasabihang “internal/tao ang mapagpasya”. Walang Xientian na makakapagsabi na hindi siya pwedeng maging aktibista. Kung ang isang katulad niya ay kinayang iwanan ang lahat para pumunta doon, paano kaya yung simpleng kumilos lang dito?

Manila City Hall has named today after him. The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas is set to award him the title of “Filipino of the Century”. Upon news of his death exactly a year ago, workers’ unions from Europe to Australia held activities to honor his pro-people achievements. And the media was full of stories of how the common Filipino showed their last respects to their “hero”. In one, some flower vendors in Quiapo went out of their way (and at their own expense) to beautify a floral wreath when they learned it was for Ka Bel’s burial. And as far as anyone can remember, Ka Bel is the only person whom Congress held Mass for (and in their own Session Hall, no less!).

Pretty big honors, especially when one considers that up to his last day, the Arroyo Administration (especially the Armed Forces of the Philippines) has branded him as an “enemy of the state”.

But these are not the reasons why Ka Bel should be emulated by the youth. All of the above-mentioned are to be expected of someone who devoted his entire life to making the world a better place to live in, and of the traits and qualities he possessed.

Ka Bel as the Parliamentarian – He was elected three times as a partylist representative in Congress, first with Bayan Muna in 2001, and with Anakpawis in 2004 and 2007. But even as a member of the “legal Parliament”, Ka Bel recognized the superiority of the “parliament of the streets”, or in other words, the collective action of the people.

From his experience as a labor activist, he recognized the huge limitations of working within the government. And in the same breath, he recognized that the ability to make our society better rested in the people, not in a few lawmakers whom 90% came from the rich anyhow. That’s what he always stressed when talking about bills that weren’t passed by Congress because they were pro-people and against the interest of the rich, such as the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill, and the P125 across-the-board wage hike.

His “trust” in the ability of “the people” has been proven time and time again, from the peaceful occupation of Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac by its peasants, to the victorious workers’ strikes in Manila in the past year (Bluestar, Kowloon West, etc.).

Ka Bel as a Leader – His firm belief in change “for the people, from the people” made his style of leadership very distinctive. Unlike most of his fellow congressmen, members of pseudo-progressive organizations, and insincere NGOs, Ka Bel did not “command from above”.

Unlike the typical intellectual from the academe who merely intimidates the “uneducated ones” with his “knowledge” to get them to cooperate with one’s plans and projects, Ka Bel advocated tireless persuasion.

Unlike the typical NGO bureaucrat who merely gives out orders from his/her air-conditioned office, Ka Bel was always where the people he served would be, whether in a factory picketline, a squatters’ community, a farming village, or a rally, all so he could consult the people and base his decisions on actual conditions. He was unlike the typical college intellectual who made a lot of hot air from one’s books and notes, and could not get one’s plans to work because they were not based on reality.

Ka Bel as the Intellectual – He may not have an M.A, or much less a Ph.D, or even a degree in Law. But Ka Bel possessed the quality of all great philosophers and political thinkers: the recognition of the need of linking philosophy with actual practice.

Ka Bel echoed what the Russian revolutionary Lenin once said about philosophy (and social thinking in general), that it could be either in the service or disservice of the oppressed peoples, with no grounds for neutrality. He affirmed that social thinking should only be measured by how it could be used to benefit the struggle of the poor for a better world.

And by upholding that the only measure of a theory’s correctness is by how effective it can be transformed into reality, Ka Bel has surpassed most degree-holders in our country who are even now unable to give a solution to the present economic crisis. Decades before his death, Ka Bel already drew experiences from China, Cuba, the Soviet Union, etc., in totally eliminating poverty. And with the Greater Depression among the whole world, he and his fellow socialists have once again been proven correct.

We have much to learn from Ka Bel. We must learn to shed the arrogance brought upon us by almost two decades of memorizing notes and books as if it was real learning. We must learn to appreciate the basic scientific concept that all knowledge comes from practice, meaning we can only know the reality of society by participating in the movement to change it. We must emulate his un-selflessness, in which he led a simple lifestyle so he could better serve the people (such as not smoking and drinking so he could live, and hence struggle, longer). We must trust that it is the people, especially the workers and peasants, who will change society. Not a new President. Not a Senator. Not charity or Gawad Kalinga or other NGOs. Not advertisements like Ako Mismo. Not some UP graduate. And not even the partylist system.

This must seem difficult. But as Ka Bel would quote, “this is for the people. why are we then unwilling to change ourselves?”

The UPLB contingent to the January 2008 UP Centennial celebrations says it all with just three words.
In his Facebook status yesterday, Bikoy Villanueva said “Here you go again with these illusions of social change through individualism–pay taxes? clean your backyard? pray?? isn’t that what you’re supposed to do regardless of any campaign for social change?”, referring to the website akomismo.com

Another UP student, Will Mardo, said in her FB status “Sabi ng kuya ko nang hindi ako manood ng pacman-hitman chuchu: “wala ka man lang kahit anong nationalism sa katawan mo!”…. asus, gawin bang basehan si paquiao!!!”, something RG Tesa had to blog about here [http://rgtesa.blogspot.com/2009/05/pacquiao-nationalism.html]

Nowadays, it seems money, DVDs, noses, boobs, vendors’ partylist groups, and perjury charges, are not the only things being faked: so is Nationalism.

A lot of Facebook-ers and bloggers would react (or already have reacted) “What’s wrong with that?”. Some would argue that before one can change society, one must change individually. Others go even further, and argue that one can only change society on an individual basis. As for finding any arguments to justify Pacquiao pride as a basis for being nationalistic, one has to bring his thinking back to the grade school level.

Let’s first take a look at the word itself: Nationalism. What is it’s most popular translation? Not “makabansa”, but “makabayan”, which is formed by two words: “maka” and “bayan”. “Bayan” itself while being used to mean “country”, is more used as “village/town/community” (malawak na bayan ng Novaliches) or “the people” (‘ang tao, ang bayan, ngayon ay lumalaban!’).

In short, Nationalism also stands for ‘for the people’.

So what is being ‘for the people’ about supporting Manny Pacquiao? Aside from the fact that traffic (to the verge that it was almost like a transport strike here) and the crime rate goes down, there are no material benefits to ‘the people’. The main argument is about ‘national pride’, or how we have something to brag about our being Filipino. Which, as we said earlier, is grade-school logic. National unity (the main argument for Pacquiao as a basis for nationalism) and national pride can’t be the basis/bases for nationalism.

If it was, then here are a few other leaders that can be considered great nationalists:
1. Adolf Hitler, because he made the united the Germans and made them feel proud about being German since they kicked the crap out of Poland, France, and almost every other country in Europe.
2. Saddam Hussein, because he united the Iraqi people (using fear, and only for a time).
3. George Bush, similar to Hitler’s reason.
4. Ferdinand Marcos, similar to Saddam’s reason.

(Don’t get me wrong. I’m proud of what the Pacman has done. He’s brought down, aside from Hatton’s carcass, is the myth of white and western superiority. Unfortunately, he is being used by the most unpopular officials in our country since Marcos to keep their popularity from going even more down.)

But even worse than using Pacquiao as the basis for nationalism, is what can be termed as “individual/individualist nationalism”. And it didn’t begin with akomismo.com. It’s been in our country, especially among the middle class for a long time: From iamninoy all the way to the anti-SAMASA parties in UP Diliman during the 80s.

The basic thought behind this counterfeit brand of nationalism is that we can change things solely on an individual level. But as Bikoy already mentioned earlier, this “individual nationalism” is nothing more than the things which we are already expected to do so. Throw your trash in the right places, don’t smoke where it might offend people, vote in the elections, pay your taxes, work hard, and so on and so forth.

How then does that become ‘for the people’?

Take for example the our last two examples of individual nationalism. We are always being told if do those things, we would become prosperous. And it’s based on the concept of the “American Dream”: anything is possible with hard work.

But where is the United States right now? Smack in the middle of the worst economic crisis, since, well, since the Black Plague?

In short, the historical and ‘factual’ basis for individual nationalism is anything but factual. It’s as true as Salen-Ga.

But Bikoy goes further: He explains that by promoting ordinary routine as nationalism, we already are led to believe that we don’t have to do “anything else”. We don’t have to question why things are so fucked up in the world today, much less do anything about it that is beyond “individual nationalism”. And of course, it makes for good advertising, as this Multiply entry from my former friend (and continuing lunatic) proves: http://akosikee.multiply.com/journal/item/244/Ako_Mismo

And this counterfeit brand of nationalism proves to be very popular for the middle class because it justifies the idea that they DON’T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING! Voting in the elections, studying in school, graduating, working hard, and paying taxes, are all part of the middle class routine! And that’s what we mean when we say ” Reality is made to Conform to Theory, Not the Other Way Around”. Individual nationalism is convenient, that’s why some people go to any length to defend it!

Even the children of workers (anak ng anakpawis) join the latest May One rally.
No matter what some may say, nationalism is like The Highlander: there can only be one. And we have had the benefit of the experience of previous nationalist experiments: graduating on time, not going to rallies, paying taxes, and voting during elections, did not kick out the Spaniards during 1898, bring down the Russian monarchy in 1917, kick out Chiang Kai-Shek in 1949, made Vietnam independent despite U.S bombings, and ousted Marcos in 1986 and Erap in 2001.

It was collective and militant action.

P.S
For the average member of the middle-class,one can begin on the road to collective and militant actions by attending “alternative classes”. These can be as simple as impromptu discussions on the sidewalk during rallies, regular discussions set by organizations like the LFS & Anakbayan (never Akbayan), or they can even be day-long or week-long exposure trips to peasant communities such as Hacienda Luisita and other communities of the basic masses. The thing is, these alternative classes teach us stuff that the present education system is trying to repress, much like in the Spanish era when our ancestors were thought Filipinos were lazy because of their physiology. Most of the time, these classes have the benefit of having actual experience of the poor on their side.

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