Just as we expected, The Queen delivered a canard about her Queendom. Life is dandy, the future is rosy, she is a brave Queen, she has been slaying dragons derailing the progress of her Queendom and still managed to make it a paradise for her subjects.

Hounded by a very low credibility problem, she presented to the Filipino nation a handful of people who used to be thirsty until their cups were filled from spouts coming from the spring she created. There were those people who found jobs after receiving training. There were peasants whose station in life rose a few inches higher with loans. If you ask me, dragging those people to the halls of Congress was a pathetic attempt at proving the popularity of her programs. It was too hard-sell. And it did not work because now the masses are asking why she chose to bestow food on the tables of only a few.

This is a country with more or less 89M people. If she improved the lives of half of the population, we would have given her a pat on the back. But if benefits from her harvests trickled down to only a minute segment of the masses, she ought to cover her face in shame. Her very poor neighbors in Malacanang did not have a share in the pie she claims to have cooked for the masses. If you cannot see the poverty right over your fence, how can you see poverty in the countryside? She is a failure and worse, she does not enjoy a shred of public trust as the latest surveys show. She inflicted her illegitimate reign on the masses for too long. It is way past the time to face the music. This is not Japan so it is too much to expect her to resort to "hara-kiri." She should start looking toward the direction of the exit instead of concocting the elixir that will extend her stay in Malacanang beyond 2010. That is what leaders with moral compunction do. But let us not forget that she commandeered her way to the most sought-after swivel chair in the country employing means way beyond Niccholo Machiavelli's imagination. Morality is not her cup of tea.

We do not need counter-statistics to show the real state of the nation. Simply pay a short visit to any field office of the National Statistics Office or the Department of Foreign Affairs. There you can witness unusually thick crowds of people queuing to obtain passports or copies of th
eir birth certificates, a requirement for passport issuance. Before The Queen usurped the throne with a telephone call, crowds in those offices were not as multitudinous. The smell of despair was not as pungent. The atmosphere was not as funereal.

What do the queues tell us about the state of the nation? They tell us that more people are now pushed to the edge and are ready to embrace what family-oriented Filipinos would shun doing - leave their families, even infant children in so many cases, for jobs abroad. Otherwise, the alternative is hunger. And those people in the crowd are not even assured of jobs overseas. Their faces are those of desperation, hands clutching a delicate thread of hope.

You can also tell the state of the nation from the multitude that flocked during the most recent Feast of the Black Nazarene. This year's Quiapo horde was unprecedented. Obviously, the masses are already at their wits' end and they have to hang on to faith - faith in redemption from hunger via contact with a 400-year wood from Spain. Under The Queen's reign, not only votes in presidential elections and money from the public coffers are stolen. Even perspective has been robbed from the masses by the starvation she fostered.

Really, there is no need to go into statistics to have a deep grasp of the state of the nation. Numbers have a way of confusing the issues and eventually masking ineptitude, inequities, and the reality of poverty. But let me take The Queen on the economic growth she gloated about. Sure, there was an increase in the gross national product. But this is why she has more to account to the masses for. In spite of this growth, food became more inaccessible for them. Which means that the growth benefited only the usual ones- the feudal lords, the multinational companies, the national bourgeois- who make up a very small number but control the nation's wealth. The Queen's reign only widened the already wide gap between the wretched and the over-blest. In other words, she only exacerbated the root of poverty in the Queendom.

And who is she to profess a bleeding heart for the poor? She spent P300M in public money for a junket to America to have an audience with the frontrunners in the US presidential elections (Obama, realizing perhaps that he is just a presidential candidate, did not accommodate her into his hectic schedule) while the country was being ravaged by Typhoon Frank. By golly, she was already selling the Philippines even if she was not sure who the buyer should be. And when she came back, she did not spend P300M to aid the typhoon victims.

The state of the nation is that it is a nation mired in despair with an illegitimate Queen who is the errand girl of the oligarchs, the slave of the bourgeois, the clerk of neoliberalism. This country needs her like it needs a hole in the head. She reminds me of Scar who stole Simba's throne in the movie "The Lion King."

Fairy tales are fine but only innocent children and retards believe them.

But again, it was an innocent child who saw a naked emperor  in  his "new clothes."


On Monday, July 28, The Queen will deliver the State of the Nation Address (SONA) before Congress. I have not heard her yet, but I more or less know what she will say - that she has a bleeding heart for the poor, that life has become better in The Queendom under her reign, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

No comment yet. I will just share a poem I wrote in 2006 after The Queen delivered a SONA overflowing with promises , half truths and downright lies. So loaded yet so empty. (Remember her "I axe you. Now!" episode with Dep Ed Sec. Fe Hidalgo after the latter publicly revealed that the country lacked more than 6,000 classrooms, a direct repudiation of The Queen's SONA declaration that her administration solved the classroom shortage problem?)

Double Talk

In the public plaza
Every child I meet
Looks like an orphan
Every mother looks
Like a widow
Every man looks
Stripped of pride
All naked, but for the
Threadbare clothing
On their emaciated bodies
All blind but for their eyes
That see their way to the plaza
All deaf but for the ears
That will hear promises
To lift them
from the pit of wretchedness

In the public plaza
You cry over the misery
Of the orphan
The widow
The man without self-esteem
You declare war
Against hunger
Against greed
The crack in your voice as
you condemn inequity
is so
it conquers doubts

You shower honey as you speak
With your unusually long hands,
You wave to the crowd
Of orphans, of widows
Of men stripped of dignity
Whose faces beam with
They have to hope.
What else comes free for them?

Soon, you will return
to the security of your edifice
Where you can be yourself again
I can see you – as in years past
I see you as
you sit on the rocking chair
You unclasp your brassiere
And resume breastfeeding
The greed of the few

I heard you say, “I’m sorry” when

nothing was left to be said
You struggled against tears
Why did not the
At the back of my neck
Stand on their end
As they often do
When I am touched
the hand of sincerity?

I walk away from the public plaza
Feeling heavier
than before I went
Wondering why I went there
In the first place
When I knew I would just witness
The funeral of truth again.


It was another bad week for the Philippines. The Supreme Court

just strengthened the culture of impunity pervading The Queendom by expanding the scope of executive privilege.

This is in relation to the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) signed in 2006 but still awaiting ratification by the Philippine Senate. The long and short of this agreement is this: It will make the Philippines the trash can of Japan. OK, let us grant that there are perks for the Philippines. But still, a trash can is a trash can. No Japan-made perfume can annihilate the stench of garbage. No Japan-made chemical can purify polluted air. No Japanese technology can reverse death from cancer or other illnesses that come from garbage. Jobs are good but we need life first. And hey, here in Baguio City, our garbage problem has reached unmanageable proportions and we are panicking. How can this country host Japanese garbage?

Now, the Supreme Court dominated by The Queen's political appointees said that the Filipino people need not know what transpired during the treaty negotiations. Senators should wonder about how they will ratify a treaty the full import of which eludes them.

The Queen must be grinning from ear to ear. And why not? She has a blanket she can use at will to block the public's vision range.

We are still smarting from disappointment over the March 2008 Supreme Court decision upholding Romulo "The Poodle" Neri's right to invoke executive privilege, a shield to dodge questions from the Senators investigating the mega-anomalous ZTE Broadband Deal. It is a really shocking deal not only for the overprice and bribes, but more because The Queen knew about them all along and because the First Gentleman appears to be the head of the syndicate to rob the Filipinos big time! With the Neri decision, The Queen can fill her hamper to the brim with very, very soiled laundry, wash it within walls immured from the public eye and come out clean as though her hands did not touch dirt. With this decision on the JPEPA, she can cook a recipe laced with poison without having to divulge the ingredients to the forced eaters. Barraged with queries, she can just shrug her shoulders and say, "Secret of the trade, folks!"

Let me summarize in blunt terms what the Supreme Court said in its Neri and JPEPA decisons: "The Queen and the queensmen do not owe anyone the truth!" Not even if the truth will set us free from tyranny.

During the dark years of Martial Law, the Supreme Court remained a bastion of truth and justice, although there were intermittent confused intervals. Now, it is an instrument of the reign of terror. I have never been disappointed in The Queen because she never had my trust and confidence to begin with. But the Supreme Court, having arrogated unto itself the role of sentinel of The Queen's dirty little secrets, is breaking my heart into tiny pieces.

Quo vadis, Philippines?


Here is a poem I wrote a few years ago about justice.

Sun and Truth

The sun we know is always up
When day is day and night is out
Progress, on its power depends
Life to the grass and bees, it lends
It makes the flowers bloom so fair
The earth looks like true beauty’s lair
Behold the orange euphorbia
And the bright pink bougainvillea

But sometimes I get disillusioned
Even the day loses vision
When the thick clouds spread their white doom
The sun retreats to its dark room

Just as the truth is its own power,
Under its watch the kings quiver
Truth they say always sets us free
It protects, leaves innocence be
But when gold throws some confusion
Truth projects the face of fiction
Just as the clouds cover the sun
The weight of gold can push truth down

The courts of justice can be tools
To make truth lovers look like fools
Falsehood becomes justice’s anchor
Truth weeps slowly and leaves the door

Do not fully trust the absolute
Like the sun’s power and the truth.


On July 8, Philippine national dailies published on their front pages a picture of The Queen regal in a whopping $3,000 dress.

That same day, I wrote a letter to one of the dailies expressing my disgust. I do not know if it was published. I am reproducing it here in the hope The Dress will arouse a national discourse and spark concrete actions against hunger.

The picture of Pres. Gloria Arroyo wearing a $3000 (P140,000) dress on (your July 8) issue's front page trivializes the crises weighing down her "queendom."

Two weeks ago, (your paper) showed a picture of Ruffa Gutierrez carrying a P100,000 bag. I thought it should inspire national outrage. Ostentation when poverty is at its worst and there are long queues to buy (National Food Authority) rice leaves a bad taste in the mouth. But when the President is the one who vaunts luxury, she commits a social crime beyond acquittal, beyond forgiveness. Amidst the rice and oil crises and the haze of ineffable grief over the tragedy wrought by Typhoon Frank, how can she be brazenly insensitive? The cost of her dress is nowhere near what most poor families make in a year!

But then, this is the same President who was chasing Barack Obama's attention while the orphaned nation, under the heavy weight of various catastrophes, was struggling for breath.

A few days later, I am still outraged. The Queen wore the dress to prove that the Philippines can produce "high tech" dresses from pineapple fibers. What was her message? That we convert all our rice fields into pineapple plantations so that the rich and famous all over the world can feed their vanity by wearing Philippine-made dresses that cost much, much more than what the average Filipino family makes in a year? Scientists already spoke: our rice shortage is due to the land conversion schemes to meet the dictates of neoliberalism. What used to be ricefields for domestic consumption are now lands for the production of the export market's demand. Sounds like a really sick joke. Satisfy the vanity of the few, ignore the hunger of the multitude.

Where does The Queendom's neoliberal obsession lead us, citizens of a country that hosts the International Rice Research Institute? Where else but to those long queues for a kilo of NFA rice? That is if we get lucky at all.


Having been out of circulation for what seems to be a vast stretch of time, I do not quite know how to begin this piece. People speculated on what happened to me. Someone asked me if there is truth to the rumor that I have cancer.

Honored, for lack of a better word, is how I feel over the fact that there were people who visited this blogsite in spite of my prolonged absence. It is not fair on my part to have stopped visiting it and to have failed to read and respond to comments. My apologies.

So what happened to me? Healthwise, I haven't been as well as I used to. Maybe, the stress took its toll on me. It came to a point that I had bouts of loneliness. Advised not to read a lot of heavy stuff, I took a vacation from blogging.

Fibromyalgia is the culprit that withdrew me from circulation. In layman's parlance, it is chronic muscle pain. My whole body aches on occasion. The cause is unknown but stress can aggravate it. Thank God it is not fatal. So far the known deaths associated with it are suicides. I am not among the brave ones who have the compunction to end their lives with their hands. My earthly pain is peanuts compared to damnation. While I was on vacation (from blogging, among others), I have been attending to my health concerns.

My ailment is not curable but I am hacking it. I religiously take medicines and have therapies. The old me thrived on pressure and work. I abused my mind and body. Now, while the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak. These days, I am a part-time lawyer. Teaching is in my blood so I cannot give it up. As I always say, if I will not be paid to teach, I will pay to teach. Thankfully, I am getting paid. It's like playing --- for a fee!

I am back to blogosphere but I cannot say for how long. How does one resume blogging after having been away for so long? Perhaps, sharing with you a poem I wrote while in pain will be a good start. Please keep visiting.

Waiting for Death

with shallow savagery
Then deeply plunges jagged claymore to my knee

How long must I endure unforgiving needles?
In dreams obscured shadows pass me by like riddles
Methinks they are angels of death spying on me
Perhaps curious to know if I am fighting or ready
Sometimes, pain pilfers reason from the open wound
Plants bleakness that within surrender is cocooned
Like secrets buried deep under some unmarked tree
Their solitude the salvation that sets them free
Frantic with flagging nerves, I wait for peace alone
Willing release from pain poking at every bone

When my tears are settled and hardened on the floor
Suppliant, I sit for Death
to rip