Monday, April 1, 2013

Suffrage or Suffer-Age?

With the elections fast approaching, we are all, in one way or another, looking forward to substantial and tangible positive change which could be translated to social progress and economic freedom.

The question is: Whether this change can still be realized or is it just a myth?

One of the blessings of democracy is our Right to Vote which grants us the power to elect the people who we think could not only cater to our needs but especially to those who are unfortunate in life. But are we really using our right for the right things and in favor of the right people? Others believe that regardless of our motivations for voting somebody, we still must have the right to pick our leaders since it is only then that we can be part of the change. But are they really being part of the change that we all want whenever they succumb to superficial bribes from people who know they’d never win if the only criteria are competency and good will? Are they participating when they shut their eyes to the ray of hope of tomorrow to give in to a dark temptation of today? Are they exercising democracy when they sacrifice the interest of the public because of their self-vested interests? But the more important question is: can we blame them? Can we blame them for choosing to survive even for just another day by means of the gifts these traditional politicians offer them rather than the promise of a better society which may take a long time to effect? Can we blame them for succumbing to temporal necessities over principled values? Can we blame them for being vulnerable? Can we blame them for just wanting to live?

Ever since I came into being, I gained consciousness living in a society where the sole ticket to the political playing field is MONEY, nothing more. With money, you can have extensive exposures, tons of supporters and even directly buy the votes from the people. But what is so wrong with this system if seemingly, it is working? But is it really working to begin with? Well, maybe for some who have lots of it. But for the rest who may just have enough, this system is biting off their very chance to serve the country since even before the campaign has begun, the electorate had already been conditioned to vote for someone who has an undue leverage mobilized by no other than money. That’s why the crafting of the new Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Fair Elections Act proved to be substantial to strike equilibrium between candidates with money and those without much, when it only permits 120 minutes of airtime on television and 180 minutes on radio for national candidates and 60 minutes on television and 90 minutes on radio for local candidates, to air their campaign advertisements which are now aggregate and no longer per station, which was the practice in previous elections. But will this be enough to effect changes and take down leverages? Not really because Political Dynasties still exist.

Manipulation, Control and Monopoly are only some of the things you can coordinate with this cancer of our society that is infiltrating our entire system. Well, for some, they find nothing wrong with it since their justification is that the people are the ones voting for them anyway and since they’re still elected, it goes to show that the people still want them in their seats. But is this assertion really accurate? Well, for some, it could be the case, but what about in Maguindanao where a family employs force, intimidation and even violence to execute their political master plan? What about in Camarines Sur where a family is orchestrating dramatic familial feuds to limit the options to the same members of the family? At best, just like the progress that happened in Ilocos because of the Marcos Clan or the economic advancement in Makati because of the reign of the Binay Clan, these Political Dynasties can be tolerable, if, like cancer, they are benign. But what if, at worst, it’s malignant? Who suffers?

Nothing is constant except change. But are the changes temporary or sustainable? Tangible or Intangible? Substantial or Superficial? Authentic or Deceptive? If we again make the wrong choices, who will be the biggest losers in this game where we only have a minute to win it? Will it be a deal or no deal to spin once more the wheel of fortune? I strongly believe that the Pinoys are Henyo and we can come up with better choices to elect those with the X Factor. Pilipinas got talent and we must not waste it. We can still do something because we have the voice. We are all survivors and we can, together, take on the extra challenge of this amazing race called life.

We only have ONE VOTE. Let’s not waste it.
May the odds be ever in our favor. God Bless Philippines!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Marriages, Against All Odds.

A lot has already been said about relationships -- who should it between with, how should it be worked out, when should it be allowed and prohibited, and things of that sort.

We will try to clarify three of the most fundamental issues regarding this crucial yet fragile aspect of human existence and hopefully become more dynamic to the changing times.

"Marriage is an exclusive social institution between a man and a woman."

Well, it is a social institution and that's true but what makes this particular idea flawed is the existence of the word "exclusive".

People strongly hold on to the belief that the Holy Scriptures have clearly stated that Marriage should be between One Man - One Woman but they are actually wrong, or at least, the knowledge is deficient because the same Holy Scriptures define Marriage as One Man - Many Wives (E.g. Abraham a.k.a. Father of all Nations), A Rapist and his Victim and a Conquering Soldier and a Female Prisoner of War. Proving that, at best, the Holy Scriptures are morally outdated, or at worst, the Holy Scriptures are evil by itself, which is unlikely, so let's just go with the former.

The invention of Marriage is not for any other reason but to bind two people together and to mediate their relationship by mutual love, trust and support. It may not have been intended to cover all kinds of relationships at its inception but its purpose is aligned with the universal principle of love.

Why should two people, who are both in their right minds, be deterred from enjoying the blessings of Marriage, such as Next of Kin Rights, Insurable Interest, Right against Infidelity, Adoption Rights and Property Relations, if they choose to be bound by it thru mutual consent?

Love recognizes no economic standing, age, even gender, if people opened themselves to experience it. It may be true that we can choose the recipient of our love but what if the only person that could make us happy is unfortunately someone who has the same genitalia as ours? Do we stop there and just let go of the feelings we even may have struggled to resist at first? Or do we follow our hearts and bet on that chance to be happy?

It's true that our choices aren't absolute. For instance, as a general rule, we can't marry someone already married as much as we want to, because this time, the harms are tangible and it would affect third persons. But even so, there is still an exception to this, as granted to the male members of one religion who are allowed to marry up to 4 times even if it would break the hearts of their first wife. Just by looking at this, we can surmise that the law can be stretched to accommodate culture, religion and even customs, but why can't that same thing be done to allow certain people to be happy? The law shouldn't be selective rather universal. It shouldn't be derogatory rather protective. And it shouldn't deprive rather provide.

"Homosexual Relationships are evil according to the Holy Scriptures."

Let's start with the Old Testament. Well, they did say something against it but along with that, they also said that eating shellfish, wearing clothes woven with different fabrics and eating pork are sinful. *slow fading clap*

Now, with the New Testament. Its original language speaks about condemnation of Male Prostitution, Molestation and Promiscuity, not Homosexual Relationships. Well, our dear Paul said something against it but he also said that women should always remain silent and should not aim to have authority over men. *bravo*

From the looks of it, the Holy Scriptures shouldn't really be followed by blind obedience and idiotically literal interpretation rather through a conscientious construction of the real intention of its framers which is to set guidelines for the happiness of all people, not just the majority but everyone. I don't think the Holy Scriptures would be best complied with if it will be invoked to deprive even a single person of the chance to be happy.

"Homosexual Relationships will lead to Human Extinction."

The main logic behind this idea is this: Since Homosexual Couples can't pro-create, sooner or later, our race will cease to exist."

Firstly, unless one absolutely believes that all people are homosexual by nature, this logic can't be accepted as valid. Just because Marriage would be accessible to all doesn't mean that everyone will now marry the same gender as they are. It's just that this time, two people can be legally bound to each other, regardless of their gender.

Secondly, even if it could really affect the growth of the population, so what? The Earth is now populated with more or less 7 billion people. Unlike the time of Adam and Eve when breeding is a major issue, this time, the problem is even controlling that from growing drastically because directly proportional to it, especially in third world countries, is poverty and suffering.

To conclude everything, the portion of the populace demanding for this is asking no more than equal treatment. They are not asking for anything extra special because what they are asserting is something that is already being given to others who have the same circumstances as them: they met someone, they fell in love, they wanna stay together, they wanna build a family, they wanna enjoy the blessings of marriage. How could gender create the great divide if no substantial distinction is established in between?

With all those things said, let's all advocate LOVE WITHOUT CONDITIONS AND BOUNDARIES.
Let's create a Philippines where HAPPINESS ISN'T JUST A CHOICE BUT A CULTURE.

Do Not Enter Law School

Piles of books to read, tons of cases to digest, battery of essay to write -- these are but just some of the many things a law student is expected to do. Some may feel that these things are rather difficult but others may not. Personally, I do not know what to feel. I am floating in a purgatoric realm where I am quite not sure whether I would even ascend to begin with.

The first few months in law school already taught me three things.

Firstly, “Nothing comes easy” because to get through anything in law school, one must toil hard for it, which isn’t even an assurance still since even those who already worked hard sometimes fail too, all the more those who didn’t strive at all.

Secondly, “Excellence is not an act but a habit” because the key to ace anything in law school whether it be recitations or examinations is consistently reading and studying. Once you cease doing these regularly, you pile up the pages you need to flick through and when you do, you make it a lot more difficult or maybe even impossible to do.

Thirdly, and I guess this is the most substantial to me of all three, “If you really don’t want to be a lawyer, DO NOT ENTER LAW SCHOOL”. Save yourself from all the sleepless nights, from the inevitable emotional and psychological unrest before, during and even after examinations, from the cold sweats and inexorable mental anguish during recitations, from the humiliations hewed by terror professors (good thing we don’t have any in 1A), and from all other day to day stress silently being endured individually while enrolled.

No one ever said it would be easy, they only said it would be worth it. I have only been here for a few months and the future is still uncertain but so long as I keep my head in the game and cling to the idea that this is what I really want, amidst all the hardships and future endeavors that are yet to come, I will stay and strive for excellence.Those who succeed are not really the strongest or the fastest, but whose hearts say that WITH GOD, ANYTHING WILL BE POSSIBLE.

RH Bill, beyond Churches and Condoms.

Issues about the Reproductive Health Bill had been flooding the media for the past months which stimulated various public responses. Through all these things, there is one thing certain – most, if not all, people are misinformed and confused. This time, let us try to clarify the most popular issues that have been raised, not to sway you to take the affirmative but to help you decide and to empower the choice that you will make.

Reproductive Health Bill is NOT Abortion Bill.

No one is going to die like how you chose to dramatically imagine the entire scenario with innocent lives being trashed to nothingness. In fact, the reason the bill is there is to actually prevent that to happen. With it, unwanted pregnancies will be minimized, if not totally eradicated.

Logically, no one is taking anything from anyone because nothing is lost when nothing was even there to begin with. It's contraception we are talking about, not abortion. All points with regards to the doctrines of the Christian faith are very well considered in the premise at hand and these aren't mutually exclusive with anything.

The battle for RHB isn't about who GOES FOR and who GOES AGAINST GOD.

Please stop dragging His name here. It's very un-Christly to desperately invoke Him just because you're now running out of principled contentions. More so, isn’t using His name in vain a mortal sin against the Decalogue itself? Think about it.

The RHB does not deprive the RIGHT TO LIFE.

Contrary to the construction that RHB deprives the "RIGHT TO LIFE" and all other unfounded assumptions that can be derived from that, the former actually operates on that very principle.

When parents just irrationally and irresponsibly spring children to existence without any pronounced capability of raising them and providing their most basic needs, does it mean they've already upheld the value of life?

When they just, intentionally or negligently, watch their children famish to death, shiver from the coldness and grow ignorant because of the lack of education, do they promote life in its truest sense? The question we have to resolve is whether or not mere giving birth is already tantamount to the promotion of life.

Life is more than just being born. By being born, you merely EXIST. But the moment you get to enjoy the things that this world has to offer, that is when you start to LIVE.

If we can empower the families by providing the parents options to plan for their family and by educating the children of the pros and cons of their actions, we can ensure a better life for the next generation.

Compliance to the RHB is not MANDATORY.

Even if the bill gets passed, no one will be compelling anyone to do anything. It would still be the people who will decide for themselves. If they choose to utilize, they will be provided for. If not, then they will be respected. It's a matter of an INFORMED and RESPONSIBLE CHOICE.


The millions of pesos are not worth comparing to the benefits they're aimed to bring. RHB isn't just meant for short term goals alone but for long term ones.

Because of the bloating population, livelihood programs will always remain inadequate, public educational institutions will always remain overcrowded, housing programs will always be ineffective, and conditional cash transfer program will always be insufficient.

RHB is not an "end all, be all solution" to all the problems of the society but it would leap us far enough from where we are standing now.

RHB will NOT make you lesser Christian.

It doesn't make you lesser of a Christian to plan for your family. The odd thing about the teachings of the church and how believers construe them is the inconsistency when they say that any form of contraception is immoral just because it hinders life from springing after coitus because the latter for them is only for procreation purposes and anything out of that context is deemed immoral, and yet they allow natural methods still which run on the same principle of hindering life from springing by hampering the meeting of the sperm and egg, exactly the way condoms, IUD and the likes work, it's just that they are artificial in nature. Looking on the universal principle that "life begins at conception", still we can deduce that most, if not all, of the artificial contraception aren't in violation of the said principle since conception being tantamount to fertilization will not occur with the usage of such. Ultimately, even if a family bloats with 8 children, as long as their parents can support them by providing them their most basic needs like food, shelter, education etc., it will be permissible. If not, they do not have any right to bring poor souls into this world and just be negligent of their needs.

The bottom line of this is very simple, when people start to act responsibly the way they are expected to do so, that is the triumph of humanity. And since such would never be possible without first empowering the people themselves. Considering our seemingly deplorable situation, empowerment will only be possible with State intervention.

I just lament the fact that there has been an extensive misinterpretation of the RHB throughout these months about its provisions, its goals etc. Little knowledge is dangerous. Therefore, I suggest that before we indulge with these kinds of matter and start firing stray bullets, we must equip ourselves first with the necessary ammo. Simply speaking, READ THE BILL. Let us empower our decision. We should not just be tagged along with a side that we have yet to know and yet to understand.

If you keep doing what you've always done, you will always get what you've always got. So if you want something you have never had, you have to do things you have never done. What is the point? Philippines must take a step towards a path that it never trod before in order to achieve something it has never attained before.

Be Informed. Be Empowered. PASS THE RH.

God Bless Philippines!