Thursday, March 30, 2006

Withdrawal syndrome? I dunno. I just feel empty tonight. What a neurotic bitch.

Went out with old friends and met a couple of new ones today. Really had fun. It's been a while since I've been around people who make me laugh real hard, people who crack me up and probably think I'm korni like ass. In law school, I've been the goofball who tries to look like the biggest idiot just to facilitate a couple of laughs. My friends would say that'll be awfully korni, but I'm not kidding. In my law school, people are ultimately WEIRD. And I'm reminded only now because this is the first time I went out of the box again.

I dunno why God keeps me away from people like me. I have faith. It's just constant that I can't help but feel startled. I am always trapped in groups I don't feel like I belong to.

Oh well. Maybe it's just the weather.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

freshman year is over

I thought this day would never come.

I thought by this time we should be partying real hard, going ballistic until we all lose our minds. But it was a solemn end.

I remember getting myself a 2006 calendar on the first week of january and marking all the days i'd have to contend with my oblicon class. i remember the count was a little over 20 dreadful days. my january, february, and march pages were blemished with red marks all over it and by mere staring at it i knew i wasn't gonna make it.

So, first day back to class i went to school early determined to drop the class. i knew it wasn't the right thing to do, quitting and all that shit, but i didn't care. i just wanted out. i didn't think my going nuts and miserable was going to be worth it. but alas, fortuitous events narrated my life. the curriculum was changed this year and they won't let me drop a 5-unit class because i'd fall one unit below the minimum required units per semester. was it a sign? i didn't think so. i refused to believe so. i had to muster enough courage to talk to the dean and atty culling - who probably wondered who this girl was, trying to appeal to him when he doesn't know her at all - for them to consider my case and just please let me out of the dark. i had to lie, of course. who would accept a lame excuse of dropping just because she finds her professor demanding and dreadful. but my charms failed! to no avail. i went to school early for the next few days just to push it harder, relying on the tiniest possiblity that they'd let me free. i was wrong. i had to attend the next class that painful day.

I remember going out for dinner, coffee, and movie every thursday night. for us, we badly needed sometime off from school and we deserve a reward for surviving the whole week. we didn't mind spending, which is quite unusual, because we didn't care. we were willing to give up all our property just to take the load out from our shoulders. yes, we had a weekend ahead of us, but we can never escape.

We were practically sad. we laughed all the time, heartily, but deep inside we knew it didn't take us away from the cruel world of law school. we loved seeing each other, learning, and even seeing some of our professors, but still we'd rather stay home and do nothing. everyday, all we ever saw was texts, all we found ourselves saying was "are you prepared? damn, i'm not," all we ever listened to was discussions and all we ever felt was pressure. everyday was a routine well, because that's how it should be.

We kept doing our best and our best was never enough. we stumble once in a while but the soul keeps getting stronger and more resilient, learning how to roll with the punches. everyday we want to give up, and in fact we could! but we choose not to. we won't fail without putting up a good fight.

Tonight i had dinner with friends. We agreed to see each other by the end of the week and have fun. Well, it was a tiring evening anyway, our finals in Crim was crazy. It was a tiring year all together and its entirety was surely crazy.

The first thing i did the moment i got into my room, even before cleaning myself, was put all my school stuff in a box together with all those i have under my bed. i quickly read some of them and smile to myself, recalling that i've read that portion way back and it probably took me ages to finish the whole material during one of my lonely nights when i'd have to force myself to take boring information beyond overload. i smile because i remember, and somehow, for a while, i can tuck it in the deepest recesses of my brain, take it away, far away from reality, where i am now free to live as i want. yes, temporarily. but this difficult phase of my life is finally over.

I'm closing one chapter of my life. i don't know about other law students, but for me going this far is an accomplishment by itself because i didn't find it easy. everyday i had to push my butt because this is the only path to my dreams.

In two months, i'd be back in the same battlefield. but by then, i'd have more vigor and ferocity. i'd be ready for another fight. but for the meanwhile, i'd do as i want... because i'm sincerely pleased with myself...

*pats back* good job, anne.

Monday, March 06, 2006

I got called for 2 major subjects & i sucked!

Don't let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest.

Don't judge life by one difficult season.
Persevere through the difficult patches and better times are sure to come some time or later.

I had a bad day. I'm not going to school tom. Wish me luck on Wednesday.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

State of Emergency

I’m starting this by admitting firsthand that I am nothing but a 22 year old who if anything is far from being a political science expert. But if there’s one thing, well, I am a Filipino.

And utterly disgusted, just like everyone else.

The only difference perhaps, in the midst of all protests, is my hope that Pres. Arroyo maintains her office. I respect your opinion; I keep mine.

The never-ending protests in the streets confuse me. I don’t even know what their cause is. Do you know what they’re fighting for?

There are so many things that I don’t know, I don’t understand, that maybe the insiders, like the Hyatt 10 or our scholars among others, are aware of and if they do, if anyone of you knew, please grant me the enlightenment I’ve been meaning to pursue. Because as I see it, every allegation against the Arroyo administration is nothing but pure speculation – sensationalized by media, whose principal objective is marketable ratings most often than not. Please correct me if I am wrong and I’d be more than grateful.

True, but the Congress precluded the impeachment proceeding that no chance was afforded the oppositions to adduce evidence; evidence to prove that GMA indeed kept large sums of money in her pocket or cheated her way into the presidency. Who are we kidding? Do you seriously think that THAT will stop any Philippine politician from yanking her out of Malacanang, given that he holds the most precious, most sought-out evidence in this land? Boy, will he be a star! Media, faster than a lightning would feed on it like starving dogs; and of course the politician would oblige… And we live happily ever after. Don’t you think so? Even you, or I, who do not have any motive whatsoever, would present that evidence to the whole wide world just to put this turmoil to rest. So darling, if you possess that billion dollar baby, please surrender it to the authorities, for your and everyone else’s peace of mind.

Every one of us is constitutionally guaranteed the presumption of innocence until guilt is proven, and protected against self-incrimination. While we cry for substantive due process and believe that procedural due process should not restrain justice, we have to accede that ours is a government of laws, not of men. We have rules and that separates us from barbarianism. All I can say is Congress had it in their hands. Your own representatives thought it best to dismiss the case.

The declaration of a State of Emergency falls within GMA’s powers as the AFP Commander-in-Chief, vested in her by Section 18, Article 17 of the Philippine Constitution. She’s merely calling upon the Armed Forces to maintain law and order throughout the country and to prevent or suppress all forms of lawless violence and any acts of insurrection or rebellion. Conspiracy to commit coup d’etat, rebellion or insurrection is a crime in itself for the reason that mere preparatory acts of these crimes are greatly pervasive on its face. The State has the right to protect itself.

It is scary but in fact, the warrantless arrests fall under in flagrante delicto. Although the constitutionality of Batas Pambansa Blg. 880 (calibrated preemptive response) is being questioned, it remains enforceable until and unless rendered null and void; hence, rallying without securing permits remains a valid malum prohibitum. On the other hand, lambasting government officials to discredit the government, the objective of such preparatory actions and discussions is to overthrow the government, and leading or tending to stir up the people against the lawful authorities or to disturb the peace of the community, the safety and order of the government are different acts of inciting to sedition punishable under our penal code. Anyone who’s caught in the act of committing a crime may at that moment be arrested.

I value my freedom. Every person is constitutionally guaranteed the freedom of speech, of expression, and the right to peaceably assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances. The press also enjoys the same protected freedom. But like all general rules, there’s always an exception. This freedom is inviolable but responsibility comes with it; hence, we cannot abuse it. This cherished freedom, no matter how broad, is not absolute. One of the limitations is we cannot just rise publicly, create commotion and disturbance by way of protest to express our dissent, and violate public peace because the whole state may suffer unfavorable effects – politically, socially, economically. At a certain extent, we still have to be controlled.

The only remnants of EDSA 1 I have here with me is my continued fondness for the color yellow and a few vague memories of me sitting onto my father’s shoulders in the middle of a vast sea of cheering and hope-infested people. Though my knowledge of it is limited to the texts I’ve studied and the documentaries I’ve seen, I’m proud of it. EDSA dos was called and together with you, I immediately offered my life and limb once again, this time to make sure for myself that I depose a leader every inch of my being despised.

But another EDSA? I have reservations. I agree; it tarnishes the heroism and beauty of the past people’s revolutions, wherein people had a stand. People then had one cause. The first is to overthrow a dictator; the second, to end a banana administration. Victory without bloodshed. If the situation calls for it, I’d be more than ready to fight once again. But convince me. I think another EDSA today would be premature and wanting of some compelling cause. With the apparent lack of impressive mass in the streets, my guess is I’m not alone in this sentiment. If I’d go out to request the President to step down, my reason would be to prevent the destruction of our institutions, which is not even imputable to the administration but to the dangerous lack of foresight and inconsiderateness of the people who continuously create commotion and disturbance without regard to consequences.

People go out on the streets nowadays for different causes; some well-founded, some strategically selfish. Social Justice, to augment the lives of the poor. Good governance, to eliminate the evils from politics and society. Popularity, to win the votes of the people.

What’s yours? It’s convenient to succumb to the information media supply us with. It may be complete, it may not be. It may be objective or subjective; may be right or wrong. Think for yourself, disregarding the biases of the country’s most influential people. Produce your own well-deliberated and informed stand. Be logical and imaginative; idealistic and realistic; critical and compassionate. Ask questions. Be fair. And once you’ve come into your own stand, fight for it. Walk your talk. Don’t let your principles stagnate because it wants to break free into concrete and powerful actions.

My fellow citizens, let’s all wake up. After 20 years of the wondrous People Power Revolution, we’re back to square one. We are stuck in this self-dug inertia. Going to the streets to protest proves to be ineffective, don’t you think we need a better alternative? Voicing out our concerns is helpful but in our times, we need something more than that. We are in for an endless cycle of EDSAs, ditching each leader who occupies the presidency, and it’s becoming more and more empty, selfish, ridiculous. Unity alone may not even be the solution. Maliit lang ang Pilipinas, this time we have to need each other.

And no matter how disgusted we are with our politicians, with how events unfold, kailangan lang ay pagmamahal sa bayan.

Watching the News, one may think the world is full of hostility. This is a very basic concept but I’m thinking maybe people have forgotten that GMA is but a human being. GMA is a leader, who inherited gargantuan foreign loans and even a larger pessimism this country has cultivated through history. She has entered the dirty system just as it is. And though we are entitled to expect a lot from her, nevertheless we cannot expect her to clean up the mess in a snap of a finger. You know it isn’t easy and you know you probably can’t even make it.

While it is true that it’s her choice to be in that situation, you aren’t of any help if you keep on bugging her job. We are all solidarily responsible to each other and if you are sincerely concerned about the general welfare, there’s more to life you can offer than going to the streets.

I do not support GMA, I am definitely not trying to convince you that she hasn’t committed mistakes, and the release of erring politicians with impunity is my least-coveted occurrence. In fact, I do not support any politician at all (because like you, I don’t know what and who to believe in anymore) and my point is we shouldn’t be pointing our fingers to GMA alone, blaming her for all the mishaps that WE as a nation, jointly created for ourselves.

I do not force you to close your eyes and forgive GMA because we have a free world and your mind is entirely your prerogative. I do not wish for you to surrender your property to the proletariat or take a bullet for your neighbor. I do not promote condonation or apathy. My appeal to you is this: Please love the Philippines. I understand that though it sounds simple, it may be too much to ask but we owe it to our land.

For once, let’s set aside our differences and biases. For a moment let’s forget ourselves and do something for or at least understand others. Let’s count our blessings and forget dreaming of having it all and whole. Let’s hope, pray, and not escape. Let’s be proactive and take it one step at a time, patiently because we’re getting there. Let’s focus on the future instead of dwelling into the past. Let’s prove to ourselves and to the world that we deserve our freedom; and we as a nation can independently stand; that if there’s anything that our citizenry needs, it is not a hard hand.

In this tough times one may think politics and morality are two different worlds. I refuse to submit. One does not need to be a political science expert to make a difference.

We’ve tried changing charters. We’ve tried changing leaders. One thing we haven’t tried is looking within ourselves. If we cry for reform, the best way to achieve it is by starting the transformation within ourselves. Something so small, yet so big. Maybe we are the solution we’ve all long been yearning for.

Tama na ang bangayan. Pagod na ang taong bayan.

-Vanessa Francisco