Thursday, May 27, 2010

It Is Easier To Talk About Ian McCulloch

I have been a little quiet of late. It is not that I ran out of things to say (quite impossible for a rather opinionated person like me), it's just that there is just too many things to say and there is too little time to say them all. *grin*

Making quickie posts is not exactly my cup of tea but I may have to make an exception for this one. I vow to go back to this post tonight and write a bit more.

Ian McCulloch. I just love this dude.

More laters.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Paalam, Daddy Malcolm

[Mga paunang salita: Si Daddy Malcolm ay si Ernesto Basa Dimalanta, ama ng dalawa sa mga kaibigan ko sa eksena. Siya ay sumakabilang buhay noong Biyernes ng gabi sa edad na 83. Malaki ang papel na ginampanan ni Daddy Malcolm noong panahong sumisibol pa lamang ang Pinoy Punk, at malamang kilala siya ng halos lahat ng tagasubaybay ng eksenang Punk sa Pilipinas.]

Sinasabing ang kamatayan ay isang pagkakataon upang ipagdiwang ang buhay. Mas madaling sabihin ito kaysa unawain. Habang tumatanda ang tao ay dumarami ang nakikita niyang kamatayan. Kung magkaminsan ay nagiging bunsod ito upang kanyang isipin: Ganito nga ba kabilis at kapanandalian ang buhay sa mundo?

Numero (para sa alaala ni Daddy Malcolm)

Ang tao nga ba ay isa lamang numero?
Kahalintulad ng mga tala sa pisngi ng kalangitan.
May mga bituin na nabinyagan ng maririkit na pangalan,
mga bituing magaganda sa ating paningin...
Subalit mas marami pa sigurong mas magagandang tala
na kailanman ay hindi magiging abot-tanaw,
sa ating kamalayan, isa lamang silang

Ano ba ang kahulugan ng kamatayan ng isang nilalang
sa kabuuan ng sangkatauhan?
Napakaraming tao sa sandaigdigan para maunawaan ko silang lahat
at angkining bahagi ng buhay ko.
Ano nga ba ang bahagi mo sa buhay ko,
Manong magsasaka sa hilagang Tsina,
Mamang mananayaw sa Nuweba York,
Manang misyonaryo sa puso ng Aprika,
Aleng kumakain ng keso sa Kanlurang Pransiya....
Ano ang saysay ninyong lahat sa buhay ko?

Kung sasabihin ko, "Wala,
Hindi ko kayo nakikilala,
hindi ko alam ang buhay nyo, pati na ang
pangalan nyo",
Marahil nga, marahil nga,
Ang bawat isa sa atin ay isang numero.
May takdang panahon ng kapanganakan,
May takdang panahon ng kamatayan.


Ayokong maniwalang ang mga taong mahal ko ay
mga numero lamang.
Para sa akin,
higit pa sila sa mga naggagandahang bituin na
bininyagan ng mga siyentipiko.
Para sa mga taong mahal ko,
Aangkinin ko, pati ang pagkakilanlan ng mga taong
ay hindi ko makikilala,
huwag lamang silang tawaging
isang numero lamang.

(Hindi po ako manunula, pero naisip ko lang isulat ito. Inspirasyon ng tatlong tasang kape.)

[Katuwang na poste sa Trash Radio Manila.]

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Post-Election Musings: We Are Part Of A Whole

The Filipino people have spoken. Today is 2nd day, Post-Elections. Vote counting for the top electoral positions is still ongoing but we are now nearing the homestretch. The following screen shots taken from The Philippine Daily Inquirer site show the latest results for the Presidential and Vice-Presidential race:

It seems like a Noynoy-Binay tandem is looming in the Philippine horizon though it is not over yet specifically for the vice-presidential race which is proving to be tight. Whatever the results of last Monday's elections will be, though, the next question will be, essentially and logically, "What happens next?"

Indirectly I may have gotten my answer to the above question. (No, I do not plan to discuss my political stance here in this post right this moment.)

I was browsing the shelves of one of my favorite bookstores hours ago and found myself standing in front of a shelf that houses a few Ranier Maria Rilke books. Scanning the pages of one of these books I chanced upon this very very familiar rhyme.

Ignorant Before the Heavens of My Life

Ignorant before the heavens of my life,
I stand and gaze in wonder. Oh the vastness
of the stars. Their rising and descent. How still.
As if I didn't exist. Do I have any
share in this? Have I somehow dispensed with
their pure effect? Does my blood's ebb and flow
change with their changes? Let me put aside
every desire, every relationship
except this one, so that my heart grows used to
its farthest spaces. Better that it live
fully aware, in the terror of its stars, than
as if protected, soothed by what is near .

[Rainer Maria Rilke]

*****Everything we do affects everything else, no matter how detached or remote from us ... for we are part of a whole. *****

Rilke - always, straight to the heart. Danke!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

To My Mac

For teaching me the values of love, loyalty, and selflessness, among many many other things, thank you very much, Mac.

Happy Mother's Day :) This one is for you.

(I, your wayward daughter, can only do so much to please you ... in the same manner that you being in a far better place can only do so much for me now, but trust me, even after death, you continue to inspire me to give my best.)

Monday, May 3, 2010

THE BLOG ROUNDS V.2 Ed.1: Implementing The Universal Health Care System In The Philippines

For this edition of the newly-revived The Blog Rounds (yipes, this is a super-late submission, I know), we are to discuss if the Philippines is ready for a universal health care system.

This is a very tough theme to tackle. Health issues in the Philippines are never too easy to discuss, and the applicability of the universal health care system in our country is no exception. Some of you who have read my previous posts are familiar with my disillusion as far as health provision is concerned, my partiality to the ideals of community medicine, and my thoughts on issues such as the Morong 43. The topic of the universal health care system as being applicable in the local setting definitely challenged my understanding of the matter and my analytical capabilities.

Apparently left to our own devices. Community health workers in action, circa 1990s, Mindoro.

The issues for and against the universal health care system (a general definition can be read here) are discussed in a lot of venues. Health groups in various parts of the United States are pushing for the implementation of universal health care (links here and here), with the present US health care system addressing only selected population groups and failing to provide for the general population. There is likewise a collection of links that discuss the demerits of this system (click here).

The Philippines can definitely benefit from the universal health care system. The current health system (or the absence of it) does not provide for the majority of the population. (What does one expect from a 1:800 doctor to patient ratio anyway?) Many Filipinos may not be able to see a doctor in their lifetime (this is no exaggeration), and if they are lucky, they may be beneficiaries of medical missions that come by on an occasional basis. Only very few have access to hospitals with top-notch facilities since admission deposits in regular rooms of these hospitals run to 5 figures. Want to know the minimum wage of the average Filipino worker? Not even a fraction. Find out here.

However, financing the system will always been the biggest obstacle in considering the implementation of the universal health system, given the rampant bureaucracy and corruption in the government and the society. Some ideal solutions are as follows. The government, for one, can increase the budget percentage allotted to health care. Health expenditure accounts for a measly 2.9% of the gross domestic product. Maximizing the role of PhilHealth may help, as many Filipinos do not have PhilHealth. Additional taxation and borrowing are other less palatable-sounding options but are likewise worth considering. Of course, all are easier said than done ... but one has to start somewhere.

Among the presidential candidates, Noynoy Aquino and Gibo Teodoro are vocal about their desire to implement the universal health care system. (Read here and here.) I am not out to blatantly endorse anyone, but wouldn't it be nice to see, within our lifetime, someone who will step forward and provide concrete solutions to the unhealthy state of affairs of the Philippine health care system, whether that be the implementation of the universal health care system or not?
This is my submission to The Blog Rounds v.2 ed.1, hosted by Dr. Prudence. Yes I am late, so shoot me, hahahah!