Foreword to Peter McLaren’s PEDAGOGY OF INSURRECTION


by E. SAN JUAN, Jr.

For citizens of the informed public sphere everywhere, Peter Mclaren needs no introduction. He is one of the world’s most distinguished educators, the key architect of “revolutionary critical pedagogy,” to quote his colleague Paula Allman. His substantial academic record of over 45 books and hundreds of scholarly articles, beginning from his pathbreaking Life in Schools to his epoch-making Che Guevarra, Paulo Freire and the Pedagogy of Revolution, is widely known. It unfolds a chronicle of passionate engagement with radical social movements and popular-democratic forces of change spanning over 30 years. It serves as a testimony to an examined life in the service of humanity, in particular “les damnes de la terre.”

“Wretched of the earth,” Frantz Fanon’s rubric for the colonized peoples of the global South, signals what is crucial in McLaren’s new endeavor. It is a point of departure for finessing of the weapons of critical pedagogy in the age of the wars of terror, planetary surveillance, legal torture, genocidal drone assassinations, in this mystifying regime of disaster capitalism. As a leading public intellectual, McLaren seeks a rearming of the collective spirit to explore possibilities for resistance and transformation of social life.

Here we witness a novel turn in McLaren’s career. But it is a dialectical move, negating but also preserving elements of the old in a new configuration. Mclaren began as a school teacher in Canada. After involvement in youth activism and the international protest against the anti-Indochina wars, McLaren earned his doctorate from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. His early rich experience in frontline teaching (1974-79) is intimately documented in Life in Schools. It was followed by his scholarly dissertation on Schooling as a Ritual Performance: Towards a Political Ecoonomy of Educational Symbolos and Gestures (1986).

In his early teaching and research, McLaren’s expertise in critical literacy, ethnography, and curriculum studies reflected his Weberian interest in the politics of consumption and lifestyle identity nuanced with Frankfurt Critical Theory. With the outbreak of of global capitalism’s crisis after the end of the Vietnam War, and the attempt of the neoconservative bloc (Reagan and Thatcher’s reactionary attacks on unions and the social-welfare consensus) to roll back revolutions in Central and South America, as well as in Africa and Asia (support of dictatorships in Chile, the Philippines, apartheid rule in South Africa, etc) until the explosion in 2008, McLaren’s thinking underwent delicate recalibration, if not a subtle retooling of the critical-pedagogy paradigm.

In the trajectory of McLaren’s development, 1994 is marked as the pivotal year of change. His encounter with the ideas and example of Paulo Freire, the great Brazilian thinker, functioned as a heuristic and catalyzing influence. Freire negated the neoliberal hubris of possessive individualism and replaced it with the secular ideal of a community of learners-teachers. Freire’s vision of education as freedom for action was simultaneously realistic, utopian, and self-critical.
This encounter harbored germinal insights for McLaren’s future work. The re-discovery of Jesus of the Gospels as a foundational communist, the origin of the narrative of Christian communism, has given his Marxist humanism a new line of approach in the “war of position” against predatory capitalism. McLaren now wrestles with questions prompted by his synthesis of critical pedagogy as a praxis of class-struggle and a neoGramscian approach to constructing the counter-hegemony of the “wretched of the earth.” He asks: “How can we reclaim Jesus as a fellow communist?… After all, it was not Marx who established the final criterion for judging the authenticity of one’s life as a concern for all peoples in need. It was comrade Jesus. How do we move beyond a new left narrative of redistribution and defence of public services? How do we get up and run an antagonistic social and political paradigm to neoliberalism? How can forms of popular power from below be transferred into a new historical bloc?” These are urgent questions not to be postponed for a future agenda of organic intellectuals.

The application of historical-materialist methodology leads us to “Comrade Jesus.” As Enrique Dussel (in The Ethics of Liberation) has pointed out, we find the ethical criteria of those subjugated by the Empire in the primacy of “corporeal carnality,” the community” and its carnal needs, summed up in Matthew 25: 35-36: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me” (for a feminist angle, see Elisabeth Fiorenza, Bread Not Stone, 1995). In this context, McLaren affirms that Jesus’ “intransigent condemnation of the rich” and the vision/prophecy of a classless society that emerges from the abolition of private property and alienated labor, is a message “grounded in the establishment of justice and life now, at this very moment.”

This detour to the Gospels actually brings us back to the real world of contradictions, to the historicity of lived experience. We rediscover the world of sensuous practice which resolves the classic duality of immanence and transcendence, idealism and materialism, and the historic disjunction of manual and mental labor. Social agency reveals itself in the metabolism of human needs and nature, of congnition and material conditions. We grasp anew the “community of life” where bodies with their potential and actual powers interact with the natural life-world–Marx’s fundamental insights expressed in the 1844 Manuscripts and Grundrisse. A similar experience occurred in the Philippines during the nightmarish U.S.-Marcos dictatorship (1972-1986) when partisans of the movement against U.S. imperialism invented a theology of struggle and organized the Christians for National Liberation. Both lay persons and church workers joined hands with national-democratic movement guerillas in the fight for social justice and genuine sovereignty. “People’s war” waged by the Communist Party of the Philippines since the 1960s articulated a program of structural transformation partly inspired by the Latin American theology of liberation initiated by Gustavo Gutierrez, Leonardo Boff, and others.

In the essay on “Comrade Jesus,” McLaren revitalizes the principles of materialist dialectics with his account of his visit to San Juan Chamula where the indigenous farmers of Mayan lineage now struggle with the Zapatistas. He also celebrates the people’s mobillizations in Detroit and in Cochabamba, Bolivia, for basic rights to water and other vital resources, against corporate greed and cynical bourgeois reforms. They serve as examples of self-management and decolonizing collective praxis. These enduring struggles for food, health care, housing, education, and other basic human rights on an international scale (including the phenomenal Occupy Wall Street insurrection) have now expanded and enriched the revolutionary critical pedagogy that McLaren initiated in the last decades of the last century.

Operating on the terrain of ideological struggle, Mclaren’s militant cultural politics evolves in resonance with the times. It continues to confront state apparatuses of reification, media commodity-fetishism, and networks of power that construct identity/performative subjects. It strives to expose the limits of nihilistic deconstruction, anarchist pragmatism, and the biopolitics of the multitude. His interventions into the embattled sites of popular culture, of common-sensical habitus in the urban life-world colonized by racist-sexist politics of white supremacy, seek to analyze institutional relations of power and their reproduction. McLaren’s vocation has always been to discover opportunities in classroom and community life susceptible to mediation, resistance and transformation. His commitment to advance the project of producing subjects or agencies of liberation empowered with sensuous rationality and reflexive structures of feeling, is vibrantly demonstrated in this new work.

As Paulo Freire noted in his preface to McLaren’s Critical Pedagogy and Predatory Culture, we are fortunate to become “intellectual cousins” of Mclaren by sharing (through his discourse and his example) the knowledge and skills needed for conscientized participation in changing our world by sharing with, and cooperating in, the struggle of the “wretched of the earth” for our all-encompassing liberation from the barbarism of global capitalism and for the survival of the planet.

Professorial Lecturer, Polytechnic University of the Philippines
Manila, Philippines



On E. San Juan, Jr.’s Filipino poems

ESANJUANPoems of Engagement: E. San Juan, Jr. and the
Various Philippine Political Dispensations

by Tomasito T. Talledo
Division of Social Sciences
University of the Philippines Visayas
Miag-ao, Iloilo

This essay aims to capture the continuing engagements of the poems written by E. San Juan, Jr. with the selected four Philippine po-litical dispensations, namely, administrations under Corazon Aquino, Fi-del Ramos, Joseph “Erap” Estrada and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. These were post-Marcos administrations that claimed to be popularly elected yet distressed by disquieting vox populi. Supposedly they were dispen-sations that restored formal democratic institutions after the ouster of Marcos’ autocratic rule but failed to escape the odious label as regimes dependent upon the support of the world’s chief unilateralist — the po-litically imperial United States of America. In other words, they are ex-emplary dispensations fitting as objects of critical examination, they are dispensations that E. San Juan, Jr. elected to continuously discourse on in his poems even after Marcos. Earlier collected poems by E. San Juan, Jr. already recorded those struggles against Marcos martial rule but they deserve our separate attention elsewhere and in some other time.

When one does not subscribe to the thesis that the Marcos’ autocratic rule phenomenon was something unique and singular in our recent history, that it was in fact a kind of “solution-as-conclusion” ar-rived at when class contradictions in the Philippines were at its peak during that historical juncture, what followed then was the thesis of continuing problem, the deep down spiralling of social crises that are cognizable registers in San Juan’s later poems. Indeed, the erstwhile “US-Marcos dictatorship” was ousted by popular uprising in 1986, but the poet is only too familiar with the farce that Marx referred to in The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte thence he pursues his committed writings. The gyrating forces of neo-colonial relations and underdevel-opment had further impelled San Juan to remain awake, to vigil still, when many amongst us already went to sleep lulled as we were by the sweet bourgeois songs of Ibong Adarna.

Very like “kalamansi sa sugat” were the spicy, stinging, disquiet-ing poems written by E. San Juan, Jr. that were addressed to the re-gimes of Cory Aquino, Fidel Ramos, Erap Estrada and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo; those severe reminders which could have kept us awake and should have prevented us from turning into unfeeling stones. San Juan’s poetry is not “magical as a seagull,” its dictions feel like a stinging whip that draws no blood.

Early Readings of E. San Juan’s Texts

The Pilipino literary criticisms of E. San Juan in 1960s made used of Formalism, though he was not a fervent subscriber to its tenets, ac-cording to scholar Soledad Reyes (1977). In fact, he later disavowed the Formalist approach, but his English poems published in 1964 to 1965 were not able to escape formalist reading by critics. Literary critic L. M. Grow found in San Juan’s English poems, the “lyric voice” and “the comic voice” as the poet’s “saving grace”. This appears to me a formal-ist modus operandi of judgement as it was characterized by a double-faced task of putting-down and lifting-up what the critic considers as in-trinsic worth and inadequacies of a poetic work. The critic writes, “… lyric interludes are rare in San Juan. He easily drifts into dullness by simply writing uninspired prose in the form of verse” (Grow 1992: p.525).

Yet much later the critic reluctantly concluded, “many readers will find San Juan’s poetry repulsive because crude – even gross – it is his humor, if anything, which is its saving grace” (p. 529).” Ambivalence as virtue appears to be a fixation of formalist judgement. The same critic later acknowledges that San Juan’s Filipino poems in 1964 and 1965 – “Kundiman XL,” “Eklipse ng Buwan at Araw sa nayon ng Montal-ban,” and “Isang Pangkaraniwang Dalaw” rightly deserved honors in Talaang Ginto contest. It can be asked: is it in the court of ambivalence or of inconsistency where the formalist judgement is pronounced when the poet’s case is in the language that the critic does not share? A cur-sory view here suggests that San Juan’s poetic frame went through a process of metamorphosis.

Literary scholar Soledad Reyes produced an assessment of San Juan’s writings, mostly literary criticisms in Pilipino, where she grouped those criticisms into two periods: the first, from 1964 to later part of 1968 and the second, from early 1969 to 1973/5 (Reyes 1977). In the first period, Reyes noted that San Juan as a literary critic was freely in-fluenced but did not completely subscribed to the school of the New Critics or English and American Formalism. Reyes’ definition of this ap-proach reads: “The New Critics or Formalists are English and American critics noted for their critical theories and practise, stressing the need for a careful scrutiny of the text and a conscious exploration of the world of the poem as something abstracted from other external data pertaining to the author’s life, to history, and other backgrounds” (see footnote 2 in Reyes 1977: p.302). Never conceiving himself as a severe Formalist, in the first period San Juan maintained the “belief that the development of Philippine literature can be evaluated in terms of the artist’s response to the human condition that he articulates through a conscious use of language” (Reyes 1977: p. 303). But San Juan escaped such prison house of language through healthy self-assessment and dismissal of the idea that one can dream of becoming the Wittgenstein of the Pilipino language.

In the second period, according to Reyes, San Juan has shifted from reluctant formalism to a historico-sociological perspective, his point of arrival at a realization that no creative work can be viewed as something closed and self-contained. Allow me to repeat San Juan’s self-admission as quoted by Reyes: “… I soon learned that without a his-toricist and materialist grounding, the partially valid insights of existen-tialism, Freudian rationalism, archetypal speculations, phenomenology, and other idealist styles of thought, would never lead to an objective revolutionary understanding of life – of the reality of one’s specific time and place judged in concrete perspective” (Reyes 1977: p. 316). With these words, San Juan finally plunged into the waters of his future po-litical writings. When he made this self-admission in fact, it was 1971, the ominous year described as “may balana ng unos sa bundok,” in a poetic line that appeared in the underground publication Ulos (Ordonez 1986: p. 12).

Poems of Engagement from Cory Aquino to Gloria Arroyo

The poems by San Juan selected as subject of our commentary here were understood to be written during his critical engagement with various presidential administrations after Marcos. The appellation “re-gime” is the loaded and widely-used word that critics deploy to charac-terize the periods when the dispensations of Cory Aquino, Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada and Gloria Arroyo were in power. From standard sources, the word regime does not only refer to a particular govern-ment in power but generally the ruling system as well. And in the poems of San Juan we sense that he tries to portray the persisting system of inequality that fetters social classes even as various presidential dispen-sations succeeded one after another. The poet avers that while on the political exterior names and faces of rulers change, the flawed funda-mentals in Philippine society remained.

In this paper the poems of engagement are those written by San Juan to openly expose and oppose the various regimes after Marcos. The valor in these poems is straightforward, their message unabashed, they are the poet’s head-on confrontation with phony optimism of op-pressors, business-as-usual timidity of the middle class and quietist poli-tics of the day. Where there is a preference for don’t-rock-the-boat dis-course among consumers of media products; and where self-control is hallowed by producers of the imaginary when they portray the powers that be — San Juan was no longer patient with Formalist ambiguity un-less perhaps such ambiguity is Leninist clandestinity. His poems bravely capture and pitilessly critique the social conditions that characterized the succeeding post-Marcos regimes.

The poems/tula selected for exemplifications were part of the E. San Juan, Jr.’s already published collections such as “Alay sa Paglikha ng Bukang Liwayway,” 2000 by the Ateneo de Manila Press, “Sapagkat Iniibig Kita at iba pang bagong tula,” 2004 by the University of the Philippines Press, “Salud Algabre, Babaeng Mandirigma at iba pang tula,” 2007 by the University of San Agustin Publishing House, and “Bu-kas, Maynilad!” 2009 by Philippine Cultural Studies Center in Storrs, Connecticut. The selected poems also came from Eduard C. Dionio’s un-dergraduate terminal essay requirement of his senior Literature course that I suggested and later on supervised (Dionio 2010). The selection of poems focuses more on the details of social reality that are captured in the poems than on the poet’s style and form of writing. Being aware that San Juan has consciously unloaded the previous baggage of For-malism, the selection here is therefore deliberate: the preference is content over form.

The selected poems or mga tula are: “Masaker sa Mendiola: En-ero 22, 1987” and “Litanya para sa Kapayapaan sa Gitna ng Karahasan” for Cory Aquino’s term; “Lagalag sa Makati” and “Megamall sa Metro Manila for Fidel Ramos’ term; “Uyayi sa Panahon ng Terorismo” and “Dalumat ni Felix Razon sa Boston Harbor” for Joseph Estrada’s term; and “Bago Ideklara ang Emergency Rule ng Diktaduryang Arroyo” and “Makabagong Dasal: Madapa ka, Presidente Gloria” for Gloria Macapa-gal Arroyo’s term. Represented by two poems for each presidential dis-pensation after Marcos, there are a total of eight poems for exemplifi-cation.

“Masaker sa Mediola…” and “Litanya para sa Kapayapaan…”

The Mediola Massacre or what was later termed Black Thursday by journalists happened in January 22, 1987 under Cory Aquino’s dis-pensation. A street march was held then followed by a huge gathering in the city spot near the Presidential palace called Mendiola for the peasants to publicly broadcast their demands revolving around the na-tional issue of land distribution pointing in particular the Cojuanco fam-ily-owned Hacienda Luisita. The paranoiac security forces assigned therein went berserk and the routine dispersal operation turned vio-lent. The gruesome count includes thirteen (13) unarmed peasants that died on the spot, thirty-nine (39) with serious gunshot wounds, and thirty-two (32) suffered various types of injuries. This incident was in-ternationally reported and seriously tarnished the immaculate image of the Cory regime. The anger is a little subdued, yet the poet rages and echoes those howls after the many massacre incidents in our national history:
Abot tanaw na
Tumatagos sa karimlan ng hirit-ganti
Sa ilalim ng bandila ng pulang mandirigma
Abot-tanaw na natin
Ang liwanag ng sumabog na utak at dugong dumanak
Sa larangan ng digmaan
Sa Mendiola

The contented middle-class that felt settled, the devoted constituency of the Cory “yellow” administration was not spared by the poet’s sting-ing scorn.

Dito sa aming bayan ng Gitnang-Uri
Mapayapa ang lahat –
Payapa ang kasama sa bukid na nagpapawis araw-araw, walang kibo
Payapa ang mga trabahador na nagbabanat ng buto, walang ingay
Payapa ang mga babaeng nasa kusina
Patuloý ang luto at laba, walang imik
Kung may naligaw na pulubi’t palaboy rito
Mapayapa ring manlilimos o nagugutom, walang ungol

The erstwhile peace enjoyed by the middle-class brought no advance-ments to the lives of those in the lower classes. The progress hoped for after the fall of the Marcos dictatorship by the landless peasants, urban workers and women trapped in their domestic role was not delivered by the middle-class Cory dispensation. If the prevailing temper then was not disappointment, more probably it was betrayal of expectations for the majority populace.

“Lagalag sa Makati” and “Megamall sa Metro Manila”

San Juan’s poems seek to disrupt the smart propaganda of pros-perity spewed by the media machine of the Ramos regime. While the regime painted a modernist vision of a leaping “tiger economy” for the Philippines, the poet makes sure that reality still bites, “Alumpihit sa umatikbong trapiko, wala ka pang trabaho at ilang/ Buwan ng pasabit-sabit lamang./ Nagbibilang ng poste’t bituin, inaabot ng siyam-siyam.” The reality includes high rate of unemployment while the local labor market is not capable to absorb the new and young workers. With a contracted local labor market, the burden of average-size household gets heavy. And to shoulder the basic needs of its members, the house-hold affords to sacrifice even its optimism.

Pumalaot ka sa Ayala Avenue, pikit-matang nilulunok ang bayag
sa lalamunan
Humahagibis ang bilis ng tren ni Dr. Zhivago pero hanggang Tutuban
lang tayo.
Sa bartolina ng panaginip sumisingit at lumalagos ang amoy
ng pulbura.
Walang itulak-kabigin ang pagtitiis, kumapit sa patalim.

To fund its pompous vision, the Ramos regime launched its ambitious programs of deregulation, decentralization and privatization – the full speed globalization of Philippine economy riding the winds of the dreaded neo-liberalism. Aggressive invitations to foreign investments and massive export of warm bodies for their expected remittances were integral to the strategies of the rentier state under Ramos. Such vision was not informed by the dark experiences of South American peoples under neo-liberalism. But when the planned Constitutional change to extend his term of office was derailed, Ramos exited in a whinge for failing to industrialize the country and was disgraced by the Amari deal corruption issue.

“Uyayi sa Panahon ng Terorismo” and “Dalumat ni Felix Razon…”

The presidential term of Joseph Estrada was the shortest so far since post-World War II history of the country. This short term was nonetheless troubled by terroristic activities such as hostage taking of locals and foreign-ers for ransom, the logistics and casualties of war it launched against Moro rebels but what abruptly truncated his stay in the Chief Executive’s Office was his shameless amassing of monies from gambling operations and the scandals of his personal life. The president whose occupancy of the highest office was propelled by cinematic roles became the casualty of the tele-broadcast of his own impeachment. Here, the poet rudely awakens the gullible movie fan in us by his satirical uyayi or lullaby.

Gising na, bunsong madungis, humabi ng bagong uyayi
Manupol ng pulbura’t isabog sa marangyang alta
Gusi’t bumbong ay bawiin kamusmusay isuka

By the Boston City harbor, the poet anxiously ruminates what transpires in the Philippines under Estrada. His uneasiness continuously lingers, “Laluna kung nababalitaan ang inhustisya sa ati’y kalabisang lumalatay/ na parusa sa bawat mamamayan – extra-judicial killings, forced disappearances, ma-saker ng mga pesante’t manggagawa…” Piercingly the poet’s private inner voice becomes publicly audible.

“Bago Ideklara ang Emergency Rule…” and “Makabagong Dasal …”

The international Human Rights Watch and other bodies that monitor the violations of human rights in the Philippines were simply appalled by the grisly record of the Gloria Arroyo regime. At some point of its rule, its tally of victims exceeded the number of the lengthy Marcos dictatorship. Though Ar-royo ascended into the Presidency as successor of the ousted Estrada, it em-ployed numerous manoeuvres to stay longer in power like the manipulation of election results, open repression of political oppositions, declaration of emer-gency rule, among others. The poet asks the apparent yet disconcerting ques-tion: “Sa pambubusabos at pagmamalupit baka walang hihigit sa ‘tin –/ Di ba nasaksihan ito sa pagmamalabis ng diktaduryang Marcos? At ngayon pa-sistang sundalo ni Col. Palparan, pulis at vigilanteng berdugo ng may po-der?” This history redux is a cruel farce in our collective impasse and I sense only a few are laughing but numerous are indeed grieving.

Sharing the sense of frustration by the countless that are fed-up with the excesses of Arroyo regime, San Juan writes the mantra prayer: “Hoy GMA madapa ka madapa ka sapilitan ka ring mawawala.” Now we realize such are poetic and prophetic words of the poet. Former President Gloria Macapa-gal-Arroyo is now isolated while under trial for the crime of plunder.

Concluding Words

In more than twenty years, the writing of these poems of engagements has registered the poet’s creative combat with the imposing suasions of the succeeding political dispensations after Marcos. Such political commitment must have required from the poet steady patience, unflagging energies and single mindedness – sometimes perhaps, with “pessimism of the mind and op-timism of the will”. Yet almost without rest, the poet continues to dig deep into the bowels of our collective experiences as a nation. He brings to surface what were expediently secreted in the national psyche. He acts like the reli-able “old mole” tunnelling into the communist horizon.

He piercingly rages against killings of innocents and the business-as-usual nonchalance of the middle class during Cory Aquino’s dispensation; he actively unmasks the smart propaganda of neoliberal globalization during the presidency of Fidel Ramos while poses the reminder that grim reality still bites; during the Estrada administration, he shakes the gullible and passive fan mentality of citizens yet still meditates the fate of our country while located elsewhere outside its territory; he asks disconcerting questions and like an augur prophesizes the downfall of Arroyo.

San Juan’s poems of engagement are no “sweetness and light” for he “sees his role as part of an organization within a nationwide movement seek-ing thoroughgoing social change” (Ordonez 1986: p. 15).


Abalajon, Eric P. “New Poems of an Established Poet: Review of Bukas Luwalhating kay Ganda (2013) by E. San Juan, Jr.” BUSAY [Students’ Literary Folio, College of Arts and Sciences, University of the Philippines Visayas]. Year 38 2013-2013. Pp. 35-38.

Casper, Leonard. The Opposing Thumb: Decoding Literature of the Marcos Regime. Quezon City. Giraffe Books. 1995.

Dionio, Edward C. Social Conditions and Transformations in the Selected Filipino Poems of E. San Juan, Jr. An Undergraduate Thesis Presented to the Division of Humanities, University of the Philippines Visayas. March 2010.

Grow, L.M. “Epifanio San Juan, Jr. as a Poet.” Philippine Stud-ies. Volume/Fourth Quarter 1992. Pp. 522-30.

Ordonez, Elmer. “Emergent Writing in the Underground Press.” Diliman Review. Vol. 34, No.4. 1986. Pp. 1, 12-15.

Reyes, Soledad S. “Main Trends in the Criticism of Epifanio San Juan, Jr.” Philippine Studies. Volume. 25/ Third Quarter 1977. Pp. 302-333.

First presented at a symposium on “The Places of E. San Juan, Jr.” at Ateneo de Manila University, 7 March 2015.




tapaya_muralLAMBAT NG BAHAG-HARI: Katumbalikan sa Teorya & Praktika

ni E. SAN JUAN,Jr.+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Anak na di paluhain, ina’t asawa ang patatangisin–
Walang ligaya sa lupa na di dinilig ng balde-baldeng luha–

Dagat binubuo ng patak ng tubig, bundok ng buto’t bungong maliliit–
Maliit man daw ang sili may anghang na angking sarili–

Malaki man at buhanghang, daig ang munting aring siksikan–
Munti ma’t matindi, daig ang nagmamalaki–

Mababaw man ang sugat, malalim ang ugat ng gurlis at pilat–
Sugat na inilihim at tinakpan, gumaling ma’y balantukan–

Kung minsan ang awa ay nagiging iwa, pasaling ma’y humihiwa–
Nasa tuldik ang awa, nasa lumagda ang gawa, siya nawa–
Hindi lahat ng batid o wani kailangang ipagsulit—
Walang humawak ng kalan o nanghimasok sa luto na di naulingan.

Bawat palayok daw ay may kasukat na suklob, isinukat na tungtong.
Sumala ang sandok sa palayok, gusing lihim ang nadukot.


View original post 270 more words



tapaya_muralLAMBAT NG BAHAG-HARI: Katumbalikan sa Teorya & Praktika



ni E. SAN JUAN,Jr.+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Anak na di paluhain, ina’t asawa ang patatangisin–
Walang ligaya sa lupa na di dinilig ng balde-baldeng luha–

Dagat binubuo ng patak ng tubig, bundok ng buto’t bungong maliliit–
Maliit man daw ang sili may anghang na angking sarili–

Malaki man at buhanghang, daig ang munting aring siksikan–
Munti ma’t matindi, daig ang nagmamalaki–

Mababaw man ang sugat, malalim ang ugat ng gurlis at pilat–
Sugat na inilihim at tinakpan, gumaling ma’y balantukan–

Kung minsan ang awa ay nagiging iwa, pasaling ma’y humihiwa–
Nasa tuldik ang awa, nasa lumagda ang gawa, siya nawa–
Hindi lahat ng batid o wani kailangang ipagsulit—
Walang humawak ng kalan o nanghimasok sa luto na di naulingan.

Bawat palayok daw ay may kasukat na suklob, isinukat na tungtong.
Sumala ang sandok sa palayok, gusing lihim ang nadukot.

Sala sa lamig, sala sa init, sa pagmumura nagkasala’y nahuhuli–
Walang masamang kanya, walang mabuti sa iba, pag-aayaw-ayawin pa ba?

Malabis na pag-asa, laging pangangarap, dalamhati ang ibubunga.

Batong-buhay ka man na sakdal tigas, unti-unting patak ng dura
tuloy maaagnas–
Biyayang apoy at habagat, batuta man ay pinalalambot.

Humahabol ay nahuli sa unang humarurot sa pagsisisi.
Walang unang sisi sa huling pangyayari, mayroon sa unang pagkawili.

Bakit ka pa magsisisi, gayong napariwara’t di na makangisi.


Kung mayroong itinanim, tila hindi tiyak na may aanihin–
Kapag may isinuksok sa dingding, kailangan pa bang tingalain?

Kung hangin ang itinanim, baka tsunami ang aanihin–
Hanging pabula-bulangit, sandaling sakdal tuwid, kadalasa’y pilipit–

Nagkamali ang hilot sa isinuksok, ay naku! sa puwit nadukot–
Ang sukli ng isang nasa kamao, higit sa ipinangakong dalawa o tatlo–

Iba na ang isang hawak sa palad kaysa sandamakmak na lumilipad–

Walang mailap na baboy-ramo sa matiyagang patay-gutom–
Iba ang pugong huli na kumpara sa sungayang dadakpin pa–

Walang umani ng tuwa na di sa hinagpis naipunla–
Kung hiwaga ang itinanim, baka himala’t masungit na aswang ang anihin–
Kapag iniamba dapat na itaga, kapag itinaga, maipatataga–

Ang anumang gawin, makapito mong isipin kung di ka pa nabigti–
Kung magagawa at di gawin, di na magagawa kahiman ibigin–

Tikatik man kung panay ang ulan, nakapinid na pilik-mata’y mapapaapaw–
Anumang gawang dinali-dali, malimit mangyari’y di mayayari’t tuloy lugi–

Hanap lamang ay hamog, putragis, buong katawan sa tubig naanod-

Kung di makipagsapalaran, di makatatawid sa magkaibayong karagatan–
Kaya maligo ka sa linaw, kahit duling o bulag, sa labo magbanlaw–

Kung ang hirap ay masasal na, bisperas na kaya ng ginhawa?–##


WALA & at iba pang tula ni E. San Juan, Jr.


Akda & tula ni E. SAN JUAN, Jr.

Ang Baliti sa Bundok
Bugtongang Erotika
Pasumalang Tadhana
Ang Pasaherong Salamander
Lambat ng Bahag-hari
Binurang Borador
Senyas ng Panahon (1)
Pagbubulay-bulay ni Felix Razon
Transkripsiyon ng Testimonyo
Senyas ng Panahon (2)
Walang Pamagat na mga Pahayag
Balitang Pinoy
Balada ni Harry Stonehill
Umaga sa Durungawan
Mga Tatak ng Daliri ni Marwan
Trahedya/Komedyang Moro-Moro sa Mamasapano
Impresyon sa Isang Diktador
Kung Paano Kumain ng Neo-konseptuwalistang Pinakbet
Ang Panulaan ay Isang Mapangwasak na Lakas
Sino ang Kapwa Ko?
Ultimo Adios Dinistila
Demonstrasyon Para kay Kasamang Stalin
Ni-Ready-made si Marcel Duchamp ng Taga-saling Google
Sa Aking Sarili
Balikbayang Babaylan /Mater Dolorosa Konsumerista
Sa Mga Maninipil na Tadhana
Nasulyapang Karatula
Tungkol sa Awtor


Wala: laot, pagiging malayo

Wala: di-dumating, liban, di-nagtataglay ng anuman, ala
Wala: kaliwa, kaliwete

Wala: walang-wala, dahop, naghihirap, paos
Wala: liban, di dumalo, hindi umiiral, hindi taglay, tsero, malayo
Wala: nakawala, naka-alpas, nakatakas

Wala: Nawala, di nakita, naglaho, nawawaglit
Wala: kahirapan, kakulangan, kadahupan, karukhaan

Wala: hindi makita o matagpuan

Wala: nakatakas, nakatanan, nakaalpas, nakahulagpos, nakakalag

Wala: naglaho, nawaglit, di-makita, naparam

Walawala: pagkukunwari na di-pansin, paglilibang sa tumatanaw upang makatalilis nang hindi napapansin

Walang-bisa Walang-habas

Walang-hanggan Walanghiya Walang-humpay


(Halaw mula sa Ivatan)

Lumaki’t lumago ang baliti sa bundok

Nang magkasanga’y nauga’t di-kusang nabali

Bumagsak nang ako’y sumilong sa ulilang burol

Nakakubling walang kapiling o katulong

Di ko matanaw di ko masilip ang mga barko sa dagat….

Umaantak sa damdamin

tumatagos sa hapdi

Along umuungol

rumaragasang agos

Umaalimbukay sa dibdib–


Dumarating na kay bigat

Ay anong saklap

Ay kay hapdi
` Oy walang kasimpait!


Munting tampipi, puno ng salapi.
Malalim kung bawasan, mababaw kung dagdagan.

Baboy ko sa Marungko, balahibo ay pako.
Baka ko sa palupandan, unga’y nakararating kung saan.

Baston ni Adan, hindi mabilang-bilang.
Tungkod ni Kurdapyo, hindi mahipo-hipo.

Tumakbo si Tarzan, bumuka ang daan.
Buka kung hapon, kung umaga ay lulon.

Isang matinik na tampipi, asim-tamis ang pinagsama
sa maputing laman niya.
Malayo pa ang sibat, nganga na ang sugat.

Baka ko sa Maynila, abot diyan ang unga.
Bumubuka’y walang bibig, ngumingiti nang tahimik.

Naupo si Itim, sinulot ni Pula; heto na si Puti, bubuga-buga.
Iisa ang pinasukan, tatlo ang nilabasan.

Baboy ko sa Sorsogon, kung di sakya’y di lalamon.
Urong-sulong panay ang lamon, urong-sulong lumalamon.

Sa isang kalabit, may buhay na kapalit.
Pumutok ay di narinig, tumama’y di nakasakit.

Baboy ko sa kaingin, nataba’y walang pagkain.
Habang iyong kinakain, lalo kang gugutumin.


Nag-uulik-ulik kung aling huwego
ng pagkakataon ang sasalihan….

Urong-sulong kaipala
ang nabiting pukol ng dais sa entablado….

Nagbabaka-sakaling matakpan
ang butas ng hula sa sinapupunan….

Nag-aapuhap pang makahagilap
ng suwerteng nag-ulap sa kapalarang malas….

Patsansing-tsansing lang di sigurado
nag-aatubili sa pagpili baka madaya….

Nag-aalanganing bulag na balato’y
pagkabigo sa larong di sukat paghinalaan…

Bantulot sa hinuhang duda
kung ano talaga ang kahihinatnan ng timbangan….

Di sinasadyang bitin ang sugal
kung hindi sadyang sasamantalahin,,,,

Nagkataon nga lamang itinaya ka

sa bituka ng madugong biruang walang bulagaw…..

“….don’t know what I want, but I know how to get it….”

Habang naglalakbay patungong Isla Ambil, karatig ng baybaying Batangas
at Mindoro Oksidental, malapit sa isla Lubang–
(2,000 hektarya, ipinagbibili ngayon sa halagang P839,300.760),
napatakan ng tae ng ibong Adarna sa dalampasigan, nagtanong:

“Nang nagugutom ako,
pinakain mo ba ako? ”

“Nang nasa bilanggo,
dinalaw mo ba ako?”

Kipil ang hinagap, naisip ng ipinatapong taga-Samaritan:

“Kapag may karayagan, may kabaligtaran-
lumalaon, bumubuti;
Sumasama kapag dati”—

Samakatwid, kung may utang, mabait;
sa pagsingil, anong galit;
tago muna habang hinahanap,
liko pagsalubong,
ayos, ocho derecho—”

Salamangkero, kailan mo ibaba ang tabing

upang mabunyag ang iyong lihim?


LAMBAT NG BAHAG-HARI: Katumbalikan sa Teorya & Praktika
Anak na di paluhain, ina’t asawa ang patatangisin–
Walang ligaya sa lupa na di dinilig ng balde-baldeng luha–

Dagat binubuo ng patak ng tubig, bundok ng buto’t bungong maliliit–
Maliit man daw ang sili may anghang na angking sarili–

Malaki man at buhanghang, daig ang munting aring siksikan–
Munti ma’t matindi, daig ang nagmamalaki–

Mababaw man ang sugat, malalim ang ugat ng gurlis at pilat–
Sugat na inilihim at tinakpan, gumaling ma’y balantukan–

Kung minsan ang awa ay nagiging iwa, pasaling ma’y humihiwa–
Nasa tuldik ang awa, nasa lumagda ang gawa, siya nawa–

Hindi lahat ng batid o wani kailangang ipagsulit—
Walang humawak ng kalan o nanghimasok sa luto na di naulingan.

Bawat palayok daw ay may kasukat na suklob, isinukat na tungtong.
Sumala ang sandok sa palayok, gusing lihim ang nadukot.

Sala sa lamig, sala sa init, sa pagmumura nagkasala’y nahuhuli–
Walang masamang kanya, walang mabuti sa iba, pag-aayaw-ayawin pa ba?

Batong-buhay ka man na sakdal tigas, unti-unting patak ng dura
tuloy maaagnas–
Biyayang apoy at habagat, batuta man ay pinalalambot.

Humahabol ay nahuli sa unang humarurot sa pagsisisi.
Walang unang sisi sa huling pangyayari, mayroon sa unang pagkawili.
Bakit ka pa magsisisi, gayong napariwara’t di na makangisi.

Kung mayroong itinanim, tila hindi tiyak na may aanihin–
Kapag may isinuksok sa dingding, kailangan pa bang tingalain?

Kung hangin ang itinanim, baka tsunami ang aanihin–
Hanging pabula-bulangit, sandaling sakdal tuwid, kadalasa’y pilipit–

Nagkamali ang hilot sa isinuksok, ay naku! sa puwit nadukot–
Ang sukli ng isang nasa kamao, higit sa ipinangakong dalawa o tatlo–

Iba na ang isang hawak sa palad kaysa sandamakmak na lumilipad–

Walang mailap na baboy-ramo sa matiyagang patay-gutom–
Iba ang pugong huli na kumpara sa sungayang dadakpin pa–

Walang umani ng tuwa na di sa hinagpis naipunla–
Kung hiwaga ang itinanim, baka himala’t masungit na aswang ang anihin–

Kapag iniamba dapat na itaga, kapag itinaga, maipatataga–

Ang anumang gawin, makapito mong isipin kung di ka pa nabigti–
Kung magagawa at di gawin, di na magagawa kahiman ibigin–

Tikatik man kung panay ang ulan, nakapinid na pilik-mata’y mapapaapaw–
Anumang gawang dinali-dali, malimit mangyari’y di mayayari’t tuloy lugi–

Hanap lamang ay hamog, putragis, buong katawan sa tubig naanod-

Kung di makipagsapalaran, di makatatawid sa magkaibayong karagatan–
Kaya maligo ka sa linaw, kahit duling o bulag, sa labo magbanlaw–

Malabis na pag-asa, laging pangangarap, dalamhati ang ibubunga.

Kung ang hirap ay masasal na, bisperas na kaya ng ginhawa?


“Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof”
Darating ang takdang araw sa dulo ng tulay

Dati rin ang pagdating

Tumatawid sa tulay na dapat tawirin ng nagdatingan

Dumating na ba?

Tumatawid na sa dating lugar

Dumarating ang itinadhanang oras

Lahat ay lumilipas

Pagdating ng itinakdang sandali

Darating pa

Magpasiya ka kung di pa batid ang datingan

Dumarating na

….habang tumatawid ng tulay lumilipas

Dumating na ba

Nadatnan sa gitna ng landas ng nakalipas

Sinong dinatingan

Nabitin sa dating daan

Baka hindi na makarating….

paratingin na lamang….


Kung saan masikip, doon nagpipilit.
Isang butil ng palay sakop ang buong bahay.

Kung gabi ay hinog, kung araw ay hilaw.
Nagbibihis araw-araw, nag-iiba ang pangalan.

Sa araw ay nakahimbing, sa gabi ay gising.
Lumuluha walang mata, lumalakad walang paa.

Kulay rosas ang pulseras ng reyna, pumuputok walang bala.
Walang ngipin, walang panga, mainit ang hininga.

Kung bayaan ay nabubuhay, kung himasin ay namamatay.
Kung ako’y mamamatay, pilit siyang madaramay.

May katawa’y walang mukha, walang mata’y lumuluha.
Kung kailan pinatay, saka humaba ang buhay.

Kung bayaan ay nabubuhay, kung himasin ay namamatay.
Kung kailan pa ako pinatay, saka nagtagal ang buhay.

Iisa na kinuha pa, ang natira ay dalawa.
Kapag ako’y minsang pinatay, buhay kong ingat lalong magtatagal.

Apat na kapapang kumot, di matakpan ang tuhod.
Isang butil ng trigo pinapagsikip ang buong mundo.












Maputing dalaga nagtatalik sa lila.
Isang reynang maraming mata, nasa gitna ng mga espada.

Balahibong binalot ng balat, balahibong bumalot sa balat.
Pagsipot sa maliwanag, kulubot na ang balat.

Tubig na binalot sa papel, papel na binalot sa bato
batong binalot sa balahibo.
Kawangis ay palu-palo, libot na libot ng ginto.

Nang wala ang ginto ay doon nagpalalo,
Nang magkagintu-ginto, doon na nga sumuko.

Gintong binalot sa pilak, pilak na binalot sa balat.
Tinakpan bago minulatan.

Itinapon ang laman, balat ang pinagyaman.
Abot na ng kamay, ipinagawa pa sa tulay.

Binalangkas ko’t binalutan, saka ibinilad sa araw.
Kinalag ang balangkas, sumayaw nang ilagpak.


Payapang lugar walang tili bulahaw hiyaw kulog dagundong


Walang tinig taghoy halinghing sigaw saklolo tahol tugtog palakpak iyak

Walang bigkas atungal palahaw tanguyngoy usap ngalngal tagulaylay

Walang ingay ungol haginghing himutok irit hibik hagulgol angil


Walang hikbi daldal haluyhoy lagaslas alingawngaw saklolo

Walang huni sipol pagaspas lawiswis halakhak agas-as

Walang siyap sutsot bulong alatiit kuliling kaluskos paswit


Piping lahat–ngunit bakit may kumakatok humihingi ng saklolo

ugong sa sulok

anasan sa butas

ng bungo …psssssst—



SENYAS NG PANAHON (1) : Balitang Pinoy (GMA News 11/23/2014)
Lalaking bibisita sa mga magulang, inagawan ng kotse at pinatay pa sa QC

Mommy Dionisia, agaw-eksena sa weigh-in nina Pacquiao at Algieri

Pagpatay sa vice-mayor ng Villaba, Leyte, di pa rin malinaw ang motibo

Suspek sa pagkapatay sa mag-ina sa Pampanga, kakilala ng mga biktima

Ginang at 9 anyos na anak, pinagnakawan at pinatay, sanggol na itinatago sa ilalim ng kama ligtas

Guro, inireklamo dahil sa pagbugbog at pagsampal daw ng kanyang grade 2 pupils

Babaeng pinagpakitaan daw ni Virgin Mary sa panaginip, nakagaggamot ng sakit

7 katao huli sa anti-drug operation sa Iloilo, 2 sa mga nadakip babae

Burol, pinasabugan sa Bacolod City, tatlong nakikipaglamay, sugatan

1 patay, 4 sugatan sa pagsabog ng oxygen tank sa Cebu

Paaralan nabulabog dahil sa bomb threat na kumalat sa text

Nanay na naalimpungatan, naihagis ang sanggol na anak at bumagsak sa sahig

Lalaking tumakas sa Bilibid, nadakip sa Camarines Sur pagkaraan ng 14 na taon

Sa loob ng isang araw, magkapatid na 12 at 10 anyos magkasunod na ginahasa ng 1 lalaki

4 miyembro ng pamilya, hinihinalang nalason sa kinaing patani at kamoteng kahoy

Babae, huli pagkatapos magbenta ng bahay at lupa na hindi naman sa kanya

2 teenagers na nakaistambay sa tindahan, patay sa pamamaril sa CDO

Sino ang national artist na gumuhit ng “Markang Demonyo” ng Ginebra?


Nagpiging ang bayan, iisa ang hugasan.
Tubig na pinagpala, walang makakakuha kundi bata.

Nang bata ay nakasaya, naghubo nang maging dalaga.
Nang maliit pa’y nakabaro, nang lumaki’y naghubo.

Tatlong magkakapatid, sing-iitim ang dibdib.
Magkakapatid na prinsesa, lahat nama’y pawang negra.

Maitim na parang alkitran, pumuputi kahit di labhan.
Nagbibigay na, sinasakal pa.

Isang balong malalim, punong-puno ng patalim.
Tubig sa ining-ining, di mahipan ng hangin.

Dalawa kong kahon, buksan walang ugong.
Sa buhatan ay may silbi, sa igiban walang sinabi.

Dumaan ang hari, nagkagatan ang mga pari.
Hindi pari, hindi hari, nagdadamit ng sari-sari.

May binti walang hita, may tuktok walang mukha.
Sumususo ang anak habang lumilipad.


Sandaling tumagilid ang ulap sakay ang manlalakbay

naudlot nagimbal nangalisag–

Babalang pumatnubay: “May reklamo ka ba?”

Bukas makalawa sa pagtila ng ulan…. Hintay!

lumiligwak ang panganorin

nangangalisag sa himpapawid

Buhawi ng along bingi sa taghoy ng saklolo– Hintay!

tila biro lamang bangungot sa panaginip

Bago tumaob nahulog ang himutok na umagting at pumailanlang

Hintay pa? wangis mumong pinagpag sa sinapupunan

lumundo’t lumawit bumugso’t pumulandit

Nahihinog lahat sa pananabik….


Apat katao, iisa ang sombrero; paa’y apat, hindi makalakad.

Ang bahay ni Pedrito, walang pinto, puro kuwarto.
Mayroon pitong bentanilya, tatlo lamang ang naisasara.

Isang bahay na bato, ang takip ay bilao.
Isang bakuran, sari-sari ang nagdaraan.

Kakalat-kalat, natitisod-tisod; kapagka tinipon, matibay na moog.

Nagbahay ang marunong, nasa ilalim ang bubong.
Limang magkakapatid, tig-iisa ang silid.

Bahay ni Santa Maria, naiinog ng sandata.
May bintana, walang bubungan; may pinto, walang hagdanan.

Bahay ni Ka Huli, haligi ay bali-bali, ang bubong ay kawali.
Bahay ng anluwagi, iisa ang haligi.
Maliit na bahay, puno ng mga patay.

Sarado roon, sarado rito; sarado hanggang dulo.


Sukdulang init sa hapong ito, lubhang maalinsangan….
Gayumang amuking managinip ng bagyong malayo pa

Dilim ang malapit nang lumapag tinutuksong lumipad
Kapiling mo, magkayapos, pumapailanlang sa buwan.

Hinihimok ng nagliliyab na bagwis ng takip-silim
Na managinip ng ulang bumuhos sa islang abot-tanaw

Gabi’y lumalatag na’t gumigising ang panaginip
Na magkatalik tayong pumapaimbulog tungo sa buwan.

Mabagsik na apoy ang dumarang sa maghapong ito
Hibong sumulak sa panaginip ng sigwang wala pang senyal

Gabing mailap na bumabangon, umaali-aligid, gumagapang
Sabik sa paglukso natin halos abot ang buwang nakabitin….
Umiimbay sa maghapong nabuntis ng buhawi ng guniguni.


May kawalang lumilipad, nakawalang kumikislap.
Bumbong kung maliwanag, kung gabi ay dagat.

Isda sa Kilaw-kilaw, di mahuli’t may pataw.
Munting hayop na pangahas, aaligid-aligid sa ningas.

Hayan na, hayan na, hindi mo nakikita, buto’t balat lumilipad.
Walang pakpak, mabilis lumipad.

Hawakan mo ang buntot ko, sisisid ako.
Munting tiririt, may baga sa puwit.

Ang ibabaw ay tawiran, ang ilalim ay lusutan.
Tubig na sakdal linaw, nadadala sa kamay.

Nakaluluto nang walang init, umaaso’y malamig.
Sa init ay sumasaya, sa lamig ay nalalanta.

Di man isda, di man itik, nakahuhuni kung ibig.
Maliit pa si Kumare, marunong nang humuni.

Nang munti pa’y may buntot, paglaki ay punggok.
Hanggang leeg kung mababaw, kung malalim hanggang baywang.

Nang umalis lumilipad, nang dumating umuusad.
Itinanim sa kinagabihan, inani sa kinaumagahan.



Bahagi ng Pagtestigo ni RAYMOND MANALO

Noong Pebrero 14, 2006, sa pagitan ng alas dose ng tanghali at ala una ng hapon, sa aming bahay habang ako ay natutulog, ako ay ginising ng ingay at suntok sa aking tiyan gamit ang baril ng mga di kilalang tao….

Ang sabi ng mga nakasibilyang kalalakihan na armado rin ng de kalibreng mga baril na “salot” daw kami at mga New People’s Army (NPA) daw kami…

Dalawang beses inihinto ang sasakyan bago kami ibinaba sa isang lugar na hindi ko alam kung saan.

Nang makababa ay ipinasok kami sa kwarto at doon muling sinaktan at binugbog: hinampas kami ng dos por kwatro sa puwitan at sa hita, binuhusan ng tubig sa bibig at ilong, sinuntok sa dibdib at tiyan, pinalo ng kadena sa likod.

…Nang sumunod na araw, biglang may pumasok sa loob ng kwarto, bigla na lamang akong tinadyakan at sinuntok sa dibdib, buhay pa pala kayo, dapat sa inyo ay pinapatay, ang sabi.

Binuhusan ako ng ihi sa mukha, pinaso ang aking hita at braso ng nagbabagang kahoy sabay buhos naman ng mainit na tubig sa ulo ko na sinundan ng pagbuhos ng malamig na tubig–napahiyaw ako.

Muli akong pinaso ng nagbabagang lata sa kanang likod at pinukpok ng baril sa noo. Nagdugo ito at nahilo ako….

Bago ako pumunta sa kusina, napatingin ako sa kalapit na kwarto at dito nakita ko ang hubad na katawan ni Sherlyn [Cadapan]: nakahiga sa upuang nakatumba, nakatali ang dalawang kamay at isang paa habang ang isang paa nama’y nakalambitin.

Nakita ko na pinaghahampas ng kahoy si Sherlyn, kinukuryente, sinusuntok, binubuhusan ng tubig sa ilong at bibig at nakita ko kung paano paglaruan ang maselang bahagi ng katawan nito–sinusundot ng kahoy ang maselang bahagi ng katawan.

Habang ginagawa nila ito kay Sherlyn ay pinapanood ito ng asawa ni Donald Caigas na nakilala ko sa pangalang Elsie at ng asawang doktora ni Platino Lat.

Narinig kong pilit na pinaaamin ng mga militar si Sherlyn kung sino ang nagplanong gumawa ng ‘sulat,’ na sa sobrang hirap na dinanas nito ay umamin itong si Karen ang may gawa at nagplano ng sulat.

Nang marinig ito ng militar ay agad na inilabas si Karen mula sa bodega. Tinalian ang kamay at paa pagkatapos ay hinubaran ito.

Habang walang saplot sa katawan si Karen, pinagsusuntok ito, binubuhusan ng tubig sa bibig at ilong, pinapaso ng sigarilyo ang katawan at sinusundot ng kahoy ang maselang bahagi ng katawan nito.
{Sinipi mula sa PAGTATAGPO SA KABILANG DULO: PanitikangTestimonial ng Desaparecidos, Quezon City: Pamilya ng mga Desaparecidos para sa Katarungan & Amado V. Hernandez Resource Center, 2009, pahina 294-296, 306).


Ako’y may tapat na irog saanman paroo’y kasunod-sunod;
Mapatubig ay di nalulunod, mapaapoy ay di nasusunog.

Mayroon akong alipin, sunod nang sunod sa akin.

Kung araw, yumao ka; kung gabi’y halika;
Sa araw ay nagtataboy, sa gabi ay nag-aampon.

Laging nakasakay ngunit di nagpapasyal.
Lumalakad ang bangka, ang piloto ay nakahiga.

Hindi hayop, hindi tao, walang gulong ay tumatakbo.
Takbo roon, takbo rito, hindi makaalis sa tayong ito.

Nang maalala’y naiwan, nadala nang malimutan.
Pasurot-surot, dala-dala ay gapos.

Dalawang magkaibigan, unahan nang unahan.
Dalawang batong itim, malayo ang nararating.

Maputing parang bulak, kalihim ko sa pagliyag.

Binatilyong naliligo sa dagat, patay nang madikitan ng dikya

Babaeng nanakot para makikilan ng pera ang isang lola sa Pangasinan, arestado

5 babae na umano’y biktima ng human trafficking, nailigtas sa Kalibo airport

Lalaki, tinangay ang krus at umakyat sa bubong ng simbahan

Mag-ama, patay sa bugbog at pananaksak ng mga kabataan na umano’y adik sa solvent

Pila ng mga trak patungong Matnog port sa Sorsogon, inabot na raw ng 2 linggo

Babae, patay matapos tamaan sa leeg ng nabasag na bote ng softdrinks

WATCH: Malas na mandurukot: Bigo sa unang biktima, nahuli naman sa ikalawang tangka

Bakit tanyag si Anacleto del Rosario noong sakop ng mga Kastila ang Pilipinas?

Ano ang dapat gawin ng Pilipinas sa girian ng US at China kaugnay ng West PHL Sea?

Magnanakaw sa Iloilo City, nagpalit ng damit at tsinelas sa bahay na kanyang nilooban

Australyanong 6 na taon nang naninirahan sa Cebu, dinakip dahil sa pang- aabuso raw sa ilang dalagita

Kilabot na mandurukot na napanood sa viral video, nasakote na

Sundalo, patay sa banggaan ng motorsiklo sa Davao

Pullis na sumaklolo sa insidente ng kidnapping, napatay, dalagitang biktima nailigtas

3 anyos na babae, inabuso umano ng sariling ama sa Camarines Sur


Nakatalikod na ang prinsesa, mukha niya’y nakaharap pa.

Mukha ko’y totoong tinikin, ngunit busilak ang kalooban.
Aling mabuting litrato, kuhang-kuha sa mukha mo?

Isang panyong parisukat, kung buksa’y nakakausap.

Hindi pa natatalupan, nanganganinag na ang laman.
Binuksan ang kanyon, perdigones ang nakabaon.

Dalawang bolang sinulid, abot hanggang langit.
Kung manahi’y nagbabaging, dumudumi ng sinulid.

Binili ko nang mahal, isinabit ko lamang.

Mataas ay binitin, kaysa pinagbitinan.
Pusong bibitin-bitin, masarap kainin.

Kinain mo’t naubos, nabubuo pang lubos.


(Salin ng Google Translator mula sa “Untitled Statements” 1970)
1. Maaaring mabuo ang artist ng mga piraso.

2. Ang piraso ay maaaring gawa-gawa.

3. Ang piraso ay hindi kailangang maging binuo.
Bawat pagiging patas at pareho-pareho di mga layunin ng mga artist ang mga

desisyon na kalagayan ay nakasalalay sa receiver sa okasyon ng receivership.

Sinubukan at Totoo.
  —Dokumentasyon ni E. San Juan, Jr.


Punong layu-layo, dulo’y tagpu-tagpo.

Hinila ko ang baging, nag-iingay ang matsing.
Binatak ko ang baging, bumuka ay tikin.

Aling kahoy sa gubat ang nagsasanga’y walang ugat?
May puno, walang bunga; may dahon, walang sanga.

Bawat dahong binabaksak ay araw na lumilipas.

Limang punong niyog, iisa ang matayog.
Tinaga ko sa puno, sa dulo nagdugo.

Usbong nang usbong, hindi naman nagdadahon.
Sa araw ay bumbong, sa gabi ay dahon.

Tinaga ko sa gubat, sa bahay umiyak.
Halamang di nalalanta, kahit natabas na.

Bunga na, namunga pa.

BALITANG PINOY: Mga Bakas ng Maykapal
(Saan masasaksihan ang mga kilos ng Diyos? sagot ng pilosopong Hegel,
“basahin ang mga balita sa pahayagan”)

State of calamity, idineklara sa Pikit, Cotabato, dahil sa epekto ng matinding init

Princess Pacquiao, hinamon ng rematch si Mayweather para sa ama

P’Noy, kinastigo ang gumagawa ng kanyang talumpati

Mga bangkay, nakita sa ikalawang palapag ng nasunog na gusali sa Valenzuela City

Makukulay na kalabaw, ipinarada sa kapistahan sa Ilocos Norte

Nasa 200 pamilya, nawalan ng tirahan sa sunog na naganap sa Iligan City

Mainit na panahon, sinasamantala ng mga gumagawa ng palayok

Mag-asawang Chinese na munti malunod sa Boracay, iniligtas ng Coast Guard

Alis-kuto operation, isinagawa sa ilang barangay sa Guinobatan, Albay

Pacquiao, dapat na bang magretiro sa boxing?

Alert level 1, itinaas na sa bulkang Bulusan sa Sorsogon

Ihi, dumi ng tao at asido, umulan sa demolisyon sa QC

2 lalaki, nalunod sa ilog; 1 sa mga biktima, nakasagip muna ng nalulunod na bata

Babae, huli matapos tangkang magpuslit daw ng shabu sa kulungan

Itlog ng manok, apektado na ng mainit na panahon

Batang naglalaro, patay matapos mabagsakan ng bunga ng niyog

(isinulat sa dingding ng kubeta bago nag-martial law ang sumusunod)

“Dilihensiya pa rin! Itong mga Pinoy ba’y mag-iiba?
Itaga mo sa pader, Apo, pagkat di tayo talo–
GI lamang ako ngunit mula sa ilang puslit na K-rations

Isang empire ng korporasyon at mga kerida ang naipundar ko–
Sa aking listahan magkasiping ang obispo’t senador
At labor lider na kasabwat sa asukal kopra’t tabako–

Demokrasya’y magaling kung Kano’y amo–Mabuhay!
What are we in power for? ayon kay Senador Lagay,
Pati si Heneral Doblecara’t mga peryodista’y nasa payrolll ko

Magbabago ba’ng Pinoy? Putang ‘na niyo, mga huwes-puwes!
Pantay-pantay nga ang tao pero mas pantay ang may dolyar
Pagkat talagang ganyan ang buhay sa Pilipinas kong mahal…

Makismo ni Ferdie? Patigasan na lang ng titi.
Patron din ako ng arteng may dalawang pusod–
Walang bayag ‘yang mga Huk, bibilhin ko sila–

Rebolusyon? Baka coup ng CIA? May porsiyento ako riyan.
Dilihensiya pa rin, Apo.. Hustisya’y bulag….tsokaran….
Walang libog ‘yang mga komunistang may ‘vested interests’–

Parang sugal o suhol lamang ang buhay ng Pinoy…
Hindot ninyo, mga bayarang pulis. Magkano ba kayong lahat?
Mangmang at lokong Pinoy, magsalsal na lang kayo!

Kung ako’y makababalik, OK din ako sa rebolusyon aka
“Las delicias del good time,” buladas ng kumpisal, buwisit–
Pasensiya na, pare, “wat di world nids is lab lab lab….”

[Unang nalathala ang tulang ito sa DAWN, publikasyon ng mga estudyante sa University of the East noong 1962, taong idineport si Harry Stonehill ng rehimeng Macapagal. Katakut-takot na batikos at tuligsa ang tinanggap ng awtor. Ito ang sagot ko noon: “Ang ganitong karupukan ng pag-iisip at kadahupan ng imahinasyon (ng mga kritiko) ay siyang sagwil sa paglaya ng diwa mula sa reaksiyonaryo’t mistikal na paniniwala upang maabot ang isang rasyonal at kritikal na kamalayan. Kulang sa “sympathetic intuition” at hindi makuhang maipalagay na isang karakter o persona ang “Harry Stonehill” na siyuang nagsasalita sa tula at may kagagawan ng diskursong nagpapahiwatig ng kanyang pagkatao. Sa gayon, ipinaratang ang “malaswang” salita sa makata, na lumikha ng piksyonal na tauhan na may pangalang “Harry Stonehill” at pumili ng sadyang salitang angkop sa konseptuwalisasyon ng tula at gayundin mabisang magpupukaw ng galit at pagkasuklam sa isang taong tulad ni Harry Stonehill. Ngunit anong kakatwang himala! Ang kaisipan ng maraming Pilipino ay nakabulid pa rin sa balon ng kolonyal na situwasyon, nakabilibid sa makitid na pangitain. Hindi maisip-isip na ang isang Amerikanong mangungulimbat ay makapagmumura laban sa Pilipino, at hindi rin makuhang tanggapin na maaaring ang makatang Pilipino ay mangahas sumikad upang isakdal ang kriminal na Amerikano sa pamamagitan ng ilusyon ng tula.”]


Isang reynang maraming mata, nasa gitna ng mga espada.
Nakayuko ang reyna, di malaglag ang korona.

Ang sombrero ni Bernabe sa bundok itinabi.

Maliit pa si kumpare, nakaakyat na sa tore.
Naunang umakyat, nahuli sa lahat.

Nakatindig walang paa, may tiya’y walang bituka
Naligo ang kapitan, hindi nabasa ang tiyan.

May likod walang tiyan, matulin sa karagatan.
Lumuluha’y walang mata, lumalakad walang paa.

May ulo walang tiyan, may leeg walang baywang.
Tag-ulan o tag-araw, hanggang tuhod ang salawal.

Mataas kung nakaupo, mababa kung nakatayo.
Ang ina’y gumagapang pa, ang anak ay umuupo na.
May dala, may bitbit, may sunong, may kilik.

Di matingkalang bundok, darak ay nakakamot.

Kay raming nakahiga, iilan lamang ang abot sa lupa.
Masarap na hantungan, ngunit iniiwasan ng tanan.

(Halaw mula kay T.S. Eliot)
Kinakalampag nila ang mga platong pang-almusal sa silong sa kusina
At habang tinutunton ang niyurakang gilid ng lansangan
Alam ko ang mga basa-basang kaluluwa ng mga katulong sa bahay
Mapanglaw na bumubukad sa mga tarangkahan ng looban.

Itinataboy sa akin ng kulay-lupang alon ng lumundong ulap
Ang mga mukhang tabingi mula sa kailaliman ng lansangan;
At pumipilas mula sa nagdaraang maputik na palda
Ang ngiting walang layon na umaaligid-aligid sa himpapawid
At tuloy naglalaho sa kapatagan ng mga bubong.

Di kataka-taka
Saksing-iglap ang hintuturong naputol
Kung saan o sino ang nakasungkit

Ilang diwata sa langit ang naduro na kaya
Gayuma ng pabuya sa sundalo
Balaklaot naging amihan

Bakit ang singsing ay suot ng hinlalaki?

Sawimpalad na hinayupak ng Estado
Ang pumaslang sa bantog na “teroristang” tinagurian
Ngunit walang bakas o lagdang mapagpala
Ng mga kagila-gilalas na pakikipagsapalaran
Ang natuklasan sa pirasong laman

Tinugis sa sukal ng Mamasapano
Binagtas niya ang sikip at salimuot ng gubat
Nakaukit sa laberinto ng kanyang palad–
Humahanap pa ng manghuhulang
Makasisilip sa nagsanga-sangang landas
Ng kamaong di na pagtatakhan.

Dulang Algoritmong Palaruan

(Alinsunod sa paraan ng Ouvroir de Litterature Potentielle)

[Paunawa: Lahat ng tauhan sa dulang ito ay pawang likhang-isip; kung sakaling kahawig ng mga personaheng buhay, ituring na aksidenteng pagkakataon lamang iyon at hindi talagang sinasadya–Awtor]

Balisa si Presidente Obama at mga upisyal sa Pentagon, Washington DC. Baka bumagsak ang dolyar at ordeng kapital-pampinansiyal, pag-ulit ng 2008 krisis, kung hindi mahuhuli sina Zulkifli bin Hir at Abdul Basit Usman. Binabalaan na sila ng mga CEO ng Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, IMF at World Bank na dapat kagyat lutasin ang ugat ng panganib sa Pilipinas. Tulala si Obama dahil sa dalawang bagay, na dapat piliin ninyo:

Walang mahanap na Pinay/Pinay na eskiroll na magkukumpisal kung nasaan ang dalawang terorista (tingnan ang Tagpo 8)

Itinago ni Putin ang dalawang rebelde dahil sa panghihimasok ng U.S. sa Ukraine (tingnan ang Tagpo 9)

Nagsuplong kay P’Noy Aquino ang isang ahente ng Taliban sa Afghanistan kung saan nagtatago ang dalawang kontrabida. Pinatawag si Heneral Alan Purisima na suspindido noon, ngunit nawawala ang heneral. Siya ba ay nakompromiso ni:

Kurt Hoyer, Press Attache ng US Embassy, na sikretong CIA ahente, na naghahanda ng planong Wolverine sa Manila Hotel? (tingnan ang Tagpo 5)

O ni bise-presidente Binay habang nagliliwaliw siya sa isang casino sa Makati? (tingnan ang Tagpo 7)

Pinagpayuan ni Sec. Leila de Lima si P’Noy na dapat sa PNP (Philippine National Police) lamang sumangguni sapagkat hindi maasahan ang AFP
na matakaw din sa pabuyang limang milyong dolyar sa paghuli sa dalawang terorista. Hindi makapagpasiya si P’Noy sanhi sa alin sa dalawang dahilan:

Marami siyang utang kay Heneral Pio Gregorio Catapang, hepe ng AFP (tingnan ang Tagpo 6)

Binantaan na siya ni PNP Heneral Leonardo Espina at Int. Sec. Mar Roxas dahil sa pakikipagsosyo sa isang seksing “socialite” (tingnan ang Tagpo 2)

Enero 25, 2015, lumunsad na ang 6 tropang Amerikano sa TCP (Tactical Command Post) ng Sheriff Aguak sa Manguindanao. Ngunit di nila alam ang tiyak na situwasyon ng Special Action Force ng PNP sapagkat ang planong Wolverine ay hindi katugma sa planong Exodus. Bakit nagkaganoon? Piliiin sa dalawang posibilidad:

Nagsusugal ang dalawang heneral sa Zamboanga AFP Western Command, Rustico Guerrero at Edmundo Pangilinan, nang ipahatid ang utos batay sa ulat ng drone ng mga Amerikano (tingnan ang Tagpo 2 )

Inilihim ni PNP Chief Getulio Napenas ang tunay na sabwatan nila ng MILF at BBP sa gagawing “pintakasi” sa Mamasapano (tingnan ang Tagpo 7)

Sinabi ni P’Noy kay Purisima noong Enero 9 sa Bahay Pangarap–“Ayusin mo na kina Espina at Roxas… Ako na ang bahala kay Catapang.” Inutusan niya ang staff sa Malacanang na kontakin ang Coordinating Committee for the Cessation of Hostilities. Bakit hindi nagawa iyon? Piliin ang dahilan:

Okupado sina Mohagher Iqbal sa US Embassy sa pakikipag-ugnayan sa US Institute of Peace at mga kinatawan ng Malaysian Embassy tungkol sa “investments” sa kanilang “ancestral domain” (tingnan ang Tagpo 9)

“Busy” si Chief Napenas sa pakikipag-usap sa isang kaibigan sa Moscow, Russian Federation na nakahimpil sa Teheran, Iran (tingnan ang Tagpo 1)

Sumugod na ang 44 na PNP SAF sa Tukanalipao, baryo ng Mamasapano, hindi alam kung ang kalaban nila ay kabilang sa Abu Sayyaf, Al Qaeda, Jemaah Islamiyah, MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front), BIFF (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters), o NPA (New People’s Army), at walang muwang sa posisyon ng kanilang tinutugis. Ano ang rason ng ganitong pagkalito? Piliin:

Pinangakuan na sila ng bahagi ng pabuya sa pagkahuli o pagkapatay kina Marwan at Usman, kaya hindi na kailangan tiyakin kung anong politika o prinsipyo ng mga kaaway (Tingnan ang Tagpo 3)

Binigyan sila ng kopya ng VFA (Visiting Forces Agreement), EDCA (Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement) at CIA Counterinsurgency Manual laban sa terorismo upang magamit sa pagdumi sa gubat (Tingnan ang Tagpo 8).
Iginiit ni Napenas na “iniwan kami sa ere,” ibig sabihin, walang ibinigay na “reward money” ang Washington nang makumpirma sa DNA test na napatay nga si Marwan. Naibalita naman sa Al Jazeera na nakapuslit si Marwan sa tulong ng ilang barko ng Tsina patungo sa Spratley/Kalayaan Isla. At si Usman naman ay nakalusot sa tulong ng MNLF ni Nur Misuari patungong Sabah.

Gusto ninyo ba ng masayang wakas? (tingnan ang Tagpo 9)
Gusto ninyo ba ng masaklap na wakas? (tingnan ang Tagpo 6)

Tinanggap na ni P’Noy na responsable siya sa palpak na Exodus, ngunit galit siya kay Fidel Ramos sa panawagan na magbitiw. Mula sa Mamasapano, taglay pa ng mga tao roon ang mga regalo nina Usman at Marwan, ayon kina Boyong Unggala at Farhannah Abdulkahar, dalawa sa 72,585 biktima ng giyera ni P’Noy buhat pa noong Pebrero 25. Nitong Marso 10-13, nadiskubre ng Suara Bangsamoro at Kawagib Moro Human Rights Alliance na nagkalat ang mga nilagas na dokumentong VFA at EDCA sa gubat kung saan nasawi ang 44 PNP pulis, 3 sibilyan, at 17 gerilya ng MILF at BIFF.

Nais ninyo ba ng makatwirang wakas? (tingnan ang Tagpo 5 & 7)
Nais ninyo ba ng balighong wakas? (tingnan ang Tagpo 4 & 9)
Samantala, nakipagkita ang Ombudsman sa isang sugo ni Putin sa Singapore at ibinalita na may “gantimpala” sina Heneral Catapang at Espina, pati na sina Mar Roxas at Sec. Leila de Lima, sa “fiasco” ng Wolverine/Exodus.

Sa Washington DC naman, binalak ni Obama na tawagan si P’Noy at ipahatid ang Congratulations ng FBI, Nais daw ng FBI na makapanood ng makulay na dulang “Moro-Moro”….

Samantala, nagpipista ang mga investors sa Wall Street na naglalaway sa pagbukas ng likas-yaman ng Mindanao na may halagang $840 bilyon-$1 trilyon sa mga korporasyong dayuhan, salamat sa napipintong kasunduang Bangsamoro Basic Law.

Mabuhay ang mga “bayani” ng Mamasapano!

(Handog kay Abdulmari Imao, RIP)
Sabi ng mga magulang natin, takbo pag nakakita ng Moro–juramentado iyon!
Hadji Kamlon–takbo!
Dumarating sina Nur Misuari & Hashim Salamat–Hura? Huramentado?
Tapos si Marcos, tapos si Cory Aquino, dumating ang Al-Qaeda
O sige, bumaba sa Bud Dajo at Bud “Weiser” ang Abu Sayyaf–
Abdurarajak Janjalani–Khadaffy Janjalani–takbo!
Baka Taliban, takbo!
Pirata sa Palawan, takbo!

Dumating ang US Special Forcs & drone, todas na ang Abu Sayyaf–
Napatay ng AFP si Zulfik bin Abdulhim alyas Marwan
Pero nabuhay raw muli–takbo na naman!
Saksi ang midya, walang duda, ibinigay sa AFP ang 1.5 milyong dolyar–
Iusod ang siwang ng sepulkro sa Camp Abubakar, nabuhay raw muli!
Takbo muli! Aswang ng Abu Sayyaf? Kulam ni Osama bin laden?
Jihad ni Ampatuan?
Hura! Hura! Huramentado!

Nagtampisaw si Marwan sa lagusang masikip sa gubat ni Florante’t Aladin
Nanlilimahid ang bakas ng balakyot na “terorista”
Ibinurol si Zulfik, sayang–kailan babangon muli?
Saan, sinong pumuslit ng 1.5 milyong dolyar?
Bakas at bakat, tiyak na babalik habang umaakyat sa Bud Bagsak….
Nabubulok ang mga pinugutang bangkay ng AFP sa Basilan at Sulu….

Di naglao’y nagkapuwang si Marwan, magaling yumari ng bomba–
Tugisin ang pork-barrel ng USA, takbo!
Takbo, mabuhay si Zulfik!
Takbo, aswang o mangkukulam ng Jemaah Islamiyah, mabuhay!
Takbo, nariyan si Obamang may suhol na dolyar para sa AFP–
Huramentado ni BS Aquino at mga heneral ng AFP?
Juramentado ng trapo’t burokrata kapitalista?
Masaker nina Hen. John Pershing at Leonard Wood? Ulit na naman?
Sa gubat ng Sabah o Zamboanga? Ampat, ampatin ang dugo….

Alahu Akbar,
Tiyak ang resureksiyon nina Zulfik at mga kasama–
Hanggang may salapi, walang patid ang takbuhan at patayan–
Ikaw na sibilisadong mambabasa, kapatid ng mga heneral at trapo,
Di biro, hindi ba huramentado ka rin?

Huwag, huwag mong sabihin na siya’y tunggak loko tanga–
Marunong iyon sa pandaraya’t panggagahis.
Huwag mong sabihing gago o hangal–
Sa katusuhan wala siyang pangalawa….

Huwag, huwag mong sabihing ulol o baliw siya–
Siya’y tuso sa pangako’t pambobola….
Totoong alam natin ito, hindi maiisahan, sanay na tayo.
Ilang bilanggo’t nasawi ang testigo dito.

Huwag mong sabihing di natin alam
Ang mga taktika ng mangungulimbat
At estratehiya ng mga galamay ng Estado-
Magkasundo tayo ng diktador sa kabatiran

Na sa larangan ng politika tayo naglalaban–
Di lang sa diwa o isip, madugong tagisan
Ng mga katawan–tortyur, dukot, sapilitang pagkawala–
Pagwasak ng katawan ay politika,
Ang kaligtasan ng laman ay politika,
Ang bangkay ay politikang natalo,
Ang buhay ng mga anak ay politikang nagtagumpay.

Kaya magkasabwat tayo ng diktador,
Kapwa tayo alagad ng walang patawad na Realpolitik–
Ang madugong transpormasyon ng diwa’t kilos,
Katawa’t kaluluwa, pakikipagkapwa’t pangungulila.

Napakamabili ngayon ng mga cookbook at ibang komoditing may kinalaman sa pagkain. Madaling kumita’t magkamal ng salapi at prestihiyo kung sasangkot sa pagkain o tindang pagkain. Nahuhumalling din ang mga artista’t manunulat. Pati ang mga kritiko’t akademikong premyado man o patakbuhin.

Ayon kay Doreen Fernandez, ang Filipino di umano’y nakikilala sa pagkain. Ganoon din ba kaya ang lahat ng tao sa iba’t ibang bansa? Tila kasingkahulugan ng pagkain ang kultura. May reklamo ka ba?
Ngunit bago kumain, dapat magluto–o iutos ang pagluluto. Kung paano pagsasamahin ang kailangang pansahog, kailangang piliin ang mabuting materyales at proporsyon nito. Kailangan ang tubig, apoy o init, mga kagamitan sa kusina, panahon, lakas, dunong, intuwisyon, sining….

Kailangan ang mga rekado: tubig, baboy na hiniwa sa mahabang piraso, kamatis, bawang, luyang tinadtad, talong, bagoong alamang, ampalaya, atbp. Puwedeng budburan ng asin, anise, kulantro, oregano, paminta, siling labuyo, dilaw, salsa perin, atbp. ayon sa panlasa ng mga kakain o titikim. Maaaring ayusin ang tamis-anghang, pait, alat, at lagyan ng sotanghon, bihon, miki, miswa, o anumang nais ng kustomer. O anong reklamo mo?
Bago tangkain o subukan ang resipe ni Nora Daza at iba pang kusinero na Ilokano o taga-Los Angeles na Pinay, paglimiin sandali ang mungkahi ni Doktor K’ung-fu-tzu, ang dalubhasang Maestro-chef na taga-Binondo, Maynila:

“Dapat wastuhin ang mga pangalan at salita.
Kung mali iyon, at di katugma sa realidad,
walang tinutukoy ang wika.

Kung walang matatag na tinutukoy
o tiyak na tinuturing ang wikang ginagamit,
imposible ang kumilos at lumikha ng anuman.
Sa gayon, lahat ng gawain sa buhay ay mabubuwag
at mawawalan ng saysay.”


(Halaw mula kay Wallace Stevens)

Ganyan nga ang paghihinagpis,
Walang bagay na dapat isapuso.
Kawalan man o pagkamit ang usapan.

Isang bagay na maaangkin,
Isang leon, isang matipunong baka sa iyong dibdib,
Nararamdaman mong humihinga roon.

Corazon, matabang aso,
Batang lalaking baka, osong sakang,
Nalalasahan niya ang dugo niyon, hindi dura.

Tulad niya ang isang lalaki
Sa katawan ng isang hayop na mabangis.
Ang kalamnang marahas ay kanya rin.

Natutulog ang leon nakabilad sa araw.
Ang nguso niya ay nakalapat sa kanyang mga kuko.
Pumapatay iyon ng tao.

(Halaw mula kay Rainer Maria Rilke)
Nalalagas ang mga dahon, nahuhulog mula sa malayong itaas
mistulang galing mula sa mga hardin sa langit na naghihingalo,
Nahuhulog sila at tila hindi nila itinatakwil iyon.

At sa gabi ang daigdig, isang bolang mabigat,
ay nahuhulog sa pagkaulilang walang bituin.
Lahat tayo’y nalalagas.

Pati ang kamay kong ito.
Sa gitna ng lahat ng bagay, masdan mo, taglay ito ng lahat.
Ngunit mayroong isang nariyan, sa bisa ng mapagkalingang hawak,

na siyang nagkukupkop sa lahat ng nalagas
sa kanyang mapagpalang palad.

(Sina Nena at Neneng sa Paningin ng Ebanghelyong Pablo)

Payo ni San Pablo:
“Huwag kayong magkait sa isa’t isa, malibang pagkasunduan ninyong huwag munang magsiping, upang maiukol ninyo ang panahon sa pananalangin. Pagkatapos, magsiping na uli kayo upang hindi kayo matukso ni Satanas dahil sa hindi kayo makapagpigil….Ibigin mo ang iyong kapwa gaya ng iyong sarili…. Walang sinuman sa atin ang nabubuhay o namamatay sa kanyang sarili lamang.”
Pakikibahagi ni Neneng kay Nena ang panaginip niya sa Kabanata XLVIII ng nobela:

“Lumuwas ka raw mag-isa sa Maynila at ako’y ipinagsasama mo sa isang malayong bayan dahil sa nagalit ka sa iyong asawa. Ako pa naman noon ay punong-puno ng putik sa mukha dahil daw sa pagkahulog sa aming pusalian. Pinipilit mo akong manaog at sumama noon din. Isinagot ko raw sa iyo na “nariyan ang asawa ko.” Ang ibig ko’y sa kaniya ka magsabi kung ako’y papayagan. Matuos mo ang ibig mong gawin noon kung di ka isang pilla? Pinipili mo raw akong hagkan ay inilalayo ko naman ang aking mukha at “huwag, huwag” ang saway ko sa iyo. Lalo ka namang napalapit-lapit at ako’y hinagkan mo rin, kaya pati ikaw ay napuno ng putik ng pusali. Nang marumhan ang dami’t mo’y galit na galit ka at ihuhulog mo ako sa bintana. Siya kong pagkamulat. Si Narciso [asawa ni Neneng] pala ang may hawak sa akin kaya hindi na kami nagkatulog tuloy at nagkatampuhan kami na hindi ko malaman kung bakit. Tila naghinala siya sa akin at gayon din naman ako sa kaniya, ngunit hindi na kami nagkaliwanagan at di na naman naungkat minsan man sa aming pag-uusap.”
Sipi sa huling sulat ni Neneng kay Narciso:

“Pawang kasawiang-palad ang kinalagu-laguyo ko sa ating pagsasamang sandaling panahon pagka’t ang namasdan sa iyo’y panay na pag-aalapaap sa mabuti kong loob. Pinagtitiisan kong matamis ang pakikiayon at pinakapipilit na masunduan mo ang katahimikan sa pamamagitan ng aking walang sawang pag-irog. Pinag-isipan mo ang kalinisan ng aking puso at nabatang lisanin sa madlang simbuyo. Nguni’t ngayo’y nabibingit na ako sa labi ng hukay. Bahid ma’y wala akong paglililo sa iyo at sinasaksi ko ngayon ang di na malalaong aking kamatayan….”
Hanggang sa kabilang buhay naghihintay si Neneng, sa asawa o kay Nena?


(Pinaghalong tinig nina Andres Bonifacio, Jose Sevilla, Jose Gatmaytan,
Julian Cruz Balmaseda, Jose Corazon de Jesus,
Guillermo Tolentino, Ildefonso Santos, & Felix Razon)
Kung ang libingan ko’y limot na ng lahat
at wala nang kurus at batong mabakas
bayaang linangin ng taong masipag
lupa’y asarolin at kanyang ikalat.
At mga buto ko bago matunaw
mauwi sa wala at kusang maparam
alabok ng iyong latay at bayaang
siya ang babalang doo’y makipisan.
Kung ang libingan ko’y limot na ng madla
at wala ng kurus ni bato mang tanda
sa nangaglilinang ay ipaubayang
bungkali’t isabog ang natimping lupa
Ang mga abo ko bago pailanlang
mauwi sa wala na pinanggalingan
ay makalat uling parang kapupunan
ng iyong alabok sa lupang tuntungan.
Kung ang libingan kong limot na ng madla
ay wala nang kurus at bato mang tanda
sa nangagbubukid ay ipaubayang
bungkali’t isabog ang natiping lupa.
Ang mga abo ko’y pailanglang
mauwi sa wala na pinanggalingan
ay makalat munang parang kapupunan
ng iyong alabok sa lupang tuntungan.
Sakaling limot na ang lupang sa akin ay pinaglibingan
at wala nang kurus ni panandang batong pagkakakilanlan
bayaang ang luypa’y bungkali’t isabog ng lipakang kamay
ang mga abo ko, sa wala bago muling pailanlang
maging sabog sana sa latag na iyong kinatutungtungan.
At kung pati ng hukay ko’y malimutan na ng madla
walang kurus, kahi’t batong sa puntod ay maging tanda
bayaan mong kahi’t sino ay bungkalin itong lupa
at nang bago ang abo ko sa hangin ay mangawala,
maging alpombra ng iyong tatapakang pinagpala
At kapag ang libingan ko’y nalimutan na nang madla
Walang dipa, maging batong kabakasan niyang tanda,
bayaan mong bungkalin na’t isabog nang maglulupa’t
ang abo ko bago sana mapabalik man sa wala
sa malambot mong tungtunga’y mapalatag munang sadya.
Kung sa libingan ko’y di pansin ng madla’t laon nang nalimot,
ni kurus, ni bato’y wala nang pananda’t iba na ang ayos
bayaang bungkalin ng mag-aararo, bayaang madurog,
at ang aking abong babalik sa wala, agad na isabog
maging gabok man lang sa sutlang damuhan ng iyong lupalop.
At kung ang burol ko ay tuluyang ibinaon na sa gunita
at di matuklasan (walang krus o simpleng batong inilagak doon)
bayaang wasakin ng suyod, laspagin at durugin ng pala
at hayaang ang abo ko, bago lumipad at tuluyang mapawi,
abang alabok maging bahagi muli ng iyong himlayang nilatag.


[Halaw mula kay Langston Hughes]

Tinaguriang Kasamang Bakal, malambot ang iyong dibdib,
Nasugatan ng paghihikahos ng uring manggagawa’t magsasaka
Sa bilangguan ng Tsar, nagpupugay kami,
Mga taga-Ben Tre, Biyetnam

Hanap mo’y kalayaan, Kasamang Stalin,
Di para sa iyo kundi para sa masa ng sansinukob
Kaya humawak ng baril, bumabati kami,
Mga taga-Lidice, Czechoslovakia.

Mula Antartica hanggang Zanzibar
Inilarawan kang berdugo sa propaganda ng imperyalismo ngunit
Sa puso naming taga-Guernica, Espanya,
Ikaw ang pulang tala ng pagbabangon.

Magiting na Komunista, Kasamang Stalin,
Kaming taga-Soweto’t Karameh ay nagpapasalamat sa iyong halimbawa
Kung may pagkakamali ka man, iyo’y napunan na
Sa tagumpay ng digmaan laban sa pasismo.

Kaming mga taga-Jolo’y sumusumpang ibuburol ang imperyalismong Kano’t
Mga kakutsaba sa harap mo, dakilang Stalin,
Saanmang lupalop kung saan ang maso’t karit ay di lamang sagisag
Kundi kagamitang mabisa sa pang-araw-araw na gawain.


Ang isang punto kung saan gusto ko Sobra na magtatag na ang pagpili ng mga “handa-mades” ay hindi dictated ng esthetic lugod. Ang pagpipiliang ito ay batay sa isang reaksyon ng visual na pagwawalang-bahala sa parehong oras ang isang kabuuang kawalan ng mabuti o masama ang lasa … sa katunayan ng isang kumpletong kawalan ng pakiramdam. Para sa mga manonood kahit na higit pa para sa mga artist, art ay isang ugali na bumubuo ng mga bawal na gamot at nais kong protektahan ang aking handa-mades laban sa gayong karumihan.


A point which I want very much to establish is that the choice of these “ready-mades” was never dictated by esthetic delectation. This choice was based on a reaction of visual indifference with at the same time a total absence of good or bad taste…in fact a complete anesthesia. For the spectator even more than for the artist, art is a habit forming drug and I wanted to protect my ready-mades against such contamination.

[ SANGGUNIAN: Marcel DuChamp, “Apropos of ‘Readymades’ 1961)” na nasa Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art, ed. Kristine Stiles and Peter Selz (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996), p. 819-820. Dokumentasyon ni E. San Juan, Jr. 6/4/2015]


Dalawa lang silang mag-ina dito sa Amerika at hinihintay nila ang pagdating ng pamilya nila. Pero ay susmaryosep! habang naghihintay namatay si Nanay. Nais ng pamilya sa Pilipinas na ilibing ang ina sa sariling bayan, pero it was so expensive.

Pero dahil gusto ng nakararami ang ganoon, walang choice ang anak dito sa States kung hindi sundin ang mga nakatatanda sa kanya. Dahil nga very expensive, she decided to remain in the States and ship the coffin unaccompanied.

Nang dumating na sa Pilipinas ang kanilang ina, napansin ng pamilya na hindi maganda. Ang mukha at katawan ng inay nila ay dikit na dikit na sa salamin ng kabaong. Sabi tuloy ng isa, “Ay tingnan mo yan, hindi sila marunong mag-asikaso ng patay sa Amerika.”

To cut the story short, they prepared the coffin for viewing. Pag bukas ng takip (salamin) ng ataul, may napansin silang sulat sa ibaba ng dibdib ng kanilang inay. Dahan-dahang kinuha at nanginginig na binuksan ni Kuya ang sulat at binasa sa lahat ng buong pamilya. Ang nilalaman ng sulat ay ito:

“Mahal kong mga Kapatid, Hayan na si Inay!

Pasyensiya na kayo at hindi ko nasamahan ang inay sa pag-uwi diyan sa Pinas sa dahilan na nakapamahal ng pamasahe. Ang gastos ko na nga lang sa kanya ay kulang-kulang sa sampung libo (kabaong at shipment). Anyway, pinadala ko kasama si inay ang:

*dalawampu’t apat na karne norte nasa likod ni Inay. Maghati-hati na kayo.

*anim na bagong labas na Reebok sneakers….isa suot-suot ni Inay, at lima ang nasa ulunan ni inay…isa-isa na kayo riyan.

*iba’t ibang tsokolate, nasa puwit ni inay…maghati-hati na kayong lahat.

*anim na Ralph Lauren na t-shirts suot-suot ni Inay…para sa iyo, Kuya, at isa-isa ang mga pamangkin ko.

*isang dosenang Wonderbra na gustong-gusto ninyo, mga kapatid ko, suot-suot din ni Inay. Maghati-hati na kayo riyan.

*dalawang dosenang Victoria Secret na panties na inaasam-asam ninyo, suot-suot din ni Inay. Maghati-hati na rin kayo, Ate….
*walong Dockers na pantalon suot-suot din ni Nanay…. Kuya, Diko, isa-isa na kayo, at mga pamangkin ko.

*ang Rolex na hinahabilin mo, Kuya, e suot-suot din ni Inay. Kunin mo na.

*ang hikaw, singsing at kuwintas na gustong-gusto mo, Ate, eh suot-suot din ni Inay. Kunin mo na.

*mga Chanel na medyas, suot-suot din ni Inay. Tig-isa na kayo ng mga pamangkin ko.

Bahala na kayo kay Inay. Pamimisahan ko na lang siya dito. Balitaan ninyo na lang ako pagkatapos ng libing.

Nagmamahal na kapatid, Nene

PS. Pakibihisan na lang si Inay…..

[Dokumentasyon mula sa Internet, circa 1970-1980]

(Halaw mula kay Friedrich Holderlin)

Bigyan ninyo ako ng kahit isang tag-araw lang,
O mga makapangyarihan! Isang taglagas
Upang mapahinog ang aking awit: sa wakas,
Sagana sa kanyang matamis na pagkanta
Ang aking puso’y kusang yayakapin
Ang kagustuhan niyang lubos pumanaw.

Ang kaluluwa’y hindi nakatanggap
Ng kanyang karapatang handog ng mga bathala.
Sa buhay na ito, at hindi nagpapahinga
Ang kaluluwa kahit na umahon ito sa Orkus
Sa ilalim ng lupa; subalit aking matatamo
Ang hangarin ng aking puso: ang aking tula.

Halika na, O kapayapaan ng mundo
Ng kadiliman! Mahinahon na ako
Kahit hindi ako akayin ng indayog
Ng aking lira; minsan ay nabuhay ako
Tulad ng mga bathala: hindi na kailangan
Ang dating gawi sa kinabukasan.

(Halaw mula kay Giacomo Leopardi)

Ngayon magpapahinga ka na sa habang panahon,
Puso kong hapo. Pumanaw na ang huling pangarap
Na paniwala ko’y walang kamatayan.
Napawi na. Taimtim kong nadarama ito,
Namatay na sa kalooban natin
Hindi lang pag-asa sa mahal na mga panaginip
Kundi pati na rin ang pagnanasa rito.
Humimlay ka nang walang hanggan,
Masigasig kang nagsikap.
Walang makagagantimpala sa iyong ginawa,
At di naman karapat-dapat ang mundo sa iyong hininga.

Kapaitan at pagkabagot lang ang buhay,
Putik lang ang daigdig.
Manahimik ka na.
Tumangis sa katapusan.

Sa tao itinakda ng kapalaran
Ang kamatayan.

Layuan ang kalikasan
Na may makahayop na lakas na umiiral
Upang manakit ng sinumang nilalang;
Walang hanggan ang pagkawalang kabuluhan ng lahat.







PAGTANGGAL NG LIBOG — 10,000 PESOS (di garantisado)


PAG-ASA: Analekta sa Paghabi ng Bagwis ng Paglalayag

Komadrona ng palaisipan, iligtas mo kami sa mga tuksong ito,
mga bagay na pinagmumulan ng sindak at kilabot:

Bangungot Mag-isa Malason Mamulubi Makulam
Masaktan sa gabi Malayo sa pamilya Mapilay
Mawalan ng sikmura Mawalan ng salapi
Magkasakit sanhi sa mahiwagang dahilan Di makadinig
Di makaamoy Walang pakiramdam Manhid na manhid Walang panlasa
Di masaran ang pinto Pasukan ng isang hayop mula sa lansangan
Gahisin ng pulis o sundalo Di na gagaling muli sa kanser o AIDS


Nailipat mula sa isang payapang pugad tungo sa matris ng ligalig
(taglay o hindi ang hangarin)

Nawindang at puspusang nayanig hanggang magkasira-sira
(kahit walang bisa o talab)

Nailagay sa paraang pumipigil sa alingawngaw at pagkahawa
(kahit sagad ang talab at bisa)

Hindi kinukusa o sinasadya ang paglilipat
Walang tangka o pakay ang kilos at galaw ng mga kamay

Ipagpasiya na ipahinuhod sa nagpaubayang makapangyarihan
ang daloy at dulo ng nagsapalarang buhay–Sino ba ang kapit-bahay ko?


Pinuputakti ang talasalitaan ng mura: putragis, putang ‘na
Pesteng yawa Kupal mo Tarantado Gago Walang-hiya
Ulol Buwisit Hudas Hinayupak Buwang Demonyo–

Tukso’t lalang ng suson-susong kalamidad sa tagisan ng mga uri
Hinagupit nasalanta sapalarang balintuna’t baligho–
Bigkasin mo, Komadrona ng himagsik, ang patalastas:

Sa pamamagitan ng isang mahigpit na panunumpa, upang sa
pagkakaisang ito’y magkalakas na iwasak ang masinsing tabing
na nakabubulag sa kaisipan…at matuklasan ang tunay na landas
ng katuiran at kaliwanagan (sipi sa Kartilla). Maliban kung mamatay ang buto….

Kilalang kritiko at manlilikha sa larangang internasyonal, si E. SAN JUAN, Jr. ay dating Fellow ng W.E. B. Du Bois Institute, Harvard University at Humanities Center, Wesleyan Uniersity. Emeritus professor of English, Comparative Literature & Ethnic Studies, siya ay naging fellow ng Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin. Kasalukuyang professorial lecturer sa Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Manila.

Si San Juan ay awtor ng maraming libro, kabilang na ang Balikbayang Sinta: An E. San Juan Reader (Ateneo University Press), Sapagkat Iniibig Kita (University of the Philippines Press), Tinik sa Kaluluwa; Rizal In Our Time (Anvil Publishing), Alay Sa Paglikha ng Bukang-Liwayway (Ateneo University Press), Salud Algabre (University of San Agustin Publishing House), Balikbayang Mahal: Passages from Exile, Sutrang Kayumanggi & Bukas Luwalhating Kay Ganda (, Ulikba (UST Publishing House) at Kundiman sa Gitna ng Karimlan (U.P. Press).

Inireprint kamakailan ng U.P. Press ang kalipunan ng mga panunuring pampanitikan niya. Toward a People’s Literature. Inilathala ng Lambert Academic Publishing Co., Saarbrucken, Germany, ang kanyang Critical Interventions: From Joyce and Ibsen to Peirce and Kingston, kasunod ng In the Wake of Terror (Lexington) at US Imperialism and Revolution in the Philippines (Palgrave).

Ang pinakabagong libro niya ay: Ambil (Philippines Research Center), Lupang Hinirang, Lupang Tinubuan (De La Salle University Publishing House) at Between Empire and Insurgency: The Philippines in the New Millennium (University of the Philippines Press).


Undergrad ako sa UP Diliman nang mabasa ko ang isa sa mga unang aklat ni Dr. E. San Juan Jr. na may titulong, The Art of Oscar Wilde na ginawan ko ng rebyung nalathala sa Philippine Collegian. Mga tatlumpong-taon mula noon, naging guro ko siya sa CL 398 sa UP Diliman pa rin para sa Ph.D. degree ko sa English at Comparative Literature. Sa mahabang panahon, nabasa ko rin ang mga sanaysay at pag-aaral niya ukol sa Kultura at Panitikang Pilipino, at hinangaan ang kanyang malalim at masigasig na mga pag-aaral na nakapagpayaman sa mga pamantayan sa kritisismo hindi lamang sa Pilipinas kundi sa iba’ibang panig ng mundo.
Ikinatutuwa at ikinararangal kong matunghayan ngayon ang kanyang mga bagong obra, partikular na ang mga tula, sa koleksiyong tinawag niyang, Wala, na unang tingin’y nagpaalaala sa aking ng mga dibuhong modernismo sa panitikan, tulad, halimbawa ng nihilism sa panitikang Ruso. Ngunit taliwas sa eksistensiyal angst o epektong absurdismo, ang mga tula ni Prop. San Juan, ay malinaw na may pinag-uugatan sa lipunan at praktikal na buhay ng Pilipino. Una-una, sa paggamit niya ng mga bugtong at talinhaga na marami’y hango rin sa katutubong tradisyon at kulturang Pilipino.—hal., noong bata ako narinig ko na ang bugtong sa pagsasaing ng bigas sa tongko sa abuhan, particular, ang linyang, “Nakaupo si maitim, sinusulot ni mapula, si maputi’y tawang-tawa,” atbp. – at ang mga alaalang ganoon ay nagpapatingkad sa estetikong aliw at pagkaunawa sa mga tula. Nababago ni San Juan ang ilang “canon” o pamantayan sa pagbasa ng tula dito, samakatwid, mula sa pangkaraniwan o tradisyonal, halimbawa, sa tula bilang daluyan ng damdamin (gaya sa tradisyong romantiko, hal. nina Wordsworth o Keats), o kahit sa imahismo.
Dahil sa gamit ng mga palaisipan at talinhaga, tila deretsahang tundos sa isipan at pagmumuni ang estetikong pag-unawa at aliw na dulot ng mga tula, sa halip na mang-antig o maglambitin muna sa damdamin. Gayunman, mula sa palaisipan, luminya ang mga tula lalo na sa hulihan sa pagtukoy ng mga pangkasalukuyang usaping panlipunan –laluna, yaong sa Mindanao, tulad ng insidente sa Mamasapao at pagpaslang kay Marwan, atbp. Malinaw ang mapanghimagsik na pakikisangkot at tuwirang pagturol – sa kabila ng balintunang imahen, hal., sa “neo-konseptuwalistang pinakbet,” – sa mga usaping panlipunan, kahit na hindi maikakaila ang post-modernismong hagupit at disenyo na tiyak na ipinapakita, laluna, ng grupo ng mga tula – “halaw,” ang ilan, aniya sa ibang makata’t intelektuwal – sa mga hulihang pahina ng aklat.
Dept of English, University of the Philippines




ni E. San Juan, Jr.
Kailan lamang sapilitan tayong na-detour
Ng walang-hiyang Yolandang ibinunyag ang bulok
Na pamamalakad ng gobyernong buktot
Nalubog sa putik ng kasinungali’t korapsyon

Pabalik mula sa Tacloban ng mga Romualdez
Naligaw tayo ng patayan sa Mamasapano, sinilip
Kung saan idinuro ni Marwan si P’Noy nasipit
Utos ng Kanong sa pandarambong di mailigpit

Di naharang nina Jennifer Laude’t Veloso, biktima
Ng patuloy na neokolonya’t alipin ng dayuhang kapital
Liku-likong landas ang tinahak ng berdugong Palparan
Tinutugis ng multo nina Burgos Empeno’t Cadapan

Hirap ituwid ang liku-likong daan nina Marcos & Macapagal
Vigilante ni Cory mula Mendiola’t masaker sa Ampatuan
Daang madugo’y lumawig mula Davao Bukidnon hanggang
Surigao del Sur ng Magahat-Bagani ng AFP, ng Alamar

Di maituwid ang tusong landas nina Monsod at Coloma
Sisihin man ang NPA o Abu Sayyaf at libu-libong Lumad
Dagdag na ang 280 biktima ng rehimeng P’noy, huwag kalimutan
Ang pinaslang sa Hacienda Luisita–Ay naku, matinik na landas

Ang tatahakin ng U.S. imperyalismong sa krisis nahulog
Habang tumatawid sa lupain ng Moro’t Lumad, sinakop
Ng korporasyong kasabwat ng mga oligarko’t trapong
Yumaman sa pagnanakaw–paano na ang hustisyang pangako?

Kung walang katuwiran sa “daang” binaluktot, imbi’t taksil
Ang hagkis na dahas ng gobyernong suwail
Sa masang tuwirang bumabanat, naghihimagsik
Upang tuwiring makamit kalayaa’t kararinlang minimithi. -##

Posted in DISCOURSES ON CONTRADICTIONS | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment



Babb with Carlos
Thanks to the Library of Congress and other sponsors of this historic celebration of this Filipino writer’s achievement, Carlos Bulosan—let’s call him Allos, as though we were his kasamas in Binalonan, Pangasinan, or in Manilatown in Los Angeles—is returning for the second time to Washington, DC. His spirit, or ghost, I mean, though it is presumptuous, maybe even sacrilegious, to invoke it, much less assume we can impose our wish or will on it. Individuals really exercise only very meager control on how decisive circumstances unfold, even though we (especially academics) pretend to have some say or “agency.” Ditto for philanthropic “do-gooders” professing “Marxist” credentials (more later).

Proletarian Pinoy Meets Ilustrado

The first and probably last time Allos was in DC was in November 18, 1943, based on his article as contributing editor to the magazine, BATAAN (August 1944. pp.13-15) on the occasion of the death of Commonwealth President Manuel Quezon. He said he was writing the 28th chapter of his book “In Search of America” (now AIH) when President Quezon requested his visit to DC. He then met vice President Sergio Osmena, Col. Carlos Romulo, the president’s wife and daughter, and other assistants. He writes that President Quezon was prompted to call for him after reading his essay “Freedom From Want” published in the Saturday Evening Post. In this elegiac tribute, Allos evinces zealous praise for Quezon, identifying the story of Quezon with the last 45 years of the country’s emergence into modernity. His oral homage to the president prompted Quezon to ask him if he could write his biography, to which he gave a coaxed gesture of assent. His admiration is, in some ways, self-serving, a kind of fantasy projection. He writes:

…I began to ask myself why he [Quezon] felt so close and confidential to me. I began to contemplate what I was a year ago, a common laborer, a migratory farm worker, who had lived in the slums of both America and the Philippines—was it because this man, the avowed leader of his people, was also of humble origin and went through heart-rending deprivations in his youth? It was then that I felt kinship with him, a feeling so great that it sustained me in my perilous trip back to Los Angeles and immediately afterwards, became the dynamic force that moved me to interpret him to the misinformed Filipinos in California (1944, 14).

Allos had no real solid knowledge of Quezon’s “humble origin” or the “heart-rending deprivations” of Quezon’s youth. But when he read the attacks on Quezon in fascist-inspired Filipino newspapers in California, Allos came to the defense of the exiled Commonwealth government. It was still “united front” politics then. Allos proceeded from DC to New York (where he met Jose Garcia Villa) to sign his contract with Harcourt Brace before returning to California.

President Quezon telegrammed him afterward for a “memorandum on the Filipinos in the West Coast.” Allos failed to fulfill his promise; instead, he “hoped that my autobiography…would give him all the materials he would need…that in presenting the life story of a common Filipino immigrant, who had just attained an intellectual integrity that could not be bought, I would be presenting the whole story of the Filipinos in the United States” (15). Note how a radical reversal occurs here. It is Quezon now who will compose, endorse or ratify Allos’ biography, not Allos acceding to the ilustrado’s request. Allos, the uprooted peasant, re-invents himself as the emblem or ethnic index to the whole uprooted community, not the coopted ilustrado. Some kind of retributive transposition occurs—symptom of peasant ressentiment?
At the end of this tell-tale article, Allos bade farewell to Quezon who, conducting the “good fight…died at a time when it seems sure that our country will be free again, and will assume her independence in a world federation of free and equal nations” (15).
That future of “free and equal nations,”contrary to Allos’ sentiment, remains in the future. Allos, to be sure, not only felt almost filial kinship with Quezon and his family, but also also a tributary, even quasi-feudal loyalty to Quezon as a symbol of the nation’s struggle for independence. This is a traditional peasant view of the elite. At this point, we need to interpose some historical perspective and assay the relative importance of Quezon as a representative of the entrenched propertied interests in the context of the recurrent grievances and revolts of Filipino peasants, workers and indigenous communities, throughout the Commonwealth period and the two and half decades before 1935. One can cite here the repression of the Tayug and Sakdal uprisings, among others, as well as Muslim dissidence, in which the oligarchy and later Quezon himself acted as partisans of the status quo. During the Cold War period and the McCarthyist witch-hunt, the State was for Allos and his brothers/sisters in the union a merciless persecutory force to resist.
The extant account of Allos’ travels in the U.S. are sketchy, so it is difficult to determine what other links he had to the personnel of the exiled Commonwealth government, for example, to Romulo, J.C. Dionisio, Villa, Bienvenido Santos,and others. We do not have any information whether he met the members of the Philippine Writers League (either Salvador P. Lopez, Federico Mangahas, or Arturo Rotor—major writers in English in the thirties) who attended the Third Congress of the League of American Writers on June 2-4, 1939 (Folsom 1994, 241). Allos was certainly acquainted with Lopez, the most significant critic of that period, evidenced by his letter in The New Republic “Letter to a Filipino Woman” (San Juan 1995, 210-14) whose death he prematurely announced (he mistook the guerilla writer Manuel Arguilla, murdered by the Japanese, for Lopez).
One question I would ask the future biographer is whether Allos met the poet and militant unionist Amado V. Hernandez when Hernandez visited the U.S. after McArthur’s “Liberation” of the colony. Allos protested Hernandez’s arrest by the government and included an article by Hernandez, “Wall Street Chains the Philippines,” in the August 1952 issue of the 1952 Yearbook, Local 37, of the International Longshoremen’s & Warehousemen’s Union in Seattle. *

Class as Network of Social Relations

Earlier I mentioned Allos’ attitude of being “beholden” to Quezon, an attitude carried over from the conformist ethos of a section of the peasantry. This is the moment I would like to address the issue of “Americanism” in AIH by way of engaging the question of social class. Herminia U. Smith recently e-mailed Reme Grefalda, editor of the e-zine In Our Own Voice, about this, complaining about people generalizing that “the Manongs came from the Philippine peasantry; that they were uneducated, and that’s why they were ‘only’ laborers.”
Allow me first to quote first Allos’ thoughts on education and labor expressed candidly in his letter to his nephew dated April 1, 1948:

…it is not really important to go to the university. A college degree does not mean that you are educated…Education comes after school, from your relations with your fellow man, from your understanding of yourself…Education is actually the application of this discovery: that you are a human being with a heart, and a mind, and a soul. Intelligence is another thing, of course… [Maxim Gorki] wrote books about the poor people in his country that showed that we poor people in all lands are the real rulers of the world because we work and make things. We make chairs, we plow the land, we create children; that is what Gorki means. But those who do not work at all, those rich bastards who kick the poor peasants around: they contribute nothing to life because they do not work. In other words, Fred, we can still have a nice country without money and politicians. We just need workers. Everything we see and use came from the hands of workers….(1988, 36-37).

My first comment is that the term “laborers,” though often derogatory or pejorative in intent, becomes so because we live in a system distinguished by class hierarchy. Due to the division of labor in class society, from slave to capitalist, manual work has been degraded by being associated with the unpropertied, unlettered groups; and thus people deprived of land, tools or animals, are confined to sell their labor-power and do manual“labor” while those free from laboring with their hands, supposedly educated, occupy a higher position or status. This is not a result of being uneducated, but of being dispossessed, racialized and colonized. Obviously, we all oppose class differentiation and discrimination, and I hope we are all united in rejecting such an insulting class-ridden system.

The Peasantry Intervenes

I would use the term “peasant” as a descriptive category defining a group in relation to the means of production, in this case, land. It does not refer to status or life-style as such. It does not imply lack of education or low status—except from the viewpoint of the privileged idle landlord and business elite. Historically, in Europe, the peasantry was a complex group classified simply into the rich peasants who owned land they cultivated, did not employ landless persons as serfs (such as the feudal landlords) and had some power and prestige; the middle peasants who may own land or not but who have independent means, and the poor or landless peasants reduced to debt peonage and serfhood. You can refine this category further by including ideology, ancestry, customs, etc.
In the Philippines, however, the Spanish colonial system narrowed the classification into two main ones: the Spanish landlords who owned fiefdoms and operated through caciques and hired overseers, and the majority of dispossessed natives. Even Rizal’s family had to lease their farms from the Dominican friars. Objectively, Rizal came from the rich peasantry; but their access to education and lineage aligned them with the ilustrado fraction who, while not owning land, accumulated some wealth through farming, trade, etc., that enabled their separation from the landless poor colonized subjects. Because Filipino peasants became proletarianized when they moved to the towns and cities while maintaining the peasant ethos of the traditional village, their sensibilities and behavior reflected the vacillations typical of the youthful Allos and his social class. Thus we observe Allos’ strong spirit of solidarity and egalitarianism mixed with his desire to move beyond the traditional regime of submission to authority, to the power of the inheritors of prestige and privilege founded on property.
When the United States colonized the Philippines, the legal idea of land ownership with torrens title became part of the legal and political system. Ordinary peasants acquiring the means were able to buy land. Some feudal estates (esp. those owned by the friars) were broken up, but not all; in fact, as William Pomeroy documents in American Neocolonialism (1970), tenancy increased during forty years of direct U.S. colonial rule. The landlord system, though weakened, was in fact renewed and strengthened with the U.S. cooptation of the oligarchy in managing the State apparatus, bureaucracy, schools, etc. In Allos’ case, the family owned some land (Allos mentions this land as a gift from his father’s friend) which they had to mortgage or sell to pay for both Aurelio and Allos’ passage. The farm was foreclosed. Allos writes in a sketch published in Poetry magazine:

My father was a small farmer, but when I was five or six years old his small plot of land was taken by usury; and usury was the greatest racket of the illustrado, and it still is although it is now the foreigners who are fattening on it. My father had a big family to support, so he became a sharecropper, which is no different from the sharecroppers in the Southern States. Years after, because of this sharecropping existence, my father fell into debts with his landlord, who was always absent, who had never seen his tenants—and this was absentee landlordism, even more oppressive than feudalism. Then my father really became a slave—and they tell me there is no slavery in the Philippine Islands! [circa 1943]

So when historians trace the genealogy of the “Manongs” to the peasantry, it is not meant to debase them as “uneducated” or “only” laborers. Studies of the peasantry (in itself, a rigorous scientific discipline) by Eric Hobsbawm, Eric Wolf, James Scott, Theodor Shanin and others have demonstrated the sagacity, intelligence, shrewdness, and wisdom of the peasantry. Their adaptive skills have not been surpassed by the modern urban entrepreneur. Needless to say, formal education is not a measure of intelligence or wisdom. The best illustration of this is Allos’ The Laughter of My Father, as well as other stories collected in The Philippines Is in the Heart.

As for the degradation of workers and laborers, this is part of the history of the rise of capitalism. The Depression was a crisis of this system, worsening the plight not only of unemployed and starving millions of citizens but, more severely, of people of color like the “Manongs.” They were not, strictly speaking, immigrants (not until the Commonwealth would there be an immigrant quota for Filipinos) but colonial subjects barred from access to citizenship. In addition, they were also a proletarianized and racialized minority. Productive labor, of course, is the source of social wealth, though from the viewpoint of a market-centered economics, labor is downgraded from the view point of capital and ownership of land and productive means. This is the effect of judging everything in terms of exchange value, not use-value, the result of translating all values into money, possessions, or commodity-fetishes.

“Little Brown Brother’s” Burden

This is the moment to confront the problem of white-supremacist “Americanism” posing as minority-model “Marxism.” Practically all readers of AIH, with some exceptions, read it only as an immigrant story, or at best, a “Popular Front” collective biography, as Michael Denning and others have done. Obviously it is far from being an exemplary narrative of immigrant success. There is arguably more allegory, gothic melodrama, and utopian fabulation in AIH than in Laughter. As I have stressed in my paper, the inability to understand the substantive function of the first part of AIH, from chapter 1 to 12, is a symptom of the larger failure to understand the political and cultural actuality, significance, and consequence of the colonial subjugation of the Philippines from the time of the Filipino-American War of 1899 up to 1946, and its neocolonial dependency thereafter. It is a crippling failure which leads to all kinds of vacuous, ill-informed pronouncements (which I will illustrate in a moment).
This is the reason why I propose that we decenter the Bulosan canon and begin with The Cry and the Dedication, Laughter, his essays, poetry, and his other writings in approaching the totality of his achievement (see my paper “Blueprint for a Bulosan Project” in the online journal, In Our Own Voice). The other works avoid the celebration of “America” as the totemic paradigm of freedom and democracy. We hope to correct the formalist framework of intelligibility that would exclude the historical context of the profound colonial subjugation which Allos and the Filipino people as a whole experienced from 1899 up to the present. It would result, first, in espousing 200% Americanism; second, confusion in making sense of the contradictory messages of the narrative; and third, a cynical acceptance of immigrant success leading to a dismissal of the work as tedious, naïve, a multiculturalist factoid. (See Jessica Hagedorn’s visceral repudiation of Bulosan in The Gangster of Love.) I will not go into the reasons why AIH turned out to be such an ideological pastiche well before the vogue of postmodernism—I have supplied some reasons in my paper.
Take the case of Kenneth Mostern’s essay, “Why is America in the Heart?” published in the UC Berkeley journal, Critical Mass (1995). Mostern, a self-proclaimed Marxist, faults AIH for its “Americanism” and its unquafied endorsement of “American democratic institutions, even at their worst” as “the vanguard of world politics.” Was Allos really guilty of this? I think Mostern imputes to AIH a spurious teleology which springs from his assumption that the Philippines as a classic colony was really being shaped by U.S. policies to be a fully democratic, industrialized society, an organic part of the metropolis. Not only is Mostern not aware of the series of U.S. legislation and policies (from the Jones Act to the Bell Trade Act and their sequels) that defined Philippine subalternity for the last century and the next. His analysis also exhibits a remarkable insensitivity to the experience of racialized subjugation, a flaw rather astonishing for those boasting of being schooled not only in Marx and Lenin but also in W.E.B. DuBois, Fanon, Said, Freire, and a whole battery of thinkers who have exposed the limits of Eurocentric teleology which Mostern claims to reject. Consider the following:

….I am not claiming that Bulosan’s desire to bring technological development to the Philippines—seeing its economy as needing…”development”—is what is wrong here. While the Philippines is poor and oppressed the attempt to bring some of what the U.S. has to it is obviously appropriate and deserves the support of all U.S. leftists, whether or not we are Filipino….Just as the wealth of the United States, earned in part through imperial presence in Asia, allowed Bulosan the space to become a writer, such a continuing disparity of wealth, where it occurs, and the colonial legacy, even where it doesn’t, may ensure the continuation of this pattern [of allowing the Philippines to develop into a full-blown industrial capitalist power] (1995, 49).

Mostern’s argument is now considered rather embarrassingly inept, to say the least. It is based on the crude mechanical view that social development goes through the evolutionary stage from slavery and feudalism to capitalism, and the latest is of course superior to what came before it. When Marx heard that his followers were attributing this linear teleology to him, he famously remarked: “If that is marxism, then I am not a Marxist.” A clear sign of Mostern’s chosen stance of ignoring the impact of U.S. colonial domination, and what it signifies for Filipinos who sacrificed 1.4 million lives to defend the gains of the revolution against Spanish despotism, is this remark:

Bulosan opens the book with a moment of disjunction, an explicit contrast between a young peasant boy, Carlos himself, working the land with his family and the intersection of this apparently primeval scene with the outside world, most specifically the world of a war in Europe, where Carlos’s brother Leon is fighting. No reason is given why a Filipino boy would be fighting on another continent; instead, the fact of the global situatedness of the peasant economy is the theoretical premise of the book, what which the intelligent reader must already know (1995, 46).

What Mostern forgot was precisely his self-professed duty to apply materialist dialectics to this “global situatedness,” one which is mediated by U.S. colonial rule. He forgets what almost everyone knows: Filipinos, just like today, are enlisted to fight U.S. corporate wars; that the serflike or slavish existence of landless peasants like Allos’ father and millions like him have been legitimized by the preservation of the power of the oligarchical landlord class as a political strategy of neocolonial rule; and that the fight for independence against U.S. colonial oppression is what motivated the popular-front struggle here and in the Philippines against fascism (part of the oligarchy supported Franco in Spain) and Japanese militarism (part of that oligarchy believed it was a useful foil to U.S. imperialism).
Reading AIH as a glorification of “Americanism” or American Exceptionalism may in part be due to the editorial cleansing of the text itself. It is, as some have duly suspected, a very sanitized text in its silence over the destructive effects of U.S. colonial rule, especially the years from 1914 to 1948. Given the Filipino rejection of Spanish autocratic rule and religious authoritarianism, American proclamation of its “civilizing mission,” complete with Thomasite teachers, public education, etc. was attractive. There was no other choice under the flag of “Manifest Destiny.” Except for the allusion to the January 1931 Tayug peasant insurrection, there is no mention in AIH of the Tangulan movement (1930-31) nor the Sakdal uprising of May 2-3,1935 and its aftermath.
Nonetheless, it is absurd to erase or wholly obscure the scenes and chapters that expose the savage truth of “Americanism” in action, represented in white-supremacist violence on behalf of agribusiness and monopolies. Nor is it correct to assume that the presumed proletarian politics of the later part of the narrative has replaced “the peasant society” portrayed in the first section. In a revealing gesture, Mostern calls the Filipino workers “expatriates” whose “backwardness,” however, he deplores repeatedly in favor of an enlightened “leftist” United States Studies which turns out to be a vapid token of pettybourgeois wish-fulfillment.
Mostern’s self-righteous act of patronage is typical of postmodernizing scholars guilty of the excesses of what Pierre Bourdieu (2000) calls “scholastic reason.” Presuming to be bearers of an omnipresent panoptic mind, they pass judgment on the world without any awareness of their own accessory location, their ineluctable inscription in the social-historical text of which they claim to be free. This stance of presumptuous objectivity may be simply dismissed as innocent, a self-indulgent reproduction of trivialities, or dangerous in being complicit with forces producing misery and horror for millions of human beings. Mostern wants to take out the “America” of the brainwashed subaltern in a sanitized “U.S. Studies—but is “United States” any less of a “rogue state” (Blum 2005) than the exceptionalist “America” of Anglo leftists in elite U.S. academies?
Notwithstanding these caveats, thanks to Mostern’s nominalist syndrome, we are now alerted to the dangers of imposing formulaic solutions to neocolonial “backwardness” masquerading as latter-day “benevolent assimilation,” the Anglo’s “civilizing mission” in ultra-left disguise. “U.S. Studies without America,” any takers?
One symptom of peasant subaltern ambivalence I mentioned earlier may be found in its affinity for millennial or messianic movements which reflect the reality of their isolated, fragmented lives. As Hosbawm notes, the unit of organized action for subaltern groups is “either the parish pump or the universe. There is no in between” (1984, 20). This may explain the inflated rhetoric of an “America” inhabited by an indiscriminate “common people” or “toiling poor, a utopian space beyond class and state, as well as its fragmentary segmented nature, a fact registered in the episodic, repetitious or segmentary flow of the narrative. These stylistic and formal qualities linked to the peasant world-view contrasts with the more cohesively class-conscious part of the narrative which reflects the basic social reality of proletarian existence—that is, of migrant contract workers who are colonized/racialized subjects—in being concentrated in groups of mutual if forced cooperation in farmwork and in organized union activities.
What illuminates the contradictions in AIH is thus not a contrived formulaic schema such as the one imposed by Mostern, based on his limited world of leftist sectarianism, but our grasp of the historical and social reality of the Filipino peasantry in the colonial“lost” homeland, and of the Manongs, bachelors in barracks, moving from place to place, ostracized from normal life by massive laws, by customary prohibitions of everyday life, etc.—a violently distorted, grotesque, and terror-filled landscape beyond the comprehension of sheltered academics, a milieu perhaps approximating what our ethnic communities may be experiencing after 9/11 in the “homeland security state.”

The Manongs’ Red-White-and-Blue Blues

One other approach to understanding the charge of Americanism is to consider how the “America” utopianized rhetorically in AIH resembles Clarabelle in Allos’ “The Romance of Magno Rubio.” The story of course is not a realistic but a satiric portrayal of a contrived situation, with strong allegorical and didactic elements. Like the vignettes in Laughter, both story and play mobilize the tendentious potential of caricature, incongruities, and ribald exaggeration found in the genre. They ingeniously expose the fakery of the invented and fantasized object inhabiting Magno’s imagination, a fantasy-contagion that infects all the “little brown brothers” from the Asian colony. Here, of course, the Americanism or American Dream whose quasi-floating signifier is the figure of Clarabelle—the fixation on money, consumer goods, white-skin privilege, etc.—which is humorously exploded as a mirage, a hallucination. The recurring refrain, attributed to Claro, the astute letter-writer, already foregrounds the hyperbolic discrepancies to which the honest Magno Rubio seems wrongheadedly blind:

Magno Rubio. Filipino boy. Four-foot six inches tall. Dark as a coconut. Head small on a body like a turtle. Magno Rubio. Picking tomatoes on a California hillside for twenty-five cents an hour. Filipino boy. In love with a girl one hundred ninety-five pounds of flesh and bones on bare feet. A girl twice his size sideward and upward, Claro said… (1996, 118)

But are Claro and Nick, the knowing smart guys, always to be trusted? Magno’s “love” turns out to be a collective trauma, a group fixation, to which systematic education (or mis-education, as Renato Constantino would put it) and ideological manipulation in the colony, among other forces, had made these lonely bachelors highly susceptible. The “romance” in the title, caused partly by anti-miscenegation laws but mainly by their colonized/racialized position, refers to this collective psychic illness whose origin and cure seems to inhere in the unsettled, unfixed but also regimented condition of contracted/recruited workers from the colony. Unlike the Chinese, Japanese and Koreans, Filipinos bear the singularity of being considered “savages” or “barbaric” for their fierce resistance to American “pacifying” troops circa 1899-1902 (as witness the “water cure,” retrenchment of entire villages, anti-sedition laws, and other ethnocidal measures) and their obssession with independence. Disillusionment for Magno begets a sense of pathos, but comic distance supervenes, and life returns to routine work in the end.
This theme of sharing a perceived good or value, whether it is an object, person, information, or a dream, finds a memorable embodiment in the story “The End of the War.” I should point out that the publication of this story in the New Yorker in September 1944 occasioned a charge of plagiarism against Allos, which the magazine settled out of court. For this, Allos was vilified in the Philippines by journalists like I.P. Soliongco and others who disliked his radical politics. The charge is not serious, I think, because Allos’ story is not an exact copy of “The Dream of Angelo Zara” by Guido D’Agostino. There is an obvious similarity of plot, in the same way that Shakespeare’s plays borrowed plots from Italian, Greek, Roman and other sources. While for D’Agostino’s Italian characters, the dream of seeing Mussolini dead is shared and passed on from one character to another, none privatizing the original, in Allos’ story, one person’s dream of the occupying Japanese soldiers surrendering to the Filipino infantry testifies to Allos’ desire for the empowerment of the entire community, not just for individual self-gratification. This is a key difference that makes “The End of the War” quite exceptional in refracting the anomie-ridden, violently disintegrated life of the “Manongs.”
On the whole, the characterization, setting, imagery, and style all exhibit Allos’ singular trademark, with an uncanny resemblance to the collective sharing of an illusion in “The Romance of Magno Rubio.” There is the same exchange of a value without the mediation of money or some reifying fetish. In Laughter, Allos reworked many traditional fables and anecdotes whose provenance in Arabic and Indian folklore is well-known and whose plots, motifs, and character-types continue to be reproduced by authors in many languages and cultures. It is the folk, the people, who function as the original authors; Allos’ task was to mediate between this world of subaltern folk and the world of industrialized capitalist modernity.
We are not sure all of Allos’ characters in “The Romance” derive from the peasantry. All display in varying degrees the naivete, cunning, intelligence, resiliency and solidarity of peasants whose labor, while alienating, also preserves a certain humanity in them. Magno and his worker-friends were definitely not “guests of the State,” nor immigrants; they were, as many have noticed, colonial wards subject to all the disciplinary regime of anti-miscegenation laws, prohibitions and exclusions of all kinds. But the whole lesson of AIH is the transformation of the Filipino subaltern consciousness, fragmented but at the same time cosmic and global, into a critical and cohesively class conscious intelligence, through the process of affiliating with the organized political movement of a multiracial working class. This act of self-liberation through class liberation, however, is incomplete unless it is dialectically mediated through the emancipation of the colonized homeland, through national liberation. I think this is the ultimate lesson that cannot be gained without reading The Cry and the Dedication, the 1952 Yearbook, and the social contexts informing them.

Vogue of Transnationalisque Chic

There is a fashion nowadays of claiming to be cosmopolitan or transnational as a safeguard against neoconservative fundamentalism, a latter-day version of multicultural Americanism, or pragmatic American Exceptionalism (see Ponce 2005; San Juan 2004). Transnationalism, however, apologizes for the hegemonic pluralism that legitimates imperial conquests and justifies the predatory market consumerism that passes for globalization. There is no escape from distinguishing between imperial nationalism and national-liberation struggles of oppressed peoples. What Hobsbawm once said remains true despite the vogue of neoliberal globalization: “The scale of modern class consciousness is wider than in the past, but it is essentially’national’ and not global…The decisive aspects of economic reality may be global, but the palpable, the experienced economic reality, the things which directly and obviously affect the lives and livelihoods of people, are those of Britain, the United States, France, etc.”( 1984, 22). Allos’ sensibility, with its peasant/populist ethos, mutated via a process of self-education and disillusionment into the more focused class-consciousness of the writer committed to the concrete program of union reforms and specific political principles of which the rejection of imperialism, segregation and racial apartheid, and support for the emancipation of colonies, are obligatory demands.
One of Allos’ last public act of commitment to his vocation is the campaign to defend Chris Mensalvas and Ernesto Mangaong, militant leaders and officers of Local 37, ILWU, who were facing deportation, accused of being communists. The leaflet accompanying this campaign against Cold War McCarthyism condemns “the drive to deport foreign labor leaders” as “part of the hysteria that is terrifying the nation today. It is the vicious method of Big Business Race Haters to cripple organized labor and its gains, destroy civil rights and liberties, and abrogate the American Constitution.” Allos wrote a poem, “I Want the Wide American Earth” (echoing the earlier poem, “If You Want to Know What We Are”) to benefit the Defense Fund. In it he affirms that we, the multitude of productive men and women “have the truth/ On our side, we have the future with us” and “we are the creators of a flowering race.” (1979, 15). It is a Whitmanesque ode charged with universalist and utopian impulses, invoking a cosmic protagonist, an heroic egalitarian multitude. That millenarian or chiliastic tendency persists, though in a muted subterranean form, in The Cry, whose bold counterpoint is the recovery, simultaneously hypothetical and imperative, of a free and prosperous homeland.

Ultimo Adios

Always mindful (unlike his critics) of the need for anyone passing judgment on the world to factor in his/her position in self-reflexive critique, Allos gives advice to his nephew at the end of World War II that witnessed decisive and irreversible transformations in his life, and the beginning of the Cold War, a new era of social cataclysms. I conclude here with an excerpt from Allos’ letter to his nephew dated April 1, 1948:

And when you are old enough to go away, Arthur, do not hesitate to go out and face life. And whatever the future has in store for you, I request you to challenge it first before giving up. But never forget your family, your town, your people, your country, wherever you go. Your greatness lies in them…If someday you will discover that you are a genius, do not misuse your gift; apply it toward the safeguarding of our great heritage, the grandeur of our history, the realization of our great men’s dream for a free and good Philippines. That is real genius; it is not selfish; it sacrifices itself for the good of the whole community. We Filipinos must be proud that we had the greatest genius in Jose Rizal, who sacrificed his life and happiness for the people (1988, 36). (Facsimile of letter reproduced in Campomanes and Gernes 1988, 31-37)
* One of the points I raised in my paper—accessible to all, courtesy of IN OUR OWN VOICE—is the need for scholars to do the necessary detective work and document Allos’ fabled “mobility” which has puzzled or confused numerous Asian American pundits. In short, we need more critical research into Allos’ life in the Philippines and here from his birth to his death on Sept. 11, 1956.
We need younger unprejudiced scholars to shift through the papers in the Bulosan archive at the U of Washington Library, and elsewhere, and classify everything in a systematic way. Because of the neglect of this necessary work, texts like All the Conspirators have appeared which cannot be authenticated properly. The late Dolores Feria and others suspect that many writer-friends who helped Allos throughout the years, in various capacities, had a hand in many of his texts, some even responsible (in my view) of composing them. Too bad that Josephine Patrick and Sanora Babb can no longer answer our questions; but their papers, in particular those of the Babb sisters, may provide clues. Numerous letters to a wide variety of correspondents here and in the Philippines need to be added to the pioneering collection that Feria edited in 1960, Sound of Falling Light.
In a letter to me dated Sept 30, 1976,a certain PC Morantte disputes the birthdate of Nov. 24, 1914 which Allos put down in his autobiographical sketch for Stanley Kunitz’s Twentieth Century Authors (1955)—Morantte conjectures it was Nov. 14, 1914. In the sketch for Poetry magazine, Allos put down Nov. 24, 1913 and his arrival in Seattle on July 22, 1930, compared to 1931 in the earlier account.Morantte also contends that, based on information from Allos’ brother Aurelio, Allos finished third year high school (not three semesters) in 1929, serving as editor of his high school newspaper. Some Filipino-American enthusiasts have been misled by Morantte’s self-serving prevarications. Morrantte denies that Bulosan ever had leftist or Marxist sympathies. The FBI records recently secured by Professors Hirabayashi and Alquizola, aside from the 1952 ILWU Yearbook and Bulosan’s letters and numerous texts, reveal the opposite.

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