Culture, Etc., Government misdeed, Human Rights, Political Crisis

A few things

It’s a bit late to write something about this, but a couple of weeks ago I joined a fact-finding and humanitarian mission to Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur — two provinces in the hotbed of Moro rebellion. The mission was a revealing one, and confirmed our worst fears about the conflict. Namely, that most of what had been reported in media — the supposed civilian killings by Moro rebels, for one — are, to put it kindly, inaccurate.

More on this later when I will have finished my article. Meanwhile, you may want to see some of the photos that  I took:

http://www.pinoyweekly.org/cms/gallery/

* * *

Pinoy Weekly has put up a counter in its website — one that counts the days lapsed since its columnist Atty. Remigio Saladero Jr. was unlawfully abducted and arrested. This also represents the number of days justice has eluded our gallant columnist. As many of you may know by know, Atty. Saladero’s columns are some of PW’s more popular reading fares, and we were supposed to be preparing a book compilation of his columns before the abduction and arrest happened. We litteraly count the days when he is freed.

* * *

It’s voting time in the US. And while most progressives in the US have been banking on Barack Obama to lead the country into the post-Dubya, depression-era future, many have doubted that the African-American Democratic candidate can actually turn the tide of US foreign policy. In the Philippines, progressives seriously doubt that radical change will ensue with an Obama presidency (note that during the campaign,  when President Arroyo visited the US, Obama praised the latter’s presidency and the two countries’ “friendship” through the years). Here is the news story on it:

http://www.pinoyweekly.org/cms/2008/11/sunod-na-presidente-ng-us-hinamon-sa-pagbabago-ng-polisiyang-rpus

In any case, it’s still a joy to see the Obama campaign galvanizing US progressives to mobilize people against Bush’s war of aggression in Iraq as represented by John McCain. Michael Moore’s newest documentary film, Slacker Uprising, is particularly interesting — the first time a filmmaker of note gave away his film for free downloading in support of a cause. (Only US citizens may be able to download the film, though I don’t think that Moore would object if you try downloading it through torrent):

http://www.slackeruprising.com/

* * *

More than a few UP alumni have been asking: DO THEY REALLY HAVE TO DO THIS? I’m referring to the UP Singing Ambassadors serenading President Arroyo in Malacanang recently. Whatever the reason, however large the paycheck (or honorarium, or whatever), they said,  the “scholars of the people” have no business serenading a president “responsible for extra-judicial killings, economic sabotage, and wanton corruption” among many other things.

I used to like the Singing Ambassadors. When I was freshman, they were among those who sang in our freshman orientation program and in our dormitory. The singing was pretty fantastic. I dunno what happened to them, but years later, I got to see them again — serenading former Richard Nixon aide and one of the chief architects of the US-Indochinese war, Henry Kissinger, when UP gave the latter an honorary doctorate during the late 90s.

Standard

7 thoughts on “A few things

  1. Yuck! Kadiri naman itong ginawa ng Singing Ambassadors.

    At kasama pa si Pres. Roman!

    Hindi naman ako fan ng pagra-rank ng universities, sa Pilipinas man o sa Asya, pero ano’ng klaseng unibersidad ang hindi kayang tumindig na hindi namin haharanahin ang isang pangulong GANYAN?

    Hindi ko ito alam, na kinantahan pala nila si Kissinger! Sabi ni Alexander Cockburn — na sinuportahan sa ibang sulatin ni Amy Goodman — iyang si Kissinger talaga ay pwedeng kasuhang war criminal!

    Kissinger at Gloria? Ang sagwa!

  2. krguda says:

    Hi Teo,

    Thanks for (finally) commenting! Hehe.

    I think my sister once trained with the Singing Ambassadors. I know of another who (briefly) trained with them as well — my orgmate Graziella Miranda, who was then a Music major. Grazie, of course, went on to sing not for Kissinger, but for the peasants in Albay, and was martyred in 2001.

    By the way, they serenaded Kissinger with “Wind Beneath My Wings”: “”Do you ever know that you’re my hero? / You’re everything I would like to be…” They could have sang any other song and they sang that.

  3. kapirasongkritika says:

    Huy, bakit? Ngayon lang ba ako nagkomento?

    Pakiramdam ko, habang buhay na akong nagkokomento sa laman ng blog mo! Hehe. At may butil ng katotohanan diyan.

    Tapos “Did you ever know…” iyun. Hehe.

  4. krguda says:

    Teo,

    Sa pagkakaalala ko, ngayon ka lang nagsulat ng komento rito. Pero totoo, matagal ka na nang magkokomento sa akin. Pero ngayon mo lang naisulat bilang isang “komento.” Hehe.

  5. Pingback: Barack Obama On Best Political Blogs » A few things

  6. Arjay Sy says:

    I don’t think the UP Singing Ambassadors were really ‘serenading’ the president. It was the Malacanang Press who used that word. They were merely singing at an event.

    Besides, the UP Madrigal Singers and the UP Concert Chorus used to sing at functions organized by former First Lady Imelda Marcos.

  7. krguda says:

    Thanks, Arjay. Yup, that would probably be the explanation that we would get from them. I could not imagine the Singing Ambassadors to be die-hard Gloria fans, anyway. Some people, though, have problems with the fact that they sang for Gloria in Malacañang. When you sing in somebody’s house, it cannot be construed as anything other than singing for the house owner (or, hopefully, mere tenant).

    That’s a good point that you made, regarding the Madrigal Singers and the Concert Chorus. True, singing for Imelda could be taken as much more offensive to many sensible people. That does not excuse, however, the Ambassadors singing for Gloria and Kissinger.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s