Skip to main content

The long hot winter monsoon season

UP Lantern Parade Cancelled!, Prayer rallies

In an unprecedented move, University of the Philippines (UP) Chancellor Professor Sergio Cao and the deans decided to cancel this year's Lantern Parade scheduled for today. They cited as reasons "threat to life and property". This December is turning to be a long hot yuletide and amihan (winter monsoon) season and this is not due to global warming. In the national arena, protests are set to rail against the Arroyo administration's attempt to railroad changing the constitution (cha-cha). The public has noticed the game plan all along. First was the people's initiative (which the Supremes declared unconstitutional), then the undue haste of the House to declare itself a Constitutional Assembly without the Senate's concurrence. Civil societies and the Catholic, Born Again, Mainline Protestant and even the Iglesia ni Cristo churches have decided to hold prayer rallies. The Catholic led one is estimated to gather a few hundred thousand people.

This has got the government running scared and even its apologists seem to have stopped publishing their blurbs. What I find disturbing is the threat of police to arrest politicians going on stage at the Quirino Grandstand prayer rally. If they arrest anyone doing this, those arrested can easily claim that the State has started to proscribe religious expression. The lawyers will have a field day. The police should refrain. Will the Arroyo government precipitate religious repression to ensure its hold on power?

You can be sure that I will oppose that. I am under oath.

At the UP the cha-cha, the tuition fee increase and the alleged suppression of the university student blurb "Collegian" have come into confluence. There have been two incidents that the chancellor was physically harrased by protesting students. I think this is beyond the limits of free speech. The egg-throwing incident at the College of Arts and Letters pales in comparison.

The Lantern Parade is the first casualty. This is tragic and ironic since even in the "darkest nights" of the Marcos dictatorship, the parade still went on.

The Left in the University should take responsibility. After all you may win a revolutionary victory with a mob, but it is unlikely that you will hold power without discipline. It seems that the students lack that. The Fall of the Republic's Consulate was inevitable and Napoleon just "picked the crown from the gutter"

The university will have to reflect on this. Students seem not to have ideologies that they are willing to suffer the crunch. To endure needs discipline.

Dec 15, 2006 is a sad day for the University of the Philippines. Fear has trounced reasoned debate on important issues. That fear wins the day is the essence of fascism, whether this is of the Left or Right. Fascism can only thrive in an atmosphere of fear.

You will be sure this writer will combat that.

As for the Arroyo government, when the situation begins to end up in confluence, we are indeed in interesting times.

But I doubt it if many in the government are historically literate. Certainly none of its apologists are.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

President Manuel Luis Quezon's Code of Ethics

Being a denizen of Kyusi, in honour of the man who gave my city its name and for being the most colourful prez the Philippines ever had, I have the pleasure to post Manuel L Quezon's Code of Ethics on his birthday. Let us profit from the wisdom of the Kastila.

1. Have Faith in the Divine Providence that guides the destinies of men and nations.

2. Love your country for it is the home of your people, the seat of your affection and the source of your happiness and well-being. It's defense is your primary duty. Be ready to sacrifice and die for it if necessary.

3. Respect the Constitution which is the expression of your sovereign will. The government is your government. It has been established for your safety and welfare. Obey the laws and see that they are observed by all and that public officials comply with their duties.

4. Pay your taxes willingly and promptly. Citizenship implies not only rights but obligations.

5. Safeguard the purity of suffrage and abide by the decisions of the…

Simoun's lamp has been lit, finally.. not by one but by the many!

"So often have we been haunted by the spectre of subversion which, with some fostering, has come to be a positive and real being, whose very name steals our serenity and makes us commit the greatest blunders... If before the reality, instead of changing the fear of one is increased, and the confusion of the other is exacerbated, then they must be left in the hands of time..."
Dr Jose Rizal "To the Filipino People and their Government"
Jose Rizal dominates the Luneta, which is sacred to the Philippine nation as a place of martyrdom. And many perhaps all of those executed in the Luneta, with the exception of the three Filipino secular priests martyred in 1872, have read Rizal's El Filibusterismo. Dr Rizal's second novel is a darker and more sinister one that its prequel but has much significance across the century and more after it was published for it preaches the need for revolution with caveats,  which are when the time is right and who will instigate it.

Flame trees in bloom

The hottest summer courtesy of El Nino in at least 10 years gave runners and walkers in the University of the Philippines Diliman campus a visual treat. This year the flame trees Delonix regia are in full bloom!
In past summers it wasn't as hot and dry so the trees did not shed their leaves and few blooms were produced.
It is the tropical version of the Japanese Hanami or the Cherry blossom viewing season. While Hanami tells us the fragile impermanence of beauty, the flame tree hanami tells us that summer burns but soon it will all be over.