ain’t moving on from this one

I live in a country that is currently a seething mass of sexism and hatred and bloodshed and malicious obfuscation, and no, that doesn’t mean I live in the US.

In my country right now, the *leader of the country* is actively engaging in actual gaslighting. Come on, local media, educate yourselves on this thing and then tell the world that this is what is happening. And while you’re at it, tell the world that there are so many people who are not only working to be complicit in such gaslighting, but are also happily cheering it on.

And no, that doesn’t mean I live in Russia either.

Oi the Philippines, what are we all doing to ourselves. Every day it seems like we might be slipping closer toward certain nightmare elements of Orwell’s 1984. This post was in fact inspired by that terrifying thing that is known as the memory hole.

Go look that up, please, if you need to. It’s a thing that I think everyone should be learning about.

I mean, this president and his lackeys, okay. They are *still* yammering on and on about “moving on from history”. Which, wtf even? Is history one bad breakup, or is it perhaps a series of bad breakups, in which case shouldn’t the point be self-betterment instead of just merely turning one’s back on it and forgetting the lessons that were learned?

More insidiously, the government is asking us to move on from recent history. From that which is still firmly within living memory. Move on from martial law? Move on from the deaths and the hunger and the killings and the famine and the treachery and the corruption and the plunder?

Why? So we can suffer through them all over again — and I don’t actually know if I should end that clause with a question mark or a period. I don’t want people to get the wrong idea. If I turned it into a question, it’ll be easy to dismiss it with a flip response or with so-called irony. If I turned it into a sentence, however, I will have soured my own mood and yours as well, for something that might still be staved off.

(Although, yes, as a dyed-in-the-wool cynic who’s trying to change those colors, I can’t help but think that bad things are always in store.)

They’re telling us to “move on from history” and what they’re really trying to tell us is, “forget the history of your parents and grandparents”. What they are really trying to say is, take martial law and those people who perpetrated it, and the revolution that got us all out of it — and throw it all down the memory hole.

I say that is ridiculous — not to mention impossible.

You can move on from a breakup — in fact, that’s totally recommended and the thing to do because to do otherwise is self-harm.

But moving on from history? How even?

So many people in my country saying it again and again and I’m already half-convinced that so many people take it for truth and for granted.

Fuck that.

Ask me a question about martial law, and I will do the research and get back to you with a proper answer, not the self-serving gaslighting bullshit that the leader of my country is trying to force down our collective throats.


this is what democracy looks like

15283961_10154225293703348_7995081024908818236_nI got this limited edition shirt from an alumni homecoming event at one of the high schools I attended: the main outpost of the Philippine Science High School. “Agham” is Filipino for “science”. And you can all see what the pop-culture rage du jour was at that time.

15284028_10154225998933348_6244023987829923142_nYes, that’s the same sign I carried on 25 Nov. I didn’t see any reason to make a new one, since the message was still relevant.

#marcosnotahero #neverforget #neveragain #hukayin

I had to write these verses.

They buried Ferdinand Marcos among the soldiers and among the heroes today, taking the country by surprise.

They sneaked in the waxen false idol of a corpse, and buried him in hallowed ground, where he did not belong.

I am up in arms. The country is up in arms.

And I wrote this, today, and I don’t know what it is except my feelings are there in the words.

It’s called “Reply to Enjolras” because now we need to build the barricades, and now we need to take our country back.

Reply to Enjolras – PJ Punla – 18 Nov 2016

the grandmother rose and took up her cane.
her hands and her knees trembled, bowed by the weight of the years,
bent by the scars of truncheon and shield.
she turned her back on the gloating news, and stepped out the door.

the woman at her desk rose and made sure she still had an Internet connection.
her fingers tapping out messages: “I’m on my way to the monument,
wait for me, but please stay safe.”
she turned her back on the cowards’ comments, and stepped out the door.

the child clutched at her mother’s hands.
her questions whirled in her mind, questions that she felt she couldn’t ask,
not when her parents looked so sad and grim.
she didn’t know she was turning her back on ignorance when she stepped out the door.

the class rose and left their history books behind.
it was up to them to make history and they all knew how to do it – how to capture it.
they made their signs and they bought their candles.
they turned their backs on the lies about the past, and stepped out the door.

the grandmother, the woman, the child, the class –
they became the family, they became the city, they became one island after another,
one people and one voice on the move, and they spoke words of truth.
they turned their backs on the evil – dead or alive – and they stepped out the door.