Wednesday, 26 May 2010

F. Sionil Jose - Letter to Noynoy Aquino

I would love reading Sionil Jose's novels or essays. This one... it's not really the best one, but its worth keeping in this blog. It reminds me to look for my Rosales Saga books. To those who say that F Sionil Jose is a trash of the soceity to does not want to clean his backyard and asks other people to clean it for him -- they don't know what they are talking about.

An open letter to Noynoy

HINDSIGHT By F Sionil Jose (The Philippine Star) Updated May 23, 2010 12:00 AM
Illusttration by IGAN D’ BAYAN

Dear Noynoy,

You are now swamped with suggestions and advice, but just the same, I hope you’ll have time to read what this octogenarian has to say.

You were not my choice in the last election but since our people have spoken, we must now support you and pray that you prevail. But first, I must remind you of the stern reality that your drumbeaters ignore: you have no noble legacy from your forbears. It is now your arduous job to create one yourself in the six years that you will be the single most powerful Filipino. Six years is too short a time — the experience in our part of the world is that it takes at least one generation — 25 years — for a sick nation to recover and prosper. But you can begin that happy process of healing.

Bear in mind that the past weighs heavily on all of us because of the many contradictions in it that we have not resolved, whose resolutions would strengthen us as a nation. This past is now your burden, too. Let us start with the fact that your grandfather collaborated with the Japanese. Your father was deeply aware of this, its stigma, its possibilities. He did not leave any legacy because he did not become president. He was a brilliant and courageous politician. He was an enterprising journalist; he had friends in journalism who can attest to his effulgent vision, who did not profit from his friendship, among them Nestor Mata, Gregorio Brillantes — you may consult them. I cannot say I did not profit — he bought many books from my shop and when he was in Marcos’s prison, your mother brought books from my shop to him.

Forgive me for giving you this unsolicited advice. First, beware of hubris; you are surrounded by panderers who will tell you what is nice to hear. You need to be humble always and heed your conscience. When Caesar was paraded in ancient Rome before the cheering multitudes, there was always a man chanting behind him: “Remember, you are mortal.”

I say to you, remember, the poor — some of them in your own hacienda — will be your ultimate judge.

From your comfortable and privileged cocoon, you know so little of our country and people. Seek the help of the best — and the best do not normally want to work in government and neither will they approach you. You have to seek them.

Be the revolutionary your father wanted to be and don’t be scared or wary of the word “revolution.” It need not be always bloody. EDSA I was not. Your father wanted to destroy the most formidable obstacle to our progress — the Oligarchy to which you and your family belong. To succeed, you have to betray your class. If you cannot smash the oligarchy, at least strive to have their wealth develop this country, that they bring back the billions they stashed abroad. You cannot do this in six years, but you can begin.

Prosecute the crooks. It is difficult, thankless and even dangerous to do this. Your mother did not do it — she did not jail Imelda who was the partner in that conjugal dictatorship that plundered this nation. Watch her children — they were much too young to have participated in that looting but they are heirs to the billions which their parents stashed abroad. Now the Marcoses are on the high road to power, gloating, snickering at our credulity and despicable amnesia.

You know the biggest crooks in and out of government, those powerful smugglers, thieves, tax cheats — all you really need is guts to clobber them. Your father had lots of it — I hope he passed on to you most of it.

And most of all, now that you have the muscle to do it, go after your father’s killers. Blood and duty compel you to do so. Cory was only his wife — you are the anointed and only son. Your regime will be measured by how you resolve this most blatant crime that robbed us of a true leader.

And, finally, your mother. We loved her — she united us in ousting an abominable dictator. But she, too, did not leave a shining legacy for her presidency was a disaster. She announced a revolutionary government but did nothing revolutionary. She promised land reform but did not do it. And most grievous of all — she transformed the EDSA I revolution into a restoration of the oligarchy.

She became president only because her husband was murdered and you became president elect only because your mother died. Still, you are your father’s son and may you now — for the good of this country and people — scale the heights he and your mother never reached.

I am 85 and how I despair over how three generations of our leaders failed! Before I go, please let me see this unhappy country begin to be a much better place than the garbage dump our leaders and people have made it. You can be this long awaited messiah but only if you are brave enough and wise enough to redeem your father’s aborted promise.

Hopefully yours,

F. Sionil Jose

Saturday, 1 May 2010

It's been like a month after I've read a pocketbook. This one i got is not a paperback. Yeah it is hard bound. Haha. Well, it is priced at 99 pesos so i bought it. I hope I'll get the entertainment that i need. Argg. Come on, make me smile, Scottoline. Please.

The past few weeks I bought lots of DVDs. I just looked at them still packed. No time to watch. Damn brownouts. I think paperbacks are in for the brownout season.

At work, it is so uncool. Brownouts make my work pile up. Ahh, stupid technology you could say. Someone else designed that almost all my work outputs have to be generated using a computer. Who did that, Bill Gates? Ahhh. Not so cool.

I hope I get to read. Usually on my free schedules, I am busy thinking of my laundry, my backyard that needs cleaning, my dogs that needs hugs and a good bath. Reading should be part of these recreations. Ah, Life! I think i have a life. =)

Oh by the way, it is not true that i haven't watched the DVDs i bought. Not all of them but i've managed to watch a few. I miserably survived until the end of the movie. Arrrg. It is so hard to find a good movie.

Marley and Me. Yay I cried at the end of the movie. I think Im going to miss our dogs when they die. Sigh.

Hachiko. Im touched by his loyalty. I cried.

Coco before Chanel. What is this movie trying to achieve? At the end of the movie, it said, Coco never got married. I mean, its not unusual. Another bitter movie about stupid hats. I'm not going to patronize Chanel ever!

Bounty Hunter. This movie is not supposed to unmake good actresses such as Jen Anniston. But it did. The movie was not funny at all when it was supposed to. And the thing that made me decide to buy that DVD is Jen. I'm not an avid fan of Jen but I thought she could choose her films. I was wrong. She is not an actress. She is a money maker. So there. Sorry Jen.

Dear John. No way, and i thought it surpassed the week 1 record of Avatar. Not that I liked Avatar. For documentations purposes, yes I am disappointed on Avatar. I slept on Dear John! At least I did not sleep on Avatar! Yeah it was just right for Dear John to surpass week 1 of Avatar. I wasn't expecting a great film on Dear John. But i wasn't expecting a miserable one too. I shouldn't have watched it.

By the way, I still have some other DVDs. In line for me -- hmmm Pink Panther, Green Zone, Paris with Love, Sister's Keeper, Lovely Bones, My mother's new boyfriend -- i hope they are worth the electricity. Hah.

I'll surely make short reviews on them after. I sure hope they are all enjoyable. Please! But wait, tomorrow is Shane Mosley vs Mayweather. Then of course, brownouts! Im still looking for a blue ray copy of Book of Eli. I hope it's worth looking for. I love Denzel. Even his worst movie keeps me awake.

Happy Weekend!