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THE NEED FOR CULTURAL REVOLUTION
Prof. Jose Ma. Sison
Speech delivered at the U.P. Baguio College, Baguio City, on September 30, 1966; sponsored by the U.P. Baguio Student Council.

TO HAVE A SCIENTIFIC VIEW OF CULTURE as we should, we need to understand first of all that culture is a superstructure thatrests upon a material basis.

The ideas, institutions and all cultural patterns are dependent on the material mode of existence of a society. These change as all societies are subject to
change. There is no permanent society or culture.

The cultural balance, pattern or synthesis that exists in a society at a given historical stage is nothing but the unity of opposites - the unity of opposite cultural forces. This unity is always a temporary balance subject to the dynamism of opposites. The progressive force always outgrows and breaks the old framework which the reactionary force always tries to preserve.

Just as revolution is inevitable in politico-economic relations, revolution is inevitable in culture. A cultural revolution, as a matter of fact, is a necessary aspect of the politico-economic revolution.

In the history of mankind, it can easily be seen that even before the full development of the politico-economic power of an ascendant social class, a cultural revolution provides it with the thoughts and motives that serve as the effective guide to action and further action. A rising class achieves what we call its class consciousness before it actually establishes its own state power and replaces the old state power and its vestiges.

Long before the liberal revolution of Europe dealt the most effective political blows against feudal power in the 17th and 18th century, a cultural revolution took shape in the Renaissance which asserted secular thinking and freedom of thought. The men of the Renaissance questioned the clerical hegemony over culture and learning and they clarified the ideals and values that were still to become truly dominant later when the unity of church and state was to be broken and replaced by the modern bourgeois state.

The successful revolution of the bourgeoisie in the West was prepared and guided by a cultural revolution.

In our country, there had to be a propaganda movement - the assertion of new ideas and values - before there developed the actual beginnings of the Philippine revolution that fell under the class leadership of the ilustrados or the liberal bourgeoisie that surrounded Aguinaldo.

In this Propaganda Movement, Dr. Jose Rizal made patriotic annotations on Morga's Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas with the view of demonstrating that before the coming of Spanish colonialism there was an indigenous culture that the indios could be proud of. This was clearly an anti-colonial attempt not only to show up the racial arrogance of those who belittled our people but also to develop an awareness of a national culture.

Not to be carried away by chauvinism, Dr. Jose Rizal further presented the crisis of colonial culture in the Philippines and the prospects of a national culture in terms of the liberal ideas and values of Europe which he believed could be applied in the concrete experience of his people, inasmuch as there was already the emergence of the ilustrados like Crisostomo Ibarra and businessmen like Capitan Tiago.

The two novels, Noli and Fili, and his essays, the "Indolence of the Filipinos" and "The Philippines A Century Hence", were written in furtherance of a national democratic cultural revolution. It was a revolution in the sense that it contraposed national culture to the colonial culture of which the friars were the chief defenders.

It was in this same spirit that the participants of the Propaganda Movement wrote as Marcelo H. del Pilar did, orated as Graciano Lopez Jaena did and painted as Juan Luna did.

All of them exposed the exploitation and brutalization of our people, thus paving the way for the clear call for separation from Spain by the Katipunan.

The Katipunan, which was a vigorously separatist movement and which served as the nucleus of a new national political community carried forward into revolutionary action the aspiration for a national democratic culture, integrating democratic concepts with the indigenous conditions.

From Andres Bonifacio and Emilio Jacinto to Apolinario Mabini and Antonio Luna, the fire of cultural revolution rose higher and higher and shone with the political ideas that guided the Philippine Revolution of 1896.

What came to be considered our national culture in the beginning was the integration of modern political ideas and indigenous conditions. The emergence of that national culture was essentially a political phenomenon; a national culture arose in direct and necessary opposition to the colonial and clerical culture which exploited and brutalized our people. An awareness of national culture spread among the Filipino people as fast as national sentiment and consciousness spread among them. The political awareness of a national community reintegrated the cultural patterns in the provinces, surpassing both the magical barangay culture of pre-Hispanic times and the feudal Christian culture under Spanish domination. The desire for a modern national democratic society outmoded the feudal society developed by the conquistadores from the primitive rule of the rajahs and the datus who submitted themselves as local puppets of the foreign dispensation.

Our people's aspiration for national democracy and for a modern culture of the same cast were, unfortunately, frustrated by the coming of U.S. imperialism

Taking advantage of the naivete and compromising character of our ilustrado or liberal bourgeois leaders, the U.S. imperialists easily insinuated themselves into our country by pretending to give aid to our efforts to free our motherland. After all, did not the patriots of the Propaganda Movement praise so much the ideas of Jefferson, the American Declaration of Independence and the American struggle against British colonialism?

Alas, little was it realized that the American revolution, which we still remember today for its national democratic ideals, had taken the path of monopoly capitalist development and had become an imperialist power greedy for colonies in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Though it shouted loud its slogans of bringing democracy and Christianity to the Philippines, as required by a supposed divine mandate received by President McKinley in his dream, it came to suppress the First Philippine Republic and the Malolos Constitution which embodied our people's national democratic aspirations.

As efficiently as the Spaniards were in suppressing the rich cultural achievements of our ancestors, the U.S. imperialists went about their work of brutally suppressing any manifestation of patriotism by the Filipino people. Today, despite the current horror of the U.S. imperialist war of aggression in Vietnam, many still have the illusion that the U.S. imperialists are smart, subtle and smooth operators. But what is more cruel and crude than the murder of more than 250,000 Filipinos to achieve U.S. imperialist conquest of the Philippines, as was done in the Filipino-American War of 1899-1902?

What is more rude and inconsiderate than the all-out imperialist attempt during the first decade of this century to censor and suppress newspapers, drama, poetry, and other cultural efforts which manifested Filipino patriotism and national democratic aspirations? The mere display of the Philippine flag was enough ground for a Filipino to be punished for sedition.

Until today, many of our youth and elders are deprive of the memory of the national democratic struggle of our people. They have been made to forget. How is this possible even if there seems to be no more open coercion to prevent us from reviewing our national history?

The history of mankind shows that state power and any appearance of stability in any class society are sustained by the force of arms and other coercive means. However, in so far as forgetting one's history is concerned, control of the means of cultural development is necessary to get such a result. A state, such as one that is imperialist, does not only have the instruments for coercion but also the instruments for persuasion.

The first decisive step taken by the U.S. government in order to develop its cultural and educational control over the Philippines was to impose the English language as the medium of instruction and as the official language. On the national scale, a foreign language became the first language in government and business. English merely replaced Spanish as the vehicle of the foreign power dominating us.

A foreign language may widen our cultural horizons, opening our eyes to those parts of the world expressed by that language. But if such a foreign language is forced on our people as has been the case with Spanish and English consecutively, it undermines and destroys the sense of national and social purpose that should be inculcated. Within our nation this foreign language divides the educated and wealthy from the masses. It is not only a measure of class discrimination but also one of national subjugation. It means a cultural constriction represented a long time ago by a Doña Victorina.

The two most significant results of the adoption of English as the first language in the practice of the educated are: first, learning and the professions are alienated from the masses and only serve the ruling class in the incessant class struggle; and second, the Filipino people are actually cut off from other peoples of the world and become victimized by imperialist propaganda.

Some persons might argue that the U.S. government had really intended to spread English among the masses by establishing the public school system. They might, with extreme nostalgia, recall the coming of the Thomasites and what had developed from their work; they might recall how American teachers taught their language better than many Filipino English teachers do today. Foolishly, they are liable to find justification in this for the Peace Corps and other cultural devices meant to perpetuate U.S. imperialist cultural influence among the people.

Those favoring the dominance of imperialist culture at the expense of our developing national culture are treading treasonous grounds. It is already well exposed by history that the public school system has served essentially as a brainwashing machine for cleansing the people's minds of their national democratic aspirations.

The colonially-tutored children came to know more about Washington and Lincoln than about Andres Bonifacio and Emilio Jacinto. The national democratic concepts of our national heroes were forgotten and only innocuous anecdotes were told about them.
U.S. imperialism became in their eyes the liberator and not the oppressor of the people in fact.

U.S. imperialism has found more use in our learning of English than we would have found for ourselves if we developed our own national language. We have about three generations of Filipinos spewed by the imperialist brainwashing machine. The general run of these Filipinos have an intellectual orientation, habits, and consumption attitudes subordinated to the so-called American way of life.

In self-criticism, let us accept how much so many of us have become acculturized to U.S. imperialism. To propose that we embark on a genuine program of national industrialization and agrarian revolution is to become extremely "subversive." We are eyed with suspicion by some just because we had dared to challenge the colonial character of the economy and, therefore, of the prevailing politics.

We must propose the Filipinization of schools, the press, radio and other media which are decisive in the conditioning of minds. Because in the hands of foreigners, these constitute direct foreign political power and intervention in our national affairs. These media of education and information immediately direct public opinion and, as it has been since the coming of U.S. imperialism, they have served to keep permanent our cultural as well as our political bondage.

The cultural aggression of U.S. imperialism in our country continues unabated. It takes various forms.

The U.S. Agency for International Development has a decisive say
on educational policies at the highest governmental level. Textbook production and procurement are directed by it in the Department of Education. Multifarious projects designed to execute directly U.S. foreign cultural policy are actually supported by the counterpart peso fund which we provide. To a great extent, the Philippine government is actually subsidizing USIS and other forms of "clasped hands" propaganda.

In a strategic place like the University of the Philippines, General Carlos P. Romulo, continues to open the door to foreign grants from such foundations as Rockefeller Foundation and Ford Foundation. He has sought loans from foreign financing institutions like the World Bank for the purpose of his so-called five-year development program. The naive teacher, student and administrator in my Alma Mater might think that Romulo is doing a fine job for us. But actually, he is doing a fine job for the cause of a cultural imperialism which is in the service of U.S. monopoly capitalism.

We have examine closely the present proliferation of institutes and research projects in the U.P. which are meant only to accommodate the cultural agents of the U.S. government, both American and Filipino. We have examine closely how much U.S. imperialist advice and actual direction has affected and will affect the curricula and materials for study. We have to examine closely what is the whole idea behind the $6 million World Bank loan to the U.P. How, for instance, is this related to present plans and operations of Esso fertilizer, International Harvester, United Fruit and others? We should inquire more critically into the increasing physical presence of U.S. imperialist personnel in the U.P. The U.S. government plans every step it takes in consideration of the monopoly interests it must represent in its foreign policy. Unlike the Philippine government, the U.S. government takes its action in the cultural field on the basis of national interests.

The pensionado mentality among our brighter students, teachers and professors have become so instilled that to promote their career it is a "must" for them to take one American scholarship grant or another. We must be critical of their mentality and we must pursue a new cultural revolution that should put in order the values of those who have fallen prey to this mentality and we must pursue a new cultural revolution that should put in order the values of those who have fallen prey to this mentality. They go to the United States only to learn concepts and cases that do not apply on the concrete experience of our people. Their thinking is completely alienated from the masses and at most they become self-seeking careerists.

There is a worse kind of Filipino professional than the one who finally returns to his country. He is either a doctor, a nurse or some other professional who prefers to stay in the United States as a permanent resident or who tries to become an American citizen. This type of fellow is a subtle betrayer of his country and, in the most extreme cases, a loud-mouthed vilifier of the Filipino people. He goes to a foreign land for higher pay and that is all he is interested in. He does not realize how much social investment has been put into his public schooling from the elementary level and up, and he refuses to serve the people whose taxes have paid for his education. We criticize him but we must as well condemn the government that allows him to desert and that fails to inspire him to work for the people.

While there is an apparent exodus of our bright young men and women to the United States and other lands under the direction of the U.S., the U.S. government ironically sends the Peace Corps and encourages all sorts of projects (many of which are CIA-directed) intending to send young American men and women abroad. Whereas these young Americans are going to our countryside guided by the foreign policy of their government, our bright young men and women are abandoning the countryside to crowd each other out in the city or to take flight entirely from their country.

We refer to the Peace Corps here as a challenge to our youth. These agents of a foreign government are here to perpetuate their government's long-standing policies and cultural influence. They are agents of renewed U.S. imperialist efforts to aggravate their cultural control; thus, they are described as the new Thomasites.

The presence of U.S. imperialist agents of one sort or another in our countryside poses a threat to the development of a national democratic movement among us. Beyond their role of showing pictures of New York and Washington to impressionable children is the counter-insurgency rationale behind their organization.

While these sweet boys and girls in the Peace Corps are now immediately creating goodwill (which is a euphemism for political influence) and performing intelligence functions, these same sweet boys and girls can always come back with new orders from their government. This counter-insurgency aspect and psywar and intelligence value of the Peace Corps are what make it subversive to the interest of a national democratic movement.

The Filipino youth should go to the countryside to learn from the people and to arouse them for the national democratic revolution.

PAGPUPUGAY KAY KA TOGS, KASAMANG MONICO M. ATIENZA

Ni Jose Maria Sison
7 Enero 2007


Nakakalungkot na dinatnan si Ka Togs ng malubhang sakit. Tulad ng lahat ng mga kamag-anak, kasama at kaibigan niya, umaasa ako na mapapangibabawan niya ang ganitong kalagayan. Alam nating matibay at palaban si Ka Togs. Hindi tayo magugulat kung makakatawid siya sa kasalukuyang kalagayan at magpapatuloy sa pag-ambag sa pagsusulong ng rebolusyong Pilipino. Anuman ang mangyari sa personal na katayuan niya, natitiyak nating makabuluhan at maningning ang kanyang buhay at papel na ginampanan sa kasaysayan.

Una kong nakilala si Ka Togs, Monico M. Atienza, noong 1965 bilang kasapi ng Student Cultural Association of the University of the Philippines (SCAUP). Agad kong natantya na matalino at alisto siya dahil naging valedictorian siya ng Class 1964 ng Boys High School ng Far Eastern University (FEU) at presidente ng high school student government.

Napag-alaman ko ring dati na siyang sumapi sa Kabataang Makabayan (KM) noong nasa FEU pa siya at nakasama siya sa isang delegasyon ng mga estudyanteng Pilipino na inimbitahang dumalaw sa Republikang Bayan ng Tsina. Mataas ang diwang makabayan at malalim ang pagnanais niyang maipagpatuloy ang rebolusyong Pilipino na inumpisahan ng Katipunan at binigo ng imperyalismong Amerikano at mga lokal na nagsasamantalang uri.

Napagmasdan kong mahilig siya sa pagbabasa at pag-aaral ng mga rebolusyonaryong akda tungkol sa Pilipinas, sa Tsina, Biyetnam at iba pang bansa at tungkol sa pandaigdigang kilusan ng uring manggagawa at iba pang mamamayan. Umaasa siya na mailapat sa kasaysayan at kalagayan ng Pilipinas ang teorya ng Marxismo-Leninismo.

Naging aktibo si Ka Togs sa mga pag-aaral at pagkilos ng SCAUP. Seryoso siya sa lantarang pag-aaral ng pambansang demokratikong rebolusyon at sa lihim na pag-aaral ng Marxismo-Leninismo. Masigasig siya sa mga gawaing paghimok, pag-organisa at pagpapakilos sa hanay ng mga estudyante. Di nagtagal ay naging presidente siya ng SCAUP.

Habang nasa SCAUP pa siya, naging malapit na kasama ko si Ka Togs sa KM, sa mga pag-aaral, rali, aklasan at iba pang pinagsamang gawain ng mga kabataan at manggagawa, sa ilang pakiki-ugnay sa masang magsasaka at sa ilang aktibidades ng Movement for the Advancement of Nationalism. Magmula pa 1966 nahasa siya sa gawain sa lumalaking kilusang pangmasa laban sa imperyalismo, piyudalismo at burukrata kapitalismo.

Kasama ko si Ka Togs sa pinakaunang grupo ng Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP) sa loob ng KM, sa Unang Kilusang Pagtutuwid sa loob at labas ng PKP magmula 1967, sa Kongreso ng Muling Pagtatatag ng PKP sa patnubay ng Marxism-Leninismo- Kaisipang Mao Tsetung noong 1968 at sa Unang Komite Sentral ng PKP magmula 1968 hanggang sa kanyang pagkadakip noong Oktubre 1974.

Kung lalagumin ko ang pagsasama namin at pagkakakilala ko sa kanya sa dekada ng 1965-1974, masasabi kong siya ay isang dakilang makabayang Pilipino para sa paglulubos ng pambansang demokratikong rebolusyon sa pamamagitan ng digmang bayan at isang matatag na komunistang mandirigma para sa pagpapatupad ng makasaysayang misyon ng uring manggagawa sa pagtatayo ng sosyalismo.

Tampok sa kanyang mga tagumpay sa kilusang kabataan at pagiging pangkalahatang kalihim ng KM ang pagpapalakas at paglaganap ng mga sangay ng KM sa mga eswelahan at komunidad sa pamamagitan ng mga OD-ED team sa Metro Manila at sa buong bansa magmula 1968 hanggang 1970. Mahalagang preparasyon ito para sa Sigwa ng Unang Kwarto ng 1970 at sa pambansang paglawak ng kilusang pambansang demokratiko.

Magmula sa sigwang ito hanggang 1972, ibayong pinaandar ni Ka Togs ang sentralisado at di-sentralisadong mga paaralan ng pambansang demokrasya para pataasin ang kamalayan at militansya ng mga aktibista. Ang mga paaralang ito ay naging sanayan at bukal ng mga kadre para sa legal na demokratikong kilusan at gayundin para sa armadong pakikibaka.

Magmula 1968, ginampanan ni Ka Togs nang napakahusay ang mga tungkulin niya bilang kagawad ng Komite Sentral ng PKP at bilang puno ng Pambansang Kagawaran sa Organisasyon (NOD). Susi ang papel niya sa pagtatayo ng pundasyong pang-organisasyon ng Partido at sa pag-unlad nito hanggang mahuli siya noong 1974.

Pinamahalaan niya ang mga batayang organisasyong pangmasa, ang lantaran at lihim na pagkilos sa kalunsuran at ang pagpapadala ng mga kasapi ng Partido at mga aktibistang pangmasa mula sa hanay ng mga manggagawa at edukadong kabataan para sumama sa Bagong Hukbong Bayan at kumilos sa hanay ng mga magsasaka.

Ipinatupad niya ang kapasyahan ng Political Bureau noong Agosto 1970 na paramihin ang kasapian ng Partido mula sa ilang daan hanggang 4000 magmula 1970 hanggang 1974. Ginampanan niya nang mabisa ang tungkuling sanayin, obserbahin at irekomenda sa Komite Sentral ang mga kadreng dapat ilagay sa staff ng mga sentral na organo at sa mga komiteng pangrehiyon.

Mahuhusay ang mga kadreng sinanay ng NOD sa ilalim ni Ka Togs. Napapansin sa kanila ang mahusay na pangangalaga niya at impluwensya ng mahuhusay na katangian niya. Matatag siya sa panininidigan sa uri. Sapul niya ang materyalistang dialektika. Masigasig siya sa pag-aaral kaugnay ng rebolusyonaryong praktika. Mataas ang inisyatiba, masinop, masipag at maparaan. Hindi nagugulat o nalulugmok sa mga problema. Masigasig sa pag-iisip ng mga paraan sa paglutas ng mga problema.

Maagap sa pagtupad sa mga tungkulin at atas sa kanya. Magaling magpakilos sa mga kasamang nasa departamento niya. Mabilis makipagkonsulta at humiling ng tulong mula sa mga makakatulong sa gawain. Matulungin, mapagkaibigan, marunong makipagkwentuhan at mapagpakumbaba. Hindi siya nagwawasiwas ng awtoridad para mapasunod ang iba. Nagbibigay ng paliwanag tungkol sa gawain at kolektibong pagtutulungan ang diwa at estilo ng pakiki-ugnay niya sa loob at labas ng organo at yunit niya.

Nagpapakita ng inis o nagtataas ng boses paminsan-minsan kung nakita niyang may gumawa nang mali na madaling iwasan o nagpabaya sa tungkulin o kaya sinita siya sa kawalan o kakulangan ng resulta bago nakapagbigay siya ng ulat at paliwanag. Ang kanyang mga bugso ng ;pagkagalit; ay laging may seryosong dahilan. Pero marunong magpalamig at hindi nagkikimkim ng galit sa sinumang kasama.

Mahusay siyang makipagpalitang- kuro para sa layuning mapaunlad ang trabaho at pakikibaka. Karaniwang mahinahon siya sa talakayan. Handa siyang makipagsagutan kaninuman para igiit ang kanyang mga punto at pananaw. Kung minsan, napapataas ang boses niya sa sagutan. Pero lagi siyang handang magpaliwanag at tumanggap ng paliwanag mula sa iba. Siya ay dakilang tao na hindi nalilihis mula sa dakilang layunin.

Dahil sa mabungang trabaho ni Ka Togs, kahit na maghimpil sa malayong baryo o sa gubat ang Komiteng Tagapagpaganap at kahit magkakalayo ang mga kagawad ng Politburo, nauugnayan sila at nakakaugnay sila sa pamamagitan ng Pangkalahatang Kalihiman, laluna sa pamamagitan ng NOD at ni Ka Togs.

Noong 1974 nagpasya ang Komiteng Tagapagpaganap na panipisin ang sentral na balangkas ng NOD at ilipat ang daan-daang kadre nito tungo sa ibat ibang rehiyon dahil sa mabilis na paglawak ng kilusang rebolusyonaryo, dahil sa tulak ng mga kadre mismo na madeploy sa kanayunan at dahil sa lumalaking peligro ng paghihimpil sa kalunsuran.

Sa pagnipis naman ng tauhan ng NOD noong ikalawang bahagi ng 1974, lumaki ang peligro sa pamunuan ng NOD, nahirapan ang KT/KS sa komunikayon sa ibat ibang rehiyon at lumaki rin ang panganib sa Komiteng Tagapagpaganap ng Komite Sentral (KT/KS). Sa ganitong kalagayan, nahuli si Ka Togs at ibang mahalagang kadre.

Sa mga sumunod na taong mabuway ang Pambansang Komiteng Tagapag-ugnay at madalas matimbog. Nalutas ang problema sa komunikasyon sa tulong ng National Democratic Front at sa pag-unlad ng mga batayang organisasyon ng Partido at masa at alyansa sa ibat-ibang rehiyon. Sa malakihang pagdeploy ng mga kadre mula sa NOD noong 1974 lalong bumilis ang pag-unlad ng mga organisasyong pangrehiyon ng Partido at kilusang rebolusyonaryo.

Umabot sa aking kaalaman ang pagpapahirap na ginawa ng kaaway kay Ka Togs Kahanga-hanga at kapuri-puri ang paglaban niya sa pagpapahirap at ang pagpapagaling niya sa sakit at pagbalik sa Unibersidad ng Pilipinas hanggang magturo. Mga ibang kasama na nakasama niya sa piitan ang mas nakakaalam at mas mabuting maglahad sa kanyang masakit na karanasan sa kamay ng malupit na kaaway.

Lalo pang kahanga-hanga at kapuri-puri na ipinagpatuloy ni Ka Togs ang pagpapalaganap ng mga makabayan at progresibong idea sa kanyang pagtuturo ng wikang Pilipino at kaugnay na mga paksa. Alam kong malapit siya sa mga estudyante niya dahil sa mabait at mapagkaibigan siya at nakikilalang wasto ang kanyang mga ideyang makabayan at progresibo.

Tumulong siya kay Julie at iba pa sa pagtatayo at pagpapakilos sa komite para sa aking pagpapalaya magmula 1982. Anong laki ng tuwa ko noong makatagpo at makasama ko muli si Ka Togs nang lumabas ako sa military detention noong 1986. Sa pagbagsak ng pasistang diktadura, parang may malaking pagkakataon na lumago muli ang pambansang demokratikong kilusan sa legal na paraan tulad ng mga taong 1960.

Subalit nang nasa labas ako ng bansa, nabalitaan ko ang mga pamamaslang at mga tangkang pagpatay na ginawa ng militar sa mga pinuno at tauhan ng Partido ng Bayan para biguin ang mga kandidato nito. Sa isang pagtambang ng militar sa mga pinuno at kasapi ng Partido ng Bayan, malubhang nasugatan si Ka Togs at namatay ang dalawang kasama niya sa sasakyan noong 1987.

Maliwanag sa lahat na hindi natakot si Ka Togs sa pagtatangka sa buhay niya. Nagpatuloy siya sa pagtuturo at pagpapalaganap ng mga ideya ng pambansang demokratikong kilusan. Wala siyang tigil sa pagpapataas ng kamalayan ng mga kapwa niyang guro at mga estudyante hinggil sa mga rebolusyonaryong isipan at gawa magmula kay Andres Bonifacio hanggang sa mga bayaning katulad niya sa kasalukuyan.

Nagpapasalamat ako kay Ka Togs sa lahat ng ambag niya sa muling pagsulong ng rebolusyong Pilipino, sa pagtatayo ng rebolusyonaryong partido ng uring manggagawa at sa pagpapalakas ng kilusang masa. Nagpapasalamat ako sa kanya sa aming pagsasama at pagtutulungan sa mahabang panahon. Nagpapasalamat ako na noong 2004 gumawa siya ng testimonyang parangal sa akin, sa tinawag na selebrasyon ng 45 taon ng aking paglilingkod sa bayan.

Tungkulin natin ngayon na gumawa ng pagpupugay sa isang dakilang Pilipinong rebolusyonaryo sa paglalagom ng maningning at mabungang pagkilos niya. Ang kanyang kasaysayan sa pakikibaka ay patuloy na mag-inspira, magpasigla at magpaunlad sa kilusang rebolusyonaryo. Laging magiging buhay ang mga ambag at pamana niya. Walang humpay ang paglilingkod niya sa sambayanang Pilipino at rebolusyong Pilipino. ###

Fire Growing Right Arrow 1
LIHAM SA MGA MAG-AARAL NG UNIBERSIDAD NG PILIPINAS
(Open letter to the students of the University of the Philippines)

Ni Joi Barrios-Leblanc
Congress of Teachers for Nationalism and Democracy(CONTEND)*


Hubot hubad,
Nakadipat nakatingala sa langit
Ang estatwa sa harap ng Quezon Hall.
Iskolar ng bayan
Na nag-aalay ng buhay
Para sa bayan.

Ngunit kung ang iskolar
Ay di na iskolar,
Kung ang pag-aaral
Ay di na abot-kamay
ng walang yaman,

Ang estatway bakit hindi damitan,
At telang itim ay ibalabal?
Tumutol at magluksa!
Anong kahihiyan ng bayang
Di kumakalinga sa kanyang kabataan!

Pagkat may pangako na binigo,
Batayang prinsipyong naglaho.
Na ang bawat mag-aaral
Sa pinagpipitagang pamantasan
Ay iskolar ng kanyang bayan.
Dapat sanay, sa simulat dulo,
Buong-buo,
Iskolar ng kanyang bayan.


* Profesor Joi Barrios-Leblanc,Ph.D. was the former Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of the College of Arts & Literature in the University of the Philippines & a member of the BAYAN(New Patriotic Alliance) Womens Desk

PAGPUPUGAY SA GENERAL ASSEMBLY NG SINING NA NAGLILINGKOD SA BAYAN (SINAGBAYAN)
May 31, 2006
Star in the spotlight

Progresibo at makabayang pagbati mga kasama!

Taas kamaong pagpupugay ang ipinaaabot ng pamunuan at buong kasapian ng Tambisan sa Sining at mga kasaping pangkulturang organisasyon sa komunidad, komite sa kultura mula antas lokal na unyon hanggang antas pederasyon. Lubos ang aming kaligayahan ng aming mabatid na kayo ngayon ay maglulunsad ng makasaysayang unang pangkalahatang assembliya ng SINAGBAYAN –Commonwealth.

Makasaysayan at makabuluhan ang okasyong ito hindi lamang para sa SINAGBAYAN kundi para sa lahat ng mga artista ng bayan at mga manggagawang pangkultura na nagsusulong ng aspirasyon, mithiin at kagalingan ng masang anakpawis.

Makabuluhan para sa sambayanan Pilipino ang pagtitipon na ito para sa pagkakaisa sa mithiin ng mga bagong artista ng bayan. Mahalaga ito, laluna sa panahon ng matinding pagsubok ng panahon sa ating lahat, hindi kailanman simple ang ating kinakaharap na hahamon sa ating pagkakaisa at paninindigan para sa karapatan ng mamamayan.

Lagi nating tatandaan mga kapanalig at kaibigan, tayo ay ‘di lamang mga tagapagtanghal ng mga obrang artistiko, dahil sa bawat indak, bawat sayaw, bawat musika at himig, panulat at letra o kaya nama’y indayog ng ating lapis o pluma, itinatanghal natin ang ating mga paniniwala, ang ating mga paninindigan at ating mga pangarap. Tayo ay ‘di lamang mga tagapagtanghal ng mga obrang artistiko, tayo ay tao, at tayo ay buhay na salamin ng realidad ng lipunan, ‘di kailanman mahihiwalay sa lipunan nating ginagalawan, ng kabulukan nito, at ang pangangailangan para sa pagbabago nito. Tayo ay ‘di lamang mga tagapagtanghal ng mga obrang artistiko, dahil ang ating sining ay makabuluhang armas para mabuksan ang mga nakapinid na isipan, hipuin ang mga puso at konsensya, hilumin ang mga sugat ng tunggalian, at pakilusin ang mamamayan. Tiyakin natin ang pagpanig ng ating mga likhang sining para sa mamamayan.Mahalaga ang ating papel sa pagbabago ng lipunan at rebolusyonisasyon ng kulturang bulok nasa kasalukuyan ay namamayani at dominante. Mulat nating isulong ang kulturang syentipiko, makamasa at makabayang kultura!

Mapapakilos natin ang mamamayan kung tayo ay mulat na sasanib sa kanilang buhay at pakikibaka,ating yakapin ang kanilang pakikipaglaban,maging isa sa kanila at kasama nila, sama-sama nating hubarin maskara ng kahambugan ng mga naghahari na pinilit isinalaksak at patuloy na isinasalaksak sa ating mga lalamunan. Mapagkumbaba naming ibinubukas ang mga pintuan ng aming mga kinikilusang pabrika at komunidad para amin kayong makapiling. Kapit-bisig nating tahakin ang daan para sa makatarungan, mapayapang bukas.

Bilang huli, muli ang aming taos pusong pagbati at pakikiisa para sa inyong pangkalahatang assembliya.
Sulong mga artista ng bayan!
Rebolusyonisasyon ng kultura, Isulong!

Para sa rebolusyonisasyon ng sining at lipunan,

Tambisan sa Sining

Mailbox, Rotating, Opening & Closing

Parang pumapatay ng Manok!
Lito Banayo
Lubhang nakababahala ang nakita ng marami sa telebisyon kamakailan. Isang 12-anyos na bata ang umakyat sa isang tore ng kuryente, at naglalaro't nagsasayaw sa tuktok nito. Nakaagaw-pansin ng buong barangay, at maski na nagsusumamo ang magulang na delikado ang kanyang gawi, patuloy pa rin na tila wala sa sarili.

Entra sa eksena ang isang nakainom na barangay kagawad. Galit na galit sa pasaway na bata. Ilang minuto pa ay nakarinig ng dalawa o tatlong putok ang mga tao, at nakita nilang tinamaan ang bata, na kumapit sa bakal, ngunit maya-maya ay lugmok na at bumagsak sa lupa — patay.

Agad at may pagmamalaki pang inamin ng kagawad sa media ang kanyang pagkakabaril sa bata. Pasaway daw kasi at peste sa kanilang barangay.

Nakapagtataka pa ba kung kaliwa't kanang pinapatay ang mga aktibista at mga mamamahayag? Mga pasaway rin kasi sila, at peste o bwisit sa ilang mga tao, lalo na sa mga makapangyarihan sa lipunan. Tulad din nila, nagawa ng barangay kagawad na si Gerona na husgahan ang tama at mali sa pamamagitan ng pagpaslang ng kapwa-tao. Para lamang pumapatay ng manok.

Ganito na ba kababa ang pagkatao ng ating lahi? Na kay daling kumitil ng buhay dahil lamang hindi natin gusto ang gawa o gawi ng iilan? May Diyos pa ba tayong kinatatakutan? O dahil ba sa madali namang makalusot sa batas at maiwasan ang tamang kaparusahan, e gagawin na natin ang pumaslang, ang kumitil ng buhay ng kapwa-tao?

Ito rin ba ang dahilan kung bakit ang mga nagnanakaw na ang dahilan ay makapagpatawid gutom (kuno) ay pumapatay kapag nanlaban ang biktima? Kung bakit may mga walang habas na pinapatay dahil lamang sa taglay na cellphone?

Sadya bang wala nang bisa ang batas sa lipunan natin? Wala na ba tayong kinatatakutan, maging katarungan ng bayan o katarungan ng Panginoon?

Lubhang nakalulungkot ang ating nakikita sa bansang ito. Sa araw-araw na pagpanood ng balita sa telebisyon, may natatandaan pa ba kayong pagkakataon na walang ini-report na patayan? Tila baga'y ang araw-araw na balita ay tungkol sa nakasilid sa kabaong o nakabalot sa dyaryong katawan. Ito ba ang lipunang nais nating kalakihan ng ating saling-lahi?

Sa kabilang dako naman, kay daming nagkondena sa mga estudyante ng UP dahil binastos raw si Heneral Esperon, na matapos magsalita sa isang symposium sa unibersidad, ay binato ng itlog at putik ng mga nagpuprotestang estudyante.

Kay dali nating bansagan na kabastusan ang magpakita ng tindi ng sama ng loob laban sa mga taong matataas sa lipunan, maging dahil sa kanilang posisyon o dahil sa kanilang yaman. Bakit? Hindi ba't karapatan sa demokrasya ang magpahayag ng pagtutol, ng galit? Bakit kinakailangang magpakaipokrito ang mamamayan kung totoong galit sila sa asal o pagkilos ng isang mataas sa lipunan o pamahalaan? Basta't walang bayolensyang ginagawa, karapatan nila ito.

Kung tinamaan at nasaktan si Esperon, karapatan niyang idemanda ng physical injuries ang mga estudyante, ngunit kaipokrituhan ang kondenahin ang ginawa ng mga ito dahil lamang mataas na tao at "bisita ang heneral ng pamantasan.

Bakit kapag pinapaslang ang tao, at araw-araw itong nangyayari sa ating lipunan, nananahimik na lamang ang marami, pero ang pakitaan ng pambabastos ang isang lisyang namumuno sa pamahalaan, e kinukondena na mali?

pls email banayo_at@yahoo.com

PAPUPUGAY KAY KASAMANG LEO RIMANDO
Sa ngalan ng Tambisan sa Sining, mainit na pagpupugay at saludo sa isang magiting na manggagawang pangkultura at bayani ng masang anakpawis- - Si Kasamang Leo Rimando!

Buhay sa alaala ng Tambisan sa Sining at mga manggagawa ng militanteng Kilusang Mayo Uno ang mahalagang ambag, turo at mga palihang kanyang pinamatnugutan, ang kanyang masikhay na pakikiisa ni Kasamang Leo Rimando sa kilusang manggagawa at mga manggagawang pangkultura mula sa hanay ng masang anakpawis.

Buhay at kinikilala ng Tambisan sa Sining ang malaking ambag ni Kasamang Leo sa pagkakabuo ng Makabayang Alyansa ng Sining Anakpawis at ng Pambansang Alyansa ng mga manggagawang pangkultura at artista ang Bugkos noong dekada 80.

Nakasama at naging malaki ang kanyang ambag sa Tambisan sa Sining bilang direktor (kasama nina Kasamang Boni Ilagan, Ben Cervantes,atbp.) ng mga palabas tulad ng Kara o Kruz nuong 1994 (Natumatalakay sa burgis na eleksyon), mga Dula tulad ng Welga Welga noong 1985 at Mayo uno ng ating paglaya noong 1986, Masaker, Masaker! Atbp. Naging trainor din siya sa palihan o workshops ng mga kasapi ng Tambisan sa Sining ng panahon ding iyon.

Kinikilala ng Tambisan si kasamang Leo Rimando, dahil sa kanyang directorial, bilang trainor ng mga manggagawa at pakikisalamuha niya bilang tao ng mga manggagawa. Ang kanyang pinakamahalagang ambag ay ang pagtataas ng moral, kamulatan at mapanlabang diwa ng kilusang masa sa pamamagitan ng kanyang mga obra at sining, at ang pahahatid sa libo-libo kundi man daan-daang manonood n mensahe ng pag-asa at ng pambansang kalayaan at demokrasya, sa panahon na daklot ng pasismo at diktadurya ang mamamayang Pilipino.

Ang hamon kung gayon, para sa ating mga kasalukuyan mga artista’t manggagawang pangkultura ay ang pagtahak sa landas na hinawan ni kasamang Leo at iba pang mga bayani at martir ng mamamayan, ang buong pusong pag-aalay ng lakas, galing at tapang para sa paghahangad ng malayang bukas.

Lagi nating tatandaan at dakilain ang buhay, simulain at papupunyagi ni kasamang Leo Rimando, lagi natin ikintal sa isip hindi kung paano siya namatay kundi kung papaano siya nabuhay!

Dakilain ang ala-ala ni Kasamang Leo Rimando!

Artista ng Bayan, higit pang paglingkuran ang sambayanan!

Mabuhay ang masang anakpawis!

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR
STOP THE VIOLENCE AGAINST PEOPLES ARTISTS!


As artists and cultural workers, we are the contemporary mirrors of our society, our art forms and pieces portray the everyday thoughts and lives of the citizenry. We sing songs, paint portraits, dance and interpret the lamentations and dissatisfaction of the people.

During the Philippine Cultural Summit held at Antipolo City last September 12 to14.. Artists and cultural workers from all over the country were shakened by the arrest & detention of twelve members of Negros-based Teatro Obrero, who were preparing for a rehearsal for the commemoration of the Escalante Massacre last September 12. In addition to that the arrest and detention of Film maker/Artist Teta Tulay & Bong de Leon of the multiawarded Southern Tagalog Exposure Independent Media, who were taking pictures & video clips for a fact finding mission at Quezon Province. And the harassments of the secretary generals of the Kaboronyogan-Bicol and Sinagbayan-Tacloban. Its reliving the era of dictatorship once again.

These turn of events proves that we and our art forms is effective and informative, that what we believe in and stood by is right and just, Though in the face of a cruel and bloody militarist opponent. As people’s artists, we know for a fact, that the ongoing attacks, intimidation, killings and political repression against artists & performers, church people, media people, students, workers and peasants, even illegally detained Representative Crispin Beltran of Anakpawis partylist, will go on, but this will only fire up our commitment to actively take an active role in these endeavors beside the people who we chose to serve.

We, Tambisan sa Sining, denounce and condemn this acts of suppression & violence on our fundamental rights & freedom of expression! While celebrating our 25 years of existence, We withstood the brutality and deceit of the Marcos dictatorship and once again we will against a highly factionalized current administration! The songs of our everyday lives, songs of peace & fighting for justice will not yield from tyranny, nor be silenced by intimidation by the armed bullies of this great pretender at the helm of Malacañang. Cultural workers in the field of arts and literature will not yield. We, with our people’s art will go on, fight on and live on.

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State of the Nations Workers 2006:
Continuing Deception and Total War against the Filipino Working Class

By the Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education & Research (EILER Inc.)


It is certain that in her 6th State of the Nation Address (SONA) this July 24 President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will once more resort to outright lies to conceal the deteriorating situation of labor and at the same time reiterate her declaration of war against workers defiance to her oppressive, illegitimate and corrupt reign.

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyos record as President shows that she has mastered the knack for deceiving the public through fraud and repeated lies that put to shame the original practitioner of this fascist art Joseph Goebbels. While it is perhaps the most well-known, duping the people by declaring that she would not run for the presidency in 2003 and then proceeding to steal it through electoral fraud in 2004 is just one of the many deceptions undertaken by GMA.

Swindling the Workers

President Arroyo practically promised the workers both heaven and earth when she assumed the presidency in 2001. Trying to impress them with populist cliché she immediately declared that a victorious war against poverty would be the defining mark of her term. Immediately after, she decreased the estimate on an individuals daily expenditure to PhP33.72 an amount that is barely enough even for the workers daily transport fare and then boasted in 2003 that her government was able to uplift the lives of 8,000,000 citizens out of poverty.

She told workers that her economic reform policies including freezing wages would lure investors to set up businesses that would generate 10,000,000 jobs and wipe out the chronic problem of unemployment and underemployment by the end of her term. However, her policies only led to the doubling of businesses closing their shops or retrenching their workforces everyday from an average of 4 firms in 1995-2000 to 8 firms from 2001-2005. Indeed, Gloria Arroyos 5-year reign owns the infamous distinction of having caused the worst unemployment situation in the countrys labor history. To hide this notoriety, she tinkered with the countrys definition of unemployment which enabled her to make it appear that unemployment decreased and employment increased last year.

She has not stopped swindling the workers this year. Her regime shamelessly declared last month that the employment situation in the 1st quarter of 2006 is better compared to that of last year. However, the reported increases are mostly unpaid family labor and own-account account workers or, in other words unremunerative and precarious employment. Today, at the least, one-third or 35.954 million of the working age population are excluded from the labor force. Unemployment increased by 21,000 from a year ago. Underemployment has reached a record level of 8.2 million.

Two weeks ago, her apologists joined the countrys business elite in declaring that the paltry PhP25 wage increase granted by the NCR Regional Wage Board to workers in Metro Manila matches the prevailing rate of inflation and therefore just and reasonable. Many private and independent research organizations disputed it saying that the real rate of inflation is 11 percent and not 7 percent as the Arroyo government claimed. Also glossed-over is the fact that the present NCR PhP350 minimum wage (including the PhP50 Emergency Cost of Living Allowance or ECOLA) is PhP398 or 114 percent below the PhP748 regional family daily cost of living or DCOL. This PhP398 DCOL deficit is also PhP33 higher than the PhP365 DCOL deficit in December last year. GMAs apologists said that while there is indeed a wide disparity between the present wage level and the DCOL, employment of 2 family members would surely equalize their difference. In reality, even if two members of the family were working which is improbable as the regional rate of unemployment and underemployment at present is 32.7 percent and besides, most of the reported employments are non-remunerative jobs & their combined wages would still yield a DCOL deficit of PhP28 or 14 percent.

Total War Against Labor

It is certain that like in her past five State of the Nation Addresses, Gloria Arroyo will once again boast that her reign created industrial harmony and cite the decreasing number of strikes as evidence. But she will conceal that this is a consequence of local big businesses and multinational firms policy of busting labor unions, the no strike policy in export processing zones, and her DOLE Secretarys constant use of her powers to assume jurisdiction over labor disputes and mobilization of the states armed forces to ensure it, that disarmed the workers of their only weapon against abuse and also resulted in massive violation of their labor and human rights.

A total of 953 cases of violent dispersal of strikes, physical assault, grave threat and intimidation, illegal arrest, abduction and forced disappearance, massacre, summary execution occurred from 2001 to 2005. These victimized a total of 29,972 workers and urban poor citizens. The heinous crimes committed against workers – including the massacres, abductions and forced disappearances, and summary executions escalated after President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo simultaneously began the execution of her anti-insurgency campaign -OPLAN Bantay Laya- and virtual declaration that militant workers are terrorists who -terrorize companies that create jobs-,and therefore enemies of the state complementing the U.S. Bush administratios declaration of the Philippines as second front in its global -war on terror.-

Until today, the regime has done nothing to identify, arrest and punish the perpetrators. This is not surprising considering that the majority of the heinous assaults happened in regions considered by the Arroyo regime as priority areas for -OPLAN Bantay Laya- especially in places under the area of responsibility (AOR) of the AFP units commanded by Gloria Arroyos favorite hatchet man, the notorious human rights violator, Major General Jovito Palparan. The judgment of the International Labor Solidarity Mission (ILSM) that investigated the cases and attended by trade unionists, trade union and human rights activists, and lawyers from Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Japan, Nepal, New Zealand, the USA, and the Philippines pointed to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police and/or their agents as perpetrators of the crimes.

Various international human rights organizations like Amnesty International (AI), statesmen and lawmakers including 39 members of the British Parliament and the Inter parliamentary Union (IPU), and trade union federations like the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), among others, are also demanding that the regime account for and stop the executions and other labor and human rights violations.

The latest declaration of Mrs. Arroyo calling for the creation of super-regions under a regional industrialization plan is also part of OPLAN Bantay Laya cum war against militant labor. At the CALABARZON a pioneer project of the government in developing economic enclaves for example, putting the regions development plan within the ambit of OPLAN Bantay Laya cum war against labor is clear in the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Armed Forces of the Philippines Southern Luzon Command (AFP SOLCOM), Philippine National Police (PNP), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to ensure industrial peace and to monitor unions and strikes, especially those led by militant unions. Thus, in the name of war against -communist infiltration of strikes as OPLAN Bantay Laya characterize said workers assertion of their basic rights – these are brutally crushed by the combined forces of the AFP and PNP like they did in Hacienda Luisita in 2004. Another indication is the AFPs heavy deployment of its combat troops used to suppress militant protest actions of affected citizens in areas where big projects of the national government are under construction like the Clark-Olongapo Expressway.

Martial Law reigns in enterprises located in far-flung areas and whose labor unions are militant like Console Farm in Bulacan where the AFP considers the workers local union as -a communist front.- Surveillance and harassment of union leaders and members, summary executions, forced disappearance and abductions continue to intensify. The latest victims include Robert dela Cruz of Tritran Bus Lines killed for leading a strike, Gerry Cristobal in Cavite who survived an attempted execution, and 7 officers of the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (PISTON) abducted in Central Luzon last month.

In her 6th SONA President Arroyo will again promise the workers both heaven and earth, but immediately, right after, proceed to make hell out of the working peoples lives.

Ref: Paul Quintos
Executive Director

Endnotes
1 Declared by her 2004-2010 Medium-Term Philippine Development Program (MTPDP) as centerpiece agenda. Also a constant theme of GMA’s early speeches.

2 2003 Family Income and Expenditures Survey (FIES), National Statistics Office

3 Ibon Databank in SONA ni Gloria sa Ekonomya?, July 2006, in PowerPoint quoting the above-mentioned source.

4 Op.cit.

5 Figures from DOLE-BLES.

6 Changes in the the definition of unemployment started with the NSOs April 2005 Labor Force Survey. The new definition purged 656,000 discouraged workers from the labor force and added them to the category not in the labor force. This enabled GMA to claim that her economic reforms increased the employment rate to 91.7 percent; but the truth is, just like the allegedly faked 1,000,000 votes that made her win the last presidential election, through Dagdag Bawas, the GMA government was able to create a ghost employment of 1.7 percent.

7 April 2006 Labor Force Survey, NSO.

8 Compared to that of last year, those not in the labor force increased from 35.13 million to 35.954 million or by 374,000.

9 Among them is Ibon Databank.

10 Estimate from the National Wage and Productivity Commission as of June 2006.

11 The Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) in Battered Bodies and Crushed Rights: State of Filipino Workers Trade Union and Human Rights under Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s five year administration, a report presented to the delegates of the International Labor Solidarity Mission (ILSM), April 30, 2006.

12 ILSM Solidarity Statement, May 8, 2006.

13 CTUHR in Effects of OPLAN Bantay Laya on Workers, July 16, 2004. CALABARZON is an acronym for the Southern Tagalog provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon.

link to eilerinc.org website

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OPEN LETTER TO THE BOLIVARIAN REPUBLIC OF VENEZUELA AND PRESIDENT HUGO CHAVEZ

The Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, the Palestinian grassroots movement against the Wall that ghettoizes our people, would like to thank the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and its president, Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías, for their principled decision to call back the Venezuelan ambassador from Tel Aviv. This courageous step is valued by all of our people as the model of action we would expect the world to take to protest against the continued war crimes, the Occupation and the colonial apartheid regime Israel represents.

The support for the struggle of the Palestinian and Lebanese people against the Zionist project of ethnic cleansing has been expressed by you on many occasions. The fact that it has been translated this time in concrete action installs gratitude and hope in the people in Palestine and Lebanon. In the Arab world and far beyond, the people are expressing their appreciation for this act of solidarity in their slogans and the placards in their mobilizations.

For more than 58 years the Occupation has continuously violated Human Rights, international conventions and all UN resolutions relating to Arab rights.

Since the creation of Israel, the world nations have passed over hundreds of resolutions demanding that the Occupation respect the rights of the Palestinian people and the people in the other Arab states. Yet, Apartheid Israel has continued its aggressions against the Palestinian people under the excuse of self-defense(?) in order to consolidate its grip over Palestine and the region. Israels latest war in Lebanon is certainly not the first time the Occupation has expanded its aggression beyond Palestine to other Arab states. The recent and ongoing bombings of Beirut are reminiscent of the destruction of the city and the mass killings of its people in 1982, just like the recent massacre in Qana which has an eerie resemblance to 10 years earlier when over 100 civilian residents of Qana were killed.

While the world is watching, horrified by the war crimes against the Lebanese population, the Occupation continues its policies of expulsion and killings through the wanton bombings and attacks on the Gaza Strip and the accelerated construction of the Apartheid Wall aimed to ghettoize the Palestinians within the West Bank.

Governments all over the world have given out statements but none of them has been willing to take concrete action. This inaction or complicity of international diplomacy betrays our people and our calls to exert clear pressure on the Occupation and contradicts the international conventions and treaties these same governments have ratified.

As Palestinian people struggling for our existence against the fourth most powerful army in the world and the last apartheid regime, we need to know that we are not alone. The withdrawal of the Venezuelan ambassador has given us new confidence and hope that the solidarity with our cause is gaining strength until Justice will prevail over Impunity.

However, this move should not remain isolated. It is crucial that the other governments of this world start to listen to the people they are representing and to respect the treaties they have signed. The people in Spain, Chile, Brazil, Costa Rica, South Africa and many other countries have started campaigns to ask for the interruption of diplomatic ties with the Occupation. In many Latin American countries, such as Argentina, Uruguay and Panama, the people in their mass mobilizations have clearly chosen the side of the occupied people denouncing the discourse of equidistance between the colonizer and the colonized, resistance and state terrorism.

We are thus calling upon all governments to follow the example of the Bolivarian Republic to use their diplomatic and economic power until the respect of the full rights of the Palestinian and Lebanese and all other Arab people is ensured.

Words are not enough. As we are continuing to struggle against the definitive ethnic cleansing of Palestine, it is time to act to end Israeli impunity. The current silence and inaction of the world leaders are a form of complicity that will weigh on all of Humanity.

We ask the world to continue to engage in sustained action to isolate Apartheid Israel until our struggle achieves Liberation, Justice and Dignity for our people and the refugees can return to their homes.


THE GRASSROOTS PALESTINIAN ANTI-APARTHEID WALL CAMPAIGN
Campaign Head Office: +972-2-2971505
Campaign Fax: +972-2-2975123
Campaign E-Mail: Mobilize@StopTheWall.org

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Fidel Castro
Message from Fidel Castro
to the people of Cuba
September 4, 2006 reprinted from Granma Internacional

Dear compatriots,

Recently, some film footage and photographs were published that our people liked very much.

Some of you, correctly, thought that I looked a little thin, as the only unfavorable element. I am very happy that you noticed that. This enables me to send you a number of more recent photos, and at the same time, inform you that in just a few days, I lost 41 pounds. And, just a little while ago, they removed the last of my stitches after 34 days of convalescence.

Every single day, even during the most difficult ones after July 26, I have made an effort to overcome the adverse political consequences of this health problem that was so unexpected.

The result is that, for my own tranquility, I made progress on several important matters. I can tell you that the book Cien Horas con Fidel (100 Hours with Fidel), by (Ignacio) Ramonet, in which I was revising in detail my replies at the time that I became ill, is practically finished and will soon be published, as I had promised you. And that has not kept me from strictly fulfilling my responsibilities as a disciplined patient.

I can affirm to you that the most critical moment is behind us. I am now recovering at a satisfactory rate. In the coming days, I will be receiving distinguished visitors; that does not mean that every activity is immediately going to be accompanied by film footage or photographs, although news will always be provided about each one of them.

We should all understand that it is not convenient to systematically offer information, or to provide images of my health process. Likewise, we should all understand, realistically, that the time for my complete recovery, like it or not, will be a lengthy one.

Presently, I am not in any rush, and nobody should be worried. The country is running fine and making progress.

Today the new school year has begun with more students and perspectives than at any other time for our country. What a wonderful event!

There is just one more detail: to ask all honest compatriots, whom together constitute the overwhelming majority of the people, not to blame anyone for the discretion that, in the interest of our homeland and our Revolution, I have asked of everyone.

Infinite thanks!

(signed)
Fidel Castro Ruz

Amnesty International Report on the PHILIPPINES
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REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
Head of state and government: Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
Death penalty: retentionist
International Criminal Court: signed UN Womens Convention and its Optional Protocol: ratified


Overview - Covering events from January - December 2005
Background : Communist insurgency and the peace process : Increased killings of leftist activists : Mindanao peace process : Administration of justice : Death penalty

Scores of leftist activists were killed by unidentified assailants, often reportedly linked to the armed forces. Peace talks between the government and armed groups; Muslim separatists in Mindanao and communist rebels; made limited or no progress. Arbitrary arrests, unlawful killings, torture and disappearances were reported in the context of military counter-insurgency operations. Armed groups were responsible for abuses including hostage-taking. Complaints procedures, investigations and criminal prosecutions of suspected perpetrators of human rights violations were often ineffective. Criminal suspects in custody, including women and children, were at risk of torture or ill-treatment by police. Death sentences were imposed but no executions were carried out.

Background

In June, allegations that President Arroyo was linked to vote-rigging and corruption during the 2004 elections heightened political tensions. In July, amid calls for mass public protests, 10 members of her Cabinet resigned. President Arroyo denied the allegations and, responding to the crisis, called for constitutional reforms including change from a presidential to a federal parliamentary system. In September an opposition motion to impeach the President was defeated in Congress.

Communist insurgency and the peace process

Peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front (NDF), representing the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New Peoples Army (NPA), remained suspended. In order to resume talks, the NDF called on the government to work for the removal of the NPAs designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the USA and its allies. With the peace process stalled, the Joint Monitoring Commission (JMC), set up to examine complaints of human rights abuses and breaches of humanitarian laws by both sides, failed to make significant progress. Previous government pledges to release listed political prisoners remained only partially implemented. At least 251 political prisoners detained within the context of anti-insurgency operations were reported still held.

NPA attacks on government targets and clashes between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and NPA units continued throughout 2005. Suspected NPA members and their supporters were subjected to arbitrary arrests, torture, extrajudicial executions and disappearances.

* In March, Angelina Bisuna Ipong, a 60-year-old woman, was abducted by armed men wearing face masks in Misamis Occidental province, Mindanao. Blindfolded and transferred between military camps, she was held incommunicado for eight days. She complained of torture and ill-treatment during interrogation, including sexual abuse and physical assaults. She was charged after reportedly being forced to admit being a senior regional CPP leader.

* In April, four farmers in Compostela Valley province, Mindanao Adreano and Joseph Otida, Malaquias Sampan and Joshua Bustillo were arrested by the AFP and reportedly accused of being NPA members. Their complaints of torture during military detention included being punched, kicked in the face, chest and abdomen, and hit with rifles and stones.

* In June, Elmer Osila, a senior NPA member, was arrested by soldiers at a checkpoint in Albay province, Luzon. He reported being tortured during interrogation, including by suffocation with a plastic bag and electric shocks. Three days after his arrest, investigators from the Philippine Commission on Human Rights recorded marks consistent with torture on his body.

Increased killings of leftist activists

The number of attacks on leftist activists and community workers rose sharply, with at least 66 fatal shootings reported during 2005. Most of the attacks were carried out by unidentified assailants on motorcycles, at times wearing face masks, who were often described as vigilantes or hired killers allegedly linked to AFP members.

As well as suspected CPP-NPA members, those most at risk included members of legal leftist political parties, including Bayan Muna (People First) and Anakpawis (Toiling Masses), other human rights and community activists, priests, church workers and lawyers regarded by the authorities as sympathetic to the broader communist movement. Increased killings in particular provinces were reportedly linked to the public labelling of leftist groups as NPA front organizations by local AFP commanders.

A climate of impunity shielding the perpetrators of such killings deepened as ineffective investigations failed to lead to the prosecution of those responsible. In many cases witnesses were reportedly too frightened to testify.

* In March, Felidito Dacut, a lawyer and a Bayan Muna regional coordinator, was shot dead by two unidentified men on a motorbike in Tacloban city, Leyte.

* In May, Reverend Edison Lapuz, a Church minister and a Bayan Muna member, was shot dead by unidentified men in San Isidro, Leyte. He had participated in a fact-finding mission into the killing of Felidito Dacut.

At least 25 alleged disappearances of leftists and others were also reported.

Mindanao peace process

Despite periodic breaches, the ceasefire agreement between the government and the Muslim secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), monitored by military observers from Malaysia and Brunei, was maintained in Mindanao. Intermittent informal peace talks continued.

In August, the MILF boycotted local elections for the five-province Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), set up in 1990 and whose administration was headed by Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) leaders following a peace agreement in 1996. Former MNLF members and members of the Muslim separatist armed group Abu Sayyaf were reportedly involved in periodic clashes with the AFP. Fighting on Jolo island in February led to the displacement of over 25,000 civilians.

Reports indicated that Abu Sayaff and renegade MNLF and MILF members were involved in kidnappings for ransom.

Administration of justice

Public confidence in the ability of the authorities to conduct prompt, thorough and impartial investigations of human rights violations and other crimes, and to deliver justice, remained fragile.

Implementation of fair trial and custodial safeguards remained weak, and criminal suspects were at risk of ill-treatment or torture by the Philippine National Police (PNP) during extended periods of investigative detention. Intimidation, aggravated by a lack of effective witness protection programmes, undermined the ability of victims of human rights abuses to gain redress, especially when they were members of poor or marginalized communities.

Lack of confidence in the criminal justice system contributed to an apparent public tolerance of killings of suspected criminals, including alleged petty thieves and street-children, by unidentified vigilantes allegedly linked to municipal authorities and the PNP. More than 90 such killings were reported in Cebu city and at least 100 in Davao city.

Journalists were also at risk of armed attacks with at least seven killed by unidentified assailants, reportedly because of their work. In November, in a rare conviction, a policeman was found guilty and given a life sentence for murdering a radio broadcaster in 2002.

Despite an array of legislative and procedural safeguards, minors in detention continued to be at risk of physical or sexual abuse and poor prison conditions. Children were at times detained with adults in overcrowded facilities and exposed to abuse from other prisoners.

Inhumane prison conditions also affected adult male and female prisoners and incidents of excessive use of force by the authorities were reported.

* In March, 26 prisoners, mostly members of Muslim armed groups, were killed as police stormed the Bagong Diwa prison, Bicutan, after an escape attempt and prison revolt. Prisoners were reportedly shot after attempting to surrender. Three prison wardens and a police officer were also killed.

Death penalty

Amid continuing concerns about failures to uphold fair trial standards, death sentences were imposed throughout 2005. A total of 1,214 inmates were under sentence of death at the end of 2005. No executions took place as President Arroyo continued to issue a series of reprieves for prisoners whose sentences had been confirmed by the Supreme Court and were facing imminent execution. Bills calling for the repeal of death penalty legislation were considered by Congressional committees.

Despite continuing reviews of their sentences by the lower courts, at least 22 young offenders remained under sentence of death for offences committed when they were under the age of 18, even though the law makes clear that child offenders cannot be sentenced to death or executed.

amnesty-intl-report-on-phils

RP NOW 2ND MOST DANGEROUS COUNTRY FOR LABOR UNIONS
First posted May 04, 2006
By Marlon Ramos, Jerome Aning
Inquirer


CALAMBA CITY, Laguna -- The Philippines is fast becoming the most dangerous place for labor unions after Colombia, a US-based labor rights advocacy group said Tuesday as members of a 12-nation International Labor Solidarity Mission fanned out to various provinces to investigate killings, abductions and other attacks on labor leaders and supporters.

Brian Campbell, an officer of the International Labor Rights Fund (ILRF), said his group and the others were alarmed over the attacks on trade union leaders in the country, some of whom worked in factories owned by multinational corporations from the United States and Europe.

ILRF is a group of lawyers based in Washington, D.C., which helps families of murdered union leaders file criminal cases against corporations suspected of complicity in the killings.

Spate of killings

The spate of labor killings in the Philippines now matches the notoriety of Colombia, which is the most dangerous country for labor unions, Campbell told the Inquirer shortly after he arrived here as part of a group that is looking into recent attacks on labor leaders in the Southern Tagalog region.

The Philippines is becoming one of the worst countries that Ive (visited). What is more disturbing is that it takes less and less to provoke the killings, he said.

Last week, Gerry Cristobal, president of a union in a semiconductor firm in Cavite province, was critically wounded in a shooting involving an intelligence operative in Imus town. Militant groups said that, contrary to what the police had earlier reported, it was Cristobal who was ambushed.

Campbell and the other members of the solidarity mission hope to increase pressure on the Arroyo government to act swiftly on the murders of labor leaders.

Campbell said the ILRF was currently involved in at least 12 cases where it represents workers on a banana plantation in Guatemala and a German-owned coal company in Colombia.

Dark side of globalization

Campbell said in some countries he had visited, corporations with mother companies in the US and Europe were suspected to have been involved in ordering the slayings of union leaders.

The people in the US dont have a full understanding of how it is like to be a worker in the Philippines,he said. It is important that they know what the companies, which they believe are good citizens, are doing here. They should understand that there is a dark side to this globalization and capitalism.

Among the countries with representatives on the solidarity mission are the United States, Belgium, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Bangladesh and Nepal. The mission was organized by the local Center for Trade Union and Human Rights, the Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research, and the Alliance of Concerned Teachers.

Some of the other teams have already arrived in Bulacan, Tarlac and Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), while others were on their way to Compostela Valley and the island of Negros, according to mission spokesperson Daisy Arago.

They will talk to the victims and survivors of politically related incidents of violence including those who experienced harassment, abduction and torture because of their trade-union and political activities in their factories and communities, added Arago, who is also executive director of the Center for Trade Union and Human Rights.

Unmasking the killers

The delegates will visit the families of those who were killed and gather first-hand information on the circumstances around the killings.

We aim to unmask the perpetrators of these heinous crimes which killed more than 60 unionists, labor leaders and advocates since 2001, Arago said.

Arago said the success of the mission would depend on the cooperation of the authorities.

We expect harassment from local military and police forces but we are determined to push through with the work, she told the Inquirer in a telephone interview.

Aside from the killings, disappearances and abductions, the mission members will also document torture and violations of privacy and intrusions into the workers homes and families.

The mission is expected to present its report in Manila on May 7. Mission members and local labor rights advocates are to meet with the Commission on Human Rights the following day, Arago said.

In Tarlac province, the killings to be investigated are those of Ricardo Ramos, former president of the Central Azucarera de Tarlac Labor Union; Tirso Cruz, a leader of the United Luisita Workers Union; Bayan Muna-Tarlac secretary general Florante Collantes; and Tarlac City councilor Abelardo Ladera.

Christmas Day torture

In Bulacan province, the mission will investigate the murders of Federico de Leon, provincial chair of the Anakpawis Party; Rogelio Concepcion, union president of Solid Development Corp.; and Francisco Paraon, who was illegally detained, interrogated and tortured on Christmas day last year.

In Calabarzon, the delegates will focus on the killings of Nestlé Philippines union president Diosdado Fortuna, Alliance of Concerned Teachers national council member Napoleon Pomasdoro and Honda Workers Union president Romeo Legazpi.

In Negros and southern Mindanao, the mission will study the plight of sugar and banana plantation workers, respectively.

They will also look into the murders of at least four leaders of the National Federation of Sugar Workers, a Kilusang Mayo Uno affiliate in the sugar industry.

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GMAs Chacha: Recipe for Dictatorship
color.jpg
Proponents of Charter change (Chacha) have been quite busy lately with the two-pronged tactic of a peoples initiative petition and the convening of the Lower House of Congress as a constituent assembly without the concurrence of the Senate. The antics of the government-sponsored pro-Chacha group Sigaw ng Bayan and Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyos minions in the House of Representatives (HOR) are so blatantly illegal and equivalent to the basketball violation forcing through, they could be easily dismissed as both laughable and contemptible. But these Malacañang maneuvers are no laughing matter.



The remaining quarter of 2006 is the last chance for Chacha proponents to introduce the wide-ranging changes they want before the May 2007 elections overtakes them and dictates the tempo of Philippine political life.



The Chacha Express Train, as Mrs. Arroyo so confidently named her all-out effort to revise the Constitution, appeared to be in serious trouble just before her July State-of-the-Nation Address at the opening of Congress for it had ran up against formidable opposition.

Aside from the unperturbed anti-GMA movement that looked on Chacha as the preferred means of the Arroyo regime to legitimize itself, there was the categorical anti-Chacha stand of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines and the new anti-Chacha alliance, One Voice, apparently backed up by sections of Big Business, the elite Ateneo de Manila University, the Society of Jesus community and a motley crowd of very well-heeled people.

But now the Arroyo-de Venecia tandem, apparently emboldened by the abject defeat of the second impeachment move in the HOR and tantalized by the prospect of a winner-take-all outcome if the Chacha campaign succeeds, is making its last-ditch effort to get what it wants.

It is taking advantage of the lack of a massive educational campaign that dicloses what is really at stake in GMAs Chacha and ergo the relative quiescence of the public in the face of what constitutes a looming Palace coup d etat.

The Arroyo-de Venecia clique is also taking unfair advantage of having its political enemies under constant fire, not just metaphorically, but in actuality through all sorts of legal suits from libel to rebellion and through physical elimination by way of summary killings, massacres, abductions and torture.

Much has already been said about how the two-pronged Chacha attack, peoples initiative& and constituent assembly are clearly an Arroyo-de Venecia game plan and therefore all talk about Chacha reflecting a groundswell from the grassroots is a lot hogwash.

Despite all the efforts of the GMA-de Venecia combine to create an illusion of a pro-Chacha bandwagon -- 6.8 million signatures, a series of full-page paid ads and a run of TV spots there is no palpable excitement much less public clamor for it; instead there are concrete examples of fraud, manipulation and the cynical use of public funds for the spurious signature gathering and expensive media ad campaign.

What is more important at this point is to draw attention to and thereby expose for all to see that GMAs Chacha is fraught with danger from the proposed extension and concentration of political power in the hands of Mrs. Arroyo even as it is clothed in the rhetoric of political reform and economic renewal.

Simply put, GMAs Chacha will create an unelected unicameral interim Parliament that is packed with her subalterns and loyalists from the incumbent members of Congress, members of her Cabinet and some others she will have the free hand to appoint.

Party-list representatives, at least the progressive and independent ones who are a whiff of fresh air in a Congress filled with opportunists, will lose their Constitutionally-guaranteed right to be in Parliament.

The 2007 elections are unlikely to be held, being left to the discretion of the interim Parliament itself whose fat asses have the privilege of having their terms of office extended from three to five years. Thereafter, they can continue to run for office with the lifting of term limits, and thus spare themselves the hassle of having their spouses, offspring, siblings and assorted relatives engage in a rigodon of who runs for Congress,governor, mayor,etc.

The incumbent President and Vice President are assured of their stay in office till 2010 despite a supposed shift from a presidential to a parliamentary system. The incumbent President retains all executive powers as President and merely delegates what she sees fit to the interim Prime Minister. Moreover, it is the incumbent president who nominates the interim Prime Minister who will then be elected by the members of the interim Parliament.

To top it all, a second Charter change, will take place through the convening of the interim Parliament within forty-five days from the ratification of the proposed GMA constitutional amendments, to further propose another round of amendments to, or revisions of, this Constitution. This is a carte blanche for the all-powerful GMA-de Venecia clique to mangle the basic law of the land as they see fit or as their vested interests dictate.

There is no other course of action than for the people to reject GMAs Chacha so that legal moves being utilized by its proponents to achieve their malevolent objectives will not prosper; in particular, the peoples initiative petition in the Supreme Court and the illegal convening of a constituent assembly in the Lower House of Congress without benefit of a Senate vote.

Because they have not the fear of God in them, we must try to instill at least the fear of the wrath of a people fed up with lies and of being screwed by their supposed leaders in broad daylight. Let us fight to stop GMAs Chacha in its tracks.###

posted by Carol P. Araullo at Saturday, September 16, 2006

pls click cparaullo on chacha

Ringing Liberty Bell

WE ARE ARTISTS 4 PEACE
We, concerned artists, writers, and cultural workers, stand united with millions of Filipinos and citizens around the world who stand for peace.

We denounce the U.S.' obsession on preemptively and unilaterally attacking Iraq. We vehemently oppose the U.S.' right to preemptive strike, a right it has bestowed upon itself, as this "legitimizes" actions which in fact trample the sovereignty of any nation.

We are concerned that this militarist solution, guised in the name of anti-terrorism, will inflict the most damage on Iraqi civilians and other defenseless targets, including the more than one million overseas Filipinos in Iraq and neighboring countries. We are equally concerned on the irreparable damage this war (as with other wars of aggression) can effect on artistic and cultural patrimony.

We reject President Macapagal-Arroyo's rabid support for this U.S. war of aggression, and for allowing even the use of our country and our precious resources in waging this wicked war.

As this so-called "war on terror" by the U.S. has reached Philippine soil, we oppose as well the brazen violation by the Bush and Macapagal-Arroyo governments of our people's longstanding democratic gains reflected in the Philippine constitution that ban the entry and involvement in direct combat of foreign military troops and facilities in our country. We refer to the illegal Balikatan exercises to be conducted this year in Mindanao and elsewhere.

We see no justification in Bush and Macapagal-Arroyo's discarding of the Philippine constitution even if they falsely claim that these U.S.-led operations are targeting terrorists. We fear these illegal military exercises are actually armed operations against all freedom-loving Filipinos, specially those most consistent in championing the Filipino's highest patriotic and democratic aspirations.

We urge our countrymen not to be taken in by war propaganda, as it manipulates minds into accepting wars of aggression; blinds our eyes of mangled bodies; silences our ears to the moans of sufferings; and clears our noses of smoke from burning villages.

We call on all artists and cultural workers to engage in a massive cultural outburst of patriotic and peace-loving prose, poetry, music, imagery, and performance, as we link arms with the millions of fellow world citizens who took to the streets and rebuffed the U.S. war. We unite with the majority of our countrymen, the least of our brethren specially in the countryside who are caught at the murderous crosshairs of this war we refuse and reject.

Let us dare keep our creative fires aflame to bring light to a world ruled by a dark force.
No to U.S.-led war! Yes to a just peace!

MGA ORGANISASYON: Concerned Artists of the Philippines * SinagBayan * Amado V. Hernandez Resource Center * SiningBugkos * Center for Anti-Imperialist Studies * GSUSI-UST * UGATLAHI * Kalipunan ng Sining at Kultura sa Pasig * Sining Binhi * ST Exposure * Tambisan sa Sining * Kapisanan ng mga Mandudula sa Marikina * Sining Octubre Nueve * Dulaang Ganap EARIST * Andres Bonifacio Choir * Pagsasalin sa Wikang Pambansa * ART2TAN

MGA BANDA: Asin * Buhay * The Jerks * Color It Red * Vishnu Mantra * Radioactive Sago Project * Coffee Break Island * Wuds * Imago * Bersus * Collie Herb * Burp * Cambio * Village Idiots * New World Disorder * Pula

MGA AKTOR: Joel Torre * Ronnie Lazaro * Nanding Josef * Bart Guingona * Monique Wilson * Ma. Isabel Lopez * Amy Perez * Rio Locsin * Earl Ignacio * Roy Alvarez * Lou Veloso * Elizabeth Oropesa * Jaime Fabregas * Ed Instrella * Bodjie Pascua * Harlene Bautista-Sarmenta * Romnick Sarmenta * Melissa Mendez * Ermie Concepcion * JC Castro * Marili Fernandez-Ilagan * Rosanna Abueva

MGA MANUNULAT: Dr. Bien Lumbera * Malou Jacob * Bonifacio Ilagan * Herminio Beltran * Recah Trinidad * Bibeth Orteza * Gelacio Guillermo * Monico Atienza * Elmer Ordonez * Sharon Cabusao * Risa Jopson * Dante Ambrosio

MGA MANLILIKHA NG PELIKULA: Carlitos Siguion-Reyna * Lav Diaz * Joel Lamangan * Gil Portes * Joey Reyes * Mel Chionglo * Soc Jose

MGA MANGGAGAWA SA KULTURA: Julie Po * Ed Manalo

MGA ARTISTANG BISWAL: Rey Contreras * Neil Doloricon * Boy Dominguez * Fred Liongoren * Emmanuel Balboa * Antipas Delotavo * Alex Baluyut * Gene de Loyola * Egai Fernandez * Danilo Consumido * R. Fulleros-Santos

MGA MUSIKERO: Susan Fernandez * Popong Landero * Chickoy Pura * Totz Tolentino * Cooky Chua * Heber Bartolome * Jun Cadiz * Myrene Academia * Cynthia A

Sundial Rotating

Stop All Military Aid to the Philippines, Uphold Human Rights and Freedoms of the Filipino People!
The Reality of Aid Network
2006-03-02
The Philippines has been placed on a state of national emergency since February 24 through Presidential Proclamation 1017. Following this proclamation, the government of Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has imposed a ban on rallies, and several persons, including members of the Congress, have been arrested without warrant. The office of one newspaper has been raided by the police and other media outfits are also warned of government takeover.

Arroyo alleges a conspiracy to bring down her government and targets those in the political opposition, left,extreme right,and even the national media. Many say that Proclamation 1017 is baseless because the government itself claims it is in control of the situation.

We, the Reality of Aid Network, the only major north-south international non-government network monitoring poverty reduction and development aid, with over a thousand members across the globe, expresses deep concern over the consequences of Proclamation 1017 to the human rights situation in the Philippines.

With the killings and abductions of political activists and journalists still unresolved and unabated, we are alarmed that Pres. Arroyo may have given the police and the military the license to abuse the Filipino peoples rights by suppressing all forms of criticism and violating the freedom of speech, of the press, and public assembly. We therefore call on the Arroyo government to lift Proclamation 1017 immediately.

With the concern that military and development aid may only be used to intensify the attack not only against rebels but against unarmed civilians including leaders and members of legal peoples organizations, we also appeal to all foreign aid donors, especially the US, to stop the flow of aid money and other forms of assistance directly or indirectly being used by all units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). The Philippines is the largest beneficiary of US military assistance in Asia and fourth worldwide, according to Arroyo. US Foreign Military Financing for the Philippines nearly doubled from $30 million in 2004 to $55 million in 2005.

We call on the US and all foreign donors, who provide military aid to the AFP or tie development assistance to the counter-insurgency campaign of the Arroyo government, to suspend such programs and projects. If donors genuinely intend to use their resources to help build lasting peace and stability in the Philippines, then they should not condone attacks on the human rights and freedoms of the Filipino people who are critical of the government and are perceived by the Arroyo regime as supporters of the insurgency movement.



The Reality of Aid Network
Manila, Philippines
March 2, 2006
Signatories to
"Stop All Military Aid to the Philippines, Uphold Human Rights and Freedoms of the Filipino People!"

Alliance for a Just & Lasting Peace in the Philippines, USA
Ana Liza Caballes, Damayan Migrant Workers Association, USA
Andrianna Natsoulas, Food & Water Watch, USA
Antonio Tujan, Jr., IBON Foundation, Inc., Philippines
Anuradha Mittal, The Oakland Institute, USA
Badrul Alam, Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Bangladesh
Barbara Specht, WIDE (Women in Development)
Carlos Oliver, KASAMMAKO, Korea
Datu Piang, Caucus for Peace in Mindanao, Philippines
Del Robie, Indonesia Human Rights Committee, New Zealand
Dominique Caouette, University of Montreal, Canada
Eman Geronimo,Tambisan sa Sining (Interaction in the Arts), Philippines
Fatima Leoncio, Women on the MOVE, Korea
Fr. Gregorio Ramos Reyes,Organization of Retired Priests and Nuns, Philippines
Gopal Siwakoti 'Chintan',South Asian Solidarity for Rivers and Peoples, Nepal
Honey May Idul-Suazo,KABIBA Alliance for Children's Concerns in Mindanao, Davao City, Mindanao, Philippines
Human Rights Philippines,USA
Jack Olsen, UCLA - Political Science, USA
Jones Galang, KASAMMAKO, Korea
Jun Tellez, Mission for Filipino Migrants in Hong Kong, Hong Kong, SAR
Leticia Castilla, Women on the MOVE, Korea
Maan de Loyola,Anakbayan Ugatlahi U.P.diliman,Philippines
Mark Padlan,Alliance of Filipino Migrant Workers in Korea
Nash Umlas, KASAMMAKO, Korea
Nhel Morona, MIGRANTE Sectoral Party, United Arab Emirates
Prabin Man Singh,Water and Energy Users' Federation-Nepal
Ramon Bultron, Asia-Pacific Mission for Migrants,Hong Kong
Richard Bautista,Kapatiran sa Gitnang Silangan,Saudi Arabia
Rose Wu,Hong Kong Christian Institute, Hong Kong, SAR
Sandeep Pendse, organization not indicated, India
Sanjay Gathia, ESC Rights, country not indicated
Victor Leocio, Federation of Filipino Workers in Korea

Ringing Bell

Daily Star logoTop Stories
12 Teatro Obrero members
picked up by Army in north

Karapatan-Negros secretary general Fred Caña said twelve members of the Teatro Obrero, a cultural youth group of the National Federation of Sugar Workers, were picked up by Army soldiers in Sitio Bato-bato, Brgy. Tabun-ak, Toboso, Negros Occidental at about 2 p.m. yesterday.

Lt. Col. Felicisimo Budiongan, Task Group North commander, meanwhile, confirmed yesterday to the DAILY STAR in a phone interview, that his men were conducting a combat operation when they saw 12 unidentified persons, five of them women, roaming around the area. He said his men invited them for questioning.

He also said he will bring them to the Toboso PNP where they will be held temporarily for further investigation.

Caña, meanwhile, said one of their members in the area informed him yesterday that the Teatro Obrero performers were practicing in the barangay plaza, for their observance of the Escalante Massacre this month, when they were picked up by the Army soldiers.

The soldiers reportedly confiscated the performers' cellphones and activity props, that included toy guns, cane cutters and flaglets, he said.

He said he condemns the acts of the Army soldiers, and called them politically motivated.*DMG

Palestinian Filmmakers, Artists and Cultural Workers Call for a Cultural Boycott of Israel
Growing
Dear Filmmakers & Artists,

During the past few weeks we have borne witness to the escalation of Israeli aggression into open war on both Palestine and Lebanon.

With Israel's invasion of Gaza on June 27th, 2006, ministries and educational institutions have been destroyed, as has the plant that supplies nearly 50 percent of Gaza's electricity. Bridges, roads, dozens of homes, and hundreds of dunams of agricultural land have also been destroyed. Sixty-four elected Palestinian legislators, cabinet ministers and officials have been detained without charge.

On July 12th, Israel brought its campaign of collective punishment and military violence to Lebanon, with "Operation Just Reward". A complete assault, via land, sea, and air, of the Lebanese population and infrastructure has led to total destruction. In just 3 weeks, almost 1 million Lebanese civilians have been displaced and the death toll has reached 900 Lebanese and 160 Palestinians, with a UN count saying one-third of the dead are children.

Additionally, in violation of international law, Israel continues to occupy Gaza, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), and Syria's Golan Heights. In violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel continues to hold 9,600 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails and detention centers without due process, among them 130 Palestinian women and 388 children, many of them taken from their homes in the middle of the night.

We, the undersigned Palestinian filmmakers and artists, appeal to all artists and filmmakers of good conscience around the world to cancel all exhibitions and other cultural events that are scheduled to occur in Israel, to mobilize immediately and not allow the continuation of the Israeli offensive to breed complacency. Like the boycott of South African art institutions during apartheid, cultural workers must speak out against the current Israeli war crimes and atrocities.

We call upon the International community to join us in the boycott of Israeli film festivals, Israeli public venues, and Israeli institutions supported by the government, and to end all cooperation with these cultural and artistic institutions that to date have refused to take a stand against the Occupation, the root cause for this colonial conflict.


We call upon you to take a stand in order to appeal to the Israeli people to give up their silence, to abandon their apathy, and to face up to their responsibility in the destruction and killing their elected government is wreaking. To the Lebanese and Palestinians terrorized by this Army's planes, bombs and missiles, this silence, apathy and lack of action from Israelis, are regarded as complicit in the ongoing war crimes, as for those Israeli artists, academics and intellectuals who continue to serve in the Israeli army they are directly implicated in these crimes.

We call upon you to give way to action that would replace words spoken too often and forgotten too quickly. We call upon you to make your voices heard in calling for an end to this bloodshed and an end to this oppression that has lasted too long.

To endorse or answer this call for a cultural boycott of Israel please send an email with your name, position and country to : pal.filmmakers@gmail.com

Signatures (Alphabetical)


1. Adila Laidi, Lecturer
2. Anan Brakat, Filmmaker, Arab Cinema School
3. Annemarie Jacir, Filmmaker
4. Azza El-Hassan, Filmmaker
5. Bahia Munem, Filmmaker
6. Dahna Abourahme, Filmmaker
7. Dima Abu Ghoush, Filmmaker
8. Emily Jacir, Artist
9. Enas Muthaffar, Filmmaker
10. Faten Farhat, Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center
11. Ghada Terawi, Filmmaker
12. Hanna Atallah, Filmmaker
13. Hanna Elias, Filmmaker
14. Hany Abu-Assad, Filmmaker
15. Haya Al-Jareedy, Filmmaker
16. Hayan Charara, Writer
17. Hazim Bitar, Filmmaker
18. Iman Aoun, Ishtar Theatre
19. Iman Hammouri, Popular Art Centre
20. John Halaka, Artist
21. Juliano Mer Khamis, Actor & Director
22. Kais Al-Zubaidi, Filmmaker
23. Kamal Boullata, Artist
24. Karma Abu-Sharif, Writer
25. Khadijeh.H.Abu-Ali, Filmmaker
26. Khaled Jubran, Musician
27. Larissa Sansour, Artist
28. Leila Sansour, Filmmaker
29. Liana Saleh, Filmmaker
30. Lina Bokhary, Artist
31. Mahmoud Massad, Filmmaker
32. Mai Masri, Filmmaker
33. Mazen Saade, Filmmaker & Writer
34. Michel Khleifi, Filmmaker
35. Miguel Littin, Filmmaker
36. Nabila Irshaid, Artist
37. Nahed Awwad, Filmmaker
38. Najwa Najjar, Filmmaker
39. Nizar Hassan, Filmmaker
40. Omar Barghouti, Dance choreographer
41. Omar Qattan, Filmmaker
42. Osama Al-Zain, Filmmaker
43. Rana Bishara, Artist
44. Rania Elias- Khoury, Yabous Productions
45. Rashid Masharawi, Filmmaker
46. Reem Fadda, Palestinian Association of Contemporary Art
47. Riyad Deis, Filmmaker
48. Rowan Al Faqih, Filmmaker
49. Saed Andoni, Filmmaker
50. Saleh Bakri, Actor
51. Salim Abu Jabal, Writer
52. Salwa Mikdadi, Curator
53. Samia A. Halaby, Artist
54. Sobhi al-Zobaidi, Filmmaker
55. Suleiman Mansour, Artist
56. Suzy Salamy, Filmmaker
57. Taghreed Mishael, Filmmaker
58. Ula Tabari, Filmmaker
59. Vera Tamari, Artist
60. Wafa Jamil, Filmmaker
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that
you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.

Explore. Dream. Discover
--Mark Twain

Brown Book, Turning

Amado V. Hernandez Resource Center, Inc. (AVHRC)
WRITERS RIGHTS
Writers Manifesto of Unity on the Freedom of Expression
Kapag malubha na ang init, sumasabog din ang bulkan
Pag labis ang pagkadustay naninigid din ang langgam;
At ang bayan, kahit munti, kung inip na sa karimlan
Sa talim ng isang tabak hinahanap ang liwayway!

Bonifacio, AMADO VERA HERNANDEZ
Labor Leader, Journalist & National Artist for Literature

We are writers belonging to various organizations, publications, academic institutions, and artist formations, or simply individuals, who manifest our commitment to the full realization of the freedom of expression.

The practice of writing in our country is a witness of history. Since literacy has only been enjoyed by the majority of the people in less than a hundred years, much of writing has focused on dealing with immediate demands. We often write when we fill out record forms, we write when we study, we study in school for a better future; we struggle for a better future in our daily living.

But the significance of writing is communicating with the widest audience possible concerning the most important issues of the day. There are many examples in our history: the 19th century ilustrado propaganda movement in Spain, the activists’ second propaganda movement in the 60s and 70s detailing society’s ills and offering concrete solutions, the mosquito press during the Marcos dictatorship, and the many exposés on graft, corruption, and conspiracy of the present.

Writing is inscribing reality. Writing is speaking truth to action.

Writers now are troubled by the suppression of the freedom of the press along with the freedom of assembly and speech. We maintain that our commitment to writing is our right as an individual that must never be violated by any entity. We believe that our right to write corresponds with the people’s right to know. With the people, we fight all forms of harassment, surveillance, confiscation of materials, arrests, detention, and killings done in the name of protecting whatever interests that run opposed to the writer’s freedom to express.

As writers, we strongly manifest the struggle for the people’s hard-earned freedom of expression.

SIGN UP FOR YOUR RIGHTS! E-mail us at avhrc_philippines@yahoo.com

The AVHRC, Inc. is a non-profit cultural NGO espousing the ideals of Amado V. Hernandez in propagating a culture and arts that upholds civil liberties, social justice and democracy for the Filipino people.

Telelefax # : (+632) 4120909 Address: Rm 312 UCCP Bldg. West Triangle Homes, Edsa, Q.C., 1104 Philippines

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THE CHALLENGES OF OUR TIMES


The country was at a standstill when Manny Pacquiao traded blows with Oscar Larios at the Araneta Coliseum last July 2. More than half the country was glued to TV sets, and even the churches admit that Mass attendance that Sunday was unusually low. Such was the excitement over the Pacquiao-Larios bout that media even reported two cases of viewers suffering heart attacks while watching it.

Never before in its history has the country seen such extent of adulation for a boxer. Not even during the heyday of the legendary Gabriel "Flash" Elorde - who put the Philippines on the world boxing map - did he enjoy such following.

By all means, Pacquiao is indeed worthy of admiration and respect, not only for his talent as a boxer but also for the determination he displayed in his personal struggle from poverty and obscurity to fame and fortune. His victories on the ring are hard-earned and he surely deserves praise for these.

But there is something telling in the kind of adulation he has been receiving, mostly from those in the less fortunate sections of the populace.

It is something way out of the ordinary: it is idolatry of the brand that brought former actor Joseph Estrada to the presidency. We can be sure -- provided that elections are clean -- that Pacquiao would win by a quick knockout should he think of running for the highest office in the land.

This is because we are now at a point where, for the most part, only the likes of Pacquiao could give some cause for hope.

This is a chapter in our history where it has become almost impossible to imagine a worse fate for our country.

The economy is in a shambles, the rule of law has been reduced to a terrible joke, and the moral fabric is in tatters.

The growing ranks of paupers in the streets bespeak the increasing impoverishment of the masses, while those in the corridors of privilege and power flaunt their stolen wealth like bandits boasting of their booty. We have a fictitious president who runs the government in the Mafia manner, a regime that bends the laws of the land in every possible way to justify the daily infliction of the most unthinkable atrocities on the people.

All this is cause for the kind of desperation that gives rise to Pacquiao's cult following. The country's present leadership has failed, and failed miserably, in its duty to make each coming day worth looking forward to for the people. In their hopelessness our countrymen turn to the likes of Pacquiao, whose every triumph in the ring is a spark in the darkness.

The culture of despair being bred by the country's rock-bottom state makes it more and more necessary for us artists to step out of the ivory tower. We are being challenged by the times to show through our works the power that resides in the people, the great wellspring of our material, to alter the course of history as they have done a number of times.

We in the Artists for the Removal of Gloria (ARREST Gloria) are committed to take up this challenge, and we enjoin our fellow artists to do the same.

Artists for the Removal of Gloria (ARREST Gloria)
July 25, 2006

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Southern Tagalog Exposure + KASIBULAN Women Artists' Collective + KUMASA (Kulturang Ugnayan ng Manggagawa at Uring Anakpawis sa Timog Katagalugan) + ARTIST, Inc. (Arts Research and Training Institute in Southern Tagalog) + Kilometer 64 Poetry Group + Tambisan sa Sining + APLAYA (Artistang Pangkultura ng Mamamalakaya sa Timog Katagalugan) + UPLB Umalohokan + Pokus Gitnang Luson + Paolo Martinez + Andrea Muñoz + Gian Paolo Mayuga + Jeffrey Ferrer + Onin Tagaro + Bobby Balingit + Winnie Balingit + Lourd de Veyra + Dong Abay + Ninj Abay + Con Cabrera + Roselle Pineda + Heidi Takama + Boom Dizon + Rommel Lozano + Mary Rose Abano + Aba Dalena + Sari Dalena + Gari B + Adios GMA-NCR + Tudla Productions

Tambisan sa Sining
Promoting Social Awareness of and for Workers through Arts
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The workers’ cultural group seeks to develop the abilities of workers through theater arts as well as bring to public attention the problems of Filipino workers. They perform during rallies, in the picket lines, and if they necessary, in marketplaces.

BY GUIA ABAD
Bulatlat


FOR THE WORKERS: Tambisan sa Sining in rehearsal and at the Labor Day rally

PHOTOS BY GUIA ABAD AND AUBREY SC MAKILAN

It’s not all work for the members of Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU or May 1st Movement). They also engage in cultural work through its cultural group Tambisan sa Sining.

Consisting of worker-artists, Tambisan puts together production numbers to help open the eyes of Filipino workers to the truth that they deserve much more than what they are getting. It also reaches out to factory owners, explaining the plight of their workers in a creative way.

In the beginning

A group of artists who saw the plight of the Filipino workers formed Tambisan in 1979. Jun Resurreccion, Tambisan chairperson and one of the remaining original members, said they started by showing the people the hardships of a minimum wage worker by putting them on canvass.

It began because of their passion for the arts and the greater good. Then their eyes were opened by their integration with workers. Soon, they were not only performing in rallies but also in picketlines and, if necessary, even in marketplaces.

When KMU was formed in May 1980, Tambisan decided to work with KMU to bring enlightenment to the workers. One of its projects during the martial law years was the Harana ng Bayan (people’s serenade) which also helped the group to raise funds for protest actions.

Expansion

Tambisan started with a handful of members but now has 145 members. It reaches out to workers in different factories and urban poor communities where most of the residents are from the working class.

Tambisan seeks to develop the abilities of workers through theater arts. It helps labor unions to establish their own theater groups so that workers will have an outlet for their talents.

Tambisan also aims to bring to the public’s awareness the problems of Filipino workers and other issues that affect them, such graft and corruption in government and peace and order.

Tambisan members are active especially during rallies. They do not limit themselves in formal theaters but also perform in the streets, in the picket line and if they could, even in the marketplace. They also perform during factory gatherings where the owners are present.

Resurreccion said Tambisan does not perform for mere entertainment but to pave way for change in the Filipino workers’ condition.

Daily rehearsals

Tambisan holds workshops and rehearsals everyday. With the majority of its members being workers who run a tight shift, they divided the rehearsals into two sessions: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. for dance practice and 4-8 p.m. for the chorale.

Mariza Sabater, who has been a Tambisan member since 1986, talked about her experience with Bulatlat.

Sabater was a student when she joined the group and worked at the same time. She had always been interested in theater and joined when Tambisan held a workshop in her factory.

During the day, she was a student and a worker. But evenings found her at the Tambisan office for rehearsals. A few months later, she decided to work full time with the group.

Her story is shared by most of the members of the group – workers by day, artists by night.

Tambisan sa Sining thus consists of artists who wish to bring to the public the injustice they experienced. What makes them different from the ordinary protester is they present their ideas and bring them to the people’s consciousness through art. Bulatlat

Rousing Patriotic Performances
Mark Ka Amado V Hernandez Birth Centennial
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The night of cultural patriotism was the biggest event yet in the continuing year-long celebration of Ka Amado’s centenary spearheaded by grassroots cultural institute Amado V. Hernandez Resource Center (AVHRC). For that Saturday tour de force, AVHRC hooked up with the Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP), Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), grassroots ensemble Sinagbayan, the Manila Culture and Tourism Office, and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) in producing what may well be the most colorful cultural event of the year.

By Joel Garduce
Bulatlat.com

More than 4,000 students, teachers, workers, activists and enthusiasts of National Artist Ka Amado V. Hernandez shared a rousing and intense night of patriotic verse, song and performances last Sept. 13 at the Folk Arts Theater (FAT) as a fitting send-up to the birth centennial of Philippine literature’s working-class hero.

The night of cultural patriotism was the biggest event yet in the continuing year-long celebration of Ka Amado’s centenary spearheaded by grassroots cultural institute Amado V. Hernandez Resource Center (AVHRC). For that Saturday tour de force, AVHRC hooked up with the Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP), Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), grassroots ensemble Sinagbayan, the Manila Culture and Tourism Office, and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) in producing what may well be the most colorful cultural event of the year.
Holding its own vis-a-via F4

Free to the public, the key Ka Amado commemorative activity held its own in a big way despite being staged simultaneously with the hoopla-soaked and unruly local concert of the Taiwanese pop sensation F4 at the Ultra in Pasig City that evening, as well as Lea Salonga’s second concert night at the PICC. It was a perfect nightcap event to attend for, among others, activists who had just taken part in the spate of anti-imperialist mass actions against the World Trade Organization (WTO) earlier that day.

The night got off to a rousing start with the Andres Bonifacio Choir (ABC) under the baton of Jerry Dadap singing “Lupang Hinirang” and “Tayo’y Magkaisa.” Theater thespian Shamaine Centenera then teamed up with Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo in a stirring interpretation of Ka Amado’s poem “Aklasan” (Uprising). Seasoned mainstream performer John Arcilla then did the first installment of his multi-punctuated performance, lending his voice to excerpts from relevant essays of Ka Amado for the evening’s production.

Actors Roy Alvarez and Leo Martinez would then alternate reading succinct verse from Ka Amado via “Tinapay” (Breadbun), “Ang Banyaga” (The foreigner), “Kabalintunaan” (Irony), and “Ang mga Palaka” (The Frogs).

Pinoy rockers Dong Abay and Onie Badiang of Pan served up once again their tuneful rendition of “Ang Uod” (The Caterpillar). Multi-awarded actor Ronnie Lazaro was next with “Makina” (Machine).

Alternative music’s prodigious Jess Santiago delivered “Ang Panday” in sing-talk fashion.
Mainstream actresses, Bayan Muna solons, young thespians and play excerpts

The ABC returned with “Awit ng Katipunan” (Song of the Katipunan) from the 1896 Revolution, seguing into Tambisan sa Sining’s powerful movement-enhanced recital of Ka Amado’s “Bonifacio.” Veteran thespian Angie Ferro provoked the audience with “Inang Wika” (Mother Language).

As the program turned to focus on Ka Amado’s relationship with fellow National Artist and wife Atang dela Rama, acclaimed actress Ma. Isabel Lopez followed ABC’s performance of “Jocelynang Baliuag” with her rueful reading of “Malungkot ang mga Bituin” (The Stars are Lonesome).

Au Yumul would soon follow with a grief-stricken version of Ka Amado’s classic poem “Isang Dipang Langit” (An Armstretch of Sky), accompanied by Irein Cuasay’s lyrical movements. Satur Ocampo would return with fellow Bayan Muna Reps. Crispin Beltran and Liza Maza in a powerhouse presentation of “Ito ba ang Ating Demokrasya” (Is this our democracy?). Young thespians Carmina Aquino, and the Saturay brood of Imanwel, Hiyasmin, Ilena and Marikit then served up “Sa batang walang bagong damit” (To a toddler without new clothes).

As Ka Amado’s exhortations on art being wrapped up in politics as economics were highlighted, Shamaine Centenera reentered with a team-up with theater actor Nonie Buencamino in urging “Makibaka, huwag matakot!”(Fight, don’t be cowed!)” in an awesome interpretation of “Paghahatid sa Kadakilaan ni Enrique Sta. Brigida” (A Send-up to Enrique Sta. Brigida’s Greatness).

Excerpts from the upcoming dramatization of two of Ka Amado’s short stories, “Langaw sa Isang Basong Gatas” (Fly in a Milkglass) and “Panata ng Isang Lider” (Pledge of a Leader) were then performed.
Toward a mind-blowing finale

The best was yet to come though. KMU’s Raffy Baylosis and Kadamay’s Nanay Mameng Deunida wowed the crowd with their reading of “Bayani” (Hero). KMP’s Daning Ramos voiced the poor peasantry’s outcry with “Lupa” (Land). Grassroots cultural ensemble Sinagbayan melded movement and vocal reading with their take of “Panata sa Kalayaan.”



From out of nowhere, seasoned mainstream actor Joonee Gamboa stirred up the audience with a mind-blowing rendition of the first stanza of Ka Amado’s immortal classic “Kung Tuyo na ang Luha Mo, Aking Bayan ” (When Your Tears Have Dried, O My Motherland), enjoining the rest of the cast and the thousands-strong viewers in a mass recital of the poem straight to the dramatic last stanza.

Pendong Aban and Lolita Carbon of the legendary folk group Asin raised the roof with a new super-charged musical version of “Kung Tuyo na ang Luha Mo, Aking Bayan.” John Arcilla would then cap the night and his night-long performance with an electrifying version of “Bayan Ko.”

Throughout, provocative music accompanying the readings was played by veteran session musicians led by Jesse Bartolome, Jon Corsiga, Neal Robles, and Alex Umali, along with a tasteful digital presentation prepared by graphic artist Joel Sayo. Channel 5 news reporter Heidi Santos lent her media savvy in providing a crystal-clear narration for the entire evening.

The production was superbly directed by TV and film director Soc Jose with able assistance from stage manager Mitchy Mallorca-Saturay and technical director Ed Manalo.

AVHRC is also mounting its annual grassroots literary contest named after Ka Amado as part of the centennial celebration this year. The institute is inviting workers, fellow toilers, students, youth, private and government employees to submit their poems, songs, short stories or local comics as entries to this prestigious alternative creative competition on or before Oct. 24, 2003. (Check out the Gawad Ka Amado 2003 guidelines for more information.

Elsewhere, Ka Amado’s 100th birthday was celebrated last September 12 with municipal rites in his birthplace--Hagonoy, Bulacan—renaming a public school and major thoroughfare in his honor.

All in all, a well-deserved tribute to a 20th-century Filipino renaissance man whose immortal verses continue to inspire his compatriots to resistance, to claim long-sought freedom for our Inang Bayan. Bulatlat.com

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TAMBISAN SA SINING, Inc. is a non-stock, non-profit cultural organization whose members primarily composed of workers, urban poor youth, art students & women and individual artists and affiliate cultural groups & organizations in the Philippines.

For inquires, information, schedules of activities,performances & rehearsals,funding, donations & pledges, campaigns & advocacies, meetings & consultations

PLEASE CONTACT US


The Management Committee
TAMBISAN SA SINING, Inc.
2ND Floor, Balai Obrero Foundation Building,63 Narra st., Brgy. Amihan, Project 3, Quezon City, Philippines
TELEPHONE : (02) 421-0768 / (02) 421-0986
ORGANIZATIONAL EMAIL : the_tambisansasining@yahoo.com
WEB MASTER : interact_tambisan@yahoo.com