COVID-19: ¿interruptor de un sistema malvado?

El capitalismo es el orden social que resulta de la libertad económica en la disposición y usufructo de la propiedad privada sobre el capital como herramienta de producción. Pero según Daniel de León (periodista socialista estadounidense, político, teórico marxista, y organizador sindicala, 1852-1914), el capitalismo ataca y destruye a todos los sentimientos más sutiles del corazón humano. Se barre despiadadamente las viejas tradiciones e ideas que se oponen a su progreso, y lo explota y corrompe las cosas una vez consideradas sagradas.

Y es verdad en nuestro caso. Los estadounidenses introdujeron el capitalismo a Filipinas. Desde entonces, el progreso sólo ha sido disfrutado por unos pocos elegidos, no por todo el mundo. Lo que antes era sagrado para nosotros (las tradiciones, la cultura, la fe) ya no es valioso. Y nuestros recursos naturales han sido devastados. La Madre Naturaleza no es rival contra el capitalismo, la economía del mal.

El capitalismo y su fase superior, el imperialismo, se desenvuelven y prosperan muy bien en un ambiente democrático. Esta es una de las razones por la cual ya no soy un aficionado de la democracia, el escudo político de las economías capitalistas. Es una farsa, una mafia regla. No ha hecha nada buena para mi, para Filipinas. Y como un estudiante ardiente de la historia filipina, yo he fijado que nosotros filipinos nos estábamos en mejores circunstancias bajo la monarquía de Madre España — es decir, la España de antaño, no la España de hoy.

Pero en un giro sin precedentes de los acontecimientos, la pandemia en curso, el del COVID-19, ha roto de alguna manera la avalancha de siglos de avaricia capitalista. La economía global está al borde del colapso debido a los numerosos cierres/cuarentenas que han ocurrido y siguen ocurriendo en muchas partes del globo, como el caso aquí en Filipinas. Con muchas personas encerradas en sus hogares para evitar el mortal coronavirus tipo 2 del síndrome respiratorio agudo grave, las economías capitalistas, particularmente en los Estados Unidos de América que ahora es el centro de la pandemia, están paralizadas hasta el final. Varias empresas a diestro y siniestro están anunciando recortes o su cierre completo.

Al final, las promesas del capitalismo terminaron llenas de promesas sólo para aquellos que tienen poderes corporativos. Sólo ellos están a salvo de la caída económica.

Pero los más emprendedores terminaron usando el Internet, particularmente los medios sociales como Facebook, para vender sus productos. Muchos de ellos incluso regresan a la tierra, es decir, producen su propia comida. Después de todo, la comida es la necesidad más básica, no las ropas de diseños exclusivos, bolsos lujosos, perfumes caros, y todos esos otros lujos inútiles. Los cierres causados por la pandemia nos han hecho darnos cuenta de que somos mortales, después de todo, no simples títeres de la política democrática, que tenemos hambre de estar vivos, que no importa que el capitalismo se vuelva absolutamente inútil en nuestras vidas mortales.

COVID-19 es el gran ecualizador. Ha vuelto a “square one” o al principio para la mayoría de nosotros. Me siento a la vez asustado y emocionado por lo que depara el futuro.

Síganme en Facebook, Twitter, e Instagram.

Hoy en la Historia de Filipinas — el asesinato del General Luna

HOY EN LA HISTORIA DE FILIPINAS — 5 de junio de 1899: El General Antonio Luna es asesinado en la plaza de una rectoría (Iglesia de San Nicolás de Tolentino) en Cabanatúan, Nueva Écija.

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General Luna debía asistir a un consejo de guerra convocado por el Presidente Emilio Aguinaldo. Pero su invitación parecía ser una trampa porque cuando él y dos de sus subalternos (el Coronel Francisco Román y el Capitán Eduardo Rusca) llegaron, el Presidente no estaba allí. En cambio, fue atacado por las tropas de Aguinaldo en Cavite El Viejo. Fue acuchillado, se le dieron hachazado, y disparado varias veces con bolos y rifles. Traté de defenderse pero sus atacantes eran demasiados. Román y Rusca acudieron en su ayuda pero también fueron atacados y fusilados. Román fue asesinado y Rusca gravemente herido. Y mientras Luna yacía moribundo, pronunció furioso “¡Cobardes, asesinos!” a sus atacantes. Recibió más de 30 heridas.

La escena del asesinato de la película “Heneral Luna“. El actor John Arcilla desempeña el papel titular.
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Yeyette on breast cancer awareness

My wife Yeyette guested last night in a local radio talk show wherein she discussed her ordeal against breast cancer. The name of the show is “Usapang Popcorn” which is broadcast over 103.5 FM and 91.5 FM based in Majayjay, La Laguna. The program is hosted by Raymond Kaibigan with co-hosts Mejean Peña-Magboó, Mark Castillo, and Cheryl Andal. It was done via Zoom which was then streamed live on Facebook.

USAPANG POPCORN

USAPANG POPCORN

 

NHCP starts tweeting history!

Good news to all social media enthusiasts: the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), the government agency tasked to promote Filipino History and cultural heritage, is now on Twitter!

Click on the image below to start following them.

NHCP

The NHCP is also active on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

¡Enhorabuena, NHCP!

You might also want to follow my personal Facebook account, Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.

El Filipinismo Facebook page

 

PEPE ALAS

EL FILIPINISMO now has a Facebook page! You may like/follow it by clicking on the image above, or right here.

This Facebook page, however, is not new. Actually, it is the old Facebook page of my defunct blog FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES. I just renamed it for possible monetization (I don’t think Facebook monetizes personal accounts such as mine). I thought of overhauling my social media presence especially since I’ve been receiving a lot of requests from friends and officemates to set up a vlog (more on that in a future blogpost). Humorously, my wife already beat me to it as she had just launched her own vlog last night (please subscribe to her channel; it’s her diversion from her cancer). Her first vlog is raw, unedited, especially since we are not that tech-savvy when it comes to video editing. But we’ll get into that one day. Hopefully.

My other Facebook page, Alas Filipinas, an offshoot of my Spanish-language blog which I also shut down in 2016, is still up. But I only use it whenever sharing Spanish-language content and whenever I feel the urge/need to write in Spanish here in EL FILIPINISMO.

You may also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Today is the feast day of Our Lady of Fátima as well as the sixteenth birthday of my eldest son Mómay (who could very well turn out to be our video editor). ¡Feliz día!

Ang pinagmulán ng pañgalan ng Náic

Catatapos lang ng trabajo co (pang-gabí casí acó, work from home dahil sa buisit na coronavirus na iyán). Matutulog na sana aco, eh. Caso lang may naquita acó sa isáng Facebook group na sinalihan co caní-canina lang na lubós cong quinainís. Hindí co na sana pápansinin, caso lang naquita co na ang dami na namáng nautô. Cayá heto, papatulan co na…

HOME CODE CHANGE REQUEST

Hindí pô itó totoó. Noóng panahón ng castilà, hindí uso ang paggamit ng mg̃a acrónimo (acronyms), lalung-lalo na sa pagbibigáy ng pañgalan sa mg̃a lugar. Cahit namán hangáng ñgayón ay hindí guinagauâ ang ganiyáng pátacaran. Ang “náic” ay isáng salitáng tagalog (luma na sapagcát hindí na siyá guinagamit) na ang ibig sabihin ay “pagcaúmay sa pagcáin” (to get sick or tired of eating). Itó’y matátagpuan sa “Vocabulario de la Lengua Tagala” na nailathala noóng taóng 1860. Ang “Nuestra Adorada Inmaculada Concepción” na itó ay haca-haca lamang ng isáng táong matabâ ang pag-iisíp ñgunit tamád sa págsasalicsic.

Ñgunit hindí pa rin natin masasabi na ang pañgalan ng Municipalidad ng Náic ay nagmulá sa cabábanguit na definición dahil hindí namán nababagay at ualá tayong maquitang conexión. Ayon sa isá pang diccionario na inilathala noóng 1970 ni José Villa Pañganiban (1903–1972), isáng bantóg na mánunulat at lexicógrafo (lexicographer), ang isá pang ibig sabihin ng Náic ay barrio residencial (suburb) o cayá’y campo (countryside). Itó ay sa dahiláng ang Náic palá ay isá lamang na barrio residencial ng Maragondón noóng unang panahón.

Nauá’y maguíng mapanuri po laguì at huwág basta-bastang maniniuala sa mg̃a nababasa sa redes sociales (social media). At más maínam na rin cung pag-aaralan ang salitáng castila para más marami pang matuclasán sa tunay na casaysayan ng Filipinas.

Sundán niyó pô acó sa Facebook, Twitter, at Instagram.

A desperate call for help

I already did this before. Now I’m compelled to do it again… 😳

Dear friends. Jennifer “Yeyette” Perey de Alas, my dear wife of 21 years, was diagnosed with breast cancer, stage 2. Initially, it was thought that her cancer was only on its first stage. But after undergoing a very painful biopsy, it was found out that it is already on its second stage.

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In order for the cancer cells to stop spreading, she needs to undergo mastectomy on her right breast on or before mid-April. The whole procedure will cost us more than ₱300,000 (including post check-ups, medications, and possible chemotherapy sessions which we hope will no longer be necessary).

Getting a second opinion is not an option at the moment as the biopsy alone already cost us close to ₱30,000.

As a disclosure (and clarification to doubting Thomases): close friends and some family members are aware of my salary and how astounded they are with it. However, please note that I am the only one employed. Yeyette has since stopped working after giving birth to Junífera Clarita in 2014; she also almost lost her life during the whole process. And with five kids to feed and to send to school, that salary of mine, to be honest, is barely enough. My economic status, therefore, is no different to most Filipino workers today. 😔

So here I am now, shamefacedly pulling at your heartstrings, to do one of the things that I truly hate the most: publicly asking for financial assistance. But I’m doing this to save my wife’s life.

All I’m asking is just a minimum donation of ₱200. I believe that it would be more of a drag for many people if I ask for more. I currently have 788 Facebook friends. I was thinking that if each of them would donate the same amount, I would garner ₱157,600. Still not enough (and I’m sure not all of my Facebook friends will heed my call). So I asked my kids who have Facebook accounts to do the same scheme. Yeyette has already asked her relatives in Mindoro to do the same (Facebook already deleted her account for reasons unclear to us).

Should you wish to help us, you may send your donation to my bank account:

Bank of the Philippine Islands account number: 9829-0918-41
BPI Account name: José Mario S. Alas
BPI branch: Ortigas Emerald (Unit 101 G/F Jollibee Plaza Condominium, F. Ortigas Jr. Road, Brgy. San Antonio, Ortigas Center, Pásig City 1605)
Swift code: BOPIPHMM

You may also dial/text 09613501787 if you want to know more details about Yeyette’s dilemma.

I understand that many people are very cautious when it comes to letting go of money these days as they are already fed up with corruption and various scams. Trust me: I am as cynical as you are when it comes to random individuals asking for monetary assistance online. But God knows this is not a scam. And I am vouching for whatever reputation I may have as an online Filipino historian. Tarnishing that reputation, no matter how small, is not even one of the last things I’d want to do even at gunpoint. Having said that, if you wish to see any accounting of the funds that we might be able to collect, feel free to ask me. I’d be glad and very willing to share it to you.

Also, after sending your donation, please show me the receipt via Messenger or my email address (pepe.alas@gmail.com) so that I would know from whom the money had come from.

To collate more than ₱300,000 in a month’s time is not a walk in the park for people like us. And we are working against time. Please don’t let my writings, social media engagements, or my knowledge of Filipino History and the Spanish language fool you: I really am as poor as a rat, always filled with secret glee whenever there’s free pizza around at the office. And the seven of us live in a cramped apartment that looks more like a topsy-turvy children’s toys warehouse than a normal-looking home. Truly, life had become extremely difficult ever since Yeyette was forced to stop working six years ago.

With all the personal misfortunes that had bedeviled me through the years, from being a battered child to a trying hard, mediocre writer chained by the system to a dejected, inutile son whose estranged parents are currently embroiled in a court case against each other, it comes as no surprise why I feel that I am always on the brink of heeding what the French call as “l’appel du vide“. This in spite of my daily Rosaries (been reading too much assorted philosophies, I guess). But hey, enough about me. This is not supposed to be about me. The only reason I’m sharing this now is to inform people what a positive-thinking person my wife is. Because I am her complete opposite. That is my character, and I’m just being brutally honest. I think that is why our children adore her more. She cries a lot, especially when pushed to the limit, but she always remains hopeful. She trusts in the kindness of people. And she is made of sterner stuff, not the type of person who easily surrenders. That is why she is the strongest person I have ever met. My family cannot afford to lose her. She is the pillar, the heart of our home. Not me.

If she’s gone, that is the end of my family as we all know it.

That could even be the end of me.

Facebook shut down my account

UPDATE (1:21 PM, 27 January 2020): Facebook already reactivated my account this morning. But I am not able to make any posts or comments until February 2. And they still have not informed me why they deactivated my account in the first place.

* E * L * F * I * L * I * P * I * N * I * S * M * O *

PEPE ALAS

Just a few minutes ago, I was sharing my latest blogpost about Catholicism’s influence on Filipino Masonic thought to a few Facebook groups where I belong and to pages that I manage. It’s what I’ve been doing for the past few years. But as I was doing this, FB suddenly decided to shut down my account without any clear explanation. The number of shares has not even reached ten yet.

I immediately disputed the deletion and sent them all the information that they needed from me. My dispute is still under review, but they did not explain to me why they canceled my FB account nor did they tell me how long this review will take. While they did allow me the chance to recover my account, shutting it down without any clear explanation is still very unfair. To the best of my knowledge, I did not violate their terms and conditions. So why was my account shut down?

There is nothing I can do but to wait for them to reactivate my account… if they ever will. If they don’t, I have no intention to create a new one. What for? If I create a new account, they can delete it again anytime without any fair warning. In the meantime, you may follow me on Twitter. I’m not sure if I should still promote (nor even continue using) my Instagram account because Facebook owns it.

I don’t want to sound like a conspiracy theorist but I just hope that my Catholicism vs Freemasonry blogpost has nothing to do with this deactivation.

Imagen

PHILIPPINE HISTORY 101 : Nostalgia

I am so elated! I have just been appointed as moderator of the Facebook group PHILIPPINE HISTORY 101 : Nostalgia. It is one of the largest and fastest growing FB groups today in terms of membership and engagement. I just finished an introductory message on the group, and I thought of sharing it here on my blog.

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Good evening everyone!

I am happy to announce that I have just been appointed by Ms. Carmen Floirendo as moderator of PHILIPPINE HISTORY 101 : Nostalgia, one of the largest and fastest Facebook groups today in terms of membership (and engagement) that deals with our country’s HISTORY.

I emphasized the word HISTORY here so that all members will realize the theme of this group: our country’s history, of course. While there is still no description nor set of rules yet for this group (and that is what I plan to work on in the coming weeks with Ms. Floirendo), it doesn’t take rocket science to realize that the name PHILIPPINE HISTORY 101 : Nostalgia should only tackle posts related to our country’s history, particularly those that invoke nostalgia. But general Filipino History topics are welcome.

Having said that, I would like to reiterate to all members to comply with this group’s theme as implied by the name. So please Please PLEASE stop publishing non-history related posts. We will not give warnings anymore, especially since there are thousands of you here. If we see a violator, he/she will be kicked out from the group immediately. With just Ms. Floirendo and myself, it is virtually impossible for the two of us to monitor all of your activities. That is why we need your compliance and cooperation. We are all adults here. You already know what is right or wrong.

Please do not consider this message as some sort of “dictatorship”. All we want is strict compliance to protect the integrity of this group. If you feel that Ms. Floirendo or myself are abusing our powers, feel free to criticize us in a respectful manner. And having mentioned that, may we all respect each and everyone here.

Remember: we are all here to promote our country’s beautiful past. Let us all learn from each other.

Lastly, I would like to thank the mother of PHILIPPINE HISTORY 101 : Nostalgia, Ms. Carmen Floirendo, for giving me this rare opportunity to moderate it with her. It is truly an honor!

Best regards,

José Mario “Pepe” Alas

Join the group now by clicking here!

What was Facebook thinking?!

No hay ninguna descripción de la foto disponible.

This artsy-fartsy image is not mine. It’s from Time. Who am I to judge them if they rhyme? 😂

Whenever I login to Facebook, it always asks me “What’s on your mind?”, bidding me to write a post about anything that comes to mind, let loose repressed feelings that I might want to share, boast of any accomplishments, flaunt happy photos, anything, a post that my FB friends can either like, comment upon, or totally ignore upon reading (maybe even scoff at it or laugh about it behind my back). This FB feature further solidifies the fact that, even online, we are still social creatures, that even if we have not seen each other for a long time, we are, somehow, still connected, still friends, still family members.

But what is it, really, that I wanted to point out?

NOTHING. Facebook was just asking me “What’s on your mind?” So there.