Monday, August 12, 2013

Drafting Fears

The blog is dying for quite some time already.  I just didn't want to accept it.
Or it may already be dead, and no amount of phoenix tears could revive it.

They said micro-blogging sites like tumblr and twitter killed the blog, but I beg to differ.  There were times before, that my blogger activities were as profuse as my twitter shenanigans, and one was feeding off the energies of the other.  It may be true that the ADHD culture helped kill the web log, but in my opinion, what ultimately killed it is the advent of the web-ready smart phone.  

When the internet is just at your fingertips, what need do you have for the clunky laptop?  Unfortunately, while the smart phone is perfect for typing that 140-character tweet, or the real-time posting of pictures and video, it is a cumbersome tool for the drafting of paragraphs-long posts, which the blog encourages.  That little screen just wont do for running sentence after sentence of post, not to mention the editing of photos.

But still, the need to write calls every once in a while.  But the lack of time and the promptings of other impetus eats away at what little time is available for writing.  And then, there is the doubt.  How many times have I, at the urging of envy after reading someone else's words, turned contemplative, searched deep inside, and picked...

a broom.

And in the pretext of distilling my thoughts, sweated phrase after phrase; sentence after sentence; thinking, revising, plotting.  But never committing anything on paper.  And when the luxury of time and thought had passed, forget that erstwhile writing assignment committed on meager memory.  Looking forlornly once more on that blank screen, unable to again shape the words into existence.

I fear I have developed a fear for actual writing.  I still claim to want it; to love it and pine for it.  To yearn for the time when, pen in hand, I give shape to my thoughts, letting it flow like blood from hand to paper.  I romanticize about it still, but more often, it feels like an empty task, more like a hollow dream you tell yourself, but never act upon.

How this former love become a fear, I wondered.  Back then, writing was a joy, and posting my thoughts away from the prying eyes of co-workers was a needed respite from the humdrum and monotony of the desk.  Escaping to the world of words and anonymity was a boon, a welcome color to the blacks and whites of the world of numbers.

How do I regain that drive?  And ultimately revive this space, if not in tears, then in a blazing fire of glory and rebirth.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013


The story needs no retelling.

By now, everyone knows of the infamous Damaso protest staged by Carlos Celdran.  And right now, the judge's ruling of conviction against him is equally infamous.

For the crime of "offending religious feelings" as per Article 133 of the Revised Penal Code, Carlos Celdran -- tour guide, media personality and activist -- is sentenced to suffer imprisonment of two months and 21 days as minimum, to one year, one month, and 11 days as maximum jail time.

And all for disrupting a mass.

Let's get this out straight away: Carlos is guilty. His stunt was premeditated and thought out. He even had the costume and placard at the ready. But should he be punished and jailed as a criminal? Our antiquated laws says yes, but in my opinion, such a stunt only merits a civil liability to be meted out by paying damages. Never jail time.

And like the libel laws currently in place, the punishment is too much for the "crime" committed. But then again, until early last year, our penal code can have you imprisoned for the crime of vagrancy.

Herein lies our problem: our laws are outdated; medieval, even. And even as we say that we uphold the right to freedom of expression and speech, we have libel and offense to religious feelings listed as crimes and are basically a deterrent to said freedom of expression. This is not to say that the freedom to express is absolute; you should still be civilly accountable for your actions, but no one should be imprisoned for it.

And it stinks of hypocrisy when the government claims to be non-sectarian, and then hold you criminally liable for the offence of religion.

What Carlos did was bold and sensational, and not entirely in good taste -- but he should not be imprisoned for it. After all, the bishops' stunt of going en masse to the Congress Session hall and booing the passing of the RH Bill was equally deplorable and in bad taste, and yet no one was imprisoned for it.



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