On Rainbows


In a historic vote, the Supreme Court of the United States voted 5-to-4 to legalize same sex marriage across the country. A victory for the LGBT community seeking equal marriage rights. A Land of the Free indeed.

I woke up this morning with the internet exploding with cheers of victory, praises for the Supreme Court’s decision, and a celebration of love.

And rainbows. Facebook.com took the initiative of merging its users’ profile pictures with a rainbow. Twitter.com puts a rainbow-colored heart emoji for every tweets with a #LoveWins hashtag. Different companies and organizations took the initiative of redesigning their logo on different social media platforms with the colors of this historic day’s victory.

Rainbow colors. The color of the widely-recognizable LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) flag. First used in the 1970’s, these colors symbolize the diversity of the LGBT community. The flag is often used in LGBT Pride Marches all over the world – and we would see more of them in the days to come in marches of victory and celebration.

Whenever there are news and talks about same-sex marriage and other issues concerning the LGBT, I always got used to being asked by my friends about my two cents and whatnots. I spent eight years in the seminary and at present, I am a Christian Living Education teacher in a Catholic School. Questions would range from the Catholic Church’s stand on the issue – and whether there is a possibility of softening her stand to catch up with the times – to my personal opinion as a, er,prodigal son of the Catholic Church (I was asked to take a leave from the seminary formation back in 2009 due to some of my views and opinions on some conservative issues.)

This is a historic moment for the LGBT Community but how should I address this issue to my students studying in a sectarian school?

The other day, I scolded my Grade 9 advisory class after some of my students (the testosterone-driven teenage boys, you got the picture) tauntingly called one student who passed by the corridor “Bakla!”, followed by the usual jeers and discreet laughter. I first gave them a Bruce Banner face. The scolding would come later. After all, they were praying their morning rosary(!) when the incident happened.

After calming my nerves, I reminded my students the basic virtue of respect. We have repeatedly discussed human dignity – that we are creatures endowed with freedom and intellect and that we are all created equal. We should treat each other with respect no matter what his/her color, gender, preference, choices, beliefs, and sexual orientation are. I also reminded them about the very first lecture that I delivered to them when classes opened last June 8 – the Anti-Bullying Act of 2013.

Section 3 (Definition of Terms), B.1.2 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the said law states the existence of  “Gender-based bullying” which refers to any act that humiliates or excludes a person on the basis of perceived or actual sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI)as one of the types of bullying. What they did is bullying. It should never be tolerated inside the school. It should never be a part of their behavior and subculture as growing teenagers. They should refrain from doing it. It is against the law. It is very disrespectful of other people. It is against their being students of a Catholic School.

All I got were nods of submission, apologies, and a promise never to do it again.

I hope they got my point. I hope they keep their promise.

The issue of homosexuality and same-sex marriage had generated incidents and a culture of hatred and discrimination. Even among Christians and Catholics, whose beliefs are rooted the Incarnated God who taught to love and respect other people, the level of hatred and indifference appear to be very alarming and unbelievable. The Catholic Church is also not spared from this issue. The Institution that survived persecution, power struggle, wars, and criticism for over two millennia has repeatedly iterated her stand on same sex marriage – it is only between a man and a woman. Period.

But should Catholics propagate a culture of hate towards the members of the LGBT Community?

No. Plain and simple.

What does the Catholic Church teach on this issue? The Catechism of the Catholic Church (no. 2358) teaches that “they must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition. 

We are all human persons. We are all intelligent creatures composed of complex molecular structures. We are all creatures endowed with freedom and intellect. We are all created in the image and likeness of God. We are all God’s children. Members of the LGBT Community – and mind you, I have a lot of proud friends – are also called to fulfill God’s mission for them. There is no room for an unjust discrimination and hate. We should all treat them with love.

But how about on the issue of same-sex marriage? Why does the Catholic Church stubbornly stay rooted in her stand amidst the changing of times? Is the Catholic Church still living on the Dark Ages?

No. There are some things that are immutable.To quote Lingayen Archbishop and CBCP President Socrates B. Villagas“the Church continues to maintain what it has always taught. Marriage is a permanent union of man and woman, in the complementarity of the sexes and the mutual fulfillment that the union of a man and a woman bring into the loftiness of the matrimonial bond. If there is an undeniable difference between man and woman, there is also an undeniable difference between the permanent union of a man and a woman.” This goes beyond time and the changing world. This is rooted on the teachings of Christ found on the Sacred Scripture.

But the times are changing, the world is changing. The Church should let go of her old ways and embrace that which is for the betterment of her flock, you may say. Should we teach the next generation of Catholics to embrace what the majoritythinks as right, better, and just?

Part of my duty as a Christian Living Education/Religion teacher is to teach my students what the church they belong to believes and teaches. But how do I reach out to the youth whose values (and maybe morals) are shaped by the fast-changing world?

It is my duty, it is my moral responsibility as their teacher to reach out to these youth and teach them the ways of the Church. But in the event that they do not adhere to that teaching, should they go on their own way and disobey the Catechesis of their Church, I would still show my love, understanding, respect, and compassion just as how I treat my LGBT friends. In the event that they openly go against the teachings and the ways of the Church, I would still treat them as a person worthy of love and respect. I believe all this hate starts from misunderstanding and I would like to be a part of that path towards healing and reconciliation. After all, I believe in a God who is all-loving and all-embracing.

Just this year, Ireland became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage via a referendum and now, a Supreme Court ruling in the United States. And some groups here in the Philippines are also pushing for the same thing. But I believe that this is an interesting times for the Catholic Church and her faithful. It is time for to step up and choose to be brave amidst these changing world. Stay true to her teachings but at the same time, show love and understanding to people who do things that are against her teachings. Reach out. Show them some love and understanding. Talk to them. Pray for them.

Rainbow. An optical and meteorological phenomenon caused by reflection, refraction, and dispersion of light in water droplets resulting in a spectrum. A visual treat. A source of joy and happiness for some people. Its different colors has been used and interpreted by people throughout history. LGBT groups wave it with pride. Christians remember it as a symbol of God’s covenant to Noah.

A symbol of covenant. A symbol of hope. A symbol of a new beginning. The issue of same-sex marriage and its legalization in the Land of the Free (and subsequently, in other countries too, I suppose) would be a cause of division among its people with different beliefs and choices. But as what it symbolizes, may this event be a start of a new beginning. Let us remember that we are all human persons no matter how different are we. Let us all shine and give color to this beautiful world.

This one is for love. This one is for compassion.


The Things I Learned this Academic Year

A new academic year, new subjects to be taught, new colleagues, new students, different experience. Here are the things that I have learned for the past 10 months or so:

  1. This is a confession. I admit that when I was at school, when I was the age of my students, I used to despise some of my teachers – especially those who do not teach well. And now that I am a teacher for one-and-a-half years, I see my old self with some of my students. And I find it amusing, entertaining, and inspiring. I think that is the secret on understanding our students – by putting ourselves in their shoes. Empathy, if you may call it. Or metaphysical and psycho-emotional transcendence. I love students who challenge their teachers, who are not afraid to speak up and ask questions. And I am thankful that this school year, I already found some and they are also the reasons why I won’t leave this institution after this school year. I love challenges. And I love to speak with intelligent and brave students.


  2. Fight for what you think is right, not for yourself, but for the future generation and the younger ones who look up to you. Last August 26, together with thousand other concerned taxpayers, I joined the so-called Million People March in Luneta, a protest against the pork barrel issue. It was a memorable experience for me as a concerned Filipino and as an educator of high school students. I used that experience to teach my students, especially in my Religion classes, the virtues of justice and honesty and the sense of social awareness. Before I became a teacher, I have this blog called Juan Republic and I used to contribute for different websites about my opinion and stand on different socio-political issues. And I have to say that my articles on the internet gained popularity and influence among young professionals and teenagers who follow my blog. And I told myself that I should use that influence to inspire the still-malleable high school students. Because I believe that these lessons will be carried by my students as they grow up, that they will remember life’s practical lessons more compared to Algebra, the different elements in Chemistry, and the memorized things inside the classroom.


  3. Rest, if you must, but don’t quit. This academic year has been more tiring and burnout-inducing compared to last year because I hold 4 subjects on 8 sections. And I have less vacant periods this time (just one hour per day, usually the first period reserved for Class Advisers). I admit I almost gave up and ask for a relieve because doing 8 classes per day is exhausting and draining; I cannot do other responsibilities (doing lesson plans, checking test papers, and stuff) and I am always knocked out at the end of a day. But then I thought of my students, I thought of the young ones who are looking up to me as their teacher and their inspiration. So I decided to carry on. I think the secret of this craft is to use our time wisely (which, I am glad my 8-year stint in the Seminary has taught me), to balance work and other stuff, and to look at the students as an inspiration on everything that we do. At the end of the day, all things will zero in to our students. I vowed to teach them, to be an inspiration, to share my knowledge, talents and skills, to be of service. And that is one hell of a big responsibility. Who am I to give up and leave the future of the Patria Adorada hanging in mid-air?


  4. Pursue your passion.  When the Priests asked me to undergo the regency program, I told myself that I will continue to do the thing that I always like – to write, to talk, and to inspire young people. This profession, or shall I say, this vocation is not financially rewarding. I may not get rich by teaching but this dictum has been my mantra for some time now: Choose the job that you want and you don’t have to work for the rest of your life. If I work just for the money, I have long abandoned this institution. But life is all about happiness, and as long as I am happy with what I am doing, I will still stay on the same ship.


  5. Thank God for everything. This school year has been a blessing for me in all aspects. And I thank the Lord for giving me an opportunity to stay on the institution and to continue to be of service to the young generation.

This academic year has been a fun ride. I thank my students, colleagues, superiors, and friends who in one way or another, has accompanied me on this journey.

 I’ll see you soon. And by that time, we will start writing again another chapter of this fun-filled journey called life.  Au revoir!

Note: This article is originally my year-end report for this academic year. I have decided to share this in my blog to give the readers a view of my life as a teacher – and the lessons that I learned from it. Some parts have been tweaked for brevity and clarity but more or less, this is the original report.

15 Minutes of ‘Cyber Fame’

I was a late convert of Esquire Magazine. I have always wanted to buy (and collect) this magazine since their maiden issue with Manny Pacquiao on the cover but I can’t manage (financial-wise) to maintain more than one magazine subscription. You see, I was a huge PULP Magazine collector then but things changed since their magazine turned into an Avon magazine-brochure (But that’s another issue. Let’s not go to that awful story). 

But things started to change when they featured Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile last year. You see, sans the issues surrounding the old man, I am a huge fan of the Pinoy PalapatineAnd when they featured him on the December-January issue last 2012-2013, it was a no-brainer that I buy it. I found the magazine classy, substantial, and educational so I dumped my old collection and on that moment, my relationship with the magazine began.

I have learned a lot about life, trends, culture, politics, literature, and social issues since I started reading and collecting Esquire. It is not your usual bikini-clad, sex talk-filled, AB Market-catering magazine. It has substance. It has sense. For me, this is the magazine.

As of writing, they have just previously released their March issue featuring the 90’s It Girl Mai Mai Cojuangco. And the new issue reminded me of something ‘crazy’ that I did last month, something that I forgot to blog, and something that I will forever cherish.

Last month’s Art issue of Esquire Magazine features a ‘back portrait’ of John Lloyd Cruz. Most people do not know this ‘other side’ of John Lloyd – that he is a huge collector of local artworks and that his house is a mino-art gallety of sort. Personally, being an occasional artsy-fartsy that I am, I was also surprised that this A-list actor has a different persona away from the lights and glamour of show business.

I am not a die-hard John Lloyd fan. I haven’t watched all of his movies. I am just that regular viewer who watches him on TV every time I have the chance to do so. (Though I admit I am a huge fan of ‘Rovic and Eds’ – his loveteam with Kaye Abad during their Tabing Ilog days.) But John Lloyd Cruz, being the epitome of guwapong-lalake-pero-walang-6-pack-abs, is the inspiration of my ‘alter ego’.

I am a high school teacher and my students fondly call me “Sir John Lloyd”. It started when I declared myself as a John Lloyd look-a-like. And whenever they tag me photos on Facebook, I would always comment ‘#TeamJohnLloyd’ – indicating my self-proclaimed resemblance with John Lloud Cruz. I even went into putting John Lloyd Cruz’s photo in my test papers with an ‘inspirational quote’ (basically quotes from his movies) from the great man. (I am telling you, I am one hell of a crazy teacher. Haha!)

So when Esquire featured John Lloyd Cruz (again, having graced the cover before on their The State of Man issue) on the cover of their Art Issue, I decided to do something crazy. Just for fun, I told myself, something to ‘cement’ my claim that I look like John Lloyd Cruz.

With the helped of my siblings, I made a ‘back portrait’, imitating John Lloyd’s pose on the unique cover. I started sharing it on my social media accounts – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – for the purpose of bringing a smile to people’s, especially my students’, faces.

And then the unexpected happen. The official Twitter account of Esquire Philippines tweeted my picture with the caption “When Life imitates art. An Esquire reader does his own version of the February cover” 


And then it snowballed. They also featured it on their official Facebook page:


After the photo was posted, I was bombarded by messages and reactions from my friends, praising, laughing, and basically astounded by my crazy antic – and its unexpected aftermath. Being a man contented with third world cyber joys, I was so elated when the Esquire did this. I even joked that this may be the key on finally meeting John Lloyd Cruz. And fist-bumping and bro-hugging him if possible.

I slept that night with a smile on my face. Seriously. Tangina John Lloyd Cruz yan eh! Sorry, I just have to let that out.

Sans this ’15 minutes of Cyber Fame’, I would like to express my admiration and gratitude to Esquire Philippines not for featuring my photo on their social media accounts but for providing readers with features and articles with substance. I wish longevity and more success for this badass magazine. I can’t wait to grab myself and read the latest issue.

And oh, Esquire Philippines, I am dead serious about meeting John Lloyd Cruz. It will be my greatest joy if this would see the light of reality.

Salary Grade 20 for Public School Teachers: A Few Thoughts

Senator Antonio Trillanes wants a Php 36,567 minimum salary for public school teachers.

As an *coughs* underpaid *coughs* private school teacher, these are my few thoughts:

  1. This will mean a massive diaspora from private to public schools by teachers. Even before the proposed salary increase, it’s happening now. Private schools are experiencing a mass resignation and transfer of their teachers to a higher-paying public school. We cannot blame those who leave. Their family needs them. There was even one joke among us teachers that “our take home pay cannot take us home”. With this in mind, this will lead to…
  2. The ‘death’ of some private schools that cannot match this salary grade. Take away the teachers from your school and what do you have? Nada. Or take this for example, if a school has no permanent teacher every school year (i.e. they transfer to public school after gaining a year of teaching experience), it would not thrive. There won’t be a continuity of the academic programs if you have new educators every year. 
  3. If this would materialize, there will be an increase in enrollment of education-related courses. I have nothing against that. We need teachers. But what we need more are quality teachers. Better teachers. Best teachers. Especially with the new K+12 curriculum. There are some teachers who are only good in demo teaching. Trust me, I know. Heh!
  4. I hope this would not be like what happened in the past when there was a sudden increase of students who took up nursing – only to end up being jobless and some nursing schools being closed due to its poor performance. We should not compromise quality of our educators by producing products of a another diploma mill.
  5. I hope they also consider those minimum-wage-earning private school teachers who would be left behind, if this would see the light of reality. I suggest they increase the FAPE subsidy that they give every year. As of now, licensed private school teachers only receive 10,000 pesos in Government subsidy (sans the tax) every year as a way to ‘level’ them with public school teachers.

I have nothing against public school teachers (Salute mga Ma’am Ser!) and Sen. Trillanes’ proposal. I just care about my comrades in the Private School. I do not plan to be a teacher forever. I just consider this as my ‘past time’, a furlough of sort while waiting for a better career option. But, just maybe, I reconsider my options since I love what I’m doing right now.

And to cap this post, here are some unnecessary pictures of me, being happy with my job, er, service as a private school teacher:










Mabuhay ang mga guro!

Please take note that the things written here are my opinion and they do not reflect those of my employer’s and the school system that I work with. Thank you.

Pinoy Alternate History (Part 2)

Just like last year’s celebration of Independence Day, I joined RocketKapre.com’s Twitter discussion/trend/story telling about alternate Filipino history. By means of the hashtag #RP612fic, Twitter users shared their tweet-length stories about our country’s alternative history and realist micro fiction.

I decided to collate and post my #RP612fic tweets here in my blog because eventually, these stories will be covered with other stories, opinion, and whatnots on my timeline. I would like to preserve these precious tweets and let it reach a wider audience through Juan Republic.


Ladies and gentlemen, I am presenting you the product of my love for history, pop culture, conspiracy theory, and Game of Thrones.

  • Before Jose Rizal was given a mercy shot in the head, the commanding officer told him “The Lannisters send their regards”.
  • Simoun/Crisostomo Ibarra’s plan to sabotage Edmure Tully and Roslin Frey’s wedding failed when Isagani threw the lamp to the river
  • “Di lang ako Presidente! Artista rin ako at hindi ako basta-basta artista! Ako si Da King at ang orig na Panday!” – President FPJ
  • The White Walkers defeated the Night’s Watch under General Gregorio Del Pilar. They later chased Aguinaldo in Palanan, Isabela.
  •  Andres Bonifacio sensed that something was wrong at the Tejeros Convention when ‘The Rains of Castamere’ was played by the Cavitenos.
  •  The last words of Captain Pedro Janolino to the bloodied corpse of General Antonio Luna: “And now his watch has ended.”
  •   Pol Medina Jr. declared National Artist for Visual Arts – much to the dismay of St. Scholastica administration.
  •  Bossing Vic Sotto unites with Peter Jackson! ‘Si Bilbo Baggins at si Enteng Kabisote’ eyed for the 40th Metro Manila Film Festival
  •   In the Battle of Manila Bay, the Americans implored the help of Tyrion Lannister to use wildfire against the Spaniards.
  •  The City of Manila was declared an ‘Open City’ to save it from further destruction from Khaleesi’s dragons and her unsullied army.
  •  The City of Manila was the second most destroyed city during the War of the Five Kings – next only to Winterfell.
  •  PNoy named Hannibal Lecter as Malacanan’s new executive chef. The palace received good feedbacks from guests at the Vin D’Honneur
  •  Bonifacio rose up from his grave and punched ER Ejercito in the face over the former’s ‘bad image’ in the movie ‘El Presidente’.
  •  Before Aguinaldo’s men could kill them, Procopio and Andres Bonifacio contacted USS Enterprise and shouted “Beam us up, Scotty!”
  •   In 1892, Jose Rizal was exiled to the planet Vulcan. There, he became friends with Spock and the rest of the Vulcans.
  • In the year 2080, due to the numerous archived pro-Marcos posts, kids believe that Ferdinand Marcos is a member of The Beatles.

I could have added other insane stories on my tweets but I didn’t want to flood my followers’ Twitter timeline and I was then in the middle of rushing (read: cramming) my diagnostic examinations for my students (Yes, I’m a High School teacher. Yey.)

It is said that there are no ifs in history. We cannot dwell on the past and try to change it. But we can always learn from its lessons. As what George Santayana said: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

But we can always use our imagination and think of a good and creative historical fiction. And have a good laugh.

Mabuhay ang Kalayaan! Padayon!



  • Pinoy Alternate History – My #RP612fic tweets from last year – inspired by pop culture, television shows, and conspiracy theories.

A Force-Driven Life

This is not a rip-off or a critique of Rick Warren’s classic opus, The Purpose-Driven Life. This is the story of my midichlorian-infused journey to the galaxy of far, far away aboard the Millennium Falcon with The Force as my guide.

Okay, that sounds too geek.

Every once in while, a great fictional saga is born and made. Classics such as James Bond, Indiana Jones, The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Star Trek, and Batman are just some of the well-loved series by different generations of fans, geeks, and movie buffs.

Among the above-mentioned series, there is one that always stands out for me among others – Star Wars. I am a Star Wars fan. Call me a geek but seriously, I am a die-hard fan of the universe created by George Lucas. I am also a Harry Potter fan but my obsession with Star Wars started when I was young long before I discovered the magical world of Harry Potter.

But I am not into the story of a dramatic young lady who is obsessed with a sparkling vampire. I will just leave it there for kids to devour.




I blame my obsession with Star Wars to my father. Back when I was still a little kid, he introduced me to the epicness of Master Yoda, Luke Skywalker, Obi Wan Kenobi, and Darth Vader. I can still remember how he brought home cutouts and scanned pages from the magazine about Star Wars (This was the time when scanners and colored printers were just a new technology, for common people at least.). He even gave me printout of all the characters – from the whole Jedi council to the Ewoks – pasted in an illustration board and covered with a plastic cover. The internet was a new technology then and the graphics were not as good as it is today so I consider those cut-outs as a priced gem.

That’s how my obsession for Star Wars started. I am thankful to have a geek and cool father (Sometimes I think he is a Jedi in disguise, a man conceived by the midichlorians themselves. Seriously).

And today, May 4, as what most of the Star Wars fan knew, is Star Wars Day.

Star Wars Day (also sometimes known as Luke Skywalker Day) because of the popularity of a common pun spoken on this day. Since the phrase “May the Force be with you” is a famous quote often spoken in the Star Wars films, fans commonly say “May the fourth be with you” (May 4th) on this day.

A few months back, I wrote about my obsession with covers and front pages of magazines and broadsheets. I decided to check the TIME Magazine cover archive and found this interesting covers on Star Wars and Science Fiction. What caught my attention was this favorite cover of mine which was released on 2002, when I was still in High School:




This was released prior to the showing of the second part (chronologically fifth) of the Star Wars saga. This issue contains a complete guide to the Attack of the Clones – from characters to space ships and other vehicles.

Due to my obsession for the series, I made something, uhm, dark back in the day. I nenok-ed this issue in our library and cut the pages dedicated to Star Wars. I think the dark side of The Force forced me to do so (insert evil grin here).

So much for my mission to destroy the Death Star.

This particular installment came as a surprise for the fans of Master Yoda – myself included – when he, for the first time, used his light saber to fight Count Dooku. and I tell you, that was one of the most memorable sword fights in movie history.

Browsing the archives of Time Magazine’s website and the web for Star Wars-related stuff brings back good memories of my childhood as a little Star Wars fan, sharing the story with my father. And I think this will last until I grow old, and probably, when I have children of my own.

The acquisition of Lucas Films by Disney Pictures and the recent news about star wars episode 7 made me stoked and screamed like a teenage fan boy. And to add to my excitement, I heard that SciFi genius JJ Abrams will be directing the next trilogy. How cool was that? I can’t wait for 2015 to see that movie.

And just so you know, young ladies who know Order 66 have an edge to meShall we talk about Star Wars over a cup of coffee?

Happy Star Wars Day everyone! May The Force be with you!





  • John Williams is the Man – In celebration of Star Wars day, here’s an a capella tribute of cinematic themes dedicated to composer John Williams – composer of the themes of Star Wars, Jurrsic Park, E.T. among others. The lyrics of the song contains some of the parts from the Star Wars series.
  • I Sense a Disturbance in The Force – Something that I made and wrote back in 2010 – my favorite Philippine Senator meets the Sith Lord of the Galactic Empire.
  • Star Wars Day Advertisement: Say No to The Force – A not-so-friendly reminder from the Galactic Empire


Isang basong tubig galing sa poso inutang na kanin at malamig na ginamos
kaunting asin sa plastik na platito busog na bay, puwede nang magtrabaho 
Sa aking balikat ay papasanin tatlong-daang kilo ng asukal limandaang sako ng denorado sanlibong kaha ng delata sampung tonelada ng arina
Kalawanging bubong, pader na may butas posteng pilay at sahig na paduyan-duyan ang aking palasyo’y pagkatibay-tibay pero puwede na ‘pre – tuloy ang hanapbuhay Ngayong araw ay tatapusin ko isang subdibisyon, limampung hektarya tatlong dosenang mansyon na magara higanteng gusaling likha sa semento kilo-kilometro ng kalsada
Oo, kay tamis ng buhay oo, kay daling umasenso  hangarin ko’y makatikim ng kaunting hayahay subalit kailangang ipagpatuloy ang hanapbuhay Pagkat walang ibang makagagawa nito paandarin ang makinarya bigyan ng buhay ang industriya patakbuhin ang ekonomiya padayunon ang pagpangita
Isang awiting obrero, para sa mga obrero, sa araw ng mga obrero.
May isa akong tweet na nabasa noong panahong wala pang masyadong jologs sa Twitter, mula yata kay ginoong Ramon Bautista. Kung gusto mong magkaroon ng inspirasyon sa araw-araw, pagmasdan mo daw ang mga ordinaryong taong pumapasok sa kanilang mga trabaho tuwing umaga.
Oo nga naman. Madalas, puro reklamo tayo sa hassles ng buhay. Puro reklamo sa trabaho at pag-aaral. Puro hinaing sa kung ano ang mga bagay na meron tayo. Gayong marami sa ating mga kababayang obrero, halos mamatay na sa trabaho na magkaroon lamang ng marangal na pagkukunan ng ipangtutustos sa kanilang pamilya. Ganoon ba dapat ‘yun? Kailangangmamatay upang makabuhay? Isang napakalaking kabalintunaan.
Hanga ako sa mga obrero, lalo na yung mga (mababa pa sa) minumum at arawan lamang kung sumuweldo. Tapos, hindi pa mga permanente at puro kontraktwal. Sila yung mga taong pinaghuhugutan ko ng inspirasyon para hindi sumuko sa buhay. Nakakahiya nga sa kanila. Ako na nga itong nakatapos at nasabing mas may pinag-aralan, ako pa itong tatamad-tamad sa trabaho. Paano kaya kung nagbiro ang tadhana at iyong skill at knowledge ko ay nasa kanilang mga masisipag? Napakalayo na siguro ng narating nila.
Kung hindi lang sana kalakaran dito sa atin ang kontraktwalisasyon. Kung ang trabaho ng mga obrero ay permanente at hindi na mamomroblema makalipas ang limang buwan. Siguro nga, metaphysicaly speaking, sa mundo ng negosyo at Kapitalsmo, maituturing na ‘necessary evil’ (o kinakailangan talagang umiral dahil ito ay nasa kaniyang natura gaano man kasama ang epekto) ang kontraktwalisasyon. Pero naniniwala akong hindi dapat iyon ang kalakaran sa tunay na mundo.
Isa sa mga paborito kong kanta ay ang ‘Padayon’ na orihinal na inawit ni Joey Ayala (na muling binigyang buhay ng Rivermaya sa kanilang album na “Isang Ugat, Isang Dugo”). Napakaganda ng mensahe nitong nagbibigay buhay sa manggagawa na huwag susuko at ang kanilang importansya sa lipunan.
Ang ‘Padayon’ ay isang salitang Bisaya na ang ibig sabihin ay ‘magpatuloy’ o ‘tuloy lang’. Sa katunayan, ginawa ko na ito bilang aking personal na ‘mantra’ at motto sa buhay. At kung hindi ka kabilang sa 85% ng mga tagasubaybay sa blog ko na hindi naman talaga nagbabasa (at may attention span lang ng dalawang talata), malamang ay napansin mong madalas ko itong gamitin sa aking mga naunang akda.
Ngayon ay Kapistahan ni San Jose, ang manggagawa. Siya ang itinuturing ng Simbahang Katolika na Patron ng mga obrero, ng mga manggagagawa. Ngayong araw din ipinagdiriwang sa buong kapuluan ang Araw ng mga Manggagawa o ang Labor Day.
Noong bata ako, itinuturing ko lang ang ika-1 ng Mayo o Labor Day bilang araw ng protesta ng mga aktibista at iba’t-ibang mga unyon ng manggagawa na kung misan, mapapa-“Punyeta!” ka na lang sa kanila dahil nagiging sagabal sa daloy ng trapiko, maingay, at parang mga ngawa lang nang ngawa na wala nang ginawa kung hindi magreklamo.
Pero kahit minsan, naisip mo ba na kung wala ang mga “maiingay” na ito, ang mga raliyista na nagreklamo, ang mga may hawak ng placard sa kalsada na dahilan kung bakit ka naipit sa ga-impyernong trapiko, hindi dapat  natin tinatamasa ngayon ang ilan sa mga pribilehiyo bilang mga manggagawa? Kung wala ang mga nakipaglaban na yan, wala tayong weekend, overtime pay, social security, sick leave,health benefits, at iba pa?
Imbes na magreklamo dahil nahuli ka sa pagpunta sa mall para manood ng Iron Man 3 ngayong holiday, magpasalamat ka na lang kahit papaano.
Isa sa mga pangarap ko para sa ating Patria Adorada ay ang dumating ang araw na ang Araw ng Manggagawa ay maging isang araw na punong-puno lamang ng kasiyahan at pagdiriwang. Walang protesta. Walang sinusunog na effigy. Isang araw na pinapangaralan at pinasasalamatan ang lahat ng mga dakilang manggagagawa.
Sana, magkatotoo.
Mabuhay ang mga dakila at masisipag na obrerong Pinoy! Padayon!
  • NagResignAko.com – Kaunting katatawanan mula sa iba’t-ibang istorya ng mga manggagawang nagbitiw sa kanilang trabaho. Akala mo ay pinaka-impyerno na ang trabaho mo? Bakit hindi mo ikumpara sa kanila?