Labanan ang Paghihirap

Do you see those “LABANAN ANG KAHIRAPAN” large tarpaulins?  You can’t possibly miss them as its plastered and hung everywhere.  Unless, or course, you have a preconditioned blindness to every PGMA publicity.

Done perhaps, in good faith, this “call for action” is bad taste!  Personally, i am gravely offended by the slogan.  I am insulted by this “invitation”.

As a working mother, it demeans my daily efforts to earn a decent living in order to provide for my family’s needs, to send my children to school, to feed them, to clothe them, to have a roof over our heads.    The slogan negates my struggles as a good mother.  It invalidates the plans I have for my loved ones.

What was she thinking?  What were her advisers thinking?  Were they thinking that the majority of the working class are just planting our arses in cushioned seats in airconditioned offices doing nothing and caring for no one?  That we are leading lethargic and apathetic lives?  That we are indifferent to the poverty around us?

I dare say that those who coined the “labanan” crap is naive to the realities of the Filipino’s plight since they drive around in airconditioned cars with fuel paid for by the government, or officed on the top floor of buildings with utilities paid for by the government, or staffed with overworked-underpaid personnel whose salaries are paid for by the government. (After thought: I need not discuss where the government got the money to pay for all those.)

They are protected from the stench of poverty, while we have to wallow in it.  Yet, they have the audacity to tell us to fight it.

Of course, the hidden message of the slogan is:  (You) Fight Pverty. (After thought: Ask any english teacher the syntax for sentences with missing subject) You, who know and experience poverty, fight it.

This is typical of the GMA administration… pass on the blame, pass on the work.

After thought: Another sad reality is that poverty, really, is our concern… not theirs.

Note:  The original unpublished draft is much too hateful and generously sprinkled with profanities than this edition.  I maybe angry, but not insane!


Praises for Avel

To God be the Glory!  And thank God for people like Avel Manansala!

Kuyavel plays many significant roles in my life; as mentor, friend, talent agent, talent manager, and critique.  He is the instrument of my personal, professional and artistic growth.

In 2000, Kuyavel became my talent manager and agent when the KTV Bar of Anchor Hotel was re-engineered and the management decided to take on Videoke Masters to host their nightly operations.  Together with Nestor Almerante and Ryan Velasco, we braved Gensan’s “resistance” to hosted/emceed videoke-ing.  I look back to that time with much fondeness as it was one of the happiest phases of my life. My nights were filled with laughter, music and free booze.  It was good to know that despite initial apprehensions of Anchor’s patrons, we became a big hit!  The KTV Bar became a “must-go” gimik venue in Gensan.

But, just when things started to get better… Kuyavel left for Kuala Lumpur to join the circus!

There are stories to be told about that, but its Kuyavel’s to tell.  Nevertheless, I stayed on at the KTV Bar for awhile but eventually, left the scene too.  Like the majestic eagles, the mentors leave the young in order to make them stronger.  Kuyavel left to make me soar.  (After thought: NO, he did not join the circus as an eagle!)

In 2004, we joined forces again.  This time for government service. 

Have you heard of the saying “Power is intoxicating”?  I believe that this is the curse that plagued the Private Secretary post at Gensan City Mayor’s Office.  Of all my years in service in that office, I have seen a ghost, a bird and an emperor fill that position.  They started very well, sincere in their intentions for public service and noble in their actions.  In due time, their speech, manner of dressing, demeanor, and general attitude are visibly transformed… revealing the effects of the curse from within.  They strut about as if somebody important, yet the quality of the work was abyssmal.  As their egos inflate, their jobs deflate.  

All, except one. KUYAVEL. He was the only person holding that position who was immune to the curse.  He was speech-writer, media liaison, advance party, appointment officer, confidante.  Yet, all the while he was able to keep his lovable, huggable, amiable, efficient self intact.

Well, he no longer holds that position now.  But we are still together in the same office, upholding each other’s sanity as we face the daily challenges of public service.

Recently, Kuyavel is the reason why I’m keeping a journal again.  “Mag-blog ka lagi ‘Let.  Sayang yang utak mo!” (After thought:  I will not translate his words to English.  The essence will be lost in translation.)

I admit that it took awhile before I cracked.  I realize that I have been writing (some good, some bad, some worth publishing, some not worth recycling) for other people.  Always assuming their personalities and seldom taking credit for the good ones.  After numerous years of doing that, I got accustomed in letting other people have ownership of my thoughts.  Anonymity is my comfort zone.  Publishing my thoughts or exposing my views is the same as opening myself to rejection, criticism or ridicule.

“‘Let,I remember a time when nobody could step on you or get the better of you.  What happened?”

“I got married, had kids and gone old.”  I answered.

Girl, I don’t like what you have become! ”  he replied.

That line did it. 

Thank you Kuyavel for setting me free. 



This is my first time to attempt to keep a journal . . . again!

The very first was a child’s diary in my early teens. However, my mother, very protective of me as she is, was secretly reading it. She peeped into my innermost thoughts and desires. Although, the entries were childish at that time, I felt violated. Eventually, I found out about it and stopped. Until now.

Hopefully, when my children are grown, they can remember me and the events that happened as I see, perceive, understand and feel.

I am calling this journal (a.k.s blog site) “Visual Thoughts (and after thoughts too!)” just in case someone becomes interested in peaking into my head again.

This time, you are most welcome!

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