Monday, February 27, 2006

Michelle and Eileen are posting personal reflections about the "state of emergency" that Arroyo recently declared.

My apolitical relatives and a Kapampangan listserve are taking the side of Arroyo (she is Kapampangan - need I say more?, and some of the friends back home that I depend on for perspective haven't issued any statements so far, therefore, I am left with the question: what is the alternative? Apparently, according to the Time correspondent who had an insider view of the coup plot, the plotters had called Washington and assured the US that the new administration will be US-friendly.So this is their version of "new government?" One of the alleged coup plotters, Pastor Saycon, said (on TV PAtrol) that Sindayen had twisted the story about the meeting and came up with a conspiracy theory; he said that he wouldn't have invited Sindayen to the meeting if it was a secret meeting to plot a coup.

In the meantime, about 51 persons are being charged with rebellion...

But here's a story that my sister told me from her friends at the University of the Philippines. A representative of the Venezuelan government was invited to UP to talk about the rise to power of Hugo Chavez. He described four decades of grassroots organizing that culminated in Chavez' election. When asked what price he and other Chavez supporters have paid; the speaker got teary-eyed and said: "we lost so many good people."

While I was in the Philippines last summer, some scholars I talked to remain hopeful (and not just optimistic) about the future of the Philippines. To them, this is still a time of purging and cleansing which will eventually result in a populist democracry (versus the current elite-run democracy). They see the empowerment of the masses, via their politicization (thus the mass rallies and loud voices and presence) as the necessary strategies that will lead to --for now, chaos -- but in the long-term, a long term peace. Listening to their expressions of hope, I am befuddled but at the same time I could I feel a deep admiration and respect for their ability to hold on to this great vision. I sense that this is their deep love for Filipinoness: a refusal to surrender to nihilism.

In other news, celebrities like Leah Navarro and GLoria Diaz have added their voices to the "oust GMA" movement. Great!

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