“How can we restore order under the heavens?” And Chinese sages would reply: “Call things by their right names.”
Constitutional scholar Joaquin Bernas did just that. House Resolution 1109 is a public declaration to commit a crime, he snapped. When congressmen keel-haul the constitution, by shutting out the senators, felony begins.
Wednesday’s protest, in Makati, embroidered that name-tag. Businessmen weighed in with Central Bank and National Economic Development Authority. Shuffling the cha-cha when the economy teeters on brink of recession is “ill-timed”.
Bloggers, tweeters and facebook aficionados are not as restrained. “Kick Con Ass,” they demand. Are they today’s version of cellphone texters who formed People Power Two’s cutting edge?
A nationwide noise barrage, over the weekend, will end this Makati starter. Pot-banging and horn honking, in 1984, preceded People Power One. Is a “critical mass” forming? Or will this fizzle?. The next few days may tell. Watch the players meanwhile.
Don’t wait for us, Catholic bishops told their flocks. Hit the streets; but avoid brass knuckles. Stay in the barracks, some generals cautioned soldiers.
El Shaddai’s Mike Velarde keeps cards close to his spangled bow tie. Trust “Brother” Mike. He knows which side of eternity the cash is found. Iglesia Ni Kristo invariably sits until quarter of midnight. Seek ye first the victor. Then, the kingdom will be given unto you.
This early, you know where Eddie Villanueva of Jesus-Is-Lord movement stands. He’ll call out “five million followers” against cha-cha. Call? From where? He scraped up less than five percent of votes in the last elections.
“I can call spirits from the vasty deep,” Glendower bragged. Hotspur replied :“Why so can I, “or so can any man,” Hotspur replied.. “But will they come when you do call for them.”
Malacanang isn’t taking chances. To tamp down a firestorm, the Palace is on persuasion mode. Spokesmen parrot a business-as-usual line.. Dirty tricks, like text messages on A(H1N1) threats in rallies, bounce around.
In a country about to be gang-raped, life goes on. Migrant Sunday rolls around early Lent. But 1037 Filipinos mark it daily They hoof it for “ far-away places with strange-sounding names”. Recession and job-squeeze don’t faze them.. They don’t wait for cha-cha either..
HR1109 means nothing to eight Filipinas who die daily from pregnancy and child birth related causes. Yearly, 700,000 babies are aborted, given hard-to-come-by family planning services All are just as dead as PR man Salvador Dacer and drver Emmanuel Corbito. Ask “Bigote” and Panfilo Lacson..
A quarter of pre-schoolers suffer chronic hunger. Many of over 24 million kids are crammed into a school system perennially in crisis. Error-studded textbooks, as an Inquirer editorial noted, does everything but educate.
Read this quote that Inquirer spotlighted. Aloud please.:“The dog rolled on the floor so fast and fell on the ground. There he laid yelling louder than ever. The dog yelled on top of his voice.”
Whistleblower Antonio Calipjo Go spotted that “classic” as he combed public textbooks.“The Economist”, this week, used that fractured sentence to stress “the cost of being tongue-tied in the colonizers’ tongue.”
Poor English zapped plans to nail 10% of the world market in outsourcing by the end of 2010, the magazine reported.. Nine out of ten otherwise qualified job applicants, mostly college graduates, flunk. Their English wasn’t up to the job.
“Once ( the Philippines) claimed to have more English speakers than all but two other countries,” the magazine said. But… three decades of decline in the share of Filipinos who speak the language, and deteriorating proficiency of those who can manage some English, eroded one of the country’s advantages in the global economy.”
Swiss business school IMD publishes “World Competitiveness Yearbook”. It’s latest edition reports the Philippines is wedged into slot 43 out of 57 countries studied.
As in other things, Filipinos joke about this problem. They spin the fictional story of a Japanese Prime Minister given basic English training before meeting US president Barack Obama…
“When you shake hands with President Obama, please say ‘how r u’,” the trainor said. Mr. Obama will say: ‘I am fine. And you?’ You should say: ‘Me too’.. Afterwards , translators do the work .’
When the Prime Minister met Obama , he said: ‘Who r u?’ ( Instead of ‘How r u?’.) Obama reacted with humor: “Well, I’m Michelle’s husband, ha-ha-ha”… Prime Minister: ‘ Me too, ha-ha-ha.’
But it’s no joking matter that “teachers have been flunking English for years,” the Economist adds. “In 2004, only one in five teachers passed the English-proficiency test…. The country winced when the 17-year- Miss Philippines (in the) World beauty contest failed spectacularly to answer in English usual questions posed by judges.
The Philippines hasn’t budged from cellar-status in the International Mathematics and Science tests. Over 48 countries participate in these exams, first administered in 1999. The last one was given in 2007.
“We’re appalled at the indecency and blatant disregard of the Filipino people’s will displayed by the House of Representatives in its adoption of HR1109,” trade chambers said. Congressmen no longer blush. Thus, they spurn the sage’s advise: “Call things by their right names.”