April 2, 2023

“Isip pulis,” that’s the tag given to General Antonio Parlade who color tags others every time he sees red.
Here’s how the isip-pulis syndrome works:
“You are a UP student, and therefore an activist, hence, a communist.”
Maybe the good general bases his tagging on an old UP saying, “Kung disi-otso ka na, at hindi ka pa komunista, wala kang puso, pero kung trenta ka na at komunista ka pa rin, wala kang utak.”

But for most college students taking to the streets or to the hills, ideology might not even have anything to do with it.
When kids mass or match together in protest, it is out of disgust for the unbridled government corruption, the abuses of the military, and other public officials, and more telling, the hypocrisy of politicians.

But why are they with the New People’s Army or with the communist insurgency?
Because there is no one else to turn to, not that their hearts are with the movement, knowing only too well that communist leaders are just as tyrannical as their democratic counterparts – always moving heaven and earth to perpetuate themselves in power.
Between hell and the deep blue sea is where they are, but better there than not doing anything about it.
Like one of them said some decades back, “Kung hindi ngayon, kailan pa, kung hindi tayo, sino pa,” or something like that.

“Kilos, laban, para sa inang bayan.”
Misguided though that they might be, re-bels are not the enemy of the State, but those who insist they are, love their own selves and their country less.
“In war, there is no substitute for victory,” so said a general who earlier promised to return.
But winning the hearts and minds of the underground would be the ultimate victory.
One does not learn love of country in the UP or PMA. It is something that you learn from heroes of the motherland.
Like what a chief justice said to his son, before being shot by the Japanese, “No greater love or glory than to die for one’s country.”
Leave them alone, General, “hanggang maging trenta man lang sila.”
Please, please, let their voice be heard.

I write this on a Monday or last Nov. 2, before leaving for San Juan, La Union for a short vacation.
I needed the break from the boredom of my life, watching Netizen on Amazon, or the cinema that features Tagalog movies, believe it or not.
I am happy to note that Filipino flicks are no longer copied from American B or C movies, like “Ang Babae sa Bintana” (Rear Window). At least, medyo original na siya.

The Rise and Fall of…the heirs of Quidno.
I live in a neighborhood which was once a residential area, but today most of the dwelling houses are gone, since replaced by big buildings with ground floors occupied by eateries, laundry shops, and even milk tea joints.
Three of the biggest buildings (one is still under construction, which will house a grocery and a 7-11 convenience store when finished, with the top floors as dormitory houses prioritized for occupancy of the owners, namely the Philex Mining Cooperative), are located on land once owned by my rich uncle Busa, all of which were sold for a little less than a million pesos each.
The current asking price for one building is P65M, incidentally based on the fact that the dormitory building built by my mom and later on foreclosed, was sold for P54M, while Philex Mining bought its lot for P30M.
As of today, the only remaining residential houses are those of the Abads, Velascos (under litigation), Mogans, Salvas, and Calicas.
Higher up are the Dulays, Salmings, and Ngasis. Gone too are the Miranda, Lara, and Picart family homes. (The story is that Ernie Picart, after he was widowed, sold the family residential lot for P6M bucks, now recently sold by the buyer for a whopping P73M.)
Along neighboring T. Alonzo barangay, the Cascolans, Dimalantas, Leonens, and Refuerzos are still there, and so too the Parungaos.
Living in these two barangays was ideal in the old days, a walking distance to the central business area.
I used to run errands for my dad after class hours, to buy dongis (the snout of a cow) at the cost of 85 centavos and with the 15-centavo change from my dad’s one peso, I am able to buy a kilo of sweet lanzones from Laguna.
Locally grown lanzones today is no longer sweet – “maasim, kung baga.” Anyway, the sweetest lanzones that I have ever tasted came from Bangkok, which could be bought in Makati or in Greenhills at P700 per kilo.
Expensive, but for purposes of “bribing” the better half when seeking forgiveness, rather cheap as compared to a pair of gold earrings, something I could afford then, but no longer.

Trivia: James Bond is dead, and his license to kill is automatically revoked.
The other Bonds you say? Well, nothing beats the original. No one, but no one could outpunch, outdress, or do romance like Sean Connery.

Whoever invented the motorbike should be put up against the wall and shot, creating a traffic monster that swerves and weaves in and out of a traffic snarl that he and other motorcycle riders actually caused, making tight sneaks that could make even an Evangelist driving a car cursing the bike buff to hell.
Okay, so it’s not the motorbike but the Filipino driving or riding it, ignoring traffic regulations or just plain stupid not knowing how to read.
When did a motorbike become a family car, carrying if not housing a wife, two or three kids, including a pet dog or cat?
Worse, a motorbike is an assassin’s favorite getaway vehicle.
So, who do we kill – the messenger or…..?
Both, I say. Ban them from city roads and streets on weekdays. Come to think of it, all private vehicles should be banned Monday to Friday.
But first, provide for more public transportation.
Buses, not jeeps, vans maybe.
Welcome to the official start of the Yuletide season.