Wednesday, April 23, 2008


The planet Earth has been called Gaia with all the collateral meanings attached to a living organism, not just the living creatures of plant and animal life including humans, but Earth itself together with the non-living elements like the soil, the minerals, the sand on the ocean beds, mountains, valleys, rivers, clouds, mist, precipitation, snow, wind and rain. As we recently celebrated Earth Day, today we still pray for rain because our water reservoirs are dry and so are our rivers. So are our fields, and shortly, so are our faucets to drink. We have punctured the protective layer of our planet with toxic pollutants, cut down the trees (thanks to Bayani Fernando's MMDA for this) that provide us with oxygen, thrown garbage and waste into our rivers, and dehydrated our fields with an over-supply of pesticides and fertilizers (thanks to Joc-Joc Bolante for this). Whatever we do to ourselves, we do to Mother Earth. We have choked the arteries of our bodies the way we have choked the arteries of our cities. Smoke, carbon emissions, fumes from factories (thanks to my pollutant-factory neighbor for the toxic emissions), exhausts from freon and mining waste poison (thanks to DENR Sec. Lito Atienza for the mining permits), and the water channels that weave in and out of our habitats. Thus, the water we drink must be filtered, distilled or boiled, else unsafe for human consumption, and the food we eat must be harvested free from chemicals or animal disease. We go to war and inflict violence to each other in the name of peace or survival. And Mother Earth weeps with us for this unexplained occupation. Today we seed the clouds because a drought is upon us, or the opposition is planning a protest rally again for President Arroyo. For millions of pesos worth of precipitating the heavens, four centimeters of water level is recorded in a dam closest to the metropolis. Not enough, not barely enough, not even little enough to let the flow of a normal supply of water for our homes, much less irrigate our farms which will soon turn into Biofuel plantfields (thanks to Sen. Migs Zubiri's selfish ambition). So, conserve we must, because the crisis is at hand. But in the process, we must also learn to undo the harm we have inflicted upon ourselves, and upon her, Gaia, Mother Earth.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


For those who still do not know what has happened to my friend, UP Professor Michael Charleston "Xiao" Chua, well, his application for renewal as instructor in the History Department of UP Diliman I believe was unjustly denied without just cause or due process, and without transparency and decorum due him as a well-loved faculty member of UP. In the UP, the students (and faculty) pride themselves in upholding the ideals of a free society which embodies the fundamentals of freedom of speech, freedom to believe in any ideology without fear of reprisal. Such a shame that this travesty of justice and the perversion of truth has befallen the majestic halls of UP, especially in the History Department. This is an outrage we must not let pass. This is an incident we must act upon - or should we just stand by and wait for Edmund Burke's belief that "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing," to happen? It seems that the suppression of the truth is no longer exclusive for Malacanang and its squatters pretending to be honorable public servants. You may show your support for Professor "Xiao" Chua by visiting: