A Year After: Is Justice Served Yet?

Time flies, but memories stay.

It has been a year since that tragic Quirino Grandstand hostage taking. I remember that day. It was a Monday. It was about noontime when news broke that a tourist bus containing Chinese nationals was held captive by a former police officer. Rolando Mendoza’s his name. It was only until the evening newscast when it occurred to me that this news was of national issue. OK. Let’s skip the details you would probably find online, shall we?

I was on Twitter when everything was happening. I was checking my timeline every now and then. I was actually feeling off about how everyone seem to know better than people on the field that time. Everybody knows something better than what the police was doing. Then everybody just started hating on the suspect. He’s the bad guy, anyways. And everybody hates the bad guy.

The outcome of that incident was tragic and pitiful. As rain covered the scene of the crime, gunshots were fired, lives were taken, cameras rolled and everything went downhill. Little did we know (or did we?) that that tragedy would scar the Philippines’ reputation. We were heavily criticized with the lack of competitiveness the people in authority showed when handling the crisis. Travel bans were issued. Non-complimentary articles were published. In-depth investigations were conducted. But everything boils down to one thing – justice and what seems to be an endless probe for it.

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“We win justice quickest by rendering justice to the other party.” -Mohandas Gandhi 

A year after that incident and the families of those who were killed are still seeking for justice. But when does one know when justice is served?

The Quirino Grandstand hostage taking incident started out from the disgruntled police officer Rolando Mendoza’s cry for justice. He was removed from service by the ombudsman’s ruling that he was guilty of a police-related crime. He said he wasn’t given a chance to air his side. Justice for him means getting his post back mainly because he wants his job back. He has mouths to feed and it was an injustice for him when he was fired. It was an injustice for him when his family mourned for his demise while everybody else calls him names for putting justice in his hands. Or is it?

It was an injustice for the tourists when a troubled man took them as hostages while they were having their holiday vacation in the Philippines. It was an injustice for them when Mendoza started shooting them one by one. It is an injustice when some people used their deaths to get media attention. It was an injustice when several lives were taken while some were scarred indefinitely by what took place inside that bus.

Justice, I believe, is something abstract. Something so big that it’s hard to have a full grasp of. Is it something that books tell us to be? Or is it of emotional standards?

Now that the violator’s dead, isn’t justice served? After all the investigations are over and done in due process and are found conclusive, is justice still out of the picture?

While the lack of apathy and remorse from some of the people  who were involved in the failure to prevent the tragic outcome of that incident is pure injustice and sheer cowardice, how sure are we that we have done justice to the offended party?

I guess justice is more of an emotional state than a thing of the law. Admit it or not, being bereft of justice is oftentimes a matter of emotional offense. And the seeking of justice is also a journey to finding emotional settlement. That’s the reason why some things go out of hand. And for a democratic country, our justice system here is more of a struggle than a journey.

I’m hoping for everyone to get the justice they deserve more than what they want, regardless of what form they want it.

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My prayers go out the spirits of the departed during last year’s hostage crisis. I hope that they find peace and hopefully they could transcend it to their families they left behind. Rest in peace.

 

*images from google

 

My Twitter WTF (Who To Follow)

It’s been two years since I joined Twitter. As we all know, Twitter is a micro-blogging site which enables its members to post random thoughts within its 140-character limit. I favor Twitter over other networking sites although it serves a different purpose just like other networking sites.

I have grown to love Twitter because of its utter simplicity. It has become my repository of random things. It’s like picking on someone’s brain virtually.

Over the years, Twitter has evolved into something that is very adaptable to everyone. From simple status updates called ‘tweets’, people on Twitter can now post images, videos and audios. These upgrades also made tweeting beyond Twitter’s 140-character limit possible.

Twitter’s format of ‘following’ accounts and having ‘followers’ also adds fun to the whole virtual world of stalking. Twitter has become a place for ‘guiltless’ stalking.

Along with the changes and the growing number of people using Twitter, this site has transformed into something more fun, more informative and more addicting. People went beyond answering ‘What’s happening?’, the main Twitter question. And answering beyond what was asked could either be good or bad, but we just don’t care (which could also be good or bad.)

Twitter is something worth the time because amidst all the normal ‘I just ate a whatever’ and ‘Here at wherever’ tweets are interesting and unique tweets.

As of press time, I am following 96 people, 22 of which are persons I know personally. And there goes the joke that Facebook is for people you know, and Twitter’s for people you WISH you know. This statement holds water, right?

I’m happy with the people I follow on Twitter. Their posts vary from inspiring to profane, funny to touching, and informative to downright useless. I am greatly entertained by the diversity of thoughts from the people I follow. (Although I follow some people just to check on their stupidities. It makes me feel good about myself. I am THAT needy, yes.)

To cut all this shit off, I am putting up a list of people who I think are worthy of your follows.

 LC (@evrythingmustgo)

Followers: 15, 415

Claim to be Followed:

This guy is my favorite follow. His posts are very diverse. He touches you with a post about love and loneliness, then he posts something profane. His tweets speak of realities many of us choose to be left unsaid.

Sample Tweets:

If you can’t express your pain and suffering, where’s the fun in having it?

It’s no coincidence that “Holy” goes so well with crap, shit and fuck.

If you listen carefully, the silence is beautiful.

Sara Bareilles (@SaraBareilles)

Followers: 2, 054, 968

Claim to be Followed:

A self confessed potty-mouth, international singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles’ Twitter page isn’t always as sweet sounding as her voice. But that made me love her a little more. Reading her tweets will either paint a smile on your face or make your heart skip a beat. No, we are not complaining. A proof that she won’t be writing us a love song anytime soon.

Sample Tweets:

Watched a little of the MTV movie awards. They made me feel old. Or maybe the afghan blanket, knitting, hearing aid and sciatica did that.

Wrote a song called Beautiful Girl. About loving yourself. Made the mistake of looking up “beautifulgirl.com”. Should be renamed vagina.com.

Dear Fly who refuses to go out the window: I’m trying to save your life, you dumb piece of sh*t. Now I have no remorse for ruining your day.

Fake Noynoy Aquino (@fakenoynoy)

Followers: 10,565

Claim to be Followed:

Need I say more? This is the parody account of the 15th president of the Philippines. He makes fun of Kris Aquino and her kids, the Cabinet Members, even his love life and pretty much anything and everything the President dare not make fun of. This account is fun to follow because it talks about things that are relevant, something that the president don’t usually do.

Sample Tweets:

I just caught Boy Abunda secretly watching #Amaya. He REALLY wants to become a strong warrior princess some day.

My Sister’s capacity to shut her mouth was severely diminished by the hormones injected in her bosom so she can produce more milk for Nido.

CONFIRMED: Osama Bin Laden is dead. – I will issue a statement regarding this important matter after I play bingo with Joshua and Bimby.

KC Montero (@kcmontero)

Followers: 144, 360

Claim to be Followed:

Although he plugs his shows a lot, KC Montero’s tweets are beyond hilarious. He is my favorite DJ to follow on Twitter. (@djmotwister on a close second) He pokes fun on himself more than others, he’s cool with making a fool of himself and his sarcasm towards bashers is commendable. He doesn’t need to give himself entitlements to be considered relevant (read: HD Tweets. What the fuck?)

Sample Tweets:

When girls call you kuya, its hard to hit on them.

Athletes get endorsements: Phil younghusband is everywhere. Wtf! I’m a beer pong champ, where’s my billboards?..yes its a sport.

I’m supposed to wear something “car” related for party p opening. How about a car air freshener?

Ramon Bautista (@ramonbautista)

Followers: 97, 786

Claim to be Followed:

UP Professor, DJ, TV Host, internet superstar, actor- an eclectic mix of  jobs this guy is currently doing. One of the few ‘swabe’ guys on Twitter. When he tweets, 100+ retweets his tweets. He speaks of things everybody can relate to. He speaks of things everybody can say. He is the voice. He is Philippines’ multimedia king. He is the new ‘gwapo’.  He is the modern Ramon Bautista. He is THE Ramon Bautista. Follow mo na lang.

Sample Tweets:

LSS labadami, labango…

e kung gawing parang driver’s license yung kasal, tipong dapat i-renew every 3 years?

pwede wag muna mag end of the world, kakabayad ko lang ng kuryente? pag dumating na yung disconnection notice, yan…

Funny One Liners (@funnyoneliners)

Followers: 272, 153

Claim to be Followed:

If you like reading funny tweets from different people but are too number conscious, then follow this account. He posts only the funniest tweets and he credits the owners, too. And he also tweets his own jokes. You won’t feel cheated because you know that the funny tweets are stolen from other accounts. He follows back, too.

Sample Tweets:

I just sprayed a mosquito with mosquito repellant. Now, he’ll never have any friends. RT @funnyhumour

Don’t insult my intelligense. RT @xflansx

I’m giving up on the silent treatment. Going to start talking to myself again.

Rhian Ramos (@whianwamos)

Followers: 190, 568

Claim to be Followed:

She’s one of local tinsel town’s prettiest faces but don’t be fooled, she has more than beauty to make her worth your follow. She posts thoughts that are hers, and only hers. Love her because she’s pretty. Follow her because she’s witty and funny, a combination not all actresses on Twitter have.

Sample Tweets:

With the way he drives, i feel like it’s only a matter of time before my driver kills me.. or at least gets me injured…

glad i’m home, safe. – i assume.

well thank you for breaking into my twitter. nice job. i hope you get all the sympathy you hoped for.

Jason Mraz (@jason_mraz)

Followers: 1, 894, 887

Claim to be Followed:

An international singer with numerous worldwide hits under his bet. Not good enough for your follow? Then you have to know that he is humorous. He’s the male version of Ms. Bareilles’ Twitter page. He’s less profane, though. He seldom tweets but his random tweets are too good to be missed. Don’t hesitate no more, his follow button cannot wait.

Sample Tweets:

Riding a bike with no hands is like riding a unicycle with a large training wheel. Pedestrians Beware, I’m doing it right now as I tweet!

To my friends who put the RAD in graduation, congratulations.

“Party Boobytrap” – Best Palindrome Ever. I think I just found my next album title.

Gabe Mercado (@gabemercado)

Followers: 22, 536

Claim to be Followed:

He tweets about parenthood, technology, pop culture, things about the 80’s, sports and every random thought that comes into him (even adding girls in bikinis on FB). Following him is picking one’s brain at its finest. You don’t have to relate to everything he posts for you to know that he’s making sense and he’s funny.

Sample Tweets:

Your kilays are disturbingly thick. Shudder.

And tonight is 80’s dance night with The Body Buddy Dancers!

I want to eat your Kropek.

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There. 9 people who I think are worth your follows. I know there are a lot of good accounts out there, choices are pretty much based on preferences. Whatever. They are the people I like to follow. I would love to put more entries there but I guess my mind has adapted to Twitter’s character limit. Everything more than what my laziness can adjust to is too much.

I actually made this post because it’s my second year on Twitter *yay!*

So happy Tweeting to me and may all my tweet dreams come true.

 

REVIEW: Ang mga Kaibigan ni Mama Susan, Bob Ong

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Nito ko lang nabili ang 8th book ni Bob Ong. Actually nakalimutan ko nganghindi ko pa nababsa ‘tong librong ‘to, eh. Naisipan ko lang dumaan sa NBS para humanap ng librong bibilhin at noon ko lang naalala na wala pa nga pala akong kopya ng Ang mga Kaibigan ni Mama Susan. Na-excite nga ako nung nakita ko.

Binili ko. Kasabay ng The Lost Symbol ni Dan Brown. Hindi ko mapigilan na bilhin ng sabay kasi matagal-tagal na din akong hindi nakakabasa ng bagong libro. Tutal may budget naman, hindi na akong nanghinayang gumastos para naman may iba akong mapaglilibangan aside from reading (and re-reading) my magazines. Plus ibang kaligayahan ang hatid ng novels compared sa ligayang hatid ng FHM.

Wednesday, May 18,2011

Ang init. Summer pa naman kahit na may mga panaka-nakang (naks!) na pag-ulan.

Wala naman akong masyadong ginawa maliban sa routinary na pagluluto ko ng breakfast/lunch food.

Naligo.

Matutulog sana ako kaso naalala ko na may mga pwede pala akong pagkaabalahan maliban sa pag-check sa Twitter at Facebook gamit ang cellphone ko na ilang buwan na ding walang load.

Inuna ko muna yung FHM May 2011. Thumbs down.

Tapos ayun na. Binuksan ko na yung Ang mga Kaibigan ni Mama Susan…….

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This book by Bob Ong is a good one. It’s good because it’s different from Ong’s previous books in terms of structure and story-telling. It’s good because despite of it being different, Bob Ong still managed to incorporate his unique and very distinguished ‘touch’. Different body, same soul.

It is said that part of the book was from the real journal of the real Galo. And yes, this is a GOOD suspense-horror book.

I have always admired Bob Ong books. I started reading his work when I was in second year high school. He was my hero then. I even wanted to be Bob Ong when I grow up. I was a big fan before everyone started picking-up his books. Then came those misquoted Bob Ong quotes which made me ask myself if I missed any BO books because I don’t  remember reading some of the Bob Ong quotes doing the rounds on the internet and the SMS world. (It turned out that people are making up quotes.)

I loved Bob Ong’s books because they are very easy to relate to. I’m guilty of shedding a tear or two when reading his books despite  he pokes on very easy-to-relate-to story he writes.

‘Ang mga Kaibigan ni Mama Susan’ is actually a story based on journal entries by a 16-year old student, Galo. He chronicled his struggles as a student, as a lover, as a teenager trying to fit-in a family that is not really his, as a grandson and as a man trying to save his sanity. This book tags us along Galo’s journey from the noisy streets of Manila to the quiet but mysterious community of his grand mother’s rural home.

Galo escaped the cruelty of his life in the city by staying with his sick grandmother only to be haunted by the ghosts of his past.

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Mabilis akong naka-relate sa kwento ni Galo dahil may mag pinagdaanan siya na malapit sa akin. Muntikan pa nga ko maiyak dun sa entry nya nung sinabi nya na “ang bata bata ko pa, ganito na mga problema ko” (or something like that.)

May problema sya sa pag-aaral, may problema sya sa lovelife, may mga problema sya sa pera, may mga problema sya sa pamila. Madali maka-relate sa kwento ni Galo dahil at some point, napag daanan naman siguro ng lahat nang mga iyan. Hindi man sabay-sabay, makaka-relate at makak-relate pa din.

Hindi ito ang typical na horror-suspense novel. Actually, hindi nga ito typical na Bob Ong.

Easy read ang istorya ni Galo sa Maynila- may kontrabida, may support, may extra at may leading lady/ladies. Hindi mo iisiping horror ang binabasa mo.

Pero pumasok ang pagka-horror nung bumalik si Galo sa probinsya ng lola nya. Mula sa mga weirdong imahe hanggang sa weirdong ayos ng bahay ng lola nya.

Kailangang malawak ang imahinasyon mo para marambaman mo si Galo at ang mga nararamdaman nya. Kung gagawin kasing pelikula ‘tong librong ‘to, hindi sya magiging typical na Pinoy horror na mananakot na lang basta may pagkakataon. May build-up ang bawat character sa istoryang ito. Ipinakilala ni Bob Ong ang mga character at ginawa nya munang kampante ang mga mambabasa na kilala na nila ang mga tauhan sa kwento. Eventually, inilabas  niya dark side ng mga character. Plus magiging kakaiba ito kung gagawing pelikula kasi hip-hop ang soundtrack. Frustrated rapper lang naman si Galo.

Palibhasa nasanay ang ilan sa ‘slapstick’ na horror kaya nanibago ang iba (base sa ilang reader reviews na nabasa ko) sa horror story na ito.

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Beneath the witty, funny and the scary parts of ‘Ang mga Kaibigan ni Mama Susan’ are the real-life undertones of the story of Galo.

First, the importance of a family in the character building of a person.

Galo grew up as an angsty child. He was ‘handed down’ from one relative to another because his Biological parents were not there for him. Add to that the feeling of being unwanted given by his current foster family.

Teenagers nowadays are afraid of vulnerability.

Galo taught himself to be callous just to save himself from explaining how he feels. He doesn’t want to be misunderstood further. He kept his angst to himself via his journal. He doesn’t want t come off weak especially in front of his foster family.

Teenagers nowadays don’t bother to explain their feelings anymore because they don’t want to be misunderstood.

Sex is still an issue we opt not to talk about in large groups.

Galo and his friends even started laughing when the priest preached about sex during a Mass in their school.

Not all Filipinos are open to the idea of talking about sex in the open. Some still think of sex as something untouchable when in fact, premarital sex and sex outside relationships are very prominent nowadays.

Religion has become something optional to some.

Religion is actually the turning point of Galo’s story. He and the kids who became his company were trapped in an unending quest to know the reason behind the weird rituals Mama Susan and her group perform.

Unlike sex, religion is something our country is known to be very fond of. But the sad truth is that majority practice sex more than their respective religions.

When the reality gets too cruel, we try hide it from ourselves.

Galo’s journal has become our means of knowing the truth about his life, but it turns out that he is hiding some truths from himself. It was until later in the story that Galo’s wrong deeds were revealed- things he never wrote on his journal as he did it. Things that he was running away from.

Some of us are afraid of the ghosts we create. Not everybody is confrontational when it comes to the ugly truth. We see what we wanna see and hear what we wanna hear, so we can say that we’re happy.

Huwag mong bibigkasin ang hindi…

mo naiintindihan(?)

I assume this line from the start of the story is just Bob Ong’s way of telling us that we should not go into talking about things we don’t fully understand for doing so may lead to problems.

(It kinda beats the purpose of me, writing this whole thing.)

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Wow! Ang dami kong nasabi tungkol sa librong ‘to. Teka. . . parang hindi naman galing sa akin ‘yung iba dito ah. Biro lang. Hindi ako nag-plagiarize nang sinuman.

Hindi ko nga pala i-trinanslate yung mga Latin phrases or paragraphs. Sakit lang sa ulo. Ipinagpalagay ko na lang na Latin phrases or paragraphs sila.

‘Yung mga imahe nga pala ay hindi akin. Nakuha ko ang mga iyan sa Google, na kinuha naman ang mga iyan sa kanilang respective owners. No copyright infringement intended whatsoever, peram na lang ng images. Pretty pleasee? (May ugly please ba? Kung meron, yun na lang. KTHXBYE)

5 out of 5 sa akin ang librong ito. I find to be less boring compared to Ong’s 7th book. Maybe it’s the story telling that sets this book apart from BO’s previous fictions. Plus na-touch nga ako dun sa kwento ni Galo sa Maynila.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011