THE BIRTH OF SINGLAND

Far away there is a hot exotic land called Singland. It was named after King Sing II, who was an ambitious and power hungry ruler from another nation who had sent his devout followers to conquer the indigenous inhabitants of Singland and open it up for trade. Prior to being called Singland there had been many names given to this formation of lush and fertile islands, but the name Singland resonated with the its people as they were well known for their three favourite pastimes – Eating, Sleeping and Singing. King Sing II had very strong beliefs, and in the name of his faith he sent armies to many different lands all across the globe, not just Singland, to help spread his gospel. And although the teachings of his faith were designed to encourage peace and love to all fellowmen, it seemed he was willing to slaughter anybody who may happen to have alternative views.

And so it was, that Singland became occupied by King Sing’s conquistadors for many, many years. In particular they chose to settle in the North of Singland. The South was a more hostile territory, which previously had been ruled by Sultans and Datu’s who were not willing to concede their native land to outside invading forces quite so readily as their Northern neighbours. Occasionally, the Northern indigenous people rose up against their foreign intruders, but their rebellions were quickly quashed. There was one man in particular who stood up, a brilliant, brave and bright scholar. Peacefully, he continuously questioned the legitimacy of these invaders ruling over his fellow countrymen. However, he was eventually silenced in the face of a firing squad at the young age of 35.

The vassal’s of King Sing II that were sent to Singland to spread the word of his faith, were chosen for their high moral standing and celibacy. However, once they arrived in Singland they soon realized how far away from both their homeland and controlling master they were. Many of them became corrupt and took the law into their own hands. They behaved brutally towards the native people, and broke their vows of celibacy. They took local mistress’s, and very soon a new population was being born, a breed of bastards with mixed blood.

This continued for 300 years, the people of Singland being suppressed with the gospel of King Sing so much, that it had become part of everyday life, it was now a part of their psyche. They had become true believers, unwilling to accept an existence without it. During this 300 years, the outside world had changed considerably, and King Sing II had long since died. His home nation was no longer the superior force it use to be, and now his successors had foolishly gone to war with another more dominant power, and after just 4 months of conflict, they had been forced to surrender several parts of their empire, including Singland in exchange for peace and gold.

Initially, the people of Singland were overjoyed, their singing became even more melodious and beautiful as they welcomed the arrival of their new liberators, but it soon became apparent that these liberators had ideas of their own, and granting Singland its independence was not one of them. These liberators had kindly faces, but behind their smiles and generous words, lay an obsessive aggression for acquiring territory for their own benefit. Once the Singers got wind of this, they soon stopped harmonizing and began to fight. The liberators (or Patriots as they called themselves) were taken by surprise at the bloody opposition they faced, they had not envisaged such stubborn grittiness from this normally passive, happy and friendly race. Fighting the locals, cost the Patriots far more in lives and money than it had getting rid of King Sing’s Army. This bitter conflict went on for 3 years before the Singers and their uninvited guests – the Patriots, settled down and mapped out a more peaceful coexistence.

For the next 39 years life was pretty good in Singland, the singers and the Patriots living together in a fairly amicable way, until suddenly all hell let loose. A vast world battle had erupted a couple of years before, which Singland had no part in, but now it was spilling out on to their shores. Within 3 weeks the Patriots had fled with their tails between their legs like scolded dogs, and in their place arrived the most sadistic invaders to have ever landed on Singland soil. The next few years in the history of Singland were probably their most distressing. Because of the sadistic nature and sad looking eyes of their latest invaders, the Singers gave them the name Sadinese. The Sadinese ruled Singland for over 3 years, installing a puppet as its president which they controlled. Many Singers were tortured and killed during this time, until eventually huge numbers of Patriots returned and a massive sea battle took place between them and the Sadinese, while on land the Singers also fought against the Sadinese, forcefully repelling them from their islands for good, and at last achieving their rightful independence from any foreign nation.

EPILOGUE
Unfortunately the old fashioned teachings of the faith indoctrinated in them from King Sing’s henchmen, has fuelled the rapidly growing population of Singland, and in turn plummeted them into poverty, as there are just too many mouths to feed. And in order to survive the years and years of colonization, the people have absorbed corruption as part of their everyday life, allowing the rich to become richer and the majority to lead poor and wretched lives. It is time for the Singers to stop praying for a better future, and start acting. They can still follow their beliefs, but take a good look outside and see how others have modernized their views, and adapted their faith to fit the 21st Century. And it is time to say no more corruption. The people who serve you are elected by you, you have the power to change them. We no longer want public servants that are there to feed their own nests, we no longer want law enforcers that bully and stink of extortion. These are the very people we should trust and be able to turn to when in trouble. Stop being submissive, stand up and SING! 



GIVE US BACK OUR SIDEWALK

MANILA could be a great place to take a walk. In the late afternoon, when the sun is almost down, and the heat of the day dissipated, what better time to take a leisurely stroll and observe the hustle and bustle of our streetlife. There is often a cooling breeze, particularly blowing in from the Baywalk, near where I live.

A few weeks ago, I walked along Adriatico Street on my way to Robinson’s Place Shopping Mall. The road is actually quite clean and well maintained, maybe because of the big Pan Pacific hotel taking prime position along it. A bit further down there are the usual smaller shops - offering laundry services, moneychangers, and Viagra vendors loitering on the corner.

Just after passing the old decorative Chinese Temple, opposite the Pan Pacific, the sidewalk is blocked! The Hostel 1632 has decided to obstruct the public sidewalk with their pots of unpleasant looking green plants. It wouldn't matter so much if they had placed these unnecessary and unattractive obstructions before the sidewalk, on their ample parking area, but instead they have chosen to be totally inconsiderate to pedestrians, which are now forced to walk in the road in front of approaching traffic!

I’m not sure if they think their hotel owns that pavement, or if their manager is just stupid.

G I V E   U S   B A C K   O U R   S I D E W A L K !

LET'S DO THE RIGHT THING

“Devil worshippers…” whispered the man next to me, after watching the news on TV about RH Bill supporters demonstrating in the Senate of the Philippines.

I would have explained to him that if some people support the RH Bill, it does not mean that they are devil worshippers. Alternatively, we also know that it doesn’t make you a more moral person if you are averse to the RH Bill.

If my stand is for the RH Bill, this does not define me as an immoral or bad person, arguably it makes me a more responsible and caring person in comparison to those mindless and ill-informed people that oppose it.

THE RH Bill is a reproductive health bill that aims to guarantee universal access to methods and information on birth control and maternal care in the Philippines. The RH Bill does not (as many people mistakenly believe) promote abortion. Its aim is to create awareness amongst Filipinos about the country’s rapidly increasing population, and address the relevant factors.

In the past, it would have been taboo to even mention the word ‘condom’ in the Philippines. Much worse to openly debate sexual issues publicly. But this is the 21st century and being the 12th most populous country with a staggering 101,833,938 million population compared to 60,703 million just 30 years ago – NOW is the time to act!

In my opinion we need to educate every Filipino, to help alleviate the country from plummeting even further into extensive poverty. As the population grows, so does the level of poverty, but how can we educate all of them? Just this 2011 school year, there were not enough classrooms to accommodate all the school children! Before we even start to educate them we need to provide more classrooms and teachers, and offer more books that provide sexual education for every grade school student. Could this be a good start?

Unsurprisingly the Philippine Catholic Church is resisting the RH Bill. Do they have the right to meddle with state affairs? Is it not because of their outdated sermons that the Philippines is burdened with such poverty? When will they accept modernity and realise their unwavering stance is causing misery amongst the very people they are meant to guide and protect? If we continue to allow the church to keep people ignorant in family planning matters, more and more children will be born into families that cannot afford to feed and clothe them.

A colleague once asked me, “Why don’t we give every newborn child to the Catholic Church to feed them?”

The church would reply, “No, we already have too many to feed. We need more donations for the church.”

Bollocks! They are more concerned with maintaining their wealth and power, but what about the rest? They are eating good food whilst the rest of the country starves.

It really made me laugh when Carlos Celdran waved a placard written ‘Damaso’ before the mass in Manila Cathedral. ‘Damaso’ is the antagonist character in Noli Me Tangere of Jose Rizal. It’s just so right.

WHY DO WE WANT THE RH BILL?

The Philippines has a population of 101.8 million. It’s ALREADY over-populated.

Women are NOT made for childbearing and child rearing only. They should be allowed to enjoy the benefits of physical intimacy while maintaining a successful and productive career if they choose to do so.

To counteract the Catholic Church wishing every woman to be impregnated each time they engage in sex, unlike Virgin Mary who conceived without having sex at all.

Population decline helps strengthen the economy of a country. Take a look at just two particular examples within Southeast Asia – Japan and Singapore.

Having many children is NOT an asset, unless you own a big shopping mall or an airline company. But even successful people only have a few children. Maybe you could sell your babies to make money? Only then would a bigger family be considered as an asset.

The Catholic Church asserts that the RH Bill will encourage immoral activities. Are they of the belief that no single Filipino engages in pre-marital and/or extra-marital affairs currently? Do they honestly think that if RH Bill is passed, most Filipinos will grab a condom, and before long the whole country will be participating in a national orgy?

The RH Bill will NOT teach children to have pre-marital sex. Ironically it will help prevent so many single Filipino girls having unwanted pregnancies or teen pregnancies.

Its interesting to note the hypocritical attitude of the priests, bishops, and men of clergy who oppose the bill, when it is well known how expert they are when it comes to having sex – the legendary masters of erotic affairs.

The Catholic Church wants to continue manipulating the country and bury the destructive truth about their religion. Why can’t they be fair to the people? Their minds are as devilish as their actions and narrative.

But above all else, the primary goal of the RH Bill yearns freedom and choice for women. In the third wave of feminism, let’s give our sisters, our girl friends, our cousins and every Filipino woman an educated choice. And along the way, help all straight and gay men to live freely, with low expectation of infecting or being infected with HIV.

Let’s get the RH Bill passed!



SOCIAL MEDIA: ANOTHER KEY TO SUCCESS

One of the youngest and most noteworthy correspondents in our time, Mr. Joseph Madrigal, 25 years old and has already travelled half of the world interviewing a wide range of prominent people, in his quest to gather news and information, and tell the truth to the world.

His tale is one of the more unusual stories that have been publicized. It was a year since his graduation when he was not doing anything and could not get a job. He applied to the biggest television networks in the Philippines, but to no avail. He had no luck, and little prospect of securing any position.

Since he had so much time on his hands, he spent much of it online looking for work, but increasingly more on social networking sites. Mainly communicating with his friends who would post photos of themselves staying in different places throughout the Philippines. Throughout that time, he was still living with his parents. However, when he was online, he blogged about what was happening in the country. He wrote anything that was current and meaningful, not the usual nonsense on so many profiles. He then posted on his social networking accounts each time he makes a blog entry. He constantly updates his accounts. He had various blog sites of different topics aimed at different audiences, with varying views. All of which were a great success.

“It took me about six months before I realised that the number of readers of my blogs, and people who enjoy my articles were increasing!” said Eduardo.

This gave him tremendous self-fulfillment during the time he was down on his luck, and depressed about his lack of job prospects. Then, out of the blue, someone from a news network sent him an email asking I he would like to go for an interview.

“There’s something very witty we liked about this guy,” said the network manager of the news company, when asked about Mr. Madrigal.

And, this was the start of Joseph’s successful journey. But, before we ended our conversation, he told me:

“Recently, I checked my Facebook account to catch up with what everyone is doing nowadays. I was appalled to see some of the posts and shouts of my friends in my news feed. Most of them posted such silly or trivial things, but more worse, the made posts that spew hatred against others. I think this is not the meaning of social networking. Isn’t it much more worthwhile to use Facebook for something beneficial to yourself and to your friends?”

That said it. I guess people who do the same will oppose, but well, that is his opinion. Unfortunately, I agree with him.