Saturday, February 14, 2009

Mahalaga ang Tao

BY Florangel Rosario Braid

It is noteworthy that at the 63rd Liberal Party anniversary, LP President Mar Roxas, chose to focus on what it means to be a Liberal – “the responsibility of assuming a clear public duty, the satisfaction it provides - having a reason to live, and a reason to serve the lofty cause of fighting for our people.” What should make every party member proud, he noted, was that since the beginning, the Liberal Party had been at the center in setting up the pillars of independence and the rebuilding of the nation after World War II. Also that the Party was central to the establishment of what is now the centerpiece of the Constitution – social justice. Two transformational initiatives - land reform, and the first minimum wage law, R.A. 4150, were legislated and implemented by the Liberal Party. In the 1970’s, LP leaders were again actively involved in the fight against the dictatorship, in the events before and after Edsa One, and the rejection of the US bases.

Senator Roxas said that it is awareness of these historical antecedents that gives the Party the strength and moral ascendancy to pursue this “national vision of social mobility – which he defines as that state where the next generation can have a better life than what we have today..This means putting people first - mahalaga ang tao . It is the belief that the dignity of our people is the dignity of our nation, and that there is no path to progress other than the path of each and every life we hold dear. We do not exist for ourselves alone. Our party is an instrument for the actualization of our people’s grand vision…This is the concept of citizenship, of bonding together so that we can implement the concept of social mobility.”.

LP President Roxas talked about the LP’s chosen task, the obstacles, the trials, and the pitfalls they will continue to face. ”It is not easy to be a liberal We battle on because we know our ideals – fighting for our people and beside our people always inevitably triumphs. This is our shield against those who oppose us.”

The speech is meant to inspire the Filipino to continually think of oneself not as an individual but as a part of a group. It is intended to provoke us to re-examine our political system that had failed to imbue us with a sense of nation-ness. It is a reminder that as long as we are working for the interest of the people and the country, we are at the right side of history, and that we would succeed in the end.

The speech resonates with those who have been with the Party through the good times and the bad. During the latter, many deserted the Party to join other groups that responded to their personal ambitions. Hopefully, those who believe in the power of political parties to effect drastic reforms in the political landscape would heed Senator Mar’s message. That it is time that we re-examine our personality-dominated politics that had encouraged turncoatism and party-hopping by political butterflies. Other countries have laws that mandate penalties for turncoatism. But we admit that the evolution towards strong party systems with their set of political platforms and ideology would take time as it would mean a change in mindsets..Roxas also reminds us that what gives greater meaning to life is not seeking power for one’s personal interest, but the use of this power to serve the common good; as well as the role of the political party in providing the guiding vision that holds us accountable for our action.

The LP recognizes that much needs to be done in building the party. Its strength is that it already has a defined party platform and a history of consistency in abiding by its ideals Here, it had always chosen the path of democracy, social justice, and protection of individual liberties. The burden of strengthening the party will have to be a shared responsibility by every member. The LP president had clearly defined the scope of the responsibility, as well as its risks and rewards.

This year, the LP also chose to focus on fighting the threats against democracy through Charter change which is perceived to extend the stay of those in power. Party members and mutisectoral groups spoke out against these insidious attempts at a forum and a rally at the historic Plaza Miranda.

My email is

Friday, December 7, 2007

LGBT Pride March tomorrow

After days and nights of hard work, the Philippine LGBT community will have a Pride March tomorrow. Meeting place is Rajah Sulayman Plaza beside Aristocrat's Restaurant, Malate, 3 pm. The march will wind around the streets of that LGBT-liberated space, then return to the plaza for a cultural program.

We have a photo shoot, a video teaser, song and dance, poetry tomorrow. Thanks goes to everybody who has worked hard for this event.

Got Pride is the theme, and we also want to highlight the passage of the Anti-Discrimination Bill filed by Akbayan Party-List Rep. Riza Hontiveros-Baraquel. The Pride March is organized by Task Force Pride Philippines, a network of LGBT groups and individuals. Its member organizations include Akbayan Party List, Ang Ladlad Party List, TLF Share Collective, Inc., UP Babaylan, STRAP Philippines, Lesbian Advocates Philippines, Womyn Supporting Womyn Center, Metropolitan Community Church and individuals.

This year's Pride March sponsors and partners include EZ Lubricating Jelly, Frenzy Condoms, Palawan Bar, Radar Pridewear, WISE Inc., and Government Bar.

Details about the Pride March can be received from me at 0918 979 3665 or Eva Callueng at 0919 464 1186 or Ging Cristibal at 0916 684 3831. You may also send an email to or check out our website at

Come out, come out, wherever you are!

See you paint Manila flaminco-pink tomorrow.

Monday, October 15, 2007

New week

The root canal is finished, thank heavens. We are now checking those blasted final-exam papers. Bribery, bribery, bribery everywhere. I remember Jose Rizal's El Filibusterismo: corruption has to be over-ripe, for the fruit to burst out of its own volition. We are on the way. What would the next scandal be?

The Task Force Pride met last Saturday, to get things going for the Pride March set for December 8, Saturday, Malate, Manila. Also the Task Force Melbourne Outgames met, a meeting I unfortunately failed to attend. But I want to go to Melbourne again -- the city with the four seasons in one day!

I will ask the help of friends to make my blog more visual, more eye-catching, more--

Ladlad 3 is now being printed. I am finishing Philippine Gay Dict: The Uncut Version. I have already submitted the corrected proofs of Rampa: Mga Sanaysay.

In the works: a children's short story, a draft for a book of personal essays or creative nonfiction or whatever you call it now.

The thing to do is to keep on writing, even if the whole country is going to the dogs. Or has gone to.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Root canal and final exams

Tomorrow I will visit the dentist for the third -- and final -- time. Being an Aries, I told my dentist to pull that painful tooth out and throw it to the garbage bin. Instead he said, "Ay, you will have a fake one if we pull this out," so he began a three-day series of root-canal chuvaness. Painful, to say the least. But what I didn't like was that I had to take Ponstan. That nasty pain reliever would scar your kidneys and affect you when you are old.

But wait, I am already old, at 44. So when would it affect me?

I will begin checking the final exams of my students -- five sections -- today. Good luck to them. And then, I am also writing two papers for my PhD in English Studies at UP. After these two papers, I am done. Language exams next semester (Spanish) and comprehensive exams, too (total of eight hours). Then in April, dissertation defense: a novel I finished writing in 2001, when I had a Fulbright grant in Rutgers University in New Jersey. Other schools might be Ivy League, but we had a good basketball team.

Like that school on Taft.

Danton Remoto begins his blog

Hello, I have finally, on my own, joined the world of cyberspace.

Today, while waiting for my students finish their final exams at the Ateneo, I looked to my left and saw "" Hmmm. Those were the exact words of the Ateneo VP, Achoot Cuyegkeng, when she talked to the students and a few teachers about the proposed Ateneo dress code.

Then I remembered the exact words that the former (oh, how I relish that word) former Comelec Chairman Benjamin Abalos told me to my face, during one of the Comelec hearings early this year. Ang Ladlad, of which I am chair, was applying for party-list accreditation, and the man with the driest face in the world told me: "But you have no national constituency. You are just phantom voters!"

Voila! Now, I told myself, I have a name for my blog.

Everybody who pissed me off in the last elections are going down the drain, literally and metaphoricallyl. The Malacanang official who was so aghast at my running under Ang Ladlad at at my running for senator, is sick and had to quit the Cabinet. Next came Mr. Abalos. I know who would be next.