Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009

Once again, another year shall have passed and my words still have to "fork lightning" so I guess I will have to "rage, rage against the dying of the light!" Time is of the essence now as I am nearing the fourth quarter of my life. It is the end game and it is time to bet all my marbles.

My problem is I have too many interests! From where I stand now, it looks like one interest stands in the way of making the other stand out and make me really good at it. So, based on that, while practically all of my interests had made men famous, none of these will make me one. Sure, I thought of being rich or famous one day but I shall play the cards I have been dealt with. There is nothing wrong with a life that is simple and uncomplicated when the return is happiness.

Happy New Year to all.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

paintings for canada

My watercolors ---

These paintings are bound for Toronto

Property of Mr. and Mrs. Espiritu

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wala lang magawa

Pasyong Mahal Ni San Jose

Pait, katam at martilyo,
ibubulong ko sa inyo
ang masaklap kong sikreto:
hindi ko pa inaano
ay buntis na ang nobya ko.

Ang sabi ng anghel, wala
akong dapat ikahiya,
walang dahilang lumuha;
dapat pa nga raw matuwa
pagkat Diyos ang gumahasa.

Martilyo, katam at pait,
makukuha bang magalit
ng karpintero? Magtiis.
Ang mahina at maliit,
wala raw laban sa langit.
--Jose F. Lacaba

The poem starts as an address poem as it murmurs to the pait, katam at martilyo which represent an artist’s tools used to mould life into his works. Works that had been continuously been misused, dictated upon and bereft of their true value as they have been serving the pleasures of a despot.

The poem is obviously a protest against the dictatorship of the Marcos tandem, the gods in Philippine soil during the 70’s. Using St. Joseph and his ordeal upon hearing the news that his fiancĂ©e was pregnant albeit the absence of carnal knowledge as a metaphor, the poet illustrates the carnage wrought by the Marcos government of the country’s economy and most of all, the pillage of Philippine culture as has been managed and manipulated by the self-professed patroness of the Arts, Imelda.

The third stanza talks about the crony or puppet, who, with his gift of gab, appeases the artist and not complain and on the contrary, be thankful because the gods has bestowed their blessings to his art.

The fourth stanza is inevitable. The lowly artist cannot do anything but to suffer for after all, beggars cannot choose but succumb to the will of the mighty.
While the poem was directed towards the seventies, it is interesting to note that this can still happen in a country where people who has arrogated to themselves the power of the gods, rule the affairs of government. A few years back, the National Press Club received flak for its censorship of a painting they themselves commissioned to celebrate press freedom in the country. They commissioned neo-Angono artists to make a mural but later on asked someone else to make alterations on the mural prior to its inauguration as they found several objectionable details which they thought were critical of PGMA and her policies in government.

Unfortunately, Lacaba’s poem will always be relevant as long as we have people whose myopic views only allow pictures that will not leave a sour taste in their sour-infested mouths. The poem will always be relevant in a land governed by people who govern by might and not by mind for always, the arts will be there to question, open the eyes of those who remain sleeping in the dark.