Archive | December, 2012

Why the Divorce Bill Should Be Easier to Pass than the RH Bill

The reproductive health (RH) and divorce bills have one thing in common: they both propose to grant certain rights to certain individuals. But their similarity ends there because the rights associated with each bill are very much different in terms of form and what they require of the State.

The rights that an RH law would provide are claim-rights, meaning they correlate to a duty in another person or entity. In this case, not only do the citizens have the right to use contraceptives, the government is actually duty-bound to provide them for free along with other reproductive health care services to those who need them.

Luz Ilagan and Emmi de Jesus

The rights being promoted by the divorce bill introduced by Gabriela partylist representatives Luz Ilagan and Emmi de Jesus, on the other hand, are merely privilege-rights, so there is no correlating duty on the part of the government or anyone else. To have a privilege to do something simply means to have no duty not to do it. With the existing Philippine laws, the offended spouse in a failed marriage still has a duty not to enter into a new marriage contract with another person. The divorce bill aims to remove that duty by providing the option of officially ending an irreparable marriage and thereby grant the privilege to start a new life – with or without a new partner.

Unlike the RH bill, the divorce bill does not seek to appropriate billions in taxpayers’ money for its implementation; the government will not be made to pay for the fees of the divorce lawyers and psychiatrists, or to provide financial assistance to the unemployed spouses and children.

The divorce bill also does not even try to compel churches to recognize divorce and marry divorcees.

The divorce bill is simply about granting freedom to those who need it the most – people whose marriages have caused them untold suffering and who want nothing more than to have another shot at happiness.

We have succeeded in getting the majority of our legislators to vote for the RH bill amid strong religious opposition in using government money to buy contraceptives, which they deem intrinsically evil. While the Catholic bishops are expected to fight more fiercely against divorce after their loss in the RH battle, if the Philippines is truly becoming a more secular state, the divorce bill should even be easier to pass since there is no billion-peso budget involved, and the only objections will be religious in nature and therefore irrelevant to the discussion.

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Image credit: EWTN News

 

Posted in Religion, Secularism, Society4 Comments

Meet a Freethinker: Marguerite de Leon

No two freethinkers are exactly alike; a group of freethinkers contains a great diversity of perspectives, so there is no one, official perspective shared among all of them. This makes the freethought community a truly vibrant source of ideas and opinions!

In this light, Meet a Freethinker is our brand-new series featuring freethinkers of all backgrounds and perspectives. We want to introduce you guys to the people who make up the proverbial melting pot of this growing movement.

Our first freethinker is Marguerite de Leon, a 27-year-old social media executive. She was baptized Catholic, and became part of the Filipino Freethinkers in 2010.  

1)     How would you define a freethinker?

A freethinker is someone who chooses not to tolerate bullshit. They don’t immediately believe in something because someone from a position of authority told them to; or because that’s what most people have always believed in for so long; or because there’s some man-made rule that tells you to. They adhere to empirical evidence; they only believe in something if there is actual, tangible, measurable proof that such a belief makes sense. If there is no such proof, then they will continue questioning this belief and searching for the truth.

2) What belief system do you subscribe to?

I am an atheist. This means that I do not believe in the existence of a god or gods. So in terms of religious beliefs, I have none. The closest thing I do have to a belief system is secular humanism, which basically means being a good human being, no religious strings attached.

3)     What was it like when you first seriously questioned the dogma you were told to believe?

The defining moment was when I outright asked my mom and grandmother if I could skip Sunday masses and pray at home instead. I even offered to do the chores, or whatever other good deed they felt like assigning me. I found masses excruciatingly tedious and pointless (those scary rebultos didn’t help, either), and thought it sensible that I do something beneficial to others on Sundays instead of just sitting in a church staring at the clock. I also figured that praying to god directly was more sincere than sitting around reciting words lifelessly.

But no dice. Both my mom and grandmother got incredibly upset with me, and the afternoon ended in tears. They said I was being disrespectful. But no matter how hard they chastised me, however, I still knew I made sense. What I’ve been told to do and to believe just didn’t add up. Soon enough, religion started to look more and more inane and insincere, and I eventually wanted no part of it.

4)     What’s the biggest misconception people have about you as a freethinker?

That I’m holding on to the excuse that I can think however I want, no matter how inane or removed from reality it may be, like some post-modern, “anything-goes-let’s-all-believe-in-magic” kind of thing. That’s definitely not what freethought is. True freethinking has very strict criteria. My beliefs need to be backed up by reason and evidence, and should not be beholden to authority, tradition, or dogma.

5)     What was the funniest or most interesting reaction you got from a person after you told him or her that you were a freethinker?

“So that means you’re smart, right?”

Yes and no.

I’d consider freethinkers smart in that they try their very best to think well—that is, logically and rationally. Having said that, it’s not like I have a PhD, have a bazillion awards under my belt, or refuse to watch films in color or English. For the record, I love trash TV like The Voice, and would much rather read a fashion magazine than a Borges short story. It’s just that when I’m faced with situations like the CBCP telling me to fear the Pill, I don’t blindly follow them. I get my facts straight first and make my own decisions based on what I’ve learned. You don’t need to be cum laude to figure that out.

6)     In what way has being part of a freethinking community benefited you?

I finally found something I truly believed in and wanted to fight for 100%. I’d been pretty apathetic before then, mainly because I could never fully relate to any of the causes and concerns being trumpeted around me. Most charities and groups I’d encountered had an underlying religious bent to it—you’re doing all these good things for god, or because we are all god’s children, etc. I would feel like a poser or a hypocrite joining such groups.

The Filipino Freethinkers, on the other hand, was a group against bullshit, against people being sheep, against shitty excuses to be horrible people. It was right up my alley. I’d never felt more purposeful, more excited to do things for others.

7)     Would you date someone who was a fervent follower of your old religion?

Let’s just put it this way: If he WERE a truly fervent, by-the-book follower of Catholicism, then he would not have sex with me until we were married; he would prohibit me from using artificial contraceptives; he would have our kids baptized and sent to gender-exclusive Catholic private schools; he would force me to go to mass every Sunday; he would remind me to be miserable and penitent on Good Friday because god just died; he would keep me from meeting up with my LGBT friends; he would donate part of our hard-earned money to the church; he would delete most of my videos and music and throw away most of my books; etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

So, no. Unless, of course, he looked like either Frank Mir, Robert Downey Jr., Tom Hardy, or Ryan Gosling. Then all bets are off.

Posted in Meet a Freethinker, Personal, Society9 Comments

How to Celebrate Newtonmas

How to Celebrate Newtonmas

Many people around you are commemorating the humble coming of Christ by extravagantly and wastefully observing pagan practices. What are you to do, lonely heathen? Fear not, you can commemorate the birth of Isaac Newton by celebrating Newtonmas! Here are a few tips on how to do it:

  1. Tell everyone that like Jesus, Newton wasn’t really born on Christmas Day. Although he was also born on Christmas Day. Wait, what? Well, it has something to do with some confusion between two calendars. When Isaac Newton was born, most of the world was already using the more accurate Gregorian calendar, which is the same calendar we are using up to this day. However the English, being English, were still using the old Julian calendar during the time of Newton’s birth, and in the Julian calendar little Isaac was born on the 25th of December, 1642. During the time, however, the Julian calendar was already off by more than a week so that in the Gregorian calendar, Newton’s birthday is actually January 4, 1643.

“Isaac must go on top of the tree.” [Image credit: tumblr/shitsheldoncoopersays]

  1. Since it’s the season for Newton, buy your godchildren prisms as presents! Include little “research problems” that they can try to solve using the prisms. For example, you can ask them to convince their parents that when all the colors of the rainbow are combined, what you get is white light. In this way, they can reenact Newton’s experimentum crucis, which is not a Harry Potter spell but rather is one of the most beautiful and elegant experiments in science.

Newton’s critical experiment. [Image credit: peace-files.com]

  1. If you’re feeling a little indulgent, buy yourself a Newtonian telescope and discover the beauties of heavenly bodies, both those in the sky and those living next door.

[Image credit: optocorp.com]

  1. Feeling the spirit of Newtonmas strong in you? Approach your little nephews and nieces and teach them a bit of Newtonian physics. Tell them about the three rules that obeyed by everything around us.
  • First rule, things don’t budge when nothing budges them. In other words, unless an object is pushed or pulled, it will keep on moving the way it did. (If it wasn’t moving in the fist place, then it will keep on staying put.)
  • Second rule, the heavier a thing is, the more you need to push or pull it in order to change the way it moves. Also, if you want to change how something moves more, then you must give it a stronger nudge.
  • Third rule, when you kick something, it will always kick you back. And it will kick you back as strongly as you kicked it.
  • Tell your nephews and nieces that remembering the above rules will help them avoid the following mistake:

[Image credit: Homes]

  1. If you want in on Newton’s extreme eccentricity, you can try performing some of his more crazy-ass experiments. See the bodkin below? Newton stuck something similar into his eye socket and prodded his eye ball with it to study how images get formed in the human eye. I’m not kidding you, the guy was batshit crazy.

Newton: “I want this thing inside me.” [Image credit: images.onlinegalleries.com]

  1. Read the following passage to all your smart friends: “This chaos is called our arsenic, our air, our Luna, our magnase, our Calebs, but in diverse respect, because our matter undergoes various states before our regal diadem is extracted from the menstrual blood of our whore. So learn who the comrades of Cadmus are, and who the serpent who ate them, and what the hollow oak on which Cadmus transfixed the serpent! Learn what the doves of Diana are which conquer the lion by beating him.” This passage is from the alchemical tract The Open Entrance to the Closed Palace of the King, one of Newton’s favorite. Yes, even the smartest people can subscribe to the most unfounded beliefs. We should therefore be ever vigilant about the things we believe in. Newton’s example reminds us of the beauty of having no one person as absolute intellectual authority. In short, it helps us appreciate being a freethinker.

So there you go, a few holiday tips from one heathen to another.  This Newtonmas, remember to give the gift of discovery to the people you love. And don’t forget to have a happy holiday!

[Image credit: maths.crhs.org.uk]

Posted in Society2 Comments

Santa Claus: the Legend, the Man, and Edcel Lagman

Sen. Pia Cayetano & Rep. Edcel Lagman: two of the many individuals we have to thank for our purple Christmas.

If there’s one thing reproductive health (RH) advocates want for Christmas, it’s the passage of the RH Bill. Many have been speculating that President Aquino will sign the bill into law as his Christmas present to the Filipino people — all 94,852,030 of them.

When you think about one person giving gifts to so many people, one mythical figure comes to mind: Santa Claus. Many have worked hard throughout the years to give Filipinos an RH law. And among them, none other reminds me of Santa than Rep. Edcel Lagman. His white hair and round figure are complemented by the constantly cool and humorous nature he displayed throughout the process of RH legislation.

But there’s more to the analogy than appearance and attitude. Because the historical figure Santa Claus was based on had something more in common with Lagman. According to Adam C. English, associate professor of religion and author of “The Saint Who Would Be Santa Claus: The True Life and Trials of St. Nicholas of Myra,” Santa had a soft spot for poor women.

He tells the following story, which he finds so “strange and surprising… that historians assume it must be based to a large degree on fact”:

It is the tale of three poor daughters.

Nicholas had been aware of a certain citizen of Patara – in Lycia, modern-day Turkey – who had once been an important and wealthy man of the city but who had fallen on hard times and into extreme poverty. The man grew so desperate that he lacked the very essentials of life.

The poor man reasoned that it was impossible to marry off his three beautiful daughters because they lacked dowries for proper marriages to respectable noblemen. He feared they would each in turn be forced into prostitution to support themselves.

Nicholas heard this heartbreaking news and resolved to do something about it. He bagged a sum of gold and in the dead of night, tossed it through the man’s window. The money was used as a dowry for the first daughter.

Sometime later, Nicholas made a second nighttime visit so that the second daughter might marry. Later tradition reported that, finding the windows closed, he dropped the bag of gold down the chimney, where it landed into one of the girl’s stockings that was hanging to dry.

When Nicholas returned to deliver anonymously the third bag of gold for the last daughter, the curious father was ready. When he heard a bag hit the floor, the father leapt to his feet and raced outside, where he caught the mysterious benefactor.

Nicholas revealed his identity to the father but made him swear never to tell anyone what he’d done. He did not want praise or recognition for his generosity.

Thus the legend of Santa Claus was born. Although millions recognize the legendary figure, few know that it all came from the story of how a rich old man did his part to help three women, each less fortunate than he was, have the opportunity to live better lives.

The people who made this purple Christmas possible are too many to mention, each of them deserving of our thanks and congratulations. But I think it’s OK to start with Rep. Edcel Lagman, the Santa Claus of the 15th Congress, who in his final term did his part to pass the RH Bill, giving every Filipino, especially the poor, the opportunity to live healthy, educated, and dignified lives.

Image from facebook.com/RHnow

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INB4: In the context of my Santa — Edcel analogy, it’s quite ironic that St. Nicholas was a bishop, and that Santa Claus is most commonly depicted in red.

Posted in Personal, RH Bill0 Comments

The Bishops You Vote For

All of a sudden the RH Bill is a signature away from becoming the RH Law. Recently, it’s been progressing so rapidly that you have to wonder: Why has it been stuck in legislation for so long?

There are several culprits, but three groups share most of the blame: bishops, legislators, and voters. Bishops, for bullying and lying to legislators; legislators, for allowing this theocratic meddling to happen; and voters, for electing both into positions of power. You read that right. Electing both. Because as I’ll explain, bishops are elected, too.

Obviously, there are no elections for Catholic bishops. The Roman Catholic Church is a theocracy, a dictatorship led by the Pope, an institution of the bishops, by the bishops, and for the bishops. Ordinary Catholics — the laity — have as much say in who they’re supposed to obey as in what they’re supposed to believe. That is, absolutely none.

But although there are no democratic elections in the usual sense, Catholics can still choose their bishops. If they wanted to, they could change their religious leaders any time they wanted. But first, they have to understand what it means to belong to their church.

Corporations

The Catholic Church is a corporation. A multinational corporation with several branches called dioceses. Both legally and dogmatically, a bishop is the boss of his diocese. You don’t change your boss by incompetence or insubordination. And you don’t change your bishop by disobedience or dissent.

Because the Catholic Church is a monolithic corporation, changing the bishop because you disagree with him is as difficult as changing the Pope himself. If you work for a company that doesn’t allow you to change your boss, the only way to change your boss is to move to another company.

Many Catholics take for granted that they’re not forced to be Catholic. It may not have been the case a few centuries ago, but people can now choose their religion without fear of death or torture. So remaining Catholic is a decision, however consciously the choice is made.

Bishops

Bishops aren’t elected, so choosing Catholicism implies choosing the Catholic bishops. When it comes to most religions, you can’t have one without the other. Still, there is freedom of religion. You could’ve chosen Islam (and its imams) or Buddhism (and its monks) or Judaism (and its rabbis) and so on. By choosing to be Catholic, you’ve essentially voted for Catholic bishops to represent you, regardless of how much — or how little — you agree with them.

A lot of pro-RH Catholics would object to this. What kind of RH advocate would want to be represented by bishops who routinely misinform and fear monger, even blaming natural calamities (Sendong, Habagat, Pablo) and human atrocities (school shootings) on the RH Bill?

They prefer to think they’re represented by progressive Catholic leaders, the silent pro-RH clergy who anonymously spammed text messages in support of RH, or the progressive theologians who say it’s OK to dissent because there’s freedom of conscience and, thus, freedom to dissent.

But there’s a reason the pro-RH clergy are silent: They could be fired by the Catholic Church, losing the little authority they have — not to mention their source of livelihood. And there’s a reason theologians are so relatively noisy: They can’t be fired by the Catholic Church — at least not directly — and they have no official authority whatsoever — at least not when it counts.

 

Think of it this way. A bishop is like an anti-RH congressman. Priests are members of his staff, and theologians are informal advisers and critics. The anti-RH congressman can have one or even several pro-RH staff (silent clergy). He can even surround himself with pro-RH advisers and critics (theologians).

But no matter how progressive the people around him are, only the congressman gets to cast and explain his vote on the RH Bill. And no matter how popular his staff or advisers are with his constituents, they won’t even be allowed to say a single word.

Clout

Religious organizations are essentially the same as political ones because both are ultimately after the same thing: numbers. If the CBCP has political clout, it’s because the Philippines is predominantly Catholic. In political terms, they have the most votes when the most recent religious elections were held.

Because our politicians don’t fully appreciate the principle of secularism, religious clout translates to political power. It’s no coincidence that our government panders to religious leaders in proportion to their religion’s numbers.

When the Pope and his closest bishops attend international human rights conventions, the world’s leaders listen to them for one reason, and it’s not the strength or validity of their arguments. It’s the fact that they represent 1.1 billion Catholics. And whether they like it or not, every Catholic, no matter how progressive, is counted.

Politics

I don’t know for sure, but I highly doubt that anyone in these conventions has refuted the Pope by asking him how many Catholics actually agree with him. The Vatican contingent has routinely weakened, delayed, and even blocked progressive developments on a global level. And every Catholic around the world shares the blame.

In the same way, every pro-RH Catholic shares the blame for the delay of the RH Bill, and inevitably, the difficulty of its implementation — not to mention all the other irrational, unscientific, and theocratic things the CBCP has the power to do.

We’ll have to wait for the coming elections to vote against anti-RH legislators, but Catholics can do something about their anti-RH bishops today. Choosing one’s religion has political ramifications, and it’s time more Catholics realize this.

When you belong to the Catholic Church, it’s not the pro-RH priests or progressive theologians you put in power. At the end of the day, it’s the bishops you vote for.

Posted in Personal, RH Bill3 Comments

RH, Divorce, and Other “Divisive” Bills

The RH bill has been called divisive by its opponents over and over even as it is already about to become a law. And as if to cause further divide, another contentious issue is now being brought up by no less than House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, who revealed plans of enacting the divorce bill next congress.

Some say that the passage of the RH bill paves the way not only to divorce but also to same-sex union, abortion, and euthanasia, as depicted by Inquirer’s editorial cartoon, in that order, which also seems to be in increasing order of insult to the Roman Catholic Church.

But are these bills truly causing division in our nation? Or does it seem more likely that our beliefs and opinions are already as diverse as our religions and philosophies, and that these bills merely polarize the issues for us to look into and discuss?

To discuss is to exert an effort of checking one’s beliefs and biases and openly listening to what the other has to say, and then trying to see points where we can agree. Is that divisive behavior? Now compare that to those who stubbornly hold on to their dogmas and refuse to hear the other side’s story.

In a democracy, there will always be issues that seem to divide the nation. But if a country has to progress, its people will have to iron out these issues instead of ignoring them. Conflicts are healthy as long as both parties aim for resolution, instead of allowing disagreement to become an end in itself because one or both parties only want to prescribe their principles to the point of depriving the other person the right to be heard.

We are already divided by our beliefs, and silencing the dissenting opinions that might lead to new legislation will only build up pressure on the cracks. Yes, the passage of the RH bill will definitely give a morale boost to the advocates of divorce, marriage equality, abortion, and euthanasia. And it is no coincidence that all these issues share a common divisive denominator: whether to listen to the Church teachings or to reason and evidence. The Church will always try to impose its absolute dogmas in government affairs, and the secularists will always want to see the reign of an oppressive medieval empire come to an end, or at least restricted to the “spiritual” realm and to people’s private lives.

But disagreement does not necessarily have to result to division. To those who rely on reason and evidence, the government is expected to provide a secular venue for fair discussion. And for those who rely on dogma, they are always free to preach to their flock inside the walls of their churches. If both sides would only stay in their respective places, it becomes possible to transcend our differences, and we as a people can take one more step towards living in harmony by respecting the rights of those who don’t share our beliefs.

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Image credits: Philstar, Boy Santos

 

Posted in Advocacy, Religion, RH Bill, Secularism5 Comments

How To (Really) End The World

How To (Really) End The World

No, the world is not going to end this week. That belief is too unfounded to be even worth a rebuttal.

Now that we have that out of the way, let us talk about more productive things, like how to really end the world. But before we can start with our crash course on world ending, let us first look at what people usually mean when they say the end is nigh. Based on a survey done by a reputable organization composed solely of the author of this article, when people say “the world is ending” they usually mean one the following things:

  1. they lost their iPhone;
  2. human civilization will collapse or people will be wiped out from the face of the Earth;
  3. all or a significant portion of life on Earth will end;
  4. the universe will end.

Since no one really cares if some hipster lost his iPhone, I hope everyone agrees that we can skip the first item. Let us now take a look at how we can successfully bring about the other three world-ending scenarios.

[Image credit: memegenerator.net]

Bye Bye Humans

Here’s how you end human civilization: you do nothing. Or, to be more precise, you just allow humans to keep on doing what they are doing right now. I’m not kidding; just let them carry on with their lives. They’re already civilization-destroying forces just as they are.

How does this work? Here’s how it goes. If humans live as they live right now, then the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere will just keep on going up. This will have the effect of further messing up the Earth’s climate. If humans do not change, the climate will.

[Image credit: wwf.be]

But how can climate change end human civilization? When it gets hot in here, can’t people just follow Nelly’s advice and take off all their clothes? Excellent as Nelly’s advice is (and I surely recommend it to some of more well-endowed human specimens), it simply wouldn’t do because the Earth’s systems are just so damned complicated. Even a mere 1-degree increase in global average temperature can ruin the whole delicate balance of the Earth’s life-supporting systems.

“I’ve got the solution to global warming y’all!” [Image credit: sandgent.co.uk]

Let me mention just a few of the many possible nightmare scenarios that can be brought about by climate change.

First, sea level will rise significantly, causing many major cities to get flooded. If fishes want Manila City, they could inherit it someday, although I already here them saying “Thanks, but no thanks.” Students of UST know for a fact that nature has already been doing not-so-dry runs of this thing, and for those who wish to see the end of human civilization it’s all looking good.

Second, many ecosystems will be messed up and might even crash. Scientists who study the details of this nightmare scenario usually get a lot less sleep at night. But just to give you an idea, when an important ecosystem crashes, farms will fail, the sea  will give up providing fishes (and I’m not even talking about overfishing yet), and the creatures that provide humans with much needed oxygen might simply call it quits.

If those scenarios have not impressed you yet, then this one might. Some scientists think that climate change might cause the ocean’s thermohaline circulation to stop. The thermohaline circulation acts as the ocean’s conveyor belt, distributing oxygen, carbon dioxide and nutrients throughout the ocean’s many levels. If this circulation stops, then much of the ocean will be reduced to a big puddle of stagnant water. When this happens, many ecosystems in the ocean will get messed up, and we’re back to the scenario discussed in the previous paragraph.

Well, that’s just climate change. There are other things that can cause the crash of human civilization without any help from a malevolent Loki figure, like the world’s oil reserves running dry, or overpopulation causing a population crash just like what happened to the reindeer of St. Matthew Island.

If you want to be more proactive in bringing about the demise of human civilization, then you might want to introduce a microbial pathogen that is downright nasty, spreads fast, and is quick to mutate and develop resistance to drugs, quite like the virus that caused SARS. Since international flights are so common nowadays, this pathogen will find it easy to go global. And while you’re at it, why not make it a virus that attacks the human immune system? In other words, why not make a nastier version of the HIV? Also, if you feel a little creative and sadistic, try to go for a zombie apocalypse virus. Although making it spread globally could be a bit tricky considering how strict airport authorities are when it comes to passengers who bite their airplane seatmates.

“I’m sorry ma’am, but the seat belt sign is turned on. I’m afraid I’ll have to ask you to sit down.”

 

Hurtling Hunks of Rock

But if you really want to end a world, why just go for just one species out of the hundreds of thousands, possibly millions that call the Earth their home? When humans go extinct, will bad ass tardigrades give a damn? No.

Tardigrade: “Human civilization has collapsed? Do I look like I care?” [Image credit: sciencephoto.com]

Species come and go all the time; extinction is a part of life on Earth and it is the ultimate fate of all species that exist. Dodos and dinosaurs are not losers for going extinct, they just got there before humans did. (Although at the rate humans are going, they won’t be far behind.) Scientists estimate that around 99.9% of all species that have ever existed have now gone extinct. In fact, every few million years several species go extinct.

However, for us who want to see the world end, several extinctions every few million years are not enough. What we want is a mass extinction event, a massive blowout where up to 90% of all species on Earth bid goodbye to existence within a very short span of time. (And by “very short” we mean around a few million years.) Feel free to choose any of the following means to bring about your desired mass extinction event:

  • Send a big hunk of rock (an asteroid, a comet or a big meteor) hurtling towards the Earth. If this hunk of rock is big and fast enough, its collision with the Earth can release the energy contained in millions of tons of TNT. How much energy is that? Well, just enough to boil much of the ocean. It will also be enough send tons of dust into the air, covering the Sun for years on end and causing the Earth’s climate to change – and we’re back to climate change, yay!
  • Your big hunk of rock does not really need to hit the Earth to cause a lot of damage. If it’s big enough, even a close encounter with the Earth can cause a drastic change in the Earth’s orbital tilt, rate of rotation or distance from the Sun. If any of the mentioned things happen, creatures everywhere will suddenly find themselves in places too hot, too cold, too humid or too dry for them. Once this happens, many of the more choosy creatures – which is, well, most of them – will say goodbye to existence, and a cascade of extinctions will ensue.
  • Turn up the Sun. Or, alternately, turn in down. Just do it quickly. The Sun has been having mood swings for billions for years now. However, it’s been doing it slowly enough that a lot of the Earth’s creatures were able to adapt to many of them. A sudden overabundance of sunlight, or a sudden lack of it, will surely change the climate drastically. Yes, you’ll never go wrong with climate change, fellow world-ender.
  • Let the Sun go red giant. It will do this a few billion years from now, anyway, so why prolong the suffering of all earthlings? Go ahead and let their star become a big red ball that will boil all their oceans and possibly even consume their planet.

[Image credit: astronomynotes.com]

  •  Help the humans do their work of causing the sixth mass extinction. Scientists have discovered five mass extinction events in the 4.5-billion year history of the Earth. The most popular of the five is the one that led to the demise of all non-avian dinosaurs. Nearly all scientists agree that it was caused by an asteroid impact around 65 million years ago. (If you want to sound smart, call this the K-Pg mass extinction event. K-Pg stands for Cretaceous-Paleogene. It was between these two periods that the extinction event happened. It used to be called the K-T event, for Cretaceous-Tertiary.) The greatest of the five, however, was the Permian extinction event, also known as the Great Dying (dun dun dun!). The Great Dying (dun dun dun!) involved, well, a great amount of dying. 90% of all the species on Earth alive at the time, to be more precise. Many scientists think that a sixth extinction event is on the way, and it is caused by the joy humans derive from cutting down trees and polluting the seas. Hence, if you want to see the end of the world as we know it, you might give these Homo sapiens a little help in their endeavor.

[Photo credit: i.chzbgr.com]

  • Life on Earth is resilient. The cosmos has been sending all sorts of nasty stuff to Earth for billions of years, and yet life goes on. If you really want to obliterate life on Earth, you might want to send a rogue black hole to the Solar System. The black hole will gulp up the Sun and all its planets and that’s the end of it goodbye thank y’all.
  • If you want to be a bit more dramatic, you can make a supernova explode a few light-years from the Sun. Even though it’s billions of kilometers away from Earth, it will still incinerate all the planets of the Solar System, ending life in this sector of the galaxy for good.

 

Crunching and Heat

Yes, yes, I know, with billions upon billions of planets in the universe some of you might find it lame to end life in just one planet. You want to end all life in the galaxy, even in the universe, right? Well, unfortunately for us, the universe is such damned big place. How big, you ask? Well, damned big. If you want numbers, the observable universe is about 46 billion light years or 4,300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 meters across. Good luck with trying  to comprehend that.

One way of ending something this huge is by adding enormous amounts of matter to it. You can even add dark matter, if you’re into that sort of thing. If you add enough matter, this will cause the universe to become closed. In a closed universe that lacks dark energy, there will be enough matter to stop the current expansion. This will lead to a universal contraction and an eventual Big Crunch, which is just a delicious name for the opposite of the eve more deliciously-named Big Bang.

 

The Big Crunch

Unfortunately for those who like to crunch, the universe has a lot of this thing they call dark energy. Scientists know very little about dark energy, but whatever it is, it seems to exert a repulsive force that accelerates the expansion of the universe. If this is indeed the case, the only way for the universe to “end” is by undergoing a heat death. The heat death of the universe will happen when all the energy in the universe will be converted to useless energy, that is, energy that cannot be used to do work. This is given by the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which says that as time goes by, the energy in the universe gets more evenly distributed. Evenly distributed energy is heat, which is energy that cannot be exploited to do anything useful. Since life requires energy that can be used to do work, the head dead universe will not be able to support life of any kind.

Now to the important question, how can you bring about the heat death of the universe? Answer: you do nothing; let the Second Law of Thermodynamics do its work. Give it time. Be patient.

 

Take Home

So there you go, a teaser course on how to end the world. By now I think you would’ve noticed that it’s not really that difficult helping the world reach its demise. With lots of humans caring greatly about trivial things and little about things that matter, the world needs little help to meet its destruction. As a matter of fact, tremendous effort is expected not from those who want to end the world, but from those who want to pass it on the next generation. Even more effort is required from those who want to see a better tomorrow for their descendants. So it’s time to stop reading this article and start help building a better world for all of us. After all, the world is not ending anytime soon.

Posted in Humor, Science, Society0 Comments

Arguing for the RH Bill with “Bishop Logic”

 

The Bishops of the Philippines have some really shitty logic and they have been using this logic to spew lies and misinformation regarding the RH Bill.

Just this morning I came across an article called, “Bishop compares President Aquino to Connecticut shooter because of the Reproductive Health bill.”

Here are some of the highlights of that article:

According to a report by Evelyn Macairan of the Philippine Star, “Batangas Archbishop Ramon Arguelles yesterday said that while a 20-year-old gunman killed 20 children in the US, President Aquino would be killing millions of children with a stroke of a pen if he signs the RH bill into law.” 

After Typhoon Pablo hit the southern Philippines, another Church leader, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said, “the typhoon that left more than a thousand dead, could be a message from God about the RH bill.”

These conclusions don’t make sense. They infuriate me. So, as a thought experiment I wondered what arguments for the RH Bill I could come up with if, like these bishops, I used non sequitur arguments (“RH Bill caused Typhoon Pablo”), false analogies (Pinoy is like the Connecticut shooter), and other illogical statements.

Let’s call this game the “Bishop Logic” game.

Argument #1:

1. Bishops and other members of the clergy like to sexually abuse children. In fact, the Catholic Church even has a Wikipage dedicated entirely to information about Catholic sex abuse cases. “The Catholic sex abuse cases are a series of convictions, trials and investigations into allegations of child sexual abuse crimes committed by Catholic priests and members of Roman Catholic orders against children as young as 3 years old with the majority between the ages of 11 and 14.”

2. Children living in depressed conditions are often neglected or under-supervised. “A number of prevalence and incidence studies have highlighted the link between poverty and some forms of child maltreatment, especially neglect, emotional and physical abuse.”

3. Family planning will reduce the number of under-supervised and underprivileged children.

Therefore:

“Bishops don’t want the RH Bill to pass because there will be less underprivileged and under-supervised children they would be free to molest.”

Argument #2:

1. God often tests the faith of his “people.”

2. The Catholic Church are supposedly God’s “people.”

3. Typhoon Pablo hit the Southern Philippines.

4. The Catholic Church is rolling in money. In fact, they are able to afford over $2 billion worth of sex abuse settlements. This astronomical number is even expected to rise towards $5 billion in the near future.

Therefore:

“Typhoon Pablo hit the southern Philippines because God wants to test the priorities of the Catholic Church. God wants to find out wherther the Church will use their wealth to help the victims of Typhoon Pablo OR to keep more child molesters unpunished.”

Argument #3:

1. “Higher levels of education lead to lower levels of religious participation later in life“.

2. “Early childbearing can interfere with education, so those with early or frequent childbearing are likely to be less educated.”

3. Sexual education will prevent a woman from having early or infrequent childbearing. “Teens who received comprehensive sex education were 60 percent less likely to report becoming pregnant or impregnating someone than those who received no sex education.”

Therefore:

“The Catholic clergy is against the RH Bill because it wants you to be pregnant and out-of-school. They don’t want you to be educated because the more education you get, the higher the chance that you would stop believing their bullshit and giving them money.”

In summary, using “Bishop Logic,” we have 3 explanations as to why the Catholic church is against the RH Bill:

1. “Bishops don’t want the RH Bill to pass because there will be less underprivileged and under-supervised children they would be free to molest.”

2. “Typhoon Pablo hit the southern Philippines because God wants to test the priorities of the Catholic Church. God wants to find out wherther the Church will use their wealth to help the victims of Typhoon Pablo OR to keep more child molesters unpunished.”

3. “The Catholic clergy wants you to be pregnant and out-of-school. They don’t want you to be educated because the more education you get, the higher the chance that you would stop believing their bullshit and giving them money.”

However, regardless of how much “sense” these arguments “seem” to make, being a freethinker, it is my responsibility to tell you that these arguments, for varied reasons, are not entirely logical. I simply wanted to show what kind of arguments the pro-RH side would come up with if they resorted to the same “Bishop Logic” that these clergymen use to make their arguments.

So don’t listen to the dumb shit stupid old men say, because “Bishop logic” is not logical.

Image from justinvacula.com

Posted in Advocacy, Personal, Politics, Religion, RH Bill, Secularism, Society2 Comments

Real or Fake: Anti RH Quotes From Batasan

On the second reading of the RH bill in congress, many incredible things were said on the floor of the Batasan in a vain attempt to stop the RH bill. Can you spot which ones were actually said by Congress Representatives and which are just attempts to live up to their crazy?

  1. “Napakaswerte ko dahil nung kinasal ang magulang ko, walang RH law”
  2. “Only God has the right to stop life. A big no to RH bill.”
  3. “The RH bill does not care much about family/marriage but concerned with giving couples safe,satisfying sex life”
  4. “We stand for the yearning that somehow, some higher power binds us to follow the light to goodness, righteousness”
  5. “Without our population, we would not have large remittances. I believe RH bill is not good for our country, our population.”
  6. “Sagot ba ang condom sa taong walang makain ngayon?”
  7. “Our big population makes it so that the Filipino people can give more glory to God. Therefore, no to the RH bill.”
  8. “RH bill directly violates fundamental law of the land, religious freedom; directly assaults Catholic Church”
  9. “Nanaginip po ako kagabi na nagpakita sa akin ang Mahal na Birhen na may dalang isang aborted na fetus. Paano po kung kayo yung fetus na ‘yon? Hindi po pwedeng magka-RH Bill!”
  10. “We don’t play dice with God.”
  11. “There’s something wrong when bill disrespects religious beliefs, reduces to plain argument denial of right to life”
  12. “Who stands to benefit most if this bill is passed? Hindi ko pwede isuko ang aking pagka-Katoliko”
  13. “With the RH Bill, my wife would be so lonely at home without children to take care of.”
  14. “Myth of overpopulation has been debunked.”
  15. “They said that the RH bill is for the women, but that’s not true. The RH bill is for those men who can’t control their urges. It is always the men who want sex, never the women. If husbands will just abstain from sex when they don’t want their wives to get pregnant, there will be no unwanted children. I vote no to the RH bill.”

Highlight below for the answers

Real:
1) Rep Unico, 3) Rep. Garcia, 4) Rep. Gullas, 5) Rep. Antonino, 6) Rep. Tiangco, 8) Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, 10) Rep. Javier, 11) Rep. Del Mar, 12) Rep. Mikey Arroyo, 14) Rep. Karlo Nograles

Fake:
2, 7, 9, 13, 15

Source: ANC report, “#RHBill: How They Voted”

 

Posted in Humor, RH Bill6 Comments

Stumped

That, in capsule form, is what I felt hearing our legislators defend their opposition to the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill until the wee hours this morning.
I must say, though, their “defense” kept me awake, for all the wrong, and patently hilarious reasons.

The first one that grabbed my attention was from Rep. Almario, who wanted in essence to send Filipinos to every part of the world, and maybe, in her lifetime, see this planet “Filipinized”.

And I thought one of the charges of the anti-RH camp was that approving the bill would mean “Western” domination of our laws. Tayo pala ang may planong sakupin ang mundo, Rep. Almario? And what does that even mean, “Filipinize”? Is this some homage to ethnic cleansing, popularized by that moustachioed man from Germany?

And who could miss the pronouncement of recently defeated boxer Rep. Manny Pacquiao, who claimed that because of his recent bout with Marquez in Las Vegas, it strengthened his resolve for the sanctity of life…could the boxer/representative still be reeling from that fateful, devastating punch that Marquez used to decide the outcome of their match?

To use current vernacular jargon, nasaan ang konek?

What does his decisive loss have to do with the “sanctity of life”? How does boxing even come close to the concept, when the entire fighting profession is built on the idea of beating another man black and blue, with money exchanging hands and crowds cheering for more blood? Where’s the “sanctity” in this scenario? After we teach our children that violence is wrong, we cheer on Manny trading blows, and he thinks it’s somehow because of “sanctity”?

And, unless we forget it, we are a “Catholic country” – we must be, since an overwhelming majority of these legislators used this particular concept as their defense.

“The bishops guide us.”
“We’re going against the (Roman Catholic) Church.”
“I cannot turn my back on my (Catholic) religion.”

These are essentially what they are saying – maybe not in those exact words – but yes, they claim these, which effectively means we are now a theocracy, not a democracy.

What a sad day for democracy, when the right to choose one’s religion is spat on by our own lawmakers.

When our very own Congress goes against the very document that founded its existence, the Constitution, that proclaims the separation of state and church to be “inviolable”.

When they attempt to make everyone Catholic by force – let’s call it what it is, because that is the effect of legislating Catholic teachings and belief into our SECULAR laws.

I do not want to be hearing from these particular legislators how bad it is for people in Afghanistan, where people can be executed – justifiably – for offending the state religion. They shouldn’t cluck their tongues when they hear of Female Genital Mutilation in certain parts of the world who insist on the barbaric practice because “it’s a part of our religion!”. They are just as equally guilty of enforcing, or wanting to enforce, a state religion, if they had won last night.

And then there were the sob stories: about how a legislator had trouble conceiving with his wife. About how, even after using the pill, a legislator went on to have many children. Or how it was a lawmaker’s parents’ dying wish. And the ones that go back, all the way to the baptism of their first child.

Excuse me, what is this, Dregs Of Our Lives? 

Why am I seeing a telenovela, or worse, a series of mini-telenovelas, being discussed by Congress and why are legislators acting like scriptwriters pitching for a storyboard?

Pati ba naman sa Kongreso, may drama dramahan na?

But just as my attention was starting to wane, my mind went into full salute when I started to hear a prayer being uttered by Rep. Syjuco as his “explanation” for opposing the bill. As a non-Catholic, I had to rely on what people online were saying, and that Syjuco (from what I could gather) was praying either the rosary or the Apostle’s Creed…how is this relevant to ME? And to the millions of other people of this archipelago who do not claim to be Catholic?

Is that what passes for intelligent discourse from our honorable legislators?

I had hoped that with so much time and energy having been expended on this bill – which, to my mind, was mostly needless if they had just put this immediately to a vote and not wasted so much effort trying to prevent it from being voten upon, and quite noticeably, even if the amendments from the bloc opposing it were inserted, they still ended up voting No – that we would see better arguments from our supposed representatives as to why they voted in the negative.

Instead, Congress was mistaken for being a branch of the Catholic Church.

No, anti RH legislators, you do not get to hijack the laws of this land to suit your religious preference. There is no “religious oppression” against you, the CBCP and Catholicism. On the contrary, it is you who continue to disrespect the right of each citizen to choose their own beliefs, and would like to see nothing more than a Catholic theocracy come into fruition, a fact that those in the hierarchy do not even bother hiding as their most desperate desire, claiming this country to be the “only Catholic nation in Southeast Asia!”

We could have done away with nominal voting. You could have given authentic, valid and factual reasons to oppose the bill. Instead, you chose to use the most winding of roads, leaving me and many others feeling the same way even before the debates began:

Stumped.

Image from clker.com

Posted in Personal, Politics, Religion, Secularism, Society0 Comments

December 16, 2012 (Sunday) Saturnalia Meetup

Location: Holy Trinity Church
Google map: http://goo.gl/wCMAl
Date: Sunday, December 16, 2012
Time: 2:30pm – 5:30pm

RSVP on Facebook

Discussion topics
Should scientists be held liable for mistaken predictions made in good faith?
American Atheists Christmas Poster: Naughty or Nice
The Crossed-Legs Tactic: When Does It Make Sense to Go on a Political Sex Strike?
Do we need a governor for Metro Manila?

After the meetup we usually go for dinner and drinks somewhere nearby. If you’re not a meetup regular and can’t make it for the meetup but would like to go for the post meetup, please indicate on a post in the wall or comment so we can contact you.

Got questions about the meetup? Contact us at 0927 323 3532

* Newbies are welcome.
* Look for the FF sign (or the group of smart, sexy people).
* There is no required age, religion, philosophy, or IQ level.
* Discussions are informal yet intelligent (most of the time).
* You don’t have to talk; you can just sit in and listen.

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Don’t Fear the Preacher: Fear and the RH Bill

In a final attempt at scrounging for votes against the Reproductive Health Bill, CBCP President Archbishop Jose Palma exhorted CBCP loyalists in the House of Representatives with the words their god told Abraham, “Do not be afraid.” You may recall that Abraham was the man whose son Yahweh asked him to kill to prove his faith.

Palma told representatives to “listen to what God is saying.” By pure coincidence, I’m sure, what “God is saying” is exactly what Palma is saying, with God unable to speak for himself.

While Archbishop Palma entreats conservatives in Congress to be free from fear, the Roman Catholic Church sows fear everywhere else. Once Senate Majority Leader Tito Sotto conceded that the pro-RH side had the votes to pass the measure in the Senate, he had this to say, “May God have mercy on their souls.” This, of course, was a threat against pro-RH senators that while they may win in this world, they will face everlasting torment in the afterlife.

A similar tact has been repeatedly approached by other conservative Catholics, where they quote the Gospel’s injunction against those who “cause the little ones to sin.” Matthew 18:6 says, “…if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” They threaten RH advocates with death because they believe that the RH Bill will lead otherwise faithful believers into sin through the temptation of contraception. A cursory search through Google will reveal how popular the idiom is among conservative Catholics and just how much they would like to tie a rock around all our necks and drown us in the sea.

Centered on human sacrifice, violence is at the very root of the Catholic religion and it is not at all surprising that its most zealous adherents would resort to savage irrationality when things do not go their way (despite their confidence in a god). RH Bill sponsor Edcel Lagman has been well-aware of the Church’s history of violence, saying, “Fear has always been used by the clergy as an instrument of repression and reprisal like fear of damnation…”

Even before the RH Bill has passed either chamber of Congress, the CBCP has already issued a warning that the RH Bill is the start of a slippery slope towards what they call “DEATHS bills” or “Divorce, Euthanasia, Abortion, Total Reproductive Health, Homosexuality or gay marriages, and Sex education.” The CBCP Secretary General who was quoted saying this has obviously seen the trend in the greater part of the world toward equality for humans and rights over their own bodies. The CBCP fears that it might also happen in our neck of the woods. It is likely, in my view, that the Roman Catholic Church fears more that they will lose their centuries-long stranglehold on the Filipino people.

As RH advocates, we aim to make, with the RH Bill, this very small step towards a lasting and flourishing society in the Philippines. Our opponents have made it clear that they share no such interest. They would rather we be mired in disease, torment, and starvation, for the sake of avoiding some imagined damnation. But, if there is anyone who ought not be afraid, it is those who are on the side of equal human rights and the dignity of self-determination. It is those who are fighting for a better future, not in some invented paradise, but here, on this tiny planet we call home.

As we draw near into the final stages of passing the RH Bill, many are still hoping that both sides of the argument will come to a compromise. But, it is clear from all the threats of death and violence that there shall never be compromise for the Roman Catholic Church. For them, human souls are at stake and they will stop at nothing to prevent the evils that they foresee. None of their fears, of course, are based on any evidence.

The burden of proof is on the Church to show that the ruler of the universe does indeed think contraception is evil and that its users are going straight to hell. Nevertheless, they act as if this is self-evident. It is not. Their views betray a literally medieval mindset that has no room on the floor of the House of Representatives. Yet, it is given room by conservatives such as Rufus Rodriguez at the expense of those who live and die in suffering every day because of the denial of reproductive rights. It is time to say no to these men beholden to fear and superstition. It is time to acknowledge the right of persons over their own bodies. It is time to vote on the RH Bill.

Image Credit: Le sacrifice d’Isaac by Matthias Stom | Source: Wikimedia Commons

Posted in Religion, RH Bill, Secularism0 Comments

Abortion, Women, and The Christ-Like Anti-RH

Tonight is the eve of what will hopefully be a vote on the second reading of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill in the House of Representatives.

In tonight’s Congress session the Honorable Representative from Cebu, Pablo Garcia, and his cohorts showed the country how Christ-like the anti-RH truly are. These are men who say they are fighting for God’s will, right? Surely the moral character of God must be reflected in their attempted amendments to the RH bill, right?

Representative Pablo Garcia tried to include an amendment into the RH bill to remove post-abortion care from the bill. His reasoning for this amendment is that including language that guarantees post abortion care for women who felt compelled to undergo an abortion would just encourage more women to undergo abortion. Our country totally does not need to take care of women who undergo an illegal operation, I mean, theres a reason its illegal right?

What a very Christ like moral argument there, Representative Garcia. After all when Jesus was faced with that adulterous woman who was to be stoned in the gospel of John, he was all like, “Yeah! Lets totally stone her!”

This woman? Yeah! Let’s totally stone her!

Oh wait. No. He didn’t.

Jesus forgave her and actually dared the pharisees, the clergy men, to hurt the woman they brought before him.

Women who suffer post abortion complications in the Philippines don’t just endure the effects of a most likely poorly done illegal abortion, they’re also stigmatized when they try to go to hospitals for care. These women who are already suffering are made to feel even worse, given substandard care because of a stigma that stems from religion.

The anti-RH go on and on about their morals derived from God. They declare that they know God’s will, that they are just doing what their God wants them to do.

According to their Bible, Jesus himself protected the life of a woman from the dictates of the clergy; from their desire to exact justice without thought of mercy. And yet, when these men who claim to follow God’s will have the chance to do what Jesus would do, they do the exact opposite.

Maybe its time to stop listening to the men of the cloth. Maybe its time the country acts as Jesus did when dealing with women who have illegal abortions: with compassion and mercy. Maybe instead of listening to our own pharisees, maybe its time to pass the RH bill.

Image: Christ and the woman taken in adultery, via the Wikimedia Commons

Errata: I had mistakenly written “third reading of the Reproductive Health Bill” when it is only the second reading, the mistake has since been corrected.

Posted in RH Bill1 Comment

Gulong ng Kapalaran, Gulong ng Kakapalan: My Tito Sotto Story

Mahigit isang taon ko nang gustong makausap si Tito Sen. Medyo nakaiirita kasi siya. At bagama’t matagal na akong tagahanga ng VST and Co., ang showbiz fan ay hindi political fan.

Setyembre noong nakaraang taon nang una akong nagulantang sa ating Senate Majority Floor leader. Kung inyong matatandaaan, pinabubulaanan niya noon ang istatistika ukol sa dami ng buntis na nanay na namamatay. Napakasakit at nakapanliliit ang ginawa ni Sotto; may kilala akong  mga community health worker sa urban poor areas na maraming kilalang inang nabawian ng buhay.  Simple lang ang panawagan namin noon: “Sotto, humingi ka nang patawad sa aming mga ina.”

Pero hindi nagkakamali si Senator Sotto. Mahirap na ina man o anak ng bayaning Amerikano, walang siyang sinasanto. At, higit pa, hindi siya nagsosorry. Tunay na lalaki (TNL) raw kasi siya. Kaya naman ganun kakapal ang kanyang bigote (sayang wala na siyang balbas).

Dalawang beses ko nang hinamon magdebate si Tito Sen, at dalawang beses na niya akong binasted. Napakasakit, Kuya Eddie.

Una ko siyang hinamon noong 2011 para maipaliwanag niya kung bakit ayaw niyang tanggapin ang dami ng kasong maternal mortality sa Pilipinas. Gusto ko ring ipaliwanag niya kung bakit nakaya niyang magsinungaling ukol sa bisa at pagiging ligtas ng mga condom, IUD, at pill. Huwag na raw; kadebate na raw niya sina Senadora Pia Cayetano at Miriam Defensor Santiago. Nakaiinsulto raw sa dalawang senadora kung ako ang debatihin ni Tito Sen.

Dahil dito, tinanong ko ang mga pinagpipitagang mga senadora kung okey lang sa kanilang mahiram si Tito Sen. Kahit konting pagtingin lang naman, diba? Awa ng diyos, pumayag ang dalawa.

Kaya hinamon ko ulit si Sen. Sotto noong nakaraang Setyembre. Kasama ko naman noon ang kaibigan kong si Miguel Syjuco. Bilang manunulat, guro, at patnugot, hindi masikmura ni Miguel ang lantarang pangongopyang ginawa ni Sotto sa Senado. Lalo na dahil paulit-ulit niya itong ginawa na para bang nangungutya. Ang sagot ni Tito Sen sa bagong hamon: Pahalal muna kayo!

Aray. Medyo KSP nga siguro kami, pero akala ko macho si Tito Sen.  Akala ko handa niyang sagutin ang lahat. Akala ko wala siyang itinatago. Akala ko may agimat ang mga Sotto. Baka si Enteng lang …

Nabanggit ko na fans ako ng VST. Ngayong mga nakaraang buwan, nagkaroon ako ng pagkakataong sariwain ang mga nakaiindak na awitin ng pinakamahusay na disko band noong dekada 70. Ito’y mula sa mga panahong buhay pa ang OPM … Biro lang.

Ika ng VST dati, “Aaaaahhh, awitin mo, at isasayaw ko.” Ika naman ni Tito Sen ngayon, “Aaaaaahh, isulat mo, at kokopyahin ko.”

Pero sa tingin ko, mainam na pakinggan ulit ni Tito Sen ang VST senti hit na “Ipagpatawad Mo.” Simple lang naman kasi ang hinihingi kay Tito Sen ng anak ni Robert Kennedy na si Kerry at ng tatlong blogger: Humingi ka ng tawad.

Mapagpakumbaba ang singer ng “Ipagpatawad Mo.” Sabi niya, “Ipagpatawad mo, aking kapangahasan. Binibini ko, sana’y maintindihan.” Dagdag pa niya, “Di ko masisi na ako ay pagtakhan, di na dapat ako pagtiwalaan.” Yung banda na lang sana niya ang gayahin at kopyahin ni Tito Sen. Bakit ba kasi ang yabang pa niya?

Buking na buking na nga nagpapalusot pa. “Copying is the highest form of flattery?” Ansabe? Eh bakit hindi na-flatter si Kerry Kennedy? Sa katunayan, nainis pa ito, gayong binaluktot ni Sotto ang salita ng kanyang ama upang salungatin ang karapatang reproduktibo ng kababaihan—mga karapatang ipinaglalaban ng Robert F. Kennedy Foundation.

Hiyang hiya na ang taumbayan kay Tito Sen. Tila pambansang kahihiyan na ang dating national treasure ng Pinoy comedy at Pinoy disko. Pero siguro naman handang umunawa at magpatawad ang taumbayan. Pag-amin lang naman ang hinihingi nila.

Sana nama’y ipagpatwad mo, ang malabis na kabilisan ko.

Iniisip ko ang VST nang mag-file kami ng ethics complaint kay Sotto sa Senado. Katunayan, nagsuot ako ng VST t-shirt. Bilang parangal kay Tito Sen, pinakopya ko sa matalik na kaibigan ang logo ng banda. Gayang-gaya, kanang-kana, eksaktong eksakto. Parang yung mga talumpati ni Sotto.

Simple lang ang dahilan kong bakit ko sinuot ang t-shirt: gusto kong ipaalala kay Tito Sen na may buhay pagkatapos ng pulitika. Nandyan pa rin ang showbiz. Nandyan pa rin ang disko. At sa dina-dami ng fans ng Eat Bulaga, Iskul Bukol at VST (kabilang na ako), siguro naman may tatangkilik at magmamahal pa rin kay Tito Sen.

Kanta na lang sa halip na talumpati. Patawa sa halip na kopya. Katuwaan sa halip na kahihiyan. Kalimutan mo na ang pulitika, ser. Tayo’y magsayawan na lang muli.

Image from socyberty.com

Posted in Advocacy, Personal, RH Bill, Secularism, Society0 Comments

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