Petty Crimes: Are you in?

Crimes. In every news I watch during primetime news show; it will not end without having news about crimes. Everyday, there are crimes committed. It’s as if people  to do this kind of activity.

The most alarming reality is those even youngsters are now committing all kinds of crimes. One example is the existence of Batang hamog in many main roads and highways in the country. They are there victimizing out riding motorist by robbing their valuable goods while their vehicles are in motion.

Perhaps, the alarming increase of poverty is one of the causes for this. As the latest survey of SWS says, 51.2% among Filipinos are now experiencing hunger. And because of it, many people resort to commit petty crimes like theft, snatching, etc. that may later lead to syndicate crimes like robbery, hold-up, prostitution, and others.

The problems went on when it already become part of their system thus make it no longer easy to be remedied.

But the pressuring reality here is that crimes at any form is happening and we might be the next victim or perhaps we might be the next to commit such, if the cyclical course of too much poverty would not be answered.

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Civil Societies and it’s impacts to Good Governance

As they say, the abundance of Civil Society groups is the contribution of the Philippines to Democracy. We have various Non Government Organizations and Civil Societies that concentrate on the simplest up to the most complicated problems in the Philippine society.

We have proven it’s worth in many times in our history. They were among those who toppled down the Marcos Dictatorship amongst August 21 Movement, Social Action Group from the religious sector, Freedom from debt Coalition and others. The issues become more popularized by the survey done by Social Weather Station and Pulse Asia.

Unfortunately, its’ role become less than being reactionary. It only reacts on things happening in our society but offer no alternatives or solution in our problems as a nation. For many times it actually become part of the problem like such as what happened recently on the so-called Peace Bonds.

The Peace Bonds is a fund that was lent by the private sector through CODE-NGO and the government through DSWD, Presidential Commission on the Peace Process and the GSIS which main concern is to promote peace in the country and to pacify insurgency as well. The problem went out when the liquidation of the used funds went out. Only to find out that there are 50 Million unliquidated funds at this campaign. Most probably, it went to the hands of the few. There goes the problem of Corruption.

The problem here is that, it now become part of the colossal debt of our country.

This proves that while Civil societies in one hand is a proof of having a democracy, thus we have to allow them; however they have to be more responsible and be true to their role. There are also those fly-by-nigth NGO’s that we should diminish because this hinders the realization of our goal as a nation.

As they say, we have our rights, but these rights have their limitations and responsibilities.

Divide the Labor to Multiply

It is a social fact that tasks or responsibilities  whatever degree holds people in the society together. If we see, during the primitive society people occupy general positions wherein they do a variety of tasks and handle a large number of responsibilities. Why? Because at that time they only have spears, bow and arrow and stones as tools in production thus requiring more labor participation. On the other hand, the modern society has more specialized place and a much narrower range of tasks and responsibilities as machines and high technology develop in a fast pace after the industrial revolution in Europe. Thus, their responsibilities or tasks vary on the access and the development of the tools of production.

In performing their duties and tasks their commonality and differences forge solidarity among their ranks.

In the Philippine context, workers who experience the same and do the same jobs immediately forge solidarity among themselves. Competition is a natural occurrence if special benefits are acheived by those who can do better. But in experience, the prevailing spirit is the workers understanding that they all suffer from the same exploitative condition as they work under the same company rules and regulations. Such is the case of the first workers strike during the height of the Martial Rule in 1972 done by the La Tondeña workers. They asked for job security and a one Peso increase in salary.

The same is also true of the Sumilao Farmers who demanded for the distribution and the collective ownership of the land owned by the Cojuangco’s under the San Miguel Corporation.

These are people who upon understanding their common problems recognized the need to organize an organization that will serve as their vanguard in achieving their goal. Hence, organic solidarity could forged too; as long as the people involved abide by the principle of common good. Their differences is realized as part of the dynamism of running the group and democratic principle will be observed. This is present to People’s organization.

I hence remember a quotation which goes like this – revolution is the practice of democracy. The working class among others understand it well.

A Critique to Social Darwinism

 

It is true that society and an organism are comparable in its growth: baby to adult, simple to complex and differentiation of structure accompanied by the progressive differentiation of function. But the fundamental differences are aesthetics, unrealistic, elitist and liberal. Just like an organism a society forms a concrete whole. One can be free at a certain personal level but it cannot be so free as to be relatively dispersed. The whole society exists not only for an individual but the whole because an individual is part of a whole. Societies are formed in the process of man’s effort to survive it evolves in the understanding that no man can live in an island. It is from the basic understanding that our lives as social being are interspersed or interrelated directly or indirectly.

We find this reality in the Philippine context wherein from a people who clumped together to live near the shoreline “taga ilog” or those that live at the heart of our rich forest “aeta”, tagakaolo or near lakes “T’boli” or seas “muslims” we traversed the divisions from fighting off one tribe that is trying to subvert our territories or transgress our traditions and beliefs into fighting off the Spaniards in their efforts to colonize us by way of the cross or the sword.

The characteristics of a society depend on the social practice as an individual’s character depends on its social role. In every society one person play roles that further develop their consciousness. Such as the practice of the indigenous people who hunts together and divides food evenly into households; this has developed an individual consciousness that is neither greedy (for those who have more) nor weak (for those who have less). For the aeta who relies on the supply of nature to eat they have learnt to value nature by not polluting their resources. Societies developed a strata or class from the development of private property, the families of those who were treated with utmost respect sultan and datu became owners of slaves, fine jewelries and became rulers. This was further reflected in the Spanish era wherein Filipinos became their slaves as vast lands were grabbed and forced labor was implemented.

At the current time, the capitalists, landlords and bureaucrats are the ruling class while the laborer, the farmers and each employee were the lower class. Thus, it has been widely propagated that the whole exist merely for the benefit of the person when it should not be.

In every development of a society the exploitative class are overthrown by the exploited those that bear the burdens of daily toil and surplus production. Their conflicting interest which has resulted to different systems serves as man’s guide to living in a society. Common resources must be used for the common good; only a communal life will develop a perfect character.

 

Does Society Evolves?

Gerard Lhenski sees human societies as undergoing a process of change according to a dominant pattern known as “socio-cultural evolution”. He studied the different social types, first appearance and its characteristics. Indeed human societies do undergo societal changes base on its socio-cultural evolution or more aptly based on its mode of production.

Based on the pattern he created it can be observed that the way the society produces its basic necessities has a social impact on the living condition as well as the social practice of the human beings in a society. Also, as the social type changes, the emerging of the social classes are also noticeable such as the note that in 1960’s during post industrial the middle class expanded as the processing and control of information is being relied to the service sector.

In the Philippine society these changes social types wherein the Philippines whose industrial development was augmented by the trickling down effect of the Post modern era in First World country especially U.S. is trapped between a backward industry and an economy amassed by the surplus products from high technology. It has been merely subsumed into a consumer of surplus products and supplier of labor for the fast growing services sector (call center) as its labor force participation in the agriculture and industry aspect dwindle.

Amidst the full development of European and western countries the Philippines has remained backward. While foreign country’s rape our resources and vital minerals such as oil, deuterium and copper, gold etc. which are vital for the industrial development of a country. I guess it would then be vital to conduct a cultural ecology study in the Philippines.

Society run by Religion

According to Peter Berger society is nothing but a human product that continuously acts back to its producer the human beings whilst, religion is another social construction of man inspired by the divine forces.

If we analyze the life of man has evolved into formations of societies as well as religion to institutionalize its beliefs. Religion in the absence of science has functioned as the means to understand the unusual and inexplicable occurrences in man’s life. Men worshiped the sun, the rain, the trees, while they prayed for the god’s anger to subside during thunders, lightning and storms.

As the time elapsed religion and society were made to serve the prevailing class in the society as strongly argued by Charles Wright Mills in Sociological imagination.

The power elite Spain took control of the resources of the Philippines to be more powerful economically, militarily and government-wise. Religion taught the Filipinos during the Spanish era to be meek, prayerful, sacrificial and obedient in the face of their merciless conquering. This has become useful too during the American colonization. It has been institutionalized in the Philippine society that we are being civilized through the help of a friendly American. Who in its established schools taught Filipinos to praise what is American and strove to become an American in every way he can. From atis to apples, Mercedes Benz, Toyota corolla, to whitening products and nose lifts, to dressing up like G.I Joe and striving to be educated in order to work in the US or become a proficient Englishman in the call centers. Society acclaimed those who can speak English proficiently thus they are given positions in the government. These power elite took control of military and the economy to keep its interest and concentrate wealth and exercise more power.

A sociological imagination that envisions a sociologically aware society which will forge a more gentle and just way of life must be created consciously. It does not happen by reflections alone but by a collective understanding of their condition and the initiatives to struggle for a better way of life together. In order to do this a critical thinking masses must be developed.

Marginalization: Underserving the Must Served

 

Marginalization is a social process of becoming or being deprived or relegated to the fringe of society. The three types of marginalization of sectors in a society are classified into personal, community and professionals.

Marginalization of the Filipinos as a community happened and is still happening this is the result of its colonization during the Spanish era, America, Japan and then back to America. Colonialism has permeated our culture and values as we lose access to our sources of income and were deprived of access to the labor market.

Colonialism, affected the way we look at ourselves and the way other races look us as Filipinos. Some celebrated examples are the Filipinos who experienced racism in other countries the boy in Canada who used his hands to eat in a school canteen was isolated until he learns to use fork and spoon. The Filipino who used mineral water in the toilet for washing is ridiculed  and insulted by American co-workers. In a larger context, the Filipino domestic helpers that works abroad (especially in Arab countries) who are 70% women largely experience maltreatment, physical abuse and sexual harassments if not rape. The Philippines is neo-colonized by the USA through loans and aids that deprives us from industrializing thus, preventing our country to develop and depriving the Filipinos the access to secured lives and quality jobs. This new form of colonialization made us subservient to US dictations to political and internal affairs. It has continually deprived us the capacity to bargain and independently in the global market.

Aside from that, prevailing cultures that are propagated by the elites, those professionals, intellectuals or thinkers that hold a different opinion on a range of topics such as this one are being alienated or isolated from the mainstream. The culture also of unacceptable individuals tends to marginalize those who are mentally or physically challenged and those that belong to the LGBT group. These are all happening in the Philippines.

To summarize a colonized community has a human population that suffers from a triple whammy of marginalization as a people, as an individual and as a person (gender-related). Marginalization has concretely resulted into the material deprivation such as the case of ofw’s in Canada who live in garages in slum areas because they cannot and have a difficult access to better housing. Globalization has brought about a broader gap between not only the poor and the rich people but as well as the group of people who belong in the poor or the rich country. Those in the rich can study and get their like professions while a poor country like the Philippines must study those courses that are globally in demand technical courses, skilled work, care giving, nursing, chamber maid, house keeping, seaman. Our labor force is aligned to the labor demand of the First world countries but not for the development of our country.

 

Vices and Gambling

In the Philippine Society, it can be said that gambling is part of our culture. During Spanish times we had that tupada or the cockfight, spider duel, eskrima, boxing among others that cannot be done without gambling. At times it proves that we Filipinos by nature is a Socialized animal. We love to mingle and share our experiences to others.

This is true during gamble session because people are able to chit chat a lot. I remember one of my visits to looban in one of the informal community in Malabon. They play Bingo then. They carry with them their children and they are placed outside their houses. This is to be spare from too much heat inside their house.

We have many lords that are well known in our society that only proves that we are not monotheistic by nature because we have jueteng lord, drug lord, gambling lord. Etc.

Truly, gambling is very Filipino like. Unfortunately this is now becoming rampant that even our youngsters are addicted to this kind of activity. Thus it became a vice or a wrongdoing. Back to the normal occurrence in Looban it is unhealthy to their children to be at their circle because during these time that they get sick.

I remember news before where in one family, a father offered his daughter to his compadre because he owe him money from their poker game. This vice is now the reason for the total collapse of the basic formation and values of the family.

No wonder, gambling lord become more and more influential in our society because more and more Filipinos are patronizing it. It is just logical why jueteng still exists even if past administrations wanted it to perish completely.

And no wonder why gambling lords penetrate our government system. We have jueteng lord Pineda’s in Pampanga, Villafuerte of Bikol and needless to say we had former President Estrada a gambling lord himself.

These is to make sure that gambling become institutionalized part of our culture for ever and ever. Poor Philippines then.

Habilin Bago ang Paglalakbay

Hindi basta – basta ang gagawin kapag naroon ka na
Kaya dapat makinig ka at nang makaunawa
Mas maigi kung hindi sa oras na dagsa ang tao kung sumakay ka
Sa sobrang siksikan maaaring di ka makahinga

Bago makapasok, mayroon munang gwardiya
Ilabas mo at ipakita ang iyong mga dala
Baka hudas kang may dala ng bomba
Ay! Talagang malilintikan ka

Pagpasok mo’y mayroon doong pila
Usisain mong maigi ang tamang linya
Ayaw na ayaw kong mapa-away ka;
sa hirap ng buhay, mga tao ngayo’y maiksi ang pasensya

Ang pilang iyan ay hindi para magpapirma sa sikat na artista
Ang totoo’y walang emosyon ang taong iyong sadya
Ihanda mo ang iyong barya, kung buo ang dala huwag ka sa una
Pagdating sa dulo ay sabihin mo na kung pasaan ka

Bibigyan ka pagdaka ng card,
hawakan ng maigi’t ituon ang mata
ipapasok mo iyan sa makinarya
may palaso doon masdan mo, iyon ang mauuna

Dahan-dahan lang kapag pinapasok mo na
Dahan-dahan lang at titigan mo para shoot talaga
(Nakakahiya atang pagtitigan ng madla!)
Sa paglabas sa butas ng kard tiyaking madampot ito ng iyong kamay

Maglakad ng kaunti at manaog pababa sa hagdanang gumagalaw
Hinga ka ng maluwag, hinga lang at i-relax ang katawan
Pagkat ang pagsakay ng tren na komersyal, walang oras na di siksikan
Ibalik lang ang paghinga kapag nakababa na mula sa byaheng –
Walang Hingahan.