Quelle Obscénité!!! #MarcosNotAHero

I rarely post political opinions on the blog.  But when I saw this article in the London Evening Standard whilst on the train last night I had to express my feelings.  For those of you still reeling from the disaster that was the US election, spare a thought for the Filipinos who lived through 20 years of the Marcos dictatorship.

Marcos in heroes grave - London ESYesterday, Friday, 18 November 2016, marks the darkest day of Philippine history.  Everything Philippine nationalists and patriots of the 1970s and 1980s fought for, suffered through and even died for, was negated.  All with one stroke of a shovel.  Because yesterday, with the support and approval of the newly elected administration and the irresolute Philippine Supreme Court, Ferdinand Edralin Marcos, dictator extraordinaire was buried on the hallowed grounds of the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery).

How could this administration allow this obscenity to happen?  This individual pillaged and plundered the Philippines, ensuring that generations suffered the consequences of his diabolical greed.  In return, he gets to be buried next to heroes who he isn’t even fit to be in the same atmosphere in, let alone share the same burial ground.

Did I miss something?  When did we start living in some horrible alternative reality?  When did our government side with dictators?  When did Martial Law become acceptable?  When did graft and corruption become admirable?

This isn’t some sort of two-month old, immature boyfriend-girlfriend relationship that fizzles out and everyone gets told to “move on” because it’s “for the best.” It is legitimately 20 years of oppression, where people are murdered, people who challenge the administration just mysteriously disappear, never to be seen or heard from ever again, where everything on TV, in radio and on print is censored and everyone is, essentially, deprived of human rights.  This has left so many people scarred.  And to those downplaying this part of Philippine history because it puts their president in a bad light, this isn’t some political horror story.  This really happened.  Those human rights violations really happened.  Those deaths and murders really happened (while there may not be any evidence, there are families still missing fathers, mothers, sons and daughters.  If this isn’t testament to that, I don’t know what is!).  Everyone in the world knows about it (for goodness’ sake Imelda Marcos and her 3,000 pairs of shoes are synonymous with corruption and greed!  What do you think the musical Here Lies Love was all about?).  I don’t understand how some people can say that it wasn’t that bad.  It was, and for many others, even worse than our worst imaginings!  I don’t understand how anyone can even downplay all the atrocities that happened between the declaration of Martial Law on 21 September 1972 and when, finally, Ferdinand Marcos and his family were forced to flee to Hawaii in exile in 1986.  How can this all just be swept under the rug?

My heart bleeds for you my dearest Philippines!  How is this happening to you?  To quote J.K. Rowling’s Rufus Scrimgeour, in Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, “These are dark times, there is no denying.”  No matter how much the president tries to justify his actions, no matter how much the administration supporters deny it, no matter how much the Marcos family ignore it.  The Philippines has been raped, pillaged and plundered all over again.

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The US Vote

gray skiesI thought the gray skies this morning was apropos.  I keep hearing the lyrics to Aerosmith’s Livin’ On A Prayer: “There’s something wrong with the world today /  I don’t know what it is / Something’s wrong with our eyes…”

It comes in threes: Brexit, the Marcos burial (in case you missed it, the Philippine Supreme Court have decided that Ferdinand Marcos, known Philippine dictator and thief will be buried in the Heroes’ Cemetery – how can a man who stole from the country, plunging the country into debt, and exiled dictator be buried in a place reserved for people who served the country with HONOUR?!?), and now a reality TV show based in the White House is a real possibility.  I’ve spent the last few months reeling from the results in vote casting in the Philippines and in the UK.

I hope the global community is ready to ride this political tidal wave!  Buckle up everyone because today marks the start of the most challenging few years in human political history.

America votes

Whispered a prayer for the US elections. Because however way you look at it, whatever your political persuasions are, the results will affect all of us. We are no longer individual economies, not really. We are all part of a global community.

I am praying for discernment and intelligent, sensible voting.

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Manila! Manila!

Manila
I keep coming back to Manila
Simply no place like Manila
Manila, I’m coming home!
(Manila by Hotdog)

 

Touchdown Manila!The sight of this city made my heart skip a beat.   I told myself that the next time I came home, I would take a photo of the cityscape from the plane window.  This was the view from my window when the plane was coming down to land today.

 

There is nothing like coming home.  Since I moved to England, I’ve only been home twice (both times in 2014) and both trips were made because my parents were unwell.  I’m happy to say that I am coming home this time for a happier reason.  It’s my dad’s 80th birthday in a few days and I am so happy that I’m able to celebrate this milestone birthday with him.

 

I can’t be sure I’ll take photos.  But you can bet I’ve got a smile on my face just thinking about everything I’m going to get up to (and eat) while I’m here!

 

I’m so happy to be home!

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New book alert!

This book has sat in my Kindle for a while.  I loved the title and I loved what it professed to teach me.  BUT I’ve not had the courage to read it.  It will take a lot of courage to read a book that will probably suggest I do things that are completely alien to me.

I have always known that I am a person who cared too much about everything.  I’ve mostly ever really cared about other people more than myself (let’s face it, when you’re the eldest child you’re taught to consider other people, take care of other people, be a shining example and paragon of virtue for other people, be perfect for other people to look up to…etc., etc.!).  Mostly because during the times when I’ve actually put myself first, the resulting situations were disastrous and I ended up hurting so many other people.  So I usually steer clear from what I think are actions that might be construed as “selfish” and “putting myself first.”  Which is, in hindsight, probably why I feel like I’m in a state of arrested development.  It’s because I’ve put others first before wanting to do what I want to do.

In the last 18 months, I’ve come to realise that I do have to put myself first.  No one, not even the people who profess to love me (save a handful of people), have actually done what I’ve done for them: consider me before themselves.

I’ve read reviews about Sarah Knight’s book and I find my interest extremely piqued.  One review says it’s Oprah-esque wisdom with Amy Schumer swearing.  Now that sounds hilarious.

So…without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, the book that will be accompanying me on the train journey for the next few days.  See y’all on the other side!

tlcmofngafck

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Me before Me Before You

I’ve read the heart-wrenching book (twice – yes, I thought I could handle it.  I was boohooing half-way through the second read because I knew what was to come!  My eyelids were sore from all the tear-Kleenex soaking.).  I think most of the people who wanted to watch the movie version of Jojo Moyle’s wildly successful book have seen the movie.  I’m one of the stragglers.  Mostly because Alan didn’t want to watch the movie.  I’ve not yet taken to watching a movie on my own here yet.

But I’ve seen it now.  Despite the reviews about how it glorified suicide, I think some people took the wrong way and didn’t notice that the movie was about falling in love and letting yourself spread your wings and widen your horizons.

I don’t know if I can review the movie objectively.  I’m still sobbing, so, obviously, it has touched me and affected me.  It hasn’t made me cry as much as the book, and strangely, Emilia Clarke wasn’t how I pictured Lou at all, but Sam Claflin was a good Will (Sam’s features sort of fit how I pictured Will Traynor in my head).  It’s hard to dig into the meat of the story when you only have two hours to go through everything written (if you haven’t read the book, you need to!  Remember to get a box of tissues, a bottle of water – you’ll need the water for the possibly dehydration because of the possible crying – and the book.).  But it was a good movie.  I don’t think Jojo Moyes would be too disappointed.

But now, I’m going to nurse my sore eyelids.

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Mid year!

Just writing thoughts down.  This post has completely no purpose except to vent.

Time flies when you’re having fun…and even if you’re not!

I can’t believe we’re half-way through with 2016!  Someone once said that you know you’re getting older when time flies past so quickly.  If that’s the case, then I’m definitely ancient.  I find myself thinking more often than not, “Stop the world, I want to get off!”

Sometimes I get home and I want to just completely switch off.  Just go to bed and pull the covers over my head and just sleep.  But I can’t because there are chores to be done, food to be cooked, a kitchen to be cleaned.  Then after all that, sometimes I wonder if I’m just wandering around life, walking in somnambulistic circles?  I find that I’m asking myself all sorts of existential questions which scare me.

I find that a recurrent thought is me to have proper downtime.  For me to just lie in bed.  To not be responsible for anything.  For me to have a day when no one asks me to do anything for anyone.  For me to be alone with my books and my thoughts and my dreams.  For me to sit at a coffee shop window, nurse a huge cup of coffee and watch the world go by.

I think I now understand what it is now to have social media fatigue.  Ever since I moved to England, I’ve been online all the time.  I’ve worked really hard to make the thousands of miles between me and my family and friends appear small and insignificant.  I’ve invested in tech so that I can get in touch, be in touch and be accessible to everyone back home 24/7.  There are days, however, when I want to completely switch off.  To not bother catching up on tweets, Instagram, look at Facebook posts, catch up on LinkedIn (which, I might add, I haven’t really totally wrapped my mind around, even though LinkedIn says I’ve got an “all star” profile, whatever that means!), and to not care about work emails and how many emails I have in my Outlook inbox.

Mark Babbitt said that “[w]hen you realize you’ve stopped contributing original thought to a conversation, you are suffering from Social Media Fatigue. It is time to step away and take a social-less vacation.”

I think I need another break.  A long one where I’m allowed to just walk, take pictures, enjoy my little seaside town, and not be responsible for anyone or anything, to completely switch off.  To not worry about tax investigations or HMRC correspondence for clients.  To not worry about family and if they’re all okay.  I need to refill my spirit tank.  I need to replenish my cheerful me supplies, restock my happiness cupboard.

I think that’s my goal for the next half of 2016.  To find time for me.  I have experienced burnout and that wasn’t a very good place to be in.  I need to take care of me because no one else will do that.