Yelly Writes

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.

Save

Save

Advertisements
Yelly Writes

Waiting…

Terminal 3 NAIAI got to the airport REALLY early I got put on the earlier flight (I ordered an UberX cab for 4AM because I had to be at the airport at 8AM for my 11AM flight.  But there was no traffic!).  I got a chance to use the relatively new Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.  I didn’t get much of a look when I arrived because my main goal was to get through immigration and customs really quickly so that I could get home and see my family.  My brother and I spent about 4 hours being stuck in Manila  traffic so the rushing through was time well rushed!  They told me that traffic was bad but I didn’t really think it was THAT bad.  I’ve been away from Manila too long.  I’ve lost the ability to plan journeys and understand Manila traffic and predict travel times!

Terminal 3 has been reported repeatedly as over budget, over priced and not worth the pesos that were spent on it.  I’ve been looking forward to seeing it and I must admit, it left me a bit underwhelmed.  It needs a bit more zhuzhing.  The terminal was mostly dark and I constantly wanted to ask people to switch the lights on (I didn’t, of course).  For an international/interisland airport it looks just a tiny bit tatty (super shiny floors and wide-screen Samsung tellies notwithstanding).  I shouldn’t really complain because at least it’s being used and Terminal 3 is a lot less shabbier than Terminal 1.   My favourite terminal though is the Centennial Terminal or Terminal 2.  It was the terminal we were in when we flew out of when we flew to Edinburgh in 2007.

I do love the windows though…I just really wished they switched on more lights…and probably courted more food places so that there would be more choice of food places to get food from before the flight.

Yelly Writes

Leaving…on a jet plane…

In a few hours I will be traveling to the airport to get on a plane to get back to the life I have in a country 6,754 miles away. While my visit was (too) short, it was (very) sweet. I got a chance to see my family, celebrate my father’s 80th birthday with him, laugh and bond with my brother and sister and hug my mum loads. I went to church and saw my church family and met the new additions to our growing spiritual family. I managed to see the dentist, stuff my face silly with food that might not be, for all intents and purposes, exactly ideal for a diabetic, experience Philippine traffic in all its stand still glory, learned to use Uber and Grab, melt in temperatures that I would usually consider a heatwave, see my hair snap into weird unruly waves, and marvel at how much the Philippines has changed (how we are considered a third world country with all these vehicles on the road and all these malls and condominium developments, I will never know).

I will be going back to colder weather and it is with a heavy heart that I leave my loved ones yet again (kung pwede lang magkasya kayong lahat sa maleta ko!). But my heart is full and my spirit is recharged. It’s trips like these that make me realise how much I have in my life and how blessed I have that the people in my life are in my life. For that I will always be thankful to God. I have new memories to tide me over until the next trip.

I’ll see you all again soon!

Yelly Writes

Vote wisely my dear fellow Filipinos

One the eve of what is, arguably, the most divisive of Philippine elections, my thoughts turn to home.  My thoughts turn to my countrymen who are about to go to the polls to select a new leader. 

My dear fellow Filipinos

I do not intend to change your minds about who to vote for. That is your choice to make because we live in a democracy and we all have the right to choose. I ask you to vote wisely because apart from making your choice, you are also choosing for people who are not able to make the choice.

Make sure that the person you vote for has the right agenda. Make sure that the person you vote for understands that our country is no longer an archipelago of 7,107 islands but part of a global community where working relationships are important. Make sure that the person you vote for intends to implement fiscal policies that lift the country’s economy up. Make sure that the person you vote for feels that they are not only accountable to every single Filipino but that they answer to God too, that their moral compass points to the true north. Make sure that the person you are voting for is really the change that the country needs, that you’re voting not just for change’s sake. Most importantly, make sure that you vote not because there is an instant economic gain for you in exchange for that vote, but that you are putting ink to paper because you think that person is worth the vote.

And lastly, make sure that once you have voted, after all the votes have been cast and counted, you haven’t burned any bridges and severed relationships. We all have opinions and we need to expect that we all won’t necessarily agree. I pray for clean, honest and peaceful elections.

Mabuhay ang Pilipinas at mabuhay ang Pilipino!

philippines-flag

Yelly Writes

Oh no he didn’t!

So a candidate for the Philippine presidential elections made a crass joke about a rape that happened in his town whilst he was a mayor.  I think it was either in the late 1980s or the early 1990s.

I actually didn’t take notice of all the swearing, the crude language, the unstatesman-like behaviour.  I thought he was a reasonable choice (although, had I been able to vote, I wouldn’t really choose him).  But this was a deal breaker.  I can understand vulgarity (within reason) but this is a no-cross zone.

How can you vote for someone who cannot be respectful of 50% of the population?

Yelly Writes

The responsibility of choosing

I posted this on my Facebook wall and it got interesting reactions and discussions.  I was thinking about the Philippines and the upcoming elections.  I am hoping that the Filipinos choose wisely when voting this time.  We’re due to elect a president, a vice-president and 12 senators, am not sure if they’re electing other officials. 

The fate of my country ultimately lies in the choices its voters make.  It is my hope that Filipinos who are able to vote make informed choices this time.  I hope they don’t vote for personalities.


electionsDear Fellow Filipinos,

I very rarely post anything political. Because I believe that you can’t complain if you don’t exercise your constitutional right to express your opinion, to make a choice. I haven’t voted in a very long time. So I can’t really complain about how things have turned out in the country.

I do have one request, though, when you vote, please remember that you vote for Filipinos who cannot vote. Please remember that you are making a choice that will affect everyone else in the country.

Please chose your politicians wisely. Make sure that you think about your choices. You are voting for people to lead the country and make its laws. Make sure you vote for people who will lift the country up, make sure you vote for people who care more about the greater Filipino good than what is good for them. The only agenda has got to be the Philippines, what’s best for the country and its population.

Please and thank you.

That’s it. That’s me off my soapbox.

Yelly Writes

Happy Fourth!

I am proud to be Filipino and I am proud of my heritage, which, inevitably, includes the United States of America.

The fourth of July is now officially the Filipino-American Friendship Day.  It is recognised as the day the Philippines gained independence from the United States.

To friends and family in the US, Happy Fourth of July!

Fourth-of-July