Monday, June 20, 2016

Who Created Sunday

   From the era of slavery, to colonialism to capitalism, labor was the sought after treasure.  Countries went to war to make slaves of each other.  Slaves were bought and sold for farm production.  Monarchies colonized small countries to enslave the population.  Capitalism virtually enslaved laborers through contractualization and outsourcing.  Contractualization is hiring temporary workers, for lower wages, with no benefits.  Temporary workers get rehired repeatedly under new contracts.  What do slaves, colonies and contract workers of capitalists have in common?  They work on Sundays.  

   In America, the ‘blue laws’, imposed the day of rest laws beginning back in 1610.  It states that “whoever on Sunday keeps open his shop, warehouse, factory or other place of business, or sells foodstuffs, goods, wares, merchandise or real estate, or does any manner of labor, business or work, except works of necessity and charity” shall be in violation of the blue laws.”  The blue laws made Sunday a compulsory day of rest.

   “In the 1800s, many Americans worked seventy hours or more per week and the length of the workweek became an important political issue.”   The hourly measure of work has taken back the Sunday, by overworking without over time pay on an extended weekday.

“In 1961, 49 states had laws limiting Sunday activities, the majority of which sought to give most workers the day off. Today, most of these laws have been repealed.” 

   So, whose original idea was it to give us a Sunday, a day of rest?  Before all the work even started, Jehovah, the God in the Bible, programmed the seven day measure of human activity.  

   “And God went on to bless the seventh day and to declare it sacred, for on it God has been resting from all the work that he has created, all that he purposed to make.” (Genesis 2:3)

   To reiterate and enforce the day of rest, the Sabbath law was given to Moses:  

“but the seventh day is a sabbath to Jehovah your God. You must not do any work, neither you nor your son nor your daughter nor your slave man nor your slave girl nor your bull nor your donkey nor any of your domestic animals nor your foreign resident who is inside your cities, in order that your slave man and your slave girl may rest the same as you.” (Deuteronomy 5:14)

   Before man thought of slavery, colonialism or capitalism, a loving God instituted a day of rest for mankind.  It is followed even by countries that worship other deities.  No other god can claim to have invented Sundays.  Without the Bible, greedy employers would have us all working seven days a week.

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Monday, June 13, 2016

Neglect, An Emotional Abuse

   “The pig walks to the slaughter because it knows what’s good for the farmer.”  That is a line from an old TV episode of $#*! My Dad Says.  It sounds like a puzzle, until you see what it means.  Here’s what it means for a Filipina abroad.  Let’s name her Lenny.

   In the first seven years of her life in America, she sent money and boxes to only one son because the other two children did not communicate with her.  She heard that one wants nothing less than $5K, which she didn’t have, and the other simply didn’t care one way or another.  

   After she lost her job and exhausted her savings, the son she sent money and boxes to, started to hate her.  Surprisingly, the other two children stepped up to the plate.  One supports her now financially and the one who wanted $5K gave her unexpected visits and treats.  

   Lenny’s three children are estranged from each other for one reason or another.  She keeps to herself whatever she hears from one about the other.  She doesn’t want to mess up the chance that her children would be fraternal someday, however remote it may seem these days.

   All three children are step siblings, each from a different father.  Two fathers abandoned them physically.  One stayed but abandoned her and his child emotionally.  Unlike most abandoned wife or lover, Lenny sang praises to the missing fathers all her life.  She would rather be thought of as the bad guy, than spoil whatever memory the children cherish of their fathers.  

   However, it’s difficult to defend the father who stayed, after twenty three years of seeing his flaws unfold before their eyes.  The ‘over staying’ father’s son still suffers from his emotional abuse.  When the boy was eight years old, while in his care, he locked the doors and didn’t give his son a key, then came home late at night.  The boy, came home from school, waited by the door till dark, without dinner.  Lenny still managed to make this guy look good, by keeping to herself, her own emotional abuse she suffered from him ‘behind closed doors’.  
   Lenny knows she had a hand on her children’s misfortune.  She picked those fathers, as the song says “The heart wants what it wants.”  She spent her life trying to make it up to her children, in different ways, as far as her arm could reach.  

   If you still don’t know what “The pig walks to the slaughter because it knows what’s good for the farmer” means.  You’ll have to watch $#*! My Dad Says in Netflix.
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Monday, June 6, 2016

Kabataang Makabayan (KM), In Hindsight

   Jose Maria Sison founded the Kabataang Makabayan (KM) in the early 60’s.  

   “KM is not the oldest existing youth group in the Philippines but its radical contribution and impact to the country’s politics remains unsurpassed. Traditional youth networks focus on individual achievements (e.g. how many of their members became part of Congress or Cabinet) while KM is more concerned on how to mobilize its members in the national democratic struggle. There are no KM greats, no KM heroes, no prominent alumni – everyone is simply KM.” (Manila Today)

   The KM took on the mission to teach all sectors, that there is more to politics than elections.  It identified the problems of society that needed changing, explained the root of the problems and organized for the struggle towards a socialist objective.  It is a subversive idea today but more so in 1964.  

   The KM members multiplied in UP Diliman Chapter, then some members enrolled in other universities, for the main purpose of building other chapters.  Soon there was UE KM Chapter, FEU KM Chapter, etc.  Some members were assigned to the labor sector, coordinating between unions and building new ones.  The Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) was born.  Other members were assigned to the divided and disorganized transport sector.  In a matter of time, jeepney strikes were demanding and winning fare hikes.

   The potential use for political power caught the eye of Ninoy Aquino.  He put Jose Maria Sison, a central committee member of The Communist Party of the Philippines, and Dante Buscayno, a peasant armed revolt leader, together.  The New People’s Army rose to “political power, that grows out of the barrel of a gun”.  

   The KM members were used as pawns.  Students who could have had a good life, died or wasted their years in jail or in hiding.  Jose Maria Sison went on an extended European vacation.  Ninoy Aquino died without tasting the fruits of his schemes.  “Let every person be in subjection to the superior authorities, for there is no authority except by God; the existing authorities stand placed in their relative positions by God.  Therefore, whoever opposes the authority has taken a stand against the arrangement of God; those who have taken a stand against it will bring judgment against themselves.” (Romans 13:1-2

   In hindsight, do I regret my time and involvement in student activism?  NO! Here are my reasons:  

1. I didn’t do it for Jose Maria Sison.  I was simply being me.
2. The experience was unparalleled. 
3. In it, I found the best husband ever.
4. From that journey, I have a book titled REBEL.

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