Too many parallels
2:30 AM | Author: Conrado Abrugar Macapulay Jr.
So here I was riding a JPEPA* bus on what used to be a typical morning routine (battling a 2-hour trip from Bulacan to Manila) when a word suddenly hit me after my face crashed to an old notebook which I was browsing when the bus decelerated. The word is parallel.
That’s very dramatic for a start. Anyway, this column will revolve on the word.
Parallel – lines that do not intersect, forces that do not meet, of equal footing, of the same condition. Parallel describes the strange resemblances between Pakistan and Philippines.
The Pakistan leader seized power by using real bullet while the Philippine leader, deemed for calling the election commissioner at the heights of election, was accused of seizing power by fake ballots. And as Conrado de Quiros said: “Power seized by (fake) ballot is much a coup as power seized by (real) bullet.”
The Pakistani Islamic leaders and the Philippine Priests and Bishops are both calling for their government leader’s ouster. Former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and PGMA are both women leaders whose regime was tainted by their husbands’ scandalous government stance.
Bhutto and Erap both opposed the existing administration, both stained with corruption, the former was exiled while the latter was jailed, however both are pardoned in order to save their leaders shaky presidency.
Another set of parallels:
GMA, in order to maintain her grip for presidency, thwarted off the plans of those her government tagged as “extremist”. Human Security Act is the tool. The National Press Club (NPC), in order to maintain an apolitical image, dictated what the Neo Angono artists should have painted, but the latter did not. And calling an unknown artist late at night to do the editing is the tool.
A culture of impunity is alive, everywhere.
The Neo Angono artist should have obeyed and let the NPC do the alterations on their work since they are paid P900, 000. The campus journalists should do the same since they are studying for free.
Semestral break means another time for me to renew my papers as a scholar in our municipality. And as years passed, I have observed that more students are applying for the scholarship (even the “posh” will not hesitate to fall in line in a hope for a scholarship slot). But what disturbed me is the disheartening picture of many students who almost cry in front of the selection officers yet they failed for the chance to free education.
The commercial in the television showing a British and Japanese attesting for the country’s economic progress is worth earning the ire, not only to the masses who actually feel the reality, but also the intellectuals who knew the rudiments of progress.
Now, think of the thousands of out of school youths whose future stolen by unbridled corruption, think of the many scholarship applicants who succumbed to rejection for free education, think of a 12-year old girl who ended her life due to extreme poverty and hunger. Can you still utter that “Ramdam na ramdam na!” catchphrase?
So here I was riding a JPEPA* bus again, now standing with hordes of people trying to evade the hassles of rainfall. The bus suddenly decelerated. The student in my front was searching for the penny which he lost when the bus lose pace that caused the “posh” in front of him to scream: “Aray! Magkano ba yan? Bigay ko na lang.” The student stopped searching for it. The posh drew near me. When I looked down, I saw the penny. My bag slammed in the face of the posh as I reached for the penny. I gave it to the student, and I never apologized to the posh.

* JPEPA stands for the Japanese-Philippine Economic Partnership Agreement.. Under Article 29 of this arrangement, wastes (of Japan) are entitled to preferential treatment and are given 0% tariff rate. Now, wonder why Japanese letters are prevalent in the walls of the buses that travel the metro? Don’t think hard. You’re riding in a Japanese shit.
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