Monthly Archives: June 2009

So Sanggibo a Ranon na Piyatay o Santiman a Tadman : Ars Poetica kay Abdul Rahman Macapaar

NGAYONG HUNYO, IPALALABAS sa kauna-unahang pagkakataon ang aking dula sa Cultural Center of the Philippines bilang official entry sa 2009 Virgin Labfest na isang ars poetica kay Abdul Rahman Macapaar at iniaalay ko na rin sa kanya bilang isang Filipinong mandudula.

Nais ko sanang i-repost ang isang entry sa blog ko noong Agosto (na sagot ko noon sa post ni Amina Rasul sa Kusog Mindanao yahoo egroup na siyang nagbigay sa akin ng inspirasyon na ipagpatuloy ang pagsusulat nitong dula – nasa ibaba.)

Sinimulan kong seryosong upuan ang dula noong Agosto matapos makita sa telebisyon at mga pahina ng mga pahayagan sa Maynila ang mga imahen ng Lanao del Norte. Naging aktibo rin ako noon sa mga egroups na tinatalakay ang naganap na ‘karahasan’ sa ilang bahagi ng Lanao del Norte at Mindanao. Iyon ang buwan na ipinahinto ng Supreme Court ang ‘maniobra’ ng mga aking pamahalaan sa peace process sa Mindanao (sa katauhan ng MOA-AD).

Nakita ko na namang muli ang Lanao del Norte at ang kanyang mga imahen – ang Lanao del Norte sa mata ng gubyerno, ng Nasyunalismong Filipino, ng karahasan noong Agosto. Ngunit hindi na ako maililigaw ng mga imahen na ito. Hindi na. Pumasok muli sa akin ang mga masasamang alaala ko noon sa Lanao del Norte, ang lahat ng aking nakita, naramdaman, at ang pagiging saksi sa isang malawakang karahasan ng diskriminasyon, marginalisasyon, pagsupil ng mga katotohanan at malulupit na kasaysayan sa mga Meranao, ang hypocrisy ng ‘peace and order’, at ang pagtatago sa katotohan.

Noong Agosto, hindi ‘iyon’ ang Lanao del Norte para sa akin. Ang tunay na kalupitan sa Lanao del Norte ay makikita sa mga panahon ng impokritong ‘peace and order’, sa lupit ng kanyang mga naratibo, sa mga sinusupil niyang katotohanan sa madla, sa akin, sa daigdig.

At nais kong mangusap noon sa katotohanan ng aking Sining. At nais kong mangusap sa isang tao na nagturo sa akin, muli, na maraming katotohanan at damdamin ang itinatago at patuloy na itinatago sa akin ng Lanao del Norte, ng aking gubyerno, ng aking Nasyunalismong Filipino. Kaya siya nariyan sa aking harapan, nakapaskil ang kanyang mukha sa mga istasyon ng tren sa sang-kamaynilaan. Na tila isang siyang torogan na magpapaalala sa amin kung bakit siya naririyan, bakit may mga ‘rebelde’ sa aming bayan, na may alternatibong katotohanan na pilit itinatago ng sambayanan, na may katotohanan na sinusupil ng gubyerno maging ng ibang naratibo na galing mismo sa Mindanao.

Kaya may karahasan. Kaya may gulo. Kaya may kalungkutan at dalamhati. Hindi ganoon kalayo ang Mindanao sa Maynila, sa ibang bahagi ng bansa. Kung bakit hindi naririnig ang mga pagsusumamo, ang mga sigaw, ang pag-asam sa kalayaan dahil isinara na ang mga puso, hindi na nakinig, nakapinid na ang mga mata, itinikom na ang mga bibig. Hindi na pinakinggan ang mga Moro nang sila na ang nagsalita. Ang sakit ng tadyang ay sakit ng buong katawan.

At nais kong mangusap sa kanya sa isang dula na aking Sining. Mayroon akong paggalang sa kanyang maratabat. At mananatili ang paggalang na iyon hanggang sa naniniwala siya sa kalayaan. Sa akin isa siyang Bangsa Moro. Isang matikas na kritisismo sa mga saliwang mithiin at pundasyon ng aking nasyunalismo. At nais kong ipaalam sa kanya, paulit-ulit, na kung ano man ang iyong ipinaglalaban baka sakaling iyan din ang magpapalaya sa amin bilang mga Filipino. Ang hatid niya sa akin ay isang katotohanan. Ang hatid niya sa akin ay isang pag-udyok na alamin ang mga itinatagong lihim ng aking bayan. Walang pasubali, walang paghingi ng kapatawaran.

At narito ang isang pag-aalay, maaring nagkamali ako sa aking mga sinasabi – o maaring tama rin ang aking sinasabi. Ang mahalaga sa ngayon ay ang Sining, ang pagkatao, ang katotohanan, at ang dignidad ng mga taong naniniwala sa kalayaan, tunay na kapayapaan, at isang maayos na lipunan. Alhamdullilah.

(Below is a response to a Moro woman’s entry to a thread in an egroup which I am a member. The Moro woman described her and her family’s experiences during the war between the government and the Bangsa Moro freedom fighters in the ’70s. The thread started when a Filipino asked something on the Moro governance after the carnage in Lanao del Norte just weeks ago. I have some slight changes. Read on – RB).

THERE ARE CERTAIN narratives that escape us despite of the many horror stories that we heard or read in books – one of them is the one below. Of course we have to find the most appropriate ways of telling and re-telling the stories – telling it in a way that it will push listeners and readers to go beyond the Self and try to manage to enter in another domain or perspectives. Unfortunately these narratives failed to get into more popular media such as dailies, tvs, films, theatre and popular literary forms and artistic endeavors.

When I was young my concept of ‘Mindanao’ was that the one popularized by a group ASIN (which was a favorite of some old aunties and titos of the house) then I was bombarded with small stories of war with MNLF and ‘those people who are taking away my country’. Years after listening to ASIN – I can no longer accept ‘Ako’y may dala-dalang balita galing sa bayan ko…” as someone speaking to me, a Filipino, a Manileño, the ‘realities’ Mindanao. Or, ‘Kapwa Filipino ay pinapahirapan mo’ that pushed me to asked who is this ‘kapwa Filipino na nagpapahirap sa kapwa Filipino?’ – and I discovered that this is just one of the many voices in Mindanao – a ‘settler’s point of view’ of Mindanao. A Bisaya telling everybody about the ‘Mindanao’. And these songs and the perspective they carry are so popular that it pushes away other voices at the margins, including that of the Moro.

The problem with Mindanaoans when they talk about their experiences in the many forms of media possible is the seemingly absence of the Self, of the internal introspection of a human person. The central goverment is also a culprit, or the main culprit, for this situation – government agencies supporting ‘artistic’ and ‘cultural endeavors’ that promote certain perspectives. One time I asked a certain government official from a government agency for some information on how can I acquire grants on certain research I am inclined to undertake for my play on how an ordinary Filipino sees the Bangsa Moro struggle and he said – ‘Kung magu-unite sa amin we support it, but if not hindi.’ Unite, as it was told to me – the topic of my work should teach and adhere to a certain perspective. ‘Unite’ is a very tricky word so as ‘peace and order’ – it means differently from various perspectives. A ‘peace and order’ in Iligan, Linamon, Kauswagan, and Kolambugan (places I’ve been to and write cylcles of plays capturing the ‘soul’ of the place) is different from the ‘peace and order’ from a Kagan Bangsa Moro friend I met in a conference in Manila. Or that from a Meranao Bangsa Moro student from MSU-Marawi that become my literary comrade.

So the failures of popular literary and artistic forms of a city that claims to be ‘Christian’, ‘Modern’ and ‘with peace and order’ were manifested when someone spoke of freedom and ancestral domain – everyone rushed to their streets and rally against it without letting 24 hours to pass by where they can discuss and think of what happened. Yes, they were not included in the process nor consulted, that’s the fact. But the display of bigotry and suppressed hatred were suddenly, in a sweeping intervention from corrupt leaders, have been apparent. So, it was manifested also recently, violently – what happened to the three municipalities in Lanao del Norte.

It is not to pardon the act but beyond it there is an ‘invitation’ – an invitation for us that we failed to listen, that we failed to provide a venue, legitimate or not, for people to tell their stories, their perspectives, the horrors of their sadness, the hidden and suppressed anger passed on from one generation to another.

Who’s to blame for this debauchery? It is the failure of a society to provide a venue where the Self can locate ‘itself’ from the universe of all this rushing events. The Self subordinated to history – again and again. The Self subordinated to overpowering censors of powerful regime/s.
Pardon my indiscretion: So, do you think the Bravo is a bravo for Silenced chose to become an Artist more than to be reduced to an artifact of history? I dread to even welcome the act of processing the answers in my mind.

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Ang So Sanggibo a Ranon na Piyatay o Satiman a Tadman ay ipalalabas sa Tanghalang Huseng Batute (Cultural Center of the Philippines) sa June 23 to July 6 ng 2009 Virgin Labfest ng the Writers Bloc, Inc, Tanghalang Filipino, Cultural Center of the Philippines. Dalawin ang website http://www.virginlabfest.com/. Ang dula ay sa direksiyon ni Riki Benedicto kasama ng musika ng Bailan (“Tagulaylay sa Kamatayan ng Iyong Maratabat”).
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SULU: THE ISLAND COUNTRY OF SEA

Neldy Jolo .Best Beach….Sulu is known as the Island country of Southeast Asia. The white powder-like sands are exactly overwhelming and much better than other beaches in the Southeast Asia as I see. It is comparable to Sipadan Island and Mabul Island…

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RECOMMENDED TO VISIT!

Neldy Jolo.Sulu has been part of international turmoil. Thus needs help to bring back the peak of calmness. When I was in Jolo, I told myself that I am one of the luckiest men in the world. Sulu is bitterly known as the “Island of No Return” and

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SULU MOST BRIEF HISTORY

Neldy Jolo.Sulu is basically known as archipelagic and volcanic part of the Southeast Asian Nations. In the present era when we say Sulu, it is a province after illegally annexed to Philippines when Spanish ceded Philippines to American through Treaty …

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Bangsamoro Medical Society holds Tuli Mission in Cotabato

As part of Islamic traditions and health advocacy projects, Summer Tuli missions are regularly being held in most Muslim communities nationwide. The Bangsamoro Medical Society, which startedin Cotabato almost at the same time IMAN was established, spea…

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WHO WILL SAY SURRENDER?

Since the creation of this blog, pollution has been part of discussion in some of our articles. We share it to the world with deep concern over our health, environment, and other creations. For a long period of time we are seeing no positive effect of this pollution rather it causes more people in the community suffering from various illnesses.

Lately, as I passed by over the bridge of this community, the color of the seawater attracted my eyes. The seawater looks like a mud, but in reality that was the substance spilled from the factories. I’ve notice almost every day these factories do their routine to pollute the seawater of this community. There are no safe places anymore in here. Every corner of this community is polluted. The space above is polluted with smokes, the water is tainted by substance, and the garbage is everywhere, this place is indeed a slum.


Previous days, there was a group from the ministry of health did their monthly routine to do smoke belching. As there was patients from this community confined for dengue case in the Hospital Duchess of Kent, Sandakan. We thanked the government for their concern over this matter. We know the cause of this can’t be pinpointed to anyone but the people of this community. Should this place have been given extra care by them this place would not reach this worst situation.


Whatever it is, the problem faced by the people in this part of the world furtively destructing the lives of many creations. It’s almost impossible to revive what we have lost out of this problem. We got forlorn of hopes if the people in this community could still resist living in the next 10 years with this sort of ambience. For me, I better hoist the white flag at this point in time and to say surrender. I better not wait until the owner of these factories say, okay you win we will relocate our factories. And I think that’s impossible.


Profit is valuable than lives to the capitalist. There is no way for the people in this community to fight for their right. Everyone having their rights, but the question whose right must be prioritized?


Let the government decide the fate of this people. We are very thankful should they have options to help solve the crisis being faced.