Saturday, June 23, 2012

View in Review 20120623

We're half-way through 2012!

I think we're doing splendidly, my brother and sister Filipinos.

You must ask yourselves today, have the first part of this year of years made us stronger together, even slightly stronger, than the days before?

And you must ask this bearing into mind and heart the reality of our nationhood, who we are, as well as the present guardianship of our Republic replete with her memory and institutions, what we stand for, even as you reflect on where time itself has taken our freedoms today.

I personally think we have become stronger for our coming together.

For our liberty as one nation is bound by the strength of our freedoms together.

This liberty is our Republic pursuit, the fullest extent of which is happiness for all our citizens - in this world (of trial and probation) and if we are wise, in that promised world that is to come forever.

Let us remember to stay focused for the rest of this year of years bearing into mind that - yes indeed!

Little things matter, invisible things matter, for these are the essential things.

I recently saw a documentary about the prophesies related to 2012. 

These would have proved disturbing to me have I not learned to anchor my heart upon the prevailing spirit of the times which the LORD has ordained specifically to bring these events into order and perspective that we may each have a choice away and apart from all the confusion.

We have a prophesy of our own we can lean upon... (refer to Daniel 12).

So that if things do get difficult and confusing, we know with the understanding of faith and conviction of heart to all the more place ourselves in the responsible and human service of each other as a nation among nations - under and before - God, our King.

Bear always into mind and heart also, my compatriots, that ye may have a good measure of the horizons of our hope spread in their arcs across time, we have the year 2046 as our intended destination.

For it shall take two generations -
two generations to sow, nurture, and establish
the necessary changes in our Country
and allow for it to take root in the soil of our land,
two generations to work out the labor of peace
that will restore our Republic to herself
blessing all those who patiently wait
for the blessing of the LORD.

So let us give each other a little more love each day -
loving our own and loving others like our own.

Let us be understanding of our weaknesses,
considerate of our brokenness,
accommodating of our own common human needs,
unyielding in our determination to see this undertaking of Country
we call the one Republic of the Philippines through this longest night
and into the new morning of that promised day...

After all, are we not the Land of Promise, 
my brothers and sisters of the Promise?

our democracy is to be nurtured like a tree,
its fruits are virtues eternal, and golden like the stars -
our Country which is our labor is to be honored with fidelity
and our nation which is our community cared for with kindness and love,
for these are the blessings of our peace and defended with vigilance and sacrifice.

Is this not the truth?

We are a free nation
because we have rightly chosen
(in the course of our history in time)
in our hearts and across our generations
to be guided and ruled by authentic human freedoms
where each our free and human choices
no longer become one governed by chance,
but by each individual strength of will
and the power of God's own grace;
freedom giving its life to freedom,
liberty shedding its light for all.

Sometimes these days,
and these days are becoming more frequent again
when I reflect on our population issue -

I think about
the prevalence in our collective thought
(as a free nation among the nations upon the earth)
either of (1) randomness (fatalism, or the "bahala na" habit)
(which in a free nation is a moral evil)
or of (2) free and human choice (relativism, amoralism)
(which is evil BUT ONLY if it is left to chance
for freedom that is irresponsible is anathema to itself).

of these two evils,
the question we must gauge is
which is presently the greater evil 
and so the one we must subdue;
between the one answer and the other -
a proper formation of a moral conscience 
is the arbiter.
One can not forsee
all ends in the RH bill debate,
and as a devout Roman Catholic,
I am anguished by its many nuances
BUT notwithstanding our action or inaction 
we are left to deal here with a clear and present evil
which is poverty and the increasing means and degrees
to which individuals and families within our own population,
have become helplessly subject to its many afflictions.

poverty has now become 
a social justice issue in this Republic
where failure to act decisively is consequently
a failure in the prevailing morality of our culture.

   I would even go as far as 
   to consider poverty as a national security issue
   for I am of the growing conviction that 
   poverty in our Country is becoming life-threatening
   to this Republic.

there are many facets to this issue
but in the context of the RH Bill debate 
adequate and effective population management
which is a primary responsibility of individual family units
within the peace of a democratic society such as ours
when it is left irresponsibly managed by our common failures
as a Republic whole to redeem our prevailing culture 
from the evil of randomness and chance - will and does - 
become a burden to our nation as a whole
and this burden when it becomes debilitating 
needs the swift action of our Justice and our Law.

What we do about it matters.

What we don't do about it matters even more.

A little mental exercise #1

If tomorrow it is declared, without a shred of a doubt,
that there are absolutely no petrochemical deposits
lying in the bottom of the West Philippine Sea,
I wonder how this will affect the region?

Will it soften the self-destructive stances of the politics of conflict?

Will it serve to alleviate the military tension in our common sea?

Will it add to the peace of our neighborhood and therefore, lead to a further strengthening of our futures together?

What if there really is no economic value?

What then are we really fighting for?

What for are we committing the lives of our most faithful sons and daughters...

...the desolation?

A little mental exercise #2

There is a dispute on Bajo de Masinloc (Scarborough Shoal).

And this dispute involves two sovereign undertakings of Country -

the RPH and the PRC.

Do we recognize there is a dispute?

Do the two parties recognize there are two parties in this issue?

Do the two parties recognize each other?

Do the two parties who recognize each other recognize there is a respective claim of sovereignty over the area?

Have any of them already made up their mind to deny it?

Unless these questions are answered meaningfully with due regard for the greater good of the region, of Asia, and of our world - this division will remain unchallenged and unhealed; a neglected space in time wherein the contagion of War may fester and spread.

Peace may only be built on agreements.

- selah -

If the PRC insists on a bilateral remedy to the dispute without even considering the equality of our claims of sovereignty over the area, what it really is implying is a peace enforced by force of arms.

We may not win this fight in the short term but this shall prove ruinous for a power like Beijing in the longer term view of things where the value of any civilization is actually invested in time. 

It shall be to the mutual interests of both our Countries to pursue, if not through the ITLOS, a regional solution worked out with an independent regional or multinational tribunal (probably the ASEAN+China or other recognized body) bearing into mind the vital significance of the longer view of things, especially in this new age of spirit and thought, and the larger good of our Asia (and remembering the number for peace is 3). 

The truth is we can not live without the PRC and the PRC can not live without us either: We can not change the geography of our region, the currents of our common markets will lead and evolve into each other, nor the connected nature of our cultures, they shall always share an affinity wrought in spirit and blood - we may have these passionate disagreements today but all indications are we shall have to make this peace work.

And the sooner we can work this out the better.

If we find ourselves,
despite everything and in spite of all,
still dead-locked on Panatag Shoal
and in the Spratlys,
let no bad news be good news,
let no (military) action be good action -

BUT always, 
we should be mindful
of our building together from within,
we should always be mindful
of the real labor of our nationhood,
and all these things shall turn out
for the good of the nation
that is faithful to its own truth
and to the one LORD of all truth.

For in the meantime, 
we shall build.

Between War and Peace is indecision and this is the worst choice of them all.

"so because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth." 

- Revelation 3:16