Skip to main content

on the presidential elections

i have just returned from an all-too-brief visit to bicol. sorry if i was not able to see some of you in naga city. please just send me your postal address so i can send you a copy of my books.

anyway, highway, by the way... in my informal conversations i had with the many bicolanos the past three days, this seems to be the pattern of voting for the presidential candidates:

1. mar roxas -- because of his father, sen. gerry, who has a clean record. and mar is also marangal.

2. manny villar -- because he is perceived as hardworking.

3. noli de castro -- because he speaks clearly (although i asked the bicolanos to please, please sieve through and find the substance, if there is any, among this guy's pronouncements)

4. loren legarda -- because she is everywhere, but many of them said they do not want another woman for president.

even if erap runs again, they said he has had his chance, blew it, and should just help the country in his capacity as private citizen erap.

as for bicolano chiz of sorsogon, all bets are on in Bicol that he will run as VP of Loren, will win, and will become the first Bicolano President of the countryin 2016.

I did not talk just to the usual middle-class suspects, but also to farmers, drivers, market vendors, teenagers, mostly out-of-school youth -- in short, the poor that many candidates praise in their boring speeches but hardly know at all.

the poor are not stupid, believe me. they are just biding their time. they can see through the ads that the candidates are now putting on show on tv.

with gas prices, rice, transpo fare, tuition fees, everything going up, up and away, they just have this dim hope that things will change in 2010.

i hope so too, i told them, and bade them goodbye. And for all those who teased me I know nothing of the bikolano language, let me end this blog with these short words culled from thin air, addressed to my beloved, the poor and suffering Bicolanos:

Dios mabalos senyo, mga Bikolano, magi-agi na ako pabalik sa Maynila. Nakita ko na ang Bikol herac man, inabandonar naman ng mga lider na nagi suru-sadiri na sana. Mala kan ta ang bikol baga, adobado na. Magibalik ako sa Agosto para sa kumperensiya ng mga profesor, asin sa Septiembre para sa Ina ta sa Penafrancia. Tabangi man ako ta di ko man kamo pabayan. Magtarabang na sana kita sa 2010.


oscarism said…
hi, danton. i am a fan of your works. however, i just borrow some of your books from the Filipiniana section of the UP Main Lib. Shamelessly, can i ask some of your books? hehe. i would be really, really blissful if you give me copies. thanks!:)
Hi sir! too bad, mayo ako sa naga that time. nasa cambodia ako ngonyan. nagkakampanya na ako saimo- kristian cordero

Popular posts from this blog

The Heart of Summer, a short story

On the first day of April, we moved to a row house in a subdivision carved out of the Antipolo hills. A row house is a nice word for houses that somehow managed to fit into 120-square-meter lots. They looked like matchboxes, really, built near the riverbank. The larger houses, of course, stood grandly at the center of the village, in front of the chapel. We’d be renting the house from the mayor’s mistress, one of three houses she owned there.

The living room of the house spilled over into the kitchen. The house only had two tiny rooms, but it was enough for us. The owner of the apartment we had been renting in Project 4 wrote to us (in pink stationery with the letterhead “Dr. Antonina Raquiza, Ph. D.”) to say that she’d raise the monthly rent to five thousand. If we couldn’t agree to her new terms, we’d have two months to leave. Mama glared at the letter, then said something obscene about our landlady’s father. A day later, she began poring over the ads, looking for cheaper rent in …

A teacher's tales

by Danton Remoto
Remote Control

I’ve been teaching for 22 years – the longest job I’ve had. This will be my last year of teaching. I will take sabbatical leave beginning April 2009 – a paid leave for one year that senior professors take every seven years, to sleep the sleep of the and come back to school fully energized. But in my case, I will not just sleep and read and gain weight. I will spend my sabbatical leave organizing Ang Ladlad’s campaign, and my own political campaign, for the May 2010 elections.

But because I stayed here longest, that means I love this job. I admire those who’ve spent 30, 40 years teaching without repeating themselves. They’ve taught for 30, 40 different years, not just one year repeated 30, 40 times. Teachers like the now-departed Dr. Doreen G. Fernandez and the retired, but still teaching, Professor Emmanuel “Eric” Torres come to mind. Both have taught with us at the English Department of the Ateneo de Manila University.

Doreen and Eric …

Review of "Pulotgata" The Love Poems"

This is a review of my book that I just read in the Internet today. It was written by Ralph Semino Galan of UST and was published in the Inquirer. It comes in two parts.

Honeymooning with Words, Part I
by Ralph Semino Galan

Love is a favorite subject among Filipino poets, regardless of gender. For despite the influx of modern and postmodern ideologies, the pervasive influence of the Romantic spirit is still prevalent in Philippine literature, especially in poetry. It therefore comes as no surprise that even a gay-identified writer like Danton Remoto has composed extensively verses expressing the intricacies of love and lust, desire and devotion, passion and compassion.

In his third book of poetry aptly titled "Pulotgata: The Love Poems" (Pasig City: Anvil Publishing, Inc, 2004, 88 pages), Remoto delves the depths of the human heart through lyrics in English and Filipino that sing of the anxiety and the excitement, the agony and the ecstasy which accompany the act of love.

The …