One of the things that constant militarization, or continuously renewing Martial Law, accomplishes is that it normalizes the sight of fully-armed personnel and their weaponry in public and civilian spaces (like schools). It makes things that you would only normally see in an active conflict zone a part of our everyday. It conditions us to think that our safety depends solely upon their highly-visible presence in our communities and landscape.
Author Archives: ANDREA MALAYA M. RAGRAGIO
On 1 September 1939, the United Kingdom began the massive evacuation of civilians in anticipation of the outbreak of the Second World War in Europe. The plan was called Operation Pied Piper, after the folktale with the eponymous musician who lured the children of the village of Hamelin away, never to be seen again. It may have been a poorly chosen fictional reference, but it indicated the fact that Operation Pied Piper focused on children, moving them away from their families and homes towards supposedly safer areas as a security measure during wartime.
Many will still remember the last few months of 2015, when the national and international limelight focused on the Lumad of Mindanao and their Lakbayan to Manila after more than a year of harassments, evacuations, and killings (such as the Lianga Massacre) perpetrated by military and paramilitary agents. “Lumad” and “bakwit” became household terms, public concern was at its peak, and even heretofore, moderate and conservative personalities signified their support for the Lumad.
Last Monday I was on a bus back to the Netherlands from the town of Trier, Germany. Claiming to be the oldest city in Germany, and named as the capital of the northwestern extent of the Roman Empire in the fourth century, Trier is also better known as the birthplace of Karl Marx.
Philippine military must be patting itself on the back for what they claimed was the surrender of renowned Talaingod Manobo datu Guibang Apoga early this month.
There are more similarities than one may first expect between the embattled Palestinians in Gaza and our Lumad brothers and sisters in Mindanao.
Institutions like schools and the media play a great role in legitimizing what are “proper” (and thus more prestigious) uses of language, but often simply echoing previously drawn lines of asymmetrical power relations between haves and have-nots.
If our religious practices now really revolve around a genuine sense of community and equal love to all our sisters and brothers, then there should be less and less room for flashy manifestations of grandeur and affluence.
So when President Duterte makes jokes about shooting vaginas, at the first instance this is, of course, a grave form of symbolic violence against all Filipinas. But making light of the vagina – by joking about it, by devaluing it – is merely a cheap attempt to put the disarray back together to the old order, where vaginas are forced back into control as mere sites of misogynistic violence or objectifying sexual desire.
Being a bit of a cheesecake, my most favorite episodes of Black Mirror are “San Junipero” and “Hang the DJ,”…