‘He esparcido mis sueños a tus pies; písalos con cuidado, porque son mis sueños’. (William Butler Yeats)

Archive for 14 noviembre 2008

F I L I P I N A S / 2001

Posted by sinparardeviajar en noviembre 14, 2008


La población filipina crece a un ritmo vertiginoso.

Cada minuto, tres bebes vienen al mundo. El flujo demografico se eleva a un 3% por año. No es de extrañar, por tanto, que  Filipinas posea la tasa de natalidad mas alta del continente asiàtico. La explosion demografica es un hecho(ya lo dijo Malthus en su tiempo). Las previsiones anuncian 150 millones de habitantes para el 2050. Duda: tendra el archipielago los recursos suficientes para alimentar a sus ciudadanos?

 La respuesta es evidente si se tiene en cuenta que de los 80 millones actuales, entre 18 y 25 millones viven bajo el umbral de la pobreza. Manila ya da señales de asfixia. La migracion urbana se ahoga en el desempleo. La escasa productividad no puede introducir mejoras. De qué se nutriran entonces los cinco o seis hijos de cada familia filipina? Hoy su unico alimento es la miseria. Llevan una vida fria, humillante, rota a golpes por la indignidad . No poseen derechos, ni atenciones, ni un resquicio de propiedad. Su unica salvacion es creer en la voluntad de Dios. Solo la fe les mantiene vivos. Pasay, Tondo, Quezon City…son algunas de las zonas en las que la pobreza se propaga con mas indecendia. Sin embargo, alli donde la riqueza se alza como un pavo real, orgullosa y absorta en la fortuna y el derroche, entre el lujo y la pantomima, se extiende la Bahia de Ermita: el estigma de la inmoralidad del gobierno filipino.

 Ermita es conocida por sus vicios nocturnos, su clinica especializada en enfermedades venereas, sus hoteles, restaurantes y bares al puro estilo occidental. Su bahia, junto al Mar de China, es descartada del infalible business del consumismo. De ahi que su gente sea olvidada, sin refugio ni recursos, junto al hedor putrefacto del mar; alli respiran, duermen y se ganan la vida. Niños y mayores bucean entre la contaminacion en busca de moluscos y nécoras que puedan vender o llevarse a la boca. A lo largo de la Bahia, los deshechos se acumulan. Asi, resuelven hacer de la basura su otro medio de lucha. Pies desnudos corretean sobre los residuos, jugando, tentando una oportunidad que pueda aliviarles la carga de los dias. Forman parte de los tantos y tantos niños filipinos que no decidieron venir al mundo.  

 Ante tal realidad, los valores humanos de la iglesia se ponen en evidencia. La diocesis filipina defiende la  vida, la procreacion y promulgan la « artificialidad » de los metodos contraceptivos, y al hacerlo, permite la existencia humana sin dignidad ni decendia. Sus fieles se retuercen en el infortunio y la desgracia, mientras el clero proclama la compasion y la misericordia…  Acaso muestra la iglesia filipina piedad con sus séquitos?

La cuestion es la siguiente:  podria el archipielago salir de su impasse si el catolicismo siguiese el ritmo de la realidad economica, social y politica?



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MANILA / 2001

Posted by sinparardeviajar en noviembre 14, 2008

Manila: at one side Sam, at the other God 

 « It is important to defend life;

but what’s more important is to defend the joys and beauties of life

 under common decency and dignity today »


Manila is a city of contrast; A capital wounded by an enormous gap between its citizens.  « Maynilad », the land conquered by Legaspi during the Spanish colonial occupation, holds since 1565 a terrifying unequality. Throughout 333 years the « encomiendas » system has distinguished the « españoles » from the « indios », becoming the latter a slave of  the Spanish wishes. 

Nowdays, the differences not just remain but grow and make the wound deeper.

 Indeed, this reality is an unfair issue that one can find in almost every undevelopped country. However, the capital of the Philippines presents a flagrant peculiarity that rouse the depth of its breach. The upper class is supported by the might hand of America and the poorest classes increases their families and bear the injustice through their faith in God. On one side Sam, on the other God. Two of the most powerful influences in the world attitude. Therefore, how can this country get rid of its disproportionate welfare ? How can it reach the equality?

 The decisions of the government are, thus, never taken without the consent of these two ‘examples of life’ according to the Philippines: the Church and the United States of America ;« we want to do as USA has done », said the driver of a jeepnay when I asked him about the « americanisation » of the Philippine culture. Hence, uncle Sam is the  most common spectacle in the richest areas of Manila.  Huge malls packed with ‘junk food restaurants’, cinemas, tremendous supermarkets (full of the « american way of eating »: pizzas, crackers, doritos, marshmallows…) clothing shops and everything that can give a picture of consumerism; McDonalds, Wendy’s, Donking Donuts, Subway…are everywhere and are visited by almost everyone .Can a Philippin say that he/she has never eaten  american fast food? If so, it would be one of the 18 to 25 million Filipinos-according to several Philippine poverty surveys- who live below the poverty line. This people are not just handle by the greed of the upper class but also by their own blindness.  Their faith makes them acquiescent in such a misery, in such an indignity. They believe in the kingdom of heaven. Why then to get worried ? Sooner or later, they will reach the paradise in the other life. The present is now left to God’s will. At the meantime they keep on placing colorful virgins and Christs in the kitchen, in the car, at the top of the mountains, in the bathrooms… The religion is, thus, « the people’s opium ». Sam and God, the security of our strengh, extreme power, written destiny. Lack of personal wish. Not need to worry. Just relax and pray. The dollars of uncle Sam will keep on protecting us and God will ensure the hapiness denied in earth.

 Ermita bay: a sub-human spectacle

 In Manila one can see the indecent poverty at different levels.

Even though it strikes at the same flagrant way, sometimes this misery is hidden in barangays (small neighborhoods) and some other times it’s around the squatters (those who build their houses over a land property) who are surrounded by the luxurious buildings and restaurants that fill the richest areas. In both cases housing is present. Nonetheless, this is not always the instance. The inhabitants of Ermita Bay are the third degree of a merciless atrocity.  They don’t know anything about houses. Neither about cleanliness. They just search a nourishment within the sea. Here, at the bay, they find a way of leaving, denied by the earth. The China’s sea provides them with mussels and crabs that they will eat and sell. Children and parents, they all dive deeply through the darkness of the coast, inside the polluted water, within the dirtiness of the garbage. Just few of them have diving-glasses … Their extreme situation doesn’t let them to stop facing up the shattered sea. What matters is that the fishing will help them to survive. The pollution is there, but they are not allowed to feel it. Once they go out, a carafe of clean water waits for them. There is no soap, thus, just their hands will remove the rotten smell of the skin.


Still trhoughout the bay, indignity and dread. The spectacle continue.  Tons of basura (in tagalog, litter) are spread at the place of what could be a espace for a beach. The rubbish, collected all around the small boats, is a playground for the children. Barefeet, they seek into the debris for coins, wastes or anything that could help them to pursue their struggle.

As long as the government ignore them, the sea will be their only resource; The sole companion in a country where the politicians suffer from amnesya and where the growing unequality pulls out the governors from the moral balance. The result turns to be the violation of the Human Dignity…

Once again, the confort causes the oblivion; the wealthy classes- within it the governors- don’t want to know about the reality that bites their country. Therefore, Ermita Bay will keep on being the breathtaking shelter of the underprivileged.


Scared of the end


Time is finishing. The Philippines get behind. Six weeks have passed through . I’ve lived deeply. Quickly. Learning with every step. Now I’m tired, because now I have to go forward again. I have to find my next experience; the new way to feel myself alive again.

Which will be the direction this time? What will be the aim? 

Afraid of being still, I move restless towards an unknown future. Do I, at least, take time to think about the strengh and the limites of my  capabilities? Do I? Of course not. I do not reflect on what I’m doing. I just do it. I just want to be active, plenty of energy, I want to feel  my life as a worthwhile, endless TIME.


The misery of the garbage

 I’ve seen the atrocity of the poverty at a differents levels.  City misery, at Manila. Pollution, traffic jam and noisy streets make the spectacle heavier. Breathelessness. They are the city features. Those who we don’t find in the province. In the other hand, these undeveloped-city setbacks are not all lived at the same way. Those who live in Makati, know the security and the calm of their wealthy houses. Their  double windows keep them off the reality.  They don’t need to hear. Makati, Malate…they are so differents from Malibay, Ermita…They are two worlds, two Manilas…Two levels in the city. A shameful contrast. An unfair issue founded in almost every undervelopped country. A terrifying gap that keep us in the unequality and thus, in the poverty.  The government that allows the extremes gets soon or later, out of the moral balance. Hence, the civic differences grow at a frenetic rhythm, increasing the gap that developpes the injustice, and the poverty,.  The result turns to be the violation of the human dignity.. Meanwhile, those who already have, will want the more and more, those who have nothing will become conformist with what they believe is a ‘God will’. Therefore, things won’t change, as long as the government won’t become aware of the reality that merciless bites his country.









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Posted by sinparardeviajar en noviembre 10, 2008

Noviembre de 2008.

Elecciones americanas. We are living history!

El triunfo del cambio.Un gran paso para la humanidad.


Hoy es un dia histórico. Un hombre de color acaba de ser nombrado presidente de la nación màs poderosa del planeta .

En un mundo en el que el racismo impera, la victoria de Obama ha sido como una bocanada de optimismo y de esperanza. Su elección representa la firme convicción de que nuestro mundo puede ser un lugar mejor.  Hoy es un gran dia para quienes creen que nuestra sociedad debe estar fundada en valores universales, para quienes sueñan con un mundo en el que la raza, la pertenencia religiosa  y/o politica dejen de ser motivo de discriminación.

Durante nuestro viaje a Sudàfrica, nos topamos con el racismo más voraz. Tàcita, la discriminación se respira en las calles ,  en el abismo que separa a sus habitantes . Las oportunidades y las condiciones de vida de la mayoria negra son casi nulas en comparación con el nivel de vida del que disfruta la población minoritaria: los blancos.  Para estos últimos, las lujosas mansiones del Cabo de buena esperanza significan propiedad; para los negros, se trata tan solo de un lugar de paso en el que se explota su mano de obra barata.


Hoy es un gran dia.   No sólo porque en EEUU, pais de feroz discriminación durante tanto tiempo ( apenas 50 años atràs) , haya ocurrido lo inimaginable, sino porque este paso de gigante puede servir de ejemplo e inspiración para otros paises de fràgil convivencia, como es el caso de Sudàfrica.


La sed de cambio del pueblo americano ha derrocado al odio y a la violencia del pasado.   Con esta victoria , la ley belicista de Bush queda atràs y los ciudadanos miran  hacia el futuro. Nos dirigimos  hacia un mundo màs solidario en el que el orden internacional dejarà de ser gobernado con mano de hierro  por un solo y ùnico ejército ( el màs poderoso del mundo ) para pasar a manos de la ONU , organismo garante de la paz internacional y del equilibrio mundial ( al menos hasta que la saga Bush llegó al poder)






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