6.30.2009

Single person

"Some believe there is nothing one man or one woman can do against the enormous army of the world's ills - against misery, against ignorance, or injustice and violence. Yet many of the world's great movements, of thought and action, have flowed from the work of a single person."
-- Sen. Robert F. Kennedy (1925-1968)

Congressman Randy David?

This is interesting, more than what we can imagine!

If Prof. Randy David pursues his plan to run for Congress as a Representative of Pampanga and provide an alternative candidacy (a balancing act against GMA running again in politics via a seat in Congress through Pampanga's district), his move is something new in Philippine politics in many ways.

We have seen many lawyers and businessmen who ran, won or lost in elections. We also witnessed how Churchmen won and have to face all the trials and challenges in the affairs of governing (classic case: Gov. Among Ed Panlilio). In fact we are not really new to seeing "long-shot" candidacy (what have we really learned from the Kapatiran campaign?).

But we have not really seen how academics, like Prof. Randy David, can fare if he decides to run in the dirty world of politics (made dirty of course by parochial and filthy politicians) -- a kind of politics whose virtues are so incongruous and paradoxical with the ideals espoused and practiced in the world of the academe. But through his activism and journalism, Prof. David is certainly not new in engaging government institutions and processes; he is not a naive arm-chair academician!

Surely, Prof. David has all that it takes to run and win in Philippine politics in terms of competency and platform. The question now is: does Philippine politics have what it takes to accept the breed of a Randy David?

Prof. Randy David is a foremost sociologist, a respected columnist, a social scientist, a political analyst, a multi-awarded professor, and a published author (he has published so many books about the country and its social institutions). In Ehem, we use his discourse on the definition of corruption (Inquirer column, 05 December 2004). Prof. Randy David also wrote a blurb (endorsement) on my book, Fixing Society (2007) where he exhorted: "‘To fix’ is the euphemism used to designate nearly every corrupt practice in Philippine society. It highlights the functional side of corruption, the main reason for its persistence. Here, for the first time, is a detailed exploration of the world of “fixers.” The fascinating insights of this richly-documented work can be the starting point of a meaningful agenda to combat corruption." Prof. Randy David is an eminent teacher of anticorruption!

Many fear that Prof. Randy David will be gobbled up in fighting a losing battle if he runs for public post. Especially in Pampanga! Especially against GMA! Especially with no formidable machinery!

Will he thread the path of Among Ed? Will he turn out to be an Among Ed? Or like Among Ed, will he benefit from some tipping point in Pampanga? Or will he be like a Kapatiran? Or maybe he can be like Naga's Jess Robredo or Isabela's Grace Padaca?

His plans and intentions are very interesting! If he wins, his candidacy can alter the political terrain in Pampanga in particular, and the Philippines in general. If he loses, will he -- and all that he represents -- be relegated to oblivion? Is it worth it, after all? This is the main question! Very interesting!

A quote from Robert Kennedy is resonating: "Some believe there is nothing one man or one woman can do against the enormous army of the world's ills - against misery, against ignorance, or injustice and violence. Yet many of the world's great movements, of thought and action, have flowed from the work of a single person."

Indeed, can academe and politics mix? There's no way of saying, until Prof. Randy David pursues his plans!

6.28.2009

A person's character

"It's not just underneath our person, but the words and actions
that make our character!
"
- Batman (Justice League, 2005)

Black Hole

Add Image
The Black Hole! A very good test of a person's honor and integrity, which is best measured when nobody is watching! Our integrity is what we make of our person, and vice versa! Batman was very deep and profound when he said once in Justice League: "It's not just underneath our person, but the words and actions that make our character!"

6.22.2009

Vision with venture

"Vision is not enough; it must be combined with venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps.
We must step up the stairs!"

- Vaclav Havel, Czech Dissident and President

Fighting with dignity

"We will fight with dignity... and make them know
that they are on the wrong side of history!
"
- Barack Obama, 44th and 1st Black US President

6.21.2009

Walang Hihingi!

Huwag tayong manghuthot sa mga kandidato,
upang di mangurakot ang mga mananalo!
Pag-isipan. Pag-usapan.
Sampung pisong hiningi,
sampung libo ang bawi!

Walang Hihingi

Huwag tayong manghuthot sa mga kandidato,
upang di mangurakot ang mga mananalo!
Pag-isipan. Pag-usapan.
Sampung pisong hiningi,
sampung libo ang bawi!

Walang Hihingi!



Fixing Society (2007)



Ehem!


FIGHTING CORRUPTION. Dr. Ronnie Amorado, National Coordinator of the Jesuit Ehem Anticorruption Group, stresses some points on corruption as one of the reactors during the launching of the Philippine Human Development Report 2008-2009 held at the Grand Men Seng Hotel last June 18, 2009.

6.19.2009

Captive Congress


The HB 1109, also known as the Con-Ass Resolution, is a good (or bad) case study for political science, public policy and public administration. The HB defies all the rational concepts and principles in running the affairs of the State. No intelligible discussions. No committee deliberations. No plenary debates. No compelling reasons at all (there are other more important and urgent issues needing legislative measures). How can this resolution possibly pass Congress? This is the classic case of tyranny in numbers. The mark of a true democracy is not just in quantity. Democracy is best measured in quality!

Who can ever say that leadership has nothing to do with it! Tell me who the Speaker is, and I'll tell you what kind of Congress we have! This photo shows it all! Courtesy of Nikki Gomez the journalist.

I resonate with John Adams (1797-1801), the 2nd US president. He quipped even as early in his time: "I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is called a disgrace, two useless men are called a law firm, and three or more become a Congress!"

May God bless this country!

Desideratas

Desiderata

Lakaw nga magmalinawon bisan taliwala sa kasamok ug pagkadinalian, ug timan-i ang kadait nga ana’a diha sa kahilum. Kung mahimo lang nga walay pagluwat, makig-angay sa kadaghanan. Ipadayag ang imong kamatuoran sa ligdong ug hapsay nga pamaagi; maminaw sa uban, bisan sa mga hungog ug mga burong – sila usab adunay ilang mga sugilanon.

Likayi ang mga banha’an ug mahulgaon, sila ang makahatag og pagsamok sa galamhan. Kung itandi nimo ang imong kaugalingon sa uban, mamahimo nga ikaw walay hinungdan ug masilagon; tungod kay sa kanunay adunay mga tawo nga labaw ug ubos kanimo. Ikalipay ang imong mga kalampusan ingon usab sa imong mga laraw.

Padayon sa imong kaikag sa kinaugalingong buhat, bisan unsa pa kamapaubsanon; usa kini ka bahandi sa nagkalain-laing dagan sa panahon. Magbinantayon ka sa imong mga kalihukan; tungod kay ang kalibutan puno’ og mga panglingla. Apan ayaw itugot nga ikaw mabutahan sa kaayuhan niini; daghan ang naningkamot sa pagkab-ot sa hata’as nga mga sumbanan; ug bisan asa pa man, ang kinabuhi puno’ og kabayanihan.

Pagmatinud’anon sa imong kaugalingon. Ug labi na gayud, ayaw pag-paka’aron’ingnon sa imong pagbati. Ayaw usab itugot nga ikaw matahapan mahitungod sa gugma; tungod kay taliwala sa kalaay ug walay kadasig, kini sama ra sa mga balili nga malungtaron.

Dawata sa maayong kabubut-on ang tambag sa mga katigulangan samtang gibiyaan nimo sa maayong buut ang mga butang sa pagkabatan’on. Hatagi og maayong pagtagad ang kalig-on sa kalag aron panalipdan ka niini sa wala damha nga katalagman. Apan ayaw kabalakhi ang imong kaugalingon sa mga nagkadaiyang panghuna’huna. Daghan mga kalisang ang nagagikan sa kakapoy ug kamingaw.

Uban sa malunsay nga pagpamitol, pagpamalulot sa imong kaugalingon. Anak ka sa kalibutan, sama sa mga kakahoyan ug bitoon; aduna kay katungod nga mabuhi. Ug tataw man o dili sa imong kaugalingon, walay pagduha’duha nga ang tibuok kalibutan nagbutyag sa iyang pagkamahinungdanon.

Busa, pakigdait uban sa Dios, bisan kinsa man Sya sa imong pagtoo, ug bisan unsa pa man ang imong mga buluhaton ug mga gipangandoy, taliwala sa kasamok ug kalibog, pakigdait usab sa imong kalag. Taliwala sa tanang pasumangil, kabudlay ug mga damgo nga napakyas, matahum gihapon ang kalibutan.

Pag’ayo’ayo! Paninguha nga magmalipayon!

_________________________________________________

Desiderata

Humayo kang panatag ang loob sa mundo ng ingay at kaabalahan, at iyong tandaan anong kapayapaan ang madarama sa katahimikan. Hangga’t maaari at walang pagsuko, makibagay ka sa lahat ng kapwa mo tao. Tahimik at malinaw mong bigkasin ang sa iyo’y totoo; at ang iba’y pakinggan. Ang mapupurol man at walang nalalaman; sila rin ay may kani-kaniyang kasaysayan.

Maiingay at basagulero’y iyong iwasan; kayamutan lamang sila sa kalooban. Kung ihahambing mo sa iba ang sarili, baka yumabang ka lamang at ang loob mo’y sumama, sapagkat palagian mong matatagpuan ang mga taong hihigit at kukulang sa iyong katayuan. lkalugod mo ang iyong mga tagumpay at gayundin ang mga balak.

Interes mo’y panatilihin sa iyong gawain, ito man ay hamak, tunay itong kaangkinan sa panahon ng pabugsu-bugsong kapalaran. Buong ingat mong asikasuhin ang iyong negosyo, dahil puno ng panlilinlang ang ating mundo. Gayunman, huwag mong ikabulag ito sa kabutihang naririyan din; marami ang nagpupunyaging matamo ang matatayog na mithiin, at sa lahat ng dako ang buhay ay lipos ng kabayanihan.

Maging tapat ka sa sarili. Higit sa lahat, paggiliw ay huwag mong ipagkunwa. Sa pag-ibig huwag ka ring maging mapangkutya; sapagkat sa kabila ng katigangan ng puso’t napawing tiwala, tulad ng damo siya’y habang panahong naririyan.

Payo ng mga taon tanggapin mong masuyo, mga bagay ng kabataan magaan ang loob mong isuko. Palakasin mo ang kalooban upang masangga ang biglang kasawian. Huwag mong ikabahala ang mga agam-agam gayumpaman. Maraming pangamba’y mula lamang sa pagod at kalungkutan.

Bukod sa kapaki-pakinabang na disiplina, sarili mo’y pagbigyan. Isa kang anak ng sanlibutan, tulad ng mga tala at kakahuyan; ang manatili rito ay iyong karapatan.

At malinaw sa iyo o hindi man, walang alinlanga’t bumubukadkad nang dapat ang santinakpan. Samakatuwid makipagkasundo ka sa Diyos, anuman Siya sa iyong isipan. At anuman ang iyong gawain at hangarin, sa gulo’t ingay ng buhay, panatilihin mong panatag ang loobin. Sa kabila ng kanyang kahuwaran, paghihirap at mga bigong adhikain, ito’y isa pa ring daigdig na maganda.

Mag-ingat. Sikapin mong lumigaya.

_________________________________________________

Desiderata

Go placidly amidst the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble, it's a real possession in the changing fortunes of the time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginations. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world! Be cheerful!

Strive to be happy!
_________________________________________________
(various sources)

Thank you, Ma'am Ledi

A great person recently passed away due to relapsed leukemia last June 12. Dr. Ledivina Cariño is very close to the Ehem Anticorruption Group and most especially to me. I recalled Dr. Ledi to be very enthusiastic to write the Foreword for my book, Fixing Society (2007).

Dr. Ledi was a pioneer in public administration theory and practice in the Philippines; she is a pillar of the UP's National College of Public Administration (NCPAG), former Dean and one of the emeritus faculty in UP.

Dr. Ledi Cariño is one of the icons of anticorruption research and advocacy in the Philippines!

I met Ma'am Ledi up close beginning in 2003 when I was doing my anti-fixing research. We had series of consultations in UP, and she taught me a lot about doing anticorruption research and anti-fixing research, qualitative methods, on pure virtues and social capital, on how to deal with government officials and employees, and public administration and corruption among others. Dr. Ledi was the first reviewer of my book, and she was very instrumental in tightening up my theoretical and conceptual frameworks (the other very helpful eminent person from UP who reviewed my book was Prof. Randy David, who also wrote a blurb for my book).

For the information of everybody, Dr. Ledi was the first who ventured into anti-fixing research in the Philippines, when she made some country comparison of bureaucratic fixing during the Marcos years, and her research was published in her book --
Bureaucratic Corruption in Asia: Causes, Consequences and Controls (1986). So when she learned of my study, she was very happy because I expanded her research into a bigger scale, scope and coverage and developed and employed the unexplored methods of 'undercover ethnography' and 'friendship as method.' Ma'am Ledi was particularly happy about the Fixers' Dictionary in my book.

Dr. Ledi wrote the Foreword in 2007 and later on, I found she endorsed and nominated my book for
Outstanding Book Award in 2008 in the prestigious National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST). I got the award, and I and Fr. Albert Alejo met her during the NAST awarding ceremonies on July 10, 2008 at the Manila Hotel.

In the name of the E
hem Anticorruption Group and in behalf of all the Ehem networks in the country, we wish to send our condolences to the Cariño family.

As a tribute to Dr. Ledi, may I invite everyone to once again read her Foreword in my book (Fixing Society). And let's all offer a prayer for her. For those who know Ma'am Ledi, you may want to make a special mass offering.

And to Ma'am Ledi, thank you, thank you very much! You will always be part of the E
hem anticorruption program, and you will always be immortalized in my book! When I got the news about you from Dr. May Ursos of Ateneo (you belong to the same UCCP), I was really really sad. I read again your Foreword, and this time -- it was different reading it; I was having goose bumps!

Ma'am Ledi, mabuhay po kayo! Rest in peace!
I will never forget you!

6.14.2009

Fixing Society (2007)



The Inside World of Fixers in the Philippines (2007)
Awarded the Outstanding Book Award for 2008
by the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST)
Manila, Philippines

(click on the image for viewing and reading)

Outstanding Book Award


(click on the image for viewing and reading)

Mga Piling Tula (1988-1998)


TULA

(Ronnie Amorado, August 1991)
-Winning entry @ Philippine Poetry Anthology, 1991-

Pakinggan aking tula
sa isip, salita at gawa
puso, buhay at kaluluwa.
Maganda, nanghahalina
ang tula'y punong-puno ng pag-asa.
Damhin ang tula
sa gitna ng kaguluhan
ito'y may kulay at halaga
sa piling ng katotohanan.
Pakinggan aking tula
at harapin ang kinabukasan
buhay ay may pagbabago
sapagkat tula'y nagpapaibayo.
Ibigin ang tula...
ito'y may lakas sa damdamin
malaya, malawak, malikhain
at magpakailanman...
wagas ang tula sa ating piling!
_______________________________

Istres!
(Ronnie Amorado, March 1998)

Ako'y nai-istres
Nangangalumbaba
nangunguyakoy
laging nakatulala
nakanganga
at nakatanga!

Nakatingin sa malayo
marami, mabilis
ang mga iniisip
hindi nagkakasya
sa ulong
pilit pinipiga!

Kinukulang sa oras
nagmamadali
naghahabol
pinagpapawisan
nagkaka-alta presyon!

Hindi makakain
animo'y parang busog
sa mga asidong
tumutunaw sa lamang loob
dumidighay
napapautot
o kaya'y ulser
ang idudulot!
___________________________

Believe!
(Ronnie Amorado, October 1994)

When the mind
conceives
and the heart
believes
the body always
achieves!
Conceive...
of the things
haven't done
as the precious past
will always last
and of the things
that can be done
they'll never be gone!
Believe...
make it happen
and achieve!
_____________________________

Soulmate
(Ronnie Amorado, September 1994)

Soulmate, my soulmate
I am your soul intimate
we speak through the eyes
and feel through the soul
our vibes are tied
I am always at your side.
Our hearts beat
our spirits seek
the words in rythmic
when we always meet.
Listen to the winds
the winds that bind
that carry the aura
that caress our soul
soulmate, my soul intimate!
_____________________________


Ang Pangungumpisal
(Ronnie Amorado, March 1994)

Mahal na Linggo
sa taong nobenta'y kuwatro
sa kapilya ng UP
sa dako ng Biyernes Santo.
Ako'y nangumpisal
sa tanang mga sala
hindi binalak
napilitan lang ng nobya.
Huling pangumpisal
sa nakaraang taon
nanghihinayang...
nagdadalawang isip...
lagi pa ring nagkakasala
mga pangako'y napapako.
Humihingi ng kapatawaran
kahit baluktot pa rin
kaya ayaw nang mangako,
batid ang kahinaan.
Pero tapat sa loob
may gustong magbago
at maging matuwid
kahit kulang lang sa tulak
kahit may kasamaan din sa loob.
Nagninilay-nilay...
minsan tahimik
nagdarasal na lang
ng pag-gabay
ng tamang pag-iisip
ng wastong pagkilos
ng maunawaing pakiramdam
at pagtanggap
ng pagpapakumbaba.
Nag-aalangan...
parang ayaw mangumpisal
di dahil sa hindi naniniwala
kaya lang lagi pa
ring nagkakasala!
_______________________________

Ang Paninindigan
(Ronnie Amorado, April 1992)

May kamulatan, may kamalayan
ngayon iyong naiintindihan
ang galaw ng lipunan
lumalaki ka, at isa nang propesyonal
kasama ng isang samahang
nangangarap at may inaasam
ng tunay na pagbabago
sa lipunang inaapi.

Patuloy pa rin sa pagtatanong
walang hapong naghahanap ng sagot
habang tumutubo
sa teorya at karanasan.
Natututo...
kahit papaano
nagigiging malakas
at matapang
sa gitna ng pagkahina
at kawalan ng pag-asa!
___________________________

Katibak
(Ronnie Amorado, March 1991)

Kasama, kaisa
kaibigan, kahanay
sa mundo ng peti-burgis
ipinanganak kang panganay
wala kang paghihinagpis
lumaki ka sa karangyaan
ngunit namumulat
sa mga bagay-bagay
sa iyong kapaligiran.

Lumabas ka sa paaralan
upang makita ang lahat
gusto mong lumaban
ngunit takot sa sistema
sumama sa lansangan
ngunit hanggang doon na lang.

Nakihalo, nakihalubilo
sa mga magsasaka
manggagawa at mangingisda
pero ano ang iyong magagawa
wala, wala, wala!

Ang daming tanong
at maraming sagot
mayayamang sintesis
ng teorya at karanasan
ano'ng modelo ba
ang may kalunasan?

Paurong, pasulong
matapang na natatakot
maraming puna
ngunit para bang...
nagkukulang sa gawa.

Lalaki kang binata
may prinsipyo at paninindigan
may mga pangarap
at inaasam-asam
mga pagbabago sa lipunan
makikiramdam ka...
at makikiisa
sa kilusang pagbabago
sa isip at puso
kahit papaano!
____________________________

Ang Pag-ibig at Pakikibaka
(Ronnie Amorado, April 1990)

Ang pag-ibig at pakikibaka
ay hindi nagkakaiba
nagmamahal, nagkukusa
nangangarap, naglalayon
naninindigan...
at nakikipaglaban!

Sa pag-ibig
ay may pagpaparaya,
sa pakikibaka
ay may pagtataya,
ang dalawa'y
hindi maihihiwalay
tulad ng puso at buhay!

Ang pakikibaka'y
may kabuluhan
kung may pag-ibig
na naghahari
ganoon din ang pagmamahal
na mas nadadama
kung nakaugat...
sa pakikibaka!
____________________________

Buntot sa Buhok
(Ronnie Amorado, October 1988)

Simbolo ng pagkamagiting
lumaban hanggang...
sa kahuli-hulihang sandali
ibinagsak ng mapang-aping
kumpormismo!
Ito ang simbolo ng protesta
ng hindi pagsang-ayon ng pagkalinga
sa lipunang nakakasawa!
Bagama't nag-iisa
ang pagputol nito'y
hudyat ng bagong sibol
mas mataas,
mas mahaba,
mas matatag!
_____________________________

6.13.2009

Transnational Civil Society Movements (2006)

























Transnational Civil Society Movements:
The State of Anticorruption Efforts (2006)
published by the UNITED NATIONS -
International Research for International Development
(UNRISD)

6.12.2009

Aha (2006)

























Aha! A Citizen's Primer on Whistleblowing (2006)
published by the Ateneo de Davao University -
Research and Publication Office
for the Ehem! Aha! Technical Working Group
of the Office of the Ombudsman and the
Philippine Province of the Society of Jesus

6.11.2009

Ehem 3rd Edition (2005)

























Ehem! A Self-Check Manual for
Combating Corruption (2005)
published by the Ateneo de Davao University -
Research and Publication Office
for the Ehem Anticorruption Program
of the Philippine Province of the Society of Jesus

Ehem 2nd Edition (2003)

























Ehem! A Manual for Deepening Involvement
in Combating Corruption (2003)
published by the Ateneo de Davao University -
Research and Publication Office
for the Ehem Anticorruption Program
of the Philippine Province of the Society of Jesus

Ehem 1st Edition (2003)

























Ehem! A Manual for Deepening Involvement
in Combating Corruption (2003)
published by the Ateneo de Davao University -
Research and Publication Office
for the Ehem Anticorruption Program
of the Philippine Province of the Society of Jesus

Cross-Sectoral Corruption (2002)

























Cross-Sectoral Study of Corruption in the Philippines (2002)
published by the Ateneo de Naga University, Naga City
for the Committee for the Evangelization of Culture
of the Philippine Province of the Society of Jesus