The Old People on Strike and the Old People with Selfie Sticks: Two Figures of the Senior Citizen*


What is the image of our Lolas and Lolos at a time when most of the raves of society center on the youth: the confident and rose-colored youth chasing their dreams, the youth maximizing their potential while they are still at their prime, the youth making the most out of their time, partying “like it’s the end of the world?” How do the old look like beside the image of the youth as adventurous, enthusiastic and brimming with potential and capabilities? Not only with their physical condition but also with their role in society that one can speak of diminishment when it comes to the old.  Signifying a phase past peak of bodily powers and past the productive years, the state of being old and doting is not highly preferred. This valuation can partly explain the slightly different terms that are made to apply to them –from the senior citizen discounts to how we usually behave around them.

However, this picture is not something solid or fixed; it is not something that completely blocks twisting maneuvers or actual alternative representations. Two diametrically opposite ways can show how this common limning of the old as senile, unproductive or taciturn are skirted. One, there is the recent outbursts of defiance from the old, from our senior citizens in light of events that had directly concerned or directly concerns them: the prevalence of comfort women during the Japanese Occupation of the Philippines and the Presidential veto of the SSS Pension Hike. Then on the other side, there is the framing of old people in TV advertisements which follows the logic of profiteering. Here, they are shown as nimble, quick-footed and active but with a catch: they are situated on the world of commerce and hence become instrumental in the promotion of certain products. The perverse meaning is looming: it is as if the old can only be spry and active when they have commercial products in hand. In terms of media’s representation, the old can only be salvaged from their state of senility or boredom if they can be used to advance the interests of capital. This is not the same in the first case where it can be argued that behind the display of defiance is a more personal stake.

The Old: Indignant on the Streets

Two events last January were particularly momentous for the senior citizens of the country. The first one was President Noynoy Aquino’s veto of the SSS pension hike bill last January 12 and the second one was the visit of Japanese Emperor Akihito to the Philippines on the last week of the month. In both events, the aged have come out not just to defy the common depictions of them but more vitally, to vent out their anger with a President’s indifference to their situation and his tacit defense of the corporatized nature of the SSS and with the horrid memories activated by an Emperor’s visit.

In both cases, the old took out their indignation into the streets. In the Facebook page of BAYAN (New Patriotic Alliance), we can see the throng of old people raising posters which states “2000 Ibigay Na!” What is notable is that it is not just old people who constituted the protest activity. They were joined by other people from various age brackets. The issue of the SSS Pension Hike does not just concern the old, the current pensioners of the program. It is an issue that affects all Filipino workers and their families.

SSS Mula sa Bayan FB Page

Call for Increase in SSS Pension Hike (Mula sa Facebook page ng BAYAN (New Patriotic Alliance))

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Take this Literally: The Aquino Administration Does not Care About your Armpit Sweat, Train Riders


Staying in Manila for the past week to deal with some quirky business, I was able to experience much fleshlier the everyday violence, as a presenter in a conference I attended put it, that is the MRT and LRT. Feelings are brimming and seething, mostly mounting indignation both at the very damned and delirious railway system and the way its daily passengers have apparently been desensitized by this careful torture.

The trains are already screaming for replacement, more reasonably so more than a year after the fares have increased. Since this contested MRT and LRT fare increase, the system only has the beep cards and some fancy fare ticket card to show for. We should be snickering and then we should be protesting because after enduring the fare increases for more than a year, there are no additional coaches, no much greater, more convenient spaces that can accommodate the tired, commuting cabal of the metro. Ah, that is even after letting a bigger crime pass: how the various agents of the state have hired multiple tricksters to elope with the very idea of a nationalized transport system that — mostly via wise disbursement of the coffers gleaned from taxations — will do away with private (ah, corporate) partners and then render a truly affordable mass transport service. Seeing “this is where your taxes go” tarpaulins is irksome and suspicious enough but seeing them plastered nearby decent train stations and fairly delicious platform areas can maybe make them less of an eyesore.

But nada, nada. Here, welcome 2015 with costlier fare, do you guys have deeper pockets? Are you ready to take hold of shinier beep cards that come with that fare increase? Are you still ready – despite this fare increase — to nudge, push, kick your way just to get inside the train? (I find it strange that even in first or second stations like North Avenue (at the MRT) or Balintawak (at the LRT), some passengers still play the brusque, the eager and the tough upon going in the trains. Manila keeps on schooling me.)

 

It is 2016 and still, the northbound passengers waiting at the Carriedo stations are still wearing their most desperate frowns upon seeing human sardines packed in the approaching train. (Ah, how can I fit myself in there!) Northbound, the people waiting at U.N. are luckier. Over at the MRT, opening and closing the train at Araneta-Cubao is such a feast, I meant a feat, what with the number of passengers getting off and in. (This short paragraph is also about exhibiting/releasing my childish joy at slowly memorizing the stations and their order in both the MRT and the LRT 1 routes.)

November Train

Kuha ito sa pelikulang Noviembre.

 

What is the insult to this injury? Some time ago, at a time when Noynoy Aquino felt he was still not very unpopular, he made one of the most stupid, most irresponsible, most heartless remarks he has said in his incompetent years as President of the country. Joking, fishing for a soundbite, he has also unknowingly spelt what turned out, months after, to be the makings of his form – shiny and clear — in laughingstock.

What constitutes the insult to the injury and what does it says to us: it is verbal carelessness symptomatizing the irresponsibility of the powers-that-be – not just in relation to words they speak but more vitally, in relation to their duties to their constituents.

Last 2013, during the electoral campaigns for the mid-year election, Aquino bragged about the supposedly forthcoming Cavite station that will connect the LRT Line 1 – presently ending at the Baclaran station – to the Southern Tagalog province. He famously quipped, “At pag hindi ho nangyari ‘to (at the end of 2015), nandyan po si Secretary Abaya na mangangasiwa po ng proyektong ‘to, dalawa na kaming magpapasagasa siguro sa tren.” Days before last year ended, when the netizens were already calling attention to this statement and anticipating Aquino being run over by the trains, the Press office of Malacanang advised the public not to take literally everything that Aquino says. It was an effort done clearly to hush the growing anticipation and criticism of the delayed, or worse, lack of progression of the ‘promised’ Cavite station.

This gesture from the Palace is notable because Aquino was nowhere to be found in the thick of the heated criticisms, when the people were calling him to task and reminding everyone of the words he has said two years ago. In short, he was not able to own up his words, and the best his camp can come up with is a funny, hopeless invocation of the non-literal. I recalled Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s famous, “Magpapahulog ako sa tren” statement at the height of Erap Estrada’s impeachment trial and even more notoriously, her “I lied” retort when asked about the earlier claim.

Aquino did not do such valorous, if not also pitiful act of self-caricaturing as Miriam has done. There was neither “I lied” from Aquino nor an impish, tantalizingly lunatic guffaw. This is not a defense of Miriam’s antics however; this is not a continued spinning of her quotable quotes which usually has the peril of voiding words of their substance. Two things must be underlined instead: (1) that what was at stake in Miriam’s “lie” was primarily her political commitment – the lie had something to do less with the public than herself — and how far could she walk for such commitment and (2) that after the statement turned out to be a lie, Miriam did not just walk away and forget that she had said something. She endured standing up for the words even if it meant being a laughingstock, even if it meant being part of what the media will soon frenzy to be quotable, even if quotable because embarrassing.

PNoy evidently does not have the balls. His carelessness with his words can only be a symptom of his irresponsibility as a public official when it comes to bigger things. It must not be mere coincidence that the “lie” he uttered is related to the railway services – the management of which his administration has obviously bungled big time. Furthermore, the way he responds (or not respond!) once his careless words have been proven self-damaging can likewise be read as a symptom of how he stands by his decisions and policies. What even makes his act worse than Miriam – aside from his virtual absence when the people were already haunting him – is that the stakes in the lie he committed concerns the public – every commuter who sleepwalks their way to the Q Ave, Kamuning, Cubao, Santolan, Ortigas, Shaw, Boni, Guada, Buendia, Ayala, Magallanes, EDSA-Taft, Gil Puyat, Vito Cruz, Quirino, Pedro Gil, UN, D Jose, Carriedo, Tayuman, Blumentritt, Abad Santos, R. Papa, 5th Avenue, Monumento, Balintawak, Roosevelt stations everyday just to get to work, to school, to every dainty, fancy, pretty place, bar, restaurant, bookshop waiting to be filled by their hopeful existences.

PNoy’s was not just an expression of a personal sentiment or political prophecy. It was an expression, implicitly a promise, of things to come, of a train station that would have bridged NCR to a province in Southern Tagalog. Hence, the fibbing gains greater consequence. Maybe we can ask the people of Cavite. Maybe their teeth are already breaking themselves in their gnashing.

The MRT and the LRT is a bust. Maybe it is worse than drafting someone like Michael Olowakandi  or Greg Oden in the NBA, worse than welcoming yourself as a tourist in Baguio when the entire city has no power (which happened one day last October). At least you will know eventually that Olowakandi cannot shoot even at point blank and you just need to endure a losing season before likely getting another high pick in the draft. At least you can still take a selfie in front of your inn or hotel, with some fog at the background just to capture the Baguio feel and then know better to not go back to Baguio during the rainy months.

With the LRT/MRT, at least you can still go to work without getting soaked in the EDSA traffic? Not much better. You can still go to work relatively more swiftly, but queue your way there, wait for nine, ten, twenty, fifty trains to arrive before you can finally get yourself in there, right there between the chin and the arms of the best strangers. And then you can wonder: how far until you can see the end of the tunnel; is it possible that you have already reached the end of it and you just did not know it because there was still no light? Are there “better days” for our MRT and LRT, comparable to next year’s lottery after an NBA’s draft bust, or to “Next year uli sa Baguio” after an ill-timed visit with hugs from a city-wide brownout?

The insult to the injury? There: your lovely President, emptying his tank of fluency in Filipino,  joking with you forever, telling you deadpan, Ah, do not take me literally, saying to you during a sortie of his political party: “At pag hindi ho nangyari ‘, nandyan po si Secretary Abaya na mangangasiwa po ng proyektong ‘to, dalawa na kaming magpapasagasa siguro sa tren.”

Is he still moving, is he still moving? Is there still a pulse? Yes, of course. He did not do it – him and Abaya. He is still there, pulse and all, feigning poise, feigning peace. Cavite Extension is still waiting, fingers crossed. Baclaran station, I guess, is praying. Better transport services will come, please Noynoy before you leave your office. Recto station is faking patience, faking lots of patience. Ah, we know we can do more than these, more than waiting and crossing fingers and praying.

More than relying on an administration whose President brags about rapid economic growth, transparent governance, caring for the poor, providing jobs every chance he gets but whose words – ah we know, take those above – must not be taken literally.

Pasiklaban,Pagiging Awed by Lanterns at Pagngawngaw bilang Iskolar ng Bayan


Ang araw ng Pasiklaban ay paanyaya sa prettiness sa marami nitong posibleng anyo: panahon ng pretty clothes dahil Chirstmas Party ito ng UP community, pahinga sa academic work dahil pinalitan na ng party mode ang paper mode – sa panahon namin, i.e. pre-calendar shift panahon, na November to March pa ang second sem, implicitly marked ang pre-Christmas break period bilang panahon para sa unang set ng paper requirements o exams; ngayon, mas conclusive na ang dating, mas solid na sighs of relief na ang binubuntong-hininga dahil sarado na talaga ang sem pagdating ng Pasik; panahon din ng samu’t-sari at sort of vague kinds of camaraderie. Overall, prettified – reified rin? — ang mga bagay dahil nga Pasko spirit, Pasik spirit, party spirit. Mga Professor na kinatatakutan o tinitingala, nagiging Snow White o Men in Black tuwing Pasik, o di kaya sasayaw sa Wrecking Ball o Livin La Vida Loca. Mga orgmates na kinukulit para sa room reservations o update sa activities, magiging merry people na kahanay habang naglalakad sa Session Road.

Ang Pasiklaban ay panahon ng pagpapasiklab (usually natatabunan na Pasiklaban also goes by the name “Lantern Parade,” so, may mga pinagpagurang lantern na ipaparada), pagsiklab (Tapos na ang sem!), pag-a-unleash ng kung ano-anong mga moda – getting together, sharing etcetera — na parang mahirap gawin nang hindi informed ng good vibes ek ek ng Christmas season.

Sa larger context ng siyudad, ang Pasiklaban ng UP Baguio ay pasok sa napakaraming proyekto ng claiming ng space na ginagawa ng maraming organization o institution tuwing Pasko season. Madalas ay sanctioned ng local government, kasama pa nga sa “official” Holiday activities chenes ng local government, na keribels naman actually. Nasa calendar of activities ang activity mo, at pag nagkumpulan ang unting tao para panoorin ang activity mo, pwedeng biglang may mga sisigaw ng “Education Budget, dagdagan dagdagan! Military budget, kaltasan, kaltasan.”

Sa experiences ko ng Pasik, ito ang dominant spirit na kumukulob sa seemingly simpleng pyesta-pyesta, parade-parade, cheery-cheery atmosphere. Siguro dahil kadikit ko lagi ang Outcrop people, student publication na di rin reserved pagdating sa pagsigaw-sigaw, paglalabas ng hinaing tuwing Pasik. Siguro dahil wala naman talagang ganitong moda ang Pasik supposedly, display-display lang ng mga pinaghirapang lanterns, kaya naman ang swarm ng visual stimuli ay madaling nalalangkapan, pwede rin, although unlikely, natatabunan ng auditory improvisation para sabihing and Edukasyon ay karapatan o ang Iskolar ng Bayan ay lumalaban.

Hindi naman ito problema. Wala namang nagbabawal sa mga aktibista na sumigaw ng mga ganito ‘pag Pasik, lalo pag nasa kalsada na mula Session Road hanggang Harrison. Dahil dito, kumakapal ang ibig sabihin ng “pagpapasiklab.” Yung mga litanya na usually naririnig sa mga protest rally kasama ng mga streamers o placards, buhay na buhay rin – throbbing pa nga – sa isang seemingly pretty at ‘innocent’ na Lantern Parade kasama ng mga naglalakihang Christmas designs na ginawa ng UP Baguio community.

At hindi ba akmang-akma ito sa stereotype ng mga taga-UP bilang maiingay? – na syempre, as with all stereotypes, sobra ang pagsi-simplify kaya ang daming naba-bypass na anggulo at kasaysayan. Pero at the same time na seemingly nagre-reinforce ng stereotype, i.e mga taga-UP bilang ngawngaw ng ngawngaw, ang pagsisigaw sa kalsada sa gitna ng Lantern Parade ay pagbabaka rin sa mismong stereotype at enactment ng pagkakaiba. Dahil sa mga pagsisigaw-sigaw na ito, hindi nagmumukhang passive na promotion lamang ng sarili – UP community at mga parol na gawa nito — o ng sityong ginagalawan nito – super-saya, super glittery na Pasko sa Baguio, yehey – ang Lantern Parade. Hindi lang prettified. Sa pagsisigaw-sigaw sa Lantern Parade, naipapadaloy at na-eenact ang pagiging aktibo, pagiging maingay-mapang-udyok ng mga proclaimed na Iskolar ng Bayan. Cute pa nga ang move dahil pwedeng ‘off’ ito sa iilang makakakita. Ang gaganda ng lanterns tas biglang may sumisigaw ng Edukasyon budget dagdagan? Good vibes, fairy-tale-ish, let-us-all-hold-hands na sana ang feel kaso biglang may magsasabing Lumaban? At narito mismo ang lakas ng act na ito ng pagsigaw-sigaw ng iba’t-ibang calls: sa pagiging “off” nito, binabasag ang ideyal – once more, prettifying — na pagbasa sa Lantern Parade, na kesyo ang Lantern Parade ay display lang ng school pride, willing participation lang ng school o institution sa larger project ng Baguio tuwing Pasko. But the Lantern Parade goes beyond these. Inaangkin nito ang opportunity para mag-moda-moda ng school pride, ipakita na lumalahok ito sa community affairs (hindi snob!), pero nagagamit rin ang opportunity para itampok ang sarili nito sa mga pamamaraang likely di gaanong inaaasahan ng outside community: nagsisisigaw, nananawagan sa iba’t-ibang isyu, nag-eenact ng postures ng paglaban.

Ina-idealize ko ba ang pag-o-occupy ng kalsada kahit 30 minutes at pagsisigaw-sigaw dito? Naku, sana naman hindi. Kailangang maging maingat sa ganitong tendency. (Marahil epekto ito both ng unting nostalgia – mula nang grumaduate, di na ako nakisali sa Lantern parade – at ng sort of revived na heartbeat para sa pagpapawis-aktibista.) Kahapon lang din, sumali ako sa isang martsa-rali after halos 18 months – ang huli ay sa Commonwealth noong SONA last year – kaya naman naranasan muling mapabilang sa collective act ng pag-angkin ng pampublikong espasyo para mag-forward ng interes. Syemps, maraming sigaw-sigaw dun, pero maraming-maraming-marami pang iba. Culmination lang naman ang martsa kahapon para sa paggunita ng International Human Rights Day. Para sa mga tumitingin sa labas, madaling makita ang mga martsa bilang martsa lang – and most of the negative connotation ng pag-iingay etcetera – at natatabunan ang lahat ng social causes ng pagmamartsa at ang extended na paghahanda para dito. Hindi naman madaling ipakita sa pagsisigaw-sigaw nang thirty minutes sa kalsada ang mga pinaslang o dinukot na kakilala, kaibigan o kapatid na nagpapalabas ng litid sa mga leeg tuwing martsa. Ang punto: maraming mga iba pang gawain, impetus o layunin kung saan nakadugtong-dumudugtong lang din ang pagmamartsa. Madalas, ang pagbibigay-linaw sa complexities na ito ay nagagawa sa labas na ng martsa mismo. Ang pagkilos at pagbuo ng mga tindig ay walang-humpay.

IMG_7974.JPG

Martsa para sa paggunita sa International Human Rights Day kahapon sa Baguio City (Kuha ito ni Jesa)

 

Sa martsa, di mo kakilala yung iba mong kasama pero pwedeng may vague connection ka na maramdaman, feeling mo pareho kayo ng tinatanaw, pareho kayo ng pinagpapaguran. Pero mas ito yung idealized na pagtingin. Feeling mo collective mass kayo in the sense na singular at undifferentiated, pero di naman. Di naman exactly unproductive ang ganitong recognition. Baka nga dito pa magmula ang mga productive na pagtatalo at pag-uusap. Pwede namang mag-settle sa kahit littlest na pretty things: okey na yung andun ka, kahit medyo loss, di sumisigaw pero groping kahit papano, medyo di lumulubay. Darating din ang fortification ng sense of belonging at tiwala sa kabuuan ng isang community na nagmamartsa, isang community na nag-iiwan ng mga marka at sigaw sa lansangan – among other venues.

Sa Lantern Parade, iisa ang ruta ng mga tao, lahat kasapi ng “UP community.” Ine-enact din ng community ang pagiging community nito. Pwedeng makisigaw sa “Iskolar ng Bayan, ngayon ay lumalaban,” pwede rin namang makisuporta sa paghawak ng malalaking lanterns. Sa manifestation ng ganitong seeming ‘rifts,’ kawalan ng kaisahan – may mga sumisigaw, may chill lang– nama-manifest ang agency na ina-afford ng – o agency na ine-enact sa — structure ng community. In that case, microcosmic ang Lantern Parade ng mas malalakihan o panlipunang galawan, the same way as microcosmic ang katawan mo at katawan ko ng galactic-cosmic na scenarios. Ang Lantern Parade ay oportunidad para mag-iwan ng bakas sa lansangan bilang myembro ng UP “community.” May mga nag-iiwan ng feel-good na mga ngiti, awed reactions sa mga lanterns nearby; meron din namang nag-iiwan ng astuteness at collective wits, sumisigaw na dagdagan ang budget sa edukasyon, implicitly itinuturong seasonal lang ang fascination natin sa in-motion kinang ng Christmas lights, habang may mga pangangailangan-karapatang lagi’t-laging andyan, lagi’t-laging dapat bantayan, hindi lang nginigitian from afar.

Your Flight will be delayed and democracy is down, as always, there will be connections


Teddy Casiño was trapped in an airport in Kalibo hassled by the lovely service of an airline known for piso fare promos, the same airline Jesa and I, we and our friends turned to for short Visayan excursions this year; the first one, in what turned out to be an eye-to-eye intercourse with soil ravaged by Yolanda, previously only reported to us two years ago by Karen Davila and Noli de Castro and their feigned disinterest; the second one, with families and provincial dreams. Both prostituted parades of water and beaches and clear blue. Both also featured delayed flights, delayed flights from beloved Air Asia.

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Planes are to be waited

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Photocopy Your Powers: Notes for the Second BLTX Baguio*


Are these books?

Are these books?

A friend’s story: his father visited him in Baguio, sort of giddily perhaps, he told his father about a book he has made. Sort of giddily I guess, he showed his father: several pages of photocopied material, stapled. I cannot remember if his father was addled, doubted him, laughed at him a little – maybe all at once. When did a stapled, photocopied thing begin to constitute a book?

*

Now, it begins to be in the offensive: swarms of self-published books, photocopied and stapled and rawer, dappled with proofs of greater doses of manual rather than mechanical reproduction, exhibiting how, sort of in contrast to Warhol’s wish to become a machine, human hands are still taking control of, kneading the machines. The control is not just theoretical; the control is out there, sweating-glistening in the flesh: hands and machine working together to create a book, not just hands operating machines to create a book.

What is the significance of this progress in the landscape of cultural, specifically book production? Democracy sheds off some of its unashamed pretentiousness and starts to approximate a more genuine version of democracy in cultural production. What Gisele Freund said about photography’s claim to being art can also be applicable to cultural industry’s inferable claim to democracy: Cultural industry’s claim to be democratic was raised precisely by those who were turning it into a business. The mass production of culture was hailed for the way it democratized cultural consumption but what the hailing overlooks is the capitalistic goal of this democratization: we want cultural products to be available to more people, we want more people paying in order to see Marilyn Monroe onscreen, listen to Air Supply, watch Mara Clara or Maalaala Mo Kaya.

In this unpromising tendency towards monopoly, self-publishing books, turning books into a do-it-yourself venture can be presented as an alternative act of democratization, one that pedestals not so much the profit aspect as the aspects that are more internal to the cultural products themselves. What is more valuable is not so much the price of works and how one can profit from them as what these works are saying, how they are saying it and what do they enact in relation to its surrounding contexts – cultural, political and social.

Democracy in publishing becomes fleshlier, sweeter to put one’s faith on once the means of ‘book’ production – tied to the alteration of what constitutes a book – becomes more accessible and then maximized. But production is not all. Once the products stand robustly in the corner of one’s apartments, one’s little, crummy office, distributing comes next. This is one aspect that appears to be lagging behind even as signs of breakthrough are already with us. Venues for sharing, selling, distributing, displaying DIY products or self-published materials are growing. This is significant for materials like these are not warmly welcomed in the national book stores, unless people are willing to do the strenuous, mostly scattered and hopeless task of slyly tucking copies of zines and photocopied materials in between pages of books or on top of rulers and pencils sold in bookstores. Another reason is this: following Apostol’s Bibliolepsy, it is in the face of the earth that cultural works “must pay dues,” and they must not have their “eye cocked to the moon, as if in secret only heaven might understand.” Cultural works must be out there in the sweatiness of everyday, being read, being refused to be read, being talked about, being a pain in the ass, being a stimulant of a vision, and not folded cleanly and demurely, meant to be read as if in deference to a life of the mind – and this apply not just to DIY stuff. Distribution is key; sharing is important; passing on material is advised. Without these, one is unlikely to get struck by a father used to seeing books glossy and well-bound and covered nicely with some cute art; a father who, in the face of a stapled material his son is showing him, might ask: When did a stapled, photocopied thing begin to constitute a book?

More of these in the next BLTX Baguio on December 4

More of these in the next BLTX Baguio on December 4

*

To conclude this, a reference-as-analogy: “I listened to a tour guide at the National Gallery ask his group what made Rothko great. Someone said, “The colors are beautiful.” Someone else mentioned how many books and articles had been written about him. A third person pointed out how much people had paid for his paintings. The tour guide said, “Rothko is great because he forced artists who came after him to change how they thought about painting.” This is the single most useful definition of artistic greatness I’ve ever encountered.”

That was from David Shields’ Reality Hunger. Is not always there a ticking cuteness, a goading resolve when we talk about changes in the way we’ve being thinking about things, the way we’ve been doing things? On December 4 at Café Yagam, Better Living Through Xeroxography will return to Baguio and all the photocopied materials, DIY works will converge there and hopefully, with festivity and contained contumacy, it will force other cultural workers to expand, if not drastically change the way they think about producing and disseminating books. Let greatness be of secondary importance. The arena where greatness is being evaluated and played out is long prepared for a meaningful contestation. So see you on December 4 at Cafe Yagam, for BLTX and stapled, photocopied things all grinningly constituting themselves as books.

*This has been published in the current issue of Baguio Chronicle