Monday, January 12, 2009

A.S.A.P. (NOvember 10, 2008)

After the world's only Superpower installed a black president to the White House, for a moment, we prioritized hope.
Over faith and charity, we put aside our issue against Desperate Housewives' Season 4 Episode 1 with Susan (played by Teri Hatcher) saying "Can I just check those diplomas because I just want to make sure that they are not from some med school in the Philippines."

Used to delayed reaction, we forgot about The Daily Show with Jon Stewart's September 18 episode with five-minute segment entitled "Is the US Ready for a Woman President?" showing our first female President Corazon Aquino with the word "Slut!" and three hearts across her face.
With no apology in mind, we thought of comparing Michelle Obama with the other 43 First Ladies.
We felt we should know if their daughters Sasha and Malia's puppy would be at par with the presidential pets in the past.
Or if Madelyn Payne Dunham is related to Max Payne?
Even the non-politicians now are interested in the two Davids -- campaign manager David Plouffet and chief strategist David Axelrod – to advise them how to slay their personal and professional Goliaths.
Can they also pull it off even if they are not anywhere near the backyards of Des Moines or the living rooms of Concord or the front porches of Charleston?
While watching those working men and women live -- who contributed, financially or otherwise, to their cause, inspired and teary-eyed, with Oprah Winfrey and Jesse Jackson – we cannot help
but ask ourselves: is this our victory too?
Even if this new America will halt their wars?
Heal our planet?
Or help the century's worst financial crisis?
Are we also a part of their progress?
Was he referring to us when he mentioned those who huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world?
Are our stories truly singular and is our destiny really shared?
Do we honestly benefit from their ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and, yes, hope?
And their creed: Yes we can?
Yes, we also can.
When he mentioned “man touched down on the moon,” Eduardo San Juan came to our mind for building the Lunar Rover or moon buggy used in 1969 by American astronauts who first landed on the moon.
When he recalled “a wall came down in Berlin,” we remembered its forerunner – our Edsa revolution.
When he told us about “a world was connected by our own science and imagination,” we could not name all our exploiting yet exploited scientists and artists.
Whatever happens, for instance, to Daniel Dingel who developed, again in 1969, a water-powered prototype that was never patented and commercialized because of the alleged anti-
Dingel car conspiracy by multinational oil companies?
Well, we just kept quiet when he said that this is our time.
In our case, putting our people back to work and opening doors of opportunity for our kids may sound like a joke if the real jobs are only available overseas.
Restoring prosperity and promoting the cause of peace could pass as a fiction or surfiction when we think of their war economy.
And reclaiming the American dream?
Tell that to our World War II veterans.
Or to Dr. Dean Kotlowsky.
He will elaborate on the implication and impact on the Philippines of the said Administration they absolutely trusted – since his 65-million votes are the most ever garnered by an American presidential candidate -- even if his name can be mistaken for Osama bin Laden and Sadam Hussein!
All these and more can be deliberated or debated during the annual conference of the American Studies Association of the Philippines (ASAP) at the Philippine Social Science Center, Quezon City, on 15 November.
For this year, ASAP chose Converges and Diversities: Dimensions of American Studies as its theme with Ms. Martha Buckley, cultural affairs officer of the US Embassy, as its guest of honor.
Former Department of Health secretary Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan will update us on the recruitment of Filipino nurses to the States while Mr. Rod Spires will talk about American corporations in Asia and Mr. Danilo Sebastian L. Reyes will tackle the American business process outsourcing in the Philippines.
Likhaan: University of the Philippines Institute of Creative Writing director Dr. Jose Y. Dalisay, Jr. will share his experience in teaching American literature whereas Dr. Ma. Socorro Q. Perez will shed light on the association of Ilokano writers in Hawaii (where a Kenyan Barack Hussein Obama Sr. met a white American Ann Dunham who gave birth to his junior at the Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women and Children in Honolulu).
As a comic relief, former U.P. Press deputy director Dr. Ma. Rhodora G. Ancheta brighten or lighten up the day by discussing the American stand-up comedy.
Founded in 1964 (when Obama's parents divorced when he was two years old) ASAP is the oldest professional organization in the Philippines committed to the study of the different facets of Philippine-American relations.
In the same vein, Anvil Publishing's and Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL) Board Member Karina Bolasco is inviting us in a conversation with John Corbett.
No, not American actor and country music singer but the professor of Applied Language Studies in the Department of English Language at the University of Glasgow
– who was with us, Dr. Dalisay and Ms. Bolasco, in Bringing Text to Life - 2008 Animating Literature in Singapore from 29 January to 1 February upon the invitation of British Council Philippines' Programme Manager Jansen Mayor.
Mr. Corbett will be here for a big English language and literature teaching workshop on Nov. 22 and for a conversation entitled "Writing across cultures" with our best writers on 17 November, 2-5 pm, at the Bestsellers bookstore in Robinson's Galleria.
Maybe, in addition, we could ask him – being an expert in the use of the intercultural approach in English language teaching through literature – how to deal with such shows as Harry on Paul on BBC1 that “depicted racism and exploitation of Filipino domestic helpers” last September 26.
As in Action for Survival, Action for Progress.
A man's home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.
Having one child make you a parent having two makes you a referee.

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