Sunday, July 18, 2010

Pimple talk

I went around doing my usual Sunday stuff with a big pimple on my nose. Yeah, it's its favorite place to make an appearance and I sometimes think it always feels proud to be red and prominent. The diva!

Of course, I got the usual "uy, in love!" or "sino naman yan?" Frankly, if there is one, there's no way he'll be named Pimple.

As it turned out though, the pimple gave way to a talk with a friend who's on the verge of falling.

Asked about what she's going to do about it, she gave a litany of why she doesn't really dwell on it now: the other person is still recovering from a breakup, there's a consideration about family, the other person may not be ready, and they are friends, yadda yadda yadda.

But asked about her state on this matter, she got stumped. It did make me think that when we think of another person so much, we sometimes forget that it is good to start with the self first when you want to have a relationship with someone.

Kind of self-absorbed one may say. But then again, when you don't really know who and what you are when you think you are already on the verge of falling, how will you know if you fall standing up or with your ass flat on the ground?

Unromantic? Maybe. But who said that love should be a free fall?

When you are on the precipice of love, I think it is worthwhile to stop for a while and ponder on what you got so far before taking the plunge. Therein lies what you got to offer to the relationship. The rest are still promises. Who knows, maybe you'll come up with an even better you before making the move.

And when you finally give in, at least you'll know what you are giving. Pimple and all.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Exclusively HK

While taking a needed break from chanting and blowing whistles, a trade unionist remarks:

"Only nine members voted for the amendment. As a Hong Kong citizen, I feel sad and ashamed."

If someone who is not directly affected by the exclusion of foreign domestic workers or FDWs from the statutory minimum wage can feel that way, what more for those who are the ones excluded.

After over a year of discussions and lobbying it can now be said again that for all the hoopla of Hong Kong being liberal or a wonderful city for foreign workers, discrimination against those who are already at the gutter of this society is institutionalized.

In a society like Hong Kong that treats free market capitalism like a god, a successful campaign for a legislated minimum wage is a significant victory for the worker's movement. It could have been sweeter if only FDWs – numbering around 250,000 – are not sidelined.

The FDWs chant "we are workers, we are not slaves" encapsulates the various reasons why they assert their right for inclusion to such an important law. Their labour is as important as any worker in Hong Kong. Their labour also builds Hong Kong. Their labour makes it possible for these high and mighty LegCo members to sit in their plush offices and halls and debate how best to marginalize in law those who already have less in life.

Considering though the composition of the LegCo – majority coming from the business sector, some from a trade union who doesn't deserve its name, some more from "democratic" groups whose concept of democracy is quite selective – we were already uneasy on how the vote will go. When it came, it was as appalling as we thought it would be.

Good thing there was this unionist – and there are more of them – who felt the same as the FDWs.

Hope, indeed, still floats.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Prodigal blogger

It is not because there is a new president installed that I am blogging again.

Though of course there are already a number of things I could blog about him. While this is still supposed to be a honeymoon period, it does not mean that one cannot already form an opinion on what he does, what he says and where he may be leading us. Even in honeymoons, the foreplay is still an indicator of how the climax will be like.

It is also not because of any life-changing experience or any epiphany of sorts that I am having a new post.

I am still an OFW working in a job I enjoy doing. Still an activist taking on issues from the overpriced e-passport to the exclusion of foreign domestic workers in the statutory minimum wage that is soon to be finalized in Hong Kong. Still marching. Still struggling.

It is also not because I am having an emotional
moment that I again am writing.

While indeed there have been a couple of them in the past months, none has been heart-wrenching enough that a major laugh trip could not jumpstart the moving on process. Besides, a moment is supposed to last only for a moment.

So why am I blogging?

Maybe because I got some more moments to process and the recent laugh trips have not been major enough. Or because an activist's work is never really done and there is a host of OFW concerns – old, new and mutated ones – I do care to write about. Or because the new president is yet to banish the nightmares induced by GMA and really work on the dreams he built his campaign on.

Or maybe simply, I am blogging because it is 4 o'clock in the morning, there's a steaming mug of coffee on my desk, and a fresh pack of cigarettes is just too inviting.