Guro

Ang guro ay wala sa mga paaralan
O kaya naman ay nasa laboratoryong
Sinlamig ng hatinggabing walang bituin.
Wala sila sa mga librong mali-mali ang teksto
Na ginastusan ng bilyun-bilyong piso.
Nasa siping sila ng kasaysayan –
Nasa dibdib ng kalyehon at mga kabudukan
Nasa sentido sila ng nakaraan,
at nasa antatao ng bubuksang kamalayan.
Nasa apoy sila ng mga danas,
Nasa dingas sila ng ilawang dati’y aandap-andap
Ngunit ngayon ay sumasabog na liwanag.
Wala sila sa huwad na pagdiriwang–
Nasa agos sila ng umaapoy na digmaan.

tagulaylay ng isang makata’t manunulat

HINDI NA ako magpapaliguy-ligoy pa. Ang pagiging manunulat dito sa atin ay isang pagpapagutom, kung hindi man, ay tuwirang pagpapatiwakal sapagkat binabarat, o manapa’y hindi binabayaran, ang bawat salita at pananda, ang bawat pangungusap, parirala at talata, ang bawat taludtod at saknong.

Napakasakit na isipin na hindi mo ikabubuhay sa Pilipinas ang pagiging makata at manunulat; at ang tanging kasiyahan mo na lamang ay ang mabasa ang iyong pangalan sa isang lathalain o tula o sanaysay o balitang iyong isinulat.

Iyan ang mapait na reyalidad na kinahaharap ngayon ng mga tulad kong inibig ang pluma at napaasawa sa mga salita at talinghaga. Isang mapait na pagkaing kailangan mong lulunin sapagkat iyon na ang nakagisnang kalakaran.

***

Upang kumita ng kaunting salapi, kailangan mong manlimos sa mga pasulatan, gaya nang madalas kong nararanasan. Para kang asong naglalaway sa inilalawit na buto ng kapitalista (na nagkataong lider-relihiyoso pa) na pagkalapat sa iyong sikmura’y parang hangin lamang – nakakapagpakabag.

Hindi, hindi talaga makabubuhay ang pagsusulat dito sa Pilipinas.

***

Ang pagdaralita bilang manunulat, laluna kung ang tula at sanaysay, mga balita’t kuwento, ay alay sa sambayanan ay hindi naman totoo sa ipinagpuputa o ipinangangalakal ang kasagraduhan ng sining ng pagsusulat.

Ibig mong kumita nang malaki? Mag-PR ka para sa isang politikong nagpapasasa sa kinurakot na yaman mula sa mga manggagawa’t magsasaka, mga maralitang tagalungsod at intelektuwal na nagpapakakuba sa pagtatrabaho. O kaya naman ay languin ang utak at puso ng masa sa mga sulating nakapanggigilalas at hindi kapanipaniwala, nakalilibog o nakapagpapatirik ng kanilang ulirat. Subalit sa ilang “mulat” at nakaaalam ng tunay na ugat ng anti-intelektuwalisasyon ng mga Pinoy at Pinay, ay hindi makasisikmura ng ganoon.

Magpapakagutom na lamang sila, magdidildil ng asin, at titiisin ang pag-alimura ng pamilya, kaanak at kakilala, basta hindi lamang malahiran ng masamang laway – mabagsik at maasido – ang titik ng kanilang pagsusulat.

***

Sabi ng isang pilosopo at progresibong-mag-isip na Aleman, “Ang tao’y dapat naghahanapbuhay at nabubuhay para makapagsulat; subalit hindi dapat na ipaghanapbuhay ang pagsusulat.”

Nagtatalo ngayon ang isip ko: Paano ko gagawing hindi hanapbuhay ang aking pagsusulat gayong iyon lamang ang alam ko? Makirot ang katotohanan. Subalit kailangang tanggapin. Ngunit kailanman, hindi ko iiwanan ang pagsusulat. At hindi ko ito ipagpuputa, kagaya ng iba. Hindi.

Kundiman: higit pa sa awit ng pag-ibig

HINDI LAMANG awiting lipos ng pag-ibig, may ginampanang mahalagang papel sa himagsikang Pilipino noong 1896 ang kundiman (cundiman sa lumang baybay).

Nagmula sa lalawigan ng Batangas, ang kundiman ay isang uri ng awitin ng pag-ibig na ipinakikilala ng malamyos, maaliw-iw, at mabanayad na himig.

Sabi nga ng mananalaysay na si Teodoro Agoncillo (1912 – 1985), katutubo sa Pilipinas ang kundiman at walang bahid ni isang hibla ng kulturang Espanyol dahil bago pa man lumunsad ang mananakop ng Krus at Espada sa baybaying Pilipino, ay naririyan na ang mga awiting iyan, gaya nang nasusulat sa ibaba:

Hayo na’t dimugin ang bato mong puso
Sa pait ng aking luhang tumutulo,
Nang ang mailap mong awa’y nang umamo
Sa walang hangganang tapat kong pagsuyo.

Mula sa History of the Filipino People (1990), p. 57

Sa panahon ng paghihimagsik laban sa mga Espanyol, at bago pa ito maging parang apoy na lumaganap sa iba’t ibang bahagi ng lupain, ang matatamis na liriko ng kundiman ay tila naging isang kumot na nagkubli sa nag-aalab na damdamin ng inaaping mga indio.

Si José P. Rizal, na siya nating pambansang bayani’y sumulat ng isa sa pinakamagagandang kundiman sa panahon ng nagaapoy na pingkian sa pagitan ng mananakop at nang sinasakop, na sa dakong huli’y nagsimula nang pumiglas:

Tunay ngayong umid yaring diwa at puso
Ang bayan palibhasa’y api, lupig at sumuko.
Sa kapabayaan ng nagturong puno
Paglaya’y nawala, ligaya’y naglaho!

Datapuwa’t muling sisikat ang maligayang araw
Pilit na maliligtas ang inaping bayan
Magbabalik man din at laging sisikat
Ang ngalang Tagalog sa sandaigdigan!

Ibubuhos namin ang dugo’y ibabaha
Ng matubos lamang ang sa Amang Lupa!
Hanggang ‘di sumapit ang panahong tadhana
Sinta ay tatahimik, tutuloy ang nasa!
Sinta ay tatahimik at tutuloy ang nasa!
O Bayan kong mahal
Sintang Filipinas!

Nalathala sa isang kabanata ng Noli Me Tangere

Sinasabi rin sa kasaysayan na sa panahong nagpupulong ang mga katipunero, sina Melchora Aquino at mga kasama’y umaawit ng mga kundiman at awiting bayan para hindi mapagtanto ng mga Espanyol ang tunay na nagaganap sa loob ng tahanan.

Ang naging pinakakilalang kundiman sa panahon ng Himagsikang Katipunero ay ang Jocelynang Baliwag, na inialay kay Josefa ‘Pepita’ Tiongson y Lara, na taga-Baliwag, Bulakan—ang pinakasagisag ng Bayang Pilipinas, na bagaman matamis magmahal ay labis ang lumbay:

P– Pinopoong sinta, niring calolowa
Nacacawangis mo’y mabangong sampaga
Dalisay sa linis, dakila sa ganda
Matimyas na bucal ng madlang ligaya.

E– Edeng maligayang kinaloclocan
Ng galak at tuwang catamis-tamisan
Hada cang maningning na ang matunghaya’y
Masamyong bulaclac agad sumisical.

P– Pinananaligan niring aking dibdib
Na sa paglalayag sa dagat ng sakit
‘Di mo babayaang malunod sa hapis
Sa pagcabagabag co’y icaw ang sasagip.

I– Icaw na nga ang lunas sa aking dalita
Tanging magliligtas sa niluha-luha
Bunying binibining sinucuang cusa
Niring catawohang nangayupapa.

T– Tanggapin ang aking wagas na pag-ibig
Marubdob na ningas na taglay sa dibdib
Sa buhay na ito’y walang nilalangit
Cung hindi ikaw lamang, ilaw niring isip.

A– At sa cawacasa’y ang kapamanhikan
Tumbasan mo yaring pagsintang dalisay
Alalahanin mong cung ‘di cahabagan
Iyong lalasunin ang aba cong buhay.

Liriko mula sa Wikipedia, 2010

Kaya nga, hindi maitatatwang hindi lamang humihiwa sa puso ang kundiman, kundi nagpapaalab ito ng kakaibang pagmamahal, alalaong baga’y ang pagmamahal sa Inang Bayan, na kumbaga kay Jose Corazon de Jesus ay bayang sakdal dilag (Mula sa Bayan Ko, 1929).

Kuwintas ng mga Salita: Isang sulyap sa sining ng tula

Write in such a way as that you can be readily understood by both the young and the old, by men as well as women, even by children…

– Ho Chi Minh[1]

BUNGAD-SABI. Minsan, nasabi ng isang batang makata na ibig niyang maniwalang ang tula ay hindi para sa nakararami, alalalong baga ay para sa malawak na masang sambayanan, dahil sa tayog ng diwang bitbit ng pinagkabit-kabit na salita na iniayos sa mga taludtod at saknong.

Marahil, totoo ito sa isang banda, sapagkat nakararaming Pilipino pa rin ang salat na salat sa kaalamang pang-akademya bunga na rin ng kawalang kakayahang makatuntong man lamang, o makatapos ng haiskul.[2] Malaking bahagi kasi ng populasyong Pilipino’y lublub na lublob pa rin sa karalitaan.[3]

Higit pang nakadagdag sa pasanin o hirap ng mga mambabasa para maunawaan ang lasa at anyo ng tula ang mga katuturan (meaning) na ibinigay ng mga talatinigan o diksiyunaryo at maging ng ilang encyclopædia sa sining na ito:

1. a composition in verse, especially one characterized by the use of heightened language and rhythm.[4]

2. A metrical composition; a composition in verse written in certain measures, whether in blank verse or in rhyme, and characterized by imagination and poetic diction; contradistinguished from prose; as, the poems of Homer or of Milton.[5]

3. a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning.[6]

“Pinatayog na mga salita”, “komposisyong metrikal o mayroong sukat”, “tugma”, at kung anu-ano pang makukulay na salitang pilit idinamit sa tula: ang mga ito ang lalo pang nagbigay ng hiwaga o misteryo sa sining na ito, kung marami ang “takot” o “nangingilag” sa sining ng pagtula.

Kagagawan na rin marahil ng “pagmamataas” ng ilang makata kung kaya ang tula ay nananatili sa kamay ng iilan—hindi sa kamay ng masa na dapat sana ay patuloy na nagpapayaman sa mga ito dahil sa kanila naman talaga ito nagsimula.

♦♦♦

MAIKLING KASAYSAYAN NG PANULAANG PILIPINO. Sabi ng makata at dakilang lider obrerong si Gat. Amado V. Hernandez (Setyembre 13, 1903 – Marso 24, 1970), bahagi ng katutubong kultura ng mga Pilipino ang pagtula, hindi pa man lumulunsad ang dayuhang mananakop sa dalampasigan ng Pilipinas.[7]

Hindi malinaw kung kailan at kung paano nagsimulang tumula ang mga Pilipino. Basta’t ang pagkakasalaysay ng mga istoryador gaya ni Teodoro A. Agoncillo, halos lahat gawaing pampanitikan sa bansang Pilipinas, bago dumaong dito ang mga Kastila ay mayroong langkap na tula, partikular ang sa mga Tagalóg. Ang kanilang mga sabi, sawikain, bugtóng, suliranin, indulanin, talindaw, diyuna, kumintáng, dalít at umbay, tagumpáy, balikungkong, dupayanin at hiliraw, uyayi at hele, ihiman, tagulaylay, tigpasin, at kutang-kutang ay pawang tulang paawit kung bigkasin.[8] Mayroon na rin ang mga sinaunang Pilipino ng tulang relihiyoso o pang-relihiyon, na nababatay sa kanilang pamahii’t pananampalataya.[9] Bukod sa pasalitang panitikan (oral literature), mayroon din ang sinaunang mga Pilipino na nasusulat na panitikan, kabilang dito ang kanilang mga epiko at awit, na pawang mga tulang sinaliwan ng tugtugin.[10]

♦♦♦

PINAKA-“INA” NG SINING NG PANITIK. Dahil dito, maaaring sabihin na ang panulaan ang pinaka-ina ng panitikan, hindi lamang ng Pilipinas kundi maging ng ibang mga bansa. Gaya ng sabi ng dalubgurong Amerikanong si Michael Meyer,

Although no one can point to the precise origins of poetry, it is one of the most ancient of the arts, because it has existed ever since human beings discovered pleasure in language (Bagaman walang makatuturol sa tiyak na pinagmulan ng panulaan, [masasabing] isa ito sa pinakamatandang [uri o anyo] ng sining, dahil umiral na ito sa pagkakatuklas ng mga tao sa kasiyahang hatid ng wika).[11]

Ayon pa sa libreng encylopædia na Wikipedia, kung sining ng pagtula ang pag-uusapan, nauna pa ito kaysa sa kakayahan ng mga tao na magsulat at magbasa (literacy), [12] dahil karamihan ng tulay pasalaysay o epiko, ay pawang binibigkas lamang, at hindi nasusulat, gaya nang sa Pilipinas.[13]

♦♦♦

KOMUNAL, HINDI INDIBIDUWAL. Hindi gaya ng pagkakaunawa ng ilan, ang panulaang Pilipino at maging ang iba pang anyong pampanitikan sa Pilipinas, ay walang katangiang “mapag-isa” o indibiduwalista.

Sabi nga nina Panganiban, et al.,

Ang panitikang Pilipino ay pahayag na pasalita o pasulat na mga damdaming Pilipino hinggil sa pamumuhay, pag-uugaling panlipunan, paniniwalang pampulitika, at pananampalatayang niyakap ng mga Pilipino. (ang pahilig ay inilagay ng awtor.)[14]

Sa madali’t sabi,  nagpapakita ng kolektibong damdamin, kaisipan at katutubong karunungan (folk wisdom of the race), ang mga kantahin at salaysaying Pilipino, na siyang pinakakatawan ng panulaang Pilipino, noong unang panahon.[15]

Paliwanag nga ni Meyer,

Thus, from its very beginnings, poetry has been associated with what has mattered most to people (Kung gayon, mula pa nang kanyang pasimula, iniuugnay na ang panulaan sa mga bagay na mahalaga sa mga tao o mamamayan.)[16]

Katulad din ng pagbibigay-diin ni Alberto S. Florentino sa kanyang sanaysay na nalathala noong 1964:

Literature is a social institution: It is created by the writer, who is a member of society. Its medium is language, which is social creation. It represents life, which is social reality. It is addressed to men who form a social body. It is centrally conditioned by social and other forces and it, in turn, exerts social influence. (Isang panlipunang insitusyon ang panitikan: Nilikha ito ng manunulat na kasapi ng lipunan. Ang gamit nitong padaluyan (medium) ay ang wika, na likha ng lipunan. Inihahain nito ang nagaganap sa buhay na siyang reyalidad ng lipunan. Hinubog ito, partikular, ng panlipunan at iba pang mga puwersa, na sa bandang huli, ang panitikan naman ay magbibigay ng kanyang impluwensiya sa lipunang kanyang pinagmulan.). (Isinuplay ng awtor ang italiko.)[17]

♦♦♦

ANG PAGDATAL NG INDIBIDUWALISTANG PANANAW SA PANULAAN AT SA PANITIKAN, SA KABUUAN. Walang malinaw na kasaysayan kung kailan nagsimula ang kaisipang indibiduwalista sa panitikan o maging sa sining sa kabuuan; subalit malinaw na naglalagos sa bawat aspeto ng buhay ng bawat tao ang anyong ito ng sinasabing “awtonomiya,” o pagsasarili.

Ang indibiduwalistang pananaw ay ang isa sa pinakamatingkad na reyalidad na nananalasa ngayon sa mundo ng sining at panitikan. Pag-amin ng anarkista at bohemyong manunulat na si Oscar Wilde,

“Art is individualism, and individualism is a disturbing and disintegrating force. There lies its immense value. For what it seeks is to disturb monotony of type, slavery of custom, tyranny of habit, and the reduction of man to the level of a machine.”[18]

Gayunman, malinaw na mayroong kinalaman ang kapital o ang pag-unlad sa gamit at moda ng produksiyon kung bakit nagkakaroon ng “pagkakahati-hati” sa kaisipan ng mga mamamayan na dati naman ay nag-iisip nang kolektibo.

Sabi ng Encyclopedia of Marxism,

The growth of individualism in the 18th century played a crucial role in further bolstering the development of bourgeois society upon which it had been founded, and the thorough breakdown of feudalism… In Tribal Society, individual consciousness is absent, and only begins to develop on the basis of a social division of labour and in particular, the emergence of private property… (Ang paglago ng indibiduwalismo sa ika-18 siglo ay mayroong mahalagang papel na ginampanan sa pagpapaunlad ng burgis na lipunan, na siyang pinag-ugatan nito at maging ng tuluyang pagbagsak ng piyudalismo… Sa Lipunang Tribo, hindi maaapuhap ang kaisipang indibiduwalista, at nagsimula lamang itong umunlad sa batayan ng dibisyong sosyal ng paggawa at sa partikular, sa pag-usbong ng pribadong pag-aari…) – sa awtor ang pagdiriin.[19]

♦♦♦

TULA AT LIPUNAN. Dahil ang indibiduwalismo ay kontra sa kagalingang panlahat, hindi ito ang dapat manaig sa utak at puso ng manunulat, bagaman ang gawaing pagsusulat ay isang gawaing suhetibo o nakadepende lamang sa indibiduwal na pag-iisip at damdamin.[20]

Ani Jose Ma. Sison, rebolusyonaryong makata at isa sa pinakamahahalagang Marxista sa daigdig, na bagaman mahalagang sangkap, na angat sa lahat, ang pagsusulat o panitikan,  dapat na mabatid ng mga manunulat hindi ito hiwalay sa pulitika at pulitika, na bahagi naman ng kabuuang hibla ng lipunan.[21]

Kung kaya nga, sabi ni Amado V. Hernandez sa kanyang pambungad na sanaysay sa katipunan ng kanyang mga tula na pinamagatang, “Isang Dipang Langit,”

“Ang tula ay hindi pulos pangarap at salamisim. Di-pawang halimuyak, silahis, aliw-iw, taginting at alingayngay. May kagandahan din sa kapangitan, kung paanong ang brilyante’y nabuo sa sinapupunan ng maitim na karbon.”[22]

Pagbibigay-kahulugan ng makatang si Noel Sales Barcelona sa tinuran na ito ni Hernandez na,

…ang tula ay nararapat na tumalakay hindi lamang sa tamis ng pagmamahalan, kagandahan ng kalikasan, kirot ng kabiguan sa pag-ibig kundi dapat din nitong lamanin ang mapapait na karanasan ng mga tao sa isang lipunan.[23]

Pagpapalawig pa ni Barcelona,

Lahat ng sumikat na akda ay panlipunan, hindi pag-ibig sa pag-ibig lamang. Halos lahat ng tulang nakintal sa isip ng mga mambabasa, noon at ngayon ay hindi naman tula ng pag-ibig, pagsinta, takot—kundi mga tulang mabagsik na tumatalakay sa mga katotohanang umiiral sa lipunang Pilipino at nagpapaalaala sa mga pagpapahalagang unti-unti nating nalilimot dahil na rin sa ating pagkalulong sa kaisipang makadayuhan.[24]

Bagaman pinipilit ng ilan na ang tula ay dapat magtaglay lamang ng magagandang bagay, ng paglalambinga’t pag-iibigan, hindi ito ang minamarapat ngayon ng panahon. Ang tunay na halaga ng pagtula ay kaiba sa pagpapaalab lamang ng pag-ibig at paglibog kundi kung paano nakatutulay ang bawat taludtod at saknong sa malawak na sambayanang dating pinagmulan nito. Sabi nga ni Alexander Martin S. Remollino, progresibong makata at peryodista mula sa Laguna, Pilipinas,

Hindi na lamang ako tutula

kung ang ipatutula lamang ninyo sa akin

ay tungkol sa pagsasalubong ng mga titi at puki,

o tungkol sa tamis ng unang pagdadaupang-labi.

Hindi lang iyan ang katula-tula,

marami pa ang higit na katula-tula —

lalo na sa mga panahong ito

ng pamamayagpag ng mga kuto’t lintang

nagbabalatkayo bilang mararangal na tao.

At ayaw kong itong aking panulat

ay maging isang baril na walang bala,

kaya’t hindi na lamang ako tutula

kung ang ipatutula lamang ninyo sa akin

ay tungkol sa pagsasalubong ng mga titi at puki,

o tungkol sa tamis ng unang pagdadaupang-labi.[25]

Ano nga ba ang halaga ng tula? Sabi nga ng rebolusyonaryo at kritikong si Gelacio Guillermo,

Ano ba ang halaga ng tula sa lipunan? Ipinaliwanag na ito nina Lenin, Mao Zedong at ng makatang Aprikanong Aime Cesaire, at nitong huli’y ng Latinong Amerikanong manunulat na Eduardo Galeano, na nagwika: “Ang sabihing mababago ang realidad sa pamamagitan lamang ng panitikan ay isang kabaliwan o paghahambog.  Sa palagay ko, isa ring kalokohan na itatwang nakakatulong ito sa pagbabago.”[26]

♦♦♦

PAGTULA: PAANO NGA BA MAGSISIMULA? Matapos ang pagtalakay na teoretikal hinggil sa kasaysayan ng tula at ang “gamit ng tula,” panahon naman pagtuunan ng pansin kung paano mo magagawa ang iyong piyesa.

Sa totoo lamang, walang madali o mahirap na paraan kung paano isulat ang isang tula. Walang eksaktong pormula o gabay kung paano mo ito sisimulan. Ang mahalaga, magsimula kang magsulat.

Paksa. Maraming maaaring paksain ang isang tula. Subalit gaya nang nabanggit na, hindi lamang ang pag-ibig at pagsinta, kalibugan at kagandahan ang karapat-dapat na pagtuunan ng pansin sa pagtula. Dahil kung gayon, sabi nga ni Jesus Manuel Santiago,

Kung ang tula ay isa lamang

pumpon ng mga salita,

nanaisin ko pang ako’y bigyan

ng isang taling kangkong

dili kaya’y isang bungkos

ng mga talbos ng kamote

na pinupol sa kung aling pusalian

o inumit sa bilao

ng kung sinong maggugulay,

pagkat ako’y nagugutom

at ang bituka’y walang ilong,

walang mata.

Malaon nang pinamanhid

ng dalita ang panlasa

kaya huwag,

mga pinagpipitaganang makata

ng bayan ko,

huwag ninyo akong alukin

ng mga taludtod

kung ang tula ay isa lamang

pumpon ng mga salita.[27]

Ibig sabihin, dapat ang paksain ng tula o anumang gawang pampanitikan o maging pang-sining man, ang tunggalian sa lipunang Pilipino.

Kagaya ng banggit ni Sison sa kanyang talumpati para sa pagtitipon ng U.P. Writer’s Club noong 1983:

Ang pinakamahalagang usapin at tunggalian sa lipunan ay nananawagang matukoy, mailahad, at malutas sa mga akdang pampanitikan. Ang sambayanan ay pinahihirapan ng mapaniil na pasismo—na mapait na bunga naman ng pyudalismo at dominasyon ng dayuhan—sa mabilis na lumalalang krisis pampulitika at pang-ekonomiya; at magiting silang nagbabalikwas upang igiit ang kanilang pambansa-demokratikong karapatan at ipaglaban ang kanilang kalayaan.[28]

Ibig sabihin, ang panawanga para sa mga makata ngayon ay ang isulat pakikibaka ng masang sambayanan, ang kanilang kaapiha’t tagumpay, habang patuloy namang inihahantad at nilalansag ang gawain ng mga nang-aapi, alalaong baga ang pangunahing mga kalaban ng sambayanan: ang mga burgesyang komprador (may-ari nang naglalakihang negosyong monopolyo), panginoong maylupa at ang Imperyalismong US na nagsisilbing “amo” nila.

Dapat ding mabatid ng isang nagbabalak na maging makata na ang tanging ang lipunan lamang at ang nakikibakang sambayanan ang tanging hindi mauubos na bukal ng mga ideya at insipirasyon sa pagkatha:

The life of the people (the masses) is always a mine of the raw materials that are crude, but most vital, rich and fundamental; they make all literature and art seem pallid by comparison; they provide literature and art with an inexhaustible source, their only source. They are the only source, for there can be no other.[29]

Tula ko’y para kanino – usapin ng ‘audience.’ Baka naman malito ka, at sabihin mong sino ang sambayanan o sino ang masa? Paliwanag ni Sison:

Kapag binabanggit ko ang sambayanan, ang tinutukoy ko ay ang masang anakpawis na manggagawa, magsasaka at iba pang demokratikong pwersa tulad ng petiburgesyang lungsod at pambansang burgesya.[30]

Sila, ang bumubuo sa 99 porsiyento ng populasyong Pilipinong pinagsasamantalahan ng mapagsamantalang uri—ang mga burgesyang komprador at panginoong maylupa, kasapakat ang imperyalistang amo nila.[31]

Para sa masa at hindi para sa sarili. Sabi nga ni Nadine Gordimer, pagsipi sa kanya ng makata, manunudling, peryodista at makabayang gurong si Rogelio L. Ordoñez,

“Hindi puwedeng sabihin kong ako’y isang manunulat lamang… at mga paksang tungkol lamang sa manunulat ang tatalakayin ko. Isa rin akong tao at kung basta na lamang inaagawan ng karapatan ang isang tao, basta na lamang ikinukulong, binibimbin sa kulungan nang walang kaukulang paglilitis at hindi pinalalaya ni ipinagsasakdal, dapat na mahigpit na tutulan ng sinuman ang bagay na ito.”[32]

Ibig sabihin, dapat nang iwaksi ang kaisipang indibiduwalista sa panitik at marapat napag-aralang isapi ang sarili sa malawak na pakikibaka ng aping sambayanan. Gaya nga ng pahayag ni V. I. Lenin, ang lider-rebolusyonaryo ng Rusya:

Literature cannot be a means of enriching individuals or groups: it cannot, in fact, be an individual undertaking, independent of the common cause of the proletariat…Literature must become part of the common cause of the proletariat, “a cog and a screw” of one single great Social-Democratic mechanism set in motion by the entire politically-conscious vanguard of the entire working class. Literature must become a component of organised, planned and integrated Social-Democratic Party work.[33]

♦♦♦

MAHALAGA ANG PAKIKISANGKOT. Gayunman, ang mahusay na pagsusulat ng tula o anumang akdang pampanitikan ay hindi lamang nasasalalay sa “pagkaalam” lamang sa paksa o “kumuha”lamang ng inspirasyon buhat sa sambayanan. Mahalaga ang tahasang pakikisangkot sa pakikibaka ng sambayanan, ang pakikimuhay sa masang anakpawis, at patuloy na pagsusuri sa kongkretong mga kalagayan ng lipunang Pilipino at maging sa pakikibalita sa nagaganap na pakikibaka ng iba pang inaaping mga mamamayan sa ibayong-dagat o sa buong mundo. Sa pamamagitan ng paglubog sa “batis ng inspirasyon ng makata,” hindi magtatagal ay magiging kaisa na siya ng batis na iyon at magiging madali ang pagdaloy ng tinta mula sa kanyang pluma—para sa sambayanan.[34]

♦♦♦

LUMA O BAGO? Sa usapin ng kung paano magsusulat, sinabi ni Mao Zedong, na maaaring sinaunang anyo ng panitikan para mapaglingkuran ang sambayanan. Paliwanag niya:

We should take over the rich legacy and the good traditions in literature and art that have been handed down from past ages in China and foreign countries, but the aim still to serve the masses of the people.[35]

Kaya, maaari nating gamitin ang tradisyunal o makabagong anyo ng panulaan para ilahad ang katotohanan tungkol sa nagaganap sa lipunan at sambayanang Pilipino, sa kasalukuyang naghaharing sistema. Maaari nating hubugin o bigyan ng bagong anyo ang iba’t ibang anyo ng tula (oda, awit, korido, atbp.) upang maging instrumentong pansining ng pagmumulat at paglilingkod sa masa.[36]

Katunayan, magandang hakbang ito upang madaling mapopularisa ang isang akda o gawang sining. Gayunman, dapat din namang isaalang-alang ang “pagtataas” ng kamalayan ng ating mambabasa—bilang pagbabalik ng pabor sa ating batis na iniinuman para matighaw ang ating pagkauhaw sa paglikha ng mga akda.[37] Pero, maaari rin namang gamitin ang makabagong mga anyo ng panulaan (free verse, atbp.).

Sa kabilang banda, pinakamahalagang sangkap pa rin, para makalikha ng magagandang akdang pampanitikan, ang malawak at makulay na imahinasyon. Sabi nga ni Sison:

Ngunit isang bagay lamang ang magkaroon ng wasto at progresibong kaisipan at pampulitikang pananaw. Ibang bagay din naman ang paglikha ng pinakamahusay na akdang pampanitikan. Ang husay sa pagsulat ay nangangailangan ng masining na imahinasyon. Napapaloob dito, hindi lamang ang isip, kundi ang natatanging kaisahan sa isip at damdamin; ang laman at anyo; ng paksa at estilo, at iba pa.[38]

FILIPINO O INGLES? Nagtatalo rin sa isip ng isang makata at manunulat kung saang wika dapat isulat ang kanyang akda. Mayroong payo si Sison ukol diyan:

Ang paggamit ng pambansang wika ay may mapagpasyang papel sa pagpapasigla kapwa sa paglikha ng proletaryadong panitikan at sa interes ng masa sa proletaryong akdang pampanitikan. Ito rin ang maghihiwalay sa sagad-sagaring maka-imperyalistang liberal at iba pang reaksiyunaryong malikhaing manunulat na nais magpanatili ng kanilang teoryang pampanitikan at panlasa na mula sa reaksyunaryong burges na mga aklat sa Ingles dulot na rin ng pangingibabaw ng kulturang US.[39]

Subalit huwag isipin ng mga nagsusulat sa Ingles na “binabalewala” ang kanilang kakayahan sa pagsulat o minamalasado ang kanilang pagiging makabayan. Sa kongkretong kalagayan ngayon ng panitikan at sa katangian din namang internasyunalista ng rebolusyonaryo o progresibong panitikan at sining, hindi isinasantabi ang pagsusulat sa Ingles—alang-alang sa mambabasang dayuhang hindi nakaiintindi ng Filipino. Datapwa, higit na dapat mahalagahin ang wikang sarili dahil ito ang siyang bigkis nating lahat tungo sa pagkakaisa.

♦♦♦

HULING TALA. Masalimuot, masakit at mahabang proseso ang paghuhubog ng akdang pampanitikan na mayroong panlipunang halaga. Gayunman, kapag ang iyong mga akda ay naisanib sa apoy ng dagat ng kaisipang bayan, isa iyong karangalang higit pa sa bigay ng Palanca, SEAWrite at Pulitzers.

♦♦♦

Hakbang-hakbang na pamamaraan sa pagsulat ng inyong unang akda:

  1. Magbulay-bulay o maglimi (meditate) sa paksang ibig ninyong sulatin. (Hal. Extrajudicial killings, repormang agraryo, etc.). Kasama sa prosesong ito ang pag-alam sa mga tiyak na datos o impormasyon hinggil sa paksa (estadistika, mga pangalan, eksaktong tala ng pangyayari, salaysay, atbp.)
  2. Sa daloy ng kaisipan, isulat ang tula. Hayaan munang bumukal sa isip ang diwa ng tula at ipasa ito sa papel.
  3. Basahing muli ang isinulat. Limiin kung tama ba ang ginamit na mga salita, talinghaga o paghahalintulad. Ang tula ay gaya nang tubig; dapat itong dumaloy nang walang sagka, malaya at madulas para na rin sa kapakanan ng mambabasa.
  4. Sundin ang payo ni Ho Chi Minh at Mao Zedong sa pagtula—pagaangin ang mabibigat na paksa; gamitin ang wika ng masa; subalit huwag silang gawing hangal, katawa-tawa, imoral o napakababa. Itaas ang kanilang kamalayan habang ikaw rin naman, bilang makata, ay nagpapatayog at nagpapanday ng iyong sining para sa kanila.
  5. Huwag kang matakot sa puna. Kung paanong ang malulubhang sakit ay kailangan ng pagbubusbos (surgery) gayundin ang akdang pampanitikan.
  6. Gumawa ng sariling estilo, sa malaon.
  7. Gawing kasiya-siya ang pagsusulat sa pamamagitan ng laging paghugot ng inspirasyon mula sa batis ng mga inspirasyon: ang masa.

TALASANGGUNIAN:

______________. “Paano makikilala an bumubuo sa sambayanang Pilipino?” Maikling Kurso sa Lipunan at Rebolusyong Pilipino, (Luzon: Palimbagang Sentral), 2000.

“Poem,” Accurate & Reliable Dictionary, A free English-English Online Dictionary (2010). http://ardictionary.com/Poem/8230 (accessed August 22, 2010).

Agoncillo, Teodoro A. History of the Filipino People, 8th Ed., Quezon City: GaroTech Books, Inc., 1990.

Alliance of Concerned Teachers. “Ang Kasalukuyang Krisis sa Edukasyon at ang Ating Kampanya,” April 22, 2007. http://www.actphils.com/2007//educsit; (accessed August 22, 2010)

Barcelona, Noel S. Ngayong National Poetry Month: Ang Tula at Lipunan, (Electronic Version) PINAS: The Filipino’s Newspaper, Pasig City: Swara Sug Media Corp., March 29, 2010. http://www.pinasglobal.com/2/2010/03/lathalain/ngayong-%E2%80%98national-poetry-month%E2%80%99-ang-tula-at-lipunan/. (Accessed August 22, 2010)

Florentino, Alberto S.,“Social Comment in Theater,” in  Literature and Society: A Symposium on the Relation of Literature to Social Change Manila: Alberto S. Florentino, publisher, 1964

Gordimer, Nadine. As cited by Rogelio L. Ordoñez, in Noel Sales Barcelona’s essay, “Ngayong National Poetry Month: Ang Tula at Lipunan,” published in PINAS: The Filipino’s Global Newspaper, Marso 29, 2010. http://www.pinasglobal.com/2/2010/03/lathalain/ngayong-%E2%80%98national-poetry-month%E2%80%99-ang-tula-at-lipunan/ (accessed August 22, 2010)

Guillermo, Gelacio. “Ibahin ang Paksa? Ang Kasalukuyang Panulaang Makabayan sa Panahon ng Krisis at Rebolusyon,” a paper read  in “Asintado: Ang Makata sa Panahon ng Krisis” Bulwagang Rizal, U.P. Faculty Center, on November 18, 2005. Bulatlat Newsweekly Magazine, Vol. V No. 44, (Quezon City: Alipato Publishing, Inc.); http://bulatlat.com/news/5-44/5-44-paksa.htm (accessed August 22, 2010)

Hernandez, Amado V. Isang Dipang Langit: Katipunan ng mga tula ni Amado V. Hernandez. Quezon City: Ken, Inc., 1996.

Ho Chi Minh. Ho Chi Minh Quotes, BrainyMedia.com (2010), http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/h/hochiminh162586.html (accessed August 22, 2010).

Lenin, V. I., Party Organisation and Party Literature (1905), Marxists Internet Archive Edition, 2001. http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1905/nov/13.htm (accessed, August 22, 2010)

Mao Zedong, “Talks at the Yenan Forum on Literature and Art,” from the Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung (Peking (Beijing): Foreign Languages Press), 1967*

Meyer, Michael S. The Bedford Introducation to Literature, Boston, MA: Bedford Books of St. Martin’s Press, 1990.

Panganiban, Jose Villa, Consuelo Torres Panganiban & Genoveva Edroza-Matute. Panitikan ng Pilipinas (Quezon City: Bede’s Publishing House, Inc.), 1982.

Remollino, Alexander Martin S. “Hindi na Lamang Ako Tutula,” Kilometer 64 Multiply Site, December 10, 2008. http://kilometer64.multiply.com/journal/item/68/Hindi_Na_Lamang_Ako_Tutula (accessed August 22, 2010)

Santiago, Jesus Manuel, “Kung ang Tula ay Isa Lamang,” 1976; as cited by Alexander Martin S. Remollino, in his essay titled “ANG DIYALEKTIKANG HINDI NAMAN DIYALEKTIKA NG ANYO AT NILALAMAN SA PANULAAN”,   November 13, 2009, http://ourthoughtsarefree.blogspot.com/2004/09/ang-diyalektikang-hindi-naman.html. (accessed August 22, 2010)

Sison, Jose Ma. S. “Panitikan at Paninindigan,” Ulos, August 1999 (ARMAS).

Wikipedia contributors, “Poetry,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Poetry&oldid=380062918 (accessed August 22, 2010).

Wikipedia contributors, “History of poetry,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=History_of_poetry&oldid=361170098 (accessed August 22, 2010).

Wilde, Oscar. “The Soul of Man under Socialism,” (libcom.org, 2007), http://libcom.org/library/soul-of-man-under-socialism-oscar-wilde (Accessed August 22, 2010)


[1] “Ho Chi Minh Quotes,” BrainyMedia.com (2010), http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/h/hochiminh162586.html (accessed August 22, 2010)

[2] Batay sa datos ng Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) – Philippines, na ibinatay rin sa impormasyong nakalap mula sa Department of Education (DepEd), sa 100 batang Pilipinong papasok sa unang baitang sa elementarya: 66 ang magtatapos ng Grade 6; 58 ang tutuloy sa high school;  43 ang magtatapos ng high school; 23 ang tutuloy sa kolehiyo; 14 ang magtatapos ng kolehiyo. (“Ang Kasalukuyang Krisis sa Edukasyon at ang Ating Kampanya,” ng Alliance of Concerned Teachers, Abril 22, 2007; http://www.actphils.com/2007//educsit; accessed August 22, 2010)

[3] Inulat ng Ibon Foundation, Inc. – isang indipendiyenteng ahensiyang pampananaliksik na 66 porsiyento ng populasyong Pilipino ay maralita. (Mula sa Vital Signs – Poverty, 2010) http://ibon.org/ibon_vitalsigns.php?page=poverty; accessed August 22, 2010)

[4] Random House Webster’s Dictionary, 4th (Edition. New York: Ballantine Books, 2001), p. 553

[5] “Poem,” Accurate & Reliable Dictionary, A free English-English Online Dictionary (2010). http://ardictionary.com/Poem/8230 (accessed August 22, 2010)

[6] “Poetry,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Poetry&oldid=380062918 (accessed August 22, 2010).

[7] Amadon V. Hernandez. “Ilang Sariling Palagay,” mula sa Isang Dipang Langit: Katipunan ng mga tula ni Amado V. Hernandez (Quezon City: Ken Incorporated, 1996), p. ii.

[8] Teodoro A. Agoncillo, The History of the Filipino People, (Quezon City: GaroTech Books, Inc., 1990), p.

[9] J. Villa Panganiban, C. T. Panganiban & G. E. Matute, Panitikan ng Pilipinas (Quezon City: Bede’s Publishing House, Inc., 1982), pp. 9 – 10

[10] Amado Guerrero, Philippine Society and Revoluion, 4th ed. (Oakland, CA: International Association of Filipino Patriots, 1979), p. 5; Agoncillo, 57.

[11] Michael Meyer, “The Pleasure of Words,” from The Bedford Introduction to Literature, 2nd ed. (Boston, MA: Bedford Books of St. Martin’s Press, 1990), p. 496

[12] Wikipedia contributors, “History of poetry,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=History_of_poetry&oldid=361170098 (accessed August 22, 2010).

[13] Agoncillo, p. 57

[14] Panganiban, et al., p. 3

[15] Agoncillo, p. 58

[16] Michael Meyer, p. 497

[17] Alberto S. Florentino, “Social Comment in Theater,” in Literature and Society: A Symposium on the Relation of Literature to Social Change (Manila: Alberto S. Florentino, publisher, 1964), pp. 55 – 56

[18] Oscar Wilde, “The Soul of Man under Socialism,” (libcom.org, 2007), http://libcom.org/library/soul-of-man-under-socialism-oscar-wilde (Accessed August 22, 2010)

[19] “Indvidualism,” Glossary of Terms, Encyclopedia of Marxism (1999, revised 2008), http://www.marxists.org/glossary/terms/i/n.htm (accessed August 22, 2010)

[20] Jose Ma. Sison, “Panitikan at Paninindigan,” Ulos (Artista at Manunulat para sa Sambayanan (ARMAS), Agosto 1999), Philippines, p. 80

[21] Ibid.

[22] Hernandez, p. ii.

[23] Noel S. Barcelona, Ngayong National Poetry Month: Ang Tula at Lipunan, (Electronic Version) PINAS: The Filipino’s Newspaper, Pasig City: Swara Sug Media Corp., March 29, 2010. http://www.pinasglobal.com/2/2010/03/lathalain/ngayong-%E2%80%98national-poetry-month%E2%80%99-ang-tula-at-lipunan/.  (Accessed August 22, 2010)

[24] Ibid.

[25] Alexander Martin S. Remollino, “Hindi na Lamang Ako Tutula,” Kilometer 64 Multiply Site, December 10, 2008. http://kilometer64.multiply.com/journal/item/68/Hindi_Na_Lamang_Ako_Tutula (accessed August 22, 2010)

[26] Gelacio Guillermo, Ibahin ang Paksa? Ang Kasalukuyang Panulaang Makabayan sa Panahon ng Krisis at Rebolusyon (Binasa noong 18 Nobyembre 2005 sa “Asintado: Ang Makata sa Panahon ng Krisis” sa Bulwagang Rizal, U.P. Faculty Center.  Inisponsor ang simposyum ng KM64), Bulatlat Online Newsweekly Magazine Vol. 5, No. 44, Quezon City: Alipato Publications, Inc.; http://bulatlat.com/news/5-44/5-44-paksa.htm. (accessed August 22, 2010)

[27] Jesus Manuel Santiago, “Kung ang Tula ay Isa Lamang,” 1976; sinipi ni Remollino, sa kanyang sanaysay na “ANG DIYALEKTIKANG HINDI NAMAN DIYALEKTIKA NG ANYO AT NILALAMAN SA PANULAAN”,   Nob. 13, 2009, http://ourthoughtsarefree.blogspot.com/2004/09/ang-diyalektikang-hindi-naman.html. (accessed August 22, 2010)

[28] Sison, p. 78

[29] Mao, p. 13

[30] Sison, p. 78.

[31] “Paano makikilala an bumubuo sa sambayanang Pilipino?” mula sa Maikling Kurso sa Lipunan at Rebolusyong Pilipino, (Luzon: Palimbagang Sentral, 2000) pp. 108 – 109

[32] Nadine Gordimer, pagsipi ni Barcelona kay Ordoñez, sa kanyang sanaysay na lumabas sa PINAS: The Filipino’s Global Newspaper, Marso 29, 2010. http://www.pinasglobal.com/2/2010/03/lathalain/ngayong-%E2%80%98national-poetry-month%E2%80%99-ang-tula-at-lipunan/. (accessed August 22, 2010)

[33] V. I. Lenin, Party Organisation and Party Literature (1905), Marxists Internet Archive Edition, 2001. http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1905/nov/13.htm (accessed, August 22, 2010)

[34] Ibid., p. 11.

[35] Mao Zedong, “Talks at the Yenan Forum on Literature and Art,” May 2, 1942, p. 9

[36] Ibid.

[37] Ibid.

[38] Sison, p. 79

[39] Ibid., 82


* The copy that the author has is an undated copy and no publication info. For safety, the author had included in the Bibliography the English Translation of Mao’s Collected Works, published by the Foreign Language Press in Peking, now Beijing, China.

MIRRORS: Looking at the Face of Injustice in the Philippines

Thoughts on Fact Sheet 43: an exhibit for the honor of the Morong 43

According to the revolutionary leader and poet Mao Zedong, “All dark forces, which endanger the masses of the people, must be exposed…”[1]

Upholding the progressive tradition in art and literature, these very words of the famous revolutionary Chinese leader, had emboldened the 43 artists to expose the injustice and terror plaguing the Filipino society today.

XL Ysulat Fuentes, Cleng Yu Julue, Tilde Acuna,  Aye Sarapuddin, Maricon Mendez, Brian Lee, Richelle De Cruz, Rustum Casia, Mikel Mozo, J. Luna, Bjorn Calleja, Mica Cabildo, Maan de Loyola, AJ Tolentino, JL Burgos, Marika B. Constantino, Mimi Tecson, Wes Valenzuela, Ray Zapanta, Zeus Bascon, Con Cabrera, Bobert Elyas, Leonilo Doloricon, Kiri Dalena, Bobby Balingit, Che Marty, Vincent Silarde, Bong de Leon, Aerosmith Masa, Teta Tulay, Mean Batas, Thrianne Gellido, Recci Bacolor, J. Pacena, Don Djerassi Delmacio, and Pau Reyes have made their canvases testimonies of how the State had become an apparatus of fascism and terror.

The State, the one supposedly safeguarding the rights and welfare of the people had become a monster that savagely devouring the freedom and liberty of its very people.

***

Last February 5, 43 people were stripped off their freedom. They are health workers, working closely with the masses of the people, especially in those far flung areas wherein health and medical services are scarce or closer to none.

In the spirit of genuine volunteerism, they have devoted themselves taking care of indigent patients for a minimal or no fees at all.

However, on that fateful day of February 5, they were all arrested, tortured, incarcerated and for a time, held incommunicado. They were accused of being rebels, enemies of the state because of their dedicated and genuine services to the masa.

Aside from being doctors, midwives, nurses and health care aides, they are mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, brothers, and sisters, too.

“All the dark forces harming the masses of the people must be exposed and all the revolutionary struggles of the masses of the people must be extolled; this is the fundamental task of revolutionary writers and artists.” – Mao Zedong, 1942

On that very moment that they have been captured (read: abducted) by the military and the police, they have left in their homes little children, needed to be fed and taken care of. They have also left husbands and wives, mothers and sisters, brothers and fathers, lonely.

Because of their imprisonment, they have been deprived of their freedom being mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, husbands and wives for their families: a gross violation of the 1987 Constitution, which states that the State should be the one taking care of the families, keeping it intact, being the primary unit of this society.[2]

***

For this reviewer, the works in exhibit are but the manifestations of the struggles and conflicts that are happening inside the Philippine society and any other societies where different classes, with different interests, exist.

As V. I. Lenin states:

…in any given society the strivings of some of its members conflict with the strivings of others, that social life if full of contradictions, that history discloses a struggle between nations and societies as well as within nations and societies…[3]

In the Philippines, the conflict is between the landlord and the bourgeoisie comprador class, and the working class like of the Morong 43.

Though they were doctors and nurses and midwives, their labor had been reduced into ordinary labor, therefore being deprived of all the privileges and benefits of their profession.

However, because of the spirit of genuine volunteerism and love for their countrymen, they have decided to serve the marginalized. But the State did not like that for their genuine love and service for the masses had crystallized and concretized the inutility and inability of the State to provide the necessary social services to its people.

Thereby, the State forces have decided to repress and oppress them by accusing them as dissenters and at the end, filing legal charges against them and incarcerating them.

But this is not new to a government being run by the elite, oppressive class. It is its very nature, social observers say.

As one is moving from canvas to canvas, the spectator can reaffirm the truthfulness of the observations of socialist thinkers, the likes of Louis Althusser, who said that

The State apparatus, which defines as a force of repressive execution and intervention ‘in the interests of the ruling classes’ in the class struggle conducted by the bourgeoisie and its allies against the proletariat (working or the repressed class – information supplied by the author), is quite certainly the State, and quite certainly defines its basic ‘function.’[4]

If we will to define or explain this fact clearly, it can be reduced into a few words: The State is actually a vehicle of terror and has a very violent nature that it uses its apparatuses—the armed forces, the courts and the different departments and agencies under its wing—in suppressing its people in order to preserve the social order where the elite or the bourgeoisie class benefit from.

As Althusser explains it:

The role of the repressive State apparatuses, insofar as it is a repressive apparatus, consists essentially in securing by force (physical or otherwise) the political conditions of the reproduction of relations of productions which are in the last resort relations of exploitation. (First italics supplied by the author).[5]

Furthermore,

Not only does the State apparatus contribute generously, to its own reproduction (the capitalist State[a] contains political dynasties, military dynasties, etc.), but also and above all, the State apparatus secures by repression (from the most brutal physical force, via mere administrative commands and interdictions, to open and tacit censorship) the political conditions for the action of the Ideological State Apparatuses.[6]

***

If we are to assess the works of the participants of this new edition of Fact Sheet, the 43 artists had been successfully in communicating or exposing to their audience the evils existing in the Philippine society today, mostly perpetrated by the managers of the State themselves.

They (the artworks) have “mirrored” exactly how the government has been repressing its people, as a reaction to the people’s clamor for genuine change and for their legitimate demand of adequate and quality social services such as health and education.

Moreover, the works have successfully given a face to the so-called violations of the universal and specific rights, not only of the Morong 43 that served as the primary subject of the exhibit, but the Filipino nation as a whole.

On the last note, let everyone—every spectator—reflect on each “mirror” hanging on the walls of the exhibition area and to examine the facts being reflected in there and assess if they do really replicate the events happening in the Philippine society today or this is just a bunch of propaganda. And everybody must say, Amen.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Althusser, Louis. Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1971.

Fremantle, Anne (Ed.) Mao Zedong’s Talks at the Yenan Forum on Art and Literature on Mao Tse-tung: An Anthology of His Writings. New York: Mentor Books, 1962.

Chan-Robles Law Office Online. The 1987 Philippine Constitution (electronic copy), 1998. Accessed, 16 June 2010.

Lenin, V. I. Introduction to Marx, Engels, Marxism. New York: International Publishers, 1987.


End Note:

[1] Fremantle, Anne. (Ed.) Talks at the Yenan Forum on Art and Literature on Mao Tse-tung: An Anthology of His Writings (New York: Mentor Books, 1962), p. 260

[2] Article II, Sec. 12, 1987 Philippine Constitution, on Chan-Robles online, http://www.chanrobles.com/article2.htm, retrieved on 16 June 2010

[3] V. I. Lenin, Introduction to Marx, Engels, Marxism, (New York: International Publishers)  1987, p. 67

[4] Louis Althusser, Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays (New York: Monthly Review Press) 1971, p. 137

[5] Ibid. p. 149 – 150

[6] Op. cit. 150


[a] In the Philippines, the sociopolitical system is neither capitalist nor feudal, but semi-feudal and semi-colonial. (Cf. Amado Guerrero’s Philippine Society and Revolution for further discussion about the origin of this state of the Philippine society.

Only in Conjunction With the Proletarian Woman Will Socialism Be Victorious

Comrade Zara Zetkin (5 July 1857 - 20 June 1933)

By Clara Zetkin (1896)

Blogger’s Note:

In line with the celebration of the International Women’s Day,  the owner of this blog is republishing in full, the text of Clara’s speech on the occasion of Party Congress of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, which was held in Gotha, 16th October 1896.

The transcript republished herein was the English translation of Kai Schoenhals and edited by Philip Foner and was published under the title, “Clara Zetkin: Selected Works” and was electronically published by the Marxists Internet Archive in 2002.

The editor and writer of this blog is indebted to http://www.wdr.de, for Clara’s photograph.

***

The investigations of Bachofen, Morgan and others seem to prove that the social suppression of women coincided with the creation of private property. The contrast within the family between the husband as proprietor and the wife as non-proprietor became the basis for the economic dependence and the social illegality of the female sex. This social illegality represents, according to Engels, one of the first and oldest forms of class rule. He states: “Within the family, the husband constitutes the bourgeoisie and the wife the proletariat.” Nonetheless, a women’s question in the modern sense of the word did not exist. It was only the capitalist mode of production which created the societal transformation that brought forth the modern women’s question by destroying the old family economic system which provided both livelihood and life’s meaning for the great mass of women during the pre-capitalistic period. We must, however, not transfer to the ancient economic activities of women those concepts (the concepts of futility and pettiness), that we connect with the activities of women in our times. As long as the old type of family still existed, a woman found a meaningful life by productive activity. Thus she was not conscious of her social illegality even though the development of her potentials as an individual was strictly limited.

The period of the Renaissance is the storm and stress period of the awakening of modern individuality that was able to develop fully and completely in the most diverse directions. We encounter individuals who are giants in both good and evil, who spurn the commandments of both religion and morals and despise equally both heaven and hell. We discover women at the center of the social, artistic and political life. And yet there is not a trace of a women’s movement. This is all the more characteristic because at that time the old family economic system began to crumble under the impact of the division of labor. Thousands upon thousands of women no longer found their livelihood and their lives’ meaning within the family. But this women’s question, as far as one can designate it as such, was solved at that time by convents, charitable institutions and religious orders.

The machines, the modern mode of production, slowly undermined domestic production and not just for thousands but for millions of women the question arose: Where do we now find our livelihood? Where do we find a meaningful life as well as a, job that gives us mental satisfaction? Millions were now forced to find their livelihood and their meaningful lives outside of their families and within society as a whole. At that moment they became aware of the fact that their social illegality stood in opposition to their most basic interests. It was from this moment on that there existed the modern women’s question. Here are a few statistics to demonstrate how the modern mode of production works to make the women’s question even more acute. During 1882, 5½ million out of 23 million women and girls in Germany were fully employed; i.e., a quarter of the female population could no longer find its livelihood within the family. According to the Census of 1895, the number of employed women in agriculture, in the broadest meaning of this term, has increased since 1882 by more than 8%, in the narrow sense by 6%, while at the same time the number of men employed in agriculture has decreased by 3%, i.e., to 11%. In the area of industry and mining, the number of employed women workers has increased by 35%, that of men by only 28%. In the retail trade, the number of women employed has increased by more than 94%, that of men by only 38%. These dry numbers stress much more the urgency of solving the women’s question than any highfalutin declamations.

The women’s question, however, is only present within those classes of society who are themselves the products of the capitalist mode of production. Thus it is that we find no women’s question in peasant circles that possess a natural (although severely curtailed and punctured) economy. But we certainly find a women’s question within those classes of society who are the very children of the modern mode of production. There is a women’s question for the women of the proletariat, the bourgeoisie, the intelligentsia and the Upper Ten Thousand. It assumes a different form according to the class situation of each one of these strata.

How does the women’s question shape up as far as the Upper Ten Thousand are concerned? The woman of the Upper Ten Thousand, thanks to her property, may freely develop her individuality and live as she pleases. In her role as wife, however, she is still dependent upon her husband. The guardianship of the weaker sex has survived in the family law which still states: And he shall be your master. And how is the family of the Upper Ten Thousand constituted in which the wife is legally subjugated by the husband? At its very founding, such a family lacks the moral prerequisites. Not individuality but money decides the matrimony. Its motto is: What capital joins, sentimental morality must not part. (Bravo!) Thus in this marriage, two prostitutions are taken for one virtue. The eventual family life develops accordingly. Wherever a woman is no longer forced to fulfill her duties, she devolves her duties as spouse, mother and housewife upon paid servants. If the women of these circles have the desire to give their lives a serious purpose, they must, first of all, raise the demand to dispose of their property in an independent and free manner. This demand, therefore, represents the core of the demands raised by the women’s movement of the Upper Ten Thousand. These women, in their fight for the realization of their demand vis-a-vis the masculine world of their class, fight exactly the same battle that the bourgeoisie fought against all of the privileged estates; i.e., a battle to remove all social differences based upon the possession of property. The fact that this demand does not deal with the rights of the individual is proven by Herr von Stumm’s advocacy of it in the Reichstag. Just when would Herr von Stumm ever advocate the rights of a person? This man in Germany signifies more than a personality, he is capital itself turned into flesh and blood (How accurate!) and if this man has put in an appearance in a cheap masquerade for women’s rights, then it only happened because he was forced to dance before capitalism’s Ark of the Covenant. This is the Herr von Stumm who is always ready to put his workers on short rations if they do not dance to his tune and he would certainly welcome it with a satisfied smile if the state as employer would also put those professors end scholars who meddle in social politics on short rations. Herr von Stumm endeavors nothing more than instituting the entail for movable female property in case of female inheritance because there are fathers who have acquired property but were not careful in the choice of their children, leaving only daughters as heirs. Capitalism honors even lowly womanhood and permits it to dispose of its fortunes. That is the final phase of the emancipation of private property.

How does the women’s question appear in the circles of the petit-bourgeoisie, the middle class and the bourgeois intelligentsia? Here it is not property which dissolves the family, but mainly the concomitant symptoms of capitalist production. To the degree this production completes its triumphal march, the middle class and the petit-bourgeoisie are hurtling further and further towards their destruction. Within the bourgeois intelligentsia, another circumstance leads to the worsening of the living conditions: capitalism needs the intelligent and scientifically trained work force. It therefore favored an overproduction of mental-work proletarians and contributed to the phenomenon that the formerly respected and profitable societal positions of members of the professional class are more and more eroding. To the same degree, however, the number of marriages is decreasing; although on the one hand the material basis is worsening, on the other hand the individual’s expectations of life are increasing, so that a man of that background will think twice or even thrice before he enters into a marriage. The age limit for the founding of a family is raised higher and higher and a man is under no pressure to marry since there exist in our time enough societal institutions which offer to an old bachelor a comfortable life without a legitimate wife. The capitalist exploitation of the proletarian work force through its starvation wages, sees to it that there is a large supply of prostitutes which corresponds to the demand by the men. Thus within the bourgeois circles, the number of unmarried women increases all the time. The wives and daughters of these circles are pushed out into society so that they may establish for themselves their own livelihood which is not only supposed to provide them with bread but also with mental satisfaction. In these circles women are not equal to men in the form of possessors of private property as they are in the upper circles. The women of these circles have yet to achieve their economic equality with men and they can only do so by making two demands: The demand for equal professional training and the demand for equal job opportunities for both sexes. In economic terms, this means nothing less than the realization of free access to all jobs and the untrammeled competition between men and women. The realization of this demand unleashes a conflict of interest between the men and women of the bourgeoisie and the intelligentsia. The competition of the women in the professional world is the driving force for the resistance of men against the demands of bourgeois women’s rights advocates. It is, pure and simple, the fear of competition. All other reasons which are listed against the mental work of women, such as the smaller brain of women or their allegedly natural avocation to be a mother are only pretexts. This battle of competition pushes the women of these social strata towards demanding their political rights so that they may, by fighting politically, tear down all barriers which have been created against their economic activity.

So far I have addressed myself only to the basic and purely economic substructure. We would, however, perform an injustice to the bourgeois women’s rights movement if we would regard it as solely motivated by economics. No, this movement also contains a more profound spiritual and moral aspect. The bourgeois woman not only demands her own bread but she also requests spiritual nourishment and wants to develop her individuality. It is exactly among these strata that we find these tragic, yet psychologically interesting Nora figures, women who are tired of living like dolls in doll houses and who want to share in the development of modern culture. The economic as well as the intellectual and moral endeavors of bourgeois women’s rights advocates are completely justified.

As far as the proletarian woman is concerned, it is capitalism’s need to exploit and to search incessantly for a cheap labor force that has created the women’s question. It is for this reason, too, that the proletarian woman has become enmeshed in the mechanism of the economic life of our period and has been driven into the workshop and to the machines. She went out into the economic life in order to aid her husband in making a living, but the capitalist mode of production transformed her into on unfair competitor. She wanted to bring prosperity to her family, but instead misery descended upon it. The proletarian woman obtained her own employment because she wanted to create a more sunny and pleasant life for her children, but instead she became almost entirely separated from them. She became an equal of the man as a worker; the machine rendered muscular force superfluous and everywhere women’s work showed the same results in production as men’s work. And since women constitute a cheap labor force and above all a submissive one that only in the rarest of cases dares to kick against the thorns of capitalist exploitation, the capitalists multiply the possibilities of women’s work in industry. As a result of all this, the proletarian woman has achieved her independence. But verily, the price was very high and for the moment they have gained very little. If during the Age of the Family, a man had the right (just think of the law of Electoral Bavaria!) to tame his wife occasionally with a whip, capitalism is now taming her with scorpions. In former times, the rule of a man over his wife was ameliorated by their personal relationship. Between an employer and his worker, however, exists only a cash nexus. The proletarian woman has gained her economic independence, but neither as a human being nor as a woman or wife has she had the possibility to develop her individuality. For her task as a wife and a mother, there remain only the breadcrumbs which the capitalist production drops from the table.

Therefore the liberation struggle of the proletarian woman cannot be similar to the struggle that the bourgeois woman wages against the male of her class. On the contrary, it must be a joint struggle with the male of her class against the entire class of capitalists. She does not need to fight against the men of her class in order to tear down the barriers which have been raised against her participation in the free competition of the market place. Capitalism’s need to exploit and the development of the modern mode of production totally relieves her of having to fight such a struggle. On the contrary, new barriers need to be erected against the exploitation of the proletarian woman. Her rights as wife and mother need to be restored and permanently secured. Her final aim is not the free competition with the man, but the achievement of the political rule of the proletariat. The proletarian woman fights hand in hand with the man of her class against capitalist society. To be sure, she also agrees with the demands of the bourgeois women’s movement, but she regards the fulfillment of these demands simply as a means to enable that movement to enter the battle, equipped with the same weapons, alongside the proletariat.

Bourgeois society is not fundamentally opposed to the bourgeois women’s movement, which is proven by the fact that in various states reforms of private and public laws concerning women have been initiated. There are two reasons why the accomplishment of these reforms seems to take an exceptionally long time in Germany: First of all, men fear the battle of competition in the liberal professions and secondly, one has to take into account the very slow and weak development of bourgeois democracy in Germany which does not live up to its historical task because of its class fear of the proletariat. It fears that the realization of such reforms will only bring advantages to Social-Democracy. The less a bourgeois democracy allows itself to be hypnotized by such a fear, the more it is prepared to undertake reforms. England is a good example. England is the only country that still possesses a truly powerful bourgeoisie, whereas the German bourgeoisie, shaking in fear of the proletariat, shies away from carrying out political and social reforms. As far as Germany is concerned, there is the additional factor of widespread Philistine views. The Philistine braid of prejudice reaches far down the back of the German bourgeoisie. To be sure, this fear of the bourgeois democracy is very shortsighted. The granting of political equality to women does not change the actual balance of power. The proletarian woman ends up in the proletarian, the bourgeois woman in the bourgeois camp. We must not let ourselves be fooled by Socialist trends in the bourgeois women’s movement which last only as long as bourgeois women feel oppressed.

The less bourgeois democracy comprehends its task, the more important it is for Social-Democracy to advocate the political equality of women. We do not want to make us out to be better than we are. We are not making this demand for the sake of a principle, but in the interests of the proletarian class. The more women’s work exercises its detrimental influence upon the standard of living of men, the more urgent becomes the necessity to include them in the economic battle. The more the political struggle affects the existence of each individual, the more urgent becomes the necessity of women’s participation in this political struggle. It was the Anti-Socialist Law which for the first time made clear to women what is meant by the terms class justice, class state and class rule. It was this law which taught women the need to learn about the force which so brutally intervened in their family lives. The Anti-Socialist Law has done successful work which could never have been done by hundreds of women agitators and, indeed, we are deeply grateful to the father of the Anti-Socialist Law as well as to all organs of the state (from the minister to the local cop) who have participated in its enforcement and rendered such marvelous involuntary propaganda services. How then can one accuse us Social-Democrats of ingratitude? (Amusement.)

Yet another event must be taken into consideration. I am referring to the publication of August Bebel’s book Woman and Socialism. This book must not be judged according to its positive aspects or its shortcomings. Rather, it must be judged within the context of the times in which it was written. It was more than a book, it was an event – a great deed. (Very accurate!) The book pointed out for the first time the connection between the women’s question and historical development. For the first time, there sounded from this book the appeal: We will only conquer the future if we persuade the women to become our co-fighters. In recognizing this, I am not speaking as a woman but as a party comrade.

What practical conclusions may we now draw for our propaganda work among women? The task of this Party Congress must not be to issue detailed practical suggestions, but to draw up general directions for the proletarian women’s movement.

Our guiding thought must be: We must not conduct special women’s propaganda, but Socialist agitation among women. The petty, momentary interests of the female world must not be allowed to take up the stage. Our task must be to incorporate the modern proletarian woman in our class battle! (Very true!) We have no special tasks for the agitation among women. Those reforms for women which must be accomplished within the framework of today’s society are already demanded within the minimal program of our party.

Women’s propaganda must touch upon all those questions which are of great importance to the general proletarian movement. The main task is, indeed, to awaken the women’s class consciousness and to incorporate them into the class struggle. The unionization of female workers is made extremely difficult. During the years 1892 until 1895, the number of female laborers organized in central trade unions grew to around 7,000. If we add to this number the female workers organized in local unions and realize that there are at least 700,000 female workers actively involved in large industrial enterprises, then we begin to realize the magnitude of the organizing work that still lies ahead of us. Our work is made more burdensome by the fact that many women are active in the cottage industry and can, therefore, be organized only with great difficulty. Then we also have to deal with the widely held belief among young girls that their industrial labor is only transitory and will be terminated by their marriage. For many women there is the double obligation to be active in both the factory and the home. All the more necessary is it for female workers to obtain a legally fixed workday. Whereas in England everybody agrees that the elimination of the cottage industry, the establishment of a legal workday and the achievement of higher wages are important prerequisites for the unionization of female workers – in Germany, in addition to these obstacles there is also the enforcement of our unionization and assemblage laws. The complete freedom to form coalitions, which has been legally guaranteed to the female workers by the Empire’s legislation, has been rendered illusory by the laws of individual federal states. I do not even want to discuss the manner in which the right to form unions is handled in Saxony (as far as one can even speak of a right there). But in the two largest federal states, in Bavaria and Prussia, the union laws are handled in such a way that women’s participation in trade union organizations is becoming more and more of an impossibility. Most recently in Prussia, the district of the “liberal,” eternal candidate for minister, Herr von Bennigsen has achieved everything humanly possible in the interpretation of the Law of Unionization and Assemblage. In Bavaria all women are excluded from public meetings. In the Chamber there, Herr von Freilitzsch declared very openly that in the handling of the law of unionization not only the text but also the intention of the legislators should be taken into account. Herr von Freilitzsch is in the most fortunate position to know exactly what were the intentions of the legislators, all of whom have since died, before Bavaria became more lucky than anybody could have imagined in their wildest dreams, by appointing Herr von Freilitzsch as her minister of police. That does not surprise me at all, because whoever receives an office from God also receives concomitantly intelligence, and in our Age of Spiritualism, Herr von Freilitzsch has thus obtained his official intelligence and by way of the fourth dimension has discovered the intentions of the long deceased legislators. (Amusement.)

This situation, however, does not make it possible for the proletarian women to organize themselves together with men. Until now they had to wage a fight against police power and juridical stratagems and on the surface they seemed to have been defeated, In reality, however, they emerged as victors because all those measures which were employed to smash the organization of the proletarian woman only served to arouse her class consciousness. If we want to obtain a powerful women’s organization in both the economic and political realms, then we must, first of all, take care of the possibility of women’s freedom of movement by fighting against the cottage industry, for shorter working hours and, above all, against what the ruling classes like to call the right to organize.

We cannot determine at this party congress what form our propaganda among women should take. We must, first of all, learn how we ought to do our work among women. In the resolution which has been submitted to you, it is proposed to elect shop stewards among the women whose task it will be to stimulate the union and economic organization of women and to consolidate it in a uniform and planned manner. This proposal is not new; it was adopted in principle at the Party Congress of Frankfurt, and in a few regions it has been enacted most successfully. Time will tell whether this proposal, when introduced on a larger scale, is suited to draw proletarian women to a greater extent into the proletarian movement.

Our propaganda must not be carried out solely in an oral fashion. A large number of passive people do not even come to our meetings and countless wives and mothers cannot come to our meetings. Indeed, it must certainly not be the task of Socialist propaganda among Socialist women to alienate the proletarian woman from her duties as mother and wife. On the contrary, she must be encouraged to carry out these tasks better than ever in the interests of the liberation of the proletariat. The better the conditions within her family, the better her effectiveness at home, the more she will be capable of fighting. The more she can serve as the educator and molder of her children, the better she will be able to enlighten them so that they may continue to fight on like we did, with the same enthusiasm and willingness to sacrifice for the liberation of the proletariat. When a proletarian then exclaims: “My wife!” he will add mentally, “Comrade of my ideals, companion of my battles, mother of my children for future battles.” Many a mother and many a wife who fills her husband and children with class consciousness accomplishes just as much as the female comrades that we see at our meetings. (Vivid agreement).

Thus if the mountain does not come to Mohammed, Mohammed must go to the mountain: We must take Socialism to the women by a planned written propaganda campaign. For such a campaign, I suggest the distribution of pamphlets and I do not mean the traditional pamphlet on which the entire Socialist program and the entire scientific knowledge of our century are condensed on one quarto page. No, we must use small pamphlets which discuss a single practical question from one angle of vision, especially from the point of view of the class struggle, which is the main task. And we must not assume a nonchalant attitude toward the technical production of pamphlets. We must not use, as is our tradition, the worst paper and the worst type of printing. Such a miserable pamphlet will be crumpled up and thrown away by the proletarian woman who does not have the same respect for the printed word that the male proletarian possesses. We must imitate the American and English teetotallers who put out pretty little booklets of four to six pages. Because even a female proletarian is enough of a woman to say to herself: “This little thing is just charming. I will have to pick it up and keep it!” (Much amusement and many cheers.) The sentences which really count must be printed in great big letters. Then the proletarian woman will not be frightened away from reading and her mental attention will be stimulated.

Because of my personal experiences, I cannot advocate the plan of founding a special newspaper for women. My personal experiences are not based upon my position as the editor of Gleichheit (which is not designed for the mass of women, but rather their progressive avant-guard), but as a distributor of literature among female workers. Stimulated by the actions of Frau Gnauck-Kuhne, I distributed newspapers for weeks at a certain factory. I became convinced that the women there did not acquire from these papers what is enlightening, but solely what is entertaining and amusing. Therefore, the big sacrifices which are necessary in order to publish a cheap newspaper would not be worth it.

But we also have to create a series of brochures which bring Socialism closer to the woman in her capacity as female proletarian, wife and mother. Except for the powerful brochure of Frau Popp, we do not have a single one that comes up to the requirements we need. Our daily press, too, must do more than it has done heretofore. Some daily newspapers have made the attempt to enlighten women by the addition of special supplements for women. The Magdeburger Volksstimme set an example in this endeavor and Comrade Goldstein at Zwickau has skillfully and successfully emulated it. But until now the daily press has regarded the proletarian woman as a subscriber, flattering her ignorance, her bad and unformed taste, rather than trying to enlighten her.

I repeat that I am only throwing out suggestions for your consideration. Propaganda among women is difficult and burdensome and requires great devotion and great sacrifice, but these sacrifices will be rewarded and must be brought forth. The proletariat will be able to attain its liberation only if it fights together without the difference of nationality and profession. In the same way it can attain its liberation only if it stands together without the distinction of sex. The incorporation of the great masses of proletarian women in the liberation struggle of the proletariat is one of the prerequisites for the victory of the Socialist idea and for the construction of a Socialist society.

Only a Socialist society will solve the conflict that is nowadays produced by the professional activity of women. Once the family as an economic unit will vanish and its place will be taken by the family as a moral unit, the woman will become an equally entitled, equally creative, equally goal-oriented, forward-stepping companion of her husband; her individuality will flourish while at the same time, she will fulfill her task as wife and mother to the highest degree possible (Sigliwa).