Sunday, June 29, 2014

Confronting China

"So far the hawks are all overseas Filipinos...", observed by a FilAm on the discussion of what we should do to stop the usurpation of our sovereign territories in the West Philippine Sea. This is true and their belligerent stand is shared by a few locals who advocate the use of force to reclaim the sovereign territories already being occupied with the building of military and civilian structures by the Chinese. 
The Vietnamese sent their boats to harass the oil rig construction on their claimed territory which somewhat impeded the work and sent an unequivocal message that they will not allow themselves to be bullied regardless of the sabre rattling ostensibly displayed by the Chinese.
At present so much has already been occupied of the areas we claim as part of our sovereign territory; the building of what seemed to be a strategic airfield, the military garrisons, establishment of civilian structures and institutions and naming them as Chinese geographic settlements are far more established than the unfinished oil rig that the Vietnamese are resisting. The Chinese would be loath to give up so much of what they have already gained and the forcible reclamation of these by the Philippines may result in strong retaliatory actions as compared to the less combative reaction they had on the oil rig construction.
While there is the compelling obligation for us to have an active resistance to the Chinese encroachments we need to weigh very carefully the possible consequences that such actions may result into. Can we with our pitiable military resources come up with something which will make the Chinese do a double take or will our efforts just be pooh poohed as some laughable tiresomeness? Assuming we fight back and the Chinese resist militarily would our allies be fighting alongside us? I think we will be fighting this alone and for sure we are going to lose...lost the war but won back our self respect and (probably) won the admiration of other nations. Fine, but what about the material losses, the loss of Filipino lives, the loss of more sovereign territories (the victors will find opportunity to extend their spoils).
I am not advocating passivity. We should take drastic action to prevent further losses from the Chinese incursions. Let us protect the turf that has not been taken yet by beefing up our military capability and use it to guard (credibly) untaken territories.
Also, let us do extensive housecleaning and rid ourselves of trojan horses already implanted in strategic areas (institutions, business concerns, civilian groups, lobbies) who have been formed to serve the interests of China and personalities (politicians, businessmen, "opinion" leaders) whose acts and pronouncements are pro-China and are inimical to the nation's security and well being.
It is about time that we expose those who have been eroding the foundations of this country to make it easy prey to an imperialist China.
We should not wage a military confrontation. We should choose engagements that we have a chance of winning. David's well aimed pebbles to bring down the giant and not a foolhardy charge of the six hundred light brigade nor the honorable deaths of the three hundred at Termophylae.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Tanka Moments III

 Come let us gambol

Trampling down wild flowers
Jumping low bushes
Scraping your knees on sharp thorns
Let me kiss away the sore

I might chance to see
Your loveliness and your grace
In the first glimmer
Are you prettiest in sunlight
Or in the glow of full moon?

Do you think in dread
That your indiscretion leads
To disaffection?
Fear not, a plucked rose remains
As sweet as those in the bower

The morning found me
Moping beneath the duvet
Denied a good night
Left clinging on unsteady vines
Sent home without a fond kiss

I whiled through the sounds
Frog's grunts, cicada's buzz saw
But not finding yours
Only the memory heard
A soothing wind-borne whisper

You chided me then
When I asked for affection
Slapping my hands
And I, tremulous with fear
Withdrew in the raging rain

Rose petals wilted
The breeze blew the crimson flecks
On trellis floor laid
Attempts to restore, in vain
I will send bouquets again

Can you stay longer?
At least until the rain stops
My bed is still warm
With your smoldering kiss
And your scorching embrace

The dawn we failed to see
Neath blankets huddling in the cold
But no big regrets
Wait till tomorrow, my love
And maybe miss it again

Lovers cowering
In the long shadows of dawn
Fearful to be seen
Anxious of the consequence
Of last night’s wanton delights

I mentioned your name
And songbirds sang it like a tune
They gathered around
The rosebush and the green ferns
Humming the wondrous refrain

I hesitated
To say my true feelings
Soon after our tryst
The memory of your lips
Told me to be eloquent

Tanka Moments II

A distant rumble
Scatter the sparrows in roost
Nestlings abandoned
I rue her hasty goodbye
Written on fragile linen   

Fallen Jasmine lie
On a swath of weeded green
Fragile petals crushed
Rejected by a scorned lady
On an indiscreet lover

Moon hiding in haste
Passes through clustered dark clouds
Not wanting to see
A lover running barefoot
Midst the howl of the lord’s hounds

Haughty palms swaying
Fighting off the scorching heat
Give little comfort
To an unrequited plea
On a glaring noonday sun 

Hummingbirds flutter
On trellised bougainevilleas
Scaring honeybees
Away from the sweet nectar
That they flew for miles and miles

I run on mown grass
Slipping on wet green carpet
Her hurried footfalls
Resound like carillon bells
Cheer me on to hot pursuit

Whereupon I gazed
At her decorous bearing
Captured the moment
Of classical elegance
Mounted on a marble stand  

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Tanka Moments I

A midmorning sun
Scorched hapless tiny blooms
A wide brim sunhat
Covered her delicate face
Hiding a girlish giggle

Roosters crowing out
Birds chirping ‘neath the bowers
Clarions in the morn
My lover stirred on waking
Ah, what a joy to behold

Wet mist woke me up
A cold slap on my sleepy face
Yesterday’s warmth gone
Your train rumbled on the tracks
Left a forlorn heart in grief

Shimmering early light
Cast on fishponds on the lake
Bouncing flecks of light
On lovers at the ridge’s edge
Bodies hug to fend the cold

Dancing through the night
Red lights dominating the hall
Rouged up faces dart
Sensuous moments in flashes
In the still of a stupor

Searching in the bush
For freshly bloomed azaleas
Guided by a scent
Leading to a lush trellis
You feigned seeing me come near

The setting sun rests
Cradled on a line of pines
Slowly receding
Like love torn souls in farewell
Fending off the creeping dark

My unkempt bed speaks
Of wild clashes in the night
Fiery bodies rage
Endless nights in summer heat
Letting loose unbridled passions

The evergreens stand proud
Swagger atop frail hedges
Owning the cold dawn
The day will be unforgiving
And so will she be at noon

My heart is out sync
With the striking of the clock
My love is not by the gate
On the promised trysting hour
A silhouette stirs from afar