Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Posts tagged ‘war’

Movie Perspective: Revealing the Reeking Societal Cancer in “Heneral Luna”

heneral lunaI was never been a fan of General Antonio Luna. Known for his infamous temper, I ever wondered why he was enlisted in the roster of Philippine heroes. At the first week of the “Heneral Luna” screening, I dismissed it as another average period film. Until the social media buzzed with endless accolades for the film.

Although oozing with curiosity, it took me four weeks before seeing it. Notwithstanding the fact I watched it without a date (which I never ever had yet), I got more than what I’ve bargained for.

Much of the movie plot revolves on the Philippine revolution, which coincided at the close of the 19th century. Here was General Luna, pompous and ready to defend his principles — in a defensive move. Not the wimpy kind of general who would shrug his shoulders when the government was ready to deal with the American conquerors, Luna was stubborn to push the Westerners off the newly instituted Philippine Republic.

His ways in disciplining his soldiers, mostly the cowardly ones, and his laid back fellow generals was offensively harsh to many of them. Those who resisted his orders were immediately slapped with Artikulo Uno: those disobedient to the general’s orders can be subject to punishment and death without undergoing military court.

His defense on his stance offended many of President Emilio Aguinaldo’s cabinet members. This had triggered a conspiracy to eliminate the headstrong general. But one thing made Luna’s name forever etched in the pages of history was his love for his Motherland. Never mind the women that he had, the rough way he dealt with his enemies and even allies. Until the end of his life, he was brave enough to stand as a man for his country’s freedom and not for his selfish priorities.

With the the film’s quick plot, I was surprised when it ended after almost two hours. In a short span of time, every historical personality became much alive, and even personal, by the way the actors portrayed them. John Arcilla, who played the role of Luna, convinced me that the general was more than a rash character from my school textbooks. His eyes had this hint of madness that made Luna look much like him (add it with the general’s mustache). Yet, he had also embodied the other dimensions of his character very clearly.

No need to impose how realistic this film should be, as the facts in this part of Luna’s life was well narrated even with a few symbolisms, especially his assassination. (Oops, sorry for spoilers) Jerrold Tarog, the director of his film, had been ingenious in weaving history and relating it to our social consciousness. He had reintroduced a tragic but praiseworthy figure once forgotten in our classes. With that he brought an awakening to a demoralization that has never been cured until now.

This film showed us more than Luna’s character. Though it was not proven in history who killed Luna (though most viewers had implied it to be the president himself), his death had shown how much we are still dealing with the so-called cancer of society: treachery, greed, and selfishness. As Luna was eliminated by Filipino soldiers, the film revealed how his own countrymen was ready to put away unity for the sake of their own selfish agendas. So it is with our society today. I’ve seen this scene many times with our leaders, eliminating one another through character assassination. But I believe it’s not only hitting the political arena, but it goes out to all of us, as well.  Luna’s question echoes to many, “Kaya natin magbuwis ng buhay sa pamilya pero para sa isang prinsipiyong makabayan? (If we can sacrifice our lives for our own families can we not do it for our country?)”. What I got was more than a story, but a reality that we have to tackle and address.

I once thought that Marilou Diaz-Abaya’s Jose Rizal (1998) was the best period film my generation could see. Jerrold Tarog had proven himself a genius in recreating a period film, making it worthy for Oscars. It brought back my faith that we Filipinos can create noteworthy period films that can be entertaining, mind-opening, and worth the sacrifice to see it.

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Overcoming the World

Great is the battle we’re facing. All of us are born idealists. We are meant to overcome. But only a few emerge from the ashes. It’s a matter of perspective on how we overcome. The worlds to overcome are paradoxial.

It’s not easy to change the world. We want to pull down strongholds of hopelessness, injustice, and corruption. But it can never be done if we embrace these very strongholds.

To overcome the world, we have to overcome our personal struggles. How can we pull down hopelessness if we lack hope within us? No injustice will be shaken if we are unjust to our very brothers. Corruption will flourish if we deny our tolerance to this base culture in our own daily practices. The weapons we use are formed by the values we uphold. We cannot charge towards the battlefield if we can’t escape the prison of our personal struggles.

We begin with ourselves, then we overturn the world. We see change when we ourselves are willing to change. History makers are overcomers. Overcomers overcome their own weaknesses.

Silent Wildfire

I am a wildfire
Filled with passion
Burning with intensity
Receiving heaven’s flame
Fire never quenched
Rising from the ashes
Keep me in a basket
I’ll burn with rage
Lock me in a cage
I’ll wreck it with bare hands
I cannot stay silent
To watch justice crumble
Morality deteriorating
Truth dying
And the road twisted
Let me go as I am stirred
Let me run as I am ready

I am a wildfire
Let me shout a war cry
That destroys the destroyer
And burns the deceit of the deceiver
Let my passion
Burn the blindfolds of the slaves
And the bridges that bring them to death
I cannot stop
To keep this wildfire in me
For I will pass this
To the thirsty for justice

Pressure in the Waterloo Front

I have crossed the Jordan. But I’m not yet at the Promised Land. The moment I stepped in, I’ve been met with resistance…hordes of them.

As I go on the 11th day of my fast, I discover so much more of God’s promises. However, I’d discover more how I have been keeping a lot of heart issues, and lots of character refinement is required. There is a secret spiritual battle in the air as human personalities clash with pride without understanding and discernment. There is so much hypocrisy going on bringing in the deception of too much effort equals reward without remembering that rest is part of the reward.

I felt so much lack around me. And there is a lack of time that keeps me from meditating and pondering on the expansion of this spiritual waterloo I’m in.

I’m asking for strategy. I’m claiming an increase in wisdom.

Days ago at the start of my 21-day fast, the Lord gave me Joshua 1:5-9 after asking Him for “the Word of the Season”. Three times, the Lord said, “Be strong and courageous” or in other versions, “Be strong and brave”. It’s like something that He’s echoing into me in preparation for a major conquering to do. Right now, I’m weary and I’m tempted to give up. But again, the Lord tells me, “Be strong and courageous.” With that command is a promise…rather tons of promises. There is an assurance that when I rest in His presence. I can only conquer the territories promised to me if I push through. Besides, I won’t go this war alone, for He said that He’ll never leave me nor forsake me.

Oh, Lord, uphold me. I’m about to faint.

Welcome August. Welcome shift. I need to push through. May I be carried on His wings.

My Oscar already praying on my bed. Imagine him having a quiet time first before I could!

My Oscar already praying on my bed. Imagine him having a quiet time first before I could!

Circus Battleground

The crowd roared as the heart-broken performer hangs on the trapeze in suspense. The lights glimmered and dimmed in rhythm as dancers drowned their fears and insecurities. The little clowns covered their depression in thick make-up by reenacting their tragedies. The powers and principalities were entertained, looking forward for another intense act of broken homes, lost lives, and dramatic deaths. Welcome to your daily freak show. The circus that clothed every blinded prisoner in glitter and color. The show that feed every demon’s lust for a broken life.

But among the lost and broken is a soul free from the leashes of whips of the heartless ringmaster.  No one touches him as he watches in their midst. But there was no other way out. It’s either he stays unnoticed or war the principalities around him.

And just like the little warrior-in-the-making, I did not know what to do…or rather…I don’t want to do what I must do.

Almost everyone around me is a unconscious victim of sin, lies, and pride. A man indifferent to porn and curses, a woman having one-night stands with different men while searching for real love, a successful and beautiful journalist with a broken family, a prominent and intelligent government official loud on his extramarital affair.

And here I am. The “quiet, innocent sheep” doing nothing but that mundane working routine.

Until the moment of empowerment came again. My workplace is not a place to make money, it is a mission field to conquer.

It is a mountain where I am called to reap the harvest. It is where the thrones of wicked kings are meant to be toppled down for the freedom of these victims.

But first of all, it is me who should be liberated…I need liberation from my comfort zone. My hibernation causes me to shut my eyes from the pain of the world around me, and yet my own make-believe world can never take me out of here.

But I have this deep passion that pains me from staying in my shell…

…and compassion in order to break them from their chains.

I’ve been decreed with authority. I’ve been given weapons. I’ve been reminded over and over the mountains that can be moved with I speak. It’s just I tried to shut up the tragedy and the deceptive “normalcy” that I hope not to touch. I loved my little, quiet world. But I am not meant to stay here forever.

Who am I to be afraid of the wicked principalities, anyway? For greater is the Lord, full of wisdom and might, who is in me than he who is in the world.

All I have to do is to open my eyes…and fight to move forward…

War of Myselves

It’s not always easy to confront…because in the end, I will have to confront myself. No matter how we want to war another human being for the sake of hate, it’s just being a reflection of something that we don’t want to see in ourselves.

Being brutally honest to myself is never an easy lesson. Silence is not a good remedy; it just increases self tension.

And so, warring physically is not the hardest war…it’s the struggle against self.

Until now, I still have to learn how to confront when needed…and face my own self when necessary.

 

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