G Spot

The tolerance of our time

By Virginia J. Pasalo

SR. Patricia Fox, a 71-year old religious sister, had been in the rural areas for almost three decades. In 1990, her congregation sent her as a volunteer to the Philippines. She worked with the poor in areas where government had no visible presence. It was through them that she became acquainted with the “basic issues which caused their poverty: lack of their own lands, control of markets, dependence on pesticides.” Living with the tribal people, she learned not only “how the mountains are their supermarkets and pharmacies, how they were excited to have their own schools which taught sustainable agriculture but also preserved their culture” but also, “how large mining and logging corporations as well as plantations were threatening the life and livelihood of these rural people.”

Her work necessarily involved engaging “with projects, such as training in organic farming, to uplift the livelihood of the farmers, but also to advocate with them for their rights to land, livelihood, peace, justice and security, all universal human rights which the church sees as integral to her mission.” This, she said, brought her in trouble with the Philippine Government. She was a simple volunteer whose work could have been unnoticed, if not for the undue attention given to her by the current administration, who hurriedly issued a deportation order, before she could explain whatever charges were leveled against her.

It is sad how we have developed a tolerance for the intolerant. A tolerance that quietly, and incessantly, drives fear in every person voicing out a legitimate grievance. A tolerance that nurtures a disturbing silence and apathy, the kind that nourishes a tyrant.


Kareenan tan Uksoy

wala’y atiwel ya aso, mantukla-tuklab
ya onkeketket ed bikking da’y bibiin
mangakansion na Pasion.
bimmeneg ira’y karaklan
timmalimukor so arum, mikakasi.
anggapo’y anengneng da
anggapo’y arengel da
ag iran balot nansalita
lapud ag ira immesel
kinetket to la ran amin
et dimmakel so atiwel.


Peace and order

there is a mad dog, on a rampage
biting the legs of women
singing the Passion.
most people turned their backs
some knelt before him, for mercy.
they did not see anything
nor heard anything
they did not speak, anything.
because they did not speak
he bit them all
and mad, they became,
most, if not, all.

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