Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The true mandate of the Commission on Elections (Comelec)...(First of a Series) to hold competitive elections and create the environment for it.

All data from the Comelec except for gender, which were
determined based on the name. 
There are other measures but at its simplest, competitive elections mean that there is more than one candidate for an elective post. For the elections this May in the National Capital Region (NCR),  955 candidates are vying for 336 elective posts. 

These figures help explain how participative
 are the elections for local positions in the NCR.
This highly urbanized region and home to 6.25 million voters has 17 towns and cities.  It is broken down into 42 districts from which councilors are elected. A town or city has from two to six councilor districts depending on the population.  There are also 30 congressional districts within the NCR.

On voting day on May 9, voters in the NCR will choose one mayor and one vice-mayor, between six and eight councilors, and one member of congress or parliament.

Twenty-seven parties are competing in the NCR.

However, my take on competitiveness revolve around the data from  the table below.  Obviously, questions begged to be asked.

1.  Why are voters not presented with at least one other candidate to choose from?  Why did not parties compete?  Did the voters agree that no other candidate could represent them?

2.  What led candidates and voters to "capture" or game the system?
3.  What local political and electoral conditions could explain this situation?
4.  If at all, how might the cost of becoming a candidate or the cost of getting elected contribute in the explanation?
5.  What might prevent this situation from happening?

I will bring up more points in the upcoming posts, but for now a few future possible remedies:

1.  National parties should explain in writing to the voters, through the Comelec, why they could not field candidates in places where candidates are unopposed.  They should cite in detail the constraints they faced?
2.  In an unopposed situation, the candidate should at least get 50 percent of the valid votes in order to be elected.  If not, a re-election.

What's your take?

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Ballet Philippines’ ‘Opera’: Sculpture in dance

Published at:

Published February 9, 2016 7:53pm By TELIBERT LAOC

When dance and contemporary art collide, the senses erupt.

Ballet Philippines is collaborating with several artists—kinetic sculptor Gabriel Barredo, choreographer Redha Benteifour, composer Malek Lopez and librettists Yvette Tan and Erwin Romulo—to create "Opera," a scripted assault on the senses. The production creates synergy between the artists and melds their art forms.  In their performance, the dancers shape and bodily express their unified visions.

Barredo pioneered kinetic (moving) sculpture in the Philippines and his art installations will integrate into the dance sets.  "Meeting Gabby and seeing his work up close is very inspiring," says the Algerian-French Benteifour, whose style draws inspiration from everyday life "where censorship is absent."

"Being part of this production is a great thrill," he said.

Dancers Victor Maguad and Erl Sorilla play Twins; Carissa Adea, Mother; Denise Parungao, Death; Jean Marc Cordero, The Watcher; and Earl John Arisola, The Creator.  With 16 others from the company, led by artistic director Paul Alexander Morales, they fulfill the promise of the artistic collaboration.

As an amateur photographer at the press conference on January 27 in one of the dance studios at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the shoot was quite challenging for me.  There was always something going on onstage—several "events" unfolded before the (stage) canvas.  You point your camera to one event with the knowledge that by doing so you will miss the others.

Like creation constantly happening in the universe, events are taking place seemingly independent of each other.  But "The Artist," "The Creator," may or may not reveal the complete complexity of His work.  In "Opera," Benteifour and Barredo may just reveal what their creation might be.

— BM, GMA News

These photos originally appeared on Telibert Laoc's website.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Lighten Each Other's Load

Baskets on their heads, ladies with sons in tow walked in line on the clay footpath beside my parents' home.  I asked what they were selling. "Fruits and vegetables", I told mom. "Ask them in," she ordered.  "Dayon mo 'nang," (come in) I called, and one of the ladies pushed the wooden gate in.

Their baskets revealed a small variety of their own produce.  The little proceeds from the fruits of their labor would help them tide over   Christmas and perhaps a few days after.

But this is not the story.

Mom picked out the heaviest among the crops, which were two large squash and a few yam. Let's buy them and lighten their load.

I love mom. She turned 78 yesterday.

Weighing the goods.

She said they were among mom's patients.

Off to sell the rest of the produce.