Portia Placino

Repository of my thoughts and images of art, literature, travel, and life.

Jose Rizal, Mideo Cruz, Kulo and Censorship


Image via Wikipedia

150 years. Did the world really change? Most times, I feel like life is spearing ahead too fast. But if you examine our history, our legacy, you may ask, did it really change?

150 years after. We celebrate Rizal’s 150th birthday with exhibits, shows, parades and many other commemorative exercises. We celebrate the hero. Yet, are we really free from the things that he was fighting for, more than a century ago?

Today, we are faced with things that I didn’t think is still possible, especially in the age of internet and new media. CENSORSHIP. Noli me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, do the Filipinos still know that these novels were censured by the Spaniards? Why? Because it was offensive to the church. Do we not remember that? Do we not remember so many of our heroes, persecuted, tortured and killed because of causing offense to the church, because they were fighting for our rights.

Why then, that after more than a century, this hard-fought battle is still ongoing. Sadly, now, it is Filipino against Filipino. Mideo Cruz strikes at our culture, at our beliefs. He makes us think, he offends. But he does not attack a person; he does not curtail anyone’s right. Yes, he offends, but it is never against the law to offend. He challenges our society, is that so wrong?

What hurts more is that the Philippine press, the very institution that should be the bastion and supporters of the freedom of expression, contributed to its curtailment. Irresponsible journalism runs amok in the country, selling even their fellow artists out for increased ratings and earnings. XXX completely misrepresented the exhibit, without any objectivity in their reporting. This was followed by other columnists and newspaper writers. Do you know your crime? Do you not honour your brothers and sisters who died fighting for just that—for the freedom of expression? Yet now, you sell us out.

The church started calling us sinners, calling to arms their supporters. Is that not a bigger problem of our society? The followers of Catholic belief, of Christianity—creating hate pages, threatening death and violence, attempting arson, vandalizing and worse demonizing Mideo Cruz and other cultural workers, yet the CBCP thinks that the art is the problem? They never even called to their people to stand down, they never asked them to be calm, and instead, they instigated this hatred and violence. Amazing, for people who say they follow one of the most peace-loving persons that ever lived, Jesus of Nazareth himself.

Expectedly, the Aquino Administration supports this. PNoy himself, called the board and let them know of his displeasure and of “concerns” over the issue on the exhibit. Democracy, yes. But if you are the President of the country, there is an obvious imbalance of power. There is a big discrepancy of the expression of my own personal opinion and the opinion of the President of the country. Is it really your democratic right? To censor? More so of our atrocious Senators. Senator Sotto threatens to use his power as Senate Majority Leader to deprive CCP of its budget. Along with Senators Enrile and Estrada, they demanded the resignation of the CCP Board. Over what? Do they not know that they are committing a Grave Abuse of Discretion? That according to the Doctrine of Prior Restraint, they are not allowed to go through with a Senatorial inquiry because it is a curtailment of the Bill of Rights?

This is not the Middle Ages, we can offend the Catholic Church, there is no incidence of Offending Religious Feelings according to the Revised Penal Code—the work was not done inside the church, no religious service was interrupted and no one was prevented from practicing their religion. No public fund was spent by Mideo Cruz, it was a Venue Grant. He exhibited inside CCP but he was given no money by the government to create his work, he was not paid to exhibit. It was simply his artistic expression. The people breaking the law are the abusive fanatics who vandalized, threatened life and property, and even the Senators and the President who are abusing their political powers in order to censor, a crime against our human rights, as stated in the 1987 Constitution’s Bill of Rights. Ironic, that a law established by the first President Aquino is being destroyed by her only son, the second President Aquino.

We Filipinos have fought long and hard, so we can attain the democracy that we have now. Yet, this democracy is being destroyed by denying us our basic human right. Even Rizal, the hero for whom the Kulo exhibit was for, died fighting for that right. People keep on missing that point, that exhibit was not about the RH Bill, it was about the struggles of Jose Rizal. We now get to experience firsthand the kind of oppression Rizal suffered from the church. What’s worse, we are suffering oppression from our fellow Filipinos rather than from foreign colonizers.

Rizal died for us, for our country; he died fighting for this freedom. He died to show us and the rest of the world our reality and suffering. Do we continue to be oppressed people? Do we continue to be ruled by an oppressive religion? What do we do now? I can my fellow Filipinos to continue fighting this struggle. It has been too long. Too many centuries we have been oppressed, it is time we break free from it. Rizal tried, but is it all in vain? Do we all in that same trap? Or do we fight?

I say no to censorship, as many others say no to censorship. Let our voices be heard. Let us not stand by and watch as our basic human right is denied us. It is not about Mideo Cruz and the Kulo exhibit anymore. It is about oppression, censorship, irresponsible journalism, misrepresentation of religious doctrine and most of all, abuse of power. We should not accept this sitting down. We should stand up and fight.

Related articles


One comment on “Jose Rizal, Mideo Cruz, Kulo and Censorship

  1. Pingback: catholic Outrage: How they Pick and Choose | Philosopher's Haze

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s



Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,572 other followers

Follow Portia Placino on WordPress.com


At 5 months with fair neck strength, I decided we should dress her up in her fancier clothes. Lol. The first fancy onesie, her Grandma Mely bought her, she immediately spat up on. Her next dress, another one from her Grandma, didn't last 10 minutes on as she decided to grab and eat it. Lol. This was her third outfit, which I bought for her some time ago, at least lasted a few hours on her. I wore a blue dress so we can match for a photo, but before we could, she already managed to drool all over her top. The day ended with her St. Patrick's romper, a favorite. I love dressing her for comfort, so she sort of have a more uniform, cute, casual look. I am impressed with moms who can manage an #ootd. Lol. #gamerchef did most of the dressing part and he has infinite patience. Afterall, the little one is a complete Daddy's girl. Onwards, your grandparents have been bugging me about your clothes, at least now we have a photo. But honestly, babies are babies. I think her organic cotton rompers and jammies are the ones she loves most. I keep on buying the same at a larger size. #babynarratives
The little one is 5 months old today. We had an incredibly challenging month to get here--sleeplesness, eczema, congestion, etc. But here we are, with a very active baby. She gained 650 grams in the past month, which puts her at 5.65kg. Whew, she's heavy. And she wants to be carried all the time, my poor back... I know some people advocate not carrying your baby because it spoils them, but you know what, she's not gonna be a baby forever. She's already flipping around the bed and before we know it she's gonna crawl and walk and run away from us. Right now, what we're fostering is a bond. And hopefully, through her bond with her parents, she will have the security and confidence to face the big, bad world. Speaking of the world, our comrades are out there protesting. Someday we will join them. I hope Leia grows up intelligent, compassionate, strong, and brave. I hope she will be able to make choices that are right, even though they are difficult, rather than sitting idly by for what is easy. The world is harsh and life is hard, so I hope she knows what is truly valuable in life, rather than spending her entire time looking for money and comfort. May she fight for the rights of the oppressed and downtrodden. May she find meaning and purpose in a life well lived. I hope she will stand for her country and her fellow Filipinos. But for now, she still needs to learn how to sit. #babynarratives
Part 2 of shopping for allergen-free food, this time at Healthy Options. Funny how rice is the most important ingredient for most gluten-free product. We got some rice and quinoa snacks, rice pasta, and rice milk! Lol. I'm just gonna have to eat more rice. Will also try this gluten-free cereal. The trickiest and spendiest part is the cookie. Lots of gluten-free options, but they would have nuts and egg... Lots of vegan options but they would have gluten and nuts. Frustrating. Until I saw that allergy friendly cookie box. But sooo spendy, so I can't indulge on that too often. Onwards to this journey. After which, I will have to slowly reintroduce such allergens to baby and to myself as well. For now, we're all about no dairy, eggs, nuts, and gluten diet. #babynarratives #breastfeeding
Received a call from @thevegangrocerph because they saw my ig post and realized that their staff sent me the wrong cream cheese. They accidentally sent me a nut-based one, rather than this coconut-based one. Mistakes happen and I'm glad they care to call and correct the situation. The little one really does not like nuts, good thing I have not opened it yet. Whew. Looking forward to opening this, the closest I can get to cheese for now. I'm happy to see this is locally produced as well, like most of their products. Hopefully, we can give little one time to strengthen her immunity so later she can eat all kinds of food. #babynarratives #veganph
Ok, two days of intense discussion and what feels like a small fortune--here we are. @thevegangrocerph is great, they patiently answered all my questions and guided me to the products I am looking for. No-dairy and no-eggs mean that vegan would be the answer. But on top of that, I was also looking for no-gluten and no-nuts. So ordering was a very complex process. What I've got here is bread (I NEED bread), edamame pasta, rice noodles, dark chocolate cookies, dark chocolate cake, and coconut cream cheese. All of them have no dairy, egg, gluten, or nuts. I am not going vegan, I am not even trying to lose weight. I am just trying so damn hard to produce allergen-free breastmilk to help my baby along. She had eczema and is displaying allergic reactions. I already cleaned up my diet but not completely, with snacks of things here and there. So here I am, a month later, determined to hit every single possibility. Exhausting, but I will try every damn thing I can. Let's see what we can cook up with this. I am sooo dependent on bread and pasta--cutting them off will be the hardest of all, not to mention the desserts! The mini cake, it is my belated birthday cake. Let's hope for the little one to defeat her allergies! #babynarratives #veganph #breastfeeding
Tried to give her a blanket because she might be cold, but she thought it was just a big toy. Lol. Stormy day with little one is challenging, but we did get some smiles. #babynarratives
%d bloggers like this: