I have admired the LEGENDARY professor of Political Science, Dr. Antonio P. Contreras.
YES, that’s him in the photo. He looks like this handsome-looking professor of International Studies. HAHA.
Komikado Reacts: Powerlessness in Power by Antonio P. Contreras
Many people would simply die coveting a post perceived to be loaded with power and privilege. The goal of landing in such a post has propelled many to suppress their natural selves and subordinate their being to the templates of the usual, acceptable and “normal.” This produces so much pretension and niceness, that one so mean could project a smiling face, and one so arrogant could suppress the smirk to kowtow to the wishes of the appointing gods. The autonomy that is vested in human subjects to chart for them their identities have to take a backseat if only to win approval, a mere brownie point when the name of the game is actually the big league, a seat in the front of the CEOs car reserved for bodyguards, a chance to carry the umbrella of the boss, or even the rare privilege of escorting the spouse while doing her shopping, or chaperone their bratty kids as they play in a theme park.
People have always said that it is lonely at the top. You may have all the money and the power, but both could not buy you true happiness, as the cliché goes. People are looking up to you perched in your office up there, but the sad part of it is that many of them are doing so not in admiration or awe but maliciously anticipating, or even betting, when you are going to fall, and how, and how fast, and how hard.
My being Dean for four years in my College taught me a lesson about being in power. While some would literally die, and beg, to get such a plum post, and while I am always thankful of the opportunity such post gave me to serve others, and the lessons I learned from such experience that contributed to my being a better person, I can categorically state, as I have said it on many occasions, that those four years were also the most disempowering years of my life.
I gained weight. This is what happens when physical activity yields to mental activity, and where endless meetings do not only produce stress that could cause hunger, but also provide opportunities to eat and eat and eat while seated to a point that the only muscle in the body that gets a hefty work-out is the mouth. Hectic schedules ruin gym plans, and mental stress drains so much energy that sleep and food become better alternatives than pumping weights or doing the treadmill.
And the list does not end there.
I also was forced to be more restricted in my fashion—the boring conventional type of long-sleeved shirts and trousers in black, blue and grey. My earrings had to go which caused my ear piercing to close. I could not have my tattoos, which I have had dreamed to have, lest I could be seen as improperly adorned. I was forced to behave according to protocol. Well, at least, most of the time. I could not just say things I wanted to say even if I was dying to. I literally forced myself to keep quiet and be poker-faced when under ordinary times I would have told off someone saying something stupid as that, stupid.
But the most stressful of it all was when I began to sense that a part of me was already acquiring the habitus, and the consciousness of a conservative administrator, when I began to dislike the behaviour of subordinates who were assertive of their rights, and were critical of some of my decisions, things which I would have done too had I been in their shoes. I was horrified when I realized I was turning into something I actually hated.
The irony is simply in being someone with a position of power and privilege, where you earn the badge of being called a “sir” and be treated like a little king, but you are in fact a slave of protocol, conventions and mission and vision statements you may not like but you have to live by. This has severe consequences on one’s identity. It was so palpable that when I stepped down as Dean, the very first thing I did was to go back to the gym and liberate myself from the fat I accumulated from endless eating while in stressful meetings. And I decided to wear my earrings again. And I finally got my tattoo, not only one, but two of them. And now, I am able to call a stupid idea for what it is—stupid—with the frankness that only a liberated, blue-blooded iconoclast like me could muster. I was so glad to feel the new sense of power that resulted from being out of power. I was back to my real me.
Recently, I was being considered for a government post. I thought maybe it is about time to again test the waters of being “disempowered” as a price to pay if only to serve our people. I was willing to again remove my earrings, and was training myself to wear long-sleeved shirts to hide my tattoos. I was ready again to gain some weight. In fact, I was already practicing becoming “nice” when I began to temper my commentaries in social media in preparation for the larger restraint I have to endure to gag myself, submit to the script of the establishment, and be silent even if it is about an idea I simply find stupid.
Fortunately, some people in the corridors of power were so helpful enough to prevent me from getting such appointment. I was told that I am not liked. Far from being depressed, I was so relieved. There is no word of gratefulness I could use to thank enough whoever that person was for saving me from the punishment of being once again in a cage just to be powerful.
What I think about Antonio Contreras is that, he does not pretend to be someone else. He is true to himself–he’s the bald guy who has ear piercings and peaceful tattoos that is unlikely to be worn by a professor, who is deemed as formal, strict in fashion, and of course, conservative.
NOPE. He ain’t your typical conservative, old-timer professor. He’s the guy version of Marlene Aguilar–fearless, bold, and thinks outside the box of tradition.
Una namin siyang nakilala bilang isang kolumnista sa GMA website. Siya nga iyung nagsulat ukol sa mga “Insecure Intellectual Elites,” bilang reaksyon niya sa mga all-knowing, self-righteous bashers ni Harvey Campos, isang estudyanteng nagtanong ng napaka-kontrobersyal na tanong sa yumaong pinuno ng Singapore na si Lee Kuan Yew. Siyempre, iniwasang sagutin ni Angkong LKY ang tanong, dahil kultura naman kasi ng Singapura ay, nananatiling pribado ang usapang pamilya.
Iyung mga “Insecured Intellectual Elites” na tinutukoy ni Antonio Contreras ay hindi lang iyung mga bashers ni Harvey Campos. Isama ko na rin iyung mga elitistang manunulat ng GetRealPhilippines.com, tsaka ‘yung mga shittakaburi netizens ng GirlTalk at saka ang grupo sa FB na, “Filipino Freethinkers [Updates and Announcements].” Hindi ko na rin palalampasin ang mga elitistang social climber na readers ng Fashion Pulis (FP-tards).
I don’t like the way the bashers judged heavily on Harvey Campos. Ihinahalintulad pa nila si Harvey kay Ricky Lo kung saan, stupid daw ang mga tanong nila, when in fact, they’re being bold and fearless at the same time.
I think these “ELITISTA” netizens are the ones who angered MSP, thus, when she writes anything about things related to the elitists, she would often bash them.
Here’s another criticism by megamabushii:
Of course, the elitists will never understand when and how to use the concept of “cultural relativism.” Oh, sa mga apologists ni Anne Has-been-thaway ditey, her rudeness translated to her being a has-been. Walang nag-reply sa prangkahan ni megamabushii ay dahil, alam nilang guilty sila na dapat hindi lang sana nila hinusgahan si Ricky Lo.
Oh… marami talagang Kapamilya-twats sa GirlTalk, kaya puro kuda sila pagdating kay Ricky Lo, at ang kapal pa, huh! They started this thread, “Overrated Hosts,” and they glorify Winnie Monsod!
I respect Winnie Monsod but not anymore.
These GirlTalkers have such abominably poor and cheap taste! Most of them won’t vote for BBM but they’re YES to Leni.
Iba paring maging SHIT na MALAGKIT ang mga elitista, ano?
It is a shame that many of these elitistas are not enlightened enough! They’re mostly scums who pretend to be pa-sosyal, when in fact, their manners remind me of people settling in the squatters’ area.
The ruling class of the Philippines ISOLATE themselves rather than integrating with the common good
It’s sad but true–most of our Chinese and Spanish ruling elites do NOT integrate themselves in the Filipino culture–kesyo daw BADUY, jologs, o cheap, they will never understand the essence of being a Filipino if they continue to rule the country yet isolate themselves rather than integrating.
These elites do not only lack a sense of patriotism, they also lack a sense of environmentalism–granted, you do fucking business for fucking profit, but that doesn’t mean you have to exploit people per se. If you’re an oligarch, you have to have a sense of BOTH patriotism and environmentalism. Having NO sense of patriotism only means that you have an identity crisis yourself.
And so the fiasco begins…
The cocky know-it-alls (shittakaburi) and intellectual elitists do not know how it is to be an intellectual being. Male or female, they justify the crappy services of Globe (I think Smart Mobile is waaaaay better on Internet–it may be unfriendly towards people who text and call a lot, but it won’t fail you on Internet services) simply because telco companies do shit for profit, which is not right–after all, the customer knows best.
And please don’t get me started with the “lesser evil” shit, when it comes to politics. You will choose PNoy over Binay!? How stupid.
Yeah, Binay is plastic in real life (he is effing conceited, actually), yet you cannot question his efforts to help the people–he has done a lot of things in the Philippines, even though he and his family are a bunch of scums. Tony-sensei (how I call Prof. Contreras) ended up being an apologist of Binay.
Well, I won’t mind Binay despite being pretentious and a prima donna in real life–thing is, he has to prove that he shouldn’t do credit-grabbing (seriously, credit-grabbing is effing sickening!!!). In some aspects, Binay is good–yet we seem to overlook it.
And please take note that Binay is a Cory appointee.
Being plastic simply because you’re a Dean is really–uhm, disheartening. Oh, and you have to be “conservative” like the rest of the people who are “Slaves of their Boxes.”
Being a Slave of the Box: NOT a Cool Thing–AT ALL
We wouldn’t identify Tony-sensei if he has no tattoos, no piercings, and if he does not shave his head. Of course, he’s the type of guy you would still like to introduce to your parents–even though he shaved his head and got tattoos on his body. Right?
I know some people who still go to church, who sport peaceful tattoos. Oh, so don’t tell me that Leviticus shit from the Bible–Manny Pacquiao himself has tattoos on his body, yet he has the nerve to become a pastor. Abnormal lang, diba?
HAHAHA… I think Fuckman did have the nerve to become a “Christian,” yet all thanks to Jasmine Curtis-Smith, she pinpointed his mistake–through the Leviticus verse prohibiting tattoos.
See? That is why the likes of Carlos Celdran and Marlene Aguilar expressed their anger towards Fuckman.
Unfortunately, Manny himself is a Slave of the Box. Buti pa nga ang mga kagaya ni Floyd Jr., eh–Floyd may have been a woman-beater and a scum all his life, yet he does know how to keep cool–have you ever watched the video of his dad being “pabida” to Erik Morales? Senyor Erik cannot say a thing or two, since Floyd Sr. was clogging him verbally. Right?
No wonder Floyd Jr. is often disgruntled on TV.
Thank goodness he still managed to support marginalized people.
Meanwhile, Manny does not have that. Having lots of money, after all, cannot buy intellectualism. You may argue with me that money can buy a lot of books, however, it’s always good to think outside the box of tradition. Manny thinks that hurting the marginalized sector will make him more superior simply because he has lots of money–well, simply put, Manny is still a low-class scum.
YES, he is a low-class scum for many reasons.
I would expect him to be open-minded, out-of-the-box thinker, and at the same time, liberal. How many times do I have to tell you that he visited the goddamn States of America all throughout his life, and yet, he still remained bigoted.
In the States, bigotry is a mortal sin!
Well, it’s not only Pacman who suffers from this kind of syndrome–even those Filipinos who became American citizens are still far from being open-minded, tolerant, out-of-the-box thinkers and most of all, liberal–I’m pertaining to the Generation-X Pinoy promdis who still think like a provincial local in the Philippines: Too religious, slave of the box, and lacks an equal amount of imagination within them.
Yeah, that’s Filipino culture 101 to you!
I think the Philippines should learn from Tony-sensei
We need more legit intellectuals like Antonio P. Contreras, Marlene Aguilar, and Carlos Celdran. They think outside the box, and they are the true sources of Pinoy pride–why is that many Filipinos aren’t proud of them?
To be honest, many people would rather idolize Kris Aquino, Vice Ganda, Boy Abunda, and a lot of showbiz people who are not worthy to become “Pinoy pride.” I won’t even spare Pacquiao, either!
So ano say niyo? Leave your comments in the comment section and please, no rude comments. Many thanks!