‘Hanging a shining star upon the highest bough’


    FAITHFUL friends who were dear to us, Will be near to us no more”

    Yuletide 2019. “The masterminds of the Philippines’ worst political massacre were on Thursday found guilty of murder, a decade after the slaughter in which gunmen killed 58 people in the conflict-plagued south of the country.”


    “Someday soon we all will be together, If the fates allow, Until then, we’ll have to muddle through somehow”

    Maguindanao Massacre brings to mind another heinous crime committed 75 years ago. “In this incident, the Japanese forced 141 Allied prisoners into air raid shelters, burned them to death, and shot those who tried to escape from the shelters.” [“Testimony by Sergeant Douglas Bogue, United States Marine Corps,” Transcripts, vol. 7, 15204-79. Cited in: Yuma Totani. The Tokyo War Crimes Trial: Historiography, Misunderstandings, and Revisions. A dissertation submitted in partial satisfaction of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in History in the Graduate Division of the University of California, Berkeley, Spring 2005].

    The 1944 Palawan Massacre was just one of the war crimes perpetrated by the fascists during World War II. There were also the Nazi German Massacre of Kalavryta in Greece (1943) and the Nazi German Ethnic Cleansing in Cameria (1944), among others. [Chalkley, Marie Leone. Saying Sorry: Conflict Atrocity and Political Apology. Master of Arts (Political Science), Univeristy of North Texas, August 2009]

    Justice is the authentic message of the arrival of the Christ in child form. “So have yourself a merry little Christmas now”

    Thus, the original United Nations, spearheaded by the Allies, pressed on with the crusade to eliminate Hitlerism in the Yuletide of 1944. “Mindoro: Twenty enemy planes with two more probably were shot down by our air force and antiaircraft defense…Leyte: The destruction of enemy troops trapped in pockets in the Ormoc Corridor and east thereof is now completed. The 11th Airborne Division, not previously announced but which has carried much of the heavy fighting of the campaign in the mountains southeast of the corridor, has entirely cleared its sector. The 77th Division is continuing its advance towards Palompon, the last base of the remnants of the enemy’s forces. 3,788 enemy dead were counted for the day and nine prisoners. Our fighters supported ground operations and destroyed a lugger and five barges off the west coast.”

    “Visayas: Heavy units and fighter bombers on successive days dropped more than 160 tons on Panay, Negros and Cebu airdromes, causing severe damage to runways and dispersal loops. Patrol planes bombed Puerto Princesa on Palawan. Light naval units at night sank a small freighter loaded with supplies in the Visayan Sea, and shelled shore installations at Masbata. On Panay, Capiz has been captured by our guerrilla forces.” [G.H.Q. Southwest Pacific Area Communique No. 991, December 24, 1944]

    If it were only a matter of a super-villain suspending his malice on a holy day and a superhero having a sense of humor or empathy.

    Ultra-Humanite: You’ll be happy to know, Flash, that your words, jejeune though they were, did not fall on deaf ears. I appreciate the sentiment behind them, and therefore call a truce in honor of the season.
    Flash: Seriously?

    Ultra-Humanite: You’ll have the toy to give to your young friends. I’m improving it, too.
    Flash: It’s not gonna blow up or anything?

    Ultra-Humanite: Flash! It is Christmas.

    Flash: Okay. But why did you hit me?

    Ultra-Humanite: You hit me first. [“Comfort and Joy,” Episode 47 of Justice League, December 13, 2003]

    Look for redemption. “Mourn not for us—for we have seen the light. Have looked on beauty. Have lived in peace and love. Grieve but for those who go alone, unwise, to die in darkness and never see the sun.” [“The Star,” Segment 3, Episode 13, Season 1 (1985–86) American TV series The Twilight Zone]
    “And have yourself a merry little Christmas now”