I Just Couldn’t…Not Really…

Because I lived those days. I was in the middle of it. I knew what was happening and we were ecstatic about something we do not fully understand. All we know was the tyrant in Malacanang is finally being deposed, and that a new era of hope was being ushered in by the people. My feeble comprehension only reaches as far as getting to class without fear of sniffing tear gas around Mendiola, or being mistaken for a radical protester along Recto. At the time, a yellow ribbon meant something.  And that Cory, along with Doy maybe the start of something  that will unite the country, bridge the gap between rich and poor, stop the senseless war in Mindanao, and pave the way for a true archipelagic state, closer to the utopian society my professor was adamantly discussing in our Humanities class.

It was somehow kickstarted with Ramos and Enrile, the tough military hands of Marcos turning against him and Ver, but we were yet to know then because television and radio can only guess what was unfolding. With what was only shown on tv, we saw pictures of the manly Honasan, or at least images of him leading the elite group of the new breed of heroes. I had to visit my uncle, then a Major in the Philippine Army and was aghast at the yellow pin I had on my fatigue vest ( he gave that vest to me) and was told, in a very forceful manner that under no circumstances am I going to leave the camp with the yellow pin on it. He was fuming mad, but apparently not at me since he was sporting a white arm band.

And when I got back to Lincallo Street a small alley connected to Legarda in San Miguel, Mendiola is already devoid of students, most have taken to closing their doors and windows, in our rented rooms, and boarding houses, and it was a kind of euphoric expectation that somewhere, somehow, the palace is going to fall.

And we were so sure everything is gonna be alright, just like Bob Marley says.

Or so we thought.

My Flag2

30 years is along time to stay  deluded to the concept of liberation from oppression. Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue witnessed an event that could have been bloody and turned out to be the something worthy of getting down in history. The standing ovations they gave Cory when she addressed the US Congress, the irrational name-changing of Manila International Airport into NAIA, the ugly statue in Makati. What are all these things for?

I could have sworn there was a hint of hope somewhere back then.

30 odd years, never have I celebrated EDSA. Because all I see are ghosts.

Just a vestige of something that might have been. We owe it to ourselves to choose better leaders, yet every election we get the same names, the same families, the same treatment.

And we watch the same lame ceremonies on tv nowadays. Only now we get livestreaming on the web.

Mindanao has drifted farther, Visayas is still slumped and Luzon, well Luzon is doing well if the mushroom like appearance of Condominium Buildings are to be the gauge of its pomposity only equal to the Houses it accommodates.

I mean , really , people, what is there to celebrate?

Teri, Cory, Jon and the Clowns that run the country

Somebody’s making a lot of racket about The Daily Show allegedly making fun of Cory. Sus! And here we are going ballistic about Teri’s line on her very American-Suburbian themed show. And Pinoys, (at least those with enough time to kill) are swarming over those petitions and complaints and whatnots para daw maibangon ang nasirang puri ng mga Pilipino sa buong mundo.

Tsk.

Have you read the news lately? Listened to AM radio? That bunch of lawyers, career politicians and wannabe messiahs have been causing us Pinoys our misery, not those trivial comments on Desperate Housewives, not Jon Stewart‘s The Daily Show Segment. It’s the SENATE that’s the source of our humiliating persona around the world! It’s the CONGRESS that’s making our life embarassing. Ang tanging kayang gawin lang nga mga tanginang ito ay: mag-tawag ng Congressional hearing sa mga walang kapararakang bagay while the need for more roads and school buildings go unheeded, mag-tawag ng senate inquiry about hidden wealth other than their own, mag akusa ng kung anu-ano sa media then blame media for blowing up the whole thing out of proportion, and use the alibi IT WAS MISCOMMUNICATION like it was tissue paper on a roll. Why even the broadsheets (I can name two leading newspapers) turn out to be just the larger version of the typical tabloids, other than it is written in English (with enough typos to choke you). Everywhere it’s CONSPIRACIES. And they (politicians and newspapers, even tv newsteams) revel on their supposed ex-po-se about this and that but fail to acknowledge certain alliances/conspiracies between a newspaper giant and a tv network existing just to spite the other, bigger, more savvy tv network. May napapansin ka bang namimigay ng ticket sa lugar nyo tapos sinisingil yung me tindahan about certain fees? Without a real, legal receipt to go with it? Naitanong mo na ba sa sarili mo kung bakit may cedula pa? Did any of you, honorable, respectable Filipinos chose the usual channels and NOT ask for padrinos or ‘KAKILALA’ sa City Hall? Conscious ka ba sa ingay ng iyong souped-up scooter kapag gamit mo ito? Wala ka bang pakialam kapag sobrang lakas ng nirentahan mong videoke machine kahit dis-oras na nag gabi dahil marami pang bisita at minsan lang naman kamo ang hapening sa bahay mo?Haaay . . .

Wala akong naulinigan na nag-reklamo about KMU dahil lahat ng pinasok nilang factory eventually nagsara dahil sa labor dispute, the very thing labor unions are supposed to prevent from happening. I haven’t recieved any forwarded email about Pinoys banding together to kick out and ban all irresponsible and corrupt public officials. Ni wala yata naka-isip na magtanong o kontrahin ang Simbahan about why they keep dipping their hands against Family planning, or why they always need money for this and that but they don’t pay taxes.

So tama na yang paghihimutok about racial slurs, derogatory remarks and stuff. Too far from the gut to be really painful.

Oh, oo nga pala, most of it are true anyway . . .