Minsan gusto ko na lang makiuso sa mga burgis – “Yeah, yeah, you poor, know your place, it’s under me or under the grave” – pero pag naaalala ko yung mga panahon na halos wala akong makain at naliligiran pa ako ng mga Christ-centered classmates ko na may star-shaped pang chicken nuggets, nahihiya ako sa sarili ko. Madaling maging mahirap kung pare-pareho kayo, pero ang kalikasan ng lipunan ay ikaw lang ang maghihirap para sa ikaliligaya at haraya ng iilan. My somewhat privileged life is supported by the backs of anonymous poor people; the least I could do is to stop adding insult to their existence. Wala na nga akong magawa para matigil ang pagpatay sa mga maralita na “nanlalaban,” hahamakin ko pa sila?
When I first used Facebook, it was still a forum for inane things. Then came “news,” “influencers,” “engagements,” “viral,” “bots.” It ceased being a playground and a community. It has now become a marketplace full of swindlers and simpletons. It has become a world unto itself, a reality where it is easy to create, destroy, and recreate selves. A decade ago, my Facebook account was just an extension of myself, a neat little feature to freely communicate and celebrate the innocuousness and idealism of youth. Now, it is no longer just an extension of Me, but another me, negotiating its way in a universe of appearances, deceit, and enslavement.
I don’t write as often and as articulately as I used to. There are times when I want to express myself, but the physical discomfort and inefficiencies of using a pen discourage me from filling my notebook. On the other hand, the caprices and temptations of the internet draw me away from the cumbersome interface of the blogging platform into the instantaneous spectacles of Facebook. I guess I need to put discipline if I am to save both my body and mind from the perils of social media and an Americanized diet.
Hindi bale kung maipit.
Balat: pawis, nanlalagkit.
Maapakan man, tatakbo,
Mabilis, patungo sa’yo.
It doesn’t matter if I’m crushed.
My skin: sweaty and sticky.
Even if I’m stepped on, I’ll run
Fast, back to you.
Mamang pulis, hidhid, malupit,
Sa aming aba, nanggigipit.
Aking hiling bago “manlaban,”
Huwag dumihan aking ngalan.
Mr policeman, selfish and harsh,
we, the poor, you abuse.
My wish before I “resist,”
Do not destroy my name.
I have weighed all the virtues and faults of the Filipinos, and I have come to the conclusion that the Filipino is worth dying for.
– Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr (1932-1983)
This is too much. Everything about the boy pointed towards his innocence, but this regime would stop at nothing just to destroy, not the drug menace, but everyone who opposes its leadership and policies. This is not the first time that Duterte has sanctioned the cold-blooded murder of mere drug suspects and innocents, and as long as he sits there in his own Iron Throne in Malacanang, this wouldn’t be the last. This article from the Brisbane Times gives me less hope and more gloom, a reminder of the deadly spiral that our people has embraced in the name of “change.”