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)
“Have you ever been depressed, sir?”
Of course. And I had my share of suicidal thoughts and even attempts. But now, whenever my mind drops into an abyss that I can’t see, I just remind myself that I need to pull myself up to eat ice cream because a tub of Double Dutch is pure bliss. (But yeah, any ice cream will suffice.) Depression is a disease of thoughts, and though modern medicine has developed a panoply of interventions to treat mental illness, it is never bad to help one’s self. One happy thought can be a lifeline enough to drag one’s self from the dark side of the mind. I’m not sure if this remedy is for everybody, but I don’t think there is any harm in reminding ourselves of a moment of happiness. Cling to anything that can make you smile, and work it.
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.”
Hindi ka man bumatak,
Kamao ma’y ikuyom,
Kung gusgusin at hamak,
Ipipilit na gumon.
Even if you don’t take drugs,
Even if you clench your fist,
If you are dirty and poor,
They’ll still consider you a drug addict.
The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful.
– Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray