Monday, July 13, 2009


What sorts of beings inhabit a land devoid of imagination? I sometimes fear the burden of reality can be so paralyzing, we are unable to imagine anything else. Here we toil caged in the only possibilities presented by the immediate, the tactile. What of the things to which we aspire that have not yet been made into reality? Have we any expectations of lofty ideals from our country, from ourselves, from each other? Can we not even speak of them because to do so would be an exercise in futility? Duck our heads we must in order to survive. Survival often means slavish preoccupation with what falls within the myopic scope of our vision. To dare to see anything beyond cuts a foolish path down the avenue of crippling frustration. Have we been pacified to accept the inevitability of the daily grind? Suffer in silence we must. Tolerate the suffering of others we must.

What sorts of beings inhabit a land devoid of imagination? I fear the young have not taken up the cudgels of their elders. The old vanguards have or are about to meet their just reward. And who do we have left today? Yes, an individual must take responsibility for her own actions, but a public figure to whom she can look in admiration serves to inspire. Here is a Filipino who continues to burn with passion for things this country should value. But what do we value as a nation? What sorts of things would we fight for? What is freedom? What is justice? What is kindness, passion, love but meaningless abstractions which hold no immediate relevance to our daily subsistence? Is it enough to put food on the table? Is it enough to perhaps save a little something for rainy days? Is this ‘life’ in the Philippines? Is there nothing more?

What sorts of beings inhabit a land devoid of imagination? Automatons going through the motions – we wake up, go to work, perform duties expected of us, eat, shit, sleep, breathe. The comfort, the surety of routine is perhaps the only refuge from what ails all that lies beyond our immediate control. Everyday we are inundated with facts that those who hold power over our lives perpetrate the worst crimes against our people. And here we sit mute, preferring to turn a blind eye. What does it matter if Gloria Arroyo means to stay on past 2010? What does it matter if she means to remain indefinitely, the captain of this sinking ship? It doesn’t if we cannot imagine anyone better.

What sorts of beings inhabit a land devoid of imagination?

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