We are, by nature, prisoners of our bodies and its position in space and time. A change of location affords a different perspective about one's object of inquiry. From my current perch, my mind's eye contemplates our nation as a stranger might a foreign land. Having been removed from its urgency, its demands, its paranoia, I see her as she sits, hands placed demurely on her knee, naked.
As I attend to my life here in the land of zero politics, she flutters in the periphery, her full-throated laughter alternating with wails of despair. While my conscious must set her aside, I see her still in the literature I read. I read her in my newsfeed. I recognize her in the face of a yaya walking her charge to daycare. She sits there alternately mocking, pleading, begging my attention. Mi patria adorada.
What makes a patriot? What makes a Filipino? Must I be home? Must I answer her calls? Can we not imagine her from where we are, wherever we are on the planet? I used to dream of her once, dressed in the best possible garb of hope. Justice, love and wealth deferred. She was, then, too from a distance, a bundle of potentials. I came home, for a while, and lived her existence. There I sat, steeped in her urgency, her demands, her paranoia. A dutiful daughter can only take so much.
Can we not imagine, together, a nation on the brink? Can we not tell this story, our story, from where we are on earth? What do you see from where you are today? How do you see? How would you, with the luxury of distance, write our story? How would you imagine our nation?
I am happy that Filipino Voices is back on the interwebs. And I am happy to be writing for FV again :-)