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Oh yeah, Mind F, Mother F ' er! [Ondoy Year 2 and the Apathetic and Forgetful Us]

Monday, September 26, 2011 comments powered by disqus

When Jofti, a friend from FWP, told me about this project of commemorating Ondoy and writing something of whatever value regarding environment, I must admit.. It didn't give me a hard on! Sorry for the euphemism but that was my honest reaction. Of course, the eagerness is on writing. But environment? Call me apathetic but it doesn't excite me much like social activism on art and the secular philippines, underground music and indie films, language and shallowness, etc. Of course, it doesn't sound right saying this. And I am sorry.

     Two years ago, we were in a small but decent house in Batangas. Some steps away in the main street leading to South Super Highway. It was raining hard outside but we never noticed that something was cooking. When dusk approached, I decided to buy some canned goods for the meal. And fuck, that was the only time I realized what was out there! Water from the nearby mountain was rushing in the highway. And yeah, big time! It wasn't unthinkable but striking. It wasn't impossible but a rarity.

     When net became available, we saw the devastation. Before the news, I never thought that it was that huge. Metro Manila was in a state of semi-shock. Houses were wiped out. Cars drowned. And how many lives lost? I lost count. Some 300 people or more, the last time I checked. And nearly 9 billion pesos in total damages to agriculture and infrastructure.

But like death, when we talk of things that we think are far from us, then these things are just that -- talks. But how do you impart the advocacy in a personal manner to apathetic people like me? Because unless a family member or the very self was stricken by cancer, we can never be seriously disheartened by its devastation. Because unless our own balls were castrated, we can never really know how it feels. Yes, we can say our condolences because truth be told, we really are sympathizing. But pain is incomprehensible. The misery, while understandable, is immeasurable.

     Now you ask, do I care about the environment? Yes, of course. Do I closed the faucet after using so as not to waste water? Yes, of course. And a big part of it is because I don't want to pay big bill on wasted resources. Will I not use again hair spray because they say it's a bane to ozone? Yes, I will not. Actually, I am not. Because I don't like it. And I think it can cause pimples. Will I no longer turn on the refrigerator because freon damages the ozone? I can't. I don't have an alternative now to preserve foods like what refrigerator does. 


     So how can we make this advocacy personal? Like the universal feeling of love and betrayal, fears and tears, laughter and melancholy. Like pregnancy and giving birth, circumcision and ejaculation, religion or atheism.

     How do we tell the world of this big concern? Information dissemination is one. But concern and being informed are two different levels. The best possible time to have a united voice as a Filipino is when some foreign countries try to invade us. The only time we can unite mankind is when aliens try to occupy earth. Roland Emmerich knows that well.

     Realization happens when it is too late. That's the cinematic way. And sadly, in real life too. So I'm cutting this short. And will continue doing what I was doing before my first sentence. That at the back of our minds, we care. But later when we have to, we will still be using pieces and pads of paper from trees, opening the ref's door to get our food, and will be zooming your way to work using four wheels with gas. Let us just blame the big industries of logging, coals, and mines. Then at night, let us watch Chuck Palahniuk's masterpiece, "Fight Club". Let us again witness buildings of civilization fall, in the tune of Pixies' "Where is my Mind?". Back to basic! Oh yeah, mindfuck! 

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