Happiness and Sidewalls

El Misterio de la Felicidad

“There’s the one who loves and the one to be loved,” said Laura who knows that her husband will never come back. She just needs to know why he left so she can move on. Meanwhile, Santiago seeks answers why his best friend, Laura’s husband, left while they’re at the apex (or so he thinks) of their lives–a booming business, a laidback lifestyle, and a happy friendship. Both just need reaffirmation that Eugenio is safe and happy even without them beside him. That Laura and Santiago are complete even without Eugenio. That by leaving, all of them can be whole again. If only that’s easy–to let go a part of you so you can be whole.

Medianeras

Mariana and Martin, stuck in the grayscale paradise that is the city, find the sense of living, and themselves, while recovering from their past relationships. In the urban canvas of Buenos Aires, it’s hard to find the space where you belong, how much more yourself? So the two just blend with the iridiscent landscape of the city while waiting for something magical, perhaps love–always love–to change their dull lives. They met each other, of course, but it took them years of self-doubt and loathing that they, as those who were left behind, deserve their suffering but not any answers. It is really hard to fit in when you’re not complete.

The one left behind bothers him/herself with explanations that, in the first place, s/he deserves. Why is the burden of truth should be carried by those who stayed? When someone leaves you without even hums and haws, the questions you ask are actually the answers themselves. So you just stay silent and disturbed. You let the pain find the answers within you. The search is so long that you become the pain.

Leaving someone is uneasy, a decision so big it makes one’s world small. Such event, as seen through the eyes of those left behind, is a blinding moment of betrayal. That by staying where s/he left you, you can find some answers. Yet when you sift through the border of your relationship, you see all things past and future, nothing present. Really, when you’re the one left behind, it’s not the incompleteness that pains you. It is the silence of the end.

Long Live the Marcos Monarchy

If I know, Imelda Marcos pushes for the hero’s burial of his husband at the LNMB for vindication. And Bongbong Marcos is testing the waters again for his possible presidential bid in 2022. The Marcos family will not stop until they’ve made it clear that they are just victims of dirty politics—but they are the dirty politics—and that the People Power Revolution was a mistake.

Marcos himself said that he wants to be buried next to his mother. He said that to Former Vice President Doy Laurel. Or would others still claim that Doy is a “bayaran at kultong dilawan,” too? For the record, Cory and Doy’s relationship turned sour during the latter part of their administration. So I bet he’s not just another propagandist spreading lies.

Really, who has a stronger propaganda but the Marcoses. After all, they’ve embezzled billions of money from the government’s coffers. A large part of that treasure is yet to be recovered by the government due to the family’s refusal and, of course, denial. So you want to ask yourself where did the Marcoses get their campaign and propaganda funds. And yet, there are those who insist that #MarcosPaRin.

Also, remember the four conditions of Former President Fidel V. Ramos before the body of the dictator can be returned to the Philippines? The last one was not fulfilled because of Imelda and Bongbong’s shenanigans. I wonder why FVR is mum about Duterte’s eagerness to bury Marcos as a hero. Welcome to the realpolitiks of the Philippines.

The country can always move on as long as the Marcoses admit the atrocities of their family against the Filipinos and against the nation; cooperate with the government to recover their assets that are illegally acquired; and, ultimately, apologize. There’s no moving on as long as there’s no accountability. There’s no healing as long as the Marcoses keep on revising the past.

The dictator’s burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani cements the fact that in the Philippines, apathy is a lifestyle and impunity is a national symbol.

Pulis: ‘Wag Tularan

Hindi lahat ng nanlaban daw ay nanlaban talaga.

‘Yong dating katrabaho ng mga magulang ko, na aminadong naging adik/pusher, ay handa na sanang sumuko. Ngunit 2AM, kasarapan ng tulog, nang sugurin ng mga pulis ang bahay nila. ‘Yong huling araw niya ng pagtatago ay huling araw na pala niya sa mundo.

“Kung ayaw mong madamay, tumakbo ka na,” sabi raw ng isang pulis sa kinakasama ng suspek. Dali namang tumakbo ang babae para sa kanyang kaligtasan.

“Ma, ‘wag mo kong iwan,” ang sigaw ng suspek sa kanyang kinakasama bago ito tuluyang tumakbo. Ang huling salita na narinig ng kanyang mga mahal sa buhay. Tiyak namang pagmamakaawa ang huling nasambit niya bago bawian ng hininga.

Ayon sa mga kapitbahay, tila planado raw ang lahat ng nangyari. Halos wala raw narinig na putok ng baril ang katabing bahay ng suspek, parang katok lang daw sa pader. ‘Yon pala’y naka-silencer daw ang tumirang pulis. Dalawang “katok” lang ang kinailangan para kitilin ang buhay ng lalaki. Sabi pa ng mga kapitbahay ay dali-dali ang dating ng SOCO at punerarya matapos patayin ang suspek. Tila planado raw ang lahat sa bilis ng pangyayari.

Ang lumabas sa balita, nagsagawa raw ng buy bust operation ang mga pulis sa bahay ng suspek at nang makatunog ang suspek, nagtangka raw itong maghagis ng granada kaya pinaputukan siya agad ng mga pulis. Pinabulaanan ito ng mga kapitbahay dahil halos wala nga raw marinig na komosyon ng gabing ‘yon. Ano nga namang laban ng mga saksi at ng kinakasama ng suspek? Sinong lalapitan mo para magsumbong kung mismong pulis pala ang gumagawa ng extrajudicial killing?

Sa kaliwa’t kanang vigilante killings at mga namamatay sa police operations, tanungin mo sarili mo kung may ginagawa pa bang forensic investigation sa mga bangkay. Pag-aaksayahan mo pa nga naman ba ng oras ‘yong pusher na namatay kasi pusher siya–ayon sa cardboard; ‘yong pusher na namatay kasi nanlaban siya?

Hangga’t wala kang kakilala na hindi napapatay, mananatili ka raw walang pake sa nangyayari sa paligid. Itong namatay na rating katrabaho ng mga magulang ko, bagaman hindi naman malapit sa aming pamilya, ay kakilala naman nila. At nakakatakot nga naman kung ang kamatayan ay medyo lumalapit na sa iyo, kahit kanino. No’ng isang araw nga lang may nakasabay akong lola sa jeep at ang pinag-uusapan nila ng kasama niya ay ‘yong namatay nilang kakilala dahil daw sa droga. Tingnan mo, napakadaling pag-usapan ng kamatayan ngayon kahit saan kasi napakadaling pumatay ngayon. Basta paghinalaan at manlaban ka, tigil na ang iyong paghinga.


Isa pa pala, ‘yong sangkatutak na mga sumusukong drug users/pushers, ga’no katotoong gumagamit at nagtutulak sila? Ayon sa kaibigan ng pamilya namin na isang kagawad sa Maynila, ganito raw ang nangyayaring sistema sa pagsuko:

Ililista ng mga barangay official ang mga kilala nilang adik at pushers. Kahit pa matagal nang tumigil, basta nasangkot sa droga, ililista. Ngayon, ang listahang ito ay ipadadala sa pulis, kakatukin ang mga nakalista ro’n, at hihikayating sumama sa “mass surrender.” ‘Yong mga hindi susuko, aba, pulis na bahala sa kanila. Ngayon, ‘yong mga nasa listahan, natatakot na mapatay kaya “susuko” na lang kahit pa matagal na silang ‘di sangkot sa droga o kung malas lang nilang nasama sila sa listahan kahit 100% malinis sila. Samakatuwid, intimidasyon ang dahilan kung bakit ang daming sumuko. Pero hindi ko naman dinidiscredit na may mga kusang sumuko naman talaga.

Ang punto ko rito, sa listahan at patayan, may mga nadadamay na inosente. Wala na talagang ligtas kung ang pinakamataas na pinuno ay hinihikayat ang pagpatay ng walang kaabog-abog. Walang pinipili ang kamatayan pero bahala nang ang pulis at mga vigilante ang pumili para rito. Harinawa’y makaraos ang life span ko sa susunod na anim na taon.