Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Show me da Manny!

Okay, I think I have to cave in to the much-ballyhooed win (which fight isn’t anyway?) and throw my slight disdain towards his minor bullshit-ness over the window. When you’ve got fame and power at your disposal, why not bullshit around right? To rub the already clichéd term more, Manny is really something—he’s unlike any Filipino not just in strength but in the ubiquitous charm. He’s a slap in the face to Filipino bourgeoisie. To the poor, he’s an icon of triumph; a testament to that elusive luck, which we Filipinos have grabbed onto so tight we forgot to do anything else. He’s “the great hope” as TIME magazine would put it.

I can very much recall my very first participation to the communal Filipino act (by now it should be some sort of a Filipino tradition—a kind of phenomena that depletes traffic flow in the streets and diminishes crime rate to almost nil) of watching a Pacquiao fight two years ago with complete strangers. It was in a department store and there was some exhibit of which I was a part in. It was a Sunday, as usually the case, and there was a large-enough TV with the Pacquiao fight. As long as it was on, it did not take more than five minutes for the entire vicinity to be filled with excited onlookers (I sat down on the floor for convenience), as if the TV is some kind of medium channeling a modern-day deity. During the Pacquiao-Hatton fight, I watched it with a room full of my colleagues, around 30 people. So imagine the fucking noise it created when Hatton was pummeled to an unconscious state in the second round. Everyone looked as if they won the championship themselves, a beaming smile and pair of delightfully-lit eyes.

The media is overflowing with words and the TV is replete with footage of the said communal act. For really, it does move mountains and Manny can move the nation into such state which we are so quick to call as unity—we are so damned united. We feel our brothers same excitement. We feel truly proud. We feel we are living like patriotic Filipinos rooting for their hero. Dare I say that never have we felt a sense of Filipino pride so strongly than with Manny’s bouts, especially to those whose idea of the EDSA revolution is that of the history books. This sense of unity is commendable, the sense of pride inevitable. How can you not be? I am proud.

But see, while Manny’s victories we claim as ours, while we unite as a nation and feel an overwhelming sense of pride, what of after? For what? We go to our daily goings-on, be bums, be corporate and bureaucratic slaves, be pessimists, be optimists, be friends, be enemies until the next Pacquiao fight. We wait for that glimmer of hope, that façade of victory we always wanted to have a taste of—but unlike Manny we seem to have lost the willpower, alright, the “firepower” and we go back mired in empty promises of relief from misery. If Manny so reflects our country, then it would be that, this country has always struggled but success (power) has always remained to be in the hands of the few. So, after the fight, we go back to being a country in disarray, our goals and ideals in shambles, prone to crime and corruption, wallowing in poverty, with a continuing exodus of people abroad, we go back to bitching about the traffic, until the next Pacquiao fight finds us in each other’s company again.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

existentially beleaguered

They call it microblogging but for whatever purpose it may serve to other Facebook users but the ubiquitous box wherein you place your thoughts is for me the most easiest I can get to a rant, or an outlet. So thanks, Mr. Zuckerberg, whom I just read in GQ’s men of year as, what else, 2008’s “Boy Genius”. (Jon Hamm who’s terrific as Don Draper is on the cover.)

But back to the FB thought-box. So I was posting that I was kind of “existentially beleaguered”. Besieged was the first word, but mukhang OA. That mood kind of pervaded for around 2 weeks, which is actually kind of long already (sometimes a different thought would appear the next day, or even within a day as sometimes I post good quotes from books, novels, personalities and from wherever I get these pretentiously sensible crap. The thought posting is actually kind of fun, eliciting a plethora of reactions and what-have-yous from friends.

A colleague asked why was I “existentially beleaguered”. I can’t provide the answer, to my surprise, and I had been placing it for around 2 weeks. When I heard the first bout of Christmas songs wafting in the commercialized air of the yuletide, that’s when it hit me. I always get this mood, which is actually a shitty kind of mood to feel given that everybody’s all giddy-up for the season. I felt this last year, and just like the universe’s many inexplicable mysteries, I dunno why I give a shit. Or maybe I don’t really. I still like the Christmas songs though. But maybe I lost something, or what? Christmas is not for me, its for the corporate slugs and people who have fat pockets after the season because of humongous bonuses that seem to pile up their already humongous paychecks. I need to have some fun, right? I’m just fucking thinking too much probably.

Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family, Choose a f—king big television. Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol and dental insurance. Choose fixed-interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose a three piece suit on hire purchased in a range of f—king fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the f—k you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing f—king junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, f—ked-up brats you have spawned to replace yourself. Choose a future. Choose life . . . But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life. I chose somethin’ else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?

Renton, Trainspotting