Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A Filipino Carol


I felt a bit awkward reading “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens primarily because it is still high summer (no thanks to the temperature). Reading the literary piece arose from realizing that I have downloaded so many free e-books from the internet (prior to discovering Project Gutenberg) but I don’t find the time to read them.

The story can really hook you up. It is about an archetypal bad guy – serious, choleric, ‘children-hater’ – who was visited by the ghost of his long-dead business partner and informed him of the coming of three more spirits. And soon I found out that these spirits were of the Past, Present, and Of the Things to Happen (of the Future for simplicity). These three allowed our main character see his past – how he once enjoyed the coming of the Christmas, see the present – how many people loathe him and even consider him an animal, and his future – dead; forgotten by the people.

He soon realizes his bad treatment to people and after waking from the seeming bad dream of his, he made it a point to reverse all those things. The story ends seeing him having a good time with his clerk.

What if chance allow the same thing to happen to the one with the highest power in our government? Perhaps a Filipino version of the Spirit of the Past (Multo ng Nakaraan) would take this ‘person’ to her (ahem) past and make her feel again the joy of being happy in a land that is free from oppression.

And then a Filipino version of the Spirit of the Present (Multo ng Kasalukuyan) who would let her see how much of the Filipino people are in dire condition – living below that ominous poverty line, and eating below the usual three meals, and finding no suitable employment for them – and let her hear, nearer to her ears this time, the angry shouts of the poor people agonizing over the oppression of the landlords of those vast haciendas, as well as those of the students who have found themselves now trapped between tuition fee hikes and fare hikes (I know, she allowed a certain law or something akin to that which temporarily holds tuition fee increase, but it is already the start of the classes; hello!? they have most probably paid the fees already).

Lastly, the Spirit of the Future (Multo ng Hinaharap) who I really hope would let her see if the people would genuinely join hands together and fight against corruption up to its bloody end (I am in the belief it is going to be bloody) and give her a vision of the future – dead and forgotten by the people her government has abused.

I see that it is kind of funny wishing corruption will be over now in the country. It has been a bitter fight, it is still a bitter fight, and it will be a bitter fight for those who would soon fight against it.

I may not fully understand still the things that Engels and Marx say, but for as long as I see Filipinos who have the world at the palm of their hands but do not mind having those fellow Filipinos suffer in the hands of those corrupt authorities, I don’t think I would put so much confidence in a bright future for all of us.

If those in power take the lead in doing the wrong things, how can we expect the whole team (the government) to follow the ‘right path’? Perhaps the answer would be to do our own thing?

I don’t think so.

I like Chaos Theory (the one connected with physics) but I am not inclined to find joy in the chaos that would ensue if we mind our own businesses. This country needs the cooperation of its people.

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