It’s all over the news now. Another bombing has left the Filipinos in a state of disbelief. I’m going to be honest: when Lala Flores’ daughter Danica Magpantay won the Ford Supermodel of the Year 2011, I had hopes of the Philippines being the highlight of southeast Asia, having natural beauties and unaltered realities win competitions like this.
Then I remember the carnappings. Then the oil price hike. Then the fact that another journalist was slain, the 142nd media killing since 1986. Then the littlest and biggest of issues in cyberspace, where apparently opinions are paid for. Then the hope fizzled.
For those who follow me on Twitter, I bet you would notice that as each tragedy is reported in the news, my automatic response is that I am saddened that this is the place I have to bring my kids to. And this is not to say that I am pregnant (because I am not) or that I am planning to be (because I am not). I say so because it is the fact: this is the world we are going to bring our kids to.
And it’s days like these when it’s so hard to keep the faith. That the human being, the person, the individual will exercise his free will and choose intellect and wisdom over misdirected passions. That the government will fund better education so this kind of thinking — blowing up buses and shit — will not be the main exhibition of dismay and disagreement.
But sometimes, faith can just take you so far. I am seriously afraid that my niece Chuchi will grow up at a time when buses just spontaneously explode and prices spike overnight and her necklace will be snatched as she walks to school and her favorite broadcaster will die before she ever gets to meet him/her. I am afraid that my future child will have questions as to why people kill people, why Mindanao is the richest in natural resources and yet we can’t find peace with them, why the government is richer than the people, why she is in so much debt at the very moment she’s born. And I won’t have the answers.
I used to find equanimity when Oscar nods are announced, thinking that the arts is something that people can still count on, that bodies like the Academy will always celebrate the good in people. But last night was extra difficult, especially when at 2 in the morning, the bus bomb death toll rose to 5.
So you see, it’s really challenging… keeping the faith. Right now, my only prayer would have to be for the strength to rise to it.