Thursday, June 22, 2006

Cynical Pinay' Nibbling on Tinapay'


Aside from reading the most engaging people on earth, one of the more pleasurable aspects of blogging’ is getting to view generously posted pictures. They soar me to places I simply cannot afford to journey to as of now. I read about you and recognize how you are so blessed to plane off to destinations I can only dream about…for now.

Absolve me. Coupled with awe, sometimes, I feel a tinge of juvenile resentment thrown into the goddess of fate, thinking that I was never given a say on my identity….a residency option forfeited …an unused name concealed…and a volley of unmentionable harassment and prejudice I had to stomach for looking …….unusual.

I am not griping….in fact I am washed in a sense of appreciation for how my life turned out to be…if only, you knew my entire story.

But I did utter afford….because that is the disparity sandwiched between you and me.

I am Third World, an exasperating disparaging label heaped on a homeland who pathetically stand in disjointed legs of bizarre economic dire. Hmm…the more politically correct expression would be…..”developing”…Catchy…but it means one and the same. When you say 3rd world…you exhale poor. … a dank fusty smell that emanates from the bowels underneath..

And indeed…40 percent of this nation’s populace live in riveting dire straits. Who is to blame? No one….everyone. Greed….political languor and the poor’s own notion of dependency, not to mention mañatic ( mañana habit) laziness, which hilariously up to now is blamed on the long vanished conquering Magellan.

Yes, bash me!!....I dare say with disregard for sweeping statements….most of the underprivileged are lazy….This is a cultural malady... deep-rooted in this society of crab mentality and a whoring lust for foreign dole outs and butt crack fashion. And I say this with vehemence and impudence because I bear witness to those unfortunate who have sweated blood and tears to rise from dissipation. And I bear witness to those unfortunate who prefer to squander time and energy, leech on, wallow and eventually expire to oblivion.

So I turn the pages and I stare at your majestic mountains in places where the powers that be decree the course of this present world’s lot…..there is something in your pictures….that draw me in…..A cab driver through the streets of NYC, a fanatic food blogger’ through crannies of Memphis….I have peeked through the blues of North Carolina…a cactus place called Arizona…forests and zoos and snowcapped dream worlds….as well as innumerable coffee shops all over Europe.

Where do you get skies that splash more bluer…trees that bear more lush….nights hued in the silhouette of gold….and corners that teem with living more than anywhere else? …..The smell of plenty.

Ah…but it isn’t to say there aren’t places in my country worth venturing. In fact , this archipelago is a twine of prolific virgin pearls…waiting for discovery or…of course, commercial plunder. Dreamy Islands , undiscovered caverns, exotic turtles, playful dolphins, sting rays and hump back whales that beam the lambing ( caress) of my ethnicity…A mermaid country that never fails to charm …entice and enrapture….Many never leave.

And yes, more than once in a while our golden powdery sand, corals, galleon dive spots and beaches of azure blue have been labeled the finest in the world…. My dream is to own a bohemian hovel fronting a pink beach line... My own shore where I can bask in clandestine splendor …..Someday I will.

I will because…I am not poor. I have never had a poor mentality…I see this land and marvel at the sumptuousness of its soil…where anything you lodge will bud …IF one is only eager to toil, plant and harvest.

Mentality…I mentioned mentality…That’s it…A manner of notions….a stance. …it makes the whole difference. You become what you think…

A nation becomes what it is by the collective thinking of its inhabitants…It allows itself to descend in squalor or mount to ease because of its thinking or lack thereof….When you no longer think…you no longer act….you no longer be…..pathos.

But I think….therefore I act…therefore I be. And I think and act in hope. Yes, I do…for in spite of the stream of scarcity beyond the perimeter fence…. I see the blooming of flowers where there used to be a mountain of refuse….and where there used to be a ghetto of thugs I see a strip of concrete homes….and where I used to see a dim alley…I see a procession of bistros with music affecionados’…..A first world in 20 years?...I don’t know because…..

flowers and houses and bistros and music are not marble pillars of establishment to seize up an economy…..

People…people who think and act with integrity…with vision …with conviction…with autonomy and personal surrender…A unified thinking of fellowmen before oneself… That is what is sorely required. “Think not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,”…..a reverberating thought of insight that continuously rings truth not only to the public for whom it was addressed, but for every one of us born with the accountability of sovereignty.

And unless…unless… we, brown babies of democracy, establish to think of ourselves as a single unit…Unless we put up a unified front…..Unless we critically do so, we may soon be gobbled up into an obtainable none by a next door sleeping giant in the throes of awakening…..A slumber that leads to doom for us who observe with breathless vulnerability as red tide encroachment subtly begins in Spratly….

And so I think of places…your places of splendor….and I think of places…my places of exquisiteness….and I think…think…of others who suppose the way I do…..allied with the silent majority to advocate change….and if need be… to push change in a prevailing entity that fails…so dreadfully to think …..to think…to thiiink…on its own two feet.

Let the waltz of personal mutiny begin……

Tell me…will changing a system change a nation’s soul???
Will changing a system inspire character?
Will an ornate constitution mandate change???

I dare say it won’t.
I dare say it won’t
I dare say it won’t

NO to Charter Change.

YES to a change of heart.


18 comments:

schaumi said...

This was one very powerful, moving post, lux.

I would dare say you are right where you need to be to affect a change of heart.......you are a teacher at heart...

AlmightyHeidi said...

You go girl!!!!!

Lady Lux said...

schaumi:

thank you schaumi...hope ur' feeling much better...

almighty:

yah!...and now I gotta' go take a shower....love your bloggy'...he!he!

paris parfait said...

Very powerful post! Thank you for your lovely comments on my weblog. I'll certainly be back to read more of yours!

Delaleuverses said...

I applaud you for this beautiful post, it really pulled at the heartstrings. I'm glad I stopped by

Josephine said...

All of your thoughts here deserve to be contemplated. And I do believe that it is people like you who change the world for the better.

What you've written strikes a chord with me, because although I am American, I am from a forgotten culture and place, a place where all of us know well the scent of poverty and despair.

In my opinion, too many people in this world want to walk around like nothing matters, like we are not all in this together. People want to ignore the ugliness that they unwittingly contribute to on a daily basis.

You ask if changing a system (government?) can change a people, and my answer is that yes, I think it can. It's a two way street.

Mr Q said...

Kumusta Lux? Pinay on Tinapay?, I know exactly what it felt like before 1993, in some other parallel world. It is greener here but also high maintenance, the kind of maintenance that corrupts the heart. The trick is to manage our existence with enough knowledge to survive. The knowledge is power cliche is true, but the price you pay for such becomes a relentless pursuit that could end our lives or waste the time we have to live. About leadership, they are like opinions you know... Maybe it wasn't so bad when the Shoe lady's hubby was in charge but some people were not happy, as usual. Not much more I can say, is reality and it suck until you pay less attention to it. It is always going to be greener here and there, the chance to see it for yourself, (if I understand you correctly)is what is most difficult. This medium we call blog is what will happen more and more, then our perceptions of distance and time will be too much for our "high speed" lives, to the point that we may end up going back to the basics. Feeling and thinking.

kate said...

WOWOWOWOWOWOOWOWOWO great post girlfriend!

I think that you are inspired enough to make a change... you may need help, funding and guidance, but that is the small part!! The determination is really at the heart of change!

It is interesting that you feel sucked into our worlds... I think you just sucked us into yours!!

cheers!! K

Ben said...

Hi Lux,

Read your latest three posts today. In this one you somewhere say "I think, I act, I be."

That's exactly it. Self-responsibility. Of course, we struggle. We fight. Win. Lose. But in the end ... we create our life, ourselves, that I am absolutely convinced of.

And the fact that you are not poor.... Well, two ways to go about that: You can walk around in guilt which won't help anyone or you can walk around helping by doing the best you can - in your life as it io and in this very moment - which is to help a whole generation of kids find their way in a confusing world to the best of your abilities.

And as anyone can see: You do this with love. What else could anyone ask of you?

THNX for being around.

Gary said...

Nice post.I basically agree with everything you are saying. I also believe that many of the best things in life are free.

I have known many third world people(Hispanics primarily)and have found many of them delightful. I think there are wonderful people all over the world.

X. Dell said...

Everyone has heard about Ivan Pavlov and his experiment in which dogs were taught to associate a bell with food.

Yet Pavlov did other experients with these dogs. There were others in which certain actions by them were met with negative reinforcement (specifically shock). Thus, the animal learned to associate the action with the pain of the shock, and, naturally, stopped taking that action.

But what if you shock a dog randomly? In other words, without warning, without any connection to a specific stimulus, what will a dog do if he's punished for no apparent reason?

Answer: the dog will simply lie down.

Psychologists refer to this condition as "learned helplessness." And it works pretty much the same in humans as it does in canines. If someone feels that they're damned if they do, and damned if they don't; if someone feels that no matter what effort they put forth will amount to nothing because they, by their nature, are deemed "inferior;" don't expect them to simply leap up and be dilligent.

What really gets people out of poverty is the change of belief that they can do so, and usually the most important element of that change is positive reinforcement for their effort, not endless futility or condemnation.

As Martin Luther King once said, "In America, we tell men to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. But it is nothing but a cruel jest to tell a bootless man to pull himself up by his own bootstraps."

Aunty Belle said...

Mah heavens! Well...this heah is sompin' else, honey. Much fer cogitatin'.

The new PC word is "emerging" nations...passing by "developing" ...but Q done made an important observation...emerging into WHAT? Too much of the gold lines streets of lore is a sorta death to real livin'. it drives ya', ya doan live, jes dance to the tune faster n'faster.

Red tide? The struggle --win or lose--is important--struggle defines ya as person, as nation. Not all struggles is immediately victorious--Poland is example. They is now, but they did struggle.

Youse got a lot on yore mind, puddin'. Enjoyed this heah post.

Mayden's Voyage said...

You said,
"A nation becomes what it is by the collective thinking of its inhabitants…It allows itself to descend in squalor or mount to ease because of its thinking or lack thereof….When you no longer think…you no longer act….you no longer be…..pathos."

And my Nation- that I love so much- has whole populations that have given up thinking- and their demise is easy to see.

I was once scolded- harshly- by an up and coming preacher--because I said, while in South Africa, that
the US is the greatest country in the world- and that anyone who wants to make something of their life- CAN make something of their life- here.
I had never seen such dispair as I did in SA.

Both the American preacher, and the other woman who was with us- shook their heads...Confronted me with the fact that maybe my "can-do" attitude had something to do with my parents and their work ethic.
That the poor and down-trodden of the US had no such parents.

As if I, the oldest of 6 children, who lived below the poverty level for most of my childhood- didn't know what it was like to be poor. Oh yes-- I knew all too well about cereal or toast for dinner- hand me downs from the church- free milk and cheese from food banks. I knew what it was like to be without money- but we were never poor in spirit. We cut fire wood, we made some of our own clothes, we kpet our house CLEAN, we painted the front porch with army surplus paint- Gray- we picked corn in the summer, and tomatoes. And we were grateful.
Our mindsets are our own. Only we can be responsible for the way we choose to think.

I understand that poverty can have damaging effects on the psyche- I see truth in it, but I also see the collective need for some to shift the blame to surroundings and circumstances- rather than asking a person in need to take some personal responsibility for themselves.

"Yes" to a change of heart. "Yes" to parents who see a way to make the future better and teach their kids to do the same. "Yes" to making the world a better place than the way we left it.
"Yes" to thinking, and dreaming, and hoping...and working.

Yes, friend, yes :)

Lady Lux said...

I am thinking right now of what to say...I will be back later...

Enemy of the Republic said...

I won't bash you. I want to link you. Is that okay?

Lady Lux said...

Hello there everyone...case anyone see's this...

Thank you so much for coming over. Seems like I'm down with a load of everything that can possibly be dumped on me..from school work to having to look for a house to boxing..everything is crazy...

But...I sneaked for a moment here to say that I miss you all..I learned so much from what you all wrote here...Almighty...you are in my prayers...I think of you...always...

Schaumi...

I miss you...you're bloggy...seems like we're living in parallel worlds...I'm boxin' up big time...

paris...

I always read you...don't leave comments...but I will from now on...thanks for being here..

dela...

what can I say...I am amazed at the creativity I saw in your bloggy home...definitely will be a favorite...thank you for being here...

josephine...

your bloggy...you thoughts are absolutely sweet...honey of the blogworld...I go there to rest...

Mr. Q...

oKey lang naman ako..ikaw kaya?

could it be that you can understand me?...

was musing on what you said...will post more of my comments in your bloggy comment section...felt good to hear you...

Kate:

all I want to give you is a hug...!
I was thinking of you this am while getting ready for school...you beside that chocolate fountain..hee!hee!

Ben:

thanks to you..and to your colors...first thing to rev up my energy every morning....

Gary:

a sweet smile for you from me :))

there...inspiring bloggy...yours is...always makes me stop and think...and think..and think again...

Tikka:

I dig you princess!!!!

Doc T;

nice of you to drop by...i'm glad you understand....


x dell:

I kept mumbling Ivan Pavlov during class...( while I wait for the ids to finish up copying seatwork...)...learned helplessness...that phrase struck me...could be used to desribe me too..

Aunty...

"not all struggles are immediately victorious..."

THANK YOU....I'm really tired...and want to cry....thank you writing this...Sometimes weariness can make you feel like just wanting to give up on a lot of things...thanks for saying this...I needed to hear this...I really did...

Mayden:

I know what it means to have and to not have..and in everything I feel content...which is why i said i am not poor. I'm glad we understand each other...i have yet to write to you...i know...i will....i'm sooo tired...

enemy:

i always read you...to learn...to widen my perspective...it would be an honor for me if you would link me....thank you...


IT'S ALMOST EVENING HERE....I'M SO TIRED...I'M HAVING DINNER ALONE..AND I JUST FEEL BLAH...YOU MADE ME HAPPY...ALL OF YOU...THANK YOU...

Mr Q said...

"oKey lang naman ako..ikaw kaya?"
baka.

Gusto sinigan, lumpia, kanin; menudo masarap! hindi kara-kare para sa ako.

Lady Lux said...

Mr. Q:

sinigang expert ako dyan...menudo..pwede na rin...kare kare....walang akong balak na lutuin yan..mahirap...noong isang beses sinubukan ko..aha!ha!ha!...wag' mo na tanong kung ano nangyari...