Procession of the absurd

The traffic was already crawling halfway along Gil Puyat Drive when the bus driver asked all the passengers to get off because the traffic was cut as it reached Ayala Avenue. I alighted from the bus and decided to walk from Tropical Hut to MRT. I tried to keep myself from cursing.

It was hot, humid, the street was crowded and sky scrapers on Ayala were spewing yellow confetti, shredded paper, and some globular polystyrene.  My stiff hair caught some of these trash thrown from above. I couldn’t do anything, they are mourning Cory’s death. And reminiscence of the 1986 People Power, throwing yellow confetti and all other things made from paper or anything with semblance of yellow (old paper, manila paper, etc.) are again in craze, at least for that day.


I overheard two Makati girls in power suits, “Can you see Kris now? I heard from the Buzz yesterday that she is always beside the body of Cory. Palagay ko nasa harapan siya ng karo.”

“I don’t see her yet. But it’s fun seeing stars and big shot politicians. Ang swerte naman ng mga kusinero sa Insular Building.”

The bar of chocolate I was carrying surprisingly did not melt despite the hot midday temperature. The mystery of synthetic chocolate hounds me until this time. But overhearing Makati girls talking about dumb and irrelevant things is more enigmatic than the case of the chocolate. I was able to control myself, which was a good thing, from writing something like “Hindi ka nag-iisa Cory!” using my chocolate bar on the starched blouses of these two Makati girls.

How Filipinos have transformed something like a national state of mourning into something almost like a spectacle of the absurd is beyond my comprehension.  It was so carnival-like that one could not mistake it for a procession for a dead president. There was singing, uncontrolled yelling, and some even going out of their way and wore costumes. This morning was the first time I became an unwilling actor in an affair I often associate with Manila – democracy at its basest form.

The sun was glaring. I was tired from a kilometer-and-a-half walk. I was futilely dodging the falling yellow confetti and whatever yellow-colored trash falling from the sky. I saw some pedestrian who are as exasperated as I was. They perceived the event as a discomfort. This was different from how those girls working in Makati looked at things occuring before them, but to a certain point we agree on the same thing: the event has gone beyond its object. And it is saddening how as a people we have overly developed our sense of the ridiculous and the absurd. Along the way missing the point of the reason for most of our actions.


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