#pilipinasdebates2016

Nothing shows precisely, efficiently, and succinctly the vulnerabilities and strengths of a political leader more than a public debate.

Binay is deeply entangled in the lies he’s woven in the past. He’s unbelievable. And he doesn’t seem to believe in what he is saying, too.

Miriam is showing signs of senility. She hasn’t placed anything new on the table beyond the usual cynical rhetoric of a politician who’s in public service for way too long. I fear blood will spurt from her eyes anytime soon.

Duterte is cool, street smart-alecky, and composed. I hate to say this, but this man knows how to use television to his advantage very well.

Grace Poe sounds knowledgeable and very calm.

Mar Roxas is burdened by the present admnistration’s inaction. He talks about too many anecdotes and specifics that do not matter to the general viewers. He should have asked for some tips from his broadcaster wife.

This debate has many aspects to improve on, but it is a good start. There is no clear clash of platforms of government. The five running for the post of President end up agreeing with what each has said almost all the time. What this debate shows however is the individual personalities of the candidates. If for anything, the people will be judging TV-mediated character rather than picking the candidate with the best solutions to the country’s problems.

Sisyphus

Camus has written about the insignificance of it all though he stopped at saying that notwithstanding this truth we have to endure.

For what?

Philosophers have busied themselves making sense of our modern existence, but no matter how lengthy their treatises are on life and its supposed meaning, none of their obscure and vague language will fully capture the concreteness of the insignificance felt by that lonely individual who has to endure the drabness, boredom, and life’s obvious lack of purpose.

Monday reminds one of that cycle that doesn’t stop. Of the endless repetitions and unfillable hollowness of modern existence. One usually closes in upon himself by plugging his ears with music or noise, anything that will keep his thoughts from successfully arguing with and persuading him that jumping off the train is a more rational option than raging against the light which, sooner or later, will die.

“Life’s a calling, make it matter,” says a Teleperformance billboard. I don’t know which is worse, admitting that indeed having a mission is a b.s. and to altogether call it quits is a more rational choice or continually deluding oneself that there is a lofty purpose for all these.

But perhaps, Camus was right. That there is virtue in rebelling, in continuously pushing that boulder up a mountain only to see it falling down and pushing it up again until one’s dying days. That I think is my mission. If it can be called such.

Noticing

As one ages, he begins to notice less the peculiarities in individuals he meets every day. He starts to pigeonhole them into convenient categories whose justification for being is known only to him. Worse, people around him are transformed into a blur he consciously ignores especially when the categories have each been filled up. Because he believes he does not have time to stop and notice what makes that man in that hideous yellow t-shirt fall for that woman who’s twice his age, that frightened student clutch his Jansport toward his chest, or that bony woman kiss the cold vertical train handle bar. None of these catches his attention now because there are matters that preoccupy his thoughts more: the big choices he made, aging, office politics, mortgage.

He even fails to pay attention to the jazz number playing in his earphones.

He fails to notice the world passing him by because the nonessentials fill up his thoughts.

This, my readers, is the tragedy of being a full-fledged adult

Forever young

I have no issues growing old.

I will not close down this blog just because I’ve already crossed that threshold. I will have to look for a better tagline.

Or, I will just keep the line because no matter how many years are added to one’s life he remains that young man in his twenties who dreamt of changing the world (but ends up changed instead by the world and holds on tightly anyway to that remaining sliver of himself that stubbornly stays in that exciting but mostly confusing years of his twenties).

After having abandoned Facebook, I do not have to dread facing the barrage of birthday greetings from people who barely know me.

As one ages, what matter on his birthday are those sincere messages from his family, really close friends, and perhaps a wonderful breakfast after a morning walk under a light drizzle.