Why have we become like this?

A friend of mine, a young woman of 26, asked me if she could leave before three today to join a protest rally on Katipunan, which if a critical mass is reached, will head to EDSA this evening. I indifferently said yes and told her to just make up for the lost hours next week. I on the other hand had to stay until 6 at the school to work on the evaluation of the French class students. I have papers to check this weekend, a class to prepare for, and cats to take care of. I also have to catch up on my workout as I haven’t gone to the gym for a week now because of work.

The people I see on the street, those my age, show that similar look of resignation, save for some undergraduates in their PE shirts or long tees who seem poised to change history tonight.

For all the rest, this protest on EDSA against the clandestine burying of the remains of Marcos is an annoyance, a cause of this monster traffic. The reason they’re stuck on buses on their way home to Fairview or Bacoor.

This is what has become of us. Work has made us unresponsive to events and happenings that would otherwise scandalize us had we been not rendered docile and satisfied but unthinking by work. I hate this feeling. This is what it means to be an adult; I hate that I am one.

I told myself a long time ago when I was much, much younger, that I would be part of history unfolding. That I will not stay home and let pass that rare opportunity to make a difference in this country. But look at me now. I’m scurrying to go home, cursing the traffic on EDSA just to catch some sleep.

And the saddest thing is that, passing by EDSA shrine, I saw a small crowd, hardly a critical mass enough to send the message that the people are indignant. There were several groups taking selfies while a member is holding a placard.

Everyone is tired. Everyone has gone tired. What with the unfulfilled promises of the past two People Power? The world goes on turning, with Marcos’s body finally subject to the actions of worms and vermins, after years of keeping it almost lifelike inside a tomb his family built for him.

But even rats and roaches won’t touch him. Who would want to gnaw on a dessicated body preserved in formaldehyde for almost three decades?

Life goes on.

And that is the tragedy of the Filipino, myself included, this general quiet and seeming indifference, this lack of rage at the direction this country is heading.

And my train goes to the direction of home, and I’m dying for sleep.

At work on a Sunday

It’s not because I am such an industrious worker. Most of the time I am not. My views with regard to work have changed countless of times. They’ve flowed and ebbed depending on the fulfillment and financial reward I derive from them. I could spring to as high as not expecting remuneration so long as the toil gives me some feeling of ebullience and satisfaction for having helped others, or I could neap to as low as counting every minute of it and not working beyond the final minute knowing that I am not anymore paid for it. Work has become so perfunctory (has it never been?) that I often dread going to work. There are rare occasions, however, that I regain my long-lost insouciance toward work. Sadly, I am not very consistent in keeping it that way.

Today, I left home at 7:15 for my make-up work from 8:00-12:00. That’s a failure to keep the Sabbath Day holy, the fourth commandment in the Decalogue. But the issue whether the real Sabbath is Sunday or Saturday is still being debated. Until the time Christians have settled the matter, I won’t feel contrite working on a Sunday (or Saturday).

It’s a downward journey, I hear most people say. Once one has given up his Sunday for work, he’ll have very few excuses not to give up his evenings, holidays, even those precious moments with people dear to him.

Be a guest writer

For how can something be truly a representative of a certain sector if it is a thinking of an individual who has, for the longest time, been trying to isolate himself from the rest of the world?

Only after a necessary question is asked do we begin to find the correct solution.

There have been plans during the conception of this blog to invite guest writers. Few people responded. The articles submitted were either too specialized or to technical for the tone of this blog. There were email correspondence that showed promise but eventually died out. Either the proponents have given up or I was too inefficient in updating this blog that I ended up losing the people who could’ve been partners in realizing the main objects of this blog – letting twenty-somthings express themselves and challenging existing stereotypes associated with these group.

It so happened that I belong in this group who are in the forefront of change caught in a setting of constant flux. You may brand us ‘confused’ if you find yourself in the extreme end of cynicism or ‘simply seeking adventure and trying to have a real taste of life that they are just starting to live’ for people who empathize with our struggles.

They say that the twenty-somethings of our time are apolitical, indifferent, disinterested, selfish, even asexual. But time and again we have proven them false. We saw ourselves involved in the very vortex of change situated in different venues: in our family, community, university, the national scene, and in the world. We are as diverse as the colors that represent us, the job we do, or the opinions we have of life in general.

We questioned prevailing mores, challenged the status quo, and transcended our supposed fate. We work in places unimaginable during our parents’ days. We travel to places beyond the confines of the comfort of our culture. No one can impose their thoughts on us, compel us to stay in one place, or do what we hate to do.

This blog is a celebration of that free spirit. And what better way to celebrate this spirit than to write about it.

Going Against the Current is inviting all twenty-something to write about anything – your experience, victory, defeat, first love, travel, work, passion, art, angst, sadness, frustration, hope, dream, plans for the future, disappointment, opinion, political leaning, school, sex, writing, food, fear, prognostication, prediction, criticism, anger. . . .

. . . .anything.

(You may send your entries to eraserattsokfev@yahoo.com.) And from there we’ll see.