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Daily Archives: February 9, 2010

Mental soliloquy

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There comes a time when you have to decide to choose only one between two things that you love to do. Or choose only one task among a multitude of others. Or finally hook up with the true damsel of your heart after enjoying the life of a swinging bachelor for quite some time. Stuff like that.

Most of the time, you really only have to choose one. Even the national hero, Pepe Rizal, was forced to choose between his love of letters –which is a life of useless romanticism (especially in a pragmatic sense)– and his passion for knowledge, i.e., the sciences.

Earlier today, I was made (or should I say forced) to realize that my arduous passion for my advocacy backfired to where I was attached realistically — my material world (with apologies to the ageless Madonna). I was in a dilemma. It’s either I give up the other one to save the other effort, or self-destruct by sticking to both. Because at that very moment, it appeared to be the only resolution.

But of course, I can’t do such a thing. Well, at least, not yet.

And then at that same moment, I suddenly remembered our disgusting heritage of smallness. We Filipinos always think small, of the unthinkable, of what cannot be done. It’s what has been daunting us for ages. Whatever big or challenging that comes along the way makes us unsteady and unsure.

I just couldn’t have it anymore.

So as our forefathers should have done before in the first place, I cudgeled my brains and made one supreme effort to bravely respond to the challenge.

For Filipinos today, the great peril is of challenges not met fully or not met at all. These challenges may seem too big or too small, too rash or too sudden, too dangerous or too dishonest. We always have reasons for rejecting them, for not responding. We are not prepared, or our betters don’t set us up a proper example, or it’s just the old con game anyway. We’re interested in only what’s popular and easy. Challenges are difficult; they don’t elicit popular response. Land reform is such a challenge; but pessimists say it is failing even before it has begun. Skepticism and no hope accompany squatter resettlement. Confronted with a postwar decay in education, we met the challenge by pushing our standards lower and lower; but even the effort required by these already very low standards is begrudged and found hard. High prices, low productivity, a swelling population — all these are challenges we have yet to pick up; and our reluctance fills the air with the uneasiness of a destiny not being fulfilled adequately. (Footnotes to Yesterday by Nick Joaquín)

I don’t want to contribute to that already stinking air. So something has to be done.

And yes, not everything I ever wanted should be given to me on a silver platter. This life is unfair. This I already know since the day I started to think critically. And so I have to rise above the challenge, as they are wont to say.

Respond to challenges. POSITIVELY respond to challenges. That is, at the moment, the only way to realize my fevered quixoticism. Respond to the iron law of life: develop or decay.

“Challenges, when met with superior response, advance and enlarge a people, so that what may have been a handicap or a doom becomes a heroic step forward.”

And so I rest my case. =)

We almost met a couple of times, Nick. But due to circumstances beyond my control, it never happened. However, I hope that I'm making you proud with my newly found comportment...

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My Lenovo laptop’s back from the dead! Special thanks to Hubwoo Manila’s whizkid, Arnel Armintia! Take a bow, my friend! =)uy

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