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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

entry arrow12:01 AM | Future Non-Fiction

Manuel L. Quezon III writes of the Philippines in 2015 and its monstrous Marcosian legacy in the newest issue of i-Report, which is increasingly becoming my favorite magazine:

And so it was, that in the year 2015, the Philippines -- as Metternich had once contemptuously said of Italy -- had become "merely a geographic expression." It was, at best, a virtual nation, but more aptly a gigantic nursery for those who would consider the world their home. Home was not native land, a nation, in the sense understood by previous generations. It was still a place, but this time just a staging ground. It might be where property could be obtained; it would always be where a never-ending line of poor suckers not as clever (or far too lazy) compared to you were stuck waiting for your monthly remittance.

Country was an issuing authority: for passports and permits; a place where nothing worked as well as where you were working, but which you fondly remembered as the place that allowed you muddle through. Your parents and grandparents talked politics; you provided them appliances for karaoke when the politics got them depressed. Your parents and grandparents talked of school and church; you could email and text your classmates the world over and were likely to belong to a different church than them. You were different from those who came before because, unlike them, you felt you were truly free.

Country was the place where your foreign exchange could build a house, brand new, beside the decaying homes of the local gentry. Country was where your siblings waited their turn to go to another land. Country was where you went for funerals and weddings; it was where you could come back, without that "proper" accent, and without the "right" manners, and be able to afford to hobnob with the sons and daughters of those who had employed your parents. Home was land, increasingly urban, or at the very least, as urbanized as your remittances could afford to make it. Home was about handouts: for thieving officials, for relatives to indulge. But as for the rest, home was where you might be, comforted by the songs from home, played on your mp3 player; entertained by movies you could see on DVD; illuminated by the gossip on shows you could watch on cable; driven by the jokes sent by email and text by your compatriots inhabiting the four corners of the world.

You read with barely concealed horror, because you know you can't help but agree.

(There are also fearless forecasts by Queena N. Lee-Chua on education, David Celdran on TV and technology, Paulo Alcazaren on Manila, Maruja Asis on the family, Jonathan A. Flavier on health care, Teresita Ang See on crime, Uro Q. de la Cruz on cinema, and Howie Severino on our collective guilt as a generation for not making things better. I guess the issue should be in the newsstands now.)

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