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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, May 21, 2008

entry arrow10:16 PM | The Ides of May

It is a little too easy to believe, these past few days, that evil lurks everywhere.

A cyclone hits Myanmar, and its military government inexplicably drags its foot with regards receiving international aid, even as thousands of its people—survivors of the devastation—slowly fade away with hunger and thirst. Help, hostaged by a ruthless regime, is not coming. “We haven’t eaten for days,” says a Burmese man, his emaciated face on TV the profile of a dying people. Why?

Bank robbers commander an RCBC branch, and inexplicably proceed to kill all the bank employees, execution-style, a bullet to each of their heads. {Be warned: the pictures in the link are graphic and brutal.] They were only ordinary people who woke up that morning to go to work, but ended up in puddles of their own blood. Why?

A typhoon ravages western Luzon, and wreaks havoc. My friend, the poet and Inquirer reporter Frank Cimatu, writes of being witness to one small devastation:

Helpless. Helpless. The mother had been crying all night even as the storm was wailing. Her 36-year-old son was pinned down by a mango tree in San Fabian, Pangasinan, Saturday night. Sunday morning and still her son was there. How can her neighbors not feel anything enough not to ease that pain? The neighbors wouldn’t touch him, talking about their own problems.

I told this to a friend later over a cup of coffee, this is not how we Filipinos act. Let’s say there was no hope: his spine was broken; but we don’t leave our dead there. He said something about the ‘culture of poverty,’ of thinking only of our own puny needs in this time indeed of need. Thinking it was not us who was pinned down.

It was a tiring day. I had no energy left to argue. The storm took something we thought we can keep even if our houses were destroyed and our clothes ripped away. We thought we had each other.


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