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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 11, 2022

entry arrow7:09 PM | Dread in Dumaguete

Dumaguete feels like a town wallowing in dread. Or if not that, a city with no one smiling. There is a heaviness in the air I cannot begin to describe. No proverbial dancing in the streets the way it had been in 2016 — even when my heart broke then, I knew many people were happy. Everywhere I go, I get stopped by friends and acquaintances who tell me they’re sad. I thought I was projecting, and paid no mind — but even my friend the visual artist Hersley-Ven Casero, who has been by choice apolitical, captured this feeling today. Hersley is the one person I know who has an intuitive connection to the air, to the spirits that engulf us. He is currently traveling, and at the Dumaguete airport, he posted something on his FB: “Mao ni first time namu mo-travel karon by plane since last time sa pre-pandemic… Naa gyud kausbanan. Mingaw og lahi kaayo ang feeling. Di pa nako masabtan ang akong gibati. Pero, basun moabot ra ang adlaw nga mahibal-an na nako unsaon pagdescribe sa feeling. Basta mura’g mingaw sya.”

It’s despair. It’s probably collective dread. It’s probably buyer’s remorse for those who suddenly realised what their vote has done.

“Maanad ra nya ko ani…,” Hersley finally added. I agree with him. We will get used to smelling the stillborn air, but I know I will resist till I and everyone else can smell the fresh air of good governance.

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