December 9, 2006

No, it is not true that the Cagsawa Ruin is forever buried by mud into oblivion. It is not true that there will be a tsunami so do not run for your life and start a stampede.

According to Jiggs Daza in his report to RMN-Naga, words about the Cagsawa Ruin being erased from the face of the map is untrue. Right now, it is in the middle of two raging waters, tucked safely in an island. It is attracting people who came over from distant places to check if it is still there. Yes, it is still an existing tourist spot even after the news of its disappearance.

We have a hyperbolic temperament it seems, exaggerating matters for the art of it. In fact some postcolonial critics would say that it is for preservation of memory, a way to assert the self in the midde of massive foreign domination. However, we must observe how hyperbolic the Bikol language already is. We just do not say ‘tired’ or ‘pagal’, we say ‘hakrang’ or ‘very tired’. We just don’t say ‘hungry’ or ‘alup’, we say ‘gulpa’ or ‘very hungry.”

It is a linguistic device, a necessity brought about by its oral nature. Bikol until now is rarely published. A big bulk of Bikol literary arts is still chanted or recited/said. In this mode, there is much reliance on the register, that is why it is presented in the nth power. Perhaps colonial discourse has a hand on it, but I say that language being the repository of history is telling us of who we are.

Apparently, power writing as literary aesthetics is no match to Bikol hyperbolics.


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