COLLECTIVE GRIEF

August 26, 2012

One Inquirer columnist rightfully called it “collective grief.” And true enough it is indeed deadening. Deadlier than collective anger. So it is a welcome development that there will be an investigation on the hows and whys of the Robredo tragedy. I am also happy that Abrazado will have the chance to air his take on the plane crash. Actually, I have been waiting to hear it from him since the day of the crash. His silence is rather odd.

One can’t help but be a little bit pessimistic because of what happened. Robredo has always been that figure at the back of our heads, occupying our collective consciousness, symbolizing good governance–that everything will be ok so long as he is around. Now, everybody seems so unsure.

From my vantage point, which is the Philippines. It is really hard to trust politicians. For a country so left out in the Asian economic race, we spend so much money during elections, so much that our preoccupation seems to be nothing but politics.

For one, even the literary sector is so politicized. One writer commented that we are so engrossed about other things–awards and literary barkada, except writing itself. It is easy to get disheartened if your heart is not in the right place. If you are a writer simply trying to communicate through your art, you will meet lots of opposition–from the academe, even from your fellow writers. But then real writers won’t really care. And the more opposition and antagonism, the better.

Anyway, so much of this lest we invite negative vibes.

I’m just happy to have received copies of the Far Eastern University English and Literature Journal (Volume 5-2011) where six of my poems in English appear. Published in 2012 by FEU Publications, the volume is edited by Ariel R. Valeza, Maurie M. Nivales, Romulo P. Villanueva and Danny T. Vibas. Content includes works by Ferdinand Lopez, Grace Reoperez, Ralph Semino Galan, Gary Devilles, Maurie Liza M. Nivales, Alejandro S. Bernardo, Augusto Antonio A. Aguila, Bong Lavarias, Simeon Dumdum Jr., Gerry S. Rubio, and Bill Shmidt.

The various institutes and departments of FEU regularly publish academic journals. For more info about the journal FEU is at Nicanor Reyes St., Sampaloc, Manila, The Philippines. Telephone: (632)7360039. Email: amalcampo@feu.edu.ph. Special thanks to cacodaemon poet Miel Ondevilla.

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