A cinematic scenario, a fantasy, running in my mind is that of a world inexorably headed toward what looks like a dystopian future. As humankind hobbles toward that uncertain beyond, Filipinos (having multiplied in immense numbers) at home and in the diaspora begin to rise up and rule the world, thus preventing this dystopian scenario from becoming a reality.
Rule the world? Yes, why not? But not through brute might, unbridled power and money, but through their sharing of talents and skills and, most of all, the bigness of their hearts.
And while reveling in this imagined future, I might as well quote the recently departed beloved culture icon Anthony Bourdain, who showed us the world on a plate: “Filipinos are, for reasons I have yet to figure out, probably the most giving of all people on the planet.”
I choke on this every time.
Those are mind-stimulating and heart-warming stuff that I entertain during these rainy days, which have been marked by a series of tragic events presaged by presidential remarks that could only have emboldened evil elements that are, to borrow a phrase, roaming in the gloaming.
In the span of six months, assassins have shot four priests, three of them dead from bullet wounds. How many more on the list? How does one distance these crimes against church persons from the unrelenting presidential attacks on the Catholic Church, its beliefs and consecrated members?
“A farce,” “f—king shit,” etc., President Duterte rants, while overlooking the ministries of selfless church workers among the poor and marginalized who are unreached by his government. He also conveniently overlooks the alleged abuses in other religious sects and cults led by self-styled, self-appointed redeemers of humankind.
And not to forget his attacks on mainstream, legit media.
While dwelling on the President’s F word, look closely at the Sunday Inquirer’s banner photograph of a rally in Slovakia. Notice a street protestor wearing a black T-shirt with bold white letters in two lines that say “FCK NZS.” One need only supply the missing vowels.
The photo was of a May 31 protest rally in Slovakia’s capital Bratislava. Some 3,000 protestors took to the streets in the aftermath of the beating to death of 36-year-old Filipino expatriate Henry Acorda by a so-called neo-Nazi, an assault described as “racially motivated.”
According to an Inquirer report, Acorda tried to stop the assailant from harassing his two female companions from the Philippines and Poland. An Agence France Presse (AFP) report said security footage made available to the media showed that Hiraj Hossu hit Acorda, who then fell and became unconscious. The attacker continued kicking Acorda and even used a cell phone to photograph his victim lying on the ground. Acorda died on May 31.
Acorda began working as a financial analyst in a multinational company in Slovakia only last year. The government of Slovakia will shoulder the repatriation of his remains to the Philippines.
At the rally last Friday, protestors, many of them in black, carried a streamer with the words “Spravodlivost pre Henryho,” which means Justice for Henry. Behind that was a big, red inflated heart. A placard read: “Slovensko 2018: Sexismus Rasizmus Xenofobia.” Another: “Nazi brain burn in hell.”
AFP’s report said the protesters who attended the rally, which began with a violinist playing a mournful tune, were mostly in their 20’s.
What can one say? FCK you NZS, indeed, you evil incarnate roaming this planet.
And while we are on the N word, we note President Duterte’s palm- and arm-raising (not the fist-thrusting) that not a few have noticed to be eerily similar to, if not reminiscent of, the Nazi salutes Hitler made when he worked the crowds and rallied his troops. The President’s Hitler-style salutes and palm-raising I have seen for myself on TV. I am aghast.
Didn’t Mr. Duterte cause an uproar among Jewish leaders when he said he would kill as many drug addicts as Hitler did Jews? “Hitler massacred three million Jews… there’s three million drug addicts. I’d be happy to slaughter them,” he said.
Language, in whatever form or medium, can enable and ennoble. It can also embolden the criminally inclined and stoke to life latent predispositions to commit evil.
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