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Sunday, June 19, 2011

To The Birthday Boy

It's been 150 years. I guess you will be remembered forever without dying old. Isn't that grand?

It must suck big time to have almost everything while surrounded by people who had almost nothing. In a country you thought was yours, you were made to feel a second class citizen. Well, I have some news for you, almost nothing has changed.

Never mind the gadgets that we have. They don't amount to anything that helped you achieve what you did. Never mind fast cars and fast lanes and jumbo planes, they may send us to places fast but they cannot take us to the journeys you have made when time moved slow - a good thing if one is to experience life in vivid color and texture. We have become an impatient breed, we cook food in microwaves.

We may have some good things in our fingertips, in remote controls, but we are our own slaves. We bury ourselves with work. When we run out of it, we invent more. We have a scheduler for everything from feeding the dog to going to the gym. Walk in the park? We walk the dog in the park. Dogs are special creatures now. They have their own cemeteries, own doctors and hospitals and beauty salons and dress shops.

There are more poor people in our midst, about 80% of the 90 million population. There are more corrupt government officials than you can imagine.

Despite great advancements in technology, we still cannot fly. Well, airfares have become cheap. But we fly in bulk and on specific periods.

I read the gruesome stories you wrote in your novels. About Sisa and her sons, about Juli and Basilio, about Elias, Maria Clara and Ibarra. I'm sure they were real people you have breathed life into in your novels. I'm afraid to say, these people didn't die with you. We have them all here right now.

And you, you were killed and turned into what you are more than a century later: a national hero.

May I ask you to come back and tell me what you think of all these we've done with Filipinas.

And oh, happy birthday, Jose!

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