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Honoring My Mother | A hard rain

AT THE height of the heavy rain last night, a tree fell and brought down with it, an electric post. In our forced candlelit darkness, even with the rains already levelled down to a monotonous drizzle, the lull of a silent night thankfully robbed of karaoke, deep bass and shrieking neighbors with yapping dogs, had finally laid us down peacefully to a light slumber.

For about ten full minutes.

Almost immediately, what first came to mind had been a similarly dark silent night long ago in a forest in Lakewood, Zamboanga del Sur. Our Subanen friend and guide had hushed us to listen, while nearby, a once-dry creek violently awoke to the thunderous rolling of felled trees, huge rocks and all sorts of forest debris, signalling the cracking start of a frightening flash flood.

Our neighbors had arrived. I kid you not, the comparison of thunderous noise is laser accurate. Sadly, one would think you already have a basic understanding of the world. Then you witness seemingly insignificant moments where, a lack of a bit of empathy for a quiet neighborhood, could at least elicit from one, a little decency by keeping the noise down.

For that matter, it’s almost akin to witnessing people going out despite COVID-19, with nary a care in the universe if they contaminate their love ones in case they bring home the virus. Really, at this, nothing else seems to make make any sense anymore.

Begging to dwell further, I just recently heard of an online complaint about getting local subsidy for masks. The complainant had reportedly posted online that, because they are presently having difficulties procuring rice because of financial constraints, the local government should at least give them free masks in order to protect against Covid.

If one needs to ponder how deep the level and degree of mendicant thinking, here it is.The complaint of not having money to buy masks will only prove to be legitimate if it actually came from a really poor person. If one had internet, that would infer and logically follow that you still can afford to buy rice, and just refuse to, because you might just want a freebie, admit it.

Having a mask equals to having protection against something that might in all probability, kill you and your loved ones. Then having rice is equal to not starving and staying healthy. But having internet equals to what? Displaced priorities, or however one calls it, seems more rampant than the virus nowadays. A pandemic of it.

Going back to the neighbors. Funny thing about these types, they actually have a criteria on what really makes for a good neighbor. First among many is that they should mind their own business. People, especially here in this parts, do not want to be told what to do. Even in the culture, being straightforward or honest especially, is almost like a big, written in neon, no-no. Mao might as well turn counter clockwise in his grave: we can criticize but to accept criticism?

Imagine the thunderous rolling of fell trees, giant rocks and all sorts of forest debris, signalling the cracking start of a frightening flash flood.

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