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HONORING MY MOTHER | The plot thickens

AN elderly Ampatuan farmer interviewed live at the roadside by a roving television crew was asked for his opinion on the ensuing political rivalry in his town and municipality. At the time, more than a year had already passed since the pre-election massacre of 58 people in the area had shocked the world. In this fateful feature-story interview, elections were again near. His curt replies I recall, although trite and plain, had for me, hinted at much deeper, if not sadder meaning. With a blank stare, he had answered that the topic of elections was way above his head and therefore beyond him. Then he added, elections were only the concern of the rich.

Now, I’m pretty sure denials will go far and wide once anyone would dare apply this particular mindset and equate it with the majority of us constituents who insistently believe ourselves to be totally woke. After all, isn’t it already true that the internet is filled with critical analysts? Someone whom I’ve talked to about this recently, even innocently blurted, “…but that had been a farmer talking…” implying that the man’s outlook wasn’t representative of the whole. If that were the case, then the divide insinuated by the farmer therefore exists and there, I rest my case. 

It is just so hard to think sometimes, especially come election time, is it really true that the divide between rich and poor, politicians and electorate becomes palpable enough to touch? For one, why is vote-buying still rampant in our society? As they say, on a clear day, you can see forever. Then perhaps, we might have failed to see it but, as articulated by that “farmer talking”, the clear division between classes had shone brightly as the sun, along the Ampatuan town dirt road on that day, many years ago.

And then here comes Shakespeare when said “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players…” 

Conjure what you will, but with this election fever heating up, the already-dizzying number of crossovers and behind the back-dribble strategies shot forth by all the aspiring camps left and right, have continued to bedazzle us no end. Are we being played? They entertain us and I am sure that even beyond the November 15 date (when all candidature entries are finalized), they will only come up with more hoopla, adding pizzazz to this electoral ‘exercise’ that we have here in the country.

Just today, a dear OZ friend had posted on her page, “The world is changed by your example, and not by your opinion.” While I know the context she refers to, I am more inclined to have a teeny-weeny bit of reservation when it comes to the chances of a united front at a round against the privileged few. For one, divided is what defines us and one other thing is clear enough. There is absolute truth in the saying that we are what we eat. Or is it you reap what you sow?


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