Ene 10, 2002

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TAGLAMIG

Malamig ngayon dito. Malamig pa kesa noong Pasko. Sa Baguio, nagtatala sa otso sentigrado ang temperatura. Dalawang digri na lang mula sa sais - ang pinakamalamig na natala sa buong kasaysayan ng Baguio!

Naalala ko na naatribyut ang dating sinasabing "indolence" o katamaran ng mga Pinoy sa tropikal na kondisyon dito. Dahil tamang-tama lang ang timpla ng init at lamig, wala ang kasagaran ng malamig na niyebe o mainit na buhangin.

Tag-init na naman pagkatapos nito. Ewan ko kung sasapit na iyon bago magPebrero pero sigurado sa Marso nakakainis na naman ang taas ng araw.

Gusto ko makulimlim. Yun bang tipong tag-ulan na, pero hindi naman nagbabanta ang langit, nagpapaalam lang. Hindi naman yung "Ibubuhos ko na ito! Tumabi-tabi ka na riyan!"

Nagpaparamdam lang. Ipinapapaalam na pwedeng umulan, kasi kapanahunan, "Maya-maya lang siguro, hindi ko rin masabi." At anumang ibigay niya sa akin, ambon o todo buhos, napapangiti na lang ako.

Itong taglamig, ngayon ko lang talaga napapansin ito. dati-rati, transisyon lang ito mula sa tag-ulan at tag-init. Para bang stop-over o terminal. Nandoon ka pero pakiramdam mo e hindi ka magtatagal. Kaya hindi ko na rin siguro pinapansin, para bang ayaw kong maging pamilyar sa mga katangian nito, kasi hindi mo namamalayan e lilipas rin. Baka mahiligan ko pa.

Ngayon, natitipuhan ko na rin siya. Pero malapit na ring mamaalam iyan. Linggo na lang yata ang binibilang.

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AFGHANISTAN REGAINED?

The UN is enjoining the Philippines to send citizens to help rebuild the fallen airline industry. Now, troops of this kind, support that would set the Afghans back on their feet, these troops we should really work on sending! Unlike soldiers though, they can only be invited. Hopefully, the government would at least give the possible contingent some additional incentives.

Of course, this exhortation is much less resounding than the clarion call for war. For some curious reason, it seems less brave, less valorious. Somehow, it seems after-the-fact. Just the leavings, after the hounds of war have been sated and leashed once more.

I don't care. Why should it be after-the-fact? Why shouldn't it be the fact itself? The truth is, Washington and London has played up the value of war too much, making sure that they are justified, on the side of God and His Righteous Vengeance, that now, everybody just seems satisfied that it has been enacted, that it is only a matter of time, the fiend is already cornered.

The war is not over but the tone is set on certainty. Almost passe. Finished. A read magazine. Nokia 3310. Worn coffee table topic. Not fashionable anymore. Just another item on the year-end scrapbook of the world.

What next? The fact is, a great deal of that war is hype that has wounded us too. It has focused us on retribution, blurring other thoughts such as the fact that the Afghans didn't deserve what it suffered and, since the smaller buildings of Afghanistan do not compare to the great fallen phallus of the US, retribution is out of the question. Just wait for US aid. They are entitled to that aid, of course. All warmongers (with the Philippine Government definitely not an exception) owe them that and more.

But I'm afraid that when the Afghans receive aid, they would thank profusely for it, as if those were freely given gifts. I hope (against hope?) that there will be great aid and this aid would be pooled solely in the UN without any country getting too much press release or greater diplomatic leverage. Don't tell me the Afghans will have to look those gifthorses in the mouth!

Sometimes, the stuff that makes more sound are of lesser value to us.

We always take the leavings. For once at least, what is left is a worthier cause.

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The air personnel aren't drafted yet and nobody knows if the list will be assembled. Mediamen tried to pry if the Pinoys were up to it. Most of them weren't. And that's perfectly understandable.

Even with the $1,500 per month they will receive, the tight-knit Pinoy family prevails. Fear for safety and anxiety for the family are the first considerations. Some are uncertain, they will really think about it.

They would truly be heroes if they came. But they retain their honor should they opt not to.