I got busy and the Internet has been wonky. I’d love to blame it on Mercury being in Retrograde but it wasn’t. It’s just plain ol’ Bacolod Internet and the lack of provincial infrastructure brought upon by a government that has only really taken care of Manila and left everybody else to rot.
The country is in shambles and getting worse. Yes, our economic rating is through the roof and the administration is boasting about every chance they get but it’s not going down to the people. Instead, there are more corruption charges sprouting in the news everyday and nobody seems to get angry enough to care. Elections are coming soon and there is no viable presidential candidate in sight and the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
And we all trudge along, soldiering away, because we can’t all afford to leave the country for greener pastures. And, yes, I’m not stupid. Every country has its problems. Corruption is everywhere and each country has its own problems. But it’s not my country, you know? There is an emotional distance. I’ve lived in the Philippines my whole life and it bothers me to no end that we just don’t seem to learn from our mistakes. We’ve gotten exhausted, as a nation from toppling governments and every administration has found a way to make it harder and harder for the people to come together and take them down.
A lot of us has gulped from the pitcher of Kool Aid that the government’s been giving out.
But we soldier on.
I’m a working on a short film that my Dad and my Tito Lore, as directors, are shooting this weekend. The script is all done and while everyone is working, my job has been reduced to just watching and giving suggestions and being available for consultation on anything script or story-related. It makes me miss the whole theatre process that I went through in No Filter.
But I have no idea if I’m capable of doing something that intense. I can now leave the house and go out in public. I went to a location check in the city of Silay. It was a good way to go out for the first time. We visited some old houses to check for locations to shoot in and I had minimal contact with the outside world.
But last night, I went to the mall for the first time in almost three months to watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens and I found myself strangely afraid of people. I’ve been in my room and in my house and in the dialysis centre of the hospital for such a long time that being surrounded by people scared me. I kept touching my permanent catheter and hoping it wouldn’t come off (not that it would) and if the bandages were secure (and it was).
It was just a sort of culture shock. I’m from here, I was born here in Bacolod, but I never really lived here. It was strange to be in public and to know that I’d probably never bump into anyone I know. Had I been in Manila, going to any mall there, there’s always a slight probability that I’d bump into someone I know or recognise or have worked with. Here? Except for a cousin or whatever, I wouldn’t know anyone.
I enjoyed Star Wars: The Force Awakens, by the way. But there were many flaws that I found and most of it was pacing and story-telling, how the story unfolded. There were too many homages. I really, really like Daisy Ridley, who played Rey, and John Boyega, who played Finn, and of course, Adam Driver’s stirring performance of Kylo Ren but they had to share too much screen time with Harrison Ford’s Han Solo, who felt old and tired.
It was a fan service, I know, and I’ll take it as that but it diminished the film for me. I’m not a big fan so it didn’t mean so much to me that they spent all that time giving homages and romancing the earlier films. I wanted the new story to take centre stage but it never really could. It was a good spring board, though, for them to focus on the new characters and the new story in the next instalment, but until then, this all I get.
They didn’t make the movie for me. And that’s perfectly fine. Considering that it is probably going to be the biggest blockbuster hit OF ALL TIME probably shows that the filmmakers made it for those people who made that happen.
But at least I can watch films in the mall again and catch them earlier than having to wait for them to be available online.
I’m still not sure how things are going to be but I’m not planning that long, just accepting every opportunity that comes and focusing on getting well. I’m no longer anemic. My PermCat means my neck is free, which affords me better sleeping positions. I’m eating a lot. I think I’m getting better.
But I have been dreaming about Manila and my friends there. I miss them. I miss them muchly.