Cagayan de Oro Musings-A A +A
Tropical Storm Igme
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
MANILA -- Since Tuesday last week, I have been absorbing the moody atmosphere of the Philippine's capital city in an event which I really considered a very rare opportunity and privilege.
This is the gathering of 16 young yet promising documentary filmmakers in Southeast Asia, and with a highest stroke of luck, I was included, of which I felt overwhelmed because the other participants already made a name in the filmmaking industry.
There are four from the Philippines, but I was the only one coming outside the capital region, though the other one has her roots from General Santos City but moved to Quezon City when she was in high school, and now she's one of the executive producers of GMA News TV's documentary feature programs.
And so such events require socialization skills that social networks can never teach you in real life situations, as our neighboring countries get curious of anything about Filipino and vice versa, inasmuch as possible we don't want to disappoint them.
But these are documentary filmmakers, and I don't think they will listen to an "It's more fun in the Philippines" sugar coat, and I don't want to sound hypocrite as well, so I must get real in explaining how I see the country is governed. And of course, with a special citation about Cagayan de Oro and some Mindanao issues.
"Before, when a man touches a woman or goes walking with her alone, they are forced to be married."
"I came from Mindanao, two hours plane ride outside Manila and there are parts where majority are Muslims. Muslims are a minority here."
"Mindanao is a rich and diverse island. There were ideas before to make it a separate state but politicians did not allow it because it's against the constitution. And maybe they are afraid of a big loss in the Philippine economy."
"I'm currently living in Cagayan de Oro City, northern part of Mindanao. It's a good city but it's facing problems in politics and governance. But we have delicious food and you should taste them."
"The Philippines used to be very progressive once, until it was badly governed," telling them with the reference on the Martial Law era. "Yes, democracy was restored but there seems to be a problem with the governance now."
And in return they shared some issues too and you will then realize that our country is still luckier compared to them in some aspects like freedom from strict censorship, lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender (LGBT) rights and education system in public schools.
But that doesn't mean we should be complacent and less vigilant in the affairs of our government and even our own destructive selves. In fact, we should triple it to achieve a momentum.
One more week to go and it is on. October is very near, and returning as well as newbie politicians are just around the corner. Others are already caloused of being hardcore "Epals."
Cagayan de Oro should be more than awake by now, like how we are preparing for disasters in a hope to reduce it.
There are betrayals, there are kiss-a**es. It's just like that, very unfortunately.
But we always have the option to assert our duty to change what is already an unhealthy practice. It's just a matter of decision.
(Nef Luczon is a freelance journalist, a part-time communications instructor and film arts enthusiast. For comments, send email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 26, 2012.