Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Three typhoons kill a thousand Pinoys. And what do we do after this terrible tragedy?

We fly our flag at half-mast for Fernando Poe! Is there some an explanation for this? Is it the fact that he played a hero in all of his 62 movies ? What will we do when Dolphy dies (or “if” Dolphy dies, since mastery of toilet humor might be the secret to immortality)? Since Dolphy seems to have made more movies than Mickey Mouse, will we treat the King of Comedy the way we now treat the King of Action? Or is this something we should let Mother Lily decide, given that the she has made more dumb movies than Fernando Poe and Dolphy combined?

Hey, did I just say “dumb”?


Forgive me, residents of Pitong Gatang. Or maul me (if that’s your preferred way of exercising freedom of expression) till my condescending middle-class bones break. Flying the flag at half-mast for the dead hero of “Isang Bala Ka Lang,” “Isang Bala Ka Lang II” (the shooting victim apparently survived the first time), “Ang Panday,” “Ang Panday II,” III and (since the tricycle drivers in Pitong Gatang really got excited watching their President cut cardboard lizards with a fake sword, so why not —) “Ang Panday IV,” seems like a very Marcosian thing to suggest. Fake medals, fictional hero — Imee Marcos thinks: what’s new?  The man who would have been another Marcos, so we are told by someone who ought to know, couldn’t be the hero that would spring his Erap from jail. As Joel Rocamora, from the Philippine-based Institute for Popular Democracy, pointed out here, we actually survived a disaster that could have been worse: a Marcos-Erap presidency.

Four deadly typhoons killing a thousand Filipinos? We shed our tears,shake our heads, send out used clothing, catch the token illegal loggers then plod on like the miserable bunch we have become. Fernando Poe dead at 65? We would canonize him if the Vatican would let us. Since the man never pretended to be a saint — in life or in film — we do the next best thing. We lower the flag at half-mast and reaffirm the already firmly-held belief back there in Pitong Gatang that heroes don’t really die in the Philippines. They just stop making movies.