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[Ponderings] Sino ang Tunay na Baliw

By Philip Suzara

Pondering… as I sit here at the edge of my mythical life pond.

One can see many things happening at the edge of life’s pond, as in any pond. Decisions are made there, life changing decisions, defining moments… to get in the pond, or not. The pond is encircled by its edges in different forms and kinds: straight, jagged, rough, rocks, pebbles, sand, soil, or mud. Very much like people. No matter the differences we have, we all belong there… around the life pond, inside, outside, at the edge, but there.

These recent years, we have been waking up every day to our peculiar world of bizarre realities – almost unreal, but real.

Never have we experienced more rapacious governance than what we are going through now. We are always on the lookout for insidious assaults to our civil liberties and moral bearing; we are constantly on our toes keenly watching the shenanigans of our “blessed” kleptokrats, kakistocrats and their minions when, and if, they pull a fast one in the pursuit of their nefarious activities.

Fortunately for us, the arrogance emanating from their drunken power and impunity always leave tracks from and to their sources, the better for the arms of the law and justice to hound, in God’s opportune time.

Brazen lies peddled straight-faced by the courtiers, I should perhaps say jesters, of the palace by the river; they dish it out to us daily but unlike our breakfast cereals or our pan de sal that provide nourishment – all hot air, and at once, callous and shameless.

They take us for fools and don’t even try so hard to treat us like one!

Many of our countrymen have been rendered jobless and left to fend for themselves in an economy left barren by their ineptness while many of those in government have not missed a single payslip during this dry spell. On the one hand, the real cogs of the government machinery, the career employees have been at it, churning out their mettle for everyone in the discharge and conduct of their duty, oblivious to whoever is head of state. While on the other hand, you have political appointees and rent seekers who are strutting about, on the lookout for golden opportunities attendant to their level of influence.

At the Senate inquiry on alleged corruption allegations on government functionaries and their minions, one can get the shock of sensibilities and order with how these people are making a killing out of the malady and ravages of the pandemic. It is definitely morally repulsive when one tries to make sense, with no effort to conceal, of making their choices in the purchase of their luxury cars while Juan de la Cruz is struggling to make ends meet and our other unfortunate brothers are even at a loss in trying to find the next meal for the family. This is simply outrageous, so callous and shameless.

It is not uncommon to see small to medium sized businesses folding tents for lack of a churning economy. Big hotels, airlines, and other companies in the service industry, after availing of stop gap measures like salary slashes and work rotation have managed to thrive, for a little while, just a little long while, before dying a natural death on account of a dying economy. All these while a few chosen and privileged others make a killing, maybe even the literal one, on account of the pandemic and the inept response of the government’s gatekeepers.

All of these things and on goings do not go unnoticed. Never.

Elections are coming up soon, and this time, the publics’ eyes will be on the political crucible. It is our fervent hope that the electorate will be discerning enough to vote wisely for our future and the country’s. We implore each voter to be selfless and patriotic, that each vote is a deliverance from the muck and mire we find ourselves in. Let us wake up and move into action even in the darkness. No matter how long the night we go through, hope promises us the break of day.

Let me take you through this liberating song that was the winner in the 1988 MetroPop Festival. This song, written by Mon del Rosario, lived on to be an iconic song with lots of stories to tell. A song so pregnant with messages meant to awaken one from stupor and deep slumber. This is a song that ridicules the delirious emperor of his altered state of consciousness. I would like to print it in its entirety, the thoughts and words are beautifully expressed. Sit back, try to listen and relish the power of the song.

One is reminded of the Greek saying “whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad”.

Sino Ang Baliw - Mon Del Rosario

Ang natutuwang baliw

yaman ay pinagyabang

Dahil ari niya raw

ang araw pati ang buwan

May isang sa yaman ay

salapi ang hinihigan

Ngunit ang gintong baul

panay kasalanan ang laman

Sinasambit ng baliw awit na walang laman

Ulo mo'y maiiling tatawagin mong hangal

May isang hindi baliw,

iba ang awit na alam

Buong araw kung magdasal,

sinungaling rin naman

Sinong dakila

Sino ang tunay na baliw

Sinong mapalad

Sinong tumatawag ng habag

Yaon bang sinilang

na ang pag-iisip 'di lubos

O husto ang isip ngunit

sa pag-ibig ay kapos

Ang kanyang tanging suot

ay sira-sirang damit

Na nakikiramay sa isip

niyang punit-punit

May binatang ang gayak

panay diyamante at hiyas

Ngunit oras maghubad

kulay ahas ang balat

Sinong dakila

Sino ang tunay na baliw

Sinong mapalad

Sinong tumatawag ng habag

Yaon bang sinilang na

ang pag-iisip 'di lubos

O husto ang isip

ngunit sa pag-ibig ay kapos

Sa kanyang kilos

at galaw tayo ay naaaliw

Sa ating mga mata isa

lamang siyang baliw

Ngunit kung tayo ay hahatulang sabay

Sa mata ng Maykapal,

siya'y higit na banal

Sinong dakila

Sino ang tunay na baliw

Sinong mapalad

Sinong tumatawag ng habag

Yaon bang sinilang na

ang pag-iisip 'di lubos

O husto ang isip kaya't,

sino, sino, sino

Sino nga

Sino nga ba

Sino sino ba

sino nga ba ang tunay na baliw...

Look back, look around you, think – you are, most definitely, in the midst of this song.

So, pray tell, sino nga ba ang tunay na baliw?

Pondering… as I sit here at the edge of life’s pond.

Philip Suzara

Creature of God. Child of the Universe. Global Citizen. Lover of Life. Freedom Fighter. Agent of Change. Lone Wolf. Occasional Consultant for Strategic Communications.

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