Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Few Good Men

Yesterday, July 14, was the feast day of an Italian saint from Lellis, who founded a society of young, privileged men who dedicated their lives to ministering the needs of the infirm--the sick (physically and otherwise). Today, his followers call themselves Ministers of the Infirmed, and usually attach a two-letter abbreviation M.I. after their names.

As customary in this predominantly catholic republic, feast day of saints are eagerly celebrated not only by their devotees but even by the most unsaintly among us for various reasons. And in keeping with tradition, we also held our own de facto feast--a feast made merrier by the retelling of stories and memories of days of innocence, of submission, of awakening, and finally, of realizing that we have had enough.

Most often our 'tragic' stories are intertwined, have the same plots, involve the same characters and persona, and would always end up a comedy. As one would recount a chapter of his own life story, we could not help but laugh out loud together, and curse together the character/s whom we love and hate together with equal fervor. It was this sharing of common feelings for or against certain character/s that we find ourselves united and unfied not just by our tragicomic experience but more importantly, by the lessons we have learned as we dealt with those who made our lives both heavenly and hellish back then.

In hindsight, life back in the hills of Marikina was a process. Whether it was designed deliberately or by sheer divine will is now less important; what matters really now is that the process has resulted in quantifiably favorable results.

I can only speak for myself and for a few good men who have not lost the candor in the face of the changing and challenging times when principles and honor become a commodity in the free market of lies and deceptions, as well as divine interventions. Not that I have morphed into someone with whom the world owes its inspiration to survive; nor I'm Salman Rushdie of the Muslim world. No. The quantifiably favorable results have to be found in those minority voices that, when they tell their stories together, command the attention of the world. This is far, far better than a voiceless, headless, nameless, candor-less, and ultimately, a useless majority.

The de facto feast therefore is a feast of and by the majority. A minority feast.

1 comment:

Ariel said...

I am part of this history, sir!