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Caressing carefully everything inconsequential and titanic in that Ramsey-Reyes-Curtis flick, I feel compelled to ease out some thoughts which might never be as revealing tomorrow as they are today. Although adrift with the recent news on flooding in the provinces up north and the recent conundrum Sen. Leon Guerrero suffered and relished so painfully at the Senate floor, sticking to his side of the chamber for fear of distancing from his “whisperer”. I didn’t know how we could be amused about his performance but I feel disturbed. Not by his obvious lack of luster in parliamentary grandstanding and what not but by the fact that I am amused too and without also knowing why. Although I will never venture into constructing or even justifying any semblance of exculpation for my inability.
No Other Woman. Sino ba ang mas mahirap na kalaban? Ang putang mahirap, o ang putang mayaman? I don’t know if I got that right but that sounds right anyway. Well, the difference is that, according to the character played by Martin, a putang mayaman has an authentic Hermes, while a putang mahirap has an Hermes from the recesses of a place called Greenhills. So it comes to mind then how we are all putas in one way or another, that we are all guilty of deep, dark, and dirty kaputahan, again, in one way or another. In general, we are no different from the night crawlers of Malate, Q. Ave, Circle, and Makati Ave. WTF. How do I know these places? Public knowledge, of course! But that is not the point. My point is, we can all be putas in a socio-sexual context (That, according to Miss Honorato).
It doesn’t matter if one is a man or a woman. Or a mahirap or a mayaman. Or hailing from the secure enclaves of posh gated communities or from the squatters where, accordingly, revolution always brews. Men can also be prostitutes. Men of the cloth can also be prostitutes. Miss Honorato, a philosophical realist character in F. Sionil Jose’s Ermita and who, in this novel was described as a Ph.D. whose research was not only confined in academic cemeteries said, “Who then are the real prostitutes if prostitution is defined as making money – perhaps – lots of it – by doing something without conviction or morality? Look around you (…) and you will find them everywhere under the guise of respectability, as statesmen, as men of the cloth, entrepreneurs…”
Like the common puta who does rounds at night to reach the darkness’s quota, at least for the time being, we also do rounds with life without any morality, much less conviction. Morality, as meant here is not the religious-spiritual kind that pulpiteers homilize, sounds like profiteers ain’t it?, but no, it is a coinage from pulpit and preachers. What is meant here is that, we do not remain true to ourselves even suffering tropism to our own questions and doubts. Not that tropism is evil but we no longer remain honest to ourselves, to what we really are, to what we really want. We lose morality even to our own beliefs. We sin even against our own personal mores. We lose credibility in front of the familiar men and women that we see when we face the mirror. That is immorality, living without belief. In that way, we are putas.
We look not at straight paths in our lives but a series of choices. That is a product of our time’s stupefaction on the touchscreen and aps where everything may be downloaded and installed and deleted in one big commercialization cycle. But that is not so in life. The choices that we see are what they are. Choices. Now, we never look at these choices right on the eyes and become contentious of the end product as planned. For the sake of the easy way out in our transactions we easily give in sacrificing our conviction. When we live life without conviction, we are prostitutes.
As a result, living side by side with our fellow putas, the whole society becomes nothing but a big organized taxed brothel with no real commodity but our penises and cunts. Government, for example will prostitute itself before citizens only to provide temporary shelters to calamity victims but not sufficiently addressing long term issues. Government knows it is not doing enough but is still supplying programs only to satisfy primal needs and the needs of the press.
In the absence of conviction, lives become nothing less than being alive but without really living. Cliche. Living becomes fucking money-making leaving the essence of living behind and enclosed in high school yearbooks where ideals were still fresh and bubbly they could start a revolution. Living without conviction is living in a flame that consumes not only the years but the sup of life itself. Drying to the very core the joy of breathing and suffering. It is drowning on up the necks without hope of getting rescued. It is living without the fruits and colors of being alive.
It does not really matter now if you are mayaman or mahirap.
Must you be a puta?