A deafening silence

Too much is happening in my country.  And I have only one person to talk to, my husband.  He patiently listens to my tirades, makes a few comments here and there and then ends up telling me, “don’t be stressed,” with a voice so very loving I can cry. I cry, yes.

I cry because I am a Mama, a Mom, a MamaLa, a ‘Te Bebs. These four names melt my heart every time. My daughters, my sons, my grandsons. My nieces, my nephews, my grandsons and my granddaughters.  They don’t always listen to me, but every time I get the opportunity, I always say “Nobody gives up on family.”

Now to my country.

I am affected every time I see blood on the television screen watching the daily TV Patrol. I am not much of a fan of gruesome movies, you know.  I have all six seasons of the series “The Walking Dead” but I am not yet able to finish Episode 1 of Season 1.  I get the prodding from my kids, they talk about it, yes, and they want me to watch as they do so I can join in their conversations. So much about walking dead.  Going back to TV Patrol.

TV Patrol. TV5 Balita. CNN.  Facebook.  They all carry stories about the blood being shed daily in the government’s war against illegal drugs. Soon, I may get used to  the stories, I may accept them as normal, and finally, I may be able to laugh it off and consider them funny.  Filipinos are a happy bunch, we have the ability to make a joke out of EVERYTHING.  I have to say though, that this is not just a Visayan culture, this is a Filipino culture.  Visayan culture / Cebuano culture has gained prominence lately, or shall I say notoriety? Thanks and no thanks.

What I can’t overcome though, is the fear.  I fear for my family in the Philippines. I fear for my son, Julius, for my daughters Adrienne and Jaira, for my son-in-law JanPaul. Especially them. But I also fear for my brothers, my sisters, my nephews, my nieces. What’s with the fear?  Because any one of them can be at the WRONG PLACE at the WRONG TIME. Any one of them can be accused of anything – peddling and using illegal drugs, or friends with people who do, that makes them protectors, and so on and so forth.

Once, we (my husband and myself, as always) were talking about the killings during police operations, EJK, buy bust operations. My husband made an offhand comment about one guy being dead, “he brought it upon himself” and the police did “an act of weeding out the undesirables of society.”  Dead, kaput. What we were talking about was an alleged user and peddler. All who are dead are alleged users and pushers. A few are coming in as protectors. And they cannot defend themselves. Not in any way.  And then I asked him, “what if it was Julius?”

What if it was your son? Your daughter? My husband was not able to make a sound. I got him thinking. A deafening silence. I asked again, “will your anger be enough to let him die?” I reminded him, “No one gives up on family.” And then he said, “we shouldn’t be talking about this on a weekend.” Whatever that means.

By the way, what’s happening in the Philippines taught me a new language :  LNMB, EJK 🙂

Simply put, I want to tell stories. I want to show you pictures from places I've been to. I want to show you the world from the eyes of a daughter, a sister, a friend, a wife, a mother, a grandmother. From the eyes of a neighbor, a colleague, an OFW.

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