Friday, May 27, 2005

of neverwheres and stardusts

in two weeks, i have read, musticated and enjoyed two of neil gaiman's masterpieces: neverwhere and stardust. i have carried the books with me, albeit one at a time, to my travels to kabacan. it is my last companion before falling asleep, a replacement to conversation while waiting for vans to move out to my destinations. i could have finished both books sooner, but i wanted to enjoy the work. no rush when you are reading something as good as this.

in a nutshell, both books are portals to worlds of dreamers (whether asleep or awake), heroes (likely and unlikely) and the quest (of going out there only to find out that the goal goes inside).

if there are three themes i find most appealing with gaiman's work (also read coraline, looking forward to american gods), the three i have mentioned would definitely be it. maybe, when the waiting in travelling and the frustrations of human frailty take its toll on me, i find comfort that i can still dream, that there are heroes to save the day and basically, the quest goes on.

lately, when i travel the distance of davao to kabacan, my usual imagination is how i would like to make things better for the people that i am working with. no matter how sometimes they are so unworthy of it, imagine some people getting kickbacks from projects for the community... infuriating. anyways, that thought may be good for another entry. but the truth of the matter is, i know that i could never change people and how they are. i know that there would always be flaws to human communities. but somehow that does not prevent me from thinking about how the good can still be tapped on people to make, or at least do an effort to move towards a better worlds.

i remember an incident when my dad ran as baranggay kagawad in our baranggay in quezon city. my mom was telling me that i should go to each and every one of the 6 prescints where the votes are being tallied. maybe out of being gullible i said; "mom, pagkatiwalaan natin ang kabutihan ng mga titsers." to which my mom lashed out on me, especially when my dad lost. but yeah, i guess, i still have faith in the goodness of people. no matter how so many have been so unworthy of that regard.

growing up, my greatest recollection of heroism is lito lapid's leon guerrero. i can still sing to the chorus of the song. i came to relegate the character as someone who wishes to save a village in distress. after watching these movies with omar in channel 13 then, we would be dreaming that we are heroes on horses and fighting under the heat of the sun for the people.

we also liked weng-weng and his antics but he never became our personal hero.

fast forward to now, i read how lito lapid has corrupted the coffers of pampanga and his seemingly idiosyncracies in the senate. somehow tainting his image of the good guy. but no matter, my concept of heroism has likewise matured with age. i realize that heroes need not be carrying guns and fighting the bad guys. there are personal heroes like mr. nuñez in high school, dan in pi sigma fraternity, lorena barrios of samasa, ritchie of the jesuits, lean alejandro of the movement, brod oca, ipe and lately ben who have shown that there are still some ideals worth fighting for.

that the world would never get tired of the story of people who have transcended their little personal stories into greater stories. personal stories, takes into account the provision of self development of moving towards fullness of self. of becoming the person that you are. but the greater self is when, we move on towards a higher ideal. it involves sacrifice (aguanta... i like that term), and selflessness.

but never worry, both finds expression through the other. not much math there i guess.

thus, the quest goes on. i have always liked stories of going into missions and quests and adventures. the likes of narnia, lord of the rings, still makes my hair stand on ends. why, even my life is one big adventure. and it might probably go on, until when, only i can tell.

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