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By Nina S. Custodio


Saturday, July 26, 2014

LAST Friday, I managed to sleep really early. How I proceeded to do that, I don’t really know. I used to belong to the night owl group who starts sleeping at around 3 a.m. until I got ‘’rehabilitated’ and started sleeping at around midnight.

Last Friday, I slept at around 10, which was unheard of as far as I was concerned hence I consider it a miracle! It was a quiet, restful sleep; probably dreamless or maybe I just didn’t remember much. Haha. Oh well.

The downside to sleeping early is well, what else?? Waking up early! I found myself wide awake at 3am and rather than exert any effort to try darn hard to go back to bed, I actually decided to welcome my Saturday THAT early. It felt weird waking up to the quietness that allows you to hear yourself breathe. And hear crickets and birds chirping at the same time. I am amazed that I could hear my slipper noises as I shuffled across the floor going to the kitchen so I could defrost breakfast and turn on the water kettle for coffee. It’s black and dark gray outside and the soft breeze was cool. Hmm. Such peaceful air. And I liked it.


I sat down, waiting for inspiration to coax me to start writing this article. And then I walked around the house. Then took a bath. Watched television. Had coffee. Walked some more. Hmp. Inspiration is still asleep and so I am left with thoughts and images on the events of the past six days that made an impression on me. Sadly, I have images of planes crashing and killing all those people. I feel anguish about the senseless killing of lives and people being that evil to actually let it happen. For the second week, I find myself asking: What is happening to the world? With all these aviation disasters, don’t you get apprehensive about flying? I am. And it is a good thing that I don’t have to travel to anywhere anytime soon. It does get a bit difficult to try and look at the good side of life when harrowing events like these seemed to happen one after the other; it just sensitizes you to other evildoing splashed across social network!.

I have had the unlucky experience of seeing to pictures of cruelty to animals. First was a guy pointing a gun to a cat’s head and the other a picture of a dead cat along with its owner who decided to microwave her pet for 5 minutes. Geez!! Why do that to a poor animal? Why do that to your own pet? Such atrocities being posted for everyone to see!

My college barkada, Eloisa, laments about one unsuspecting retired professor she saw at the UP Shopping Center, dizzied and wobbling in its corridor. Asked what had happened, she narrated that two children suddenly shoved and punched her. Eloisa hurriedly sought out the children and managed to confront them about what they had done. After pointing fingers at each other, they finally admitted to doing what they did for no apparent reason. “Napag-tripan lang.” Ugh. It made me sick to my stomach. And angry. Grrrr. Seriously, what the heck is going on? :(

I keep thinking of ways to explain such action. Who do we hold accountable for these kind of behaviour?? For the life of me, I have trouble accepting it as the “sign of times.”

Sure bad influence can come from all over but still, much can be done so that things like this do not become the norm for adolescent behavior. It’s just too scary! Honestly, we should really take the time to try to explain to the younger generation some of the stuff the pervades the modern Filipino consciousness. In the past, I used to feel really smug about how we would never suffer the same psychological problems that the Western teenagers go through. I have always believed that traditional Filipino family values have allowed us to enjoy a strong support group that will stand any challenge any member can possibly go through. But now, I am not so sure. Going through this year with cases of teenage suicides reported and learning about Eloisa witnessed makes me feel apprehensive and worried. Of course in no way should we assume that this will become the future collective stereotype for our youth but just knowing that this actually exists just makes me really uncomfortable. Generation gap? I don’t know about you but respect should transcend time and generational changes. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for technology and modernization but character, good manners and right conduct are non-negotiable.

Worried? Yes. Maybe it is time to keep tabs on what is going on with kids these days. Maybe there’s a bit of explaining we need to do to help them process all the “new” things, new information that has become available to them. Of course, they deserve to explore and come into what they want to be on their own but a little guidance certainly would not hurt, right? In time they will come into their own and will be able to think independently for themselves but in the mean time, it is imperative that they are guided through the meandering pathways of self-discovery and exploration that is, growing up in uh, the modern times. So much to process! It would be a good idea to really answer any question they may have for us, rather than simply telling them to “google” it. And if we do get an inkling that something is off with them, it would be good practice to ask how things are going and how THEY are doing. In the grand scheme of things, being genuinely concerned for another person is a good habit right? We probably have all heard of stories of people being saved from trouble or even, death, just by having someone say: “Are you okay?” “How have you been?”

It is never too late. And no effort to better another human being is too small. Remember? Small steps account for greater strides. Little drops of water make the mighty ocean. Invest in that effort to set things right. The future needs it.

Happy Sunday Everyone! :)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 27, 2014.


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