A tumble of violet, blue, orange and green…the blazing lights of the neon signs, the hazy colors of the disco scene. There I was, a typical colegiala out to enjoy the world, a part of the “let’s make tusok-tusok the fishballs” syndrome.
Youth with all its petty follies and foibles. Life was good…sometimes. Other times, I found myself stopping to ask, “What’s the use?” But I didn’t worry much about it. I mean, my life wasn’t a total whirl – it was just a little out of focus. At least I was having fun.
Other students in my school didn’t seem to have any fun at all. They were always raging about the economic and political stability of the country. In a way, I pitied them. They were sacrificing so much of themselves in rallies and demonstrations – for what? Things weren’t that bad here; other countries were in worse condition. If some people were finding life difficult, it was just too bad. That was the way the system worked and they simply had to adjust. Why other kids my age bothered about these people’s problems were beyond me. Did they expect to save the world?
Some of them even called me “unpatriotic.” What right did they have to do that? Just because I wasn’t willing to stand under the sun all day to listen to a bunch of has-beens (ex-government officials who were probably sore losers in the game of politics) didn’t mean I didn’t care for my country. Didn’t I turn down my father’s offer to study in the States? After all, I had maids to order around, a driver to rely on, a ready source of funds. Why did I have to leave this country?
“Ang puso ko at buhay man /sa iyo’y ibibigay….”
Then a shot rang out, and there was red. Red that spilled forth from a bullet hole and stained the man’s clothes, stained the hands of the men who touched him, and even stained those who dared to touch these men. The red continued to spread – till it had stained us all. The red wouldn’t come off; it remained a haunting reminder that we were all to blame.
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