But me, I grew up displaced. In cities and in places, in the here and there, that led me back to the wondering who I am and where I've been. And I have to believe urbanization has this effect on my fellow human travelers on the way of our return, who are traveling as Nations back to our home Country.
One does not grow roots in a city. One grows a business or finds some form of gainful work over there. But there shall always be from the city in the heart of a people, a longing for good, green soil and clear blue skies.
Does it mean one is not loyal to one's community? Loyalty to one's community is an essential character of one's civic identity, and allows us to embrace the whole universe, if we are as loving as we are wise.
No, I think it only means there is more to our national communities than just the living to make a living. And that the city community is only part of something bigger and better than itself, and must be. Else all the hum and the noise is just one great, big nothing. Not enough living to make a life.
One has to find time in all that living, for life itself - yes, life in the raw! Life in the "be" form. Living without the present form "ing". Basically, just being.
Here in the Pinas, I feel we are blessed.
From within our Cities, we have little islands of just plain life in the raw. We Filipinos like to do everything as a unit, we like to pack it up in a jeepney just to beat the chill, especially during cold nights and dark, windy, stormy days (don't we?).
We like to live life up close, just to be warm and this warmth - and - the need to be warmed - for the longest time, shaped and informed our living culture in the Nation.
I have learned it by observation. And I have discovered it in myself as such.
Which is why, it is my own conviction that those of us who would like to abolish our barrangays have gone mad from too much exposure to the city life. But it is not their fault too.
There is no line that distinguishes where one ends and one begins. Neither its physical measures nor any of its interior dimensions seem to be distinct between the both from the fog of so many human dreams weaving and inter-weaving together with the noise of a hundred thousand things - city and barrangay seem merged but not because we understand how they are united, but simply because - I think we don't.
To lay upon the life of our barrangays is to find good, green earth.
And to return to the basics of being just plain human and alive, and Filipino to boot. We need what we need as individual persons - and - as an extension of our human communities, there is always a social dimension to every individual human need, especially in us Filipinos.
As a matter of fact, I am personally inclined to conclude that we might be more persuaded to represent our voices in the Republic not as individuals but as any of these units - from family, to barrangay, to city or from any number of formal or informal groupings within our Nation and its Republic for as long as there is strength and comfort in their unity - for the horizontal structures of our Republic are peerages by their Institution, and preserve for us many things that pertain to our Liberty e.g. personal initiative, civic cohesion, political solidarity, and human sympathy, etc.
This is passionately democratic of us - our Liberty is beautiful, isn't she? She is also not dumb. For we as a people able to innately distinguish between a warmth that comfort and a fire that consume.
- selah (pause and think) -
Greater than the City, where the blue skies must be - where we must as fishes rise to get some air, we have our Provinces.
It is where we go to get a vantage on life, to look at things from a greater perspective. It is to me like Jesus overlooking Jerusalem in that painting that I love. But ours is more in that we have complete possession of our Provinces where in the Lord's time, it was different.
Therefore, our Provinces (who are our arcs of sky) also contain the water of our living culture, and it's air to us has a substance which is not empty (and musn't be).
We might go up to regional but that is like going out of the atmosphere.
Our regional in the National is for demographics and incident command and risk control purposes that the central government of our Republic utilizes to muster the Nation and to marshal the efforts of those first three LGU's as a unit, towards Time and the Truth.
To establish another sky upon another sky, and create another level of community in the regional - within our Nation, is just plain bureaucratic insanity, a humdrum thing that could go on and on ad nauseam.
To do the same thing under a barrangay is like going down into the ocean. And we have yet to grow gills. Everything is as it should, I think. Nope, (as Ron Weasley would say on the train) I think we're good.
Like when I was in Manila looking for Manila, the old Manila by the sea. I found I was looking only at her dirt and her grime. She was never lost to me. We only need to clean things up and reveal our quality.
There is nothing wrong or lacking in us.
It's all just a problem of dust.
there's nothing wrong with us,
all we need is a mop and a feather duster,
and get rid of the dust (ala Frozen)."
"So she's a bit of a fixer upper but this we're certain of, you can fix this fixer upper with a little bit of love."