“DO YOU believe that art is a reflection of life?” one of the participants in an art workshop for students of various indigenous peoples groups from all over Mindanao. “Of course,” I replied, “because how can you do art if you do not have life?” KNEW where the question was coming from though, as I earlier urged them to focus on the positives and their uniqueness to win hearts over to their causes. It was her way to challenge my call to focus on the positive as they are used to shouting, crying, rallying, and singing out their anger, and so I added, “But to focus on the bad and sadness in your art and spread that to others I believe is a great disservice to humanity.”
If you sing of pain and sufferings, doesn't it bring you more pain and sufferings? Like a wound that you peel out the scab over and over again, the wound is opened and reopened, the constant scratching making the wound bigger, uglier.
The communist revolution in the Philippines is more than 50 years old now. All my life, it has been there. The angry shouts for the emancipation of the masses just gathered more anger. The
Imasses remain shackled. The radicalism that is calling to flip the triangle of social order where the rich and exploiting few are on top of the wide mass base has succeeded only in embedding the idea that a flip is necessary before emancipation can ever be achieved. In the real world, more and more rags to riches stories are happening because they dared chase their dreams without waiting for the flip. Their dreams of emancipation came without conditions, they merely chased the dreams and made them happen.
In the real world, life goes on.
It was past 4 p.m., the big boys in the art workshop were getting edgy.
“Ma'am,” one told the school director, “We will stop now because we have to get the cows and goats”
In response, the school directress told the students assigned for logistics: "Call the Grade 11 boys who can get the cows and goats from the field”
Life goes on, and a day ends.