All posts tagged: philippines

Afternoon Talk at the Kamuning Bakery

The full text of the talk from which this segment was taken will be available via the premium pages of this website, under the title “Saudade/Sehnsucht:  The Arrow of Time, Self-Imagery and the Faraway”     Thank you for coming and giving me the honor of your company.  It is certainly a Sunday afternoon delight to see familiar faces and new faces and faces with a history I share—all of us joined in a contemplation of literature and pan de sal. I must confess I was thoroughly entranced when Wilson—may I be on first name basis with you, Mr. Flores?—when he proposed that I speak here, amidst the bread and the cakes and our historic delectation, the pan de sal. • • • WHAT MEMORIES ARE LINKED to this amazing and yet simple bread of salt: early mornings and cockcrows and the wind whistling through mango leaves.  We do have pan de sal in New York City—but it is not the same.  What we transpose to other lands and other climes are never the same, …

PTSD

THE UNBEARABLE MOOD SNEAKED IN like a winter cold on a sunny day. The beginning was almost like a game, another one played by state forces on sullied individuals. The Philippines had approved, finally, almost three decades after the overthrow of the Marcos Dictatorship, that those who had suffered human rights violations would be compensated from Marcos accounts seized from a Swiss bank. The top compensation would be half a million pesos—at current rates, about $10,600. Yes, this was the first quirk thing that occurred; computations of the ridiculous running through my head . Twenty-eight years meant 336 months meant a $32.00 per month payment for waiting for rectification of a vast wrong. Nevertheless, one took one’s courage in hand and downloaded the forms required to apply for compensation. A kind of reluctance made me do it only during the last weeks of the deadline for applications. The printer spewed out the forms and with a morbid cheerfulness, one proceeded to fill in the blanks—until one got to this portion: HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS (Please check …