By VIN NADERA
December 27, 2009, 12:50pm
Last week, we got this text about Sunday’s event: “You are cordially invited to a Christmas party to be held at our newly built resort on December 27.”
Unavoidable’s an understatement: “We will provide you with free transportation and accomodation.”
Especially when it seemed so wholesome: “Please bring your whole family.”
But we had second thoughts when we learned about the venue: Sharif Aguak Maguindanao.”
“See you there!” sounded to us like “See you in court” to Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 84 presiding Judge Luisito Cortez who declined his chance of a lifetime due to fears for his and his family’s safety.
Ironically, we got the message while we were in Timog, a post-Lantern Parade night cap, at the rooftop office of Atty. Redemberto Villanueva, one the Ampatuans’ legal eagles!
Anyway, in mind, our December 27 was for the baptism of Nathan Kyle, Reinan and Letlet de Guzman’s panganay, at Ching Abad Santos’ Tilamsik ng Sining.
If not, the same date was for the birthday celebrations of Josh and Iñigo, the son and grandson respectively, of our editor Isabel de Leon, a schoolmate of Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes who would treat the Andal Ampatuan Jr.’s trial as an ordinary case that would require no special police security.
Normally, we charge that joke to our Niños Inocentes experience!
However, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) is taking that seriously like such Christmas traditions as Mama’s Ube Jam from the La Boholana Heritage Tours.
Or as dead-serious as NCCA Commissioner Ricardo de Ungria’s challenge in his keynote speech during the Philippine PEN conference last December 6: “The silence of art and literature in the wake of the Maguindanao massacre is crushingly telling. Our realities in this country far outstrip our wildest imaginings, forcing us to dig deeper into our personal griefs and solitudes. Which is probably not the right way to go. For where does that put, pray tell, the literature it produces that ought to confront such realities at the same time that it celebrates life? And what does it say of the artists’ and writers’ engagement with the realities of the time?”
Are we going to take it or leave it?
Or live with it?
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