We are just in the middle of the year, and the loss of a musician and a heroine of democracy has impacted greatly on our collective attention. Earlier, we were shocked by the untimely death of Michael Jackson. On Wednesday we bury our beloved Corazon Aquino, who will be deeply, deeply missed. The cup of personal grief for these two individuals runneth over with tributes and farewells (some heartfelt and raw, some artful, some so copiously sanctimonious they make you cringe) – you know the kind, you read them on all the social networks.
Kris Aquino has managed to make her account of her mother’s last days all about herself, yesterday, on The Buzz (it’s a Youtube series, in Kris’ trademark Taglish). Of that tendency, we are not surprised. She had her moments, where she successfully left her script and explained why the Aquino family did not accept the government’s offer for a state funeral. She had me at “NOW you want to honor my mom?” The Aquinos became at odds with the Arroyo administration in recent years. Kris was complaining about the government proposal/threat to pull out Cory’s two remaining PSG security staff, on the pretext of unit dissolution and “accounting”, after Cory publicly criticized Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. GMA News says Malacanang Palace has apologized, full story here.
Hillary Clinton and Kirstie Kenney shared some very kind words in a recent ANC ambush interview.
Am all choked up, watching the GMA7 News Tribute Live Stream. Was on EDSA 23 years ago, tear gas, flowers and all. Losing Cory is like losing one’s own mother. We are bereft, and hard-pressed to find another whose qualities include the purity of intention to serve.
While we’re on the subject of Death, or on another plane of meaning, Loss of Significance, do read about the controversy surrounding the National Artist Awards. The Filipino Art Community is all choked up – with anger and dismay – about it. Spot.ph has a good primer on the controversy. Inquirer columnist Rina Jimenez David minces no words in her column about certain “awardees”. Another Inquirer article describes the selection process as a massacre, emphasizing the cinematic schlock one awardee is known for. (Would you call a film career based on massacre movies and other people’s comics as grounds for receiving a National Artist Award?) Quite the travesty we have here.
In his column in the Philippine Star, The Corruption of Culture, our friend Prof. Butch Dalisay reminds us that “executive privilege… cannot command the obeisance and respect of artists, who are accountable to a higher order of sense and sensibility, beyond the reach of lobbies, Charter change, Executive Orders, and blind ambition”.
(Many thanks to Mai Tatoy for the Yellow Ribbon, and to Noah Lacanilao for the NAA Obit, via Facebook.)