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Book-tasting, Day 4: Punch and Judas

"Tatang de los Santos, father of the saints, my general. O my father, what have I done unto thee. I have seen the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness. Or they lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity. Tatang, Tatang, burning bright. Not yet, Tatang, not yet. Tatang, it is consummated: the Filipino Dream is dreamt.

"O the Filipino Dream! To have both life and death together, chaos and order, treason and sainthood, flesh and spirit, penis and vagina, MalacaƱang and Muntinlupa, me and you all. Because each is lively, dark, and deep. To row one's boat in two rivers. To push back the colliding stone gates of a cave in the mountains. But it's not a question of combining opposites: it's of being one and the other at the same time, loving both, and also fighting them so as to share in their rockiness, and to survive. A trinity, with me as center. I, Jesus, and John; I, the planet and darkly luminous eyes; I, suicide, and execution."

From Lacaba, Eman (1992) 'Punch and Judas,' in Salvaged Prose. Quezon City: Office of Research and Publications, Ateneo de Manila University.


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