Saturday, August 20, 2011


Imaginations for the Nation

When I was a kid, my two kuyas would tease me for my wild imaginings. “Imagine! Imagine! Imagine!” they’d chant as I’d pace the sala, the streets, even the long pile of dirt when Nawasa dug up our subdivision’s streets and failed to fix it for months. My younger sister was a bit more tolerant. Gets na niyang bago kami matulog, mag-i-imagine muna ako sa katiting na space sa gitna ng mga kama namin. It was a ritual. I’d walk back and forth over the same area, mentally enter a virtual world, with only a few murmurings and wild gesticulations hinting on the things I was daydreaming about. There was Queen Kalayana, for example, a wise and beautiful modern monarch loved by her people. I’d imagine her exploits for hours, stop to live in the real world during school, TV, and mealtimes, then go back to imagining her world from where I left off.

Looking back, I realize it might have been a very strange kid but I guess it was this capacity to vividly visualize concepts that helps me in my creative tasks today. I still daydream a lot, trying to be less obvious, though there would be times when I’d mindlessly act out or blurt out something that was supposed to be only happening in my head. Masarap and libre mangarap, ika nga, and I don’t know if this is true with other adults, pero ang pinakasayang-saya akong pinapangarap ay ‘yung mga bagay na alam kong napaka-imposibleng mangyari pero may isang sulok ng puso at utak ko na naniniwala pa ring mangyayari ‘to. Here are my dreams.

1. Becoming the Philippines’ first official Olympic Gold Medalist

The 1998 Seoul Olympics was the first Olympiad I watched on TV. I was in Grade 4. Since then, the Olympics, next to the Miss Universe, became my second favorite inter-national competition. I used to imagine winning gold in men’s gymnastics until triathlon officially became an Olympic event at Beijing 2008.

Daydreaming about becoming Olympic champion comes in handy during pool sessions, solo runs, or long bike rides. I know how I’d look like at the start, coming out of the water, in transition, on the saddle, all the while leading by just a few seconds until eventually emerging victor at the finish line in heart attack fashion! I find that more dramatic than keeping a convincing lead throughout the race, and more believable than a come-from-behind victory in the run leg. My trisuit by Ige Lopez’s T1 is red at the front (“because the Philippine flag displays the red field dominantly when you are at war, fighting for your people,” I’d tell reporters) and black at the back so the opponents trailing would find it difficult to see me at the front. Even the AGAPAY PHI printing is in (glossy) black. The front has a small flag on my left chest. My bike is in all white, with all the decals removed, except for the flag and the word PHILIPPINES on the top tube.

I’d imagine proudly mouth-singing the national anthem as it is played for the first time in the Olympics. My whole family will be at the stands. Maybe I’d even cry.

2. Becoming the third Filipina Miss Universe

My exotic beauty and witty remarks will make me an early favorite of the crowd and the press. I’d even be able to fluently converse in Spanish with the fiercest Latina competitors. My national costume is a stylized Manny Pacquiao boxing outfit – short shorts and glittery belt. I’d wear my hair in a formal bun in the swimsuit competition, and casually let it down in the evening gown part. A Filipino designer, of course, will create my gown, the design of which changes depending on where and when I’m imagining this glorious night. But for sure I’ll create a sensation by becoming the very first Miss Universe to have carried a small handbag in the evening gown competition. “May bag si Miss Philippines!”

The question, too, changes everytime but I would always answer by saying hello to the hometown crowd in their native tongue then proceed to answer confidently, eloquently, and beautifully. I’d be so sure of the crown that throughout the pageant, when “Miss Philippines!” is called to the Top 15 until the crowning moment, I shall show no sign of surprise, just a slight, pleased smile that seems to say, “Of course.”

This fantasy, probably spurned the first time I watched the pageant live in 1987 (won by Chile’s Cecilia Bolocco – and I write this from memory, unlike the bike part “top tube” which I had to google), has recently taken a socio-political aspect (SOCIO-POLITICAL?!) when I realized this is one sure-fire way I could turn our country around as a truly pro-people, pro-justice and social equality democratic leader by…

3. Becoming President of the Republic of the Philippines.

Winning the Miss Universe crown will make me win the popular elections for the presidency without financial support from trapos and dubious business and interest groups. It may seem ridiculous at first but I will prove adept at the task, enforcing true agrarian reform, opening up the economy ensuring fair competition that not only favors the oligarchs, improving the quality of education all over the country, and cleaning up the capital city to become the beauty it once was. In twenty years, my efforts would have been sufficient foundation for true social progress that we might be chosen to host the Olympics.

But before you pin all hopes on me, the most plausible of my fantasies would reveal my selfishness.

4. Winning 760M Pesos in the lotto.

After paying my loans and those of my immediate family, I’d find a nice mountainside forested lot within the city and build a small, modern house in it. A couple of years ago, a large house would be my if-I-win-the-lotto first purchase, but now, a subtle, more environmentally friendly choice is more ideal. Entertaining will be done al fresco, all the rooms in the house – even the spacious bathroom and toilet – will have large windows allowing for fresh air and a view of the forest.

I’d probably not resign from GMA (sign that I love my job?) but I might buy a couple of gas stations for hassle-free income. I’d approach my bank, and a few others like BPI and Citibank, to better decide to whom I should invest my money, and set up trust funds for all my pamangkins.

I’d like to buy one of those big pre-war homes along Quezon Avenue and set-up an Agapay Arts Center. It will house a museum, an intimate theater, a gallery, a rehearsal studio for youth art groups to use. The center will sponsor arts competitions and workshops to develop our aesthetics and sense of national identity. Another more outrageous business plan would involve buying the local Miss Universe franchise and with the help of the best TV practitioners, re-launch “BB. PILIPINAS-UNIVERSE BEAUTY PAGEANT.” Out of delicadeza, I will not compete, of course.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?