Whistling in the Dark

 

By Oliver Geronilla

 

From where I am, I can sense that Bulan politics is so still you could hear a pin drop. The pledge to be transparent, the enthusiasm to inform and be informed have all vanished into thin air–perhaps corked in the trapos’ bottles of potions only to be reopened when it’s time to bewitch the electorate again.

Something’s wrong. This silence needs to be broken lest we be accused of being privy to whatever plot is being brewed by these political wizards and witches. This is the point when silence is no longer golden. It reeks of many things that you and I are both wary of—secrecy, muted whimpers, and God forbid… a whole new world of shenanigans!

Just a few more weeks, the year will be over. And yet, nothing significant has transpired in the way hits and misses in local governance are regularly reported to the people of Bulan. Well, fair do’s, at least its official website has been recently tweaked making it technically no longer dormant. Thanks to Tinker Bell! But, by golly, it still bears the same news items that netizens have probably read and reread to their boredom. To make things worse, count how many times the mayor’s picture “graced” the welcome page. Has the moon’s gravity paralyzed the mighty brains and hands of our local heralds? Or have they been gagged by the powers that be?

Whatever the case may be, it still puzzles me why this is happening when I suppose there’s enough manpower to do this job. It doesn’t take a genius to write what we see, hear, and feel. We’re not asking for brilliantly written pieces; we’re asking for reports, for observations, for stories decently written that can fill the vacuum of emptiness that make one stop thinking the world has come to a halt—in Bulan.

Personally, I want to go home, go around the town, and gather some news just for me to have a springboard. But do I really have to do them? For sure, columnists don’t go to Iraq or to North Korea just to get some juicy pieces of information for their articles. For sure, they can have the needed information to put substance into what they write without hopping from one place to another.

Hence, it bothers me that I can write commentaries about Southeast Asian affairs at a drop of a hat, but I can never write a piece about my own hometown. I can’t … because I rely mostly on cyber news. And there’s nothing much and there’s nothing new that we can read about our town through the world wide web. That’s for sure.

So, let me propose one thing: let’s all write. It might be daunting at first, but when we get the hang of it—perhaps through trial and error or dedicated mentoring—everything will just go smoothly.

By writing down our “observations,” we can subtly change the course of events in our town. It’s not tilting at windmills. In fact, it’s doing our share.

Silence is not what we need now. Make noise. Let’s write.

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