Symptom of an aesthetic crisis

I was buying bread at a bakeshop in Dumaguete a while ago. Beside this bakeshop was a store that sold liquor, and when I arrived there  a few tambays (the stereotypical Filipino drunk-as-winecork freeloader)were  wasting the night away with the cheap rum they could afford. Gloc-9’s provocative “Sirena” was playing in the store’s radio.

You see I have long hair, and to crude Filipino standards the class I cannot shake away from myself is nothing but effeminate. With his imagination (which I daresay is barely better than his apparent standing in life), one tambay mocked me by emphasizing the song’s title. You know, that proud Filipino tradition of mocking gays on which the careers of comedians like Diego from Bubble Gang and Pooh are established. He was implying I was a sirena.

I didn’t mind — heck,  aside from sympathizing with the plight of the homosexual, after almost twenty years of being falsely taunted for being gay I’ve grown used to it. But having an imagination a bit better than manong tambay’s, I imagined all the similar lowlifes like him who could have been killed or who had lost their loved ones in Leyte at the wake of typhoon Haiyan, and I thought “I am sad at the loss of other lives, but God thank you so much for killing those scum and their families. The world is a better place now.

But in all seriousness (and calmness), I realized that for all Gloc-9’s moving lyrics on the plight of a young gay boy in our pretentiously patriarchal society, his message has failed to change people so spectacularly that people actually use his lyrics to mock those they presume to be gays.

There is something seriously wrong with how Filipinos appreciate art.

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