Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Slapstick Born Out of San Jose Public Market

I thought random slapping only happens in comedy films employing slapstick jokes.

When interviewed over DWDO, one of the supposed victims of the alleged slapping by the mayor of San Jose said that they were slapped "at random”. Slapping is striking with the open hand and usually with energetic force. It usually aimed at a single individual. More than that, slapping is the highest affront to human dignity. If it's random, so it has no definite purpose. There is a difference though about being slapped and being warred-off. To prove in court they are physically slapped is very important. Well, one thing is certain, this alleged slapping incident mirrors something within us as leaders and as citizens. Both the vendors and the LGU project implementers more so, we, the consumers, suffer from human beings’ modern burden: Uncertainty. Be it economical, spiritual, cultural, social, ecological and political uncertainty.

I have no qualms about development projects such as the construction or renovation of say, a public market. Infrastructures are signs of development and a manifestation how a local chief executive do his duties and functions but there are things often neglected towards this noble intention. The first work tool in any construction project is not the lever but a long table which the builder can spread things out, sit with the stakeholders for a dialogue, especially those who are perceived to oppose it. Builders and users must settle first important things and differences. Without them, expect a scandalous situation that would surely hit not only the national media but even in social networking sites specially Facebook.

Speaking of Facebook, a certain member of Unlad Mindoro cyber group private messaged me and showed me two opposed pictures of the San Jose Public Market. Picture A depicts the ugliness of the present market and Picture B, an Architect’s perspective of the new, beautiful market and asked me questions to this effect, “Do you still want this ugliness? Why you are opposing this beautiful project?” With due respect to the source/s, what was posted was oversimplification at its best.

To analyze the posting, what is essential is the point – the transitory details – or the areas between two distinct strata (read: His/her/their Pictures “A” and “B”) found side by side. Transitions need to be scrutinized and neglecting them spells mess, if not scandal. Without considering these various aspects, we present only superficial beauty of the project. To reiterate, the most urgent for us to know what lies behind the point of origin to intended destination. It takes intellect to link and mesh to probe and seek for the truth. In doing such, we are also instructing. Mediocre communicators only sow seeds of intrigues but to support certain cause, we need to educate everybody, friend or foe. “Education for All” says DepEd remember? (To break the ice, I am just joking!)

But it is not a joke for a priest to be involved into this reportedly slapping scandal. One Facebook member claimed that the celebrated healing priest
who was recently incardinated here in our diocese, in the middle of Eucharistic Celebration remarked something about the alleged slapping. I do not know if such remarks really uttered by him but sure thing is, the priest is already dragged into the controversy. I do not know if he also has the gift of healing us who suffers from this cancer called “Political Uncertainty”.

Can he initiate this “community healing”? My answer is in the affirmative. Both of the rival political leaders respect our man of cloth. He is more than capable as a mediator for he is an “outsider”. The first step he must do is to form a panel composed of people, lay and ordained, handpicked by the two opposing politicians themselves. Initially, the panel’s task is to identify and finalize talking points that would serve as agenda when the two leaders ultimately meet face to face. It is the panel that would set the rules and nobody would impose conditions to the other. One of his tasks is assure the objectivity, sincerity and fairness are kept along the process and among the subject personalities. He must be a fair but firm umpire, like Joe Cortez, amidst the ensuing series of talks and meetings. Other details on the thrusts, goal and action of the reconciliatory panel will surely come along the way. This way we will be truly animating a Marian mission for the poor of this Particular Church.

I believe one of the urgent calls of priests is to reconcile divided people, to restore friendships and shattered relationships, to heal the wounds of brokenness and to bring about harmony, justice and peace “to heal our land” (2 Chron. 6:24ff) and not to divide us or be completely identified with any of the rival groups. It is somewhat a purifying and not a destructive blaze. Only through this, healing will come our way. Father, knows that.

I am certain of this…


(Photo grabbed without permission from Willy Bleza's FB Account)

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