Thursday, 16 October 2014

walkin' bontoc blues 2014

One time friends I had the blues, went walking around ole Bontoc town. Bontoc town, Bontoc town.
As I walked down yon Bontoc mountain, on a warm summer day, I remembered some friends I met recently. I guess you could call them 'a recent acquaintance'. They're guards at a border somewhere. One asked: 'where you goin' man'? In a most sincere and honest tone, I said 'Ischi man'. And so then they detained me for a couple of hours or so. But that's a story for another time.
Isna man. Bontoc.
The old town looked the same, same old buildings, some new.
Like a broken record, the same old lords. Jesus and Coca-cola have long arrived in town.
As I walked down the streets of the old town, I felt eyes on me.
People at the sides watching, looking. 
Sitting down, squatting.
Some upright, upstanding outstanding. 
None downright forthright straight-shooting...
Some had cameras - aiming.
A policeman approached me.
Me: 'No officer I was not jay walking.'
Pulis: 'But you were dawdling, under-speeding, slowing down the parade.'
'I used to hear that a lot' I said. 'Back when I was running - sorta. But I've retired from running,' I explained. 'It's too tiring.'
'Excuses excuses' Mr Police said. 'That's no excuse for an ignoramus. Get a move on.'
Did he just call me a moose? - but it’s not really about me.
There was a parade in town.
And the press and the paparazzi were there in force.
There were floats,
Street dancing,
and dancing in the street.
Pretty girls all in a row lined up- marching in a pretty face contest. 
I heard the crowd roar.
The main attraction however was not the long-legged, I mean two-legged beauties parading down the street, but the four-legged canines walking the lines. The crowd roared louder-er.

I was able to take a couple of images which I thought captured the stark innocence and wisdom, and genuine realism and uncertainty of the times.

Ahh we live in interesting times indeed.

Ahh but the show must go on. The beauty pageant, the fashion and cosmetics contest. Empowerment? Oh to live in the enlightenment, where reason prevails over bad tradition. I'd take pragmatic young inventors competitions over pointless ms universe contests any day or year.
What's that you say? Na, si Polichay akhes. 'You might as well be in the dark ages.'
Right, but how many beauty queens, models and movie stars have improved the lot of many of their kailian? I'd rather these young girls learned medicine or science or organic farming or medicine so they can look after me in my old age. Oooops, so it's all about me after all.

The beat goes on. And so does the parade.

But sometimes I march to a different beat. Like the pattong or gangsa.
So I’m off to join the march of the scurrying rodents, the rat race.

Bontoc 2014.
There's no prettier sight than looking back
On a town you left behind.