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Art Underground Manila

In a dead city, rubble and glory are one and the same. House gone, denizens scattered, and footsteps are covered with fine dust. In the meantime, we tell stories.

Say, of elaborate cosmogonies: the birth of this place ordained by and destined to conflicts that beget more conflict. Sometimes the telling must be told in booming declarations that rouse the spirit to burning, gnashing flames that will take all, only to find that we have immolated ourselves in our search of path and light.

Say, of the lost: what sacrifice, what secrets. The duty of telling falls to the scars in stone, the charred bones of wood, because none can remember them truly. We play oracle in guessing the past, sometimes missing the truth altogether because we could not bear to be descendants to murderers. So we are, all and equally.

Say, of laments long and weary: bemoaning all of this, because to beat ourselves in the chest leads to easier sleep. We who survived must play the victim, lest we fall into suspicion as perpetrators. But the tears are heart-felt, the wailing is gut-drawn, because we cannot live with ourselves.
Yet live we must. In the meantime, we tell stories.

Text by Hannah Manaligod

September 10, 2022
August 30, 2022

Jericho Moral


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