I have a bad habit of collecting and hoarding notebooks. Sometimes, I write on a few pages, and then I totally abandon it. Lately, in one of my ‘spring cleaning’ modes, I decided to take a look at the contents of my notebooks, so that I could re-label and re-organize them.
In one notebook, I came across a novel plot idea that came to me sometime last year. It had to do with the journey of a girl in the 21st century Philippines, learning and discovering how she could love her country, as well as trying to find her own identity in a country that is heavily influenced by Western culture. I know that it sounds cliche, but hey, I think many can relate to this. However, I haven’t written anything for it except for a monologue delivered by the main girl to the main guy which dealt on the question of whether fighting or being an activist to bring about change in the country is worth it, and how far would you go in your love of someone and your love of country? Would you do everything and anything, even if it means going against your own principles?
In a way, this might have been brought about after a creative bout when I was thinking of plot ideas of for novels, and play ideas for future plays that a friend and I are planning to write together.
Anyway, I decided to put encode it as when I wrote it (during a lunch date with my mother at Super Bowl), I was in a rush, and the pages look like a scrawl of a lot of red ink. (My penmanship has been the bane of my existence ever since.) While I was encoding it on a Word document, I was able to edit it, and I was able to add to the little speech my main girl makes. As I was writing, I thought that maybe it would help my co-writer and myself start writing that play that has the same theme, which is also the reason why I ended up putting the speech in play/monologue format. I am putting it here, as this is somewhat like a journal or a commonplace book for everything and anything under the sun that I write, or that interests me, and because this public journal is also intended to help me write more, and to share whatever it is that I have.
The premise of the piece is that the GIRL is breaking up with the GUY, who is her current boyfriend (I don’t have names for them yet). He is an activist in a group, which she also joins, in order to get to understand him better,and to be able to contribute in the fight to make the country better. However, as of late, the way that they do this is through violent means, and the group is attracting media attention. After thinking about it for several days, she decides that she will break up with him and leave the group because it seems that the GUY, who started out as an activist in order to help the country, starts doing things that go against his own character and beliefs, and that the ‘cause’ to help the country, now that they have attracted media attention, has become a little pretentious, and people are starting to jump on the bandwagon. Here is the break up monologue of the GIRL to the GUY.
GIRL: (To GUY) We forget that our enemy is ourselves. We need to fight the system from within. We need to go to those who can truly make a change, using the right ways.
What good would it be if you, with all your high ideals, trying to go against the system, in order to make the country a better place, gets killed? What if you can’t hold out against all those tortures? You end up succumbing to the system that you were striving to defeat.
It’s a cycle. Someone has to break the chain.
I’m starting not to believe in your kind of activism. Nothing gets solved, and the cycle begins again. All you do is make a lot of useless noise.
I would like to still believe in a happy medium. I believe that someday, the elusive answer to my question on the right kind of activism, the right kind of nationalism, will come. I just don’t believe in what you do anymore. You have become obsessed to the point that you yourself are compromising the very beliefs and values that so strongly held yourself to. I can’t live with that. We may be hypocrites when it comes to loving our country, when it comes to trying to do something for our country, but I can’t allow myself to betray MYSELF- to betray those fundamental beliefs that I hold on to.
So this is my goodbye to you.
I thought that in joining your group, I’d be able to understand you more, I’d be able to understand WHY you would throw your life away for this cause. Now I understand. I DO believe in what you are fighting for, but I don’t believe in you and your so-called group anymore. In a way, I’m glad that I joined. I’m glad that I saw it, because I know now that you really aren’t what you said you were. You told me that you were a patriot, that you were fighting for the country. But the sad fact is that you are only fighting for yourself.