There Are No Stars in My City

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Few days ago when me and my friend were walking from school, I told her that the weather was crisp just like summer’s but I noticed there are no stars..

I fell silent as I began reminiscing my growing up years in the province. Back then, when me and my sister were still kids, we would climb on our rooftop during late afternoon and wait until we see the stars appear on the orange sky. We were raised in a wonderful family, and our community was peaceful. Life was beautiful. Remember those summer afternoons when we played along the street after class and we’d go home all in sweat? Days when we ran wild and free. I smiled upon that thought. How could things have changed? How could the shrill laughter have faded? how could the stars have gone?

As I continue my walk to my apartment, I finally caught a glimpse of the half moon and a nearby star hiding behind the dark clouds. Then it made sense to me: the stars are there but the polluted air hid them. Figuratively, it made me think. People are like that too sometimes. Our brightness are hidden behind all the negativity we put into our lives. Just like what is happening now in my country. Zamboanga crisis  is now everybody’s concern. Maybe the rebel group have their own reason for this insurrection but I maybe will never understand them. I was not an advocate of violence. Maybe genuine peace talk could still prosper, who knows, right? I have made amount of friends from that city and they’re good people. I believe religion has nothing to do with this war. We also have this PDAF controversy right now.  I don’t understand how some people could do such hideous things. It’s hard to conceive. How could you sleep in your over sized king bed with beautiful mattelasse bedspread knowing that you are stealing, lying, committing a crime against your people who unfortunately knew nothing about what you do. How could you stab your people from their back and manage to look at them on their faces asking for mercy during the election? Isn’t it that we are supposed to have been taught by our parents to grow up morally upright? I think those values are forgotten. I am a sinner too but stealing from the poor when you’re already born with silver spoon in your mouth is just unthinkable. I admit we are also equally at fault. Sometimes we do not choose our leaders well, but when we cast our vote, we hope that the names written in that ballot will not disappoint us.. it’s sad that some of them did.  Would you blame me for my frustration? Peace and order, corruption and there is still the unsettled dispute with China over West Philippine Sea/South China Sea. It’s like we were in the middle of game here, never ending battle and the players are so tired… and by the way, I also hope these celebrity people stop stealing the scene with their explicit videos that are so goddamn annoying..

Each day we are faced with so many problems, hungry people in the world with no food to eat, homeless children, dying people. Ours is a nation composed of 7107 beautiful islands. Isn’t is that we are the children of this city? We are the citizen of this democracy which our ancestors have bravely fought for, so we could live in a land that knows what it takes to be free. But we ruin the land beneath our feet. We throw garbage to the river and we drink from it. We hurt our brothers and sisters.. There is but one thing I understood: we are that stars. Hidden behind the pollution in our lives: greed, uncaring heart, selfishness, hatred..

I still cling to hope for my city. But do we have to ask God to bring rain and drown the world to clear the sky? Maybe by then those who will remain might see the stars again..

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