Tuesday, February 09, 2010

When Worlds Collide

One time while I was reading China Miéville's The City and the City, I observed the phenomenon of rain falling while the sun was still shining.

Obviously, there's an explanation behind this phenomenon, called a sunshower, and a quick check on the Internet shows that a number of folklore around the world linked to it. In this country, it's supposedly because a couple of tikbalangs (half-human, half-horse monsters) are getting married.

However, what did struck me about this event was that-- similar to Miéville's book-- maybe our reality is not the only one around and there are other realities close enough to ours to sense and maybe even cross into.

I've always said that despite us Filipinos living in urban environs for years on end, we still haven't shaken off our rural roots. And that we still carry folkloric and mythological baggage of our rural forefathers.

So it's no surprise that for those of us in the city, we still remember these folkloric aspects of the monsters hiding in the dark woods and jungles of our cultural memory. This despite being city folk through and through. And who knows, maybe they're also here deep in the woods and jungles of our cities, right?

Case in point: no matter the surrounding, whether it's on the forest trail or just an abandoned open field in the middle of the city, we still remember to mutter Tabi-tabi po or Makikiraan po ("One side please" or "Excuse me please") just in case we might step on some dwende's toes.

Yes, we're all civilized, rational people here. But on the off-chance that it's all true... well, we Filipinos are known for hedging our bets (or being segurista), yes?

No comments: