July 7, 2009
Dear Cris and Jackie,
There’s a song by Rivermaya, “Ulan.” One of the lines go, “Sinong ‘di mapapasayaw sa ulan? Sinong ‘di mababaliw sa ulan?” To translate: “Who wouldn’t dance in the rain? Who wouldn’t go crazy in the rain?”
For some reason, that line has always made perfect sense to me. The Philippines is hot. When it rains, little kids go out (sometimes naked) to dance underneath the rain. I think I’ve done it once or twice myself (naked or not, you’ll have to guess). And isn’t that something you felt?
Marching in the protest against Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s State of the Nation of Address, when it was so punishingly hot that the streets looked bleached white and you were sweating the gallon of water you were drinking, the whole energy you feel in chanting with thousands of your people, of hearts beating as one, of your feet moving together, and your bodies turned together in one direction…that builds something up. Just like the day getting progressively hotter, just like the column of people moving to Batasan Pambansa, there is an unbearable sense of something rising in you. Through the soles of your feet, up to your legs, and knees, and stomach, and your lungs, up your throat…something that once the skies open like floodgates, and the Jerks start rocking the stage, people can’t help but start dancing in the rain, can’t help but go crazy in the rain. Dancing with one spirit and with one feeling.
So, are you both really surprised that even though we were about to perform, we threw away our carefully saved umbrellas and ponchos and we started dancing? I imagine, not.
It is catharsis and release. And coming home.