Balitaan

For there’s KAL in KALikasan

For there’s KAL in KALikasan

Raissa Azarcon

And they say ours is a fallen world and we are all doomed in one way or another. People stayed glued on the set, the news feeding them with nothing but manic paranoia about what’s there to come. Their prophetic meanderings range from the all too worn-out threats of interstate wars to a much more thrilling vengeful catastrophes of nature. And so they silently seethe in the corner, their jaws tightening, and their stomachs wrenched with an army of warplanes making the terror an even more painful ordeal. The thought of the looming end is just as devastating as the actualization of it.

However, that is not always the case.

Fear always has its way of paralyzing people to think, much less to act against the foreboding perils that will eventually mar their existence. And so they postpone action. They clambered up on their walls and curve up on their caves thinking that the problem will eventually dissipate along with the temporary oblivion sleeping induces. Come morning, when they think they are already free from it, images and instances will remind them of what they cannot get away from lest they have the face to confront it.

It is in the air they breathe that pricks their noses. It is in the untamed heat of the sun that almost always leaves their skin barren. It is in the way dust strained their vision; the way it communes with their sweat. It is a problem that follows them like shadows would to light. They know it is there; they are well aware of its presence. The thing is, knowing is not enough, never enough.

To know that we are plagued with a miasma of ecological problems is just the start of a long winding journey of salvaging our already corrupted consciousness towards nature. To identify the loopholes is a good start. To know that global warming is prevalent and, humanity is so to speak, at its mercy is the first step towards redemption. To acknowledge that yes, there is a problem and we are all responsible for its creation can ignite a flicker of hope in each of us. Even a tiny flicker will do– to ignite a fire.

There is a problem and it is only normal that we devise plans of solving it if not lessen its impact. Talking about how to properly conserve resources and how to adapt a sustainable lifestyle is noble but being preachy is the last thing you would ever want to be in addressing this problem. People hated to be told what to do. If anything, they don’t want anyone to make them feel invalid and much less be burdened with such a noble task of coming to terms with nature. To inform them is one but to show them is another. Raising awareness and sparking debates about environmental issues are of importance, that I cannot contest. But what is mere talk without action?

Our stance as artists and writers, our very nature, our temperaments and  moods are not enough reasons to strain us in furthering this end of serving other people and letting them know how badly we need to reform the way we live and the way we regard nature.

The observer stance is all too passé. Students in the fields of Humanities, Literature and Arts should let go of this classical way of looking at the world and leave their comfort zones, traverse on the fabric of society and compel others to take part, too in restoring our environment. Our society no longer needs tortured artists as much as they need artists who would dare involve themselves in the welfare of the Earth, artists who would risk their solitude and freedom for the sake of a much greater cause.

To embrace art at the expense of forgetting our part in this greater whole is indeed a symptom of social apathy. And there is nothing more pathetic than someone who only cares about saving his own skin.

About KALasag (Opisyal na Papel Pampahayag ng Kolehiyo ng Arte at Literatura, Unibersidad ng Pilipinas)

KALasag, ang Opisyal na Papel Pampahayagan ng Kolehiyo ng Arte at Literatura, Unibersidad ng Pilipinas. Ito ang magsisilbing pahayagan ng mga pananaw, usapin at paninindigan ng mga estudyante hinggil sa mga mahahalagang isyu. Ito rin ay magiging daan tungo sa pagbuo ng identidad ng kolehiyo at paghahanap ng lugar nito sa pamantasan at lipunan.

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