Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Bloody Pieces of That Abortion

It's been a terribly long time since I last gazed upon anything showing on RPN9 because, honestly, that channel is a fucking zombie. Watching RPN9 is like observing slime mold behavior for scientific purposes.

And that's why I was surprised this morning to find my wife watching some documentary on that channel. As it turned out, she was watching Japan Video Topics. I remember catching this series as a child in the 80s, when it was called Japan Screen Topics. I had to sit down and take that nostalgia trip.

Japan Video Topics is a series of short documentaries, most of them less than five minutes long, featuring Japanese culture, arts, technology, tourist attractions, society, and many other topics and trends. Produced by the Japanese government, the series is presented without much sensationalism. This series is the reason why I understood early on that Japan is much much more than just anime, manga, tentacle porn, and multi-orgasmic JAV idols writhing in soul-tearing ecstasy by virtue of the Hitachi Magic Wand.

While watching the program (Japan Video Topics, not multi-orgasmic JAV idols), I felt bad for us Filipinos. I couldn't help comparing our culture and Japan's. While more than a thousand years of isolation and existence as an empire assured that a well-developed Japanese culture would survive intact in the 21st century, our ancestors only became a nation (I use the term loosely) when the conquistadores arrived, effectively nipping our infant culture at the bud early in the 16th century. All we have now are the bloody pieces of that abortion.

I wonder what our country would be today had we started writing and building an empire a thousand years earlier and had we been overlooked by Imperial Spain.

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