CDQ on Celdran and Damaso!
Specifically my reservation has to do with someone who may or may not be an artist, who may or may not be a believer, who may or may not have a more enlightened cause, doing a similar thing in a mosque. This country does not lack for fanatics of the anti-Islamic kind, fueled by the Islamophobia of movies and the self-serving US version of anti-terrorism, and the very benightedness Celdran meant to oppose by his act might end up the very thing it encourages. I’d caution very, very earnestly against defiling, or despoiling, places of worship.
Apart from that, I think Celdran’s stunt was brilliant.
First off, he has done this country the not inconsiderable service of giving it a history lesson, and in style. And while at that, he has proven himself a most competent guide to this country’s historical riches, showing he knows whereof he speaks. It will be a sublime irony in a country that is no stranger to sublime ironies if he should lose his job because of this, as the irate clergy of Manila demands. Though if that happens, I doubt he will remain unemployed for very long. Jose Rizal got shot to death for his pains, his reincarnation has shot him to fame.
With his act, Celdran hasn’t just guided people through the Walled City, he has guided this nation through the walls of its forgetfulness back to the time of Rizal and the fight against religious obscurantism. Indeed, in this case, he hasn’t just reminded this nation of its past, he has reminded it of its present, showing that the past is never really past, history is never really history, it flows into the present, it reappears in the present, it lives in the present. Still indeed he hasn’t just shown the past and present, he has breathed life into them by impersonating or conjuring or manifesting Rizal in all his desperate fury, shouting a name that like “Judas” carries with it a world of vituperation: “Damaso!”
We may have jumped the shark on the protection of religious grounds, my question is this— is that too high a price to crush truthiness?