Januar’s Strange Days

Posted: January 8, 2009 in All and Sundry
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Today’s column from SunStar Cebu Daily by Januar Yap titled “Strange Days” gave me goosebumps. Aside from the subject matter, what awed me was the way it was written. Short yet full of depth, the piece displayed the writer’s deft handling of telling a personal story with a universal insight. (And it’s not even pretentious like some of the columnists out there.) Grabe! This guy always amazes me.

My favorite paragraph from the piece:

“What do I know? I know pretty much that last year they found a hand in a jar in the Inayawan dumpsite. It was shortly after a taxi driver, stoned with dark dreams of becoming a butcher, chopped a lady and left morsels strewn in many parts of Talisay City. The hand in the jar, however, came from a government hospital. I know, too, that a throng of entrusted caretakers feasted on a man’s misfortune of getting a can up his sphincter. One dry day, a man, who mines rubbish for a living, found a bagful of dollar bills, and not too well overtaken by wild imagination, spent a portion to treat his clique to a few beers and brought home what was for him a pretty basic gesture of paternal love—rice. Oh, I know, too, that one guy, marching his way to a marriage, dropped the world before him because it was daunting and incomprehensible. I don’t know. What do we know about the human heart, anyway? A Korean throws his weight with the waterfalls, but instead hurls his entire poundage to a compatriot and kills him. As the Beatles sang, “…strange days, indeed.””

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