Turon , a famous delicacy in the Philippines

It’s the wee early hours in the morning. I fell asleep . I heard the cock living next to our house stentorianly crowing to the world, saw the sun streak of the breaking dawn through the fissures of our roof pillars, made of poor plywood. I forgot that I pulled an all-nighter; I had to prepare for another bloody exams in school. I had to get higher grades from the two subjects I nearly flunked last mid-term test. I didn’t want to keep behind my smart-alec classmates. Besides, I had to study harder; I wanted to be on the dean’s list or more than that. I was so driven to do so since it was not that easy to save money for the next semester, especially both my parents worked so hard.

I left my room for the kitchen which is not just far from me. My room is just one place I share with my younger sister with wooden partition. I greeted my mother who was still lying in her bed while brushing my teeth.

“ Ma, I’m going to school now.”

My mother did not reply. She must have been sound asleep. I could peripherally see her half body inside the mosquito net. She had to cover herself for the sake of our two-year-old born sister who was also sound asleep with angelic face, next to her. I wonder what they were dreaming about. My father was sprawling across from her, passed-out, dead to the world, full of the alcoholic spirit that rendered him unconscious of my presence in the kitchen.

I skipped breakfast since I knew there was nothing mother would fix for me. I would just sip a cup of coffee despite my buzzing stomach. I would not care about it; I am inured to this misery. I would eat whatever was prepared on the table.Sometimes,I would subsist on my small allowance. As long as possible,I would tide it over because I didn’t want be such a burden to my parents. It broke my heart seeing them,particularly my mother preoccupied, absent-minded,or sometimes catching her crying alone at night when everyone was asleep already.

Since I was in a hurry, I did not mind my creased all-white uniform. We did not have a flat iron. Sometimes, we would borrow one from Ate Ning, one of my mother’s closest friends. Sometimes, I dislike her being a bigmouth toward her two children. Her roaring bawl could be heard in the neighborhood.

When we forgot to return her flat iron, we could no longer borrow it out of shame. One time, I could not bring myself to go to school because my uniform was so crumpled that I was very conscious of it since everyone could be nitpicky. So I tried to experiment by filling a bottle with hot water ; then, I rolled it over the clothe. Unfortunately, it could flatten the spots like the big ones seen up on the moon. I had no choice.  I wore it with aplomb. I knew my mother had a pity on me.

I was so excited to go home because our last class was dismissed early. Since it was the final term, I had nothing to keep up with. Besides, I prefer to review at home than in the school library. I could find solace in the house , especially the presence of my mother bringing up our younger sister soothes me. My father was somehow busy with his job at my uncle’s mini-factory.

As usual , it has been my habit to buy a ‘pasalubong’ for both my younger sister and Mother. Sometimes, I buy two pieces of turon, Mother’s favorite, or purplish ube when no one sells it . If I guess that she’s tired of them, I buy two pieces of hamburgers. Anything I can get, mother would eat them. Nothing can describe my happiness whenever I see my mother smile in joy at something at my hand for her.

I decided to buy two pieces of turon again. I know it is her all-time favorite. Thanks to Aling Lucy; nothing beats her big and savory turon. Its wrapper is brittle, coated in brown sugar. But its banana slice with jack fruit  adds to the heavenly taste.

When I got home on foot, Mikaela had arrived from her work already. She is working for a meat processing company. It saddens me that my parents are not even able to send her to college. So she has no choice.

“ Oh, Reggie. What is that?”, as she noticed something in my hand.

“ Some turon for mother and Mae”, as I put them on the table, “ Where are they?”

Mikaela was just quiet, confused. Her eyes popped out at my question.

“ Don’t eat them, OK? “ Don’t be PG as in patay-gutom.”

Mikael and I are almost close. We can banter with this kind of barbaric language. I felt that Mikaela wanted to blurt out something, but I skipped out on her because suddenly, I was conscious of myself. I had to change myself right away ; I smelled so disgusting; I was soaked in sweat after walking in the scorching sun. No wonder my skin is burning brown.

I decided not to call for both Mother and Mae. They must have been at someone’s house. I was sure Mae wanted to be comforted by the people she is familiar with. It is a matter of object permanence as I learned in psychology.

I stayed in my bed strewn with books , notebooks , and colorful highlighters. I had to review.We would have the last final term after that day.Actually, I did not have to worry about that because I found PGNC and Economics easy to commit to my memory. As far as my classmates are concerned, they know me as the “Father of Rote Memory”.

I leaned against the wall by the window so that I could be freshened up with the afternoon breeze although this air comes from our greedy neighbor’s pigsty. We, along with our neighbors, have been complaining about that putrid pig smell since we moved in our place. The owners just turn deaf to us. Despite that, I tried to stuff  my mnemonic memory with all  the key words until I dropped off to sleep.

I woke up to the sound coming from the kitchen. That must have been my mother. She must have been busy cooking something. Mae must have been playing. I heard her babyish voice  from the living room. Whenever mother was busy, she would let Mae on the ground cluttered with her toys , gliding , talking to herself  or her toys  giving them new life to play with.

I stayed in my bed staring at the rusted roof which we have never thought of covering with wooden ceiling. I closed my eyes and was pleased with the busy sounds echoing around the house. It was like a lullaby that I wanted to sleep through. Maybe it’s better not to have the roof covered with wooden ceiling. It creates echoes whenever the people make happy noises . I just can’t stand the noise echoed around made by the nerve-wracking dispute between Mother and Father or between Father and John.

I came back to my senses when I heard Mae wailing. I got up and hurled out of my room to catch her. I reached for her in my arms trying to comfort her.

“ Why Mae?”, as I was trying to hush her , “ Hush,now. What’s the problem?”

Mikaela came down , surprised at what was going on.

“Where is Mother?” “ I heard her doing something in the kitchen”, I asked.

Mikaela was trying to hold herself. I did not understand why her eyes welling up about to burst into tears.

“ You should not let Mae play alone.”

As I said it, father came from his work. He looked bedraggled and exhausted. He may have gotten home to call it the day and been ready for lunch.

“What happened?” as he was reaching for Mae.

“ Suddenly I awoke to her crying.” “ Where is mother?” “ I heard her cooking in the kitchen while she was playing on the ground here.”

Father wanted to get Mae from me, but I refused because he had not changed himself yet. I was trying to calm Mae, “ Hush, baby” , “ Mother is coming.”

I looked back at both my father and sister . They looked gloomy, trying to hide their faces from me. I could not understand. I was bewildered.

Father sat himself on the wooden bench he made last year,  quiet, staring into space  . What was he thinking? 

Mikaela decided to leave us , fluttering as if she was trying to wend her way through the door. Suddenly, John turned up, entering past her .Mikaela was surprise- stricken at his arrival , in pale as if she had seen his archenemy. They have never liked each other. Nervous, she turned back to father and looked worried.

Fred came up to father. “ They have come.” He murmured and left the room.

Father looked sadder upon hearing him and turned to me.

(What’s everyone so weird?)

“ Reggie, give me your sister.”

“Why?” “ You look dirty. You haven’t changed yet.”

“ No worries, son.” Fatherly calm, he was trying to hold himself not to cry. But what was the reason for him to cry?

“ Reggie, my son. I’m sorry.”

He had taken my sister away from me. It was too late to realize that I was letting go of her since I was confused what he meant to say, “ I’m sorry.”

“ Wh-y?”  Shit.

I saw my father can no longer control himself. He cried. (When was the last time he did cry) ? Mae wailed all of a sudden , infected by his emotional state. Mikaela wanted me to ease my grip on her. She  left us with her, teary-eyed too.

“ What’s happening here, father?” I pleaded. Then, I thought of my mother. Where was she ? Did she know what’s going on in here?

All of a sudden, my brother, John, came  nearer with four men in white uniform.

(Who were they? )

“ Father, who are they?”

Father could not look straight in my eyes. He was tearing his hair, turning his back on me.

The three men gently grabbed both my arms. I tried to flinch.

“ Hey, what the fuck are you doing?”

Two of them trussed both my arms ,trying to put me in a straitjacket while the two supporting me not to hold back. I was trying to  tussle with them.

“ Father, what’s this?” “ What are they doing to me?” Afraid. I was more confused. I didn’t understand what was happening.

“ Wait!” I shouted at the men. “ Does it mean that I am screwed up?”I was asking my father.

But father finally did look at me, surprised at what I said. He looked at me, worn to a frazzle. Then, he gave a nod at the three men.

“No, father!” “ I am not crazy!” “ Tell them I’m not a nut!”  

At this time, I cried in fear. I cried that I might be gone in the head out of confusion.

I was dragged out of the house.The sun was still high up in the sky. I was shouting to my father. There were many onlookers. They were staring at me. They were supposed to be taking a siesta after lunch.I did not understand. I didn’t know what to do. I saw Ate Ning. She was looking at me too as if she was feeling sorry for me. I was trying to move toward her while being taken through the crowd.

“ Ate Ning! What’s happening? Where is mother? “ “ Where is she? Please, call and tell her what these fucking amoebas doing to me? …Please, I don’t understand this.”

She just averted her eyes from me, trying to hold herself, bleary-eyed. I could feel her . I was being escorted  up to a white van with the word ambulance printed on its wall. I looked around. I heard some of my neighbors whispering under their breath,

“ He went screwed up right after his mother died. Poor, Reggie! He can’t accept her loss.”

“ What?” I was surprised at what I heard, “ Loss?.” I was dumb-founded. I was trying to grasp their words, clinging to the reality . I could no longer walk . My feet were heavy. I could not muster up enough strength to hold the situation. I was about to fall over. Beads of sweat trickled down my neck. The three men tried to usher me up into the van.

“ Mama!!!” I shouted around.

“ Where are you???”


Then, I burst into tears. I could no longer let the tears well up in my eyes. I could not bear it any longer. I was all perplexed. I didn’t know what this was all about. I wish it were just a nightmare. I wanted to wake up. It could have been a sleep paralysis. I tried to move my fingers as what a book advised I had read before.

Out of nowhere, my aunt, my father’s sister, appeared to talk to me.

“ Tita, what’s happening? I don’t understand. Why was it that they said…loss?”

Then it dawned on me. “M-other died???”

I covered my mouth with my hand , choked to tears, trying to control it while searching for her answer in her face. But she could not even look at me. Instead, she attempted to embrace and muss up my hair.

“ Oh, Reggie. Poor, Reggie!” At this time , she could no longer stand it .

“ Yo- your mother died already. Sh- she died three months ago.”

“ What??? “ My eyes popped out in surprise. Everything seemed stopped moving , darkening like the nightmarish limbo I am afraid to dream about.

Before she got it across to me, the three men in white uniform had to escort me to the van.

“ Wait! Tita! What do you mean Mama died already? I don’t understand!”

The three men tried to drag me away to the van . I shouted to them looming away.

“ Tita! “, “ Wh-at do you mean Mama died???”

I was already put inside the van, trying to talk to them through the peephole.


“ Papa!!!”

I saw my father running up to her and hugged her as the ambulance was moving off from our house.

“ Papa!!!”

“ Tita!!!”




The Adulterous Woman by Albert Camus: A Book Review

adulterous“ She was waiting, but she didn’t know for what. She was aware only of her solitude, and of the penetrating cold, and of the greater weight in the region of her heart.”

Suddenly I was bothered by the title when I reached the climax of the story. I had expected that the story would center around the scenes that a woman would commit a “crime”, getting into an amorous affair, that she would rat out on her faithful  husband in an abject misery, that there would be a passion-of-crime scene. However, it turned out to be the other way around; the title itself could be understood  in different perspectives. What do you mean by the word “adulterous”? When can you say that a woman is adulterous?

All my dictionary references are in accord with the definition of  adultery  as a sexual affair between a married person with someone who is not his/ her spouse. The word is synonymous with infidelity,unfaithfulness,disloyalty,cuckoldry,extramarital sex-you name it. So,in law,a woman is said to commit adultery when she does so ; a man,concubinage.

On the other hand, when the word inflects into “adulterous”, the word can be  misleading. Since the suffix –ous means having a particular quality, therefore, you can describe someone adulterous that it is the character of that  person to engage in a sex  affair with someone who is not  his/ her spouse. Thus, I found out  that the title has no relevance to the story. I do not find any crime committed by the main character , Janine unless you may call it a prima facie manifestation.

Janine is married but childless to a man who is so preoccupied about his business. Taken along by her husband to an Arabian land on business, she was attracted to an Arabian soldier   who offered her some  lozenges on the bus.  She realized then that despite her mid-life-look age, she is still physically attractive. However, it occurred to her that the man was not interested in her after all  upon meeting him in the market; the man just ignored her. And there was an instance that she was even engulfed   by a group of men when she decided to air out in the middle of the night, leaving her husband asleep.

Therefore, Janine did not have sex with any men, but she had the idea of doing so. Rather, we can put it mildly  that she has committed mental adultery. Besides , could we opine  that Janine is an adulterous woman? The definition of adultery is too broad to conclude that someone like Janine is said to be so unless you define sex as an act, which is different from the idea. Nevertheless, Janine realized her guilt upon   her momentous reflection:

“After a moment…it seemed to her that the sky above her was moving in a sort of slow gyration. In the vast reaches of the dry, cold night, thousands of stars were constantly appearing, and their sparkling icicles, loosened at once, began to slip gradually toward the horizon. Janine could not tear herself away from contemplating those drifting flares. She was turning with them, and the apparently stationary progress little by little identified her with the core of her being, where cold and desire were now vying with each other. Before her the stars were falling one by one and being snuffed out among the stones of the desert, and each time Janine opened a little more to the night. Breathing deeply, she forgot the cold, the dead weight of others, the craziness or stuffiness of life, the long anguish of living and dying. After so many years of mad, aimless fleeing from fear, she had come to a stop at last. At the same time, she seemed to recover her roots and the sap again rose in her body, which had ceased trembling. Her whole belly pressed against the parapet as she strained toward the moving sky; she was merely waiting for her fluttering heart to calm down and establish silence within her. The last stars of the constellations dropped their clusters a little lower on the desert horizon and became still. Then, with unbearable gentleness, the water of night began to fill Janine, drowned the cold, rose gradually from the hidden core of her being and overflowed in wave after wave, rising up even to her mouth full of moans….”

Based on my psychological but hypothetical   observations from the general situation among couples, Janine is looking for the real meaning of happiness or connubial bliss as what a typical wife should be. Her husband is a busy businessman. She does not even have a child to bear. I do not have the slightest idea of what the reasons are since the story does not mention anything. As a matter of fact, it suggests that both do not love each other. May be they just need each other. May be Marcel, her husband, depends on her sexually or for the sake of social status while she , emotionally. However, it appears that Janine is not emotionally satisfied. Therefore, she tends to feel as dreary as the dry desert in an Arabian land. What an overacting moment!

As what I had expected, Albert Camus wanted to indicate his philosophy on Absurdism in the story.

Now, should I subjectively conclude that someone is likely to be adulterous when she is childless and not given much emotional attention by her husband? Well, you have the right to pooh-pooh me. ^^

This is now my third Camus book.  I am still impressed by his   ability   to put his philosophical ideas into a story with his exceptional   writing skills, particularly  by his way of associating them with the mystical world. Much more if I read it in French. I wonder.

Rating: 3/ 5 stars ( I liked it.)

Ako’y Isang Mabuting Pilipino (I Am A Good Filipino) by Noel Cabangon: A Book Review

Ako'y Isang Mabuting Pilipino

How shall we teach a child about being a good Filipino?

This is the reason why Noel Cabangon intended to write this short  children’s story. He describes in the story  the things children must do to be a good Filipino. After all, the story is very simple as though you read it like a poem. So, it might occur to you that he must have imitated the style or pattern of our  national pledge  Panatang Makabayan ( Pledge of Allegiance). Nevertheless, each line is exactly  alluded to the national issues today. You might snicker at the line:

“ … hinding-hindi ko gagamitin ang pera ng bayan…”

(“…I will never spend the people’s money on  my own interest…”)

It may sound ridiculous, but you know what Cabangon is insinuating. Whatevah! Just leave  young readers  alone, how they will practice the said line on their life.

I am aware of the fact that Noel Cabangon is a  singer and composer known for his songs Kanlungan ( Shelter) and Kahit Na Maputi Na Ang Buhok Ko ( Even Though My Hair is Now White ). Also, I know that he is always  present in any demonstration programs that have something to do with national movements. In fact, he composes songs which aim to survive the dying  Mother Nature . Indeed, being patriotism is naturally present in his heart. Thus, it is no wonder why he even used writing such a short story   as the instrument of his revolutionary advocacy. Why not? The only little problem is that it , for lack of a better word, has no originality . Thanks to Jomike Tejido’s  beautiful illustrations- very  Filipino.

In the end, it occurred to me why he wrote such a children’s story? Perhaps, Cabangon believes that the early age  is the best time when one is  educated  about nationalism.

I have not read  a modern children’s story yet  that deals with nationalism. But come to think of it. Cabangon has composed beautiful songs. I believe that he is able to write a story  greater  than a children’s story. There’s no telling how he may be as promising as prominent Filipino writers. ^_^

Rating: 3/ 5 stars ( I liked it.)

Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx: A Book Review

brokeback“There was some open space between what he knew and what he tried to believe, but nothing could be done about it, and if you can’t fix it you’ve got to stand it.”

Annie Proulx, Brokeback Mountain

What would be the differences had I not seen its movie adaptation yet; rather, I had read its book first, or vice versa?

Prior to the movie, I would have immersed myself in the pure, vivid prose of Annie Proulx, not having the slightest idea of the fact that the two rough-mannered cowboys living in a not-open-gay countryside will have sexual and intimate relationship. Then, at the end, I would have thrown it into the air and sworn blue murder, for the must-have-been happy ending will end up as a tragedy. In other case, since I have been aware of its homosexual immortality among the international confederation as well as seen it several times, I still found it the same. In fact, the love scenes are more febrile in my imagination although I had expected something flamer. A. Proulx spiced it up! However, the content of the book is not as detailed as in the movie. But I don’t give a damn on it. ^^

“I wish I knew how to quit you.”

Annie Proulx, Brokeback Mountain

Annie Proulx limns not only the highlighting love story between Ennis and Jack but also the typical rural life of cowboys in a countryside in Wyoming as well as the culturally bigoted meme of homosexuality in the said place. The story may bespeak that the homosexuality is incorruptible and incorrigible in rustic places no matter how rough culture is. ^^

So far, it is second to the A Home at the End of  the World  by Michael Cunningham  ( 5 stars ) as one of best “pink ” novels I have ever read. ^^


Rating: 4/ 5 stars ( I really liked it. )

My Feet Were Not Wet.

My mother and I walked along the sea and decided to walk through the water.  We both looked  up at the sky  and  at the scorching sun on the breath-taking  horizon. We were both just quiet, calm, basking in the beauty of the ambience. I looked at my mother’s face- bright, clear, fresh, soft, and typical of a nurturing mother.

It took  a little  while before   my mother looked down at my feet. She blurted out.

“ Wait, daughter.  I will buy a pair of socks. Your feet must be wet.”

My mother   walked in a hurry off   the seashore. I looked down at my feet. To my astonishment, they were not wet at all. My mother might have been in a state of hallucination.

The sun  seemed to be at its fast pace for  the noon . Its rays started to sting in my skin. It had been a few minutes. But mother had not arrived yet. I could not catch   any glimpse of her physical presence that should have been looming over the   white sand. Then, I jumped to my feet   hearing the trumpeting roar of a ship .

“Booop!Booop! Booop!”

I looked   out across the   vastly stretched  sea. My hair stood on end. It was a gigantic ship, similar to the giant ship  in a famous  movie. Its long haul and   monumental bow   cut the indivisible sea forming tsunami wakes, running at high speed ,  looked like  bearing down upon the shore — upon me.  I was confused, speech-tied. I did not know what was going on in there. I just understood that the ship  was about to bring  me up away from the place. Its   imperious bow seemed to be a big threat, like the overcast sky , about to darken  the ground where I had been standing for minutes on end.

I stepped backward, trembling in my boots.  “ Where is mom?”, muttering under my breath , cold sweat burst into my forehead.  Worried.  Nervous.  Confused.  As if I wanted to cry.

Out of nowhere , I heard some heavy stomps coming from someone. I turned at the other side where my mom had walked .  I saw someone blurry , waving his hand. It was my brother, calling to me, seemed to have been saying something for me to hear. I waited for him until he managed to come up to where I had been wading  through like a pelican catching something eatable , beneath the saturated sand. He   slouched ; he had used up all his physical  power, gasping for air, trying to say something to me . I saw his hand giving me something. It was a pair of the socks my mom had promised.

“  Mother said that I  have to give it to you. “ .

He was still   panting for breath, trying to suck in   the air.

“She jumped to her feet  upon hearing  the  blare of the ship, so she got me to  catch upon you . She is still walking off the miles. “

My mother was too frail to walk as fast as my brother. The ship had come to a halt aground. I could not see any one up on there- just the captain himself,  in his angelic   uniform but with authoritative composure. I looked over my brother’s shoulder, hoping to catch the glimpse of my frail mother, hoping that she could make it.

“ Mother!” , whispering in platitude to someone up there in the sky.

I had no choice but to get aboard. I stood   on the main  terrace  looking out  down on  my brother . Then, I saw my mother trudging  up behind him. She was waving at me. My brother supported her. They both waved at me, standing abreast.

“Good bye, take care of yourself!” My mother tried to shout  .

I also did the same way, “ Good-bye, mother!!! Good-bye, brother!!!”, waving at them as the ship was moving off the shore. I felt the warm tears flowing down my cheeks.

The ship moved and moved and moved farther off the shore. I could see them no more. Then, I remembered what had happened.

Why were my feet not wet?

I awoke to it. Full  of beads of  cold sweat in my forehead.

Why were my feet not wet?


Father Solo and Other Stories for Adults Only by Isagani R. Cruz: A Book Review

IMG_20130130_190559I was aware of the fact that Isagani R. Cruz is a writer and columnist of The Philippine Star , one of the leading newspapers publication in the Philippines. Most of his articles are on educational system. I even tried to read his articles ; thereafter, I had the idea that the writer is so well-educated  and respected that I might find him such  a book bore ( just the  like of  me)  and cannot stand finishing his pieces. I guess I have the conception that well-educated people are too serious as if when you talk to them, you might just be given a dead pan face. But wait, as I always put, there must be a method to someone’s madness like Isagani R.  Cruz ‘s .

Father Solo and other Short Stories by Isagani R. Cruz is a big revelation to me. But first of all, take note its  front cover says that this is For Adults only while its back cover, instead of a synopsis,  reiterates  that This book is meant to be read BY ADULTS  ONLY, and The Content is inappropriate for anyone under the age of 18.  Its publisher may  have been aware of the ridiculous fact that the author himself might be excommunicated by the holier-than-thou Church , or some moralistic NGO’s might take a pot shot at him  for its malicious contents. Well, I cannot blame the publisher and the author themselves.  I wish young readers knew how to keep at bay from this.

The book  turns out to be couched in satirical insinuation despite that the book covers suggest that this must be pregnant with obscene and vulgar language.  For instance, In Father Solothe center of the theme is about masturbation, but do not focus on that because after all, the story  reflects in the  hypocrisy of  priests on their pain-in-the-asshole preach that masturbators go to the eternal fire and brimstone. However, in reality as the story puts it, they practice it likewise. Furthermore,  the story illustrates the clandestine sequence of what happens to priest involved in sex scandals. They are not far different from the “trapong” politicians.

In Once Upon a Time Some Years From Now , on the other hand, infers  what a real president should be. Without direct allusion, the character Cory Fernandez as the first female president of the Philippines could be the persona of the late Mother of Democracy, Corazon Aquino. Isagani R. Cruz must   like her. Of course, it does not do away with the highlight of fetish obscenity: the respected President uses Portable Orgasm Machine or POM. I do not have the faintest idea of what this fetish stands for in the story.

Among the other short stories , Picked is  not quite raunchy , but it  satirically  limns politicians in high government seats who  are living in their own reality  that they can use the taxes paid by Filipinos in their hedonistic hobbies , bribery, and  other under-the-table  activities to  maintain their positions.  A corrupt politician can for sure cringe at it.

Although it’s my first  book of I. R. Cruz , I  admire   his  writing style . His style is conventionally professional, but flexible with modern ideas. With his style, he can put the pigment of his imagination into a classical masterpiece just the like of this book.  And this is   what I have always wanted to imitate, but mine for sure will be a pale imitation. (laughs)

Truly, had I not read it, I would not have known that I CAN write after all.

Rating: 5/ 5 stars ( It’s amazing.)

A Hanging by George Orwell: A Book Review

a-hanging-george-orwell-nThis is a perfect combination with Shooting an Elephant ( by the same author ) in one book . The feelings both convey in the sentences could bring about nuclear fission. (laughs) I would , for sure, give it 5 stars .

Just the kidding aside. This is a perfect essay for the perpetual global issue now : imposing capital punishments on prisoners or captives. One of the punishments that has still been being  practiced is hanging. Recently, ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) was reported to have hanged few Egyptian Christians in light of their ideologies. In fact, it is sad to say that not only  does  such group embrace this kind of blood-curdling punishment , but also 58 countries still do. Twenty three of these countries have executed 527 people. To put it bluntly, most of the countries that still embrace death penalty are  China, the United States, Pakistan, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Yemen, Indonesia, and Iraq.*They uphold death penalty laws for some reasons. On the contrary, whatever argumentative reasons these countries have, in my humble opinion, I am absolutely against DEATH PENALTY, not that it is unconstitutional in our country, not that our country is a religious country, not that we are crime-free. In effect, we have floats of crocodiles in kind unless we were still living in a dark era when people were still intellectually and morally immature to kill one another, weren’t we? If we are in reality at the present time, DEATH PENALTY is applicable when we are all in danger to get annihilated. Tsk tsk tsk Orwell was right: There is such an evil.

Upon reading this essay, there are lines that dwelt upon me:

“It is curious, but till that moment I had never realised what it means to destroy a healthy, conscious man. When I saw the prisoner step aside to avoid the puddle I saw the mystery, the unspeakable wrongness, of cutting a life short when it is in full tide. This man was not dying, he was alive just as we are alive. All the organs of his body were working – bowels digesting food, skin renewing itself, nails growing, tissues forming – all toiling away in solemn foolery. His nails would still be growing when he stood on the drop, when he was falling through the air with a tenth of a second to live. His eyes saw the yellow gravel and the grey walls, and his brain still remembered, foresaw, reasoned – even about puddles. He and we were a party of men walking together, seeing, hearing, feeling, understanding the same world; and in two minutes, with a sudden snap, one of us would be gone – one mind less, one world less.”

Gee, this part makes my flesh creep! A message coming from the other planet.

This essay sounds journalistic “in a sense “ ( now infected by Orwell’s favorite word in his essays ) that Orwell had witnessed different kinds of state wars. His description about the prisoners, the miserably sordid camp, the hanging place, the dog, the atmosphere- they are one in a picture in my mind.

As I reviewed his essay Shooting an Elephant ( 4 stars ), Orwell’s writing styles are sooo impressive. I really liked it despite its ending is ridiculous. I am now getting more familiar with his trademark.


Rating: 4/ 5 stars ( I really liked it. )