Building a Better World

This is going to be a more personal entry than all I’ve written so far, and this is because there is no other way to deal with some things that are in my head right now. read on brave reader.

A good friend from high school, and someone I mention in my second book, Venson Evangelista was brutally murdered a few days ago. As too many people have observed correctly, what was done to him was cruel and savage and hateful. It was a fate no one deserved, let alone a stand-up, truly good at heart guy like Son was. Many of my memories of Venson come from our fourth year of high school, when we really became friends and would head places and hang out together. And it chilled me to hear the address where we used to hang out was the address where he was abducted from. I remember a warmth and vitality, and most of all a commitment to having a good time, and making sure that others around him were having a good time. It made the cold, detached news reports all the more frustrating because none of them could capture or convey the warmth that emanated from Venson throughout his much too brief life. Even now I fear that I will never be able to do him justice in words.

And justice has been a word we’ve heard too much of, yet a thing we have never had enough of. One plays with the idea of forming a posse and hunting these fools down, but that’s something in the movies, something that we cannot do. We would if we could, and I cannot think of one person who knew Venson who, when confronted with his killers, would hesitate to mete out quick, unmerciful justice on them.

I, along with everyone else who knew him, hope that there will be justice. That these crimes will come to an end, their perpetrators brought forward to pay for what they have done.

And in thinking of these things, I wonder what it is that we can do, what it is that we must do so that these things stop happening. I was thinking last night that the things described in the news reports, those are things that belong in another world, not in the world which we inhabit. And yet all this crime, this evil, inevitably impinges on our world. Sometimes it’s the cellphone snatch or the hold-up in an FX or things like that, which snap us from our world and take us into that one. And even worse it’s something like what happened to Venson, that drags us into this world of darkness and evil which no one should ever visit, let alone inhabit.

It just has me thinking, and this might be too utopian, too far out in the context of what has just happened, but, it makes me believe in a further commitment to consciously building a better world, with better people in it. It means thinking beyond ourselves and being willing to sacrifice for the sake of the good, right, and just. I know that these ideas are abstract, yet I think we all have a sense of what they are.

Recently got to chat with a friend who works in the UN, Limon Rodriguez, and he shared with me the accelerated Millennium Development Goals which are no doubt part of building a better world. Eradicating poverty and achieving sustainability are lofty goals. But these would lead to a better world, one where I hope things like what happened to Venson never happen, a world without hate and crime and violence. Again, I’m aware of how utopian it sounds, but I would like to believe that if more and more people became committed to building such a society, then we would be able to attain it.


3 Responses to Building a Better World

  1. eliza says:

    Oh I didn’t know you knew him, I’m so sorry. 😦 My heart goes out to his family, lalo na sa father niya who had to identify his remains. The story broke my heart.

  2. ever says:

    masakit ang mga nangyayari…
    nakikiramay ako.

  3. xkg says:

    Saw the reports, didn’t know that he was connected to you.

    There are no words to convey how sorry I am for your and his family’s loss. Hope this will get solved soon.

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