Posted by: theboyfromsmallville | November 10, 2007

Hush now, little girl

They buried her today.

Amid a media spotlight never shone on any departed member of her bloodline, they buried her.

Surrounded both by kin and by nonrelations drawn to the tragedy of her passing, wrapped in the memory of naughty laughter and childhood pranks and with the gripping melancholy of broken dreams permeating the air, her casket was pushed into an open, waiting tomb and sealed off from the world that broke her young heart to submission.

In a funereal ceremony normally reserved for those who’d either lived to a ripe old age or failed to live through a violent event, people laid to rest Mariannet Amper—a child who dreamt of nothing more than a quiet, sustainable life.

A little over a month before the Christmas that, she wrote, she could not feel was approaching (Hindi ko namalayan na malapit na pala ang Pasko), were to arrive in all its pompously festive glory.

Just three days before a television program she had written to in the hopes of getting her simple wishes granted actually granted those wishes—and more.

They buried her.

Too bad, we never had the chance to know what more was stored in her sorrow-soaked 12-year-old mind. They buried her long before she could introduce herself to us with her melancholic longings (Parang isang buwan na kaming absent. Hindi na kasi nakin [sic] binibilang ang absent ko).

We never had the chance to hear her longingly, but innocently complain about the things she missed out because of poverty (Hindi kami nakapagsimba dahil wala kaming pamasahe at nilalagnat pa ang aking tatay kaya nanglaba na lang kami ng aking nanay). Oh yes, she was dirt poor. According to our paper’s southern bureau, she was so poor that even the poor kids in her poor Davao neighborhood refused to be seen with her.

And we never had the chance to sit beside her one afternoon as she looked out from the window and wistfully pined for the things that would have made her part of the inner circle of friends in her neighborhood (Gusto ko po sana magkaroon ng bagong sapatos at bag at hanapbuhay para sa nanay at tatay ko. Wala kasing hanapbuhay ang tatay at nagpa-extra extra lamang ang aking nanay sa paglalaba/ Gusto ko na makatapos ako sa pag-aaral at gustong-gusto ko na makabili ng bagong bike).

We can only do so much now. And even then, whatever is left to do is too late.

And then, in the midst of the gloom her death wrought upon us, in between breaks from the flogging we’ve dealt our conscience, we ask ourselves: Would we have done anything to change her fate, if things weren’t too late?

Perhaps not. As the Ad Genius succinctly put it, how many of us would have traded our mocha fraps for a chance to talk the girl out of ending her own life?

Not many.

Most of us are concerned about our own private hells.

We calm our guilt with the fact that a lot of us do not have the luxury of seeing trees, flower-filled gardens and sunset-colored beaches when we close our eyes at nights.

When we close our eyes, we tell ourselves, all we see behind our eyelids is a dry, barren landscape in ashen-gray colors filled with nothing but junk scrap coated in rust and soot. And that in the midst of all that, there is only a single white flower growing from the soil to keep us sane.

It was probably what Mariannet saw too, the night before the embers of hope in her grayed irreversibly.

Except that she never saw the white flower.

Even as she tore down the piles of junk from their stacks, even as the scenery clanged with the banging of metal against each other, she could not find that single flower to hold on to. And so amid the passive chaos of her life and the caterwauling of endlessly tumbling steel in her mind, she opted for the quickest way to the peace only silence can bring.

And so they buried her.

Just a second before we could pat her head and tell her: Hush child, you were the white flower all along.
 

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Responses

  1. hmm my latest blog post is also about the girl.

    unfortunately, in just a few days, she will all be forgotten…

  2. Yeah. Unfortunately.
    And the tragedy of her death is some people will milk it for all its worth, when really, everything they will do will be posthumous. And therefore, too late.

  3. […] Schumey: Putting A Face On Poverty The Jester-in-Exile: The Rant of The Jester-in-Exile, Part I: YOU FUCKING APATHETIC FOOLS and The Rant of The Jester-in-Exile, Part II: Pinoy Big Briber Paeng: Callous Master Betong: Kahirapan Dominique Cimafranca: “Girl, 11, loses hope, hangs self” Mika: Poverty drives a 12-year-old girl to take her own life Selvo: The rope that hanged Mariannet Gerry Cacanindin: Mariannet: Death by suicide at 12 brandz18: To Mariannet Amper Jenny: Mariannet Amper: Death Driven by Poverty…. Demosthenes: Too Menny People Mundong Noypi: Legacy of Mariannet quixotic&chaotic: Hebigat mgrp: “Girl,11, loses hope, hangs herself” iron46: Apektado ako sa pagpapakamatay ni Mariannet Patsada Karajaw: DAVAO GIRL COMMITTED SUICIDE BECAUSE OF POVERTY Manuel Buencamino: The most callous reaction to the suicide of an 11 year old girl Placeholder: Trickle-Down Economics Bikoy: There are millions of Mariannets Sonnie: Tears In Heaven Francis: Hush now, little girl […]

  4. I also did a blog entry about her just recently.
    I just want to ask: where were you and what you were doing that day she took her life? Ako kasi, I feel kind of guilty because during that time, I was spending way too much on something unimportant.
    :(

  5. Tel, I was in the office, closing the sports page. :)

  6. Nice tribute to our country’s white flower. There are millions more out there and we should save them while they’ve still got hope in their hearts and minds. Where do we begin? What should we do? I hope the blogs that we’ve written for her create waves of change that will alleviate our countrymen from poverty.

  7. I can only guarantee you one thing. For change to take place, something drastic really has to happen. Really, really drastic.

  8. […] Schumey: Putting A Face On Poverty The Jester-in-Exile: The Rant of The Jester-in-Exile, Part I: YOU FUCKING APATHETIC FOOLS and The Rant of The Jester-in-Exile, Part II: Pinoy Big Briber Paeng: Callous Master Betong: Kahirapan Dominique Cimafranca: “Girl, 11, loses hope, hangs self” Mika: Poverty drives a 12-year-old girl to take her own life Selvo: The rope that hanged Mariannet Gerry Cacanindin: Mariannet: Death by suicide at 12 brandz18: To Mariannet Amper Jenny: Mariannet Amper: Death Driven by Poverty…. Demosthenes: Too Menny People Mundong Noypi: Legacy of Mariannet quixotic&chaotic: Hebigat mgrp: “Girl,11, loses hope, hangs herself” iron46: Apektado ako sa pagpapakamatay ni Mariannet Patsada Karajaw: DAVAO GIRL COMMITTED SUICIDE BECAUSE OF POVERTY Manuel Buencamino: The most callous reaction to the suicide of an 11 year old girl Placeholder: Trickle-Down Economics Bikoy: There are millions of Mariannets Sonnie: Tears In Heaven Francis: Hush now, little girl […]


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