Landscaping the Dream: Tapping into the people of Marawi

In a night of exchange with some friends about entanglement and the generality and particularities of universal experience in the language of science, I rolled a few leaves of sambong (local sage) for smudging as it felt right to clean a friend’s external energetic field by releasing negative ions around him after sharing his recent journey during the super new moon. The sound of last night’s heavy rains aided in this cleansing, as well as the smell of the earth breathing out the day’s heat. I tied the herb with thin abaca strings from the dried lei of camia I bought a few days back.

Like any ritualistic act, the one who does the cleansing and the one being cleansed are inseparable. Both subjects partake in observance as the space is shared in communion and unity – the one overseeing the cleansing is also being cleansed. After swirling the herb to my friend’s head, chest, back and limbs I put the rest in the corner of the room to fill the space with smoke. I swept the ashes and disposed them in our small garden, leaving them on the soil, back into the earth, as a kind of respect.

And so to its attainment, the sambong late that night relaxed all my dimensional fields and really put me in deep sleep. I dreamt, not very vividly, but strong enough to wake me up in tears. In the dream I saw myself in our old house in San Pablo with another girl who felt like a good old friend. She didn’t have a name, and the features of her face were undefined. I was being chased by the authorities. A silver car and an armored van smashed down our gates but before anyone of them were able to go down their automobiles, me and my unfamiliarly familiar friend had already sneaked and ran away. In my dream I was thinking of either going to La Trinidad or Palawan, but as I was strategizing our escape, my unfamiliarly familiar friend stopped to talk to a shadow person (who felt like a man) a few blocks away from my house. I waited for her a bit, but as I felt that the shadow was actually part of the authorities (a kind of military intelligence, a spy) who was distracting us from where we were unknowingly headed, I immediately ran towards her and pulled her close to run with me. We ran fast, long and tiring. And as I was running I felt my heart thumping hard, then I started crying. I abruptly woke up in tears with my chest carrying the weight of the Realm of Symbols.

And so as I breathe deeply upon waking, I know in my heart that the panic, terror and fright I experienced in my dream wasn’t just my personal panic, terror and fright. It is the kind of panic, terror and fright that the rest of our brothers and sisters in Marawi are also experiencing as we silently sleep in our little humble homes. In the dream world we all meet in equal presence, and I was able to tap into the collective mind driven by the mutual unconscious we all share. The self was a mere vessel, a cask of an experiential process that of which is me and beyond me.

I feel so very deeply, this national and global obstruction of information in the series of aerial bombings, psychological and geographic displacements, and unwarranted arrests happening in Mindanao and the rest of the world. So what is it that fuels this strong desire to control and hold things down to its inert state? In the universal capitulary, it has always been the modern capital-forming human laws that are truly athwart to natural laws.

So before I fell asleep after smudging, I was once again reading Jung as an exercise of looking back to better see forward. And so this aligned occurrence of re-view was not only supported by my conscious mind. Only this morning that I realized that my subconscious and unconscious minds were both allowing and equipping me last night with the tools to decode the dream I was about to experience. And as I type these words I am kept still, existing only in breath, marveling at how beautiful our minds work when we are aware. I reckon: we sleep so we can be awake.


On the spirit of language

Much has been said about the nature of language as a matter of socio-political construction that humanizes what is perceived; or in short: what is. Implications of its impurity in the translation of thought is allowed to form more, serving as a subjective brick for culture and human-centric evolutionary processes. It often times distorts or carry out in utter lack what is really conveyed, putting primacy on an ideal world of silent energetic transmissions built on the unsaid and the godliness of the ineffable.

But what is bypassed and overlooked is its power to suggest, its ability to present a present with surprising pleasure — when words are used not to communicate an idea but as tools to plant a wordless truth.


ni J. G. Dimaranan

Para kay Banahaw


Tinipon ko ang maliliit

na punung-kahoy

upang ipanggatong

sa nilulutong pananghalian:

pinakuluang okra at talong

at ilang gayat ng karne.

Sinibak mo naman ang malalaki

at isinalansan sa tabi,

upang gamiting pananggga

sa bantang lamig ng gabí.


Nakadarang ang aking mukha

sa usok at singaw ng palayok,

at sa di kalayua’y tanaw ko

ang kislap ng pawis sa iyong batok.


Ganito katahimik ang ating mga umaga

mula nang itirik natin ang munting kubo

sa bewang ng kabundukang ito.


At kung tapos na ang pagtatanim

ay nauubos ang maghapon natin

sa kapapanood ng mga malhokang

may kakatwang apoy na buhok.

Minsa’y kinakaibigan sila

ng ilang mga balicassiao

na tila malalim na dagat naman

ang mga mata, balahibo at buntot.


Kung ano ang kulay ng mga ibong

madalas nating pagmasdan,

ay gano’n din ang kulay

ng ating mga gabi—

sa ilalim ng malalim na asul na langit,

paandap-andap ang kinang

ng mga bituing umakit at gumuhit

sa ating dito manirahan at manatili.

Kumut-kumot ang bisig ng isa’t isa,

ang mga puso nati’y kawangis ng sigâ,

mainit, panatag, malamlam, pulang-pula,

nagliliwanag sa ihip ng hangin.


At alam nating tayo’y mahihimbing na

kung marinig na ng ating mga tainga

ang kalansing at kuliling

ng diwatang paparating

na siyang magtatawid sa atin

sa mga ulap ng pananaginip.