There was a TV show teaser I saw one-and-a-half times (the first time, I saw only half of it), a trailer for an episode of “Dokyu”, a local TV show featuring documentaries by university students. Just one-and-a-half times I saw that trailer but the images and message of that 30 second trailer were burned in my mind for many days after.
I use that phrase. After spending time online in a chat session, I sometimes end the exchange by saying, “Okay, logging off. Back to real life”.
I used it also in an essay I wrote after my one year course in AIM. After a year of classroom sessions, case discussions, grueling written analysis of cases, months of sleep deprivation writing my thesis, it was a relief to be back in my â€œreal lifeâ€.
But â€œReal lifeâ€ or â€œTunay na buhayâ€ meant something very different in that Dokyu trailer.
The trailer showed a close shot of a little girl, around 6 to 8 years old maybe, street smart, poor and from the slums. She was replying to the film-makerâ€™s queries, presumably to a question like: â€œAno ang pangarap mo?â€
The little girlâ€™s reply was caught on tape:
â€œGusto ko ng tunay na buhay!â€
The film-maker prodded, asking for an explanation. To this the little girl replied once more, irked but still smiling:
â€œAno ang hindi mo maintindihan, ang linaw linaw naman ng sabi ko! Gusto ko ng tunay na buhaaaaayyyy!â€
These words resounded in my mind long after I heard them.
This young Filipina girl has been told that she isnâ€™t living a â€œreal lifeâ€. This little girl has learned to cope by convincing herself that her life is unreal, just like a dream.
To this young girl, â€œreal lifeâ€ isnâ€™t poor. â€œReal lifeâ€ isnâ€™t difficult. â€œReal lifeâ€ isnâ€™t hungry. â€œReal lifeâ€ isnâ€™t garbage. â€œReal lifeâ€ isnâ€™t what she is living now.
Show me this little girl. She has lessons to teach us all.
Baby boy edwin