Driving into Manila on the South Luzon Expressway at night, as I did a few weeks back returning from the Batangas Weekend, is like entering a fun filled fairyland of bright lights and eternal dreams. On either side of the highway are huge billboards, all brightly lit expounding the delights of all types of products to fill a consumers heart with joy.
It was a ride down a tunnel into the unknown but one that was friendly if you have the cash, by day they look kinda tawdry, especially those that flank the EDSA.
Given an open space with passing traffic here in the Philippines and there will be hoardings erected. On the median strip that flashes past at eye level to towering monsters vying with the high rises to block out the sky they extol their virtues of all and sundry. From the benevolence of the local political incumbent to the quite dogs foot fetish each has its pitch in a graphic language that reflects the aspirations of their intended audience.
Want to know how where you fit within your society these silent sentinels will tell you. Those to which you have a positive reaction, emphasize with, those that offend or annoy, they are your barometer. Which fiction resonates, which repels, for they are fictions, but like all fiction are based on reality.
The beautiful babes gathered round the bottle of booze has more than a grain of truth to it as many a bloke with one or three too many under the belt will attest, although, perhaps not till the next morning. The heels that lengthen and accentuate do compensate for what nature has forgotten to lure the moth to the flame.
They may dress our hard facts in glittering vestments but the facts remain. And as we stagnate in an EDSA grid lock the visuals will at least match the babble from the radio.