The Appalling Announcement

Ateneo de Manila University is a sweat inducing 10 minute walk away from where I live. Near one of the gates of the school is a gigantic billboard with changeable letters where announcements about up coming curricular and co-curricular activities could be readily seen! I read those announcements every time I pass by Ateneo! The announcement sometimes changes almost every week! Letters keep changing.

Messages differ from one given time to another. So, I make sure to read those announcements everyday! I should! And I do this on a regular basis! It doesn't matter if I have to sweat and walk for 10 minutes from where I reside! I have to be updated.

There was a time however when I started wondering how those letters got up there. I became very curious at who places those letters on that big billboard. I couldn't stop but wonder at what super powers would be required for someone to be able to position letters up there on that huge billboard!

Until one night my question was answered. I was passing by Ateneo late one evening from a friend's house when I saw a man wearing faded blue shirt up on a ladder patiently taking off letters from an old announcement and carefully putting in new ones! I stopped to observe. That was an opportunity for my question to be answered without asking any Grown-up who might think I am once again asking "Stupid Questions"!

To my surprise, the man wearing faded blue shirt was like all ordinary man! He has no super powers! Being all mortal, it took him about half an hour balancing himself on a ladder just to put in the words: "Classes starts on June 15"! It was a hard work! A job so laborious that it is not fair for that man in faded blue shirt if those who were suppose to read those announcements just don't read it and have chosen to ignore what was written there!

From that day on, I vowed to read those announcement! And, I made it a point to tell my classmates to read the announcements too! Some did, but a great number of them didn't! When I asked them why, they said their parents told them it was not necessary! I was again disappointed with the Grown-ups for this! They obviously don't know how it is to be up on a ladder without super powers!

Anyway, going back to the main point, now thinking about it, I think people of the olden times are luckier because they don't have to climb a ladder and spend 30 minutes to finish off one announcement on a billboard with changeable letters. I learned from my History class that during the old times in China, soldiers of the imperial palace blow a trumpet like musical instrument or crash a cymbal to get the attention of the people who should then gather around to listen to the announcements from the Imperial Emperor! Sometimes, Gongs could also be used.

Announcement from the Emperor may range from: "The Celestially August Emperor Yung-Loh Lord of Peking and son of Heaven sends this message" to "The Huns have invaded China"!

At modern times, for an announcement to be public one simply has to pay for an advertisement. It could be on TV, the Radio, or even in Newspapers! Announcement of great variety may be done! It could be for a promotion on a brand new product, an upcoming concert, a movie premier, the birth of a celebrity baby or the death of a democratic icon who has inspired the world over to be united in the face of adversity and to give peace a chance!

But my teacher told our class before that an advertisement may cost millions of pesos!

Since I don't have a gigantic billboard with changeable letters, a horn to blow, a gong or cymbals to crash, and millions of pesos to pay for an announcement, I have chosen to use this blog to make my announcement!

Elsa's story will officially begin on August 14! This is Elsa's birthday!

To celebrate her birthday, I bought 9 balloons with different colors! But, now I am very sad! I am in doldrums because 4 of the 9 balloons flew away! They are never to return.

"No matter how lonely you get or how many birth announcements you receive, the trick is not to get frightened. There's nothing wrong with being alone." - Wendy Wasserstein

1 Comment:

  1. Adnos Uyañe Plein said...
    The Appalling Announcement also lost its original comments from readers on June 2010. This episode was written a few days before August 14,2009.

    Just like the first two episodes, The Appalling Announcement was written when i was still residing at Batino Street Project 3 Quezon City.

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