The second to perform was Yuan Mor’O Ocampo with his “Diaspora”. Here, Ocampo was tying the knots on the unused ribbons of medals, thus creating a long sequence of string with the color of the Philippine flag. He tied the other end of the string in one corner and the other end at the pillar located at the center of the bar. Then he asked the audience to tie the other ribbons on the string.
The dangling ribbons created an image of “banting”, which is typically used during the town fiesta celebration. Then, Ocampo began circling around the posts located at the center of the bar murmuring: “Life is hard, not here, not for me” until he completed wrapping the string around them.
Ocampo’s imagery of reality is powerful, addressesing the plight of 10 million overseas workers around the world and the knotted string dashed with ribbons symbolizes the convergence of overseas workers to make the Philippine economy afloat from the pit of perdition.
“Life is hard, not here, not for me” is like a Shaman's urgent call to reexamine our political and economic conditions; it is also a call for the overseas workers to bring back their broken dreams into their own homeland.
Photo by Danny C. Sillada © 2005. UGNAYAN Journal