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The best way to define ourselves would simply be to refer to what we have become, how we look the world, how we position ourselves inside it, and finally, how we were changed over the years. Yes, we changed. Today’s society hardly tries to catch up what is trend, what is new and what is cool. They tend to do everything just to act and be like the Western people who they think they want and need to follow. The modernity of the Philippines detach us from our past because of the unwary eyes of people that effortlessly and simply embraced and accept colonial influence that made our society full of ‘as if’.
Nick Joaqun’s “Candido’s Apocalypse” tells how the society became complicated and full of trouble as the world of ‘pretend’ shows up. What I found most shocking and entertaining was early on those years, Nick Joaquin apprise his readers that back then and until now, we were living in a society full of ‘pretends’. “Candido’s Apocalypse” revolves to a society for parents to name their kids with English names. Bobby, the name of the main character, was also considered a society name. Bobby’s siblings Junior and Sophie also have society names. The use of language of Junior and Sophie shows that they speak English language in the American way, slang and other aspects are included. Since Bobby Heredia is a teenager, his story greatly involves the whole teenage concept and generations are more complicated and more troubled. Teenagers were being concerned about being cool as today’s teen. To be ‘cool’ would be called ‘overacting’ for Bobby, and everything that is overacting makes him hate them. He start looking for what is true and honest to among all fake people around him, he develops the ability to see beyond people’s layers, beneath their pretenses, revealing all the ugly, disgusting thing they hide. Then he starts seeing even deeper inside to their bare bones. After knowing the insides and insecurities of people, he realizes how judgmental and conceited he has been.
The twist to “Candido’s Apocalypse” challenges the readers’ perspective and mind. It begs the reader to revise his/her own thoughts on the world of ‘pretend’ and truth. It talks about revelations on seeing realities of the world, family, and society. It is a quest for identity and journey towards the understanding of the evil realities of the world. Nick Joaquin successfully made his reader realized that humans must learn to give importance to the things around them. And being true to ourselves is not a shame. We should not force ourselves to be somebody whom we aren’t really are, because we do not live to please others, but live to please ourselves.
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