Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes

batang pinas’ at ang ‘exhibitionista’

Posted on December 05, 2005 by jimparedes

Here’s an idea I’ve been wanting to write about. Another theory one can neither prove nor disprove. Am not sure I make sense but it is nevertheless intriguing. Here goes.

Carl Jung says that everyone harbors within himself certain ‘archetypes’—or primal characters, simply put that have existed throughout the history of mankind. And he claims that these are embedded now in every human being’s collective consciousness. As examples, we carry within us the archetypes of ‘prostitute’ (which takes over every time we negotiate money), ‘saboteur’ (the one who warns us against our own plans–our caution mechanism), ‘hero’,’ teacher’, ‘child’, etc.. There are millions of archetypes actually, and each one of us is a jumble of archetypes-in-line waiting to express themselves though our personalities and actions. This is a really fascinating concept which a lot of other writers have explored. Among them is Ms. Caroline Myss who has written a lot about this in Sacred Contracts.

One of the things that intrigues me is this: Is it possible that countries, nations, peoples can also be dominated and thus carry and act out the patterns attributable to certain archetypes at different times in their history? During WW2, wasn’t Germany for example the strict, obsessive-compulsive disciplinarian who was obsessed with ‘order’ and wanted to rid the world of ‘imperfection’ (Jews) and establish the perfect race (the aryan race)? The Germans went along with it since Hitler promised and delivered. He got the trains running on time and there was law and order. He appealed to the Germanic obsessive penchant for efficiency.

What about America? Isn’t Hollywood’s projection of America that of a vibrant, rugged individual nation with lots of spunk, recklessness, youthful chutzpah, a know-it-all with no long memory to temper itself? Isn’t America the source of rock’n’roll, James Dean, the atom bomb and the Vietnam and Iraq? Look at japan. Didn’t Japan on the other hand seem to come on as a warrior-samurai complete with hara-kiri and kamikaze suicide bombing?

I sometimes ask myself, what about the Philippines? What archetype dominates or rules us today? What can we observe from the way we as a people behave? Don’t we always say that we are still a young country to explain why we are in the mess that we are in? Hmm. I’d say that from all indications, we seem to be ruled by the ‘child’ archetype. Consider the following:

-We love partying—fiestas, salo-salo, the longest Christmas season in the world, etc..

-We have very short memories. We are not great fans of history and we never seem to learn from it.And even when we act out great historical events like the 2 EDSAs, it’s a PARTY!

-We have an even shorter attention span. We never hear of any institution, (government included) that looks twenty years ahead. And even when other nations plan for 50 to 100 years ahead, we never go beyond the ‘5-year plan’. We seem to like everything ad hoc. Bahala na si Batman.

-We seem to just go merrily along unconcerned about our serious problems. In every survey the past few years, we have always seen ourselves as ‘the happiest people in Asia.’

-Our favorite religious icon is the Santo Nino–the depiction of Jesus as a child. We like a lovable, cute God—a ‘wonder child’, combination of someone like a cute child star (with His curly locks and white skin) and the Promil baby who is also a ‘gifted child’, can perform miracles and who at a young age could preach at the temple.

–We love entertainment, Little Miss Philippines, telenovelas about young love, fantaseryes, etc. that are mostly about the young..

But then, even when we do see the child archetype kicking in us, a question to ask is, what are the characteristics of this child? Is the archetype that characterizes us ’the golden child’?, The ’meek and quiet child’? The ‘spoiled brat’? Are there other child archetypes to choose from?

Consider the following:

-A lot of Pinoy children grow up these days with just one parent because many of their dads or moms are working outside the country. In one class I spoke to a few years ago, 47% of the entire class had only one parent at home.

Could we be the ‘orphan child’?

-We seem to show quite often through mass media children in ‘adult’ roles or situations. Our telenovelas like to depict children who cry a lot because they are saddled with the problems of the family and the world. In singing contests, it is not unusual to hear kids sing My Way, or The Greatest Performance Of My Life or She Bangs’. Or what about the phenomenon of very ‘child-like’ dancers, the Sex Bombs, and the like who project an overt sexuality fit for adults?

Could we be the ‘precocious child’?

Our politicians, familiar with our child-like ways give us entertainment in place of substance. And as if to exploit the ‘orphan’ in us like to project themselves as ‘Ama ng bayan’ (Erap and Marcos), Ina ng bayan (Imelda).

My own interpretation in archetypal terms of Erap’s fall and GMA’s ascension to power can be seen as something like this;

Nagwala si tatay. Napasama sa masamang barkada at bisyo kaya si Ate ang naatasan mag-alaga sa atin.

Where’s Nanay? In the Middle East, or London, or America making money as an OFW, of course! GMA is too young looking to be an ‘Ina’, di ba?

I am an exhibitionist

OK, I’ll desist for the meantime with the psycho-sociologist musings.

I am putting on this blog the media release concerning my exhibit. Pardon the ‘shameless’ plug.

‘To see a world in a grain of sand
And heaven in a wild flower
To hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.’

-By William Blake

That pretty much sums up Jim Paredes’ guiding philosophy and describes his acute awareness and state of mind when taking pictures. Everything in sight is potentially fascinating and/or inspiring and can be captured as such. The world is an infinite place of wonder and awe.

Jim of APO Hiking Society fame, started getting into photography about 12 years ago and turned professional in 1997 when he did his first photo cover for Metro Magazine. In the following years, he shot for many other publications, and did commercial work which included brochures, calendars, albums and billboards. Jim has had two solo exhibits in 2003 and 2004 at the EPSON Gallery. He has also had the honor and pleasure of sharing photo space with his idols Jun De Leon and Raymond Isaac for a mini-exhibit at Cinderella’s store..

Many people have seen glimpses of Jim’s works in magazines which featured mostly semi-nude, portraits or fashion themes. For this collection, he has decided to present something different. Jim immersed himself in what initially seemed to be very random subjects but when summed up, actually presented themselves under the themes of AIR (clouds, mist, fog, horizons), WATER (boats, beaches, water itself) and EARTH (landscapes, hills, leaves, flowers, sand, and some of the other Ten Thousand Things that comprise it). “ I was not aware at first that an inner direction was guiding me’, says Jim. ‘But after a while, I really caught on and began to really see and focus on the beauty of everything I pointed my camera on’. Thus, the title JIM PAREDES in A.W.E. A Photographic Exhibit is only fitting!

“I’ve been on a creative streak for some years now’, explains Jim who surprised himself by getting into teaching at the Ateneo University, giving lectures and creativity workshops, writing books –doing all these during the past 6 years and excelling even as he continues to tour abroad with APO. “I just jumped into the pool and learned how to swim, so to speak. Photography, apart from music and writing is one of those activities where I am a natural and feel I can express myself eloquently’, says the renaissance man.

Jim Paredes invites you to view his pictures and be in awe. It is his hope that his photos will awaken your dormant connection to the world and will make you in awe of things around you.

FROM DEC. 8 TO 15, 2005
Renaissance Gallery
4th Floor, Building A
Megamall, MM

0 to “batang pinas’ at ang ‘exhibitionista’”

  1. DOPS says:

    i hope i can attend that exhibit…


  2. Anonymous says:

    hi…i just have a question but before i ask it i just wanna make it clear that i’m not questioning ur decisions and i know that ur a father who cares for his family and u have the right to make decisions that u think are best for them and me asking this is just out of curiosity and with no malice at all. it’s just that growing up i had this impression that u along with the other members of APO were really nationalistic people who contributed a lot not only to the music industry but the whole Filipino society and culture as well…now,im just wondering why you had ur children to be american citizens and i believe u would be migrating to australia soon so i don’t know if they’d be australian citizens but i heard that u wanted to go there to give ur family a better future. does that mean that ur giving up hope for the philippines?and if someone like you who has a lot of resources would feel that you have to live in another country just to give a good life to your children,then the state of the phil must be reaaallly bad in your eyes.i just can’t reconcile the fact that a member of the APO hiking society who are people who wanted to make a change in the phil,who cared about the filipino people would now give up on the country and leave it(kinda like doing something that’s opposite of the ideals that u were preaching before when apo was still active).like i said,you have all the right to make decisions for yourself and your family and u don’t have to explain that to anybody but if you have the time and you want to answer this,i would really appreciate it coz i really respect u and the other members of apo and i don’t like to have wrong ideas or make judgments about you without basis.thanks and god bless to you and your family!

  3. Jim says:

    anonymous–I am saving for a future time an article long enough to answer this. Not now. Just one explanation and that’s it. Abangan.


  4. Anonymous says:

    haha…ok!anyway…thanks for taking the time to read my comment.and yes…i’ll definitely wait for that article!:)

  5. enigma says:

    hey Jim, just got back from Singapore. had to make sure that i can attend your event. see you.

  6. Hazel says:

    What time does you Exhibit start and end? hubby and i will be staying 2 nights at a hotel at the ortigas center for some break at work.. and that’s starting on the 15th 🙂 will be dropping by you exhibit for sure! 🙂

  7. jennikewlit says:

    hi jim! just wanna wish you all the best for ur exhibit. as the filipino-american kids would say: “i’m sure it’ll kick a$$” haha.

    thank you also for all the love and support you and the APO have shown me during this tough time. Couldn’t have done it without u all. your blogs and stories have helped me so much….

  8. Ray says:

    Hi Jim,

    Good luck to your photography exhibit. It would be great to see some photos you are exhibiting in this blog.

    I’m just curious if you have any heroes in photography.



  9. Jim says:

    enigma and hazel– It’s open until the mall closes at 9:30 yata. But it’s only till the 15th.

    jennikewlit–mahal ka namin talaga. We look at ourselves as members of the Santillians. Love to everyone you love. We will continue to pray for you.

    ray–my idols? There’s Helmut Newton, henri cartier-bresson, David la chappelle (check out his website–fantastic), Debbenport, and Ansel Adams. Actually, marami and I haven’t included the local ones.

  10. sophie says:

    on the subject of archetypes…perhaps we are the palaboy child – we go and do things the way we do because we don’t know any better. and thats why we keep on taking to the streets and embracing all of these figures that are all wrong for us. because in our hunger for the answer we believe that the false pretenses will take us far from the hungry day to day existence to something more substantial.

  11. Jim says:

    sophie–that’s quite an insight. If the whole theory makes any sense at all, I am of the bent that we are somewhat like that–palaboy,the abandoned child who is not disciplined and who keeps on hitching with the wrong ‘elders’. Like you, I sometimes feel we don’t know any better. we mistake form for substance.

  12. ~C4Chaos says:

    great post. funny but it hits the bull’s eye. i’m gonna blog this 😉

    godspeed on your exhibition. i hope you do some more.

  13. ~C4Chaos says:

    pahabol po…

    i just read anonymous’s comments. very interesting question. will wait for Jim’s response as well.

    i’m sure Jim has his reasons but i’ll throw in my two cents here since i’m a US resident and i’m planning to apply for (dual)citizenship when the time comes.

    there was a time when i thought that i would never apply for a US citizenship. but the reason i choose to apply is because US citizenship is the closest thing i can get to being a “world” citizen. e.g. less hassle when travelling to other countries, and the ironic thing is unlike being a US resident, you DON’T have to stay within the U.S. for 6 months. you can spend you life elsewhere and keep your US citizenship and all its benefits (and stigma as well). this means i have the option of staying in the Philippines as much as i like whenever i want.

    in my opinion there are other ways of showing nationalism than just staying in the Philippines and keeping my citizenship. for me, one of the best ways is to SEE the world and understand the bigger picture and then use that understanding to help in anyway you can and in any way you choose to.

  14. jey says:

    will definitely see the exhibit.

    good luck and congratulations in advance!

  15. jassy says:

    i agree with you that our country’s archetype is a “child”. our country is getting worse because most of the parents are away. being and OFW.

    i always argue that if GMA is so good then she should try to unite families instead of letting them be separated. this should be her main goal.

    goodluck po sa exhibition. i’ll try to go there.

  16. N says:

    hope to see you sir jim in your exhibit! 🙂

  17. Doranne says:

    Your photos were fantastic and surreal. I cant decide w/c one is my favorite. We are thinking of getting one! 😀 (for the future conjugal home)!! hahaha 😀 Looking forward to seeing more of your work!

    I hope to have my very own exhibit one day! 😀

  18. Anonymous says:

    Your question is interesting. But, Sartre stated that,’Existence precedes Essence’. Essence being defined as: The fundamental nature, the immaterial basic characteristic.

    But, lyrics to Gloria Gaynor’s song stated it best…

    I am what I am
    And what I am needs no excuses
    I deal my own deck
    Sometimes the ace
    Sometimes the deuces
    Its one life And there’s no returning, no revising
    One life and so its time to open up your closet

  19. Jim says:

    coolmel–thanks for putting a link to this on your blog. Yours is one of the blogs I regularly visit too.

    jey n n–Yes, do see the exhibit. We hada blast opening night.

    Doranne–I am SOOO glad you liked it. Talked with Lucy last night and she said that you guys are close friends. How nice to know that two great and wonderful people I know actually are actually great friends also!
    Thinking of the ‘conjugal ‘ thing already? Man, can’t believe how time flies. I am sure you will also have an exhibit one day. Ikaw pa!!! Talent will out.

    Anonymous–salamat sa bisita. Glad that you liked the post.

  20. jey says:

    sir jim, i was there. dami tao so my friends and i didn’t go in. but we’ll drop by again.


  21. Screwed-Up AKA SnglGuy says:

    Hi Jim,hoping to drop by your exhibit one of these days…

    As for your post,yes I agree.You can see that child/immaturity in the Filipino on the way they choose their candidates come election time.It’s sad…

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