December 2006
Political Predictions

Keeping in tune with 2010

This essay was solicited by i Report, the online magazine of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, for its current series on political predictions. The views expressed in the essays included in this series do not necessarily reflect those of the PCIJ or any of its staff members.

WHAT WILL the world be like in 2010? Who knows? We can only imagine our preferences and try to make them real.

As the global village moves toward greater uniformity and inter-connectivity, chances are cultural character and uniqueness will become even more valuable because these serve the world of culture, just as biodiversity serves the sphere of life.

As people “live in their heads” more and more courtesy of ever-increasing personal computing power and mass customization of media-realities, the need for people to be more aware of collective reality and environmental co-creativity will likewise become more important. Even now, we are becoming more mixed-media-oriented and a little (understatement) overstimulated.

To live with contradiction, to remain the same while continuing to change — these are the constant challenges we face and will continue to face at ever-increasing speed and magnitude.

As a songwriter-educator, I will be probably be doing what seems to be my natural bent: sensitizing people to themselves and their environment, and illustrating interrelationships. This is my tuning, my contribution to our survival-abilities.

Straddling the line between highly contextual and universally acceptable work will remain my struggle. I write from a Filipino point of view that is unique to my generation and set of personal experiences — and I am serving an audience that is getting younger and more globally minded by the second! But this tells me I should even more adamantly stick to my guns and my hegalong (a native two-stringed lute), and continue to offer content that will be valuable regardless of which way popular culture sways, even as I aim for forms that change with technology and taste.

Here’s a song written during a time of bewilderment — I’m sharing it with you to illustrate how I cope with change and how it affects my writing:

Glad You Are Here

(Click here to listen.)

Changing reality
There’s so much change around me
Can be confusing
So much illusion to see through
I’m glad that you are here

Through time and space we
Travel together through these
Uncertain waters
Unholy weather and it’s true
I’m glad that you are here

This is a love song
Maybe it doesn’t sound like one
But it’s a love song
Born of a troubled time for you
I’m glad that you are here, yes I am

Another day another speed trip
Running alone running in place
It makes me happy just to be with you
Slow down
Slow down

I am glad that you are here
I am glad that you are here
I am glad that you are here
I am glad that you are here

(from the album “16lovesongs”)

Musical artist Joey Ayala tries to educate and entertain in the same breath. He is exploring the wonderful world of indie music production and mass customization.