Tuesday, September 12, 2006


I was sad when Pluto was demoted from its "planet status" about a month ago, given that its size wasn't up to par.

Who decides these things? (Who even bothers about them?)

All my life I've believed on Pluto being a planet. In fact I've memorised the names of all the planets in grade school and even the correct order of distance from the sun. Pluto was kind of cool (literally and figuratively) in many ways - being the last it appeared to be the most polite, gentlemanly and well, considerate of all the planets. Para bang, "sige, mauna na kayo...lahat. Dito na lang ako sa hulihan." [imagine gray-ish pluto smiling timidly here]

Twenty years down the line, it was discovered that Pluto actually exchanges the title of being the last with Neptune, at certain points of their revolution around their respective orbit. I had my doubts then as to the veracity of this finding (baka naman lasing lang yung nag-oobserve nung day na yun) and as a result my indomitable belief in the science that is astronomy has begun to unravel.

Finally, the nail that completed its coffin is the demotion of dear old Pluto.

Since we are - and by 'we' I mean the men and women (and the gay and lesbians and the still undefined/undecided) who study these celestial bodies - making statements based on observations from a distance, isn't there quite a distinct amount of fallibility about them? Observing someone of something at an arms length still brings shortcomings, how much more so if it was a case of being light years away.

So what if it isn't big enough. It still does revolve around the sun like all the other planets do. Even it Jupiter or Saturn may have moons way bigger than Pluto, those bodies do not revolve around our sun.

Clyde Tombaugh must be stomping his feet in indignation and rage somewhere in the great beyond as he was the man who discovered the small planet in 1930. They have reclassified Pluto as a 'dwarf planet' and have even assigned to it an asteroid number, 134340.

How quickly we do away with old views. How easily we discard several generation's belief system despite still being unable to truly confirm the current standard. So like mankind to kick a planet when it's down. Maliit na nga inapi pa!

I'd like to think in a way, Filipinos in general is like the planet Pluto. Kulelat, mabagal ang usad, mapag-kumbaba sa ibang lahi, may kaliitan...yet we plod on, in our purpose - which is generally to have a better life and help loved ones attain that as well - defiant whether we be labelled as anything derogatory like the Oxford's Filipina = domestic helper. We may not be a big a population as China or India, or have a richness in tangible forms of culture like that of Egypt or Greece, yet we have conquered the four corners of our world and continue to carve a little plot of our own self no matter where we may be. We assimilate, absorb, embrace, blend into other cultures, other groups whilst keeping the best (and perhaps even the worst) of being Pinoy close by.

I do believe, we Filipinos are not just a number. I refuse to be just a statistic! So have faith and hang on to dear old Pluto who may yet to come out having the last laugh in the end.

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