“Sa malayon ha nabunkal”, the sky is circular, has been said in Olaging the Epic Song of the Bukidnon, and the ‘Sun’ guarantees this circularity. With the arrival of the Muslims before and the Spaniards after the circle was straightened and called ‘History’ and the aboriginal people begun to hear terms like “past, present and future”. Very soon they found that they were just a fraction of a linear time that had already an age of thousands of years. Years lost or earned for them? Difficult to say. Difficult to calculate even today because the calendar is saying that 2009 years have gone for good, but adding, at numbers and names of the days, faces of the four lunar phases. Even for the calendar is not important the goal, where we are heading, but the resumption of the cycle. As a local proverb says: Bisan ano ka lawid ang prusisyon, magbalik man sa simbahan gihapon (no matter how long is the procession always it returns to the same church, beginning). Eternal but recurrent return that Institutions, Governments and Religions use in their liturgies, sacred and profane, allowing themselves to mantain a linear course of the time, but towards a more and more delayed final goal.
With the arrival of the great Religions, the indigenous people began also to hear words like: The End of the World (or the Day of the Judgment in part similar among the Great Religions). Even today some believe that the End is imminent for the presence of an Anti-christ or a Dark Messiah (muslims call him Dajjal) and, consequently, the necessity of a Holy War against his army. But it is only a matter of Scriptures that very few have time to read and interpret with common sense. It is written that what God had already planned in the beginnig it will arrived at its end sooner or later. Islam arrived in the Philippines 600 years after its foundation and the Christianity 1500 years after the birth of Jesus. But after so many years the approaching of the End has lost its original freshness, liveliness, novelty and, specially, fear. Today like yesterday, people waking up at the crow of the rooster have only one desire: to survive for the next 24 hours. The End of the World remains a vague religious metaphor created in the past for a future ‘we know already how it will be’. Today more than ever the believers in the Creator and in the Merciful God do not ask the Grace of a nice End but of a long day life, generous in goods, happiness and technology. Perhaps the After-Christ is not at all a history with an End forecasted and written but a cycling return to the same yesterday and, for the little people like the aboriginal Aetas or Ati, more a timorous waiting of a different moon with End incorporeted is in the same ubiquitous Sun.
“His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.” (Psalm 18)