Thursday, February 19, 2009


Please, please, please won't someone tell me what a mermaid is supposed to look like. I really want to know.

Not long after the heavy rain and the flood, I find Dumaguete again in the front page of the national daily. Mermaids in the Silliman University Marine Laboratory! Surely the find the century! Of the millennium!

What? No mermaids? Of course the scientists of Silliman would deny it! Haven't we seen enough of the X-Files to know that they want to keep the secrets to themselves? O these despicable scientists! How dare they imprison such magnificent creatures! They're only in it for themselves! They only want to slice the mermaids open! Evil, evil scientists!

In truth, I frown upon the lack of journalistic rigor on the part of my friend and editor Alex Pal. Concerned citizens from Bais descended upon the lab and searched its premises high and low. What an opportunity Alex missed to interview these experts on mermaids!

"Wala Diri!" was all these citizens could say (because, as we all know, scientists are a devious sort.) Quite obviously these citizens from Bais knew what to look for! Why, o why, o why, Alex, didn't you ask them what the mermaids looked like? I am sorely disappointed.

In the absence of such informed expertise, I am forced to rely on my imagination and my limited knowledge of mermaids. Does the Silliman mermaid have red hair and big expressive eyes? Green fins? Giant seashells for modesty? Does she go on about her stuff, thinking them neat, thinking her collection quite complete?

Perhaps the rescuers even had pictures! Proof positive of the mermaid identity! Maybe if Alex had the presence of mind to ask them! Who would the mermaid resemble? Marian Rivera? Ara Mina? Vilma Santos? Edna Luna? Charlene Gonzales? (But, oh, in my heart of hearts, I want her to look like -- please, please, please -- Alice Dixson! I can still feel it!)

I can feel it!

Or maybe, just maybe, the Bais rescuers couldn't find the mermaid because she was actually walking around the city! In which case, they should all be looking for a tall, thin, blonde fahrener woman and, well, splash her with water so her legs revert to a fish tail. Just tell them to be careful if the woman is wearing an eye patch -- because that's a sign she's an assassin and not a mermaid (it might be easy to mistake one for the other.)

This is a mermaid.

This is NOT a mermaid.

Of course, this is just me with my imperfect knowledge of mermaids. I really wish Alex had asked the real experts from Bais.

Lest you think I'm mocking the mermaid experts from Bais, I say "most assuredly not!" After all, they got their info via text message, the most reliable of sources (beating out the Internet, I might add.)

And we all know that whatever we get via text message has got to be true.

* Little Mermaid ©Walt Disney
* Splash ©Touchstone Films
* Kill Bill ©Miramax Films
* Dyesebel ©Mars Ravelo; Dyesebel pictures from