Symbol of social conscience

“NAKAKAPIT sa langit,
“Ang Mundo’s tiningala,
“Pababa siyang Pumanhik,
“Masundo lang ang lupa.”

(Holding firmly on to heaven/He looks up at the earth below/Downward he goes up just so/To bring the world back home again.) – a poem by Fr. Albert E. Alejo SJ

A pensive look at lizards, who metaphorically are already holding on to heaven but still looks up to the mortal world and then walks down to where it’s looking up to. A metaphor for the Savior, who as son of God is already of God, but went down to earth to bring the world back with Him. A metaphor for those who do not lose touch of where they are as they reach out and down to those in need.

The rabid may resent the comparison, but the open-minded will be awed. For indeed it takes a lot when you are already so up there, to still look up to the people below and exert effort to bring those who don’t measure up to where you presently are.

This fascination with lizards is what made Fr. Alejo or Paringbert amass a collection of lizards of different forms.

“The bird’s eye view is always from the top looking down. The worm’s eye view is from below looking up. But the lizard’s point of view can be from everywhere. It can be from the ceiling looking up to the earth below, or on the floor looking up. It can also be on the wall, looking back, and most of all can be beneath a table for an under the table view where it will go, tsk-tsk-tsk,” he said. “The butiki is the icon of social conscience.”

 Photos of lizards are of Fr. Alejo’s collection.


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