Over the past two weeks people have been talking about the fire almost exclusively in the context of the 2007 elections. Today, i got the chance to speak with a wonderful person named Cleo, and we talked of the fire from the point of view of history.
Or, to be more precise, the history that the COMELEC lost.
First off, there was the library. The COMELEC library was, to the best of my knowledge, the only repository of the COMELEC Reports – the written record of all COMELEC en banc decisions. Kinda like a SCRA for the COMELEC. The Reports came up to about the mid-70’s I think, after which the COMELEC stopped publishing them. But considering that the COMELEC has been around for more than 60 years, it would be fair to say that those Reports represented a huge chunk of our official history.
There was also the EID (my office) Gallery. In the Gallery, the EID-PR Division had painstakingly collected portraits of past COMELEC Commissioners, past Chairmen, and various images of elections past. Not quite as hoary as the COMELEC reports, but again, invaluable facets of the COMELEC’s history.
And finally, on a more personal note, I lost a pair of campaign matchbooks used by then Presidential candidate Diosdado Macapagal.
After Cleo and I talked, the sense of loss that descended on me was pretty bad. Even the possibility of finding duplicates in the National Library, the Library of Congress, or even the Ayala Museum offered scant comfort. I suppose it has finally dawned on me that when the nation lost the COMELEC Main Building, I lost pieces of me as well.
A little bit of Tori would be good right about now.