Rediscover the Beauty of Aimless Wandering

flâ·neur

/fläˈnər/

I have to admit, my first recollection of the word stems from my professor’s obiter dictum in a class on social psychology way back in 2005. He wrote the word on the white board, I stared at it for a good 2 minutes. It sounded nice when spoken and it looks sexy as a writing on the wall. He pertained to a lost art of enjoying the moment, understanding the locality, and savoring the flavours of culture (of course this is me romanticizing a memory benefitting from perceptual bias, or the more political would call historical revisionism).

Of course, I was at the peak of my academic curiosity so I looked it up. As a sociology major, I was attracted to one particular attribution – Charles Baudelaire’s[1](who sounded a lot like someone more familiar to me then – Pierre Baudrillard, he who wrote about taste and exclusivity or something like that; things I secretly liked to read about then). His thesis is that the flaneur is a figure unique to a city, one who wanders through urban space in order to consume and revel in the images it offers. He (or she, in which case we refer to a flaneuse) has been called a passionate spectator, a wanderer of the city, a chronicler of the present[2].The flaneur moves through the hidden spaces of the city, partaking of its attractions and fearful pleasures, but remaining somehow detached and apart from it.[3]

The word encapsulates what I ultimately want to achieve as a human being – flaneuring was the activity that would correspond to my shameless interest in (bordering on obsession with) human (and meta-human) affairs. The Filipino Flaneur will intend to put Pinoy heart to a Western conceptualisation. To a certain extent, this blog is my manicured and discreet version of the Filipino chismoso. As represented by the labyrinthine streets of our cities and the vividness of local color, I would like to explore the Filipino psyche, our sociology of everyday lives, our pain points, our wishlists, our aspirations. This is an attempt to document our soul as a people, through our space, rhythm, and motion. Through introspection, words, and an outpour of heart and insights, let me wander with you through the nooks and crannies of our taken for granted realities.

[1]Who is actually a French poet! ‘Kalain mo yun.

[2]https://newrepublic.com/article/141623/death-flaneuraccessed on July 3, 2018 at 10PM

[3]https://learning.knoji.com/charles-baudelaires-concept-of-the-flaneur-an-urban-explorer-in-the-period-of-modernity/accessed on July 3, 2018 at 10:15PM