Saturday, October 1, 2011


 |Part I|

I heard them getting the headcount of the rallyists who joined the demonstration—National Day against Oil Price Hike. And I heard that among the [estimated] 50 partakers, UP Diliman was humbly made flesh by 17 students. I immediately asked Tristan Tiongson, Acting Secretary General of Anakbayan-UPD, to reaffirm the figures. I’ve had mixed emotions upon hearing the confirmation in his voice, followed by his: Ang lapit na nga lang eh.

I have known the University of the Philippines as the home of the activists. For one cause, we are called Iskolar ng Bayan. Need I say more? That’s why a 17/50 count won’t do any good at all against the 22 times that the oil price has increased. And is yet to increase, the devil says. And what more with the other issues at hand? Then, guilt seeped through me as I realized that hundreds of days before that red day, I was one of the too many students who prefer to sit still, mechanical as I put it. I have kept my concerned voice in a box tightly sealed. That was for the many dull excuses I convinced myself to believe upon.  However, in defense of my own truth, I was mechanical by choice. I totally agree with what the radicals are fighting for. I care about their motion. I just did not dare to stand and fight with them. Yet again, this does not justify the means. Not a very good excuse at all.

Good thing, I owned not an excuse but a reason when I decided to join them. I wanted to know their principles. In all honesty, it was all part of what you may regard as a self-interested plan—putting up a website for UP students and affiliations for them to know what UP is known for in all facets. But, mind you, it was my personal choice to write about it. It was all because of the answers I’m seeking for and my hopes of finding my voice in writing.  Answers to my questions, completion of my project contribution, my own hopes—all for my own gain, but, it all starts from oneself. Doesn’t it?

I have always looked up to our dear activists. Their intelligence extends beyond the corners of the room. They carry the weight of our burnt rights which most don’t even care about. All the more, they brave the underworld of the monster office-bearers.

Handa ka bang makulong? Oo naman. Di maaalis ang takot, pero anung gagawin mo dun, hahayaan mo bang i-overcome ka nun?

What’s making my heart melt even more is whenever I ask an activist if his fight [which should also be our fight] is worth his life, the never-failed YES answer is what I’m getting. Indeed, it’s a matter of life and death for them—that which is being left ignored by the most.

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