strike in Cubao, 13 December 2007

*naisulat noong ako'y nasa ikalawang taon sa kolehiyo. Ang tagal na pala.


Makibaka, ‘wag matakot!

Ever since I was a little kid, I have always been familiar with these words, given that I was born just three months after the EDSA revolution.

I have seen a lot of signs in my life, but this will always stand out. Maybe it’s because it reflects my innermost desire: to fight for what is just and right.

This desire, the concern for the welfare of other people, and the compulsion to do something about it, is called activism. At least, that is my interpretation of my mother’s vehement reprimands. And the reason she does not want me to become an activist is because she considers activism as a purely leftist activity.

Unfortunately, a lot of people share this view. They become suspicious of people who campaign for a better society. They contemptuously label these people as “reds,” “communists,” “leftists,” “rebels,” “anarchists,” “terrorists,” and the like. They consider investing time in such an activity as abnormal, and even worthless.

What, I ask you, is so wrong about lobbying not just for your own rights, but other people’s rights as well? What is so wrong about campaigning for a better government that actually serves the people, and not just the influential elite? What is so wrong about fighting for a better society, which respects each individual’s rights, regardless of gender, religion, age, sexual preference, schooling, and race?

Can we not see beyond our mundane existence, and see that other people exist as well? Can we not transcend our angst, and realize that there are more important things to be concerned about? Can we not leave, even just for a while, our gaudy cellular phones, our indulgent personal computers, expensive clothes, and luxurious jewelry in our air-conditioned comfort zones, and do something worthwhile so that one day, everyone can enjoy this opulence?

Can we not fight for an important cause people in the future will think about, and even be thankful for, like, I don’t know, a better world?

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