Elias shook his head sadly and answered: “Impossible! It’s true that I cannot love or be happy in my country, but I can suffer and die in it, and perhaps for it—that is always something. May the misfortunes of my native land be my own misfortunes and, although no noble sentiment unites us, although our hearts do not beat to a single name, at least may the common calamity bind me to my countrymen, at least may I weep over our sorrows with them, may the same hard fate oppress all our hearts alike!”
Noli Me Tangere (Chapter LXI: The Chase on the Lake)
Jose P. Rizal
Let us not unite simply in sorrow, to gnash our teeth at our collective misfortunes and common calamities. Let us unite in anger and outrage. Let us unite to dismantle the system that breeds (and rewards!) politicians who make fools out of all of us.
Wala na ako masabi. Galit na galit ako. Gusto kong sumigaw. Gusto kong pumunta sa kalsada.
Let a Hundred EDSAs Bloom
By Emmanuel M. Hizon and James Miraflor
We are glad Mr. Joseph Estrada was pardoned. We are glad Erap entered into a compromise with Mrs. Arroyo, in effect absolving him of any wrongdoing he bestowed in a country so wronged and offended. Thank you for sparing us the effort to remind everyone that justice here in our society is a plaything of the rich and powerful, that the search for truth within the comforts of legalism, of our ‘beloved constitution’ and jurisprudence, is nothing but a blind alley.
We are also glad Mrs. Arroyo is capable of feelings, however twisted the brand of empathy and compassion she usually evokes whenever her throat and her ‘presidency’ is on the line. We are glad Mrs. Arroyo once again spat on the spirit and ethos of Edsa 2, reminding everybody especially the middle class that it takes more than a restrained remonstration to bring forward a better future free from elite exploitation and domination.
We are equally glad Erap puked on the masses who stormed the gates of Malacanang in Edsa 3, all for the comfort of his mansion in San Juan which none but the few like him enjoy. We are glad he swindled those who believed in him, those who sacrificed and died all in his name. We are glad the self-styled champion of the poor accepted a cowardly, pathetic and unsacrificing settlement with the same faction of the elite he regularly lambasted as the ‘real enemy.’ We are glad he finally went back to the fold of his true class roots. We are happy that with his newly found freedom he denied satisfaction to a people longing for truth, justice and accountability.
We are glad they did it. We are happy they finally shed any form of pretension and illusion. We are relieved they finally erased any memento that their was an indeed an “Erap-Gloria war”, that our society is stupidly divided between their interests, that our struggle is a fight between the camps of Estrada and Arroyo and that we are compelled to decide if we are for “Erap for the masses”, for “Gloria’s Economic paradise” or national suicide.
Now, it’s just between them and us, between the haves and have-nots, between the different factions of the elite pursuing the same elite interests and the poor who for the longest time have been sidelined, used and abused.
Now, let us march in the streets not in their name, not with their plundered resources, not with their prodding. Let us pour in the streets without them, without their plastic smiles, without their fake patriotism, without their unsolicited leadership, without their phony loyalty to the people—the same people they unhesitatingly rob and oppress whenever they are in power. We must hit the streets because we are sick and tired of them all. Let us tell them that we are tired of elitist reruns, of same conjured dreams, of the same trapo governance.
We must muster our strength because we believe that a better world is not only possible but is currently under construction. We should not limit ourselves in outlining an alternative society; we must begin building the edifice of a humane and egalitarian future now. For pete’s sake, let us spare the next generation of this system.
Instead of getting frustrated and disappointed, instead of running away to some first world country, instead of being paralyzed by apathy and indifference, let us have the resolve to have another Edsa. Let us reclaim it from the elite who bastardized it.
Let a hundred Edsas bloom. Edsa uprisings that are radical, mass-oriented and explicitly anti-elite rule.
jordan – hindi lang ata 20-somethings. even those younger than us — for whom edsa 2 was used as a living, breathing classroom supposedly to teach values of honesty and fair play.
emman (and james) – excellently written. i couldnt have put it in a better way. wag na nga lang tayo umasa sa mga false prophets and leaders. the elites will always be looking out for themselves. tayo nalang ang kumilos. ang masa ang kumilos.
kulas – yup, katulad nga ng sinabi nina emman, let us simply trust in ourselves, in our resilience and in what our outrsge and collective strength can bring forth.
let them abuse their power to the hilt, let them push this system to its breaking point, one day soon a power greater than theirs will confront them, a power blooming from people who refuse to be cowed, who refuse to forget, who refuse to give up.
Eh sana nga lang hindi tayo laging pawn. Na isang araw ay talagang bahagi tayo ng “powerplay”, at hindi lang power play ng mga naghaharing uri. Pero pano nga ba? Kaya pa ba nating mag-organisa ng mga mahihirap na naniniwala sa sarili nilang lakas at kakayahan? Yung hindi papayag na pamparami lamang sila kundi bahagi ng paglikha ng kasaysayan.
Alam mo Jae, when I was at Edsa Dos, syempre may mga chant-chant na “Patalsikin si Erap, Erap resign!” Well I took it a step further when I shouted, “Ikulong si Erap!” Alas, walang sumunod sa aking chant, parang yung mga katabi ko iniisip, resign lang okay na.
Galit na galit ako pero bakit parang wala na ang will ko to go to Edsa? Feeling ko wala nang kwenta pumunta doon, dahil zarzuela lang ang lahat. Galit na galit ako pero hindi ko alam ang gagawin ko ngayon.
Joan: The next Edsa will not be in Edsa. The next Edsa will happen in the schools, in the factories, in the communities, in the call center companies even in our own homes. Let us democratize and reclaim Edsa by deconstructing it, by spreading it.
They can have EDSA Avenue. Tita Cory, Gloria, FVR and ERAP can have it all.
At thirty, I like that it still takes so very little to make me happy. I like taking long morning walks on a tree-lined street all by myself and watching old couples teach each other tai-chi. I like getting my fingers sticky with drippy drops of ice cream, and then licking them off afterwards. I like bursting into song in public places and will always be secretly in love with Bon Jovi. When I’m sad, I eat spam and watch Sound of Music and then I’m ok again. I like backrubs and Happy Meals and deep kisses and children’s books and white chocolate and salmon sashimi, not in any particular order and certainly not all at the same time (except maybe white chocolate and deep kisses ). I can laugh at myself and do so a lot — I like to think that means I stand on solid ground. I love long rickety bus trips and getting compliments for my cooking. I’m a lawyer who is irreverent towards the law, an activist who likes lacey underwear. I think life is too short to be wasted on perfunctory embraces and cowardice disguised as prudence. I like living and laughing and dreaming and dancing and hoping and forgetting and remembering.
I’m currently in Holland, doing my Masters. I came here in September of 2010, and will be home in December of 2011. I cook my own food now (but still can’t perfect scrambled eggs.)