Monday, February 25, 2008

To Volunteer or Not to Volunteer, That is the Question

A Rock Ed Volunteer Manifesto

I will never settle for a few when most are within reach.I have no interest in ‘okay.’
I will never confuse a fadfor commitment.I will frustrate the cynics.
I have been stubborn when necessary.I have been easy when offered collaboration.
I have lit fires.
I am a Rock Ed volunteer

I encountered this group in the last day of our February Fair, following a tearful confession over some private matters and thankfully getting over it, and on the very grounds that is popularly called in campus as the Freedom Park. There was this woman, with a speech that is quite normal in such a place as University of the Philippines. But it was personally quite a surprising moment, since the week-long celebration was supposedly set for fun and pure enjoyment, no strings attached. She told us that their group had chosen to troop to Los Baños, despite the rally that was to be held in Makati at that day, to bring in the message about corruption in our government and about the sickening realization of poverty in the country. She shouted out from that shaking stage that we did not need to go out in the streets and join the multitude of those who chose to participate in the rally so long as we are aware of what’s happening around us and that we are to make sure that the truth will come out soon. (She was obviously referring to the ZTE controversy.) To have fun and to enjoy our freedom, she continued, is our right and privilege and at the same time, we deserve to have the truth from the public officials since it is also our right and privilege to have them. They are accountable to the people. And so with this, she brought onto the stage three bands (or was it two? I seem to forgot now) whose songs spoke of the need to have the real changes in the government and to end poverty.

The whole introduction of RockEd Philippines of their ideals and goals to the Los Baños community is certainly good given the reasonable arguments she gave to us: living our lives to the fullest yet being an active participant in the furtherance of our own nation at the same time.

And the next day, I dug in the net to find more stuff about this group and found out that it is actually part of a larger oraiming at ending poverty. It offers alternative education that is more focused on social issues but with an approach that will make use of the different media such as photography, music, among other. There are certainly good grounds for a Filipino to participate and take part in the aims of the group. Even prominent people are already volunteers for the group, (Prof. Randy David, Jessica Soho, Ely Buendia, etc.)

As of now, I am currently battling on what way in which I can lend my hand to their desired goals. I am quite certain of the realization of my want to strike poverty to its end, but there is a divergence in my opinion on how to properly execute them: am I to do it via the field I have chosen to pursue or am I to publicly do it and consequently share with the things that they are currently doing?

But whichever way, I am just thankful for having such concerned Filipinos, who give time and effort to make a change in this country that we all love.

Don’t we just wish that we can all do something relevant for the Philippines? There are many in stored for us and I hope to make mark in its full realization. 

Anyone can check out their website at: or the larger group essentially carrying the same goals and ideals at 

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