Just a few days ago I found myself still in the busy city of Calamba late in the night. I haven’t really noticed the metropolis’ activities until now, when I narrowly survived a gang of thieves during one of my travels.
As I was encircling this big block at the center of Crossing-Calamba to catch a jeepney home, certain red hues caught my attention. Even though this main street does not have adequate lighting, I easily recognized that those red colors belong to activists’ banners. They have made a small headquarters beside the thoroughfare using coconut lumbers and used their banners as the walls. I knew there were people inside because from one of the areas where there was no banner ‘wall’ I could see a small fire burning coming from a small stove – a kalan.
That made me proud and jealous of this people: proud because they are fellow Filipinos who chose to bring their respective fights for freedom, injustice etc. to the streets full time, and jealous because I have always wanted to fearlessly voice my sentiments just like what they are doing. But then as I continued to walk, a shaking question exploded into my mind out of nowhere.
Suddenly those street children fighting on the road seemed too distant…
And the concoction of vehicle noises and the buzz of the night people abruptly faded into the background of my already-inquiring mind…
What if I have found myself in the company of these young activists and these rally veterans? Would I really hold on to what we would be doing or just go home and brood in a corner?
I cannot really make any judgment on how they view the concept of fighting for the people’s rights or for asking what they deserve but were unmindfully taken away from them. Certainly they have their own grounds for going out and raging against the corruption in the country (or should I say in the government?).
I do hope that they succeed with the means they chose and to me who chose to educate myself and use it in return for the country. I do not, in any way, feel detached from them. Despite the road that separated me from their headquarters, I know I am part of that big circle, of those who acquired such fervent desire to make an impact to the society and perhaps change to the state we are in right now.
Photo credits: pep.ph / newsimg.bbc.co.uk