So Pedro Arrupe tells us to fall in love. And we all do. We fall in love – and as he says – it influences everything that we do. And because it’s such a wonderful, beautiful thing – we celebrate it on the 14th of February. 🙂
The love he speaks of need not be romantic – in fact, if anything, Fr. Arrupe was pertaining to our love for the truth, for what is right, for our God.
This Valentine’s day, a group of students, alumni and faculty gathered in front of Katipunan to listen to lawyers from the Ateneo Human Rights Center, the Pol. Sci. department and other groups on what is happening to our government, to Jun Lozada and to our country. Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan (who I believe organized this forum) gave their proposals as to what we can do to show our love for the Philippines. This was a gathering of people who wanted to learn more about the situation, and find out what they can do to find the truth, to work for accountability and work for reform… because really, whether we are for the administration or the opposition, I think we can all agree that there are a lot of things we have to work on to make things better here.
So my date for this Valentine’s day was Donna Deej, and our date place was gate 2.5 of ADMU.
It was an interesting event. If anything, it was informative on the legal process (the writ of amparo and writ of habeas corpus that was filed). Many things that we hear on the news was repeated… a link to the Sumilao farmers and Fr. Ed Panlilio was made as well and an invitation to the democracy forum next Saturday was thrown out to the crowd. The forum ended with a candlelight ceremony… and we parked our candles outside the gates, where cars were honking in approval (or so I hope) in response to the “Busina para sa Katotohanan” banners.
Students shouting. Banner flying. People standing on the U-turn slot blocks.
Exciting? Yes. But as Tish Martinez said – we were in a safe place, still behind the gates of our university – how far will we go to be heard?
So I was told the other day that Ateneo has failed to make a stand on this issue – unlike La Salle that has openly questioned the administration and has welcomed Lozada into their cloisters. Initially, I questioned why we had failed to make a stand. Sabi nila dahil alumni si Mike Arroyo. Hindi naman siguro. They said that it was an even bigger sin to fail to make a stand and remain quiet in the background.
All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing. [Edmund Burke]
Totoo naman eh. The worst thing we can do is remain silent at a time like this.
But after thinking about the situation some more – and I don’t know if this is just to defend the school across the street – I think we may have to look at the situation from a larger perspective. It is one thing to make statements against certain people, against certain practices – it is one thing to mobilize people to go to the streets and rally – but it’s another thing to actually look for sustainable ways to address the problems that we are facing. It is just as important to find the root and cause of the problem, and move from there. What has to be done to address the problem of poverty? lack of integrity in the government? lack of transparency?
Again, this shows how as a people we always reach this tipping point – we get angry, we get frustrated, we go to the streets – but then what? Do we find ways of solving the problem?
I would like to believe that Ateneo will make a stand eventually – if they haven’t already. Students, alumni, faculty have been mobilizing already. As a reminder to myself though, action should not be made only when there are cases like this. We shouldn’t just make stands when the whistle-blowers come out and the media goes nuts. This should be something we are always doing – always working towards – a better government, a more peaceful and prosperous country. When this issue dies down, I can only pray that people don’t forget and become complacent and comfortable all over again. There are so many things that still have to be done, that have to be addressed and aren’t talked about in the media. So many initiatives are being done in the university to address the problems of the nation – but they are tirelessly being done with our without attention [the work being done with GK or with the Sumilao farmers].
It takes brave hearts to come out and make a stand. But we should brave and loyal as well – and keep going whether or not the crowds join us in our fight.
We should fall in love… and more importantly Stay in love.
Fighting for the truth shouldn’t be a fling. Living for the truth should be a commitment.
* Donna!!! Our V-Day date was fun! 🙂 MWAH!
Hahaha! So kulit.
I came home from the forum to find flowers in my room. TADAH!!!
To: Baba Payat [Hah!]
From: Your boogers and Dad
Thanks Pop and my boogers/poopooheads for the flowers. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY! You guys are the best. You guys are also crazy.