Posts Tagged With: nation

Marahil Mahalaga Ka

Hindi isang routine ang buhay. Kung labag sa loob mo ang linyang kasasabi ko lang, baka nga nabubuhay ka sa routine; pero hindi pa rin ito ang buhay. Pakiramdam ko kasi’y walang halaga ang paulit-ulit at nakakasawang sistema. Kaya nga siguro maraming nalilito maging iyong mga kabilang sa masang sumisigaw ng pagbabago.

Hindi nawawala ang pagbabago. Patuloy ito sa pagpuksa ng nakakairitang plaka na tila ba isinusumbat sa’yo na hindi ka makaintindi. Kahit na maintindihan mo, iiwan ka rin naman ng lumang istilong tinangay ng panahon. Lahat naman kasi ay pansamantala. Walang forever ba ang nasa utak mo? Tigilan mo ako.

Hindi nakukulong sa ilang pahinang depinisyon ang salitang maaaring bitiwan ng isang tao. Ang punto ko lang naman, bakit pa kailangang pag-aksayahan ng oras ang mga bagay na hindi naman pala sigurado? Oo punto ang tawag sa pangungusap na ‘yan bagamat nagtapos sa tandang-pananong. Ayoko naman na sagutin mo ako ng hinulaan mong parirala o ‘di kaya’y ninakaw na talata mula sa katha ng iba. Ang gusto ko ay unawain mo.

Unawain mong hangga’t may pagbabago ay may pagkakaiba. Unawain mong ikaw ay hindi tulad nila. Unawain mong ikaw ay may kakaibang hina at sigla. Ikaw ay may sariling halaga.

What completes me, breaks me in the process sabi ko. Paano? Alam ko kasing hindi madali na gumising na lang isang araw na okay ang lahat. Walang okay lang, sarkastiko. Nangangarap tayo. Ang pangarap kasi ay hindi lugar na magagawa mong pasyalan kung kailan mo gusto. Hindi ito laruan na itatapon mo sa nilalangaw na tambak ng basura kapag pinagsawaan. Ito ay paglalakbay. Nariyan na tamarin kang lumakad sa kung anumang dahilan. Nariyan na ma-excite ka, tumakbo, ayun nadapa. Nariyan na sasabihin mong ayaw ko na pero ang kailangan mo lang pala ay ang magpahinga. Mabuti nga at nabigyan ka ng pagkakataong magkaroon ng sarili mong lakbay. Nakakahiya naman sa ibang nilumpo ng nanggigipit na kalupitang kaakibat ng buhay. Itong hiya na ito ang nagpakapal ng mukha ko. Ang kahinaan ng iba ang ginawa kong sigla. Tila ba itinuring kong makina ang aking sarili upang magtrabaho hindi para sa sarili kong kapakanan; kundi para sa ikabubuti ng nakararami. Corny? Bahala ka. Para sa akin, isa itong sentimental na pangakong kailanman ay hindi ko iwawaksi. Kaya nga ganito ko na lang ipahayag kung gaano ako nasasaktan habang binabaybay ang peligrosong daan tungo sa kinabukasang siguro naman ay may hitik na bunga ng ating pinagsisikapang ipunla.

Madami akong isyu sa buhay. Halos lahat ng detalye ay iniintindi ko hangga’t mamaya, wala na pala akong oras para intindihin naman ang sarili. Alam kong ito’y mali. Anong klaseng pagpapahalaga ba ang maibibigay ng isang tao kung wala siya nito? Hayaan mong hanapin ko ang sagot mula sa mabangis na mundong kinabibilangan ng aking anino. Nakalahad ang palad ng naghihikahos na pulubing hindi mo alam kung kailan pa huling nagkaroon ng laman ang tiyan. Nakatulala ang manggagawang lugmok sa trabaho umulan man o umaraw na nadaya na pala sa kwentahan ng sahod. Nakapanlalambot ang istorya nila at ng iba pang mga kasama… silang mga biktima ng pang-aabuso ng dayuhan o ng kapwa Pilipino. Hindi mabibilang ang mga mensaheng nais iparating ng mga kaganapang hindi malutas. Nasa loob pa pala tayo ng giyerang ginagamitan ng basyo ng balang tumupok na pala sa napakarami nating mga kawal. Anong silbi ng ipinaglalaban nating mga aktibista kung patuloy palang nagaganap ang iba’t ibang uri ng karahasan sa paligid? Isang routine na paulit-ulit tumatatak sa nakapaninibughong kasaysayan ng pinaghalong tamis at pait. Isyu ko pa rin na hindi tayo malaya.

Ikaw, na bumabasa nito, ay mahalaga. Pinili kita kaysa iba. Pinipili kita higit sa anumang luho. Pipiliin kita sa aking pag-iisa, sa tuwing ako ay may kasama, kapag ay ako ay pagod, kapag ako ay inaantok, kapag ako ay nalulungkot, kapag ako ay natutuksong itigil na tingnan kita bilang mahalaga.

Sumusulat ako hindi mula sa ideolohiyang ipinipilit sa akin. Sinusulatan kita dahil marahil mahalaga ka.

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An Epitome of a Life Lived in its Fullest

Few years had passed since I wrote an article of the same topic, with the same title.

“The most important ingredient of leadership is character. Most of the proficiencies can be learned, but what’s inside you is something that’s difficult to change,” says a man who had stirred up a comparable aspect of a former Philippine president – now a modern-day Ramon Magsaysay. Such passion to serve the people and willpower to do good have fueled Jesse M. Robredo to spend a life he had and eventually fulfilled a realization that it had been something that is, until this day, worth dying for.

On the 18th day of August year 2012, the world was shook with the news report delivering that a twin-engine, four-seater Piper Seneca light aircraft, directed to Naga from Cebu, crashed off the sea in Masbate island province. Only the police aide had survived the so-called accident. Captain Jessup Bahinting, Nepalese pilot trainee Kshitiz Chand, and (at that time DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo did not able to make it. This untimely death of the secretary created a huge impact in the lives of many people, which has still been commemorated through a fluvial parade and has been announced that August would be Jesse Robredo month. Consequently, this national tragedy has evoked the memories of Ramon Magsaysay who also died in a plane crash. This tends to relate an image of exceptional leadership skills, good governance tactics, concern for the welfare of the people, and a well-lived life – which both of the aforementioned leaders acquire. Despite the personal setbacks, Robredo remained steadfast in his vision for the DILG and the country (Chiu and Tan, GMA News 2012).

Now, what kind of person had he become to be able to exhibit such a charismatic appeal to people? Why did his death immensely affect the Filipinos? How significant are his contributions to our nation that his name had been able to be the top headlines of the news for a couple of weeks or months after the incident? How was he able to connect with his countrymen while he was still alive and breathing? Does it make any sense in putting the focus of the lens to his character and way of living? Here lies the basic truth behind this man that had considerably died with honor that will forever stay in our homeland.

Jesse Manalastas Robredo, born on May 27, 1958 in Naga City, was raised by Jose Chan Robredo Sr. and Marcelina Manalastas. He’s a second-generation Chinese Filipino who’s the third child among the brood of five. During the 1970s, he attended Ateneo de Naga when he was in high school. Instead of pursuing his studies in University of the Philippines Los Baños where he also passed an admission test, he finished undergraduate degrees in Industrial Management Engineering and Mechanical Engineering at the De La Salle University. During the 1980s, he worked at San Miguel Corporation in the Physical Distribution Technical Services then later functioned as the Magnolia Ice Cream director’s assistant staff and was also assigned to logistics planning. In 1985, he had been a scholar at the University of the Philippines Diliman and finished his Masters in Business Administration. Due to his scholarly excellence, he was named the Graduate School and Faculty Organization awardee.

Raised by a highly-competitive father, he learned to be a responsible and mature individual in his earlier years. He broke records in schooling, notching degrees, accomplishments, political integrity, and passion for reform. His academic performance was excellent. He was disciplined as a child and would, thus, do the same to his children. He neither tried to smoke nor to drink. He valued virtues of being concerned to other people and living in a modest lifestyle. He was a streetwise as he witnessed conditions between well-to-do and poor families. Perhaps relatively comfortable with regards to the basic need of the family, he had been exposed in the realities of the world which molded him into a well-made man. Protecting the integrity and honor of one’s family is of highest importance to him. Children should be able to contribute their share in order to attain this goal. “If our children cannot inherit anything material, at least they will inherit a good name,” says his supportive wife, Atty. Maria Leonora “Leni” Gerona – whom he had met during a job interview in Bicol – and they had three daughters throughout the years of harmonious marriage. He was a multi-awarded local executive before leaving his corporate life for public service. In spite of the demands of his jobs, he stayed plain. He had moved around freely without any bodyguard beside him. He knew that even the simplest acts do matter that he would be seen sweeping the streets by himself. He’s definitely ‘one of the most prominent figures among a rising generation of local officials becoming known on the national stage’. On the other hand, he would hurry to his family on weekends. “In the end, this habit of hurrying cost him his life- and the nation, one of its best sons,” as deeply described in an article published by InterAksyon in 2012.

Robredo returned to Naga City the following year to become the Program Director of the Bicol River Basin Development Program. At age 29, he was declared the youngest mayor in the country during 1988 in Naga City. In 1995, he was elected as President of the League of Cities of the Philippines, Chairman of the Metro Naga Development Council (1992-1998), and Chairman of the Regional Development Council. Four years later, while he is a Mayor of Naga City (for 19 years), he earned his masteral degree in Public Administration at John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Meanwhile, Naga City was named one of the “Most Improved Cities in Asia” by Asiaweek Magazine. When he was reelected in 1995, he enacted a unique Empowerment Ordinance creating a People’s Council that should institutionalize NGOs and people’s organizations participation for the upcoming municipal deliberations. He responded to an appointment set by Cory Aquino during the People Power Revolution 1986 when he won by slim margin at a very young age. The “Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007” gave voice to the citizens in demanding efficient service according to the charter written in a table in every office. In relation to his incomparable call for empowerment, he also instituted “Seal of Good Housekeeping” program in 2010 that should motivate LGUs and inspire local chief executives.

He won the 2000 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service for his exemplary skills in governing. The board of trustees recognized his ability to provide the acceptance to a promising demonstration of democracy and that signified the compatibility of effective city management with regards to the yielding of the power to the people. He received 13 other major awards such as the 1998 Konrad Adenauer Medal of Excellence as Most Outstanding City Mayor of the Philippines, 1994 Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World Honoree, 1990 Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines, and the very first “Dangal ng Bayan” Award of the Civil Service Commission. President Benigno Aquino III named him as the Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government in 2010.

Inherently, all of the achievements of this man cannot fit a one-paragraph enumeration. This shows how active he had been participating in the clash of life. Other than these awards, he had also been a victor of well-established projects, programs, advocacies, and a lot more activities that suit the principles and standards which are truly worth the fight.

‘A center of excellence in implementing government research’, Jesse M. Robredo Institute of Governance, is one of the examples that operate until this day. Former Governor and Representative of Camarines Sur, Luis Villafuerte, owned a network called Bicol Boradcasting System where Robredo had worked as President and Station Manager. Furthermore, the city government had a program Kaantabay sa Kauswagan which expropriated lands for relocation and housing of urban poor settlers. The “Tsinelas Leadership” may also represent the simplicity and being down-to-earth of the people’s servant. He’s, indeed, raising the issue of championing the marginalized sectors. Together with former Pampanga Governor Ed Panlilio and Isabela Governor Grace Padace, promoted Kaya Natin! Movement. One of those who testify this influential drive is the Mayor of Daet town, Tito Sarion. A “force for positive change” has strategic ways that can be regarded as highlights of merit in fulfilling the plans and actions that should have been undertaken. He made his staffs play SimCity. Cities are a system. Small changes can lead to big results, both negative and positive. He believed that it’s an essential aspect, of building one’s character in pursuing his aims, to look at people and treat them equally without the bias of their social status. No matter how big or small a thing is, it matters and always will. He maintained dynamism in his ruling as he’s faithful to pro-people ideology. Performance, productivity, and morale among city employees were therefore raised – as “a culture of excellence overtook the culture of mediocrity, businesses doubled, and local revenues rose by 573 percent”.

Yapak Natin: Tsinelas Walk for Jesse Robredo had been participated by thousands of participants a year after his mournful death. Youth leadership seminars such as “Lead Like Jesse” and “Mobility Mission” were held to campaign and motivate the young generation to take a path that can lead our nation to a better state. It is not enough for a leader to be good; more importantly, it is the people and the system that must force the leader to be good – words by Robredo. Additionally, he said Kahit hindi mo gusto yung ginagawa mo, you are still expected to work hard and excel. His advice to would-be leaders was that ‘You have to have credibility’. He emphasized that a leader must not only be good but also competent; which is noticeable among his speeches with the matino at mahusay slogan. He’s an idealist in a sense  that he aspired to make Naga City a happy place where it would get rid of illegal gambling and inefficient bureaucracy. A once disarrayed locality had been turned into one of the most competitive, most business friendly, most cost-effective, most women and children friendly, most outstanding in excellence, innovation, and governance – that’s Naga City handled by Robredo in service. Public works had been an essential task to accomplish during his term which, in turn, made such a place to be one of the most livable cities in the country. Operations were professionalized. Participation was encouraged. Frugality and disdain for cosmetic projects were endorsed. As termed, the leader and his people residing in the city had been “tirelessly improving”. Naga had been revived through strengthened performance, transparency, and accountability in the systems of governance across the public-private divide. Focus was on the capacity to build and improve development outcomes such as decentralization, budget monitoring, environmental governance and sustainability, integrity systems, e-governance (an application of information communication technology), and awareness (consensus support and solutions to problems). He quoted, “good government cannot be achieved without people empowerment”. Mass and elite are believed to have been entitled with the same kind of service.

Our political history has shown that we have put the burden of running this country to our ‘best’ people for too long. And yet the gap between the rich and the poor has grown wider. For this country to succeed, we need to make heroes of ordinary people. We need to make heroes of ourselves (Robredo, 2005).

This biography of a man like Jesse Robredo may seem to have said too much for a paper; but its length is still too short analogous to the breadth of life the man had lived. Words cannot entirely narrate the episodes of his heroism, or even failures. In a way, it still does play a vital role in signifying an endeavor that is exemplary and is worth reminiscing by us, especially the Filipino people. Many would have been asking: “Would these pieces of information be published if not because of his ill-timed death?” Well, what really pushed through these details that make us appreciate the deeds further when he’d been gone? Is it politics? Power relations? Publicity? Personal intentions? Promotion? – The bottomline is nobody can ever really judge without a hint of dogmatism from his/her own perspective. What matters is that we got something from this story – the existence of prevalent possibilities that we could actually continue the struggle of pulling this country to the top of what we thought is an impossible altitude to be reached by anyone… where plane crash cannot subside.

Jesse Robredo had lived a life, may be in a short period of time as how others see it, but the battle has just begun. Skirmish. Integrity and dignity, honor and excellence – they don’t die and never will if we relive the fire and stand up again midst adversities. We got a lifetime to do it. Sincerity does count.

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How the Music of Genuine Education Sounds Like

February 16, 2015

 

I can hear the revolution happening.

Five steps away from the gate of a school located in Camp 8 Baguio City- today I realized one thing: Education is, indeed, more than just a system for learning. There came a myriad thought with every stride I had taken. I had just been brought in a moment when simple actions were put into significance, where a clearer view of the education’s meaning was developed. Literacy Training Service as part of the National Training Service Program in UP Baguio is a course which I shall pass but it’s leading me further. I observed.

School is a cradle for diversity. It is a place wherein people of different appearances, ages, races, attitudes, interests, beliefs, and customs are merged for a purpose. Think of the students who are raised from different places, through different traditions, of different families- while they are called as “classmates” inside the four corners of a room. Think of the teachers who are extending their horizons in spite of their personal contexts. Think of the institution itself as a foundation of the conventional knowledge gained in a variety of ways.

It was a bright Monday morning. The vehicles were roaming around the city. The vendors surrounding the school began to arrange their goods. The younger ones were accompanied by their guardians while the older ones were guarded by the man whose long-sleeves shirt had been printed with the capital letters of “security”. The bell rang before the utterly confused crowd had fallen in line. The volume of the noise softened as the teachers stared. Everyone got ready for the flag ceremony. Whenever there would be loudening of unnecessary sounds such as chattering of voices, the Principal had to interrupt the ongoing ceremony, as the noise was restrained, to keep its decency.

The day had just started yet it seemed that things must be in control. Discipline, obedience, responsibility, patience, and industry might be the proper terms to describe what it takes to go to school and push through studying. Sports, academics, and practical applications to real life situations are being taught here. Is this education? Considering the techniques used by the teachers to implement their lessons and assessments of what was learned; would these things matter as a complete representation of education’s definition? I wondered.

“The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.” (Hutchins, 1899-1977) According to this educational philosopher, education’s main goal is to let the youth learn the things that could guide them within a lifetime. Thus, education includes not just the subjects namely English, Math, Science, Civics, Music, and more; but it also consists of the knowledge which can be directly used in dealing with the conditions of life in reality. For those elementary students I had encountered around the campus, I knew that their class schedule had been composed of rigorous discourses. For them, those were the longest hours of their day occurring at least five times a week. As time would pass by, I do believe, these young people could carry on heavier tasks as part of the learning process.

As a theologian would say, “the great end of education is to discipline rather than to furnish the mind; to train it to the use of its own powers rather than to fill it with the accumulation of others.” (Edwards, 1809-1894) This is another quote suggesting that education is not a process wherein a person can be supplied with wisdom which is merely coming from one or two mentor(s)/instructor(s). It is a way of living as it is part of a person’s life. It is not only through school that a person learns. It is not only through the formal standards of “knowing” that a person gets educated. Therefore, education is never a confinement.

Pedagogy of the Oppressed, as one of a myriad point of reference to consider, is a ground-breaking form of discussion about how the mainstream definition of education can create dogmatism in the social order. For this, social awareness is a must. “Education as the practice of freedom – as opposed to education as the practice of domination – denies that man is abstract, isolated, independent, and unattached to the world; it also denies that the world exists as a reality apart from men.” (Freire, 1968) The relevance of this quote to my recent experiences of teaching and being taught is the fact that education must focus on providing the people the opportunities to cultivate their own capabilities. In order for them to survive in this society, students who are willing to learn shall be free from the eyes of prejudice and injustice.

I am quite impressed with the dimension that I am able to see this time. It is noticeably wider and deeper in perspective. Having experienced both worlds of being a teacher of graduating students in elementary and being a student of a premiere university have granted me the eyes of integrity: Education is worth struggling for. As long as there are teachers who are virtuous to their jobs and as long as there are students who are enthusiastic to their studies, education cannot easily falter. While there is a generation who yearns for the sweetness of defeat and the spice of fulfillment (how it tastes like to aim for knowledge and beat one’s old unproductive self), education will remain accessible- be it inside or outside a formal institution.

Meanwhile, I still couldn’t forget the smiles of those children. They stayed as the human that they were yet I could feel that a part of them had been changing. A piece of their character stepped up to the next level. They might not perceive the whole transformation but it just wouldn’t keep them hanging forever.

Education can never be concealed. Numerical values may indicate how much progress the students have made. Perhaps the true measurement of improvement is not identified merely through quizzes, chapter tests, and periodical exams. Being educated is more than being able to submit the requirements on time, perform the assigned activities, and have a perfect attendance. It is not just the school that an educated human being shall go to because education imposes no boundaries. Real education does not limit a person’s capacity. It is always self-transcending.

Revolution, in its basic sense, is: a fundamental change, a movement, an extreme start– as phrases cited from Merriam-Webster Dictionary. How does this term relate to education?

Simple.

Education changes the lives of the people. It serves as a catalyst to innovate our society. It can be regarded as form of revolution because just like the heroes of our country who started a revolution to protect our nation, education saves our people. It saves us from ignorance and irrationality. Similar to those warriors who are not daunted to take risks in the battleground, education continues to struggle not just for the survival of the human intellect but for the rest of the aspects possibly existing in the universe as well.

I can hear the revolution happening. Can you hear it, too?

Categories: Part of Me, Reflection, Societal Issue | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Never Hold Back, Youth Holds a Fight

A forum on STUDENT ACTIVISM Showcasing the Historic Role of Filipino Students on Nation Building and Genuine Social Change

Emergences of local and international issues that are vastly contributing to socio-economic political systems have been discussed by a speaker who seems professed on his discussions. Topics such as violation of laws (e.g. police brutality, campus repression, continuous plundering), Post-Martial Law, Human Rights, Militarization, ISIS on world order domination, societal divide, educational maturation of the Philippine electorate, bureaucrat capitalism, development on socialism, ruling classes, indigenous people, collective rather than monopolize leadership, and national democratic point of view are discerned through their interconnectedness with the current events happening in the society. An abundant historical knowledge of student movements are substantiated through myriad evidences that lead to a single stance: the youth has been serving as the nation’s catalyst for change in various ways.

Prof. Mykel Andrada has deliberated a comprehensive report entitled Role of the Youth in Nation-Building and Social Change. It has been said that with the assistance that the modern technology provides us, the youth is being challenged to establish more relevant concerns. This may enhance not only a person’s outlook towards a progressive perspective but the enrichment of an entire system’s functions as well. Quotations from familiar sources are cited for further illustration of what is being talked about. One of them is an excerpt from an article Youth on the March, 1968: “A nation that does not continuously renew itself through progressive-minded and militant youth cannot possibly advance. A world of timid and apathetic youth will merely feed all the regimes of injustice and exploitation with a constant flow of manpower for exploited labor and cannon fodder for unjust wars.” Here, to rebel is justified has its meaning emphasized.

Student activism is more than just a political agenda, more than just a flaunt of influence, more than just a physical presence- for it awakens the spirit of awareness among the citizens of a state whereas the moment that unity offers its aid, is the time of global empowerment. As how the usual saying goes Youth is the hope of our nation; through acts of involvement, comes a compelling discourse on how a person can inspire significant drive to transcend advocacies into success. It is through student activism where future pioneers are rooted from. It fuels larger possibilities and greater outcomes to finally take over the dogmatic realms which challenge the capacity of every individual to choose whether to remain stagnant or keep fighting.

            Social investigation, facts gathering, analyzing, critical thinking, making a stand, planning, and acting may sound simple. The complexity lies within how these terms are put into actualization. Once the purpose is realized, the passion for revolution burns with a brighter flame. Life is vital, as survival encourages risks. Life becomes more meaningful if spent in service.

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Defiance: Death of Humanity

They have rampaged across cities and villages. Killing innocent, unarmed civilians in cowardly acts of violence… No just God would stand for what they did yesterday and what they do every single day– a statement from United States President Barack Obama, articulating his conviction about a hostile extremist group specified as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (which is lead by Abu Bakr al Baghdadi these days).

Aversion, threats, bombings, kidnappings, beheadings, invasion, and other forms of violence are immediate depictions upon a terrorist organization that is ISIS. Through its combative ingenuity and unfathomable brutality, the fact that it has been a former faction of the menacing Al Qaeda leaves us no doubt. Although both groups uphold Sunni Islam, they now emerge as rivals rather than allies. They severed a connection due to differentiation in particular aspects of their beliefs and principles. We take this opportunity to warn those governments that enter this evil alliance of America against the Islamic State [ISIS] to back off and leave our people alone, says the militant in black.

Evidently, the purpose of the Islamic State and Syria in establishing its association is the attainment of an Islamic Caliphate or state across the region where Sharia Law or code, encompassing religious and non-religious aspects of life, tries to rule as the foundation of the governance that is being built. To be able to meet what is expected of this government to be launched, ISIS is keen to comply whatever it takes. It needs supreme power and in order for it to gain control, strength must be shown to people. It must execute an expression that will invariably intimidate a whole community to follow. Otherwise, harm is going to be inflicted.

As for our mistakes, we do not deny them. Rather, we will continue to make mistakes as long as we are humans. God forbid that we commit mistakes deliberately, admitted by Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, one of the group’s ideologues. This is what an Islamic state is trying to consider as an excuse to implement even the torturing acts towards disobedience. It is observed here that what former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair is blaming as bad systems of politics mixed with abuse of religion coincides as the root of the humiliating problems in the Middle East.

ISIS has taken advantage of the forces held by the conscientious institutions who lack the drive to put up a good fight against it; thus, paving its way to a more empowered sense of terrorism. It formulates strategic plans to advance skills and ultimately level up in a variety of ways, such as: targeting those localities that are more willing to abide its regulations, providing accessibility with dissatisfied Sunni tribes and others who have suffered marginalization and deprivation by the administration, recruiting foreign fighters who even travel far across the world to join the cluster, risking the safety of opponents basically to bolster its regional intentions, launching attacks on the West whenever feasible, seeking ruthless control over the minorities and fellowmen that may lead to forced take off or even murder, stipulating for ransom of its captives, ignoring international borders, expanding set of connections as its ideology polishes, evading to alienate influential tribal leaders, and trying to win favor through organizing welfare programs and activities.

Recently, the news is widespread about the assassination of James Foley and Steven Sotloff- when in fact this is just a chunk from a huge number of instances wherein ISIS has viciously detracted the lives of people who could have stayed for a longer period of time and be significant members of the society as catalysts of change and contributors of productivity. These American journalists are not mainly the ones who are supposedly to be served as sacrificial lamb, as such catastrophic event to human race roars so loud as if raving the dominance of barbarism that boosts the ego of a completely deranged autonomous system. Nobody can be justifiably pulled out to offer his/her own life based from the fallacious demands of misinterpretation, lack of communication, biased decision, unlawful implication, extortion, and rebellion. Nobody has that obligation to accept a fate of being decapitated for the sake of satisfying a nihilistic viewpoint’s thirst for revenge. Putting one’s self in service of other people doesn’t have to automatically mean dying because this kind of nobility requires bravery and courage- and our nation apparently needs them here to stay.

Myriad cases of inhumane treatment internationally reported or not, have been quite alarming to global relations especially to countries that are immensely caught up in discord. It is not only journalists or public and private officials or the native people who are considered to be active along the danger zone of coercion, but each one of us. Everyone is prone to get victimized by the irrational superiority. There’s no safe place to hide, nowadays.

Beyond those words that are deemed to fit into the description of how ISIS placed itself into a context that is not credited to be favorable, is the mind of a youth whose perspective will never falter when it comes to attending to issues which open the door of vulnerability to her fellowmen while unwrapping her side of consciousness. I, as an individual who is aware of these phenomena, take my stand to diverge from the doctrine of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Perhaps I considerably acknowledge its reinforcement of laws regarding a stronghold for faith in religion, the process of flawlessly carrying out its directives, and commitment to scheme; but I cannot attest to fully tolerate injustices in the process of putting up with the plan.

I believe to the extent of my ability as a citizen of this country to prevent the cultivation of aberration from the morality of the standards that are set upon our society. Words are potential source of vitality but actions are what transform our ideals into possibilities. Being on my position right now, I advice those dealers on the black market to stop patronizing the oil of ISIS for it funds the group enough to have some money spent on its operations. I also suggest that countries shall enhance their need for vigilance especially in America (and of course even here in the Philippines) to at least lessen the casualties from attacks. If we are really into slamming the dogma of ISIS, then we must condemn it from stepping into our territorial claims unless proven to deserve meritorious consideration.

Voice of the public explodes stronger than bombs of our enemies. Speak the truth even if it means a higher rate of having your head cut off. Chances are: you die dignified or you live regretful for the rest of your life. Uncertainty of what might happen in the future is presented and we all know that assault is very disturbing and is difficult to prevent. We might not have enough cannons and grenades and jet planes but let us prepare ourselves from the forthcoming attacks of terrorism. Our unity is our defense. It sounds hilarious but it is the choice that we have today. It is a decision that waits to be settled on.

Ambitious, future-oriented, and serious about the expansion of the Islamist ideology- this is ISIS. Steadfast, tough, and devoted- is who we are. The bottom line is that you might try to adhere to the recruitment process of the other camp… if that wouldn’t make you feel remorseful for betraying millions of lives that depend on the holistic essence of what it means to be united as one, against all odds and even amid a terrifying period of adversity.

For the end part of this article, I would want to emphasize that ourselves is all that we need in times of puzzling events like this. It doesn’t matter how big or small you might actually see it. One thing I would want to assure is that we don’t want to have to witness more lives leaving this world for nothing. Death is not something that can be defied, but the purpose of the life one has offered is enough to let us continue the battle that will persevere to protect ourselves and our fellowmen.

Dare to try defiance for the sake of the forbidding death of humanity.

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Equilibrium

Here I go again. Tonight, I am willing to share to you an article that I have written a couple of months ago. It is composed of facts and opinion stated by me. It is about citing some insights that I think could have been remarkable within the noted movie. Honestly, this work of mine had received a not-so-high score due to some grammatical errors and some statements ambiguities; but I’ve decided to post it anyway because I believe I have learned. It’s the thought that counts! I offer to you my sincere apology on anything that you might find misleading. How I wish I could have written it better but I chose to preserve its original form to look back and see how I used to understand things. Here’s to a young woman and the others who aspire to be motivators of improvement.

Have a happy weekend.

 ‘Equilibrium’ : Film Insights

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Photo Courtesy : http://www.tboake.com/443-equilibrium-f2009.html

What does it take for the world to attain the balance that they need so nothing could ever go wrong? Do they really have to sacrifice the purity of mankind for the sake of one’s personal intentions? Why do others have to be blinded by rude societal disposition? Not an answer could register in my mind as I witnessed the first few parts of the movie we’ve watched- ‘Equilibrium’; but as the story started to roll down the consequences of the events, I then realized that even the things we’ve thought would be the smallest… might sometimes be the biggest contributor of change not just to one person but to the dependent generation.

As I recall, the movie started through an action series which exemplifies skills in attack and defense. Opposing troops of armed men exchanged their bullets and it was obvious that the other team is losing due to the strength and tactics of its opponent. It took me some minutes to absorb what has really been happening. Into my surprise that the reason behind the killing is the victims’ disobedience to the highly-implemented rule which prohibits everyone to feel emotions! Freedom was nowhere to be found. It was being murdered by a capsule- being taken like a dietary supplement on regular basis. There’s no way for an escape especially to those who think they were weak and powerless; while death was the doomed cliché to those who have tried to fight against the misleading laws of unjustified governance. The idea of the institution officers who have probably agreed on this condition, might as well in my opinion, seemed to be stupefied by their selfish ambitions. How on earth could anyone be legally permitted to exploit the rights of the people to deal with emotions and express their feelings? This is unimaginable in reality.

This is why I found it hard to finally get over unto the movie’s extent since it was my first time to see it and to be exposed into that kind of irrationality (though I’ve watched movies before that were a bit similar to this). On my perspective, the film-makers made it through such an ‘eye-opening’ point of view. Coming up with this quality of story amazed me for it doesn’t just showcase something that is unique. It is a collection of genuine facts summoned together to be able to establish a film that leaves a mark to its viewers. Considering the situational cases that we have today in our society, the message that the film has been trying to imply is useful for it could increase the viewers’ awareness about mindlessly degradation of human dignity (in any way that it is being actualized) and how it should be countered. Based on its impact to me, I might say that ‘Equilibrium’ has this inspiring feature which could uplift spirits of either young minds or mature ones to continue fighting in spite of the risks that wait. For me it’s like standing for my principle or not standing at all. ‘Not standing at all’ because the choice is within ourselves. The best is about to be attained not because righteous people choose to be with who is strong at the moment but they choose to be with who ought to be strong, instead- and those who ought to be strong are those who never quit to follow the right path.

Citing one of the evidences, I am still reminiscent of that Maguindanao Massacre. The issue beneath this clutter of words keeps haunting me though I am not personally involved… and this clipping in the newspaper caught my attention: Janvic Mateo. (2013) Arraignment of Maguindanao massacre suspects set on Wednesday: Manila, The Philippine Star News. Good news! Justice may finally arrive after the reported death of the people. “Dubbed by the Committee to Protect Journalists as the single deadliest event for journalists in world history, the Nov. 23, 2009 massacre claimed the lives of 58 people- including at least 32 media practitioners- who were part of a convoy led by the wife of then- Buluan vice-mayor and now Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu… A total of 197 suspects were initially implicated in the massacre, including members of the Ampatuan clan…” I can relate this article to the movie I’ve been reflecting on because both have stories of inhumanity wherein multiple cases of murder were noted. Putting back the pieces in reality, it’s gratifying that until these days, there are people who are still working to solve the alarming problems our country (or even the world) is facing through. Faith keeps the positivity from within. It guides us to endure the pain that we’re feeling so nothing would be impossible because better outcomes could have been waiting.

Just as how the call for humanity among victims of injustice has been fought for until the end (of the movie), the same process might happen with this issue of Maguindanao massacre only if there’s one or some among us who would take the risk of starting the change we wanted to see and continue the fight through our nation’s unity. It’s not all about a matter of counting the times one has fallen but on the ways one has gotten up.

I had once heard of a quote around UP, and it says: “Rise over run. If you must die, you die fighting!” So do I, so do you. We can all make a difference and attain the state of equilibrium without compromising the value of humanity so we’d live outright what defines dignity.

Categories: Societal Issue | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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