Sawa ka na ba?

Got this from my inbox yesterday. A lot of us are tired, and wanting a change for the better…but we’re not the activist types. So this might interest you—

Hey Guys, my dearest Friends,

Isn’t the silence deafening? Last weekend, the father of my son’s classmate was ambushed and killed. He was a former councilor here in Sta. Rosa. This last week we’ve had to really hold our children in our consciousness and help them process what this means. I am angry that my children have to deal with violence so early in their lives and so close to home. Unfortunately, this kind of brazen brutality is becoming par for the course in our country, so in a way it is only a matter of time before it touches each of us this close to home. Last week it landed in mine. Three children lost their father with little hope of finding justice. I was again reminded, in my face, of the kind of country we live in today. It will only worsen if we turn away and say we can’t do a thing, it’s not part of us, who is the alternative, I can live despite government, etc., etc.

I have been part of a group called PAGASA (People’s Assembly for Genuine Alternatives to Social Apathy) since the Garci issue exploded. We protested, rallied, made ourselves ill at the People Power Monument, and were probably the only non-political, zero agenda group in the horizon. When that died down and nothing happened, we realized the time for that kind of People Power is over. We sat down –we were but a handful at that point–and asked ourselves what was truly needed for change and how could we contribute to it? That began the process that ended in monthly workshops that we have been giving for a year now, called “Inner Change Towards Societal Transformation”. Here we explore the relationship between our lives, who we are, and the kind of country we have co-created and how we can get out of the mess for good. It’s a slow process but one that gives us much hope for the future of the Filipino and our country. For this country to change, each of us has to. PAGASA is committed to doing this monthly for however long it takes. The results have been more than encouraging.

I know that many other groups and individuals are doing amazing work towards change and that is reason for hope. Still, the silence is deafening: Erap’s unconditional pardon, the ZTE deal from hell, the Glorietta bombing-explosion-accident-ewan, the extra-judicial killings, Jonas Burgos, the Malacanang pay-offs, the nonsense from some of the bishops…it’s way too much. Way too much. I refuse to let my boys inherit this mess. I am doing what I can with my work in PAGASA and the daily decisions I make at home, in my prayers and meditation, in the raising of my children, in every lie I decide not to tell, but lately there seems to be a clamor to do more. And I know we are all finding our own way. I cannot tell you what to do, but I know that you surely must be at the point where you are just wanting to do your share. So, I figure I’ll just pass along little openings of action that might interest you. Every thought, intention and action ripples. So, why not?

I refer to Manuel L. Quezon III’s column today. Here is an excerpt:

” Every year, on this day, British schoolchildren recite the rhyme, “Remember, remember, the fifth of November, gunpowder, treason, and plot,” commemorating a failed conspiracy by Guy Fawkes to blow up the Houses of Parliament along with King James I. Recently, The Economist in an editorial on the growing dangers of radical religion referred to Fawkes as “the Catholic Taliban,” but in “V for Vendetta,” the story revolves around a resistance to a British dictatorship with the former bad guy of British history turned into a symbol of resistance. And in small yet meaningful ways, resistance is what’s called for these days.

But how? Not by blowing things up or giving the authorities the satisfaction of beating us up, or, God forbid, inconveniencing those who value the smooth traffic flow more than they care about the disappearance of Jonas Burgos, or inconveniencing the congressmen in cassocks known as the Catholic bishops. So what can we do, that allows us to be considerate of the politically blind, but which will show that we are aware, awake, and not in awe of the authorities?

Consider that the prime message of the government that adores your tax pesos so it can serve up cash buffets in the presidential palace you own, is this: they are all the same. This is meant to discourage your thinking of alternatives, because if all the alternatives are like what we have, better the devil in the duster you already have, to any other devil waiting in the wings. But this argument is only good as long as you agree that indeed, you are like them: that when they say they are all the same, they include you.

Are you really like them? Is the congressman or governor waddling out of Malacañang with a doggie bag full of money, the same as you? Of course not. When they shriek, “let he who is without sin, cast the first stone,” they forget the number of guests at the cash buffet didn’t include millions like yourself. But OK, let’s not cast stones. Let’s send something peaceful but equally painful: words on postcard.

Which is why, this Friday, we’re going to meet at the Ninoy statue in Makati between 11 and 12 noon, and proceed to the Makati Post Office to mail our postcards to Ms Arroyo. We won’t make speeches, we won’t wave banners, we won’t say anything except what will be on our postcards, and it will come from individuals and be sent to an individual, to tell her exactly what we feel. Join us. Bring a friend. Sacrifice an hour of your time. Be among those who cast the first postcards to be sent to the President’s desk in Malacañang.

Remember, remember, the ninth of November, a postcard, a lunch break, and march!”

Right there is an opportunity to do something this week. Ako, hindi puwede. Kaya dinadamay ko nalang kayong lahat. I am full on mommy duty that day and lunch time is the most impossible of all times, but this might appeal to you and your Friday circumstances might be more manageable than mine. I just read this today, I don’t know the writer personally and I certainly was not asked to pass this on, but I think that every effort anyone makes towards the AUTHENTIC cleansing and healing of this country is well worth my support and if this particular action appeals to you, I’m glad I helped bring you there. So iyon lang muna. It came my way and I thought I’d give it life. Feel free to pass it on.

Love, hope and courage to all,



About jencc

a constant work-in-progress View all posts by jencc

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