Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Thank God for U.P.

RP slips in anti-graft drive -- World Bank
Good governance rank declines in last 8 years
Hooded men knocking down doors and dragging out victims in the dead of night.
Assassins on motorcycles. Killers shooting victims in cold blood, often in close range.
Anguished relatives looking for answers and, most important of all, justice.
Pulse Asia poll says 6% back coup d'etat

There was a 1970’s protest song that asked... “Where have all the flowers gone ...”. It was one among many in that era of youthful protest . I was part of that era ... a participant in the “first quarter storm”. In those days the youth was the pivotal catalyst for change. We were loud, daring and activist by nature.

We grew up playing "turumpo", "tex", "holen", "goma" and "tiradoran"– all games of direct participation. We learned to fight our own battles – knowing that our mistakes would have long term consequences. We were social warriors in the making . We took our future in our own hands.

Today’s youth –my son included – were brought up in the world of virtual reality - Nintendo, Playstation, X-Box, internet gaming etc. Their participation is via remote control. They watch from a distance as their battles are fought by surrogate champions. They have the luxury of replay or reset. They are focused on their own gratification without the penalty of personal consequence.

We allowed them this.
Our own liberalism has backfired...

And so we pay the price.
We have produced a generation that is focused on self rather than on social issues.
The youth are generally distanced and non-participatory in the greatest of battles – the battle for the future of this country.

It has taken foreign organizations like IMF, World Bank, Amnesty International, Greenpeace etc. to bring to the attention of the world the social ills of the Philippines. For much less than what is going on today , my generation would have been out in the streets – generating the awareness, creating the noise, lobbying the influential, boycotting the necessary – being Gandhi. And we would be doing it in great numbers ...

If the educated youth of today do not create the critical mass that is necessary to peacefully effect change, I fear that the uneducated may well take up the fight in the only way they know how ... violence.

So when I saw this broadsheet article the other day, the older me shook my head as I realized that this is what it has come to, but the"youth" in me smiled and said ...
"Thank God for independent thinkers ...
for social consciousness ...
for the courage to dare ...
for the strength to cross the line.
Thank God for U.P."

Titser: Sino si Jose Rizal?
Juan: Di ko po kilala.
Titser: Ikaw Pepe?
Pepe: Di rin po.
Titser (irritated): Di ninyo kilala si Jose Rizal?
Paolo: Ma'm, baka po sa kabilang section siya!

toinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnngk - (flying eraser)