I have tried to make this blog as apolitical as possible as my theme is about LIFE and all its many facets as it affects me. But I cannot help but blog about the impact of our youth on me, especially during this time when we are once again faced by a scandal of humongous proportions. This post is not a political one. Rather, I believe that this represents our HOPE for a BETTER LIFE.
In my younger days, I was no activist. I was never in political rallies during martial law days. I chose to just focus on my studies and I must say I was a pretty good student and made good grades. But when I went for graduate studies to the States, I became aware of many things. My loneliness, being away from family, made me keenly appreciate my country even more (this is really cheesy but I would get teary-eyed whenever I would hear Lupang Hinirang). I realized I was part of a few who were given a chance for a better life when many back home could not even get to eat 3x a day. I was there when Ninoy Aquino was exiled, got invited along with some friends to a party hosted in NY for the Marcoses during their state visit (we were appalled by the excessive show of opulence that we left soon after dinner and chose to walk around NY for a change), was among Filipino students who met similarly-exiled Charito Planas during her school visit and got a personal view of what the country was facing then. I was absorbing all these, and without realizing it, this was to be my big step to a more active participation ahead.
When Operation Quick Count of NAMFREL was set up, I got involved. Without going into more details, suffice it to say that my love of the Philippines was heightened all the more during those days. We worked long, long hours in LSGH in the aftermath of the presidential snap elections of ’86. I was there when Card. Sin and Senator Lugar of the US, among other dignitaries, paid a visit to the LSGH gym where we were based. I was one of those who broke out cheering and applauding when they announced that the PICC tabulators had walked out. And during EDSA 1, I was one of the millions who found ourselves in EDSA. My heart was bursting with love for my country and hopes for the future.
But with scandal after scandal coming out, I fear for my kids and what future they will have in this country. There is so much for them to be proud of. The countryside is beautiful. Whatever is left of our rich, natural resources (depleted by greedy moneymakers) is still a sight to behold. The simple folks in the provinces show us what the real heart of Pinoys are. Opportunities abound to give and to receive — within moral and economic boundaries.
But what values are my kids picking up? Will they continue to be principled, fight for what is good and right, put country over personal interest? Will they want to stay in this country and put their talents and skills to use here rather than dream of working abroad? How do I teach them that money in itself is not bad if they can put it to use to make lives better? When they look at TV, hear the Senate investigations, and study current events in school, how do these scandals impress their young hearts?
These days, I am just an ordinary wife and mother. My days are humdrum, revolving around planning the kids’ schedules, trying to earn a decent living, and enjoying yoga with friends.
But last night, my good friend Dine told me about her son Vince who, at the Ateneo mass at Gesu for Jun Lozada, gave up his St. Ignatius pin (which was given to him just a week ago) in order to fulfill the wish of Lozada to come out of Ateneo with a blue pin.
Vince earned that blue pin. It was a pin given in recognition of his school leadership. But in giving that pin to Lozada, Vince symbolized all the youth behind him who were in effect entrusting their future in the hands of the likes of Lozada. Here was a youth leader telling an adult that there was hope for our land and this was an encouragement for Lozada and others to likewise stay the course and let the TRUTH come out.
If our youth, like Vince, continue to love this country and feel deeply for it like I remember feeling years ago, there is hope for this country. If they can discern what is NOT right in the actions of my generation, there is a chance for them to rectify these in their generation. They are the hope of this land.
(Vince with Sumilao farmers at the Gesu Mass for Lozada — photo courtesy of Dine)
Vince, you do your family proud and I am happy to have met you through your mommy. Be assured that we are all behind you and your generation and will always pray that you all stay in the light. As for me, I continue to be a proud Filipina.
To view a short video of Vince (also taken by Dine) giving his pin to Lozada, click HERE and HERE.
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