My contribution to the Bloggers’ Kapihan’s blog action day. https://kathangkatotohanan.wordpress.com/break_through_the_wall
Even the most indifferent Filipino netizen knows the reality that is the evil of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. It is, however, a sign of the times when even the most conio of web frequenters have started ranting on the crises and controversies that we face daily under GMA. If we stop to listen to even their tiniest whispers on the issue, we know there is rage inertwined among those lines.
The Arroyo regime is considered to historically be the most unpopular era in Philippine politics. We know that ever since she did the Hello Garci in 2004, she has not tried to even properly cover up her misdeeds. The economy, despite all the propaganda her crackpot economists (and economists in general) have been heralding, is in shambles. Human rights violations, from the basic scrimping on social services to the extrajudicial killings that have already spilled onto the 4-digit mark, continue to worsen.
And yet even as the conventional crowd wisdom indicates that the Filipino people has had enough of the Arroyo regime, the action that we hoped would make a change in Philippine society seems to have been limited to each one’s comfort zones.
Social networks and the blogosphere is teeming with dissent, and why should it not, when even the starbucks-frequenting cliques can feel the pain of a tightened belt? The sad fact, however, is that GMA is not on Facebook. Or on Twitter. Even the “Ask Malacanang” section in her office’s website, for all intents and purposes, is just a wall our voices bounce off.
The youth is riding on the spirit of nationalism, going out in droves to register for the coming 2010 elections (whether we will have one, or whether it will be the elections we as the youth idealized about, is another topic). Opportunistic vultures, however, have preyed on this with cosmetic notions of loving one’s country. The celebration of the individual, exemplified in the usual “study hard is serving the people” line, and a relentless slew of Ako Mismo dog tags and iamninoy shirts, served only to neuter this spirit. Again, we hit another wall.
I say it’s about time we set the direction of our energies straight.
Our enthusiasm in such “feel-good” forms as virtual protests and cosmetic nationalism is indicative of how we are tired of the norms, yet unwilling to go beyond our limitations. We try to justify our limitations by calling the higher forms of protest needed to bring GMA to her heels as “outdated” and “ineffective.” What is ineffective in actuality is our fear of commitment and sacrifice: commitment to be an agent of change, and sacrifice to be a rupture in the norms by working outside the norms.We can’t change a system by working within the system.
Tomorrow is GMA’s last SONA. We fervently wish for it to be her last. But GMA has indeed not listened to the people since day 1. That is because she is not on Facebook. Or Friendster. Or Twitter. Tyrants only tremble in fear when the oppressed step up against them, not whisper behind them. Buying the dog tags and shirts is just the start of awareness. We need to take the next step.
We enjoin the Filipino netizenry complete what we have started: Bring your dog tags and shirts tomorrow on the People’s SONA, 1:00PM on commonwealth avenue. See you on the streets, I’ll be tweeting live from the mob. No classes: no reason not to be part of the change. 🙂