for almost 2 years now, i tend to shy away from the issue of philippine politics and ideologies.
whenever, politics becomes the topic of each conversations you would either see me smiling as a gesture or simply giving a nod as a sign of 'yes, i am listening'. often times, i even can't stop thinking that probably these people i am with would think 'what kind of UP alumna i am?! having no stand or doesn't bother at all." well, just in case this paranoia would actually happen, i would simply just tell them," you don't know what you are talking about."
way back in college, i am (not was) an active student activist inclined with the masses' theater (braechtian theater, to be technical). we arouse, organize and mobilize people to political ideologies through the medium of arts, which we believe as the most effective arm in making the people more politically, socially and culturally aware.
later on, i have become a student and youth leader among mass discussions, mobilizations and demonstrations. there were instances in which you'll handle the toughest, most intense and brutal days of your life among streets against firetruck hoses, hard batons and chasing police. while there are moments, where you'll encounter the most gentle and kindest signs of gestures among the people who sympathizes into what you are doing. thanking you that you are bravely doing these things in behalf of them. you can't just keep yourself from bursting into tears.
but despite all of these, at the end of the day, when you arrive home or you're talking to your parents, relatives or friends, the support that you'll be getting is as not as good as what you get in the streets. there are lots of questions of why, how, what if, who, where, and when soaring in the air. well. i couldn't blame them. because i could feel that behind those aggression and sarcasm, the concern of them toward me is overpowering the entire scenario.
what made me to be an activist then? is it just because i am from UP that's why i need to brand myself to be an UP activist too? is it just as a sign of gratitude and obligation, that i need to pay the masses back for this 'opportuniy' to study in this 'prestigious' institution?
well, when i entered this university, i can say that i am your regular naive and 'pathetic' college freshman, that doesn't desire anything else but to get good grades and graduate on time. i came on a relatively middle class family, so by the time i've saw my first mass demonstration and rally in the university. i tend to avoid it because of my connotative impressions against activists. and due to my parents' warnings as well. but as the folds of events went through, in a snap of a second, i found myself a member of a progressive theater (that i have discussed above) that eventually made me changed my perception, not only to them. but more towards life.
me as a salvaged farmer, baguio city. 2005
indeed, these are facts. but irrevocable as it may seems, the nature of life opens the possibility of optimismistic change. we may not completely deconstruct inequality. but atleast, we could minimize its scope and effects. if that would be successful in process, at least there will be a number of people that could enjoy there fair share of life that they are really entitled with. and there will be a person smiling at the back of his head, telling himself atleast, i was able to help.but for every organization, no matter how noble and feasible the objectives could be, you couldn't expect it to be perfect. there will always be persons, things, goals and processes that would tests the principles and ideologies that you (thought) you commonly share with the organization. being an activists is not just a matter of shouting in the streets and clamouring for change in a scorching hot day. there is a lot and i mean a lot of thing underneath. much tasks and responsibilities than you could ever think of: more than you're academic or professional load, if i may say. believe me, like most things we do, there are a lot of times that you'll feel you're already burned out, walk out the door and just quit. but by the time you hit the streets and witness the things that you're giving up, you'll just find yourself going back again.
when i graduated and entered a completely different setting from a state university to a catholic private institution, it was a total culture shock. everything is bound and expected to be conservative and strictly follow the rules, line by line. when you need to live by it, i just thought you need to give a different strategy. attack when you're silent and arm yourself with the best intellect that you could provide. then, make a discourse in a moment they least expect it--- drinking sessions.