I’ve been asked what made me join GABRIELA Youth, why I decided to run under SALiGAN sa CSSP, but I’ve never really asked what made me who I am considered today — an activist. Surprisingly, it wasn’t difficult to answer. Here’s what I replied:
"First, EDs talaga. Nung napaintindi sakin kung san ba talaga nakaugat ang mga problema sa lipunan — imperyalismo, pyudalismo at burukrata kapitalismo. Pangalawa, mga BMEx, nung nakita ko firsthand yung pagpapahirap na dinudulot ng tatlong salot sa lipunan. Lastly, I was moved by the bravery & passion of other activists. I saw how they would stop at nothing to bring about change & to STP, because being an activist is not just a phase. It’s a lifetime commitment."
This Monday morning, I was giving out paper sunflowers with a note saying “Dear UP profs, Don’t FAIL us. Say NO to the academic calendar shift!” to the UP professors who attended the UC meeting. One of them reacted violently, saying it wasn’t nice and that he wasn’t failing us whether or not he decided to say yes or no.
So I guess making us students and other professors have classes in the summer, when it’s scorching hot, is nice. And I guess the possibility of an increase in energy fees to beat the heat is nice.
I guess going against the harvest season of marginalized farmers, who make up most of our society, and therefore making it more difficult for them to send their children to UP, is nice.
I guess internationalization is nice. There would be more job opportunities in other countries, yes? But wait, when we all graduate at the same time, who will be prioritized for high paying jobs? Other countries prioritize their own students. Our country prioritizes foreigners. What will be left for us, then? So I guess promoting cheap labor is nice. Most especially for us women, who still are discriminated and less prioritized in the workplace.
And I guess losing UP’s public character is nice.
I guess serving foreigners, instead of the Filipino students, the Filipino people, is nice.
If only I could, I would’ve barged inside myself during your meeting. You, on the other hand, were there. You didn’t even have to fight to be there. You had a vote. And if you voted yes, you did fail me. You did fail us. Because the shift in the academic calendar is clearly not for us.
Listen to great music and eat… a lot! :)