Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Days of Disquiet, Nights of Rage




Previously: To Die For Digong


My parents are both social change activists, who, in their youth, marched in the streets and had run-ins with authorities. My dad (bless his soul) was imprisoned during Martial Law, and my mom, who is a Sociologist held various posts in Non-Government Organizations after Democracy was restored. In a home where liberal ideas were openly discussed and somehow encouraged, I grew up knowing more than what the average kid did. In my youth, I saw Conrado de Quiros, Cheche Lazaro, Solita Monsod and Randy David as my champions. To say at least, I was informed, and this was amplified by the college program I took at the University. And although I never became a Journalist by profession, in every essay I wrote and in every spur-of-the-moment thought I posted on Twitter, I tried my best to speak the truth. 

Or at least, pass along the message.

I thought this worldview would have escaped me as I sink deeper into matters of domestic concerns. But no. Though I have refrained from writing anything political after the present powers that be took charge of the government, I continued to speak out against the wrongs of this administration. From its decision to allow the Dictator to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, to the brutality that is the Oplan Tokhang, nothing seems right about how we are governed. Two years and counting and all I can think of is how we are sold to the Chinese, how the TRAIN law will make more people poorer, how the plunderers were set free and are now making a political comeback, and how the media outlets critical of this government are being bullied to submission. With Fake News proliferating on the internet, and friendships broken because of the Dilawan/DDS divide, it seems there is no hope in sight. And the people who I once looked up to in my youth appear to have grown silent as we edge closer to a new kind of dictatorship.

There are times I wish I would just wake up and realize that everything is just a nightmare, and that, the candidates I have chosen have won last elections. But the painful truth spoils your newsfeed with bad news every day, with barely a pause to absorb the impunity and corruption done under this administration. And it seems the struggle will drag on as the worst is yet to come: The idea of "Federalism" is being peddled in the countryside as we speak of a no-election scenario in 2019. Should this become a law, local political families will have more say in the government, allowing them to rule like princelings in their own little fiefdoms. Also, Marcos Jr inches closer to getting the elected Vice-President unseated knowing his family can bend the Supreme Court to their will (Hello Sereno impeachment). Things have now become so ugly that I have started shunning friends who continue to justify this regime. 

I will remember each one of them, and judge them solely for what they stood today.

May this be the last time I would write about how fucked up this country is. While hope remains for a sunnier tomorrow, I am more inclined to believe that the damage done has become so irreparable, it will change everyone once this freak show had seen its final run.