Because I need to reimprint that Walkout in my history, in this blog, in your mind. But forgive me, for my fragments, my coining of words, which is often unforgivable, and my assumption that I am being read by thousands.
A lot have already given their two-cents worth with the July 19 hype, yet the piggy bank of knowledge and clarity does not seem full yet. There are clichés that only need to be mentioned here in passing: “education is a right, not a privilege.” “The students should stand up and fight for their right, with or without the leadership of the Student Council.” That second one, with the modification, or addition, does not seem to be a cliché at all, precisely because it does not happen often – the Student Council not leading the mobilization of students. Yes, respect should be given on our differences and efforts should be made to clean them up. We suffer from the same wounds, and no one can patch up the sores but us. And we don’t patch things up by squabbling with each other and beckoning supremacy. But perhaps the “smart ones” will come up with statements of their own, stash in their own “two cents worth.” And they can only either make more mess out of this, or learn from their recent failures. So let me move on.
The walk-out, the hype of July 19 that was precisely JUST a hype because it ended that day, I was there and it made me think. That should be a good start, make the people aware of the issues and make them think too. But no, other things happened. July 20 was back to normal, back to the boredom of hours and the cycle of the seemingly unavoidable temptation of cutting classes and attending to life’s drama. No one has remembered the essence of the walk-out: education, our rights, the need to struggle for them. Facebook statuses went back to normalcy: pseudo-activism is gone, thankfully, and returned to the “mahal na mahal ko talaga siya” cheapness. And no one has wallowed on the filth that the same walk-out has showed either: the shortcomings of student organizing, and hence, the shortcomings of student mobilizations as well in general.
That was a fun, fun day, the walk-out of 19. I am trying to put my tongue out of my cheek and tell myself I was being sincere there. The walk-out was fun, braving the rains for the fight for education was fun, shouting in the streets was fun. But no, you see, there were waves last year, I don’t know the exact number but that was a legion compared to last Tuesday. And what happened after is still another story. The number is only the tip of the story, and a thousand of UPians in the streets does not exactly mean great triumph. I joined both walk-out, believing in the cause, believing in what it can achieve, roughly believing in what it can achieve, in its cause. I know this is for my right, this is for our right to education, but people should know better than that. What exactly is happening? Why is this happening? Why is there a need to walk-out of classes? Why should I walk-out of my class with my favorite teacher and favorite subject? Does not that contradict the supposed cause for education of the walk-out?
You see, we have questions here and no one seems to be interested in answering them with firmness and not arrogance, with wit and poise, and not mere noise. So thanks to that rhyme. We have questions here because we deal with each other, and we are thinking individuals, and we are different. We think differently, and I have questions for you and I want you to clarify things for me so I will join. Rhetorics are garbage and your doctrines, statements which you spew robotically, and automatically, because you have swallowed and tasted them so well, they won’t work to me. We have different palates too. And so I ask for some engagement. Don’t just invite me to join the walk-out, and tell me “lumahok sa paglaban sa karapatan.” Discuss me the hows and whys. I am not closing myself on your view of things, but I might do that as well when all I can see are vaunted, self-proclaimed “activists” basking in the glory of the noonlight and refusing to reach on the level of the “masses” they are supposed to educate and engage with.
It was fun after all. Insights can be gleaned and those who climb on their towers, they might rethink about the idea behind the tower. Those who proclaim greater enlightenment should not impose their light, we operate on different hues, remember? And in the intensifying battle of lights and perspectives, lazy and blunt antagonisms and impositions would definitely not work. Engagement, my friends. And don’t get stuck in your filthy comfort zones of delusive activism and coolness. That only results to epic fail of an action and an “illusion” of a one-time, big-time success. (that hurts twice: the success being one-time, big-time, and that one-time, big-time success altogether, being merely an illusion).