[An open letter to my highschoolmates and buddies]
I know that most of you are no longer that interested in Philippine Politics. I admit I tried many times (hehehe) to goad you into expressing your opinions about specific political issues but – judging from the very few replies I did manage to evoke — it’s safe to say that politics isn’t among your “top ten” favorite pastimes. 🙂
I respect that. And I don’t blame you. I’m not, and will not be, making excuses for Philippine politics. In fact, I agree with the opinion of most Filipinos — that politics is dirty; that it is populated by crooks; that it is a huge disappointment.
But I also sincerely believe that it is NOT beyond hope and that, despite its many imperfections, it is NOT a pointless activity.
People made politics into the dirty game it has become. People CAN clean it up again!
I’m not saying that you should troop to the streets as a mass of screaming, banner-waving, angry protesters. No. Not everyone can do that with conviction. To each his/her own, di ba?
But the principle behind the act has to be there – that one WILL do something (what this something is will be entirely up to the person making the decision) when one sees the need for action.
Take the coming elections, for example. I’m not asking you to vote AKBAYAN for the partylist position (although that would be super! hehehehe). Actually, I expect that many in our batch are no longer registered voters because they are now living abroad. And that’s OK. God called you there for a reason.
For those among us who remained in the Philippines and are still voters BUT who, for one reason or another, will decide to BOYCOTT the coming elections, I’m OK with that too. Refusing to participate in an activity that one sincerely believes is flawed, dirty and/or pointless is a legitimate act. One can even argue that it is the radical thing to do.
Believe me, I know. I’ve boycotted many elections in protest before. But that was during a time when I didn’t see any other alternative; a time when, like many other Filipinos, I saw participating in politics as a pointless act.
Obviously, I found something that changed my mind; something that relit the light of hope in my heart.
I won’t be that presumptuous to claim that it was AKBAYAN that “did it” for me. I know you won’t buy it. Kayo pa! Mahirap yatang bolahin ang grumadweyt sa Manresa! (Hoy, hindi yun bola ha. Pramis. hehehe).
Like I said earlier, it’s not the act (or the partylist) that’s important; it’s the DECISION to act that is!
Vote AKBAYAN or not; boycott the elections or not; it’s up to you. Just, please, decide to do something.
I for one will do my small part come this May. I will cast my one vote for AKBAYAN and it will be a vote in PROTEST against everything that makes me fear for my personal welfare and for the welfare of my family and friends.
But, more importantly, it will be a vote for HOPE; hope that if enough people truly believe, as I do, that we deserve something better and are willing to do something (anything) about it, then it shall come to pass.
Arnold “B-A-Barnoldy” Tarrobago
IV-Diamond, Manresa School, Batch 87
Sobra na ang Abuso.
Ibalik ang Dangal ng Pilipino.