You gotta give credit to the anti-Marcos mob. They came back in their thousand-odd force, this time at the “People Power Monument” on EDSA at its intersection with Temple Drive outside Camp Aguinaldo today. Amongst those leading the charge (so they claim) are representatives of the “Big Three” elite Philippine schools, the University of the Philippines, De La Salle University, and the Ateneo. There is much back-patting amongst the so-called “millenials” who supposedly came out in droves today to protest the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB).
I may as well ask as an aside: How sosyal do you have to be to be referred to as a “millenial”?
Perhaps this is the reason that very important measure of the success of a street rally — the numbers — can’t seem to hit the mark as far as the anti-Marcos mob is concerned. A post on Facebook by Bruce Villafuerte Rivera captures the underlying sociological reason behind the consistent failure of the anti-Marcos “movement” of the 21st Century. Villafuerte reminds these “millenials” (as defined by the obvious answer to the question above) that there is this inconvenient thing called the Philippines that exists outside of the bubble they have cloistered themselves in…
You justify corruption, immorality, oppression because you benefit from the people doing it but will be the same self-righteous pricks to shout against it if you feel others are doing it. And the double standard sickens me.
The rich do not feel the gains of this administration because to the bubble of Metro Manila, it is all discomfort. They will not feel the drop in criminality kasi walang snatcher sa Forbes Park. They will not feel efficient governance kasi may pumipila sa kanila para kumuha ng lisensya sa LTO. They will not feel the good effects of lowered corruption kasi kahit nung una, priority sila sa infrastructure. They will not notice how ordinary citizens feel special because they are now the ones who are taken in the same genus as ordinary citizens.
But to ordinary Filipinos, this is something new. And they are the majority. Ordinary citizens who cannot afford to control a media company, influence people, create powerful organizations or lobby to hate. But we can feel their pulse. They are no longer buying all the information you were once feeding them.
You see, the trouble with Philippine “activism” nowadays is that it has been gentrified beyond recognition. It is no longer the gritty molotov-cocktail-fuelled badass undertaking it used to be. The “revolution” of 1986 and those lame knock-offs that followed it transformed the notion of street parliamentarianism in the Philippines into one of quaint outdoor soirées moving to the soft beat of wistful emo ballads filled with words that invoke rich imagery of “fights” yet come across as nothing like the battle hymns their lyricists fancy them to be. Looking from the outside into that bubble, most ordinary Filipinos can’t help but laugh.
The biggest irony of all — one that we see today flies way above the pointed heads of these impressionable youths — is that the political forces and personalities they “battle” are direct outcomes of the very democracy they believe themselves to be “defending” in these rallies. There is no democracy being destroyed here, folks. The things happening today in the Philippines are proof that democracy is at work. It is because these products of democracy just happen to now offend the disente sensibilities of these hipsters that we now see them coming down from the proverbial hill and out of their tony enclaves in droves to make baka.
Democracy, might we remind the little kiddies and fashionistas, is a messy system of government. The “will of the people” is a double-edged sword. Handling this sytem is best left to the grown ups.
[Photo source: ABS-CBN on Twitter.]
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