Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bagong Bayan



essay : It's amazing how it must take a dead hero's legacy first for the youth to be reminded to use common sense. To be perfectly honest I believe that the so-called apathy of the youth is so overrated; the youth in turn only utilizes this general perception of them to get away with murder. A homeless old man who made a living out of the used water bottles littered along the streets of EDSA and was recently ran over by a ten-wheeler truck surely once extolled the youth in his life, although not perhaps as grandiose as how Rizal did it.

To be brutal about this, justifying the belief in me by Rizal is easy; dedicating it to Rizal, however, is kind of absurd. How about dedicating it to those who practically deserve it instead? The modern heroes we call the Overseas Filipino Contract Workers, the oppressed and ganged-up by inequal opportunities, the future generation whose potential lies in their being impressionable to the youth of the now's corresponding responsibility. These are the people who need the fruit of that belief in me, and their hope is what propels me to be human more than anything else.

I'm not downgrading Rizal's contribution to the Filipinos. Rizal's exaltation and sacrifice in the name of the country is indisputable, and for that he's the national hero. It's just that at the end of the day, "justifying the belief of Rizal in me as a youth" is nothing more than putting up a blog or friendster where you pose all your photographs helping because apparently you're a member of Greenpeace, Gawad Kalinga, Rock Ed, Bantay Bata yadiyadiyada. Good Lord, just shut up and be of use! Don't litter, plant trees, don't waste water and electricity, bring street dogs and cats to animal impounds, segregate the biodegradable and the non-biodegradable, learn to recycle plastics.

Be humble. Enrich your mind, body and soul. Don't eat more than you should. Be compassionate, open-minded, and respectful. Pay your blessings forward instead. Support human rights causes without the sheer desire to get a stint on television for it. And please, don't be narcissistic. Basically do not do unto others what you do not want to be done unto you.

And oh yeah, don't be a politician.

All of these may appear simple and even ineffective, especially when I'd rather do all of these as a one-armed bandit. But it's alright. At least I don't have to exert effort. Others still have to be inspired by the promise of fame and heroism in order to discover that, hey, they're human.

Do I really have to be whatever and justify the belief of whoever in me? I don't know, I just thought it's the right thing to do.

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