Million People Luneta March Aug 26 2013: Should I be there? Should my kids be there?

Image from Philippine Collegian

Image from Philippine Collegian

When I was in grade school,  my dad took me to every significant Ninoy Aquino rally in Manila.  It all started when we lined up in Sto. Domingo church to pay respects to my modern day hero that is Ninoy.  Donning my school uniform,  it was rally, after rally, after that.  I missed school, but patriotism came alive for me in those days.

Fast forward to today,  I have my own grade schoolers and my indifference has taken a plateau. I even became indifferent to indifference.  Does that make sense?  Anyway,   I don't watch the evening news except when there is a calamity.  But to watch politicians wrestle it out with each other - waste of time and wrinkle inducing.

I was jolted to reality when a friend called me asking me if I'm going to the march on Monday.  "What march?"  And she went on and on why I should attend the event.

I mulled over it based on the following questions:

1.   Do I believe in the agenda of the protest?  Can I explain it to my kids?

Agenda:  Abolishment of Pork Barrel

My Opinion:  Pork barrel is funding projects of Congressmen for their constituents.  Necessary?  Yes? Out of someone's pocket into another?  Yes.  Who will disburse those much needed funds?  The national government?  What ordinary people need to do is to come up and collate suggestions on ways to decrease corruption in government.  How to increase transparency and accountability?  How to educate people to vote based on character rather than popularity?  When brilliant suggestions are crafted,  then we march to have them voted into law and watch their implementation.

2.    Will the protest yield the objectives of the protest?  Can I proudly tell my kids this is what might happen after the protest?

Maybe.  Maybe they will abolish pork barrel and replace it with :

Holistic Lawmaking for the Development of all Filipinos (HOLDAF)

Budgetary Allocation for Collaborative Outreach Nationwide (BACON)

Countrywide Universal Priority Initiatives Treasury (CUPIT) Fund

Maybe, the corrupt government officials will say "Hot tayo ngayon,  lie low muna.  Next month na ang ghost project."

3.   Who is organizing the protest?  Is there even a program?  After going to the event,  will my kids' hearts be ignited with patriotism or confused to death?

They say it is organized by ordinary citizens disgusted with all the corruption in the Philippines.  Ok I'm one of those.  And then what?  What do we do when we get there?

4.    If my kids and I don't join,  are we letting our beloved Philippines down?

This is the only part I feel compelled to go.  I want to go because I puke at corruption and I want to be in solidarity with the people of the Philippines as we puke together at this evil.

Will I go?  1 out of 4 for me.  And yet, a very compelling 1 that defies reason.  What is yours?

Nagmamahal sa bansang Pilipinas,

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