One of very basic questions asked after the gathering was “Naka-one million ba?”
It was dated last 26th of August 2013 when people were scheduled to gather. From all sectors of society, including the students and teachers alike, professionals, government employees even a chief judge convicted of corruption, known personalities of the show business, the religious people, children, both the impoverished and the well-off families, media men, from various sectors of both public and private sectors in short, everyone took their part in the celebration of calling for the upholding of transparency and accountability of the government to its people.
The event was called “Million People March” and thus obvious for people to commonly ask whether the event had a million attendees or more. Etymologically, the origin of such event can be traced from the ‘Million Man March’ held in the United States, a protest rally focused on the reconciliation of both black and white Americans as equals and overthrow the tradition of racist mentality, valuable additional information is that this event was also where Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his speech entitled ‘I had a Dream’. Basically, it is in the knowledge of the people that the organizers are estimating a million of attendance as response of the people to the issue in hand; both the ‘Million Man March’ and the ‘Million People March’ were claimed to fail this goal as both events were estimated by police officials of each geography to be attended only by about 400,000 people. However, for the case of the ‘Million Man March’ in Washington, D. C., ABC-TV funded researchers from the Boston University in which the researchers got a result based from tests and studies that the said event had around 1,800,000 attendees; this instance may apply true also to the ‘Million People March’ held in Luneta last August, wherein the number attendees may have reached a million, or possibly, also even more up to 1.8 million same as the one from Washington, D. C. .
Moving on, let us go to the core of this protest rally. Essentially, this is intended to be a form of response, a show of strength, and a clamor from the people that the government must be, at all times, accountable and transparent to their people. Although the specific calls of this rally were the following: (1) Scrap the Pork Barrel System, (2) Take into Account all Misused Funds, and (3) Conduct an Investigation and Penalize all involved in this misusage of funds, everything would still lead to a greater web of clamors from different sectors to different goals but all directing up to the betterment of the whole nation.
However, one common mistake of many Filipinos is that what they know is that this protest rally was held only in the Burnham Grounds of the Luneta Park, Manila. The truth is that other numerous protest rallies were also held simultaneously across the country. Such different protests were held in cities nationwide including (1) Bacolod, (2) Baguio, (3) Cebu, (4), Cagayan de Oro, (5) Davao, (6) Dagupan, (7) Digos, (8) Dumaguete, (9) Iligan, (10) Iloilo, (11) Kidapawan, (12) Legazpi, (13) Naga, (14) Puerto Princesa, (15) Tacloban, (16) Tagbilaran, (17) Zamboanga, also in the province of Negros Occidental. Filipinos overseas worldwide also held protest simultaneous to that of in the Philippines. Different protests locations include Dammam and Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), Geneva (Switzerland), Bangkok (Thailand), London (United Kingdom), San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York (United States of America), Hong Kong SAR (People’s Republic of China), and in the nations of Canada, Taiwan, Vietnam, and the United Arab Ermirates.
Concurrent to this situation were the support of the online community. From the social networking sites where additional thousands, or even millions, of Filipino users were in active participation regarding the situation developing in different locations across the globe; up to the hacking of 30 government websites some hours before the main protests worldwide the same day. Some of the websites downed were those belonging to the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Embassy of the Philippines in Rome.