We have all witnessed history.
More accurately, we’re all witnessing history, more so that we’re the Milennials, as one of our speakers put it. From small things like the release of the touch screen phone to more important matters like the country’s highest GDP growth rate in recent years, the rate at which everyday happenings accelerate around us makes me realize how fascinating it is to be alive in Philippine society today.
But as interesting as it is now, part of me wishes that I could witness more decisive moments from the past.
In particular, I would have wanted to be around during the time of the Martial Law — it sounds crazy, given how unsafe and chaotic that would be, but based on everything we’ve learned in this semester’s CWTS, I think that was one of those times wherein your pagka-Pilipino would have been put to the test, especially in the fight to free the country from corrupt hands. Moreover, if I were there, my sense of nationalism would probably be a lot stronger, with the words of people like Lean Alejandro to inspire me, as a UP student.
In comparison to the past, at least in that respect, today seems pretty… tame. However, that doesn’t keep me from being eternally grateful to those who have lost their families, some even their lives, in working for a better tomorrow. That fact also doesn’t keep me from realizing that there are bigger struggles to be fought, with the challenge being that those struggles aren’t as blatant as before, with the real abuses happening within closed doors.
Maybe that common spark of student activism possessed by our speakers wasn’t as completely nor brightly ignited within me. Is it generation gap? Is it not being able to relate to their situation? I should hope not.
But what was ignited in me — my main takeaway from this semester — would be a spark of determination. The freedom I’m granted today, coupled with the knowledge of the experiences of the past, ought to allow me to continue my education towards being the kind of person that would benefit the country.
So through the sleepless nights spent studying, endless org work, and immense pressure, this, in the end, is the thought that motivates me.
I hope it motivates you too.