“Mga Hamon sa Karapatang Pantao sa Kasalukuyang Panahon.” This was the description of the event that took place last December 9, 2013. The description itself pointed out the presence of challenges to human rights in the present time. Because of this alarming issue, there are a number of movements made by concerned citizens to address the problem. Part of these events is the exhibit and forum organized by The Nameless, CSSP and SAMASA.

            During the forum, I was fortunate to meet one woman. This woman came in very quiet. Despite this silence, I felt this was a woman who became stronger because she went through a lot. Indeed, I was right. In spite of the smile she gave us, I also saw sadness in her. We were told that the woman was a widow of a man shot aimlessly. Being a man on the sidelines, his death was not given as much attention compared to other man killed, the man he was working for. Aside from this fact, what saddens me also is that her husband was just working honorably to provide for his family would be killed without mercy. Not only did the shooters end the life of this innocent man, but they also changed the life of his family forever. This change can be seen in the eyes of the woman I just met.

            Aside from the human rights violence highlighted during the forum, what struck me the most during the event was the heroism and selflessness of many Filipinos. The exhibit showed this. The stories of these Filipinos are very noble – sacrificing their relatively comfortable lives for dangerous lives to fight for what they believe in. Reading the stories of these individuals made me admire the conviction of Filipinos and the lengths they would go to fight for what they believe in. Cliché as it may sound, learning about the lives of these individuals made me even more proud to be Filipino.

            Being a part of the exhibit and forum was very fulfilling. Hearing and reading the stories of these heroes was such an eye-opener. It made me realize the worth of the kind of life and freedom I am enjoying. My hope is that the sacrifices of these people would not be left unnoticed. Let the exhibit, forum and the rest of the efforts of The Nameless be a way for the people, especially the youth, to become more conscious of the sacrifices of the people. Furthermore, aside from and more importantly than getting attention, I hope the sacrifices of these heroes would not be put into waste. I hope that one day we would attain what they and many more Filipinos fought and are fighting for, freedom, justice and peace.

            Overall, I am very much appreciative of taking part of this event. May more events such as the exhibit and the forum be organized in order to promote awareness to the youth.

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