Apathy Turned Sympathy

After the hard work and effort of my cwts class, we actually launched the Nameless Gallery and attended the Nameless Forum last December 9, 2013. Though it was very hard for me to participate in such activities, I believe it was a worthwhile experience and something definitely outside my comfort zone. Having to fully integrate myself and share my insights in the issue of human rights was unexpectedly a completely rewarding one.

The forum started with the history and background of human rights by Congressman Ibarra Gutierrez III from the Akbayan Party List. After the historical background, Rose Trajano, the Secretary General of the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights (PAHRA), went to the podium and gave a lecture about the current state of human rights in the Philippines The next speaker was Rodolfo Salas, the former Chair of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). Next on the program was a talk on people who were victims of the violation of human rights.

The day was filled with complete awareness regarding this issue especially in the current state of human rights in the Philippines. At the same time, allowed me to feel sympathy for the many affected with this issue. I myself feel absolutely blessed and grateful for the safe and protected life I have. I feel blessed to live in this time where democracy and freedom is experienced compared to the strict laws that hinders people from fully living during the time of martial law.

Researching about the unnamed heroes in the Philippine society at first was very difficult for me to do mainly because I did not know these people. I did not understand why we had to research about them and I was just doing it merely for the same of requirement in my CWTS. It now dawned on me, that though these people did not relatively contribute a great impact as compared to named heroes like Ninoy Aquino or Cory Aquino, they still did their part as Filipinos. Everything they did whether write a book, pray, form groups, attended the revolution, was all for the future of the country, was all for us. Though unnamed, they mark a great relevance in our history. With this, I am very glad to help contribute in the exhibit for these heroes.

According to Roosevelt, “Freedom means the supremacy of human rights everywhere. Our support goes to those who struggle to gain those rights and keep them. Our strength is our unity of purpose. To that high concept there can be no end save victory.” Human rights is something indeed essential and should not be taken for granted. These people underwent such devastating experiences that can absolutely affect their growth and potential because of physical, mental or emotional trauma.  It is then in each of our jobs as citizens of the country, to protect them or at the very least show our support and encourage them further to continue with their lives stronger and more empowered.

“The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.” Having to tackle Human Rights for this semester’s CWTS was a very difficult and sympathizing experience. Honestly, it was very hard for me work on certain Nameless assignments mainly because I wasn’t directly affected by the martial law or was not a victim of human rights. However, it was a blessing having to understand and ultimately immerse myself in topics regarding such. Though, it was new to me, it was something that I believe I can carry on and keep in mind as I venture on my life. Because if it wasn’t for the people who fought for their human rights that I am enjoying where I am now, thus I myself should respond and fight for other’s who fell or will fall victim of human rights.

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