Mayo Uno (and how it changed me)

Disclaimer: This was written last May 1, 2016 after reminiscing my first ever Labor Day rally in 2015. 

We were in our 3rd-year high school when our Social Studies professor, Sir Joel, required us to read the daily news. Every other day, he would call a random person to report whatever he or she has read. We loved that class, but we hated reading current events as much as we hated reporting in front. Come on! We were just bunch of teenagers with juvenile love problems and acne breakouts. Who would care about Erap or Gloria that time if you were a tween? Sir Joel was the one who told us that Andres Bonifacio should be our first President and how Emilio Aguinaldo was a traitor. That professor was not afraid to teach us the other side of our history, but most of us, including me, never really cared.  My social studies professor was branded as an activist in the campus. In fact, our school was known for having progressive professors. I still graduated thinking that Aguinaldo was a hero.

I was never a fan of political activists. I never gave myself a chance to study about what they were shouting on the streets.  I grew up in a very secured apolitical community maybe because we were living a relatively comfortable life. People would always tell me, “these activists cannot just keep quiet” or “these people are always negative”, or “these people are getting paid by their leaders to participate in pickets”. I even got the “these activists are actually getting support from the communist Chinese Government”. These people were the intellectuals which I looked up to. I grew up thinking that a rally or any other organized-revolutionary activities were not the solutions to the pressing issues of our country. Many would tell me that we cannot blame everything to the Government. Continue reading “Mayo Uno (and how it changed me)”