Music playing: The Redemption Song by Bob Marley
Tomorrow, the Philippines will once again try to make history as it calls for a #MillionPeopleMarch at the Luneta Grandstand. The march was assembled by taxpayers who have had just about enough of this long-running corrupt system (particularly the Pork Barrel).
A lot of people I know would be going, my family included.
The truth is, it would be inconvenient to go tomorrow.
The traffic on weekdays are already hell as it is. I cannot imagine what it would be like tomorrow, a Monday, a holiday (but with some schools holding classes because of missing a week’s worth due to the typhoon), and with all the re-routing. I cannot even begin to get into what the possible horrors of commuting would be.
It would be inconvenient because it could be dangerous. We’ve seen one too many protests go violent or bad.
It’s inconvenient because joining could open the door to all sorts of discussions with all sorts of different people, strangers and friends alike.
Plus the weather would most probably be erratic.
But I’m going.
I’m going because I love my country. It’s as simple as that. Love is allowing yourself to be inconvenienced. Love goes out of its way to be felt, to be shown. I admit I am jaded, cynical, skeptical, exhausted and everything in between with the political system in this country. And I know it may be stupid, and even insane to think that one assembly could change anything. But against all of that, I choose to still love my country. And part of that choice is to believe that any kind of action no matter how seemingly menial or trivial makes a difference. As 1 Corinthians 13 said, true love hopes, believes and endures.
I don’t want to give up just yet. In the same way that God has not given up on me even when I screw up so many times, I do not want to stop believing that a clean slate can still be possible for the Philippines. It is really so much easier to just walk on by, or to quit altogether, to dismiss it as hopeless. We have done that when the going gets tough…when things stop feeling or looking good. But I am learning that love is not really about the easy choices. Love is telling the truth… It is not tolerating or sugarcoating what is plain wrong. And that’s not easy because you could take blows because of it. People almost never want to hear it when they’re wrong. But like I said, I am learning that love is not really about the easy choices. It is really about making the right ones, as Dumbledore said. Oftentimes, the right choices are inconvenient, painful even. Oftentimes, it costs something.
I believe that God made me a Filipino for a reason and though I might never find out what that reason is, I want to honor Him by truly loving the place where He has planted me to grow. I believe that part of that is to assemble peacefully with my fellow countrymen to voice out the cry for change, to demonstrate opposition to what is wrong. I am not going to be there to point fingers, I am going to be there to put up a stop sign.
I am going to inconvenience myself tomorrow by going because this country made me the tapsilog-sisig-bagoong-loving-tragedy-resilient-basketball-and-beach-fan-person-and-so-much-more that I am today and it would break my heart to see my fellow tapsilog-sisig-bagoong-loving-tragedy-resilient-basketball-and-beach-fan-person-and-so-much-more lose their spirit. It already breaks my heart to see their hard earned money go to waste. It sounds so cheesy but it’s true. When you love someone, you do not want anyone stealing from them, taking advantage of them, deceiving them.
I know that the assembly could be ignored, forgotten over a short period of time or proven futile. I know that. But today in church I was reminded that God is awesome and He loves us. And whatever happens or does not happen tomorrow, it is not the end. More than anything else, I pray for everyone, especially the authorities involved, as well as the Napoles family.I trust that God sees and knows the hearts of these people and He will deal with them in His own way and in the day He sees best. And then real transformation will happen.
Tomorrow, I am going because I do not want to miss out on that day. I do not want to live a life half-lived with only caring when it’s convenient. I do not want to miss out on God’s perfect time. Because who knows? That day may just be tomorrow.