February 24, 2010 in Featured
By ARTHUR ALLAD-IW
(The Advocate’s Overview gives way to Mike Umaming. The author is a government employee. He welcomes feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org)
We were barely out of our teens. Years of activism earned us the monicker “tibak,” a term usually attributed to committed student activists. We were the red-waving kabataan. We chanted “ibagsak” a hundred times even before Ninoy Aquino was shot dead at the Tarmac. Six of our colleagues were in Camp Dangwa after having painted the town red.
During the EDSA revolution, we assumed various tasks – coordinators for our particular organizations, rally speakers, rally marshals, taga-sulat ng statement, taga-distribute ng statement, runners/messengers, water fetchers, taga-bili ng fried rice sa Cathy’s Restaurant.
We could quote Mao Tse Tung. “Revolution is not a picnic!”
“Oh yea,” whipped one, “it’s a f_____ dance party!”
We would sneak away from our group to watch the “tisay” girls of the yellow crowd who were very good at stomping the latest dance craze at the Cathedral ground. The girls among us would swoon at the sight of the seminarians from Maryhurst – okey, they look so cute and handsome in their white sutanas.
But we were more attentive of people’s changing attitude and views brought about by the volatile event that was engulfing the country.
An emerging Igorot student fraternity caught our fancy. It revised a popular chant into “Marcos!, Hitler! Diktador!, Uken!” – the revised word chanted with deep derision. We were thinking then of the tasks ahead especially with the people we helped mobilize.
Events from Manila were big news. During the peak of the EDSA phenomenon, tension between the red and yellow crowds was very strong. The more politically matured were trying to control this tension knowing very well that the real enemies will be the beneficiary of the escalation of this division.
The red crowd was on the defensive having made the decision to boycott the snap election that pitted Cory against Marcos. Conscious efforts to marginalize the red crowds were evident. It was ironic and emotionally rending to hear Johny-come-lately yellows call battle-hardened reds “mang-aagaw ng eksena.”
Napahagulgol daw si Lean Alejandro dahil sinusubukan tayong alisan ng papel ng mga liderato ng dilawan. Nagkasigawan daw sina June Keithley at Lino Brocka nang magkaroon ng people’s takeover sa PTV 4.
These were stories we received from our colleagues. Most news then in the latter part of those historic days leaned towards the biases of the yellow crowd.
Its all over, FM flees!
This was the headline of the day. We could sense the extreme emotions from the cheering, and the crying. Everybody knows even before the headline hit the street. Our NMYS (National Minority Youth and Student – IP was not a popular acronym then) group learned about it from the radio.
We were having a quick meeting in one of the student boarding houses. There was silence with bated breaths. I remember “alla” as among the first words uttered. It was an expression of anxiety – Alla, baka kuna ti masa awanen rason nga entay agrebolusyon.
Its now 26 years after EDSA. The Cordillera people’s movement is looking for James Balao who was there long before EDSA, during EDSA, and remained up to the time he was snapped away.
Those bated breaths proved prophetic. # nordis.net