“I love you/I hate you”
When Manny Pacquiao wins at boxing, we’re so proud to be Filipinos. When Rolando Mendoza takes a bus hostage, we can’t wait to drop our flag.
Let’s dump this bipolar relationship we have with the Philippines. It’s not so much a choice as it is a fact that we’re Filipinos. Either stop posing as a lover of Manila and just GTFO or finally commit to a relationship with your country.
Loving doesn’t mean saying yes to everything. I was watching the news last night (RE: Rolando Mendoza bus siege) and one of Mendoza’s relatives said that if he had to choose between Rolando and his own principles, he would choose to side with his relative. This is not the kind of love I want. When a loved one has done something immoral like murder (or even less heinous crimes), you have to help by letting him/her take the heat for it. Let’s not be Marlene Aguilars to our Jason Ivlers. Let our country take the heat. Why are so many people so shocked that Hong Kong labeled the Philippines a severe threat and posted an advisement to avoid all travel here?
Why should our country take it? Rolando Mendoza may be one guy but throughout the whole 13-hour hostage drama which had worldwide coverage, we showed that our forces are not competent enough to deal with situations like these so let’s not be shocked by Hong Kong’s decision.
Yesterday, I was out of the house before 9AM and I was busy steaming a million (okay, a hundred) t-shirts for the product catalogue of the upcoming FMCC website. I only got to check Twitter for about two minutes at around 4PM. I saw Sarah Meier’s tweet.
I said out loud to the other twelve people in the room “Ohmygosh may hostage taking sa Quirino Grandstand!!” Maybe two or three questions were raised and then we went back to work, not ever bringing it up again. It was when we were finally packed up and ready to go (730PM) that I got to check Twitter again. It was chaos so I turned on the car radio and the gravity of the situation only registered then. How horrifying that my initial reaction at 3PM was just Oh hostage taking?! Anyway… I wish I could have reacted better to this but I guess this is what happens when you grow up in a place where a hostage taking is almost a yearly (or every other month) tradition.
I don’t agree with people who say things like stop pointing fingers, let’s just all be happy, etc. How do we not point fingers? How can we be okay with things left unsolved? What about justice for other killings:
- Alexis Tioseco and Nika Blohnic who were robbed and killed in their own home?
- German executive Sergio Mazza who was shot three times in the head while walking to work in broad daylight?
- Mark “Bam” Reyes who was shot five times outside his condo?
- The Eguids who were murdered in their apartment?
- The fifty seven Ampatuan Massacre victims?
- The Hacienda Luisita victims?
- So much more?
How can we not be terrified in seeing that the people who are supposed to protect and serve us are handicapped. Are we really pleasantry addicts? Is this why not even an hour after the incident, people were already trying to put it aside and advising everyone to think happy thoughts? We all cope in different ways but I hope we don’t run from our problems.
It’s okay, say what you want to say about the ignorance of the police, the media. Yes, be angry. Be angry that those innocent people died. Be angry that Rolando Mendoza shamed our country. Be angry because you want to believe that Manila is safe. Be angry because you know it is not. Be angry because you want change just make sure that concrete action will come from your end. Whatever fuels us to turn Filipino into a noun worthy of pride, let’s all do it. Let’s all love our land.
For Alexis and Nika’s first death anniversary, Rock Ed is screening films outside their home. Pass by Times St. QC on September 1 and light a candle.