Monday, February 25, 2008

Postscript to Team RP Concert

Born on the 26th of February
Team RP Concert Postscript
By: Ryan Chung

22 years ago, Filipinos became the focus of the world's attention. A few hours after Marcos left the country, my dad was rushing my heavilypregnant mom from Forbes in Makati to Chinese General Hospital. Surprisingly, he recounted that there were very few people on the roads he drove through EDSA. People were dispersing and the trash was being cleaned up mere hours after Marcos had departed from MalacaƱang.They say that being born on a holiday carries some special meaning to it.

Before people started calling me Ryan, I was better known as"Pippo" (derived from People Power) thanks to my grandmother. My relatives also keep track of my age with the number of years sinceEDSA I and vice-versa.Fast forward to 2008, who would know that the same problems plaguingour country before are still the same today? The difference now beingis that much of the burden now falls upon us. Of course, many of uswere born or grew up during the post-Marcos era, a time when there wasless chaos, hardships and uncertainties. We grew up surrounded in anage of MTV, 3G cellphones, iPods and Playstations while the only tyranny or oppression that we know of are the ones in history books orin action movies. Perhaps that is the reason why the youth nowadays don't really care much about the ZTE-Lozada issue. As I was inviting my org mates to the concert over YM a few days back, one of themmessaged me sighing in disappointment while another accused of me not believing in the cause. Of course, a lot of people would be asking meif they had the chance, "Why, Ryan?" Why volunteer for this? You have 22 units worth of subjects thissemester. You still have two term papers, three oral exams and fourwritten finals left. Your thesis defense is scheduled on Thursday andyou have a job interview on Wednesday morning. So why put yourself through more hell, Ryan? You could just finish everything and be scotfree in a month's time.

Why do it?Why? Simple. Why not?

There are many events in our lives that happen not on our choosing. Weare either the victims or the makers of history. In the case of theZTE-Lozada Scandal, it is pretty clear of how government notperforming their duties properly. We only have to trace back the oldissues in order to see the ineptitude of GMA as a leader and as thePresident of the Republic. It is also clear that the Filipino peoplewant real change in society and so do we. However, if we do wantchange, then we have to be willing to take action and not just bearmchair critics of this corrupt administration. There is a line froman old Native American song that goes "We do not inherit the earthfrom our ancestors, we borrow it from our children." If we don't fixthe problems of today, it will be the next generation who will have toface them in the coming years.So there we have it. The concert that Team RP put together might have been one of the lesser celebrations in this year's commemorations ofPeople Power. Nevertheless, it was a show of force saying that we, theFilipino youth, will not stand idly by while the Arroyo mafia steals our future away from us. Of course, we know that if a new presidentcomes, that he or she will probably be corrupt. Of course, we knowthat corruption has become so well entrenched in our institutions thatit will take decades for it to be eradicated. The point we are makingis that we want get started now so change can happen sooner and notlater.At the end of the day, the concert was just the beginning. The realwork starts from this point on. There are a lot of events lined up andtons of work to be done. At least, I have an excuse to not libre anyone when I got back to school (not my problem if you didn't show upat the concert I helped setup).Happy 22nd birthday, Ryan. Now get back to work!

P. Ryan Chung
Ateneo de Manila University
BS Biology Batch 2008Team
RPSecretariat and Documentations Head

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