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Friday, April 14, 2006

 

Good Friday Reflections

“Peace, Love, Forgiveness.” This was the message that my wife, Bobbie Malay, wrote, in my name and hers, in a piece of paper that she tucked neatly in a crevice of the “Wailing Wall” at the Maryknoll Sisters Sanctuary in Baguio City last month. It had been years since we, as a revolutionary couple freshly out of prison in 1992, were first welcomed and invited to stay for a few days and nights in the sanctuary. There we savored serenity for both mind and body, and developed kinship in spiritual and social perspectives with the Maryknoll Sisters.

On Good Friday, which is today, it’s the same message of peace, love, and forgiveness that I wish to convey to everyone who cares to visit—or who may be obligated to monitor and comment adversely on—the Batasan 6 blog.

Peace and love to the Aquino family in London (Alex, Edna, Nito, and the others); to Ilang-ilang Quijano, Vencer, James Jayme, Kabagis619, Joseph Arroyo, Vinsoy, Bugoy, Ngekngek, and the many others who have chosen to remain anonymous. Thanks to all of you who have expressed support, encouragement, understanding, and sympathy for me and the rest of Batasan 6, especially Vinsoy, who evinces deeper insight into and wider perspective on the nature of our struggle. Mabuhay kayo!

Peace and forgiveness to “Noli me Tangere”, “Ibagsak”, “Bincent”, “Kuwait Guy”, “son of policeman”, “Jeddah”, “former NPA successful OWA”, and the others who have chosen to be anonymous, perhaps the better to release the venom in their blood. May you ease up on your biases and unnecessary aggravations. Please try to look at both sides of the issues, for the sake of your health.

Now allow me to share what Good Friday has meant for me.

Good Friday has special significance for me: it was on a Good Friday, 67 years ago, that I was born in the family farm house in Dampul, Sta. Monica, Sta. Rita, Pampanga. The midwife who mediated my birthing was so suffused with exalted ideas as to ascribe meaning to my having come into this world at approximately the time—three o’clock in the afternoon—that the Christian faithful commemorated Jesus Christ’s dying on the cross in Calvary. Peremptorily, she declared that the baby boy that was me, who was unusually quiet at birth, would bear the burden and the sacrifices of a new Redeemer.

Somehow, the idea of being a redeemer had been infused into my consciousness in my years of growing-up as a farm boy, as a leader in class and school activities since primary school, through high school, and into college. Such consciousness impelled me to regard the world I grew up in with serious contemplation. Since my youth in such a small town, I developed a very critical view of the social realities of economic deprivation and exploitation of the poor and the weak by the rich and the powerful. At such a young age, I personally experienced discrimination and oppression for being the son of a peasant. Such experience drove me to endeavor to excel in school and extra-curricular activities, and to involve myself in social activism in my later years, even as I became a journalist dedicated to serving the people’s interest and welfare.

After I became a revolutionary, I chucked the idea of being a redeemer by my lonesome. I have since recognized that as historical experiences have shown, it is the people united and mobilized through the mass movement who shall redeem themselves from the shackles of poverty, domestic oppression and exploitation, and foreign domination. To be useful and relevant, I have fused my humble self with the mass movement for thoroughgoing social change.