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Free Myles!

Cong Corrales .

“It’s hard to fight for my life when I feel that my life is not a life. It’s existence. Existence is not enough for me.” -Hector Garcia, Jr.

 

UNLIKE most of the tito and tita of Myles Albasin, who have expressed support on social media platforms, I was not a student activist. I have also not been a member of the College Editors’ Guild of the Philippines or the Anakbayan.

Some of them I have even mocked when I was studying in high school and college at Xavier University. They would form protest pickets in front of the main campus, rallying against increases in tuition and other school fees. My standard reply then was that nobody forced them to enroll at Xavier. They could always enroll in public schools.

That is the reason why I sort of understand those who join the bandwagon of hate speech against her and her family when the closest you have been to a farm or farm animal is at KFC or MacDonald’s. It is easy to join the vilification campaign against the likes of Myles when most of your concerns involve a small circle (read: domestic).

She decided to put to practice what she learned in school. She certainly does not deserve to be bashed online for what she did like nobody bashed you for posting photos of your super expensive meal when most people in the hinterlands haven’t even seen what a burger is.

Most of the hate post on Myles are anchored on why supposedly “wasted” the free education she got from UP. So let’s go back to the point of the supposed free education in public schools and state colleges and universities. I also thought it was. After sending all of my kids to public schools, I have realized it isn’t free at all. The Republic’s budget for education, year in, year out, can attest to that fact.

Social media platforms have made it easier for people to encapsulate their lives, ergo, the ease in objectifying people. On social media, it is easy to forget that the people who have been subjected to vilification campaigns like you also have mothers, fathers, relatives, and friends.

As I see it, Myles just had a wider lens on Philippine society. She can’t help it that she has been trained how to think and not what to think. Her concerns are not only defined within the confines of her immediate family. Wouldn’t you want your child to be as unselfish as Myles? I would.

I may not understand Myle’s decision to immerse herself in the lives of the marginalized farmers in Negros Oriental but it is hers. I respect that and she and her family, most certainly, does not deserve to be vilified on social media.

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