Gregorio Miguel Pallugna
THE President has declared today as a “National Day of Protest,” which they refuse to call a holiday for God knows what reason. I personally do not understand why there is a need to urgently declare this day as a non-working non-holiday when millions of people are already complaining that the government is too slow in entertaining their needs. Another day off for government does not really help at all.
Our office has previously set 10 cases to be supposedly heard in court today. Several of which are criminal cases where the clients are in jail while the cases are pending. They have waited several months since the last hearing date anticipating that their case will move another inch with today’s hearing but because the government apparently found it more important to set today as a day of protest, our clients will have to wait another two or three months in jail until the next hearing. They could not even protest against that because while everybody is having a ball with their protests today, our clients are rotting in their cells. Imagine that!
Truly, there are so many things to protest against and one day is not enough to air all of them. However, despite my reservations regarding this new political creature, I have decided to join in and take the chance to vent out my frustrations as well. With that, I hereby declare that I protest against Filipinos being too “protesterous!” If there is such a word. All our lives we have been trained to rant and whine whenever things don’t go our way, and we have become very good at it that we now actually believe that we can solve problems by simply going to the streets and shouting our lungs out.
People complain about incompetent politicians but many continue to sell their votes during elections. Filipinos shout about environmental destruction but nobody cares to segregate their waste. It’s useless after all considering that the government waste collection truck mixes everything back. We complain about too terrible traffic but we continue to buy multiple cars unnecessarily. We shout about cyber-bullying but we are so quick to repost embarrassing videos of other people. We complain about air pollution but we burn garbage indiscriminately in our backyard. The list goes on and on. We simply complaint too much, and that is what I am complaining about.
The 1986 Edsa revolution was a milestone in our political history, there is no doubt about that. But, I believe it has become too sensationalized to the point that we consider it to be the benchmark in addressing all our petty woes. We complain about not having enough vacation leaves. We complain about the sun being too hot. We complain about the beach rising. We complain. We complain. We complain.
The National Day of Protest today, which also happens to be the anniversary of Marcos’ declaration of Martial Law in 1972, only clearly aggravates our “protesterous” nature. Yes, I am coining that word. What the president should have declared instead is a national day of doing something about our problems. At least, for a single day every year we would be actually doing something to solve our problems. Our throats could make use of a rest from all the complaining we do all year round. Our ears can relax from hearing all the rants and our eyes can be soothed by a hiatus of complaints on facebook. Most importantly, my clients can be given time in court so that their stay in jail may be shortened, or at the very least they can be given the chance to be heard.
But no, government has deemed it more important to set this non-working non-holiday today at the expense of detained persons, of people applying for passports and NBI clearances, of people waiting to complete their requirements for overseas employment and many more. Worst still, many Filipinos support it. So, what else can I do but complain? I protest, like any well-meaning Filipino would do. I become “protesterous.”