As I return home 4am from Denny's After Boys Night Out, my mind wanders and does not allow me to sleep.
I start my regular habit of checking emails and reading the news. One particular blog caught my attention. Rebelyn Pitao. I've read about her numerous times already. Something Different happens, the blog is an assumption of what her journal entry could have been prior to being raped and killed out of frustration by the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The Rebel’s Child
who is about to celebrate
her 21st is dead.
Yet her father,
who has made friends
with pastoral landscapes, carabaos,
and second-hand army artillery
is absolutely still
As he has been
from the time his child learned
her first lessons
Which consisted in learning
how to walk away
from recurring visions
that remained frighteningly strange
to the end.
the rebel’s capture/the rebel’s torture/
the rebel’s mangled body/the rebel’s corpse
camouflage suits/the strides of black boots/
machine guns waving/handcuffs grinding
She did not make this up.
A clique obsessed with unification
directs those images, too tactile
for dreams, in places not far off
among the fields.
Did she keep a diary like this one?
“August 15: Yesterday, a visit from Tatay
who is just back from his Southern Expedition.
It’s like this: the people’s army, his comrades,
the makeshift houses, his high-powered rifle,
his two pairs of tafetta, his Mongol pencil,
his swiss knife, his flashlight, his guitar, and
his song of hope. It’s sad
they are not mine.”
“September 20: Today, a news
of a tactical offensive
that brought the town one step closer
to revolutionary justice.
Tatay survived. Whew!”
“November 11: Finished Freire’s Pedagogy
of the Oppressed, I shall be a teacher.
Tatay teaches too, you know.
He once told me that
truth is concrete.”
“March 17: I’m no teenager now.
Will be a teacher in a few months.
Because truth is concrete.”
The rebel thought it would be nice
to call his precious one
the rebel feminized.
[Secretly, he wanted to get the record straight
because the rebel is perpetually demonized
by the State].
But the rebel’s child
was not spared
from the scenes that occupied
the vacancy in her head
whenever she is reminded
of how she knew the rebel well.
Now the kids whom the rebel’s child taught
so well are learning how to walk away
from a cruel mimesis that has become
their teacher. Because truth is concrete.
And because it is, the difference
between what is done
and what must be done
is spelled and felt
like the clenched teeth
of a people that is still not used
to human death.
by Sarah Raymundo
Professor at UP.
My mind stops racing as tears floods my eyes. I attempt to comfort myself with the cold blankets. I have friends who tell me why do I even bother doing the work I do, what do I have to gain? What difference can I make anyways?
I jump out of bed, walk to the bathroom and look myself in the mirror. I was not the same person 3 years ago. I don't want to remember the life I had before... I was almost the mirror image of that very same friend who said what difference can I make.
I hate quoting Obama, but I will this time. He said, " I did not win tonight, we did" He made sure that his supporters knew that he would not have won presidency without the help of the majority of American voters.
Today, I feel that same way-we can bring hope and change. We have to release ourselves from limiting ourselves from our potential to create change. Those who know me might say, I am reserve and not emotional. Those who know me well, will say otherwise.
If you have read to the very end, I will ask for your support in helping to end the unequal relations between the U.S. and the Philippines to pass this along. Rebelyn's murderers are directly funded by our tax dollars-our tax dollars that go to fund death squads while teachers are being fired, our economy collapsing, and our tuition rising.
Justice for Rebelyn!
End unequal relations between the U.S. and the Philippines!