Their leave-takings are sad, but not sayang. Never sayang.
Author Archives: ANDREA MALAYA M. RAGRAGIO
There’s been a little hullabaloo in my favorite unibersidad lately. A few weeks ago, Department of Budget and Management Secretary Butch Abad, exiting from a forum at the UP School of Economics, was met with a vigorous protest by activist students and teachers. Their call was to make Abad, and all those associated with the unconstitutional Disbursement Acceleration Program, accountable.
If that is the case, then all these recourses must be made available to the people, including revolution.
I will not tell you about the ordeal we suffered, but I will tell you about how that did not stop me.
But let’s do Eve Ensler one better. I’d like to think that my anger should be reserved for more serious things, especially if I’m going to rant about it in front of all of you. My vagina is angry, and if I tell you the four reasons why, maybe you’ll find that all your vaginas are angry, too.
Encountered mess and damage we did. We had barely caught our breaths after the hike from Nasilaban to the neighboring village of Sambulungan when some of the Talaingod Manobos started approaching us. Their houses had been ransacked, items were missing, one kitchen’s GI roofing had been ripped off.
Homecomings are joyous occasions. They mark the end of journeys, of settling in to comfort and familiarity, of leaving behind uncertainty and loss of security.
Around a week ago, when the reports of the Talaingod Manobo exodus first began trickling in, I happened to glance at a copy of a Mindanao regional daily at a local cafe. The front page proudly bannered that two battalions had been brought in from Luzon to add to counter-insurgency operations here in the Davao region. In my gut, I knew that this happy headline had something to do with the misery of my friends and many others in Talaingod.
As schools across the country are holding commencement exercises, schoolchildren from Barangay Palma Gil in Talaingod, Davao del Norte would be trudging, instead of marching, and going not up a stage to be applauded, but down from their mountain communities. In the process they have earned a new title – not graduates, but bakwit, evacuees, the displaced.
Over the past several days, the whole nation has been abuzz over the shift in the academic calendar of the University of the Philippines, from the June to March cycle to an August to May one. When I say the whole nation I don’t think I am exaggerating as this shift will have clear implications at that level, regardless of how hard some at the UP administration try to separate the University from the rest of the country.