June 26. I can still remember the feeling of seeing a ‘picket’ for the first time—amazed yet curious. When we passed by them, I heard one shouted, “Hustisya para kay Karen at Sherlyn, at sa lahat ng biktima ng pagdukot!” Another cried, “Surface all desaparecidos!” I got interested, so I peeked on their placards and saw photos of two women smiling with their names below—KAREN EMPEÑO and SHERLYN CADAPAN.
Could art, particularly images, trapped in pictorial protocols, usher in socioeconomic development in a society like the Philippines?
Our songs that serenade us with bravery, our words that speak of honesty, and our history that depicts a culture as rich as our lands, and of people who gave life by dying—are gushing out of our memory like sand poured in an open palm. Our forebears fought wars. They lost and they won. Now the victory they entrusted to our hands has been lost again in another war—one so insidious that it made us adore our conquerors.
In times of disasters, people turn to television and the Internet for information. But ironically in the Philippines, access to life-saving information remains elusive especially for people living below poverty line and in distant areas with no electricity and cell service.
While today is the right time to give comfort to our fellow Filipinos in Visayas, it will also help them if we protest. Let’s push Malacañang to stop its utter neglect. Let’s show them anger the way we do to Napoles because neglect also robbed thousands of Filipinos of the chance to live.