Lakbayani

Filipinos are opinionated, and I think this is mostly a good thing. We are decisive and know what we believe in. In this age of social media, the Philippines is said to be the number one country active on social media, with the most number of Facebook users. Filipinos are also feisty, morphing our land into a nation of keyboard warriors. It started during the campaign period of the national elections, and up until now, the comments sections of national media posts are so toxic I always get toxic whenever I read them.

The general trend of the comments states that articles nowadays are published just to discredit how great the newly-elected President is. These keyboard warriors find ways to convolute the stories to fit into their theory that the media is just out to get the President. Sadly, most of the commenters (and Filipino Facebook users) are like (or really are) these warriors. They attack anyone who doesn’t believe in them, so people often clash in the comments sections. Everyone is hard-headed and believes their opinion is always right, regardless of the evidence presented. People would just say that the evidence is fake and is just a ruse to smear the President’s name.

One of the latest issues that has people simmering left and right is the Lakbayani – PNP clash at the US Embassy. The cultural minority has been travelling to Manila every year for people, especially the government, to hear their pleas and help them protect and defend their land. They were holding a protest in front of the US Embassy when a scuffle arose and the officers and katutubos+other protesters clashed, hitting each other. A police officer, PO3 Kho, rode a PNP vehicle and ran over some of the protesters. A lot sustained injuries. Police officers were also pictured pulling the hairs of the katutubos. Naturally, once the pictures and videos reached social media, people reacted – a lot.

First off, why would someone in their right mind run people over? That is a violation of human rights. Of course, keyboard warriors defended the actions of the PNP, even saying they should’ve killed the katutubos. Why? It is the right of the people to hold protest. They weren’t even being violent. Mayhem broke loose when the commander ordered the police to hurt the people and drive them back. He denied this when he released a statement, but he was caught shouting orders in a video. People said that the minorities were rude and started the fight because they held the protest in the first place, but people fail to see WHY they even protested. Why would they go all the way here, waste money and time, just to harass the police? They wouldn’t have come here if they had a choice. Staying home to farm and earn money is the way to go. However, US mining companies and soldiers are destroying the lands they live in, and no one is batting an eye, so they had to take action. They had to make people notice them so their problems would go away. Their lives and livelihoods are in danger, and this is why they had been protesting. It’s sad that they have been doing this since 2006 (?) but the mining companies are still there, siphoning money from the minorities and destroying the Philippines’ natural resources.

The police wouldn’t have sustained injuries if they didn’t harass the minorities in the first place. And why are people not focusing on the minorities? They sustained far more serious injuries, and some of them are confined up until now. Why do the police think they’re higher than the minorities, that they deserve to be treated with more respect than the people they hurt? They are not. Pantay-pantay tayo. They should be punished to the full extent of law, because they violated human rights.

I am so pissed at the keyboard warriors, including diehard supporters, because they fail to grasp that the katutubos are one of us. They blame and hate on their fellow countrymen. They don’t even bother researching. Imagine having your land snatched away from you, and you living under the constant fear of soldiers shooting you and your family dead even though it was your land? People need to reevaluate their values and morals if they think it is okay to run over people. People think so highly of themselves and so low of everyone else.

This country will not truly flourish until we get rid of our crab mentality. I hate that it is so ingrained in our mentality that we see this as a norm and we see no harm in this.

med school feelings

I am in 2nd year med proper, in a prestigious university in the Philippines, but I’m still not sure if I’m supposed to be here. Oftentimes I feel like a fish out of water. I feel like I don’t belong here. It doesn’t help that I don’t have a scholarship and I have to pay my student loans to enrol next semester. Studying medicine is hard and expensive. I don’t know what I expected when I checked that INTARMED box 4 years ago.