With the way things are unfolding is this country now, a few people has bee asking me, how am I? Initially, I answered that I have been detached to reality as I have not been watching the news. I only get tidbits of information through Facebook News feeds and the calls I get from concerned colleagues who are in the front lines of Zamboanga. Unknown to many, our battles here continue. While many have been pre-occupied with how terrible things have become, the New People's Army, in this part of the country continue to harass and undermine the government that tries so hard to serve her people.
Upon the initial report of the death of my classmate 1Lt Rama, I started to go though my coping up mechanism of just doing things. He is the fourth in our class to offer his life and it has always been my way of showing appreciation to do better at my current mission. When 1Lt Damian, who was my upperclass, bratmate and classmate in Ranger School, died a few days later, more thoughts stirred the my belief on the reasons why I do what I do. I am so glad that I have never suffered the experience of losing a man under my watch but losing good friends to a war as stupid as what is happening now in Zamboanga, I can just mourn silently and continue to do my job.
Many people now have opinions on how things are happening for this country. This varies from expressing appreciation to our soldiers, to how "luoy" they are while lawmakers are allegedly spending our taxes for their personal use. Last night, the news of four soldiers who ransacked a certain house in Zamboanga opened up more opinion even generalizing all soldiers as thieves. While it did not gain traction in disgracing the whole AFP, it was a realization, including other opinions before it, how others seem to fall short of their appreciation of whatever it is that they appreciate.
Social Media has allowed a convenient way of expression to all of us. The sad thing though is that it has limited this expression to simply the thoughts in our minds rather than actions that we actually undertake in order to put to life that "passion" we feel behind our thoughts. Putting it bluntly, do our soldiers have to die first before they are to experience first hand our people's appreciation. I saw how many people has expressed their condolence to the death of our comrade in arms. While they may have personified the horrors of the war in Zamboanga, your condolences do not change any of the situation. They are simple bits of data that are stored somewhere as part of social media. Nothing more. Nothing less.
To top it all, I am sure when all of this issue has mellowed down, and others spring anew, opinions will once again flood social media and sadly, nothing will change.
I therefore call on our people, what are we doing amidst all the things that are happening around us? Do we stop at Social Media or do we put our passion to action? Many of my comrades have died, not just in this war and in many other conflicts all over the country. Let's face it, your remorse and condolences does not help this country move forward. All over the country, there are schools that need teachers, communities that need livelihood trainings, infrastructures that need to be built and many others, big and small things in order to help out. I urge you to ask yourself what you can do. Let us not sensationalize our situation that it is already is, as one people let us find out what we can do to help each other. It is not by dying that one becomes a hero, it is by doing something for the sake of others.
It's early in the morning and my day begins. I hope none of the people I know will be in harm's way. As what we say here... Work lang ng work...
Quote from a classmate (I am not sure if this is his original): "The job is hard, but somebody has to do it. Let's go Army"
May the sacrifices of those who died for this country never be in vain.
(Note: I have plenty of ideas how one can help out, maybe message me in Facebook, I would be glad to provide you with those)