September 21, 1976, the day when democracy died.
The Humanist Alliance Philippines, International as one of the humanists’ organizations in the Philippines chose to commemorate the proclamation of Martial Law with indignation. HAPI officers Alvin John Ballares, Executive Director and Rayd Espeja, Public Relations Officer together with Richard Alila of PRRM (Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement) went to the busiest street of Bacolod City to express and inform public why we chose to undignify this day.
The social media played its role in revisioning the history throughout the years. The platform became a venue in propagating fake news in order to lure the society and divert them with thorough fact-checking. HAPI never failed to balance it out in social media, sharing facts is one of our objective in ensuring that we, as an organization will keep our fellow Filipinos informed. As part of our humanist obligation, we combat not just ignorance, but also promote thorough research and fact-checking. We aim to have a society of critical thinkers who can never be persuaded by fake news. Through this, we grace the street to reach more people and educate them about Martial Law.
We are not just keyboard warriors
On the contrary to what other people would usually think of HAPI, we are not just keyboard warriors who are hiding behind the comment sections. We are a group of people who aim to change the world and make it a better place to live in our small special ways.
We are brave enough to express and stand on what we believe, we are brave enough to go out and reach out to people as much as we could, we are brave enough to promote the core value of being a humanist which is respect. We respect opinions, whether it is a complete opposite of what we believe in, we respect individuality that no matter how difficult or cryptic your stand is, we still hope that humanity lies within, we respect humanity, and by that, we never tolerate being attacked, being humiliated, being disregarded especially in public. We embrace all ideals, all beliefs, all principles and we dealt it with a healthy and informative discussion.
Why on the streets?
Expressing our ideas on the streets may not be ethical, but, with this undertaking, it explores more of our humanistic behavior to connect with other people. Sharing informative ideas on the streets shows how we want our society to be involved with a few rising issues that may have several concerns in not so obvious ways.
It started with just Ricard and Rayd, standing amidst the busy street of Bacolod City. In almost an hour of standing, just holding up “Never Again to Martial Law” and “Resist Fascism” board, the two received a few apologists and hecklers. But this didn’t stop them from expressing their thoughts about Martial Law. Then after, two more individual joined the simple indignation, Tanya and Carlos of Sagay City, Negros Occidental. After a few more minutes, another guy who works in Negros Occidental Hall of Justice came to join us. Collectively we were able to share what we know about Martial Law to some queries from students who passed by.
This statement alone doesn’t need further validation. HAPI is enraged with any further alteration of history.