Semper fortis, semper fidelis, humanism is a way of life and education is the key to humanity.
I was a tag along for an election campaign that you get to ask about peace and order or other issues that should matter to humanity, only to be suspected of being a militant!!!! Was even suggested that I am maybe a member of –D, which is a f@ck up way of just dealing with the question I asked. It is an insult to my ancestors who have given their lives to serve this country.
The term of endearment “FILIPINAS” (before it became “chaisi”) was given to me by my grandfathers because I was the darkest and youngest among third generation cousins. My cousins were as old as my mother. She was born after the war hence she is the youngest in the sea of WW2 cousin soldiers. So to just being suspected of being part of something that will hurt or maimed or kill a soldier is a stab in my heart. My generation was all females; all our male members were either killed during random patrol or have suffered PTSD!!! My other cousin, fondly called “bukaw” and his team were ambushed off in Samar while drinking soft drinks in a store after passing by the house of a girl he was wooing. Do you honestly believe then that I would join a group that will hurt what I love the most? If you are a soldier then you would know, “we do not leave anyone behind” so the saying goes, which was instilled in me early on in life. I heard this all the time when they take me for vacations. One time, a grandniece who was like 18 at that time and I was 5 left me unattended outside the house to play, Tio Peles found me and that grandniece of mine had a lecture about not leaving anyone behind for hours it lasted until we are about to sleep with our lolos harping about it. (She must have hated me then hahaha)
I do not believe in armed conflicts in any form, I don’t even like unnecessary arguments even if other hated my guts for speaking my mind. I know the danger of my advocacy’s and the humanitarian aids I bring. I do not hate soldiers, contrary to what others may think I LOVE soldiers, I just do not like the system they are in or specifically their leadership at times. My grandfather (MATERNAL) is a WORLD WARII veteran, HIS father served during 1908 war, my grandmother’s brothers served under the US flag hence my love FOR SEMPER FIDELIS AND SEMPER FORTIS and so are my cousins (Mindanao wars during the 70’s). Soldiers are just pawns in the game of a broader politics played by the politicians, they are the protector of our freedom and privileges for which we thought less of nor take pride in. I hated the fact that politicians play with our soldiers lives as if it is nothing!!!! Mamasapano should not have happened if the politicians didn’t meddle in the operation!!!! Our soldiers are being hacked and killed in the outskirts of Mindanao, hunting the militants and the terrorists because politicians raped their customs and traditions!!! Our soldiers suffer because the politicians played their dirtiest games sending them as pawns of destruction in the guise of PEACE.
I grew up in FORT BONIFACIO and had my fond memories of summer vacation in SUBIC BAY, my grand uncle was even considering enrolling me as a grade1 student in Columban University but Mount Pinatubo happened. I eat and sleep military love, so to be accused of endangering them by teaching my student sedition is a politician’s excuse not to accept their responsibility to end conflict.
My grandfathers (brothers of my Mama (lola)) served under US Navy and US Marine. As far as I could remember they were the first old idols of mine. I was like 5 or 6 and they were in their 70’s but they had a certain amount of confidence in them and loved for our country that no men in my belief can surpass. Early on I was doted on by these old military men, I can still remember the old rivaly between Tio Isko and Tio Peles (they do not like to be called lolo’s as it will aged them). The “hooha” and “oorah” had been a greeting that is so grainly engraved in my heart. The stories of gallantry and bravery are enthralling to me as the teachings that PEACE should be given PRIORITY over others. They may have been reeling from the memories of WWII and the Korean war, but shouldn’t it be the same now? Shouldn’t we find a better solution to this war against humanity? Because contrary to what we feel today, we are not secured nor were we ever be if we do not give each other the chance to be humane towards each other.
In one of those vacation just after Pinatubo erupted, I saw how volunteerism have worked, everyone in the community was helping each other. My Tio Peles who was popular among the Pastolan Aeta’s would drive his old WW2 jeep to scour for them and asked if they are ok. He can speak their dialect and so fluent with it. He said we should take care of each other regardless of who, what and where we are. Respect is the key to any misunderstanding. He was harping about how the upstart generation was being disrespectful with each other bordering to imposition to one’s belief and because of that another era of war might erupt. And I think he might be prophetic about it. Look how disrespectful we are towards each other. Gone are the days of chivalry and gallantry. My cousin who died during an ambush was the epitome of chivalry and gallantry. He would literally drop what he is doing just to help an old man cross the street, or carry a neighbour’s bayong after alighting from a jeepney. I do not see that anymore because no one is taught how to care. The last time I had any conversation with my last alive serviceman/retired enlisted granduncle was November 2014 because he wanted to visit the places he went on tour with and Leyte, where our ancestors hails from (MATERNAL side) and see what help he could still extend. Even if he needs a wheelchair to go place to place he would still be chivalrous through me.
It was then a realization that they are the dying breed of men. My students are learning from me, because I teach by showing them how. But it will take time to rebuild a society of gallant and chivalrous people. I cannot be choosy. I will take one day at a time. One student at a time. Nothing can deter me even if I am accused of something that I am not. EDUCATION IS THE KEY TO HUMANITY.