The decline of radical student activism

This article does not promise an exhaustive treatment of the reasons for the decline of what the author refers to as radical student activism.

The rain was heavy; it was the last week of June and regular classes have just started. A girl wearing red shirt printed with the name of one of the political organizations in the university and its slogan seemed not bothered by the pouring rain. She was carrying a megaphone and enjoining the student to take part in a demonstration that will be held outside the province’s capitol.

“Ginapanawagan namon ang tanan nga bumulutho sang sini nga unibersidad nga pamatukan ang wala untat nga pagsaka sang tuition kag iban nga bayaron!” (We are calling all the students of this university to fight against the increase in tuition and other fees!)

And with her awkward Filipino she shouted:

“Ang lantarang pambababoy ng rihemeng Arroyo ay nagpapahirap sa bawat Juan de la Cruz! Ibasura ang deregulasyon ng langis”(The blatant corruption of the Arroyo regime burdens each Juan de la Cruz (an epithet for the Filipino people)).

And ended it with the staple:

“Samahan ninyo kami sa labang ito! Makibaka, wag matakot!” (Join us in this fight. Don’t be afraid!)

Some students continued with their talks; some gave the girl a blank stare worried that the rain will soak their bags and books. In the end the group was able to convince few freshmen students who went to the capitol more out of curiosity than the understanding of the issues raised, and of course some students who regularly attend student demonstrations.

What make radical student activism passé?

It’s easier to shout using megaphones and talk about vague terms such as pambababoy (a word that escapes translation to English but is quite similar to the meaning of rape), democracy, kalayaan sa pamamahayag (freedom of speech), deregulasyon ng langis (oil deregulation) but to discuss them in depth and critically is a completely different thing which most of these students who call themselves ‘activists’ aren’t capable of doing. When they say they tackle issues critically they do not mean they have analyzed an issue and considered its merits rather what they mean is that their opinion run counter to that of the government and therefore they are critical of the government which makes them critically-minded, a word they believe aptly describes them–a total detachment from what being critical truly means.

Radical student activism has become obsolete and made unusable because it failed to address the challenges posed by the contemporary time. It might have worked during the Martial Law years when Marcos had all the powers at his disposal. Then a young university student so thirsty, hungry for change could go nowhere but the street because other institutions and state apparatuses were made inutile by the Marcoses.

Students of my generation eschew radicalism because they do not feel it is capable of effecting change in the Philippines. Moreover, they see that most of the time other methods were not exhausted before student activists go to the streets. I can only enumerate here obvious means such as writing petitions, signature campaigns, actual dialog and negotiations with the leaders, writing letters to the concerned institution. Sadly these were hardly, if at all, used

Have these student activist leaders gone inarticulate, unable to properly express themselves in front of authorities that they cloak themselves with noise, shouts, and megaphones? Have they lost words to write their opinions and to substantiate them with research that they turn to placards and sweeping slogans, easily seen, bigger impact, less cerebral?

Furthermore, a student demonstration is effective only as long as it is visible, conspicuous. It is therefore laughable and useless to talk about the plights of the urban poor or such a vast topic as corruption in the national government and stage it in the provincial capitol ground. Without sufficient media coverage, the exercise is nothing but that of futility. Passers-by have long been saturated with the same talk. They see it as nothing but nuisance that disturbs the flow of traffic or worse just plain noise.

I know student activists will retort this by saying that these actions of ordinary citizens are symptomatic of the chronic apathy and indifference of the public but they will never accept the fact that the public has already gone tired of rallies and demonstrations and want to go on with their lives. Filipinos want change badly, of course; nevertheless, they want to use other means and I’m sure rallying is not anymore one of them.

If radical student activism is on a decline there is no one to point fingers but to radical student activists themselves. Sometimes, instead of going to rallies with their cause being the forefront they attend rallies for personal reason that can range from political grandstanding to a personal belief that rallying bestows on them the spirit of the masses unburdening their conscience of the guilt they feel for being privileged, their education paid for by the poor Filipino people despite their families’ annual income amounting to several million pesos.

No matter how groups of radical student activist deny it, time has made radicalism a thing of the past. UP, a bastion of free thinking and creativity must be in the forefront of change and its students should not put themselves to shame by being frozen in a dogmatic approach to tackle a problem like what radical student activists most likely and usually do.

Activism used to have a positive connotation then it became the opposite due to overuse and misuse. A real student activist does not take issue passively. He does not take it passively as to do a very passive and almost automatic act of carrying a placard and shouting with a megaphone. He does not see an issue as another reason to go to the street.

The real student activists are a group of freshman students who finds ways to empower and make better the life of the people in Barangay Lumangan, Miagao. He is someone who writes a letter to his congressman and tells him the need for a bill that will provide insurance for students in case of an accident. She is someone who does a research on student consumption and presents it to the university administration that will help in the facilitation of student loans.

They are the real student activists.


39 thoughts on “The decline of radical student activism”

  1. We all have our respective contributions. We have our own ways. Radical activists have their own ways. Others have another. But all can say is, PAGLINGKURAN ANG SAMBAYANAN!

  2. I’ve read your blog Sir and somehow I am convinced . I just dropped by hoping to get more information for my term paper about Descriptive Study
    Student Activism and Freedom of Expression. Anyway, thank you and more power.

  3. “The real student activists are a group of freshman students who finds ways to empower and make better the life of the people in Barangay Lumangan, Miagao. He is someone who writes a letter to his congressman and tells him the need for a bill that will provide insurance for students in case of an accident. She is someone who does a research on student consumption and presents it to the university administration that will help in the facilitation of student loans.”

    Excuse me, this is something ‘radical’ student ctivist organizations also do, if you cared not to allow your bias cloud your myopic judgment

  4. I think it would be wrong to generalize as regards the consciousness of the people joining such mobilizations. I mean, this is really one of the stereotypes perpetuated in assessing these activities. If you look closely however, you could see that these people are coming somewhere. For instance, activists tends to lean to the left, and that in itself entails many implications. The very choice of action (i.e. rally or extra-constitutional measures) in itself reflects the ideological (thus philosophical) underpinnings of their stance. They believe that the state and the institutions provided by it are corrupt and they perpetuate the interests of the ruling class. In effect, working inside such system would only preserve the corrupt, self-perpetuating anti-populist. I have met many such activists and even debated with them regarding their lenses in analyzing social and political phenomenon. I beg to disagree to propositions that these people do not understand what they are saying, much more what they are doing. They are grounded on ideological, philosophical principles. As such, there is some sort of coherence in their analysis, and for that matter, their action.
    It is unfortunate that many people are blinded by these views such as the one presented above.
    At the end of the day, we should ask ourselves, what have we done to alleviate the condition of the society. Marx himself had this aphorism: Philosophers have hitherto interpreted the world…the point however is to change it (paraphrased).”

  5. i dont really like what yehey is saying for :Aaaa:…………..kamo ang narrow-minded people not the public. you always take sides, and the side you take benefit your political beliefs ONLY……….. you are simply saying that these pipol r one-sided or biased…,, i believe they are not narrow-minded….why>> because they UNDERSTAND,,, actually, they do not based their acts on mere emotions whatsoever…. they study it…..they debate on it,,,,they talk about the effects of an issue…nagpaplitan sila ng mga kuru-kuro,,,, they analyze the situation….and in the end they come to a decision that is critical…. in reality you are the narrow-minded here is you……..simply becauce you act differently to the issue…and…you regard them as narrow-minded when actually you do not understand what these people are trying to say… come to think of it…

  6. To Former Student…

    “…kag kadamu ko sng kilala nga wala gbaton sng TOFI…”

    Where are these people that you’re talking about? I mean i haven’t seen them doing something? If there are a lot of you clamoring for TOFI why is it that only few first years and second years are participating to the rallies your (if you are a member) organization is organizing? Take for example the “walkout” plan that you have organized. Gamay lang gid yah nag participate which only means nga damo 1st years and second years ang gapati nga ang activism indi lang sa dalan. I salute the people who remained in their classrooms. Kabalo sila maghatag justice sa pawis kag dugo sang ila parents, kag sa hago kag kakapoy sang kada Pinoy nga gabayad buwis.

    “wala k gd guro my namasngaan s gna wakal m ay….wala k kbalo nga less than 1% sng mga 1st year enrollees ang nka avail sng bracket E….kag panu k mka apply sng STFAP bracket kung s application palang mismo wala k na igasto..ahay!..”

    I heard this “1% sng mga 1st year enrollees ang nka avail sng bracket E…” before. However, I classify this “information” as trivial and unbelievable because the source wasn’t able to publicized a concrete evidence regarding this fact. It seemed to me that they (the org. who says this) are just inventing such fact to gain sympathy and make the student affected by TOFI not to try to apply to STFAP anymore. By doing such this organization is actually stealing the chance of these students affected by TOFI to avail such privilege. Same as through with “…kada tuig n ng tuition increase,..wala lng subong nga year ky tungod sentenaryo sng UP…” Have you clarify the validity of this “Fact” before believing to it? If you have done so, enlighten me. Post a credible article that will convince students that such scenario really exist.

    “kag panu k mka apply sng STFAP bracket kung s application palang mismo wala k na igasto..ahay!..”

    I hope you will be enlightened with this cliche “kung walang itinanim, walang aanihin”. Tani naintindihan mo nga tanan nga privileges may ara process. Please consider as well that applying in anything requires money. Wala na libre subong. Ang una niyo bi gina think is ang gasto indi ang dako nga benefit nga makuha niyo in the end. Ka funny lang isipon, kay if you have that kind of mentality wala ka gid abutan sa ulihi. Gusto mo pahapos lang? Goodluck. (Sorry. I know this is personal)

    I admit that I am generalizing. I hope you will admit the same deed.

    Why i say that your rallies are useless?, because you weren’t able to effect change. “panu mgpasikatan ang mga tao s isa k organisasyon kung s diin isa lng ang ila k madangat?” Simply Human nature. Crab mentality. No one is actually excuse to this. At the end of the day, you will realize that each of you in your org. will account what you have done. Believe me. Even influential and grand organizations are affected by this.

  7. hay….
    to zero:
    panu m nhambal nga gna accept nlang sng mga affected student anf TOFI?
    affected student k haw?…kung affected student ka ti mayad ky willing ka yah mgbayad para s quality education nga gna hatag cmuh sng UP…willing k yah mg doble bayad…
    peo kung hindi k mn lng affected student, ti wala k mn karapatan mghambak nga gna accept sng affectad students ang TOFI…

    AKO affected student ko sang TOFI..kag wala ko gd n xa gna accept..kag kadamu ko sng kilala nga wala gbaton sng TOFI..huo gbayad kmi para mkapadayon eskwela s UNIVERSITY of the PHILIPPINES nga gna tawag…pero hindi buot clingon nga gbyad kmi okie na..amu gni n nga gna himu ang tanan para mauntat n na…
    kay kung wala k pa kbalo, kada tuig n ng tuition increase,..wala lng subong nga year ky tungod sentenaryo sng UP…

    kag xempre ng iban nga okie lng sa ila ang TOFI, more than willing p sila mgbayad para lng kasulod s UP, amu n sila ang mga estudyante nga wala gpangabudlay para lng makaeskwela..don’t get me wrong…pero tuod gd n yah…mga richness n sila….k afford sila mgbayd s lasalle or ateneo pero ng UP sila ky mas mayad s UP…

    kag ng gna hambal m nga my ara STFAP para s mga poor..amu n nga UP is still for the POOR..cgurado k?…
    wala k gd guro my namasngaan s gna wakal m ay….wala k kbalo nga less than 1% sng mga 1st year enrollees ang nka avail sng bracket E….kag panu k mka apply sng STFAP bracket kung s application palang mismo wala k na igasto..ahay!..

    gna hambal m nga g over generalized ang iban..ikaw mn gni mismo pru..utro pa!…

    how can you say nga wala kwenta ang rally?..
    baw knami s imu k guro kbalo kung noh gna himu s rally tas mhambal nk nga wala kwenta…panu mgpasikatan ang mga tao s isa k organisasyon kung s diin isa lng ang ila k madangat?….kung s diin gbuligay sila towards that goal?

    may ara ko yah bal-an nga org nga amuh n muh…sila sila mismo gagub-anay..hahahha…bal-an nyo gd na…

  8. aktwali gradweyt na ko sa hayskul.kapasar man ko sa UPCAT.

    IMHO gamay na lang ang student activists kay ang definition sang mga tawo sa isa ka “tibak” i pirme lang ga rally, reklamo, protesta which is wrong.
    And we are not narrow-minded. nag skwela ka pa sa UP kun narrow-minded ka.

    and about sa taking sides, yes we need to take a side on EVERY ISSUE not sa org. i know some people nga member sang isa ka org pro ga agree sa gna protestahan sang piyak nga side ka spectrum as they call it. PRINSIPYO ang importante kag open-mindedness. and not necessarily nga member ka ka org nga ma sunod-sunod ka man ka stand nila.

  9. “pro isa lang mahambal ko, ang ginapakigbato namon, ang mga masunod pa nga mga ISKO kag ISKA….kag ang mga nakasulod na tani kung wala lang TOFI…ang mga manugsaylo nxt sem kay namahalan na gid…wala na gani cila gakaon…hay wawa man..”

    It seemed ironic though that you’re fighting for the rights of the Iskos and Iskas when in fact they themselves (the Iskos and Iskas you pertain to) do not fight for it. I mean, this people you’re fighting for does not even care. This only means that these Iskos and Iskas freely accepts the TOFI. And how dare you speak for them or act for them? It seemed that you are all assuming that all these people affected by TOFI are suffering; you’re over generalizing. Let them say that they do not want TOFI and let them bring it to whatever form of activism they wanted.
    I believe that UP students are not passive, they’re just bunch of wise people who weigh things first before they act. And please don’t present TOFI as if its pure “salot” and we can’t benefit from it. Well, I just observed that in all your rallies you weren’t able to sight the good things about TOFI (kahit isa man lang dahil alam ko meron) It appears to me that you’re brain washing the freshies entering the university by not giving them an option whether to agree on TOFI of not by presenting its Pros and COns.
    UP is still for the Poor. Yes. These poor and needy students are given the chance to apply to STFAP (12thou stipend for bracket E). The only problem is that they do not want to exert effort in applying for STFAP because all they wanted is “spoonfeeding”.

    PS. Kung gusto niyong tulungan ang mga future Isko at Iska na mahihirap, why not help them apply for STFAP?

    PSS. Ang rally niyo ay walang kwenta. You didn’t make any difference kasi kahit kayo mismo ay hindi na eexert ng genuine effort. It appeared to me, na nagpapasikatan lang kayo in your org.

  10. maligayang pagbati sa lahat!

    bongga ang mga komento…..

    nose bleed ko ba…

    pro isa lang mahambal ko, ang ginapakigbato namon, ang mga masunod pa nga mga ISKO kag ISKA….kag ang mga nakasulod na tani kung wala lang TOFI…ang mga manugsaylo nxt sem kay namahalan na gid…wala na gani cila gakaon…hay wawa man..

    kag nakita ko sa mga wala pakialam, mga may kaya (mostly)…mga ka-afford bla…mo na daw okay lang sa ila…

    o bongga cla d ba..kaya pla okay lang sa ila ang TOFI…teh cge, may TOFI namn nxt year..bongga d ba…hay go UP!

    pakay-o kuno kg pa-ayos building…mga estudyante pa yah pa patindugon mo sang ila eskwelahan…joke kaau ah…

    pasweldo sa mga teachers,,,estudyante pa yah maubra cna?

    iya na yah salabton sang gobyerno..dn ang ginabayad nga buwis sang mga pumuluyo? sa bulsa sang kawatan…dn ang mga kwarta para sa mga project, sa bulsa pa gid sang isa ka kawatan..baw kadamo gle sa ila…

    teh nasadyahan ka sir nga may pro-TOFI dri sa skul? hay naku…daw sa piho ang iban maghambal nga pro-tofi cila nga cla mismo ga-suffer…whahaha may mga kilala ako…hindi ko lang pagsugid….hay nag-pro cla para ka-upod sa org…whahha, “papel”…

    hay na lang…cla nga wala kabalo sang sitwasyon, sila pa nagay reklamo nga wala pa gid gni sila may nahimo,….”we will study the issue first”..haler…last last year pa na…teh diin na ang result sang study niyo,..basi thesis na na ha…

    hay na lang…bongga gid sila yah…

    teh sir, kay gradweyt kana, maanu kna hay…kay nakaeskwela ka yah sa UP nga ang iban mga maalam man wala bangud sa TOFI…la ka lang may ubrahon? kung may ara man, hambal ka dayon ha..para mapublish ta sa pagbutlak…para masdyahan man ang iban….hehehe

    hay sir, kung nabatyagan mo lang ang nabatyagan sang mga estudyante nga wala kasulod sa UP kag ang mga nagtransfer skul…

    tani ari ka di sang ng.TOFI para nabatyagan mo…oopz..ari ka man d gle noh…ga teach..hehehe soweeeee

    teh cge na ko…tani may tagipusuon pa nga nabilin sa inyo tanan…kag tani indi lang ang inyo self gna-isip nyo…learn to think of others….

    char….babush…gudlak sa lyf mo sir…hay

  11. loved the article sir. [^^_]

    i just want to say that its the personal choice of students not to join rallies. if they [activists] consider that act being appathetic or indiffirent, may they consider also that these students value their education.

    these apathetic students do not want to leave their classes and march on the streets because they value their education. and there way of helping the country is to become better citizens by educating themselves and learn more.

    we are students in a preimiere university, much is expected from us. UP students are often branded as activists but i dare to say that this is because the loud ones are often the ones heard, noticed and seen. but the true Iskolars are the ones who are studying to improve themselves. so that they can later on be better individuals.

    if you think that rallying against tofi is an act showing that you value your education, then why are you not attending classes? i know i am not a perfect model student but i do value my education. there are more relevant and easy ways to be involved and not be to emotional on the issues.

    if we are indeed critical-minded students then we should twice or even a hundred times of our actions. it may be just an hour of class that you misse or even thrity minutes but the thing is its people’s taxes (masses) who pay for your education.

    lastly, i highly agree on your comment sir on Vietnam being a socialist. that is so true. God bless sir!

  12. It’s so nice of you to tell your viewers the difference between a real student activist(He is someone who writes a letter to his congressman and tells him the need for a bill that will provide insurance for students in case of an accident) and not.

    Hear me now. If you know what a real activist is, why did you not become one “real” student activist when you were still a student? Why did you not publish good articles that could be read by students and administrators when you were the editor-in-chief of pagbutlak? Why did you not send to our congressmen that students need insurance? and things like that?

    I know why. Simply because you’re not an activist and that disqualifies you to say what a real student activist really is.

    How can KMU, Gabriela and others represent the oppressed masses? Because they themselves are the ones being oppressed, and they simply represent themselves. And i think they are empowered because they were given a chance to be heard.

    About the politicians you were talking about, have they even bothered looking the newspapers that people protest on a certain issue? Example: On political killings, they themselves know what’s happening and still, they did not take INITIATIVES to research and give some time to discuss on their own on this issue and make some proper actions. And the reason you’re telling us is they are waiting for someone to send a letter to them telling that someone is really missing or dead? Who are these trustworthy politicians you were talking about? Tell them to watch news and read newspapers.

    In case you do not know, student activists come in different forms and styles, and whatever they do, it’s their democratic right, BUT you may not accept it and you may debunk it if you believe they’re not right(like what you’re doing in this article). Things always change and they can be changed, so… what are you saying about the tuition fee increase?

    If you believe that you’re right in saying what a real activist is, then be one and prove to everybody what way is right and effective. Then, it could be adopted.

    I believe activists go to streets, shout and make noise because it has been proven effective based on our history(e.g. during Marcos’ regime). Being right is relative you know, but effectiveness rocks.

    Vietnam? You are telling us why are there no demonstrations, another reason maybe because there is nothing to protest on. – just a small comment. ^_^

    Yehey – Taking a side means you know what you’re doing(should be!), and you believe that it is the right one and you must stand for it. Without a side, you can always be safe but you can never progress. Why? Because when Copernicus told the world that the sun is the center of the solar system, no one really believed in him, but because he knows he’s right and he stood for it, the world progressed. Same with love dude, if you won’t tell her that you love her, she won’t know it , and you’ll never get her. you’re just there, safe and sound and still afraid of the 50% chance of failure. Right?

    Anonymous – actually, as i’ve said earlier, student activists come from different forms and styles. And i do believe that student activists should not be the only ones helping during the flood, even students should have helped too, and i believe that’s what they did in Miag-ao, with the help of USC’s , kabataang pinoy and PCDR.

    -And about narrow-mindedness – I believe this is a direct insult to the activists in our university and is not nice^^. Narrow-mindedness means you see a cube at one side only, forgetting the rest and did not even bother looking at it. If you believe that our activists are as narrow-minded as you think, then it is your task(being the open-minded one, i’m assuming) to tell them and let them see(at least) the beauty of the other sides of the cube.

    Been your student – “could letters of appeal to the politicians could still work?” – actually, the answer is Yes. It is just a matter of perseverance if what you’re saying about the trashing of appeals is right.

    taga hayskul – sad but true that UP high school will be abolished in some time now. What else would you call abolishing a state high school than an abandonment of the government’s responsibility on free basic education? UP high school caters poor and deserving iskolars ng bayan and abolishing it will only result to less access in College from the lower social class levels. I really want to talk more on this topic, maybe next time. Make sure you pass the UPCAT!

    And to finish my comment and to be fair, i’ll tell everyone my definition of a student activist: He is someone who is willing to stand for his rights and the rights of his countrymen even if it means going to streets and do protest.

    Have a nice day everyone. ^_^

  13. as in sa hanoi ka lang gid ya, sir, or nakagwa ka man sa hanoi?….kag ngaa haw? ano guid ang kalaparon sang nakita mo?

  14. para ky anonymous:

    ikaw gd mn ang klase sng estujante nga gpulaw lng ktuon s imu mga exam amu n nga sang tym nga ng-baha wala k gd kung ng-guwa k tani nkita sang dalawa m k mata ang mga estujante kung paanu cla ngbulig…pero basi gna pili mn lng sang mata muh ang gusto niya mga amu nga daan cna nga tao…

    -AND I TELL YOU…one of the political orgs, the radical one. collected relief stuffs first to immediately give to the victims of the flood in the city..also, kabataang pinoy party convene the students to help the victims in any way possible(coordination with the USC)…
    -din ang gobyerno nga gna saligan m sang panahon nga ara n s ital ital ang kbuhi sng mga tao kag nilibo ang nwad-an sng mga panimalay?..
    ara to s america..ghulat sng hampang ni pacquiao…

  15. Kanami sang debate nyo. One concern though, you said that the Constitution guarantees free basic education. But UP high schools across the country are threatened to be abolished. So do you think that the government is turning their backs on the constitution’s guarantee of free basic education? I am merely asking a question and do not wish to start a big debate. Opinion nyo lang po.

  16. To the somebody who has been my student:

    I see that the problem with most activists is their inability to express themselves clearly. At first I was tempted to take the blame since the previous four comments came from somebody who had been my student. Maybe I failed to teach him/her how to construct his thought as clearly as he/she can. But it seems that the way they write is also reflective of the way they think–all caps, exclamation points, propaganda-sounding staments, vague slogan–signs of sloppy thinking.

    The debate most often gets lost because of irrelevance, lack of research, and sweeping statements. This is what I observed in the UPV student yahoogroup that discussed an almost similar subject not so long time ago. So much time was wasted because of the inclusion of other irrelevant things which, instead of enlightening the students, added more to the confusion.

    First, I never intended to refer to any student organization in the university. The use of color to describe the shirt of a girl who was a member of one political organization was merely incidental. It can be blue, fuchsia, carnation pink, or beige; but generally, red, both in literature and history is the symbol of radicalism. So I guess, it just made sense.

    I’ve met several trustworthy politicians and even the untrustworthy ones, there’s one thing they are unanimous in saying, that is, they do not receive any letter from their constituents. Unlike in Europe or in the US where the citizens constantly send letter to their leaders criticizing them, asking for help, commending etc. therefore making their politicians more accountable, in the Philippines this hardly happen. And majority of these letters range from asking money for the funeral of a dead relative to sponsoring a basketball court for a barangay league. And since you rhetorically asked:

    do you think, letters of appeal to the politicians could still work?

    Let me rhetorically ask you:

    Have you tried sending letters to your representative in the congress? to one of the senators? to Gloria Arroyo?

    And definitely the government cannot dictate what the people want. I wouldn’t say yes, of course. Organizations that stage rally in behalf of the Filipino people, who say they represent the sentiment of the masses are as not legitimate as the government to dictate what is good for the people. I wonder what makes KMU, Gabriela, Migrante think they represent the Filipino people. I wonder what made them think they are the voice of the oppressed masses? Rallies, my student, do not empower ordinary Filipino people. I do not discount the contributions made by radical organizations in the introducing a counter perspective. But as much as the government is not capable of dictating (the word you used) what the masses need, so as these radical organizations who shamefully say they understand what this nation needs.

    As you said, let the people do it. Letting them recognize what they need will eventually empower them. But saying that these radical organizations who say they are the voice of the overworked OFWs, for abused women, for underrepresented youth, for the poor urban poor, is mistaken if not shameful.

    Allow me to go back to the issue of tuition increase. This is moot and academic, I know, but I do not understand why radical student activists keep on bringing up the issue and calling the student to fight against it. It may be to blatant a statement: but we simply can do nothing to roll it back to its original level. If truly they want to help the students then they had better organized fora, drives that will help students better cope with the increase in tuition. Being pragmatic will not hurt so much. It’s an exercise in futility to constantly fight against tuition hike when nothing can be done about it. Such a waste of vocal power, time, and youthful energy. And besides, the Philippine Constitution guarantees free basic education, by basic we mean primary and secondary with the exclusion of tertiary education. If a UP student thinks he deserves the best education the Filipino nation can offer then he must also understand that it is neither cheap nor free.

    To my former student who wrote this comment, allow me to thank you for raising this debate here. Man, truly is a political animal. But lest you forget there is no such thing as a perfect argument. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

  17. for yehey……..

    if we are taking sides that would satisfy our political beliefs/interests…

    ano sa pamatyagan nyo ang ginapang-obra nyo?????????????
    —kabugon ka tani sng konsyensya moh>>>>>>

  18. for anonymous:

    —para masangan ka…..

    kun magbagyo….may ga-alabot daun nga goods halin sa mga tawo nga may maayo nga tagipusuon…ang mga biktima.. gahululat nalang nga pamudmudan sng relief goods.

    —ang tuition fee increase (kag iban pa nga mga isyu nga gina-atubang naton dri s university) manug.duha na ka tuig….wala man japon maresolbar….t, kun daw bagyo ang tfi maalano kita???? matalanga kag mahululat sa bagting sng langit nga nagapatimaan nga ara na ang grasya????—-

    –and i think i know you!!!!
    ——-kay pag-national youth protest day…. daw mu man na imu ginhambal…..
    —kag kun mag-compare ka…nang relevent man ha!!!


    sorry guid sir ha….kay pa ko nagbira-bira….

  19. student activism is one of the most effective ways to let the government know what the masses really feel about the issues that they are facing.

    do you think, letters of appeal to the politicians could still work?
    -they could easily be trashed!
    -(letters of appeal gni d s university dw s wala lang….)

    let the people speak what they want for themselves!
    -can the government say what is good fOR ITS people???
    -if you’ll say yes….
    -SHAME!!!! SHAME!!!! TEACHER!!!!

    about the narrow-minded thingy:

    -narrow-minded people were those who simply agree to the policies that the government is imposing to them without any consultations.
    -paryo lang sa mga tawo d sa university nga naga-HUO s tuition fee increase….pero ila slogan;…..”for the students, By the students”
    –may ara pa na cla nga: START THE CHANGE, BE THE CHANGE!—— ano nga pag-bag-o ang nabal-an nila?????–in fact, pagsunod s mga “outside forces” nabal-an nila….

    —–(those statements came from a non-partisan who critically weighs things…)

  20. i have been to a rally but its useful, i can say. we shouted: reduce, reuse, recycle! see. i have my side, even with the national issues our beloved country is facing today. i am a business student and i believe i can help those poor people who contributed much to this privilege i enoyed in attaining a high class education… i assume, by this hardwork of passing/topping my course, it will lessen the burden of this ‘binababoy’ nation. tell me who among those “street activist” helped in the flash flood?
    did they even invite people to help?

    rallies won’t work….
    i know. it’s because they have with them the narrow minded people of the university who just go for experience or for free food or whatever benefit they can get upon joining (without knowledge on the issues).

    tani ginralihan danay nila pulaw subjects nila.
    neway, i want a change in the way they are rallying. who knows, i can be with them…. (mu man lang ni gale…. hehe.)

    more power sa author.
    may God bless you more!

  21. love the article sir!! for Aaaa, kamo ang narrow-minded people not the public. you always take sides, and the side you take benefits your political beliefs ONLY

  22. love the article sir!! for Aaaa, kamo ang narrow-minded people not the public. you always take sides, and the side you take benefit your political beliefs ONLY

  23. Aaaa, you missed the point then. By all means you have to show to us the “passive and narrow-minded people” that you understand what you fight for. The word ‘flaunt’ might not be the right word, but yes you need to flaunt to us the narrow minded and the passive that you critically looked into the intricacies of an issue. That you understand them.

    As I understood it, you limit participation (pakikialam) to what you are so used to–overuse of the parliament of the street. I have so much trust on UP students, and if they do not join rallies it’s far from being indifferent. In fact these narrow-minded and passive people you are referring to are the same people who think out of the box, who look at a problem using novel perspectives, who innovate, and therefore effect change more effectively–far more effectively than clamoring about corruption in general on the streets.

    Nevertheless, I thank you for critically assessing this article.

  24. we educate ourselves with the issues that we are carrying. we don’t just go out and shout our lungs out just to prove that we are activists. we don’t need to brag what we know (about the issues) neither flaunt it in front of the public (usually composed of passive and narrowminded people). if we have a mistake in not articulating the issues in front of the students then, ok. pero gusto ko lang ipaalala na hindi kami ang naiinis na magtackle ng mga isyus. hindi kmi ang naiiirita na makinig sa mga kailangang sabihin. dumadami na ang mga UP students na wlang pakialamm sa lipunan na knilang kinagagalawan at khit anong pagpapaintindi namin kung sila mismo ang ayaw tumanggap sa mga nangyayari, sila lmismo ang nanloloko sa mga sarili nila. hindi lumalabas ang mga aktibista para lang na maipakita na astig sila dahil may mga hawak silang plakards o megaphone.

    don’t generalize because not all activists are like what you are labelling them. salamat

  25. Apparently and ironically, most activists think that socialist countries such as Vietnam, China and to a certain degree the Russian Federation are more open to radical activism where in fact the opposite is true. I’ve been studying here in Hanoi for almost two months now and not once did I see any staging of a street protest or any other kind of protests against the state. It simply is impossible because the socialist government is relatively strong and does not tolerate any dissent.

    I just wonder how radical social activists will fare here. All in all, people in the Philippines are luckier because they have at least freedom to express what they think and what they believe in. Most of these ‘activists’ look at the socialist model as the end, the ultimate goal of their struggle, but living in a place where the individual freedom is subordinate to that of the group is a completely different thing. Try doing a demonstration here.

    I am a student here. And as far as I know Vietnam is far from being an activist state. In fact the opposite holds more truth.

    1. but it [change] must also be forwarded to others for an effective societal change; otherwise, it’s an “epic fail”..hehe.. anyways, how can you show “change starting within oneself” if you, yourself, do not pay respect to activists by exclaiming “makibaboy!”? please do not be a performative contradiction; rather, apply what you speak..:)

    2. i think makibaka was only trying to be funny. don’t take yourself too seriously, mgakamotnioble17.

      life’s good.

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