Your Worth, Your Rights, Your Price

What can you buy with one thousand pesos in the Philippines (20usd)?

A thousand peso is just half of my weekly school allowance, even less than my monthly coffee expenses, only a third of my monthly mobile plan bill, and a single fee I pay for a bodyhair cold wax service. My list of personal expenses worth a thousand pesos can go on, but my point is – I cannot live with just a thousand pesos for a month. So, what more a government institution designed to protect and preserve the rights and liberty of humans?

Yesterday (September 13, 2017), the Philippines House of Representatives approved a monthly budget of one thousand pesos only for our Commission on Human Rights (CHR). This was shocking, devastating, and heart-piercing.

How could they do that? What were they thinking? Were they on a sound mind or are they up to something?

I cannot see a good rationalization with this national concern. More so, when someone said, “since the CHR only defends the criminals, then they should have asked their budget from the criminals as well.”

Criminals? Aren’t they humans too? Unless, I wasn’t informed that they are now plants and animals.

I am just one of the few Filipinos who are upset about this. I’m upset because I don’t know what’s going on in the minds of our lawmakers. I’m upset because my friends in nationbuilding are ranting (instead of collaborating) here and there and some blame it on one person alone, whom they beleived is the brain behind all these. If only one brain is behind all these things, then this makes our lawmakers brainless. It sounds like people power, impeachment cases, and coups are around the corner again.

But, let me go back to the word “few” because that is what bothers and affects me the most. There are millions of Filipinos, but only a number cringed with the CHR budget passed by our congressmen. Aren’t we all humans? Shouldn’t we fear the fact that our rights can be threatened or is already threatened by this?

What is upsetting me more is that no one among my students (both Senior High and College students) seem to care. I welcome all the rants my nationbuilder friends poured out on social media. I really do. I read every word of it; they are entitled to their own opinions and emotions.

But, my students!!! Not a single one cried foul. 😭 Don’t they even know their rights? their worth? their value as a human being? Do they watch the news and read the papers? If they are more concerned with the class suspensions and the latest Korean Oppa, then what kind of future our country will have?

It makes me question my profession as a Public School Teacher and a Nurse. Who do we blame for the youth’s innocence, vulnerability, and lack of empathy? I took the blame to myself. I have a part on shaping the future, and I am sorry I failed somehow. 😭😓 I’ll give my best to work on this, to make the youth the best hope for our nation’s next generations.

To the Filipino youth reading this, I hope that you will be secured that your worth and rights are far higher than a thousand pesos. Not because the institution that is meant to preserve and protect our integrity as humans is not given enough worth, we already become worthless humans with an affordable price for our rights.

Know your worth and your rights. Above all, know that you are priceless!

Our lives are priceless, and our rights – to exist, to live, to voice out and be heard, to be given a name, to be educated, cared for, and valued, are ours to claim and defend for.

Do not be silent. Let your voice be heard because that is your RIGHT, most especially now that it is being threatened and priced below its real worth. It is not just your future we are talking about here but the future of our country.

Kabataan, ikaw pa din ang pag-asa ng bayan. Gumising ka at mamulat, bago pa mahuli ang lahat. Karapatan mo ay ipaglaban at pahalagahan.

Images are grabbed from Google

Let’s talk about Murder

War there. Killing here.

Corpse there. Bullets here.

Evidence there. Drugs here.

What made killings and illegal drugs so rampant and popular these days is that we are officially talking about it. Illegal drugs and injustice has long been an issue of our country. But, we only talked about it out in the open when the elected-President speaks about it like it is a common, usual topic. He talks about killing people like it is a normal thing to do.

BUT, isn’t it really normal?

Even before he won, there were killings everywhere, but we don’t talk about it. The media doesn’t put it on the headlines. We’re not informed about it, so we can not talk about it. We were silent.

How many innocent blood have been shed and lives lost that we have not heard of? How many children, mother, father, and old people who died a tragic death but were not mourned and prayed for? How many families cried for justice but were never heard in the past years and even decades?

Yet, we scream now #SILENTNOMORE

Why only now?

Where were us when the Prison Guards of Bilibid where shoot down by gunmen hired by those rich druglords in prison? Where were us when fathers raped their daughters and mothers sold their children to foreigners? Where were us when bodies were chopped and thrown in the ocean or locked in a luggage? Did we mourn for them? Did we cry foul? Did we say ‘enough’? Did we even blame anyone for it?

If we look at our crime rates, we can probably enumerate a lot of instances that we have been silent for the past decades, yet we only speak now.

During his presidential campaign, Mr.President said that if ever he wins, “it’s gonna be bloody”, and so it is now. It’s bloody because we can openly see it, hear about it and talk about it. Killings do not happen in the dark and shootings are not done in secluded areas anymore. Public areas such as malls, highways, streets, and homes are now the murder arena. There are bodies left dead out in the open. There are those who were killed and are mourned by a number of Filipinos because “we are silent no more”.

If we can talk about it in the open, then openly and collectively, we can address it. We are not to tolerate murder (because it appears to be normal now), rather we can confront it straight to the eye and condemned it as a sin, a thing that only the devil does.

Let’s talk about murder. Isn’t it what God has done when he faced Cain? He knows what Cain did, but He still asked of his brother. Do you think God was not there when Cain murdered Abel? God was there, but He also wants to hear it out from Cain, himself.

How about us? Aren’t we supposed to be talking about the murders of our brothers?

I just hope that before we open our mouths to be silent no more, may we also remember the deaths of those who do not make it to the news and our knowlege.

May we not neglect the fact that we are our brothers keepers and that the things we did to them and what we failed to do for them are still our accountability to God.

May we not blame one man alone, just because he was the first one to talk about this in public. You can call me bias, but this is a democratic country with millions of people who are supposed to be responsible for each other.

May we all remember that it is the Lord who gives and takes away life. He is the Author of everything. He allowed such things to happen from appointing the President to what’s happening in our country today. He was, is, and will always be in control.

This is not just the time to be silent no more, but this is the time that we confess our sins – a thing that Cain failed to do, even when God asked him to.

God said…

“if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” -2 Chronicles 7:14

Photo grabbed from Google images