Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Current Events

   In the mid 50’s, the public elementary schools in Pasay City had a Current Events portion in a subject called Social Studies.  Students were required to find an article in the newspaper and bring to class.  They were asked to comment on the news they brought in.  Most clipped out news about gruesome crimes and tragic calamities like flood, fire or earthquake.  Those articles were easy to discuss and have the shock effect to grab the teacher’s attention.  Grades depended on this.

   One of the students, Susan, bored her teachers and classmates with articles about bills filed in the Senate or Congress and talked about how the bill would help or hurt the Filipinos should it pass into a law.  She reported about corruption and incompetence in government.  She didn't get good grades but she still did this from eight years old till she graduated at the age of twelve.  

Sta. Ana Tenement From:
 In 1965, 
Susan was in high school.  President Diosdado Macapagal was running for a second term.  His opponent was President Ferdinand Marcos.  She had nothing against the then Senate Pres. Marcos but from her Current Events reports she knew about the Tenement Housing Macapagal had built for the very poor.  She thought the country needed more of those.  She was too young to vote so she campaigned for Macapagal within the voting members of her family.  President Marcos won that election.  “Let every person be in subjection to the superior authorities, for there is no authority except by God; the existing authorities stand placed in their relative positions by God.” (Romans 13:1

   Four years later, by 1969, Susan found herself in the College of Arts and Science of the University of the Philippines, in Diliman, Quezon City.  The youth of the world was in uproar back then.  At the height of what people called “student unrest” she joined the Kabataang Makabayan.  She marched in street demonstrations to protest about the issues she reported about in grade school Current Events.  She sat in ‘teach-ins’.  She supported labor unions in the picket lines.  She gave talks in urban poor barangays to encourage the poor’s participation in political rallies.  Eventually she dropped out of college and joined the rebels in the countryside.  There she became the ‘current event’.  She was pregnant with her first baby when she was killed in an encounter with the military.  

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