Every time I meet old friends (and yes, there now exists such a category), I am reminded of how far I have come -- or regressed; it depends from which point of view you look at it.
One year after I graduated,
Kate, Cy and Julie are at the Inquirer
Almi's in Malacañang
Lmae's set to enter Ateneo in May
Caloy's due to graduate and due to submit a series of poems
Kat will become the new Assoc Ed
Yani cannot be reached.
A year after graduation and we have scattered like seed. A few more years and we'll be separated by countries, continents, maybe even planets.
and God forbid, death.
Death seems very close these days, what with the news of Erika, struck down in Bicol.
I remember her in highschool, a chubby brown-haired girl striding down the corridor.
The day Vencer stood on a white monobloc chair and beat the air with his fist, surrounded by a gaggle of eager, upturned faces; her brother arrived with a friend to help highschool students flee the confines of a repressive school to attend a rally.
That year, I wrote that activism meant each of us doing what s/he could. (I meant it in the most pluralist sense possible). Something that I'm now heartily ashamed of.
Jose "Jam" Tatco, the SK Federation NCR president, still thinks this way.
I could barely control my revulsion as I interviewed him, stomach straining his blue Lacoste shirt, his head sinking straight into his collar, seemingly without the aid of a neck.
He had the temerity to tell me that each Filipino should just do what he could, instead of protesting all the time.
I wanted to stick my mike down his throat. Except that he'd probably eat it.
"So young and so corrupt." said Arsenio Lacson of Ernesto Maceda, more than forty years ago.
Now they say that most people above the age of 15 are corrupt, and the only way to cleanse the system is to hope that the next generation has more sense.
Before I interviewed Jam, I was sent to a waiting shed next to Quezon City Hall to cover a signature campaign.
There I met Carl of KMP, as usual.
We see each other at least twice a month, during rallies, signature campaigns, press conferences, and parangals. As media, and interviewee.
They estimate that the youth (those below 35) make up about 65 percent of registered voters.
We are in the thick of things; in the city, in the countryside. On both sides. Against each other.
For better or worse, the fate of the country lies in our hands.