Life and Ants

I haven’t any inspiration to write lately as life and its many distractions kept it away–far away.

And yet here I am again, writing as if “something” has happened but really, it’s the same same-ol’-same-ol’.

Funnily enough, I found the inspiration to write because of something I hate… and hate dearly: ANTS!

These small, seemingly harmless creatures, that aren’t as gross as cockroaches, or as despicable as rats or as destructive as termites, but as I live on the 9th floor, I don’t suffer from those three… only ants.

Now MY ants are not your normal, run-of-the-mill ants where they just come when you leave something out for a few hours. MY ants come in swarms in as soon as 5 minutes from the time you leave something edible on ANY surface of ANY part of my apartment. Amazing right? What’s more amazing is they’d even swarm for just WATER! Imagine laying a cup of cold juice with a nice film of condensation on its surface, and after a few minutes, come back and find the place swarming with ants. DISGUSTING!

More to the point, I can’t help being disgusted admiring their tenacity. It takes a lot of effort and constant alertness to be able to respond to a potential food source for the colony in this fashion. Albeit many of them gets squished or drowned or poisoned in the end, they still persevere.

This self-sacrificing attitude for the greater good of the collective is something that has been all but lost in our society today.

We no longer care about how everyone else will fare, but only care about how we ourselves will. “To hell with other people”, “How can I care about others when I’m in this state”, “Everyone else is doing it, so why should I be any different” are just some of the many things we tell ourselves to justify our selfish actions. When I think about them, I really can’t help but agree. However, it being the logical thing to do doesn’t make it the RIGHT thing to do.

Ants are the prime example of a society that, albeit structured and hierarchical–without rights or freedoms–works. We should take some life lessons from my sworn enemies, on of which is:

The collective (our country) matters.

The Philippines is worth dying for.

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Meh…

If someone ever seriously asked me how was my life these past couple of months, I would probably say “meh”. Not because I’m indifferent or complacent, but rather because I feel like my life has spiralled into oblivion.

Why do I say this? It is because life here in the Philippines is just that: full of indifference and complacency.

In a country with its political, judicial, and economic system inter-woven together and are all inherently corrupt–to the highest levels–one can almost tangibly feel the despair and the abandon in the people. Imagine having to live knowing that fact? If you can,  you’re one step closer from being able to understand what it is being a Filipino.

Our history is fraught with the rich seizing power through despicable means, getting addicted to it, and lasciviously trying to keep it. What’s more saddening is that the masses, the very ones that have most suffered from the greed and the corruption of the rich, have stabbed themselves in back time and again because of how they vote. It is an agonizing truth, but truth nonetheless. Every election year, millions of pesos are spent on campaigns and common man is bombarded by political propaganda through every sensory means possible in an effort to blind the people from the truth.

In the Philippines, elections are bought.

Being a UP student, those of you who might think that I should feel differently being in “THE ACTIVIST SCHOOL” in the country are wrong. Yes, UP students are activists in the sense that some actively go on rallies and actively criticizes the administration, referring to the university’s and the government. But, their activism stops short to those things that directly affects themselves. Few or even none goes into the foray of the unknown or are brave enough to stick out of the crowd and stick it up to those in power. What’s more is that they seem to be taking their cues from the newspapers or by simply just going against anything the government or the university administration tries to pull off. True activism goes further than self-interest lest they be just the same as the rich: doing things for their own sakes.

Moreover, rather than asking students to go and “rally” for change, wouldn’t it be more helpful for them to encourage students to actually register to vote? Wouldn’t it make a larger impact if students were encouraged to register themselves and also to invite their friends and families to ALSO do the same?

Well, having said that, I can’t really blame them for doing what they been doing. Our generation did grow up in THE time in which everything the government, and by default what their agencies, try to do should come into question. We SHOULD be suspicious. But, hope is not in another EDSA Revolution. Rather, hope is always and has always been in the hearts of the people.

Our complacency and indifference… our acceptance of the status quo must end. It is high time that the death-grip of the rich be broken over our country, that we wash ourselves of the dross they’ve splashed over us… to drown us with the despair.

Hope is in us… change is upon us.

Rise up, Philippines! Rise up my fellow students. Register and vote WISELY at the 2010 Presidential Elections.

Still mehing… but changing,

Daniel