Thursday, March 13, 2008


Manila seems to be a hotbed for rallies both large and small these days. I was on my way to buy some groceries when I ran into what appeared to be a mini rally on Claro M. Recto Avenue and Morayta Street -- the same exact location where I took the pictures for my photo essays, "The Jolly Jaywalkers of Manila" and "The Want It Tax."

Anyway, I hurriedly grabbed my point & shoot camera from my bag and took some pictures. It was a street-as-stage performance of a contemporary version of the passion of Christ by the children of the internal refugees of Quezon. E
ntitled Kalbaryo ng Mamamayan, the play depicted Juan and Juana de la Cruz as the suffering servants of the people; representing all those who are truth-loving, peace-loving, and patriotic sons and daughters of Mariang Bayan.

Dorris Cuario, Secretary general of Karapatan - Southern Tagalog said in the opening statement, "The Lenten season is usually commemorated by our folks at the countryside in simple, yet solemn observance. But this time, the internal refugees who have been here at the metropolis since the Christmas season are here to show their lamentations and anger to an evil leader who has brought them at this condition."

Lito Mercado, spokesperson of the internal refugees from Quezon added, "Even our children know what is going on in our society today. At their tender age, they are already mindful of the situation and can comprehend what is happening. I wonder why Mrs. Arroyo herself could not grasp the situation of our suffering motherland."

Indeed, the children's performance was riveting. Many passersby stopped and watched the entire presentation, including some members of the police department's anti-riot force who sat at the steps of the Ever-Gotesco building to better enjoy this piece of street theater right on Recto Avenue.

Meanwhile, the organizers of “rally for truth” at Manila's Liwasang Bonifacio on Friday, March 14 claim all is set to go. However, they only expect the numbers of attendees to be around 10,000.

According to Renato Reyes, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) secretary general, expected to attend this Friday's rally are various religious leaders, prominent members of the business community, students, urban poor, union workers, film industry workers, and other professionals.

On the other hand, a contingent of pro-government supporters -- Kongreso ng Kabataan -- plan to camp out overnight at the Welcome Rotonda at the Quezon City-Manila border in preparation for Friday's day-long program showcasing the positive achievements of the Arroyo administration.


posted by Señor Enrique at 9:05 PM


Anonymous rhodora said...

I saw this on news. Two girls, about 10 or 11 years old, were crying, lamenting their plight while being interviewed by the reporters. They could barely talk, choked by their tears of pain and suffering.

About 9,000 of them (children) - were forced to flee their homes with their families because they are being terrorized and harrassed - under suspicion by the military that their parents are NPAs or coddlers of NPAs.

These children should be in schools, studying... should be in their homes, safe. They should be playing and enjoying their innocence.

I get carried away when children are the issue, Eric. I really, really hope, something is done for them.

March 13, 2008 11:33 PM  

Blogger luna miranda said...

It's always the children who suffer from the atrocities of war, poverty, terrorism. I've never seen a street theater except for the Sinakulo (passion play) during Lent. Great post, Eric!

March 14, 2008 1:31 PM  

Anonymous kyels said...

Citizens don't start rallies for no reasons and often times their plights are unheard within the corridors of power. It's real sad to see the leader of the country not providing or try to do something to ease their hardships. True that we can't blame it all on the leader alone but if it was not for their misjudgment or wrong decision making citizens won't lament.

It's the same here in Malaysia right now. Last week was the 12th General Elections and usually the National Front/Barisan Nasional (which is the Alliance Party) won w/ only a simple majority to allow them to form the Federal Government and a majority of the State and Parliamentary seats went to the Opposition. A mirrored effect of the 3rd General Election held in 1969 w/o the racial riot that happened in 13th May 1969. The citizens are getting tired of the talk and no action politicians and the PM hasn't been showing any results for the last 4.5 years after the National Front won a landslide victory. Hence now, the citizens denied them the 2/3 majority in the election. That was the way the citizens in Malaysia reacted during the election b/c they decided to give the Opposition party a chance to show their worth and not only be empty speakers for the nation.

Being a leader is important. You can't just take care of your own needs and not fight corruption or the poverty stricken areas and provide for the needy. Pero too bad when it comes to power and the President's seat everything is literally forgotten.

March 14, 2008 8:16 PM  

Blogger gizelle said...

Wow, that's something new I guess...

Are the police there to portect the casts or the other way around? =D

March 15, 2008 9:56 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

You've just made me realized why there are referred to as "internal refugees," Rhoda.

I do agree with you whole-heartedly -- our children should be enjoying their childhood. This they deserve.

March 15, 2008 9:58 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

And sadly, Luna, many children do not have the faculty to make sense of the agony that they are subjected to. Sometimes, the psychic pain they have to endure under such extreme situations can cause irreparable damages.

Thank you, Luna.

March 15, 2008 10:02 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

"That was the way the citizens in Malaysia reacted during the election b/c they decided to give the Opposition party a chance to show their worth and not only be empty speakers for the nation."

Thanks for sharing, Kyels. I, too, hope that the folks here exercise their power to put in governing power those they see as a true civil servant and leader.

March 15, 2008 10:04 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Maximum tolerance is the overall police policy towards rallyists here, Gizelle. However, most protesters are cognizant of their boundaries; hence, do not engage in any behavior that may prompt the police to be greatly alarmed. Besides, I don't think the local police are into beating the women and children with their arnis sticks ... hehehe.

March 15, 2008 10:24 AM  

Blogger dave (",) said...

You have to give it to the Left for being masters of propaganda: "internal refugees," "At their tender age, they are already mindful of the situation."

But come to think of it, which exactly has the immediate impact on children, government negligence or parental negligence? And passing the blame on some conveniently corrupt and incompetent leader isn't really a good way of educating children to be the hope of the nation.

March 17, 2008 2:23 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

But that seems to be a common human malady, Dave, whether those in the left or right -- a need to find someone else responsible for their misery ... hehehe!

March 17, 2008 9:36 PM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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