Vox Populi: When Filipino People
Re-awakens to a United Fervor.
Photographed and Written by JUN REYNALES.
Million People March Against Pork Barrel Funds, Quirino Grandstand Luneta Park, Manila City, August 26, 2013 .
Filipinos are known to have opinions and conflicting ideas – as many as the islands of the country in fact – as far as political issues are concerned. But on a few occasions, they joined forces and aired one cohesive voice. It happened first during the 1986 EDSA People Power and it happened again. One cohesive and strong sentiments of people that are strangers to each other but walked hand-in-hand to show their disgusts against the ills of today’s government.
It was last August 26, 2013, incidentally the country’s National Heroes Day celebration, every modern-day ordinary Filipinos, likened to the ordinary forefathers who decided to stand against the cruelty of the agressions of Spain and America who joined the ranks of Katipunan, all trooped in white towards Quirino Grandstand in Luneta Park for the Million People’s March to demand for the stop of the PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund) – or profanely called Pork Barrel Funds – to once and for all punish and jail all those responsible and participated to this horrible malfeasance of irregular and irresponsible use of every Filipinos hard-earned taxes entrusted to the government.
Despite the gloomy and threatening strong rains that day, all the concerned Filipinos brought their families, friends, even young children in strollers being pushed by their parents, professionals, ordinary employees, students, senior citizens and PWDs went hand-in-hand towards the grandstand. Some wearing white shirts with different printed slogans showing statements against pork barrel misuse and jail the culprits, others brought huge Philippines flags, most have seas of umbrellas, raincoats, plastic mats to sit on the muddied grass of the venue.
Some prominent personalities and celebrities were there too, floods of media personalities covering the events, huge volume of photographers wanting to capture the day’s event from their respective vantage points. All these people united as one nation to seek reform and want transparency on how the government spends their hard-earned tax money, and also demands to finally pass the Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill and be enforced to law.
Quite noticeable was to non-existence of the usual organized hoard of participants (so-called “hakot”) that is ever-present in most political rallies. You don’t see those pre-packed lunches on cue to feed their organized minions. You also don’t see fleets of passenger jeeps and buses to ferry these organized mob. End result – having a spontaneous disciplined rally of true sense of disgusted people and wanted real change... but without the tons of garbage left behind. This time... it’s clean.
Crowds came walking as far as CCP in Vito Cruz Streets (some beyond that), and walked in droves. Others even came with bicycles, with one group who left at 2am in Nasugbu Batangas, and pedaled to the venue to be able to catch up for the 9am assembly time. One awesome feat!
All these collaboration started thru the wonders of social media and Facebook (one good way of using best the site) and gained momentum for that event.
An awesome sight to see when people – no matter what social status and profession they came from – all came united as one. The few times you see such united people converge and stand to seek reform by themselves when they cannot see any actions done by their government.
Reminds me when our forefathers in those byegone yesteryears in the Katipunan – our National Heroes – stand united to stop oppression. And today, these ordinary Filipinos came dress in white started again standing united to stop the ills of today’s government, and voiced their sentiments that this government make straight their acts straight and clean.
Vox Populi... again united. Vox Populi stands aptly as our modern-day heroes.
Indeed... Life is Good!