This is a long comment from an Anonymous person, I'm calling him The Other Anonymous, on Million People March to Luneta. I think it deserves a wider audience so I am giving him this space. We can reflect on what he said. Here's The Other Anonymous:
"Pork barrel scam? Isn't that been there done that? It's been there long before I had muwang sa mundo and it has never changed. Why the anger now? Because you saw Jeanne Napoles' lifestyle on Instagram and all of a sudden you're outraged? Why the outrage? Because all of a sudden, someone less pretty than you are, someone tackier than you are is living the lifestyle you can only dream about?
"My problem with Filipinos, and I'm one of them, is wala tayong paninindigan for the sake of standing up for what is right. Everything is so superficial. Nothing runs deep in our veins like it used to when there were still people who truly care about the poor and people who truly felt indignant of graft and corruption. Gone are the people who can topple a dictator or a sleazy and stupid actor. These people are probably in their 50s, 60s and 70s who raised kids who are comfortable in their lives or brats who have nothing better to do than flaunt their lifestyle on social media.
"I'm in my 40s now. I was in my teens in HS when the People Power revolution was happening. I remember feeling confused and scared but proud of those standing up for our freedom. I remember crying while watching on TV how people with their arms banded together, in the face of tanks and guns, softened the hearts of soldiers. It's a very distant memory of feeling the Filipino pride because people cared.
"People carried on with their lives and with the change in administration after President Aquino's term, things went back to BAU...Graft and corruption until someone else cries. I have left the Philippines in my young adult life in search of a better opportunity. I just thought my career aspirations are better pursued in the US because I was not born with the right last name or with the right family connections. I pursued the American dream because success, or failure, in America is on your own merit. It is living in the US that opened my eyes. Every time I went home for a visit, I felt the disappointment of what I witness. On the surface, the Philippines seemed successful. There were more malls than I can remember, there were more luxury stores than 80% of the population can truly afford and there were more cars than our roads can handle.
"Yet poverty is still widespread and unabated amidst the seeming economic achievements and luxury in the nation. We still showed the slowest rates of decline in poverty rates compared to neighboring countries. Do I sound really bleak and pessimistic when our GDP growth is better than China's? Yes, because I see the indifference. People just don't care. My own friends are now all successful in their own rights in my home country yet I do not sense the need to care about social issues. I love my friends to death and they are truly good people but I just don't think it's in our DNA to care whether someone is living below the poverty line and what we can do about it outside of helping those in our household like maids and drivers. We live such comfortable lives in big homes, nice condos and driving luxury cars that we are immune to poverty right before our very eyes because it's right there. You can see it, you live with it and it's just normal. And that's the indifference I sense amongst Filipinos. Yet you feel indignant about someone living such a luxurious life because they have more than you do. I wish you feel indignant not because these corrupt people stole your tax money and lived lives better than yours but you feel indignant because the money was stolen from the poor, stolen from the kid who can't go to school, stolen from the small farmers bent all day to provide for their families. Can you feel indignant over what Napoles did for them? Can you march in the streets for them?"
"i know I'm an outsider looking in and you might say, how dare I have the audacity to criticize the Filipinos when I myself is sitting comfortably in the US. I know and I am eternally torned about it because I feel helpless and useless. A very wise successful man in his golden years once told me to go back home and give back to the country I once love. But every time I think of giving it all up and going home, I feel the fear of becoming indifferent like the rest of the nation or hating it because sometimes it's difficult for one man to swim against the tide. You can say I'm a coward (because I think I am) and you can hate me for what I said, but next time you drive by any shanties all over Manila and the rest of the country, ask yourself what you've done for them. Maybe if you join the march on August 26th, you can march for them.
“The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.” ― Elie Wiesel
Kudos to you, The Other Anonymous, for sharing your thoughts. Well said.