Luab: Dawn brings wakefulness-A A +A
Saturday, September 28, 2013
I AM usually wake up at 4 a.m. for my meditation of 25 minutes. After prayer, I wait for the dawn to appear. I stay transfixed at my bedroom window as I wait for the sky to lighten, for the earth’s movement out of sleep, and for serenity that comes with the dawn.
Silence still reigns. Then gradually the sky becomes blue with rays of light illuminating the earth. Dewdrops on leaves glisten and the hope of a new day is fulfilled. Remember what Pope Francis said? He said, “Let a shaft of light break through heavy clouds.”
We who are optimistic believe that we have had enough of the ugly, the noise, the violence and the deaths. This investigation and demand for guilty parties (i.e. in murder or plunder cases) to be punished so that others so inclined to cheat can be deterred is the beginning of a new dawn.
Let us not be so pessimistic and refuse to believe that something good will come out of these exposures and investigations.
Even the battle in Zamboanga has awakened a lot of people, including myself, to the fact that we took our soldiers and our policemen for granted. Due to the many misdemeanors by some of their members, we forget that they are first in line to protect us and in so doing give up their precious lives. The first casualty, PO3 Jose Audrey Bañares, newly married and with a two-month-old son, gave up his life to protect us. So many others followed him, so many houses destroyed, so many people injured and thousands have suffered in more ways than one.
From the happenings in Zamboanga, there are many lessons to be learned, many preparations can be made and perhaps a bigger awareness can be instilled in us: that the warring and violent nature of people bent on getting what they want no matter what the cost maybe can really be intensely monitored. Hostage taking in Mindanao has happened time and again. Perhaps this time, vigilance among civilians, the leaders of each place, plus the military can be better coordinated so that nothing like this happens again.
Frankly, many of us have as individuals made a mess of our lives. We have trusted and have been betrayed. Think of the number of couples who have been hurt deeply in marriage. We have been swindled by relatives, close friends, business partners and even strangers. We have been robbed, kidnapped, and our husbands, brothers, sisters, or relatives murdered. As individuals we have gone through the gamut of pain. However, because we have not risen as a group to tell our Philippines that many of us have taken a turn for the better, the awareness of the flexibility and strength of the Filipino is rarely highlighted.
Today the media has pinpointed a large segment of our society in the priority development assistance fund scam and the firmness of purpose of this administration to get at the bottom of things. For days now we have been following the horrible conflict in Zamboanga and we have seen the inner strength, concern and care of our government leaders, the military and the Philippine National Police. To quote our ancestors: “Syaro og dili pa ta makat-on!”
From the Zamboanga tragedy we have seen the obstinate decision of our men to protect the civilians and the hostages at all cost and this is where we see the difference between the Moro National Liberation Front (whether Mesuari followers or not) and our leaders and our troops.
We will see a new dawn break in Zamboanga after all this is over. With the help from all of us, the ravished towns of Zamboanga will rise again because we have realized that what occurred there cannot be looked upon as an isolated case. Mindanao is very much a part of the Philippines.
With our clarity of vision we saw the arrogance of egoistic people who felt that collateral damage of lives was really only a consequence of what they described as normal in war.
The darkness of eras of corruption and stupid losses of lives have been brought out into the open. Let us pray for the dawn of light, for truth, for righteousness, for fairness and for peace to prevail. Please help us, Lord.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 29, 2013.