Reunions-A A +A
Saturday, September 15, 2012
In college involvements, however, you chose to be there at that certain time and shared the same aspirations and beliefs as those you shared involvement with. That was how it was last Friday night at the UP Diliman University Hotel (formerly PCED Hotel), where the League of Filipino Students-University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman Chapter held a reunion after three decades.
REUNIONS are fun, especially when a long period of time has passed. It may be a high school or college reunion. But more fun is when it’s a reunion of past involvements. Being high school and college classmates or batch mates may hold some sense of belongingness, but it’s like being siblings, you can never choose who your sisters and brothers are.
In college involvements, however, you chose to be there at that certain time and shared the same aspirations and beliefs as those you shared involvement with. That was how it was last Friday night at the UP Diliman University Hotel (formerly PCED Hotel), where the League of Filipino Students UP Diliman Chapter held a reunion after three decades.
In these people, some of whom you never really shared time with as they came from different batches and sub-groups share an idealism that has transcended beyond the red tags military would so often generously place on anyone mentioning Mao Zedong or wearing a cap with a red star.
In the Facebook page inviting former members to the reunion, one former member commented: “Ang problema ko, nasa mining industry ako – MNC pa. Ang LFS anti-mining.”
To which one of the organizers replied: “REUNION ito, hindi ala sympo sa FC (This is a reunion and not like a symposium at the Faculty Center).”
One other former member wrote in a conversation: “And so we meet, dear comrades. I want to quote Emmanuel Lacaba's Open Letters to the Filipino Artists. But that will be for tonight. For now, it will have to be George Bernard Shaw: ‘A man who is not a communist at the age of twenty is a fool. Any man who is still a communist at the age of thirty is an even bigger one.’ … Ang mapikon -- magkakarinkols.”
After which, she added, “Me isa pa Benroobs. From Allen Ginsberg: ‘America I used to be a communist when I was a kid and I'm not sorry.’”
It’s not about belittling what we believed in three decades ago, it’s being able to laugh at ourselves now, knowing that the shared beliefs remain but the ways of living up to these has long taken on different paths.
And thus I remember what one member said during the reunion… wait… was it Roel Pulido? Darn… sorry, was enjoying my wine and my self-mixed cocktail of juice, water, and Emperador Light. Anyway, the guy recalled what the icon of 1980s militancy Lean Alejandro told him when he resented how mixed the activists of those days were becoming. Mixed to mean having loads of burges and peti-burges romping around as a barkada in rallies and protest actions. He recalled Lean saying that it’s okay even if an activist doesn’t appear like the stereotypical activist because in the end, these people will be there to respond to the according to the high ideals of real service to the people when called on.
It is in recognizing similar ideals that we learn to respect the choices each one has made. Those of lesser wisdom will insist on homogeneity, while the military will always only see Red.
It has been indeed three decades ago. We are wiser now, but just as fun. Being able to laugh at ourselves while relishing the fond memories makes it even more fun than when we were very young and still had not many memories to look back on. The Botak “pekpek” running shorts was really very telling of that generation past. saestremera.wordpress.com
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 16, 2012.