There are so many things we should be grateful for …
Caveat: this post is only tangentially about anime. However, I thought that if I don’t write this down I may just forget it. And I don’t want that to happen.
As a person, I am quite introverted: I spend my time mostly alone, brooding about different ideas and thoughts. I rarely go out to shop or to gimmick: frankly, they only cost me money and time. I am not a materialistic person: the only time I bought something was because I wanted to help, and it turned out even that attempt was a failure (since what I bought was fake). I guess I am very simple as a person: I appreciate my blog, one of my outlets as well as a conduit for communication, being read. I love writing, and I love anime.
It can be observed that I don’t dabble too much on activities that involve more than myself. Watching anime can be enjoyed even if one watches it alone; writing is never done by pairs or threes. There are times, however, when the proclivity to solitude is dampened by the call to society. Today has been one of those times.
Two days ago, after a difficult surprise quiz, our teacher gave us the option to visit Sumilao farmers sojourning on our university to compensate for the generally low scores of the class. After our visit, we should make a reflection paper with regard to their plight as well as our reactions to their arrival.
The Sumilao farmers, to make a long story short, had their land taken from them because someone richer took interest in their ancestral land and took it from them. As an act of protest, they marched from Bukidnon to Manila, which is roughly 1700 kilometers apart. How can this be put into context?
Remember Gandhi’s Salt Satyagraha? That was a 400 kilometer journey. These farmers marched for two months, and it can be noted, more than four times as much also. This is all for a land that was already theirs.
I went to mass for the first time in my stay here in Manila today; it was celebrated for the Sumilao farmers in the hope of them attaining the land that was theirs all along. There was a program held for them, afterwards, and I got to talk with two of them. Understand that 1700 kilometers is no small deal in terms of walking distance, and with this in mind, I gave one of them some money (he wanted to call home, but had no load in his mobile phone). He gave me his headband which was not for sale, even for the support of their cause. I realized then and there that there is so much we should be grateful for.
I was complaining about being cheated of my money by obtaining a bootleg. I was complaining why generic male lead 1 did not end up with generic haremette 3. They complained because they had no land to till on. They complained because what was rightfully theirs was not bestowed upon them. They complained because they had nothing to eat. They still did more than anything I had ever done.
I am grateful I went there. What was initially for the grade turned out to be the quintessential Marcellian encounter I could never forget. I am not going to submit a paper tomorrow. It’s not that I am lazy, it’s just that if I did, it would undermine what I was there for. I was not there for the grade. I was there to help. Sometimes, that is enough.