The Next Life

Death is a tricky matter that most humans don’t fully grasp till they’re near the end of it. If we did fully accept our mortality, we wouldn’t need all those movies reminding us that our time on earth is fleeting. Tuesdays with Morrie wouldn’t be such a bestseller either. But we need to be reminded what death can mean for us. The death of Former President Corazon Aquino is more than just the end of a symbol for this country’s democracy. Looking back at her life, we see what so many more Filipinos must do in order to prove the resilience, potential, and beauty of our country.

We cannot let Cory and Ninoy’s death remain meaningless. Considering the crazy politics, apathetic youth, and endless rallies in the past few years–many have questioned the saying “The Filipino is worth dying for.” I come from a university that only has a small percentage really caring about what happens in the country. I’ve been to several forums that attempt to raise awareness on important issues with only the actual organizers, student journalists, and students going there for extra points actually attending (and people wonder why so much is spent/done to actually RAISE awareness). The richest and/or the brightest dream of growing their bank accounts but not the country’s future. We only hear inspiring words of being “maka-bayan” from active student officers and volunteers. I hear my fellow students amazed at their command of speech, but never really sure if they can inspire themselves to do the actual message. Where then do we go from such a lack of inspiration?

A few days ago, I finally answered the question I’ve been asking since my fourth year of high school. What do I want to achieve in this short life? Was it coincidence I found the answer within the days of Cory’s death and the nation’s mourning? Then I realized, it wasn’t a matter of how I was going to do it. I already have choices for what I want to do. The question is: where will my actions lead? Like any typical idealistic youth, I’m leaning towards eliminating ignorance. Whether you’re rich, middle class, or poor, our youth find themselves in blissful ignorance–only to find themselves unsure and/or apathetic when it’s time to actually act at an older age. I want to help shape minds to be ready to face the issues which burden our country. I want them to realize the value of their national heritage and what so many heroes, journalists, and civilians have died for.

If it takes heavy traffic and millions mourning through user pictures, I am thankful for every Filipino inspired to prove our nation’s worth. Hopefully our action will go beyond these days of mourning and we take it upon ourselves to lead the nation to its rightful place.

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