sad anecdotes

rj recounted his first experience of discrimination in london.

he went to a McDonald’s branch to apply for a part-time job. he approached the cashier and asked for an application form. the cashier (a Caucasian girl) was about to give him one when the manager (also Caucasian) intercepted her. the manager, bless her pure, white heart, then went on a scolding spree, berating the cashier for giving out application forms to ‘all sorts of suspicious-looking strangers.’ the tirade went on for a whole of 3 minutes, while rj dumbfoundedly looked on.

as soon as the manager took a breather the cashier replied, “this man is asking for one and he can ACTUALLY hear and understand you!”

the manager, rj said, took one look at him, realized her folly and walked away.

the cashier shook her head, apologized to rj saying, “we hear such stupid things nowadays.” to which rj simply nodded, took the form out of courtesy to the kind cashier and left the place chin up without looking back.

rj told me, “naisip ko tuloy, hindi ka pwede dito (i suddenly realized that you can’t stay here). mapapaaway ka araw-araw! (you’ll get into fights everyday!)”

yesterday was the 1st anniversary of the forced disappearance of UP students karen and sherlyn.

we held a press conference with their mothers and i admire them immensely for their bravery. a year has passed but they shed tears as if their daughters were kidnapped just yesterday. distraught as they were they faced the cameras with spirit and resolve. they demanded justice for their daughters and all other victims of extra-judicial killings and forced disappearances under the Arroyo regime. “we will not stop fighting until justice is served.”

it was a sight to see. students passing by stopped in their tracks to listen to what they had to say. even the camera men of the TV crews were moved to tears.

we then went on to hold a protest rally in morayta with foreign delegates from the International Youth Solidarity Mission (IYSM). the IYSM consists of Christian students from hongkong, nepal, burma, malaysia, thailand, korea, sri lanka and india. they came to the philippines to conduct fact-finding missions on cases of human rights violations against youth and student activist leaders. (more on this later.)

heard the saddest news. a very close friend and comrade is stricken with brain cancer.

still don’t know how to react to this. 😦

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