The rain that fell last December 14 was perhaps the hardest in the Varsitarian’s history. For it threatened to rain out the Varsitarian’s general alumni homecoming. But the alumni did not allow the rain to spoil the diamond anniversary of the publication. Benavides park had been magnificiently prepared for the homecoming, but tears of heaven poured upon the festivity. But something was stronger than the rain. The alumni spirit was undaunted. It poured its own rain of emotions to celebrate a momentous event.

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Tears of joy are more powerful than rain. Indeed, the Valik Varsi Diamond Anniversary Homecoming was one joyful event. I could not have been otherwise because alumni spirit in the Varsitarian has always been strong and bright.

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The following is the contribution of the Varsitarian to Newsbreak magazine’s ‘What the youth want’ section in its special issue dubbed Prospect 2003.

“The youth, or at least that sector whose lives revolve around the Pontifical University, want better political discourse. There is too much politics in the Philippines, but not much substance and not much change. The Philippine political spectrum is strictly divided into old politics and old ideology. The youth do not have much choice. They do not see much future.

“Old politics is represented by our Congress, both the House of Representatives and the Senate, where we see the old “names” although in some instances, in the guise of new faces. The fact that many of our congressmen are young politicians sporting old family names shows how the politics of patronage and nepotism has been perpetuated through the generations. For these clans, politics has become family business. Many of these new faces have studied abroad, but they carry the same old sensibility, the same old greed of their parents, the same old arrogance that exalt the clan over others. They best personify the old adage: you can take the Filipino out of the Philippines (take him to NYU, Harvard, or any school abroad), but you cannot take out the Philippines (the primitive, the clannishness, and perhaps the avarice) out of him.

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“The old, Jurassic ideology is represented by the inability of our leftist politicians and movements to renew themselves. If one surveys the leftist discourse in the last 40 years, one will discover that nothing has changed: it’s the same slogans, the same shibboleths, the same agitprop. It’s not surprising the old discourse issues from the Old World—from the Netherlands. Again, that movement personifies the old adage: You can take out the Filipino out of the Philippines (take him to the Hague, perhaps), but you cannot take the Philippines (the sheer blindness and the sheer smugness, the penchant for the barrel of the gun, the pure, unadulterated stupidity) out of him.

“The lesson is clear: National renewal will come only with new politics, new discourse.”


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