We Filipinos never learn and if we do, we always choose to learn the hard way.

It only took 14 years for the EDSA revolution to make a sequel and we can’t help but shake our head in disappointment.

Before Erap became president, people already had known that he was a womanizer, a gambler, a tipler, and corruptor. But inspite of these, he still won by a large margin. If we had been more discerning in our decisions, we could have avoided putting someone like Erap in office.

I remember during that time, some people said “kung ‘yung mga matalino walang nagawa, subukan naman natin ‘yung (hindi matalino), baka may magbago.” It did change things. The people’s lot became worse.

What we did when we elected Erap was a tragic mistake. Can we possibly allow it to happen again? We can’t always take to the streets everytime we find the presidency unacceptable. The best thing to do really is to be vigilant. We should never forget the lesson Erap taught us.

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The death of Thomasian cadet Mark Chua served as a catalyst to reform the ROTC program in the country. Sad to say, many students missed the meaning of Mark‘s bravery. They took part in rallies to call for the abolition of ROTC without realizing that they still had to render national service.

On the other hand, Mark’s case has been left hanging. Everybody seems to have forgotten his case. Justice has yet to be served him.

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I had the chance to watch a CNN documentary about the women in Afghanistan and I felt so lucky to be living in a country that respects and highly esteems women. Here, I don’t have to consider my gender a curse, more so a death threat. But if I were in Afghanistan, I would be better off dead than female. During the Taliban regime, Afghan women had to cover themselves from head to foot because they were considered “impure” because of this misconception that they are impure and weak because they menstruate. It’s a good thing though that it was only the Talibans who believed in this. At least now, the women of Afghanistan are free and can be more or less equal with men. Change does not come overnight. It takes a long time to seep in especially amid deep-seated as intolerance, prejudice, and backwardness. But what is important is that change has begun.

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So many lessons learned in only one year. So many things that need to be remembered. We cannot rest from all the things that have been left undone. The fight continues for each and everyone of us. The battle to achieve world peace, economic stability, a corruption-free government, social justice, and freedom has yet to be won. We cannot just allow these to remain as figments of our imagination. There is hope.

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