I got off the jeepney and began walking towards our subdivision. A man who was hitching a ride on the jeepney (sabit) suddenly grabbed the handbag of the old lady sitting near the exit. She screamed for help, but no one budged. Without thinking, I gave chase to the snatcher, managing to catch up on him before he rode on his accomplice's motorcycle. I drop kicked the snatcher, who then slammed onto his accomplice and their getaway. I managed to get hold of the old lady's bag while screaming "Mga snatcher po mga ito!" to the bystanders, who then alerted the nearby Barangay Tanods, who then finally gave chase to the scrambling criminals. I never knew whether they were caught; all I believed was I did a good favor to someone in need.
Sounds too far-fetched to be true? I was just getting in to my third year back during my BS Bio days. It all happened the way I narrated it. To be honest, with the reaction of the people I recount this tale to, sometimes I am left wondering what truly is up with our society today.
Every reaction I get usually is something about "Di mo naisip safety mo?" or "Tanga tanga mo dapat pinabayaan mo na lang" or even "Pag ganyan tahimik na lang tayo, wala na tayo magagawa minsan".
"WALA NA TAYO MAGAGAWA". --> I do not believe in this statement. There is ALWAYS something we can do. Maybe not in the concrete sense, though, but THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING WE CAN DO. Its very frustrating when you reach this point...
We should be afraid that people are asking us to STAY SILENT IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY. Our culture of today tells us to keep our heads low so that we can live in peace. Indeed, it seems that Death comes to those who speak out loud. BUT WE ARE A DEMOCRACY. THERE IS FREEDOM OF SPEECH! Mali yung tumahimik na lang, eh.
But then, how many people, who have spoken the truth and spoken out against injustice, have fallen? From UP Activists to Keyboard Warriors, we are a dwindling minority in today's silent society. Furthermore, many blame the outspoken because they "tend to speak or act without thinking, without proof, tactlessly.." Though, my only gripe is that when one speaks out, he has so many supporters. Yet when he needs them the most, they vanish. Wala eh.
Alas, just like everything else, there is a limit to freedom of speech. It should not be abused or used to wrong the innocents. Freedom of Speech is a gift to be used in dire times. It should be invoked when injustice is rampant, and when something NEEDS TO BE DONE.
Thus we go back to the price of speaking out: It's worth more than money; people tend to pay with their lives. But it should not be a deterrent to change. It should be a catalyst, a wake up call. I wish to remind my fellow young adults of today that we still have hope for this nation, for this world, because we are hope itself.
Remember, my fellow youth: It's not wrong to speak out against injustice. It's not wrong to go against the flow. It's not wrong to traverse the road less taken. It's also not wrong to think before speaking/acting. And it certainly is not wrong to introduce CHANGE.
I believed I did a good favor back in 2010 to that old lady. It's 2015; no matter what people say, I will always believe that I did good. To pay with my life, with my blood, in exchange for what is right, for change, is the greatest gift I can offer to this world.