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Waking Up

For the past two months after the May 10 election, I was struggling with my writing and activism work. I felt so tired and just wanted to be free from any pressures and just take care of my daughter who started her grade school last June. I have so much email in my inbox but I really don’t have that spark to write. I just felt lazy. I tried several times to write but I end up frustrated.

I did continue to perform my work yet I find it not so inspiring despite the many things that we achieved in our electoral advocacy and inspiring messages from my Pulse Wire community. I jotted down possible topics to write in my notebook to remind myself but I failed. I have so many things to write but I find no words. I know I am just so tired and just finding the right time and the right rhythm. Though, I’ve got a little bit worried but I tried to be gentle with my self.

I just finished reading a book on how to slow down with the speed of life and I did understand that I was really exhausted and having that so called “burn out”. Last night, I was reading some inspirational articles and quotations of writers such as Mark Twin, Maya Angelu among others just to help me appreciate what is happening to me.

Just before I went to sleep I promised myself to write an article no matter how short it is.
In my sleep, I had a very vivid dream that a good friend of mine died and I was giving a message at the funeral program as a tribute for her. Suddenly, I was awakened by a call from a friend and a text message only to realize that such dream was a reality though a different person. I felt I’ve lost my consciousness for a second not knowing my reaction.

A Real Nightmare That Wakes Me Up

Such a real nightmare that wakes me up! Fernando Baldomero, a political activist, a friend and a colleague was shot to death by two unidentified assailant at 6:30 this morning in front of his house at Barangay Estancia, Kalibo, Aklan. He was about to board on his motorcycle taking his 12 year old son to school. The assassins were wearing helmet and black jacket riding in a motorcycle with no plate number. The only witness to the killing was his son. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

“Nanding“ as his friends and colleagues usually called him was formerly a political detainee and presently the Chairperson of Bayan Muna-Aklan, a progressive political party known for its critical stand against the Arroyo government. He was a Board member of the Philippine Councilor League of the Philippine – Aklan.

At the age of 61, he was still very committed to work for basic reforms in our society. Last April 19 at the height of electoral campaign, two grenades were blasted to their ancestral house. The house was damaged and fortunately nobody was hurt. Despite threats for his life, he still continued to run for public office. Thus, he won for another 3 year term for 2010-2013. He was officially proclaimed last June 30 as a third termer municipal councilor. Sad to say, he was just about to start his another three year term and he was silenced forever.

His families were so devastated for his untimely death. He was such a big lost to the family and to the progressive movement said her sister-in law. Despite his death, his son Ernan still challenged the perpetrators not to do it again. “You have killed my father but there will many more that will replaced my father”, said Ernan. “You can never kill the spirit of my father who will always live among the many people whom he had served”.

My Memories of Nanding

Nanding was known to be very responsible and a loving father as shown up to his last breath. He was known to be very calmed, soft spoken and a quiet person. The first time I met him was in 1995, when he was introduced to me by his wife who was working as a volunteer for the groups of Lolas (grandmothers) who were made as Filipino comfort women during the Japanese period. He was such a very gentle and a quiet person. We have many more memorable encounters since he ran for public office in 2004 during advocacy gatherings for good governance and anti-political killings

The last time we’ve had a handshake and a smile with each other was March this year during the Bayan-Muna endorsement of local candidates for the coming May 10 national and local election. I never though that was our last smile and handshake . I never thought that today I saw him on television lying cold and dead.

I felt angry that the political killings still continue under the new government of President Aquino and the first victim was another friend of mine. Though, the thoughts that many more activists are in the waiting list scared me more. I don’t know when these will finally ends but deep in my heart I know this will come to an end. I hope under the government of President Aquino justice will be served and political killings will come to an end.

My Promise

My promise to myself came alive instantly. But I felt sad that my story is just another tragic story of a dear fellow activist and a dear friend. But their stories must be told, there lives must be celebrated and there death must be given justice. Who will write for them, if I’m not going to write? Who will give them voices if I will not voice out for them? I wish my simple way of giving voice to their silenced souls will give more inspiration and light in building a Filipino community and a world where life is being respected and honored. I may not always keep my promise of giving voice to the voiceless because sometimes I’m voiceless too! But I do believe that their voices will always wake me up and give me strength in the middle of my long sleep to make their voices be heard no matter how tired I am.

Comments

JaniceW's picture

Take time for you

Malaya,
I can only imagine how exhausted you are mentally and physically. In our current issue of the print magazine, we featured an article titled What's the Point of the Revolution if We Can't Dance?

The authors talked with more than 100 female human rights activists from 45 countries about needing more time, and they all said the same thing: "We’ve created a culture of self-sacrifice. And we’re tired. We’re fearful, exhausted, even traumatized."

At the end of the article, they ask us to shift our culture by incorporating self-sustainability, activist safety, and well-being into our everyday routines with some tips on how to get started. We must first heal ourselves as only then can we begin to heal others. Now that the elections are over, take some time to spend with your children and relish in their laughter and innocence. We will always be here to listen when you are ready to speak for the voiceless. Much love,
Janice

malayapinas's picture

Thank you so much for the

Thank you so much for the love and understanding!
Yap! I'm going to read the article

love,
Malaya

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