by Therene Mari Quijano.
#MillionPeopleMarch was considered a phenomenon of the Selfie generation. It spawned from a single Facebook event page that escalated quickly into a call for a million people to gather and fight corruption. Isn’t that a sexy way of calling a rally? It has reached to a point that we have to make rallies and advocacies for people to jump on board. This movement is likened to the EDSA People Revolution in so many ways than one, but differs greatly on the generation it covers. With the use of social media to spark the interest of many, the youth was pulled into it. What made it more fascinating was that the youth actually felt strongly for it and joined the rally. The Dumaguete landscape has been deemed apathetic by various advocacy groups in pushing for programs but last August 26, the community begged to differ. The crowd of seasoned advocates, concerned citizens, and even curious students joined forces in support of the nationwide movement. It was one of the awe-inspiring events that I saw Sillimanians participate in.
For a few years, I was one of those who have slinked into my comfort zone thinking that the greatest contribution I could give to my school is to study. For some time, I thought I was alone in a community consumed with studying. Everything revolved around grades – ; studying and trying to survive every exam that went our way. It was only a few months ago that I realized that Silliman held a good number of individuals who cared strongly enough to make a change. It is not easy, they’ve told me, but they always add that it is well worth it. Dumaguete’s participation of the #MillionPeopleMarch, especially with the SUSG STRAW Committee’s involvement, is one of the inspirations that keep many of us from slipping into apathy. I cannot label myself as an activist as a lot of people have different definitions of that. All I can claim is that I am an advocate of many things within bounds of what Silliman allows. The university gives students countless opportunities to grow and develop into individuals who are capable of fighting for what they believe in. For instance, the prestigious Ms. Silliman pageant encourages candidates to fight for their own advocacies.There are so many more events that the university provided and will provide for students to be active. It is then the students’ responsibility to respond to these opportunities. It is a two-way thing. Hats off to those students who have embraced the chances given to them by our beloved university! While a lot do not understand why we do the things we do, I still see a solid number of sympathetic students advocating with passion. They have braved the odds and criticisms and are still holding on. During the #MillionPeopleMarch, I saw a lot of students and organizations that were not the usual ones to be in rallies. This is evidence that apathy can be conquered. With a just a little push, someday somehow, we’d unite for a great cause and in effect help ourt country as one big Silliman.
This year’s Founders celebration is my last one and I cannot be grateful enough for what our dear Alma Mater has taught me. Beyond the academics and camaraderie, I will always bear in mind Via, Veritas, Vita as my guiding principle, and I will continuously joyfully lift up the Lamb in all my endeavors. Thank you, Silliman.