Ayala protest highlights

Posted: February 17, 2008 in Socio-Political
Tags: , , , ,

My wife gave birth to our first child on Valentine’s Day, one day before the scheduled anti-Arroyo rally in Ayala, Makati. Despite having almost no sleep for two days, I felt great going into the Friday protest action. There’s this unusual high one gets upon seeing a newborn baby (and knowing that Beng was alright through all of it). I guess that’s where my energy came from. There was also the momentum leading up to Friday’s protest that seemed to energize everyone.

Several protest actions prior to the Ayala action served to drum up support for the big event. There were also important public announcements coming from the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Makati Business Club, the UP community and other concerned sectors.

The Ayala rally had less than a week of preparation. Plans were only solidified on Wednesday, two days before the mass action. Still, the turn out was really encouraging.

We estimate the crowd to be anywhere from 10-12, 000 people. There were the militant groups, the Makati employees, priests, seminarians, nuns, religious, lawyers, students,  artists, urban poor, workers, farmers, Opposition figures, business folks and of course, the media came in full force (though they weren’t exactly rallyists, we felt their “participation” just the same).

Four bands performed, even if they were given one day’s notice. First to rock the stage was Bobby Balingit of the legendary WUDS. He got the Makati crowd, including the mestizas and business types, up on their feet dancing (and to think Bobby hails from the punk tradition of the 80s).   Next on the stage was Brownman Revival who gave a rousing rendition of “Maling Akala” that got the crowd electrified. Clenched fist raised, Dino Concepcion chanted “Makibaka! Huwag Matakot” as the group wound up the Marley classic “Get up, stand up”.

Veteran rock group The Jerks delighted the crowd with Sayaw sa Bubog, Rage, and Isa pang Kanta. The band Talahib rounded up that day’s performers.   

The politicians were there but they had the good sense of not taking too much of the limelight. It was a good move on their part and it helped neutralize the Malacanang propaganda that this was all politicking.

Bayan delivered one of the biggest numbers among organized groups, but the Makati people (community residents and employees) probably made up the biggest bulk of the participants. The Opposition, including the Edsa 3 coalition, also delivered a big crowd that day.

Confetti rained on the protesters. Last time we saw that was February 24, 2006 when a state of emergency was declared and Bayan forces regrouped in Makati.

A man on a makeshift skateboard rolled ahead of Bayan’s marching forces. The guy has been a common sight during Bayan rallies especially in Manila. I remeber first seeing him in a Free Satur rally last year.

There were various creative placards and signs that day. The biggest one was “Moderate your greed. Exterminate your breed”, which hung near the stage. The extermination obviously referred to the greediest of ’em all, whose picture appeared in the giant tarp. Bayan had colorful placards too, being featured a day before on the news as spoofs of several TV series.  A business group had a sign which simply said “Bring it on!”, a response to threats by Malacanang to unleash the BIR on anti-Arroyo business groups.

The media provided another highlight. The set up of ABS-CBN made you think they were covering the Myx Mo concert series. The cameras, including the ones mounted on cranes, were simply awesome for a rally. Astig and Dos! ABC 5 had their satellite dish at Paseo and Ayala. GMA 7 brought its big vans the size of a small house. Our hats off to all media people who covered and in a way, “joined” that day’s rally.

My pet peeve is how rallyists (and I’m not just referring to one group in particular) try to smother the TV cameras with flags. Instead of having a huge crowd as the background for news reports, what we see are flags competing with each other for 10 seconds of fame, at the expense of the bigger interest of the rally organizers ot project the numbers of the crowd. We’ve been trying to correct this as far as Bayan is concerned, but some groups assembled along Paseo that day just don’t seem to understand that it is better that TV viewers see the big crowd than see just flags in the background.

Joey de Venecia did put some effort in his speech. He’s a businessman and speaking at protest actions is probably a first for him. He did good though and the crowd appreciated him.

Two ordinary folks approached the main stage where I was standing, They had a plastic bottle with coins. They said they were collecting Piso para kay Jun Lozada. They turned over their humble collections for that day to the emcee, Bibeth Orteza. Scenes like that give you an idea of the sincerity of the people gathered that day.

Another rally is set on February 25. We hope this one would be bigger and better.

Comments
  1. Treb Vegerano says:

    Ka Renato,

    I’m Treb. I’m fronting an indie alternative rock band called Capsule Cream. We’ve been in the underground music scene since 2000 but we have been inactive for almost 8 mos. now. We are not part of any socio-civic or cause-oriented groups or any movement. We’ve always wanted to be part of protest rallies, to share the stage with fellow bands and musicians with a cause in voicing our dismay and resentment not only with what’s been happening lately but even way before these scandals surfaced. But since we’re not associated with any groups,dahil di daw kami tibak, we never had the opportunity to be counted, to take a stand thru our own music and just be contented coming across and passing on occasional gig announcements such as “in protest of this and that in this venue these bands will be playing” or just plain watching and observing. Among the five of us, I’m the most active if I may say coming to organized rallies. Pero kolorum ako- I go on my own, even if its just staying for a few minutes. Even if my wife doesn’t agree to it though we’re on the same book on our ideals and being anti-Glorias. Even being a corporate person will not hinder my desire to be part of the rallies. I’m writing you now hoping that my band and I will eventually see ourselves playing for the people, being one with them,sending our message, our stand thru our music. We chose not be one of the stereotypes in the band scene, para pumorma, makiuso lang, para masabing cool me banda kami… but we didn’t just choose to be different- nagkataon lang na me pakialam kami sa mga nangyayari, and music is the only medium we can think of to channel that cause. And we hate the fact that we can’t be part of the scene. Parang krimen tuloy na di kami taga-UP, o di kami na-expose sa grassroots ng cause-oriented movements. To put it simply just like what Chikoy said in his interview sa Probe- Ang arte, anumang form kung di rin lang mapapakinabangan ng mga tao eh wala ring kabuluhan. Gusto naming magkaron ng kabuluhan, sana kami’y inyong mapagbigyan. Maraming salamat at mabuhay kayo!

    Pagpalag
    by Capsule Cream

    Isang palatandaan sa dingding
    Malabong ilaw sa dilim
    Sintalim ng bubog ng salamin
    Balakin mong maitim

    Isang palatandaan sa dingding
    Marka ng pintura at uling
    Me pagkilos daw na parating
    Lilipulin ang mga pating

    Meron akong nakita
    Hindi ko sasabihin
    Kung meron kang nabasa
    Ibulong mo lang sa akin

    Isang palatandaan sa dingding
    Pahimakas ng masang alipin
    Sa lansangan namin dadalhin
    Binalewalang hinaing

    Isang palatandaan sa dingding
    Humanda sa ngalit ng ngipin
    Ng mayoryang di nakatikim
    Ng ginhawa sa mga sakim

    Meron akong nakits di ko sasabihin
    kung meron kang nabasa ibulong mo lang sa akin

    Isa-isa nang lumalabas dumarami nang pumapalag!
    Isa-isa nang lumalabas dumarami nang pumapalag!
    Isa-isa nang lumalabas dumarami nang pumapalag!
    Isa-isa nang lumalabas dumarami nang pumapalag!

    Isang palatandaan sa dingding
    Malabong ilaw sa dilim
    Sintalim ng bubog ng salamin
    Balakin mong maitim

    Treb Vegerano
    09178651250

  2. martin says:

    If Noli will take over the presidency how can we be sure he will not give GMA a presidential pardon ala Gerald Ford when Nixon resigned as a result of the Watergate Scandal?

  3. unidentifiedwalkingobject says:

    Di ko makakalimutan na Madaming Stoplight, Madaming Pulis.. May trapik!!..
    🙂

    Congrats on your newborn!.🙂

  4. Well, all i can is politics here in our country has its own very complicated way. Its like a race for them politicians! Get rid of each other, use each other and/or tie up with them, etc. etc. they only think for themselves. I always get to wonder how can you can change Philippines into a small but great country like singapore, hongkong, etc.. etc..
    I mean we don’t know if there are corrupt government officials there too, but even if they do have, it’s not as vulgar as it is here in our country. How long will it take for a country oriented president to clean the mess that the former presidents have made???
    I’m not a human being when Ferdinand E. Marcos became the President, but as what I get to hear about his good deeds for the Philippines, I get to think that among all of those presidents, he is better than any of them. I guess they’re all corrupt any way, but him, he still goes out of his way and make his country better. His a bit of Country-oriented and a bit of – self-oriented person. Nowadays, the politicians only do what marcos did in his time. I mean c’mon, think about it. I guess it’s more better at Marcos’ time than today! Filipinos are disciplined and controllable.

    Wala namang president dito sa pilipinas ang hindi pinrotesta eh! ang mga tao kasi imbis sisihin ang sarili at hanapin ang mga mali nila, ung mga opisyal ng gobyerno ang sinisisi. Well, corrupt kung corrupt pero walang mangyayare kung kada palit ng pwesto ng politiko eh panibagong rally nanaman!

  5. Well, all i can say is politics here in our country has its own very complicated way. Its like a race for them politicians! Get rid of each other, use each other and/or tie up with them, etc. etc. they only think for themselves. I always get to wonder how can you can change Philippines into a small but great country like singapore, hongkong, etc.. etc..
    I mean we don’t know if there are corrupt government officials there too, but even if they do have, it’s not as vulgar as it is here in our country. How long will it take for a country oriented president to clean the mess that the former presidents have made???
    I’m not a human being when Ferdinand E. Marcos became the President, but as what I get to hear about his good deeds for the Philippines, I get to think that among all of those presidents, he is better than any of them. I guess they’re all corrupt any way, but him, he still goes out of his way and make his country better. His a bit of Country-oriented and a bit of – self-oriented person. Nowadays, the politicians only do what marcos did in his time. I mean c’mon, think about it. I guess it’s more better at Marcos’ time than today! Filipinos are disciplined and controllable.

    Wala namang president dito sa pilipinas ang hindi pinrotesta eh! ang mga tao kasi imbis sisihin ang sarili at hanapin ang mga mali nila, ung mga opisyal ng gobyerno ang sinisisi. Well, corrupt kung corrupt pero walang mangyayare kung kada palit ng pwesto ng politiko eh panibagong rally nanaman!

  6. may correction sa una! ^_^