by Nina Sanchez
On Thursday night, PNoy Pinay held a “lugawan” at The Fort to benefit Tulong Bayan* and Good Governance.
Called “Dinner for Good Governance, Dinner for Hope,” the fundraiser was attended by the movers and shakers of Philippine society, about 1200 of them in their casual yellows, indulging in the nation’s finest, you guessed it, lugaw.
This sea of yellow is a microcosm of what we, as a nation, are capable of doing. “Sino-sino pa ba ang magtutulungan, kung hindi tayong magkababayan?” asked host Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski.
Bayanihan truly was the theme of the evening. But to accomplish this togetherness, we have to remind each other (cue lights, sounds, smoke effects): Hindi ka nag-iisa.
We’re not alone in this struggle, in this time of natural and moral calamity.
That was Mar Roxas’s message as he took the stage as one of the guests of honor. He asked, “Tatanggapin ba natin [ang kalaswaan ngayon sa gobyerno, editor’s words], o papalitan ba natin? Our future is in our hands. Sama-sama tayo, lalaban tayo.”
Now it’s worth sitting back and considering this: The scion of a political clan, Mar, like Noynoy, spent some time in exile, the Roxases in New York, the Aquinos in Boston, because their families dared to fight for the rights of the Filipino people.
Twenty-odd years later, they’re back, old enough to carry their fathers’ torches, tossed into the storm of Philippine politics, witnesses to its ugliness, and yet, here they are, proclaiming to the nation that there is still hope. Kaya pa nating palitan. Kaya pa nating umasa. May laban pa.
Hindi pa ba sila pagod? Haven’t they suffered enough? What men they are to carry such a burden, for us.
Noynoy Aquino then took the stage after Rachel Alejandro’s soulful rendition of “Ako ay Pilipino.” He asked, “How do we finish the fight that was started so long ago?”
He ponders for a moment (no prepared speech, ladies and gents!)
“The answer came to me slowly… I saw it in the people. Sometimes we wonder where we get the energy. But so long as the people are with us, no obstacle is insurmountable. Kayo po ang lakas natin. Kayo ang solusyon sa ating mga problema.”
Here are men who do not rely on politics or money to keep the fight going. They rely on us. Sa atin mga taong-bayan.
For Noynoy, isa lang ang hiling niya sa atin. “Ibabalik natin sa tama ang bansa natin.”
Why, why do we deserve this so, senators?
“Because you have shown me,” said Noy, “The Filipino is truly worth dying for.”
And that is the long and short of it.
Tulong Bayan and their thousands of volunteers, mostly youth, were able to feed about a quarter of a million Filipino families in need. Today, Tulong Bayan continues its mission by sending doctors and medical supplies on the field in the service of our affected kababayan.