yesterday, i told my students i will not come to class because i will go to the rally. many people came. we had to form, in haste, the lesbians and gays laban kay gloria (LAGLAG) because our group Ang Ladlad has yet to form a consensus regarding our stand for or against gma.
and so we were there, in estrella corner edsa, when media came. the other groups rushed to media with their leaflets, brochures, et al. politely, media talked to them, then rushed to our group to interview us. one lady beside me spat her words: "ang konti-konti ninyo, bakit kayo ang kinakausap ng media? bakit hindi kami?"
because our placards are colorful. we use poster color, attach butterflies, paint flowers, a stretch of sky.
because our words are not cliches. how many times could you say oust gloria without sounding so, duh. so we had: it's time to go, tita glo. or gloria arroyo, babu. or ate glo, go na!
because we do not thrust our badly-written brochures into the noses of media people.
and so we marched, squeezed in between and among laban ng masa (dodong and princess nemenzo greeted me), akbayan (tita etta rosales and i smiled at each other), suara bangsamoro (where the muslim leaders said good words about me in 2010), pdp-laban (who told me they have begun campaigning for me in laguna and cavite), and the magdalo wives (who were delighted when i said i campaigned for sonny trillanes in 2007, and said they would help, too, in 2010). i posed for pictures with people i do not know, signed copies of ladlad that some people had (why, i did not know), smiled and shook the hands of complete strangers. now that i think about it, it suddenly felt like a 2010 campaign, even though i had no barkers or advance party or PRs hovering about.
it was a gathering of people from all persuasions. there were lots of lesbians and gays, but they were scattered in the various groups -- school groups, NGOs, office people. how did i know? gaydar. and some wore clothes outlandish enough even for pride marches. bongga.
as for the query regarding be not afraid, they were there, along with sen ping lacson. also bangon pilipinas, with eddie villanueva. and the angelic choirs of jun lozada -- that brave soul. when he first testified in senate, i was there and when he walked past, brother armin luistro and atty harry roque and i chatted, but i calpped loudest when lozada passed by.
yesterday, i walked for miles and miles and miles -- arthritic knees, UTI-infected kidney, asthma and all. but it was a small sacrifice to be able to join almost a hundred thousand people on the street. do not believe the police when they said there were only 10,000. our police intelligence has long lost their intelligence.
save for a few, hardy few, police and military officers (below general level) who tell me they are just biding their time.
biding their time.