July 10, 2013 1 Comment
Last July 9, 2013, 9:00-11:00 a.m., the Filipinos for Life organized an Anti RH Law rally before the gates of the Supreme Court. As a member of the Filipinos for Life, I was given the task of a marshal. So I took lots of pictures. The participants, mostly young students of nearby Catholic schools, lined up along Padre Faura stretching up to the road before the Robinson’s Place Manila. Anthony Perez, President of Filipinos for Life estimated the crowd to be about 800-1,000. Meanwhile on the other part of Padre Faura also before the gates of Supreme Court are about 30 pro RH Law advocates in the same purple shirts, same purple umbrellas, and even same purple poster designs. Someone even posed himself as a cartoon bishop in white and gold. The sameness of their gears shows that someone bought in bulk and distributed it to the participants. In contrast, the Anti RH Law crowd came from different groups with different uniforms and different posters–mostly handmade, and practically no umbrellas. The morning crowd did not get much of the news. What you see in TV are the Anti RH crowd in Green and the pro RH crowd in purple with roughly the same crowd size. They are the afternoon crowd; the morning crowd was not covered by mainstream media. But here are the links to the pictures in the RH Supilin, Buhay Mahalin (Stop RH, Love Life) albums and see for yourself what you don’t see in the TV and newspaper news reports: part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4).
I took some notes of the proceedings of the Anti RH Law rally using my phone, typing as fast as my two thumbs can press the letters while I listen to the talks. Here’s the chronology of the events:
St. Paul students occupy the pedestrian walk opposite the Supreme Court facade, extending up to the road before Robinson’s Place Manila.
The crowd is now from the Department of Justice to the Supreme Court. The Pro-Life Philippines Foundation displayed its green banner. On the desk hangs the flag of the Filipinos for Life, a shield of blue and white.
I see students from San Sebastian and St. Paul’s. There is also one representative from the Rosary for Life holding a large flag containing the picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe. There are also Don Bosco students with their gray uniforms. I met Rolly de los Reyes of Courage Philippines.
Mike Mapa and Anna Cosio of Filipinos for Life led the praying of the rosary.
Ang Kapatiran senatorial candidate Lito David arrived all in white.
The crowd began praying the the Joyful Mysteries.
Now the Glorious Mysteries.
Finished the rosary. Anna and Mike began to lead the crowd in shouting: “Buhay Mahalin, RH Supilin!” They named the groups who came: St. Paul University-Manila. Most of the crowd are students from this University. Don Bosco Mandaluyong. University of Sto. Tomas. Soldiers of Christ. Rosaries for Life. CBCP FL. Daughters of St. Paul. DMI Circle from Paranaque. San Sebastian Recoletos. CMT is still in the church for the mass.
Mike speaks: “We must celebrate life. In the family we learn values. I am thankful to be alive. My happiest moment was when I became a father. And then I understood many things God has done.”
Mike and Anna enumerated the other participating groups: Holy Family parish from Parang, Marikina. Sienna College. Citizens Initiative for Alternative Medicine. Ang Kapatiran Party. Augustinian Seminary. Mike continued: “Sometimes we feel in the media that we are alone. No, we are not alone. This is the happiest day of my life: to find a cause worth dying for. It is a reason to live, an advocacy. My happiest moment was when I became a father. I would like to thank my lovely wife, Cecil. There are so many attacks against the family. ”
Lisa Poblete, a dentist, spoke in Tagalog. Here’s my translation: “I know Pedro Gil. I lived in Padre Faura. In the Filipino language, when a person is pregnant, she is ‘nagdadalang-tao’ or ‘bearing a man’. The human being is the beginning. All of us have navels. If we have navels, then we came from our mother’s wombs. Conception starts at fertilization. We have to give all Filipinos in the womb a chance to live.
Mike speaks: “The only persons without navels are Adam and Eve. I am a Filipinos for Life member. We would like to welcome the Rogationst seminarians of the Diocese of Paranaque. Very Pro-Life. Our next speaker is from Courage Philippines. This is an organization who helps people with same-sex attraction and live life to the fullest. Let us welcome Mr. Rolly de los Reyes.”
Rolly de los Reyes speaks: “I am a Bosconian. Don Bosco through Mary. In the feast day of Mary we offer flowers. All of us. Pregnancy or pagdadalang-tao is not sickness but a gift. We must thank God for the gift that is our mothers. There are mothers who died in pregnancy. But this does not mean that pregnancy is a disease. Mothers offered their lives for us. Let us give them a round of applause. Let us also thank our Mother, Mary. We must fight against pornography, such as FMH. What we need is not a sex education but a chastity education. We must teach society about the beauty of virginity. True love waits. ”
The next speaker is Lito David, senatorial candidate of Ang Kapatiran Party.
Lito David speaks in Filipino. Here’s my translation of what I can catch: “Praise the Lord! Why are we here? Because of our faith in God who loves life. Let us pray that Supreme Court will not be bought. We could have won in Congress. There were 116 who are Anti RH. Afterwards, there were only 69? They sold their stand? For 70 million pesos? Because of the pressure of PNoy? Let us pray that the Supreme Court will not be bought.”
Anna speaks: “In the Flames of Love, there is an actress together with Dina Bonevie. She is already a grand mom. She is known for giving chastity talks in public schools. Please welcome, Ms. Rica Dayrit.”
Rica Dayrit speaks in Filipino. Here is my translation: “The youth are here. Anna said that I am beautiful, a pro-life mother. Why are we beautiful? What is the will of God? The priest said that you can be a good Christian if you get married. We have children entrusted to us to be born. What is the beauty of being a pro-life mother? I go to checkups. I fall in line. Then I hear the doctor say to other women ahead of me. ‘Are you taking pills? I see many diseases in your ovary.’ We must take care of life. In this way there will be many beautiful Filipinos in our country.”
Anna speaks: “Let us welcome the Claretian missionaries. We would like to welcome the Filipinos for Life and their president, Mr. Anthony Perez.”
Anthony speaks in Filipino and English: “Let us give each other a round of applause. What time did you wake up? The Soldiers for Christ have not yet slept. But they are here. We stand to celebrate life. And we have visitors here. What is your name?”
Little Boy: “Angel Liwanag. 5 years old . from Bonifacio.”
Anthony: “Let us give a round of applause to Angel! Where is your daddy? I am the speaker. Story?”
Little Boy: “No.”
Anthony: “There is Philippine Alliance of Ex-Seminarians. Are you going to become a priest?”
Little Boy: “Yes.”
Anthony: “Are you sure? Daddy’s message says that you are going to give a poem. These is the list of poems. To my fellow youth. Heart of Stone. You are my Boss.”
Little Boy reciting in Filipino: “You are my boss. That is the word that I spoke. No counterflow. To help in the cross. You are my boss. … aspirations. Face my parents regarding their legacy of democracy. We can say that we have reached far, the way of the future generations. Thank you very much.”
Anthony: “These are speeches that were made into poems.”
Meanwhile I walked around to the pro-RH side and checked their props, posters, and crowd size. There are only a few of them. Their many umbrellas and large streamers hide their small number. Their posters say that “I am a Catholic from a family of 8 or 9.” Then there is that guy posing as Bishop of Cartoon Diocese. They focus their attacks on the Catholic Church, creating a parody church in the process. Indeed, they lack imagination. They cannot truly create but only mock. As Frodo said of Orcs:
‘No, they eat and drink, Sam. The Shadow that bred them can only mock, it cannot make: not real new things of its own. I don’t think it gave life to the orcs, it only ruined them and twisted them; and if they are to live at all, they have to live like other living creatures. Foul waters and foul meats they’ll take, if they can get no better, but not poison.” (The Tower of Cirith Ungol, The Lord of the Rings)
Interesting. When I walked to the other side, I can’t hear what we in the Anti-RH side are saying. And vice-versa. I think this is what the current state of our dialogue on the RH Law right now.
Anthony: “Sienna college is here. Let us fight for life. Our youth have talents; they just need the right guidance. Let us celebrate life. Thanks to all who came. We can stay longer if we wish. I know that many of you have classes. Thank you very much for making a stand. Let us think of our loved ones in our lives. Let us think what if they were not born? It is happier for men to love before they separate from each other. So let us join hands and pray the “Our Father””
The crowd sang the Our Father.
Anthony: “Let us sing Happy Birthday To You!”
The crowd sang the song twice.
The rally officially ended. The Soldiers of Christ took over. And they sang and prayed I think until 12:00 noon, which is the end of the rally permit.