- Posted February 10, 2013 by
Muntinlupa City, Philippines
This iReport is part of an assignment:
First Person: Your essays
On Why I’m An Activist For Worthy Causes
I’m Rummel Pinera and I’m an activist for worthy causes. When did I become an activist? I think I became an activist the moment I started to stand up courageously for the principles that I believe in. I grew up as a kid during the 1980's at a time when there was discontent against the then Marcos administration. I remember that when I was just 11 years old, I was already distributing some leaflets about protecting the environment. It was my Aunt Dominga Pinera who was then about 18 years old that taught me about the values of freedom, human rights, civil liberties, courage to stand up for good causes, and the love for justice. Imagine an 11-year old kid being enlightened by a soft-spoken aunt about believing in righteous principles and standing up firmly for what you believe in. That was me as a kid growing up during the 1980's here in the Philippines.
The 1980's was an 'era of peaceful uprisings against tyranny and injustices'. I remember that it was in 1983 that Benigno Aquino, Jr., a charismatic pro-democracy politician, was assassinated at the tarmac of the then Manila International Airport. His widow- Mrs. Corazon C. Aquino would later lead a movement that would peacefully dismantle the then Marcos administration. The Marcos administration, also known as the 'Marcos regime' here in the Philippines. was an authoritarian government that ruled the country from 1965 until 1986. I was fascinated by the bravery of Mrs. Aquino in defying the then Marcos administration's requests to stop leading political rallies for democracy and freedom. I was also impressed by such international figures like Desmond Tutu of South Africa, Lech Walesa of Poland, and the late Kim Dae-jung of South Korea who led peaceful demonstrations against despotic rule and oppression. 1983 was some kind of an 'enlightening year' for me because that was the time that I started taking part in peaceful street demonstrations.
While some Filipinos in the early 80's thought that the Marcos administration will stay in power forever and the peaceful rallies against such regime were just fruitless activities, my strong faith in freedom and progress kept me waging a peaceful struggle for democracy in our country. I was ecstatic when the peaceful People Power Revolution took place in February of 1886. The said non-violent revolution was a political milestone in the Philippines. People Power Revolution overthrew the Marcos regime in 1986 and paved the way for the return of democracy and constitutional processes in the Philippines. The said uprising ended the Marcos administration that ruled the country for more than 20 years. Such peaceful revolution later influenced and encouraged other peaceful pro-democracy revolts and uprisings during the late 80's in Africa, South Korea, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and Burma.
After participating in the 1986 People Power Revolution, I later joined several "solidarity mass actions" here in the Philippines for those who were then struggling for democracy and freedom in many parts of the world. I participated in such "solidarity mass actions" and "solidarity forums" from March, 1986 until about October, 1992. I also joined organizations promoting gender equality, environmentalism, children's rights, and other good causes during that time. It was in 1993, when I started looking for a job, that I somehow stopped participating in peaceful mass actions. But I continued promoting and doing good causes, like clean-up duties for the environment and humanitarian work, even if I was already employed from 1993 until 2001.
I participated indirectly in the so-called '2001 EDSA People Power Revolution', The said peaceful uprising is also known as the '2nd People Power Revolution' here in the Philippines. What I did then was promote the idea on Internet forums that Pres. Joseph Estrada should either resign voluntarily from the presidency or call an early presidential election wherein he can participate and run for the presidency. That was the start of my 'online activism'. Because I was then busy working to earn a living, I used the Internet as a medium to promote the good causes that I believe in. Pres. Joseph Estrada was forced to resign as president in January of 2001.
It was in March of 2001 that I quit my job to establish my own business. I started retailing in March, 2001. I established a retail store during that time. I also ventured in free-lance salesmanship during that year. I'm still running such retail store and doing salesmanship up to this time. Being a self-employed retailer and salesman obviously gave me plenty of time to participate once again in activities promoting good causes.
Aside from actually participating once again in activities for worthy causes in 2001, I started doing online campaigns for good causes during the same year. I wrote books about my own political beliefs from 2003 until 2006. I started to promote my own advocacy called 'political abrogationism' in year 2003. Political abrogationism is a political advocacy which promotes the idea that all dictatorships, monarchies and despotic regimes all over the world should be abolished through peaceful and lawful means. Political abrogationism also preaches that every country, social organization and culture on Earth should peacefully and lawfully embrace democracy and secure human rights. I know that the ultimate objectives of such a political advocacy are nearly-impossible to achieve. I didn't create such advocacy to really make democracy become absolute all over the world. We know that most countries on this planet right now are already democracies. I know that there will be some situations that may happen on Earth which can lead to dictatorial rule in some places. I made such advocacy because I want the responsible citizens of this planet to be always vigilant in their lifetimes in defending the values of human rights, democracy, civil liberties, constitutional processes and freedom. Such kind of vigilance should always guide humanity in the march for global stability and progress. I personally believe that human rights, civil liberties and freedom are natural and universal to all human beings. Hence, all human beings certainly deserve democracy and freedom.
I must also point out that I started doing online campaigns supporting Obama's bid to win the Democrats' primaries in year 2008. I actually organized fan-clubs for Obama during the same year and propagated the ‘Obama campaign’ all over the Internet. I was really impressed by Obama's intelligence, charm and sincerity that even though I'm not a US citizen, I campaigned on the Internet for his presidential bid during that time.
As I've mentioned, even though I'm not an American, I actively used the power of the Internet to champion the then presidential bid of Barack Obama in year 2008. I even went to the extent of chatting with my friends and relatives in the United States to persuade them to support and campaign for Obama. I actively joined several U.S.-based online forums in order to defend and promote Obama's presidential campaign. I used the power of the Internet to campaign for Obama during the Democratic primaries in 2008 and during the actual campaign for the US presidential election. I also did the same for Obama in the 2012 US presidential election. I promoted Obama's re-election bid on the Internet in year 2012.
I know that the Internet has that power to mobilize people from all over the world because the Internet is now the largest "common place" on Earth. I used the power of the Internet to promote worthy or good causes all over the globe. I joined the Free Burma Coalition- Philippines through the Internet. I'm happy that Burma is now slowly but surely being democratized as news-reports had shown. I was able to join various solidarity-campaigns, which helped some countries that were once under despotic rule to gain democracy and freedom, via the Internet.
Such 'common place' called the Internet is in reality a melting pot of cultures, ideas,aspirations, expressions, dreams, hopes, innovations and visions. It's only normal for such a common place to have sub-areas wherein individuals can meet new friends, form organizations and promote worthy causes. We now have the various 'social networking sites' as some kind of sub-areas wherein people can create forums and groups, as well as meet new friends. It's obvious that the Internet can be used as a practical medium to promote worthy causes and good advocacies since it is a diverse common place, and its scope is as wide as humanity itself. Activists like me are using the power of the Internet to justify, advocate and popularize good causes and noble ideals that would help make this world a much better place to live in. I know that the Internet is a modern-day innovation, but I can see the reality that it has become a huge and wide public space wherein I can freely state my ideas and openly express opinions. I’m really using the power of the Internet to promote racial equality, religious tolerance, humanitarianism, gender equality, human rights and other worthy causes all over the world.
Why am I still an activist for good causes up to this day when I'm not that young anymore? I believe that whatever your age is, you have to stand up firmly for the good principles that you believe in. I believe that every human being has a desire to see a much better world to live in because we all want to live long lifetimes and want to see all humans having harmony, understanding and peace with one another. We humans want to live in harmony with nature and the whole universe.
When we say we want to see a better world, we mean we want to reform ourselves and end oppressive systems. When we say we want reformation, we mean we want to delete out bad traditions and bigoted doctrines so we can promote kindness all over the globe. When we say we want to be free from tyranny, it means we want to respect, uphold and secure our very own human rights and civil liberties as human beings.
There are courageous human beings out there who are not afraid to stand up for righteous causes. Such heroic people will strive hard to defend human dignity and ward off discrimination and oppression. They are the ones who have the wisdom to topple despotic and oppressive structures so that this planet will be a world of justice, kindness, harmony, human rights, civil liberties, fairness, pluralism and freedom. I do believe that activists for good causes are among such courageous people.
Why am I not embarrassed to be termed as an activist for good causes? It’s because I know that I’m fighting for righteous advocacies and noble ideals. When we see oppression, we should stand up and help the oppressed. When we see injustice, we should struggle to give justice to those who have become victims of injustice. When we see cruelty, we should stand up for mercy and kindness. When we see violence, we should stand up for peace, harmony and understanding. When we see unjust things, we should have the courage to stand up for righteousness and make this world a much better place to live in.
We need to help those who are victims of natural calamities and tragedies. We need to reach out to poor folks and help many of them achieve better lives. We have to help liberate modern-day slaves from the chains of human trafficking. Why do we have to be humane and kind? It’s because we are all children of God and must help one another to gain real happiness, good life and salvation. Also, the good things that we do to others will make us better persons in this world of ours. If you are helping so many people, you are assured that many people will also help you when it’s your time to be the one needing the help of others. Also, doing good things for humanity, animals and the ecological balance will bring ‘good karma’ into your life. If you sow good seeds, you will certainly harvest good fruits. The kindness and blessings that you give to others will return back to you in so many ways.