Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Letter For You


It’s been a long time since the last time we’ve met. How are you? I hope you’re doing fine. I just moved from Singapore to Darwin, Australia a few months ago. People here are warmhearted, so I don’t feel home sick. How’s Davao? I’m pretty sure that it is still green, still the same since I left my beloved hometown several years back.

You know what? I really miss you so much. I keep on reminiscing those sweet memories we have back in college. I can still remember the time when we first met. I was in bad mood that time. You know what our university has to offer during enrollment period. Students have to wait for their turn forever. I was losing my patience that time until I saw you. Those eyes… those pretty and expressive eyes. But I did not pay attention that much. You smiled to me but I did not smile back.

It was during the school’s annual sports event when I first heard your sweet voice. You were asking if I were a player. I was caught off guard. Of all people in the field, you chose me to ask some questions. I wasn’t even the committee head of that sports event! I was really intrigued.

As days go by, we keep on seeing in other, well, unintentionally. I was eating my lunch alone, as usual, in the university cafeteria. You came and we ate lunch together. We talk a lot of things and crack some jokes. Ah, you really have the sweetest laughter. Do you still remember when we broke the university’s rule by going to the building’s roof deck? It was such an amazing (and funny) experience. We almost got caught and apprehended by the guards.

Months have passed and I realized that I wanted to see you more often. There are days that I don’t meet you due to our indefinite schedules, but hey, it may sound cheesy but… you make my day complete, all the time.

After all these days of being with you, I just thought that I’m falling for you, but the thing is, I don’t have the courage to profess my love. I don’t know, maybe I wasn’t ready for this or what, but I think I just wasted every opportunities that came. But then again, I just keep on telling myself that “this is not the right time, maybe tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.”

Months before my college graduation, our batch committee decided to throw a formal party. I thought that this was the perfect opportunity, but I did not muster enough courage to invite you as my date. So, I sent you a text message. You told me that you should invite me personally. So I did it. After the party, I made a confession. You gave me an answer, but not the much-anticipated one.

It was a no.

You told me that you were already taken months after your 18th birthday. That was a year and a half ago. I was not mad at you for not telling me a part of your life. I respect it, I mean, I don’t have the right to know all personal things about you. I am just a friend, not a police officer or a CIA Agent.

I admit that I got hurt but eventually I moved on. Certain thoughts circulated my mind after that moment:

What if I asked her earlier?
What if I was courageous enough back then?
Is there really a future between the two us?
Will it really work as time goes by?

But I believe all those things happened for the reason. And with that, I am still happy that we remained friends.

Even if you already have a family there, you will always have a special place in my heart. I will never forget you. Ever. You were the first person to leave a mark in my heart. You were my first love… and I will forever cherish those happy moments that we have back in college.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Girl Power: Fight For Democracy

Last week, in our Asian History class, we watched a documentary film entitled “Inside Burma”. The documentary was produced by some independent journalists of Great Britain. It showed the real situation of Myanmar, an oppressive military-ruled country in Southeast Asia. Child labor and slavery is rampant to this country. During the filming of the documentary, the British journalists were highly guarded and even risked their lives.

This is Aung San Suu Kyi (pronounced as Awn Sahn Sue Chee), daughter of the the Father of modern-day Burma. She went back home from England in 1988 to take care of her sick mother. Coincidentally, in the same year, the long-time military leader, General Ne Win stepped down. This led the Burmese people to revolt and fight for democracy which resulted to bloodbath last August 8, 1988 (8-8-88 Revolution). On 26 August 1988, she addressed half a million people at a mass rally in front of the Shwedagon Pagoda in the capital, calling for a democratic government. However in September, a new military junta took power. Later the same month, 24 September 1988, the National League for Democracy (NLD) was formed, with Suu Kyi as general secretary.


She was put under house arrest in Burma for almost 15 of the 21 years from July 20, 1989 until her release on 13 November 2010. Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. According to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, “Suu Kyi’s struggle is one of the most extraordinary examples of civil courage in Asia in recent decades. She has become an important symbol in the struggle against oppression.”

“In awarding the Nobel Peace Prize for 1991 to Aung San Suu Kyi, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to honour this woman for her unflagging efforts and to show its support for the many people throughout the world who are striving to attain democracy, human rights and ethnic conciliation by peaceful means.”

Today, Burma (or Myanmar) is still an oppressive military-ruled country. Despite being rich in natural resources such as oil and the availability of foreign investors from United States and France, the country remained poor. The country’s economy is controlled by its military government. According to my professor, the UN can no longer appeal or penetrate to Myanmar’s predicament since it didn’t affect its neighboring countries. Needless to say, attempts of attaning freedom and democracy in this country is futile.

PS: Burma - connotes freedom/ Myanmar - military ruled country, oppression