The Shouter’s Rift

by Ben Villarosa

All the words in one arrow. And you’re the one holding the bow.

“Together we are stronger!” says a girl with a frozen bow and arrows in her hands ready to strike nearby enemies. This warrior may sound familiar to you as most of you may have also heard her saying this line when you played her in this popular online game. Yeah, I’m pretty much talking about this character Ashe from the League of Legends.

Besides her Katniss-Evardeen way of fighting and not to mention her cool appearance that made me love her, this computer game chick reminds me of those people who share the same principle as Ashe – people who have the same objective–to flock together with the sense that they can be stronger towards obtaining their goal.

This principle of the crowd is indeed effective as can be proven by some of the historical events that have happened in the country–the People Power that ended Marcos’ regime, which also happened to have been followed by its sequel movement a couple of years later, ousting Erap Estrada from his presidency.  These events, since then, have put confidence in people to shout their voices together in the hopes of it becoming louder and being heard.

We all see these groups of people from time to time. There are those who gather in the streets holding placards, burning oversize-headed mascots and shouting their hearts out to all the authorities they thought accountable of whatever issues they’re throwing.

However, today, it seems that each member has his own reason for joining such a crowd: while some may really want to ask support and some want to throw complaints for delayed promises and failed projects, there are also those people who don’t even know what they’re doing and just come along because some friends told them to.  Some even bring their children with them ‘fighting’ for their cause. And this is where the together-we-are-stronger sense doesn’t make sense at all.

We are privileged for being in a democratic country for it is the majority’s voice that we all fulfill the vital role in filling in those high positions of governance – and it is  also our voice that is in need to be heard in order for them to know what’s the best that has to be done for our nation.  Nonetheless, this privilege only looks like a privilege of the few who just want to blame the adversities they have on somebody else – in this case, the government officials and authorities.   Worse, sometimes they drag others into doing it, rather than looking for the solutions firsthand to ease the misery they are in.

Voicing out one’s intentions with the other protesters who also have the same thoughts on an issue is certainly one of the essential elements of how democracy works. But shouting what others are telling you to when it is not really your stand is like singing with headphones on your ears playing deafening music – mouthing every lyrics without a single word coming out from your mouth that you can hear or understand.

Joining in a movement, especially those that show great disagreement, is not the real matter. It is about giving yourself a chance to choose your own standpoint, and by this, you are also giving your voice its real worth.

In our system, we are the archers and the government is the target. Should we hit an enemy and a friend, it doesn’t matter. What matters most is how we choose the suitable arrow to shoot at them.

Author: Christian Roy Cuadernal

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