UP Prof sends a powerful open letter to UP students: Really? Can you only now see the world thru the lens of activism? - The Daily Sentry

Sunday, December 2, 2018

UP Prof sends a powerful open letter to UP students: Really? Can you only now see the world thru the lens of activism?



Dr. Rolly N. Aguilar, photo from Facebook
Following the basketball fuss on UAAP finals, Dr. Aguilar, an Associate Professor from the University of the Philippines, wrote a powerful open letter intended for the students of the university.

Wear Black Movement

This, after some of the student activists from UP itself seemed to politicized the non-political event during the game through their call to their fellow students to wear black. The reason being was apparently to 'protest against violence, impunity, and misogyny'.


The Opposition Force

What made the conclusion of some that the game was 'being politicized' was the presence of some politically-affiliated personalities who were spotted on the most-celebrated UP-Ateno fight.

Stealing UP's thunder

To name a few, there was Agot Isidro, Florin Hilbay, and Franklin Drilon. All appeared to be stealing the thunder of both the UP players and the university's, in a moment that took 32 long years before its fruition.

The Open Letter

In a Facebook post, Dr. Rolly N. Aguilar expressed his disappointment among the students who were involved on the 'wear black' movement in which the number of people who participated was nowhere near the number of those who did not.

Same School, Different Beliefs

Said letter was specifically addressed to the student leaders of the UP Manila University Student Council, to which he told them that it made him sick.

"I, like you, belong to the UPM community. I am an Associate Professor there so, I will conduct myself accordingly and appropriately. Calm objectivity", he started.

Without disregard to the students' right to freedom of speech and expression, the UP professor noted that he totally understand their political beliefs.

"You may have your political beliefs. So do I. You are entitled to freedom of speech and expression. So am I", he said.

However, Dr. Aguilar also emphasized that due to his 'education at the UP, together with age and experience' which taught him to be 'more discerning, critical and adaptable', he sees things differently as opposed to what the students have exhibited, thus, he would 'react appropriately'.

Sickening!

When the university's associate professor saw their call anent the movement, he said it made him sick.

"I saw your call to wear black during game 1 of the UAAP Finals in my news feed a couple of nights back. Honestly, it made me sick", the UP alumnus wrote, adding "To this, you may react, “who cares?”. . . “manigas po kayo. May pinaglalaban po kami.” For after all, you are student leaders and student activists. You are fighting for the country. You are fighting for what is right. You are fighting for the future generation. You are tackling issues of national concern.", he wrote.

Activists For Life?

Questioning the students' stunt, the disappointed professor scrutinized the gesture that seemed to be inappropriate.

"But, do you need to politicize an apolitical sporting event? Really?? Can you only now see the world thru the lens of activism?", Dr. Aguilar asked.

Far From Martial Law

Taking a walk down memory lane, the UP professor went back to a memory as early as 1972.

"This brings to my mind 1972…. no, no, no, … not Martial Law, as you may have hastily concluded from your myopic view of history, my dear student leaders", he stated.

Later, he began reminiscing the epic kind of tragedy that happened during a sport event.

Mass@cre in Olympics

Lecturing the said students regarding a somehow-the-same event that ended with a tragic story, Dr. Aguilar recounted what transpired during the Olympics held in Munich.

"This brings to my mind 1972…. no, no, no, … not Martial Law, as you may have hastily concluded from your myopic view of history, my dear student leaders. I bring you back to Munich. The Olympics. Do you know what happened then? If not, then maybe it’s because you keep seeing the world through filters.", he wrote.

Then, he went on telling the story in detail, in which some athletes had been 'mass@cred' for a controversial reason.

Read the complete Facebook post of Dr. Rolly N. Aguilar below: 

Dear student leaders of the UP Manila University Student Council,

I, like you, belong to the UPM community. I am an Associate Professor there so, I will conduct myself accordingly and appropriately. Calm objectivity.
Photo from SPIN.ph
You may have your political beliefs. So do I. You are entitled to freedom of speech and expression. So am I. But, maybe unlike you, my education at the UP, together with age and experience, have taught me to be more discerning, critical and adaptable. Thus, I can see events thru various lenses and act and/or react appropriately.

I saw your call to wear black during game 1 of the UAAP Finals in my news feed a couple of nights back. Honestly, it made me sick. To this, you may react, “who cares?”. . . “manigas po kayo. May pinaglalaban po kami.” For after all, you are student leaders and student activists. You are fighting for the country. You are fighting for what is right. You are fighting for the future generation. You are tackling issues of national concern.

Well and good.

But, do you need to politicize an apolitical sporting event? Really?? Can you only now see the world thru the lens of activism?

This brings to my mind 1972…. no, no, no, … not Martial Law, as you may have hastily concluded from your myopic view of history, my dear student leaders. I bring you back to Munich. The Olympics. Do you know what happened then? If not, then maybe it’s because you keep seeing the world through filters.

Munich. 1972. The Olympics. A Palestinian terrorist group massacred 5 Israeli athletes, 6 Israeli coaches and 1 West German police officer … all in the name of “secular nationalism” and Palestinian rights. You can read about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munich_massacre. But, then you may say, “Ay, grabe sya oh! Sir, sobra naman kayo, sir! Hindi naman kami terorista. Iba naman yun, sir!” Really? Maybe so. A sporting event (the Olympics) exuding with camaraderie and sportsmanship was ruined, BLACKENED by politics. How different is that from what you are trying to do?

Ah… yes, yes, yes … you are not k!ll!ng the athletes. Oo nga naman. But, are you not k!ll!ng the community spirit? The collective fervor? The momentum to victory? The jubilation that, after 32 years, UP is once again “no longer exempted” from the finals? Are you not trying to k!ll the UP community’s pride in wearing the color maroon? Are you not k!ll!ng the UP community’s unity by making some wear black while others wear maroon? I anticipate that you may not agree with what I’ve said especially if you keep looking at it myopically. But, truth is, yes, you too stymied our jubilation, excitement and momentum. For what? To make a political statement in an apolitical event????

Oh, by the way, did I tell you the name of the Palestinian terrorist group? It was BLACK September. Parallelisms of parallelisms. Now, with your call, do we have a “Black December?” So, sad.

Thirty-two long years. Yes, it took us that long to once again enter the finals. Some or, maybe, all of you were not even born the last time UP made it to the top two (1986). Aren’t you happy it is happening within your lifetimes? The next opportunity might not come in another 30 years or so. Some of us might have passed on by that time. So… PLEASE… do not ruin this joyous and wonderful occasion and allow us to enjoy this moment untainted by politics and divisiveness.

Am I asking you to give up activism? No. Just put it in the proper place.


Dear students leaders, I leave you with this…

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

A Time for Everything

3 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to k!ll and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a TIME TO EMBRACE and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a TIME TO BE SILENT and a time to speak,
8 a TIME TO LOVE and a time to hate,
a time for war and a TIME FOR PEACE.

Don’t you think this is the proper time to hoist the flag of PEACE, practice restraint and be SILENT, even for just a few short days, so that we can all together EMBRACE our victories, as well as each other, in fervent jubilation and in the spirit of LOVE for our university, our colors and our Fighting Maroons?

#ilagaysalugar
University of the Philippines (UP) Executive Vice President Ted Herbosa / Photo from GMA Network
Source: Dr. Rolly N. Aguilar via Dr. Ethel Pineda