Hope, Joy, Love, Peace

This is an excerpt of my closing monologue script for SFC Angeles’ Acoustic Night 2016. It’s a different time but I believe this monologue still applies to the current state of our society. The theme of the night is “hope, joy, love, and peace”.

Let’s be honest. Lahat tayo nag-aalala sa future natin dito sa ating bansa. Medyo nagkakainitan na ang mga tao sa senate at sa congress regarding the EJK cases and the drug proliferation sa bansa natin. Like, who knew na may drug problem tayo sa bansa? (sarcastic) Yeah, who knew?

Araw-araw na lang, parang telenovela ang news natin sa lahat ng media outlets! The problem is, di na natin alam kung sino ang nagsasabi ng totoo. Buti na lang, meron tayong mga eksperto na maaasahan sa lahat ng pagkakataon: the expert political analysts from Facebook University!

Yes! Ang ating butihing scholars ng Facebook. They’re the same people na part-time sports analyst naman kapag laban ni Pacquiao. The same people na mahilig magshare ng memes, na alam naman natin na mas reliable na news source. Sila ang ating mga maaasahang komentarista sa Facebook na kukuyugin ka kapag may iba kang opinyon. Sila din mismo ang magsasabi sayo na mali ka dahil sabi sa isang satirical news site na mali ka. Yeah, those people. They could be one of your friends. They could be one of your relatives. The point is, they’re everywhere.

To make matters worse, we can see every clashing opinion online. We see people unfriending each other on Facebook. We see best friends exchanging cuss words and insults (which, to be honest, I’m still having difficulties to determine kung nag-aaway na sila o hindi. Cussing each other is but a normal thing for some BFFs. But I digress). It got so bad na if someone makes a song about it, it’ll be the new Tukso. (kayrami nang winasak na tahanan, kayrami nang matang pinaluha, kayrami nang pusong sinugatan) You know what’s the absolute worst? You read too much English in your comments section! Alam mo na frustrated ang isang Pinoy kapag nakikipag-argue na sya using English!

What’s my point in bringing these up? I’ve been thinking. It seems like we got caught up in all the complications of life and society in general and we forgot the basics. We’re gradually losing our ability to love that’s why we don’t listen anymore. We lost our ability to laugh at ourselves and find every differing opinion as derogatory to either our being or our beliefs. On top of it all, it seems like we’re losing all hope that things will get better. That’s why we respond with indifference. After all, everyone says we got nothing to offer to fix the situation. No wonder we can’t achieve lasting peace.

Are we really that hopeless, though? To be completely honest, naiisip ko minsan na wala nang pag-asa. Pero whenever the thought crosses my mind, I always remind myself this: there will always be hope. Fortunately, I’m not the only one who thinks that way. That’s why we all decided to focus on reminding everyone of the basics. We decided that our theme for tonight be this: Hope, Joy, Love, and Peace.

Kahit gaano pa mukhang hopeless ang situation, we still should choose hope over despair. Tulad nga ng sabi ng favorite comedian ko na si Stephen Colbert, despair is a victory for hate. Hate wants us to be too weak to change anything. Sa lahat ng pwedeng mawala, pag-asa ang hindi dapat mawala sa atin. When we lose hope, we start to die little by little. We start to die when we lose the thing that we’re fighting for. You know what? We may have different opinions and we may be fighting for different things. But one thing’s for sure. We all want to make this world a better place. Why can’t we all set aside our differences and work together to reach our goals? Why can’t we do that?

We should choose joy in response to fear. Sabi nga nila, laughter is the best medicine, and it has never been more true than now. Again, I would like to quote Colbert: you cannot laugh and be afraid at the same time, and the devil could not stand mockery. No matter how hard life is, we should always find a reason to smile. We should also find ways to make other people smile. Did someone make you smile today? Make someone else smile. Pay it forward.

We should choose to love in response to hate. Kahit gaano pa ka-cheesy at cliche ang linya na to, we still believe that love can conquer everything. Love does not despair. Love makes us strong. Love gives us the courage to act. Love gives us hope that change is possible. Love allows us to change the script. Love urges us to listen. To understand. To talk. To compromise. To find the silver lining.

Where there’s hope, there’s joy. Where there’s joy, there’s love. Where there’s love, there’s peace.

In closing, I would like to leave you with this message. Never ever let anyone tell you that you can’t make this world a better place because I’m telling you right now: you are not alone. I really hope na kapag naalala nyo ang mga bagay na narinig at napanood nyo ngayong gabi, sana maalala nyo na we’re all in this together. Again, we may all have different opinions and perspectives and belief systems. Pero always remember that the divisions that were created were man-made. We were the ones that created the division, and we’re the ones that would break those divisions. Perhaps it’s too ideal. Maybe. But as long as we’re hopeful, one day, darating din ang panahon na ‘yon.

Good night, and may God bless the Philippines.

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