LESSONS UNLEARNED

We Filipino’s are just way too familiar with what is happening in Syria as of the moment. The war, children suffering, civilians getting caught in the crossfire and trapped in a country that was supposed to protect them, death: We are all too familiar with this picture. We have seen this countless times in our own backyard.

But as always, the Philippine government had done the only thing that they deemed worth doing: taking our Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) home.
Did the government take a stand in the issue? No. Taking one, which based on the history of the country would be siding with the U.S. government’s action, could cause turmoil in our own country especially in Mindanao.

With the current problems in Mindanao and the deadly undercurrent of the situation with China, staying silent seems to be the most logical thing to do. Syria isn’t our fight.

Some Filipino netizens however are now clamoring for the government to take action.

From peace organizations to lefties groups to people who have taken the stand that what is happening in Syria is much more important than some stupid update regarding the AlDub or Binay’s litany of playing the victim, the Filipino had shown that we are not as apathetic as we have been made out.
Syria’s story is our story. But like the children that had been plummeted into the depths of a war they do not really understand, we Filipino’s have not been given any other choice but to just watch the carnage, just like what happened in Mindanao, just like what happened with the SAF 44 or that of the Maguindanao Massacre five years ago.

Like the Syrian refugees, we are powerless as the powers of the world continue with their war plays and tactics. But unlike the Syrian refugees, we do not have our lives on the line this time, at least not yet.

Syria isn’t our war, or at least that’s what we want to believe in. To each his own, that’s the mantra of the general public. We have our own problems to think about.

But if you look at it closely, this individualistic approach is the backbone of all conflicts in the world. Governments and organizations driven by their own sense of righteousness and greed for power had been the sole reason for all these conflicts.

We knew that. We’ve seen it. Yet we never really cared enough to actually point it out because “that’s just how the world works.” We have disregarded what we have learned from our own history.

Yes, Syria is not our war because the real war is within ourselves, because when shove turns to push, we all know that we would do what is best for ourselves, just like everyone else.

It’s the reason that deep inside us, we really know that war would always be there, that it would just change places and faces, but will always be there. After all, we are all so good at unlearning what we have learned.

Syria is not our war. It should be.

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