¨the mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause. the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one¨- Wilhelm Stekel
for days now i’ve been wracking my brain for ways to get this NGO project off the ground; thinking of ways to sell a dream, and finding people with the same beliefs that i have about establishing a politically independent group whose main purpose is to find ways to fund and create advocacies back home.
for now, bahaghari exists in name only but hopefully we can get it started in the next few weeks.
Although i have gotten encouraging feedback from people i talked to, saying that they think it is a good idea and that this is a project they will definitely support i do understand that the commitment i will be asking of them should i ask them to join the council is no laughing matter. the paperwork, legwork and logistics notwithstanding, there’s also the matter of reintroducing the group to the various Filipino organizations in Europe, as well as filling our ranks with members, therein lies my biggest concern.
Since Bahaghari went on hiatus some years ago, most of the members joined or created other Filipino groups here in luxembourg. right now there are two active groups and Bahaghari would be the third. so with the Filipino population here pegged at somewhere near 2500, why start another group? why not join any of the established ones since they themselves have their charity events benefitting scholars and bantay bata among others?
well first of all i have the utmost respect for these groups and the charities they support. our take though is that we want to create advocacies that aren’t in place yet, or support programs that do not have major funding, and doing these things silently without fanfare or press coverage. you help because you want to help, not because you want it known that you helped.
we’ve talked about building libraries for schools in different far flung barrios, not just places near where we grew up. we’ve talked about funding medical missions on a regular basis, and the most important thing is, everyone will have a say as to which advocacies should be helped, not just determined by a select few.
so is this something doable? fund raising activities have already been suggested, contacts are already in place, we just need to launch this baby out and set sail. talking to a tito who has been here for over 12 years, he warned me that i might inadvertently be painting a big target on my back as some leaders of the established groups might not look to kindly on our attempt to resurrect bahaghari since there is a big possibility some of their members might switch groups and join us. i understand his concern, sadly, that aspect of the Filipino mentality is something i am all too familiar with. we have no plans of actively recruiting from their ranks, we would though, tap young professionals and older residents who share our views for what an organization should be, and if others would want to join in, then we will welcome them. quality is something we will strive for, not quantity.
The quote at the beginning of this post is a quote i came upon while reading catcher in the rye for the first time years ago, when i first read it, i thought; if thats the case call me immature! i’d gladly die for a cause i believe in. nowadays, i realize now how when you are thirteen and you feel immortal you just can’t see the big picture.
people die everyday for things they believe in, and some in their death, inspire and embolden people and galvanize them into action for a needed change. these are the remarkable few, the others die forgotten in the graveyard of broken dreams.
someday soon somewhere back home in a sleepy impoverished far off town or barrio where the roads are not cemented, where grade schoolers walk kilometers to get to school, school children will talk animatedly about the greek gods, or how awesome Holden caulfield is, even wishing their school could magically transform to hogwarts they’ll get to read, and dream of far off places, and imagine… just because some strangers decided the time for change has arrived.