Day 1: Arrival in Manila
I arrived at Ninoy Aquino International Airport at around 5:15 AM on July 9th with Rey, a fellow youth organizer from San Francisco. Despite one scary moment when the airplane hit some clear air turbulence near Guam (threw a few people out of there seats and causing some folks walking in the aisles to almost hit their heads on the ceiling) the flight was pretty smooth.
To my surprise the other folks from Rey’s youth organization were already at the airport (they had arrived the day before) and had rented out a jeepney for the trip up to Quezon City which was taking them to the national youth organizing office (the office of Anakbayan, League of Filipino Students, Kabataan Partylist and others) and taking me to the natioanl office of the labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno.
As the jeepney was snaking through the congested streets the seven of us conversed about our sepearte programs with
BAYAN and our organizing back home in The Bay. Along with our conversations and laughter the strong smell of diesel and gasoline wafted throughout the air.
At one point we got excited when a pimped out jeepney blairing loud hip-hop music pulled up near us. The jeepney was literally a moving memorial and tribut to American hip-hop with paintings of Biggie Smalls, Cyprus Hill, and Tupac (among others) painted in vibrant bright colors all along its surface.
After I got droped off at the KMU office in Project 3, Quezon City I was able to get situated, grab a bite to eat a local eatery across the street and then head down to the BAYAN office where I again met up with other folks from San Francisco where we had a educational discussion on what BAYAN is and why they organize.