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Update on the Philippines: The Youth Sector

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The past few days have been quite a blur but luckily I’ve been taking extensive notes in my notebook.  I just don’t have enough time to rearrange them and turn them into blog posts at the moment as I only have a half-hour or so at this internet cafe in near Barangay Escopa in Project 4 of Quezon City.  Over the next few days the group will be heading down to Hacienda Yulo where we will be integrating with the peasants.  The hacienda is close to 7,000 or so hectares (don’t have my notebook on me at the moment, don’t know the exact number) and is owned by the Yulo family which is trying to push the coconut growers and harvesters off their land to develop it into different crops, houses, golf course, and various kinds of eco-tourism (quite a popular trend in liberal bourgeois circles).

The five of us (and our various guides from the League of Filipino Students) have been going from university to university (culminating in the People’s  State of the Nation address) meeting with students and student organizers, taking part in cultural sharings (music and poetry mostly), visiting different class rooms and talking about our experiences, and spending time with many Anak Bayan, LFS, and Kabataan Partylist organizers.

The past few days we visited University of the Philippines Diliman, University of the Philippines Manila, University of the East, and Polytechnic University of the Philippines which I’ve blogged about before (not to mention University of the Philippines Baguio during our integration with the workers and indigenous organizers in Benguet).

One of my highlights was being able to spend one night and two days at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines which has a strong National Democratic presence at the school.  I was able to meet some amazing organizers and had some fabulous discussions and announcements with the students doing room to room presentations with two LFS PUP organizers, Charms and Elvin.  The students were hanging on their every word.  Standing up in class, cheering, laughing, shouting out in agreement: especially on the need to pressure the university to keep tuition fees low and to take on corrupt school officials and teachers.

More blog posts, and plenty of photos, to come!

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