Every election year, Rock Ed Philippines, a nationwide youth movement for civic involvement, hosts gigs for clean and honest elections. They call these gatherings “Malinis, Please.” (Malinis is Filipino for clean.)
For the most part of my short-lived stint as a journalist, I was assigned to cover the country’s peace and national security situation during the past elections. I didn’t think it was getting worse every time. I simply got desensitized by the violence and digressed by reporting every person as a mere statistic.
Many of us have the same problem—we’ve become too resigned that we stopped asking, demanding and standing up for what we believe in.
At “Malinis, Please” last Wednesday, I did not expect to be that overwhelmed. Much more than the musicians’ unsettling talent onstage, it was the collective emotion from young concert goers that was just too raw and pure, it disarmed you.
In fact, they rocked their call for a “Malinis, Please” election so much, I felt they didn’t have to wear white. It was all heart.
“Malinis, Please” is a plea, a request, a polite demand for a super-steady claim for clean, free and honest elections.
The first one was in 2007 where thousands gathered to watch 33 bands perform at the Amoranto Stadium. All the artists were dared to wear white on stage, and the audience to come in white as well.
More artists, cities
Today, more artists in more cities have joined the voice that says, “I have a right to clean elections.” Rock Ed groups in Davao, Naga, Baguio, Manila, Cebu and Cagayan de Oro and Dumaguete have held a series of this year’s “Malinis, Please.”
More rockers in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao dared to wear white because it was one way of saying out loud, of saying it again and again, that Filipinos deserve to have the kind of elections they can be proud of.
But despite how wild our nights can go, we still don’t forget to say, “Please.”
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