I found this write up in my old blog and realized that this is the realization of my ultimate dream when I was young (when my interest in Journalism, people and places started).
Once in a lifetime experience indeed.
X. SEARCHING FOR THE REBELS
Walang sinuman ang nabubuhay para sa sarili lamang, walang sinuman ang namamatay, para sa sarili lamang.
Manila, we contacted friends who we think could help us find active members of NPA. We made plan A, B and C. We thought of coordinating with the 76 Infantry Battalion, since they have the anti-terrorism campaign, to help us look for former NPAs that could probably give us some details about the organization but due to several reasons, we didn’t get to them. We tried to ask several people in the town, the people who conducted anti-terrorism campaign, professors, allegedly NPAs, and priests for us to get different angles of the story. We went to Lopez Police Headquarters and interviewed policemen n their knowledge on NPA. We went to several barangays and the data gathering lasted for two days simply because people don’t want or maybe afraid to give us information. We tried to gather and collect documentaries done about them, but due to lack of time (some, simply don’t want to help us) and electricity (because we went there after Typhoon Milenyo), we didn’t get anything.We interviewed a former NPA that is currently working on the municipal hall. He scrutinized us, asked every detail about us, and asked about our documentary and data gathering. It was the first time I experienced talking to someone whom I was hiding some information that I learned. There’s actually nothing wrong if we went to the Police because we’re trying to get both sides, but we understand that if the NPAs will learn about it, we could not control their thoughts and I’m wondering if they’ll still let us explain our side. I couldn’t look at his eyes completely though I tried to pretend that everything’s fine. Now I experienced the feeling of being an investigative journalist, the feeling of trying to keep information and trying to solve the puzzle all by yourself because the topic is so sensitive that every move and word connote life or death, failure or success. After hours of negotiating, we gained their trusts and asked us to go to their camps at 5 in the afternoon. I felt my mom’s fear and my dad’s perseverance to show courage to me. I was scared. We were scared. We rode in a van going there. Silly, the NPAs talked to the AFPs face-to-face during the checkpoint in a very remote town in Quezon province. My heart seemed to jump from time to time, my mind entertained memories and wonderful thoughts, my body was paralyzed, and my soul consistently begged for the Lord’s guidance. All the parts of my being seemed to work together towards one goal– to be alive, find the truth and make a difference.
No Permanent Address.
who am I really for? that the world is a very big laboratory where we can learn wonderful things each and every second of our lives.