Day 3 of Kampuhan Kontra Kaltas, Krisis at Kahirapan (Camp-Out versus Cuts, Crisis and Poverty). The day started with morning stretching exercises lead by Taren Lulu of Karatula. Then University of the Philippines Manila students Cleve Arguelles (UPM University Student Council vice-chair) and Joan Udarbe (Manila Collegian news editor) led the crowd in dancing an education budget cut song to the tune of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.”
The Central Luzon contingent also arrived in the morning. Southern Tagalog is slated to join the next day. In other places, different state universities in Iloilo held protest actions.
At around 10 in the morning, a Holy Mass was held for the Filipino to be executed on that day in China. Groups from various sectors also arrived to take part in the mass. After the mass, a program was held, led by Migrante International, with various speakers expounding on the labor-export program of the government. The exodus of Filipino workers to other countries is a manifestation of the crisis the Filipinos are experiencing. This is due to the fact that there are no vital industries to provide stable, wage-earning jobs in the Philippines.
After the program, discussions were held, led by the College Editors Guild of the Philippines. Topics include poetry writing, propaganda writing, and mass leaders’ training.
In the evening, the five captured campers arrived at the camp site after having the charges against them dismissed. Rodel Villanueva, a student of Polytechnic University of the Philippines and staff of The Catalyst, the official student publication of PUP and Jed Aquino, secretary-general of Karatula gave their thanks to the campers for supporting them. Tin Valerio, who assisted them, also gave a speech.
The day ended with a cultural night hosted by the College Editors Guild of the Philippines. Campers read selections of poetry from Tindig Panitik, a collection gathered by Kilos Na! National Capital Region. Other campers also read their own poetry, while others performed protest songs.
*photos from Strike Lead 2011