There is a touch of the whimsical when the words are said especially coming from the mouths of the innocent ones for whom Christmas is that "time of year" when the extraordinary is wished for.
If only to counter my growing skepticism of the value and meaning of Christmas – given how it's been hijacked by imperialist capitalism – I am appropriating the "wish ko lang" perspective in this column. This way, no one will accuse me of being a Scrooge or a Grinch during this Christmas season.
So what are my "wish ko langs" for this Christmas:
1. Top of the list is – World Peace! (I am not being sarcastic; I'm not even trying to do a Miss Congeniality act! I can't help it given the spirit of the season)
2. Let's make that a little bit more attainable; how about, peace in Mindanao!
3. For No. 2 to be fulfilled, the GRP-MILF peace talks will have to be fast-tracked and the agreement signed. Pronto! No more delays. Get those troublesome provisions related to ancestral homelands and the boundaries of the BJE resolved karon dayon. And pay no attention to the likes of Alex Magno, please.
4. But for No. 2 to be really fulfilled, wish ko lang that the ridos still operational in many parts of the ARRM can be transformed into the dori-mis of the Julie Andrews kind so everyone – armed and unarmed – can run around the hills and sing "the hills are no longer alive with the sound of guns but of music". La la la la.
5. But, really, for No. 2 to be fully fulfilled, wish ko lang that all those among the armed groups in our beloved Mindanao – the communist rebels, the remnants of the Ilaga, political warlords, drug lords, DDS squads, those behind the extra-judicial killings, and the abusers among the AFP-PNP who cannot yet distinguish human from inhuman rights – will surrender their guns to the Bishop-Ulama Forum. If they don't like the BUF, they can also do it to Pastor Quiboloy. Or Fr. Paul Cunanan who could use these arms to raise funds for Operation Ubo-ubo.
6. But, really, if No. 2 is going to be fulfilled to the max, we really have to do something about those who continue to impinge into the gamay na lang 'tawon nga territories of the origs of Mindanao: the Moro and Lumad. For those who are in the ever lengthening list of the powerful who lord it over the les miserables of this island – including the agri-business plantations, the mining corporations, the rancheros, the loggers, the corporations putting up high-tech machineries to benefit the peasants (hello San Mig!), the infrastructure firms that are on the look-out for energy sources, et al – we can only plead: Stop na! Go elsewhere please, leave the origs alone!
7. But, truth to tell, how can No. 6 be fulfilled, if the government people who have pledged to serve the poor end up serving themselves and the rich? Kaya wish ko lang, i-oust na lagi si GMA! However, this is a cry in the wilderness that only a very very small minority hear. As Conrad de Quiros recently wrote, it is not just the current government that is dysfunctional. The rest of the madlang people is, kay we continue not to act despite the fact that GMA has been found to be the most corrupt and the worst violator of human rights! Korik ka dyan, Conrad.
8. Kaya wish ko lang, the people will revisit the days of the Katipunan, the guerrilla war against the Japanese Imperial Army and People Power I, II and III and rise up. Problem is – because II and III were so flawed – how can we mobilize the people who have turned apathetic to mass mobilizations to the great disappointment of Trillanes et al. Everyone knows that most of the youth would rather stick it out with their video games and youTubes, mas fulfilling pa for them. And can anyone blame them for such an attitude, given what their elders are doing or not doing?
9. So in the end, I may as well return to my original wish, even if it impossible. Wish ko lang gyod is World Peace. After all it is Christmas. When it happened for the first time in humankind's history, at Christmas, simple folks who were watching over animals in the fields heard angelic voices singing: "Glory to God in the highest and peace to the people on earth!"
Peace dear everyone. Assalamu alaycum. Kalinaw unta ang maghari sa atong mga kasingkasing! (MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Redemptorist Brother Karl Gaspar of Davao City, former head of the Redemptorist Itinerant Mission Team and author of several books, including “To be poor and obscure,” and “Mystic Wanderers in the Land of Perpetual Departures,” writes two columns for MindaNews, one in English [A Sojourner’s Views] and the other in Binisaya [Panaw-Lantaw])