MANILA, Philippines – For this year’s commemoration of the Philippines’ 122nd Independence Day, various groups will be holding mañanita protests nationwide as the country continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic.
Going both as partygoers and protesters, groups will take to the streets to protest the government’s anti-terror bill and what they deem as inadequate response to the pandemic. They are labeling this activity as a “grand mañanita.”
It’s a reminder of the widely criticized birthday celebration of National Capital Region Police Office chief Major General Debold Sinas, which was held during lockdown. Despite breach in quarantine protocols, Sinas has kept his post. (READ: After apology, Sinas says ‘nothing wrong’ with birthday party)
Others have not been as lucky as Sinas. At least 6 Piston drivers were arrested by the Northern Police District on June 2 for failing to practice physical distancing during a protest and supposedly resisting authorities. They were freed 6 days later after posting bail. Seven activists who stage a protest against the recently-passed anti-terror bill, and one who was a bystander taking video of the others, were also arrested at the protest site near the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu.
And so to avoid getting arrested or facing charges, Senator Francis Pangilinan gamely advised protesters to call their indignation rallies “mañanita.”
Here is a list of mañanita protests and other activities that will take place on Friday, June 12:
Several youth and progressive groups will gather for a grand “mañanita” at the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman University Avenue at 10 am.
Among the groups leading the grand “mañanita” include Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy, Movement Against Tyranny, Gabriela Youth, Anakbayan – Albertus Magnus, Kilusang Mayo Uno Metro Manila, Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP), College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), and Anakpawis Partylist among others.
They also posted about the grand “mañanita” event on their respective Facebook pages, advising the public to wear black or any best mañanita outfit, bring party accessories, and “ambag” or contribution of food, placards, face masks, and alcohol.
The Movement Against Tyranny also advised Filipinos who want to join the call but are unable to protest in the streets to gather family and friends in a safe venue, make a statement, bring placards and post on social media using the hashtags #JunkTerrorBill and #BawiinAngKalayaan.
CAP reminded protesters to bring water and protective gear like mask, face shields, umbrella or raincoat during the protest. It added that the grand mañanita’s party gear theme will be about freedom of expression.
CEGP also invited its network to join the grand “mañanita” while observing physical distancing.
Other sectoral groups have also aligned to conduct protests from 9 am to 11 am, both online and offline, as well as the use the hashtags #Mañanita, #AtinAngPinas, #BawiinAngKalayaan, and #JunkTerrorBill. They hope to amplify calls to junk anti-terror bill.
“Ito ang unang pagkakataon na may malawak na pagkakaisa ang iba’t ibang grupo. Nagsasalamin ito ng sentimyento ng marami nating kababayan na apektado na ng mga nangyayari sa ating bayan, lalo na nitong pandemya,” Senator Pangilinan said in a press release.
(This is the first time that different groups are showing solidarity. This mirrors the sentiment of many Filipinos affected by what’s happening in the country, especially during this pandemic.)
Nagkaisa, Kalipunan ng mga Kilusang Masa, iDefend, PAHRA, PM Coalition, Akbayan, Akbayan Youth, Youth Resist, The Silent Majority, and Tindig Pilipinas will be leading a mañanita motorcade in a call to scrap the anti-terror bill.
This motorcade will start from the Bantayog ng mga Bayani at 8 am to the Commission on Human Rights at 9 am. A brief program will follow at 9:30 am.
People are invited to join in bikes, motorcycles, and cars.
Power for People Coalition, Green Thumb Coalition, Philippine Movement for Climate Justice, and other environmental organizations will be organizing Lakbay Laya: Independence Day unity bike ride against the anti-terrorism bill and to call for the protection of environmental defenders.
This will happen at 6:30 am in UP Diliman, Quezon City. Meet up will be at the waiting shed along University Avenue cor. Jacinto Street.
Students, teachers, and administrators of De La Salle University-Manila will be leading a protest on campus rom 9 am to 10 am on June 12.
Through the protest, they hope to amplify calls to uphold human rights and trash the anti-terror bill awaiting President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature.
“Kaya bilang mga kabilang sa mga pamantasang pinahahalagahan ang karapatang pantao at demokrasya, responsibilidad natin na patuloy na labanan ang ganitong klaseng mga maniobr, ‘pagkat hindi mananahimik ang mamamayan sa harap ng mga banta at atake,” said Reeya Magtalas, the spokesperson of One La Salle For Human Rights and Democracy.
(As part of the academic community that values human rights and democracy, it is our responsibility to continue the fight, as we won’t stay silent in the face of threats and abuses.)
In a Barbie-hemed birthday party, Gabriela Youth – University of San Carlos in Cebu City will be organizing a mañanita in UP Cebu at 10 am.
It reminded partygoers to bring masks, hand sanitizers, quarantine passes, and some love for the country.
Anakbayan Naga City will also be holding a 122nd birthday “mañanita.” It will start with an assembly and program at 9:30 am at the Plaza Quince Martires, followed by a march to Plaza Oragon at 10:30 am.
Liberal Party Naga City – Maorag Chapter will also be organizing a “mañanita sa Naga” at 9 am at the pilgrimage city landmark.
Cagayan de Oro
Akbayan Youth CDO will be leading an Independence Day mañanita at the Magsaysay Monument, Plaza Divisoria, at 3 pm.
Akbayan Youth Zamboanga will also be organizing a mañanita from 2 pm to 3 pm at the Sen. RT Lim Memorial Statue.
Akbayan Youth-Dumaguete is organizing an Independence Day Mañanita on June 12 at 4pm to 6pm in Portal East, Silliman Avenue, Dumaguete City.
“If Sinas and many other local officials can celebrate their birthdays, we can celebrate our 122nd Independence Day,” the group said in a facebook post.
It advised participants to wear black, wear masks, bring water, extra shirts, rubbing alcohol, statement cards or placards, and observe physical distancing.
The Youth Act Now Against Tyranny-Baguio-Benguet also organized a program to commemorate Independence Day. It invited its community to join the protest by supporting local farmers and vendors at the UP Ikot: Talipapa sa Oble and joining the morning Mañanita at UP Baguio at 10am.
This will be followed by social media protests where everyone is invited to post, upload, and tweet creative mañanita entries of demands, placards, and selfies with calls.
An online zoom “mañanita” will also be held at 6 pm through an online discussion on the anti-terror bill. The discussion will be posted live via Movement Against Tyranny Metro-Baguio Facebook page.
Kabataan sa Kartilya ng Katipunan (KKK) will be organizing a Virtual Independence Day celebration at 10 am through a Facebook live. The conference aims to commemorate the significance of independence day through various song presentations.
Senator Risa Hontiveros will also be having a live Independence Day online rally on her Facebook page at 10am.
GoodGovPH will also be leading an online webinar from 6pm to 8pm featuring UP Diliman Department of History professor Diego Magallona. – Rappler.com