In a way it was a laughable pathetic sight: just a little over ten Ateneo students in their white blouses and blue polo barongs occupying the pedestrian isle on the intersection of Roxas Boulevard and Claveria Street.
A semi-professional rabblerouser from the League of Filipino Students ran through a litany of well-practiced complaints--something about high tuition fees--while the students up front held up a banner that said in big bold letters on top: "STOP TUITION AND" And what? I couldn't quite make out the rest of the words. So much for proper communication.
Excepting the pitiable turnout, it could have been any other rally. Oh, wait, not quite. While some Ateneo students may be active in The Movement, I have never actually seen any go to rallies in school uniforms. There's just something about those uniforms that doesn't evoke much sympathy from passersby.
And so much less, I suppose, once those pedestrians and jeepney commuters spied the blue-and-white "f" logo that is Facebook's. Even from the sixth floor of the Ateneo building, where I sat laughing till my gut felt sore, the little square placards were quite visible. "Stop Facebook Ban" they said on the top and bottom borders. A few of the girls used the placards to hide their faces.
"They do know what an "F" means academically, right?" I quipped to my co-teacher. "When oh when are we going to give out letter grades? I want to give out F's already."
He handed me a newsprint leaflet he had been given, half-letter size, packed tight on both sides with single-spaced manifesto. The title said something along the lines of high tuition fees. I tried to read through the text, but soon gave up because of its circuitous repetitive logic. What I understood, in effect, could be reduced to: "We're paying a lot. We should be able to visit any site we want."
"This is a fail in composition," I said, and I sought out a red marker to scribble my comments and a grade. Unfortunately I couldn't find one.
In response, I showed him an online leaflet for FUTA--the Facebook University of Timeless Application.
BS Marketing Major in FFS
BS Status Literature
Associate in Computer surfin
BS Agriculture in Fishery
"Your Future ends here."
NO TUITION FEE
Down in the street, a trio of girls walked up to the gathering. A lieutenant bearing an "f" placard met them. The lieutenant said something to the girls, after which they added their number to the far corner of the, uh, rally.
The girls looked at one another, as schoolgirls are wont to do, and giggled to each other.
I shook my head sadly. Such poor deluded souls. Didn't they know? Facebook is so five minutes ago; all the cool people are now on Google+.