The Jedi Encounter
2:35 AM | Author: Conrado Abrugar Macapulay Jr.

6:00 a.m. I woke up in the sound of screeching doors. My sister usually leaves the house at this hour. Staggered after being reminded of the time, I almost fell out of the couch. I remember I was watching the late night news. The Jedi* and the students of different universities were making headlines. The President, trying her all to thwart off any destabilization plans on her government, simply said that repeating an activity all too familiar 22 years back will just earn the mockery of the world. The Jedi retaliated, saying that people should not tire of it. The next dialogues made me sick they brought me to the thick blanket of oblivion.
6:10 a.m. After a ten-minute soliloquy, I rushed to the C.R., took a 15-minute shower, got dressed in a mocha shirt with “When nobody hears you, shout! Let Your VOICE be heard.” print, and squeeze my all so that I would not miss the chance of meeting the Jedi.
10:00 a.m. La Salle Greenhills is a big school; we approached the guard with a panting breath. The guard, through his lips, point in the right direction to the conference room. We are approached by one of the organizers and a man in red shirt, who gave me the first question of the day. “What’s in your bag,” he asked. I giggled, adding that there are only two things inside a writer’s bag – a pen and lots of papers.
10:05 a.m. Entering the air-conditioned room, I was welcomed by the Jedi writing symbols in what I understood to be flowcharts.
The next minute is hard for me. In my attempt to capture the most striking quotes which will never be read in national papers, I can’t help but to compare myself to a medical transcriptionist, sweating for jotting words like “I am guided with right mindset and right attitude…” when suddenly the Jedi points at me, asking me a definition for responsibility. Dumbfounded, I said responsibility is conviction…without hesitation of the consequences (or shall I say towards a life, we can never regret). The Jedi asked my school, and I answered politely. “Responsibility is response-ability, the ability to response,” he continued. O.K. Forget about my answer.
When the Jedi emphasized he was not in the group calling for the President’s ouster, a deep silence ensued. Then questions from fellow campus writers came flooding in. One asked his reaction about a movie telling his life story. “I don’t think my life is interesting to be viewed as a movie” he said. I did not remember the other questions, but I heard him answering like “Trust and respect can never be applied, it was learned”; “Huwag kumilos dahil gugulo lang is an arrogant mindset, sinong ipapalit natin is an insulting mindset,”; “Election isn’t democracy”; “People Power is one of the greatest moment of Filipino people; don’t be tired of it, be tired of those who squandered it,”; “Huwag gamitin para sa sariling kapakanan ang ganansya ng People Power.” When someone raised question which asked if the president is evil, he said he wants to refrain commenting about her. I was bombarded with a myriad of undirected statements. I sighed.
11:45 a.m. “Majority of our readers are engineering students, any advice to the future engineers if ever they would be in the same shoes as you are?” I asked. He smiled. I never noted his contentions but I understand it was all about imbibing values in the practice. I admit I was never satisfied with the answer. Or was it just my question? No time. He ended up by saying “There are still lots of goodness in the Philippines…Marami pang Pilipino ang may likas na pagmamahal sa bayan.” Everybody drew near the Jedi, and suddenly the world was peppered with camera flash. The scene was inviting. In an instant, I saw myself beside the Jedi. Camera flash; and with his words etched in my spirit, I feel the freedom to go.
* ZTE NBN Scandal star witness Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada Jr.
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On May 12, 2009 at 10:49 PM , Rcyan M. said...

Haha! Magkamukha pala kayo ni Jun Lozada!!!