The Kabataang Makabayan (KM), being the “national seeding machine for the Philippine revolution” (Reyes, 2014) and one of the “critical forces of the Philippine revolution” (Communist Party of the Philippines, 2014), serves as the crucial opponent of the “semi-colonial and semi-feudal conditions” (Sison, 2013) prevalent in the country. And as a part of the organization’s celebration for its Bonifacio Day-inspired establishment in November 30 (Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, 2014; Reyes, 2014), around five decades ago, it organized a theatrical production entitled “Kabataang Makabayan, Paglingkuran ang Sambayanan!” held last January 30, 2015 at the University Theater, University of the Philippines, Diliman.
With 20 or 50 PHP-worth of ticket in the audience’s hands, the atmosphere among those who were unaware of KM’s nature was marked with lowered expectations in terms of the event’s form and with an apparent chaotic behavior as the crowd rapidly grew in numbers.
The production staff did well with writing the script, because it vividly portrayed the history of the KM, from the advent of the First Quarter Storm and the Diliman Commune up to its continuing nationalistic struggles against imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat-capitalism.
However, one must note that ordinary students comprised almost half of the total horde of viewers, and the observer, despite being fully-attentive in watching the scenes shown on the stage, might had heard of the repetitive questions regarding the three concepts mentioned at the previous paragraph, which are, of course, difficult to grasp or understand. However, such act should not be rendered annoying, because one may witness that the play had sparked interests among the youth attenders, thus paving a way for further encouragement.
The costume could have passed the standards of the viewers, and it was obvious that the staff had been so much resourceful with their wardrobe. But the main problems of the production were the lack of acting skills, of smooth transitions, and of a good sound system. There were times when the actors failed to effortlessly recall their lines, thus creating short lapses. The transitions at the first and the second parts were partly messy, but the actors managed to impress the audience with the performance of the singers at the latter parts of the play. Lastly, the sound system was pretty terrible, as one could hardly comprehend the dialogues, especially of the lead characters.
However, it is also important for people to understand that despite the slight muddle in some parts of the production, the KM proudly voiced out their history by means of communicating with the audience, therefore leaving them with an impression that they must focus on the content rather than the form.
The beliefs of the KM are the foundations of modern activism, which, in turn, made the relevance of the organization brightly highlighted as the problems that occurred in 1964 and during the Martial Law remained as undying plagues to the Filipinos, because, corruption and poverty were never erased as generation changes (Tan, 2015). The actions of the KM went beyond armed uprisings, as they also delivered educational discussions to the vulnerable, marginalized and oppressed masses, leading to the highly-inspired formation of other organizations that courageously protect the inherent rights of these people. Therefore, the KM has been a valid living reminder to the youth that as long as the state continues to be an instrument in exploiting the masses and the nation, the struggle has not come to an end yet.
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan. (2014). Rise Up! Celebrating Kabataang Makabayan and 50 Years of Youth Organizing. Retrieved from http://bayanusa.org
Communist Party of the Philippines. (2014). Long live the Kabataang Makabayan on its 50th anniversary! Retrieved from http://www.philippinerevolution.net
Reyes, N. (2014). 10 Awesome Facts about the Kabataang Makabayan. Like a Rolling Stone. Retrieved from https://natoreyes.wordpress.com
Sison, J.M. (2013). Kabataang Makabayan and its Relevance Today: Message to the League of Filipino Students and the Nagkahiusang Kusog sa Estudyante. Retrieved from http://josemariasison.org
Tan, M. (2015). KM@50. Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved from http://opinion.inquirer.net