Message from Philippine Everest Summit man, Romi Garduce

A chance dinner with common friends gave me the opportunity to ask Romi Garduce a few questions. We are often amazed at people who 'make real' dreams that are usually abstract to the statistical norm. Like, say, making it to the summit of the world.

Garduce didn't make it come out as 'easy,' the way accomplished people tend to do, so their listeners are more comfortable or more awed. He said it was a long-standing dream. It was a dream that had to endure several diagnostic steps. A method had to come in for that mad dream to happen. One mountain at a time. One peak at a time. Each one higher than the other. Each one closer to Everest than the other. And in time (key phrase) he found himself literally on top of the world.

We, at Rock Ed Philippines, share the same method in our ambitious ten-year campaign. One meeting at a time. One project at a time. One concert at a time. One teen-ager at a time. We would like to reach the "Rock Ed Everest." And that is to build a more nation-involved generation. Proud and patient. Brilliant and benevolent. Creative and compassionate. And we will do it one year at a time. No more quick fixes. Welcome to the world's slowest and surest revolution.

We always say that the history of a nation is simply a compilation of individual life stories strung together by fate or by decisions that are in sync towards one goal. Romi Garduce's personal history is now Philippine history. We should take the same attitude, and make our personal histories, Philippine history. In any scale. Even if our deeds will never be covered by a major network.

On July 1, 2006, we celebrate our first year as a named-generation. We will be known throughout history as the Rock Ed generation. The generation that, at least, tried to make things better for more Filipinos. We will be the generation that never settled for some when all are within reach. We will frustrate the cynics. We will be the generation that never confused a fad for commitment. We will be the generation that chose frustration over indifference even if it was easier to be numb about the desperation around us. We will be a generation that lit fires.

Join us at Eastwood Main Circle Plaza @7pm for one of the biggest gatherings of local musicians to date. It will be a concert NGO-fair entitled "ONE ROCK ED NATION!" We will be celebrating voices coming together to speak up against the poverty of hope in our country.

If 86 million voices are saying the same thing at the same time, then people in power have no choice but to listen.

So we echo this phrase again and again, No More Excuses, Philippines. Romi Garduce is someone who patiently, steadily, methodically, brilliantly worked on his dream and he made it. We should all learn from him and say to ourselves we, too, have no more excuses not to make our dream of a better Philippines come true.

No More.

Mabuhay ka Romi, at salamat mula sa Rock Ed Philippines.

text: Gang Badoy
photo: Scanned image of Voices Against Poverty flyer with a message from Philippine Everest Summit man, Romi Garduce.