Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana claiming there is an “ongoing clandestine recruitment inside U.P. campuses nationwide for membership in the CPP/NPA” has elicited a tidal wave of reactions from the UP community.
There are the seriously angry reactions, and there are also the seriously funny ones. Having grown tired of the claims, the red-taggings and accusations, some UP graduates took to social media to just squeeze a funny post out of the whole thing, revisiting their college days and trying to recall if there was really anyone who actually tried to enlist them to be an NPA, or join the Communist Party of the Philippines.
UP student and basketball fan Wowie Moreno (not her real name) says she never experienced being recruited by a communist group during her time in UP. “Hindi ba ako ka-recruit-recruit?!” her post reads. “Partida, ang dami ko pang rally na nasamahan noon. Naranasan ko pang mabomba kami ng tubig noong freshman year sa Mendiola o US Embassy ata.” She says she’s even joined educational discussions and activities of activist groups, but still, none, nada, alaws, wit, “wala talagang nag-recruit sa akin.”
On Twitter, another UP student says that while many of his schoolmates would join the “walkouts” when they get invites from activist groups, only a few actually go to the rallies. “Karamihan diretso tambayan, SM North, sa dorm or elsewhere. Either for fun o para mag-aral.”
Religious freedom is widely exercised on campus as can be gleaned from the invites students get from various religious groups and movements. Several UP students on Twitter mention getting an invitation from a follower of “God the Mother,” or a leader of the Korean religious movement, the World Mission Society Church of God. Others have been invited to bible studies, prayer meetings or church service, and lured by the “free pakain.” The wealth of clubs, orgs, movements, schools of thought to join only goes to show the Diliman campus remains a bastion of academic freedom. Everyone is free to influence everyone, and everyone is free to say yes or no.
The writer Carmela Fernando (her real name) spent eight years in UP and could only confess to having been invited by the Opus Dei.
“In my 8 years as a UPD student (PhD in Tambay), ang sumubok lang na mag-recruit sa akin ay sorority at Opus Dei. Mukha ba akong wholesome?” Carmela, who wrote this piece for us sometime back, writes on Facebook.
“Anyway, mas likely pa makahanap ng pusang mataba na addicted sa pag-inom ng photo developing fluid kaysa maging pugad ng NPA recruitment ang Peyups. Miss you, RR the UPcat.”
Like Carmela, Wowie, during her freshman year, was also invited to a religious org. “Ewan kung mukha akong mabait noon, o uto-uto, o mukhang kailangan ng salvation.”
Meanwhile, it’s not only religious groups that does the recruiting, it turns out. Even atheist groups get busy inviting people to their fold, according to one commenter. “At inakit pa ako sa mantra nila na ‘doubt everything!’”
Fraternities and sororities recruiting future bros and sisters are, of course, out and aplenty. “Walang NPA recruiter. Maraming frat recruiter,” says one post on Twitter. And then there are the various campus organizations who will do all sorts of gimmicks, promise you stuff, just to get you to join their activities, parties, surveys, lectures—free-flowing drinks, free gift cards, or “grand pakain.”
And then there were the business proposals, says Dina Velez. “Sa UP minsan na rin akong na-recruit,” she says, “mag-Forever Living.”
Anyway, her statement to all these UP-as-recruitment-hotspot claims? “‘Wag nyo nga kaming inaano.”