Tuesday, September 23, 2008

From nursing school to the mountains of Negros

Rachelle Mae, R.N.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Speak out SunStar Daily:

“REMOVE the chains of oppression and the yoke of injustice; and let the oppressed go free…” –Isaiah 58:6

She studied nursing like the others who want to work abroad, seek greener pastures and heal foreign patients—-and she excelled।

But she ended up in the mountains and forests of Dauin, Negros Oriental to be with the ordinary folks, the farm workers and peasants, and learn from them।

Rachelle Mae Palang R।N., 22, who died on Oct. 18, 2008, was outstanding in her chosen field in the academe, activism and revolution.

Her death added new meaning to what nursing care should be।

Her death debunked the myth that Filipino nurses are only for overseas work, that Filipino nurses are only for hospitals, and that Filipino nurses are only good in nursing foreign client

Rachelle died right in the heart of a revolution, right in the heart of her motherland, caring for and helping the sick––the victims of class oppression and exploitation in our cancerous society.

It was truly inspiring

As an alumnus of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), I met Rachelle almost four years ago when I was invited by the Vital Signs (official student publication of Velez College) to interview applicants for members of the editorial board।

Since then we met often, conversed on various issues, from academic life, love and relationships, and activism and revolution।

I last saw her on May 10, 2008 during the nuptial of our fellow activists।

Sadder but wiser, we always learn lessons, appreciate life and progress as we move along।

Rachelle’s death is proof that adherence to and actual participation in the national democratic cause will continue to inspire the youth and students।

This is particularly true for intellectuals like her, who frequently ask questions on issues affecting the lives of millions of people।

That has been the case since the late ‘60s with the likes of Lorena Barros, Emman Lacaba, Arnulfo Ortiz and MarvinMarquez, to name a few।

Rachelle, my good comrade and friend, you will never be forgotten।

You will always be in our hearts and minds।

The ordinary people, including your ever increasing comrades, will always cherish your memory.
History will judge your supreme sacrifice and you will inspire others to make their own sacrifices for the oppressed masses of workers and peasants.

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