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COLUMN: ALL SECTORS OF SOCIETY SHOULD HONOR LABOR DAY

MANILA, APRIL 27, 2006 (STAR) ROSES AND THORNS By Alejandro R. Roces - We were disheartened when we read that the Armed Forces had directed all units to be vigilant this coming Labor Day because some anti-government forces may use the occasion to rally against the President. Traditionally, we have celebrated Labor Day on May 1st and this was because the first of May is the feast day of St. Joseph, the Worker. By sheer coincidence, May 5th is the feast day of San Isidro Labrador, patron saint of farmers. So we honored both labor and farmers on the same month. The ironic part is that Labor Day is an official holiday while the Feast Day of San Isidro Labrador is a holy day, but not a holiday. How do you explain such inconsistencies in our culture?

Labor Day has a very strong nationalistic history. One of the very first demonstrations against the American Regime took place on Labor Day of 1913. That was when the First National Labor met in Manila and held the first labor rally against the American colonizers. It was not till 34 years later – May 1, 1947 that we celebrated our first Labor Day celebration as an independent nation.

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Everyone should honor and pay respect on this day. To honor this countries work force, the laborers as well as the farmers. I hope that the so called "Labor Groups" won't make rallies the whole month..!! In respect to what they were supposed to advocate, they have failed all of their duties. They are not answering the plight of our laborers. They are just using it to promote chaos.. and one result to their never ending rallies and anti-government policy is they are scaring awat the investors (foreign and local). They make it known to the world that the Philippine's is not a good invesment area. The so called brain drain that is very much happening in our society today is another indirect result of these organizations selfish act. Every year hundred or thousands graduate college and in a couple of months nearly all of them are out of the country..

And another note..the conspiracy theory that these so called labor organizations are actually just legal fronts of the CPP-NPA-NDF. I think this might be true...You might recall an encounter in the hinterlands of Compostela Valley, wherein a young Ateneo de Davao college student was nearly killed by army troopers in an encounter with communist rebels. And when the student was asked why she was with them and why she was carrying a rifle? ...You find the answer...

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