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cecile s. yumul
cecile s yumul AWAKENED BY the heavy rain pummeling on the roof. Groggily stirred from bed and fumbled about in the dark to turn on the light. Only to remember, the arrangement of the furniture and table lamps have been rearranged. Habits changed overnight, catching you by surprise.

The television droned on with the zzzzzzzzzt sound. Signed off. The dogs stirred from the sound of bed sheets shifting and hastily thrown off. Unexpectedly cold.

Dark. I stood in the familiar hallway, but it was shadowy. The branches kept beating against the window panes. The wind, in measured cadence, howling every now and then. The coconuts adding their own dull sound as they fall to the ground with a thud, thudad, thuddadad, thud, thud!

The luminous hands of the clock indicated 5:30 in the morning. Turned on the radio for the daily dose of morning news of murders, of accidents, of holdups, of bombings, of fires, of environmental disasters, which by now are all familiar and unable to rouse outrage anymore from deadened senses, not even the rising waters in Metro Manila brought about by Marce—except this one news that stirred the hornet's nest finally.

Blaring on the early morning news and interviews is the latest Republic Act 10175, known as Philippine Cyber Crime Law. On opening my laptop, once I got online, many of my facebook friends have lost their profile photos. Many comments filled in by black bars ending in BLOCKED R.A. 10175. Scrolled the list of more than a thousand only to find it filling up with black squares. The black spreading in consistent blocks. I too go black with a tinge of gray with the hope, just like the 1972 experience, there will be light against this bleak scenario brought down on us.

[About the author. A renaissance social worker, a revolutionary teacher, a supporter of artists, a trail-blazing woman of substance, Cecile S. Yumul is an embodiment of the phrase "Carpe diem!" This multi-awarded teacher/broadcast journalist started her broadcasting career over 27 years ago. Her radio/tv show "Bukas Bayan" has been on air since 1999 and is still airing with a multi-sectoral fan base. She is an accomplished cook, a mystic gardener, an actress, and a true environmentalist—a distinction she is indeed proud of.]

-Posted: 8:00 PM 10/3/12 | More of this author on eK!