We Shall Carry On! Tado
(SANLAKAS Tribute in Honor of Comrade Tado)
Life begins at the mountains. This was Comrade Tado’s figurative pitch declaring his latest adventure to celebrate 40 years of existence; a project that sought to unravel the real situation of forty of the country’s mountains amidst the onslaught of development aggression.
Such was Tado – always the creative soul. Even to the very last.
In his youth, Tado was actively involved in the progressive movement impressing progressive politics on his cultural work – one whose central task was to speak liberation and provoke reflection through the arts. His looks betrayed the depth of his own view of the world and the reading of objective conditions at play. But this was what defined him – his ability to articulate social realisms in the most mundane of manner, in non-sequitors and in playful jest.
He was a comic relief that reminded us of the miseries of the world and that despite the seeming insurmountable plague of poverty, alienation and oppression, hope abounds. He was a walking critique of those who professed comedy, as his own brand taught us to throw a hard look at the difficult realities of life.
Even as he ventured into show business, he held on to his political convictions mouthing ideas that taunted the prevailing system. He communed with the masses using his own star as a platform to influence, to engage and to instill inspiration. This was what set him apart from the wannabes – his recognition of the need to BE with the masses in their pursuits.
Tado was not a stranger to the social movement. He made it a point to be right in the center of the action, in the orbit of the burning issues of the day. Closest to his heart was the working class struggle for a dignified life, freed of the shackles of capitalist domination.
For this, Tado will be known as the working people’s star. He was a revolutionary.
His death is a big loss for a grieving movement, a revolution that has lost scores of its best and brightest daughters and sons.
It is painful to lose a comrade. It pains us even more to see how even after his death the world is deprived of the real picture of a man, of a revolutionary that was Tado.
We honor Tado by ensuring his memory will not wither and be shamed by oblivion. We honor Tado by carrying on. Whether it be in the concrete jungles of Marikina where he sought his people's favor or in the hinterlands of Mt. Province where death snatched him.
Let us revel in the thought that once there was a Tado who tried to teach us how to live.
That his example will not fade into the dying light.
That we shall carry on.