‘Gusto ko lang po talaga mabuhay’: Patreng Non vents out trauma from being red-tagged

September 28, 2022 - 4:26 PM
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Maginhawa Community Pantry in Quezon City on April 17, 2021 (The STAR/Boy Santos)

“Gusto ko lang po talaga mabuhay. Gusto ko magka-family, magluto, mag-alaga ng madaming hayop, magtanim at gusto ko lang po tumanda.”

Community pantry organizer Ana Patricia Non, whose nickname is Patreng Non, expressed this in her lengthy post about her feelings against red-tagging on September 27.

In her post, Non bared that she was aware of the numerous YouTube videos that spread fake news about her online.

She said these videos have over 100,000 views.

Non also stated that she received rape and death threats from online users because of the government’s allegations against her.

These events thus led her to seek professional help and become concerned about the people she met in community pantries.

“Kailangan ko continuous mag seek ng professional help para iproseso yung mga nangyari. At may mga buwan na nasi-skip ko ang therapy kasi kulang ako ng budget,” Non said.

“Pag may nakikilala akong mga bagong tao alam ko nae-excite sila sa kwento ng Community Pantry PH at nae-excite din ako pero nagiging awkward ako kasi nasa likod ng isip ko yung pag-aalala kasi baka naniwala sila sa mga fake news sa akin,” she added.

Non then voiced out her aspirations in life that she felt red- tagging might take away from her.

“Gusto ko lang po talaga mabuhay. Gusto ko magka-family, magluto, mag-alaga ng madaming hayop, magtanim at gusto ko lang po tumanda. Simple lang po talaga dream ko di ko at di ko din naman gusto yumaman. Yung lungkot at takot dahil sa red-tagging kukunin nya yung safety ng maski napakasimpleng mga pangarap,” she said.

Starting from a desire to help poor people during the COVID-19 pandemic, Non’s food stall along Maginhawa Street in Quezon City sparked hundreds of similar initiatives and programs in different parts of the country in 2021.

RELATED: Community kitchen: Patreng Non shares meals you can cook for ‘Karding’ evacuees 

Despite their volunteer-driven nature, however, government officials and supporters of the past administration still alleged that Non and other community pantry organizers have ties to the New People’s Army despite having no proof of it.

RELATED: ‘Di ko malilimutan’: Patreng Non recalls Remulla’s accusations vs community pantries 

Impact of red-tagging

Non vented out the negative impact that red-tagging inflicted on her personal life.

She said that it affected her creativity and dreams for the pantries and the communities they serve.

Moreover, the community pantry organizer also expressed the trauma, fear, anxiety and anger she felt because of her situation.

“Pag nagkaka-anxiety ako naiisip ko kung mabubuhay pa ba ako ng matagal. Pag nangyayari yun nalulungkot ako kasi baka anytime ma-kidnap ako, maging desaparasido o patayin ako. Bukod sa pagaalala sa sarili nag-aalala din ako sa mararamdaman ng pamilya ko pag nangyari yun kasi di nila deserve yun at ayoko din masira yung buhay nila,” Non said.

What the University of the Philippines alumna hoped now is a future when people will be able to speak out without the fear of being linked to terrorists.

“Alam ko darating yung panahon na magagawa ng mga bata yung gusto nilang gawin, mae-express nila ang sarili nila na at hindi sila matatakot sa redtagging kasi wala yun lugar sa lipunan natin. Yakap na mahigpit sa lahat!” Non said.

RELATED: Calls to ‘protect community pantries’ grow as red tagging fears halt Maginhawa effort