screw the status quo. we need change and we need it now. we need not a leader who plays with words and public funds. we need not a leader whose years of service fall under the 'fiction' category. we definitely need not a leader who knows nothing. we require a leader who has conviction, who has the guts to change the seemingly unchangeable. we need... to prepare for 2007. Now.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Again and again, I ask this question: What's happening in the Philippines now? Surely, no one will complain if one lives with equanimity. But equanimity resides in the dreams of every Filipino, and it seems that it will remain as such for a very long time.

Everybody is complaining. I heard my Tito Ronnie (who regrets having a nickname similar to FPJ's) complaining about how hard life is in the Philippines. I heard my Tita Faye complaining about how high prices of basic commodities are back home. My cousins complaining that their P100 baon isn't much to buy anything anymore. My pamangkins telling me how they are simply disturbed by what they see in the news. To think that these people are members of the middle class. How much more do the people in the lower ranks suffer and are miserable having these numerous ridiculous problems in the society. My Dad, just a few hours ago, was complaining that the Philippine peso has become cheap, waaay so cheap that the money she sends to our relatives does almost no financial assistance at all.

Life in the Philippines is the lowest in terms of quality nowadays. I asked my Tito Danny, who always claims that he survived Martial Law, how life was during the Marcos days. According to him, life was much much better then than now. Although people's liberty and rights were almost withdrawn, at least people then don't complain that their lives were totally miserable. Now? Miserable life can be seen anywhere. Every aspect of life for an ordinary Filipino is miserable mentally, physically, socially, politicaly and, of course, financially speaking. This is where I am sometimes forced to conclude that the EDSA Revolutions failed miserably. Revolutions are percursors to societal change... for the better, not for worse. What's happening to the Philippines after the two people's revolution is merely against any form of logic or reason.

For instance, my cousin, Fitz, has been working in BSU as part-time instructor for three years. She feels that, deep inside, she didn't grow in the wretched institution as a professional and as a devoted teacher. Who'd grow in such a place where its leaders act as though they are politicians, not responsible educational administrators. Who would expect for any professional growth in a workplace where opportunities to grow and develop one's self are made available only to those who have "connections"... or to use the Tagalog term, "malakas sa taas"? Yes, she has a choice, one would say. But in this third world country where high inflation is concealed amidst obvious clues of widespread unemployment, she has no choice but to stay there. If she goes out, if she resigns, she has nowhere to go but to her impending doom of despicable hopeless life of being out of work. To think that she is a graduate of Ateneo de Manila. How much more hopelessness do graduates of ordinary, specially provincial schools, feel nowadays?

The people's view, mentality and attitude on and towards politics have to change in the Philippines, even if it means using drastic measures if truly needed. The Filipinos should be re-educated. I mean not to sound like subversive, but I think it truly is the solution. Filipinos, including ordinary people, should learn that leaders are not datus or kings who should be worshipped or looked up to. They should be treated as servants of the people, for they ARE servants of the people. It is quite unfortunate that we, Filipinos, could not escape this long-time habit of treating political leaders as kings. That's why in this country, doing one's job as a politician, or at least showing effort to do one's job, is such an accomplishment. Isn't it that this is why everytime a new road system, or a government project, is finished, you see billboards bearing the names of those politicians who allegedly took part in completing this task, IN BIIIG BOLD LETTERS. This is a project of Gov. so-so... Sa kagandahang loob ni Pres. this and that... Whenever I see these signboards, I have this big desire of firing a bazooka at them. It's their job to provide us with good infrastructures. It's their job to take care of us citizens. It's their job to return the taxes we pay the government for services. This is, again, the reason why graft and corruption and abuse of power is eminent in this country. The psychology of the people gives way to these problems.

Again, I remember RIzal, when he said that it is better to live under the rule of a tyrant or a colonizer, as long as the citizens live happily and with liberty, than living free yet miserably and hopelessly deeply dipped into poverty and abuse under the rule of the abusive few. I remember the 80s when a group of people clamoured on having the Philippines annexed to the US as a state, only to be bombarded by, of course, nationalists who claimed that the Philippines need no assistance from other countries. I fear that the same pride would be the reason for this country's iminent fall in the future, if this deplorable situation still continues.

Whenever I see my young pamangkins, I could not help but be sad for them. This is the reason why I've never entered a serious relationship for a long time. I fear that my child would be forced to live and grow in a country where lawlessness, grievances, political mayhem, and where good deeds have become so rare that when one happens to find one, one considers it as a miracle, and is worthy of being featured on TV. What kind of a country are we to give them? A country like this one we have right now? Do these people in the government who seem like they don't care about anyone or anything but making themselves filthy rich, think about their children? I thinkl capable of doing so.

Sing: What's wrong with the Philippines, momma? People acting like they ain't have no mommas...


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