Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Don Quixote

Spent the past weekend in Lubbock, TX with classmates from medical school whom I had not seen in 17 years. Everyone seems to be having a good time and everybody appears to be professionally fulfilled.

Burning question was why my wife and I were going home.

My answer was it was time. To the question what I had to offer, I replied that I was going home as a nobody, which had its advantages. All these years that I had toiled in the US made me totally self-sufficient and financially independent. We were going home on our own terms.

As stated previously, this quest is a long shot, worthy of a Don Quixote. Apart from a deep understanding of human nature and a dispassionate grasp of the many problems that is keeping the Philippines way below the rest of her neighbors, I mean to offer my best efforts. An indispensable quality of leadership is effective problem-solving. Complex problems cannot be solved however in the absence of true and reliable data. Unlike the US, ordinary citizens do not have access to pertinent information back home. Many transactions remain permanently unsolved mysteries. There is very little accountability. Positions of leadership will open many doors and will allow me to come up with enlightened decisions.

What makes me different from all the rest of the politicians is that I have stayed away from all the corruption and compromise in the Philippine political scene. I have studied endlessly all these years. Whatever material wealth that I have accumulated has been the result of hard and dedicated work. Knowing that I have the capacity to send my daughters to the Ivy-league schools of their choice and certain of my desire to continue to lead a simple and modest way of life, I aspire for no more riches.

In short, we have had a West Point-educated General, a wildly popular movie actor, a daughter of a previous President who was partly educated in Georgetown and we are mired as a nation in self-doubt and despair. Whatever lessons and experiences that we have learned are not working. The beginning of the solution will need to come from outside of the Philippines. I hope to set an example to the millions of overseas Filipinos who have gone through similar life-changing experiences in other countries, much better than a college education in many respects. Just think of what all these returning people can give back?

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