Saturday, April 7, 2007

To the Impatient Ones

I wish to assure every reader of this blog that it is only because I am simply overloaded with work that I am unable to reply promptly to your questions. I will admit that I did not expect this challenge to be as challenging as this. Remember that I am one of the very few hotshot Filipino gastroenterologists who could see a hundred patients a day and still have time to spend with my children, read my beloved books and sip a few couple Bombay Sapphires with Doctor Paul, Doctor Todd and Captain Ed.

This part of my journey has gotten me to experience clinical anxiety for the first time in my life which alone will make me become a better physician because I will be able to better relate with my patients whenever they tell me about their symptoms. I am not complaining though, remember that I asked for this.

To those who demand immediate answers, take it easy. Let me give you well-thought-out answers that fully conform with my conscience. See, I am not about to squander my most precious quality as a political novice and start compromising and pandering this early so as to make everyone feel happy, so I might become the most appealing political commodity because I am not here for the money and the perks and the privileges and the adulation. I could have taken a better pathway than fronting for a Party that brooks no compromise and demands that we all shape up because we are all at fault.

Previously, exasperated Catholic apologists came up with the phrase “if you cannot understand my silence, then you cannot understand my words” and they would always artfully place this quote under the image of the crucified Christ. You haven’t exactly gotten silence from me. I have allowed you to become privy to my evolving views. What you see is what I am. Answerable only to my Creator.

So if you wish to quibble on what my views are regarding diaphragms and debt caps, condoms and charter change you miss the point entirely. I wish to change the bigger picture. When we claim we are pro-life and we uphold human dignity, we cannot ignore the fact that half a million abortions occur each year and we are not doing enough to prevent every single one of these tragedies. When we claim we are pro-poor and stay silent on the crippling of entire generations through substandard education and picayune healthcare programs because we refuse to question public policy on debt payment out of fear that we will suffer even more?????

Are we not now already the most corrupt? Highest infant mortality rate. Lowest life expectancy. Highest maternal mortality. Lowest growth compared to neighbors (which is really how you need to measure growth anyway, like who is the top student in a class and who is getting left behind?). What are we waiting for? Are we hoping for these politicians presently outpromising one another to undergo a collective metanoia? Wake up, that ain’t happening. No prophet necessary to understand this. We are going down. Clearly an inappropriate moment to analyze the vacuous vagaries of vasectomies.

Today is Black Saturday and we need to look forward to the Easter.


marthaG said...

The issue represented by pro-choice, to me, primarily is about the women. In particular, many women are dying (or are getting butchered) because medical facilities have been made illegal for their (the women's) needs.

I wish for candidates that understand this issue --- women's health needs --- and work for it.

Being pro-choice is not the same as "wanting to kill babies". Being pro-choice is about the cost in lives lost and bodies mutilitated because health-facilities are denied a group of women.

But you knew this when you were in the United States.

Anonymous said...

I guess what all these questions boil down to is the issue of "credibility."

You present yourself as the hope of the masses, the one who will go against the tide and do what is best for the country, as opposed to what is best for himself.

To put it bluntly, nobody knows who you are.

You keep referring to yourself as a "hotshot gastroenterologist from the USA", presumably to illustrate that you are successful, and that you don't need to make "kurakot" to make money. So, you've been making - what? - maybe half a million dollars per annum for the past ten years? After Uncle Sam's cut, that's whittled down to about 350K which is about 17.5 M pesos a year. So, I'm not sure that this argument really means anything, considering that you can make much more than that if you are as "resourceful" as Erap was.

You graduated from UPCM and trained in SUNY, and you write brilliantly, thus illustrating that you are well-educated and highly intelligent. But, so was Marcos.

I don't know you, and I would like to think that you are an honest person with only the best intentions for the Filipino people. But, sometimes, your refusal to give direct answers sheds a little doubt on the issue of credibility. It's not that the issue of pro-life/pro-choice would have any impact on the future of our nation, but to beat around the bush about your stand on this issue has bigger implications. When you start acting like a politician, it can make people think that you are merely a politician.

Good luck. I wish you the best. Despite my reservations, I will be voting for you. I fervently hope that you WILL do what you need to do in order to get the Philippines back on the right track. Tall order, probably not doable in one lifetime, but it has to start somewhere, right?

Anonymous said...

Pero ano nga ba sa palagay ninyo, kayo na doctor, ang dapat gawin dito sa problema? Tama ba ang gawa ng ating gobyerno na tinatalikuran ang ating mga nangangailangang mga babae? Aba... over 500,000 medical procedures that are now unsupervised and unregulated because the government refuses to acknowledge that there is a medical need?

Ayon... bumibili na lang nang kung ano-anong pampurga daw diyan sa bandang Quiapo. Ang mga malas, iyong "...inopera" ng kung sinong arbularyo ang gamit ay hanger... pambihira... bakit nagagawang talikuran ng gobyerno natin itong ating kapwa.

Gregory said...

My problem with Anonymous' comment is that he seems to assume that Martin can do everything alone. Nope, Martin is just one person and voting for him doesn't mean that it's his duty now to deliver the Philippines from every evil.

After you vote for him, your duty doesn't end there. Your duty is to continue to engage in dialog with people in figuring the problems of the country and how to solve them.

Another problem I have with many people is that they seem to have a big hang up with people who have brains or who may have had some training abroad. I am glad we have people who are not apologetic about being smart. I remember the movie Incredibles, where - - to blend in, people sometimes deny the talents they have - -and in the end - - live a life of mediocrity.

Listen to the premises - - -Marcos was smart and didn't do anything for the country. Martin is smart - -so I am skeptical that he might become like Marcos. Geez - - I've heard this smart thing being used against people. I agree that just because one is smart doesn't mean that he'll be a good public servant. But hey - -you have other smart people who were true public servants. Jose Rizal was a genius and used his brains in helping the country. And of course, we have Ninoy Aquino - -another genius. Yes, Marcos was crap and hey, Ninoy Aquino wasn't - -and both of them were very smart.

Man - -the Philippines has to be comfortable dealing with people with talent and who have achieved something in life. Somehow, we've gotten used to mediocrity that people don't consider intelligence and common sense virtues anymore.

I am not saying that intelligence does not a great public servant make. But definitely, to be able to deal with the complexities of our problems, one has got to have the intellectual acumen to deal with concepts, issues, and ideas, and has the creativity, social skills, and civility to work with others in achieving something positive.

Martin is smart. I am glad we have smart people running. No one has to apologize for being smart. And yes, other smart people want to be led by smart people - -not a bunch of superstitious fools or demagogues.

Tricia said...

Gregory - I don't see how you could deduce that I expect "Martin" to do everything. Au contraire - I mention that it "has to start somewhere", which implies I don't expect it to end with him either. There is absolutely no way that one man can dig this country out of the severe state of disarray that it is in now.

Your philosophical analysis of "martin=smart, marcos=smart, marcos=did bad things therefore martin=will do bad things" is also wrong. NEVER did I imply that he would undeniably do bad things and "become like Marcos". The mention of Marcos was merely to illustrate that BEING SMART ISN'T ENOUGH of a reason for people to vote for him. Sorry, but your conclusion is all wrong.

Calm down, read the entry again, and maybe you will get the point. I understand that you probably know Martin personally, and thus you may take things people say about him personally. I'm not saying that he is a dictator-in-the-making. Bottom line? He has to be more direct and transparent in order to win more votes.

I don't see anybody on this site who has demonstrated a contempt for "people with brains, or people who have trained abroad." If anything, that is the main reason to vote for Martin Bautista. That is what sets him apart from the "circus" - the ability to analyze, to think, to make decisions (I am assuming that a gastroenterologist with 10+ years of experience is capable of all this). But it shouldn't be the only reason.

Pedestrian Observer said...

What a price one has to pay to lead a nation so abused and manipulated by crooked politician........ Give Martin a break.

Trust me folks, you will not find even just one yes uno, isa, talagang isa lang wherein you can agree with their view 100%. We want Martin to win a seat in the upper house. We are not trying to elect a supreme being here to take the cheat errrr seat away from that Lady by the murky Pasig River.

I am not even a member of Ang Kapatiran nor do I agree with Martin's party 100% but I will support them and encourage them. Why? Because they are the true trail blazers who may change the way we do politics. How they fare in this election will be the most crucial point in our quest for a better Philippines.

We can never counter patronage and personality politics with a loser attitude of finding excuses not to win for every little nitty gritty defect we blow out of proportion. Face it Martin is no superman or any tralala land super hero, he is a human being just like you and me. The only difference is he has the guts to go against the tide against all odds and it just will not cut it if the very people who are suppossedly level headed and intelligent enough will douse that enthusiams with rude uncouth out of line imagined or personal "criticism".

Gregory said...

We're on the same page then Trixie.

And I agree too with Pedestrian. Let's keep discussions level-headed and issue-oriented.

BTW - -I don't know Martin, and never met him. Nor do I know his family. I am here simply speaking my mind out.

Lastly, here's something that Raul Pangalangan said: For the May 2007 elections, seek not genius but common sense, not purity but merely uncommon virtue.

I think Martin is one of those candidates who deserves our votes.

Tricia said...

Alright, Gregory and Pedestrian, I will lay this "issue" (or "non-issue" to some) to rest. This blog is clearly an inappropriate venue for our personal discussions. Guess I got a little carried away - so, my apologies to Dr. B for the longwinded "comments" which invariably lead to the conclusion that a vote for Kapatiran is still the best way to go anyway.

Again, good luck in the coming elections. Our nation needs any glimpse of hope it can get.