Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Our Mission, Stated

We love politics here. We live politics. We easily forgive our politicians. Yesterday, we held our version of the US State of the Union Address, what we conveniently refer to as our SONA (State of the Nation Address). Classes were suspended in many schools in Quezon City and many workers took the day off in anticipation of rallies and marches that could hopelessly gnarl-up traffic. The mood was festive at the House of Representatives. Our lawmakers and their spouses and parents were decked in the finest native couture. A new Congress was about to be inaugurated and fearless leader Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was going to give an hour-long speech.

If what she enumerated was all true, how come millions of Filipino children are hungry and worm-infested and malnourished and receiving inadequate, substandard education? Why is national productivity so wretched? Why are human rights wantonly abused? Why don’t we feel secure and why do we fear getting kidnapped? Why are there so many loose firearms and bodyguards?

Because we don’t have a leader who will inspire us to pay our domestic helpers more, who will make us pay our fair share in taxes, who will convince us to stop smoking and plant trees, who will make us conserve electricity, who will inspire us to walk instead of ride short distances, who will make us become more involved in civic programs, who will make us clean our surroundings, who will make us obey traffic rules, who will appeal to our overseas brothers and sisters and ask them to double if not treble their remittances for 5 years, who will have a realistic and courageous understanding on how to manage the gargantuan debt, who will have a clear vision for the future, who will serve for one term only.

We won’t be on our way to reaching First World status if all we do is quibble about who gets to be Speaker (again). As if De Venecia hasn’t been given the opportunity to do good for our country. I tell you most solemnly, the peaceful revolutionary change we all hanker for will not emanate from 5-time Speaker Jose De Venecia. Nor will the second longest-serving president pull it. They and most of the rest of that tired and traditional, ineffective and spent bunch of preening politicians will not be able to do it. They no longer have the energy and the imagination and most importantly, the moral force to rescue our country.

Since we all love politics anyway, we ordinary citizens must rise and take our beloved Philippines back. We cannot depend on anyone else but us. We have talked and criticized enough, complained and analyzed enough, now is the time for us to act. United, we will be able to convert our “problem” of overpopulation into our greatest asset, 80 million pairs of hands working together for the common good.


DPFajardo said...

Brod Jun Fajardo here:Brod Martin. The Brods have been discussing these things you said, Are we on the right tract? Just trying to keep the flame from dying. If not now when? How about those GMA dynasty forming-Too Obvious?

pinoy said...

Rise up we must but we need to find a common ground. With all the bickerings coming from the wide range of political spectrum from the extreme left to the extreme right plus everythig in between, is there a common ground? I believe there is and it is good citizenship. This is what will bind us all. This is what will connect the dots.

Iniibig ko ang Pilipinas.

paul said...

Doc martin, I suggest you go on a trip around the other ASEAN cities while you are in Pinas. It doesn't have to be expensive if you book your plane tickets and hotel accommodations directly via the Internet. You will feel humble at how the backpackers and affluent tourists have sidetracked the Philippines for places like Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and even Laos. These places especially Cambodia and Vietnam have the same dilapidated roads, spaghetti wirings, undisciplined drivers like in our own country. The only difference is that tourists feel safe there and true they are not harassed by beggars,policemen,military men, immigration/custom people.

L. Gonzales said...

Indeed, we Pinoys love politics so much that's all we appear to be
doing all the time, year in and year out. And look at where we have arrived: far, far behind while our SE Asian neighbors are far ahead of the line. And the strange thing is we are blind to what is happening.

Yes, every two or four years, we troop to the polls to elect leaders who are supposed to guide us to the future, only to find out none, but absolutely NONE, has had the vision nor the leadership to inspire Filipinos to do all the things we need to do.

It's no wonder the state of affairs has been what it has been for the last 30 or 40 years. I listened to that SONA speech, and it's all empty rhetoric as Martin clearly points out. A 6.9% growth in the economy is meaningless unless that translates into helping the mass of Filipinos, who remain mired in poverty, unemployment, and dashed hopes.

My fear is that as the population keeps growing, the problems keep getting bigger and bigger. I hate to say it, but I don't harbor high hopes the Philippines will soon get out of its third-rate status, if ever.