Saturday, July 14, 2007

Pathways to Leadership

I was asked to give the closing remarks at the Alejandro Melchor Jr Foundation sponsored Young Leaders’ Conference. Cadets from the Philippine Military Academy, the 10 outstanding students of the Philippines, Ayala scholars, leaders from various schools were represented. Captains of Industry and former high ranking government officials spoke to the participants in the morning. I was all alone with the students in the afternoon.

My principal pitch was we heard from the old men in the morning, honorable, well-meaning men who did their best but the country was clearly not doing well. Our generation had to do better and we needed to find a different way. The heroes in the great myths always chose untested courses. Following the same path always spelled disaster. We have the benefit of hindsight and we shouldn’t blow our chance to try other methods. I impressed upon them my ordinariness. I wasn’t one of the 10 outstanding students, nor was I the class president or valedictorian. I simply hope to spur others to become more involved in the political discourse taking place in our country. We cannot afford to stay in the sidelines and allow our overstaying traditional politicians to continue lording over all of us.

I quoted Alejandro Melchor: “The highest calling next to serving God is serving one’s fellow man.”


L. Gonzales said...

It would be nice for Dr. Bautista to tell us, in concrete terms, what he would do as a young man challenged to find better ways to replace the failed old formulas.

For example, what would be his priorities if he were to be elected as a Senator? I think most of us recognize the problems, but somehow, we don't know how to solve them. Not in the last several years.

But on top of that, we are constantly losing the brains and talents of our country. I know we believe in education, but what use is it producing so many graduates only to lose them to other countries? We are known over the world as an exporter of professionals and laborers. That's something we need to address.

We hear often this rhetoric about helping our country and leading it out of its benighted state, but nothing ever gets done. The odds are so formidable that I believe millions of Filipinos have given up on their country. Yes, we still have a few idealists with dreams for their country, but that's not enough.

It would be nice for Dr. Bautista to tell us exactly what he would do, and how we can climb out of this massive pile of problems that
have accumulated over the years.

Martin D. Bautista, M.D. said...

Thanks l.g. for the comment. Please refer to my Inquirer podcast for my plans for the future. If you think about it, we have all the laws and plans to establish a productive nation. We have always lacked credible leadership to enact these reforms. We need "conductors" with integrity and honesty and competence and industry. You, l.g. might want to participate, this endeavor will require the sincere efforts of many of us. Think of what a leader with a mandate can do... ask our OFW sisters and brothers to double their remittances, ask our citizens to properly pay their taxes, ask our government employees to be diligent in collecting revenue in a perfectly honest manner, ask our citizens to plant trees, stop smoking, follow traffic rules, clean their surroundings, conserve electricity. Make the "problem" of overpopulation work for us. Think of what 80 million pairs of hands united towards the common good can accomplish? I have maintained again and again that we need a national movement to unite our country and this movement will exclusively deal with our foreign debt problem. It can be done. We can renegotiate our many loans and demand a 5 year moratorium on the payment of interest, we will continue to pay principal. We can stop our dependence on imports and foreign debt and become productive. I wrote earlier that I will have no problem begging for the excess milk and butter that Australia and New Zealand and the US have in order to provide more protein to the diet of our many impoverished children.

A senator can accomplish much but given the magnitude of our problems, woefully too little to promote peaceful revolutionary change. We need a President with an ironclad commitment to serve the country for one term and devote all her/his time towards the much quoted common good.

l.g. I will find a way one of these days to get these ideas in an ipod format. I can go on for days.

ikik said...

Martin sorry this is off-topic, but did you really embed that fashion TV video on the right side of your home page below the PBS feature?