Wanted: Our Paradigm to National Development

Beleaguered by the repercussions of the Maguindanao Massacre, the national government now faces tremendous public pressure to deliver justice to the victims and to prove that the government is worth the public trust. The six month-away automated national elections in May 2010 is under scrutiny and creates fear of confusion in stead of order. Government perceives all other issues directly involving the national leadership in big deal corruption as media speculation and baseless paranoia. However, the public persists in making government admit its flaws and give all Filipinos another chance.

To end warlord-ism in the country is the greatest call of the day. How do we do it?

As in all great endeavors, we need a paradigm within which we all can locate the significance of this cause and point its benefits for the greater good. Since the issue is a concern of arms, we need our great military thinkers and strategists- those who are independent in their expertise and philosophies of national development regardless of their current positions in the social and economic order. We need historians to give us the highlights of our national achievements and make us see the parallelism with other governments, which have transcended similar public discontent and reinstated public morale. We need to introspect and seek counsel with our respective religious and social groups and define what we mean by being Christians or Muslims.

We all need to gather other facts essential to our existence as families, as communities, and as a nation. Then we all need to get together and create our common grounds for peace and harmony.

These are ideas, which might help us create our paradigm to national development. These are our givens; these are our realities. What do we do next?

Maguindanao Massacre: Condemn the Culture of Violence!


The recent gruesome and merciless killings of fifty seven (57) Filipinos-political family members, lawyers, mediamen, and ordinary travellers- hits all of us personally and collectively. Unarmed and defenseless, trusting and hopeful they treaded, like we all do, the daily road of life. However, we forget that our time is not the easiest of times; it is the hardest and the harshest yet.

Violence is the means of the desperate. Desperate that once the political clout is destroyed, all influence is lost. Influence is gained through control of resources, both economic and social. In the Maguindanao area, control has become the privilege of a few, and control means violence.

This sub-culture of violence is perpetrated by those who lust for power, goods, and money. It cannot thrive, however, when people refuse to be imprisoned in this way of life. If those who join the greedy murderers will have access to a decent life, we believe they will choose to be free. One thing we can do is give them examples of how this could be done, as the examples shown by Efren Penaflorida and Manny Pacquiao, and by the millions of Filipinos who have reacted strongly against the massacre.

It is uplifting to know that most of us still believe in the essence of democracy and of freedom. However, we do not stop here. Wherever we are, let us create our own communities that will mean human development and moral progress. Let us become the people who not only think intelligently but also wise and prepared for the worst, who not only hope but also act, people who not only pray but also serve.

Condemn the culture of violence! Justice to the victims of the Maguindanao Massacre!


(Photo used in this post credited to www.worldbulletin.net)




The Filipino is CNN Hero

Efren “Kuya Ef” Peñaflorida gives the Filipino integrity beyond reasonable doubt. He gives justice to all those who work honestly in impossible circumstances, those who persevere to remake the fabric of our degenerating corner of this earth, both literally and figuratively. He puts shame on those who generalize that Filipinos are “beggars.”

Let us ponder on what made Kuya Ef sensational. First, he makes the opportunity for himself and does not wait that it be given. Most of us, like the unemployed, tend to point the finger at the government for their insufficiencies in life. Let us remember that the final decision and action rest on us. Ultimately, we are responsible for ourselves.

Second, Efren Peñaflorida is patient and persevering. While we all agree that the level of corruption has gone worst from worse, this should not stop us from taking the high road. We experience in daily life that when we do, people around us reciprocate in the same manner. Be kind and others will most probably be kind to you. Be patient, and most probably, you will find something worthwhile in due time. Be smart and don’t stop educating yourself, and for sure, you won’t end up disliking and being disappointed at yourself at the end of the day.

Third, our hero continues to give the fruits of honest labor. It is right to give what is due to anyone, but to give away what is due to one’s self is heroic.

I pray that all political leaders elected in 2010 will have the qualities of our hero. Then we will all call it a DAY!
(The image in this post is from cnn.com)

Pacquaio and Politics

When boxer Manny Pacquiao made history with his seventh WBO win in different weight categories, he made most of us joyous and proud, albeit momentarily. Even criminality held its axe. As a young man, this folk hero from General Santos City trained with discipline and hard work, even when finances were insufficient with loans drawn out. He has become a greatly skilled player inside the ring, and his recent win made him a billionaire in his 30s. A brilliant example of a hard-earned success.

With his present affluence, he wants to serve Saranggani Province by running as its Congressman in 2010. He has the money to do it, and the popularity that most probably makes a political candidate win. However, will he be a successful public servant?

Becoming a public servant means considering the welfare of the greater majority. It goes beyond self, family, relatives, friends, and kababayan or katribo. It could mean a number of people could get hurt for the sake of a greater number. In addition, those hurt could be one’s self, family, relatives, and friends.

It demands a personality that is more other-directed than individualistic. It is teamwork rather than a personal triumph. It is more of building a community of winners than making someone distinct from the rest.

It requires the mental skills of observation, analysis, discernment, and a moral sense of justice and equality. It becomes difficult when personal values conflict with those held by most.

At times, it entails sacrificing one’s resources for the public’s welfare, including money and property.

It is modeling on how to live life.

Would wishing Manny good luck make a difference?

GOOD LUCK MANNY!

Ang Wakas sa 2012

Ang prologo sa nobela ng sangkatauhan ay isang milagro ng paglikha. Kamangha-mangha ang mundo: sa lupa, dagat at himpapawid ay sari-sari ang namumukadkad at patuloy na ginagampanan ang siklo ng buhay. Ang tao ang pinakatanging obra, dahil siya ay marunong mag-isip ng tungkol sa lahat ng nasa mundo, pati ng tungkol sa kanyang sarili.

Sa isang yugto, kataka-taka na sa talinong taglay, ang tao ay nakakapamili pang maging makasarili na pa bagang siya lamang ang may karapatan sa mundo. Kahit nakikita niya na sobra ang lahat ng bagay para sa kanya lamang, kahit nararamdaman niya na naghihirap ang nakararami sa kadahilanang hindi nakapag-aral at walang oportunidad, kahit nakikita niya ang buong pamayanan na nagkakanda-kumahog sa paghanap ng solusyon maipantay lamang para sa lahat ang bansang yaman. Ang masakit, madami na ang mga salot ng lipunan.

Sa kabilang yugto, bakit may mga taong marunong kumilala ng hirap ng iba? Mga taong handang magtrabaho at magpunyagi kahit gaano kalayo at kahirap, hindi lamang para sa sarili kung hindi para rin sa asawa, pamilya, komunidad, at bayan? Sila ang mga taong may konsiyensiya: mga taong may pahalaga sa tama at nararapat at isinasantabi ang mali at hindi makatarungan. Ang kabutihan, may mga natitira pa ring mga bayani ng lahi.

Sa huling yugto, mukhang nakararami nga ang mga walang pakundangan sa pagputol ng mga puno sa gubat, pagtapon ng kemikal, plastik at iba pang basura sa ilog at dagat. Mas marami na ang mga walang pakialam na gumagamit ng sasakyang nagbubuga ng libreng lason sa hangin; naglipana ang mga taong pilit at walang paalam na nagpapatayo ng kabahayan at istraktura sa mga lugar na sensitibo at kailangan sa pagdaloy ng ilog o sa pagpapanatili ng kakahuyan at kabundukan.

Kaya magtataka ka pa ba kung sabihing ang lahat ay magwawakas na? Dumating ang mga ga-higanteng bagyo na kumitil at sumira ng maraming buhay at nanalasa sa mga patanim at paghahayupan. Gumuho ang mga bundok, nabunot ang mga puno at umapaw ang mga dagat at ilog. Narito na ang mga delubyo, pagkalat ng nakamamatay na mga sakit, at tumindi pang paghihirap ng mga mahihirap.

Ang wakas ay eksakto raw sa taong 2012. Nanlulumo na ang mundo sa pang-aabuso ng tao at nag-kaka-edad na. Kasabay ng tumatanda na ring mga ibang planeta sa kalawakan, ang ating mundo ay mawawalan ng liwanag galing sa haring araw. Mamamaalam ang mga korona nito at tuluyang maglalaho. Sa paglaho ng ating araw, tayo’y susunod din.

Hindi natin maisasantabi ang sinasabi ng siyensiya. Ito ay ang pinakamagaling na napag-aralan ng ating mga utak bilang tao. Hindi rin tayo maaaring magpakabingi sa sinasabi ng Bibliya o anu pa mang Banal na Kasulatan. Hindi ba’t sa unang yugto ay kinikilala natin na may banal na May Akda ng mundo? Ang mga kasulatang ito ay nagpapatotoo rin sa wakas ng panahon. Kung kailan, hindi bumabanggit ng eksaktong petsa.

Sa epilogo ng iyong buhay, mas gugustuhin mo ba na nasa mala-purgatoryo kang lugar kung saan tapos na ang oras at wala ka nang magagawa? Wala nang halaga ang pagsisisi dahil huli na ang lahat? Na sinayang mo ang iyong utak, kamay, paa, mata, taynga at iba mo pang regalo dahil tapos na ang mundong ginalawan mo? Nguni’t naroon ka pa rin, habang panahon na nakadarama nang lahat ng dati’y naramdaman mo sa iyong pagiging tao.

Wakas sa 2012? Dalawang taon na lang? Magmuni-muni ka. Ang nobela ay maaari pang magkaroon ng pag-asa sa wakas. Pagbibigyan ka pa NIYA. Ikaw ba’y magiging bayani o salot?

Ikaw ang aakda nito.

Your Choices of Leaders in 2010

Choosing your President in 2010 could be the influence of your own individual processing, of your immediate family, your peers, the community where you belong, of what most Filipinos think as the better choice or by a combination of all of the above. Yet we often find ourselves unprepared to choose as the election draws near. We still await the media circus and the campaign extravaganza. No matter what your strategy and pace are, let us share some thoughts to guide you in making the final choice.

The past three decades saw an unprecedented election of two women to serve at the peak of our executive hierarchy: Corazon Cojuangco Aquino and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Cory Aquino was undoubtedly the symbol of renewed democracy, and as such, has already done her part. Surprisingly, she has surpassed expectations and rates as having been professional and efficient in her Presidential role. Gloria Arroyo with a former President-father and a post-graduate education in economics was to bring the country into yet another economic miracle. Now facing great criticism left and right, she remains certain to complete her term in 2010 and insinuates running for another political post by then. Loren Legarda now stands out as the only woman candidate for the next highest-ranking position, the Vice-Presidency. Having been in the media as well as in government service as two-time Senator, many think that she would have been ready for the Presidency. Her most significant contribution remains to be her authored legislation benefiting women and children, such as the Anti-Domestic Violence Act and the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, and her environmental protection and preservation advocacy through the Ecological Solid Waste Management Law and the Climate Change Act of October 2009. With the Luntiang Pilipinas program, two million trees were planted all over the archipelago. The 10@10: The Ten Million Trees Campaign foresees planting of 10 million trees by the year 2011 as our contribution to the UNEP, which aims to reach the seven billion-tree mark by 2009. Undoubtedly, her contributions are necessary and relevant to the challenges of our time.

For the Presidency, the males dominate. The spectrum of their experiences range from being film actors, religious leaders, traditional politicians, to the popular “tao ng masa.” The nuisance candidates make their scene, too. We as a people often rate those in office during and after their term and less frequently before they were catapulted as hierarchical winners. Could this be one reason why we end up regretting? How do we truly know any candidate? Since the mind is boggled by the impossibility of personally seeing and living with all “__-ables” in order to gauge their suitability to public office, we mostly depend on what they will say in their media campaign. Notice that the media is now multi-dimensional and is capable of making everyone look like “Bro,” or any self-made super hero.

Those with better information and experience dealing with the subject personalities are in a great way responsible to their community of voters, too. The NGOs (non-government organizations) are reachable through the technological miracle of the internet. Their blogs and websites may post information you have wanted to know. Better still, talk to your local officials, initiate community discussions, and participate in local events, which could help surface your ever-significant decision.
In the end, it all boils down to how honest and sincere the candidates are in promoting their public image. The greatest fall comes from spiralling public expectations bloated by falsehoods and inability to deliver, and the deathly outcome is borne by our poverty-weakened social and economic backbone.