Lusty May

May is a beloved month, the month of summer and rebirth. In May, the earth gives us all its wonderful growths, colors and scents that renew  our being human. Ironically, It also brings to the fore the human tendency to grab for the best, and in the process, bring out the worst.

Amidst the promises of concern and care in the media campaign materials, the national election theme is lust. Behind all the political glamour surface the shocking truths of power monopoly in almost every nook of the country, a conversation piece among the electorate, the non-voting young and old, who have experienced how it is to be deprived, disadvantaged, and abused within the socio-economic system. While the Filipino is truly resilient and patient, the accumulation of rising expectations consistently met by rising frustrations should be taken seriously by those who will be elected in the national and local government leadership positions. It’s going to be a hard climb up, and sliding back could deplete our national energy to reach the comfort and progress zone our people need and deserve.

We are about to write a new page of our national history on 10 May, with as much hope as doubts and fears. We now can do our share in voting for the people who could have the better capacity to look after the people’s welfare in mind and heart, and who will act accordingly  even when personal interests might be at stake. Yes, we need heroes and saints in the real sense of the words. So let’s continue our candidate-searching, share with others what we think, search our conscience, and make up our minds. Lastly, let us pray.

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"It's May! It's May! 
The lusty month of May!... 
Those dreary vows that ev'ryone takes, 
Ev'ryone breaks. 
Ev'ryone makes divine mistakes! 
The lusty month of May!"
-   Lerner and Lowe

Countdown to 10 May: Some Tips

Fifteen days and we’re to write our history anew, not as much with names as with oblong balls.

Are we prepared? Most likely, we have someone in mind for President, more or less another for Vice-President,  more for the first few ones for Senators and less likely for the rest down the line. Name recall and association would become the pattern for the rest of the rest.

As in any problem-solving effort, we need to take steps that have proven effective because they are scientific and objective. They include the following:

 First, we need to gather our data. Mass media shouldn’t be enough; but in addition, the discussions on the candidates should have reached the barangay level. All parties have had their share in the campaign, but we all stopped at just hearing them individually. Or we stopped because they promised things and we would look forward to them: we were “bought to vote”. There was minimal venue for data sharing and consolidating the facts.

Second, validating our findings is essential. Our data could be verified and cross-checked through our personal network using face-to-face encounters or the Internet, and findings therefrom could be laid out.

Third, analyzing our data is crucial. This will now depend on what framework we would choose to look at our data and extract our findings. Do we prefer an official who performed positively for development  rather than one who just promises to do so? Do we choose a candidate with less exposure to politics but have proven worthy in private service? Do we elect someone with intellectual prowess over one who is simply influential?

Fourth, we need to have a more or less stable list of candidates with their corresponding numbers in mind once we enter the polling precinct. Then shading the Bilog na Hugis Itlog might be easier to do.

We should remember that national development depends on all of us who are locally distributed. We can make a difference from where we are since the sum of all of us equals our status as a country.

May 2010 Elections: Do We Have a Real Choice?

End of hiatus. I missed the blogosphere, but had to work on a community program technical review which findings once more confirmed the merciless plight of our poor families in almost one-room temporary, makeshift shelters-each as home to an average of six small children roughing the day through with a potful of porridge, each one forced to look after the other while the father is away for months in a construction contract, and the mother is out selling fruits in the park in any nook she could hold on to until the police come for “demolition”.

Back to the hottest menu of the day: elections. As we hear people discuss and comment on the poll candidates, the most popular ones are those who have been tagged as “Action Men” and who have truly proven their worth in public service. There are those who have remained “nuisances”, both in action and in words. Still, there are those who are not so popular but have done constructive work as private individuals who are now seeking public posts. One such candidate for President is Nicanor Perlas, recipient of the Right Livelihood Award or Alternative Nobel Prize (2003),UN Environmental Program Global 500 Award (1994), The Outstanding Filipino Award (1994), and the William F. Masterson, S.J. Agriculture Award (1995)  Public Service Award,  Municipal Government, Maasin, Iloilo (1972).

Government officials, especially the President, have been chosen for the past century of our national history through popular election. It is a numbers game that does reflect the MOST NUMBER of people who opted for a certain candidate but does not necessarily reflect the election of the BEST candidate. Further, popularity is made through mass information on a person’s ability and capacity to enhance his image according to the values of the masses in receiving and accepting information. In the cycle, the masses have been educated to be amused and be comforted by media propaganda that project pro-poor images because they talk and act like the “masa” . Here, no thinking is permitted. The sad thing is this is still the order of the day.

 Fortunately, there are media practitioners who are true to the profession and provide information upon which the public could draw data, analyze and act according to their own reasoning. The professionals, college and high school students who are of voting age, even the out-of-school youth with continuing education still form the better part of the thinking electorate. They could still help their family members in their selection of candidates for various positions. They can make the multiplier effect to outnumber the order of the day and create what is palatable and healthy for the nation.

Yes, we can choose the real meal in the menu. It might just take the cooks another century? Oh, hungry!