Be the Change

It is a dis­hear­ten­ing fact that I live in a co­unt­ry where peo­ple be­little them­selves when it comes to their ab­il­ity to create chan­ge. It is even more dis­hear­ten­ing that in times of dis­tress, the Filipino peo­ple choose to not rise up and use their co­untless God-given rights as means of em­power­ment.

These rights, which peo­ple of sever­al co­unt­ries envy, are more than en­ough to bring our ail­ing co­unt­ry an al­levia­tion. Yet most in­dividu­als use these rights not for the good of our na­tion, but rath­er to violate Her constitution.

But what irks me most about the co­unt­ry is how often we ig­nore sim­ple rules. No jaywalk­ing should mean no jaywalk­ing. When the stop light is red, there should­n’t even be a single vehic­le cross­ing that white line. No lit­ter­ing should mean just that. And is it rea­l­ly that dif­ficult to find a re­stroom, that we (and some women for that fact) just de­cide to urinate at whatev­er wall, post, or open canal we see? Maybe it’s be­cause we have to pay to even just use pub­lic re­strooms right? And when walk­ing on the streets, is it too much to ask for an “ex­cuse me” in­stead of bump­ing and shov­ing with­out the “I’m sorry” af­terwards? I know a lot of you know what I’m talk­ing about. And I’m not try­ing to make generaliza­tions, but let’s face it, we as a peo­ple are not dis­cip­lined.

Howev­er, this is mere­ly my own op­in­ion. This op­in­ion does not apply to all Filipinos, as at­tested by the fact that a small han­d­ful of in­dividu­als wholehear­ted­ly un­derstand the true mean­ing of being uni­ted in pro­gress. This small han­d­ful of in­dividu­als un­derstand the cur­rent status of our co­unt­ry and have a full grasp on the pro­p­er ide­als and mor­als of a tried na­tion. This group of open-minded and log­ical Filipinos pos­sess the think­ing, which the co­unt­ry needs in order to lift her out of dark­ness.

Most Filipinos say, “we want chan­ge.” Even more Filipinos shout, “we need chan­ge!” Yet in the face of ad­vers­ity, the Filipino peo­ple fail in ex­er­cis­ing their rights and just say, “we can’t.” The ideal Filipino would neith­er say nor shout about the chan­ge they wish to see, but rath­er would simp­ly go out and do some­th­ing about it.

Every­one knows that chan­ge is in­evit­able. Howev­er, it re­quires the pro­p­er “push” in order to get the ball roll­ing, so-to-speak. The con­cepts that chan­ge is hard to come by and that chan­ge is too big of a task to be ac­complis­hed by just one in­dividu­al, are cer­tain­ly false mis­con­cep­tions.

Every per­son has the willpow­er to in­itiate a com­plete soci­al trans­for­ma­tion, one small step at a time. Each step may be some­th­ing sim­ple, or each step may be a bit more com­plex. But our co­unt­ry and its peo­ple can­not af­ford to be any more com­pla­cent than it al­ready is. We are on the brink of com­plete un­derac­hieve­ment on a glob­al scale; a rath­er em­bar­rass­ing fact given the numb­er of re­sour­ces our co­unt­ry pos­sesses.

Be pro­ac­tive, be re­spon­sible, and be an ad­vocate for soci­al chan­ge.

For every oc­cas­ion that you walk past a homeless man, ig­nore that small piece of trash, for­get to say ex­cuse me, please and thank you… you un­der­value the power of small acts of kind­ness. And ul­timate­ly, you un­der­value your own capabil­ity of in­spir­ing chan­ge.

The idea of creat­ing a chan­ge does not al­ways have to start on a large scale. The small spark of hope in each in­dividu­al, is more than en­ough to ig­nite and re­kindle the soci­al flame of em­power­ing the mas­ses. It is with­in these small acts of kind­ness wherein we, as a society, can lig­ht­en the burd­en of our fel­low Filipinos, even for just a brief mo­ment.

I am no one speci­al, I’m not fam­ous or rich or whatev­er, so I cer­tain­ly do not have much of an in­flu­ence on the en­tire co­unt­ry. But if there’s some­th­ing I do pos­sess, is that I have the drive and the pass­ion of want­ing to see any sort of im­prove­ment in this co­unt­ry. Wheth­er it be in the qual­ity of life, the gover­nance of our de­moc­ra­cy, or even the rise of our economy.

This is the land of my an­ces­tors and my cur­rent home. I can­not stand on the sidelines and watch it be put to waste by its very own peo­ple. Even if I may be young and just a mere student, I will do all I can to em­pow­er my genera­tion in work­ing towards soci­al chan­ge. It isn’t just the co­untry’s fu­ture at stake, but rath­er my en­tire fu­ture as well.

It’s high time to let your voice be heard. It has been long over­due for the peo­ple to fin­al­ly wake up and rea­l­ize that the govern­ment can­not face the chal­lenges of the na­tion on its own. Every ef­fective govern­ing body in the in­ter­nation­al scene has loyal­ty and ac­tive par­ticipa­tion from the gover­ned. Be­cause ul­timate­ly, the peo­ple are the ones who rule them­selves and have the power to lead the co­unt­ry.

I still have high hopes for this co­unt­ry and I have com­plete faith to its peo­ple. I look for­ward to the day when the co­unt­ry can once again stand among the elites of the world and wear its col­ors high and proud. And I cer­tain­ly look for­ward to the day when I can honest­ly and shameless­ly say that I love this co­unt­ry and I am proud to be a Filipino.


Filipinos should adapt the correct attitude

Corruption can be minimized if we really wanted to but not totally to be eradicated.

Some people said corruption is the cause of poverty. Other said that corruption is a symptom of poverty. Some international scholars stressed that “Corruption, lack of education, and lack of opportunity cause poverty”. Corruption include graft, bribery, embezzlement, backdoor deals, nepotism and patronage.

Because Corruption had become a trend in our country Philippines – some economist experts advice that in order to Fight Poverty – the Filipinos should adapt the correct attitude. Some Executives from rich countries who communicate with their counterparts in poor countries stressed that there is no significant intellectual difference. Race or skin colors are also not important: immigrants labeled lazy in their countries of origin are the productive power in rich European countries.

What is the difference then? The difference is the attitude of the people, framed along the years by the education and the culture and flawed tradition. The behaviors of the people in rich and developed countries are greatly followed the following principles in their lives such as:

  1. Ethics, as a basic principle.
  2. Integrity.
  3. Responsibility.
  4. Respect for the laws & rules.
  5. Respect for the rights of other citizens.
  6. Work loving.
  7. Strive for savings & investment.
  8. Will of super action.
  9. Punctuality.
  10. And of course, Discipline.

Philippines is not poor because we are lack of natural resources or because nature was cruel to us. In fact, we are supposedly rich in natural resources. We are poor because we are lack of correct attitude. We lack the will to comply with and teach these functional principles.

Kabataan: Pag-asa pa ba ng bayan?

“Children today are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food, and tyrannize their teachers.” ~ Socrates

Mga kabataang kakaiba at nakakabahala na ang ugali at kilos. Mga kabataang hindi lang basta kabataan. Ano ba ang nangyayari sa kanila? Sila ngayo’y mapupusok, matatapang, walang takot, walang pakundangan, walang pakialam. Nagbago na nga ang mundo.

Sa murang edad na nasa elementarya pa lamang mga batang lalaki ay walang takot na ihahayag, ilalantad at ipapaskil ang kanilang kabadingan na pilit noong itinatago hangga’t maaari. Matatapang na ibi-video ang sarili nakapusturang babae, nakatikwas ang daliri at buong giting na ihahayag ang malalaswang nais sabihin ng isip. Hindi ko alam kung sino o ano ang nag-impluwensiya sa kanila para magkaroon ng ganito kalakas ng loob para ipangalandakan ang napakamurang kalandian. Sa unang tingin, oo nakakatuwa pero kalauna’y hindi mo maiiwasang mapailing. Hindi ko nais na husgahan ang pagiging bakla nila pero talaga lang na nakakabahala. At hindi ka ba mababahala kung aksidenteng makita at mapanood mo sa Youtube na isa sa mga “rumarampang” ito’y anak mo? Saka mo sasabihing hindi ito nakakatuwa.

Sa halip na nasa bahay na nagbabasa ng aralin kasama ang pamilya, marami ang mas nanaising magpunta sa computer shop at maglalaro ng on-line games, mag-uubos ng mahabang oras sa Chat o sa Facebook, o kaya pasimpleng tatambay lang ng napakatagal. Magsasayang ng oras at perang pinagpagurang ng kanilang mga magulang. Kung ang bahay mo’y malapit sa isang computer shop alam mong kahit anong oras ay lagi itong puno at kabataan ang laging laman nito. Hindi masama ang mag-internet, mag-computer o maglaro pero ang lahat ng kalabisan ay masama. Mabuti sana kung ang sipag nilang magtungo sa ganitong lugar ay tinutumbasan din nila ng ganoong sipag sa pag-aaral.

Kapansin-pansin na rin na mga kabataan na rin ang nai-involve sa iba’t ibang krimen na hindi lang sa Kamaynilaan kundi sa halos lahat na yata ng panig ng bansa. Mga batang snatcher, jumper boys o batang hamog, mga kabataang ginagamit ng sindikato at meron ding sa murang edad ay sila mismo ang namumuno nito, mga kabataang miyembro ng kung ano-anong gang at walang takot na makikipagrambulan sa mga nakakaaway. Napakatatalinong ipapamukha sa’yo na hindi sila pwedeng ikulong dahil sa umiiral na batas (RA9344- Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006), halos isampal na sa mukha mo ang dala nilang mga birth certificate katunayang sila ay sakop ng batas. Uulitin ko hindi sila pwedeng ikulong kahit sila’y miyembro ng carnapping syndicate, nagnanakaw o pumapatay. May gatas pa raw sa labi pero alam na kung paanong magnakaw at pumatay.

Kung dati ‘pag may kaguluhan sa isang komunidad alam mo na agad na ang pasimuno’y mga adik na nagtitrip, mga lasenggong nagkapikunan o mga sigang maaangas. Sa modernong panahon ngayon mas malaki na ang porsyentong ang mga kabataan ang nag-umpisa ng gulo. Mas mahirap pa sawayin at supilin dahil kumakasa at walang preno sa pagmumura. Hawak ay sumpak, bote, tubo, bato at ihahagis ito ng walang pakialam kung sino ang tamaan. Hindi rin nila balak makipagsundo o makipagbati sa mga nakaalitan dahil ang plano nila’y rumesbak. Walang katapusang resbakan.

Pabata na rin ng pabata at tila sobrang maagang nahilig sa alak at sigarilyo ang mga modernong kabataan. Kung hindi mo ito napapansin siguro ay magandang obserbahan mo ang paligid mo. Mga teenager na kung makahitit ng yosi ay said na said hanggang ‘dulo. Kay sasarap ng buhay na nakapagtatakang sa kabila ng kahirapan ng buhay ay laging may tangang yosi lalo sa gabi. Kapartner ng kwentuhan at ng yosing hinihitit ay ang umaatikabong inuman. Hanggang madaling-araw na lasingan lalo kung araw ng Biyernes o Sabado. Tila hindi makaporma ang mga magulang sa tigas ng mga ulo ng mga kabataang ito na karamiha’y magagaling mangatwiran at rebelde ang panakot kung sakaling mapagsabihan. At hindi lang mga kabataang lalake ang nasa umpukang inuman makikita mo ring nakiki-kampai ang mga kasing-edaran nilang mga kababaihan. Nagbago na nga siguro ang panahon at hindi ka sunod sa uso kung hindi ka marunong mag-yosi at tumoma.

Kung pag-uusapan na rin lang ang uso, uso na rin sa kabataan ang maagang mamulat sa SEX. Mga kabataang animo’y inosente, mga kabataang kung pagmamasdan mo’y ‘di gagawa ng kalokohan pero marunong na pala ng sex o kaya’y mga kabataang babae na hindi nahihiyang magpaskil sa internet ng kanilang (halos) hubad na larawan. Liberated na nga sila. Kung malaking bahagi ng maagang pagkamulat ng kabataang ito ang malayang teknolohiya o mga programa sa TV na may temang pakikipagrelasyon o sekswalidad ‘yun ang hindi natin alam. Marami-rami na ring kabataan ang nasira ang kinabukasan dahil sa maagang pagkamulat dito. Ayon sa pag-aaral, halos kalahating milyong sanggol ang pinaa-abort taon-taon ilang porsyento kaya dito na ang kabataan ang may gawa? Mga liberated na pag-iisip pero hindi naman kayang pangatawanan ang resulta ng kanilang pagiging mapusok. Asahan mo nang marami sa kabataang ito na maagang nabuntis o nakabuntis ay hindi magiging ganoon kadali ang buhay-pamilya dahil hindi nagawang mairaos ang pag-aaral.

Maibabalik pa ba natin ang dating Kabataang Pinoy? OO.

Oo nga’t pagbabago ang dala ng mga Kabataan, ngunit hindi ganito ang nararapat. Ang pagbabago dapat ay may kaakibat na magandang kaugalian ng nakalipas, na magiging basehan ng mga susunod na henerasyon.

Ibalik natin ang mga panahong konserbatibo pa ang lipunan, mga edukadong kabataan at disiplinadong mamamayan. Ang mga ito ay maaaring nakalipas na, ngunit kung muling isasabuhay natin, susunod sa yapak natin ang mga mas nakababata sa ‘tin. Tutularan nila tayo dahil may konti pa tayong hiya, iidolohin tayo dahil disiplinado at sumusunod tayo sa mga nakakatanda, at gagalangin at rerespetuhin nila tayo dahil may karunungan tayong tinataglay, na sa balang araw ay makukuha rin nila.

Gawin nating inspirasyon ang ating mga sarili, tayo ang mag-iilaw sa ngayo’y tinatahak nilang maling landas. Disiplinahin sila sa tamang paraan, upang sa ganoo’y maramdaman nila kung gaano sila kahalaga sa bayan.

Imulat natin sa kanila na ipinanganak sila para pagsilbihan at paunlarin ang bansa, silang mga susunod na lider at magseserbisyo ng tapat na may pagmamahal sa bayang sinilangan.

Kung naniniwala kang pag-asa ng bayan ang Kabataan, gabayan natin sila. Huwag nating hayaang tahakin nila ang baluktot na landas at ituro natin sa kanila kung nasaan ang daan tungo sa pagbabago, kaunlaran at katiwasayan, ang tuwid na landas.

Tatag ng Wikang Filipino, Lakas ng pagka-Pilipino


Noong nakaraang taon, ang ating Wikang Filipino ay nagsilbing ilaw at lakas sa pagbagtas sa tuwid na landas. Ngayon, ang katatagan ng Wikang Filipino ay ang ating lakas sa pagiging Pilipino. 

Agosto na naman, at muli nating sinasariwa at binibigyang-halaga ang ating wikang pambansa, na importante para sa nagkakaisang bansa. 

Sa panahon ng makabagong teknolohiya at globalisasyon, ang ating wikang Filipino ay napapagitnaan ng napakaraming wika mula sa ibang bansa, at minsa’y ang ibang wika ang pinapahalagahan kesa sa ating sariling wika. 

Ang pagkakaroon ng sariling wika ng isang bansa ay taas-noo para sa mamamayan nito, dahil tayo’y nagkaisa noon na magkaroon ng wikang pambansa upang makisabay sa gulong ng buhay at ipagmalaki ang ating lahi. Ang wikang pambansa ay kayamanan ng isang bansa, hindi ito matutumbasan ng ginto o salapi, hindi rin mananakaw dahil kakalat lang ito at lalago pa ang magbibigkas nito. Ngunit, nagbabadya ang ating pambansang wika – ang Filipino na maalis sa trono ng wikang pambansa, dahil sa mga wikang banyagang unti-unting ginagapang ang ating bayan at iniimpluwensyahan ang sambayanan. 

Kahit nahaharap sa krisis ang katatagan ng ating wika, ang ating pagka-Pilipino ay patuloy na nananaig dito man sa Pilipinas o kaya sa iba’t-ibang ibayo ng mundo. Nandyan ang ating mga OFWs, maliban sa pagtatrabaho para sa kanilang pamilya, kanila ring ipinagmamalaki ang kanyang bansa – at pati na rin ang sariling wika. Sa mundo ng internet, ang mga websites tulad ng Facebook, Twitter, at Google ay maaari mo nang magamit sa wikang Filipino, kaya huwag nang mag-alala dahil hindi ka makaintindi ng mga banyagang salita, gamitin na ang sariling wika! At sa paglalahad ng mga opinyon, balita, at mga nangyari sa iyong buhay, pwedeng-pwede mong gamitin ang Filipino, dahil alam mo bang mahigit 30 milyong Pilipino na ang gumagamit ng internet

Sa panahon ng makabagong teknolohiya kung saan mga iba’t-ibang lengwahe ang nangingibabaw, huwag mag-alinlangan, at ipaglaban ang nakasanayang wika – ang Filipino. Kaya nating maipagmalaki ang ating sariling wika  – saan man, kailan man, at sa napakaraming paraan. Gamitin natin ang wikang pambansa, maging ilaw man at lakas sa tuwid na landas, o susi sa pagka-Pilipino. 


Tara na sa ‘Filipinos for Change’!

Mag-iisang taon na ang nakalilipas nang aming ilunsad ang The Filipino Servant. Mula January hanggang October ng 2011 ay nakagawa ang TFS ng mahigit 100 kwento ng pag-asa, pakikibaka at pagbabago. Pinagserbisyuhan ang mahigit 10,000 katao at dumarami pa hanggang ngayon at nagbigay inspirasyon sa sambayanang Pilipinong uhaw sa pagbabago.

Nakagawa ang The Filipino Servant ng mga artikulo na pumukaw sa mga Pilipino, katulad ng aming istorya tungkol sa pagpapahalaga sa ating Wika, ang Filipino na ginawa sa panahon ng ating pagdiriwang ng buwan ng wika. Amin ring ipinagmalaki at pinarangalan si Rizal, ang ating pambansang bayani sa kanyang ika-150 taong kaarawan nito. Sa kainitan ng debate tungkol sa kontrobersyal na RH bill, naging kakampi ng mga pro-RH ang TFS. Pinaiyak kayo at naantig sa istorya ng mga matatandang inabandona na ng kanilang mga kaanak at lumaki mula sa kahirapan, ngunit patuloy pa ring naghihirap. At sinong makakalimot nang inihatid namin sa inyo ang balita tungkol sa magnitude 9 na lindol at tsunami na tumama sa Japan? Marahil maliban sa mga artikulong ito ay may nagustuhan pa kayo. 

Ang TFS ay naging matagumpay sa pagtakbo nito, ngunit gusto pa nitong lumawak para pagserbisyuhan ang mas nakararaming Pilipino at hikayatin silang makilahok sa pagbabago.

Kaya noong October 2011 ay inilunsad namin ang Filipinos for Change. Hindi ‘to nalalayo sa TFS dahil ang pakay nito ay ipagpatuloy ang nasimulang pagbabago at bigyang pag-asa ang mga kababayang lugmok pa rin sa kahirapan at bayan patuloy na dumadanas ng epekto ng katiwalian. Masasabi naming TFS 2.0 ang Filipinos for Change dahil maliban sa mga kwento ng pag-asa na nalimbag nito, ay hatid pa nito ang mga pinakasariwang balita sa loob at labas ng bansa sa pamamagitan ng news arm nitong Philippine News Online. Layon ng Philippine News Online pagsama-samahin ang mga nakalap na balita ng mga bigating news organization ng bansa at ihatid ito sa mga Pilipino sa internet. 

Sa aming mas pinalawak na pagseserbisyo sa inyo, hatid namin ang pagbabagong malapit niyo nang makamtan at pagbangon mula sa kahirapan. Sa tulong ng makabagong teknolohiya ay mabilis naming naihahatid ang mga kwento ng pag-asa. Ngunit sa pamamagitan ng pagtulong sa kapwa, pagsisikap na magtrabaho, at pakikilahok sa pagbabago ay mabilis makakamtan ng Pilipinas ang kaunlarang ating hinahangad. Kaya tara na sa Filipinos for Change! Kung saan tayo ang magsisimula ng pagbabago! 

Maraming salamat po sa patuloy na tumatangkilik sa The Filipino Servant, amin pa rin pong pananatilihing bukas ang blog na ‘to. 

Who's the boss?

Jose Ma. Montelibano | Philippine Daily Inquirer

P-Noy said we, the people, are his boss. That is really nice to hear said so simply and directly to all of us in his first speech after swearing in as president. In truth, democracy had always put the people as the boss of public servants. The people as boss is central to the very philosophy and principle of democratic governance. Somehow, though, democracy has been less a reality and more a theory in the Philippines. The Filipino people have never been boss except in short spurts of time when, in clean and honest elections, their votes dictate who sit in public office.
Democracy in the Philippines, then, has largely been interpreted and practiced as people voting for their officials. Democracy as a form of governance carries with it a very partisan color because it is understood most of all as an electoral exercise more than anything else. This understanding puts people in a voting position occasionally, and as the ‘governed” after elections. Democracy, then, is about elected officials holding positions of authority for three or six years and about Filipino voters being boss for one day in those three or six years. No wonder that the most popular cry is “good governance” in Philippine democracy.
How can the Filipino people be boss only for a day and elected officials, including the bureaucracy they manage, be the boss for three or six years? That makes the people-as-boss principle of democracy rather shaky, even farcical. To have the right to vote every three or six years, Filipinos accept being governed the whole period in between elections. Boss for a day, governed for three years by local officials and congressmen, six years by the president, the vice-president and the senators.
Clearly, governance has to be placed in the hands of a few for obvious reasons. That should be just functional because practicality dictates it. The principle of people-as-boss should always retain its authority and primacy over governance. If people are the boss, then the boss is served, not governed. Good governance should not be the cry of the day; instead, it should be good citizenship.
Good citizenship reflects the people as boss. Beyond that, good citizenship places in the hands of the people responsibility and accountability in the management of the country. Democracy’s “for the people, by the people, of the people” principle becomes alive only when citizens accept the responsibility and accountability of participating in governance – which makes democracy a most dangerous principle for those who have long understood, and used, public office to have authority over others. To many politicians and bureaucrats, democracy stands in their way to power and wealth. That is why democracy remains a theory more than a practice.
If the simple pronouncement of P-Noy that the people are his boss made an impact, it is because people have not been the boss of government. The statement of P-Noy made people sit up because it was strange when it should have been most ordinary in a democracy. Filipinos have become so used to being ruled than being served that when their president says, “You are my boss,” it startles them.
I wonder how P-Noy differentiates or ranks the people as his boss. He knows he cannot please all of them at the same time. He knows that the differing priorities and needs of the people could even clash with one another. In being public servant number one, P-Noy has to rank his priorities according to the most important sectors. Who, then, is the boss among the many bosses?
The majority, of course, is the first boss. Democracy dictates so, and democracy is the value system the Philippines has adopted. From his presidential vantage, P-Noy must sense the priority aspirations and needs of the majority. These are what he must address daily, with courage and effectiveness. That he rates very well in approval and trust by this majority is a clear affirmation for P-Noy. This rating is according to the first boss, the majority of the Filipino people. And his critics can scream until they are blue in the face but cannot change the reality of a president being regarded highly by his primary boss.
The majority, though, has many sub-categories and nuances. Who among them should P-Noy give first priority to?
Clearly, it must be those who are suffering the most. It must be the hungry, the sick, the weak and the innocent. This priority is a given if we consider the Filipino as a family. Whatever may be the various aspirations and needs of members of a family, the immediate attention belongs to the suffering, the sick, the old who need care and the innocent who need protection. And this is not only P-Noy’s concern but also that of the boss – we, the people, as well.
Good citizenship as the boss of good governance takes on the same priority of attending to the most immediate need. That is why the spirit of bayanihan, today reflected in the growing acceptance of volunteerism as the most effective expression of Filipinos in participative governance, should be an urgent concern of P-Noy. The traditional mindset of governance which places power and accountability in the hands of a few will demand that P-Noy will do these all. Unfortunately for democracy, this mindset is a throwback to the authoritarian and dictatorial history of Philippine governance, from the Spaniards to Marcos.
The approval and trust of the boss for P-Noy is also influenced by the fact that he remains open to them, not just by listening to their sentiments but also by encouraging them to be part of governance. P-Noy will meet the first opposition to participative governance from many within his own chosen appointees who will appreciate power and perks more than engaging empowered citizens who want to do their share in building a nation. After all, many of those who hustled for their appointments were not primarily interested in serving a people they had not tried to serve selflessly before their appointment.
Citizens, then, must cross the line of indifference, leave their comfort zone, and give democracy a chance by taking on the responsibilities of being the boss.

Hindi ka inabandona ng pag-asa; inabandona mo ito

Pag-asa, pag-asa, pag-asa, salitang may napakaraming kahulugan, kailangan ng bayan, at meron ang bawat mamamayan. Ngunit kung hindi ka naniniwala dito, ang buhay mo’y walang kakahantungan. 

Sa kasalukuyan, iilan na lang ang may pag-asang mamuhay sa isang bansang inabuso ng dating namumuno, kahirapan ang nangingibabaw at radikalasyong nagiging sanhi ng pagkakawatak-watak ng populasyon. Kung ang iilan na ito ay sumuko na, hindi malayong mag-ugat sa social extinction ang lipunan. 

Ang iilan na ito ay ang mga taong patuloy na nagbibigay-inspirasyon at pag-asa sa mga taong nawalan na ng ilaw sa kanilang buhay. Ang iilan na ito ay dapat tawaging mga bayani dahil sila ang nagliligtas sa mga taong malapit nang lamunin ng mga problema. 

Ang pag-asa ay isang salita na nagbibigay inspirasyon sa mga tao, ang salitang ito ay nagpapalakas ng damdamin ng mga taong sumuko na sa buhay. Ang pag-asa ay maikukumpara natin sa isang ilaw, ilaw na magdadala sa atin sa matiwasay na pamumuhay, ito ang magliliwanag sa ating pundidong isipan. Imposibleng layasan ka ng pag-asa, dahil nandyan lang siya naghihintay na pansinin mo ito. 

Kilala tayong mga Pilipino bilang mga tao na hindi nauubusan ng pag-asa, palaging nakangiti kahit na sa oras ng trahedya o kalamidad, atin ito’y ipamuhay at huwag basta iwanan. Kung hindi natin ito isasabuhay, sayang lang ang paniniwala ng mga taong nagsabi nito sa ating lahi. 

Mahalaga ang magkaroon ng pag-asa ngayong nasa yugto tayo ng pagbabago. Kung may pag-asa ka, ang mga taong nakapaligid sa’yo na itinakwil ang pag-asa ay muling yayakapin ito at maniniwala. Ika’y magsisilbing inspirasyon at tanglaw ng kanilang buhay at titingalain bilang bayani ng lahi. 

Kaya sa mga institusyon at grupong patuloy na ipinapakalat ang mga mabubuting kwento ng pag-asa, saludo kami sa inyo! Kayo ang mga bagong bayani ng panahon. Sana’y patuloy niyong bigyan ng pag-asa ang mga taong itinakwil na ito upang muli nilang yakapin at umahon sa mahirap na pamumuhay.

Tandaan natin, sa bawat pagsubok sa buhay, ang pag-asa ay palaging nandyan upang gabayan ka at malampasan mo ang mga problema. Walang pag-asa na iiwanan ka sa iyong paglalakbay tungo sa landas ng pagbabago. 

"Sa ikauunlad ng bayan, Disiplina ang kailangan!"

Itong linya na ‘to ay umalingawngaw noong kapanahunan ng Martial Law. Linya na mula sa diktador na abusado at mapanlinlang ngunit bilang pangungusap, ito ay makahulugan sa lahat at para ito sa mga kababayan nating hindi disiplinado. 

Hindi uunlad ang bayan kung ang mga mamamayan ay hindi disiplinado. Kung may kaayusan at respeto sa isa’t-isa, hindi malayong respetuhin na tayo ng mga ibang bansa at tingalain bilang kanilang inspirasyon. Ngunit kung parati tayong hindi maayos at hindi sumusunod sa mga simpleng batas o panuto, hindi tayo magtatagumpay.

Pinatunayan ng mga Hapon noong niyanig sila ng Magnitude 9 na lindol noong Marso na kahit nilumpo na sila ng kalamidad, ang pagiging disiplinado ay pinairal pa rin nila. Hindi sila nagnakaw o nag-panic buying sa mga tindahan, sumunod sila sa utos ng kanilang pamahalaan na lumikas na at higit sa lahat, nagrerespeto sila sa isa’t-isa. Isang magandang halimbawa na dapat gayahin at gawing inspirasyon ng mga Pilipino.

Paano ba maging disiplinado? Una, sumunod sa mga simpleng panuto o batas. Kung susunod ang lahat, susunod ang kaunlaran. Pangalawa, sa lahat ng pagkakataon, pairalin ang pagiging alerto o mahinahon, halimbawa kung may kalamidad na tumama, huwag mag-panic dahil ang mahalaga ay nailigtas ka, ang mga bagay na naipundar mo, babalik rin yan basta’t magsumikap ka. Pangatlo, respetuhin ang isa’t-isa, kung may respeto kayo sa kapwa mo, ang respetong ipinakita mo ay magbibigay ng gantimpala sa’yo. Pang-apat, huwag mag-isip ng negatibo, isipin mo ang positibong kalalabasan ng mga gawain mo upang maging matagumpay ka sa hinaharap.

Kilala ang mga Pilipino bilang hindi disiplinado, ngunit kung gusto natin ng pagbabago, unahin muna natin ang pagiging disiplinado bago maging progresibo. 

Philippines launches $1.66bn stimulus package

Cecil Morella | AFP

Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Wednesday announced a $1.66 billion programme to help his country cope with the deepening global economic turmoil.

Aquino said the money would be spent over the rest of the year, however even with the stimulus programme the government revised down its economic growth forecast for 2011 by 0.5 percentage points to 4.5-5.5 percent.
“The global economy has undergone a bit of a slowdown recently… this slowdown is already making some impact on growth in the region, including the Philippines,” Aquino told reporters.
“Rest assured, the government is working overtime to make certain that we do what must be done to maintain our economy’s momentum.”
Aquino said the 72 billion pesos ($1.66 billion) in the stimulus programme would be spent on projects “that will have a high macro economic impact and help the poor”.
Some of the money will be spent on infrastructure projects such as roads, irrigation canals and improving Manila’s light rail system, according to the government.
Other funds will go to relocating communities threatened by landslides and floods, while the state weather service’s typhoon-forecasting equipment will be upgraded.
Hospitals will also get extra funding, while healthcare subsidies to the poor will be boosted, and more nurses will be hired, the government said.
The education ministry will also get extra funding to help the surging outsourcing sector address manpower problems by providing training to prospective applicants.
Shortly after Aquino announced the stimulus programme, the government said its economic growth forecast for this year had been cut from 5.0-6.0 percent to 4.5-5.5 percent.
The forecast for next year was also trimmed, to 5.0-6.0 percent from 5.5-6.5 percent.
Aquino said the Philippines’ crucial electronic exports sector had been particularly hard hit this year because sales to Japan, one of its biggest markets, fell away following the devastating earthquake and tsunami there.
He also said Philippine economic managers were nervously watching the debt crisis in Europe.
However Aquino urged Filipinos to remain optimistic about the country’s economic prospects.
“While the current global economic climate is not necessarily conducive to growth, challenges such as this have not prevented us from progress before, and they will not prevent us from progress in the future,” he said.
“We will do what we can within the bounds of fiscal prudence to keep the economy growing and to make certain that the effects of this growth are felt more widely.”

My people

Jose Ma. Montelibano | Philippine Daily Inquirer

I want to tell a story. I am part of the story, but the story is much bigger than me. It is a story as seen through my eyes and written through my words. It is the story of the Filipino, the story of my people.
Of course, the story of the Filipino cannot be told by one person alone, and cannot be told completely even by all the storytellers put together. But the story must be told, especially when the story often points to Filipinos who have no voice to tell their own story.
This will be an emotional story, truthful but emotional. There is just so much pain in the story of the Filipino people, and so much shame, too. There are over 90 million Filipinos, closer to 95 million, I am told. The growing number deepens my sadness more than anything else, simply because instead of many more celebrating life and the abundance of creation being hosted in our motherland, I see tens of millions in horrible misery. Poverty takes on an added dimension because of its massiveness. It is not just economic, it is social, political and moral as well.
Whatever the story of my people, poverty will grab the limelight, and it should. Even if I submit to official measures and statistics of poverty, I know it is much more. We cannot be assuaged by $1/day or $2/day figures as though $1.10/day or $2.10/day eases the pain of fear, hunger and cold by any significant difference. I would like to be awed by our fantastic beaches, by our native hospitality and entertainment advantage. I would like to brag about Manny Pacquiao, Lea Salonga and Charice Pempengco, about the thousands of Filipinos who make it anywhere, everywhere. At some point, though, I cannot escape the face and reality of poverty in the tens of millions.
In the days of the datus, it was not that ordinary Filipinos had autonomy from the autocratic or dictatorial system of rule obtaining at that time. But the various styles of governance did not disrupt the relationship between man and land. From land and its sense of permanence came the security of man. It allowed a family to plant its roots and then the time for roots to grow deep. From that depth, the Filipino developed the capacity of understanding the future, the faraway future.
Landlessness as dictated by the king of Spain not only robbed Filipinos of their security, their sense of permanence and understanding of the future, it also removed their entrepreneurial skill and management capacity. Landlessness and the loss of freedom forced enterprising Filipinos to become subservient to a greater physical force and disabled their power to think, create and initiate. From gifted human beings responding to a rich land, natives of the islands now called the Philippines began their reverse journey to animal-hood and mere survival.
Recently, there was an article on the shallowness of my people as posed by the question of a former senator and commented on by a well-known writer. I shuddered as I read the article, not at the shallowness of the Filipino people, but that of those who are among its elite in society. Can they not see that the leadership of four centuries have forced our people to be shallow as their only form of survival? And I hope they will not point to the rare exceptions of once-hungry Filipinos who make it, as though the spectacular talent or luck of one would justify calling one hundred thousand shallow, or lazy, or stupid.
Under the circumstances that have co-opted their lives from the advent of foreign dominance and the extension of that dominance by an elite who knew about freedom and more about exploiting the forced weakness of a long enslaved people, Filipinos have done well enough. When poverty took over the lives of many, the beast in them went into submission but did not turn to violence and genocide. Or, should they have turned on the minuscule few and cut off their heads a la Marie Antoinette instead? Would have turning violent been the more refined reaction against oppression?
A new middle class is emerging, large chunks of the population rising powerfully from almost nowhere – at least nowhere from the intelligence or kindness of elite governance. The migration to America and other developed countries, the Overseas Filipino Workers – these are not born from the vision of leadership. Rather, they are coping mechanisms of desperate Filipinos and desperate countries whose native populations cannot or will not do what Filipinos remain willing to do.
Half of the total population must be directly benefited by remittances that boggle the imagination – in the $20 billion level annually by now. That same half of the population, though, pay a high price, from the absentee parent or sibling, to the children growing in a family with a missing mother or father, or both. But the sacrifice of a generation breaks the slavery or poverty which had been a family heritage. It may be a weak new middle class, born of allowance rather than hard work, but they will have more opportunities to grow as time moves on.
The other half though, especially the poorest third of our population, have no such luck. They have no relatives living and working abroad. They have no documents, no permanent address, no education enough to pass the barriers of immigration laws and labor requirements. Our very poor are very hopeless, too.
Unless we, Filipinos in motherland Philippines and around the world, remember we are one people, one Filipino race, brothers and sisters all. Unless we embrace that fraternity, that brotherhood of race, and hold the suffering and despairing close to our bosom and tell them that they are family, that we have not forgotten, that we care and we shall share.
There are so many stories to tell, and many more must tell them, too. I shall not stop telling the story of my people, if only to make them feel that I have not forgotten, that I am Filipino, as Filipino as they are.