AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL FILIPINOS.
To you, from your fellow countryman.
This is my long post for a very short message.
Perhaps. Miss Lea Salonga said.
But not perhaps if the war on drugs started a little earlier, no.
Not perhaps if the government was more strict back then, no.
Perhaps if we had been better Filipinos.
Perhaps if we had been better citizens of this country (or this world).
Perhaps if we had been better people.
Because she is right, we are all in this together.
For better or for worse.
I was going home after a very tiring day from both work and school and an exam for a major subject, whew! And finally excited to write something as I have been so uninspired by the past daily prompts… I had a lot, literally a lot, of posts lined up for my blog… I opened my facebook page and this greeted me.
Ha! Finally something I can write about.
But this is not something I am proud of, sadly. I am not proud of what our country has become. I know there are things I can be proud of; that is, our very many talented people being recognized all over the world; our heroes; our athletes; our president.
All that and infinitely more. But as a country, honestly, I am not satisfied. But being not satisfied about where our country is right now does not mean that I will neglect the rules.
It does not mean that even if I did not vote for the sitting president, I will no longer abide by the rules of the land I inhabit. And it certainly does not mean that though we are all entitled to our own opinion of what the media is feeding us, we throw out words that hurt people. It does now mean we become rude in the effort to become a better nation. No, it does not.
Bob Ong, a Filipino author whose works include shorts of how the Filipinos choose to live a life full of lies and comfort than confront reality, wrote a book for it. Bakit Baligtad Magbasa ng Libro ang mga Pilipino? Mga Kwentong Barbero ni Bob Ong (Why do Filipinos Read Books in Reverse? Stories by Bob Ong)
In it, a very meaningful and outright example is given.
I admit. I did read the article. And by the time I reached the end, I laughed at this.
I do not know if that is how it should have been translated , though.
BUT you see, what I mean? The logic and the sarcasm this very article showcases is just how the Filipinos have been and still are.
How we still are.
And he was right. Sadly, he still IS.
I know this post is very much outdated and no longer “in” but if we choose to live like this as a nation, if we choose to live like people who for some reason, choose a leader we think is fit, then as soon as we see flaw, we back down immediately, we will never be nothing more than what we are today. We will always only be clamoring for change we know would never come. Change is not asked for. It is done.
Leadership is not taught or lectured in class, it is learned through discipline. We must all strive to be better than what we are today – because I believe in us. I know we are better.
And why do we always wait for prominent people, e.g. the actresses, the actors we idolize to tell us to become better citizens of our country, or the world for that matter, than just do it on our own?
Are we not capable of our own judgment? Do we not know when to improve? Are we that seemingly blind and apathetic to our country’s hurt and discomfort?
You might reply; “We are resilient. We will thrive.” Yes, we will. That is true. But we must not be content with what we have now. We must strive to be better – because we are. I know we are. Aren’t we?
There is still hope. Little does not mean ‘none.’
My fellow countrymen,
There is no better leader than us. The government must be afraid of us, and not the other way around. OF the people, FOR the people, BY the people; remember? The power lies in us. The person we have put in the position for our president? He is just the figure of who we are as a country. Our representative; nothing but that, really. I could not care less of who you voted, honestly. That is your own choice.
Another book about the Philippine society Bob Ong has written on, is entitled Kapitan Sino. Loosely translated in English, it is “Captain Who.”
This tells a tale of someone who magically finds out he has awesome powers and tries to save people in his small town. For a time, he was considered a hero by the residents of the place. But as time passed by, they soon got tired of him and wanted a new hero. Yeah, talk about being fickle. However, Kapitan Sino still helped those in need. The real villain of the story was a politician, whose son was a monster who kept eating kids from hospitals. The story ends tragically when Kapitan Sino dies (murdered; stabbed by a passerby desperate to save his dying child) trying to save his people. This is the perfect depiction of who we were… are… as a nation. The very cause of what we are today, does not only fall on the government, anyway. It is our own fault, too.
Accept thy mistakes to be able to change and change for the better.
Know thy mistakes and learn from them in order to not be able to do them again in the future.
Learn from the past. That is what our ancestors are for.
And why do we always judge?!
Don’t watch that news channel, they’re a biased channel!
Don’t watch that, that gives you nothing but green jokes!
Don’t watch that film, it has no morale and you will be wasting your own money! You better watch this Hollywood film because this teaches you about (etc. etc. etc.)
This kind of mentality is what brings us down. We look to others to justify our judgments that our country is no longer worth saving. We look for second opinions yet secretly we hope for the worst possible scenarios. Too much negativity is spread in this country we live in that even our judgments get affected!
We mock our terrorists because they are fighting for a lost cause.
We hate our policemen because they are not doing their jobs properly.
We judge politicians because of twisted and often representations given by prominent ones who belong in the rankings.
We mock our fellow citizens who do nothing but post about love and nothing about what our country really is experiencing.
People! We should be better than this!
Have you ever tried asking yourself what you have done to help the poor? The needy? Those kids you see in the street as you go about your day? That very annoying kid who pokes you just to ask for a single peso?
Being a politician is hard. Being a patriot is even harder. Being a naïve citizen is the hardest.
I know you know what is happening. I know you want to do something about it. I know you feel what I feel. But will you wait for others? If you are so set on not doing it alone, gather your friends and form your own group! Revolt! Be better.
Miss Lea Salonga had it right. We must all stand behind our president.
No matter what, he is who we elected. He won. Don’t even try telling me you did not vote for him. I.DO.NOT.CARE. He won the race and we must all be there with him as he battles these problems.
Our problems. Let us all be like the 300 men who marched with Leonidas into that valley of death. Let us not abandon the person we put on the pedestal. We are good people, aren’t we? We never abandon our countrymen, do we?
He will stumble. He will make mistakes.
Sure, he’s human.
His responsibilities are great and we must trust that he is doing it as best he could.
He is doing something people! He is not sitting on TV shows and talking about his platforms! He is doing it. He is laying down his tracks for all of us to see.
Let’s not be blinded and read the book upright and clearly.
Your fellow Filipino