Gloom, but Not Doom
By Pol Derilo
This was one of a recent editorial title in the New York Times.
However, I will not talk about those of the U.S. but instead dwell on the gloomy atmosphere hovering over the Philippines since before the dawn of the 21st century.Presumably, the country is heading to exploring the hope and potentials of its people. And it was, since they consented and be governed by their chosen leaders.
The early years were devoted to unleashing foreign restrains on self determination. Right men were there at the right time and became great leaders. Then the second half of 20th century passed by maturing hardly in due course due mostly to self-learning inexperience's and flaws of democratic processes.
There were six years of regular watch at the helm by the same president who assumed dictatorship for almost 15 years. After his ouster and 22 years thereafter, four presidentswere elected. Two were able to steer the republic on calmer water by abiding the constitution. The following one was impeached for squandering public funds while the successor is still sailing roughly on the stormy water.
The country has been struggling to get out of the harbor for almost 50 years now, still hardly out in the open seas. It is even bracing to modify the fundamental charter of the country; not necessarily for assuring a safer route but more for insuring a secured seat in case the country take off for some reason. Politics has consistently transcended other priorities in the national agenda. It has grown into national passion and seemingly lifelong obsession that sustain dynasty and other name brands. It became an either/or or both for self aggrandizement. It became an industry that duplicates the real determinant in calculating GDP; so remote from creating a national product but instead accelerates government corruption exponentially from the palace by the Pasig to the barangay hall at the village.
While it is easy to see what is going wrong, it is almost impossible to admit why almost everyone was doing wrong. The norm is, there should always be someone first to cast the blame before we admit, if ever, that everyone of us were wrong. Let us look back and remember whom we voted for in all the past elections. Though the country is still at the level where we are left to choose from among the wicked, corrupt and greedy politicians, did we decide to the best of our untainted ability to vote for the least evil among them? And if we did, did that least evil politician raised their status to wiped out our reservations or did they plunged deeper into the abyss of everyone's disappointment?
The point why we are all wrong is, why do we have to choose from the allies of evils instead of the adversaries of the devils? Why are we still in this stage of leadership futility. Why is the country's landscape seems hollow, void and barren of deserving men and women to lead the land that we all like to be proud of. I am confident that they are still out there quiet and for continued dissatisfaction, some may even became cynical while some indifferent. They don't necessarily have to be highly educated and experienced although the country also abounds with them.
During the last few decades, it is becoming obvious that the moral fabric of society has weakened and cracking. It seems baffling since by reputation, the population is highly Catholic and/or Christian. Does it mean that the flock failed to hinged their daily life to their religious teachings? Commonly known, morality and the common sense of righteousness are by birth imprinted on everyone's heart. They are then reinforced and forged byeducation and religion. I am also confident that rightly summoned and organized, theseunidentified and unknown leaders can possibly be a mighty force to stamped out the villainous herd of unscrupulous politicians. Let the "trapos" off the hallowed halls 100% if possible and necessary. They are the disgrace to the rights and honor of the poor, the
neglected, the sick, the disappointed, the vanishing tribe and all those who are Filipinos by birth but "persona non grata" to the corrupt politicians and servants of the people. They deserve less from the coffers of the taxpayers and the seat that they bore holes.
If in America's diversified fabric of society, a nontraditional component can emerged as successful candidate, why can't a non-trapos expunged traditional trapos in the Philippine ethnic majority. Carefully planned and organized, the silent majority in the Philippines canalso launched qualified and honest leaders. Possibly, money becomes irrelevant if nontrapos re strengthened by numbers from bottoms up by strongly organized and vigilant evolutionaries. Volunteers have to donate their own cell phone loads in textingcommunications for example. That eliminates dependence from traditional fund providers, he politicians themselves.
And while traditional politicians normally seek media exposure for their free campaign ads, it ould be more personal and cheaper if personal contacts by volunteers becomes a ystem for nontraditional candidates at the grassroots levels.
And while we are at TV and media seekers, lately, at a book launching, traditional and elite politicians showed up to show themselves as oppositions, one of them even expressing regrets in supporting the expulsion of a non-repentant plunderer president who was later pardoned and at separate event giving away cash in the spirit of the season. Only in the Philippines can this kind of circus visible, probably at the disgust of those who are unable to
feed their family this Christmas.
While it may looks gloomy in our part of the world, it is definitely not doomsday yet. Hope still awaits us every time. It only takes one right move to rectify our 700 wrong moves. Similarly, in a golf game, an eagle shot or even a birdie shot in one hole, wiped out all disappointing shots in the rest 17 holes. From our mistakes, we can better plan the next move and strengthened our hope to ensure our quest for truth, that we did our best to spell the hovering gloom.