Thursday, March 01, 2007

What will make me leave the Philippines (An Open Letter to all Filipinos)

I did not write this open letter. As with my previous post, I received this forwarded mail from a cousin.

I do not necessarily agree with the writer's sentiments about wanting to leave the Philippines. This country may stink big time but this is my home and I intend to stay here. I may want to travel and visit other countries, but I do not have the remotest desire to settle anywhere else but here in my beautiful Dumaguete City.

But I wholeheartedly agree with his views on Philippine politics and the personalities therein - it's also making me sick! Lately, I have not been tuning into our local TV stations. Seeing all those political ads are nauseating - with those prettied-up wannabes giving out their fanciest fake smiles and trying their damnest to appear pang-masa and appealing, kissing babies and putting their arms around ordinary/everyday-people types like the ones we would see in marketplaces. I wonder where that persona would go the moment they get elected? Back into their dingiest closets of course, to be resurrected only come election time again.

Those idiots who will be voting for those TRAPOS (traditional politicians - in English, TRAPO literally means RAGS), superstars/actors, boxing and basketball heroes, social butterflies ... should stop and think and wonder what these persons could do except look pretty and impressive in their Armani suits in the senate or look idiotic as I would expect Manny Pacquiao would be like in the Congress - I wonder what he would do to get noticed by those snootheads? Box his way around the Congressional Hall? I admire and love Manny Pacquiao.. time and time again, he made us proud to be Filipinos. But he should stay where he is best ... in the boxing arena. He is being used - is he so densed he could not realize that? Politicians know that Manny's popularity with the masses will carry him through any position he would aim for and all of them along with him.

A personal message to Manny: keep making us proud by staying with boxing. We love and admire you. You will be swallowed up whole along with all your hard-earned fortune in the world of politics. Stay where you are. Good intentions to serve the Filipinos alone will not get you through in a world where dog eats dog. Go into that direction and you will lose all the love and respect that we hold for you.

Anyway, you've served us more than enough already. In fact, you did more than any Congressman or Senator has ever done for us - for a brief moment, you made us stand proud as Filipinos. Be remembered as the glorious Manny Pacquaio in the boxing ring, not as Manny Pacquiao, the pathetic figure in congress.

Robert (whose blog is linked here) wrote about his fascination over politics and about Democrats and Republicans and the causes they support ... I do not know anything about American politics but I assume that US politicians' causes are based on personal convictions and/or in support of what their parties stand for.

Filipino politicians are a sad bunch. They will mouth anything and everything, perhaps even male castration (including their own) if it would get them elected, and forget all about it once they are in power.

We all are a sorry lot indeed! I am seriously thinking of not going to the polls in May. What for? Nothing has changed, nothing will ever change. New names, old faces ... same old routine and jostling for one concern alone ... personal interests and nothing else!

Here's the open letter in full ...

Dear Fellow Filipino,

Good day to all of you! Before I begin my letter... just a disclaimer, for people who know me they know that I love the Philippines very much and I am not really one who rants and complaints to high heavens about what is happening to our country and does nothing about it, in fact, I feel that at my relatively young age of 27, I have done much service to the Philippines by setting up Pathways to Higher Education which has sent more than 500 poor but deserving students to college and AHON Foundation which has already built two public elementary school libraries that have benefitted more than 3,500 students. Yet, after seeing how events in our nation have transpired the past few weeks and talking with some friends, I feel the urge to share with you my own thoughts and feelings.

Over the weekend, we saw the completion of two major political alliances for this coming Senate Elections that has just began here in the Philippines . Now we have two political forces with familiar faces nonetheless on opposite sides of the fences. On one end, you have Tito Sotto and Tessie Aquino-Oreta who were two major stalwarts of the opposition and the FPJ Campaign in 2004 hobnobbing with the woman (Pres. GMA) whom they claimed to have cheated FPJ in the last Presidential Elections.On the other side of the fence, you see Manny Villar, the former house speaker who was actually responsible for impeaching Erap now part of the United Opposition who is led by no less than... Erap himself. Now if you don't see anything wrong with this picture then you must be one of the many Filipinos who have accepted this very sad reality that there is indeed no permanent ideals that our government leaders stand up for but rather they just go where there self-interests can best be served. It is this kind of politics why I no longer wonder why good people like Ramon Magsaysay Awardee Mayor Jesse Robredo of Naga City or outstanding Bulacan Governor Josie Dela Cruz will find it hard or worse, never be elected to national positions.

It is with these in mind that I'd like to share with you what are events this coming May elections that will make me consider leaving the Philippines :

1.) If former COMELEC Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano of Hello Garci fame wins in his bid to become Congressman of Bukidnon...seeking to replace a good man no less in incumbent Cong. Neric Acosta... We would really be the laughing stock of the whole world if we allow a man with the reputation of Garci to be one of our so called "Honorable Gentlemen".

2.) If Dancing Queen Tessie Aquino Oreta reclaims her seat at the Senate... I hope that all of us would still remember that dance that she did during the 2001 impeachment hearings after they voted to overrule the decision of then Chief Justice Davide... let us make sure that people like her never make it to the Senate again.

3.) If Richard Gomez becomes a senator... what does he know about making laws? We already have the likes of Bong Revilla and Lito Lapid in the Senate and their performance or lack of it would be reason enough not to elect another actor who has no prior experience in government to the distinguished halls of the Senate.

4.) If Gringo Honasan wins again.... have we not learned our lesson? I cannot believe that just because someone is charismatic then we will just elect him to become one of our senators despite the fact that he has time and again caused so much instability in our country... if we want a military junta similar to that of Thailand ... then lets all vote for this guy....

5.) If Manny Pacquiao becomes Congressman of General Santos City... everybody loves Manny the Boxing Champ but Manny the Lawmaker? Lets be realistic here, Manny is our Hero alright but I think it takes more than just great boxing skills and a desire to serve to be able to make appropriate laws that would help uplift the lives of the many Filipinos who live in Poverty.

6.) If Lito Lapid wins for Mayor of Makati City... I don't like Jojo Binay as well but Lito Lapid as city mayor of the country's finance and business center?!?! And do you really think he is from Makati and has good plans for the city? The Arroyos asking someone like him to run just goes to show you how much love and concern this government has for our country.

7.) If Chavit Singson becomes a Senator, Illegal Gambling = Chavit... enough said.

Now if all of these 7 things happen during this coming elections then don't be surprised if I decide to leave this country that I love dearly. Like I said during the first part of my letter, I feel that I have done much for this country but I think its time that Filipinos become more vigilant and critical in selecting our leaders for the sake of our future and the generations that will go beyond us. So I appeal to every Filipino who asks what can I actually do for my country... Choose and vote for the right people this coming elections, huwag na tayong magpaloko sa mga kandidatong maganda lang ang jingle o gwapo lang sa mga poster. Let us choose leaders who have a good track record for service and who are genuinely committed towards serving our country.

Manindigan naman tayong lahat para sa ating Kinabukasan at para sa Kapakanan ng ating Bayan!

Thank you very much for your time in reading this letter.


Ang Inyong Alagad
Kapitan Bangas

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