CYBERSPACE, OCTOBER 25, 2003  by Jesus Joaquin M. Mañago (VIA E-mail dated October 23, 3004)

Dear Editor:

Following the news and driving to work this morning, I just felt compelled to fire up my word processor and attempt to articulate my disgust on the so-called FPJ “hard-to-get” candidacy. I hope you will let my humble voice be heard. Here goes.


Having lived in this country for the past 42 years, I cannot help but look back to “better times” not only politically and economically but morally above all. To my recollection the country was also 25 million Filipinos lighter at the time. Even the local movie industry was light-years better than it is today. I believe what accounts for our seemingly unreal past is purely internal in nature. Back then, there was “hiya”, “delicadeza”, “principio” and “karangalan”. I distinctly remember a scene in one Tagalog movie on TV where, inside their “munting tahanan”, the poor father gently told his little daughter, “Anak, hindi baleng mahirap tayo basta tayo ay marangal”.

Try putting that line in a movie script today if you can. We have changed. The Filipino has sadly lost these core values to the point where they will not only nominate someone with absolutely zero experience for the highest position in the land, they will not even object to the notion thereof. Our politicians, handsome, ugly and pretty, who craft our “brilliant” laws are either knowingly enacting flawed laws or unwittingly enacting these laws which makes them either malicious or stupid. But the saddest part of all is the deafening silence around this unacceptable candidacy. Yet this same silence most eloquently tells the nation’s present moral condition.

Despite what so-called optimists might say, our country is in its most precarious situation in its entire history and I am tempted as hell to point my finger at Marcos for the legacies of institutional corruption and barefaced lying, or the recalcitrant rebels (left, right and Islamic) for the untold damage their nefarious activities have caused generations of innocent Filipinos, or the current crop of politicians and actors who have learned it is more lucrative to be both, for sitting idly by in leather chairs, long on words and vanities, or even the Church, who while quick to protest what it perceives immoral, are too - long on words. If the Filipino’s sense of morals and values has deteriorated over the years, then the Church who is the authority and caretaker of such matters must also take responsibility and do remedial action. Its position on population control without any proactive approach of its own is certainly not helping the country. While extremely wealthy, I neither see nor hear the Church’s own resources at work at the squatter level even by way of education. I am a devout Catholic and nothing on this earth can make me abandon my faith but I will call it as I see it – nothing more nothing less.

Ultimately, we must all point the finger at ourselves. If we want meaningful change in this country, let meaningful change begin with us. We must learn to look beyond faces and glib tongues, learn to see the true intentions of people who will stoop to anything to win no matter what the dire consequences of winning might be for the entire country and our innocent children, learn to blow away the froth and imbibe the substance. Let us not wait for EDSA 10 only to relearn old lessons. Are we masochists? How much more mistreatment can we take? If our democracy is to work let us unite to condemn wrongdoing and work “like hell” for the genuine good of our beloved motherland or God help us.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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