Mabuti pa noong unang panahon….

Mabuti Pa Noong Unang Panahon
Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Mabuti pa noong unang panahon
Mga ninuno nating tadtad man ng tattoo
Nagnganganga, nakabahag…walang siphayo.

Mabuti pa noong unang panahon
Payak ang takbo ng isip, walang pag-iimbot
Na sa pangangamkam ng ibang lupa’y umaabot.

Mabuti pa noong unang panahon
Magkakatabing mga bayan ay nagtutulungan
Sa pangangailangan ng iba’y malugod ang bigayan.

Mabuti pa noong unang panahon
Ang mga bundok ay nababalot ng kagubatan
Masaya pati mga ibong nagliliparan sa kalawakan.

Mabuti pa noong unang panahon
Ginto’t pilak, ‘di pinapansin, walang gahaman
‘Di tulad ngayon, pamantayan ng buhay ay yaman.

Mabuti pa noong unang panahon
Kung magdasal sila ay diretso sa Amang Poon
‘Di tulad ngayon, tao’y kaaanib ng iba’t ibang kampon.

Mabuti pa noong unang panahon
Pagtiwala sa kapwa ay di basta-basta nasisira
‘Di tulad ngayon, dangal ay kayang lusawin ng pera.

Mabuti pa noong unang panahon
Sa malawak na gubat, may pagkaing makukuha
‘Di tulad ngayon, mga bundok at pastulan, kalbo na.

Mabuti pa noong unang panahon
Masarap samyuhin ang hanging sariwa, malinis
‘Di tulad ngayon, amoy nito, animo’y pagkaing panis.

Mabuti pa noong unang panahon
Tubig na iniinom, sa ilog ay maaari nang salukin
‘Di tulad ngayon, naka-bote lang ang dapat inumin.

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Roxas should show “independent-mindedness” by stepping out of Pnoy’s shadow…if he wants respect

Roxas should show “independent- mindedness”
by stepping out of Pnoy’s shadow…if he wants respect
by Apolinario Villalobos

Anybody can notice the lameness of Roxas as he clutches hard on the clout of Pnoy. This early, he should show some kind of independent-mindedness by stepping out of the president’s shadow, as the latter is also perceived, according to broadsheet editorials, as a lame duck, himself. Roxas should stop mumbling the nauseating “tuwid na daan” and “reforms”, the failed keywords in the slogans of Pnoy. In the first place, the “tuwid na daan” is nowhere to be found and the “reforms” are nothing but blubs because the security and economy of the country under Pnoy just got worse. He sounds hollow every time he speaks, and the image he shows is very pathetic, as if begging for attention. If he wants respect, he must prove that he can stand on his own feet without leaning on equally uneasy reputation of the president.

This late, for the last minute preparation for 2016 electoral campaign, Roxas still hopes for an endorsement from his idol, the president. He is pitifully oblivious to the detached attitude of the president as regards the endorsement that he has been longing for. In the eyes of the Filipinos, Roxas’ attitude is a manifestation of weakness. So how can he command respect, much less, attention from the electorate when he finally goes out to campaign when he cannot even stand on his own feet? He hopelessly depends on the endorsement from an equally proven weak person. He is deaf to the loud declarations from all sectors that an endorsement from the president could mean a kiss of death.

The Yolanda typhoon episode proved his weakness as a DILG secretary, although, he tried to be at the scene of disaster together with the “trying hard” other concerned cabinet secretaries. As expected, after photo opportunities, each of them went on their own way. He failed to control the defective flow of relief goods to the affected LGUs. He failed to act on the overpriced construction of temporary shelters. He failed to conduct immediate investigation on the blatantly stolen relief goods. He failed to make an accounting of the cash donations…which donors themselves, later questioned.

Roxas also failed to check on the exceedingly delayed rehabilitation of the families in Zamboanga City who were affected by the attack of MNLF…and for more than two years now are languishing in temporary makeshift shelters without water and toilet facilities. Yet, every time the president reports on this, what comes out of his mouth are assurances that everything is under control. As DILG secretary, Roxas should be responsible for every lies that the president reports on local governments.

His failures can be listed on several pages… concerns of local government units – his responsibilities, as Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government. He should not pass the buck on to the DSWD and DPWH, if he is that “concerned”, a word that he shamelessly uses to prop up his droopy image. As the DILG Secretary, he is supposed to be on top of all the LGUs, with the rest of the concerned cabinets just providing support.

As if the abovementioned flops are not enough, the utmost disregard he suffered from the president was when he was left out as plans were drawn regarding the Mamasapano operations with yet, the suspended PNP Chief, Allan Purisima. He was expected to resign, because the act of the president was a grave show of distrust to him. But he swallowed his pride and still served his idol. Is this a manifestation of a strong and respectable personality? Is this the kind of a leader that Filipinos want to elect in 2016?…is he deserving of any position, even as vice-president?…yet, he dolefully dreams to become president!

With sadness, I could say that the historic magic of the “Roxas” as a political name may finally find its end in 2016. Such name may finally be forgotten.