We Blame Everybody, but Ourselves

We Blame Everybody, but Ourselves

By Apolinario Villalobos

I have to mention again that every time we point an accusing finger to others, the three other fingers are pointing at us. For every fault, we have the habit of blaming it on others, but forgot that we may be faulted, too, for what we are accusing others.

For the heavy traffic for instance, all motorists blame the government and its concerned agencies. But they forgot about their car collections and fleet of expensive cars so that each member of their family drives one. They forgot that because of vanity, or just the sheer of showing off a little opulence despite just renting a room, they buy cars and park them on streets. They forgot that they do not observe traffic rules, thereby adding to the chaos and confusion, further resulting to the unmoving traffic. They forgot that their cars are the old type that conk out without warning in the middle of the street. They forgot that they give grease money to corrupt traffic enforcers, at times.

Motorists blame the government for the incessant rising of fuel prices. But they forgot that buying cars and motorcycles that made them suffer the consequence was their choice, not anybody else’s. They forgot that they were tempted by the low down payments offered by the wise salesmen, so they bit the bait.

For the perpetual flooding of the streets, city dwellers blame the government, yet, they forgot that they are also guilty of dumping garbage just anywhere when there is an opportunity. They forgot that they do not recycle plastic materials so that these will not add up to accumulated garbage. They forgot that they practically let everything – fish bones, veggie scraps, rice, etc. down the drain when they prepare their meals and when washing dishes. They forgot that they dump garbage-filled shopping bags in any open manhole that they can find on their way to the office. They throw garbage along freeways as they cruise along on their car, or into the Pasig River and its tributaries that flow to Manila Bay. They also forgot that they remove manhole covers during flood to allow the fast flow down them – with garbage!

For the landslides in the countryside resulting from the denuding of forests, affected people blame the corrupt stakeholders and financiers of illegal logging concessions, some of whom are government officials. They forgot that they are employed by these unscrupulous people as chainsaw operators and haulers of logs down the streams to the lowlands, practically, every able member of their family floating with logs to pick up points. They, who live in huts under the heavy foliage of forest trees, even get angry at the site of people from the Bureau of Forestry, and who walk over their “kaingin” to serve them notice of desistance.

For corruption in the government, Filipinos condemn the officials, the lawmakers. But the big question is, “who installed them in their positions by virtue of suffrage?” Whose hands were greased with cold cash in exchange for their sacred votes?