Philippine Election: A Choice between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Philippine Election: A Choice between the Devil

and the Deep Blue Sea

by Apolinario Villalobos

The murky Philippine politics is such that the Filipinos are always left with a choice between the proverbial devil and the deep blue sea…both bad enough, at the onset of election. The worse that can happen is inaction or abstinence on the part of the voters, which robs them, on the other hand, of their right to exercise their ultimate authority as citizens.

The eager candidates who are currently holding sensitive positions in the government who already want to earn mileage of exposure at the earliest allowable time, shamelessly use these to their advantage. The opposing parties on the other hand, move heaven and earth to demolish their reputation by bringing into light past graft cases or build new cases against them, based on allegation of cohorts. As a result, the valuable time of these officials are charged to the taxpayers while seemingly endless self-serving investigations go on, although, they reveal helpful information, at the same time.  What is glaring is that both the investigated and the investigators have shares of guilt.

Part of the dirty tactic during election that has become a traditional practice is vote buying which made running for any position very expensive as those interested need to have millions to spare during the campaign period. Those lucky enough to get favorable results in this venture, try hard to recover whatever they have spent and even more. This gave rise to the popular adage that the easiest way to get rich is for one to enter politics. This could be true because those who joined the race and got blessed with overwhelming votes become rich even after just a couple of years in their position.

My statements may be general, although I know that there are still some in the political arena, very few who try hard to maintain a clean image. These are those who do not survive the rigorous occupation eventually, hence, bow out after just one term…I have talked to them.

Ang Pagtitiwala

Ang Pagtitiwala

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Ang ibang tao ay nahihirapang magtiwala sa kapwa-tao. Hindi sila masisisi dahil nga naman sa dami ng mga nangyayaring panloloko at pangraraket tulad ng budol-budol na madalas mapabalita. Dahil sa kawalan ng tiwala, ayaw na tuloy nilang magbigay ng cellphone number man lang kahit sa kaibigan dahil baka daw mapasakamay daw ito ng ibang tao. Subalit mayroon pa ring hindi makapigil sa sarili na makipag-kaibigan sa hindi nila kilala dahil mukha naman daw mga disente at mayaman ang mga ito. Nakakarma tuloy sila, dahil hindi nga nagtitiwala sa mga taong ang kasuutan ay pang-mahirap, nadale naman sila ng mga akala nila ay mayaman, kaya maliban sa ninakawan na ay nari-reyp….at lalong malas ang pinatay pa.

Sa panahon ngayon mahirap pairalin ang kasabihang, “ang tiwala ay nasusuklian ng tiwala” (trust begets trust). Pero yong talagang likas na mapagtiwala at matulungin ay talagang hindi mapipigilan sa pagbukas ng kanilang gate kapag may kumatok upang humingi ng pagkain. Bibihira lang ang ganitong uri ng tao ngayon. Yong iba kasi, basura nga lang sa labas ng gate nila na kinakalkal ng mga batang nangangalakal, ay ikinagagalit pa sa pamamagitan ng pagmumura at pagtaboy sa mga ito. Hindi pa rin sila masisisi dahil talagang may mga nangangalakal na basta magkaroon lang ng pagkakataon ay talagang nagnanakaw – dahil sa kahirapan.

May mga pamilya na dahil sa kawalan ng tiwala sa kasambahay ay naglalagay ng CCTV camera sa loob at labas ng bahay. Subalit kadalasang dahilan ay laan daw para sa mga taong-labas na may masamang pakay o sa madaling sabi, mga magnanakaw. May nagkuwento sa aking nakilala ko na naglayas sa kanyang amo dahil nakikita daw siya sa memory ng CCTV na  kumakain ng junkfoods na nakatabi sa cabinet. Ginawa lang naman daw niya yon dahil noong unang araw niya bilang kasambahay ay magiliw siyang sinabihan na “kung gutom ka, bahala ka nang maghagilap ng makakain mo”. Sinunod naman daw niya. Nang pagsabihan daw siya ng among babae na wala na silang tiwala sa kanya dahil sa madalas niyang pagmeryenda ng junk food, nagpaalam siya subalit hindi siya pinayagan hangga’t wala siyang kapalit. Inabot ng apat na buwan ang paghintay niya pero wala pa rin kaya lumayas na lang siya at iniwan na lang ang dalawang buwang suweldo na hindi pa ibinigay sa kanya, kaysa patuloy siyang inaalipusta.

Ang isa pang uri ng tiwala ay yong sa sariling kakayahan. Maraming taong hindi nakakaalam na mayroon pala silang tinatagong galing. Yong iba naman ay alam talagang may galing sila, subalit nahihiya lang maglabas. Sa panahon ngayon, kailangang may makapal na mukha ang isang tao, hindi nahihiya upang maipakita niya ang kanyang galing. Kailangan ito upang kumita at hindi magutom dahil may magagamit namang galing na bigay ng Diyos. Ang ilan sa mga kagalingan ay sa larangan ng pagkanta, pagsayaw, pagsulat, at pagkuha ng larawan. Ang mga nagiging sikat na you tube sensations ay halimbawa ng mga ito. Ang mga manunulat naman ay walang tigil sa pag-submit ng mga gawa nila sa mga publishers o di kaya ay magblog. Sa ganitong larangan, mayroong ang gusto ay magsulat upang maibahagi sa iba ang kanilang nalalaman.

Ang pinakamatinding tiwala na maipapakita ng isang tao ay ang tiwala sa Diyos na hindi niya nakikita. Masuwerte yong may Bibliya at nakakabasa tungkol sa Kanya, subalit ang ibang walang pambili ng librong ito ay nagtitiyaga na lamang sa mga naririnig sa radio at napapanood sa TV o di kaya ay sa mga religious rally tulad ng sa EL Shaddai. Ang magandang halimbawa ng masidhing pagtiwala sa Diyos ay ang ginawa ng mga disipulo ni Hesus. Iniwan nila ang kanilang pamilya at trabaho dahil naniwala silang may mahalaga silang misyon. Noong unang panahon ay pwede ang ganoon, dahil iba ang ugali ng mga tao. Subalit sa panahon ngayon, kahit may “misyon” ka pa, hindi kailangang mag-resign sa trabaho dahil gutom ang aabutin mo at ng pamilya mo.

Nakakabahala lang ang ibang tao sa panahon ngayon na dahil sa sobrang tiwala nila sa kaalaman daw nila sa mga bagay tungkol sa Bibliya at Diyos ay itinuturing na nila ang sarili nilang parang si Hesus. Ito ang mga dapat hindi pagkatiwalaan…

Habits: Part I

Punjetry

Because there are just times when you can’t write about anything, so you start answering questions that might free your mind. Which I’m thanking the heavens. Hopefully something materializes.

  1. Which is worse, failing or never trying? Never trying because basically, you’re a pussy. If you never try, then you’ll never know what you’re losing or gaining. At least when you fail, you may lose a lot but there is always wisdom that can be used for your upcoming battles.
  2. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do? Reading the first phrase made me sing a Moffats’ song. Anyway, I think that’s part of the thrill of having a short life. We always want to explore and try things that we know won’t and will help us. Being humans, curiosity is deep-seated. There are things we like…

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No Virtuous Leader of a Nation can Stand Against a Corrupted Democracy

No Virtuous Leader of a Nation Can Stand

Against a Corrupted Democracy

By Apolinario Villalobos

Democracy was conceived with a noble purpose of providing a comfortable life for its adherents, and was given substance by freedom, free will, liberty, equality, and many other principles that stand for anything “free”. It is unfortunate, however, that the looseness brought by freedom has caused its decadence today. The systems of all democratic nations are practically loop-holed with omissions and defects giving corrupt government officials the chance to commit frauds at will. Democracy has been so abused lately, that its image has been deformed beyond recognition.

America which is considered by other nations as the cradle of world democracy is showing signs of decadence as abusive acts have practically become part of its citizens’ daily life. Guns can be easily purchased and even youngsters can carry them around. Muggings are prevalent making stringent laws seem useless. Parents are humbled by their children who talk back at them every time their attention is called for committed faults, and the former cannot do anything, as they will be reported to the police. These undisciplined children later grow up to become young single moms, muggers, gun-toting students, rapists, etc. It is true that similar crimes are committed in any democratic nation, but the degree of incidence in America is beyond expectation.

Nations that are internationally-acknowledged as strictly disciplined like Japan, South Korea, and Singapore are not free from the abuse committed by their supposedly, equally well-disciplined constituents, at the first sign of opportunity. Corruption in their government is also a ubiquitous happening just like in other countries of their level. Along this line, the onslaught of corruption is such that not even a spiritual nation like Vatican is free from it. No less than the new pope himself, Francis, has called the attention of the erring clerics to mend their ways. In other words, no amount of discipline and spirituality can match the evil of corruption that has become deeply-rooted in humanity.

It must be noted, however, that the uncontrollability of corruption even by a virtuous leader does not free him from the liability for any commission by his officials. On the contrary, as a leader, he is expected to exhaust all means and exert an extra effort in preventing the fraudulent acts, or make necessary corrective moves, and not just look the other way every time they are committed. Tolerance on his part makes him liable or a party to the act.  Not even his assertion of purported ignorance makes him innocent. Somehow, the preventive or corrective effort of the virtuous leader, though how futile they may seem, can at least, minimize the incidence or effect of corruption…a consolation that can appease the victims.

As for the seemingly “unblemished” constituents of the corrupted democratic nations, perhaps, they can exert an extra effort in persisting to be consistent in acting as expected of them… law-abiding citizens, an act that can somehow resuscitate Democracy as it grasps for precious breath.