Kung Babaguhin ang Ugali, Isama na rin ang Pananaw sa Buhay
Ni Apolinario Villalobos
Walang silbi ang pagbago ng pagkatao kung ugali lang ang magbabagong anyo, at ang pananaw sa buhay ay hindi. Ang isang halimbawa ay ang pagbago ng isang lasenggo na nabawasan nga ang pag-inom ng alak subalit hindi pa rin naniniwala sa kahalagahan ng pag-impok para sa kinabukasan….kaya kahit hindi na lasenggo, ay bulagsak pa rin sa pera. Ang ugali ng tao ay tungkol sa mga nakasanayang gawin at sabihin. Kung ang isang tao ay hindi na nga nagmumura pero mapanira pa rin ng kapwa, wala ring silbi an kanyang pagbabago.
May mga ugali ring mahirap baguhin dahil lulutang at lulutang ang likas na nakagawiang hindi kayang takpan ng pagpapaka-plastik o pagkukunwari. May mga taong sensitibo sa ugali ng iba kaya nararamdaman nila kung bukal sa kalooban ang sinasabi ng mga kausap nila dahil naipagkakanulo o betrayed sila ng ekspresyon ng kanilang mukha, at kahit ng simpleng galaw ng mata…sa Ingles, ito ang tinatawag na “body language”.
Ang paniniwala ay nagsisimula sa isip ng tao at ito ang nagpapakilos ng iba’t ibang bahagi ng katawan. Dalawang lakas ang nakakaapekta sa isip – positibo at negatibo….sa simpleng salita – mabuti at masama. Kung hindi tutugma ang ikinikilos ng isang tao sa kanyang iniisip, “nadudulas” siya sa pagsalita, na kung sa Ingles ay tinatawag na “slip of the tongue”. Ang tawag sa pilit na pagtatakip ng tunay na ugali ay pagkukunwari.
Upang maging kapani-paniwala ang pagbabago na ginagawa tuwing Holy Week at Bagong Taon, piliin ang mga ugaling “kayang baguhin”. Hindi kailangang mag-ambisyong maging santo o santa ang isang tao upang mabago ang masama niyang ugali. Kahit hindi siyento por siyentong mababago ang masamang ugali ng isang tao, basta aminin niyang siya ay talagang masama, ito ay katanggap-tanggap na, dahil nangangahulugang alam niya kung ano ang dapat baguhin sa kanyang pagkatao. Sa ganyang paraan, kahit papaano ay mauunawaan ang kanyang pagpipilit kaysa naman siya ay magpaka-plastik pero madalas namang madulas!!!
Ang Trapik ay Nasa Ibabaw ng mga Tunay na Problema
Ni Apolinario Villalobos
Ang isyu ng problema sa trapik sa malalaking lunsod ng Pilipinas lalo na sa Manila ay yong sinasabi sa Ingles na “scum” o “froth”. Kung ihahalintulad sa hindi dumadaloy na tubig sa estero, ito yong mga animo ay bumubulang nakapaibabaw sa maruming tubig, at kung sa serbesa naman ay yong lumutang na bula pagkatapos ibuhos sa baso. At, dahil lumulutang agad ay unang nakikita. Ganyan din ang trapik na nakikitang problema sa mga kalsada ng mga lunsod. Subalit, ang katotohanan ay hindi ito mangyayari kung walang problema sa bandang “ilalim” ng sitwasyon. Ang mga sumusunod ay naisipan ko lang na baka mga problema:
Kaluwagan sa pagbili ng mga bagong sasakyan dahil nagkakamurahan ng presyo….at, hindi kinokontrol ng gobyerno. Kung kontrolin naman ay sasabihin ng mga apektado na laban ito sa karapatan ng isang malayang Pilipino. Ang kagustuhan ng karamihan na bumili ng sasakyan ay bunsod ng kultura ng Pilipino na may kinalaman sa kayabangan. Kahit nangungupahan lang ng kuwarto ang pamilya, halimbawa, ng isang simpleng empleyado ay gusto pa rin ng padre de pamilya na magkaroon ng sasakyan para may pangporma at magamit sa pamamasyal sa Luneta ang pamilya.
Para sa mga taong ito, hindi bale nang panay ang utang sa Bombay at halos walang pamasahe sa pagpasok sa trabaho o di kaya ay alaga ng pagmumura ng may-ari ng kuwartong inuupahan dahil sa naaantalang pagbayad ng upa, basta may kotse lang na naidi-display upag kaiinggitan ng mga kapitbahay, kahit walang garahe. Nag-operasyon noon upang mag-tow ng mga sasakyang nakaparada sa tabi ng kalsada, subalit “ningas-cogon” naman dahil makalipas ang ilang araw ay itinigil na.
Pagpapabaya ng mga mambabatas sa paggawa ng mga batas na may “pangil” at makatotohanan. At, pagpapabaya rin ng mga ahensiyang dapat magpatupad sa mga batas na naipasa na. Hindi rin isinasaalang-alang ang pagtalaga ng karampatang budget sa mga naipasa nang mga batas upang hindi magamit na dahilan ang kawalan nito kaya walang mga gamit at mga karagdagang tauhan, na kadalasang dahilan ng pagtuturuan ng mga mambabatas at mga ahensiya.
Ang mabagal o makupad sa pagpapatupad ng mga proyekto tulad ng mga kalsada sa lunsod at highway sa probinsiya. At, kung nagawa na, ang mga ito ay palpak kaya madalas ang pagpapaayos agad…halatang gusto lang talagang pagkitaan ng mga tiwaling opisyal at ahensiya. Nagreresulta tuloy ito sa pagdurusa ng mga motorista at commuters …pagdurusang nagsisimula sa paggawa ng mga proyekto hanggang sa pagpapa-repair ng mga ito…samantalang ang mga kurakot ay masaya!
Ang hindi pagbibigayan ng mga motorista dahil ayaw ng bawa’t isang malamangan. Dahil sa ugaling ito ng mga Pilipinong motorista, yong traffic sign na “Yield” ay walang silbi sa Pilipinas.
Sa madaling salita, kaya matindi ang trapik sa Pilipinas ay dahil walang disiplina ang mga motorista, maraming butas ang mga batas na ginawa ng mga tiwaling mambatatas kaya pinagkakaperahan ng mga tiwaling taong dapat magpatupad sa mga ito, at hindi kontrolado ang pagpasok ng mga bagong sasakyan na umaapaw sa mga kalsadang hindi nadugtungan at naluwangan. At, sa mga dahilang yan…nagbubulag-bulagan ang mga nakaupong tiwali na ay kawatan pang pinagkatiwalaan ng taong bayan!
Ang Kawalan ng Disiplina sa mga Kalye ng Pilipinas
at Mga Panukalang Hindi Naipapatupad ng Maayos
Ni Apolinario Villalobos
Lahat ng gumagamit ng kalye ay dapat disiplinado, subalit dahil sa kawalan ng tiyaga, at ugaling palusot ng karamihan sa mga Pilipino, maya’t maya na lang ang mga napapabalitang disgrasya – nabundol na pedestrian, bumaligtad na sasakyan, nagbanggaang mga kotse o trak, nabanggang motorsiklo, at ang pinakamatindi ay bugubugan o patayan ng ayaw magbigayang driver…pati ang alagad ng batas na nagpapatupad ng mga patakaran ay sinasapok din ng mga mayayabang na driver. Sa panig naman ng mga nagpapatupad, nandiyang sila ay pinaparatangang nangongotong!
Ang problema naman kasi sa mga gumagawa ng plano ng kalye ay hindi iniisip ang kanilang ginagawa. Ang mga pedestrian overpass ay napakalayo sa mga nakasanayan nang babaan ng mga tao, kaya kaysa mag-overpass pa na kalahating kilometro ang layo sa isang waiting shed, nagbabakasakali na lang ang mga apuradong mananawid sa animo ay pakikipag-patintero sa mga motorista habang tumatawid sa kalsada. Noong panahon ni Cory Aquino ay nagsulputang parang kabute ang mga waiting shed na halatang pinagkitaan ng mga tiwaling kongresista at senador dahil ang karamihan sa mga pahingahang ito ay nagkakahalaga ng isang milyon. Kung saan saan na lang sila inilagay, basta maibalandra lang ang pangalan ng mga tiwaling opisyal na ito na nag-donate daw, ganoong pera ng bayang pinagkurakutan naman ang malinaw na ginamit . Makaraan ang ilang taon, pinagbawal na ang pag-abang ng mga sasakyan sa mga overpass na ito at wala man lang directional sign kung saan dapat mag-abang ang mga pasahero. Na-expose pa sila sa init at ulan…samantalang ang mga korap na mga kumitang opisyal ay abot-tenga ang ngisi dahil sa laki ng mga nakurakot.
Sa panahon ngayon, nauso ang paggamit ng motorsiklo, kaya nagpasiklab ang noon ay pinuno ng MMDA na si Tolentino sa pagtalaga ng mga “motorcycle lanes” sa iilang lugar. Subalit dahil matigas ang ulo ng mga nagmamaneho ng mga motosiklo ay hindi rin ito nasunod dahil tuloy pa rin ang animo ay ahas na palusot-lusot nila sa trapiko. Bandang huli, ang mga lanes na ito ay nawala. Naglagay din ng yellow lane para sa mga pampasaherong bus, subalit dahil ayaw pumila ng karamihan ng mga bus driver na nag-uunahan sa pagdampot ng pasahero ay hindi rin ito nasunod. Maliit lang din ang multa kaya malakas ang loob ng mga bus driver na sumuway.
Naglagay ng mga plastic barrier sa mga main road tulad ng EDSA, at tulad ng dapat asahan, dahil sa ugali ng karamihan sa mga Pilipino na reklamador, ay tila nabuhusan ng malamig na tubig ang proyekto. Ang matindi pa, tinatanggal ng mga sira- ulong motorista ang mga barrier kung walang traffic enforcer na nagbabantay lalo na sa dis-oras ng gabi. Ganito rin ang nangyari sa pagsara ng ibang U-turn slots upang tumuloy-tuloy sana ang takbo ng mga sasakyan at upang mapigilang makasagabal ang mga lumilikong sasakyan sa daloy ng trapiko. Inereklamo ito ng mga motoristang nagmamadali at ang gusto ay mag U-turn agad sa unang butas na makikita.
Malinaw na kahit anong batas –trapiko ay hindi maipapatupad ng maayos sa Pilipinas, maliban na lang sa loob ng Subic Business and Commercial Center na dating US base sa Olongapo. Ang napapansin pa ay may mga Pilipino na kahit nangungupahan lang ng kuwarto ay may sariling kotse, kaya ang ginagamit nilang garahe ay kalye. Yong mga nakatira sa subdivision na “row housing” ang tinitirhan na walang garahe ay ganoon din ang siste – sa kalsada ang paradahan kaya ang masikip na kalyeng pinagpipilitang two-way ay naging one-way. Yong mga nasa subdivision pa rin nakatira subalit sa “single detached” na bahay nakatira o simpleng bungalow kaya may garahe pero para sa iisang sasakyan lang, ay gumagamit din ng kalye para sa pangalawa at pangatlong sasakyan na nakuha sa hulugan nang napakamura. Sa halagang thirty thousand pesos kasi ay may pang-down payment na at ang buwanang hulog ay ten thousand lang, kaya maski call center agent o ordinaryong empleyado ay kaya nang bumili ng kotse.
May panukala noon pa mang panahon ni Marcos tungkol sa pag-kontrol ng pagbili ng mga sasakyan subalit hindi na ito naipapatupad ng maayos. At may mga batas ding ginawa para sa mga paggamit ng motorsiklo, subalit ganoon din ang nangyayari – walang maayos na pagpapatupad.
Ang tanong ko….yon nga lang simpleng non-smoking sa mga public transportation lalo na sa mga jeepney ay hindi tinutupad ng mga driver at pasahero, at lalong hindi naipapatupad ng mga pulis-trapiko, ang mga patakaran pa kaya upang lumuwag ang trapiko at maiwasan ang mga sakuna? ….only in the Philippines yan!
A Closer Look at the Filipino “Nationalistic” Groups
By Apolinario Villalobos
Even during the administration of Ferdinand Marcos, there were already problems with China as regards the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea, separatist movements and kidnapping in Mindanao, as well as, with Malaysia as regards Sabah, and most especially, corruption in the government. The same problems were inherited by subsequent administrations. But the “nationalistic” groups were more concerned in shouting invectives against America in front of the US Embassy and in burning effigies of American and Filipino presidents. They did not lift a finger in helping the government in its effort to recover Sabah, and not a single rally was held in front of the Chinese Embassy to express their revulsion over the issue on West Philippine Sea. Not even a question was raised as regards the effectiveness of the military against the separatist movement and kidnappings in Mindanao because of its inadequate facilities due to misused funds intended for its modernization. These groups cannot even lay claim on the success in deposing Marcos, because the religious groups and ordinary citizens were the ones responsible for such success.
Despite the open reclamations of China in the West Philippine Sea, these groups were silent, although, belatedly, they somehow held a lightning rally or two, after such, nothing was heard from them again. Despite the ongoing activities of the Abu Sayyaf and separatist groups in Mindanao, they remained silent. The overly grisly Maguindanao and Mamasapano massacres did not entice them a bit to make a move to show their support to the victims. Despite the moving of justice system at a snail’s pace and unabated proliferation of foreign “investors” who are exploiting the natural resources around the country, nothing is heard from them, too. And despite the blatant control of domestic medium-scale trading in the country by these foreign “investors”, still nothing is heard from these groups.
After the announcement of the Supreme Court’ decision favoring the legality of the US military presence in the country, these groups suddenly came to life. They maintain their claim that such decision shall lead to the construction of the permanent US bases in the country when in fact, nothing of that sort is mentioned in the agreement.
They claim that the continued presence of the American soldiers in the country will lead to the revival of sex- related industry which is not true. Even without the presence of US bases, there is uncontrolled proliferation of the sex trade via the internet, bars and massage parlors, even in the decent districts of Metro Manila. But still, if they want, they can knock at the doors of Congress and Senate for laws that shall control this kind of industry, and which should be appropriate for the time. On the other hand, they are supposed to know that even the local government can control such industry. And, just what have they done on the issue of poverty that contributed to the fast growth of such industry in the country? They should caution the sex workers if they are really bent on helping their countrymen involved in sex trade which needs to be treated as a separate issue, instead of using this alibi in pursuing their “nationalistic” objective. They seem to be blind to the fact that various sex deals are flourishing even without the issue on the US military presence in the Philippines due to weak national laws and LGU regulations that reek with corrupt motives.
What dedication to advocacy are they talking about when some of them are even holding passports stamped with US visa? If these groups are really serious in their advocacy, why don’t they hold rallies against the ongoing corruption in the country and the vote-buying, a political tradition that got deeply-entrenched in the Filipino culture? Why don’t they consistently hold rallies for the removal of department secretaries who are being questioned on the issues of smuggling, ghost NGOs, drug trafficking, illegal recruitment, and deplorable state of mass transit facilities such as LRT and MRT, etc. Why don’t they consistently hold rallies for the removal of the president, if they find him to be ineffective just like what was done during the time of Marcos? Why don’t they hold rallies against the unfulfilled promise of the government to modernize the military facilities after prime public properties were sold to foreign investors? Why don’t they picket outside the detention facilities where the Ampatuans are, to show their disgust over the hideous crime that they purportedly committed? These are what the Filipinos want to see and expect from them, as they claim to be “nationalistic” and pro-Filipino.
Obviously, the Philippines has been under a long-tested democracy which unfortunately proved ineffective due to its loop-holed system that led to the propagation of various forms of corruption. And, this is what the left-wing groups want to be changed to a more “nationalistic” system. But what do they mean by “nationalistic”?…a communism-inspired system?
By the way, I just want to make myself clear that not all nationalistic Filipinos have a communistic mentality.
Although, one of the Ten Commandments says that the Sabbath should be considered as a day of rest, what I understand is that it refers to the people, because such day should be devoted only for worship. The Roman Catholic Church even changed this to the pagan day worship of the sun – Sunday. Anyway, what I understand is that the said commandment does not refer to God, as He is supposed to be everywhere every time of the day. To put it bluntly, this is about some Roman Catholic parish offices being closed on Saturday, the original Sabbath. Are the non-secular parish priests who are running most of the parishes emulating the ways of the Pharisees….the so-called hypocrites of the Old Testament? If this is so, these Roman Catholic priests might as well take off their priestly garb and join a Christian sect that is literally following the Old Testament to the letter!
If these hypocrite Roman Catholic parish priests would like to give their lay staff a day off, why not come up with a rotated schedule so that for all days of the week, at least one of them is left in the office? If the regular parish priest would like to go on a day off which is unbecoming, why not request a “roving priest” to take over for at least one day, as all of them are supposed to be helping each other for the sake of the “Christian flock”?
Here is a classic story: In a southern parish, the family of a departed kin requested their parish priest for a Requiem Mass for their loved one. The requested day was Saturday so that relatives who have absented themselves from work could go back home the following day, a Sunday, in time for their return to work still the following day, a Monday. Unfortunately, there was a vehement rejection because the parish office was closed as scheduled…no staff to attend to the bereaved family, although, the church would be open. Not even the suggestion of the family that they will find another priest to officiate the Mass could move the parish priest to change his decision. Sunday is not allowed for requiem Mass, so that was out as a solution to the problem. At the end, the arrogance of the parish priest prevailed as the schedule was moved two days later to Monday which means, the visiting relatives would be able to report back to work on Wednesday or Thursday, practically missing several days of precious daily earnings!
By the way, hubs of air travel operations in any country has no day off, the police has no day off, the hospital staff has no day off, even the mall staff has no day off, etc. How come, the parish office of the Roman Catholic Church whose reputation is deteriorating every hour of the day cannot open its door to the so-called “Roman Catholic flock”, in an effort to counter the negative impression that is mounting every day? Is it the way of the parish priest in “helping” the seemingly helpless new pope? Or is the parish priest acting like a crab?
The parish priest in question who I was told was newly- assigned in the area has a record of arrogance, and he would like to show to the already restless parishioners that he is the “authority”. Obviously, he has a problem with psychological insecurities. He even allegedly fired parish lay personnel who have spent more than twenty of their precious years serving the church. He is making decisions left and right without proper consultation with the Pastoral Council as a whole, choosing to speak only with the favored members whom he think would support him. In other words, his decisions may be illegal as they are without the consent of the majority of the council members, and may not even be properly covered with signed documents.
The above-mentioned priest is among the embarrassments of the new pope that he mentions every time he has an opportunity, and for which he always ask apologies from the Roman Catholics. An interesting blog about the pope taking off his papal robe before holding a Mass is a clear manifestation that he is not in favor of the un-Christian attitude of many priests of the Roman Catholic Church who are either accused of fund misuse, arrogance and sexual assault.
The attitude of the mentioned parish priest shows that the Anti-Christs could be within the Roman Catholic Church – they, whose ways are contrary to what the true Catholic Church stands for. Anti-Christs in priestly robe are heavily groggy with arrogance because they have the impression that being parish priests they can “play” with the parishioners many of whom are suckers in the name of salvation…parishioners who think that their salvation depends ONLY on their parish priest who is “protected” by the white “sotana”, but could be devils in disguise!
Now, are we still wondering why the Roman Catholic Church is reeling from uncontrolled deterioration and may find it hard to recover unless the hypocrites in white priestly garb and who are heady with arrogance, are calling the shots despite the reminders of the new pope?
For this kind of arrogant priest, the parishioners should join hands and boot him out before he can do more harm to their community!
Just like the rest of the pioneers in our subdivision, the couple, Angie and Hector Garcia went through the expected hardship of living in an unfamiliar new-found home, which in our case is Cavite, used to be known for notoriety – unsafe as many alleged. Add to that the difficulty of commuting to Manila because the only way was via the Aguinaldo highway that passes through buzzling public market of Zapote. The Coastal Road during the time was not yet even in the drawing board of the Department of Public Highways. That was during the early part of the 80’s.
A “short cut” to our subdivision from the Aguinaldo highway is traversed by a creek, deep and wide enough to be classified as a river. Several bamboo poles that were laid across the creek served as the early bridge, that was later “upgraded” to a safer one made of two electric poles floored with planks. During the early years the creek did not overflow, however, the constant reclamation of both banks constricted the flow of water that resulted to flash floods which did not spare our subdivision. These instances brought out the innate character of our neighbors that hinged on volunteerism.
As the home of Angie and Hector Garcia is situated right at the western entrance of the subdivision where the creek is situated, the homeowners’ association’s heavy duty rope was used to be left in their custody. They would bring it out when flood occurred so that those who would like to take the risk of crossing the bridge would have something to hold on to as they gingered their way through waist-deep flood. A heavy rain for three to four hours would put every homeowner on the alert as the heavy downpour usually triggered a flood. Angie and Hector would miss precious sleeping hours as they waited for the right moment to bring out the long heavy rope, one end of which would be tied to the post of the bridge while the other end would be entwined around the iron grill of their fence or gate. If the flood occurred at night till dawn, we would wake up in the morning with the rope already in place to serve as our “life line” to the other side of the overflowing creek.
The couple also took pains in cleaning the vacant area behind the subdivision’s Multi-purpose Hall and planted it to medicinal plants and mango tree which also provided shade. Vegetables were planted, too, aside from medicinal herbs for everybody’s taking in time of their need. The early morning as the sun rises would also see them sweeping the street in front of their house.
The leadership qualities of the couple, made their neighbors trust them. Hector had a stint as the president of the Homeowners’ Association, while Angie kept in her custody whatever meager earnings of the association from renting out the Multi-purpose Hall and monthly dues, aside from the collected Mass offerings, until clear-cut procedures were finally established during which she turned over the responsibility to the Homeowners’ Association’s Treasurer.
Angie is a cancer survivor having had a mastectomy, but despite her situation, she patiently endured the rigorous travel to Naujan, Mindoro with Hector to regularly check their “farm” which they planted to fruit-bearing trees. When I asked them one time why they take pains in maintaining such far-off farm instead of purchasing another either in Silang or Alfonso, both in Cavite, they confided that they have already “fallen in love” with their investment. Their love for the farm truly shows in their robust physique despite their age of sixtyish. I just imagine that perhaps, if they stop commuting to and from Naujan, Mindoro, weed their farm, and take care of the growing saplings, their health would deteriorate as usually happens to people who cannot stand being idle.
The couple has three daughters, all successful in their chosen fields of endeavor. And, one of them is serving the Homeowners’ Association as Treasurer.
Ang Pamilyang Pilipino: Misyonaryong Alagad ng Eyukarista
Ni Apolinario Villalobos
Isang matatag na hibla ng pananampalatayang Kristiyano…ito ang pamilyang Pilipino. At, ang panata ay marubdob na pagpapalaganap ng Eyukarista, simbolo ni Hesus na nagligtas sa sangkatauhan mula sa mga minanang kasalanan. Ang malalim na pagkaugat ng pananampalataya sa bawat tahanan, payak man o nakakariwasa ay bunga ng halos limampung siglong paghubog ng mga Kastilang prayle sa kanilang mga ninuno. May sangkot mang karahasan, inunawa na lang dahil sa layuning maka-Diyos, at dahil na rin sa paniniwala na ang mga nabulagang prayle ang nagkamali noon at hindi ang simbahan.
Hindi lang Pilipinas ang sinasaklaw ng taimtim na pananampalataya dahil kahit sa ibayong dagat, saan man nakakarating ang mga anak, ina, o ama ng isang Pilipinong pamilya bilang dumadayong manggagawa, kipkip pa rin nila ang Bibliyang pilit pinalulusot sa mga paliparan at daungan. Sa mga bansang iba ang umiiral na pananampalataya, nagagawa pa rin nilang magtipon-tipon nang palihim upang ipadama sa isa’t isa na buo ang katatagan nila bilang mga Kristiyano na hindi nagsasawa sa mga salita ni Hesus. Marami nang naparusahan, subalit hindi hadlang ang kanilang kamatayan upang ang pagsamba nila sa Diyos ay mapigilan.
Ang Eyukarista na maituturing na isang pagtitipon, kung saan ay nasa gitna si Hesus… ay lalong tumatatag at lumalawak pa ang nilalambungan ng biyaya nito dahil sa pambihirang katangian ng pamilyang Pilipino. Marami nang hadlang ang kanilang nalampasan sa pag-usad ng panahon na lalo pang nagpalakas ng kanilang pananampalataya dahil sa paniniwalang walang makakatalo sa kapangyarihan ng Diyos na siyang naglalang ng lahat sa ibabaw ng mundo. Hindi sila mahirap akayin dahil sa paniniwala na kung tungo sa kabutihan ang landas na tatahakin lalo pa at ang gabay ay si Hesus, walang pasubaling sila ay susunod.
Hindi maiwasan kung may ibang pamilyang napapalihis ng daan dahil sa umiiral na makabagong panahon, subali’t may mga pangyayari at pagkakataon na nagpapakita ng pagbabago…at ito ang hangad sa kanila ng ibang pamilya na sa kanila ay maigting na kumakapit upang hindi tuluyang maligaw. Ang damayan ay bahagi na ng kultura ng mga Pilipino na nagpapatatag ng bawat tahanan, at isa rin itong katangian na ginagamit sa paggabay sa kanilang kapwa upang mapanatili ang katatagan ng pananampalataya. Nagsisilbi din itong lakas na ginagamit ng bawa’t pamilyang Pilipino upang maakay pabalik sa tamang landas ang mga naligaw.
Mapalad ako dahil ako ay bahagi ng isang pamilyang Pilipino na may matatag na pananampalataya sa Panginoon at bahagi ng pagtitipong Eyukarista… na ang kahalagahan ay pilit kong pinamamahagi sa abot ng aking makakaya. Hindi man nakakariwasa sa anumang materyal na bagay, hitik naman ang pagkatao ko ng mga bagay na buong puso kong inaalay sa Kanya. Ang puso ko ay pinatitibok ng taos kong pananampalataya, at ang aking payak na karunungan ay umaapaw sa paniniwala sa Kanyang kapangyarihan.
Nagpapasalamat ako dahil itinuring ako ni Hesus bilang kapatid niya…at sa pagturing na yan ay kasama ang aking pamilya. Sumasama ang aking kalooban kapag nakakarinig ako ng panlalait kay Hesus ng mga hindi nakakaunawa sa Kanya. Halos magutay ang aking puso kapag ako ay nakakakita ng mga sinasadyang paglihis mula sa itinuro niyang tamang daan. Tinatanong ko ang aking sarili kung bakit sa kabila ng paghirap at kamatayan Niya sa burol ng Golgota, ay nagagawa pa rin ng ibang siya ay itakwil.
Ganoon pa man, dahil sa nakagisnan ko nang katatagan bilang katangiang bahagi ng pamilyang Pilipino, naniniwala akong sa abot ng makakaya ko… namin….at nating lahat, matatamo din ang matagal nang inaasam na kapayapaan at pagkakaisa na siyang layunin ng Banal na Eyukarista – simbolo ng pagmamahal ni Hesus sa sangkatauhan at buong mundo!
Nothing can be one hundred percent clean, sanitized, germ-free, well-kept, etc., to show a pleasant image. But in exerting an effort for such end-result, consistency should be exercised, as failure to do so could be tantamount to being negligent.
Among the ugliest manifestation of the Philippine government’s negligence and inconsistency is the creek at Baclaran which is fringing the northern edge of the purported “business-tourism showcase” of Metro Manila – the cornucopia of condominium buildings, malls, office buildings and the supposedly biggest casino in Asia. Practically, the creek that serves as the catch basin-cum-open drainage of Pasay and Paraἧaque that flows out to the Manila Bay, shows it all. How can the Department of Tourism proudly declare that Manila is a clean city with the obnoxious filth floating on the stagnant creek in all its obnoxious glory greeting the arriving tourists from the airport on their way to their hotels along Roxas Boulevard? Is this progress as what the Philippine president always mumbles? How can such a short strip of open drainage not be cleaned on a daily basis, just like what street sweepers do to the entire extent of the Roxas Boulevard?
It has been observed that every time a government agency’s attention is called for not doing its job well, it cries out such old lines, as “lack of budget” and “lack of personnel”. But why can’t they include such requirements every time they submit their proposed budget? In the meantime, as regards the issue on the maintenance of the city waterways, national and local agencies throw blames at each other, trying to outdo each other in keeping their hands clean of irresponsibility and negligence!
During the APEC conference which caused the “temporary” bankruptcy of commercial establishments in Pasay and Paraἧaque, as well as, local airlines and lowly vendors by the millions of pesos, the creek was almost “immaculately” clean with all the floating scum scooped up and thrown somewhere else. But as soon as the delegates have left, the poor creek is back to its old self again – gagged with the city denizens’ filth and refuse.
Viewing the Baclaran creek is like viewing the rest of the waterways around Metro Manila, including Pasig River, as they are all equally the same filthy picture of neglect, irresponsibility and inconsistency of government concern! One should see the nearby creek at Pasay where the Pumping Station is located, with an “island” that practically developed out of silt, garbage and clumps of water lily! Some days, the short length of artificial creek is skimmed with filth to make it look clean, but most days, it is neglected.
In view of all the above-mentioned, why can’t the national and local government agencies concerned co-operate and do the following?
REQUIRE the daily cleaning of the creek by assigning permanent “brigades”, just like what they do for the streets. If there are “street sweepers”, why can’t there be “creek scoopers” and “dredgers”?
REQUIRE the vendors with stalls along or near the creeks to maintain the cleanliness of their respective periphery so that they are obliged to call the attention of irresponsible pedestrians who do not show concern. Each stall must be required to have a garbage bag or bin, as well as, broom and dust pan. Their negligence in carrying out such obligation should be made as a basis in revoking their hawker’s permit.
REQUIRE government employees with sanitation responsibilities TO GO OUT OF THEIR OFFICES AND DO THEIR JOB, and not just make reports to the City Administrators based on what street sweepers tell them.
DREDGE the creek regularly on a yearly basis, not only when flooding occurs during the rainy season, which is a very repugnant reactionary show of concern on the part of the government. The yearly dredging of the waterways would eventually “deepen” them to accommodate more surface water during the rainy season, and even bring their bed back to their former level.
The costly effort of the national government in putting on a pleasant “face” for Manila every time there is an international event, as what happened during the APEC conference, may elicit sympathy and grudgingly executed cooperation, but there should be consistency in it….otherwise, it would just be like sweeping the house, only when visitors are expected, or worse, sweeping the dirt to a corner to hide them.
Cooperation between the government authorities and the citizens is necessary. However, as there is a clear indication that the concerned citizens, such as vendors and pedestrians, lack discipline, the government should take necessary steps in imposing measures to ensure their cooperation, albeit by coercion, so that whatever sanitation projects may have been initiated can be consistently maintained, for the benefit of all.
If littering on the ground can be prohibited with appropriate penalty, why can’t the same be done for the sake of the waterways? If ever local government units have passed such measures why can’t they be imposed authoritatively and consistently?
Wanted: Honest- to- Goodness Community Service
Of Civic Organizations and Students
By Apolinario Villalobos
With the onset of the school summer break in the Philippines and the official declaration by the weather bureau, PAGASA, of the start of summer season, expected are the “visits” of student groups and civic organizations to the shores of Manila Bay and the city esteros, to purportedly undertake “clean up drive”. While the civic organizations do it for the promotion of their groups to let the people know that they are active in community projects, the students do it to earn scholastic credits and enthusiastically, too, for photo opportunities – something for uploading on facebook. Aside from the facebook, expect community and academe sections of the broadsheets to splash “action” photos, in their weekend edition.
How can these supposedly concerned Filipinos be expected to do an “honest-to-goodness” community service with their tight-fitting denim pants, white shirts, and jogging shoes? They look more like going on a picnic in their attire. Their sight reminded me of a lady senator whose supposedly advocacy is about ecology, nature, trees, and who was shown in a photo, gingerly holding on to a shovel while in the act of planting a sapling… prettily attired in white long sleeves blouse, slacks, a pair of walking shoes, earrings, necklace, and bangles!
As regards the students who brave the sun with sunblock, why can’t the schools base the merit system on the number of bags of garbage collected at the end of the day? At least, the credit is fairly measured, rather than use a notebook to record their attendance. And, for the adult civic organizations, why can’t they just collect contributions from the members to come up with a substantial amount that can be paid to a couple or more “real” garbage collectors? In this way, aside from getting a real result, they have also helped the needy, unless, of course their real aim is just to pose while holding on to a broom, to perpetuate their “contribution” to the community – something that can be shown proudly to their grandchildren later on, and of course, for uploading also on facebook!
Not only is the country suffering from the never-ending corruption and dishonesty of lawmakers and officials, but also from hypocrisy of its young citizens whose training in school is questionable, as well as, the adults who boastfully show the youth, their own kind of hypocrisy. We should no longer wonder why the country never ever had a chance to recover from the infection of dishonesty that continually deteriorates its culture. So with the exit of the senior corrupts later, the questionably trained youth enters the scene….a never ending cycle. From here… where are you going, poor and helpless Mother Philippines?