Though how Progressive a Country is, there will always be
Poverty because of Corruption
By Apolinario Villalobos
Perfection should be ruled out in the reckoning of a progressive country, because there will always be poverty due to corruption somewhere in the system of governance. In other words, the glitter of progress cannot hide poverty. For ultra-progressive countries, the signs may be insignificant as they try to blend with the glamour of urbanity. But in other countries, especially, the third-world, the signs are very prevalent, so that there is always a massive effort to cover them up occasionally, literally, as it is done every time there are special occasions such as visits of foreign dignitaries. This practice is successful in the Philippines.
Practically, poverty is the shadow of progress, and literally, too, as where there are looming high-rise buildings that are pockmarks of progress, not far from them are slums or homeless citizens who huddle together under bridges and nooks. These are misguided citizens who flock to the cities after selling their homestead, that have been farmed for several generations, to deceitful land developers, at a measly price. These are the urban squatters willing to be relocated but found out that the promised “paradise” do not even have a deep well so they go back to their sidewalk “homes”. These are contractual workers who have no job securities as they earn only for five to six months, after which they leave their fate to luck while looking for another job.
How does corruption ever be involved in the sad fate of the exploited? Simply, by the government’s negligence in providing decent relocation sites with job opportunities and basic facilities to those uprooted from their city abodes for more than so many years; by its cuddling of the spurious contractualization perpetrated by greedy employers; by its failure to guide and protect the rights of farmers who sell their rice fields to subdivision developers at measly prices that are not even enough to sustain them for six months; by its failure to provide the citizens with the basic necessities as funds are allowed to be pocketed by corrupt officials; and practically by looking the other way despite the availability of laws against vote buying.
Third- world country leaders should stop using the word “progressive”, but instead they should use “surviving” to describe their respective economy. If a country’s economy cannot sustain, much less, provide a “comfortable life” to majority of its citizens, then it is still “ailing”…hence, expect poverty to be trailing behind, just a few steps away from the pretentious allegations!
Fun and Fulfillment in Switching Jobs
…just don’t be choosy
By Apolinario Villalobos
This is about enjoying any kind of job that comes our way. I am sharing my actual experiences which may not apply to new snooty graduates, especially, those from exclusive schools and universities, who expect managerial position in their first job.
Contractualization is a big labor issue today as it smacks of exploitation. It practically douses the job applicant’s quest for job security. While all labor groups are moving heaven and earth to convince the government and employers to scrap it, those looking for jobs, in the meantime should not sulk, but instead, try to make do with any job that they may find, albeit, temporarily. They should console themselves with the thought that somehow, the stint could fill the space on their bio-data that asks for work experience.
I earned my first salary as a laborer in a home-based “factory” where I washed empty bottles to be filled with soy sauce and vinegar. When I was in first year college, I was a working student (today, student assistant), assigned to clean eight rooms and a playground. While in third year college, I was hired as a contract employee by the Department of Social Welfare and Development. I did the various jobs wholeheartedly – with fun. They became my strong foundation when I was hired by an airline company, as they prepared me physically, emotionally, and mentally.
I did not think twice when I was told that my assignment as a ticketing/freight clerk was in the far-flung Tablas island of Romblon. My colleagues in the batch of new hires were assigned either in Davao, Manila, Legazpi and Zamboanga. I did no stay in Tablas for long because I was relocated to Manila to edit our department’s black and white travel magazine. From that job, I moved on to do field sales. Much later, I was moved to another job, this time administrative management in nature, assisting the Vice President of the whole Philippines and Guam Region.
I accepted all assignments without complaint, not even scared despite my limited course which was Bachelor of Arts in English and History. I just enjoyed what I was doing and did my best in learning whatever was necessary to enhance my performance every time a new assignment was given. After leaving the company, I switched again to other jobs to keep me going. I developed operations and training manuals, packaged tours for travel agents, did editing and translation, composed poems posthaste for special occasions, wrote speeches, and accepted commitments as resource person in tourism seminars.
But the ultimate joy I feel is in doing a special kind of “field work” – in slums that some people fear to visit. Proudly, I can say that those I meet in these places which for some are God-forsaken, made me realize more, that indeed, life is like a book filled with diverse and colorful stories of struggle. I am not asking others to do the last mentioned that I am doing, though.
Each one of us has a different kind of advocacy in life which we can enjoy if we treat it as a continuing process and just have fun in what we do.