Why the People are the Best Asset of a Community

Why the People Are the Best Asset of a Community

By Apolinario Villalobos


Communities with natural endowments such as waterfalls, mountains, caves, beaches, etc. are fortunate. But life therein may not be pleasant if the people are not cordial to each other, especially, to visitors.


A community may not have natural endowments as it may be located in a flat land, without even a small parcel of forest. But if its people have a strong spirit of cooperation and brotherhood, they can unite and improve their place. They can build parks and inland resorts, plant clusters of trees to simulate a forest, dig artificial ponds and lakes that migratory birds can visit, or be filled with tamed animals that used to spend their life in the wild.


If the people are cooperative, they will never ever attempt to block any plan that could lead their community towards progress. They will be appreciative of ideas about inviting investors to build schools, business establishments, etc. They will delight in long-ranged plans such as building of an effective series of open canals or underground drainage system and laying of pipes for the water that would flow to homes and business establishments that they foresee to mushroom. They will also encourage their leaders to widen the roads that will never be viewed as unnecessary expenses, but for the bright future of their children.


Thinking and unselfish people just do not live for the day, but always ponder about the days to come….the future. They always think and act for the sake of their friends and families….not for themselves alone. They are aware that their acts should be in synchrony with each other as a single misstep could affect their community as a whole and may even result to a disaster with a  with long-ranged effect.


Once busy mining communities have become “ghost towns” when settlers left after the mines no longer yield what they are digging for. On the other hand, settlers can tame wild ranges and from grassy plains or swamps mold progressive communities. That is how cities have evolved from towns that used to be remote villages.


To sum up all of the above…people improves life that God gave.

Ang Buhay at ang Karapatang Mabuhay


Ni Apolinario Villalobos


Sa ibabaw ng mundo lahat ng nilalang ay may karapatang mabuhay, subalit hindi lahat ng kabuluhan nila ay naangkop sa pangangailangan ng iba.  May kanya-kanya din silang talino at lakas upang magamit sa pagtanggol ng sarili. Ang prolema lang ay ang mga taong sadyang gahaman o makasarili, kaya hindi nila isinasaalang-alang ang karapatan ng iba.


Ang mga makasariling tao ay nanggaling sa mga pamilya na bahagi ng lipunan. Sa isang pamilya, hindi maiwasang magkaroon ng sutil o “black sheep”. Marami sila kapag naipon na, at ang dami ay depende rin sa laki ng lipunan na kinabibilangan ng mga pamilya. Sila ay mga problema na kung hindi masawata ay aalagwa o lalabas sa tahanan at mamiminsala na rin sa kabuuhan ng lipunan, kaya madadamay ang ibang miyembro. Ang katalinuhan ng tao ay nagdikta sa kanya upang gumawa ng mga kaparaanan upang mabigyan ng pagkakataon ang mga sutil sa lipunan- isang pagbabakasakaling sila ay magbago dahil sila ay may karapatan din sa buhay. At, ito ang ginagawa ng pamahalaan.


Samantala, ang karapatan ng isang tao sa isang bagay ay may hangganan at dapat na ginagamit sa mga makabuluhang bagay na nakakatulong sa lipunan sa halip na makapanira. Kung ipipilit na gamitin ng isang tao ang karapatang yan upang makapaminsala ng buhay ng kanyang kapwa o makapanira sa lipunan, lalabas na sinaklawan niya ang karapatan ng ibang taong may karapatang mabuhay ng matiwasay. Sa madaling sabi, ang karapatan ng isang tao ay nagwawakas sa hangganan kung saan ay nagsisimula ang karapatan ng iba.


Ang simpleng nakikitaan ng kalagayan tungkol sa usaping ito ay ang taniman ng gulay, kung saan ay may tumubong mga damo. At dahil damo, itinuturing silang salot na magdudulot ng pinsala sa mga itinanim na gulay. At dahil sila ay salot….dapat silang puksain upang hindi na makapanira pa…at ang katumbas nila sa lipunan ng tao ay mga kriminal!


Wanted: Honest-to-goodness Community Service of Civic Organizations and Students

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?

The “Community Outreach”…a give and take effort

The “Community Outreach ”
…a give and take effort
By Apolinario Villalobos

The effort of “reaching out” to the community sounds benign, caring, compassionate, generous, etc. This “effort” has given birth to Foundations and NGOs. What I know of such groups, is that they are supported by patrons whose generosity, they have solicited. Or they are maintained by the establishments and organizations that they represent.

However, there is a big “but” in the operation of these “generous” groups…as they also get some kind of a “rebate” for their “effort”. For the big establishments, the expenses they incurred for benevolent projects through their Foundations are tax deductible. And, aside from the tax deductions, the establishments that cater to the information and entertainment needs of the people, also get very significant mileage.

For other NGOs, people behind them, derive a direct “cut” from grants and donations. While there is no problem with popular establishments that regularly dole out financial and material help to the victims of catastrophes, the rest are being used as conduits for ill-gotten grants from the government, and worse, the existence of some are even fictitious, so are their projects!

There is a joke now, that brilliant guys who graduated even with honors from reputable universities but could not find a decent job, better establish an NGO. If an undergraduate woman who is now languishing in detention while awaiting a final verdict on her misdoings was able to amass wealth with her Foundations and NGOs, how much more if one is a magna or summa cum laude from a State University or colleges administered by religious educators?