Instead of Totally Relying on the Government, We Should Also Do Our Share of Action

Instead of Totally Relying on the Government,

We Should Also Do Our Share of Action

By Apolinario Villalobos


The Philippine government in general, is corrupt. Even with Duterte, known for his abhorrence of corruption is around, the grime that for long has soiled the image of the country still sticks. This is because those who are being used as instruments in the perpetration of this hideous anomaly are still in place, “licensed” by the civil service eligibility. And, that is the sad reality….


The aforementioned fact should make us realize that it is futile to be always blaming the government for everything that we find not pleasing to our eyes. It is true that the government should take care of our needs as tax payers….short of saying that we pay ALL government employees from the topmost down to the lowest rank to serve us using the tax we pay. But, are we doing our share of action FOR SOME MATTERS THAT WE CAN DO AT OUR END?


We blame the government for the obnoxious public market and uncollected garbage…but are we cleaning our backyard of the long-abandoned and rotting garbage or ridding our front yard of the waist-high grasses that for long have grown thick or cleaning the street in front of our home or planting flowers or shrubs to help prettify our community or reporting to the police anomalies that we observe around us? Have we tried segregating our garbage and keep the recyclables and bury for composting those that should be, to lessen what are collected for dumping at the garbage site? Etc. etc. etc. Some of us even put fish scales and entrails in the garbage instead of burying them outright…simple act, yet, intentionally disregarded.


We blame the government for the drug problem in our community..but have we disciplined our children enough to veer them away from bad barkadas that introduce them to drinking, smoking, and finally, drugs? We blame the government for the internet cafes that are frequented by students who skip classes….but have we ever thought that such addiction started when we gave in to their whims to have expensive  “touch phones” that developed their fanatical adherence to this woeful technology?


We should realize that every time we point our forefinger to somebody as an act of accusation, our three fingers are pointing at us. There is a need to take a second look at ourselves…there is a need for a reflection to know, if at least, we have been or are….GOOD FILIPINOS! IF NOT, WE SHOULD STOP CALLING OUR GOVERNMENT BAD, BECAUSE WE ARE PART OF IT…INSTEAD, WE SHOULD DO OUR PART OF ACTION!




Gutsy and Self-Confident Maricar Oliveros of Cd-r King

Gutsy and Self-Confident Maricar Oliveros of Cd-r King

By Apolinario Villalobos

This is not a paid advertisement. It has been my advocacy to write about people I meet on the street, in malls, in restaurants, or any unusual place. I have written about a solicitous supervisor of a McDonald joint in Quiapo, a compassionate technician of an internet café-Bacoor, a teacher, a vendor, local government officials, government employees, and many others.

This time around, it is about Maricar Oliveros of the SM Bacoor’s Cd-R King outlet. Petite and morena, with a gentle face punctuated by expressive eyes, she may not elicit much attention, except that because she is one of the store attendants, you really have to seek her. My encounter with this young lady was when she attended to me when I bought a pocket wi-fi. As the gadget had to be set due to the required code, she tried her best in the absence of their technician. Unfortunately, that morning I was not in a good mood and sort of in a hurry. I was irritated by her explanations which I interjected with questions. Several times we did not meet on certain points of my inquiry, so that, unknowinglhy, I was already raising my voice.

Despite my impatience and ill-temper, she was very much in control of herself, not even rattled a bit. She even smiled while looking at me straight in the eye. Her courageous posture brought me to my senses. In other words, she was able to make a sale triumphantly, while I was short of breath due to my bad temperament. She successfully taught me how to use the gadget, and with a smile closed the transaction with some precautions, such as taking note of the power bar, overcharging , etc.

The following day, I brought back the gadget to the store thinking that it was defective because I could not connect to the internet. I saw to it that I was the first in line in their store by waiting until the doors of the mall were opened at 10:00. When I arrived at their store, I found her fanning herself with a piece of cardboard as the aircon  system was not yet of much help. I explained to her the problem and without any question, she tinkered with the gadget to make it effective again.

She did a remarkable series of testing because I gave her the idea that I am amenable for a replacement. She practically spent almost an hour attending to my problem, until finally she reset the gadget as a last resort, doing which she used her resourcefulness because she had no tools. I cannot divulge such “resourcefulness” here, as it could be her “trade secret”.  I ended up with the same gadget that I bought, as she found out that replacement was not necessary. Her effort saved the store from replacing a purchased gadget, unnecessarily.

I was touched by her effort, silently trying to do her best to satisfy me, an irate customer who ruined her morning, the day before. She was a sales attendant, not a technician, yet, with a knowledge that she, perhaps, gained by observing their technician, she was able to put to use an admirable resourcefulness. Her self-confidence and guts can put a guy to shame. Do we ever wonder now why Filipinos are loved by their employers abroad?

Words that I Live By

Words That I Live By

By Apolinario Villalobos

As a human being with so many limitations, I have always tried my best to live up to even a tiny percentage of the Creator’s expectation of me. It is not easy because of the teeming temptations and influences that make up a good portion of the world – we practically breath them. All creatures, be they humans, animals and plants are governed by some kind of survival norms which are also adapted to their kind of environment and needs. As what I am doing is an effort of sharing, I do not want to impose to others, for what are good for me may not be good for others. I just want them to know that somehow, I am surviving because of the principles that are guiding me…principles that are compressed in words for easy recall.

 1. Faith – I firmly believe in the Creator. I do not believe that everything in the universe became what they are now by chance. I respect science, but it showed its inadequacy in giving convincing answers to so many questions that for centuries have been asked. Everything cannot just evolve from nothing. If science insists on some kind of a force as the beginning of everything, then, where did that force come from? For me, salvation depends on one’s faith and actions that conform with the Law.

 2. Charity – Many say, charity should begin at home. It should start within the family, within the home. But others always forget the word “begin” in that reminder. As the act has a beginning, it should have a continuation…outside the home and extended to others. Unfortunately, others just cannot take the idea of sharing a few of their hard-earned pesos with others. Let them work for their money, they would say. Though, many really tried to find work, opportunities are denied to them. They are willing to break their back just to earn enough, even just for a day of survival, but they are exploited. I have seen how families would scour garbage dumps in an exhausting effort to collect scraps that can be sold to junk shops, and even discarded food that they immediately put to their mouth. I have been with families who exert much effort in saving extra coins for medicine, most of them making do with one meal a day, consisting of rice sprinkled with soy or fish sauce. I have been with families whose children walk kilometers of distance just to attend school with empty stomach and tattered school bags slung over their shoulders. I have seen children who sell wilting vegetables on sidewalks at dawn to earn a pittance for their allowance when they go to school at the strike of seven in the morning. How can one then refuse to extend a hand to them?

 3. Piety – For me, it begins with sincerity in acknowledging His presence. This act need not be done in cathedrals, churches, mosques. It should not be imposed by any institution. An act of piety should not be expressed by mumbling memorized prayers or those that are read.Thanking Him with sincerity as one wakes up to another day is one simple act. And, enhancing that day with a warm smile to others is better than a hundred pages of hollow prayers mumbled with closed eyes.

 4. Frugality – A life of dignity can be lived in frugality. One need not be clad in signature trappings in order to be affable. It is how one carries the clothes that fit his persona. Strangers on the street will not give a damn where one bought his shirt or shoes. But they will be offended with the “trying hards” who wear signature clothes that do not fit, they who thought others have the super penetrating eyes that will enable them to read the brand name in the collar of their shirts. The few pesos that I am saving if there is an opportunity have always helped me, aside from those with whom I share them.

 5. Self-reliance – It pays to be on our own, as much as possible, in all our undertakings. One who struggles on his own, need not worry about favors to be returned…and most especially, his dignity is preserved.I have survived on that. Having been orphaned at a very young age, I have proven that all it takes for one to achieve one’s goal is by working hard for it.

 6. Gratitude – To those who gave me favors voluntarily, I have always been generous with my thanks.

 7. Honesty – First, we have to be honest with ourselves. We have to be honest as to what we want to do, hence, ask ourselves…can we do it? Others do things that made others successful. It is a wrong notion. Failures resulting from this kind of attitude can only bring disappointment, discouragement that could just hinder one’s effort to move on. The success of others can be an inspiration, but achieving the same need not be in the same field of endeavor. Honesty is also crucial in maintaining good relationship between husbands and wives. It is simply, about love, which for some is difficult to nurture, because they mistook lust for love. Worse, some couples cannot honestly accept the fact that marriage has bound them together for life.  As regards students, dishonesty by submitting plagiarized projects is an indication that in the future, committing similar act can already be an easy thing to do for them. That is why the corporate jungle is beset with opportunistic managers, the government teems with corrupt politicians and lawmakers, even the pope himself, admits that there are priests who are not honest about their vow of celibacy and other commitments.…dishonesty, practically has overshadowed mankind.

 8. Humility – Let others speak about you. But what if others refuse to acknowledge your ability? There are subtle ways to “assert” yourself that can be done but not at the expense of others. Allow the adage, “action speaks louder than words” rule your life.Just do your best in anything you do.

 9. Fairness – Being fair to others does not require much effort and money. Giving recognition to one who deserves it is one of the best expressions of fairness. A tap at the back, a profuse appreciation of a good deed, and other fair acts do not cost anything but sincerity that comes from the heart. The fair recognition bolsters the spirit of one who receives it, thereby, making him strive more. We should be, likewise, profuse in thanking others who give us due recognition.

 10. Love – This is the foundation of my life. It is only in loving that we can be sincere in dealing with ourselves and others.

 11. Common sense – This is the spice of my life. Without common sense in everything I do, my life would have been dull.

Life is a book and from it we learn so many things. All that one has to do is be observant. Things that come our way can give us lessons that we need as we move on towards our goal. We should never get tired of learning from our own experiences and from those that we discern from others. We should always look back to see our mistakes… be sincere in accepting them and learn from them so that we can move on.