As a by-product of the various things I learn in my classes right now, I suddenly want to become someone I have always told myself I WOULD NEVER EVER want to be—a politician.
Nowadays, when one mentions ‘politician,’ it’s (almost) always with ‘corrupt’ in mind. They’re now close to becoming synonyms. And it’s crazy for me to entertain the idea and even have the gall to blog about it. But I think we need “crazy” people who are not afraid to dream for their country and who would never be satisfied merely on dreaming, or bludgeoning the government about what’s going wrong.
But it’s also a fact that a lot of people have become jaded in our country. Tell them you want to serve because you want to change some things in the system and they’d tell you they’ve heard that thousands of times before. Tell them you want to serve because you really love the country and they would, at the very least, think at the back of their minds what’s in it for you. Pure intentions are deemed as utopia.
Come to think of it… are all politicians in the Philippines bad? I don’t think so. Take media favorites Ninoy Aquino and Ramon Magsaysay. (But actually even Ninoy wasn’t exactly your pure guy, if you know your kasaysayan.) Or recently, Pampanga’s governor, Ed Panlilio, whom I personally admire. I believe we need more public servants like him—public servant in the truest sense. And perhaps there are others out there who do stand up for morals and who are looking at the best interests of the people. Is it just because the good ones are underrated and underreported, while the bad ones are pitch perfect as scapegoats for the public’s growing problems?
What I’m just saying here is that we’ve all grown to easily put the blame on our officials and to the government as a whole. I would like to stress that they do add to the problem as well. But to say it as if they all do is an overgeneralization. In times like this, the public needs a stronghold. When people are losing hope in the country and envisaging green pastures in foreign lands, it’s high time to highlight our greatness as a nation. I’m not suggesting here that the media should stop reporting the evils that they see. I’m just saying that more balanced news be reported. Often reports are value-laden. It’s like feeding the public consciousness how it should view things. There are so many good things about this country.
The good things just lack publicity!
And I wish to emphasize, we are a great nation capable of rising up again! But most of us seem to be oblivious to that fact. It’s not a mere opinion voiced out by a maka-bayan. History, archaeology, and psychology are just some of the fields that can show you evidences to that claim. History, especially. We have focused too much on our colonial past for the most of our lives. Thanks to those textbooks saying nothing more than three or five pages about our pre-colonial past, most of us grew up thinking of the colonizers and our ilustrado heroes whenever kasaysayan is mentioned. Kasaysayan is not plain history, as books made by UP people would tell us. Embedded in it is the word saysay. And I for one refuse to think our saysay as a nation circumnavigates the categories pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial. Notice the omnipresence of the word ‘colonial’? It’s as if, as my great Kas1 professor Prof. Michael Chua brought to our attention, that our lives are defined by colonization. Some might say, 300 and so years with Spain, 40 and so years with the Americans, haven’t we spent most of our lives with them, really? No, my friend. We have not.
You see, again, the root here is that our lives prior to 1521 lack publicity, too!
It’s high time those textbooks are changed-- those who have no understanding of how rich our indigenous culture is and how we had organized systems in the country as opposed to the Hispanic claim that we’re barbarians, those who are obviously biased towards and uncritical of the Americans, those who teach young minds self-flagellation without knowing it. And if I be a lawmaker someday, that would be one of the things I would like to change. Oh, by the way, I’m not Anti-Americans, ok! I’m just saying that what they did to us was just overrated, unexamined critically by most people.
And if you ask why I suddenly thought of these things, it’s primarily because of my Sikolohiyang Pilipino class with Prof. Jay Yacat, especially the readings on Melba Maggay’s Pagbabalik Loob and on the observations of Mulder, a foreign sociologist. They’ve written those things long ago. And since I still have a long way to go—a year to finish college, four to finish law, and another one to become a lawyer (and that is, if all goes well)—I do hope that those who are older than me and are in the position to enact changes would do something about it so that the children in our society now would not have to grow up with the same mindset that we did towards history and our “inferiority.”
And if somebody would ask me that, if I am that much of a nationalist, why don’t I use our own language, I would like to employ the same reason Melba Maggay gave when she wrote in English. But so much of that, it’s better to read her article! Go read it yourself. Dali! Ngayon na!
Again, I think, articles like hers lack publicity, too.
You see my friends… The good—no make that great—things about us as a people are often put to the backburner. With all due respect to the media, I ask: please, do something about it. Like what I said, the times are calling for an orientation revolution.
It’s high time we get reoriented to our true selves as a people. It’s high time we be proud in our own history. It’s high time for us to have bilib in our resiliency and potency as Filipinos.
And so, about being a politician… I was having coffee yesterday with Ate Aiz (a graduating Pol Sci major and UP Gawad Kalinga’s president) at Cordillera Coffee in Vargas Museum. Sarap! Ang cozy pa sa place. UP people, i-try niyo! Anyway, we were having discussions ranging from various topics but mostly about our dreams and politics. I actually like her plan. She said that she wants to get rich by 25, retire by 35, and save the world after. Well, that’s not exactly what I want. But that’d be a good template to follow, except for the age. Haha! Seriously, I realized that there’s soooo much I want to learn and sooo much that I want to do for this country. This country first.
Conversations. I treasure those, especially the ones concerning the society, especially the ones among fellow UP people… I look up to my colleagues, actually. Because in most of them, I see passion, I see love for country, and I sense tenderness in their hearts and a sparkle of hope in their eyes.
Right now though, I still can’t see myself as a politician. But if I really want to pursue changes in the most concrete way, I might have to be one. Educate me, please. If that’s what I want, do I really have to be one? Because I think that as of the moment I lack the psychological strength to handle all the dirty stuff I’ve been hearing about. I fear conflict. And I value peace of mind.
I’m about to turn 19. Until when will I be at peace?