Monday, February 27, 2006


The demise of free speech -

This blog is starting to sound like a political treatise. My bad.

The issues of the Philippines are very personal to me. I did my bit for God and country, and for the bulk of my professional career, have been immersed front-and-center in national issues. While my decision to leave my job was very easy (my relationship with my erstwhile boss was such that it was a no-brainer), deciding to come here was very painful.

I have gone, but the issues back home remain embedded in my soul.

With all the hullaballoo happening these days, served up by no less than ABS-CBN (the paragon of objectivity, ha!), tempers have been stoked. No doubt derision and cynicism rule the day. It all boils down to this: I'm glad to be out of the Philippines, and a big "F*CK YOU" to the people (insert offending party of choice) causing this mess!"

It distresses me that my fellow OFWs have failed to put some sobriety and perspective to the events in the Philippines.

I am distressed that whatever integrity the prinicipals of the first Edsa ever had has been torn to shreds, and that they did the shredding themselves.

I am distressed that we have forgotten what it was to be under a dictatorship that we welcome its very application right here and now. While historically there were precedents for the eventual declaration of Martial Law, its imposition has resulted in the utter ruin of the country. How time and circumstances have dulled our vigilance!

I am distressed over the apathy and political hypocrisy of our middle class. Is it immaturity, or just plain laziness to learn?

What should sober us up is that we will be the ones picking up the pieces tomorrow. Not the politicians, not the oligarchs with their salted dollars, shell companies, and vast fortunes. Not the agents provacateur and the rabble-rousers.

It's you, you who prostitute yourself for the rallies for the grand sum of P500.

It's you, the petty bureaucrat, who sells your loyalty to the highest padrino bidder.

It's you, the idealist student, who rant and rave as if you know all the answers but don't work for a living.

It's you, the call center employee, who sip your capuccinos with pretended sophistication but have no idea where your career will go.

It's you, the small-time businessman, hemming and hawing away and turning a blind eye to corruption when you encounter it.

It's you, the OFW, stuck on the pipeline sipping on the flow of dollars. Especially you, since you have been blessed to leave the Philippines and learn from other cultures, and since you have been cursed to be parted from your land to earn such a blessing.

Let's take a collective deep breath and understand what is being laid on the line, shall we?

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