Sikat Pinoy National Food Fair 2014

I visited the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)’s food exhibit yesterday afternoon with my grandmother to try out new food items. It was my first time to attend a food exhibit so I was very excited.

Entitled Sikat Pinoy National Food Fair 2014: Piling-Piling Pagkaing Pilipino (Famous Pinoy National Food Fair 2014: Well-Chosen Filipino Food), the exhibit is among one of the six exhibits that DTI is planning to hold this 2014 to help promote micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to the domestic market to eventually ease their entrance the global market. The exhibit opened last March 26.

2014 Sikat Pinoy Food Fair 1

There were over 200 booths and we practically spent the whole afternoon checking out almost every stall.

2014 Sikat Pinoy Food Fair 2

I was glad to see a lot of people supporting our local food industry by visiting, trying and buying products. There came a point when we had switch booth lanes to dodge crowds because they were getting so thick, making it hard for us to pass by. That means the DTI achieved its goal of getting domestic support.

2014 Sikat Pinoy Food Fair 3

 

Here are almost all of our purchases:

2014 Sikat Pinoy Food Fair 20

From Left to Right: First Row: Crispy Dilis, Dried Alamang, Chocolate Rice, Malagos 65% Dark Chocolate, Vigan Longganisa, Squash Noodles Second Row: Muscovado Powder, Linupak, Seaweed for cooking, seaweed chips, pineapple jam, carrot chips, veggie chips Third Row: Eng Bee Tin tikoy rolls and custard cake, Aging’s flavored suman, calamansi concentrate and soya milk. Not pictured: Durian ice cream

 

It really pays to support our local food industry because by doing so, we really help each other out and make our gradually brightening economy brighten even more. It’s also a way to know more about food culture and heritage locally and generally. Finally the items produced are a lot more healthier than the commercial variety because of the ingredients used.

Our hands were literally full as we bought two eco-bags full of items, so we couldn’t add more. I really enjoyed my time there so I would like to go back there today so I can purchase more. I’m curious about the deli products from Cagayan de Oro and the dried chiles from Davao. I honestly also want to try the dalandan concentrate, soursop concentrate and carrot concentrate. They could have made the exhibit’s set design better and consistent with the branding though. Also, I hope DTI would be more strategic in its marketing training so I get to see better collaterals on the booths and food items in the coming food fairs. But like I said, my overall experience was great. Congratulations to DTI for doing a good job!

The Sikat Pinoy Food Fair is currently being held at the Megatrade Hall, Megamall B, Ortigas, Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines. Hope you can all support it especially as today, 30 March is its last day.

The 3rd Philippine Electric Vehicle Summit

The 3rd Philippine Electric Vehicle Summit was held from 27 to 28 February 2014 at the MERALCO Multi-Purpose Hall, Ortigas, Pasig City. Key players from the local electric vehicle industry as well as Senator Bam Aquino graced the event. Our team was part of the organizing committee.

2014-02-27 17.11.54

Electric vehicles are seen as the environmental-friendly alternative to gas-powered vehicles as they do not use fossil fuels and thus do not excrete smoke. They are also powered through geothermal and hydropower plants and even solar-powered chargers. A tropical country like the Philippines need electric vehicles to reduce air pollution and high temperatures in the cities. There just has to be a concerted effort between the private sector (EV manufacturers and distributors) and the public sector (concerned implementing bodies) to make it happen.

What struck me about the summit was that several of the speakers were women. Interestingly, electric cars were initially manufactured and marketed to women at the turn of the 19th century because it wasn’t noisy and would fit women’s perceived prim and proper image. Electric vehicles have also come far from being vehicles borne out of gender discrimination. If I go by the presence of women leaders in the summit, then it looks like that it’s an automobile industry wherein women would feel comfortable engaging in, as the discussions concern the environment and thus are gender-neutral.

The electric vehicle industry is an industry that seeks to expand small-business livelihood opportunities through widened use as a public transport, includes both men and women and could even involve the youth, and is very friendly to the environment. It is a sustains better social, environmental and business systems and so I’m hoping to see it flourish in the coming years.

Sacrificed Lives and a Culturally-Relevant Discovery

2014 Florida Bus Crash 1

A bittersweet thing that came out of the Florida Bus Crash last Friday, February 7, 2014 is that more people (including me) now know about Whang-Od, the last tattoo artist from Kalinga. She’s 93 years old. Many of the passengers were on that trip to visit her and her tribe.

The Beautiful Whang-Od

The Beautiful Whang-Od. Photo by Jake Versoza.

Prior to the accident, it seems that only tattoo enthusiasts and bonafide adventurers knew about Whang-Od. Now, people know more about her. That’s the good thing. But it also took a fatal accident to get her name more out there. 15 artists had to die to make one artist more known to her own fellow Filipinos. That’s the sad thing.

I read an article and watched a short documentary on Whang-Od  and the traditional tattoo-making method. She makes the tattoo using a couple of wooden sticks, a small nail and sweet potato ink, with no anesthesia. It looks really painful but interesting. I used to want to get a tattoo for vanity reasons, but I like how my bare skin looks now.

Now that more people here in the Philippines know about Whang-Od, I hope more people would take the opportunity to visit the Kalinga tribe and get a tattoo from her. I think those who died in the accident would want us to continue their journey.

I hope that our Philippine government and private bus companies improve road safety drastically here, because we can’t afford this to happen again. We cannot stop adventurers from being adventurers because of such mishaps that could have been prevented through good and strict public transport governance. We have to make sure that our transport system is safe so that people continue living, discovering and savoring our culture.

That way we can start having a lot #morefuninthePhilippines.

Post-Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda Thoughts (And Ways You Can Help the Victims)

It has been a week since Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda battered the Eastern Visayas region in the Philippines. And by now, it is clear as to how much damage it has created.

I was actually on vacation in the Northern part of the Philippines when it struck. When I got back from vacation, that’s when I thoroughly updated myself on various social media networks. Seeing photos and watching news reports of how Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda reduced buildings and houses into shreds, how it rendered thousands and thousands of people homeless, desperate, sick and hungry and how it reduced a population also by the thousands left me shocked, speechless and unable to write. I had planned on writing this post earlier this week, but I couldn’t bring myself to. Although the Philippines is an archipelago, it is a small one, so everyone knows someone who hailed from or was in Central Visayas at that moment. Filipinos are also scattered all over the world. For this, the story hits home, one way or another.

It is heartbreaking to know that this happened to our country. Year after year, we experience torrential rains and strong typhoons, as well as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions – albeit not as much as the typhoons. But we have never experienced something so strong, and so its psychological and emotional impact are as strong as the winds and rains brought by the typhoon itself.

And for this, we are all doing our best to help each other out. This is why other government units have sent in financial aid and their staff to affected areas to help out.  This is why volunteer registration lists are filled until next week at the Department of Social Welfare and Development. This is why operations at the Ateneo de Manila University grounds are nonstop, twenty-four hours. This is why beyond the aforementioned relief operations, I cannot give more as there have been so many, I can’t remember all of them. Just refer to Rappler for an extensive list of relief operation sites. Apart from that, there are kind individuals who conduct door-to-door relief good donations and delivery operations. They are not affiliated with any group. They just want to help.

And speaking of helping here are other ways that you can help:

For those living outside the Philippines, you may give to reputable nonprofit organization that work or will be working directly for the communities involved. Please click on the name of the organization to know more how you can donate.

Typhoon Haiyan - Ways to Donate - NAFCON

Image Source: NAFCON Website

NAFCON (National Alliance for Filipino Concerns)

Typhoon Haiyan - Ways to Donate - Mercy Corps

Image Source: Mercy Corps Facebook

Mercy Corps 

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders 

For those here in the Philippines who wish to donate, kindly refer to this list of ways on how to donate from Rappler.

Here are some more creative ways you can give:

Typhoon Haiyan - Ways to Donate - YolandaActionWeekend

Image Source: Pepper PH

Eat and drink in one of your favorite restaurants / bars. Several restaurateurs have come together for #YolandaActionWeekend, wherein participating establishments will donate either 20% of gross sales or 100% net profit to the victims of typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. Read more about the said campaign on the Pepper PH Website.

Buy styled donated clothing. One of the memories I have from childhood post-Mount Pinatubo-volcanic-eruption was seeing a child on TV walking and wearing a flower girl’s gown in the midst of lahar-torn Pampanga. That image stuck because it seemed bizarre to me that someone would donate something like that. But I learned this happens often. I’ve also personally experienced unloading a bag full of donated clothing including prom gowns, parkas and full office suits.

For this, the Philippine Red Cross, in partnership with stylists and clothing care products Downy and Ariel, have taken these uhm, “pre-loved” clothing, styled them and are putting them up on sale. Each item has a corresponding donation equivalent, like a set of ten hot meals, or a number of tents. For more details visit the campaign website: Aid Couture.

Typhoon Haiyan - Ways to Donate -Makati Medical Center

Or if you don’t want to go out or spend, the best you can do is sign this petition asking Makati Medical Center in Metro Manila to put up a mobile hospital and provide medical care for those in need.

We’re a strong people, so we’ll definitely get back up again. But hopefully after getting up, we would be able not only to stand, nor walk, but be capable enough as a people to run ourselves independently and responsibly, and lead all those who have helped us to look our way and smile at the changes we have made in our government, in our infrastructure, in managing our people and most importantly, in our relationship with the environment.

First Time Poll Watcher

tally sticks

I was blessed to be part of this year’s Barangay Elections as a candidate’s poll watcher.

I’ve been interested in participating in the elections as a poll watcher since I was in college. Unfortunately, all the training sessions were scheduled during school and work hours so I was never actually able to be one until now.

The Barangay is the smallest administrative unit in the Philippines. In English, Barangay means ‘village’. It is governed by a Barangay Captain and a Barangay Council composed of 7 Kagawads, who are assigned to develop and implement projects under various committees. The populations of barangays range from two thousand up to two hundred thousand. Thankfully, we reside is a small barangay, so there weren’t much people. The teachers who assist in the voting and counting, members of the police force and volunteers from the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) actually felt relaxed during the voting hours.

The excitement came when voting was closed and vote-counting commenced. Unlike the national elections wherein voting is done manually, but tallied through a machine, both voting and tallying are done manually during Barangay elections. I guess this is because there is a large multitude of Barangays and it would be too costly for the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to distribute or ship PCOS machines again, collect the names of candidates, lay them out and print ballots for each of them.

As this was the case, the teachers posted a large tally sheet on a white board (Tally Sheet 1) – with one tally sheet per precinct. The tally sheets had a long box on the left for the candidates’ names, and had boxes to its left for the vote tallies. The boxes were enough to fit five tally lines.

We had three precincts, so there were three counting paper sheets.  Another tally sheet was prepared on a table adjacent to the precinct’s ballot boxes and white board (Tally Sheet 2). Then they listed the names of the candidates down on the tally sheets with a black marker. One teacher was assigned to read the votes, another one was assigned to tally the votes on Tally Sheet 1 and another was assigned to tally the votes on Tally Sheet 2. Prior to the counting, PPCRV and the candidates’ poll watchers were also made to sign documents to validate their participation.

Each poll watcher was required to bring his or her own tally sheet. Before the official tallying began, I wrote down the names of the candidates on my own tally sheets.

The tallying soon started after I wrote all the candidates’ names down. The teacher assigned to read the votes in the precinct I volunteered for read the votes at a fairly steady pace so I was able to count along with them. For each 100 ballots, we tallied the partial results before proceeding onto the next hundred. After about an hour, vote tallying was done and the total for each candidate was written down on the official tally sheets and validating documents were signed. Soon after, the winners were proclaimed.

During the vote tally, voters are free to go to the polling place and watch the process. I wasn’t aware of how many watched the tally until it was over. I was delightfully surprised to see many people there. The Barangay is the smallest unit – and for some – the most useless. But I am thankful that people in our community continue to see its value.

My Poll Watcher I.D.

My Poll Watcher I.D.

I want to thank the COMELEC and DepEd’s teachers for the smooth voting and tallying processes. I would like to especially salute the teachers who were assigned in larger barangays – I am more proud of our public school teachers than ever! With that experience, I hope to participate again as a poll watcher for the coming 2016 elections.

I am very happy to say that the candidate I volunteered for won. As part of the team, I was very nervous, even as I was counting. I could not imagine how that person must have felt! Thank God for the win, now we can all rest and look forward to a new chapter for our community!

Thank You Teacher!

(The title of this post is taken from DepEd’s campaigns – GO! Education and Thank You Teacher)

In the last few years, I was blessed to take part in education advocacy. I’m also glad that this government is bent on improving education. And while policy development is important, for me, what is more important is the gratitude expressed to all teachers.

How can we express our gratitude to our teachers?

  1. Recite and take to heart the National Prayer for Teachers:

     

  2. Tweet @DepEd_PH your thank you note for your teachers, with the hashtag #ThankYouTeacher:

    Thank You Teacher! Hashtagging

    Photo taken from the DepEd Philippines Facebook Page

For the teachers I’ve had and I know, thank you for opening my eyes and the eyes of thousands of learners and helping us learn become better citizens of the world. More than any concept or theory that you’ve taught me, the most important lesson I learned was to be human and be understanding and sensitive to others. And I pray this goes on as you continue helping people learn.

Sa inyong lahat, maraming maraming maraming maraming salamat! Salamat sa mga guro, habangbuhay naming aalahanin ang magandang nagawa ninyo para sa amin at para sa mundo.

Maligayang Araw ng Guro sa Buong Mundo!

Happy World Teacher’s Day!

Million People March at Ayala

Million People March 2

Right now, there is a discussion on the Disbursement Allocation Program (DAP), prompted by Senator Jinggoy Estrada’s “revelation” about lawmakers who received money after voting to convict former Chief Justice Renato Corona. Malacanang defended the allocation of such money, saying that they were released under what is called the Disbursement Allocation Program. While this “revelation” is significant as it shows the government’s larger system of spoils, this also seems like a blatant diversion to the PDAF scam. Estrada aimed to divert people’s attention away from the PDAF scam and his friends Bong Revilla, Johnny Enrile and Janet Lim Napoles, by making known the DAP scam. But it’s not making him look better, because he was also involved in it. He has placed himself in so much hot water, that he will come out deep-fried.

Anyway, why I am putting this issue again to the fore? Because for the nth time, I would want our government to know that we ARE watching and NOT stopping. I want people to not forget. The Philippine panopticon is working better and clearer upside down, contrast to the way its windows were fogged because of ultra-low temperature air-conditioning when it was standing upright. Our lawmakers used to not mind us the middle class – they couldn’t see through the fog that covered them and their corrupt ways. Now that they can see us, they are minding us, fearing and trying to hide from us.

The next rally that we will be having will be tomorrow, October 4, 2013, in Ayala Avenue, in Makati, from 5:30 pm onwards. It’s the second Million People March. Makati is the biggest business district Metro Manila, so I expect to see employees and big business leaders gather to listen to the concrete calls to action that will be laid out. In all of the Philippines’ people power history, this might be the most unromanticized one, and most productive just yet because it will have objective follow-throughs, not bent on exacting revenge on anyone, but real change in the system. Just like any business proposal that has been approved, the anti-PDAF movement will finally have a to-do list in order to reach its goals.

This is a good political exercise, because it shows the people’s propensity now to engage, not just with civil society groups, but private individuals who want change. It’s something monumental, and because of this, I hope all of us who can, would join.

Building More Trust in Nonprofits in the Pork Barrel Scam Aftermath

Nonprofits

Since my university days, I have worked for development. Though I am not formally learned about the field, it is something that I have been exposed to so much, that it was the nonprofits that I first thought of and worried about when the pork barrel scam first broke out.

The number of legit nonprofits in the Philippines is large, and this counts both those that belong to a global network, and those that are local. Operation Smile, Childfund and World Wildlife Fund are just a few of those that are international but have local offices. Philippine Business for Education, Education Network (E-Net), Synergeia, the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines, Probe Productions’ Mulat Pinoy, Diksyunaryo Atbp., and Kanlungan Pilipinas are just some of the hundreds of legit nonprofits that have programs that seek to address issues in education, health and social issues in general.

Since the scam broke out, the government has decided to ban funding nonprofits. People have been more wary of giving for fear that their donations will go to the wrong hands. From what I see, international and local funding agencies might increase their parameters on giving. Because of the pork barrel scam, these legit nonprofits are being negatively affected. There is a loss of trust not just in the government but also partly in this part of civil society. This is something that is problematic for the development sector, which finds it hard to access funding, even prior to the scam. The coexistence of bogus nonprofits have made things difficult for the legit ones in the years preceding this scam, and even more now. I remember seeing a post on social media asking for donations for victims in the Zamboanga armed conflict, and every one of those who commented criticized the foundation, saying immediately that it was bogus. And the group ridiculed is a globally-affiliated Buddhist faith-based foundation that people are harping on. Sad.

But all is not lost. Definitely!

Now how should legit nonprofits address this? Should they wave signs saying “We are legit! Please donate!”? No, because that would be a hard sell. Many nonprofits already suffer from looking like hard sellers. However, the good thing is that legit nonprofits are largely engaging in nature and have already been building trust with the public. Their programs are promoted through quad media, and financial reports are made available to their members, and for some, even to the public. Given that they are already transparent, then what I think has to be done, is to make themselves even more transparent through the proper utilization of social media and even traditional media, and encourage people more to volunteer in their programs in order to see what they are doing.

The Zamboanga Crisis: Diversion Tactic or Not?

So many times we Filipinos have been subject to “diversionary tactics” in the past that certain problems now, though real, are thought of nothing more than a theatrical act. I’m speaking in terms of two political issues plaguing our country – the pork barrel scam and the Zamboanga armed conflict.

Let’s say the Zamboanga armed conflict is a diversion orchestrated by the government from the pork barrel scam. It is a weak one then, since the situation itself has lead people back to thinking about the scam – “If not for the monies stolen from the nation, our military would have the resources to defeat the rebels”. On the other hand we could think, if not for the Zamboanga armed conflict, then the president and the Department of Justice would have prohibited the exit of some of the accused through judicial orders, including Representative Rodolfo Plaza, and Atty. Gigi Reyes. But then again, crisis or not, the administration would still be soft, given the fact that some of their allies are involved in the scam itself.

So, the Zamboanga armed conflict is real and not an orchestrated diversionary tactic. The government does not need it to protect the accused, because they have been defended from the start. If not for Benhur Luy, then nothing would have happened, and the administration would still be issuing a budget for the PDAF, including their allies involved in the scam. They struck strategically, when the government is the weakest and committed to another issue. Given that these two issues simultaneously occurring, the government must strengthen itself and address both issues at the same time. We are watching you deal with these two issues.

Just to give a background, the Zamboanga armed conflict is said to be the result of Nur Misuari’s disappointment over the 2012 Bangsamoro Framework Agreement (which you can read more about here), from which his group, the Moro National Liberation Front, was left out. Only the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, was recognized. In other words, it is a classic case of obscuring and failing to make policy inclusive, which lead the excluded faction to rebel. I admit I wasn’t looking and I guess many of us didn’t care until this happened. So now, we owe it to our brothers and sisters in Mindanao to ensure that they live in a peaceful and democratic society by making sure that the government would be more careful, inclusive and engaging in the future policy and governance processes that they will embark on, after the crisis. Meanwhile, we can donate and help them through the following networks (I know it’s hard to trust now because of the pork barrel scam, but again, the armed conflict is real and hurting our fellowmen and women, so let’s help):

AdZU

Tzu Chi Foundation

Update! Here are more ways you can give to the Zamboanguenos: (Updated 25 September 2013):

Z crisis donations PH Red Cross-Red Crescent 1

Z crisis donations Ateneo 2

“Freedom!”

My favorite song from the musical, “Les Miserables” is “Do You Hear the People Sing?”. I was delighted to find a Tagalog version of the song, penned by Youtube member dmmsanjuan:

Here are the lyrics:

Do You Hear The People Sing? (Tagalog version)
O naririnig mo ba
Ang tinig ng sambayanan
Himig at musika ng bayan
na ngayo’y nanindigan
Puso ay pumipintig
Nagliliyab ang damdamin
Bagong umaga
Ang sa ati’y darating!

Ikaw ba’y papanig na
Sa bayan na nagkaisa
Sa gitna nitong dilim
Liwanag ba’y iyong hiling
Kaya’t tayo na, humayo patungo sa paglaya!

O naririnig mo ba
Ang tinig ng sambayanan
Himig at musika ng bayan
na ngayo’y nanindigan
Puso ay pumipintig
Nagliliyab ang damdamin
Bagong umaga
Ang sa ati’y darating!

Ibibigay ba ang lahat
Nang adhika’y maging ganap
Mayro’ng mapapaslang
Makibaka’y tila sugal
Dugo ng martir
Ang sa lupa’y didilig!

O naririnig mo ba
Ang tinig ng sambayanan
Himig at musika ng bayan
na ngayo’y nanindigan
Puso ay pumipintig
Nagliliyab ang damdamin
Bagong umaga
Ang sa ati’y darating!

The song is apt as several of its lines speak about the people’s anger against widespread corruption in the government. Yesterday, two rallies occurred – a prayer rally at EDSA, and a rally lead by the University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University and Miriam College along Katipunan Avenue aptly called “Katipunan Kontra Korupsyon”. Interestingly, I was wearing white but not on purpose (white is the color of the anti-pork barrel scam movement).

A few of the people I’ve met from the disciplines of political science and public governance have stated that if the Freedom of Information Bill was passed into law years back, then this would not have happened. 10 Billion Philippine Pesos have already been spent on making the oligarchs rich. For this it’s high time to pass the Freedom of Information bill. I first learned about the bill four years ago when I worked as a volunteer for Transparency and Accountability Network.  It was conceived almost twenty years ago and continues to languish. To read more about it, click here.

The reason why I’m writing this, is because of its significance in changing our government’s ways. I do not see the immediate and total abolition of the pork barrel by 2014, but I am hopeful. And as they are working towards abolishing it, then we must have concrete provisions that will allow us to see how the judiciary, legislative and executive (especially its agencies whom I hope will handle the budget for the different services) spend the appropriated money. This is my tax. This is your tax. To foreigners reading this – heck this is your Filipino friends’ and relatives’ taxes! We all deserve to know better, and the only real way to do this legally, is to pass the Freedom of Information Bill into law. With better budget appropriations, and this law, we will achieve a genuine sense of freedom, which we’ve long fought for.

Also, there is another rally in Luneta tomorrow:

rock and rage against pork

Until the government budges, we will not stop shoving them to the straight path they vowed to lead us to.

Right to Know, RIght Now! Scrap Pork Barrel!

Why Political Loyalism is Problematic

“If not for [personality], we wouldn’t have [public works/public services]”.

“If [personality] was the one in office, we wouldn’t have these problems, or he/she would address these problems better.”

I have heard of these arguments so many times. And I’m getting sick of it.

What makes political loyalism so problematic is that it perpetuates patron-client relations, dynasties and dependency. Because of personalistic ties, unjust practices or decisions are justified, glossed over or forgotten. Dynasties thrive when people elect more members from a certain known family based on the belief that they inherited their accomplished predecessors’ ability to govern and/or ability to provide and whatever legacy they left. Dependency occurs when people believe that once a person or a family is in office, their basic needs are taken care of, as well as their other expenses such as baptisms and funerals. As more constituents become indebted on them, and more people become indebted to them for giving them a job at the municipal office, political figures vie for political office, or assign their family members to run again and again. While some families do get the work done (the Dutertes, albeit in a very different way), many more others don’t.

Political loyalism also perpetuates unmerited hate or criticism towards other parties. For example, if you are a Marcos loyalist, you will never believe in an Aquino’s ability to implement livelihood projects, as Ninoy just talked a lot and Cory was not a good implementer. If you are a Corista, you will never believe that a Marcos has the right to advocate against politics in the Philippine Arts, because their father went against progressive politics.

Political loyalism also exalts normal work responsibilities. Political figures are applauded for building bridges, for lighting barrios and for other things that are naturally in their list of to-dos. It is like giving a standing ovation for an accountant who balanced the figures for a project’s expense, or for a janitor who rendered a public bathroom spotless. I understand the need to recognize political figures who have implemented excellent governance practices in place of systems and procedures that don’t work anymore, but not to the point of deifying them.

Lastly, political loyalism disallows for the democratization of public governance. Due to loyalism, people only recognize the legitimacy and ability of a few to govern, and vote for the same people, giving less or no chance to new entrants and new systems. Loyalism is also made as basis for a person’s appointment into an executive agency rather than merit.

Many people, even highly educated ones have the tendency to be loyalists to a political figure or family. And so even if many of them want systemic change, it would be hard to have that given that they contribute to the stagnation of the system.

In order for systemic change to occur, people must learn to let go of even the finest and weakest strands of loyalism they have for whomever in assessing political challenges and work as a person, or as a part of a community to make change.  Not one person nor family nor party can make the Philippines a better place.  All of us should act hand-in-hand.

The Filipino is Worth Being Great For.

Ninoy Aquino

Ninoy,

Ang alaala ng iyong buhay, mga salita at iyong pagkamatay ang nag-uudyok muli sa marami sa amin na tumayo at lumaban sa mga pwersang mapagsamantala mula sa pamahalaan, lalung-lalo na ang mga senador at kongresistang nagnanakaw ng bilyung-bilyong salaping mula sa kaban ng bayan, na sana’y napupunta sa mga proyekto ng gobyerno para sa mga mahihirap, para sa pamamahala laban sa sakuna tulad ng mga bagyo’t habagat.

image

Ang iyong paninindigan noon laban sa pang-aapi ng isang dinastiya, ay ang aming paninindigan ngayon laban sa mga mapangahas na paraan ng pagnanakaw ng hindi lamang isang politiko o dinastiya, ngunit maraming politiko’t dinastiya.

image

Ang iyong paninindigan noon para sa iyong kapwa Pilipino, ay ang aming paninindigan ngayon para sa aming kapwa Pilipino. Nagtutulungan kami ngayon upang sabay-sabay kaming makaahon mula sa baha at makabangon mula sa sakuna.

image

Hindi nasayang ang iyong mga salita at turo sa amin, Ninoy. The Filipino is worth living for, is worth saving for, is worth fighting for against dogmatic oppression and corruption, and is worth dying for. Whatever legacy that you and the other heroes left is still very much alive and is being continued. Hindi ka man gusto ng ibang tao, ginugusto naman nila ang ginusto mo, at iyon ang isang mas magandang Pilipinas para sa mga Pilipino. For this, we will fight for what’s right until we see what you wanted us to see, that is, a true democracy.

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