Post EDSA2 — What Ever Happened to Selflessness?

Is it too much to ask for the Filipinos to be selfless? To ask them to do good without asking for anything in return?

I know, I know. I’m being idealistic, but I just am getting a bit tired of all the “What’s in it for us?” business. Apparently, it wasn’t only the politicians who had an ulterior motive when we fought in Edsa. Every other Juan and Maria is now taking personal credit for the success of Edsa 2. “We made it happen, so now this government owes us!”
What is up with that?!?

Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo owes the WHOLE country. She does not owe any one person more than the other. She owes us all, equally. Her priorities ought to be focused in a whole scheme of a better Philippines and not at trying to please certain groups of people. Her competence will not be measured by what she does for one or two activist groups but at what the Philippines becomes due to her leadership. By choosing one sector over the other out of “utang na loob”, she’d be doing just what every bloody politician has ever done during their office–kissing up to people. Is that what we want? A glorified brown-noser trying to run the country? Haven’t we learned anything at all?

We tell her we�re watching her. Making sure she doesn�t make any mistakes. But, by �mistakes� we mean her choosing to not give us money. By mistake we mean her selecting another priority over our own, no matter how lucrative and beneficial her choice would be for the country. By mistake we mean prioritizing another sector�s need over ours. By mistake we mean her not doing what we want her to do. Isn�t it? Well, that�s a trap. When she doesn�t do what we want, we threaten her with impeachment, with civil disobedience. We�re not even willing to wait. We want it now and we want it fast! Well, dear me, you don�t want a president. You want a puppet, a dog or a maid you can push around. There�s no point in finding intelligent presidents if all we want them to do is follow what we want. To hell with social equilibrium, economic balance and national security.

We revel in the opportunity to demean other people�s needs. Every time we presume to know better than our government as to what they ought to do, we’re telling them we’re more important than everyone else. Our need for new computers is more important than a child in the boondocks’ need for a book on the ABC�s. Our need for flyovers is more important than another region’s need for passable roads. Our need for a place to throw our trash is more important than another city�s need for food. Our need for lower oil prices is more important than the whole country�s need for national security. What makes our problems so much more important than everyone else�s? We know nothing of their pain. We know only of ours and we think that is enough. How presumptuous. How myopic. How self-destructive.

I’ve always believed in the basic concept of self-reliance. Matutong mamaluktot habang maigsi ang kumot. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Hindi napupulot ang pera sa daan. If you want something, get it yourself. Binigyan ka ng paa at kamay ng Diyos, gamitin mo. Here I was thinking these were all very Filipino ideals. I guess I was wrong. Why are we waiting for the government to do the dirty work we ought to be doing? Running to �mommy� ought to be our last resort. Not our first. We�re rational, capable human beings, who can achieve a great deal if we set out minds to it. It is not up to the government alone to make our lives better. Our prosperity is largely dependent on us and not on the 200-odd people in Malacanang. They can�t do anything if we do nothing. We�re not achieving anything by rattling on and on about what we�re NOT being given. Take what you have and do something with it, for crying out loud. �Ask not what the country can do for you. Ask what you can do for the country!�, isn�t that how it goes?

Watching EDSA2 on TV, filled me with such joy how so many people are willing to sacrifice for the betterment of this country. But, I�m having second thoughts about that �sacrifice� part and the �for the country� part. The labor groups are going, “Dapat mag-focus siya sa aming mga manggagawa. Pabutihin niya ang buhay namin.” And, the academic community is right there along with them with their “She ought to give us a larger cut of the budget, dahil kami ang rason kaya Presidente siya.�-refrain. And, of course, the rest of the country is not far behind saying, “Dapat kami naman ang pagtuonan ng pansin dahil matagal na kaming binalewala.” Even the church is announcing that. “Pres. Arroyo owes the Catholic community.” It’s the same tired old tune… “What’s in it for us? What am I getting out of this? When do I get what I worked for?” Me, me, me! I, I, I! Well, I do not get that. I thought we were fighting for the Philippines as a whole and not our personal agendas. Why is everyone being so selfish all of a sudden? You fight for your freedom and you expect to get paid for it? You were in the wrong rally if you�re expecting government monetary handouts in exchange for rallying in the streets.

You know why this country never gets any better? It’s because of the selfishness. We reek of the stench of rotten fish, because people can’t get that “Me”-thing out of their systems. We never do anything unless we can get something out of it. That�s why we never throw trash in the proper place, we never wait for the red light to change (HELLO! Red means stop, green means go�.), we never hail for buses or jeeps in the right place, we never segregate trash, our men pee on walls and we never pay the right taxes. All because we don�t see what we�ll get out of doing the RIGHT thing until it�s too late. Doing the right thing is now totally passe, so Filipinos choose to engage in their favorite activity: Whining. We�re just too damn lazy to be anything more than just passably good. We never do what we are supposed to do as Filipino citizen and we have the GALL to tell the Philippine government it�s not doing it�s job! Isn�t that the most preposterous, self-righteous thing to say? I don�t know about you, but I am sick and tired of being a second-rate citizen in my own country.

You think Edsa 2 was successful because of YOU (who happened to have an unfair advantage over all the others because of your close proximity to the shrine than them.)? Think again. If every Filipino is still as self-centered and self-gratifying and spiteful as before, even after everything that has happened, then Edsa 2 was a pathetic failure. And, yes, you most definitely deserve the credit for that. Be my guest. Enjoy the fruits of your work, which basically amounts to absolutely NOTHING.

�Kung gagawa ka ng mabuti, �wag kang manumbat o magkuwenta pagkatapos. Walang kwenta ang pagbabait-baitan mo kung gusto mong bayaran ka para gawin mo ang tama.�

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Choc is not real.

She’s a student, but she doesn’t always go to class.
She’s catholic, but doesn’t always go to church.
She’s a registered voter, but she doesn’t always vote.
She’s a girl, but… well…

Her hair glistens in the rain like nose hair after a sneeze.
Her eyes are like two brown circles with big black dots in the center.
She is as tall as a five-foot, six-inch tree, only without the heels.

Her vocabulary can be as bad as, like, whatever. But, she likes using alot of other words because the ones she needs to express herself succinctly have not yet been invented.

And she doesn’t think every sentence has to end with a period