Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes

dreamin’ in 2006

Posted on January 02, 2006 by jimparedes

It’s the new year. Time to rethink things. Or at least just let imagination play. Robert Kennedy once said, ‘some people see things as they are and ask why? I dream of things that aren’t and say, why not?!’ The world is a fantastic place. You never know how things can turn out.

Makeovers, turnarounds, transformations, conversions, u-turns– whatever you want to call them are fascinating stories. Consider that Nokia used to be a paper company about 15 years ago. Then they acquired a small electronic outfit and soon enough, they had become the largest phone makers in the world.

Try to imagine something so radical happening here in the Philippines. Don’t be too sure it can’t. Remember, not too long ago, we had a drinking, gambling, womanizing actor as President. Now we have a dwarf. And yet, the peso now is considered Asia’s best performing currency. Who would have thought?

In the Philippine setting, what transformational scenarios would really blow you away? Can Nokia’s feat be duplicated here? How about these ‘what ifs’? Forget reality for awhile. Dreamy harp music, come in and let loose imagination:

‘What if’ scenario 1

Malabanan, the sanitizers of our pozzos or home septic tanks decides to fold up. They are sick of their stinking (literally) family business which they have been tending to forever. They decide to get into something new. Something different and fresh.

After a long consultation, the decide on an entirely new enterprise.

Bottled water!

Come to think of it, I read in some newspaper somewhere that Singapore is now converting human urine into drinking water, so this may not be so earth shaking after all. Well, maybe Malabanan can make it ‘flavored’!

* * *

‘What if’ scenario 2

National Orthopedic Hospital opens a chain of Bulalo restaurants. (O sige, luma na yan!).

‘What if’ scenario 3

Doctor Garma MD, a QC doctor who sends chills up and down the spine of many a young Filipino boys with his ‘summertime tule’(cirumcision) specials every year decides on a new tact to make the campaign friendlier and more hip.

He renames it, ‘Boyz to Men’! (Thanks to my friend Rene Cruz who suggested this.)

‘What if’ scenario 4

bright solution to terrorism

Manila, being a major city and the capital of a nation allied with the US is gripped by fears of terrorism. The World Pyrotechnic Olympics which the country has been hosting successfully for the past two years is pressured to take measures to insure the safety of the participants and the thousands of watchers. Thus the organizers decide to hold the fireworks competitions in the daytime for added safety.

(picture shows Australia’s winning fireworks

‘What if’ scenario 5: We may someday rule the world

The year is 2020. There are, according to UN projections in 2005, now 40 million Filipinos abroad. We have become the yayas, cooks, nurses, PTs (physical therapists), doctors, maids, engineers, software makers, etc.. of every first world country. Since we are so malambing, charming and dependable, we successfully insinuate ourselves not only into the businesses but into the very fabric of life everywhere, especially of the rich and powerful. We raise their children and take over many of the work they used to do. It is not surprising therefore to see children of Emirs, kings, the royals and the rich in every corner of the world speaking a smattering of Filipino dialects like ‘sosmaryosep’, ending their sentences in ‘eh!’, shouting ‘ay’ when surprised, pointing with their lips when giving directions and loving pinakbet. We have become the power behind the throne.

We are of course, not the only race that have successfully done so. There are the Indians, Sri-Lankans, Pakistanis, Nepalese, Indonesians and the Thais who have done the same although we are the top in the field. If we were in OPEC, we would be the Saudis with the biggest reserves and best ‘imports’ to the world.

And that is exactly what happens. We notice how the first world has become so soft and lazy. They don’t even know how to increase their population anymore and so must depend more and more on Filipinos and other third world peoples to run their countries. As early as 2000, Filipinos began trickling in and taking positions in governments. In 2020, the world wakes up to the reality that we are all over.

We wizen up and being the natural leaders we are, we lead all the rest of the ‘service nationalities’ and form an OPEC of sorts. Pretty soon, we have become a power to reckon with. We begin to flex our muscles. We warn the banks with the collective action of Filipina nurses threatening to withold all anesthesia in first world hospitals if the Philippine debt is not pardoned. Filipina maids do not do laundry or clean the villas of diplomats everywhere if WTO does not rescind onerous ‘agreements’. All appointments with physical therapists everywhere are canceled indefinitely unless Pilipino becomes every nation’s official second language.

Call center operators hang up phones for days leaving Americans frantically reading poorly written manuals of gadgets they had bought. There is confusion until the US accedes to demands and gives up its nuclear arsenal. These are just some of the things we do to change the balance of power in the world.

In thirty years, the Philippines has at last become a first world country. And like all first world countries, there are extremely few Filipinos left in the Philippines! And then…

Oops! Who turned off the dreamy harp music?

* * *

Back to reality muna: onli in da pilipins

I don’t know if you read the papers today about Ninoy Aquino’s jailed killer who was stabbed to death by a fellow inmate. The killer was drunk and brandishing a pistol and a knife inside the maximum security detention center. Hello????

I can almost hear the official response. ‘We will look into how this happened.’ Why do I feel so reassured?

OK. Gising na and go back to work!

0 to “dreamin’ in 2006”

  1. jey says:

    this is a funny insight. but really, who knows?

    and i’m reading this fresh from an overwhelming news. this really is another way of looking at something that is happening to me now. thanks!

    happy new year po!

  2. pObs says:

    hahahah i like the way it was written especially that dream of making the ‘pinas’ a 1st world country! and yea, who the heck turned off the music?! =)

    happy new year!

  3. enigma says:

    hehehe! this is a nice entry to start the new year. =) happy new year Jim!

  4. Jim says:

    Hey jey, pobs, enigma–wouldn’t it be funny if these things really happen someday? Though improbable, it’s a crazier world than we think so I don’t discount anythoing. heh heh

  5. Doranne says:

    Yes, ang daming magandang what ifs. And its so nice to day dream! (one of my favorite hobbies 😀 ) I remember studying in management class back in college that Nokia even tried making diapers in Finlang for around 3 years! I guess they decided to give up gathering shit and to make cellphones instead! 😀

    Before, who would’ve thought actors would fill the senate? Kaya ako, mag-aartista nalang… Para maging Presidente one day!

    What if all lawyers got somewhat laid off from their firms and decided to be OFWs in Qatar or someting?

    20 years ago, IBM president stated that there is no way that people will start using computers for home use. What was he thinking?… Or maybe he was IN FACT thinking. 😀

    cge, back to the real world muna ako.

    cut the music! 😀

  6. Screwed-Up AKA SnglGuy says:

    A great post for the start of 2006 Jim. And a very funny one… 😀 Weirder things have happened, so that dream of yours may one day become a reality. Hehe 😀

    Now back to reality…Only in da Phils where you can see an inmate,drunk and brandishing a pistol while in jail.Tsk!

  7. Baby Rockstar says:

    I agree!

    My two cents:

    What If Scenario #N:

    Instead of asking me Filipino cuss words that they could scream at their wrong-doing Filipina ‘dada’s [Arabic term for Yaya], my Saudi friends would ask me to teach them conversational Filipino because it has become the universal tongue.

    Rakenrol!! Haaaay.

  8. Jim says:

    doranne–’20 years ago, IBM president stated that there is no way that people will start using computers for home use. What was he thinking?… Or maybe he was IN FACT thinking. :D’—

    ha ha! Logic and rationality will only get you so far!!

    screwed up–that was my exact reaction to. And the way prison boss vinarao explained it was to completely sidetrack the issue by pointing on the angle that it was not a conspiracy! Beats me.

    baby rockstar–I was amazed how much Tagalog some arabs I met spoke. We will be converting them yet! Cardinal Sin used to say that many Italian children are going to mass because of their yayas to the surprise of their parents..

  9. Kat says:

    I really love What If scenario 5. (-:

    Happy New Year Jim!

  10. Hazel says:

    nice 🙂 really fun to read.. funny with the scenarios at #5.. especially the call centers hanging up all the same time hahah i work in this industry and it would sometimes be just a reliever to do that all the same time.. we get all their complains and *bs and racism.. yet we solve their problems.

    who knows.. someday this will come true.. you should print this, laminate and keep it in a time capsule and if and when it does happen ask your “apo” to tell the world it was you who voiced the possibility first haha 😀

  11. Dennis says:

    Yes Jim I agree with you! I believe these are not at all far-fetched scenarios, they could indeed happen someday(well, especially the Filipinos ruling the world! hehe). There are just too many things that we always take for granted, so that when the impossible finally became possible, we find ourselves saying “Oo nga noh? bakit di ko naisisp yun?”.
    BTW, your blog posts should be collected in a book! 🙂

  12. Jim says:

    kat, hazel–salamat. Indeed, who knows what can happen?

    Dennis–Some entries in this blog will be part of book no.4 which is currently being edited. Will announce when it’s ready na!


  13. Wyn says:

    very funny…but in a way, true and possible 🙂

  14. BW says:

    At the rate that Pinoys leave the country filling the population shortfall in other countries ,we will ultimately become a 1st world country…. but if those left behind will continue to reproduce like rabbits… we really need to send people abroad don’t we dahil sa sobrang sikip na ng Pinas!… i say let’s get on with the darn population control program !

  15. Jim says:

    bw–absolutely! Responsible parenthood is a must. We can’t have population grwing at the rATE WE CAN’T FEED.


  16. emm-banaag says:

    mga 10 years ago,first time kong makakita ng starbucks.unang impression ko,ang hirap namang mag-order,eh kape lang naman yan.ngayon meron na silang drive-thru.tanong ko nga sa mahilig sa starbucks;sino ba yang si starbucks?hindi nga makasagot.happy new tear jim!p.s.napasok ako kahapon sa starbucks;nagtitinda na rin sila ng c.d. at may mga featured artists pa sila.

  17. maria elizarah says:

    Quite an observation and foresight, I think you wrote it so well, complete with the Pinoy touch (humor in everything)…hmmm…what if???

  18. Jo says:

    hey Jim, is true that you are migrating to Australia (by ricky lo, philippine star)? if that so, you will never see the realization of your what ifs 🙂

    Nice blog!

  19. jewels says:

    Nice blog, Mr. Paredes. 🙂

  20. steph says:

    hello po, just passing through. 🙂 i like scenario #5. but really, with the flux of filipinos going abroad to work, who knows? haha. 🙂

    anyways, it’s weird that i came upon your blog because a week ago my lola died. she used to write for the philippine daily inquirer (i don’t know if you might still remember her. she had a column as ‘tita dulce’) and i remember, as a child, she had these pictures from her interviews (?) framed up in her house. two of which i can clearly remember, that of yours and jose mari chan’s. Her death was so abrupt that we didn’t know people to call and so we weren’t able to inform all of her friends. we just got her treasured (ancient) phonebook and called everybody in it. Lola, also, had your name in it. So my mom tried the number but it was the wrong one, which was actually funny. I’m guessing the person on the other line thought it was a prank call.

    Anyways, God bless. 🙂

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  22. ton says:

    they are not only looking into it, they are looking at all angles.
    the problem is – they are looking at curve angles!

  23. claudzki says:

    pacman just won…

    this just might be a good year for pinoys everywhere…

    who knows…your scenarios might be real sooner than expected…

  24. MelaCane says:

    sir jim,

    hehehe…ako i work in a call center laging inaalipusta ng mag “nakaktaas” sa amin, i just let them be….
    see how powerful we could get?
    add po kita sa links ko ha

  25. claro patag says:

    hi jim, welcome to the land down under..i heard from my friends about a month ago that you’re migrating to australia, totoo pala. i saw your website sa philippine weaver site. my province, bulacan was one of the finalists in the last philippine web design contest where you’re one of the judges. i’m based in kellyville (now beaumont hills). i hope adjusted na kayo dito sa sydney. good day, mate!!

  26. Isa Levian says:

    Thankyou for the wonderful info, It was precisely what I was searching for

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