Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes

Archive for January 2nd, 2006

dreamin’ in 2006 27

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!

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