Whose dream will play out- GMA’s or ours?

HUMMING IN MY UNIVERSE By Jim Paredes (The Philippine Star) Updated December 13, 2009 12:00 AM

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It’s not only me. Many people I have known for a while, and even people I have just met seem to be suffering from the blahs. This is not the usual regular holiday blues or depression that besets many at this time of year. It is something else.

It seems that most people feel like they have been under siege these past few months. There are the big losses of livelihood and possessions, and even lives caused by typhoons Ondoy, Pepeng and Santi that many still have to recover from. Then there is the demoralizing onslaught of horrific events that have been playing out in our national life, leaving everyone in fear, shock, anger and unadulterated disgust.

The monumental ineptness of rescue efforts by the government during recent natural calamities has left many reeling. Seeing many of our friends, neighbors and countrymen completely at the mercy of Mother Nature, and government practically useless in abetting much of the suffering, we have begun to question what kind of officials we have in place, or why we even have a government at all.

The saving grace in all this is that the people themselves realized almost instantly and collectively that we would have to provide the help ourselves — taumbayan helping taumbayan. Thus, the great outpouring of compassion from everywhere energized many and neutralized the cynicism that was creeping in big-time.

The phenomenal victory of Manny Pacquiao over Miguel Cotto, making him a candidate for best boxer of all time, helped lift our sagging spirits, no doubt. What a guy! Watching the fight, I had moments similar to what I felt when I wrote, “Kay sarap pala maging Pilipino” in the song Handog ng Pilipino sa Mundo.

Then, Efren Peñaflorida winning the CNN Hero of the Year award lifted us up even higher and made us feel very proud that, yes, we do have what it takes to be world-class. And yes, there are good people among us who can and are showing the way out of the rut of ignorance, poverty and helplessness. There is hope.

But then, just as the heroism of Efren inspired us collectively, the spoiler — the evil that often appears to sabotage our own dreams of liberation — moved in swiftly with a counter 1-2-3 punch.

Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, defying the most cynical among us, announced that she was not through with us yet and was filing her candidacy for Congress. Wow! This woman, despite garnering the lowest rating any president has ever had in our history continues to wantonly, brazenly pursue her ambitions. No, she was not stepping down, and with matching timing, her heavily-stacked Supreme Court asserted that incumbents or persons in position of authority need not give up their present powers if they wish to run for public office. Unbelievable shamelessness!

Ominous clouds suddenly hovered overhead, threatening to end the sunshine of Manny and Efren’s world-class victories.

And as if GMA’s caper wasn’t dizzying enough, a few days later came the most shocking, barbaric, grizzly and horrible murders that went beyond any evil we had ever experienced as a people. The Maguindanao massacre of 57 Filipinos in the most heartless and brutal fashion made us recoil in horror and disbelief at what a Filipino could do to another Filipino. The inhumanity of the execution, rape and mutilation of the women, and the crude burial by backhoe was incomprehensible in its animalistic butchery. I felt sick hearing the accounts and almost threw up when I saw the pictures circulated on the Internet.

What kind of monsters are these who are capable of such depravity? And what kind of president could even have a history of being cozy with such moral cretins? Why did it take her four days to act on the situation? And why did her spokesperson say that the horrific event would not put an end to GMA’s close relationship with the Ampatuans?

It was mind-boggling hearing Lorelei Fajardo say that. We already knew that we had a shady, morally- challenged president who wants to stay in power at all cost, but we had no idea what that “cost” would be. The Ampatuans delivered ARMM to GMA during the last two elections with results that defied logic and the projections based on statistics applicable elsewhere in the country. If that means cozying up to low-life butchers such as these, then so be it.

Many are worried that GMA’s declaration of martial law in Maguindanao may be another manipulative card she is playing to save the Ampatuans from the long arm of the law, if only to prevent the dismantling of their cheating machine that has served her well.

How can we not speculate when 79 percent of us Filipinos do not trust her to ever do the right thing?

Last Tuesday, Governor Grace Padaca of Isabela, Ramon Magsaysay Awardee, a handicapped media person who has thrice beat the powerful Dy clan in elections, was unseated by the Comelec after a spurious recount. It won’t be long before Among Ed Panlilio of Pampanga will also be unseated in favor of GMA’s friend, Lilia Pineda. The sky seems to be falling for those who had high hopes that the start of true change might come in 2010.

These past months, I have been asking myself and speculating on the future of the Philippines after the 2010 elections. Will Noynoy win? Will we have a resurgence of elected reformists who will enter the scene with a “real change” agenda? But all I am seeing right now is that the prospect of getting rid of GMA in 2010 is almost frustratingly nil.

The resident evil refuses to leave us. You know what it’s like when you keep flushing the toilet and the excreta refuses to disappear?

If the pundits are right (and more and more of what they have been saying is turning out to be correct), she is going to be a congresswoman with her eye on the speakership which will put her within stone’s throw of acquiring her greatest desire — Charter change — after which she can impose herself further on us as prime minister. For life!

I am so sorry to say that her chances of succeeding are great, despite her overwhelming rejection by the Filipino people. Why? It’s very simple, really. We all know she will stop at nothing to get what she wants. That’s more than what can be said about the millions who hate her but who only complain, blog, tweet, march once or twice in a demonstration, vote for the reform candidates, but will do no more. GMA is willing to show up every day and do what she needs to do to fulfill her ambition. Can we say the same for ourselves?

And that’s why we Filipinos are doomed, for now. Only when we wake up and fight for this country like it is really ours will we get the government we desire.

There is a Hindu saying that goes, “There is a dream dreaming us.” Look around you. What are you seeing? Are you seeing a world where your dreams are taking place? Of course not! Whose dream are we seeing then? GMA’s, the Ampatuans’, the trapos’, the polluters’, the predators’ of the poor are all playing out their dreams. Why are we allowing this? Why are we allowing ourselves to even be part of it?

It’s time to wake up, and dream our own dreams, act on them and pursue them, like free peoples elsewhere. Let us do something constructive everyday— learn about the issues, engage, convince or inspire someone. Join an org, get involved, be active and stick to it. Fight the forces of the nightmare that rules over us. Do anything except be a passive player in GMA’s dream. This is how we can reclaim our country.

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anonymous
anonymous
11 years ago

Isn’t there anything but whining in the press lately??????
I am pretty sure something good happens amongst our countrymen everyday. Are we so incapable of searching for the good in our lives? In our country? In our countrymen?

Is it because of all the telenovelas that pinoys watch that make them enjoy melodrama? Is it because all that the media would do is feed us their opinions that fan the flames of discontent? There is a fine line between relaying information/journalism and manipulation.

INSTEAD OF YOU GUYS INSPIRING US, you guys depress us.
my gawd, tama na, pareho na rin kayo ni GMA na nakakadepress.

Gabby
Gabby
11 years ago

I’ve always thought that Filipinos are the most resilient race in this world. Despite their suffering they always seem to be able to find the good in their lives. The problem is that they seem to always want to see the good in their lives and look away from reality. Resilience turning into apathy and indifference.

I am of the opinion that these kinds of articles and blog post are meant to inspire more than depress. It is meant to open the eyes of people who have decided to cope with reality by putting blinders, looking the other way or denying it totally.

Jim, you were able to voice out my thoughts exactly. Thank you.

Can i repost your article?

air charter operators
11 years ago

Whenever there’s a bad news especially on bad governance of the administration in malacañang, there are still good news that’s making the headline: Efren Peñaflorida and the great manny pacquaio.

arvin
11 years ago

basta ang pagkakaalam ko kapag masyadong binabatikos ang malakanyang at maraming anomalya na lagi silang nasa headline ng mga diaryo at news ay bigla may susulpot na siyang pag uusapan naman..like iyong nangyari sa rice shortage..bago ang rice shortage may anomalya mula sa diyan sa malaknyang, binabatikos masyado..tapos bigla binalita ang sa bigas..ayun natakpan agad ang anomaliya..ganun din sa maguindanao..bigla na lang nawala ang issue before pa nangyari ang massacre..gaya ng iba pang mga pangyayari..iyong sa nbn zte deal ay ganun din bigla na lang iyon natakpan ng ibang balita..bakit kaya ganun..parang sinasadya yata na maiba ang atensyon ng mga tao at mamamahayag..

anon63184
anon63184
11 years ago

Nothing good has ever been constructed with apathy or negativity. Granted, you are afforded the right to an opinion; but as a personality of the media, as one who molds the perspectives of millions of ignorant, starving minds, you need to be better than that. It’s very easy to bitch and moan, and for all your excessive whining, you have no more to offer than:

“Let us do something constructive everyday— learn about the issues, engage, convince or inspire someone. Join an org, get involved, be active and stick to it.”

Less than a paragraph and something my 3rd grade Sibika teacher could have told me. Impressive. Perhaps this may inspire you to think before you write. You know, its very unbecoming of a writer to be swayed by their emotions, especially when it shows in their work.

Besides, everything GMA is doing is perfectly legal. It is the nature of our Democracy. If you don’t like the way things are done, based may I add on Cory Aquino’s ridiculous 1986 Constitution, then change the law. What’s that called again? Oh yeah, CHARTER CHANGE.

Checkmate.

waldy
waldy
11 years ago

Ang lungkot naman po.. ang Pangulo, ang Kongreso at ang Supreme Court ay parang hindi na mapagkakatiwalaan? Pati po ba talaga Supreme Court? Hindi naman po siguro..

Kung gayon man po, wala na po sigurong pag-asa sa ganitong klaseng sistema ng ating gobyerno?

Sa kabilang banda, ang mass media po ba ay napagkakatiwalaan?

charm
charm
11 years ago

to: anon63184
Mr. Paredes just wrote what is really happening in our country and I hope that people will see through GMA. I enjoin most Filipino people in praying for the good of our beloved country

Gabby
Gabby
11 years ago

All you really need to know you learned in Kindergarten, in your case, Grade 3.

The problem as mentioned is apathy and when’s someone’s apathetic isn’t the first step to get him sympathetic? From then action can come forth. Mr. Paredes advice is directed at the indifference that the people have shown and are showing.

Like teaching children, sometimes, repetition is required so that the lesson will enter their heads. Another problem is that the archetype of Juan Tamad is so apparent in the Filipino, where they keep on asking what the solution is from someone else instead of acting upon the problem on their own personal capabilities – i.e learn about the issues, engage, convince or inspire someone. Join an org, get involved, be active and stick to it.

The Mango won’t fall on Juan’s lap even if he lies down under the tree forever. We have to constantly remind Juan that if he wants the mango (a better life and a better system) then he has to get up and get it. But Juan is so hard headed we have to keep reminding him that he has to move to solve his problems. When will Juan grow up and finally absorb the lessons he has learned since he was grade 3?

Gerald
Gerald
11 years ago

PGMA, still needs to recoup the millions of pesos she used during her last election campaigne that is the main reason why she decided to run for congress..

Or maybe back in the days when GMA was still a bulilit, she saw how her dad abused his power while in malacanang because school ethics,parents teaching moral values and public service doesn’t run in her blood after all..
Hello Garci anyone?

Seriously, the Guy fawkes & V for Vendetta in all of us needs to come out now!

Oh? btw, the only thing that GMA did great was creating this stress reliever website http://www.tanginamogma.co.tv/

jerry
jerry
11 years ago

History’s just repeating itself. Seen and heard it all before under different regimes. People power has become a dime a dozen. We have some of the most brilliant writers who seem to know the solution to the country’s woes but I still could not see a bright future for the philippines, not in this lifetime. Forgive me, but I have given up hope a long time ago. I’m still loving my home country from overseas.

Laonglaan
Laonglaan
11 years ago

Will Noynoy win? YES

Will we have a resurgence of elected reformists who will enter the scene with a “real change” agenda?”
NO, coz ang daming balimbing (KAMPI-tuans) ngoberdabakod to LP. We could almost taste, smell, and grasp GENUINE CHANGE, but our hopes was doused w/ “basahan”-soaked water, used in the “summer home of Don Luis Rocha”.

Sancho
11 years ago

Nice blog Mr. Paredes. It’s nice to see a great musical icon and legend write great articles such as these one. I totally agree with you with getting involved. We totally have a corrupt and rotting system with the current Arroyo administration. It had been very evident in the past few years and is still continuing until today. Filipinos are very great and intelligent people, they excel in almost everything they do especially overseas. Manny Pacquiao, Apol de Ap, Efren Penaflorida, Efren Bata Reyes, Arnel Pineda, Charice Pempengco and a lot more fellow Filipinos had proven that. The biggest problem of our country have is the system, and what’s wrong with the system? Corruption. So this coming elections, hopefully, someone who is not corrupt would win; someone where GMA has no involvement with. Hopefully Noynoy would bring that change and we could start from there.

Michael D.
Michael D.
11 years ago

Not trying to argue with the comment above.. but just wanted to point this out. I noticed that the Philippine TV likes to higlight and be proud of international Filipino stars, like Manny Pacquiao and Charice Pempengco, saying messages like “Iba talaga and pinoy!”. While I believe Filipinos are great people, the media, by doing this, give out the wrong message to the people. What have Filipinos done that other races haven’t?” My point here is that while Filipinos are great, we still have so much work to do. A good example here is that old saying, “Mahirap na ang buhay ngayon” Everybody is familiar with that. Why? Because every generation has said it.

Sorry medyo mixed up comment ko but I think its enough to get my point out. 🙂