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A New Year’s Wish: Respect Towards One Another

erdinand Marcos didn’t have it quite right. The early slogan of his martial law regime was: sa ikauunlad ng bayan, disiplina ang kailangan (for the country to prosper, discipline is needed). While there’s no arguing that the Philippines could benefit from a bit more discipline, the one trait that the country needs even more than discipline, is respect. Lack of respect for one another has kept the Philippines where it is, instead of where it should be.

It is understandable why the Marcos dictatorship saw discipline as the most important trait to instill on Filipinos—when the only tool you have is a hammer, you see every problem as a nail; as the popular saying goes. Marcos’ nefarious martial law plan was to rule the country with an iron hand and thus saw discipline as something that needed to be hammered into the Filipino.

Respect on the other hand would have been anathema to the brutal martial law regime. But respect is one trait that Filipinos so desperately need. We see this lack of respect in the rudeness of many Filipino taxi drivers and the near total absence of road courtesy among drivers. We see it in the dismissive attitude of those in positions of power.

Don’t be fooled by the seemingly polite demeanor or the use of the words “po” or ‘ho” in conversations everywhere in the Philippines. Appearances can be deceiving for underneath it all is distrust and dismissiveness.  Look around Metro Manila and you see security guards everywhere. Notice the bars on the windows of many homes, the high fences, the gates with even more security guards. This is a society that is NOT inclusive but rather, exclusive.

What we Filipinos must realize is that we will rise or fall as one. The rich and middleclass cannot just dismiss the poor and carry on with their lives unaffected by the pain and misery of the downtrodden. Because the problems of the poor will eventually to intrude into their lives until it becomes their problems as well.

So rather than continue hiring more security guards, and building taller more secure fences to keep the “riffraff” out, why not work to lift everyone out of poverty. So that there is no more high-class or low-class in Philippine society; so there is no longer that Grand Canyon-sized disparity between rich and poor; so that children in even the remotest barrios will be well educated and grow up to be productive members of society.

It can be done and there are as many ways as there are people with passion and dedication to achieve it. But one prerequisite to getting things started is to treat ALL Filipinos, no matter what their station in life, with respect. 2014 is finally here and as Oprah Winfrey put it: “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” Published 01/01/2014


RECENT EDITORIALS

China Owns the Entire South China Sea? What are They Smoking—Opium?

The arrogance of China is becoming readily apparent with each passing day. With their newly acquired economic and military power the Chinese appear unrestrained in their assertiveness towards their neighbors. China, instead of positioning itself as a 21st century superpower appears to be turning back the clock resembling more and more the 12th century empire of Genghis Khan and the Mongol hordes who conquered most of Eurasia...just because they could. Published 08/12/2014


On Her 5th Death Anniversary, We Say 'Thanks for Nothing Cory Aquino'

The passage of time has a way of distilling reality and bringing out truths that are sometimes hidden or lost by present circumstances. Case in point is the overwhelming level of admiration many Filipinos have for former President Corazon Aquino. When she passed away in 2009, the entire nation seemed beside itself in grief. Her casket was mobbed by thousands of mourners as it slowly made its way through the streets of Metro Manila to its final resting place at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque. Published 08/02/2014
The Failure of Philippine Education Is Now Staring Us in the Face

Will the Philippines Ever Become a Developed Country? The short answer to that is no—at least not in our lifetime. While the country has of late improved it credit ratings as evidenced by upgrades from Moody's, Fitch, and Standard & Poor's all that perceived progress is illusory. In the Fifties and Sixties, when the Philippines was undeniably the country at the top of the heap in Southeast Asia, people said it would always be the most industrialized country in the region. Published 08/02/2014
So, Should Jejomar Binay Be the Next President of the Philippines?

Though his popularity rating has taken some hits lately, Vice President Jejomar Binay is still far and away the strongest contender for the Philippine presidency in 2016. But is he the right choice for the country? His legions of supporters will give you an enthusiastic "yes;" his detractors however, will tell you "no!" So who's right? To answer our question, lets look instead at Binay's deeds rather than the words of his supporters or detractors. Published 07/25/2014
China’s Military Base on Mabini Reef Violates the Philippine Constitution

While searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 on March 11, 2014, a Philippine Air Force plane flying over the Kalayaan Island Group in the West Philippine Sea sighted Chinese reclamation activity in the Mabini Reef of the Kalayaan Island Group within the 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Philippines. His aerial photographs were transmitted to the Philippine government for analysis. Published 07/10/2014
Napoles PDAF/NGO Scandal: What is Ten or Fifteen Billion Pesos Really Worth?

For those who have been following the Janet Lim-Napoles PDAF/NGO* scandal these past months, it is easy to get caught up in all the rhetoric—the words and phrases repeated day after day. Words like "ten billion" or "fifteen billion" have turned into something akin to "gray" background noise.  Words devoid of any real meaning or significance. So let us try to put back some meaning into those trite and often-repeated phrases in order to better understand some of the far-reaching ramifications of Napoles' actions. Published 06/30/2014
How could they not have known that the Napoles NGOs were fake?

With Senator Bong Revilla already in police custody in Camp Crame and Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile set to join him any day now, people need to start asking tough questions going forward. The privilege speeches of the senators along with the histrionics that accompanied them are thankfully now over so we can all address this issue more objectively. Published 06/21/2014


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