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Son asked me if I watched the first year SONA of Duterte yesterday. I answered  “no”. I don’t listen to the guy nor watch him on television  by choice.  Sometimes though, radio programs air his speeches  but bad, bad me, I  always turn off the radio. I don’t want to be stressed by all the lies, the  arrogance and the curse words which seem to come out regularly from his mouth.  From what I read on a few comments on Facebook, he touched on as usual, the drug problems and extra-judicial killings but not how  we would be progressive on the economic front. He did not even say something about the burgeoning traffic in Metro Manila, the constant gridlock and LRT/MRT trains being always broken. He did not mention the problem about the West Philippine Sea which the previous administration focused on before.  He bent his ire on the media and human rights advocates.  He assured though that drug war will continue. I wonder if he has learned anything from the countries previously beset by similar problems.

During Pnoy’s reign, I have always blogged about his SONA  every year. I was one of those who clapped in front of the television and even jotted down how many times the audience did it. I watched some political analysts’ views right after the SONA.

Oh well, politics and politicians, so unpalatable at times but they are part of our everyday lives.

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“Silence becomes cowardice when occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly.” – Mahatma Gandhi

The past few days I was wondering if we will ever come to know the real meaning of what truth is. Is it what you see with your own eyes  or what lies beyond words beautifully spoken but has no meaning at all? Is it what you see on the roadside, little kids begging for a scrap of something to eat,  men and women extending their hands for a few coins  and an unkempt baby carried by a distraught mother in the corner of the metropolis hoping for a little help from passersby.  There was this old man (maybe he is really not that old but time hasn’t been kind) I often see begging in one corner of the street going to the church here in our place.  He has his two feet bound by dirty gauze  with the toes protruding, with foot ulcers on almost all his toes.  His eyes speak of the hardship, sometimes staring at those passersby maybe hoping for a few coins to fill the small plastic can in front of him.  I wonder how he could even walk with those swollen feet and blisters on his legs.  Such is the truth as I see it, it stares at you in the face but sometimes you turn a blind eye because you are not the one affected.

I often wondered how some people could still sleep soundly amidst the lies they tell  to the vulnerable citizens of the country. I guess social media has a lot to answer for because they use it without any qualm for the outcome of their lies. Trolls and bot are all over the place. The shaming game, the ugly words uttered left and right, the lies told with such a straight face you would think they are telling the truth, the profanities  and expletives  you get to listen to day by day. Is this the new norm? I am afraid for the little kids who get to imitate and accept that those ugly words are just new ones they learn because they hear it every day – that it is alright to curse and say PI in front of prime time television, that it is alright to shame a woman fighting for the truth, that it is okay to laugh at some dirty jokes that demean  someone, that it is okay to kill and kill without due process.

Where are we going? Truth has become just a word without meaning and lies are more believable.  We keep silent and  the future seems a narrow road of discovery.

Where are we going?

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Yeay, I have long neglected this blog, same with visiting the posts of those bloggers I follow here.  Eight blog posts for the month of April, make it nine including this one.  Though I haven’t been active here this month and even set aside my reading challenge, April is a good month. I’ve been actively campaigning the last few days  on Facebook. It’s my only way of helping Roxas and Robredo team win without taxing my health.  I have just posted  and shared this at The Silent Majority page and I was surprised of the more than 200 likes an hour after I posted it and tremendous response praying for me and my health.  I felt I really have an online family in their midst.  I was teary-eyed to see and read their comments. Allow me to share it with you too (it’s my last political blog  post maybe until election day which is  nine days from now).  The future of the Philippines is in our hands now.

I have long wanted to go out and campaign for RORO but since I have low immunity (I am a cancer survivor), I try to avoid crowds. This is actually my first time to be actively campaigning for a vice-presidential and a presidential candidate online. I posted some political blogs on my WordPress site since the first political debate was held. This morning, my daughter and her family came over to join us for lunch and they brought with them campaign materials for RORO. Yehey, I finally have my baller. We touched on politics (what else) and we are happy that all of us will be voting for Mar and Leni. I am concerned about the future of my four-year old grandson and the future of my kids and we just can’t ignore what is happening right now in our country. From the start, I have decided to vote for RORO. They are the epitome of good governance and I am sure they have nothing but a sincere desire to truly serve and help in making the Philippines something we could all be proud of.

A happy retired BPI unibanker here. I am proud to have worked in an institution with 165 years of banking leadership.

I am happy to see that I have finally reached more than 401,735 hits as of this writing. This is when blogging gives that kind of happiness  and sense of fulfillment.

April is about to end.  I am very optimistic that the rule of law and the choice of the majority will win.  Come what May (pun intended) I look forward to celebrating with the Filipino people when we finally cast our votes on May  09.  Maybe after  May 09, I could happily go back to reading again and enjoy reading blog entries here and hopefully add more posts.

I always smile every time I hear the song First of  May. It brings back memories. Happy first of May everyone.

 

 

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How are you guys, it’s been a while since my last post. Busy, busy, busy! The truth is, since I started my blog here and after several elections in our country, this is the only time that I feel a strong need to share and to rant a little. I haven’t done this before, sharing thoughts online particularly at a  more public social media site  like Facebook but I just can’t keep quiet  about it all.  Bear with me, I promise my next post would be something positive.

The debate is over. Last night was the last presidential debate that we watched on television for three hours.   It was  in a town hall format so the voting public had the chance to ask questions.  All of them are hopeful that they would win of course. It made me smile that they seemed to be behaved, not much of the usual ugly exchange of words that you usually see during a heated political debate except that instance wherein  the mayor from Davao openly told Mar  Roxas that there is no  Philhealth in their place. (Philhealth is the government’s answer to the medical needs of all accredited Filipinos. We pay monthly contributions but for the identified poorest of the poor, they enjoy  the benefit of free hospitalization  when they are confined in a government hospital.) Mar Roxas challenged the mayor from Davao if he is willing to give up his candidacy if the former could prove that there are lots of beneficiaries in that place. The latter shrugged it off  and accused Roxas instead of lying. True enough, this morning at 8am Roxas made true of his word sending his opponent the official report that proves that indeed Davao is part of the Philhealth program.

I recently read this article  of a well-respected writer. The political spin doctors are doing overtime  work just to post something to destroy the credibility of a good man. How they twist and turn  everything into ugly memes and false accusations.  I say, you can never put a good man down. The man from Davao is slowly but surely about to self-destruct.  I wonder though why so many people follows him like a cult.  You can’t reason with them because  they would just say they want change.  I am for  it too but I am  for continuity on what this administration has started over unpredictable change.   Asked what he will do with the problem with China on the West Philippine Sea, he said he will wait for the result of the arbitrations committee and if things are not favorable, he would jet ski to China and plant the Philippine flag on their shores. never mind if he die in the process.  A friend who hates his guts wrote on her wall:

“The weather’s really nice today for a jet ski trip to Spratley. Suggestion lang naman.

Why wait when you can do it now? Carpe diem!”

Oh my gosh, the things people do in the name of politics.  Given the choice between a man who has done much for the country in various capacities under three presidents, a man whose values and principles I admire, I would always prefer him over someone who curses,  put the law into his hands, have no respect for women,  and with a foul mouth and  language that other people think (his followers) is cute. There is really something wrong and I am getting scared.

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For the win – Mar Roxas and Leni  Robredo.  You have my YES!

 

 

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And here I thought of welcoming  April with a bang but it’s not to be. I was just not that inspired to write because there are other priorities.  I do remember the times when saying goodbye to a previous month and welcoming a new one were  my regular posts. March is gone too soon, April though is one of my favorite months.  Summer is here to stay. Despite  the heat, summer is something I look forward to.  I love all fruits in season during summer. Just the other day, I saw  star apples in one of the fruit stands here in our place but since we were on our way to do some groceries, buying some would have to wait.

It’s barely a month before Election day and it is so disappointing to see postings on Facebook with accompanying memes.   Some people are out to do (and been doing it for the past several months) demolition jobs on worthy candidates, doing dirty tricks while promoting candidates of their own.  Have we become a nation of insensitive people? Have we become a nation of people who harbor hatred just because we are free to air what we feel?  Social media have done a good job of this, such petty political squabbles bringing all their dirt in the open. I dread to think that in a month we may have a president who is believed to be corrupt and amassed wealth illegally, or a president who has previously denounced  her allegiance to the Philippines  and came back with her American family in tow, or a president  who is a loud mouth  and who cursed the Pope and is so proud now that he has received a letter from the Vatican  stating that they appreciate his apology. It is a bit scary how he show respect for women and how he values life.

It pains me to see the so obvious divisiveness in all of us.  It pains me that every election time, we have to go through the motion of destroying  each other just because of politics.  Who to vote for is a favorite topic now on the dining table.  I am still looking forward to the presidential and vice-presidential debates lined up this month and I am praying that the electorate would be discerning enough to choose the best, one who will put the nation on the right path to progress, one who would put in mind that he will be there to serve the Filipino people  and not his own selfish needs.  We are so blessed and lucky that here in our town, the government is very visible. You can approach our town mayor even through texts and one good thing is he listens and responds to our  complaints.  We are lucky that so many worthy projects were done the last three years for the town’s improvement.

I pray for a clean and honest election.  Fight for your right  and vote!

 

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It’s February 26 now but I know when I publish this short post, it would still appear as February 25.

Yesterday, we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution. Yes, it was long ago  but I am wondering if most of us Filipinos still remember the significance  of what the Filipinos sacrificed for in the name of freedom, freedom from a twenty-year rule by a dictator. Martial law was declared on September 21, 1972 (Proclamation 1081) and we witnessed the unrest that followed, many people died in the hands of the dictator and so many political arrest was made.   Long years of siphoning off the wealth of a country by greedy hands in the government, long years of wondering when it would end. What finally triggered the historic EDSA revolution was when Ninoy Aquino was killed in the tarmac of the airport back in 1983.

The youth of today would probably remember Ninoy as just a face on our five hundred peso bill or just a few lines maybe in their history textbooks. But for me, Ninoy represents a dream that never came true, a future for the Filipinos that never was.  I have my own memories of Ninoy. I was in third year high school (or was it my senior year?) when Martial Law was declared. Back then, we would always see demonstrations by the Kabataang Makabayan. There was even a time when they entered the UST campus and paraded empty kabaongs – the turbulent times of the Martial Law years. We learned to live with it for more than a decade until the time Ninoy was shot at the tarmac of the Manila International Airport on August 21, 1983.

What followed were the struggles we have to go through just to oust a dictator. Rallies were held almost every day on main streets of the country. Ayala Avenue was always the hub of afternoon marches on the street and we were part of it. Yesterday, my  former boss at Bank of the Philippine Islands posted so many photos he took of those days when we did our own share of our fight for democracy the BPI way –  nostalgic replay of events that finally lead to a bloodless revolution thirty years ago.  Yeay, those were the days – making yellow flowers out of crepe paper, making banners and banderitas ,  throwing confetti, braving to sit at the third floor window ledge of BPI so we could get close to a concert right in front of our building. We even experienced being tear gassed while we were in the middle of  watching rallies from our floor.

Those in power thirty years ago are still in power now and we are even threatened by another Marcos win in the vice-presidential race. Have we not learned what EDSA stood for?  The youth of today would not know of its significance unless their parents and relative who were part of it tell them in details what happened. It’s a good thing the organizers of the commemoration of the EDSA revolution put up an Experiential Museum recreating the experiences  that awakened Filipinos to stand up and be counted. I hope they would find a place to make it a permanent exhibit for all of us  to visit because it is only open until today and you have to reserve a slot for  viewing.

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All three photos courtesy of the official Gazette of the Rep. of the Phils.

All three photos courtesy of the official Gazette of the Rep. of the Phils.

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And this is one of our old photos at the office while we prepared paper flowers and banderitas for an afternoon rally.  We always had sacks and sacks of confetti just waiting to be thrown outside the bank’s windows. This was shared by Clod Saquido, my former boss at BPI.

Never again.

 

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After several days of hibernation (hibernation indeed) I found myself staring at my PC monitor thinking what I will share today. This is one of those days when I could finally sit down and write. The Lenten season has started so I was a little busy with some updates on our Catholic page on FB. Ash Wednesday found us attending an early morning mass at St. Jude Parish.  I look forward to the next forty days of a blessed and fruitful season of Lent. Abstinence from meat on all Fridays of Lent, fasting and abstinence on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.  I prefer though to cut meat on some days too during the week as a form of sacrifice.

Oh yes, I’ve been busy scrutinizing the political platforms of various candidates vying for the presidency, aspiring to be the next vice-president and those senator wannabes who’ll be serving us for the next six years. The official campaign period has just started  and I see the same faces – the corrupt ones who don’t have the nerve to face the public and own up to what they did the past several years, the hopefuls who think that the future of all Filipinos rest on their shoulders, the neophytes in politics who believe that they could make a difference once they are chosen,  the candidates we call trapos (that’s traditional politics for you), the voters who don’t discern enough on who to vote for  (we have plenty of that here), a popular name of the candidate is enough for them. It’s name recall instead of choosing who could deliver. Believe me, I seldom write political blogs, I get a headache just thinking of who would win come May 9.  Who is sincere, who is bogus, who is fake?  I am hoping all of us Filipinos would learn from the lessons of the past.  Words are easy enough but doing what they promised to do has always been wanting.

Last night, I spent an hour reading articles from two of my favorite writers, Lucy Torres-Gomez and Barbara Gonzales. I have blogged about them before, how they inspire me with their writings.  Lucy is a  congresswoman from Ormoc and she shares about day-to-day life in her weekly column Love Lucy at Philippine Star, a national daily. Barbara is a seventy something who writes, teaches writing, crochets and creates fashion jewelries which she sells or give as gifts to friends.  Barbara lives alone (she always emphasizes that almost in every article that she writes) but she is not lonely.  Growing old has given her a new lease of life that not all people her age experience.  Growing old, having the grace to do things that one could be proud of.  What a life!

How have you been?

 

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