Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Construing the Philippines

The unrelenting political turmoil hounding the Philippines today is both a complex and simple thing really. Political pundits, experts and the common Filipino in every barber and coffee shop, meeting and blog, all trying to construe these times.

The PCIJ reports that Pulse Asia is saying a great majority of Filipinos want Gloria Macapagal Arroyo out of office yet in a land where People Power is a secondary means to replace a government, no such thing has happened.

Long before the Hyatt 10 came and went like the wind, long before Garci, we posted on this blog that it would take something extreme to oust President Arroyo and even then it is unlikely to succeed. Today, there remains no credible visible organization, no leader charismatic enough or Opposition today exists that a “disgruntled” public can rally to. In this the Arroyo Administration can safely say, they can still hold power.

Though it is wrong to say that there is no credible alternative to President Macapagal-Arroyo, it is more correct, more appropriate to say that there is no credible alternative thus far to the system of governance, to our way of life we have today.

Our people disgruntled? They have been for more than four decades. Are they more disgruntled? Let us say that sane minded people have every right to think there is no hope. And there in lies the misconception and the tragedy gripping every Filipino. We have ran out of hope.

Politics in the Philippines has become a spectator sport as Mr. Celdran rightly concluded in his podcast. And the media has part of the blame to carry for transforming it into such because bad news sells, though the public is equally to blame because every Filipino likes to gossip, we can not just stop hearing about our neighbor's skull filled closets. Part of the blame lies with our Oligarchy--- government, business, military, administration and opposition because they have placed their interests first above the common good. Part of the blame rests in our culture of mediocrity and narrow mindedness.

Every news cycle becomes gossip. All of it just a story because every dirt comes out yet sad to say, with every “truth” that has seen the light of day, we see only mud being thrown. No one goes to jail at the end of the day. No change happens in our society except seemingly we lose more hope that a change will ever come. Tomorrow only brings the same old news, recycled.

Many Filipinos opt to get out of the country. They have many reasons, at the end of the day it is green pastures they are looking forward to. How can they not? When business here is great until you get a chance to try to collect payment, which you would fight tooth and nail for. Any sane minded person who sees an opportunity and will see profit from it, will grab it. And thats the bottom line isn't it?

Administration and Opposition are seen as no different from each other. They together with Civil Society, with Media, with the Military, the local Church and just about anybody who runs this country form the Oligarchy is seen no different from each other. Nothing separates them in the eyes of the common Filipino. They don't even have a different political ideology. They all want the same old things: power, money and influence to ensure that their lives are all the more better. Nothing to help ensure the future. They are like parasites eating at its host with no thought or consideration of the future. If only they realize that being a symbiote rather than a parasite will be more benefitial to the oligarchy in the long run.

The problem with convincing people that you have a better product is saying how different are you from the same class without negatively attacking your competing brand. Its a class act, certainly. Politics and political ideas are no different. What Filipinos need are the following keywords (not necessarily in this order): leadership, vision, professionalism, team building, economy and hope. Anybody who can deliver these things and inspire our people will win the political war and will certainly bring sensibility to our times. Thats the simple and complex answer.