Sunday, April 09, 2006

Who has It?

Being decisive is an excellent quality, most especially in a leader. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo because of the pressures around her took the decisiveness, which is in her character and took it to a whole new level. To those who are asking her to resign, that is all we can ask for but she won't. Her determination to complete her term of office is after all the only means for survival for Mrs. Arroyo and her family, failure to do so and she knows she'll find herself in worst situation than Mr. Estrada. And of course the ability to deliver on the promise of economic stability will guarantee her freedom after she leaves the palace, whenever that will be.

The State of Emergency upon hindsight was an irritable response by Mrs. Arroyo to the growing factions of "opposition" to her rule. If we look at it from her point of view, who could blame her when those forces have displayed mediocre performance, using old tired ways that the growing number of people no longer subscribe to. Righteousness without Truth is not Justice.

And with growing confidence in her ability to simply do what she wants, Mrs. Arroyo is shoving into the people's throats, Charter Change.

While in the past, I have spoken that the surveys do not necessarily mean, people are against charter change, neither are they for it. They remain undecided. They remain sitting on the fence. How can they not when no one, save perhaps the legal whizkids and honorable members of the Supreme Court who understands the Constitution? Things need to be explained to them. What is exactly the vision? A sales pitch that this is the single point answer to all our problems, hopes and aspirations simply doesn't cut it. People are not fools, even when they do not understand the legalize wording of our basic law. We are not that naive.

While some may argue why raise a ruckus? The money, the power, the will of the Palace will in the end be served. In the 1930s, amidst depression, amidst the loss of World War One, the German People elected a man named Hitler because he seduced them into believing greatness. While history remembers many dictators, we sometimes fail to realize that dictators arise simply because people let them rise.

In a world where the flow of information is at a startling level--- that you could virtually have a three way voice and webcam conversation with someone in the United States and another in some part of the Philippines all through VoIP technologies, we live in a country that slowly allows our basic laws be trampled over. And those of us who choose flight, flee to other lands not because they want to but because the call of greener pastures is hard to dismiss.

As the growing demand for Virtualization amidst this surge of information ondemand rises, crimes against children in this country is prevalent. Poor children, children! suffer everyday in our prisons!

And while we sip our US$2 coffee at our favorite coffee shop, the forces of Arroyo and the Opposition wage war and in the background you could overhear this conversation at barangay Bansot. It is of course stupid to simply have lightning rallies wearing black shirts right in front of such important social spot, such are wastes in resources, money and effort when sensible ones like this from mlq3 go unanswered.

Perhaps at the end of the day, we'll have a society like the one in V for Vendetta, which was reviewed by Comic Geeks Speak recently.

If one looks at the economic numbers coming out of
NEDA, there is room to hope, that it is not the end of the world. Yet one can also say, it is the end of the world as we know it, some of it anyway. Jadedness is getting people off their behinds and finding or starting work here or simply moving away, who cares what insanity the politicians are up to?! People will survive that.

The Cha-Cha train has left the station. People of course have the option of turning it down, if we are ever given the opportunity to, it probably will as of this writing anyway. Or may be not. In which case, the next time we hold elections will be interesting--- a pro-Arroyo government will be a referendum of her actions. Those opposed to this way of life has one credible option--- rise to the challenge by innovating. Give people the opportunity to vote for them because all our people want is a better way of life. Our people will come home, when we give them a reason to because right now, our people are disillusioned. Being decisive is one of the more important tools of leadership but inspiring people to act is an equally powerful tool. Who has it?


pinoy said...

"Being decisive is one of the more important tools of leadership but inspiring people to act is an equally powerful tool. Who has it? "

Yes, we need to inspire our people, to act, to make a stand, to reform. But the inspiration will not necessarily come from a person.

cocoy said...

thats true. i'd very much rather we be inspired by a political party--- based on a vision of the said party. so it'll exist long after a arroyo or ramos or estrada have fallen/completed their term of office. a true strong party system that can bring in fresh blood--- leaders from all walks of life. and this party should include ordinary people--- who works for the party to succeed.

pinoy said...

So are we agreement that the question is not "Who has it" but "What has it"?

If it's a political party, is there any party right now that can bring in flesh blood? that can inspire us, a party where majority if not all Filipinos can identify with. how and who will build this party? is it possible to build a party that is not personality oriented?

cocoy said...

i asked the question "who has it" because it is a challenge. you got it right---- who has the guts, the will, the initiative, the political savvy to build a party and through this organization run the country? and that party has to transcend any one person because it is an idea, an ideal, a vision we rally behind of because we believe in our heart that this is /the/ way to build this country, to make it better.

we form organizations everyday. we have non-government organizations like the rotary club, the kiwanis club. we have gym clubs, basketball clubs, we have groups that collect comics. we even have a group that are pro-mac users or pro-linux and so many others. why do people join clubs like this? because we form a community, we want to be around people with the same ideas, the same vision, the same interests.

its the same thing with politics. yet the problem is--- its just politicians who are members. there is no system by which, people, ordinary juan dela cruz is a member of a party. that he is to borrow from the americans a "republican" or a "democrat". so there really isn't a convention for our local parties to even nominate a candate for president or support those running in local districts.

our politics isn't inclusive, but elitist. so ordinary people have no interest in it. so when people look at our politicians they think they are their salvation like they were the second coming or something. they think that by electing or supporting this person--- they vote personalities and not issues because somehow that person will benefit them. people don't care about the issues because we don't let them and they can't care because they worry about their own and what benefits them.

so it falls on the rich, the connected. but what if someone who isn't rich and isn't as connected is more qualified? who has the vision to change th community? a campaign costs money, after all and more than that. and that is why we can't change the system because there is no mechanism for the good people to get into public life.

a party has to be inclusive--- its membership must be from people from all walks of life. doctors, streetsweapers, engineers, office worker, factory worker, teacher. and they must have a say on who to nominate, who to support. the person has to be subservant to the ideal of the party. the party has to be in every district, and going up.

in technology, we have the mac faithful. in business we have brands we trust. in politics--- the republican and democratic parties are examples. and religion--- the Catholic Church, Islam, etc.are excellent examples of organizations that captivate the imagination of people. and why does El Shadai have several million members? so its not impossible to build an organization.

in a way, pgma and her ilk through lakas is already a defacto party. it is a party though that is exclusive to them. a party that is pro-partisan leadership, conservative, republican, big government vision.its not written in stone or mentioned but when you think about it--- thats the lakas party. Lakas isn't as big as PGMA, Ramos or de Venecia, and their party has survived several doesn't have ordinary people who are members--- so it is in danger of collapse should its leaders be sweept out of office.they appear to be united in staying in power, as mlq3 pointed out in his inq7 column.

the trick is to make people inclusive. captivate them with a vision of what this country should be. and how to get there. inspire them through this party vision. there has to be a community, an organization of sort that you could go up the ladder. a newbie for instance could one day be running the party or be the nominee for president.

we already have existing organizations that are ideological in nature--- labor for instance. yet somehow they prefer to throw rocks in the streets instead of running things. maybe because it is easier to do that than doing something to make things change--- to meet their vision. or maybe the urban legends that they are just out for money is real. who knows?

is there a party that can bring in fresh blood? we have existing parties--- the liberals, the nationalistas, the laban, etc. etc. the problem is they don't have membership drives. they don't get people to join them. ordinary people from all walks of life. all they have to do is pick a leader--- and declare by their voting records in congress, by their actions, by their soundbites, what is it they believe in. what are the issues of the day and how can /their/ party make it a better country and actually work towards that goal.

we have also organizations like the black and white movement or others founded for a specific purpose--- to oust pgma. but thats it isn't it? so why not form an organization. get politicians to join it--- and convince people to join that organization. "want this country to be better?" this is what we believe in, and if you believe in these same ideals, why don't you join us and make a difference. start small--- several seats in congress or a city or two and based on results of the politicians' term, people will vote for the party or not.

watch the west wing, see how the americans do their convention in fanfare, in colors. they really believe in their candidate and those candidates could be president. and those candidates believe they can make it a better country.

pinoy said...

there are just too many groups, organizations, associations, federations, parties, aggrupations, etc. in our midst. i doubt if forming another one would make a dent. you even metioned getting politicians in. whew! that is just inviting trouble. these politicians only know how to advance their personal agenda.

let me share with you THIS ARTICLE and tell me what you think. as the author said, ours is a pseudo democracy.

cocoy said...

well i do agree with the article. i've posted on the oligarchy several times last year. and yes the 10% running this country is the root cause of every single problem. not because they run things, no. they don't know how to think for the benefit of the country. they're like parasites, lynching off the life blood of the host.

and i remember the Chargé d'affaires of the US Embassy that July day last year alluded to this--- that administration and opposition and those behind them don't care about the people's lot. it doesn't matter whether one has a monarchy, a democracry or a boy scout troop. when the top guy running the show doesn't put his troop, as a group and as individuals his highest priority then it will be all for naught. that group, that troop will fail. i point to singapore and to the usa as examples--- two extremes yet economically succesful and china is perhaps the greatest success story of our generation.

now why did i say that the organization has to include politicians? it is a political party. i know we'd rather ship them all off to a boat in manila bay and have that boat sink. but you know what, a political party has to include everyone. like a church, like a company, like any simple organization, it has everyone there from all walks of life--- rich, poor, educated, not so successfully educated all believing in one single vision--- what is good for this country. and through their ranks, find leaders who they will fund campaigns for, who they will protect the ballots for, who will come out with the position papers, the lobbying the work to get this country moving again. in short, a professional political operation that puts the interest of people first.

watch season seven of the west wing. its a fictional campaign for the white house. you'll see how professional, how scientific, how passionate these people are about issues. certainly the face value counts. everyone can talk and look good--- thats the spin doctor's job. but at the end of the day both parties concern themselves, what is good for the country.

can we all say the same thing?

pinoy said...

what is good for the country. yes, that is what everybody is blabbing about. you, me, its all over the internet. in blogs, forums, letters to editors. there is just so much concern, so much frustration and yet no one is tapping this concerns and frustrations into a potent force that could lead into the vision of a better Philippines. in short, nobody is lifting a finger. it's all talk.

personally, i don't buy the political party solution. it will be eaten by the system even before it can take off. with how we are as a people, the poor busy eking out a living, the middle class content in his little comfort, the rich will do everything to protect his interest, it will be very, very difficult to bring these people together. at least not yet. the condition is not yet ripe.

we need to create a condition where people can identify with the cause, with that single vision. we need to set the example first. we walk the talk before others can follow. the internet is full of people who can lead and show the way in the outside world. we need to act outside the cyberspace. but the political party has to come later.

cocoy said...

yep i know where you're getting at. it all seems too much talk.

but you did get it right--- create a condition that people can identify with, set an example first. so start with your barangay or city. interested in running? ;) you'll need an organization--- and that organization may one day transform itself into a party.

you said it yourself, people need proof amidst all the talk. the best way is to prove to them by getting one person into the system and let that person be the best damn official there is. we have many local government officials around--- a lot of them really good at running their towns, cities etc. why can't they run for higher office? those people can also be supported.

no one is clean mind you. none of us is perfect but the single greatest characteristic of a good public official is that he takes his public trust seriously. he cares to uplift the lives of his people.

you've said it yourself it will be eaten up by the system. it probably will. then again, the people behind it may surprise us. how will we know if even before it goes through, we simply give up on it? how can we break the status quo, if we do not try? it takes a million tiny step to succeed. Abraham Lincoln--- he ran several times and lost more elections than he had won. we just don't give up and walk away, we keep on trying and if one solution doesn't work, we move forward.

the political party solution like the cha-cha and like so many other "proposals" out there--- isn't a catch all to the problems of this country. no one man, no one party, no one generation can just lift it out. its a process--- much like a human being. we have to go through grade school, then high school, find the right girl, lose or win her heart. etc. etc. what this is... is one piece of the puzzle that is part of an even larger need.

take a look at this:, heck take a look at the entire thing. i don't know who wrote it. certainly, there are many things i question about it. but that article on poliical parties is an interesting read. that is also one way of doing it.

i know what we do here and many people across the internet is all talk. i find that if one of these blogs could inspire a leader or a group of people amongst us to actually take these suggestions to life, to make it real, to take our discussions and move it forward, i don't think it will be for naught.

no change can happen overnight. and this country will not transform itself overnight to a great one. but we start here, with talk and maybe inspire you and me in our private lives to actually be better citizens in our small little way. change need not be a grand thing--- influence one and maybe that one will influence another, pretty soon it'll be a wild fire.

what do you say? :)

pinoy said...

yes, it will be a process. a long process that some sacrifices may be necessary.

first and foremost, we have to agree on that process. otherwise, we will just be like the rest, engaging in endless debates.

i do not believe on each of us doing our little things will solve the problem. it has to be a collective little things, meaning there is a commonality on each one's action. there must be a way to connect each of our small little ways. if it is to each his own small little way, it will not make a ripple. but if each small little way can be brought together, the ripple can turn into a wave or a tsunami.

i also believe that it is the connection of these small little ways that will create the party and not the other way around. once we can inspire each and every Filipino, rich or poor, to contribute something, to be part of change, to reform and be part of a renewal, then we make the connection. influence one and that one MUST, not maybe as you posted, influence another. we must PAY IT FORWARD.

so how do we inspire the people? that i will share with you later.

cocoy said...

i look forward to it! :)

pinoy said...

what is it that will truly unite us? what is it that we will not debate on? aside from being Filipinos, what is it that we have in common?

the only answer that i can find is our FLAG. our FLAG is our symbol as a people but we can also use it as a symbol for change, for reform, for renewal.

some people may find my proposition absurd or preposterous but i will stand by my conviction. it is only our FLAG that can unite us as a people.

we must create a condition where we will call on our people to display our flag. it will be each individual's small contribution. but it does not end there. in displaying our flag, there has to be some responsibility like virtues of discipline, honesty, trustworthiness, etc. it can all be our symbol of our rejection of trapos, Filipino time, mediocrity, corruption, etc.

what do you think?

cocoy said...

so essentially what you want is an improved sense of nationalism? that the Flag is something people should rally to?

i see no problem in this except... our people don't have a deep sense of nationalism. heck i see flags that are so bloody faded--- no one seemed to notice, it had to be put to rest and replaced by a new one.

there still has to be someone who spearheads this movement. someone or a group that moves forward with this. and to me, the best way to demonstrate virtues like discipline, honesty, trustworthiness etc... starts in each of us. i've been burned too many times by people who at the end of the day were just all talk--- and this is multimillion peso deals. just look at the street everyday--- people jaywalking or beating the red light and such.

our people should start small. want a better country, we should start by obeying traffic laws, by walking on the sidewalk instead of the street, by paying taxes on time even when we hate it. go to meetings on time etc. etc. it starts with us. when the discipline has gripped us our respect for our fellow Filipinos, it will translate to a respect for our country and eventual love of it.

we ought to reject the trapo mentality--- but what is it? its a way of leadership that benefits only the leader. those deals that benefit them more than the country. those deals that we in the middle class work to get, we foster. but politicians are not bad per se. though every country in the world has that perception.

so instead of division--- this is why i advocate inclusion--- everyone top to bottom have a place and thing to contribute however small. what the likes of PGMA and her ilk are doing is being elitist. i know the frustration--- how can the masses trully understand what it means to run a country, the small tiny details that only experts in politics know, and its consequences. we can't. thats why we have professional leaders.

what is most important--- whether or not this country or any country for that matter is how its leaders and citizens interact to make the whole country better. as plato said in his republic, philosopher-kings are those who put the interest of their people first. so it doesn't matter whether or not its a republic, a monarchy or an oligarchy or a corporation--- as long as the ones running the show put the interest of the nation first above themselves.

i still think we start with ourselves. and one person or a group of people, can inspire us to act. if we ourselves are not honest, trustworthy and all that and we do not vote accordingly, then it all ends up the same way--- crap.

i hear you when you say the flag is an excellent symbol. it is. what you want is a sense of nationalism, a sense of pride in being Filipino. and that is a good thing--- we need to feel good about ourselves.

in earlier comments you spoke of the disillusionment that people are looking for results. starting with a change in our personal outlook is the best place to look for said result and something every FIlipino can do. if we can not expect to be honorable, disciplined, trustworthy--- how can we expect others to be as such? and how can we not expect our politicians to be the same?

do you see where i'm getting at? but it is not to say that we do not need a person or a group to rally our people. if they rally them behind the flag--- well and good because that is a symbol of every Filipino and a fitting one at that.

i strongly believe all these little things will amount to something--- long term-wise.

what do you think? :)

pinoy said...

I learned of a new group today, Ang Bagong Pinoy. It's not really new since they've been around, at least on the net for a year now.

When I learned about this group, I said myself, not another one. If you will look at the links on my blog, all that I list there a groups that are trying to do something, in whatever way, for our country. There are thousands of these groups all over our land. I'm sure Filipinos overseas have also formed their own groups. We, Filipinos, have this penchant in forming groups and associations. Filipino communities abound in the US. At the end of the day, all these groups go their own separate ways in spite of the common objectives that they have, to help and be of service.

This brings me back to my original contention about our flag. Imagine if all of these groups do what they do in the name of our flag, a physical flag. They always have it with them. If they go on medical missions, bring a flag. On relief work, bring a flag. During gatherings, bring a flag. During meetings, make allegiance to the flag. Irregardless of religious, economic, social or political persuasion, our flag is what we all have in common. So even if there are so many groups doing their things to help our country, if they say it in unison that they are all doing it in the name of our flag, isnt' it that there will be much greater impact?

Sorry if I express my frustrations on your blog. At least I know that you know where I am coming from.

I have this idea on how to pursue my vision. Unfortunately, it is not for public consumption. I will share only to those whom I believe who may be receptive to the idea. If you don't mind, can we move this discussion through email? mine is

cocoy said...

thank you for posting in my blog. this is a place where all ideas are welcome. and your flag idea is certainly a good one.