Monday, July 26, 2010

The State of the Nation

I was not able to watch President Noy's SONA yesterday and if you were not able to watch too, you can read the SONA's English translation in this blog. 

Of course I will not let the day pass by without commenting about the current buzz.  So, please bear with me as I address the state of our nation according to me that most government officials don't see or have seen it but did not do anything about it.

I do not frequent Manila but each time I would go there, I notice new buildings being built and new attractions to see and more people in their tattered clothes knock on car windows for alms.  I live in the province and beggars are not a common sight in streets when I was younger.  Looking back to the years when there were few subdivisions and fewer commercial establishments, children still roam the streets, not begging but walking with their friends to go to their favorite hangout to play.  Now, I don't need to go to Manila to see beggars.  It has become a common sight in our province that once you give alms to one, like pigeons, others will flock towards you like you are showering seeds of grace to them.  I couldn't help but ask why.

Last night in the news, a young boy drowned and his body was retrieved after four hours.  A news reporter asked why it took that long for the rescuers to find the body, they said it was because of garbage.  I don't know what made me cringe... the boy's dead body or the sight of the creek full of garbage on national television.  How can we not address this problem with garbage?  Should we wait for another Payatas or Smoky Mountain tragedy before we address the stinking issue?

One Congressman was held in prison for drug charges in Hong Kong.  This Congressman was very vocal about the nation's worst enemy (yet)--drugs.  His being vocal about his condemnation to illegal drugs led him to filing a bill against it.  Funny isn't it?  There is no greater irony than this.  I said "yet" on the previous sentence because what we should look out for and be afraid of are the people who said they will protect us, yet, they are the ones who lure us to plunge into the pits of hell.

A family of nine who lives in a 50 square meter house struggles to make ends meet with their 200-peso daily allowance.  You don't need to be a grocer or be an expert in math to know that this will no way give the family a decent meal.  I am not at all surprised why more and more children perform poorly in school because of malnutrition.  And the Church is still against unnatural family planning methods.

The government offers low cost houses, the mass bit the bait.  But how can they pay for their mortgages if they do not have a job or they have lost their jobs because of poor company performance?  Agricultural lands are being made into subdivisions... but who will live in them?  If those houses were built for the homeless... why are they still sleeping on cartons on the streets or on lands they do not own?

This is the state of the nation in our eyes that only a few take time to see.  These are the issues that are desperately begging for attention and yet they are buried in the depths of the government offices that are elaborately designed for the incumbent to function effectively and efficiently.  

 This is the state of the nation and yet the uppers are eating on a plate that is worth a month's salary of a common Filipino.  Bite after bite, chew after chew... our hopes for a better life are being swallowed and our future being digested by hungry vultures while crocodiles are fighting over a pork barrel.  

This is the state of the nation... would you still dare to see?

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