Thursday, July 12, 2007

Connecting the dots II

The option is not rare, not as rare as a Lee Kwan Yew.

In his Inquirer column, Jose Ma. Montelibano explained that good governance will emanate both from the elite and the general population. The overseas Filipinos will also play a role in the birth of good governance. I agree with him. But from my understanding of his column, he considers the elite, the general population and the diaspora as separate entities. If these three sectors will operate separately, nothing will really change.

The elite cannot separate itself from the general population nor from the diaspora. So is the general population from the elite and diaspora and so is the diaspora from the elite and the general population. That is our problem, every is to each his own.

The elite has spearheaded thousands of initiatives and advocacies. The most popular, Gawad Kalinga, which is the biggest dot of them all. Big companies have established their own foundations to bring back something to society that has given them so much. We have the Ayala Foundation, Metrobank Foundation, ABS CBN Foundation, SM Foundation, GMA Kapuso Foundation, and a lot more
. We also have the Rotary, Jaycees, Kiwanis and Lions Clubs. I really don’t know what these groups do since I don’t belong to any of them but they do a lot of charity work too. All of these elite groups do their share in promoting good values, charity, citizenship and volunteerism. Each group represents a dot.

If the elite have their initiatives, so do the general population. I personally consider the left organizations as people’s initiatives. Without the political agenda, the leftist groups do fit in as examples of advocacies. NGO's in the Philippines are in almost every corner of the country. Service organizations are not in dearth. These groups may differ in their advocacies but they espouse something for the benefit of the less priviliged in our society. Altruism is not a monopoly of the elite.

Then there is also what I consider as personal initiatives. This blog is a personal initiative. Simple acts of citizenship are personal initiatives. We sometimes see these initiatives in the news like taxi drivers returning left packages. Some of us do take that conscious effort to perform good deeds as Christians, as Filipinos, as human beings.

The diaspora also has its own initiatives. The death of Antonia Bisol has not been picked up by the mainstream press but the internet is abuzz with praises, here, here and here to link some, on what she has accomplished. On its organizing stage is the 1st Overseas Filipino Congress to be held in Dumaguete City from December 6-8, 2007. There are many other initiatives coming from the diaspora and overseas Filipinos.

All of these initiatives and advocacies, irregardless of the size and scope, reflect the good values within us. There is so much goodness around. All we need to do is to connect all of these initiatives and advocacies through a good citizenship campaign that can capture the imagination of our people. The option is not rare. It is within reach and doable. We don't need a Lew Kwan Yew. We simply need to connect the elite, the general population and the overseas Filipinos initiatives to form a critical mass of good citizens. We need to connect the dots.

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