Thursday, September 13, 2007

More on Boracay to Greece

The following is an interesting email with regards to the Malou Fernandez controversy.

From: abaynsc@...
To: PerryDiaz@...
Sent: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 1:44 pm
Subject: On Boracay to Greece, OFW, HSW and Filipinos

Dear Perry,

I am an onlooker, an involved onlooker nevertheless, to all these passionate exchanges about our pride pricked and pruned, and the new found energy to exorcise the blundering witch(es).

That beastly chest beating should follow is perhaps as natural.Very Filipino, perhaps.

There is reason behind the spewing lava from the eription of a long suppressed
anger after chronic oppression, when occasion to vent this powerful pent up emotion
is given by a thoughtless, perhaps insensitive tremor that cracked a vulnerable, thin

The build up of such an enormous energy result from very real heat derived from deplorable, hateful occasions and situations that our OFW, HSW and all Filipinos, at one time or another find themselves. Filipinos are usually timid and stymied to even raise an eyebrow, much less complain about their wretched, often undeserved lot.

Perhaps, we ought to pause and ponder...

The reason the blow stings, is the fact that it hit a sensitive nerve of truth in many. That it came from an arrogant, unfeeling swing made it stinky sore.

The truth uncovered however need be noted, perhaps recognized, accepted and rectified.

At the risk of being misunderstood, perhaps it is time, we Filipinos own up to some of the painful truths that have occasioned others to treat us with little or no respect, many times harshly.

It angered me to no end when, Filipinos, their passport collected and held, were herded like cattle into a hall bare with no furnitures in Seoul, Korea, in transit to the homeland, while other nationals were led to a beautifully furnished waiting area with refreshment kiosk, shops and entertainment.

Was it outright discrimination? Or could it have been because, Filipinos littered the plane seats, hallway and bath rooms, unmindful or no courtesy to the next users? Or after repeated admonition "to remain seated until the plane has come to a complete stop and the seatbelt sign turned off," Filipinos would stand and open overhead bins to collect their belongings as soon as the plane approaches the terminal to the stewards/stewardesses' chagrin?

Or is it the sum total of the lack of respect for the law and for each other in our day to day living in our streets, our homes and our country, "ako muna, bahala kayo sa buhay ninyo" prevailing attitude as seen by foreigners in our own country and elsewhere?

Even as we find an occasion to come together for a good reason, like Gawad Kalinga, the new found potential of OFW might and power, we will step on one another to prove we are better than , and be on top of the other. How many "Global Filipino Organizations" are there?

Could it be possible we brought all these upon ourselves?

If I had my way, I will never take an airline that stops in Seoul, Korea on the way home. But shouldn't we perhaps seriously consider, taking a little bit more pride in ourselves, in our country? Show the world what we Filipinos are truly made of?

There is a need to change our flawed "culture". Let us rally to a good cause like GK, Focolare and the like.

It doesn't matter who gets the credit.

Let us rally to our beloved country's cause. Together, we can do it.

God Bless!

Boy Abay

The following is my reaction to this email.

Again, GK, Focalore and the like are all dots. The important thing is to connect the dots. If we do not connect the dots, all the good causes around us will not, cannot create a national impact. All the good things we do will not, cannot influence our collective mindset unless we connect the dots.

What will connet the dots? A good citizenship campaign is what will connect all the dots. GK, Focalore and the likes are all good citizenship activities. If we can bring to the public consciousness that these groups and activities are not merely socio civic activities but more as acts of good citiznehsip, it may be much easier to convince Filipinos be good citizens.

How can you relate "ako muna, bahala kayo sa buhay ninyo" to Gawad Kalinga? How can "to remain seated until the plane has come to a complete stop and the seatbelt sign turned off" be connected to OFCOuncil, Rock Ed, GILAS, HABITAT, medical missions, PBSP, Ayala Foundation, etc? It's all about citizenship.

A good citizenshp campaign is part of the solution. We need a campaign that will capture the imagiantion of each every Filipino. The campaign will only need a few dedicated individuals who sincerely believe that citizenship is part of the solution. It does not have to become a movement that will take members. All it needs is a lot of imagination and creativity to inpire Filipinos to be better citizens.

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