Tuesday, January 20, 2009

According to Obama

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends — honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

To stop monsters, we need good citizens

The following is a Letter to the Editor from the Inquirer.

I remember when I was young and dreaming of becoming the president of this country. Today I no longer hold that dream. I just wish to become a good citizen.

I think what we imperatively need more nowadays are good citizens who know how to care and love for this country, make it safer to live in, who know how to voice out their grievances without fear and who are prepared to die for their rights and principles.

There are only a few of these people now in our country.

There are more of us who rest content with our private lives and are unmindful of the issues of the day. There are many of us who cannot leave our comfort zones and instead decidedly remain spectators to what is happening in our country. They don’t bother to ask why their families starve, why there are broken families, why crimes abound, why classrooms are not enough for their children, why textbooks are scarce, why there is graft and corruption. Our society is becoming a voiceless society. It is this voicelessness that created roaring monsters in the government. While we may have heard the voices of some who appear to be messiahs of this country, theirs are irritating noises and are out of tune because of their self-seeking interests. What we need is a unison voice likened to the biblical passage that says “people shall shout with a great shout and the wall of the city will fall down flat.”

For the year 2009, it is my prayerful wish that we learn to become good citizens. It is my prayer that we should learn to be more aggressive about our rights, freedom and dignity as a people. I do not wish to leave this country even when it is filthy to live in. That would be unpatriotic. There is hope for this country. Let us start contributing our fair share by caring for and loving our country, making it more decent and respectable in the eyes of the international community and God. And we can do that by learning to become good citizens.

Thank you.

REGINALD B. TAMAYO, member, Sangguniang Bayan secretary general, SAVE Cagayan, Aparri, Cagayan


Definitely good citizenship is part of the solution.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Fighting corruption

The following was posted on the comment section of this blog.

Fighting corruption is the best way to fight powerty. But how do we fight corruption?

There are two kinds of corruption, a one way corruption and two way corruption. One way corruption is about those people in the position, either elected or appointed by someone we elected, and use their position for personal gain. An example would be awarding contracts to relatives/friends. This is the palakasan system. The two way corruption is one where there is a giver and a taker. An excellent example is the transaction between a traffic violator and a traffic enforcer. This is the padulas system. Eliminate the palakasan / padulas system and corruption is minimized. Less corruption, less poverty, less hunger and peace is built. But how do we eliminate the palakasan/padulas system?

Even the Church has failed in this area. Only if the Church has guided its flock well, we will not be in this mess we are in right now. The Church teaches the rightwus path and the people don't seem to follow.

But something can still be done. The Church can still play a huge role in the CHANGE that we all seek. This is not just about religion. This is about attitude, way of thinking, a different mindset, a whole new perspective. We need a different approach and strategy. If we want to eliminate palakasan and padulas system, we need to capture first the imagination of our people. But not a single advocacy is working on this strategy. We have thousands of advocacies around us and yet not a single one seems to create a dent. Why? Because not a single on has captured the imagination of our people. Capture the imagination and we will be on our way to the CHANGE that we all seek.

Iniibig ko ang Pilipinas!