For Our Country( Para Sa Bayan ) - The Soapbox Filipina
” Tutuparin ko ang mga tungkulin ng isang mamamayang makabayan at masunurin sa batas Paglilingkuran ko ang aking bayan nang walang pag-iimbot at
ng buong katapatan
Sisikapin kong maging isang tunay na Pilipino sa isip, sa salita
at sa gawa.”
-original version, ” Panatang Makabayan. ”
Oftentimes, as local newspapers teemed with controversial
headlines involving government officials, I remain unperturbed.
As a mother and wife -with duties to fulfill, I do not usually
react strongly to issues about the country.
I would just carry on with my life’s priorities.
I would just go on marinating a piece of meat for
hamonado in time for lunch. Or help my son with his school work.
You see, I have a roof over my head. I have food on my table.
I am with my family. I can go to the mall anytime I want.
I even get to receive expensive gifts from my husband on
I get to go to church and pray for my family.
So, I leave the ranting-at-the-t.v.-screen-on-faces-of-the-corrupt-officials to my husband, as he demands back his taxes from the television set.
I leave it to the men in my family. ( that is their
I, on the other hand, would have to contend with
crying inconsolably, after watching documentaries about
the country’s poor children and the living conditions of
I was resigned to the fact that I was, as helpless as they were,
in changing their situation.
In fact my own family is just like that of many Filipino families.
We might appear apathetic to the country.
We might have lost faith in the system long time ago.
But when the need arises, we try our best to help in whatever way we can.
And just like most Filipinos, we just cannot stay indifferent to the plight of our countrymen.
Most Filipinos who:
– share what they could when calamities strike the country
– give small cash donations to institutions
– lend a helping hand to those who might be in need
– rummage closets for old clothes that may be passed on to victims of natural disasters
– swim back for their neighbor who might be trapped in the
middle of flood waters
” The true soul of a Filipino.”
But just like everyone else, we know so little about our country and our government.
( Sad to admit, but I do not know my constitutional rights.
I do not even know what I am entitled to, as a Filipino. )
Like many of us who hear commentators over the radio say,
” ninanakaw ang kaban ng bayan. “,
I do not exactly know the worth of our kaban ng bayan.
Or if we do really have a one.
Does anyone of us know how much money we have as a country?
” Mahirap naman daw ang Pilipinas sabi nila,
tapos tamad pa daw tayo. At kasalanan natin kaya tayo ay mahirap.
Kaya ano pa bang kaban ng bayan ang sinasabi nilang ninanakaw? ”
Now however, there is a paper trail on how much is missing.
( ang laki ng halaga, bilyon-bilyon talaga.)
” I had to step up from just marinating a piece of meat.”
” So the Philippines actually have that large amount of money? ”
” Talagang may laman pala ang kaban ng ating bayan, umaapaw. ”
” So how do you spend a scandalously large amount of money like that?”
” Nakakalula naman yatang gastusin ang ganoon ka laking halaga.”
The whole country knew about this large amount of money only after it was found out to be missing, stolen.
We were the last to know.
As taxpayers, we know that tax evasion is a crime,
-a fine or possible jail time might await us.
But how about those who steal taxes? What becomes of them?
Will the Filipinos ever get back what was stolen?
If not, then those who are liable should assume the payment of all the taxes of every hardworking Filipino for the next fifteen years or so.
Since they spent our taxes, they must ” shoulder ” the future ones.
Those taxes would have changed the lives of the poorest of poor.
( It broke my heart while writing a previous post. ) http://pierangeliangsen.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-poor-taxpayers-and-thieves.html
It can bring any Filipino to tears, especially when one would think of the poor children knocking on car windows along EDSA.
I look back with shame, when I thought of the times that I knocked back on our car window so they might go away.
I would guiltlessly justify my action as, ” the people’s taxes are working for them, anyway. “
Or so I thought it did.
Now it brings me to a horrible realization, that all along those taxes had been working for somebody else.
It was spent on European sounding names like Hermés, Chanel and Hublot but never for the true owners –The Juans, especially the little juans.( ones )
It would have been best spent on the children, their education and the future they deserved.
As Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said about bayanihan,
” Dapat sabay-sabay tayo sa lahat ng bagay.”
Some of our countrymen do not have access to social media like many of us.
" No facebook, no twitter and no followers. " Some of our poor Filipinos might have been at Luneta last monday. They might have been there as a crowd of onlookers and not knowing what the protest was all about. But many of us however were given the chance to speak for them and our country. The state that our country is in right now, is begging us all to step up and be heroes, -superheroes even. " Hindi lang si Spiderman ang superhero.
As one reporter said on t.v. about the successful and peaceful protest that was heavily attended by many hardworking Filipinos at Luneta, " kung para sa bayan..." " SAMPLE PALANG YUN. " The rally at Luneta was just the beginning for our country. Everyone made it all clear. It was for the poor. It was for the taxpayers. It was for the OFWs. It was for the future of our children. It was for our country. It was for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. It was for our flag. Our flag is as precious as our country.
( While they said that it would take 7.8 million to build a new one, may it never be forgotten, that it was the blood and sweat of more than 98 million that kept it high up there.)
It is what our OFWs would look at -when they reminisce about home.
It was what Team Gilas was all about.
It was the pin on Mr. Jonathan Yabut's attire.
We all have to be vigilant for our country.
We must keep ourselves informed.
We must be there every step of the way.
Everyone must continue and keep on knocking.
So that the door will open for those children who scavenge for food in dumpsites.
( and may we not just be pounding on the door, may we want to break it open for those children. )
Every corrupt official should really get to live the lives of every Filipino,before running for public office.
They should spend Christmas with families of OFWs, so they will find out how it feels to spend noche buena -with the absence of one family member.
They should spend days with our sailors in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and find out for themselves how high, waves can really rise and rock our sailors courage.
They should try planting rice with our farmers so they might find out what it is to live in poverty while planting for the whole country.
( So they will actually make the farmers beneficiaries for their P.D.A.F.s and not create bogus ones. )
They should at least spend one night in one over-crowded government hospital and find out for themselves, why patients are already lying down on floors while waiting for their turn.
They should walk around the state universities and get to know the poor and bright young Filipinos in the campus.
( So they will know what a college education really mean to these gifted young minds. And why they will take their own lives, just to get one.)
They should accompany those dedicated and inspiring teachers who crossed rivers and lakes just to get to their students.
They should try walking for a few kilometers with school children in the provinces -who do just that everyday, inorder to get to school.
( then they might understand why these children are clutching their notebooks and pencils, like their lives depended on them. )
Then maybe, just maybe, they would think twice in spending the taxpayers money.
They should go through an immersion program thrice a year and live for a week with families from the slums or far-flung barangays.
They should stay in the houses of our Filipino poor and eat with them while drafting bills for our country.
Then our country will be truly governed with laws that actually protect the interest of the people.
Maybe they could also try eating what those families are having for supper.
( and so that their palate might distinguish the taste, from foie gras, caviar and truffle mushrooms. )
They could read books to children from Smokey Mountain.
They can share with them stories narrating the adventures of Lam-ang or the courage of Lapu-lapu. )
Or maybe read to them our country's Bill of Rights so they will know their rights, especially section one.
Our corrupt officials might want to introduce the children to the country's
mga bagong bayani -all twelve million of them working abroad.
So these children will know how industrious we Filipinos really are, wherever we may be.
They might want to share with them their experiences in Boracay or Bohol so the children will believe that, " it really is fun in the Philippines."
Then perhaps, the children will realize how beautiful our country really is.
And they will find out the truth, that the world is neither that mountain of trash they see everyday, nor does food come from the garbage bins.
Then maybe, just maybe,
things will be different for our country
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