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yuanbautista
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Location: Landayan, San Pedro, Laguna
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We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give. -- Sir Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965)


Santa Clara, CA May 27, 2010

The Challenge of a Hundred Days: Believing that Filipinos can End Poverty and Corruption in the Philippines
by Tony Meloto

Note: A new dawn is upon us and the mind of a visionary is never at rest. Tony Meloto (TM) shares with us his reflections and vision
of a new Philippines after the recently concluded national elections. TM started writing this article days ago, in the East Coast, at the
beginning of an 8-city trip across the US. To witness this driven man put his thoughts into words on a blackberry, while sitting, eating,
standing, in between conversations and while walking was simply a sight in itself. He finally finished it while walking at the parking
lot after attending the opening ceremonies of a new Seafood City branch in Milpitas, CA. By the time I dropped him off for the night,
TM had a 2nd revision done, parting with “Fredy I think I’m done.” – Fredy Guevara

Is it possible for Filipinos within my lifetime - I just turned sixty - to unite and raise a great President who can
make us believe that ours can be a strong nation?

I believe we can.

That leader can be President-elect Benigno C. Aquino III. The historic moment can be now.

Hopefully, we don't squander this chance. Time is running out on my generation and I don't want my children
to inherit a country that they cannot be proud of, that will not guaranty them safety and opportunity for a
dignified life.

The first 100 days after June 30 is not just for the new President to prove to us that he can lead but, more
importantly, for all of us to prove to ourselves that we love this country enough to set aside our differences and
interests to help him succeed and finally show the world that we are not too selfish and self-serving. .. and
downright stupid... in the practice of our faith and freedom.

The first 100 days is our test if we can do things differently given this new window of opportunity. We not only
need a good leader but we have to prove to ourselves that we are deserving of a good one.

The new President has feet of clay who has yet to end his nicotine addiction and he will most likely fail us if we
do not give him the strength he needs to overcome his weaknesses. He needs us as we need him to be strong as
a people. Let's try our best not to fail one another. Now that elections are over it is time to come out and
express solidarity with our chosen leader for the good of all by being what we demand him to be.

I deliberately hid from sight in the last election to remain non-partisan and respect the choices of friends with
their multi-colored political loyalties. While I prayed for good leaders I personally knew to win, I kept my
silence... and peace, and waited for winners to be proclaimed, eager to get back to work with those who want to
work with us.

I saw no candidate as adversary or enemy. I engage those who respect our terms of engagement. Anyone
who is a friend of the poor is a friend. Anyone who loves my country is family. I regret the defeat of good
leaders I know, but look forward to working with the victors that I have yet to know. Leadership after all is not
about winning elections or staying in power but about going beyond self-interest and rising above rivalries for a
higher cause, even working with political opponents - call it balimbing or whatever name you like - for the
common good.

To build a strong nation, we must learn to engage everyone, bridge gaps that divide and leverage limited
resources by encouraging those who have, to give more to those who have less.

While we must engage every politician without judgment and without compromise, our cause of nation-building
must transcend politics. Politics is for politicians, nation-building is for everyone - from the highest leader of
the land to the weakest squatter in the poorest slum. It is for ordinary citizens like me to help provide
connectivity to the un-reached, build trust among the wary and give hope to those in despair.
In the first 100 days, let us be a people of faith.

First, it is good to start by having faith in our leader. We must accept him wholeheartedly as the President for
all Filipinos, including those who did not vote for him.

Given the circumstances of his miraculous ascendancy to power, reluctant in the beginning yet resolute with an
overwhelming mandate in the end, we must accept that it is his divine destiny to lead us. If he is God-sent then
we must treasure the gift and provide him all the support and encouragement to build a just and prosperous
nation.

Let us not trivialize the opportunity to start right with our petty politics nor be influenced by ugly cynics who do
not see anything good in this country or in this life. Let us be radical optimists and hope-weavers for a change,
to give our new leader and our country a chance.

It is imperative for those who worked hard for his victory to remain noble and true by not expecting any favors
in return for their efforts. Great leaders are often pulled down by followers who demand their share of power.

Great chances to do great good are spoiled when nobility is exchanged for the spoils of victory. On the other
hand if asked by their leader to do a crucial task, they must also be humble enough to accept.

From our new President, let us demand nothing but faith in himself that he can be faithful to his covenant to
govern with integrity, courage and justice.

From every Filipino, let us also demand nothing less than faith in ourselves that we can transform an entire
nation - slum after slum, barrio after barrio - by transforming ourselves first. Let us not simply depend on the
awesome power of the President and blame everything on him if he fails to deliver. Rather, let us harness the
awesome power of the people, united and committed to do good, to help the President deliver.

Concretely, what can we do?

Start by believing that every Filipino can help, even the poorest among them.

Like the poor in Payatas (Quezon City) who did not sell their votes but even contributed their meager resources
to his campaign or carried his yellow ribbon in their tricycle without getting paid. We must see the poor as a
blessing, not a burden... as assets, not liabilities.

The poor are starting to see him as hope. This was their statement in the last election when they chose
Noynoy. We must therefore help him champion the rising Filipino poor for their hope not to be dashed again.
Help him help them out of extreme poverty and give them middle-class aspirations. That will motivate them to
work and send their children to school. The rejected stones can be the foundation of a strong nation. A true
leader is one who will make this happen.

To usher in a season of hope, we can do many things in the next 100 days.

* Give unproductive land to the squatters.
* Build a home for the homeless.
* Start a business.
* Join a medical mission.
* Plant a tree.
* Send a poor child to school.

The list of good things to do is endless. The list of things to complain about is also endless. Better to walk the
talk than preach and bitch.

To start a period of grace for corruption to end, we can also do many honest things in the 100 days.
* Do not cheat the wife.
* Do not give or accept a bribe.
* Do not rob the poor of just wages.
* Do not pad the expense account.
* Do not cheat in exams.

Again, it is a long list but it always begins with me.

I cannot demand honesty from our government leaders if I cannot be honest myself.

As for me and my household, we will offer the 100 days in simple and sincere service to our poor countrymen.
We will pursue our drive to build sustainable and empowered communities in every barangay in
the country. The Gawad Kalinga People Power Over Poverty campaign we launched in 2004 with Tita Cory
will be a great legacy for the son to continue 6 years later. Continuity is key to development which does not
happen overnight.

Many social initiatives that bloomed during the term of the mother may finally bear fruit and be ripe for harvest
during the term of the son. But they must be willing to work with one another to make things work for the good
of an entire nation.

This is key to the first 100 days. It must send the signal to everyone, starting at the top all the way to the ground,
that the interest of the country is first.

To have impact, it must be supported by those who placed him in the highest office of the land. Imagine the
power of the 14 million Filipinos who voted for Noynoy to lead in being good citizens - obeying traffic rules,
avoid polluting our waterways, staying away from drugs or simply not pissing in public.

We must be first in showing discipline and character in defining our own 100 days. An important statement needs to be made.
The Yellow Power is not just about waging a political campaign to win an election. It is about winning the campaign to build a nation.

This is also true for Filipinos abroad who gave Noynoy a big vote of confidence. They must have enough
confidence in him to match this with action. They can visit, volunteer, remit, donate or invest or whatever they
can do for the country's benefit - things they have been doing before, but must now do so, more than ever. Most
importantly, they must herald the advent of hope for a beloved Mother-land and the emergence of the Global
Filipino who will no longer allow himself to be defined by poverty and corruption.

I'm writing this piece at 4 am in Washington DC on the third leg of an eight city tour to rally Filipinos in
America through GK USA to build our Filipino Dream in this new springtime of hope with our People Power
President.

For this to happen, this must be clear to me. Noynoy is no longer just the son of a great mother and father; he is
now my President who deserves his shot at greatness with every Filipino's support and prayers.

Pardon the musings of a senior citizen who is tired of waiting for the right leader to come. This time I cannot
afford to fail. I owe it to my six grandchildren and those who are still to come to give my all to make my new
President the right one, for them and every Filipino to have a future full of grace in this cherished Pearl of the
East.

Before I sleep let me end this with a prayer.

Dear GOD, bless us with a leader who will be bold, able and true and grant us the faith to believe that the Filipino's time
to shine has come, that the Philippines is finally treasured as a precious gift... from YOU. Amen.
'Stay Gold'
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vic_romero
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 605
Bahalŕ silá
By Vic Romero
6/9/2010


"Bahalŕ silá." is a symptom of the "Kayó na lang." attitude.
"Bakit akó sasali diyán? Baká pa akó mapahamák."
"Walá akong pakí."

The 94 million Filipinos are not really a nation.
Not yet.
They are like folks traveling on a huge balangay.
Some of the individuals are related.
On the average, each individual is related to one hundred people.
He/she does not know or is related to the rest.
There are approximately 1 million such groups.
The individuals within a group care for each other.
They don't care for the others outside their group.
They all just happen to be in the same boat.
They don't care.
Little do they know that if the boat sinks, they all sink.
That is the Philippines.

This attitude is a thousand years old.
Very hard to change.
Somehow we learned it from our parents.
Somehow they learned it from our grandparents.
Somehow we are passing it on to our children.
Somehow we need to stop.

Why should we care?
Because we are all in the same boat.
And it is sinking.
Several million have already left the boat.
Lots of Koreans, Taiwanese and Japanese recently came on board the balangay,
bringing their own life jackets and life boats with them.
They can get on and get off whenever they like.
Most of the original Filipino passengers have no life jackets or life boats.
They have nowhere else or the means to go.

How can we not care?
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JR Medina
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Immaculate Conception Parish-Vista Verde, Cainta, Rizal: Diocese of Antipolo
Posts: 375
Is it possible? Uunlad pa ba ang Pinas in the first place?

Think of the thousands of Filipinos who flee their homeland to greener land. At the back of their minds, and I am sure you will all agree, they are studying certain things: "I will not throw garbage just anywhere." "I will follow traffic signs." "I will not do petty crimes."

Ang ating mga OFW, bago pa sila umalis, nag-aaral pa sila sa mga batas sa ibang bansa na pupuntahan nila. Generally, they become far better disciplined people abroad than they ever will be here.

Thus, we should all stop being hopeless. Otherwise, how can we explain the new culture of discipline of Pinoys who go abroad?

Now how do we apply it here? Culture is learned. I read somewhere that for the Filipinos to really change, there must be a sudden and total renewal of how we look at things, how we understand them, how we deal with them, how we respond to them, how we assess them. This demands a cultural change.

Killing everybody older than ten years old is the fastest way to do so. If kids would have no elders to teach them that "You can park just about anywhere if it is convenient for you to do so," then they would be more free to go about finding ways on how to deal with life's various situations.

Therefore, is eliminating a whole generation the best way so that the new generation of Filipinos would be disciplined?

Not necessarily. The new generation could easily be like the pigs in Orville's Animal Farm--becoming the new leaders, but slowly just as corrupt and as oppressive as the old ones.

What then do we need? What do we not need? The socio-economic development of a nation depends a lot on the quality of education of each generation. We do not need new leaders. We need good teachers so that our children will grow up to learn and live in a culture of excellence. We do not need teachers who are mediocre or simple minded. We need education that is truly civic minded. Unless we are truly physically sick or disabled, we do not need dole-outs. We need discipline and drive for excellence. Teach our children those.
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michaela
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Location: Quezon City,Muntilupa,Pasig
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I guess in the balance of things, we strive for one ideal and miss out on others. It is my understanding that Pres. Noy appointed many of his Cabinet based on his belief in their being un-corrupt (is that a word?). For that matter, Pres. Noy himself was voted into office based on the belief that he is in fact, not corrupt. But in going to the extreme -- to get away from that still unindicted criminal, Gloria Arroyo -- we failed to take into consideration that the Philippine story for these times isn't just about Good versus Evil anymore. It is about who is competent and capable. Goodness is only part of the package. Leadership, expertise, a working knowledge of the ways of government and its systems are all necessary qualifications for the people who must take up the reins. You know whats even sadder? Its that during these times, even the perception of goodness and incorruptibility is stained. Incompetence, in times like these can equate to criminal negligence.

Problema ng bureaucracy ay pecking order. Walang umaamin sa pagkakasala o pagkaka mali. Kaya kahit na incompetent, aamin ba? Masisira ang "dignidad".Marami nang hagupit ang natamasa ng administrasyong ito. Siguro naman lesson na ito sa kanila para harapin ang mga batikos at tamaan ang dapat tamaan.

What's happening in our country is so serious that partisanship should be set aside. What is worth picking up from the past administration should be seriously taken up by the new dispensation. Don't reinvent the wheels. sadly and generally, everything we Filipinos do is reactionary. Everybody has something to say now and grandstands and accountability is thrown back and forth like a ball, but the problem is nobody says the "buck stops with me" like Truman. Our standards are way below international standards, but nobody wants to admit that because the problem with us is we think too much of ourselves,

our leaders (don't know yet about PNoy) act and primp like we are at par with the big fishes. We are not. We are not even big fishes in Asia. They said that they did give their best, that's true, because our best is just that. Hanggang dun lang talaga ang kaya eh. This is just a big deal only because our standards were exposed to an international audience at talagang nakakahiya. Otherwise, we live with these kind of standards everyday, with all our government agencies, with the standards of our roads, our schools, our healthcare, our technology, etc, and we have accepted it as our way of life, buhay Pinoy. Ewan ko kung magiging wake-up call ito for all of us.

We have to demand more of our leaders and public officials. We Filipinos are too soft. We let them off the hook too easily. We have to demand accountability and responsibility. We have to set a high standard for them. RESULT should be the overriding criterion for all. No ifs, no buts, no excuses. If they can't deliver ( for reason of negligence, incompetence, or whatever) they should be asked to resign or should be fired. But we the people, individually or collectively, should and must also step up to the plate, demand the same from and of ourselves. That way can move forward and upward. It takes two tango, as they say.
Lord,please make me a fitting instrument of your Will. And may I learn to spread Your love everyday of my life beyond the music.Amen
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ilujian_20
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: GMA, Cavite
Posts: 1,478
Siguro, sa 3000 na aahon ang Philippines.
No one can overpower God's will. So, better watch out if you're one of them uplifting themselves thinking they can do better without God.
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tuningspork
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Tandang Sora, QC
Posts: 145
Posted 11.02.06 #66
Well, mahaba-habang usapan 'yan. Hehe.

Kailangan muna natin ay magkaroon ng sense of identity. Sense of being Filipino.

Unang issue: papaano tayo magkakaroon niyan kung kabi-kabilaan ang bombardment sa atin ng sarili nating media ng foreign influences? Halimbawa, tinatadtad yung kabataan ngayon ng KPop. Abnormal ata ang mga kabataang Pinoy ngayon na walang alam na kahit isang buo (o parte) ng isang KPop song.

Isa pa, sa mga balita sa TV tungkol sa showbiz, halimbawa, hinding-hindi mawawala ang Hollywood news bagaman kalahati ng mundo ang layo natin sa lugar na 'yun. Kung mayroong mga balita naman sa local showbiz scene, may overtones ng panggagaya sa Hollywood ang Pinoy showbiz.

Kung sa music lang din ang usapan, wala akong gaanong naririnig na balita tungkol sa mga tumutugtog ng kulintang or ng ethnic instruments. Sa katunayan, ang tingin pa nga ng karamihan sa atin sa ethnic music ay exotica (or maybe backward music, music ng mga hindi sibilisado?) e.

Marami pang ibang halimbawa, pero 'yun yung pinakanakikita sa araw-araw na exposure natin sa media.

Ikalawang issue: papaano uunlad ang Pilipinas kung bulok/paatras ang sistema natin sa edukasyon? I think most of us know the plight of basic public education here: more or less 80 people (yata) to one teacher in one class, many classes in one room or open-area courts, among many others. Tapos, ibobombard pa ang students (please correct me if I'm wrong) ng ideas about the existence of a better life in other countries. We say "apple" for "a", and we are being made to know that apples are yummy, when in fact apple trees don't grow in the Philippines (please correct this too if I'm mistaken). Bakit hindi "a for abaca", or "a for atis"? Kasi hindi sosy pakinggan. Another example: "s for snow". Since childhood, I've dreamt of experiencing snow after learning of the existence of such a phenomenon.

There's nothing bad, I guess, with exposing us to Western ideas but overexposing us to a lot of it dilutes our sense of nationality especially if the exposure is done during childhood.

Pagdating sa high school naman, malaki ang pagpapahalaga sa Math, Science, at English. Sa totoo lang, nabo-bore ako sa Filipino classes ko noong elementary at high school. Mas natuwa pa ako sa English noon. Hehe. Anyway, kaya raw ganoon para maging mas globally competitive tayo.

Eventually, 'pag naging mahusay na tayo sa Math, Science, at English, pwedeng-pwede na tayo kumuha ng marketable courses sa college! (Or kung hindi man, pwedeng-pwede magtrabaho as a contact agent sa call centers. No, I don't have issues with call center agents.) Take Engineering for example (I'm studying Engineering din po). Yung college ko po yata yung may pinakamalaking population sa university kasi isa ito sa mga high-paying jobs. Mas malaki ang chance to go abroad. Mas madaling yayaman.

Maraming-marami pang pwedeng idiscuss, pero I'm running late for my choir practice. lol.

Sorry mahaba!



Hmm, going back to the topic, the people must recognize the urgent need for societal transformation. That we must not be content with what is happening now--I see rising commodity prices, widening social gaps, use of (government) position to gain more power and/or money, deteriorating environment, and neglected cultural heritage inherited from cultural minorities.

The people must not always blame the government for their plight (though I must admit that the government is sometimes to blame). Reciprocally, the government must keep the people's interest in mind, not theirs and especially not the interest of other countries, which is almost usually the case. In that mutual cycle of trust, something good might even be born.

So armed with the wisdom we've gained from the rich tapestries of our kasaysayan (note "saysay", or the essence of existence in the word) to make an informed foresight, plus a mindset of positive change for the betterment of the generations to come, and, most especially, the teachings of the Word of God, I conclude and believe that there is still hope for the flowers.
At the rate our people are bombarded with all sorts of Western pop and commercial music through radio, television, jukeboxes, record players, and movies – the day may not be too far away when we shall have committed our own native music to the grave; harshly forgotten, abandoned, its beauty laid to waste by an unknowing generation whose only fault is not having been given the chance to cultivate a love of it

– Felipe Padilla de Leon
Last edited by Alexander; 11.02.08 at 09:22 AM..
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ilujian_20
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: GMA, Cavite
Posts: 1,478
aahon ang pinas sa oras na maayos ang gobyerno at maging disiplina ang mga tao.
No one can overpower God's will. So, better watch out if you're one of them uplifting themselves thinking they can do better without God.
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vanred007
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 21
very idealistic, but very hard to achieve. =)
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