A reply to a forwarded letter from Remedios Paningbatan

Do not declare such which you do not want to exist in your culture.
I am a firm believer that which you declare in print or in spoken words become a reality and as a  teacher  I have always instilled the truth and shared the importance of history and competence in analysis of Philippine history as an important tool to address the realities of Philippine culture today.
Be careful to those sad realities which exist in the same plane and never allow it to become yours. Best to be keen and observant, adept at knowledge of the past but impeccable in language for the youth of today will imbibe that of the adults implore now.

After reading this letter, I have reflected on the same sad realities the poor employ in their culture which I never wanted my students to acquire;
1. the nerve of families in a gang of snatchers horribly hunting victims in malls (at worst, in a choreographed activity to snag personal belongings of innocent shoppers).
2. the nerve of prostitutes and drug pushers existing in schools lurking in hidden fraternities with such parents as accomplice
3. the nerve of professionals I work with heeding alms at the poorest students not realizing the majority cannot even afford to pay their own public transport after school (and other forms of corruption)
4. the nerve of professionals not in public schools molding the minds of the privileged innocent few of imbibing false erratic pride against the poor instead of being leaders to lead the poor to better quality education. I've met a lot of them leading the private school students to worship money and corruption as the key to get an "edge" in society amidst their busy parents lacking proper parental guidance on social realities.
 All these we are aware exists not just in the poorest of the poor and the greediest of the rich but in the realities of the past we have all failed to change. 
 All these reminded me of more sad realities and those sad truths about the Philippine history books which need to be rewritten for the Filipino to learn to love the Filipino better (who ever asked why the beginning of history in some history books started with the colonization of Spain and why the history teachers never asked why the authors never indicated the Filipino in the pre-colonial era).
The students heed more knowledge and the key to address all these does not lie only on the teacher. Like what my favorite presidentiable once said, "We need to educate our parents."
Anyways allow me to reply in each points posted in the forwarded letter below:
To my fellow Filipinos everywhere:
 
I used to think that corruption and criminality in the Philippines were caused by poverty. But recent events tell me this isn't true. It is one thing to see people turn into drug addicts, prostitutes, thieves and murderers because of hunger and poverty, but what excuse do these rich, educated people have that could possibly explain their bizarre behavior? And to think I was always so relieved when petty snatchers got caught and locked away in jail because I never fully realized that the big time thieves were out there, making the laws and running our country. -
the big thieves became big out of those realities in Philippine society of "who-you-know" is more important than "what-you-know", the magnates choose to employ those which are graduates of "reputable" universities. Poverty is relative to lack of education for those who are educated have more opportunities than those who "missed" education.  
Every night, I come home  & see these "honorable" crooks lambast each other on TV , call each one names, look each other in the eye and accuse the other of committing the very same crimes that they themselves are guilty of, is so comical and apalling that I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
 
I have never seen so many criminals roaming around unfettered and looking smug until now. These criminals wear suits and barongs, strut around with the confidence of the rich and famous, inspire fear and awe from the very citizens who voted them to power, bear titles like "Honorable", "Senator", "Justice", "General" and worse, "President". Ironically, these lawless individuals practice law, make our laws, enforce the law. And we wonder why our policemen act the way they do! These are their leaders, and the leaders of this nation - Robin Hoodlum and his band of moneymen. Their motto? "Rob the poor, moderate the greed of the rich."
 
-greed and worship of money and those luxuries lead lives of not just the rich but those of Filipinos guided by these lawless individuals.It makes me wonder what kind of schools they went to, what kind of teachers they had, what kind of environment would produce such creatures who can lie, cheat and steal from an already indebted country and from the impoverished people .  It makes me wonder what their children and grandchildren think of them, and if they are breeding a whole new generation of improved Filipino crooks and liars with  equally negligible conscience. They all go to mass & receive communion!  Heaven forbid!
 
-sad to accept that most of the most religious people I've met are also the most notorious and corrupt people lurking in the societies of the rich and the poor. They do pray but I guess they pray for more and God has reasons for realities that exists that God only knows. I never wanted to play God so I'd simply focus on RAK-random act of kindness in each child.I am an ordinary citizen and taxpayer. I am blessed to have a job that pays for my needs and those of my family's, even though 30% of my earnings go to the nation's coffers.  I have complained time and again because our government could not provide enough of the basic services that I expect and deserve.  Rutty roads, poor educational system, poor social services, poor health services, poor everything.  But I have always thought that was what all third world countries were all about, and my complaints never amounted to anything more.
 
We see Scandalous government deals.  Plundering presidents pointing fingers.  Senators associated with crooks.  Congressmen who accept bribes.  Big time lawyers on the side of injustice.  De Venecia ratting on his boss only after his  term has ended, Enrile inquiring about someone's morality!  The already filthy rich Abalos and Arroyo wanting more money than they or their great grandchildren could ever spend in a lifetime.  Joker making a joke of his own "pag bad ka, lagot ka!" slogan.. Defensor rendered defenseless. Gen. Razon involved in kidnapping.  Security men providing anything but a sense of security.  The average Juan de la Cruz could not even imagine in his dreams.  Is it any wonder why our few remaining decent and hardworking citizens are leaving to go work in other countries?
 
- the loss of the belief of others migrating and going for greener pastures does not mean giving up. Some are just caught in unavoidable circumstances and wrong choices. It's great to get facts reported and spread and not rely on mere speculations.
They say the few stupid ones like me who remain in the Philippines are no longer capable of showing disgust.  Many like me feel anger at the brazenness of men we call our leaders, embarrassment to share the same nationality with them, frustration for our nation and helplessness at my own ineffectuality. It is not that I won't make a stand. It is just that I am afraid my actions would only be futile. After all, these monsters are capable of anything. They can hurt me and my family. They already have, though I may not yet feel it..
 
-I've been mocked, laughed at and insulted by the majority serving the poor despite my abilities and qualifications but my will and advocacy is far greater than the false pride most ignorant impose on me. I'd rather die getting the respect of my own son rather than the trophies and acknowledgment of the ignorant majority sticking to the choice of being a public school teacher.I am writing this because I need to do something concrete. I need to let others know that ordinary citizens like me do not remain lukewarm to issues that would later affect me and my children. I want to make it known that there are also Filipinos who dream of something better for the Philippines . I want them to know that my country is not filled with scalawags and crooks in every corner, and that there are citizens left who believe in decency, fairness, a right to speak, a right to voice out ideas, a right to tell the people we have trusted to lead us that they have abused their power and that it is time for them to step down. I refuse to let this country go to hell because it is the only country I call mine and it is my responsibility to make sure I have done what I could for it.
 
-I would rather want my children and my students to know what is best than to declare that my country is filled with scalawags and crooks in every corner to better uplift their hope that tomorrow is a better day so don't fret on the bad things you see today.We can pray.. After all, they cannot be more powerful than God!-this we should all do every moment of everyday.
I implore mothers out there to raise your children the best way you can . I beg all fathers to spend time with their children, to teach them the virtues of hard work, honesty, fair play, sharing, dignity and compassion - right from the sandbox till they are old enough to go on their own. Not just in your homes, but at work, in school, everywhere you go. Be good role models.
-the government should have a strict law on irresponsible parent, e.g. children still playing and roaming til midnight in streets. Very young kids left with yayas and nannys and that ugly "i'm busy hardworking" parent that neglects responsibilities of parents. All Filipino parents needs re-education.  
I call on educators and teachers - . . Instill in them love of their country,, help us mold our children into honorable men and women. Encourage our graduates, our best and brightest, to do what they can to lift this country from the mire our traditional politicians have sunk us into. The youth is our future - and it would be largely because of you, our educators, that we will be able to repopulate the seats of power with good leaders, presidents, senators, congressmen, justices, lawmakers, law enforcers and lawful citizens.
-encourage all UP graduates to serve the public schools and the government offices, and better pass a law that all topnotchers of all fields be serving the most hazardous lowest paying salary job to lead the ignorant majority to better work ethics and competence to better this country.
I ask all students, young people and young professionals everywhere to look around and get involved .. . YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU! Let your voices be heard. Text meaningful messages to awaken social conscience. Try your best to fight moral decay because I promise you will not regret it when you become parents yourselves. You will look back at your past misdeeds and pray that your children will do better than you did.
 
-erase in the minds of the youth that a better future lies outside the country. Instill in the youth that the country needs the young to better the future generation to better love the Filipino and alleviate poverty and all these perennial problems.Remember that there are a few handful who are capable of running this country.. You can join their ranks and make their numbers greater. We are tired of the old trapos. We need brave idealistic leaders who will think of the greater good before anything else.  Be good lawyers, civil servants, accountants, computer techs, engineers, doctors, military men so that when you are called to serve in government, you will have credibility and a record that can speak for itself.
-
be proud of being poor but be wise that you are different from everyone else being that of a parent strictly observing moral and social norms to lead all that trapos need not exist in our society.
For love of this country, for the future of our children, , I urge you to do what you can. As ordinary citizens, we can do much more for the Philippines than sit around and let crooks lead us to perdition. We owe ourselves this. And we owe our country even more.
  -
serve the poor and the Filipino not the rich and the Chinese! 
Remedios C. Paningbatan
  Administrative Officer
Office of the General Counsel
Asian Development Bank
  Tel (632) 632-4248
 
www.adb.org <http://www.adb. org/ <http://www.adb. org/

Thank you to my friend who forwarded the letter and I hope those who have read have learned a bit of thought to ponder. The Filipino still needs the love of the Filipino. I love you!

Comments

  1. In every generation, there comes out someone who will speak for the betterment of the Filipino race.

    I hope that with this entry, the young citizens of this country, which I am saddened that aren't really much concern about what this country is heading to--will be enlightened and act on making a 'difference' for a brighter Philippines.

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