Code 1.1

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Filipino Is STILL Worth Dying For

I saw this meme yesterday in Facebook and it kept me up til the sun started to shine out my window:

During one of our daily lunch conversations, my son told me that the politician pictured last above will just continue to pay up lawyers, the courts, the voters.

"He has been in power for more than 30 years for goodness sake!" Marti exclaimed. "Mom, he will just continue buying his way until he occupies the highest position in the land!"

"But until when, Marts?," I replied. "Will he have enough money to buy the ballot of every single voting Filipino? This person will eventually run out of money, after paying up everybody so he can get away with his crime!" Yeah, I truly believed that because our God is the God of Justice. My son just shrugged his shoulders.

You know what, I started to panic after that conversation. I saw in Marti's eyes and heard in his voice the indifference that afflicted our generation after Edsa 1. The same indifference which allowed the uninformed Filipino to elect a President who won by popularity as an actor but convicted later as a plunderer, put back in power the legacy of a dictator who plunged our country into poverty and oppression and, God forbid, to vote for a politician 10x worse than the two previous ones put together, as the next most powerful man in the land.

No, I have to do something about this. For my son and my future children and my future grandchildren. I will squash that indifference from the very soul of my son so no trace of it would be passed on to his children and to his children's children!

First of all, I want my son to  believe that Filipinos are not stupid, they are not just well informed. If you live in the far regions of the peninsula, have basic education of reading and writing and with limited sources of information, is it still your fault that you voted for a politician whose face appears on the public transportation he provided to your poor barangay? This politician donated so he must be pro-poor and therefore an honorable person! Meanwhile in the capital, the same politician is being tried for graft and corruption! 

Second, I want the uninformed Filipino to know there really is hope for our country. That we have the power to choose abundance over poverty. That the power to be free from oppression is in our hands and not on the government and certainly not on a greedy politician who thinks he can buy your vote with a second hand public transportation, a refuse from Makati City's coffers, transformed into a so-called donation plastered with his face. That was his agenda 4 years ago when he started "donating" the disposed office furniture, public vehicles and office computers with stickers of his face on them to the far provinces. Yes, he started his presidential campaign many years ago, using our city's money and resources. I ought to know: I was born, bred and still live in Makati with almost half of my clan working for the city government. Is this the person you want as President?

Third, That not all genuinely rich people are evil, otherwise they would not be rich as Russell Conwell said in his Acres of Diamonds:

We ought to get rich if we can by honorable and Christian methods, and these are the only methods that sweep us quickly toward the goal of riches.

I refuse to say that politician's name here not out of fear but because I refuse to give more power to him and his family. I believe the use of names has power in itself--- think of Voldemort and Sauron--- and I refuse to use that to embed more of that awful name into the consciousness of the Filipino, especially the uninformed Filipino.  That is why what I want to feed my people are the stories of real heroes: the genuinely rich like the Zobel de Ayalas and Manny Pangilinan, empowered women like Cory Aquino and Miriam Defensor-Santiago, stories of OFWs, of single parents, of struggling farmers, of Illness survivors. Stories that would enlighten each and every Filipino. Stories that give hope, that there is goodness in man, that an honest man with money and power is what we should all aspire to be. More importantly, stories that does not require books or a uniform to learn from.

And here is where I want to challenge the most influential person in our generation: Mr. Mark Zuckerberg.

To Mr. Zuckerberg:
I've been hearing from our elders that education is the greatest inheritance a parent could give to his child because it can never be taken away from him and will last him a lifetime. For some it might be, but in our country even education is something that the politicians use against us--- either by withholding it or corrupting it. So no, the greatest inheritance I will give to my son is hope. Because hope is something that even the most cunning politician cannot buy or take away from us.

So I'm asking you to join this movement I'm starting: #1Philippines

No, its not to make the Philippines the number 1 country in the world but to make the Filipinos unite as one--- One Philippines. I challenge you, Mr. Zuckerberg to help reach the goal of #1Philippines: for every Filipino of a voting age to have Internet access and a Facebook account. 

I am aware of your endeavors through but even that is only available in our country through an exclusive service provider. An endeavor which is noble but hindered by capitalism and, as usual, corrupt politics. No, my challenge for you Mr. Zuckerberg, is to help provide free basic internet access to indigent and uneducated Filipinos and introduce them to the power of social media. The corrupt lawmakers can use all their power to continue suppressing educational reforms, banking on the chance that Filipinos would remain ignorant and poor and therefore would sell anything from his ballot to his dignity. But If you provide this, the dirty politicians here will no longer have the power to continue oppressing our countrymen by their greedy schemes! 

If you help us accomplish #1Philippines, I vow to dedicate the rest of my life going to each and every remote barangay, empower my countrymen through unbiased information and help them regain their pride as a Filipino. This way there will never be an uninformed Filipino but a country knowing it's own, watching out for it's own, loving it's own. Just like a mother does to her own. 

Make the Philippines a political guinea pig for your social media platform and show the world that one country was transformed by the power of Facebook!

Mr. Zuckerberg, you have the billions, I don't. But that's not stopping me from dreaming this big.  One Filipino dreamt this big a long time ago and his death brought an end to 20 years of tyranny in our country. Like him, I'm willing to die for this dream.  Because like Ninoy Aquino, I believe until the day I leave this world that the Filipino is STILL worth dying for. Because that's how much I love my country.
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