A few days ago I was reading this article about Gawad Kalinga receiving the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Development and then just a few moments ago I was reading the plight of the 2004 Medical Board Exam topnotcher who went to the States to become a nurse. That and all other recent news items present the irony of our society, about how bad or good can things become. But somehow I am believing that things can be done the question is how?
The recognition of Ramon Magsaysay Foundation to Gawad Kalinga was just proper. A few years ago I read about an Englishman who came to the Philippines and was touched by the vision of Gawad Kalinga that he gave up everything in England, came to the Philippines to help out. I believe at that time he was waiting to become a naturalized Filipino Citizen. This phenomenon is not just for Gawad Kalinga, there are many other organizations of this nature that vowed to help out this country. When the new Corps Magazine comes out, I wrote a feature about Project ISLAM who built up a Muslim Community that has changed the lives of many of our Muslim Brothers. This is just to show that a lot can be done if only we decide to do things rather than just complain. Of course, I must admit that there is pleasure in complaining but I hope it does not end there. Let us take the case of the Medical Board Topnotcher, I do not know why he decided to become a nurse abroad but I felt bad that he decided to do it. I'm not even a topnotcher of any board exam and yet I still know that I can do a lot of things to improve my life in this country. So I wonder, is the situation of the country really that bad that our best brains no longer have the confidence of landing good jobs even with their credentials?
The examples of Gawad Kalinga and the Topnotcher are extremes of a maxim. Gawad Kalinga still believing that this country will prosper despite its problems while the other has totally decided to leave this country for greener pastures. The question then is where in that maxim do we stand? Let us examine our options: the country is in a bad state, our government is plagued with various controversies, politicking here and there, public funds being malversed and integrity being questioned; then we have a people that is in the midst of poverty, cynical people who has lost hope on the good things in this country; then there is this promise of a good future abroad, the unknown world that seems to shine better than our own household. There are still other realities we just have to weigh our options and choose what to believe.
In the end how we choose will determine the fate of this country. This country will still be our country and we will always be known as Filipinos even if we prosper in other countries and be their citizens. Our skin can never deny what country we came from nor will it hide the realities that our country is facing. In the end we will always be Filipinos and our country will always be Philippines. I guess my bias is obvious. I pray that when we set out to plan our lives, we take into consideration our heritage, our being Filipinos and the roles we have as its people. Going back to my original question in the beginning... HOW? Maybe you have suggestions....