St. Francis of Assisi taught humankind to view the world as a home with so many things left undone. Take a look at our country; there are indeed a lot of things that needs to be done here, a lot of change that needs to be effected, needless to say with the rotten political world as number one on the list, to achieve the nation, a home, everyone dreams of. It is up to men to make their choice what to do next given that fact – to act and make a difference or simply do nothing and act blind. Those who want to do something (to change what needs to be changed or to challenge the status quo for the greater good) are then faced with the dilemma, questioning their capability of effecting the change they wanted.”What can a nobody do to change one country or the leaders of a country at least?” one youth might be asking himself/herself this very question right now. I am as well.

Changing the whole country sounds foolish to other people. Even the collective effort of millions of Filipinos gathered together failed in changing the rotten political culture twice. But the fight for political change does not end there; it will always continue. What is the part of a mere teenager and student in this grand scheme? Maybe I could join those who are calling for the truth behind the NBN deal. I can certainly join with any inter-faith rally to call for the punishment of the thieves in white barong inside the government. I can join those calling for government officials to moderate their greed and the alleviation of poverty. If my mind serves me right, I was asked with the same question when I was still in second year high school, and the convictions of a young Filipino that I took back then haven’t left the mind of a more mature youth that I am now. My answer is simple. If I want to see the change I want in our leaders, I should do so first in my own self. After all, it is plainly idiotic to tell or force someone to moderate their greed when I myself can’t moderate mine. It is foolish to cry for the alleviation of poverty when I own more than one cellular phone and is wasting money on unnecessary luxuries given that I know many others are starving, living with fifty pesos a day – not even half of my daily allowance. I am stupid if I call for the President to speak the truth when I can’t even admit my own mistakes and speak the truth behind my petty lies. How can I whine of the large-scale corruption and ask for the ouster of the government’s “buwayas” when I can’t even prevent or advise those I know who consent those corrupt government officials and are giving “lagay/padulas” just to avoid the long and tedious process of getting the needed public documents? How can I ask someone to value integrity and national responsibility, when I am half-hearted with regards to these values? If I really wanted to see those in the government to be responsible citizens and leaders, then I have to be a responsible citizen, myself, first.

What comes next after changing my self? There is no assurance that today’s efforts to bring social change will succeed, but there is nothing that I’ll lose if I become vigilant of the current events and be an informed citizen. Moreover, I sincerely believe that anything as grandiose as changing a nation starts in its smallest unit, the individual. Time will come our generation will take on the reins of our country as future leaders. Time will come when I can further my capability to change the lives of many or some people and do those many beautiful things left undone for this country as someone who value integrity and national responsibility. I maybe just one of several million Filipinos but still that is one responsible citizen off the statistics (of irresponsible ones).

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I could consider myself a regular visitor of SWS website. I love putting their press releases in my blog and, of course, commenting on the results of the surveys. I’m doing this because I want other people to be correctly informed and not have their minds supplied by knowledge by some newspapers that are clearly exaggerating and “dressing” the results of the survey to something they deem much profitable. I got tired of reading news articles about SWS surveys which are exaggerated and so it was really a break of the monotony to hear the results of the surveys from SWS people, themselves.
During the lecture, the first thing that caught my interest are the surveys about the economic well-being of the country, specifically that of the self-rated poverty which fell during the term of Arroyo (similar to the trend line set by NSCB) while hunger increased, thus it can be implied that the economic developments in the past year did not trickle down to the poor. It is also understandable why 39% of the families with OFW member to consider themselves better off before considering the depreciation of dollar.
Browsing the handout further, I was surprised to see Erap getting an 18% share in the pie which represents the percentage of Filipinos who are letting/not letting past/present President have another term. “18% of the populace (possibly) are having historical amnesia this fast,” I thought that time I saw the slide. I really can’t believe that 18% have forgotten what the polygamous drunkard did during his term. His slogan would read “Erap para sa mahirap.” But it turned out to be just another scene in the film he was making, to cover what was really happening behind the camera. I pity those people; they are still overwhelmed by the image of their Erap which is far from reality (based on the judgment made by the Supreme Court with due process). And Erap who is now a free citizen and is “fighting against corruption” (according to him), is ready to replace Arroyo in case of her resignation (also according to his statement last February 23); I’m really wondering what will happen to this poor country of ours.
Going back to the topic, though it is important to inform the people of the prevailing “social weather” in our country, it is equally important to also inform them of the limitations of the survey methods used – e.g. the margin of error in survey results that Prof. Monsod has been stressing. Even so, it’s really bliss to know that an organization like SWS is operating not for profit but to make people informed of the issues in our country. I must say this (referring to the act) is nationalistic.
The years of hard work and lives spent for the realization of a nation everyone dreamed of are (partially) wasted with the cyclical turn of time and history. Indeed, our nation needs to be rebuilt and Dr. Nemenzo gave some ways he deem useful in attaining this goal in his lecture last Friday.
An old man with a cane, Dr. Nemenzo started his lecture with a roll of current problems of our country; almost all of them are from the rotten political world. A rotten politics, with rotten politicians and a nation who would sell their votes for even P20 and/or would get overwhelmed by the popularity of artists, this is why even the most incapable polygamous, drunkard human got elected as president of this country. The only solution here, according to Dr. Nemenzo, is to educate the nation, in political/social science. He’s not talking of educating all the Filipinos with the mind-boggling theories but of the issues that are important in making their decision for the future of their very nation. But how can this be achieved when for so many years, the budget for education is so small and is even getting smaller, lesser each year that passes? The solution, according to Dr. Nemenzo, is the media. Media has gained a lot of power in our society, that it can change the course of history – like in the recent turn of events in the ZTE NBN scandal. But the problem with media is that they operate for profit. Capitalism can divert media from attaining the said goal, so Dr. Nemenzo suggested that the media should be subsidized by the government, plus the government has no influence over what material the media will show to the public, especially those concerning political issues.
But giving a second thought on those people who would be willing to sell their votes for a 20-peso bill, these people would rather worry about what to eat, than give time thinking about the welfare of our country. And sad to say, these people comprises about 10-15% of the population. Dr. Nemenzo said, “feed them first.” Although everyone laughed at this line (one of the many intelligent jokes Dr. Nemenzo shared during his lecture), everyone understood the importance of such line.
He also talked about a major role of political awareness in the military in changing the nation. And he impliedly stressed the role of youth in this whole grand scheme of rebuilding our nation. We should have at least a sense of responsibility as a citizen of this nation. With this alone we can do many things to contribute to the reconstruction of this nation. Involvement is what’s needed. Democracy is something that people aspire. There was never real democracy in reality but we can always work towards it.

If you’re a Filipino, right now, you might/must have an idea who this polygamous drunkard is? Or you have forgotten his crimes as well, like those who asked him to join the fight against corruption in our government? More stupid Filipinos lining up among the millions!

Last Sunday I was reading the broadsheet, The Philippine Star, when I came across an article bearing the title “Erap ready to join groups vs corruption.” The first paragraph reads: Pardoned former President Joseph Estrada said yesterday that business organizations, civil society and other groups that allegedly conspired to oust him in 2001 are “now realizing their mistakes.” LOL to his one. Estrada even described the activists who were now advocating the ouster of PGMA as the people “who demonized him.” More LOLs for this. I really can’t imagine we had a President like him. He who can’t even realize his mistakes. He who took away millions of dollars from poor Juan dela Cruz’s (Filipinos’) pocket is now calling the very same people he stole lots of money from as the ones who “demonized” him. He is the 10th most corrupt leader in the world, in line with Suharto and Marcos. Now who is the real DEMON?! God, why do people like him exist? He’s so stupid. But, what can I expect from a drunkard and polygamous former president who drinks ’til his limit every night and is asleep during the day that he couldn’t even attend cabinet meetings, plus a womanizer who collected 5 mistresses (and had sons with them) in two years! wooo! He’s undeniably a great idiot.

Sinuka na nga dati ng bayan, pilit pa ring isisnisiksik ang sarili sa mga taong nagpaalis sa kanya.
unfortunately, those people are having political amnesia.

For my fellow citizens of this country with rotten politics, please be more critical. Don’t get your emotions go above your rational thinking. History will  not repeat itself if we don’t allow it. Don’t let that idiotic human fool us again.

I think the government prefer importing rather than exporting is because we can’t produce that much. besides some of our products are not as competitive as those from the other countries. In business, there’s no point in competing with prices alone.

Plus the asset of our country in manpower, that’s why we can consider dollar earning Pinoys as imports, that includes call center agents.

What happens in Japan is that there currency is going down and while the cost of living is going up, the salaries are too, and they don’t have to worry on things like low purchasing power ‘coz they could produce what they need internally, they don’t have to rely largely on imports. But this is not the case in our country, coz we are dependent on imports, I guess. and so the government has to work on increasing the purchasing power of our currency. magulo ba?

But the government doesn’t see the local exporters with a blind eye, even if the weakening of the dollar [due to the subprime crisis in the US], is out of their control, they are still working on reducing the rate of appreciation so it won’t be really that detrimental to the exporters and give them enough (?) time to adjust and be ready to face a heightened competition in the international market. But the years of attractive export prices have served its purpose and became a bridge for the local exporters to position themselves in the said market, IOW, may mga koneksyon na at goodwill sa mga dayuhan. kaya somehow, they can still survive, even after the drastic appreciation of peso.

When asked about the relationship of the weakening dollar and oil price:
The weakening of the US dollar actually helps in holding the oil prices up to some degree. Oil products are imports, so the local oil companies pay them with dollars. With the appreciation of peso, meaning the value of peso going up, thus increase in purchasing power of our currency. The problem with oil prices and why it is not affected by the appreciation of peso is because of the supply of oil from other countries, and the political conflicts present in oil producing countries. Moreover, oil markets are like stock market, the prices are decided based on speculations. If the suppliers think that their will be a shortage on oil supply then they would price the per barrel of oil higher. Or if the buyers and sellers think that there would be another political unrest in the country that they are extracting oil from that will surely affect the extraction and their operations in the said country then they would likewise price their oil higher. I’ve read several articles regarding how local oil companies cope up with the problem and read nothing about any problem with the Philippines that affects the price of oil.