Let’s Stop Dumping On Ourselves

We really as a nation need to stop dumping on ourselves.

Alright, so we did mess up the hostage situation. That was not pretty, not in front of CNN, not in front of the world.

So our police was inept and unequipped. So the better team was not brought in allegedly because there was too much open space, they would have been spotted by the hostage taker. The theory is, presumably, you only bring in you’re A -Team when nobody is looking. Pretty limited theory, if you ask me. I surmise some officials just wanted to demonstrate how they excel at failure.

So the crowd of onlookers was left to gawk like some spectator sport, cheering on the good guys or maybe even the bad one. One bystander got shot as a result.

So media was all over the place, like a bunch of puppies let loose to play. But you know what, that is what media does…. unless told otherwise. Freedom of something, I believe, is what it is called.

So Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang called President Aquino to express his concern – or did he? Nobody is certain. Ricky Carandang, Communications Development Secretary, said one thing but Sonny Colona, Presidential Communications & Operations Head, said another. With such weighty titles one would assume they would know. Obviously one head of the three-headed hydra is not talking to the other. Maybe their titles are getting in their way.

Then there is Venus Raj, the country’s best chance at a Miss Universe in so long. Can you imagine Manny Pacquiao as the world’s best boxer and Raj as the most beautiful, all in one year. The nation would have been proud.

Unfortunately she flubbed the answer. What she meant to say was that she comes from a loving and caring family that would cover for any mistakes in life.  But she did not.

If, instead, she had simply admitted she hails from really poor  circumstances where survival and not the nuances of life is her singular preoccupation, that she was not at ease in English but anyway, she would have scored the crown. But she did not because her handlers so befuddled her with scripted answers.

No matter, Venus Raj, you are still our gal. So, people, please stop replaying her scene on YouTube. It is no longer funny.

Similarly, President Noy, no matter, you are still our man.

Filipinos, let us stop dumping on ourselves. It is bad enough that the rest of the world is.

For as a nation we will make mistakes (the latest one being the draping of a Philippine flag over Mendoza’s coffin). We just have to own upto them, make good where we can, all of which the President fortunately has; stop them (please) and move on.

But I mean really move on.

Not just write an apology letter and a check and slip back, but stand up and go forward.

If there is a criticism of this Government is that it believes business as usual, as long as honest, is good enough. “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap” was the campaign slogan and that, according to Malacanang, should do the trick.

But it will not. Integrity is a necessary but not sufficient condition for progress. The hostage situation was evidence of this. Despite the Government’s best intentions, it did not succeed because while the spirit was willing, the flesh was not.

A wish, however well intentioned, unfollowed by a deed ends up being, well, just a wish.

As a nation we need a sense of urgency, a surge of energy, an acknowledgment that a step at a time is inadequate response to a world moving two steps at a time.

We need, Mr. President, to step up the pace, to double time.

We need a vision of where this nation should be in 2016 and the path to get there.

I understand that is not your way, that slow and safe is good, that making the nation feel content in the warmth of your humility and goodness is enough reassurance and substantial compliance with your mandate.

Maybe so, maybe so.

But possibly maybe not, maybe not.


About Leo Alejandrino

The blog is principally a commentary on Philippine politics and economics.
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2 Responses to Let’s Stop Dumping On Ourselves

  1. Elizabeth C Punsalan says:

    You’re acknowledgment of government inadequacies and challenge to move on is well said.

  2. Nono says:

    Nothing worse than bigotry than reverse bigotry that views one’s own people as worse than others simply because they are who we are not.

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