As a nation we do not do enough to recognize all the people who make ours a better place. Here is a list of those we owe a debt of gratitude. Without them we would not be the country we are.
Thank you, Kris, for paying P50 million in taxes in 2011 (At a top rate of 32%, this puts her gross income at over P156 million) and P32 million the previous year. You are the single most important reason for our investment upgrade. Your taxes help fund our national priorities like schools for the kids, healthcare for the poor and pork barrel for our struggling Congressmen. There are those –mainly, I suspect, menopausal women with excessive time and envy on their hands- who predicted you would abuse your position once your brother was in office. What do they have to say now? As for your supposed diva-ish behavior I say for P50 million you can do whatever you want -emote on national TV or even run for Vice-President in 2016 if that is what rocks you.
Thank you, Facebookers, tweeters and bloggers for holding our public officials accountable with your vigilance and courage at the risk of libel and imprisonment. Thank you for doing what traditional media is supposed to be doing but is not.
Thank you, Pulse Asia and SWS, for telling it the way it is or, as claimed, being paid to tell it the way it is.
Thank you, COMELEC, for restricting the airtime candidates have to lie to us.
Thank you, human rights activists and independent journalists, for putting truth, dignity and democracy ahead of yourselves.
Thank you, Mr. Vice-President, for heading the Philippine exhibit of pre-colonial art in Paris. Considering the Senatorial elections are just around the corner and your team’s standing, it was nice of you to take time to represent our country in this important cultural event. Paris is really nice in the spring.
Thank you Sirs Binay, JPE and Erap for selecting the UNA team that you did.
Thank you, Manny Pacquiao, for paying P 6.1 million in taxes last year when you grossed, what, over a billion? After two losses, a P400 million house in Forbes and a net worth reportedly down to $85 million; you must be hurting. We hope the BIR understands.
Thank you, Manny Pacquiao, for being seven-time world champion -or is it now six? It is time to sit down with Bob Arum and Kim Henares about your future.
Thank you, Azkals, for proving that a team of half Filipinos can play half a decent game half of the time. The trick now is to figure out the other half.
Thank you, CBCP, for continuing to remind us why Catholics are leaving the Church in droves.
Thank you, China, for your patience and understanding on the Spratleys and for not simply nuking us.
Thank you, politicians, for encouraging your relatives to run for office. This makes it easier to know who not to vote for.
Thank you, Ma’am Ombudsman Carpio Morales, for bringing to justice all those who have been ripping us off for years.
Thank you, Chief Justice Corona, for telling us how many dollars you had in the bank.
Thank you, Associate Justice Tony Carpio, for putting the nation and the Supreme Court ahead of yourself. You may have been by-passed but are not forgotten.
On behalf of the 1% who own 99% of this country thank you, Finance Secretary Purisima, for the investment grade. After Kris you are who most made it possible.
Thank you, car smugglers, for flooding the market with fancy cars the middle class can now afford.
Thank you, foreign executives, for paying more in Philippine income taxes than our local billionaire businessmen.
Thank you, local billionaire businessmen, for suffering in silence after being omitted from the list of 500 top taxpayers.
Thank you, CEOs of PLDT, Manila Water, Meralco and other monopolies and near monopolies, for your tax checks. Hopefully this does not translate to higher utility bills for us.
Thank you, Liz Uy, Grace Lee, Len Lopez and other unheralded 20-somethings; for giving of yourselves to our President. Just know that what you do for our leader you do for the motherland.
Thank you, Mr. President, for running this country with honesty and humility and for not smoking in public. You have shown the world the nation we can be.
Thank you, Filipinos, for being one of the happiest people. Vote well in 2013 and even better in 2016.
(This piece was written on a bumpy, jetlagged, trans-continental flight. I apologize if I have omitted anybody else deserving of recognition.)