Writing about the Philippines these days has the danger of you being called pretentious, a hypocrite, nagmamagaling, hindi naka move on (as in falling out of love?) just to name a few. It is easy to brush these off, but it hurts. It hurts because I care.
Anyway, I don’t want to be silent, I don’t want to keep silent. Even if it seems like I am a small voice in the wilderness. And in doing so I am able to convince one soul, even just one soul, then I can confidently face my God and say, “I did what I had to do.”
I am with everybody and anybody who wants a peaceful and progressive Philippines. I am with you who want a drug-free, crime-free, corruption-free Philippines. I am with you who support a leadership with an iron fist, a leadership with a political will to clean up the mess that the previous administrations left. I am with you who look up to a very promising leader who can finally get the Philippines in its best form.
I was already looking forward to going back to the Philippines for good. I have imagined myself enjoying the best economic climate in a country where I can safely and confidently place investments coming from our hard-earned money from abroad. I was looking forward to the best retirement years because by then the money I have invested would have worked for me until my ripe age.
But now, I am in doubt. In serious doubt. I have never considered that the relentless killings and the bloodshed currently happening in the Philippines will figure into the equation.
How do we reconcile our prayerful self with the same self who, supports this bloody campaign against illegal drugs? How can we claim to be following the very God who preached and is still preaching the sanctity of life as it is His gift to man? Where is the sincerity in our profession of faith and belief that God, as The Giver of Life, is The Only One who has the authority to take it back? How can we stare God in eyes and still say that trampling upon the dignity of a woman, or the dignity of a human being for that matter, is ok? How can we even feel worthy of the blessings that we continuously claim in His name?
We intercede in prayer for all those whose voices are drowned in what’s happening in Syria (especially Omran, that little boy from Aleppo), in the Westbank, in Yemen, the refugee crisis in Europe. And PLEASE, let us also pray for our country the Philippines. If we perceive the present dispensation is what the country needs, the more it becomes necessary to pray for our leaders. We don’t want our president to become another Caligula. Well, the comparison is something extreme, but some similarities are there. Like gaining loyalty from the praetorian guards. Like asking somebody to commit suicide.
You love the Philippines, our present leaders love the Philippines, the past administrations claimed they, too, love the Philippines. Their ways of demonstrating that love greatly differ. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE THE PHILIPPINES TOO!
Now this brings me to look back into the not so distant past, and this question : how was the country before May 2016? No man’s land? Rape here and there? Murder here and there? Corruption here and there? Maybe yes, and more. Widespread poverty. Dysfunctional families. Economic disarray.
The list is long. But I still believe that killing is not THE solution. You ask me what? I don’t know, but we can put ourselves in the shoes of our leaders and ask each other : what can we do differently?
If you want to take on this challenge, tell me, because like you, I, too, love the Philippines!