One year on – where are we heading?

PHILIPPINES-DUTERTE/DOA

I grabbed this picture from Reuters online, from the item entitled “Dead on Arrival Philippine Police use hospitals to hide drug war killings” published just today, 29th June 2017 ( http://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/philippines-duterta-doa/ ).  

I have actually decided to discipline myself and stop making comments on what is happening in the Philippines. I was told once to stay out of any of the discussions because I was told I am out of the country anyway.  I took it as telling me what’s happening in my country is none of my business. I remembered I rolled my eyes and told myself in disbelief, “Really?” I still make short comments online some of the times, but mostly, I don’t watch, I don’t read. But I am sad, very sad. And I hope I am wrong, just wrong in what I see, how I see things and how I interpret what’s happening.

I used to be very interested in my country’s current events, sift through what I believe are plain blah blah and those that I believe are credible. I love the saying that goes “you cannot love something that which you do not know.” Or “you cannot give something that which you do not have.” Of course I still love my country and I’m proud to be a Filipino but nowadays I find more toxic information, more depressing stories, more deplorable behavior blatantly displayed by the very people I am supposed to look up to.

Back then, I have followed people online, some fellow Filipinos, some prominent foreign personalities, local and foreign NGOs, foreign governments, foreign media organizations. Why? In an effort to validate how I see what’s going on in my country and how I shape my opinions. But now I scroll fast without reading. 

If there is one dislike I have for social media, it is the opportunity to be able to look more deeply into a person’s real self.  It’s like, “I like what I know and I don’t need to know more.”

Anyway, back to the picture and the story behind it.  Much as I would like to shrug off all morbid stories about the Philippines, something like this still hits me to the core. For me it’s giving another piece to the huge puzzle that has been created since Pres. Duterte took office. I sincerely hope Reuters is one good source of “fake news” but what the heck, we know Reuters. 

I know I will see more incoherent and illogical reactions to that Reuters piece from all sides and again I will ask myself, “what has happened?” “What has become of us?” What has become of the country I so love? Where have our values gone? These are the same questions I have asked myself again and again and again. And the answers are becoming increasingly elusive.

Into the second year of the president’s term, I hope to see some lights, also a rainbow if this is not asking for too much.  Please, we want change and let us all start within ourselves. You know a collective change will change the country as well.

If there is a best time to pray for our country, it is now.

 

Simply put, I want to tell stories. I want to show you pictures from places I've been to. I want to show you the world from the eyes of a daughter, a sister, a friend, a wife, a mother, a grandmother. From the eyes of a neighbor, a colleague, an OFW.

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