Weeks ago, me and a friend had a rigorous debate about politics . Considering that  just in a few months, that small island in the Pacific is gonna have its long-awaited Presidential election and according to some, a turning point in our republic.

Somehow, along the conversation my friend accused me of being a cynic referring to my lack of belief on politicians and my absence in voting during my 20-year residence in the country; said that it is our social obligation to pass our vote and choose the bestest candidate, for he/she can reshape our beloved Philippines into something better.

if you have read my previous post regarding my country’s political status, you might understand where I’m going  with this. Politics in my country, has, is and always will be corrupt. It has been like that to a  highest degree that even a simple transaction as to taking a driver’s test requires you to pay a hefty amount. failing to do so would deny you a licence. it’s not optional either, like a tip, it’s a requirement, more like a standard in operation. A friend of mine tried to test that system  once and chose to take the regular test without paying shady personnel for it. and as expected, failed the test in all counts.

To be considerably wealthy in my country, and to do it in the shortest time, one must become a political officer. nothing boosts your general income as fast as jueteng payoffs, invisible housing funds, unfinished road repairs, and unnamed employees clocked in, to name a few. But of course, not all so called-“servants of the people” are like that, there are a few who are doing their services diligently and have Rizal’s flame in their hearts.  A few.

And how much difference can that few make? for some, like my friend there, they’d say, “enough”, enough to start a ripple of change, a ripple of hope.

Actually, that few begun  their ripples centuries back.  But 200 years later, now, how many ripples are left creating influence? have they increased ten-fold or decrease to a heartbreaking low?

like echoes from a loud cry, our voices of change have slowly faded in time.

On the 7,107 islands, how many care enough to live honestly in life’s difficulties? live in virtue without selling or bribing for a quick meal or convinience?how many leaders give their best in service without asking for anything back?or graciously turns over their position at the end of their term? still a few. We all heard the cry, the silent echos in our corridors, everybody did. We all heard the stories but somehow we are too preoccupied digging ourselves out from our own personal troubles that we forget that these problems are interconnected, that we, as a people,  are in this shit  hole together.

The hard truth is that ripples of good ideals and trumpets of patriotism doesn’t affect poor and hungry people anymore. No matter how hard we fight to change it, our efforts would always, I’ll repeat, “always”, come short ether because a.) people are too miserable to change or, b.) there will always be a majority who’d rather meet their greediness first before the common good.

To anchor your dreams on them, on our government, waiting for things and people to change would be like riding  a sinking ship with you vigorously trying to scoop the water out while the rest of the people are busy poking holes on it.

For me, the best way to survive this jungle of a country, where the weak gets eaten and the rich becomes richer, is to stop relying on others and gear up for yourself. Your mayors, your congressmen…your president care for you only until their campaign ends, only when your vote and support is needed for their poll ratings to go up. This is reality, not the make-believe world we dream of when we were toddlers in the safety of our parent’s arms.

I believe the room for change, unfortunately, has become as narrow as a needle’s eye-maybe too much for one president and a devoted few to chew on.

If being realistic and practical is being cynical, then how can you not be? how can you stay naive and live as if you are an outsider? how can you pretend to?

Reform can only start when one sees the problem.

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