The Philippines — a Perspective of a Random Foreigner I Met at the Jeepney

12:30 pm. I decided to ride a jeepney on the way to the office.

Going there, I rode a 13C jeepney. and across me was a foreigner (can’t tell if he was Caucasian, Australian or American) who I think was in his 60s discussing with the Filipino passenger beside me about the Philippines. He says, he pities the Philippines for its current state. As an example, he mentions that we have the slowest internet connection, and the most expensive one. The Filipino beside me attributed our problems to corrupt politicians in the government (as usual for the typical Pinoy), and this foreigner says NO. It’s not the corrupt politicians, but rather, he says, it’s the system itself. We, Filipinos, are being deluded that this country is a democratic one, but sadly, it isn’t. It’s a patriarchy. We’re being deluded that we’re having a democracy, that we get a say on things, but sadly we don’t. Democracy (democraaacy, as he pronounced it with the stress on the ‘cra’) is different and he elaborates a democratic system and how different it is from our current “democratic” system which he insists is a patriarchal system. He says in a true democracy, we could only elect representatives who would then elect the big leaders. Our kind of democracy doesn’t work that well because in election time, most of our votes go to the popular ones who are being paraded by the media, and endorsed by celebrities.

He says Filipinos aren’t idiots. We’re humans, and we have brains. Product of that is that we had a revolution to oust the corrupt officials, a people power revolution. The problem with that though was that we couldn’t even catch up on the aftermath. Somehow, we got lost in the shuffle after our revolutions.  He also says, our politicians proclaim that they have done this, that they have done that, and we’re so amazed by it, that we forget to ask them, “what are you going to do” supposing if they won. We attribute our hardships to things in the past, and we like to point fingers, play the blame game, which even the President plays as pointed out in the SAF 44 case, and he was even disgusted when he opted to go to the factory opening than the arrival of the SAF 44 bodies. He brings up the facts that there are a lot of scandals like the SAF, the Maguindanao massacre, yet none of them have been resolved, and we just suddenly forget them as if nothing happened. It was no wonder why the Philippines was labeled in an Australian paper as a “Gangster’s Paradise” for numerous unresolved cases. Regarding the past, we like to live in the past. Talk about how Americans colonized us and all, and it seems that we’ve never actually gotten over it. We talk as if we’ve experienced it,and we even talk how we would prefer to be colonized again which shouldn’t be the case.

He then talked to me, and the other person beside the Filipino beside me, and discussed about how faulty our patriarchal system is. Filipinos voted for this man, yet blame him at the end of it all. Filipinos aren’t taking responsibility for their actions. Our patriarchal system had us have PNoy as our President instead of Gilbert Teodoro who had plans that could’ve benefited us in the long term. Hence another problem for us, Filipinos. We keep on thinking of how to rid ourselves of the current hardships as soon as possible, that we neglect thinking of things that could benefit us in the long-term. He talked about the provincial train way in Cebu that never came into fruition which he believes was Gibo’s idea. We could have had provincial farmers deliver their fruits to the big city, and these farmers would’ve been earning much already after 10-20 years. Further, this traffic congestion we’ve been suffering would’ve eased up (even a bit) by then. He understands that bus and jeepney drivers would be losing their jobs, but there will be other jobs waiting for them. He also says the establishment of trains would help eradicate unruly drivers who most commonly are bus and jeepney drivers.

For the upcoming elections, he wants Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to win because Duterte understands how shitty the system is. Federalism is what we need. It’s about time we change the system. This system has been fooling Filipinos for years. Good luck to the Philippines if Binay wins. We’d be stumped hard once again. He says he can’t vote because of certain restrictions, but he’s trying his best to urge every Filipino he meets (like in this jeepney) to vote for Duterte, encourage them to vote wisely. He wants to help the Philippines, and the only way he’s helping is sending foreign money inside the country.

Interesting perspective, I must say. 😉

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Words for the Person Who Broke My Heart

Fuck you. Typical response for you, for making me feel pathetic, for making me feel that I just wasn’t good enough for anyone, for practically wasting all my time on you when I could have just entertained somebody else. Here’s a middle finger for being such a distraction, and for making me worry about things I shouldn’t have been worried about. Basically, you left me in a very dark place where I began to become so unsure of myself, and I hated how that felt. I hate it. A lot. I do not ever want to go back there again.

Sorry. You broke my heart. Let’s admit that, but I guess part of the reason you did that was because I broke your heart first, and that I didn’t know I had already done it. I transformed into a person that no longer made you happy. I failed to do my part of thinking about you and how you were. Perhaps, up until now, I still thought of my own hurts, my own pains and burdens to bear, and blamed you for everything when I also had my fair share of faults. Sorry if I ever did fail your expectations, and that I became too much to handle.

Thank you. Thank you for the experience, and for teaching me some of the do’s and don’ts that I should have known a long time ago. Perhaps, I became a better version of myself after all we’ve been through. Looks like I could stomach seafood and veggies after all. Thank you for indirectly telling me that it’s not about you nor is it about me, but it’s about “us”, and if “us” doesn’t work then there’s no point in letting it go on. Thank you for making me feel special even in that amount of time. Just because everything ended, doesn’t mean that the feelings we had weren’t real. They were, and I thank you for that kind of happiness you gave me that time, and I’ll be sure to look forward to the next time I’d feel that way albeit with another person and on different circumstances.

The Lost Christmas Spirit

When I was a kid, I anticipated the coming of September because it signified that the -Ber months were already here. Of course, by the -ber months, I actually meant that the Christmas season was actually starting; neighbors would start putting up their Christmas decorations on their homes, radios would start playing Christmas tunes, TV stations would start showing Christmas-themed shows, and stores would start selling Christmas merchandise like trees, series and snowflake stickers. Continue reading

People Changing because of “LOVE”

Relationships are a peculiar thing. Perhaps, what makes them most peculiar is that they are mostly founded with Love – a force that is so powerful that it causes a lot of strange things to happen sometimes for the best and other times for the worst. It is inevitable, though, that people do change because of love may it be in an official relationship or not. It’s love that binds them to change their character and eradicate who they once were.

Continue reading