They Need Someone, A Leader – by rudyb

to : jun a./atty. benji

before i proceed to compose and write this reply i have some lingering thoughts in my mind if i had to necessarily respond to your write ups as a rejoinder to my observation on the Future of Bulan. but i had to continue anyway as i felt you might have misinterpreted me or did not get my point on my opinion of today’s youth. i have no doubt that the future indeed lies upon the youth of today. you’re right in saying that they are the tangible present entity that connects us in the future. that’s why, every time i open this site i can’t help myself pause for a while and focus on the picture, scrutinize and analyze the faces of the children. first, i am very eager that i might be able to recognize thru their faces, looking for the smallest semblance that i would be able to recognize and guess who their respective parents are – hoping they are the siblings of one my friends or a relative. second, looking at their faces i do recall my early childhood years in our town. flashbacks rushes in my brain – my grade school era, remembering my teachers’ (mrs. del monte, mrs. golpeo, ms. gloriane, mrs. francisco, mr. gojar, mr. zuniga, mr. otilano, etc.) supreme sacrifice in molding our personality. my parents greatest love and guidance (i love you and terribly misses you so much wherever you are…) third, would contemplate what is the future of these children? do we have an emerging leader amongst them? would they succeed given their current environment? what values do they learn? from whom? carefully studying their faces i’m particularly engrossed by the girl in between the one with notebook and with the handkerchief. her face, in my opinion, is so strong, determined and focused. it seems she is challenged by the event (photo session) that someday she’ll be successful and triumphant beating all odds against her. and i agree with her if she will just be guided accordingly and appropriately. but do we have the right leaders today to make it happen?

going back to the PMA training camp, i will completely disagree with you that this is comparable with the Gulag type youth training camp. first, the institution is not totally isolated from the outside world, they are in constant contact with the corrupt military higher ups. second, their instructors are somewhat corrupt already and they’ll just pass on the legacy. third, the trainee/cadets themselves are the very example that i have mentioned – the aspiring police applicant (though some of them may be idealist). so what would you expect? let’s forget this thing, this is not an appropriate proposition.

youth of yesteryears, of the past, of the colonial era is totally very different from today’s youth – because they  have the passion, a cause that they are fighting worthy of dying for, so in their veins runs the blood of heroism, the valor, bravery, intrepidness and fearlessness – all the adjectives that would fit and describe their love for our country. Dr. JP Rizal if he is still alive today surely would be very disappointed and a very frustrated person as he expected too much from the youth to be the hope of the fatherland and the movers of the nation – but he is partly to be blamed (pardon me for the word) for the result of his failed idealist aspiration. no matter how genius he is, he lacks the foresight and planning, he fell short of anticipating and preparing for the third, fourth till the execution of the mating move. but we can not blame him totally, he’s no Nostradamus. however, if he had not concentrated on his bla-bla alone and had he just laid down the groundwork and the solid foundation for a well trained, informed, attentive, concerned and responsive youth – presumably there will be less youths that are delinquent, addicted to drugs, joining violent and criminal gangs, suffering from unwanted pregnancies and abortion, or giving up to smoking, drinking, gambling and other vices and in conflict with the law, uncared for, school dropouts, etc…. today.

the consequences of his failure continued to reverberate up to Pres. M. Quezon with his “I would rather see my county run like hell by the Filipinos”, so the hell is with us today – we are the one suffering, again for lack of foresight and planning. i would say that there was a revival of patriotism during our generation – the Martial Law era, i can still recall, this is my third and fourth high school years before the ML was declared, the happy go lucky and who cares attitude of the youth during that time. we’re not fully aware that the left is already slowly creeping up and preparing for a mass recruitment and resistance right in the heart of our very own town. i can still remember when our barkadas were invited by classmates Ka Pepe and the other guy i already forgot his name, for a mountain hiking/trekking in San Ramon (they’re from that place). they showed us the highest and a very strategic point where you can see the dam and all the vehicles going in and out of Bulan leading to the divided hill with a curved road. with a binocular you can identify a civilian from military vehicle. not knowing that these places would be the site of the most bloodiest encounters and ambushcades during the ML days. after the trekking, drinking spree followed and introduction to the leftist propaganda. so many of my 4th year classmates (almost half) joined and almost all of them perished. with today’s rice crisis, again it reminds me of the same crisis during those years, while we are waiting for the rice delivery trucks someone has shouted “yaadi na” and off we ran to the old municipal building to queue up only to find out it was not rice but truckloads of stacked lifeless NPA bodies and there lies one of my classmates – Norma Fruto with a gaping wound in her back. there are lucky “returnees” like Jun del Monte (my childhood playmate), Francis Burgos (a friend) who later became a doctor and others and those who continued, the most prominent of which is the lady from Iraya (forgot her name) who rose from the ranks to became the 3rd most powerful and only woman Politburo member of the CPP. she was later captured somewhere in CAMANAVA area (i think in Malabon). these youths has something in common with the revolutionary youths which is the belief that there’s something worthy fighting and dying for – maybe the love for the country. but today’s youth there’s none, and are only exposed to anomalies, corruption, bribery, dishonesty and so forth.

to go on, the blunder was later on solidified by the Aquino administration, she totally missed all the opportunities to start up with a clean slate governance. maybe not her but again her relatives did it all just like what Marcos did. with Baby Lopa and Mokong or Komong Rodriguez i should say and “baba” Cojuangco around, they plundered the wealth of the country. to top it all they messed up the economy and mismanaged the energy sector that plunged the country into one of our darkest times. so we can not blame Greg and his cohorts (most of whom are bicolanos) if they have launched several coup attempts. but what about if Greg has succeeded in his cause to overthrow her? i would like to believe that probably we would be more stable and progressive as i believe he would implement reforms as a namesake of his group – RAM. correspondingly Estrada did it and Arroyo did it also. that’s why we are all here in this pit right now.

so where do the youth’s role fits in – again same as you guys, i also believe they are our future but they need someone, a leader or a group of leaders who can and will guide them through, help them out and reinforce them with the good moral values, the right attitudes etc., challenge and motivate them to be the good leaders that we idealized them to become someday. the leaders must have the foresight, good planning skills and has to be worthy and respectable role model.

but we are different, so we will fly like the king eagle do.

so i’m through with this and will be just happy to read your respective responses if there will be and i’m sure there will be. habo na ako masurat pa, mapagalon mag-isip saka magsurat baga lalo na kun makurolog na an daliri (sorry forgot the bicol word). no more response from me.

so until then God bless and regards.

The Fight For Progress

To attybenji,

I like your fondness in going backward in time to ground your arguments to the themes that occupy us today as you draw lessons from history and pieces from written literaure. It’s very educational for all of us. We do hope we are reaching more and more tagaBulans-young and old- as we walk with them side by side in their fight for Progress. Again, a fight for progress because this helps us focus on the central themes in Bulan with a positive state of mind, as oppose to the fight for corruption which focuses more on “dirty” politics and  politicians and which is a fight that leads us to self-defeat and resignation for we seek the faults more in the ” powerful ” corrupt governmnent officials (“against whom we are helpless anyway…” so our  thinking) and corrupt political system that ever since made us believe we are chickens ( by repressing the proud eagle in us). The Fight For Progress brings us back to the ideals of Rizal and reactivates the forgotten proud and noble eagle in us  and “BREAK FREE FROM THE SHACKLES THAT BOUND THEIR HEARTS AND MINDS SO THAT THEY MAY SOAR TO THE HEAVENS AND ATTAIN THEIR ASPIRATIONS” according to Rizal as he addressed the Filipino Youth. ” Soar to the heavens…” it means no other but the eagle in us.

The fight for progress doesn’t count out the fight against graft and corruption, it is a part of it but we avoid as much as possible using this terminlogy  for reasons cited above and in other writings. We will continue with our objective as stated in About Bulan Observer. I believe however that the word progress must be given more attention today because it  develops and maximizes our remaining personal resources (self-reliance). In short it is built upon our strength, not on our weakness, and makes bigger our chance of winning. This reminds me of the small group of warriors – the Greek Spartans under King Leonidas who had achieved the seemimgly impossible task relative to their being small in number. I think it was that they focused on their strength that they were able to reach their objective. Otherwise they would had ended up as chickens had they gone to the front with the fear of losing.

We don’t want to send our young tagaBulans to the front with the fear of losing but with a big  prospect of winning. And take note that no sporadic government feeding program can ever  strengthen our young tagaBulans. What they need is positive motivation so that they will never give up  their fight for progress and would value again the meaning of labor.They become indolent when they are alienated from their own selves, from their inner eagles and when there is no greater frame that holds them together. With this frame I mean a strong society with which they can identify themselves- again, like a son to his father. This is the main damage that is overlooked when we talk about the havoc of corruption, i.e. that corrupt older generation practically kills their young ones by leaving them a broken society that cannot hold them together. Here the young ones cannot win but only lose. It’s not primarily the lost kaban ng bayan stolen by the adults that renders the youth hopeless and lifeless but it is the archetypal hero that is stolen from them that brings the greatest damage to the youth. A young one, no matters how it claims to already know everything, is still inwardly dependent to its parents. A sensitive mother and father know this and continue with their genuine, selfless love and acceptance for their young inspite of the hardships. It is therefore a crime against the youth for a politician to call on his or her  young constituents as “mga padaba ko” after degrading the town with bad practices.

In my article The New Filipino I attempted to sketch my ideas of social change. There I must have made some flaws in arguments. But my main idea there  is the bottom-up approach in bringing about a qualitative change in our society which begins with the individual, the family, the barangay,the municipal till the national level. As you can see, there are no shortcuts to this method.That’s why I have given up thinking about the national politics but started focusing on the place where we come from. Here we can only win if we begin to motivate our fellow tagaBulans. There are many practical problems that we cannot solve in Bulan like poverty, brain-drain. etc. But I truly believe that we are on the right track and all our efforts would someday bear its first fruits-the coming of proud and motivated young tagaBulans who would love to work together for a progressive town. A progressive town in turn holds its children together and keep them in place. Young people would no longer hate their town and leave  but would love to stay there. Bulan has since long been losing great brains that would have been avoided had the town been progressive before. But lost ist lost. The task now is to prevent this from happening again. This is the challenge to the young leaders of Bulan who would someday be town officials themselves.

This requires only a little bit more time and patience. Shortcuts like the Gulag-camps, PMA’s, murdering all corrupt officials, etc. in fighting corruption and producing a better society will never function. It happened in some societies even in our time but extreme methods will only produce extreme results, extreme results again producing extreme methods till the point that you  will be the victim yourself of the method you initiated. That’s not our fight for progress. We don’t want to be victims ourselves.

Someone  would accuse us now of oral-diarrheria, which means that it’s nothing but bla-bla. Here he  is missing the point. Rizal himself was a fine medical doctor. But it was his “bla-bla” (his writings) that moved the whole nation in his time. Until today we are still being moved by him, a long time already since he had given up his medical practice! Excuse me Dr. Jose Rizal for talking like this. For me you are still the master eagle and it was your pen, not your science of the eye, that has opened my eyes and made me see the illness of our society and the eagle that’s within me.

Thanks once again for your wrtings mr. attybenji and mr. rudyb. To attybenji, I have opened up a column for both of you to write your articles that are aligned with the objectives of Bulan Observer. I’m looking forward for more contributions to come from many tagaBulans for Bulan Observer  actually belongs to them.

jun asuncion

Bulan Observer