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.