Tiny-Titanic Thoughts

Thoughts have consequences, either small or big

Only Kindness Matters October 26, 2009

Filed under: Politics — Jess Fernando @ 3:24 pm
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he Filipino Baby Boomer, those born between 1946 and 1964, have too much to reckon when two hostile typhoons;  Ondoy,  and Pepeng, visited the country and left behind great havoc and destructions. 

            The Filipino Baby Boomer played a role in the exacerbation of the worst calamity ever endured by the Filipinos in recent history.

            Everyone feel the pangs of this tragedy mirrored on these kids faces.

            Kids whose peaceful innocence kept secured by their worried mothers seeking refuge amid chaos.   

            Kids doing kid’s thing – playing, eating, sleeping, and learning, in the most adverse situation.

Kids, whose curiosities only get more “why”.

            Kids, whose eyes meander, and wonder and loaded with questions.   

Kids, whose existence is shortened.

Had these scenes sunk in?

Of course, it did. Empathy is universal. But not all Baby Boomer probably captured their guilt on these kid’s eyes. Could it be that they don’t know? Or they know, but they just ignored it?  

The Deluge, the Exodus, and the Anguish

Flood had been a constant phenomenon in the Philippines. This fact is undisputed. Yet the Baby Boomer Bureaucrats, the Baby Boomer politicians, the layman Baby Boomer, the Baby Boomer squatters – they seemed quietly conspiring ignoring this flood as constant phenomenon – when the truth is, they are in a position to mitigate the impact of this act of nature!

Here’s the nature’s retribution to Baby Boomers.

Rooftops turn into family room.   

Car learns to swim and fails.  

People with salvaged belonging rush for higher ground – repeats of Exodus times, and the days of Noah.

Then, the anguish. The bitterness. The mourning.

The Philippine’s Baby Boomer Generation – million of them – scatters in every sectors of Philippine’s society. They are offspring of the World War II generation whose lives were marred by the atrocities of war, who lived in squalor and most of them miserable. In order to get better than their predecessors, these baby boomers are hellish bent on quest of good life and leisure. This Baby Boom Generation becomes busy and greedy accumulating wealth. And as they developed this acute individualistic gluttony, they have forgotten things outside of themselves: their next generation, the earth they lived in. 

The Baby Boomer Bureaucrats could remain faithful, vigilant, forceful, doing their duties. Their determination could have been strong not to be swayed by pecuniary gain or political consideration to compromise their sworn obligation – those in the Forestry, for example, guarding the forests, or those bureaucrats in charge of the zoning regulation, or those bureaucrats in charge of guarding government’s lands, to prevent squatters from encroaching in.  

The Baby Boomer politicians by just be conscientious to allot funds to procure state of the art weather forecasting tools and equipment.  

The layman Baby Boomer for just being conscious of the way they disposed their garbage, for example, or anything that might hurt the environment.

The Baby Boomer squatters not to build their shanties along river banks or embankments that clog waterways.

It’s not too late for the Philippine’s Baby Boomer to amend their ways.
They just have a second look on their grandchildren’s eyes. They just have to capture their guilt from those eyes. In the end, only kindness matters.


The “Vicious Cycle” Of Vote-buying and Vote-selling February 20, 2007

Filed under: Politics — Jess Fernando @ 3:14 pm

In Philippines’ politics, there are no permanent friends or foes – only permanent cost. Yes! Permanent cost: the root cause of corruption and fiefdom’s perpetration.

To run a decent election campaign, be it national or local, one would need an enormous wad of money flowing continuously. Apart from the election machinery, the cogs of which require an ample supply of grease to keep it moving, voters from Class D and E -those unemployed, hangers on, and sycophants – for them, election, is their chance to leech blood from politicians. Millions of them repeatedly troop to politicians and juiced them with such basics as; meals, burial expenses, bridges, artesian wells, basket ball court and dole outs, for which politicians can’t say no, lest they can be construed as unsympathetic to people’s needs, and ground to loose their votes. Sorry to say, but politicians during election becomes a witting hostage. But soon after election, it’s payback time, because it’s the people now who will be hostage of the politician’s whims.

Politicians are not stupid, of course. Remuneration for the position they coveted are miniscule. The only way they can recoup their investment is through corruption, by way of their assumed power, privileges, perks, and influence. Discreet or brazen their corruption is, it doesn’t matter: because, for politicians, everyone has a price. And as they accumulate wealth to buy more people out, they build their fiefdom. They will protect this little kingdom with blood, if it needs be. This “vicious cycle” of vote-buying and vote-selling, perpetuates the evil of corruptions, the victim of which is the nation. And it trickles down to its citizens, who bear the brunt. Whose fault is it anyway?

Evolution of mature democracies in the world found a way of reining this “vicious cycle” through electoral reform. Electoral reform might be long time coming to the Philippines as the country needed an upside down overhaul of its culture, but it has to start somewhere, somehow.

Politicians of mature western democracies, in general, don’t spend their own money when running for office. They fund raise for their political expenses from their constituents. If their constituents believe the politician is an asset to the political party which can bring positive changes to their lives, their constituents wouldn’t hesitate to support. Then the political party, to which the politician belongs, provides the machinery. Political Parties, in essence, are strengthened institutions; abide with principles and ideologies on how best they can serve the nation, and the populations’interest and welfare.

Instituting strengthened political parties is a basic necessity for a truly workable democracy. Politicians belonging to a certain party, for example, require that they espoused the principles and ideologies of the party. This in turn is the idea the politicians will sell to electorates during election time. The battle grounds between political parties are methods, systems, and procedures to which voters are given choices which party could give them the best.

Would there be a chance for the Philippines to institute strengthened political parties that discourage the “vicious cycle” of vote-buying and vote-selling? That’s a million dollar question. But not until this question is confronted and dealt with, this “vicious cycle” would continue to roll, and the Philippine politics would remain juvenile.


Condom and Abstinence December 11, 2006

Filed under: Politics — Jess Fernando @ 9:04 pm

Combine condom’s use and abstinence and you get a double barreled shotgun to maim population explosion. But these potent combinations can never get worked together, sorry to say, in the Philippine setting. Why, because the predominantly Roman Catholic voters in the Philippines are heavily influenced by the Church’s stance against contraception, such as condom. The Philippine’s political leadership, don’t have the guts to put the use of condom as a government policy for fear of not getting elected. The Church favors abstinence, but abstinence is a sacrifice, stupid, and a killjoy. Not many Filipinos like it.

However, as the deadlock ensured the increase in population, this augurs well for the Philippines. Migration is on the rise. The country reached now the 1 million mark deployment of OFWs around the world. What this means is, the remittances of Filipinos who migrated and the OFWs, will reinforce its crucial role as one of the economic pillars of the Philippine. Had the politicians got the guts endorsing condom’s use, and the people abide to abstinence, the big surge of migration and OFWs, are unlikely to occur.

The population’s pressures, resource scarcity, for example, and its negative impact to society, trigger migration and forced these OFW’s to leave the country. The more poverty the nation get, the more people desire to go somewhere else, for hope. If there were no population boom, of course, there would be no stiff competition for jobs. There would be less unemployment. That would deter people to leave their loved ones behind. Deterrence, then, means less migration and less OFW’s. Less migration and less OFW’s means less U.S. dollar reserves for the Philippines, less payment for debts and imports, etc… The population boom that creates poverty impelled people to get out the pit they holed in.

The Philippine Government’s muted response to the use of condom, and the Church’s insistence on abstinence, paid off dividends, somehow. These politicians and Church authorities, it is as if they have this crystal ball, they see this phenomenon of dwindling population among the industrialized nations coming. It is as if they were saying – Don’t’ worry about this population boom. “Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed as one of these” – a passage from Luke, the Church could use, to bolster complacency. Other nation will absorb our people in time, relax. We’re creating here a valuable commodity for export: our people.

True enough, these politicians and Church authorities have tongue of an angel. Develop societies of the world succumbed now to this alarming trend of falling birth rate, and rise of life expectancy rate. The gap ratio between the ageing citizens and people joining the workforce is widening. The industrialized countries resorted to accepting immigrants, as temporary measure, at least, to close the gap. The Philippines, very timely, is one of the countries that fill the gap.

The Philippines politicians must be commended for their passive position on condom’s use. Also, the Catholic Church Hierarchy must be praised for insisting abstinence – factors that for now helps unchecked the population growth for temporary gain!