Negatively Charged-A A +A
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
PRESIDENT Noynoy Aquino admonished the Filipinos in his second state of the nation addressed (SONA) delivered last July 25, 2011 to end the culture of negativism. It was so couched in Filipino language to be more emphatic and personal. The admonition went on this way:
“Tapusin na po natin ang kultura ng negatibismo; iangat natin ang kapwa-Pilipino sa bawat pagkakataon. Bakit po ang iba, ang hilig maghanap ng kung anu-anong pangit sa ating bayan? At napakahirap -- parang kasalanan -- na magsabi ng maganda? Naalala pa po ba natin noong huling beses tayong pumuri sa kapwa Pilipino?
Itigil na po natin ang paghihilahan pababa. Ang dating industriya ng pintasan na hindi natin maitakwil, iwaksi na po natin. Tuldukan na po natin ang pagiging utak-alimango; puwede bang iangat naman natin ang magaganda nating nagawa?
Kung may nakita kang mabuti, huwag kang magdalawang-isip na purihin ito.
Of course the message was clear, direct and simple and admits to other interpretation. And the president delivered it with persuasion as he always does with tune of poetic attempts.
But the question is, have we applied this or have we started to practice this? Maybe some people do, but for sure, most of us, politicians included and their followers, they never practice this or else they risk not having a seat or become unpopular and not getting the spotlight. Because one of the proven formulae in politics is “mudslinging,” synonymous with muckraking, nitpicking, etc. Thus, to stay in the race, one should always have something negative to say to the other. So, it’s hard to believe when admonition such as this comes from a politician but it’s “too good to be true.”
Equating negativism in the recent mishap that we Kagay-anons experienced due to the ferocious Sendong that devoured thousands of lives and homes, I personally observed that still negativism rules. Many severely criticized the city officials yet offered no solution. Many were complaining of the slow action of the government yet they have done nothing or contributed something except opening their mouths and started to lash at people whom they believed have caused the tragedy. And worse, they wanted to blame the city officials of the tragedy that befell on this city. Many were politicizing the misfortune and were feasting over the weakness of the city officials. But to my mind, this negativism is not new or novel issue but rather, this is deeply rooted in the very core of our being Filipinos. We are often negative than positive. To uproot and dissipate this vice, it takes proper perspective overtime not overnight.
Filipinos are schizophrenic
I remember one priest, a writer, who made a remark during a forum which I attended and he said that we Filipinos are schizophrenic. When asked why, he replied: Filipinos are religious on one side but corrupt on the other side. Well there is truism in that declaration in many aspects.
Take this instance. In the days after Sendong, Kagay-anons, without second thoughts, offered to help the flashfloods victims and so substantial donations in cash and in kind poured in. That is a very religious or noble deed, indeed.
Then Kagay-anons continued to call in for more donations in which many responded from all over the country and across the world. Many groups then, including in the social networks, were organized spreading the noble intentions to help the city rise from the mud of destruction. Private organizations, persons and politicians alike endured the putrefying, slimy, muddy, almost cursed and abandoned city just to hand in their donations to where the victims were housed. Such was a very noble act, indeed, of the Kagay-anons, of the Filipinos. That was religious.
But later on or at the height of helping the victims or in the middle of things, a stink spewed from the deepest vowel of the mud, a mud that is often thrown to a rival in select contest to discredit him or her but here, I refer to the stinking mud of politics. Many local and national politicians and their “alipores” then started to blame the City Mayor and call for his ouster as if he was cited as the villain of Greek tragedies or plays and that he should suffer the repercussion of his act and bear the wraths of the gods. Many were politicking while helping. That was malicious.
Many helped the victims and that was a laudable act but many also advanced their political agenda while helping the victims and that was a condemnable act. Some groups distributed relief goods to the victims and have them signed as proof that they received something but later in the day, many cried foul that what the victims actually signed was a signature campaign to oust the city mayor. These were some concrete proofs that Filipinos are religious on one side but corrupt on other side.
To add, many extended help but before passing the goods to the victims, they need to pose for the camera first.
It seems that good values and vices go together like being sacred and profane at the same time. Because of the Sendong crisis, many took the opportunity to help and because of the same crisis, many found opportunity to advance their political motives. There is, indeed, opportunity in every crisis, so goes the saying. But it depends what opportunity one takes.
In one of my posts in Facebook sometime in December, I said: “I'm so sad with the present stand of Sen. Pimentel with regard to the mishap of Cagayan de Oro. He wants Dongkoy investigated and probably put all the blame on him. It's alright to seek accountability, but in this time? I expect him to work hand in hand with the local officials after all Sen. Koko is from here unless he still considers Emano as his archenemy. Rebuild the city first then reckon later. This is what makes the Filipinos different from other races: We do not stand united in times of adversity; we are always divided because of the love of politics. Instead of helping the City to rise again, some politicians and private groups are feasting over the weakness of the city officials and yet offered no solutions. Let's be part of the solution and not of the problem if we mean true, selfless and dedicated service to the people regardless of one's political belief. I supported Koko, I supported Dongkoy because I believe in some of their principles, but it's disappointing to know that one is throwing mud at the other. Politics is muddier and dirtier than the Sendong water. Criticizing the city officials today of their alleged mishandling of the mishap brought by Sendong is not sellable at this time. What the people or the flood victims are interested in is that they could get whatever help from wherever source, either from government or generous groups, for them to rise from the mud of destruction. Those who are criticizing often appeared the ones not helping because those truly concerned are silent and are out there busy helping the victims. So critics, it would be prudent to spare the city officials from criticism this time since it will not pick up and it will not help. Resume launching your attack when the situation is at least normalized. The victims will not appreciate your words but they would be grateful of your act of generosity “to give and not to count the cost, to labor and ask not for reward.” Bangon CDO! Yes we can!”
As expected, such remark earned likes as well as dislikes. Positive but often negative, Filipinos as we are.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on January 25, 2012.