I MADE mention earlier that the lessons of morals, civics, good manners and right conduct that the two colonial powers, Spain and America, imparted to us did not have a deeper meaning because we know that we were deprived and exploited.
We are made to understand by our government that there is a system. The mentality of the oppressed Filipinos is revengeful of the system. These Filipinos strike back by understating their income tax declaration. To hurt the government further, they engage in technical smuggling or invent a hundred ways to salt away their dollars.
Someone could always fake a job order to the Middle East or even fake an appointment to a government position. President Duterte has made a hard stand on all of these but the mentality of some Filipinos has been passive if not hardened. Even here in our barangay, there is always a Juan who would install an electric jumper or buy a colorum telephone line.
You cannot oblige someone to follow if he believes that the system does not work in his favor. In a lowly “purok,” we will find men and women in a street corner or in front of a “sari-sari” store gossiping instead of doing something productive that could redeem them from their misery. They know that life is hard and other people make it harder for them.
There are no jobs, no capital to start a business with and no provisions for training in basic skills. They always expect that our government should do something for the people just like what they see on TV propaganda. The government out there is so tamed. Everything on TV is good to see.
Many of our countrymen do not care for the future of our natural resources. Look at Boracay Island. We made it dirty. We kill its natural resources because of the common greed of some. Expand the land and you will see more areas...denuded mountains, big potholes caused by mining firms, cut trees ending in bakeries, bangus fry brought to other countries, and crablets ending in delicacy restaurants.
For a poor fisherman, it is often a toss-up between the survival of the sea turtles or the survival of his family. Big things are even happening at the macro level. We seem to abandon our island for the Chinese to take over. Someone up there will say, “We cannot afford to go to war against China.”
We do not need to begin the war in protecting our sovereignty. We can start with a firm stand. We make noise and tell the world that we do not just want to be a province. Our heroes killed and were killed for freedom.
To eliminate the mentality of the oppressed where do we begin to shake up the order of things? I know that it is easier said than done. We can always work hard to have a generation of government that truly cares for its people. We will produce a citizenry that won’t sell its birthright for a few pesos... a government that could not be tempted by a China yuen and an American dollar.