THE winds of change was most palpable during last May’s election when the Filipino nation felt enough was enough—it was time to change.
But, as President Benigno Aquino III said in his State of the Nation Address a new president cannot change the country alone, no matter how well-intentioned he is. Each Filipino has to do his part if his country is to be great again.
How are we to do it? The answer is simple. And it is contained in the small book Alexander Lacson came out with in 2004. Lacson said he wrote the book at a time when three of his siblings had left the Philippines for a better life elsewhere, and he, himself, was also about to go their way.
But Lacson—a lawyer by profession, a writer by avocation and a passionate Filipino—decided to stay in the place of his birth. He is so passionately Filipino that the last time he was here, for the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s sustainability summit, his name was written as Alex “Pinoy” Lacson.
Instead of leaving, Lacson wrote his little book, 12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do To Help Our Country. Surprisingly, it became a best-seller, which has brought its author hundreds of speaking engagements.
The book, more like a pamphlet, really, has undergone several printings; its popularity is perhaps due to the Filipino’s innate desire for a better life, and a better homeland that the book seems to make easily accessible, rather than a far-off, unachievable dream.
In the present climate of change, the message of the book bears repeating. Some of these may not be applicable to all but most of them are really simple, doable things you can and should do, to make you feel good about yourself, at the same time make your country a better place to live in. If every Filipino should follow these little things the way the Chinese followed Mao’s Red Book, what a transformation this country will have, what a wondrous place this country will be! Lacson’s “little things” are the following:
1. Obey traffic rules.
2. When you buy something, ask for a receipt.
3. Don’t buy smuggled goods, patronizelocally made products.
4. Speak positively about our country, especially to foreigners.
5. Respect traffic officers, policemen, soldiers.
6. Do not litter.
7. Support your church.
8. During election, go out and vote.
9. Pay your employees well.
10. Pay your taxes.
11. Adopt a scholar or a poor child.
12. Be a good parent, teach your kids to follow the law and love our country.