THE budding stage of any relationship is often the most exciting part. It’s where sweet promises are uttered, telephone calls extended till the wee hours of the morning, and where smiles can’t be erased completely from one’s face. Of course, not every beginning guarantees a happy ending and this is why we learn to be more discerning of the next ones.
The same can be said about the political climate in the country today. It’s that time of the year where politicians are extra sweet, extra welcoming, and extra friendly to the Filipino public. However, if you have been around long enough, you can develop a sense of apathy towards the government. The daily grind, so to speak, exposes us to the harsh realities of living in our beloved country and we can’t help but think certain realties will not change.
However, just like anything in life, everyone deserves a chance to have their voices heard. Yes we have been burned and promised to countless times before, but there’s a hope inside of me that is similar to those belonging to my generation, that desires to see a better Philippines.
All of these things were racing in my head as I sat down with vice presidentiable, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano. Having been in the government since he was 21 and as the son of the late senator Rene Cayetano, Alan is no stranger to politics and he, along with his wife, Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano, has indeed contributed a lot.
However, what I was mainly concerned about was his vision for the country. Answering
rather straightforwardly, “Sa atin, simple lang ang hinahanap ng Pilipino, ang mapabuti at makasama ang pamilya nila. Most simple is ‘yong mapakain ‘yong pamilya mo, mapagaral ang mga anak, safe sila makakauwi, at malusog sila. The Filipino dream is the opportunity to be able to enjoy your life with your family and how will the government provide that?”
He then adds that the government must build communities for Filipino families that will allow them to freely experience life together and this includes job security and safety.
Today, since jobs are not readily available, most families are scattered, whether around the country or around the world, not allowing them to do life together.
Alan believes that equal opportunities through equal development should be given, whether you are from the barrio or the city, and he has begun this through his strong commitment to make education readily available for all through scholarship grants and the like, “We can’t say that we are doing well as a country when places outside of highly urbanized areas are not doing well.”
He is passionate about this coming to life and when asked how he will be able to follow through with his promises, he is quick to say that real change can be seen when everyone works hand in hand in an effort to make the government positive and it begins with actually voting and eventually, holding up the politicians accountable to the things they have promised at the beginning.
And while there may not be quick fixes to long lasting change, he believes in the power of changing what he can now while working on what can be changed down the line, “Don’t replace solutions to root problems with quick fixes, ang pa quick fix, pang-quick fix, ang pang-root solution, pang-root solution. You need both to bring change.”
He dismisses the idea that the people have no power over the government; in fact, he is quick to say that in voting, letting their opinions heard via social media, they are already creating a change. By simply exposing what they think is wrong with the system, they are.
Alan believes that we are more empowered than we think we are but all we have to do is make good use of that power while at the same time focusing on the things we can do as individuals to improve the state of the country. Yes, we have the tools to expose what’s wrong but we must also ask ourselves, are we contributing to what’s wrong or are we helping in alleviating it?
At the end of the day, no matter who our chosen candidates are, the power is in us and it’s about time for us to use that power wisely because in doing so, we are creating the future we have only once dreamt of and maybe this time around, there will be no longer broken promises, no more disappointments, and most importantly, no more heartaches.
But it must first begin with us and the challenge is to take time to get to know your candidates, know what you believe in, and dive into election season with hope.
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