Year’s end

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And I thought we will end 2014 quietly, but with sudden events such as Seniang becoming a tropical storm, with 9 provinces under signal no. 2 and 14 others under signal no. 1 and the missing Air Asia #QZ8501 with 162 passengers, we are left with more worries and sad experiences as we bid 2014 goodbye. The realization that there is a greater being than us is a warm comfort because these too will pass, but it is likewise a cold reminder of needing to do good by our fellow travelers in life.

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And doing good is not easy since fairness is becoming a rare virtue these days. In business, to ensure bottoms and more, some taipans are becoming more greedy, driven by the ultimate objective of landing in Forbes Billionaire row. Some companies overbook flights, some run public utilities to the abject disregard of consumers, some run telcos at slow speed but at peak rates, some would do an IPO and destroy the reputation of the Philippines by milking minority shareholders and just bully them thinking being a publicly listed firm would mean free ride with regulators most especially if one’s directors have minted names, albeit borrowed from known good governance “gurus.”

And there are those who build malls left and right without caring much about the impact on traffic and road services. Ahh, well to be an oligarch in the Philippines is to be a god. And so the indulgencia has been corporate social responsibility or CSR, when doing good by one’s employee is more vital so that we stop contractualization and captains of industries are able to invest more in jobs and augment self rated poverty and self rated food poverty thereby ensuring inclusive growth.

And doing good is not easy since politics rarely serves the very interests of the people. It’s the few who are in government who play god to victims of calamities from the provision and delivery of relief goods and rebuilding resilient communities; from taking too long a time doing public works projects and just making excuses for the periodic floods and worst traffic; from risky MRTs and LRTs where preventive maintenance is an exception than the rule; from perennial delayed flights and often used excuse of air traffic and so forth. When regulatory capture is the best deal in town, we worry.

And being honest is not a virtue held dear, for how can politics be for the good of the taxpayers, most especially the small ones, when our leaders keep denying there is no more pork of the PDAF kind or the DAP variety but lump sum appropriations are dripping for the good of one political party. Being honest is being against those who do not belong to the party in government, when having samples are testaments to the unwavering clarion call of Tuwid na Daan. You want a big fish? We got several. From a sitting Chief Justice to a former Senate President (who presided the speed truck proclamation in 2010 and chaired the impeachment against Corona), and two very popular Senators who would have made a run in 2016 but clipped early, to make the presumptive viable.

And justice is selective when bail is a right but delayed; where convicted drug lords and what have you have ritzy kubols in Muntinlupa that put VIPs into shame. The administration made issue against treating the jailed incumbent Senators with livable quarters and yet we discover months after that convicted drug lords are having the best of all worlds. Amazing and yet it remains selective. The PR stunt of inspecting is not what we want. We want to know how it happened, why it happened and who are the corrupt officials that allowed it to happen. You got to rip open Muntinlupa to find the truth. But finding truth is not ours to have, take the case of Puno, Torres and lately, Ona.

And telling the truth is all shades of power. One can have clean hands but not believable and one can be part of the scheme and hence speaks the truth. Time and time it has been said, let the dung be held and thrown by a Poe and Robredo and things will be different. But those women have far different characters than the trios using taxpayers time to do a favor for some gods. The way the early script was written to hit the leader of the pack smacks at irresponsible politics. What say you when DAR Secretary said there is no land title under VP’s name? The first bomb launched for 2016 is a dud and so we wait for another.

Meanwhile the presumptive is milking all surveys just to keep the hope alive. It’s as if the presumptive’ core strength is gone. So go destroy is the strategy. Truly sad for a decent guy. And the undecided grows.

In the Lord of the Rings, Two Towers, I recall this exchange between Frodo and Sam:

“Frodo: I can’t do this, Sam.

“Sam: I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.

“Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?

“Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.”

Thank you 2014 despite of… We experienced and we learned. And I will take Eleanor Roosevelt anytime: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” We just got to couple that with an excellent work ethic.

To all my readers, colleagues, friends, “may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship, never in want!”

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