in my opinion, my country: the philippines

Dear PDiggy: Your Inauguration and My Plea for Change

When I realized that June 30th was to fall on a Thursday, I panicked. Wednesdays and Thursdays are my Healthway days (where I am outside my own practice) and during those days I am cooped up in a mall and stationed at the innermost section of the clinic, where good mobile and internet connection is a rare event. I’ve given the place a name, CAVE, and friends know that when I say: “I’m in the cave”, it will be hard to reach me. So basically, even if media outlets promised LIVE FEEDS on Facebook, I knew I couldn’t rely on that to be available for me at work.
Endured this grainy TV screen


To solve that issue, my fellow dentists and I made arrangements for a mini viewing party that involved him bringing a TV into the mall, and I borrowing the TV Plus from home. It’s so funny too, his first attempt to take the TV in, he was carrying it plainly like a gift box and he was naturally rejected entry by the security guard. When I got to work with my TV Plus the other dentist pleaded: “Cmon let’s get it. Put it inside my bag. I’m worried Dr Crickette might cry.” And I think I would have. Haha. Anyway, the signal was bad as you can see from the image above, but it didn’t matter.

When my friend learned about our effort he said: “You’re Crazy!” But I said: “Oh it was worth it.” Because it was. On my drive to work I was listening to VP Robredo’s speech and I hoped that I could listen to My President’s speech too, and we made it happen. I was happy.
Let Me Talk About the Speech



The image on the screen I was looking at was dark and pixelated but it didn’t matter. The audio was superb and I was able to listen to the speech. Anyway, it was an amazing one. It gave me goosebumps and I was clapping and pounding the table in appreciation while listening to every word. I loved it so much, I almost attempted to transcribe it but changed my mind because I realized, I only had to wait a few minutes for the experts to publish the whole script for my perusal.

There are many amongst us who advance the assessment that the problems that bedevil our country today which need to be addressed with urgency, are corruption, both in the high and low echelons of government, criminality in the streets, and the rampant sale of illegal drugs in all strata of Philippine society and the breakdown of law and order. True, but not absolutely so. For I see these ills as mere symptoms of a virulent social disease that creeps and cuts into the moral fiber of Philippine society. I sense a problem deeper and more serious than any of those mentioned or all of them put together.

Many questioned the core of his “platform”. Is it really enough to just end corruption, criminality and the sale of illegal drugs? In his speech he recognizes that there is a deeper and more serious problem. He continues to underline this by saying:

Erosion of faith and trust in government – that is the real problem that confronts us. Resulting therefrom, I see the erosion of the people’s trust in our country’s leaders; the erosion of faith in our judicial system; the erosion of confidence in the capacity of our public servants to make the people’s lives better, safer and healthier. Indeed, ours is a problem that dampens the human spirit. But all is not lost.

And there is truth to this because I have. I have lost faith and trust in the government. I have remained hopeful, but my indifference show my true emotion. I didn’t even care about the news. I didn’t care about the government officials. I saw them as one species–and I could care less until Duterte ran for office. You see, I am not confident that he is THE ONE (I am not clairvoyant). But that he hopes with the same breadth as I do (as a common Filipino) makes him the most that I could relate to.

There are two quotations from revered figures that shall serve as the foundation upon which this administration shall be built.

“The test of government is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide for those who have little.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt 

And from (Abraham) Lincoln I draw this expression: “You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong; You cannot help the poor by discouraging the rich; You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer; You cannot further the brotherhood by inciting class hatred among men.”

In my Theology Class in College, I wrote a paper about the Essence of Love. Love is an innate, human emotion that may be expressed in different ways but in its simplicity and core, learning to love sets its roots with the attainment of the common good.
Past governments have failed to focus on the common good. Slogans were built for the needy. Growth most felt by the rich. How about the working class? How about us? We are taxed just the same and yet we benefit little. There were improvements, yes, but let’s be realistic here. I will tell you the common scenario in the clinic; and I will tell you this is true for most of my friends. Still a huge number of Filipinos cannot afford to prioritize health, even more DENTAL health. When you present to them the simple need to get an oral prophylaxis (teeth cleaning) or extraction, most will say: “Kapag nagkapera nlang po” (Maybe when I earn enough money). Even worse is when they come in for a Pre-Employment Exam and they answer: “Kapag natanggap po ako sa trabaho, babalik ako”. (When I get this job, I will come back). This is the common Filipino and they are the majority–the presence of designer brand stores in malls do not exactly equate to growth, we are not all getting richer. Some are–but believe me it is not true for all.

Let me remind in the end of this talk, that I was elected to the presidency to serve the entire country. I was not elected to serve the interests of any one person or any group or any one class. I serve every one and not only one.

That is why I have adapted as an article of faith, the following lines written by someone whose name I could no longer recall. He said: “I have no friends to serve, I have no enemies to harm.”

I will be watching you closely My Dear President. Many are watching you and some are even waiting for you to fail, please do not let them have the last laugh. We elected you in office because we believe in your capacity to lead. I want nothing less than what you have promised.

Let Me Talk About Traffic
Thank you for your many proposals, especially about the processing and releasing of applications. I, like many Filipinos, go through these different processes and I have wasted many hours on this. But I have also wasted many hours on the road when I am stuck in traffic each day. It is tiring. It is expensive. It is unnecessary. I do not want to believe that traffic means growth. Please do something about it. I am pleading for the common good–I am not the only one suffering here, in fact, many suffer worst than I do.
Anyway, since it is your first day, I would like to wish you all the luck. I wish you all the best and I will continue to pray for your administration’s success.
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P.S. I miss your midnight press conferences. I’m sure the media does too. Hehe. Peace!

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