Monday, August 22, 2011

Through The Eyes Of A Filipino

By Hazelyne M. Elgar (as shared via email)

Listen to me!

You might think we are a poor nation,
but when I look around me I do not see just poverty.
Instead, I see farmers, back bent from sun up till sun down nurturing the land.
I hear fisherfolks heaving, as they gamble with their lives
amidst angry winds and rough water just to nourish their families.
I feel the weary legs of children from far-flung barrios,
as they cross rivers and mountains and walk for miles,
just to get to school because they still dream.
I see determination in the eyes of street children
playing tag with cars flying past on a ruthless highway
in order to augment their parent's meager earnings.
In the face of destitution, the Filipinos are steadfast.
That is courage.

You rebuke us for the graft and corruption plaguing our government,
but when my eyes skim the front pages of broadsheets, I do not see hopelessness.
Instead, I am inspired by stories about pushcart classes
and strangers swimming in deep murky flood waters to save nameless individuals.
I immerse myself in news
about how my countrymen unceasingly believe in the spirit of unity.
I revel because millions of Filipinos still voted for change.
At times when we are at the receiving end of the world's censure,
I choose to see the noble intentions of fallible men to help.
In tumultuous situations, when the urge to hold others culpable is difficult to resist,
I hear a leader embracing the liability just like a leader should.
In the face of adversity, the Filipinos are united.
That is courage.

You chastise millions of my countrymen
for leaving our motherland to seek greener pastures.
Answer me this:
have you ever listened to how they whimper at night because they long for home?
When Filipinas, forced to work away from their dear ones,
shed silent tears as they lull to sleep infants not their own
I begin to understand what unconditional love is.
You lure away our engineers, artists and teachers with a promise of a good life.
The loving hands of our nurses tend the health of your people.
Do not dare ask why we need to fill the void in your labor force!
The Overseas Filipino worker
is intelligent, ingenious, hard working and resilient.
I see that, and in my eyes they are heroes.
In the face of obligation, the Filipinos are self-sacrificing.
That is courage.

You are at liberty to express your opinion about my country,
but you can never take away my pride,
for I belong to a people united in faith and love.
I am Filipino, and no matter where I go I will always be one.
I do not doubt that the time for change will one day come for the Philippines.
Our flag, cast in the sun's glorious light, will be waving high.
My country men's sacrifices will not be in vain.
We will face the future with courage.
As one, we will reach out to the world and the world will embrace us.
Believe me, because I will take the lead.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

CONGENITAL LIARS

The brothers Arroyo, Mike and Iggy, must think we are all fools. Either that or lying must be so genetically ingrained in these brothers.

In an effort to save his elder brother from accountability yet again, Iggy Arroyo belatedly owns up to “leasing” five Robinson helicopters from LionAir’s Archibald Po and denies owning any of them. We have seen this before; this legal ploy by the Arroyos is not new. The first time was when Iggy admitted to being the notorious “Jose Pidal” to save his brother Mike from accusations of money laundering.

This tactic may have worked in their favor because Mike’s wife, Gloria Arroyo, was president at the time congress investigated the “Jose Pidal” scandal. However, under the dispensation of President Benigno S. Aquino III that is committed to eradicating corruption, and a new Ombudsman committed to fairness and accountability, this ruse will not work.

The Black & White Movement looks forward to learning that the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee has done away with parliamentary courtesy and has summoned Iggy Arroyo to testify to the veracity of his new claims. We look forward to seeing Mike Arroyo appear at the senate hearings to defend himself. Both brothers are not only hiding behind medical reasons, they are hiding from the truth.

We have had enough of lies. We have enough of the “wang wang” mentality.

Friday, August 12, 2011

STATEMENT ON THE RESIGNATION OF SEC. ALBERTO ALDABA LIM

The Black & White Movement is saddened by the resignation of Sec. Alberto A. Lim from the Department of Tourism (DOT).

Bertie took the helm of the DOT at a time of transition brought about by the New Tourism Act and the attendant problems that go with it, both from within the department and within the industry itself.

And yet, amidst these myriad problems, he pushed for “Open Skies” and successfully steered it through the bureaucracy until President Benigno S. Aquino III proclaimed it a policy through an Executive Order. In a few years we should see its positive impact on tourism.

In the process of working in government, Bertie made enemies from powerful vested interests that benefited from a regime of protectionism. And their constant attacks against Bertie made it increasingly more difficult for him to do his job.

We, his co-conveners, respect his decision to devote more time to his family and wish Bertie well in his future endeavors. - END

Saturday, August 06, 2011

MEETING WITH MILF – A MOVE IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

6 August 2011


One of the cobblestones that line the “matuwid na daan” is the hope for peace in Mindanao. Every Filipino deserves a life free from discord, violence and uncertainty. Our brethren in Mindanao deserve no less.

Without hoopla or fanfare, President Noynoy Aquino reached out to the leadership of the MILF, Chair Al Haj Murad Ibrahim, in an effort to reinvigorate the Mindanao Peace Process. The openness of the MILF leadership to meet showed a willingness to search for common ground.

By all accounts, it was a pleasant meeting, but its extraordinary importance was not lost on either of them. Chairman Murad was quoted by media as saying, "We are confident with your administration. You are unlike the previous administration. You are sincere."

It is noteworthy that this meeting, though informal, happened on the anniversary of the issuance of a Supreme Court TRO against the GMA administration’s Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD).

The Black & White Movement lauds the President for quietly but actively pursuing the resumption of peace talks between the government and MILF. His assertiveness gives all sides in the peace process an advance in the right direction. This was a positive move, one that may well hasten the end to hostilities; bring about peaceful coexistence and economic development in Mindanao.

We laud the efforts of OPAPP Secretary Teresita Deles and GPH Chair Marvic Leonen as well as their counterparts in the MILF for laying the groundwork for this historic meeting.

We wish all parties well in this endeavor to finally forge lasting peace. All Filipinos deserve it. - END