a social scientist, who devoted majority of his life living within the slummest area in manila once said that, despite the dominant poverty in the country, no filipino will ever die because of it. he strongly believes that filipinos are innately resourceful. they will come up with the most tactical way in order to survive another day, even if it means going to the extremes like eating leftover food outside fastfood chains and restaurants and the likes.
indeed, the saying as poor as a rat is one of the most common line heard among every filipino. probably because majority of us have experienced poverty (the filipino style) once in our life. nonetheless, we have survived or better yet, we are still surviving among these challenges.
but recently, one of the most alarming and disturbing news in the country came up. it was about a mother who committed suicide after poisoning her three children. she forced her children to drink a spoonful of toilet bowl cleaner out of hopelessness with their lives.
almost a year ago, an 11 year old girl also committed suicide by hanging herself after leaving a diary telling how she have lived out of extreme poverty.
what was common between the two stories, aside from the fact that both was regarding suicide out of poverty, was that financial and material aid, majority coming from the government poured to the families after that incident.
the thing is, it is already depressing to know that such horrible event could actually happen. the thought that filipinos are already beginning to lose hope with their lives: is also a clear reflection that they (or we) are beginning (or already) lose their trust to our social institutions specifically to the government.
but what is more aggravating with this, is the fact, that the government treats these aids as more of a momentary and individual response to such case rather than a general preventive measure to avoid such things.
yes, of course, running a country is not as easy and fun as playing sims. there isn't even any option where you could start it all over once problems are already hitting your characters. because aside from the political, economic and social factors within the country, the government also consider the global contexts.
but with all the price hikes, peso devaluation, mindanao conflicts and the rest of the news bombarding us, where will a typical juan dela cruz finds hope to his life, other than religion, if he could no longer trust the very institution that promised to guide and protect him?
the administration is even pushing the current government to federalism and charter change to answer these problems. but i believe regardless of what form of government we have or any constitution changes, if we are just putting in the same sets of monkeys on those seats, it will be just a waste of effort, time and another grand expenditure of public funds.
i believe it is more of changing our political culture and consciousness that could answer the call of our current context. if every citizen will be more politically conscious and participative (do you see the difference?), it will definitely make a big difference. this answer may be idealistic for some, especially to those who already lost their trust to our politics and more to the hope for change. but if the nation's cry is leaning towards it, then i believe it is worth a try. but how can we actually attract people to nourish their political consciousness and drive their participation if their trust in politics or the government to be more specific, is already gone?
i believe that the line, the easiest way to a man's heart is through his stomach, doesn't only apply to lovers. but could also be used as an effective political strategy. a nation is as good as its citizens. we may never win the entire nation's heart. but if you'll be able to feed atleast a person's stomach by assisting him to acquire all his needs to survive. then you'll be able to win him completely. if this deed is witnessed and experienced by others: and you are able to sustain and develop it, then you'll be able regain trust, rebuild hope and recall an entire nation to whatever goal it has or if it has one.
just my opinion.