Skip to main content

Pack Your Bags and Move On


I have difficulty packing things up for a trip, especially when going back is not an immediate option. Last January 2, leaving for Bangkok for the second half of my temporary UN assignment was a difficult thing to do, especially because I have to, again, borrow time from my son and wife with whom I have not spent much time for the last couple of years.

I tiredly dragged my luggage towards the airport gate and the more I moved the heavier it became. I thought to myself that this could possibly be the kind of experience public officials have on their last term of office. They are caught in a dilemma of whether to stay on or to move ahead. Staying does not necessarily mean standing up again for another re-election, since this is entirely unallowable under Philippine laws, but fielding in one’s wife, father, sister, brother, mother, cousin, aunt, or what have you, to run for the post one is presently occupying and running for another post, either lower or higher, depending upon one’s capacity and clout. Moving on is simply saying goodbye to the post, permanently or temporarily, and letting somebody else have the experience of handling local politics or giving a chance for the populace to experience another brand of leadership.

But I believe some politicians in Bohol do not experience a dilemma, because the figures show that oh, how they loved to stay. A mayor ran (note: “ran”, and not “served”, as what they usually say) for nine years, asked his wife to run the town for one term, in order to come back again for three terms more. A provincial legislative body member ran for barangay captain with the intention to win in the league of barangays elections so that she could automatically have her seat back in the provincial board. In one town, the husband was once the mayor, then her provincial board member wife took his place, then his Sangguniang Kabataan chairperson son replaced her after her last term while she moved back to becoming a provincial board member again.

The list can go on and long and research on this theme would probably reveal how the structures of power in the province are dominated by the same powerful surnames and clans. But what struck me most is how people, the voters, can go on endlessly joining this parade, how they can allow themselves to just become perpetual victims to this shameless insult to their political sagacity, and how they allowed themselves to become mere stamping pads of somebody else’s desire to run local governments on a dynastical fashion and earn whatever economic and social favours such an arrangement would bring.

I am worried by the fact that the province’s SK federated chairperson studies in Manila while supposedly organizing her office in Bohol and attending provincial legislative sessions in between. I do not underestimate capacities here, or devalue the power of technology – emails, video conferencing, and text messages – in running the world’s greatest businesses. But it is just plainly unthinkable how one can survive in this kind of arrangement, much more function well.

I sound this challenge to the current provincial SK chairperson, who succeeds her sister in the post, to effect a change in the pervasive apathy of the young in the province, without relying on executive secretaries, administrative assistants, OICs, her father congressman or whoever to do the job. I also sound the same challenge to the current league of barangay’s chair to animate the basic political units in the different municipalities in the drive towards good governance and poverty reduction, and establish a legacy that she might have been unable to do while she served the provincial board.

More importantly, I sound the same challenge to all families running the province’s local politics to forego personal gain and work for equity and social justice and for improved standards of living and moral health of the populace. If their stay in power had not steered their constituents to that direction, then I think its time for them to pack their bags and move on.

Comments

Anonymous said…
This is indeed one of those moments when I wish more than many of us are onion-skinned as to feel the charring heat of this message and burst with the feisty resolve towards change and social transformation... but alas... such lofty words. Besides the fact that most of us who read these kind of blogs are (I wish to suppose)from among those who sincerely long for change (the one less travelled), those who we beg to join us in this march have become jaded from all these imploring... as in a line of a poem we used to recite back in high school... stolid and stunned... yes... pabutanga-bungol-as we say i our own tongue...
Unknown said…
The problem lies within the voters who chose to belie the fact that politicians have used them (I did not vote!) time and again. And most voters who elected "the" politicians are the ones wallowing in poverty.
Unknown said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said…
I am 26 years old now even once I did not practice my rights to vote! .... "kay MAKA-maulaw oi cge lang pangako pero walay agi"

ang politiko ang nabulahan!
kurakot diri, kurakot didto.

They even used there power para mang-apak ug tawo, murag sikinsa na sila! THEY SHOULD SERVE US not just SITTING THERE and padako ug tiyan , SA "pocket, bulsa" UG unsa pay matawag nimo diha!

PEOPLE WAKE UP! USED YOUR HEAD!
AYAW PURO KWARTA ANG UNAHA" CAUSE IN THE END KITA ANG LOOY!!!

WE DESERVE SOME CHANGES IN OUR PLACE!
Anonymous said…
sad to say i'm one of those "have become jaded" as REG mentioned...last election i was having nth thoughts 'whether to vote or not to vote'. coz i thought that to do so would be futile...but then, i decided to exercise my right to suffrage...voted only those whom i think deserves the 'seat'...i reached a point that i was about to give up. but hey, if all those 'concerned people' who've been longing for the much 'elusive change' will give up, then what will happen to our country? let's continue fighting...who knows? maybe 5 - 10 years from now, we'll finally rejoice and say that all our efforts have not gone awry...

Popular posts from this blog

4 Reasons Why Following Bishop Abet on FB is a Good Thing To Do in this Time of Crisis

I met Bishop Abet Uy for the first time online.
Some three years ago, at the suggestion of a good friend of mine, Fr. Harold Anthony Parilla, I sent Bishop Abet a direct message via FB messenger. He replied, within a day or two and told me how I could proceed with something I wanted to do.I did as was instructed, and some few weeks later, he sent me, via messenger again, a thank-you note.
Such tech-savviness impressed me, especially for a prelate his age. I was not surprised that some weeks later, I learned that the Bishop was using social media to spread God’s message, in very accessible terms. I also personally witnessed events he presided where online footprint was created almost in real-time (or at least a few hours after the event concluded), making us aware of where he was, what he was doing in building God’s Kingdom here on earth.
Currently, his various Facebook accounts have thousands of followers (Teba Yu has 11,744 followers, Abet Uy has 63,337, while the Bishop Abet page h…

5 Things To Love about Joseph Gara's Songs

- Full disclaimer here – I am a huge Joseph Gara fan.
I saw him for the first time in a wedding party of a dear friend, unmindfully singing as guests were entering the ballroom of a hotel. Apart from his guitar, he was his own prop, tucked neatly at one side of the stage, almost unseen as a massive bouquet of giant white lilies and carnations stood beside his guitar stand.Right there and then I thought that this guy would go places, because it was quite clear that he liked his music, and while he sang covers of popular acoustic ballads, he seemed to claim them as his own, making the music sound fresh, and the words as if they were freshly minted.
I am an avid spectator of his shows – at South Palms Resort,one of our favourite staycation spots in Bohol, where he seemed to be a regular; at the many weddings that he was contracted to serenade; at the many cultural events in the province where he was a part of or was the sole reason for its convening.I also follow his Spotify releases, his Y…

What is the Church's Business in the Dauis Renaissance Program?

Introduction

This paper presents an analysis, in financial perspective, of the details of the agreement entered into by parties 1) The Bishop of Tagbilaran, 2) Beatriz Susanna Zobel de Ayala, 3) Dauis Renaissance Company, Inc. and signed on June 24, 2008 in Dauis, Bohol, Philippines. As the agreement is vague in some respects, figure computations were interpreted on the basis of its implications to financial statements of the “Dauis Renaissance Company”, both currently and prospectively.

The paper is structured in three parts. The first section analyses the facts of the agreement and its implication on assets, equities, and net income projections. The relevant provisions of the agreement are cited side by side with the analysis. The second section represents the general independent appraisal of the author on the “Dauis Renaissance Company”, taking collectively all the facts mentioned in the first section. The annex section presents a list of important financial terms which are defined w…