Saturday, July 24, 2010

Nothing shocks us anymore, Mr. President


President Noynoy Aquino wants to "shock the nation" with his expose. An expose for a State of the Nation address? The president’s men think it’s iconoclastic. They think it’s the first.

He gave us a sampler---most of the trillion peso budget allocated for 2010--is now gone. Former Gloria Arroyo already spent most of the money before she left Malacanang.

Ah, that's why she was all smiles during the inauguration. It's like saying, ha! I had you and you did not catch me. And you never will.

Arroyo was doing the walk of shame with her little mole glistening under the heat of the early morning sun that day. Millions felt relieved when she made that walk, good riddance, and on to our lives.

No one, however, catch her while she was in her car. Probably, she was laughing all the way to Pampanga. And that's why she went to Hongkong to make sure everything is still "intact" and ready for her grandchildren to enjoy.

What about millions of curses thrown her way? Those are just words without any effect. And how would those words harm her thick skin? Devils cast spells. How would a spell affect a devil?

Ah, justice. It's as elusive as that pesky little fly.

Ah, justice. It's like that fly swap that catches that pesky little fly and squash it with its stomach all out.

Aquino promises to shock us. What is so shocking about news of wanton stealing and unabated thievery? This has been going on since about nine years ago.

What would actually be shocking is if you, Mr. President and your Cabinet do not do anything to at least alleviate the condition we are in. Come to think of it--that is not that shocking anymore.

We have been fooled many times before, of promises of salvation from those who masqueraded as our saviors, only to unveil their true selves as our very own blood-thirty villains. 

What is so shocking about farmers not being able to eat three times a day? Or 4 million Filipino families going on forced hunger every single day? Or experienced workers not getting jobs or young graduates languishing in their homes, four long years of college wasted and is wasting away?

What is so shocking about our young ones going to Japan, Malaysia and some other nasty and brutish places to earn a measly green buck? Or thousands of our Filipinas being brutally raped and enslaved, lured into a trap by modern slave traders?

And what will shock us? Is knowing that all of Arroyo's men stole monies from the public coffers and kept most of the furniture in their offices intact when they left last June 30? Or, is it more shocking that they actually kept those furnitures and not those paintings hanging in their walls?

Mr. President, nothing will ever shock us. Everyday, we, your bosses, live in such brutish conditions that shocks the senses of many, but, for us, that's everyday living. It is as normal as the sun rises in the east and retires in the West.

Yes, most places here are fast catching up with modernization. And yes, even global brands have penetrated even the remotest parts of these parts.

We are being urbanized, and forced to deal with fast rising slums. For some, that's a sign of growth.

For most of us, that is just a convenient piece of cloth which we see before a play starts.

Behind those pretty small malls and pleasing eye candies, hide the most despicable truths. Farms are being transformed into convenient small villages and rice fields turned into SM hypermarkets for an empty citizenry. Jags and Levis are creeping in fast, when we have'nt even replaced our 5 year old China-made jeans. For our monies are being spent for higher priced food stuffs, exorbitant electricity rates and commodified water. We settle for fake Giordanos and Abercrombies made from an obscure and small China factory and smuggled wholesale here.

As fast as the wild grasses grow in our water depleted fields come those tractors with their ton of asphalt. Every single one of us already heard the promises of politicos, that they will cement even our mountains with their 

While the illusion of mall growth bedazzle us and make us believe that we are progressing, we toil our fields with our tired carabaos. While our young spend their days texting, telecommunications executives happily whistle their way to the bank. We sit here, still dazed on how our thousand pesos just literally disappear as fast as the wind blows.

We are, but consumers, consuming every single morsel of promise, every single bright neon light and every single new thing, a new drink, a new dress, a new cellphone, a new Philippines. These things we are being fed are sense-satisying and we explode with frenzied longing, only to expurgate everything in one single trip to the comforts of our toilet empty rooms. 

We fast drive our way into the twenty first century, still oblivious how are we going to reach our destination with our higher priced diesel. Our power plants are now being managed by private hands, and soon, our dams will bear the ritzy names of Nuvali dam or Avida. Sooner still, we will drink water from our streams, branded like softdrinks. And very soon, even the wind will be made into a commodity and sold to us. You just need a Babes Singson for that to happen.

Are we going to be shocked when we learn that our trees are getting cut like grass every single day and our mountains carved out to pave for low cost housing and trash thrown to hastily dug garbage pits?

Does this still shock you? Three thousand Pinoys leave these lands for better lives in some foreign land. Those are just the documented ones. How about those smuggled like stuffed bears or those who hide and pretend to be VIP’s, who walk in those private walkways and onto waiting airplanes? What awaits those Pinoy souls? No one seems to know and no one seems to care. How will we monitor our fellow Pinoys when every single embassy has political appointees whose interests go beyond care? How will three diplomats take care of a thousand Pinoys?

Is still shocking to see Pinoy kids being kidnapped for their kidneys and their hearts? How about  the Department of Health justifying transplants and so-called legal organ smugglings?

Is news of suicides and street vagrants asking for a swift death still shocks our senses? Of parents killing their babies and their kids and taking their own lives just because they can’t feed them, still shocking?

How about this---some Pinoys making malls their most preferred suicide place? That is an improvement. Before, it used to be billboards.

It would probably still shock us if we hear that rice is not the Pinoy’s staple food anymore, but Chinese noodles? Or, that siomai has totally replaced galunggong as the most sought-after viand?

Mr. President, nothing will ever shock us anymore. We have lived all these past nine years with only our courage and our guts left.

And even if you say that you’re trying to be different despite what we now see as just a continuation of the same, probably, that will shock us out of our wits.

Come to think of it again, we remember those tired, old revolutionaries say, the more things change, the more it remains the same.