Monday, June 6, 2011

Burying the Past: And Erasing our Philistinism

One of the most admirable things we are known for throughout the world is our habit of respecting our elders. We have our mano pos and we always pepper our talk with deference to the status of the one we are talking to.


We also have something which, for me, is not desirable--our profuse sentimentalism. I call it Philistinism.


Look--how many 70's and early 80's cars we have on the road? Quite many, right? Why? Because Filipinos can't seem to part ways with their first cars. In other countries, these cars would have been crushed and sent to the junk shop. No. Here, you have 30 or 40 year old cars still running.


This applies to our Philistinism when it comes to politics. Look, we have so many new faces in the political arena with so much to give and so many new ideas to share for the benefit of the people. Yet, these people can't seem to maneuver themselves quite easily. Why?


We still have a governmental bureaucracy that acts like a colonial. We have an antiquated, Spanish-era values system being implemented on the ground. Our bureaucracy seems too feudal to our modern tastes. Despite billions spent just to educate our bureaucrats of the new ways to govern, we remain backward. 


And I fault the national government for this. Look.


One example is this administration. There are two major powers controlling a very weak President--his kamaganaks represented by the Samar Group and his friends, represented here by the Balai group. 


How can he effectively govern when his left ear listens to the Samar group while his right listens to the Balai group, two conflicting forces with two differing interests? Eventually, no policy is made because it conflicts with one or two of these groups?


Where are the professionals who are either Balay or Samar? They are relegated to the sidelines. They are not being supported because they don't have personal ties with this president.


President Aquino is pursuing Philistinism in politics. He looks not on credentials. He prefers personal relationships. He probably thinks he's a monarch or what. That is not the way to manage a modern state.


This explains why many people perceive Noynoy as a weak leader because he has no capability whatsoever of balancing the interests of his cronies.


Yes, I will say this once---cronyism is back and is still alive. 


Noynoy has the penchant of re-tooling veterans and retirees. This shows you the viewpoint of this president, a president totally adverse to the winds of change and change itself. 


We must bury this creeping Philistinism of this president to old ways and urge him, prod him to test new ways of doing things.