"In societies where Robbing Hoods are treated like a celebrity it is but natural to expect political parties to act like a Mafia syndicate" Political Jaywalker "In a nation where corruption is endemic people tend to confuse due process with aiding and abetting criminals" Political Jaywalker "War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left" Bertrand Russell "You have just one flash flood of money, you keep your people poor. It's like a time bomb and it's scary" Philippine Lawmaker

Response On Divisiveness & the Overseas Filipinos

Jose Ma. Montelibano emailed a response below on my "critique" of his article Sons and daughters quite intriguing and insightful. Fidel Umaga has Alimangong Bukid and Henry with his take on Filipino Ego as mere pretensions. While we may see different variations on our views on the issue raised there is a commonality that we can all explore especially the common good that was raised in the said email.

I like Gawad Kalinga and how it gives the marginalized a break or opportunity to build their own community in dignity especially that video I featured here early in my blogging experience. On the entertainment side Gawad Kalinga's "Paraiso" a film trilogy has so far been shown in more than 20 cities in the US and in Canada, and in over 10 countries in Europe, including Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, France, Spain and Germany. GK has raised P200million in the United States alone, quite a feat and a big boost in their anti-poverty campaign, mabuhay po kayo.

The punch line at the end surely knocks me off lol............ Well, I did try "walking" the streets and still at it for the longest time. The problem is I see no "crosswalk" thus I jaywalk most of the times, how about you who read this, tell me what you think.

Dear Jaywalker,

Your response to my article is a good way to start what will be a long day. Together with some co-workers and volunteers, we will drive to faraway Panganiban in Camarines Norte to attend tomorrow afternoon the wedding of two more co-workers, both of whom are not from Bicol. The groom-to-be is the Gawad Kalinga (GK) regional coordinator for Bicol, a young man in his mid-twenties, and his wife-to-be is the head of GK's Mabuhay group. They will be married in one of GK's most beautiful villages in the midst of the poor whom they love.

You are correct when you point to the ego. I chose to stay, however, at the more surface manifestation of ego affecting a collective body (Filipinos) because all human beings have a challenge with ego and I wish to focus more on us as a people. Some nations have grown strong because their people, all with ego, subordinate their personal ego to a higher or stronger collective interest more popularly know as the common good, or oftentimes , the law. In other words, the pull of ego is transcended when the pull of the law or the common good conflicts with it. Unfortunately, the acceptance of the law and the common good is not yet primordial to Filipinos although many are beginning to find the courage to elevate their priority.

Many colonized peoples have a difficult time rising from their painful history precisely because their former foreign masters took advantage of ego and consistently applied a divide-and-rule policy towards the subjects. A governance using the divide-and-rule format of pacifying a people will aggressively activate ego, more than that of the other side - the governors who stay more united in the goal to rule a much larger number of subjects with a smaller but superior force. The superiority of the invader/occupier almost always relies on keeping their subjects divided in order to be ruled.

The cheating in elections, presidential or mayoral, happens because the virus of divisiveness persists. If the people unite against cheating, there will be no cheating. At the very least, the cheats will be quickly punished. But as many as there are (or probably more) who complain about cheating are those who tolerate it. And those who complain prefer to do so in a comfortable setting instead of risking limb and life to confront the wrongdoing and wrongdoers. Oftentimes, it is not just ego that keeps a people weak but fear as well.

Confrontation and participation in action which may incur possible violence are not easy for most people,especially the peace-loving which I believe most Filipinos still are. It is wise, in my mind, to formulate counter measures to divisiveness and ego, including an aim to dismantle wrongdoing, by simply getting more people to individually and collectively (better and more effective) do good. Those who are afraid to confront the wrongdoers may choose to "draw the water out of their pond" by promoting a lifestyle of simply doing good. When more and more people are doing good, especially in a collective or communal manner, wrongdoers will find a superior force.

Thank you, Jaywalker, and I hope to see you walk the streets after you have tired of just observing them.

Jose Ma. Montelibano

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