Since Rodolfo Lozada came out from the dark to the light and talked about the countless horrible things they do out there on the dark side most especially how they handled the NBN-ZTE deal, many of my local and expatriate friends asked me what is going on and why these cases are always happening in my beloved Philippines. These people were updated because international newspapers and television stations carried them.
Last Wednesday evening, I was sitting on the stairway at the entrance of the building where I live, waiting for a friend to pick me up for the Bankers’ Cup Tennis Tournament. Before my friend arrived, two tenants, one from the Indian subcontinent and a Middle Eastern man came. After the usual Kefalhals (how are you?) they asked me questions about the testimonies of Rodolfo Noel “Jun” Lozada; were they all true and how they all came to be? The last question I heard (somewhat) sounded to me like Kabayan, why your country is troublesome and why Bilibinos (the f and p are pronounced as b here) allow the gang of Ali Baba to run your country?
I sensed that this casual talk would lead to a series of questions that would simply end with a big “WHY?” I decided not to engage myself in any further discussions with these people whose deep accent and broken English contributed much to the destruction of my small brain (sorry folks, malis), I just told them, “Ya Sadik, Yo know Bolitics.” That was it. Our conversations ended and they bid good-bye.
And as they went, I suddenly felt sad about our situation as a nation and as a Filipino abroad.
I know that these are just conversational questions without malice, but deep inside I felt that these questions were like casting a huge cloud of doubt (bigger than the smog of Metro Manila) in my person as a Filipino and again, a negative verdict have been handed to all the Filipinos working here. I do not want to be presumptuous but I suspect that this would be added to the long list of negative generalized perceptions of who and what kind of people the Filipinos are.
I am a Filipino! I belong to a great race. I am proud to be one but why? Why all those crazy, stupid, brazen acts of thievery and corruptions of those in power in my country be connected to me as a person? Why do I have to be dragged into and pay the price for this mess, the ecosystem of corruption created by the unwanted child of EDSA 2 People Power Revolution and people who according to Archbishop Oscar Cruz “Long and deeply buried in a huge pile of rotten and rotting garbage, … has become one big living infection already immune to remedial sanitation,” Why?
Why do I have to be looked at like this button whose glory faded after the momentous EDSA 1 People Power Revolution? Why do I have to carry it at my back everywhere I go? Why would such a fine young Filipina like Miss Choi thinks that “puno na ang salop” and feels that there is no more hope for the Philippines? WHY?
Sometimes, I cannot help but envy Rodolfo Noel Lozada. He can always say, “I think I’m not defending the truth anymore. It’s the truth that’s defending me.”
In my case, I can only say that I cannot defend the truth anymore. It’s the truth. The truth that’s hurting me, us Pinoys.
I know that a lot of you wouldn’t agree with me but this is what I think and (most often than not) this is the reality you’d see outside the Philippines.
For the last time, please look closely at the picture. You will know what I feel and what I am saying here.
I am A Filipino! Who am I? Why?