Pwede na muling mangarap? Can the Filipinos dream again?
A new chapter in Philippine History is being written as a new administration, believed to bring about the pivotal change that our country needs, assumes office. Most Filipinos believe that having the son of two prominently virtuous and patriotic icons as their president would resolve the country’s chronic problems of graft and corruption. Yet, some still dwell on the scarce competencies that the newly elected president possesses compared with his opponents. No matter what one’s opinion may be, the elections has concluded, and it is clear that Pres. Benigno “Noynoy” C. Aquino III won by a clear mile.
Though still in its primacy, the Aquino administration is not altogether safe from the painstaking scrutiny of the public eye. Each decision and action is a target for criticism as high expectations derived from the promises of busting corruption and leading with bureaucratic democracy is expected from the current government. However, it is undoubtedly too early to pass judgment on the Aquino administration. We can only go as far as criticizing his apparent leadership skills or methods and his plans for the various sectors of the country.
In President Noynoy Aquino’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA), apart from emphasizing the inherited “mess” the current administration has to clean up, he was also able to enlighten the Filipinos on how he will be as the leader of the country.
The “wang-wang issue” became a mainstay in broadcast media even several days after the SONA, and numerous remarks and jokes have been made about the whole issue. But amidst all criticisms, Pres. Aquino stayed true to his word and did not use his wang-wang privilege to steer clear of Metro Manila’s very heavy traffic jams. Small and simple as it may seem, this action taken by the President actually depicts how he would, more or less, rule the country.
“A leader leads by example, whether he intends to or not.”
Choosing not to use his presidential privileges emulates identification with the Filipino masses, depicting that he does not see himself better than or above them. It depicts that he is willing to lead with the people by example. The wang-wang has often been abused by officials, who have no authority using them, in cheating their way through traffic jams at the expense of the common Filipinos who sit through long rides just to get to their destination. Through this example led by the highest authority in the country, stricter implementation of rules and regulations would now be more possible, and the people would not entertain the thought of cheating, especially when the leader does not.
“Great things start from small beginnings.”
This simple gesture, together with the decree prohibiting the use of the wang-wang, can be the start of the battle against blatant cheating, a simple and thoughtless crime that may ultimately lead to corruption, which remains to be an unresolved issue despite efforts on the part of the new administration to rid the old government of such rampant anomalies. As much as lying or cheating can lead to worse crimes, simple measures of following rules and regulations can bring about a more peaceful and organized country. Here, one is once again reminded that things both great and devastating have always originated from small, simple acts.
“Be the change that you want to see.”
Oftentimes, in the perspective of the majority, implementing change for a better future falls under the responsibility of a single individual. There are numerous opinions, aspirations and desires of the people but there is no follow through. A leader is indeed necessary. However, a leader should not fight this battle alone; we, Filipinos should be one in our battle for a better country. We should not rely on just a single authority to make the changes that we want to make. Instead, we should initiate these changes and commit ourselves as living examples of the kind of Filipino that we want to be.
If we can do this, then maybe we can dream again.