Tag Archives: Philippines

The Issue of Political Dynasty: Coherences exist to serve a common evil purpose

Jesse Robredo
The 6-part television series is inspired by the true life of the late Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo.

This is a reaction to the television series, “Bayan Ko”, a political show in the Philippines which means, “My Nation” in English.

Episode 1 of the TV series:

In the fictional town of Lagros, the idealistic new Mayor faces some very real problems. Mayor Joseph Santiago discovers a bunch of wayward employees have turned the municipal hall into a boarding house and, worse, have been making under the table deals at every turn. His efforts to fight corruption–both petty and large scale-are blocked by a political dynasty led by Governor Antonio Rubio and Congressman Anton Rubio.

Reaction:

The issue of political dynasty in the country is not uncommon. Episode 1 of Bayan Ko powerfully illustrates this truth as the aspiring new Mayor, Joseph Santiago faces a political bond led by Governor Antonio Rubo and Congressman Anton Rubo. In the Philippines, though the Constitution (research this) prohibits such kind of political alliance, families and blood ties find ways to uphold a type of dynasty in the government to pursue personal interests.

For one thing, to have this kind of coherence is really tempting for it grants people special power to find the attainment of their purposes, which are mainly self-centered ones. It is all about power and money.

Different people of the same kin, united in one mind and distributed among different positions in a local or even national government entitles each of them to greater protection in authority. United, they could easily find ways to support each one if ever an ordinary citizen or a fellow politician or government official tries to attack or uproot them.

This kind of alliance also brings them to the fact that it assures them of continued material prosperity. What the father has experienced, the son and the grandson will also taste. What a flourish! It is like building a business, and the only investment is the same blood that travels through the veins. By this, financial security is at hand and inevitable.

This coherence also allows individuals to promote more their evil schemes. We all know the saying that Two heads are better than one, and yes this also applies to political dynasties, however much only stronger for many of them consist of more than just two kinsmen. They could tap the resources more effectively, hide anything that can be offensive to the public, and keep what they want without any notice. United, they could do more.

With all these facts said, a political dynasty could really be a powerful kingdom in a government. Not necessarily automatically evil, but every blood ties that exists in a local government faces the great temptation to be just like one that is seen in the television series.

Turning Back the Hands of Time

This institution exists to train the heart.” Not putting aside the mind, but greater importance is given on the heart, or the development of character. That was the first important statement I heard from Mr. Sol Garner Dolojan, the Director of the Mindoro Bible College, now known as Center for Servant Leadership Philippines, the institution where I finished my Bachelor’s Degree in Pastoral Theology.
My prayer while studying Theology was for God to deal with me on a very personal level. I was really expecting to see my character pruned, developed, and transformed. I would like to see myself as a better person after finishing four years of Biblical studies. I was very hopeful and expectant. I believed that finishing the seminary would open a wide door for me – door for the full-time ministry and for better character.

Yet observing myself now and looking back several years before studying in the seminary, I see some disappointing things. Often keen analysis would bring me into a conclusion that I was better – maybe not in knowledge and some ‘divine skills’, but in character, courage, and humility. There was in me a dimension that made me real close to God – which I do not see in myself now. Alas! If I could only see the missing link to this greatness (or nobility), then I would have my life full again!

Surely it could not be knowledge – for I believe more knowledge in Scriptures would mean closeness to God, though not automatically, but still that is the standard of the Bible, except if I follow the example of the Pharisees who were full of knowledge yet was far from God. Nor could it be the skills – for abilities were graciously showered  by God with the sole purpose of investing for His Glory and building up His Church, unless I have been using these talents to serve my own vain kingdom. Or could it be that I have abused knowledge and skills to serve myself wholly?

Let this be an open question.

 

This Summer will be Better than Last Year’s

What will summer be like for me this time?
What will summer be like for me this time?

Last year’s summer was a frustrating one, and history will not repeat itself this time.

I was so eaten up by the internet, movies, and other non-living stuffs that last year of summer’s  opportunity and privilege to hear from God was robbed from me. It was a tragic mistake, and it choked my life for the next whole year thereafter. It led me to wrong decisions and missed chances of service. It also took away some nice relationships.

And it’s summer again in the Philippines. It is still hurting me to remember that frustration, and all the aches it caused me. This time should be different, and that is my resolve.

I remember at this moment a nice thought from Facedown, a worship book from Matt Redman. It says that if we would like to hear from God, then we must ‘free’ ourselves from this busy world. we should go up higher and higher to relieve ourselves from the gigantic noises of this world to hear the silent and soft whisper of God.

A big challenge for me. No movies, no TV, no texting, and as much as possible, no internet. Ouch! Yes, that would really touch the most sensitive parts of my life.

But I have to do that. REALLY. That is my only chance of hearing from God. It would buy me some valuable time to pray, fast, reflect, and meditate on His Word.

God help me.

Christmas in the Philippines

Jesus Christ - the Greatest Gift mankind have ever received from God.
Jesus Christ – the Greatest Gift mankind has ever received from God.

Christmas is the one single event in the Philippines that changes the spirit of everything. It has the natural capacity to uplift the heart of the Filipino people, and to somehow miraculously alleviate the worsening economic condition of families for the sake of celebration and giving. Christmas indeed is never ordinary, it continuously makes wonders in our nation.

Christmas is magical working on the yearly calendar. As we arrive on the month of October, our minds begin to imagine things better. Our stressed thinking starts to relax as we anticipate the event. True, it may cause additional tension for the financially inadequate, but overall the idea of the coming yule is mind-freeing. We are rest assured deep within that despite all the problems surrounding us, the coming season of jubilation brings joy and freedom.

It’s the time of the year wherein we value relationships more. The family and our close ties to our loved ones are given extra space for reflection and admiration in our hearts. We also remember friends whom we have not seen or heard for a long time, and we make ways of seeing and communicating with them. With our broken relationships, the spirit of the yuletide season makes us set aside bitterness and unforgiveness, and let grace and mercy abound, for reconciliation purposes.

The sacred event also has the power to free us from selfishness. Most become willingly able to share to others, especially to the needy the resources they have accumulated for months, even for years. These assets include money, clothes, toys, foods, and other gifts. We become joyous in heart as we see the impoverished enjoy the leftovers of our riches. It is really a miracle of the heart, and not a show of hypocrisy.

Over and over again we see the best in the Filipino people everytime we celebrate Christmas. It should therefore be our earnest desire and prayer that we live each day as if it is Christmas.