My own State of the Nation Address (SONA)

A few minutes ago, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo finished delivering her ninth and final State of the Nation Address (SONA).
I don’t see the need to report what was said since the dailies, TV channels, and other blogs have already covered it. More importantly, I don’t see why one would take more than an hour to talk about the current state of the Philippines.
Because as for me, the current state of the nation is simply these three things.
1. The Philippines remains poor.
Twenty years and four presidents after the country broke free from the bondage of dictatorship, we remain a poor nation. A lot of Filipinos lack access to proper food, water and education. A majority earn wages barely enough to sustain an acceptable quality of life. Because domestic opportunities are scarce, millions opt to work abroad  — many of them with no desire of coming back. Poverty seems to be a way of life in our country.
2. We still are a divided country.
Filipinos we may all be but we loathe each other or, more appropriately, the people who are not “like us.” The poor hate the rich people for being corrupt and selfish, while the rich despise the poor for being ignorant and lazy. The opposition does not want to support the administration for the sake of opposing, while the administration denies the opposition voice for not joining the team. Political bickering here, social status division there. How can we achieve a common goal if we, as a nation, are not united as one?
3. Filipinos are hopeful but uncertain of the future ahead.
We have always been a country of optimistic people. We know there is hope but we are not sure how to translate it to reality.
What then must we do?
Understanding the current state of the nation is just the first step. The next thing to do is create a common goal then plan how to achieve it. The government, however, cannot be tasked to do this alone. Everyone must contribute his share.
How exactly? We can start with the following simple but useful ways.
Do a good thing everyday. Stop littering. Don’t waste water. Obey traffic rules. How wonderful would the world be if each one of us does a good thing everyday, no matter how trivial?
Vote in the 2010 elections. The world is run by those who show up so make our voices heard by voting in the elections next year.
Choose leaders wisely. We deserve the leaders we elect, they say. Thus, if we want change, we must elect people who have a vision for the country and the willpower to effect change.
Be successful in whatever we do. An individual’s success adds to the collective success of our nation. If we all work towards achieving personal success, there is no doubt a successful Philippines will follow.
The state of a nation depends entirely on its citizens. Yes, the current state of the Philippines is bleak and awful but is this how we really want it to be?
It’s time to change the state of our nation.

12 thoughts on “My own State of the Nation Address (SONA)”

  1. Despite all our problems… I still feel good that we werent really affected by the Global Crisis. Factories were shut down on other countries. I think there were only few in the Philippines (Intel shut down was an issue way before the recent crisis).
    The future of the government rests on our shoulders. After all, that’s what democracy and freedom is all about 😉

  2. Excellent post. I don’t think some of this issues are entirely unique to the Philippines of course. Other countries are in the same ship but in varying degrees. It is very unfortunate that the Philippines remains such a poor country though and I hope and pray that conditions will improve. I am confident that they will.
    I think the small tasks you encourage would make a much bigger impact than people realize.

  3. @ice_hot, that’s correct. We must always think positive to attract the good vibes. But we must also understand first the negatives because only after learning them can we start working on the ways to solve them.
    @JC, I agree. I think GMA was satisfactory in terms of the economy. If the fundamentals weren’t properly placed, more companies would have probably closed down, the exchange rate would plummet, and more people (as if they’re not a lot already) will be poorer.
    @Tim, exactly. These problems are the same issues other countries are experiencing. The problem with the Philippines, unlike in other countries, is that we seem to dwell more on the problem rather than the solutions. That’s why after decades of being “free” from dictatorship, the problems we’ve faced before are the same problems we’re facing today.
    @narsdoktor, yup I do feel too that Filipinos should get rid of crab mentality.
    @Dinah, if everyone would really start doing something good for themselves and for others everyday, it won’t be that difficult to have a better society.
    @Tyrone, I have no problems with Filipinos leaving the country for a job abroad, but I hope they come back in the future to help the nation. The Philippines need more people like you!

  4. Philippines is a great country who can survive and have more left for export by utilizing it’s own resources alone. Be it manpower or natural resources. Unfortunately, no matter who we put in the political throne of power – eventually that person will be corrupted. I completely agree on what James had mentioned that we should do baby steps – do something good, doesn’t matter how small it is. You see, the power of compounding does not apply only to saving money- it applies to all. A good example is doing small things at a time. Kudos James for a nice post.
    .-= Gary´s latest blog ..Tips on your First Real Estate Investment. =-.

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