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Archive for June, 2015

viral young boy studying under street light

image:borrowed

The world is inspired, humbled and challenged by the perseverance and hardwork of this young boy. His name is Daniel and he is only 9 years old. He loves singing, drawing & reading. He is fatherless, too. Their family house got burnt so they don’t have a secure or permanent home at the moment.

He does not have much in life and he had been dealt with some pretty bad cards but he insists on being educated because as every FIlipino knows, education is a ticket out of poverty. He is inspired by his family to persevere, to help them have a better quality of life, especially his brother who is unwell.

Some rich spoilt kids who have every expensive gadget imaginable hate to study. They have a desk that they never use. They have a bright room that they only hide in to play computer games.

Daniel has none of these. All he has is determination and a dream. God bless kids like him. Kids who may not have much in life but more than make up for it by having the biggest ambitions and gigantic determination to propel them to a brighter future.

Mabuhay ang mga “Daniel” ng Pilipinas!

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There is this EVENT on the 8th of June in Cambridge featuring the Philippine Ambassador to the United Kingdom. He is supposed to talk about the booming economy of the Philippines and that it is a rising STAR in Asia. I must admit when I saw the invite on Facebook, I was intrigued and curious at the same time. For years now, I have been hearing all these wonderful news about my native country doing so well economy-wise.

But then, something inside of me is still pessimistic and unconvinced that indeed, the Philippines has finally woken up and flexing its muscles. After all, most of its income comes from the remittances of millions of Filipinos leaving their families for greener pastures, and not from actual wealth generated there.

This “rising star” status is being made possible at the expense of families that are breaking up due to distance or separation, children growing up without a parent and in some cases, both parents. I believe that for a country to be truly considered as progressive or affluent, it should be able to generate its own income without exporting its people. I believe that if the Philippines is indeed progressing, we should not hear of Mary Jane Veloso’s anymore. Or, that China should not be that arrogant and cocky to occupy its rich islands because it should have the respect of other countries, most especially a neighbor.

But then, maybe, when they say that the Philippines is on the up in terms of its economic status, perhaps they mean it is on its way to becoming a truly progressive country. Perhaps, the leaders are just starting to figure out how to lay down a policy structure that is supportive of small businesses. Or maybe, they are now thinking of ways to improve farm to market roads to ensure food security and greater progress for the farmers.

I am hoping that the Filipinos back home are now deciding never to vote for corrupt officials ever again or sell their votes. I am also desperately begging God that dynasties and actor-politicians will be gone from the Philippine political landscape. More importantly I am praying that a true transformation of the country starts with every Filipino wanting to be a contributor to the nation’s progress: paying proper taxes, abiding by the law, abandoning crab mentality, avoiding “lagayan” system, or simply investing instead of spending their money.

This Rising Star status has inspired my pessimistic self to hope this way, and I hope this time, it will not come to naught.

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