Sources of Poverty
I have often meditated on the problem of poverty.
We are mistaken who should believe that the problem of widespread poverty in the Philippines is a purely material phenomenon.
We can not make the poor rich through purely external means. So those traditional economic indicators of a nation's wealth (or lack thereof) are only indicative of a part of the process and certainly not the whole.
We can not completely rely on what other economies think, well-meaning though they are, about our own economy because the roots of our national destiny is planted not on the soil of their land nor is the will of our nationhood established upon the soul of their experience as a people.
Surely, we can not look at a happy, smiling picture of another nation and say to ourselves it is our own without deceiving ourselves. For no nation upon the earth is the same.
Though we are all allied to each other by blood and covenant, each of us - each nation - is as distinct as individual human beings are unique.
The progress of any other nation is built upon the backs of its own sweat, blood, and tears.
Each their own journeys in time shaped by their own common experience of a love willingly and freely shed and therefore, shared from among its people across their generations; their peace a result of the reality they have crafted by grace of God from their own belonging together.
We are not any other nation, my fellow Filipino compatriots, we are this nation.
How we see ourselves as ourselves has a very direct as well as distinct bearing on our national destiny.
It might seem to fade in contrast to the obvious reality of the material but we must remember that the roots of our poverty goes deeper than the things of this world - and that is the truth.
And it matters not what name we should call ourselves - we are what we do.
If our understanding of the Angel of the Philippines (or the spirit of the one Filipino people) is wont to teach us anything, it is this:
We could choose to change the name of our nation (not that I am for it, mind you, I am completely against it) but it shall always remain for all our generations that we are who we are inside of ourselves more than what or how or by what name we appear (or make ourselves appear) from the outside.
We shall wear our Flag on the inside before anything else or not at all.
Because time is a flow and once it has gone out of the timeless within our hearts, once time has flowed out of the Sanctuary of the LORD in our every hearts, it is no longer time but consequence and is near impossible to change. (You may refer to the River in Ezekiel 47: 1-12.)
Only a miracle of God can change the course of consequence.
These miracles do happen but if we rely exclusively on them, we tempt the LORD.
For the small and hidden miracles that God works in the hearts of all men are plentiful indeed and more than enough to change the course of our history - we just need to pay attention and hear Him.
Verily, we can not rely purely on externals to solve our problems as a people.
The fact of the matter is poverty is a social justice issue here in the Philippines. It is therefore, a wrong that our society as a whole must make right.
We have to become willing to re-think ourselves again as ourselves - together this time.
People are poor who have accepted the reality of being poor. A nation is defeated who have come to accept its own defeat. No nation can so thoroughly deplete the spirit and exhaust the will of another nation as completely as it can its own self.
We are not a defeated people. We have spirit enough in ourselves to make it right. So we have to educate ourselves aright, above all our youth.
Our history writes that the Philippines was re-discovered in 1521 by a nation not its own.
Let it write further here today that in the third Christian millennium, the Philippines is re-discovered once again by its own nation; by a people wholly its own and a generation called to re-constitute once more our original culture of life and peace.
Carry on with determination, President Noy.
Do not let your faith waver nor the belief in your heart be weakened by those things that oppose your good will and spirit of Country.
Rather, let if flow out of yourself as a mighty river, continue to strive to be the change to inspire us and to work in the nation a remembrance of itself, mabuhay!
We are with you, sir - all the way.
Furthermore, please refer to 20110317, The Roots of the Problem - and consider these also as major sources of poverty.
Araw ng Kagitingan
Today we commemorate "Araw ng Kagitingan" or Day of Valour. This day marks the surrender of Bataan and Corregidor during WWII.
Through it, we commemorate the universal spirit of the Filipino profession of arms in general and our friendship with the US Armed Forces in specific.
To do justice to the undying sacrifices of our soldiers and of all soldiers from every nation, we must always remember that there is no such thing as a "just" war, only just causes.
That it is the lives and the actions of just and virtuous military men and women of our nation and of every nation that we shall remember to honor this day, because, my honorable compatriots, in stark contrast to the atrocities of war and the dishonor of war criminals, it is these that redeem.
Military blood ties are permanent.
We ignore the counsel of our own military remembrances at our own peril.
Lest we forget. Lest we forget.
A Tragedy in Brazil
I was shocked and saddened by the recent school shooting in Brazil. There are no words enough to express it. I stand in silent sympathy with them.
Let us pray for the victims of this tragedy, feel their hurt, and ask God above for healing for the Brazilian nation.
Let us say peace be upon Brazil, peace be upon the Brazilian people.
Another Earthquake in Japan
Japan has done so much for the Philippines. In this time of great stress, let us continue to pray for Japan. May God bless the Japanese nation!
May their indomitable strength of spirit triumph against this test.
Please visit Asia For Japan.
Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! God bless us all.