I wore a white shirt today.
I am one with my fellow Pinoys who are searching for answers. I am one of the million taxpayers who want answers to where our hard earned money went. I stand for transparency and accountability. I want the truth.
As a million Filipinos gather in Luneta and in different venues in the country as a show of indignation to the misuse of billions of public funds, I stand with them in spirit as we all search for answers and accountability from our government. You see…I cannot join them in Luneta as I have responsibilities at work. I am part of the Filipino workforce who toil daily to earn out a living and part of how much I earn is deducted from my pay as it is mandated by my own government as my responsibility in nation building.
I have never complained about the tax that is diligently and regularly deducted from me every 15th and 30th of the month. I have always looked at it as my prime responsibility as a Filipino. I have come into the habit of not checking on the tax deducted from my pay as it will just make me squirm on how much I am losing out. I just consoled myself that my country needs my contribution to provide a better future for my daughter. I have also come into the habit of using pedestrian lanes, pedestrian walkways, and even waiting sheds as this is where my taxes go and I have to use it. I wish I can say the same for education and health care.
Just imagine my indignation after reading reports on how a few people and local officials was able to pocket billions of taxpayers’ money for their own personal gain while millions of people work their arse off to do their part for the country. Imagine my discomfort of watching videos of lavish Beverly Hills parties for a “family baby” while hundred thousand of Filipino kids suffer from lack of funding for a decent education. Imagine my disgust that these few people (and politicians, at that) would use the marginalized sector of the country to try to “formalize” their liquidations for their use of public funds, only to discover that these sectors never really received any.
It is disgusting and, however some of you try to put it or wash your hands from it, ” mga magnanakaw kayo!”
I stand for transparency. Let us not beat around the bush. We want the government to give us the transparency on how public funds were used by each government official, including the President’s. We deserve to know as these were our hard earned money and not yours. As government officials, you are accountable to us and part of that accountability is to be transparent with how you spent your PDAF. Transparency is the first step towards answering our questions.
I stand for accountability. Let us make sure that those who are responsible are taken to court and are put to jail. Let us look into the evidence and demand that justice be served. I would like for the PNoy government to stand by the platform that they have been brandishing – PNoy’s “Tuwid na Daan”. This is a test of his principle that no one is above the law and that no one has connections in his government. Every government official shall be subject to scrutiny and, if needed, be put to jail. This is the President’s time to show this point to his constituents. We demand that justice be served.
I stand by the courtesy that these elected officials resign from their post or take a leave of absence to ensure that the investigation will be done with integrity and without their influence. Mahiya naman kayo! Let us cut out the b*llsh*t that you are unaware of these NGOs or that we need to verify your signature. You were entrusted with public funds so much more that you need to be more vigilant as to where it goes. If you want to clear your name, stand aside and let the wheels of justice take its course. We, the Filipinos, demand and deserve it.
I am writing my thoughts because I want to demand that we deserve a better government. A government run by people who has the true calling of public service and not by greedy and disgusting fools. I want a government who puts their constituents first before them. And if that means abolishing the pork barrel of government leaders then so be it.
And for the solon who said that she would agree for the pork barrel to abolished provided that her constituents do not ask from her…shame on you! You do not deserve to be in that seat. Akala ko ba gusto mo maglingkod sa bayan?
I may not be in Luneta but I stand with them on this fight!
I slept with a smile last night.
Appreciation is one thing that makes people feel good about themselves and a late appreciation last night just got me very excited.
I guess for most people who follow me over Twitter or Facebook are very much aware that I regularly post pictures over Instagram which I then tweet or broadcast over FB. These pictures are usually snipets of my day, a blasts from the past, or a picture from one of my travels.
I was later introduced to a group of “instagrammers” who conducts daily challenges for their followers to work on. These challenges cover a variety of themes to which followers work on and submit at 9p. It was aptly hashtagged as the 9pm habit. Four pictures are then selected from the submitted photos, deemed as the best from the submissions, and are featured the next day. There are no prizes given and it is all about the recognition for one’s creativity – bragging rights and feeling good about one’s work.
I started to challenge my creativity to be able to participate in these challenges. I worked on the theme on a daily basis. It just took one of my pictures to be recognized to get me hooked with the daily challenges. The appreciation that I got on one of my entries was enough to challenge my creativity on a daily basis and I have the moderators of the #9pmhabit to thank for.
One of the themes that was featured this week dealt with the topic on culture and it got me into thinking as to how social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram introduced a new culture or a new way of thinking among its users. Come to think about it, the introduction of these mediums among netizens was bound to introduce a new way of thinking and doing things. In the end, it will definitely give birth to a new behavior among its users.
Take the case of selfies, the proliferation of self portraits over the internet was unheard of a few years back. Pictures were usually taken by a photographer and, if one wants to be part of the picture, then you got to get somebody else to take the shot. Every once in a while, we get to do a selfie but this can prove to be a challenge as this would require a lot of attempts to get a perfect shot as it is a hit and miss thing.
But with the introduction of mobile phones with built in front cameras that allow you to take pictures of yourself with the right angle and precision…selfies became a household activity. More and more people became appreciative of their looks. The introduction of applications that help enhance these pictures clearly paved the way for self-portraits to be enhanced that gives it a fresher and a more desirable look. And to top it all off, social media networks like Facebook and Instagram have provided the platform for these individuals to show off their finished products. Hence, selfies became a household name and, whether we like or dislike it, it is bound to stay.
It is also amazing how social networking sites play its role on opening the minds of society. The access to these media are limitless and it is so broad that the transfer of information can reach thousands of people in a matter of seconds. Opinions and sentiments can be shared, in the same way that getting chastised can happen in an overwhelming manner. Take the case of the “I’m A Layer” video that went viral and the hapless student getting a beating for berating a security personnel. It opened the eyes of the community that we do not tolerate these public acts. We then have to admit that it made everyone conscious of their actions while in public for fear of being caught and be berated online. We have become a more understanding community, all because of fear.
We have also allowed ourselves to become public properties as social networking sites have given us a platform to give our friends and even strangers updates on what is happening in our lives. Your minute by minute account of how you are stuck along Edsa traffic and your frustration are seen by followers in real time as you tweet. Your upcoming events are posted on your FB wall for your guests to make their confirmation. Better yet, your Instagram followers know what you had for lunch and even what you had for dessert. All this information are on the tip of your fingers and ready for public consumption. Though some may disagree with some of these practices, the reality is that it is here for keeps as we start understanding that we have become a more open and transparent society.
Given the advancement of today’s technology, we have clearly redefined the world and how we see it. We are a witness as to how gadgets have made life easier for us with just a click of a button. We have accepted the reality that information can easily be transferred across continents in a matter of seconds and that the biggest threat that we face globally is the loss of access to these information. We have grown to understand that our gadgets that connect us to the world is an important commodity for daily living.
So how did it affect me?
It is bringing out the creativity in me. It has allowed me to become a photographer that I have always wanted to be and with my works appreciated by many. Just like the pictures that I have posted on my wall that were selected to be featured by different groups over at Instagram. A picture that was selected to be featured from my wall was enough to make my day yesterday. It was the reason why I was smiling myself to sleep last night.
My world is a lot different now as I am seeing it in a different light. As I have put it…everything is #instagrammable in my world. A coin on the floor or a spoon on the sink can now tell a thousand stories. It is just a matter of getting the right angle and the right filters to use so that I am able to share my visual stories.
Rave: It was good to see that a lot of local officials seem to be more proactive nowadays when responding to storm warnings issued by PAGASA. Mayors have started making announcements of class suspensions a day before typhoon Labuyo was to hit the country. Such immediate response is a good measure for students’s safety and just gives every parent the peace of mind.
Rant: These issues involving Napoles is starting to involve more and more polticians. Now we have a list of Mayors getting involved in this alleged misuse of funds. I tried to read an article that was pcublished by the Daily Inquirer about an interview on Napoles but never succeeded in finishing it as I just got annoyed with her answers.
Rave: It was good to read an article ran by the Philippine Daily Inquirer about the response of Filinvest Alabang to save the three storey Art Deco Building of the BPS that was constructed way back in 1924. The plan for adaptive reuse of the building will save it from being demolished. This means another heritage site being saved from being erased from Filipino memories.
Rant: Flood control is still an issue in the Metro Manila. During heavy downpours, certain parts of the metropolis are prone to flooding which then causes traffic. The funny thing is that every year we do expect the rainy season but a concrete solution is never implemented by the local government and the MMDA. I think it is about time that we solve the problem once and for all.