June 17, 2024

Let’s start with a prayer to renew our mind, body and soul: “Lord, I come before You today in need of Your healing hand.
In You all things are possible. Hold my heart within Yours, and renew my mind, body, and soul. I am lost, but I come to You with grace. You gave us life, and You also give us the gift of infinite joy. Give me the strength to move forward on the path you’ve laid out for me.
Guide me towards better health, and give me the wisdom to identify those you’ve placed around me to help me get better. In Your name I pray, Amen.”

Here’s “Addressed to Myself” by Gabriel Baban Keith: “You’ve had a great life so far, Gabriel,/ Despite the sharpened knives on your back/ And the flaking spittle on your face./ Your laughter still roars loud and true, pare ko,/ The corrosive envy of friends and foes/ Has not darkened your rose-colored glasses/ Nor dampened your cup-is-half-full/ View of life./ Maybe this is as it should be, Gaby,/ Life was not meant to be endured/ But tamed and conquered — /Consumed down to its marrow/ Then spat out on the wayside/ Of eternity.”(For my ninong, Dr. Cirilo F. Bautista, National Artist for Literature)

Are you old enough to remember the ubiquitous phrase, “Sa ikauunlad ng bayan, disiplina ang kailangan,” during the Marcos regime in the 1970s? Well, this writer does. However, I was not a paragon of discipline at that time as evidenced by the numerous occasions I was beaten on the puwet with a runo stick by my teachers for being naughty and undisciplined. Same with my parents who preferred using a belt. The “rod” was not spared during the good old days. Now, many teachers and parents are afraid of their students and children. Times have changed. Whether for the better or worse, is anybody’s guess.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government is spearheading the Disiplina Muna national advocacy campaign aimed at reviving and elevating a culture of discipline among Filipinos and serve as a bridge towards genuine change. “Change starts with me” is its motto.
The program also seeks to inculcate the true concept of governance where citizens are active participants and know their role in nation building.
Seven of the DILG’s leading programs were chosen to showcase the importance of discipline: road clearing, disaster preparedness and resilience, anti-smoking, ease of doing business, liquor ban, tourist spots clean-up, and barangay anti-drug abuse council.
It goes without saying that the success of this worthy endeavor depends on each of us. Especially on our honorable leaders who should practice what they preach, of course.