April 20, 2024

Admittedly, this near-sighted Ibaloy writer and true-blue Baguio boy is old enough to remember the “glory days” (If one can call it that) of Camp John Hay when it was still under the Americans.
I remember distinctly that whenever my family or friends and I entered the Camp, we make sure to follow all the traffic rules and other regulations for fear of being caught and penalized. Then, when leaving its premises, following the rules suddenly is not top of mind or not the priority.
Shameful, I know, but that was just how it was. This is similar to stories of Filipinos in other countries, like Singapore, where our kababayans strictly follow its laws but when they return home to our beloved archipelago of delicious coconuts and smiling carabaos, following the rules is, let’s just say, not really that important.
I could be wrong, of course, but it just seems that way. By the way, I am also guilty of this when visiting relatives abroad. Hi, hi.
What gives? Well, the usual retort I hear goes this way: “Why will I strictly follow the rules in our country when many of its leaders and lawmakers are the rule-breakers themselves and get away with it?”
Honestly, I also think this way, at times. Again, this should not be. The ideal is for all of us to follow the law since we are supposed to be a country of laws according to our Constitution. Without laws, we will spiral into chaos and anarchy. This, we should not allow to happen.
When it comes to the number of laws, rules, and regulations, the Philippines has so many of them that we might even be the world champion. However, when it comes to actually implementing and enforcing these rules and regulations consistently, equally, and equitably, it, unfortunately, seems to be another matter altogether. Emphasis on the words “consistently”, “equitably (fairly)”, and equally (the same for the poor and powerless and rich and powerful, alike).
To be fair, current leaders of some local government units like Pasig City and even our very own Summer Capital are trying their best to enforce the laws and regulations in their respective jurisdictions in the name of “good governance”.
They should be supported and our country needs more servant-leaders like these and not so-called leaders who play politics all the time and serve only themselves, families, friends and “kailians”.
Unfortunately, our beloved country continues to be ruled by greedy political family dynasties, some of whom are more “warlords” than “leaders”. We should blame ourselves for continuing to vote for them into office. Or at least the majority of us do (the so-called “bobo-tantes”. OMG.)
We deserve the leaders we elect, as the saying goes. So far, our beloved Philippines is still the “Sick Man of Asia”. Until when? I don’t know. Tragic.
Anyway, a belated Happy Valentine’s Day to one and all, especially to my “Valentina” for almost 27 years, my lovely wife Sarah. Also, Feb. 23 is Ibaloy Day.
May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to bless and keep us all safe.