The modern Sisyphus
How come the resiliency of Filipinos has been magnified and glorified worldwide? Other nations only have to stop in awe and praise Filipinos from their seats of comfort. Evidently, there is something wrong when darkness befalls upon a country repeatedly without the significance of resolve to response management being made. There must be something wrong in the system which restricts Filipinos to only having resiliency as a choice. In climbing the pitfall of demise, is there another choice than to be resilient?
What this resiliency has brought upon this nation is a task that is laborious but futile. We always hit rock bottom without even having the chance to get up. We are the embodiment of Sisyphus, the man who pushes rock on top of the hill just for it to slide down again to the bottom. This rotten system has normalized and cursed our land with deceit and abuse. It still continuously manifests injustices with negligence and irresponsibility in broad daylight concealed in the Filipino’s helpless resiliency.
Fighting seems laborious and futile as well. There are just enough reasons to push the stone over and over again. Still, tons of different cognition have made its weight more decadent. We have been fighting for unjust killings, we have been fighting for the reclamation of our lands, we have been fighting for our freedom of speech, and we have been fighting for the health and welfare of the Filipinos. And although we have fought so valiantly and hard, we have been fighting a heavy stone as well. Every day, as we keep on pushing harder, there are just countless reasons that have made the fight harder to win; the stone we carry is becoming more massive, and there is no other choice than to be resilient.
We have been trapped by the idea of ourselves from the past. “Ganito kami noon…” or “Yaong piso’y mataas pa ang halaga noon…”
Maybe in addressing the problems, we need to look at the rolling stone in front of us. The glory that the Filipinos possessed is just a shell of its own now. The only thing we could boast of is the endless resilience stories full of futile labor and fruitless works. The emphasis on concrete plans, sustainable developments, infrastructure, education, and health is more evident and manifested in this very moment. Let us abandon the building up of the façade, temporary projects that are subject to ruin. Instead, let us start focusing on addressing the Filipino’s needs.
After being admired by fellow nations for an exceptionally long time on resiliency, let us now follow and try to emanate the footsteps of those who have shown the world the antidote to resiliency. We need empowerment and a change. First off, we need the wits and knowledge to vote who should be voted. What needs to be done is to remove the stone of peril, but in that process we need to change the system of those who have established it here in the very first place. Truthfully, what was changing is not the system, but the oligarchs who rule the country from within that grapple our necks. Nothing much has changed from the past except the names of leaders who primed this land.
The truth is a hard pill to swallow, but it is not poison. Choking on lump of hard facts and eating the pride that we have established in showing our resiliency is as hard as ending and removing the very poison looming upon our exact system. Although the former feels like killing our identity, the latter is destroying our nationhood. From the dynamics of politics to economics, and even on socio-political adversaries, the need for a change is screaming. We need to stop sentimentalizing the ideals of resiliency when, in fact, the truth is it just covers up the problems that this nation needs to address.
Although it feels like the drive of our leaders to change this nation is evident for a long time, the system that was established has remained. We have been pushing the same rock all along, and there is nothing much we can do. And while we can glorify and praise Filipino highly, the fact remains that pursuing this resilience into having progress is heading nowhere. Even if we keep on fighting, if we do not stop in worshiping the same Zeus that has brought upon the very curse in our land, we will just remain continually blinded by our own resilience; our labors will remain futile. And we have nothing to blame but ourselves. — Ace Kevin E. Leano