Thursday, March 08, 2007

Guilty Nationalist

Last elections, 2004, I was a very active voter's educator. I remember talking to my boss, then JVP Executive Director now a Jesuit Brother - Mark Lopez, that we ought to have a Voter's Ed module during the Midyear Evaluation seminar for JVP Batch24. The module was to be informative, simple and something they can easily adapt in their areas. It was of National importance that we help people become more aware of how to vote and who to vote. And admittedly, it was a personal concern and passion... The module during the midyear did happen and the volunteers rated it highest in the seminar evaluation.

I remember that my last lines during the session was to make sure that they do it in their areas; that they hold their own voter's ed. More often than not, Jesuit Volunteers are given high regard in the areas, thus placing them in an influential position. It was their duty both to the people in their area and to our country.

I was also doing various voter's ed works outside my work as JVP. . . But that was in 2004. Elections are coming up but I have found myself not caring that much. I don't even read the paper as often as I did nor do I watch the news. A huge part of me has become quite apathetic.

The past 2 weeks have been hell week,doing an instructional video on how to vote and how to protect our votes. I won't go to the details on why this project seem to have badluck tied to it as I may change how you perceive some people whom a lot of us have always admired.

Part of the video is shooting MAN on the STREET (MOS) interviews, throwing them different questions related to elections. One question reads - "Ano ang mga katangian ng tao na sa tingin mo ay dapat ihalal at ilagay sa pwesto ng panunungkulan sa Gobyerno?" Answers varied but they were as vague as - "MakaDiyos, Makabayan, May Malasakit sa Mahihirap, May puso para sa masa." Not that there's anything wrong with those answers. I mean, sure I would want a leader with all those qualities but can't you give me something more tangible and measurable? I was throwing follow up questions, specific to education qualities or experiences, careful not to lead them into my own answer but they continued to be vague - "Ok lang kahit di graduate sa kolehiyo basta nais makatulong."

Can I just say this out loud? - DIYOS ko PO!!! Ganito lang ba talaga kalawak ang nais natin sa ating mga lider? In that case Richard Gomez does have a point for running and winning because he did say he just wanted to help. And how do we measure makaDiyos? Because he goes to mass regularly or we see him in Church? And how do we balance makamasa with may alam sa batas at sa panunungkulan?

Mga kababayan, CAN WE BE MORE DEMANDING?! When it comes to our leaders, we ought to demand for the best! Let's put in some specifics when we are asked for qualities of the leaders we want. Let's make that list concrete, tangible and make no compromises. Magaling nga siya pero mamamatay tao, hindi pwede yun. Makamasa nga siya pero wala siyang alam sa batas. Nais niyang makatulong, pero di wala siyang konkretong plano kung paano niya gagawin yun. We've become such a country of pwede na yan and we ought to stop it. Hindi pwede ang pwede na yan!

Felt so bad after doing the MOS. I felt helpless and a lot guilty. I actually wanted to hold an impromptu Voter's Ed in the shoot, if only we had time and I had the energy to do so... We are still editing the instruction video and there's not a part there that really educates the voter's on who to vote and to have high standards in choosing leaders. It reminds them to be careful who to vote for, pero walang pagdiin kung sino nga ba bobotohin.

Sad, guilty... I ought to get up and do something more.