Monday, February 08, 2010

“do not panic!”

The often cited valiant yet actually disturbing, fearless but precisely distressing yell, is in fact three-tiered: “Do not panic! Relax lang! Kayang-kaya ito!” Given the saddening recent past, the now gloomy existing present and the forthcoming uncertain days of the socio-economic situation and political scenery of the Philippines, the quoted extra-optimistic cheer can be considered as a false bravado or a big joke. Ever since such historical shout was made by an energy Czar and quoted by tri-media, both the importers and consumers of fuel are precisely in continuous panic and hysteria, not to mention suspicion and ire on the part of the general public.

This is somehow like the often repeated hurrah of the still reigning leader: “The economic fundamentals are in place.” Never mind what this impressive expression really means and/or how it truly works. The standing fact is that the Country suffers from pervasive poverty, has a below standard public educational system, has no employment for its citizens, does not even produce enough rice for people to eat, and presently neither has affordable sugar for its population – not to mention the long agony brought about by indirect taxation of Filipinos from birth to death.

There are brazen graft and corrupt practices in the government from top to bottom. There are innumerable killings, regular murders and massacres that even gained international infamy. There are criminals all over the land. There are more and drug syndicates. Even the supposed arm of the law often becomes the arm of lawlessness. The guns in the hands of those who exactly should not have them, has in a way brought back the Country to the cowboy and Indian times, Do not panic! Relax lang! Kayang-kaya ito!

The world of politics is burning with both serious and hilarious accusations and counter-accusations. The political candidates are literally and flagrantly throwing money away – surely for them to get much, so very much more in return when elected. The guns and goons are all out. The private armies are all in. The constant danger to lives and limbs is real. Even the innocent get hurt, if not killed. Do not panic! Relax lang! Kayang-kaya ito!

Suspect and suspicious, accused and accuser, and furthermore doubted and distrusted, wherefore confused if not lost – this is COMELEC. Among the still few machines in, there is even a number that barely works. Electricity is not certain in distant parts of the Country, during election day. Some places are in fact no man’s land. Clustering some 1000 thousand voters using but one voting machine for but some hours of a day, is not comforting to contemplate. The ballots are about two feet long. The jammers are in. The technicians are not. The watchers do not know what to watch out for. There is the possibility of the failure of election. Do not panic! Relax lang. Kayang-kata ito!


February 8, 2010