Thursday, January 19, 2017

How do We Bring Things Back to Order?


In elementary school one of the things I remember our teachers kept reiterating was the good values that we have as Filipinos. We were taught that Filipinos are always hospitable, family oriented, have debt of gratitude (utang na loob), being respectful, being simple, hard working, humorous, religious and the bayanihan attitude. On the flip side, there's also the bad stuff - crab mentality, being boastful (mayabang), ningas cogon, bahala na, Filipino time and gossiping. There are many more.

I never thought I would have the opportunity to work for a foreign company. I always thought that I would just be based back home. I assumed that being the youngest I would be the one to stay home with my parents since my siblings both live abroad already. Opportunity came and I found myself working with a diverse set of people and eventually found myself living far away from home. I found that Filipinos always put their best foot forward when abroad. It is when we show that we are hard workers. It's also when we are at our charming best. It's also when we always follow the rules.

When I went home last Christmas I noticed that we do tend to beat/ignore the red light (a lot of jeepney drivers do this). Pedestrians not following the signs. Throwing trash everywhere. And it's not just in Manila because I saw these things happen also in other cities in Northern Luzon. In the compound I live in Manila, my neighbors oftentimes rant in our FB group that there would be others who would just let their pets do their thing and then leave the dirt after without cleaning up. Or when others would just leave trash lying around to be scavenged on by cats. It's sad. It's really, really sad because we all want to have peace and order, but we do not follow these simple rules.

I wonder how we could bring back what the ancient barangay represented. The time when being part of a community meant being helpful and being good neighbors. I know it's going to be hard because life is hard especially in the city (i.e. getting to and from work is a daily struggle), but maybe if we love our neighbor a bit more, maybe we can bring things back to order.