By Rado Gatchalian
October 18, 2017
I. In the Beginning
With all honesty, it makes me cry whenever I reflect on how South Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Singapore have all accelerated exponentially as progressive countries while our very own, the Philippines, had remained in the dungeon of poverty. We had produced great intellectual leaders and politicians like Ferdinand Marcos, Ramon Magsaysay, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Raul Roco, Raul Manglapus, etc. We take pride as the best English speakers in Asia. A significant number of our population holds high academic degrees.
As individuals, we triumph but as a nation we fail. In a foreign land, we succeed but within our own soil we obliterate like a shadow.
What happened to us?
Our country has lost its soul. We have been corrupted by our own delusion and greed. We have been colonised by Spain for 333 years; then, America and Japan invaded our land. Our culture has been tainted with illusion as to who we really are as a country. For many decades, we see America as our ultimate dream.
These foreigners had invaded our land. But worse – they had occupied our subconscious mind in which we can no longer see clearly who we really are as Filipinos.
Then, we lost our moral ground. We became too oblivious to accept bribes and corruption as a way of life. We have accepted the ill fate of our country like there is no more hope.
Finally, we departed our land and moved to a new country. To look for a greener pasture. Probably, due to desperation and loss of hope.
Who is to blame?
It is easy to point to our leaders. In reality all of us are to be blamed. But to blame is no longer the solution. To know that we are all part of this national crisis would mean that we can all be part of the solution too.
II. The Revelation
We are a great country. We used to be. Now we need to find our country’s soul to find its greatness. It is here now. Duterte’s leadership is our only way. Together with our President, we need to join him with his journey to reawaken our nation. He is the way but he needs our cooperation to make things possible.
When Singapore was just starting to build their country – it was not an easy start. Too many countries believed they are doomed to fail. Too many instabilities like political, social, and economy would have made it impossible for Singapore to succeed. These were the same fate with South Korea and Japan after the Second World War.
But they thrived to survive! They flourished successfully as new progressive countries!
Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew became its beacon of hope. With his strong will leadership he was able to transform Singapore into one of the richest countries in Asia. But his constituents took a significant role too. They all sacrificed and joined Lee Kuan Yew’s dream for Singapore.
This is what we need too. Now. For the Philippines.
President Duterte cannot do everything on his own. We need to sacrifice. We need to start following the laws of our land. We all need to sweat our hands and build our country. Figuratively and literally.
We all want change. For Real Change. But this should be a calling for all of us. This is a new vocation for all Filipinos so that we can revive the soul of our country.
President Rodrigo Duterte is our Lee Kuan Yew.
For him to succeed as a great leader we all need to follow his footsteps in a common journey towards the greatness of our land.
III. A New Beginning
We have been blessed. Our country has been given a second chance to revive its soul.
This is our only chance now. President Duterte is our only chance now. He is our hope.
Today is a momentous opportunity for all of us to take this chance. Our only option now is to join him in rebuilding our country.
But first we need to reawaken our soul as Filipinos before we can rebuild the Philippines into a Great Country.
To reawaken our soul is to unify as one Filipino family. To know our roots. To be willing to sacrifice for the greater good. To become more disciplined as citizens of our land. To become successful not just for ourselves but for others, for our country. To love our country with our whole life. To continuously dream for the betterment of our country. And to continuously act to make this real.
This is just the beginning. Let us all move forward!