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wilfrido david
wilfrido david FILIPINOS, INARGUABLY, are inveterate bellyachers. They will always find something to complain about, oftentimes without thinking why things are the way they are. Why, they are almost fatalistic in their views and yet they are quick to say "Bahala na ang Diyos." It reminds me of the time when I came across a boyhood friend in Angeles City, who I knew was operating a whorehouse on the sly, and i casually asked him how business was. He was stroking the fighting cock he was cradling in his arms, blowing smoke on its face and said without batting an eyelash, "Sa awa ng Diyos, nakakaraos naman!" At least, he wasn't complaining. He thinks God is lending him a helping hand. Indeed, God helps those who help themselves!

Consumers complain about the ever rising food prices, even as they know that high fuel prices is a big factor, as well as typhoons wreaking havoc on mountain produce every now and then.

Jeepney drivers have a penchant for demonstrations, organized by their leaders as if strikes or bad-mouthing the oil companies will lower the price. Do they even consider the fact that there is general unrest in the oil producing countries and that OPEC controls (manipulates) oil prices and that the Philippines rely on OPEC for its fuel subsistence?

Bus drivers race against each other, to the detriment of the riding public. They have to meet the “boundary,” which constantly goes up following the rise of gasoline prices. Even pedicab drivers have reason to complain, they barely make enough for a day's meal after paying “kotong” to the barangay tanod.

The local parish priest doesn't smile as easily to his flock anymore. Contributions (donations) have been dwindling due to the tight money situation. He barely makes enough to buy flour for the communion host, or candles for the altar, or tips for the favorite altar boy. Invitations to mahjong sessions with the lady church volunteers have to be deferred. No gambling until better times come around.

Students complain about the sporadic increase in tuition fees. Would they rather have the schools close because they can no longer cope with operating costs? Why else do teachers engage in "sidelines" selling little items that appeal to students? They are not doing it for fun! Gosh, better think twice before you bribe yourself into a passing grade, there is always one potential whistleblower lurking around.

The cold fact is we are not alone in this predicament. Thousands upon thousands in America are losing their homes because they are underwater, so to speak, in their mortgage payments. Some choose to just vacate their homes upon getting foreclosure notices from their banks instead of fighting it out. The jobless rate all around the world is rising and there is no apparent sign of a relief. The most powerful nation on earth is operating in the red, with trillions in debt. The richest nation in the world, which America is incontrovertibly known as, is on the verge of bankruptcy. If nothing is done about it, we can expect riots and demonstrations just as we see them happening in our own country.

It is a comforting note that in a Third World country like ours, we have become much more pliant to the conditions in which we live, as against those in the industralized, progressive ones whose people are used to government entitlements, subsidies, and other employee benefits that we Pinoys can only wish for. They are terrorized at the thought of losing these, especially unemployment benefits on which they survive. It is not unlike a wealthy family suddenly losing their fortune.

We have OFW remittances to help prop up our financial structure, even as the usual vultures in government take a big bite off it. Isn't it amazing that out of sheer adventurism, Filipinos are found in every nook and cranny of the world. On the other hand, however, it is the utter lack of opportunities in one's own country that brings this about. We have thousands of college graduates that seek work locally without an iota of success, which drives them to look for greener pastures like in the Middle East, Europe and just anywhere else that are willing to hire them. Let us count America out for now, only immigrants go there anymore, for reasons already mentioned. Why, even St. Peter is proud of the fact that the senior population in heaven is happy with our caregivers. (Talaga? Mayroon pa bang nagkakasakit doon?) And for that matter, Satan complains that hell is getting so overcrowded with Pinoy illegal recruiters. (He-he!)

As Filipinos, we are blessed in more ways than we can imagine. We are an easygoing, ready with a smile, hardworking, innovative people. Although oftentimes we tend to put our fate in God's hands. We can thank the Spanish cultural influence for that. We will be better off if we use our own minds and resources in dealing with the dire realities of life. Let us complain less and start looking on the bright side. Think of life as some kind of a loan, it earns interest until its maturity. The important thing is how you made use of that loan. Did you spend it recklessly or were you able to achieve the purpose for which it was loaned to you. Meantime, you can send your remittances to God. Remember, this is a one-time loan. When God collects, do not default!

In closing, let us say a purely Filipino prayer:

Our President*

President Noynoy
Who art in Malacañang
Maligned be thy name
Thy administration come
Thou wilt be criticized
In cyberspace
As it is in media

Take heed this time
Of our aspirations
Forgive us our debts
As we forgave those
Who stole from us
Lead us not into temptation
Of applying for a housing loan
From the GSIS ever again


*Any similarity in cadence and syntax to a popular prayer is purely coincidental. –Author

[About the author. Wilfrido David is a resident of Albuquerque, New Mexico since 1985. He is an avid news consumer, habitually tuned to global TV via satellite. In turn, he occasionally comes up with spiced up essays and anecdotes liberally sprinkled with his wry humor, at times irreverent, oftentimes as corny as corn-on-the-cob, but nontheless thought provoking. He thinks of himself as a "junior senior," a mature gentleman with very active brain cells but a waning testosterone count. He is an American citizen by necessity, not by choice, as he so aptly put it. He is as Kapampangan as sisig, no more, no less.]

-Posted: 8:29 AM 7/5/11 | More of this author on eK!