Sunday, February 18, 2007

What will make me leave the Philippines... An Open Letter to Every Filipino :)

Dear Fellow Filipino,

Good day to all of you! Before I begin my letter... just a disclaimer, for people who know me they know that I love the Philippines very much and I am not really one who rants and complaints to high heavens about what is happening to our country and does nothing about it, in fact, I feel that at my relatively young age of 27, I have done much service to the Philippines by setting up Pathways to Higher Education which has sent more than 500 poor but deserving students to college and AHON Foundation which has already built two public elementary school libraries that have benefitted more than 3,500 students. Yet, after seeing how events in our nation have transpired the past few weeks and talking with some friends, I feel the urge to share with you my own thoughts and feelings.

Over the weekend, we saw the completion of two major political alliances for this coming Senate Elections that has just began here in the Philippines. Now we have two political forces with familiar faces nonetheless on opposite sides of the fences. On one end, you have Tito Sotto and Tessie Aquino-Oreta who were two major stalwarts of the opposition and the FPJ Campaign in 2004 hobnobbing with the woman (Pres. GMA) whom they claimed to have cheated FPJ in the last Presidential Elections.On the other side of the fence, you see Manny Villar, the former house speaker who was actually responsible for impeaching Erap now part of the United Opposition who is led by no less than... Erap himself. Now if you don't see anything wrong with this picture then you must be one of the many Filipinos who have accepted this very sad reality that there is indeed no permanent ideals that our government leaders stand up for but rather they just go where there self-interests can best be served. It is this kind of politics why I no longer wonder why good people like Ramon Magsaysay Awardee Mayor Jesse Robredo of Naga City or outstanding Bulacan Governor Josie Dela Cruz will find it hard or worse, never be elected to national positions.

1.) If former COMELEC Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano of Hello Garci fame wins in his bid to become Congressman of Bukidnon...seeking to replace a good man no less in incumbent Cong. Neric Acosta... We would really be the laughing stock of the whole world if we allow a man with the reputation of Garci to be one of our so called "Honorable Gentlemen".

2.) If Dancing Queen Tessie Aquino Oreta reclaims her seat at the Senate... I hope that all of us would still remember that dance that she did during the 2001 impeachment hearings after they voted to overrule the decision of then Chief Justice Davide... let us make sure that people like her never make it to the Senate again.

3.) If Richard Gomez becomes a senator... what does he know about making laws? We already have the likes of Bong Revilla and Lito Lapid in the Senate and their performance or lack of it would be reason enough not to elect another actor who has no prior experience in government to the distinguished halls of the Senate.

4.) If Gringo Honasan wins again.... have we not learned our lesson? I cannot believe that just because someone is charismatic then we will just elect him to become one of our senators despite the fact that he has time and again caused so much instability in our country... if we want a military junta similar to that of Thailand... then lets all vote for this guy....

5.) If Manny Pacquiao becomes Congressman of General Santos City... everybody loves Manny the Boxing Champ but Manny the Lawmaker? Lets be realistic here, Manny is our Hero alright but I think it takes more than just great boxing skills and a desire to serve to be able to make appropriate laws that would help uplift the lives of the many Filipinos who live in Poverty.

6.) If Lito Lapid wins for Mayor of Makati City... I don't like Jojo Binay as well but Lito Lapid as city mayor of the country's finance and business center?!?! And do you really think he is from Makati and has good plans for the city? The Arroyos asking someone like him to run just goes to show you how much love and concern this government has for our country.

7.) If Chavit Singson becomes a Senator, Illegal Gambling =Chavit... enough said.

Now if all of these 7 things happen during this coming elections then don't be surprised if I decide to leave this country that I love dearly. Like I said during the first part of my letter, I feel that I have done much for this country but I think its time that Filipinos become more vigilant and critical in selecting our leaders for the sake of our future and the generations that will go beyond us. So I appeal to every Filipino who asks what can I actually do for my country... Choose and vote for the right people this coming elections, huwag na tayong magpaloko sa mga kandidatong maganda lang ang jingle o gwapo lang sa mga poster. Let us choose leaders who have a good track record for service and who are genuinely committed towards serving our country.

Manindigan naman tayong lahat para sa ating Kinabukasan at para sa Kapakanan ng ating Bayan!

Thank you very much for your time in reading this letter.


Harvey S. Keh


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F. San Roque said...

Your hard work and selfless deeds I'm sure are well appreciated by the those who received them. You have every right to gripe and complain, as clowns like Pacquiao might actually have a legitimate chance of getting elected to public office.

But I'm sure you're not naive enough not to think that at least four, if not all, of the things you listed above will actually happen. After all, when comes to politics anywhere in the world, it's all about who has the most name recognition and the most money.

Might as well pack your bags.

PressEjectOnPlay said...

We need people like you in our country, please don't leave.

Filipinos can't help themselves.

Some on those list will happen, but definitely not all of them.

thor said...

I hope many people would take the time to read and understand the essence of your letter sir. People like you should be the ones elected to congress or any other political position.i salute you for taking this matter to public attention, maybe it would help other filipinos rise up and take a stand.

juliet said...

mr. keh's point of view is definitely idealistic.youth as we are, are full of flamboyant wishes...sometimes,however,we have to be open-minded of the fact that these wishes are just half realistic. one patriot has already started to open the minds of Filipinos.we,therefore,must start building the new Philipppines.. together, let's make idealistic be a realistic one..Vote wisely!!!

krisha said...

dear harvey,
bilib ako sa gnwa mo...your a truly youth leader...we need a leader like you...^_^

ka na dyan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ka na dyan said...

Philippines is still the BEST place to live in the world. I missed the beaches, sunsets under a coconut tree, tuba (coconut wine), crabs, kinilaw, dinagyang, ati-atihan. Sadly a simple family beach excursion could lead to a disastrous incounter with kotong cops, swindlers, thieves, holdupers, kidnapers. So, do you think you can change this? I believed NOT IN THIS LIFETIME. Hopefully sometime in the future someone with a braveheart will come out. Maybe it is you my friend. (That future may not be that far after all). Good luck.

Milo Jeanne said...

Many people agrees, if not totally agrees with, but consider one simple fact, if brains like yours would decide to to leave this country to rot, wouldn't you feel guiltier? I mean, you've helped so much and contributed so much in this country, but leaving (or apparently, losing hope) could mean a chance loss for those who deserves the help people like you give.

well, of course, I guees it's time people like us take turns to help you help them, right?

neile genica said...

i wouldn't be a hypocrite to say, i'm studying nursing to wipe an old man's ass abroad...because it is much better than wiping my sweat and seeing no progress in this country. thanks to puppets and dummies,our country is bound to be a circus and a comedy. yet if we don't do anything, we're heading for tragedy.

kudos to harvey!

Gil said...

Re: Harvey Keh's letter

I totally agree on Harvey's letter about us filipinos. We're big in complaint but short on the doing part. He is right about the politicians running for office. I'm sure they're running for office because they are ambitious. Nothing wrong with that, but you have to be qualified first!

Who do we really blame but us? I think the first step is to educate the masses. We should stop stop electing them. We have a very low standard in just about everything. Look, what kind of a citizen would elect someone like movie stars and boxers to rescue us from the mess we're at! Traditional politics is an understatement. We Filipinos view politics and elections as sports events. Most of the time the intellectual Filipino don't have anyone left to elect so some just don't bother going to the polls. So, we should go to work before this happens. We need to help those who doesn't have an understanding and educate them. That's the root of the problem. The masses rather elect popular people than be wrong with unpopular ones, the lesser of evils. WE NEED TO HAVE A HIGHER STANDARDS IN CHOOSING OUR PUBLIC OFFICIALS! Remember the saying: you can't soar with eagles if you work with turkeys! So, stop chosing turkeys!!!
When Marcos exitted we had that chance to make things right. Morale has been so damaged our youth who are the future of our country has trouble believing they can really make a difference. It will take generations for that but we should have started right there. Somebody has to show everybody what a clean government can do. We don't need Einstein to do this, just a sensible person who knows how to communicate with people. Magsaysay did it!
Of course, whoever that leader is can't function if we just sit and watch. We have to help. Educate those ignorant ones. A good leader is the one who knows how to pick his crew. You don't have to be a lawyer or a doctor at the same time, just someone who knows how to choose his/her cast. Why would you pick a movie star or a boxer to be a law-maker over a real lawyer. You need to choose personnel really well. Forget about those with tarnished integrity, they would only be trouble down the road.
Don't send a boy to do a man's job. So, Harvey why don't you run for office then!

Few centuries ago some group of Filipinos put their differences aside and their leader asked them to build a rice terraces. It became a great wonder though the idea was to feed their people and make life better. We were once great and I don't see any reason why we can't be again!

This is very doable. We gotta start the doing now, not sometime, not maybe, but NOW!

karyn said...

Well Harvey, our brothers and sisters who actually vote for Richard Gomez or Lito Lapid do not read blogs or read the PDI. The sad thing is that our Lito-Lapid-voting siblings are actually the majority. So if you are really in the business of driving change, I think you need people from the ghetto who will think like you do, and who will get all his/her friends to think like you do...

ofwmanifesto said...

Dear Harvey,
It's interesting that your post has generated a lot of reactions. Please see below 2 important documents from Overseas Filipinos Worldwide (OFW): 1) An open letter for the electoral debate (the first one is scheduled for Mar 14 in Manila Hotel); and 2) Migrants Manifesto for an Issue-based Electoral Contest. Perhaps our group can form some synergies with your group considering that we all aspire for a better Philippines. It's very refreshing to see the youth actively participating in advancing democratic governance in the Philippines.

Maraming salamat!


Overseas Filipinos Worldwide (OFW)
Online Petition: http://www.petition OFWMan/petition- sign.html
E-mail: ofwmanifesto@

March 5, 2007


Overseas Filipinos' legitimate aspirations glaringly absent in electoral debates

First of all, congratulations! This letter comes with our deepest anticipation for the forthcoming debate billed as "2007 Senatorial Debate — Moving the Economy Forward," in the forum organized by Philippines Inc. together with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Employers Confederation of the Philippines, the Philippine Exporters Confederation, and the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry this coming March 14, 2007.

We are elated at the prospect of our future senators tackling the issues crucial to our survival as a nation and hopefully an opportunity to have a glimpse of their platform in moving our economy forward. We understand that the topics for the debate will include social issues such as management-labor relations, taxes, power and energy, peace and order, small and medium enterprise promotion, and foreign investments.

The topics of the debate are understandably geared towards the interest of the business sector as it undoubtedly affects the whole nation for better or worse. Unfortunately, legitimate aspirations and issues that matter most to Overseas Filipinos are not covered in the coming debate.

TODAY, as in EVERY SINGLE DAY, 3,000 Filipino families will be broken up so that their parents or older siblings can work abroad and bring food to the table. Overseas Filipinos now numbering close to 10 million comprise 10% of the nation’s population, scattered in at least 192 countries toiling under the scorching desert sun or bitterly cold winter. Some of them work in different levels of position and in various sectors: from domestic helpers in Hong Kong to high technology experts in Silicon Valley , California . Overseas Filipinos suffer family separation with dire social consequences, leaving communities that are mired in poverty, continually sliding into the abyss of desperation with no hope in sight. In some countries, they live in constant fear of being kidnapped or hit by bullets like in the case of Nigeria , Iraq , and Lebanon while women are subject of physical and sexual abuse.

In 2006 alone, the Central Bank of the Philippines officially recorded remittances at S$12.8 billion; that is, equivalent to almost 15% of our gross domestic product (GDP). This figure excludes substantive remittances made through informal channels as well as goods and services sent by Overseas Filipinos throughout the year. Assuming an average family size of 4 to 5, and that 4 million of the 7.3 overseas Filipinos are able to remit regularly, it might be said that about 16 to 20 million Filipinos are able to benefit directly from overseas labor migration. In general, remittances are often described as "the new form of development aid" and they are "the biggest source of foreign inflows" surpassing foreign direct investments (US$ 2 billion in 2006) and official development aid.

In addition, there has been a trend towards the repatriation of remittances, resources, as well as skills and technology, beyond what directly benefits Overseas Filipinos and migrant families in the form of diaspora philanthropy. It is an indication of an individual’s or group’s economic achievement or an expression of a sincere desire to contribute to uplift economic conditions of the Philippines to which Overseas Filipinos and migrants may wish to return to and retire in the future. These resources have gone into various community projects of needy and depressed areas in the country.

The Overseas Filipinos’/migrants’ achievements in terms of fueling the Philippine economy in the concrete form of remittances and diaspora philanthropy translate into a substantive political clout as a group or sector. At the same time, this sector represents the big consumers of products – communications, travels, nostalgic products (patronizing Made in the Philippines products), housing, insurance, food, luxury products, etc. - of the various business enterprises which are organizers of this debate. The Overseas Filipinos are de facto the biggest investors in our country and while direct and portfolio investments fell dramatically in time of financial crisis or when conflict arises, remittances generally increase. However, behind these billions of dollars are hard-working men and women who left their homes to earn a living whose regular remittances have become a lifeline for millions of poor people. Perhaps, it is not reasonable to request that our legitimate aspirations and our voices be heard, in the context of advocating for the necessary reforms and influencing public policy that directly affect the lives of millions of Overseas Filipinos, their families, and the country as a whole.

As we specifically challenge the candidates to include and articulate issues directly affecting the migrant sector:

1. We want to hear how our senatorial aspirants will tackle the issue of lost opportunities and wasted resources that could have been channeled towards development measures to spur economic growth with job-generating industries for the blighted communities we left behind.

2. We want to know how our senatorial candidates can help in formulating relevant enabling legislation for transparent and cohesive policies capturing a share of remittances for development in recognition and appreciation of the positive contributions of migrants to the development of our dear Philippines whilst also addressing the rights, interests and welfare of migrants before, during and after migration.

3. We reiterate what is described in the attached Migrants' Manifesto for Issue-based Electoral Contest: “We challenge those who want to become legitimate servants and leaders to articulate a concrete and doable developmental plan aimed at the Filipino migrant workers around the world. We pledge to support legitimate servants of the people running for any public position who aggressively promote the interest of our sector.” We pledge to support legitimate servants of the people running for any public position that aggressively promote the interest of our sector on the issues we have previously enumerated in the manifesto.

It is sad to note that our policy makers are more focused on deploying greater number of expatriates to toil in foreign lands while big business conglomerates keep us in awe with bigger malls and extravagant media blitzes that only perpetuate a consumer society but lacking the positive trickle down effects on large scale job generation. Thus the Philippines is missing out on the opportunities to be propelled out of the bottom ranks of the thriving Asian economy.

Lastly, while we see the issue of the opposition candidates on the need to debate the Garci scandal, vote tampering, impeachment, and other hot issues of the day, we want to hear a cohesive electoral reform on how we can have a clean, honest, and highly transparent electoral contest, and clear workable commitments to which we could hold parties and candidates accountable should they be elected to public office. Scandals used for grandstanding and garnering votes that will only be sidelined only to resurface next time around with different personalities involved is not solving the problem but only exacerbate a flawed electoral system that needs to be revamped in the first place.

We thank you in advance for your consideration on the above points in relation to the format and substance of the forthcoming debate.
Respectfully yours,
Overseas Filipinos Worldwide (OFW)
Contact address: Leila Rispens-Noel
Tel.: +31 (0182 514475
Online Petition: http://www.petition OFWMan/petition- sign.html
E-mail: ofwmanifesto@

Migrants Manifesto for Issue based Electoral Contest

We, the Overseas Filipinos worldwide, urge each and everyone in the coming May electoral contest to implore all political parties, emerging parties and their respective candidates to bring forth a platform based campaign so that the electorate can choose credible persons who are worthy to lead the nation.

In order to advance democratic governance in the Philippines , there should be a structure or process of reform that promotes increasingly participatory and accountable governance. In this context, the will and voice of the people should be respected at all times and the sanctity of the ballots must be safeguarded.

The root causes of human insecurity in the Philippines – and thus, threats to overall peace and development – include conditions of inequity, with an elite few controlling power and economic resources; abject poverty; poor governance; injustice, abuse of authority and violations of human rights; and marginalization of minority groups. And yet, squandering of billions of pesos from legitimate and illegitimate sources had been a common scenario in a personality and patronage based electoral contest. The proposed platform based campaign is envisioned to change this bad practice. In order to sustain poverty reduction, there must be equitable growth and the poor people who are in the majority must have political power – i.e. with a real voice and space. The powerful and/or the elites—whether political leaders, corporations or other influential actors—must be held accountable for their actions; more specifically, they must be held accountable for their success or failure in their individual or party platform of promised good governance.

We are calling for robust, transparent, internally democratic and accountable political parties in order to develop a stronger democratic culture in the Philippines . Otherwise, the right to choose will remain to be pre-empted by the elites that own the political process, including the political organizations.

We challenge those who want to become legitimate servants and leaders to articulate a concrete and doable developmental plan aimed at the Filipino migrant workers around the world. We pledge to support legitimate servants of the people running for any public position that aggressively promote the interest of our sector on the following issues:

1) Institute meaningful comprehensive electoral reforms starting with the removal of the residency requirement inserted at the last minute by congress in the Absentee Voting Law. Introduce laws that will create a transparent campaign expenditures and verifiable financial source imposing a limit to individual, group, and corporate campaign donations.

2) Creation of an office with a Cabinet status such as the Ministry of Migration and Development that will truly work for the interests of migrant workers. This office must be led by a Minister whose primary task is to manage orderly labor migration, harness the development potentials of migration and development (co-development). Set up an advisory board composed of qualified, dedicated, and credible Overseas Filipinos to advice the Ministry. In addition, the Ministry must:

• See to it that the rights of migrants are protected
• Facilitate return migration and in such a way that overseas Filipinos who wish to return voluntarily remain active in the labor force or has the necessary means to secure his or her financial future including their families
• Monitor the performance of government agencies in charge of migrant workers (OWWA, etc.) and particularly to review structures relating to the migrant workers trust fund to enable migrants to have an effective voice and meaningful representation in policy formation, and to ensure proper administration and management of their fund.
• Explore ways to address present gaps and barriers that hinder the effective mobilization, distribution, monitoring, and accountability procedures, in order to achieve economies of scale in current Filipino diaspora giving, including possibilities of replicating the Mexican experience (3 x 1 program) [i]
• Facilitate creation of an enabling environment (investments, provide financial services including housing, insurance, education, savings, etc. for migrants) that fully harness the development potentials of Philippine migration
• Encourage multi-stakeholder approach to development and promote public-private partnerships [ii]
• Support and stimulate the transnational role of Overseas Filipinos so that they can contribute to the country’s development; while the government on the other hand, should establish a systematic way of tapping these skills (not only waiting for their remittances) [iii]
• Strengthen the capacity of Philippine consulates and representative offices worldwide to better serve the needs of migrant Filipino workers

3) Promote good governance, honesty, and accountability of our government servants from the highest to lowest position. The virtue of servant-leadership must be practiced.

4) Promote the welfare of our women, elderly and children.

5) Access to a better education for all. [iv]

We urge government groups, media facilities, civil society, church organizations, and other responsible citizens, to organize and support pre-election public forums and other similar initiatives requiring candidates or party representatives to debate and publicly present their platforms on where they stand regarding these migrant issues. This will enable the citizenry, including eligible overseas voters and members of their families in the Philippines , in making informed decisions and to help ensure that only those candidates with clear and sincere intentions of promoting the welfare of the migrant sector, their families, and millions of poor people in our country are elected to public office.

[i] The Mexican Hometown Association (HTA) experience through the Federación de Clubes de Zacatecanos del Sur de California is a good example. The Mexican government announced in July 2001 a "godfather program" that encourages Mexican-Americans to invest in Mexico . The state of Zacatecas depends heavily on remittances, but under the current 3-for-1 program, each dollar contributed by a migrant or HTA in the US for community development projects, is matched with an additional $3, one each from the federal, state and local governments. Under a new program, the Zacatecas state government and the InterAmerican Development Bank (IADB) provide infrastructure support and financing for returned migrants who invest their remittances in job-creating enterprises. The federación is composed of different clubs. Each club focuses on their respective hometown. The Federación speaks on behalf of the clubs in one voice and this becomes their strength. The federation becomes a mediator and negotiator on behalf of the member clubs. Organizations like the World Bank, IADB, UNDP, the Rockefeller Foundation and even the private sector relate with the Federación.

[ii] Private sector leadership in the Philippines and abroad should be developed in order to promote the Philippines as an investment destination.

[iii] An effective network should be developed to address this. On the strategy to collaborate with Diasporas: promoting knowledge networks and providing market access, there is the Philippine Brain Gain Network (BGN) among other networks. For example, further collaboration can be made between the BGN and the organizers of the Global Filipino Networking Conventions in order to come up with a more result-oriented agenda, more specifically to define a national policy for brain gain in order to harness overseas human resources more systematically.

[iv] Philippine education policy needs to be focused on technical skills and soft skills like scientific problem-solving, logical abstraction and teamwork. Greater collaboration must be undertaken by the DepEd and local authorities on technical academic reforms, particularly those pertaining to the curriculum and policy on language instruction.

MarSean said...

Hi Harvey,

At your very young age, I really admire your achievements and contributions to our country. I also agree with your comments on those candidates that you mentioned. It just happened na meron talaga silang mga pera and powers and connections to outcast the truly deserving candidates.

But I want to oppose on the idea of leaving the Philippines just because we are disappointed with our leaders. And since your letter circulated over the internet, you have justified or perhaps indirectly influenced our fellow Filipinos around the world to be ashamed of our country. And that we are not intelligent voters because majority of the usual winners are not the ideals. But what about those of other countries, are they not the same or even worst? What about their leaders? Are they not using violence and killing innocent people just to be in the position? It seems like you have only concentrated on the politics, which I think a very small factor, that will make you decide to leave the country. You forgot to look at the other good side of being a Filipino. Kung ganyan yung mga bayani natin dati, lalo na si Rizal, baka hanggang ngayon alila pa rin tayo ng mga dayuhan.

I know how you feel, just like most of us, but you should have expressed your disappointments the right way that it should be and not broadcasting to the whole world in a hopeless manner. You have almost represented all the Filipinos because of that letter. And the world is judging us now. We should be careful in circulating this kind of letter, could be a joke to others, but could ruin the good image of our country.


Nhard T. Aradillos
Microfinance IT-Consultant

jand0e said...

the real problem
I really think the real problem we are facing is a very lousy and injustice justice system. Most politicians if not all cheat during campaign period and specially during election day. But filing a complaint would cost so much and will take more time. Look at the case of former senator Legarda, here comes 2007 election but still her 2004 complaint not resolved. I think that is why many trapos make their way around this flaw on the justice system because their term would be over before any decision could be made, and if the decision is made timely, they can always appeal of that decision if ever it is against them.

I have question for some experts, does the president or the lawmakers violate any laws for forming an alliance? Shouldn't there be any separation of powers between them? Why did Mrs. Arroyo became our country's president during 2001? Did we have any Presidential election that time?

clemerex said...

Sensya na hindi kasi ako magaling mag ingles eh kaya ito lang masasabi ko "HARVEY FOR PRESIDENT"!!! sana manalo. hekhekhek

franz said...

i'm still hopeful, for nothing is impossible with God, that some miracle would happen....
so sad pacquiao thinks he's such a "hero." (sigh)

The Philippines has a lot of hope. Sir Harvey, keep the flame burning.

Mabuhay ang Pinoy!

misyonsabuhay said...

Harvey, nauna na ako sa iyo, umalis na ako iniwan ko na ang pilipinas
Tagalog lang comment ko, ang politika ang pinakamalaking negosyo sa Pilipinas, kung gusto mo umasenso at yumaman at maging makapangyarihan at maimpluwensiya at maka pag abroad ng di nagbabayad sa eroplano mag politika ka, ipasok mo asawa mo anak mo kapatid mo pamangkin mo , pinsan mo, apo mo, inaanak mo,a kabit mo sa politika okay di ba sa iyo na buong munisipyo at bung probinsiya at sigurado ang mga kabig sa mga kontrata, tatawagin ka pa nilang sir or mam or mayora at may sirena pa sasakyan mo at may badigard ka pa, paano na lang ang iba ang mag sosorbetes, ang mag magkakariton na namumulot ng basura ang mga iskwater na bibigyan ng bigas at kapirasong t shirt, tatawagin kaya silang mam or sir? may badigard kaya sila laban sa mga nangangaya sa kanila? May pera kaya talaga sila na kanila nga? (siguro kasi pinaghirapan nila yun sa pagtitinda pagta trabaho sa abroad at di nila ninakaw sa kaban ng bayan. sila nga iyon naka traysikel lang at walang sirena na tumatabi lang sila pag nadaanan ng naka aircon na kotse ng mga politiko, masisikmura mo kaya ito? or aalis ka na lang ng bansa?

Filiamericano said...

When The World Doesn't Make Sense!
The Deception Pass Is here*?

Dear Harvey!

I'm a virgin when it comes to blogging. I'm literate enough, though, when it comes to discerning.


The biggest picture - To work in concert (among the 90% of Filipinos domiciled in our beloved country and 10% elsewhere) to make the Philippines the 51st state of the United States of America.

The bigger picture - Those of us who were given the opportunity to reap the rewards of a better life, financially and otherwise while toiling overseas, must consider contributing to the ultimate welfare of the Philippines by returning and staying (at least semi-permanently) in our country upon retirement. I SHALL RETURN IN 2010. Part of my pension will have better use in Tagaytay than in Seattle.

The big picture - If only people do not care as to who gets the credit for anything that massages the ego, this world would endure an exceptional lasting peace!

IT'S JUST A CYCLE. Just what most of the responders are claiming, millions of voters don't even have access to educational needs, let alone the Internet. The change must come from each respective individual from Jolo to Batanes to Japan to Zimbabwe to the Americas, etc. The Filipino is one unique splice of gene that the Almighty Maker conceived as an outstanding citizen of the world with many imperfections. We cannot rid of the DNA that caused us to be controlled by outsiders including China, Spain, Japan and the USA for seemingly an eternity, no matter what. Here, I, as a U.S. voter, donate to candidates' coffers. I always check the contribution box in my annual IRS tax return (but not my wife, who happens to be Chinese.) There, the candidates donate to the voters' meager funds. Either way, it's a give and take proposition. And one seems to be working better than the other, albeit extremely out of whack!

While watching Filipino goodies on YouTube, I can't help but get pleasantly surprised that things I see on videos look closely similar to those that I see on the West Coast (other than the slummy places.) The world is really becoming interconnected by hook or by crook. Didn't Piolo Pascual just perform in a concert a few weeks ago in New York, and yet I'm now hooked to his new teleserye (with Claudine Barreto) in Manila? What's going on here? Before I know it, Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson might be invading the Bay Area pretty soon with their wholesome and winning ways to capture the hearts of homesick Fil-Ams especially sincerely yours (whom have not stepped on my native soil since 1990). If you have not seen any of the "Sana Maulit Muli" episodes, you've missed half of your life. This soap opera must have been the best Filipino TV product I've ever watched in my 52 years of existence.

Kiko de Leon and his bro hugged their Mom Nora (Aunor) onstage while performing at the Benaroya Concert Hall in the Emerald City recently as they proclaimed their heartfelt love for one another in spite of a long-time separation. All this while Christopher de Leon has been busily campaigning for a mostly uphill battle for election. (He's a walking legend in Filipino filmography as far as I'm concerned. Remember "Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang?" It was made in 1974, a few years before you were born.) But as a politician? The jury is still out.

I've never watched any of Pacquia's profitable bouts, but I had my share of funny hours watching "Eat Bulaga" where I understand ex- and future Senator Sotto abandoned his long-time relationship with this ultra-successful series.

When it comes to politics, I've been there, done that... but only in the United States. And only in the Labor Union world. It is dirty as it can be here also, but none can surpass the Philippines'. And yet the Filipinos survive.

I'd live in the Philippines for a lifetime in a heartbeat compared to New York's eternal minute. It's so much fun over there... The fiestas, the food, the people... You just don't know, Harvey, how lonely life can be here. You can be Mayor of Manilatown, USA, but at the end of the day, you can't break the glass ceiling of the exclusive "Caucasian" clubs. After all, we're still brown from nose to toe. Have you watched the movie "Milan"? I must have cried an ocean because I can identify with all the Filipinos who are being trampled by "superior" human beings despite the fact that most of us are more educated than our own bosses. Again, we happen not to belong to the exclusive "white" associations.

If the above focuses mainly on celebrity happenings, it is intentional. After all, this is what politics in the Philippines is all about: star-studded, beautiful, toasts of the masses. Erap vs. Reagan? Sure, I'll take Erap anytime. Fernando Poe vs. Arnold S. of California? Hands-down "the King", but unfortunately he's now dead. There is no changing the Filipino when it comes to deep-down, hardened, ingrown characteristics. Even Dr. Jose Rizal tried it to no avail. I'm a peculiar pessimist and here's why. At least, if what you're expecting comes true, then you don't become depressed. If the opposite happens, then you jump for joy! Centuries of allowing the Philippines to be controlled by outsiders are already ingrained, permanent and indelible. Aquino (the martyr) tried mightily, but he didn't only get exiled, he perished too. So who would be the next one! That is the $64,000,000,000 question. GOOD LUCK!

By the way, can we get Piolo Pascual to perform in Seattle for $25,000.00? I'd appreciate it if you can give me some leads.


(To be continued... I hope!)

*This is the name of a scenic bridge in Washington State that connects Island County to the mainland.

Jamal Ashley said...

Hi, you are still very young. Marami ka pang kakaining bigas.

When I was even younger than you are now, I gave away my opportunities to work abroad and earn petro dollars. I came back because I though MY COUNTRY needed me. I was then the ONLY Filipino Petroleum Engineer. I also did not like the way foreigners discriminated upon those with Philippine passports.

Little did I know that MERIT does not count in the Philippines and that there is even greater discrimination here against Filipinos than abroad, not to mention against the Moros!

At 22 years old, I had been practically around the world. But I came back. And although I regret coming back, I cannot do anything because Philippines happen to be my country and I don't like living in someone else's homeland even though I belong to the minority in this country.

Visit my blog -

gie said...

I am really proud that there is one like you who is willing to sacrifice to do good things for his own country....
I really wish you all the best...
I hope that filipinos will finally realise what are the consequences by voting the wrong people. As i and foreign people keeps telling me that philippines is a very rich country but there's a problem with the people running the country.


purple said...

What can i say Harvey?...more power and may your tribe flourish. for the wanna-bees here who seem to think they are better in their own your dust guys!...try to live in baseco for a week or even commute with limited peso in your pocket and come back to this blog and say what more you want to say!
Dont worry Harvey, all the 7 jokers you mentioned will not have a chance. Only when they have the cheating machine on their side will they see the light of day!

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