Dear Fellow Filipinos,
Magandang araw sa inyong lahat!
More than three weeks ago, I wrote an Open Letter entitled, What would make me leave the Philippines (if you have not read it, you may visit my site at filipinochangemaker.blogspot.com ). This open letter has elicited much attention from Filipinos here and abroad and up until today, I still receive an average of 80-100 emails from Filipinos worldwide. I wish to thank all those who wrote to me and whether you agreed with me or not, I think the important thing is that the letter was able to spark discussion among Filipinos on the upcoming elections and hopefully, awaken in most of us an earnest desire to act in our own small way towards making our nation Great once more :) I thank as well all those who posted my open letter in their different blogs and websites, again, whether the comments that you gave me were good or bad, I'm happy that you took the time to read my letter and to share it with your friends. In all honesty, I did not really expect this much attention to be given to this open letter. Like I said in my interviews over Mornings at ANC and TV Patrol last week, I sent this email only to people I personally know and egroups that I belong to, the main intention was just to share my personal insights and opinions about where our nation is headed. For those who read my email and were offended by it, I would like to extend my heartfelt apologies.
Many people have now begun to ask me which candidates will I be supporting and what are things that they can do to help in my cause. I am very sorry to all those who have emailed me these questions and have failed to receive an answer from me, like I said, I wrote this without any agenda or ulterior motive and thus, I was totally caught off guard with the many emails I receive each day. For those who continue to ask whether I will stay or go when the 7 things I wrote down happen, my answer is YES, I will STAY in the Philippines even if the 7 things do happen. But for me, the more fundamental question is not whether or not one should leave the country but rather to ask ourselves what can we do in our own small way to contribute towards Nation Building. I personally don't think that any Filipino has the right to complaint and put down people if s/he has done nothing at all to help our nation grow. Ang problema ng marami sa ating mga Pinoy, we love to criticize, complain and shout to high heavens what is wrong with our government and leaders yet, we don't do anything at all to become even just a small part of the solution to all of our problems.
Now, after reading all the insights, comments and suggestions of those who emailed me, I took some time to reflect and discern upon all these. I realized that most of us are sick and tired about the usual politics and usual traditional politicians that runs our country. Some Filipinos have also given up all Hope of one day seeing a better Philippines that is run by good people committed primarily to genuine public service. Thus, I'd like to invite all of you to be part of Bagong Pag-Asa, a national movement that will aspire for New Politics and a New Brand of Filipino Leadership. I sincerely believe that every Filipino in our own small way can be a changemaker for this country thus, through this movement we will work together towards these changes that we have long aspired for and hopefully help millions of Filipinos make better choices on whom to elect in this coming elections. I'd like to believe that based on the responses that I have received from people, Filipinos are longing for positive change and better leaders, thus, I think the time is now for ordinary Filipinos to work together and make these changes happen. Let us not wait anymore for our leaders to do this for us lest we all wait in vain.
If you are one of the many Filipinos who are sick and tired of Traditional Politics and is seeking better leaders for our country, then I invite you to join me in this movement.
If you would like to help me in educating our fellow Filipinos on the right candidates and leaders to elect this coming elections, then I invite you to join me in this movement.
If you would like to learn more about how you can contribute in your own little way towards building a better Philippines and better Leadership in our country then I invite you to join me in this movement.
If you decide to accept this invitation and join us in moving towards a better Philippines, please email your complete name, email address and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org . It doesn't matter if you are in South Korea , San Francisco, Saudi Arabia, San Juan or Sulu, any Filipino who still believes that we can make this country great again can join this movement. Together let us make this the Beginning of a National Awakening that will hopefully change the landscape of Philippine politics for the better!
To end let me share with you a famous quote by Margaret Mead which goes....
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
Again, to all my Kababayans that have read and shared my open letter to others, thank you very much for your time. If you believe in all the things that I wrote down in this letter then feel free to again share it with all your friends and kababayans. Now, it is our time to do our own share and be the change that we want to happen in our country.
Thank you very much and may you have a good day! :)
Mabuhay ang Pilipinas at Mabuhay ang Mamamayang Pilipino!
Harvey S. Keh
Harvey S. Keh, 27, is Director for Youth Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship at the Ateneo de Manila University's School of Government and a Fellow at the Asian Institute of Management's Mirant Center for Bridging Societal Divides. He is also the Executive Director of AHON Foundation, an organization that helps promote literacy by building public elementary school libraries. Harvey was chosen as one of the 20 Young Leaders of Asia by the Asia Society, an organization based in New York that aims to strengthen relationships and deepen understanding among the peoples of Asia and the United States of America.