Pragmatism and Consequences

Author: Carlo@hoGc // Category:
Welcome to the country that no citizen would want to be part of. This
is Philippines. A country full of corrupt government officials, dust,
dirt, pollution and many more! This is where you'll find beer bellies
and illegitimate children as much as you can imagine. A backward
underdeveloped country that pretends to do well. A country with subpar
leaders who look to their own needs and ignore the needs of millions
of people. A country who ignores the things required to be done and
focuses on things which will do nothing for the economy or the
citizens. This is Philippines. What's there not to love about this

This is an experience. You can't just read stuff from the media and
say that you know what's happening around you already; you got to get
in there, you got to feel it for yourself, you got to see it, hear it
and even taste it for yourself, only then can you really say that you
know a particular thing well.

Philippines is a country like that. They only show the good things so
when you go in to the country, you receive a huge shock. They always
show beautiful sceneries, white pristine beaches, serene surroundings,
but when you go in, the first thing you will see is the thick dark
atmosphere of dust and pollution; the complete opposite of what they
always show you in the media.

The plights of the people are evident and clear but look what the
government is focusing on, ConAss or Constitutional Assembly. They
like asses so much that they have to Con some Ass.

Even today when times call for a more technologicaly advanced economy,
this country still relies heavily on paper and low tech mechanisms;
ignoring the efficiency and productivity required in a more fast paced
society today.

Full of crap. Argh. I'm just so frustrated. If I could, I'd raze the
whole bloody country to the ground. I hate this country super a lot.
No matter what history it had or troubles it went through, I'll never
be a complete patriotic citizen of this country. Heck, I even hate
being born here. If I can only take away the Filipino blood in me,
I'll do it wholeheartedly. I'm not proud to be a citizen here and I
will never be. Unless a change so mindblasting happens in here. But I
don't think it will happen anytime soon; especially with a crappy
government. I'm not going to hope much because I know that if I hope
even just a little bit for this douchy place, I'll just be
disappointed again and again.

I think some of you are asking right now after reading all those, why
I am so frustrated with the country and the government.

Ok let me tell you. I'll bring you through what happened in the day
including my observations. You be the judge whether what I have said
is agreeable to an extent.

Early morning, 0530hrs, I wake up to the smell of something burning.
After almost 2 months in here, I've gotten used to it already. I
always expected the smell of morning dew but after a few times, I've
lost hope to ever smell the fresh scent of morning dew.

I get off the bed and start to prepare myself and my things for
school. Food was alright. It was filling. I start to bathe. I turn on
the faucet and I'm jolted by the super cold water splashing all over
my body. Shit! There's no heater so there's never a hot water. You get
used to it after some time but this also means that falling sick
often, especially on cold rainy seasons, is a definite occurance. I
think to myself that I should drink more water lest I get sick and
decrease my productivity level.

I dress up and after which went in to the car to be sent to school. My
siblings are there as well. They'll be sent to school first. After a
short drive out of the compound, a heavy traffic met us. From there to
my sibling's school is around 10 minutes drive. But every morning, it
takes approximately 30minutes to get to their school because of
traffic conditions caused by manual toll booths. Going to my school
takes another 30 minutes due to traffic congestion as well.

I get to school. Ready for a great day ahead. But wait, there's a test
today. I laugh it off. I'm quite confident for this test because I
studied. I sit down on my seat and prepare some paper and a pen. The
teacher comes in 15minutes late. He didn't bring anything much but a
book and a piece of paper. I'm puzzled. Where's the question papers?
There's no exam today?

Well my questions were answered straight away. The piece of paper he
was carrying contained the questions. He's dictating 25 questions for
us to answer. What the douche? I'm suppose to listen for the question,
write the question and then answer it, all need to be done in less
than 5 minutes? This is awesome. Is 20 pages of paper for the
questions for 20 people too expensive? Then where is the almost $2k+
that my parents are paying for the tuition fees?

I heave a sigh of irritation and just shoved it off. Thank God that I
studied enough to be able to answer the questions immediately. After
the test ended, I went straight home to meet my dad to go get my IC
number and my student's license.

The place where I took my IC is not like the ICA building at Lavender,
it's an office setting filled with people rushing here and there and
piles of paper stacked on the tables. The space available for those
who are waiting is no more bigger than 2 toilets. There's like 40+
people in there so you can just imagine how squeezed up everyone is.

Fortunately my queue number was called immediately and the process
took no less than a minute but i could hardly hear the guy talking
through all the phone ringing and people's chatter. Next up on our
list was the Land and Transport Organization to get my student license.

I'll describe the setting of the place. It is a small run down
building, smelly and dirty, and the people have to wait in an open
area lacking of fans and packed with people. Seats are unavailable and
the hot sun is glaring down on you. You try to get a shade to at least
cool down a bit but you find that most have been taken up already by
others. You don't want to stay too near to them because you fear that
the next moment your wallet will be gone. You wait for 1 hour just to
get your picture taken. You wait another 30 minutes just to pay for
the fees. You wait another 1 because it turns out that the people are
taking their lunch break. You wait another 30 minutes to sign a damn
paper and get a receipt. In total, you spend around 3 hours waiting
due to slow processing and lack of technological assets to increase
productivity and efficiency. And yes, you wait in the scorching hot
sun and when the wind comes even for a short time, you feel as though
you're in heaven. At the end of everything, not only are you tired
from waiting and standing, you're hot, sticky and dirty as well.

This is basically all thanks to the government. They shouldn't be paid
as high as they are being paid now. In my opinion, their pay should be
cut in half and then used in something more meaningful like investing
more to educate more children. They don't deserve their current pay
because they're only working half of their job.

The government in my opinion is not pragmatic enough. Where Singapore
looks a few years ahead, Philippines only look until probably next
year. Call me brainwashed by the Singapore education system but you
can't help agree that it is better if you look at the society and
standard of living in both country.

Just take a look at the slum area in here. It's practically almost
everywhere! Even on the streets you drive in, children will knock on
you car window begging for alms. It's a sad sight especially when you
see them scavenging for food in rubbish dumps. How long more must
these children suffer for the sake of getting more money put in
officials money?

Oh by the way. Before I forget. The process in getting the license can
be shortened. You know by how? By under the table tactics or red
tapes. If you don't feel like taking the practical driving test, just
give the teacher around $15 and he'll pass you. You don't want to
attend safety lessons? Just pay the teacher again and he'll pass you
as well. You don't want to wait in the long process of getting the
license? Just find a friend working in the organization and ask him to
speed up the process as a favour, of course with some payment as well.

Welcome to the real picture. This is the real thing. No video editing.
No picture editing. No special words. This is raw. It's hard to
imagine all of these happening but it is.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't visit the Philippines when you go
for a vacation. Actually I implore you to visit so that at least some
help will come to the economy at last. In addition to that, the
country really has nice sceneries and sights. But some will just open
your eyes wide to what's happening in the world around you. Suddenly
you'll be out of your bubble world and see that a lot of people are
really suffering, more people than you could have imagined or known.
Those you see in CNN or National Geographic? They're just but a
fraction of the amount of people suffering in the world due to subpar


That's all I really want to say this windy afternoon of July 9, 2009.
This is Carlo and I'll see you again soon.