The Filipino people have experienced so much up to this point. They have experienced invasions by foreigners. they stood tall and fought. They have withstood domination. They rebuild after every death, flood, fire, war, earthquake, eruptions, revolutions. They rebuild with a smile on their faces, always positive. That is how we see ourselves every time something bad happens. It begs the question: Are Filipinos masochistic?

To avoid obvious innuendos, I’ll define masochism as the enjoyment of suffering that is being inflicted on thyself. So are we?

I am personally starting to think so. Our resistance to change allows us to experience whatever disaster that befalls us. We pay taxes that is eventually spent on Disaster Preparedness, yet we still experience disaster. We vote for leaders who are corrupt, with knowledge of their actions and schemes. We disrespect nature. We don’t evacuate when authorities tell us to. Then these small mistakes eventually pile up to become one huge grave we are digging ourselves. Why? Is changing a little too much of a hassle? Is it tradition? or are we born this way?

Questions keep piling up as try to understand as much as I can on the Filipino Situation. One of the most obvious answers is we, as a people, are a mess. Now, no matter how much I complain about my country, and my countrymen, I cannot do anything about it. Change cannot simply happen because one man asks for it. Change in a society can only happen with when enough people start it themselves. To put more simply, to change this country, I must ask  the question”What are we doing wrong?”

There is no definite answer to that. What is wrong for some is right for others. It seems hopeless but it is not. We can always aspire as a people for huge changes. But individuals can only make small changes. Assume that the eradication of poverty is a 1000 peso bill. Then let’s assume that twenty thousand people want  that 1000 peso bill. But each one of those people can only have five centavos. They want that five centavo coin, but they want the one thousand peso bill more. But no matter how they belittle that mere five centavo coin, if there is twenty thousand of those who have a five centavo coin, you would have a full one thousand peso. Now assume that a five centavo coin is equal to studying well in school, or not jaywalking or voting properly. These small changes you wanted will amount to something bigger if enough people made small changes. A good change, no matter how insignificant, amounts to something bigger when people have that bigger goal as a common goal. Now if we want to change the state of our nation, we start small. We start by not jaywalking. Or not destroy a concrete pedestrian barrier so you would not have to use the footbridge. or keep your candy wrapper in your pocket or if you can’t, hang around trashcans all day. The list goes on and on. There is no shortage of what small thing you can do for yourself and others. Small changes lead into big changes. I believe in that

Rowell Macapagal II



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