As the rainy season draws near, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that the social, economic, and political scenes in the Philippines these past few months brought Filipinos face-to-face with very heated situations. The rise in temperature when talking about the weather in the Philippines is enough to cause one to blow his/her top.
We have a word for this in the vernacular: nakakapang-init ulo.
The situation with Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda? More than 6 months after the tragedy struck, progress on the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the affected areas has been reportedly moving at a glacial pace. And it seems that like a lot of other things in the Philippines, it has been bogged down by petty, unnecessary politics. Add to that the recent news about a fire razing a temporary shelter, which apparently, has hardly made top headline news among the local media outfits.
The public transport issue in the Metro, in particular with the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) is enough to make one’s blood boil. Daily commuters are forced to face very long queues, frequent breakdowns in service, the harrowing experience of being packed in a sardine can, and the long-standing lack of courtesy and discipline among the riders. There is no doubt that the MRT system needs to be upgraded; it just seems that the authorities have either been taking their sweet time with it, or telling the public to deal with it, or, unsurprisingly, involving themselves is questionable deals. The MRT-3 is a disaster waiting to happen, as has been pointed previously in the Philippine Star.
The pork barrel “scam” is getting out of hand. The focus now is on the several versions of “lists” that are out there. It’s become quite irritating, to say the least, that many still think that if the Senate investigates itself then something useful will come out of it. Another thing that has become quite annoying is that there are those who still insist that president Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino is still honest and not corrupt. As has been pointed out, the allocation of pork barrel has actually gotten bigger during his term. And even if he is not corrupt, the significance of it is negligible, because he has either done nothing to stop it or is just plain powerless in keeping those under him from doing so. It’s quite simple really; as has been pointed out many times, all BS Aquino had to do at the start of his term was tell Budget Secretary Butch Abad to get rid of the pork barrel allocations, yet he didn’t.
Somehow related to the rise in temperatures is the fact that there have long been warnings of both an electricity and water shortage in Metro Manila and other parts of the country. It is hard to get the impression that our government is doing something about this; they seem more concerned with preserving their own self-interests than they are making things more bearable for the people whom they swore to serve.
Granted, the weather is something we could do the least about; the soaring temperatures are best beaten by putting oneself near sources of air-conditioning. But all these other “problems” that the Philippines is currently facing – the aftermath of Haiyan, the MRT breakdown, the pork barrel scam, and the pending electricity and water crises – are things which we have more control over, and something we should have been prepared for before they became “emergencies”.
It is indeed a quintessential Filipino trait to ignore problems while they are small. When they finally become unmanageable we start crying about how we are victims of circumstance, about how we were cheated, about how we are being put through trials of faith. Filipinos also have short attention spans; it is easy to distract them from the pressing problems of their society by showing them showbiz news and feel good stories about Filipinos making it abroad which feed the Pinoy pride.
What’s one of the most irritating, gut-wrenching, and excruciating things about Filipinos? They just can’t seem to get angry enough, and they just can’t seem to learn from their mistakes. The reason that their governments keep screwing them over is because they know they can get away with it. Plus, they’ll be elected in the next cycle for another chance of screwing over to happen again.
Even the most sane and logical person would have his/her blood boil at the site of the Philippines neglecting its problems until it’s become one big pile of turd that can’t be ignored anymore.
Nakakapang-init ulo talaga.