Wednesday, August 29, 2012

We Are All Bernardo Carpio

Election season is near and we expect that surveys in whatever form will again invade our privacies. It is a scenario where usually politicians, individually or as a group, tap the expertise of an apparently independent entity to conduct said activity in order for the former to have a study for partisan political ends. Survey results and recommendations are potent tools for strategizing towards the campaign period. It could help the politicians scientifically identify their strengths and weaknesses, gains and bottlenecks in their strategies and consequently patch the negatives and sustain their positive attributes as candidates.

Unluckily, surveys of sort have less to do with the aspiration of non-aligned citizenry or the “silent majority”. What we need today are surveys, researches or studies that would help people of Occidental Mindoro in general and not only politicians, to get out of what I call as the “Bernardo Carpio Predicament” where people are caught in the middle of two colliding rocks of local politics. In such a situation, the burden, the agony, the malfeasance of bad governance and childish politicking fall on our chained weakening arms and limping trapped legs like Bernardo Carpio.

I wish I had a group of millionaire friends, a pool of philanthropists. A coterie of friends that is more than willing to initiate, fund, organize and manage a project geared towards an integral socio-political analysis to examine several issues and assess the political maturity of our people and consequently their living condition. Over and above, our target benefactors and key project implementers must not be completely identified, one way or another, with any of the two colliding political mountains. This study is to come up with recommendations translated into programs or legislations. Through this research, we can identify the definite stand of the people on burning issues and ultimately measure their dominant value system.

How can I have such a group when most of my close and real life acquaintances are as “emol” as I am? None of them is millionaire. Most of them are plain and simple but dedicated “slum dogs”!

It is only by dreaming I can toy this idea I want to call “Pamago Study” which stands for Political Advocacy, Media Awareness for Good Governance. In case you skipped this previous blog entry, “Pamago” is a post-harvest ritual practiced by Alangan Mangyans where family members gather, feast on the year’s first produce, celebrate for a bountiful harvest and share good wishes. This is one of their ways of thanking the Creator. It has been part of their culture and tradition centuries before the present brand of politics from Western countries haunted Mangyans’ senses and sensibility.

Mine is a primary research or survey intends not only to contribute to academic community but over and above, to find out as much as possible about the condition of political awareness and value system of Occidental Mindoro electorates. This is a kind of research where facts are interpreted and evaluated thus enable us to go directly to the core of the problem and not only its peripherals. It is high time for us to know what the people feel about empowerment in local governance and participation in their respective LGUs. This research or survey is hopefully would create awareness, appreciation and understanding of pressing concerns and issues of the hour needing to be resolved like political dynasty, the power shortage, development aggression such as mining and oil exploration, the proliferation of chemical-based farming and the use of public authority for private gains, to name a few.

As you have noticed, I included the media because it is imperative for us at this crucial point of our province’s history to understand how local media wielded its power, how it is perceived by the people in general. Is our media really instruments of rights and freedom of information and genuine public service or was it a mere tool of oligarchy in our midst? Is our media instruments of building communities or its destruction?

We need those facts documented, analyzed, presented and ultimately expected to give birth to multiple degree of intellectual recommendations. These recommendations also aim to provide mechanisms for people to participate in the sustained process of development with the guidance of the True Loving Rock with whom we take refuge (Psalm 18:12).

According to Philippine legend, when the last link on the chain binding Bernardo Carpio is broken, there will be a great earthquake but after that, freedom overcomes our enslavement…


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