Poverty and corruption will not change national pride

Eric Ariel Salas

Eric Ariel Salas

I write about national issues and also about touching lives. This is about two of my Filipino friends, Sharon and Mimi.

The oil-rich Saudi Arabia became Sharon’s home right after her college graduation. As an entertainer in a foreign land, money fills her purse with no trouble at all when she belts out her songs like no other could. Today, she is as rich as the country she is working in.

Mimi’s talent has brought her to a far away place. I knew it the first time I saw her twist her waist gracefully in a local dance competition. Precisely so, she boogied herself to Japan. For money and family, she dances with pride.

Sharon and Mimi dislike the Philippines for not having much to offer in regards to good jobs and compensation because of the apparently unending problems in the government. Abroad, surviving life may be hard for both; nevertheless, the price of aloneness is a long-lasting abundance.

So why would I continue loving and enduring a country where friends think poverty, corruption and politicking have become a way of life? Why would I remain loyal to the flag when corruption clings like a malignant tumor obstructing political stability and hindering foreign investments? Why, when my family has been pushing me to stick to Uncle Sam? They wondered on my forever-national allegiance.

Mimi wasn’t wrong when she decided to take a chance and danced her way for the Japanese audience. Neither was Sharon sinful when she preferred the applause of the Arabs. Theirs were decisions forced by existing circumstances.

I admit I do now resemble dream-wise like Sharon and Mimi, though not completely. Even if I am physically absent in the Philippines, I still think about the welfare of my homeland.

While everyone is rushing to leave the country for greener pastures abroad and forgetting their roots altogether, I keep my contacts. I keep on writing for all the hopeless Filipinos, just like back home.

I write to somehow touch the hearts of government leaders so they’d run our institutions with competence and proficiency, minus the greed in power and wealth. I write to somehow encourage public servants to dislodge the wrong values and instead develop honesty and integrity in public office. I write so proper statutes on the evil creature of corruption be situated. I write this for the millions of my countrymen whose hopes are shattered and who have been waiting for the advent of a happier life.

This life of mostly discontentment, I write for a country fastened to a poisonous weed of bribery and theft, a country deserted by my friends Sharon and Mimi upon seeing their hopes lost in the society’s twisting wind of uncertainties.

I write because mine is a voice so little for the over 80 million Filipinos, yet can become loud through every article of: Hope, to see Filipino dreams finally found; Encouragement, to use our art and culture for touching lives; Anticipation, to change our attitude and love the country more and more; Realizations, to make use of our skills and talents in molding our future; and Desire, to someday see Sharon singing and Mimi dancing on Philippine soil while the Filipino audience, including me, claps in awe.

#1.882516:2780114954.jpg:ericsalace.jpg:Eric Ariel L. Salas, Foreign Eyes: