Skewed priorities  

Posted by Laya in , ,

We reduce capital crime sentences for "good behavior" and let prisoners go free when in other countries they'd have rotted in jail for life. If their sentences can't be reduced, they are pardoned instead. Then we turn around and make a big fuss about opposition politicians who happened to take part in a parade and were assigned a vehicle with a toy machine gun.

If all smoke indicated a fire, we should all be evacuating our homes right now. But despite the blatant warning signs, or at least events and incidents that should be raising ginormous question marks in our minds, we choose to believe instead the excuses that it is all just a huge smokescreen. Far easier it is to believe that Nicole was not raped.

We make a big fuss about the murder of a PR man and his bodyguard, because the alleged mastermind is said to be a prominent opposition politician. Because journalists are not powerful politicians, 24 of them can be killed in the span of a decade and some narrowly escape being killed with impunity, and deaf ears can be turned to cries for justice for their deaths.

We deplore the rising birth rate and poor health of our people, but refuse to allow basic family planning methods and devices because they are immoral. Unhygienic, malnourished, unemployed citizens are not immoral, presumably.

We rarely get salary raises and are granted loans with great difficulty although we are religiously deducted some portion of our salaries every month for social security benefits. While we struggle and sweat for every penny, the money for our benefits are now proposed to be given to those who are unemployed, presumably as welfare checks (what else do you call them?).

Speaking of paychecks, we are religiously deducted a sizable amount of taxes each month and have to pay VAT too. What is left can barely get families through their basic needs and let them send their children to public school, while our politicians amass luxury cars, send their children to exclusive schools or abroad, and vote to raise their own salaries as well.

And on the home front...

"Makakain mo ba ang prinsipyo? Makakain mo ba ang hiya? Mamamatay ka lang na dilat ang mata kasama ng prinsipyo mo."

(Can you eat principles? Can you eat shame? You will only die with your eyes wide open together with your principles.)

"Bakit mo gusto yang kursong yan? Walang pera diyan! Magnursing ka at nang makapag-abroad ka at kumita ng dolyar!"

(Why do you want to take up that (college) course? That won't earn you any money! Take up nursing so that you can go abroad and earn dollars!)

Some parents teach their children that honor, principles, ideals and dreams don't matter in the face of expediency. That it is more shameful to struggle for what one believes in than to compromise one's integrity to live an easier life. That it is more humiliating to one's family that one's child pursue a path s/he chose for her/himself, no matter how hard, than that that child should labor in a field s/he does not really want for the sake of the almighty dollar. Sometimes, even, a daughter's honor does not matter as long as monetary compensation is given for it, for after all honor once taken cannot be restored, while money may be put to use, even if only to purchase some temporary luxury.

This is a country where some parents neglect to feed, clothe and educate their children properly, yet have money to throw away on gambling, alcohol and cigarettes. This is a country where the children of officials get to use airports as their own private driveways. This is a country where people who feel superior may berate an employee who is just doing his job and force him to humiliate himself, then pass it off as artistic temperament.

And we wonder why we seem to be going to hell in a handbasket.

This entry was posted at Wednesday, March 25, 2009 and is filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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