Hope for our land
There seems to be little promise of light in our polity.
The Philippine government has officially withdrawn from peace talks with the communists, with no small help from rebels whose attacks in the countryside during negotiations gave the lie to their commitment to a just and lasting peace.
Military responses to the plight of the lumads of Mindanao have deteriorated to the point of the setup of blockades against food for the relief of evacuees.
Progress in transportation is being stymied by the constant threat of strikes from jeepney drivers and operators threatened by the administration’s modernization program as well as by red tape and corruption afflicting the transport department.
Tax reform seems destined to fall short of expectations with lawmakers prepared to stand by their moderation of taxes on their pet sectors in the economy.
The Lower House looks determined to unseat Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno notwithstanding the fuzziness of the testimony of main complainant lawyer Lorenzo Gadon.
It looks like it is just a matter of time before Malacañang reassigns to the police the campaign against illegal drugs — never mind that at least two international media outfits, Reuters and British Broadcasting Corp., have shown recent anti-drug operations to be highly suspect.
With no one imbued with humility to admit their liability let alone their error in these and other controversies, expect no swift resolution to them but only an extended, frustrating cycle of conflict.
This is not to say there is nowhere to turn to for hope.
At Cebu City’s Fuente Osmeña Circle, a gigantic tree has been lighted to signal the coming of Christmas.
In the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral and other churches and homes across the country, the first purple candles of Advent wreaths already shine.
Just as these lights are brightest in deep darkness, the Filipino must in these benighted days insist most emphatically on exercising hope and fighting despair.
Speak out in small circles in defense of our democratic institutions like the judiciary.
Use social media to remind lawmakers they are being watched and that their abuses are on the record for a coming day of reckoning.
Support initiatives like Moalboal’s search for a turtle killer or Cebu City’s clearing of sidewalks.
Help groups like Friends of the Lumad comfort the war-torn.
Contribute to the work of upright policemen, clergy and others in the community-based rehabilitation of persons battling substance abuse.
Now is not the time for cynicism.
It is time to be as awake as a Misa de Gallo devotee in the black predawn who is buoyed by the prospect of fulfillment for her most cherished petitions.
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