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Sunday thoughts: some years back, when the previous president dared say that Filipinos working abroad were economic refugees and it was incumbent on government to work harder so Filipinos (not Filipinx) could actually choose whether to work at home or abroad, he was crucified...
But I felt then and feel now, he was absolutely right because what had been going on since Marcos years was Filipinos working abroad actually allowed governments to govern with impunity because whatever they did, an umbilical cord to remittances kept the economy afloat regardless
of how things were (mis)managed at home. But people preferred the ritual pandering to "heroes" which actually trivialized what heroism is. So we got what we got in 2016: only for Filipinos abroad who lost their jobs because of the #COVID19 pandemic, and who had to come home...
to discover how utterly worthless all the ritual declarations of their heroism was. Nothing awaited them at home except misery and neglect on the part of an overwhelmed government and then hostility from their countrymen who viewed their already tragic return home with hostility.
The same thing applies to medical and other frontliners: there have been noise barrages to hail them, statements aplenty to honor them, but their reality is being asked to leave boarding houses near hospitals, their suffering ostracism from their neighbors, and all the other...
things that get your blood boiling when you read about it. But again we have such a big discrepancy between our community rhetoric and community reality it makes you fully realize Rizal's saying that as the people are, so is their government.
When he wrote his dedication to one of his novels he said as much: he would show things as they were, however painful it might be, as no cure was possible without the right diagnosis.
And on a final note, the ongoing lack of community spirit from a society that heaps praise on people until it has to actually live with them, reminds me of something an American Thomasite observed at the turn of the last century.
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Keep Current with Manuel L. Quezon III

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