01634: The Root of Our Evil

In the Philippines, too many problems are tied back to the severe inequality that divides this country into the powerful and the powerless. One can't help but notice that the same rich families continue to control majority of the wealth in this country regardless of who is in power. We have had very different presidents ever since the first People Power Revolution, and yet the same families are the ones calling in the shots.

It doesn't matter where you look - politics, big business, whatever. It's the same names over and over again. This is a big part of the reason why the elections seem so pointless to me - no one is really prepared to change the status quo. No one dares to and no one wants to. People do not get to the top of the food chain without playing the same games, making the same deals and bending their knee to the same rich families.

Supposedly the country's economy continues to go up and up, however we also know that unemployment has not gone down, the poor remain poor and all that jazz. That just tells you that the rich are getting increasingly richer and the poor remain just where they are. Their desperation and need is precisely what drives this country - living on the edge each and every day forces them into decisions some of us don't think are good or smart things to do. Thus when those individuals with the money start making their offers and waving their "gifts" around, it becomes a no-brainer for them.

And how do we solve this "problem" or whatever you want to call it? Do we kill all the influential families? Do we shift this country to some weird brand of communism? Do we magically uplift the poor so they can do better in life?

Please, there are no simple solutions in life. And while I am the kind of person who believes that a single grain of sand can shift and change the face of an entire sand dune (thank you Frank Herbert!) I know it's quite an uphill battle to get any form of change in this country. And it doesn't matter if we're talking about getting rid of corrupt officials, solving Metro Manila's traffic problem, or fighting for LGBT rights. But just because it's not an easy fight means that we shouldn't fight. It just means that we need to be smart about things.

And very, very, very patient.