I am a big fan of RPG games, you know, the ones wherein you play the role of a certain character and you progress through the game in an adventurous manner. It’s like reading a good adventure book wherein you yourself are the hero and how you save the princess/prince/kingdom/world/universe is entirely up to you. As a matter of fact, I kind of like it better than books because in some games, nothing is ever really set in stone. In these games, it is often up to you how you adventure and the choice is sometimes given to you on whether or not to be evil and whether or not another character will live to the end. Games of this wide spectrum include Skyrim, Fallout, Mass Effect, Dragon Age and Neverwinter Nights just to name a few.
When playing these kinds of games though, especially when starting out, you can run into a variety of complications. For instance, perhaps you didn’t “build” your character correctly. This means that your character might be too weak to complete the quest you’ve embarked on because the skills you opted for aren’t ideal for your method of play. Also, there are games wherein the story depends largely on the choices you make in even the earliest part of the game. So, there will be moments in some games where you might curse yourself for not browsing a walkthrough because a pivotal character is now dead because of your wrong choices. There are some games that have “anti-frustration” features that let you go back and change a few crucial choices. Alternatively, you can also load up a save game before you made a given choice and perhaps change the course of your playthrough.
As I’ve come to realize, the Philippines has a long, sad history of bad choices. From those who openly sided with the Japanese during WWII, the acts of pettiness and cruelty during the days of Martial Law, the madness and stupidity brought about by the Edsa Revolution, the Pork Barrel scam and our inability to respond well to acts of violence are just a few examples of the sickness that has gripped the country. Like a character that has been built by either idiots who don’t even know how to follow a game tutorial or extremely bored gamers who try to build a broken character just to make a game interesting by making the lamest character possible.
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In some games, especially in ones that do not include features that allow you to change crucial choices, you have to start another game. This can be very frustrating for some players and some even altogether give up because it is often too big a hassle to start over when you’ve already gotten so far in a game of your choice. Unfortunately, when your character is simply too broken and you’ve already made too many wrong choices, you probably have few alternatives.
Like a broken video game character, I think that it is high time that we, as a people start from scratch. However, I am not making this statement lightly. I am well aware that what I am asking for is, quite frankly, next to impossible and, if worst comes to worst, might do more harm to the country than good. Unfortunately, since real life doesn’t feature old save games or any other anti-frustration features of any kind, I think we have little choice in the matter.
Here are some of the points I’d like to expound to show the validity of this statement:
We are a Divided People
One of our biggest problems is that we, as a people, are divided. Even on an individual level, people in many schools, workplaces and just about any institution, there is always an “every man for himself” mentality. While rivalries are often unavoidable, I cannot help but notice that the idea of a “friendly competition”. As I have mentioned in some of my previous articles, most Pinoys have the tendency to turn everything into a personal piss-fight. Everything from the person who can present the most lavish wedding (even when the family funds are bankrupt), who has the most advanced gadgets (again, even when the family funds are bankrupt) to who has the most colorful FB wall (when the individual in question should be working) is just a sign of our divisive nature.
We argue all too often about who’s who rather than what we should do and even if we do get around to it, we’d rather push the buck around instead of doing it ourselves. Everyone is out for themselves and their next of kin instead of making any collective achievements.
I have always thought that a threat great enough to unite our people might be enough to do the trick, but the question was how long can a single threat unite us? How long before we would go back to bickering among ourselves and retreating behind our self-imposed prisons of self-interest?
Corruption is Connected
The corrupt elements of our country is connected to everything else. The politicians, the media and the megacorporations all go together to become one system (that almost seems to me like an eldritch abomination of some sort) that controls the people through mass-delusion, hysteria and stupidity. In our country, it’s not “what you know” that will get you places, it’s “whom you know”.
With this kind of mentality in place, it will be a great surprise if this country can make any kind of progress in the next decade. As oligarchs only approve other oligarchs, the common Filipinos are forever doomed to resort to slaving themselves overseas as OFWs.
Our Society is Blind
With the glaring issues mentioned above, you’d think that most Pinoys would be getting their act together. Again, unfortunately, this is not the case. Our media has effectively become our “Matrix”, blinding us to the awful truths such as our nature as a “slave race” to foreign employers. Our celebrity news continues to delude us into thinking that we are some sort of “kingdom” with our movie stars and politicians being our royalty.
The list goes on and on.
For there to be permanent and positive change in the Philippines, we have to start from scratch. We need to leave everything behind. We need to forfeit our childish attitude and take up a mantle of responsibility as productive citizens in a country. We need to abandon our petty differences, our corrupt tactics and our delusional distractions in order to find our own place in the world.
The change will not be easy, that I assure you. The first steps will be painful. Like starting in a video game, we may need to level-up again to rebuild everything we lost. But starting down a new road is always better than following a road to destruction which we have been traveling in for quite some time now.
I HAVE RETURNED TO LAY WASTE TO OUR ENEMIES!