After the various reactions to one of my previous articles, I cannot help but have quite a few reactions of my own. Anyway, now that we have our sentiments out in the open, I harken back to when I first started writing here to one of my very first articles. Again, with the recent events unfolding like a runaway train from the unsolved case of the Fallen 44, the BBL which the Aquino administration continues to endorse despite the outrage of the general public, the spared life of Mary Jane Veloso to the up and coming fight of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, I once again find myself asking an ever familiar question.
“Are we truly free?”
Well, according to our history books, we have been free for decades now. After being allegedly “freed” from the yoke of tyranny of the Marcos regime, I find myself wondering just what is it that makes so many Filipinos believe that they are free. I, for one, don’t see our country us as “free”.
Instead, when I look at my countrymen, I am briefly reminded of the film District 9. Yes, the movie with the human-cockroach aliens that people kept calling prawns. Anyway, if you observe the aliens, majority of them simply wander about aimlessly with no real purpose and are taken advantage of by humans on a regular basis. While they could easily retaliate and get humans to give them more respect, they simply lack the sense of direction or independence needed to present their own terms to the world. That is how I essentially see my fellow Filipinos in this otherwise promising age of rapidly advancing technology.
What many don’t know or simply won’t admit is that we are essentially enslaved by the powers that be in this country. What’s worse is that many of us don’t even know it. Like the Matrix, we are all metaphorically trapped in a prison we can’t see, taste or smell but can nonetheless feel to a certain degree.
Want proof? Well, here are my observations…
We Are Slaves To The Government
“People should not be afraid of their government. The Government should be afraid of it’s people.”
~V for Vendetta
The quote makes perfect sense when you consider the fact that, being a democracy, it is up to us, the common people, on whom we elect as the next leaders of our country. Unfortunately, there is certainly a clear discrepancy when the same bunch of crooks end up in power every election. Now, it would be nice if some of these people were actually helpful, but one can probably guess that they are mostly just a band of brainless celebrities or immoral thieves.
Year after year, even with a constitution that insists that it is “free”, we are left with no choice but to vote for the same criminals who ran in the last election. It’s almost as if in the common Pinoy mind, we have nothing else to choose from asides from the people we know from experience. It never even occurs to some people that choosing a new and relatively unknown leader might prove to be more honest and competent than those whom they’ve always known.
So while we may claim to be a democracy, we don’t seem to exercising our rights as voters the way we should. Instead, we are almost always at the mercy of criminal masterminds who, with the use of bribery and threats, remain in a position of power.
We Are Slaves To The Media
Okay, I’ve summed it up in this article but I think I need to mention it again considering the reactions to this article and this one. Well, from what can be seen, people almost openly worship their favorite celebrities. To a lot of Filipinos, famous movie stars are gods or goddesses in their own right even when they are actually far from being good examples of human beings.
Like cheap drugs, many Filipinos fawn over their favorite celebrities and place them on a pedestal well above the rest of their household. Also, like junkies, when someone cries afoul of their favorite celebrities, they tend to act very negatively as if their lives or families are somehow being threatened.
While I believe that people should be free to watch what they want, I tend to think that the way most Pinoys treat their media is almost similar to drug addiction.
We Are A Slave Race
Now that I have time to think about it, I’ve come to think that most Pinoys aren’t really as free as they’d like to think themselves as. If we are indeed free, I have to ask, why are all the good business opportunities out there beyond the Philippines. Why do so many of our countrymen have to travel beyond the borders of our beloved homeland just to make ends meet?
If we are truly free, then why are the job opportunities available here in the Philippines so lackluster? If we are indeed free, shouldn’t there be promising career choices for the common employees of the Philippines? If we are free, why are so many Filipinos choosing to take unpleasant and potentially dangerous jobs as OFWs rather than stick with the jobs that are available in our country?
The bottom line is that year after year, millions of our countrymen have to leave behind their families and homes to work elsewhere often at great danger to themselves. At the end of the day, they are often seen by their employers and the society they work in as second-class citizens at best and actual slaves at worst. Whatever salary they earn may seem quite a lot to the people back in the Philippines but, more often than not, the common employee in where they work probably earns more.
I have always believed in the idea that freedom is more than just being able to do what you want. Freedom is about choices and knowing which choice sits well with you the most. Believing that freedom is just about doing what you want is both immature and irresponsible.
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