Archive for August, 2009

Are the Young People of Today Aware That They Are the Fair Hope of the Motherland?

Posted in Inner Thoughts with tags , , , , on August 28, 2009 by Ruffy Biazon

I am often the subject of interviews by students from schools in the district I represent, and I always cheerfully grant their request for a parley. Usually, the students are assigned to interview a public official and many times they end up having the same subject–me. I never turn down a request for an appointment with students, whom I believe should be given every opportunity to be inspired by their elders.

Well, that makes me feel old, being referred to as an “elder”. But I am still within the parameters of being under the coverage of the term “Youth”, which spans the range of 40 years old and below. I am in the last months of being part of the Youth, although I always say that I am forever a teenager at heart and soul.

In these interviews, I am often the one who is inspired, admiring the young students’ energy, drive, inquisitive minds and confident dispositions. They always seem ready and eager to face the harsh and cruel world, believing that they have learned more than enough in the few years that they have existed in this world.

Recently, I had another round of these interviews. In a well-known private school, a fourth year high school teacher assigned her students to interview a public official of the city and several groups of students chose to interview me. They had various ways of getting to me, from cold calls to my office to tracing friends or relatives who had personal connections to me. As always, I reserved exclusive time for them, even scheduling them as my last appointment so that we will have time to extend if needed.

The interviews went well and the students did not even seem intimidated by the fact that they were speaking to a Member of the House of Representatives.

I was proud of them. Except for one thing…

Towards the end of the interview of the first group, I gave them some parting words and exhorted them for their accomplishment. I told them, “Talagang ang Kabataan ay Pag-asa ng Bayan (Truly, the Youth is the Fair Hope of Our Motherland)”.

The teenage boys and girls said,”Wow! That’s a great quote! Can we use it exclusively in our project?” I then realized that they thought the quote was an original one from me.

So I asked them, “Do you know who said that?”. They had no reply but looked at me with interested and curious eyes, waiting for me to answer my own question.

After a brief moment of silence, I told them that it was our National Hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal who said it. “Oh. We didn’t know that”, they said. After a few more pleasantries, they said goodbye.

Actually, I was surprised that they didn’t know Rizal’s famous quotation. I had to find out if the youth were really not aware of this or if it was just this group who seemed to be clueless to Rizal’s exhortation of the youth.

I did the same thing to the next three groups who interviewed me. Sadly, just like the first group, they were not familiar with the quote. Before I was surprised, this time I was disturbed.

When I got home, I talked to my eldest son who is now 18 and in first year college. I ask him, “Who said this—ang kabataan ay ang pag-asa ng bayan?”. He looked at me and said, “You?”

“No”, I said.

“Ninoy Aquino?”

I shake my head.

“Cory Aquino?”

We definitely have a problem here.

Eventually, I told him it was Jose Rizal who said it and continued with a lecture in history and nationalism.

What’s wrong with the youth? With all the potential that they have, do they even realize at this stage the role that they are going to play in the coming years?

Of course, we do see young people who are politically aware and active, marching in the streets and shouting slogans. We see young persons challenging authorities and facing policemen with shields and truncheons. We see students speak with passion and even anger at the powers that be. But how many of our youth are as aware and involved as they are? Besides, is that the only image of the youth that we want to see?

But the more relevant question is how did the youth come to where they are? Because it is definitely not the fault of those students why they don’t know who said the quote. It is the fault of their elders because they failed to convey the message to the young.

The schools are institutions of learning therefore they are at fault. While learning about Rizal and the lessons of his thoughts is not part of the Three R’s of basic education, it is part of the basic learnings of being a Filipino. Emphasis should be given on those lessons.

At first, I thought it was just the school of the students who interviewed me which was at fault. But my own son, who went to another school, also was not able to answer. So it is not an isolated case limited to one school.

In fact, the schools are not alone. Learning begins at home and the parents have the primary responsibility of teaching their children. Not just in reading, writing and arithmetic. But more so in character, nationalism and faith.

I stand guilty for my son’s ignorance about Jose Rizal’s quote. I have taught this quote thousands of times among the students in my district and yet under my very own roof, my son lived unaware of the legacy of wisdom left by our national hero. I accept the blame.

But more than teaching them the what and the who, it is our responsibility as elders to explain to the youth the Why…. Why are they the hope of the nation? We must be able to explain this to them to know their purpose as Filipinos, motivate them to live in the right direction, and fulfill their role as the hope of our nation.

Now comes the hard part..being an example to the youth. Because the youth are impressionable and look up to their elders as role models, it is vital that not only do we talk the talk, but we walk the walk. They may be young, but they are observant and critical. The value of our lessons will be lost if they do not see consistency between what we say and what we do.

The youth, indeed, is the fair hope of the motherland. But they cannot do it alone. They need the guidance of the elders to steer them in the right direction. Are the elders up to it? They were once young and were, themselves, the fair hope of the motherland. How did they fare?

A Letter From a Constituent and My Reply

Posted in Inner Thoughts, Politics and Politicians with tags on August 27, 2009 by Ruffy Biazon

I received a message in my Multiply site which came from a constituent who submitted a request for support from my office for their badminton tournament.

From Richard (a constituent):

Congressman Ruffy,

Good day congressman,we came to your office 3 times and asking for the support regarding the badminton tournament and are group are shock cause your secretary personnel said that you are not supporting this kind of events..and our participants is all residence of muntinlupa any way thank you even you are not supporting us and god bless.our tournament is finished with 400 particpants good luck…..

I immediately responded both to his email and in his Multiply site:

Dear Richard,

Thank you for the message you sent me regarding your request for assistance for your badminton tournament.

I hope that my staff was able to convey our policy in the manner that I instruct them to.

BUt in the interest of clarity, allow me to explain…

First of all, requests such as yours are not allowed to be charged against the Priority Development Assistance Fund (Pork Barrel) under the rules prescribed by the General Appropriations Act (the law which governs the funds of national government). YOu may view the rules at http://www.dbm.gov.ph/GAA09/PDAF.pdf

As to the requests from our constituents which are not allowed to be charged to the PDAF (such as your request), we use the monthly operating expenses allocated to my office, which is not much, considering that it is only meant to fund the administrative needs of the office.

Due to the limited funds available for direct requests from constituents, we are compelled to classify and prioritize the requests granted.

Therefore, we give emphasis and priority to social services (medical, educational and community development requests). Additionally, among the so many requests that are submitted to us, we also have to determine which one is urgent and which is not.

In view of those considerations, your request for assistance in your badminton tournament placed low in the list of requests which were considered, giving way to requests such as urgent medical care and medication, our medical missions, education-oriented requests such as teacher trainings, classroom equipment and teaching tools, repair of community facilities such as water systems, feeding programs, livelihood programs, and others.

It is with sincere apologies that we are not able to contribute to your badminton tournament. It is just that in determining who gets to benefit from the meager resources of my office, we are forced to give priority to the other programs because of urgency and necessity.

BUt once in a while, funds are available for requests like yours, so we are able to grant them.

If only I had the resources, I would rather approve all requests, but unfortunately, there is not enough to go around. As I told one federation of youth groups which requested my office for sponsorship of their summer outing, granting their request would mean that I will be turning down someone else’s request for medicine or assistance in paying his hospital bills.

Such is the burden placed on the shoulders of public officials and it always requires us to make tough decisions and choices.

I hope that you and your group will understand the difficult situation that I am in. Rest assured that I will always be open to future requests and if resources are available, am very much willing to accommodate them.

Thank you and God bless!

Ruffy

A Few Good Men

Posted in Governance, Inner Thoughts, Philippines and the Filipinos with tags , , on August 6, 2009 by Ruffy Biazon

IMG_0379_bThey literally stood up to the essence of being soldiers..disciplined, dedicated to duty and loyal to the Republic.

I salute these men for the honor they gave Pres. Cory.

Airman 2nd Class Gener Laguindam, Pfc. Antonio Cadiente, Police Officer 1 Danilo Maala and Petty Officer 3 Edgardo Rodriguez.

Although there was no Marine among them, I borrowed the well known slogan of the Marines as the title of this photo.

Carry on, men!

Inquirer Article

Evil Minds Using The Passing of President Cory for their Evil Political Schemes

Posted in Politics and Politicians with tags , , on August 4, 2009 by Ruffy Biazon

As the nation mourns the death of the Icon of Democracy, people with black souls are using the national tragedy to pursue their evil political schemes. I cannot imagine how callous and ruthless these people are, their sinister intentions prevailing over what should at least be a time to give honor and respect to the former president who gifted the nation with the restoration of democracy.

Even while the Filipino people show an outpouring of grief, these evil minds conceived a plan to sow intrigue through text messages meant to drive a wedge between President Cory’s son Nonoy and the Liberal Party.

I received a series of messages which began yesterday, August 3, starting with one coming from mobile number 0909-1452011 at 8:13PM saying “Milyun-milyon pa rin and nagmamahak k Tita Cory! Ipagpatuloy ang adhikain nla Ninoy & Cory. Noynoy 4 prez sa 2010! Pls pass.”

After a few minutes, at 8:20PM, I received another message this time from mobile number 0909-1452004 which said, “Millions troopd to the wake of 4mer Pres Cory! Very clear evidence f Noynoy’s support when he runs. Noynoy 4 Pres in 2010! Pls pass.”

Then at 8:30PM, a message was sent from mobile number 0909-1452013 which said, “Nakakalito naman itong abs cbn…anong pagkaka pareho ng pagkamatay ni Ninoy at ni Cory? C Ninoy, nabaril, c Cory, na cancer! Tama na pulitika, kakasawa na..”

The latest came in today, August 4 at 1:56PM from mobile number 0909-1452014 and it said, “If u like someone frm d Liberal Party, a mama’s boy, who’s neither a boy nor a girl or one who dated Korina why go for Mar, go for d Original go for Noynoy!!”

A closer look at the numbers will reveal that these messages are part of a black propaganda scheme since it is obvious that the messages came from a single source, considering that the mobile numbers come from one series:

0909-1452004, 0909-1452011, 0909-1452013 and 0909-1452014

Perhaps when the text brigade of these people was set up, they bought a whole batch of SIM cards which comprised of a whole series of numbers.

Although I also received a message from a number from a different series at 11:55AM of August 4. The message, from mobile number 0929-3655389 said, “Nakaka aliw panoorin ang confetti sa Makati ng dumaan ang karo ni Tita Cory! D Cory magic is alive!! Kaya mga kaibigan, ipagpatuloy ang Laban nila Ninoy & Cory…iboto natin si Noynoy sa pagka presidente..Pres Aquino again sa 2010!” The number may belong to another series, but it is quite evident that it was conceived by the same person/group from which the others came from.

Since SIM cards are easy to acquire in this country because no registration is required, it will be quite difficult to identify the person or persons who are behind this. But in instances like this, one may have an inkling of who may have the motive.

I can point to a couple of people who may benefit from a split in the Liberal Party or intrigue among its members. I will not venture into giving clues. I will just leave it to the readers to make their own conclusions.

But one thing I will say to the people who conceived and implemented this diabolical scheme…may you be welcomed in hell in the soonest possible time!

Cory Aquino–A Great Filipino

Posted in Inner Thoughts, Philippines and the Filipinos, Politics and Politicians with tags , , , on August 1, 2009 by Ruffy Biazon

The passing of former President Cory Aquino is a national loss. But her life was a national gift. Her physical life has ended but it will continue to inspire us that there is still hope that goodness will prevail in the Philippines.

I considerate a great privilege to have had the chance to know her personally from the time that I was a teenager when my father served in her administration against the coup attempts to the recent years when I serve the country as a member of Congress.

She is, was and will always be a great and noble Filipino.