The Purge

On the margins of the night,
come hear the fireworks from the guns,
empty shells in the cold roads
warmed by the blood in the streets.

These are the nights of the purge,
A stranger clothe with darkness touches
the open windows,
the light posts and damp houses
Speeds through the alleys in the blaze of his hunger
His eyeballs, a hint of command and evil
His hands, heavy with ammunition,
Gigantic and calloused,
Ready for assault.

Dinner was served in a house with empty flowerpots,
where the wheels sleep on the roof
A lady dressed the table with dried fish
waiting with disconnection notice in one hand,
distress in another
Her three little girls taking shelter
under the safety of their camp
made of threadbare blankets,
maybe it covers the pouring troubles

The watchman just finished his shift and
walks past the corner of the street,
weary with his clobbered beard and wrinkled eyes,
past the shadows and silhouettes of bakeshops,
past the shoeless shoemakers,
across the lonely intersection,
To the alley of houses damped with sweat and tears of
pauperized folks,

He knocks on the door,
the lady stared long at his eyes
and his back that carries the weight of disappointment
Sighs when he saw the notice sitting in the table
Nine more moons before the next pay

The God sits next to the television,
a Sampaguita hangs on His fingers
and the guard sat in the couch
His body mirrored in the window

The long night awakens the spirit of the stranger
He saw the prey across the open window
He raised his iron hands towards the target
and bang, bang, bang!
The silence shies away
The cartridge gave away three bullets
Two shots in the back, one in the head
and the moon cries

Bullet casings dropped on the dirt
The blood stains the couch where a body sat lifeless,
The sound of the lady mourning
And soon, hundreds of lips talking

“A drug suspect was slain” the man in the television says

“He is innocent,” the mourners wept

“Another man shot dead”

“In other news…”

His is a little death, nameless and forgotten,
His is just a number added to the names of the dead
a stone in a cemetery
a drug war’s sacrifice in this confused humanity
The country will lament him no longer and
In the morning, another cry will come
but the evening will take it away
Just like that

Whatever took hold of the man will always be remembered by the air
And when the trumpets had all sounded, judgment will stand tall.

 

 

The stranger barrels past the trash bins,
past the road signs
and the dying plants held in the water containers.
In the dirt, a badge was recovered.

 

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Defense in Depth

Ang pinakamaingay na kumokontra sa atin ay ang mga ayaw ng transpormasyon” -President Noynoy Aquino, Sona 2014.

Hearing negative opinions and news from our government system is a daily routine. It’s in the television, in the radio, in the social networking sites, in the prints,  in the walking feet and talking mouths everyday. The trend of arguing never goes out of style. And I’m definitely out of the trend.

Not until now.

My stand is secured and well-built. I am convinced that President Noynoy Aquino is an incomparable and one of the leading 20th century presidents of the Philippines. Or should I restate —  the best so far. News are fast-spreading about how Philippines is now one of the fastest growing economy of the world; and how other countries recognize the Pearl of the Orient as Asia’s New Tiger Economy. This is a very good and striking performance of the country and our president.

I know that our country is still suffering from persistent challenges. Unemployment remains high, and poverty remains a serious problem — despite some success stories like growth in employment. However, we should consider that the transformation  of the Philippines towards development is not a one-year, two-years or three-years work. It takes a considerable amount of time.

Tom McFarlin, a self-employed developer of WordPress and Java said in one of his articles entitled “Good Development Takes Time” that:

Ultimately, the point that I’m trying to make is simply that people on both sides of the table – that is, both developers and clients – need to understand that good development takes time.
If clients ask for a rushed solution, then they are going to get something that’s likely poorly developed because time limits quality.
Similarly, if developers want to get better at what they do, then we need to know that improving our skills to become better at what we do is going to take a lot of time.”

A good software takes a lot of time to build, likewise, a good government system needs ample of time to be developed.

From what I see today, as far as development is concerned, most Filipinos we’re really quick to complain about how slow our country’s development is, without actually looking at the idea holistically.

Most of us are always rushing and wanting solutions to be given to us quickly. We want it delivered, we want it solid, and we want it now. Realistically, we can’t have all three. We can have the first two but still we have to wait. It’s not a bad thing to want things as soon as possible. However, we must beat into our heads that “Great things take time”. Lend me your ears, people. Instead of listening only to “our” points, why don’t we spend a little time attending to “their” (Aquino and the government’s) points.

Imagine yourselves in PNoy’s shoes — having endless conversations with various sectors to aid our needs, providing solutions to poverty, making peace with NPA’s, fighting corruption, etc. Have we ever imagined that as a president, it’s easy to get frustrated when others are placing demands on us to deliver a solution quickly?

Managing a government takes time, and building  a government system well, takes evenmore time. PNoy is spending a significant amount of time learning our domain so that he can provide a solution. Can’t we also spend little more time learning his domain so that we would understand what he’s doing?

I respect President Noynoy Aquino because despite endless accusations, left and right negative strikes, and thousands of close minds, he remain silent and gave himself the benefit of the doubt. And I certainly gave him that benefit. f you care for our country enough, you will give him that, too.

It seems clear that the Philippines is moving in the right direction. There are still, of course, a lot of developmental challenges and difficulty that PNoy’s govenrment have to face. And I hope, this time, he wouldn’t have to face it alone. I hope, this time, he’ll have YOU. US.

It always takes two to tango. It takes us, people and the PNoy’s government to achieve the transformation we want.

And as PNoy says in his speech earlier:

“Tiwala ang pundasyon ng mabuting pamumuno. Ang pagbabalik ng tiwala ninyo, yan po ang ibig sabihin ng tunay na reporma.”