I normally read the articles posted in this site. I am always excited to read the message that the writer wanting to share. But then I noticed most of the writings are seeking for proof of improvements, growth and change for the betterment of the Philippines. I feel the anguish, desperation and frustrations of these writers, and I feel sorry for them. I had the same feeling when I was still living in the Philippines. But when I moved in Southern California in the year 2002, I realized that Philippines made a lot of progress from the year I was born until these present year.
Looking back through those years I counted the major progress of the country. Among the major changes are:
ROAD IMPROVEMENT: There are lots of major road improvements done for the country. Zambales, Pampanga, Pangasinan, the various over pass in Metro Manila to name a few. I remember that the some of the roads in Olongapo when I was in Grade One were dirt road, not even paved with asphalt. By the way, I was born early 60’s.
TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM: There are better commute buses now than before, jeepneys are better, LRT had improved a lot, inter island ships and boats , and the Local Airlines. Philippines had improved a lot in this area. During my grade school I remember some towns in Zambales and Pampanga were using kalesas for transport.
TELEPHONE SYSTEM: This is one of the greatest improvement in the country. Telephone system used to be monopolized by one corporation only. Service was sooooooo baaaaaddddd, you have to wait for ring tone for long to call the operator. There was even a party line!!! Not only that, the long months sometimes year waiting just to be able to get a residential land line installation. Correct me if I’m wrong, I believe it was ex President Ramos who deregulate the Philippine Telephone system. This gave birth to different Telephone system company, until the cell phone came. At first it was so expensive. Mid 80’s it cost almost Thirty thousand pesos to have a cell phone and connection. Now almost every single person walking on the street has a cellphone. Philippines are even more advance in cellphone models compared to United States of America.
RADIO STATIONS AND TELEVISION STATIONS: These had improved a lot too. And the Shows are no longer controlled by the government. There are lots of stations and talk shows that can freely discuss their chosen topics. A big development compared to the Martial Law years. Now Filipinos are enjoying the freedom of speech way better than the years of Marcos Era.
MALLS, BRANDED ITEMS, IMPORTED PRODUCTS: They are saying Philippines is a Third World country and there are lots of poor people. But how can I believe that they are poor? Malls have great Peso sales, the businesses are thriving. A lot of common people are wearing or carrying branded items. More citizens are buying cars, in which the unsolved traffic problems could barely solved.
SCHOOLS, UNIVERSITIES: Number of schools and Universities had grown a lot in the entire country. Although they are saying not enough schools, we have to admit the fact that there were lots that had been added.
FOREIGN ARTISTS SHOWS: Philippines is one of the most visited Asian countries by famous foreign artists. This is a proof that there is economic improvement. The artists and their managers are confident to put up their investment for shows in the Philippines. People can afford to pay for their tickets.
And on and on and on. There are more things to share in my mind right now but let me tell you something. You may say, “So what is your point?” Well, my point is, somehow let us count how much the Philippines had progressed. Let us be thankful for all those blessings. These development may not be as great as those in other countries but the government had done something good too. It is not totally zero development. Am I satisfied with this progress? Of course not! Just like any other Pilipino, I am praying that corruption will be gone, that the government would focus more for resolving major issues that could help the poor people. And on and on and on. Before I close, let me leave my parting questions.
Do you think all the changes we want can be accomplished overnight? Do you think the country has enough money to sustain for all the projects we want to be accomplished? Do you think all taxpayers are paying their taxes without cheating? If the government is wrong, can you suggest something that can help resolve the major issues? Are you willing to make a change? Are you willing to be a part of the solution? If we want to be a solution, we can start the change on our own self, nothing is impossible for someone who has the desire and is ready to work for the better. So let us go, let us be a winner and not a whiner. And by the way, don’t forget to smile while you work. You never know whose life you will bring sunshine for the day. Not to mention it adds up to your face value. Beauty always comes from inside out.