Tuesday, May 11, 2010

And so, the Filipinos "voted" — the Philippine Political Cycle

How nice... my countrymen voted yesterday for their president. You know how it goes: we vote them in like they were the most wonderful people on earth, like they were the sort of people who would think that we were worth dying for. Then we find ways to hate them a little. Then they find ways to hate us a little... perhaps kill a few of us in a few massacres that nobody would remember in a few months after the event. Then they try to remain in power longer, or at least do all they can to "reward" all the people na pinagkakautangan nila ng loob.

And, of course, put their faces all over the place and claim credit for every good that is happening in the country.

Then it becomes "sobra na, tama na, palitan na" and we try to exercise our "right" to people power... or, at least, the right of Manileños to do it. Woe to any group of provincianos who try to march to EDSA and do the same thing: they're fomenting unrest, putting the country in a state of rebellion and are barred from entering the capital (yes, Virginia, there is no right to assembly in the Philippines if you're not from Manila). Did I mention that provincianos are actually killed? And that the provincianos run and duck for cover, pretending they were just minding their business, after proclaiming loudly na hanggang kamatayan kuno?

In the event that we do succeed in "toppling" another bad person (wow, from hero to zero, eh?) we find ways to try and bring 'em back and they're saintly again. And the cycle continues.

When in Oz... Politics isn't perfect... but at least you get the strong impression that politicians are held accountable to the bungles they commit... and punished accordingly.

And you don't see people "taking to the streets" just in case they don't like the results of an election. 
Also, Pinoys don't really vote who they feel they would make a good president (or everyone down the line, for that matter). No. They are encouraged NOT to "waste" their votes by voting their conscience but rather voting for the lesser evil that is perceived of having the best possible chance to win. "'Wag mong iboto yan! 'Wag mong sayangin boto mo! Walang ibang boboto diyan! Kay ___________ na lang! At least may chance manalo!"

Holy circular argument, Batman!

So in the end, this is my question: akala ko ba "Never again"?

Monday, April 12, 2010

How to renew your Philippine Passport in Australia, prologue

I was sick today and, it being a Monday, one of the only days when one can contact the Philippine Consulate in Victoria without having to make an appointment, I decided to find out how I'm going to renew my Philippine passport. I have a few reasons for this, foremost of which is that Ærynn and I are planning to visit home this Christmas.

Ærynn is already an Australian citizen, and getting her passport is rather straightforward. I am, however, a Philippine citizen... but I was hoping that the information for renewing my Philippine passport (which expired last month) would be as straightforward.

Again, I was reminded of inefficient processes which still remain in place despite such great examples elsewhere, and only because it is kinagisnan na.