Good People

“Good people are resented for their virtue. And because they make everyone around them feel even worse about themselves, they need to be taught a lesson ”

(DOGVILLE, Lars von Trier)

Have we reached the apex of misery that we hate good people all around us?

Good people are certainly dwindling in these parts for fear of being ostracized or worse, mobbed.

Where have all the good people gone?

Are we short of alternatives that we have nothing but the worse of the worst?

Come to think of it, day after day we are told that this country is going in a dead end. We see and hear some characters that don’t deserve our attention and yet the media feast on them. Is the media the only profitable ventures hereabouts? What happened to the old fashioned fabricas along the South and North Expressways? Have you noticed that these job generators have long closed shop and moved outside of this country? Now those abandoned huge industrial lots are being offered as one of those malls pock marking our geography, from the Ilocos to Mindanao? How many were laid off from these establishments? Where are they now? We bet they are reading those broadsheets and tabloids telling us how in bad shape we are. Indeed, misery loves company. But the companies are gone!

A talk show host was telling us why we gravitate towards the public figures be they in public office or entertainment. Why are they hot stuff? It seems that nothing distinguishes these personalities from each other any more. All of them are par for the course insofar as gossip is concerned. It is not news if a public figure observes the daily routine of a common mortal, that is, home by 5 pm to be with his family and so on and so forth. We expect these politicians and entertainment personalities to engage in sybaritic and out of this world goings-on until the wee hours of the morning. In fact, nothing surprises us anymore if these public officials are caught dipping their hands in the public coffers. What if suddenly we find ourselves in need of their help? Where do we expect them to get what we want from them in the first place? Besides, there is that unwritten law that these public figures must part and distribute their bounties or they face the wrath of the electorate for being stingy and swapang.

There is that Quezon provincial excutive who corners the jueteng intelligencia all by himself and the SOPs from favoured contractors and yet he was not known for his generosity. Boksingero, ika (a closed fist person or tightwad, as distinguished from a Karatista, a person with open palm indicative of open-handedness). He is known for his absenteeism and sloth and earned the monicker Kunat-be-located. In May, 2004, the Quezon electorate has known better, and this local executive is on the way out (with his retirement wealth earned from the years that he hoodwinked the people of Quezon). This specie of corrupt public official is one the people hate most, because while he feathers his nest to the max, he neither parlays any part of it nor allows anyone near it. Corrupt na nga wakat pa! is what we say in Quezon, one of our most impoverished provinces, after Masbate, Sulu, Romblon, and Samar. No wonder, these provinces are havens of insurgency.

In other words, we don’t want good people to rule the roost. Ironically, we want them bad, the worst the better, because if we had the chance, we would be like them as well. If they are good, as one journalist once told us, walang delejencia, ika.

There is one big synergy, as these corrupt public officials feed on corrupt media practitioners. One former governor of Quezon had one apt description of these media practitioners: media-media, a play on half cooked condiment or a person masquerading as journalist totally bereft of principle out to make a fast buck.

Have you noticed the swashbuckling members of one well-known family all in one line of investigative journalism or so they thought? They practically cornered this type of television reporting that no one accuses them of cornering the market. They are all over the TV network except CNN, BBC and FoxNews. Good heavens, what a relief! At least once you see their obnoxious visages and grating falsetto voices, you can switch channels. And they act as if they are God’s gift to Philippine journalism. Aren’t they guilty of some kind of restraint of trade? Patay kang bata ka pag nakursunadahan ka ng pamilyang ito. One of them was even accused by one elected official of being in the payroll of their agency for P250, 000.00 a month in exchange of silence or praises, as the case may be. When the payola was withdrawn, incredible thunderbolts were unleashed towards the official’s direction. Is there no group in the Kapisanan ng mga Broads that investigates unusual lifestyles of their members? This family, for starters, drive around in a convoy of expensive SUVs. When they hit you, this family throws in the wind the rules in human relations and engages in unbelievable abuse of right trampling on the target’s right to dignity, peace of mind, privacy, and personality all in the name of press freedom! ‘Lang ‘ya! Even some members of the judiciary are wary of this pack.

Going back to good people on the way to extinction, please come forward and be recognized. Perish the cynicism from your mind.

We don’t believe that we are really going to the dogs. You good people out there don’t exist only in the books of JK Rowling or John Grisham. You are flesh and bones worried sick on the fate of this nation. Please come forward and let us together pull out this country from the road to perdition.

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