We know what’s wrong; why don’t we change it?
LIVING ALIVE - LIVING ALIVE By Dero Pedero () - June 19, 2005 - 12:00am
My article last Sunday, "I love/hate the Philippines!" drew so many reactions from readers everywhere. It was posted on different websites and forwarded on the Net by both fascinated and outraged readers.

What perplexes me is that although we Filipinos know what is wrong with our country, we still don’t do anything about it. People still don’t follow traffic rules; they still litter. Most of all, politicians know that the same "people power" that put them in office could unseat them, yet they still don’t take care of and guard the privilege they have of being in government. To serve is a privilege, a blessed opportunity not given to just anyone.

Here are some of the various comments e-mailed and texted in by concerned and affected readers:
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Dero, I loved/hated your Sunday article. Loved it for your brilliant writing; I share the same sentiments. Hated it because everything you wrote is so true! –Al Sembrano
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You hit the nail on the head with your article today. This country would be paradise to live in if there were no politicians in it. Most Filipinos would like to remain in the Philippines if only there were more opportunities here and less uncertainties about our future as a nation. –Dra. Donato
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Hi! I just came across your article. My sentiments are totally shared. If you hate, I abhor. Sadly, I feel it in my bones that our country is losing hope and going down. I have lost all idealism for this place. It’s tiring to be positive with the negativity that surrounds me. –Tracy
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Mr. Pedero, I loved your "love/hate" article on PHNO (Philippine Headline News Online in Canada) but I hate to admit that I have a secret hatred for the Philippines. I’m here to earn. Is my remittance not enough love? –Dan Viray, Riau, Indonesia
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Mr. Pedero, your statement that "the ones who would choose to stay are the ones milking it of its resources, etc." is rather insulting to us Filipinos who opted to stay not because of material things but because we don’t want to be second-class citizen in some foreign land. And by the way, my little girl wants to be a doctor, not a Sex Bomb dancer or Japayuki. Please don’t generalize! –Name withheld
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Dear Dero, I loved your article in the Philippine Star and found most of what you have written to be deadly accurate and oh-so-true. As a Westerner who has made the Philippines his home, I too, have a love-hate relationship with it.

I could go on forever about the love-hate relationship, but like you, this is my home and I would not swap living here for anything else in the world. I am very proud to live here in the Philippines and I know many of my friends in the UK are jealous of me as well – if only they could experience what I have experienced. I am so lucky. –Eddie Maguire, Baguio City
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Hi! I like this! Kakatuwa, napa-smile mo talaga ako. Well, that’s the reality of being a Filipino. Kaya ako, I’m proud to be a Filipino, proud to say na pinanganak ako sa Pinas. Magulo, lahat-lahat na yata pero masaya pa rin kahit papaano. Anyway, God bless our beloved country. –Bongits Burayag, Melbourne, Australia
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Dear Dero, You took the words right out of my mouth! I am amazed at how you can express in the strongest terms how you feel about our country. Remember your article "Little Brown Americanism: Getting Nastier" sometime last 2001 and my response to it?

I said, "The hopelessness of our situation cannot but make us want to cry. Must we be hated and condemned for leaving the Philippines because we could not stomach what’s going on in our beloved country?" That was four years ago, and nothing has changed!

Keep up the good work. Maybe someday we’ll see a better, cleaner, and more peaceful Philippines. Maybe someday we’ll have "good leaders who are creative, innovative, honest, and sincere, and educated, disciplined and sincere followers," in the words of Nasty. God bless. –Soly Paraiso, San Diego, California
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Suggestions, Solutions, Possibilities
Hi, Dero! I, too, love/hate our country and its people. I love it for its charm and warmth. I hate it for all the reasons you’ve said and more, but I’m not going to dwell on that here. You’re right, of course, that we have only ourselves to blame for the sorry state of our country. We sure need a hero to take us to safer ground or maybe we are being told to seek the hero within us? –Ellen Diaz
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Hi, there! You are right on the money! This is exactly how I felt about the Philippines, which is why I immigrated to the States 30 years ago.

Last March, I went back to where I was born, San Miguel, Bulacan, and picked two boys and two girls to send to high school and hopefully all the way to college. I’m planning to buy them their own computers so they can read newspapers every day on the Net, especially your column. –Thelma, Kansas City, USA
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I have read your words and they mean a lot. Why can’t the people of the Philippines understand what a beautiful paradise they are wasting? Yes, you are right, the country is in ruins to a point but I think if they were told they are living in a paradise instead of a third-world country all the time, they might take some more pride in their country and themselves. –Wayne, Canada
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Hello, Dero! Yup, everything you wrote was right on the button. You see, I am one of those who opted to get out of the country right after we got rid of Erap.

We have adapted to the way of life here in the States where democracy, though not perfect, is working. Government officials, police, and military personnel from top to bottom at the slightest dereliction of duty resign or take a leave and are investigated immediately and brought to justice. We have orderly elections, nobody dies, and so on.

Sometimes I think the only cure would be a regime like Mao Zedong’s – a cleansing of the ranks, a new era, and complete cultural renewal. Who will this messiah be? That is the question. –A Filipino in the US
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Thanks to the very many people who e-mailed or texted in. Unfortunately, we don’t have space for all your comments. Should you have any bright ideas on how to improve the Philippines, e-mail me at DeroSeminar@yahoo.com or text +63920-4053233. Happy Father’s Day to all dads everywhere, most especially to my Tatay Daniel Calimlim of San Fabian, Pangasinan.

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