Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Our own terrors

THE NIGHT WHEN several airplanes literally crashed into the twin towers of the Big Apple, I was in school. The college of engineering of our university was having a show of its own for a series of nights to celebrate its annual Engineering Days that showcased the different traditions of student ingenuity and talents. I was with my co-EE classmates and we were wounding up the finishing touches for our exhibit. It was more of a competition of talents and skills.

The terrorist attacks were brought to our senses by one of our professors who posted in a bulletin board just beside the dean’s office, a print out of a hot news taken from the internet . It was the time when the internet is yet to rise as one of the ultimate changes in the technology. We, students had a hard time accessing the web inside campus, and I still remember, they were still using WinNT, which is now fossil and archaic. The terrorism news spread like wildfire. The thought of commercial planes carrying innocent passengers striking against these towers which houses thousands of innocent lives, was inconceivable. It brought shivers, cold shivers, down my spine.

I went home at 9:30 PM and in awe while witnessing the live televised broadcast of the World Trade Center being hit by another set of planes. Later on, I would learn of another airplanes crashing into the Pentagon and the other on an open field, believe to had been recoursed because of vigilant passengers who fought the terrorists. It was definitely not a good sight witnessing one man who was standing somewhere along the area wearing black coat and tie carrying a suit case. Seconds later, the man was totally different with white ash all over his body spewed from the gradual down fall of the trade center.

Thousands have died. Innocent lives were sacrificed which I believe that the reason for this orchestrated terrorism is to bring the superpower country down on its knees.

It was simply frightening.

September 11 is a day I would never miss the chance to bring back significant events such as this. Every year, I would definitely paused and think of endless thoughts about the terror, especially when this day comes.
We had our own set of terrors in the past. September 11 is also the day to commemorate the birth of one of the great (and BAD) leaders of this beloved country the Philippines. I was amazed that Pizza even reminded me that this was the day when Ferdinand Marcos was born. I never thought she would know that detail when in fact she never engaged in a friendly debate about politics, history and the peculiarity that is of the Philippine government.

Truthfully, we have our own terrors to solve. I failed to watch the documentary channel 2 was bragging about the past weekend because the tv I had the other night doesn’t have cable, worst, an antenna to acquire video feeds.

But what good does it give, if we can’t even settle and face our own terrors. I’m speaking of the what good does this government provide for its people.

Leakage in the nursing board exams.
Politically motivated killings of journalist and activists.
A sitting president with an unclear mandate.
Corruption everywhere.
Jueteng is back where it’s before.
Charter change instead of putting people first.
Destruction of precious marine life in Guimaras.
A decline in the quality of education.
Massive migration of Filipinos abroad.
The poor becomes poorer.
And so the list goes on and on.

Every payday for three years and three months already, I’ve been contributing unwillingly taxes for this government hoping that it would brace its part to do service for the people. More than 3,000 pesos worth of taxes is funneled to the government coffers every month from my paycheck. It may not seem large enough, but this amount is born out of my sweat and painstaking job. It’s equivalent to several days of stressful work.

And it is sickening to realize that the tax axed from my hard-earned wage would just be a part of some congressman’s payment for the gasoline of his luxurious vehicle or maybe part of the bill in a high class restaurant, or a miniscule portion of the ticket to fly to Las Vegas and watch Pacquiao fight. I pay my taxes, I do hope that it would be used for the betterment of our society.

It’s hair splitting to learn that when Congress buried the second impeachment complaint, they were being paid for their deliberate ignorance taken where else but the people’s money. I can’t help but think why we let this happen. Have we not learn from our past?

Funny it may seem, our government is so eager in sending troops to other nations in dire need of whatever sort of help, while it can’t help survive its own countrymen deeply buried in the quicksands of poverty. We put to risks the lives of our soldiers fighting somebody else's war, while the state is so dumbstruck fighting the war of poverty and alleviate the plight of the poor.

I still hope that someday, whenever I go to a store and buy something and knows that a portion of my payment is tax for the state, I will feel glad that I am contributing willingly in helping this country move. Otherwise, it will just remain as a dream yet to come true, until we learn to face our own terrors.

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