It’s a certainty that Inquirer columnist Randy David will write a column about the community pantry and so he does. He touches ever so slightly and only in passing on the incident that marred Angel Locsin’s (a.k.a. Red Angel’s) “community pantry”.
Over the years, Filipinos have learned to fall in line and wait for their turn. But, events like the jostling and line-cutting that marred the distribution of goods at one community pantry the other day tell us that we are not yet quite there. In traditional society, courtesy was all it took to maintain order. People gave way to the elderly almost by instinct. In the transition to modernity, however, old norms lose their grip on people while the new ones have yet to take root. The discipline of the queue remains a challenge for many of our people.
The sociologist rationalizes the concept accordingly but for the wrong reasons. Why? More evolved societies have the simple practice of falling in a queue down pat. Pinoys still don’t have this in them in their own country. Why? Just look at the environment we are in. The National Capital Region (NCR) represents bedlam, chaos and anarchy. Why? No long-term development plan.
In my experience, I thrive in an environment where there is order and discipline which I found in Singapore. I was more productive and efficient as an employee. My American boss and I would go to meetings taking the subway without need for a hotel car. We would enjoy our walks to and from MTR stations while talking business. Contrast this with NCR with its noise level and lack of mass transport convenience and sidewalks which may be present for one stretch and disappear in another. Commuting in NCR leaves one drained as one is about to start his working day. No PUV driver follows traffic rules. There are designated stops but you will find them loading/unloading at the signs which prohibit them from doing so.
What David doesn’t address is the malaise created by his own leftist-liberal-militant colleagues helping the urban poor gain control of their settlements. These are environments conducive to the spread of COVID-19. Then there is the Catholic church which prevents the government from enforcing population control. The urban poor multiply like rabbits as the act of procreation becomes a pastime.
The urban poor are pawns of leftist-liberal-militant groups in the advancement of their vested interest. There is nothing sincere about their movement because the leaders are comfortably ensconced in their residences. The leaders are dynastical as well because they hold on to their posts until death. Romanticization and politicization of the urban poor is what David and his colleagues specialize in. They are not sincere but are out to discredit the dictatorial and fascist regime of Duterte. But no person in his right mind should ever think that theirs is a noble purpose. They are hypocrites because they can’t call out one of their own while they continue to do the same against the administration. The ostentatious display of privilege exacerbates the divide between the rich and the poor. But think about it. Both are under the impression they are entitled to the same.
I still remember our sukis during my childhood; the sorbetero, the zapatero and the bote-garapa-diyaryo person who were the first proponents of materials recycling. They were well-mannered and didn’t act entitled. They were part of our community and did us a service to which we responded with respect, kindness and compassion. They were also our friends. If the intentions of David and his ilk are sincere then they shouldn’t be promoting a revolution of whatever sort. The elephant in the room is both sides of the political divide are equally guilty of hypocrisy, entitlement and abuse.
The Filipino should put a stop to being fooled by both camps and demand accountability. These personages shouldn’t be put on pedestals because they use our taxes to pay for their lifestyles. We should learn to vote for the leaders we need and not leaders who are in need of public funds to finance their comfortable lives at our expense.