Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Posts tagged ‘rights’

Capturing the Broader Perception

May bayad po yung bata (Is the seat for the child paid)?” A pregnant lady asked another bus passenger rather loudly, her voice sounded quite scandalous in the fully loaded bus to Manila.

Sitting comfortably with a little boy beside her, she said “Oo (Yes).” I was ignoring them until an older lady sitting with the boy and mother began to retort.

Kaya nga nakaupo yung bata kasi binayaran (That’s why the child is sitting because his seat has been paid)” She said in a croaked voice. Now the pregnant lady was already given a seat by a younger man. She heard the old lady’s loud murmur and answered back. “Nagtatanong lang naman po (I just asked).” But the old lady kept on murmuring and even called the pregnant lady crazy.

Now, I wondered to myself, if she, a grandmother herself, had she not been into the pains of childbirth, too?

Besides, all the pregnant lady wanted was a seat, as she was already heavy with a child.

But instead of offering her a seat, she was shunned away…maybe offended at the tone of her voice or her seemingly strong presence. The woman was trying to be strong though I’m sure was feeling uneasy.

But sadly, the grandmother seemed to have lost the broader perspective.

I understand they have paid the child’s seat, and the boy deserve it in place of that payment. But should these people have had the broader perspective of understanding the pregnant lady and her condition, I guess, they would have been even more blessed.

Most people have lost the broader perspective and have only focused on themselves. We have the right to for their rights, to shun off every offense, but we don’t see the need of others.

The Bible tells us to regard others better than ourselves. The call of humility is easy to scream at, but the endowment of this trait into our system is not that easy.

We have been taught to get our rights, but our culture has not taught us to open our eyes and be sensitive to the needs of others.

Thus, we fight against each other to get our rights, like dogs eating each other for a piece of stale bread.

How should we get a broader persepective? Only when we silence our own selfishness, try to get into the shoes of others, and sacrifice even a little bit of ourselves for them.

I admit, I’m still at this battling stage. And with this society, the need to learn humility, as my fellowmen also has the same needs and rights as I do.

And as a fellow human being, I must not disregard to my fellow man their needs and rights as I do have.

But it’s a long road before everyone in this society, even me, to capture the broader perspective.

But let’s begin that journey now.

Advertisements

Where Are the Real Men?

I’m being led to the belief that no gentleman ever exists in a public transportation. It’s rare to see a man giving a seat to a lady, more so to old people or pregnant women. It’s irritating to see big burly men pretending to sleep while their earphones are stuck in their ears.

Somehow, I could say that most women are more respectable than a lot of men today. I remember an incident back in 2007 when I was going home from my night shift duty in a BPO company. The bus was so full that morning because people are flocking back to their provinces for the Holy Week vacation. In my observation, 90 percent were occupied by men. Just then, a petite mother carrying a toddler came in. She stood among the standing passengers for all the seats were full. There was no one with her. She looked tired because of the heavy luggages she had. I waited, expected that one good man would offer her a seat. Good heavens, there was no one. In my sympathy, I offered her mine. All throughout that bus ride, I stood up despite being tired from an all night’s work. I gave my usual sharp look at the men around me, but they tried to avoid my eyes (or they were just stupid enough not to know these signals).

It’s a shame that we’re loosing real men these days. I have heard of similar stories from friends. I wouldn’t mind that I won’t be given a seat because I’m young and capable. What makes me angry is when they don’t give a seat to others like this poor mother. I’ve seen how on most occasions, it is the women who give their seats to elderly ladies or pregnant women. Sometimes, when a seat becomes vacant, the men near it would not offer it to the nearest lady. He instead would race for it like an impatient, little kid.

It’s a shame how it is us women who seem to act more gentlemanly than these men. I wonder if this society has lost their respect on women. Somehow, I observed that most men today thought that just because women today are capable of doing a man’s job, they won’t give the respect and rights that women deserve. Most men today have lost their sense of authority, thus losing their responsibility to protect the women in society.

This culture of urban comfort has poisoned our identity and position. By observing the pretentious sleepers, I was thinking that these kind of men are the first to back out when war arises. Where’s the sense of courage? We need to regain them back. We have to break out from our sense of complacency. With this, we have to deal with the weakened character in us.

We have to understand our roles in society and the rights and privileges of each individual. Women deserve respect and honor, while men should stand as responsible stewards of women as they are the ones in authority. By that kind of culture observed in buses and public transportation, it’s a hint that only a few men understood the value of women, more so their role as men.

Vetoed

Pres. Aquino at the media press conference after his inspection of public terminals, Mar. 26, 2013. Follow-up questions on the Magna Carta of the Poor were released to him, following his confirmation of vetoing the law yesterday

Pres. Aquino at the media press conference after his inspection of public terminals, Mar. 26, 2013. Follow-up questions on the Magna Carta of the Poor were released to him, following his confirmation of vetoing the law yesterday

Pwede kong pinirmahan itong batas na ‘to, pogi tayo, pero alam ko hindi mami-meet ng gobyerno. (I can sign this law. I’d look good but I know that the government cannot meet this).”

Such was Pres. Benigno Aquino III’s honesty when he was asked yesterday on why he vetoed (or “voted against”) the Magna Carta for the Poor. He straightforwardly told us reporters that the law sounded good, but the government still does not have the means to meet its demands.

I’ve appreciated his stand on why he vetoed it. As he said, he did not do it because he was anti-poor. He cleared that the law was good, as it is his administration’s priority to look at the welfare of the poor. Only, he said, this law lacked “progressive realization.” Let me explain his take.

As the Philippines is a signatory to the International Covenant on Economic Culture and Social Rights of the United Nations, this treaty realizes that the government, if it can have the ability, to meet all the rights of the poor.

While leering over his copy of the Magna Carta of the Poor, the president read to us Section 4, which states:

“The poor shall have the following rights, the enjoyment of which is an essential step towards poverty alleviation:

a) the right to food

b) the right to employment and livelihood

c) the right to quality education

d) the right to shelter

e) the right to basic health services and medicines.

The government shall, as a matter of duty and obligation, provide the requirements, conditions, and opportunities for the full enjoyment of these rights of the poor and which the poor can demand as a matter of right.”

There’s just one problem — our budget cannot meet all of these rights. At this point, about 26 percent of the 95 million San Juan City-20121226-00480Filipinos belong to the poverty line.

In order to meet the right to housing and shelter alone, the president cleared that the government would need P2.320 trillion pesos to build housing units to every poor families.

This estimate is larger than the very national budget itself, which is at P2.006 trillion.

The president added that if he had signed it, it might end up government agencies being sued due to lack.

As I read and reread the transcript of his ambush interview, I appreciated how he had saved our fellowmen from another felony and from dire consequences.

Talking with fellow palace reporters, we agreed how this law would have been another burden to both government and the people. One of them said that government should not just give away “perks” to the poor easily to spoon feed them — it’s better to teach them to work for it.

And so, the saying goes, “Give a man to fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

This is not just said in schools. This should be true in our society. It’s easy to give to please anybody, but it doesn’t help all the time. Giving out these basic rights sounds good. Yet, there are setbacks in just distributing them without teaching society how to be good stewards of these rights. My fellow reporter even said that it would have better if the government uses the funds to focus on the education of every men. I agreed, adding that the mindset of many today is to depend on the feeder without getting off the table to get his own food.

Besides, what are your rights if you do not know how to use them? It’s like giving an extremely expensive, brand new toy to a reckless little kid who would just wreck it completely after a few hours. It would be a waste. Until all in society is ready to be responsible to these rights meant for them, the government should not succumb to the thought of giving it away.

After the vetoing of the law, the president ordered a social cluster group to study and come up with a substitute law for the poor.

A law may sound good, but it should be balanced with the realization of the targeted needs. The law is not meant to label one a hero, without realizing it would be a liability to many.

I just hope that the substitute law would be realistic and would be more strategic in meeting the needs of the poor without plunging anybody to the gutter. To make such a law is complex, and it would take a thorough study for an absolute poverty alleviation in our society.

Tag Cloud