Learning our lessons PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 04 January 2012 14:13


It has been a while since I had a contribution in  this paper. My volunteer consulting work in Cambodia kept me busy there and did not allow much time to sit down and write up my  usual  pieces. On coming home a few days before Christmas the usual things that keep us busy during the season also kept me at practically a running pace. But it has been ego boosting to run into people who tell me they miss reading my pieces.

It has been thought provoking to sit and watch the BBC series on the Best of 2011. Aside from the technical and artistic qualities of the programs, the evocation of the highlights of 2011 remind us that the year had many events that will stay in our memories for a long time. The Arab Spring which brought down long time despotic leaders like Mubarak of Egypt and Gaddafi of Libya remind us that  the wheels of justice may grind slowly but they do grind and bring about some inevitable transformation. The death of Osama bin Laden brought some degree of closure to the agony of the 9/11 tragedy.

The March 11 triple whammy - earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster- in Fukushima (Japan) was a grim reminder of the power of nature and how puny man is before the full force of that power. The Sendong  tragedy in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan did not make it to the BBC series but just the same this was in the order of Fukushima nearer home.

The arrest of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is for me one of the biggest, if not the biggest, political news of the year in our country. The ugly details aside – being stopped at the airport, the mug shots, etc. – this piece of news somehow gives me the notion that there still might be hope for our country. For so long our people have been given the impression that the higher one is in the totem pole of Philippine politics the bigger are the crimes one can get away with and need not answer for. I am not a Shylock demanding for my pound of flesh , but we cannot move forward as a country if we cannot erase from our leaders’ mind, and most especially from our  peoples’ mind, that justice is simply to be toyed within our country. We have to begin the internalization process that justice binds us all to a conduct that is ethical and legal. Anything else will make us accountable  before man and God.

The events of 2011 in the world and in our country  were  not all grim and dreary and tragic. But the ones that we need to look at with serious consideration are those that help us to reflect on the lessons we can learn and thus make the prospects for the future more hopeful, more reassuring of a better and happier life.

Zamboanga is not in a planet of its own. What happens in other places can happen in our own city. Some events are beyond our control but if we reflect and learn our lessons from the events in other places, and we try our best to be proactive, the prospects ahead will most likely be rosier.
A blessed 2012 Everyone!