Blind Ambitions

August 26th, 2007 · No Comments

It would seem that the buzz word on everyone’s lips is “empowerment”. Oooh, such a big word!!  I don’t think people are grasping the concept en toto.  I can’t help but wonder if some mean “empower” or “in power”?

There are those who seem to know how to thug at our heart strings to pluck just enough Filipino sentiment.  Some grovel with the Plaza Miranda style of politics,”isang palakpak nga diyaan”, in the false hope of endearing them to the community at large.  With the major political parties involved this time, there seems to be an emotional rush as some idealists get intoxicated with a sense of patriotism.  Others are simply jumping on the bandwagon for their own agendas.  Together, they are inclined to think that putting an individual in the power seat will spell a marked difference for the Filipino.

I too, would like to see a Filipino in a position of significance and power but only if they are deserving of the post – not when it embarrasses the rest of us.  Besides the pride attached to an esteemed position should apply for any field of endeavour.

Hey, let’s get real!!  The big question remains – if one is elected, then what’s next?  A feel-good effect because a Filipino gets elected is simply pride by affiliation?  Empowerment should result from within – from what you know not whom you know.

The desire to run for office is not a novel idea.  Others have attempted and failed, while others secretly wish that some power from up above would simply transport and drop them onto the seat of glory.  It may be easy to point the finger of blame on the adages, “the tall poppy syndrome” or “the crab mentality” rather than looking at their own weaknesses for having missed the mark.  Those with political ambitions should perhaps take heed to the lessons of the past and see what has been done and what really needs to be done.

Already, Councilor Irene Broad has clinched a seat in Temora Shire Council. So okay, it’s a small town, but she got voted in by non-Filipinos and she’s still a Filipino making a difference. Now that’s a real win!!

If one is to examine more closely the paths of the Filipino achievers, it would be noted that they have crossed the demarcation line.  They have stopped cowering and wearing their “badge of honour”.  They are looking out – not looking in.

Of utmost importance is the fact that the Filipino who aims for a political seat must transcend all mental, language and cultural barriers.  To remain insular in their mode of thinking will simply lead to the same outcomes.  Some are deluded into believing that their sensurround world is all there is.  Yoo-hoo, in case some have not noticed, Blacktown may have a big number of Filipino residents, but there are Australians and other nationalities living in the area too.  So what’s in it for them too?

It is beyond comprehension how some have the audacity to think that they can when they can’t even speak.  How else will they communicate our needs, our wants, when the very intention for running is to champion our cause?

We recently conducted a community survey via the internet on political ambitions.  The survey results revealed that Filipino voters are more discriminating in their choice of candidate than we’d like to think them to be.  While the majority would like to see a Filipino in position, the vote clincher would depend on certain factors.  Of the character traits listed, trustworthiness and credibility rated of equal importance as the number one trait required. Intelligence was second (72%); communication skills ranked 3rd (66.7%).  The majority (62.5%) want specifics defined i.e.  What have they done and what can they really do?  In the end, character, not behaviour is what we should be on the lookout for.

I am more inclined at initiatives which provide not one, but all Filipinos to gain the much needed confidence they need to compete in their chosen field of endeavour – not just the battlers, posers and rattlers!  Information, education and communication are essential if we must be free of the “rigodon” mentality.

When we can stand side-by-side with any other nationality (and not for just the mere photo opportunity), without being subservient and without kowtowing, then we, as Filipinos are empowered with dignity.  Only then, have we arrived!

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