These are what pepper Secretary Judy Taguiwalo’s sentences when we’re having meetings or lunches or whatever: “Ayaw ng pangulo yan. Dapat simple lang.” Or, “That is not our money. That is the people’s money. The President said that.” Or, “The president hates ‘ostentatious’.” “At yung bigas, don’t forget the bigas. There has to be enough bigas para hindi sila magutom.” Ang obsessed nilang dalawa sa bigas. 😀
It’s “the President” this, “the President” that. I think sometimes she uses the president as an excuse so we all toe the line and remain with both our feet planted on the ground, seeing ourselves as nothing more than what it is we truly are: servants of the People and then to serve with all the best that is in us.
This is why I find it such a joy, such an honor to serve you guys under these two awesome leaders. I feel that my heart beats to the same tune and tempo as theirs do. And I do think a whole lot of us in DSWD feel the same way.
I try to imagine what it must be like being part of an indifferent, corrupt government that can, not only steal, BUT STEAL FROM THE POOREST OF THE POOR.
And I think it must suck buckets.
To be in a department that’s supposed to care for the most vulnerable, the hungry, the troubled one with no tuition money for their kids, no shelter, no transpo back to Mindanao after you’ve been trafficked and treated as no better than slaves—and then to be seen as nothing more than political fodder. Pawns in the deadly game of disgusting politics they play that makes the poor not only remain poor but become even POORER.
To dangle benefits and have them BEG for it and make them go through hoops and do whatever it is you want them to do or else you withhold benefits— THAT ARE THEIRS BY LAW in the first place. Such assholes.
To not only dance the deadly dance of political collusion and concession with politicians but get into bed with them and screw each other’s brains out, effectively making your department nothing more than the political machinery of the oligarchs, the elites—those who care a grand total of NOTHING for the poor. Thereby sealing their doom.
And I think it must suck buckets even more to have to take your direction from a President who can ignore the cries of Yolanda victims and not lose sleep over it—FOR YEARS!—as their hardships escalate and their lives, which were dismal to start with, turn into living nightmares. A president who thinks 3 kilos of bigas for 3 months for hungry farmers is reasonable—and just as reasonable to train your guns on them and open fire.
And I think I’d go really mad with grief to be part of the team where the DILG Secretary is a heartless elitist nincompoop who just saw the grief and devastation of a people who had suffered such real heartrending losses a minute ago—and then turn the whole tragedy of epic proportions into a family feud—you know, that whole “You have to be careful because you are a Romualdez and the president is an Aquino.” (Di pa binuo. “And I’m a Roxas.” That’s short for ‘royal ass’.)
I would die a million deaths to be part of such a government. Not after stabbing each of them with a rusty, dull knife—so in case they don’t die of blood loss, the tetanus kicks in and does the trick. Do my country a favor.
Public service is hard enough. My charming carefree life is but a distant memory and where now, my every thought is about country.
And yet, I go to work each day with a song in my heart. A happy song of gratitude.
Because to serve country under Digongmylabs and Manay Judy is nothing more than an honor. And a privilege. A treasure I know I will carry with me all my life and till I close my eyes forever.
I look at these two –the babaeng Digong and the lalaking Judy—and things don’t get any clearer for me.
You are there to serve the poor.
You are there to fight for them.
You are there to take them out of poverty.
Do your job. Do it well. Do it with everything that is in you.
And don’t forget the bigas.