It’s been 150 years when we learn to fight the Spaniards from our rights. Opened our eyes in what evil things they’re making out. Unite as one and light up the fire in our mind and soul. Through the elements of the strong, powerful, and very influential books of Dr. Jose Rizal, we Filipinos, are able to wake up in our long time of sleeping. It is true that pen is sharper than a sword. It’s been 150 years when Rizal gave his life to our country for us to be awaken in the abuses, wrong doings, and treats of Spaniards to the Filipinos. It’s been a very long time but his advocacy of opening the hearts of the people as he spread the bastardness of the evils through literature, doesn’t die. The spirit and lessons, ideas and truths about the Kastila’s which was contained in his book was alive and will not vanish in the consciousness of Filipino individuals. It’s been 150 years but it seems that we don’t learn. Still there are many poor families. Many people were hungry. Many don’t have their homes. Our high percentage of forest wealth was lost. Our culture of different aspects was slowly destroying because of the different influences that come in our consciousness as time go by. Our country was always in debts. It’s been 150 years but how come in this very long time we’re still at the bottom of the society? We’re still in the bottom of the list? Although we are rich in natural resources. The government is in charged in the system of the country. Our progress is in the hands of the president. If Rizal was alive today and is able to see the abuses to the “Kaban ng Bayan” by the different buwayas in our government, especially those Mayors in Local Government and some evil members of House of Representatives, it is the point where he will write about. We can’t deny the fact—corruption exists. As it was done by buwayas. In local government, the fund for their jurisdiction was almost exact. From the biggest things, up to smallest details. There’s always a fund for unexpended phenomena or calamities. But when calamity strikes and leaves such mess and destroyed city properties like roads, bridges, canals, etc., they usually say’s there’s no fund. What happened to the money that every citizen contribute for their city? And there, they obviously will start blaming and pointing pasahan ng pasahan. The continuous scenario when calamity comes. Just like some people in the House of Representatives. Blaming and pointing and continuously pointing such persons on the position just to say it’s not their fault and cleans their names. If Rizal was here, he might just shake his head and walk away. This mentality of those people sitting in the palace is not what Rizal wants. It’s not what he’s pointing. What he wants was for us to become open-minded in the issues happening around just like his novels. Rizal wants to cut the shadows of evils that hold his fellows’ necks. He wants to light up the heat in our eyes, the courage, and the love to our own country that dwells in every Filipino’s hearts. He used to write novels that contains tirades to the Spaniards and express the unpleasant smell of leaders hiding in their cute–smile–fake faces. He used to raise the consciousness of his fellows because he knows that this country was ours and the abuses they’re making out weren’t right. We are these citizens. Rizal wants to escape to the shadows that allows us to rise not that’s why he—through literature—start up a little fire and attacks silently and at the same time awakening up the attitude of being Makabayan of his fellows that that time wasn’t present.
Now, we are free. We have our own lives. We are ruled by our countryman. The only shadow that pulls us down was poverty. Why in a period of 150 years our country can’t escape to this shadow? Our country is a country full of intelligent people with their superb talents, knowledge, and ideas. But what’s the problem? Support of the government. Invention of our fellows in accommodating such issues in our country was not merely supported by our government, so the tendency, it will be bought by other nation who will have interest in this. Like our moon buggy. We invented. They got the credits. There are a lot and many departments and establishments made by the government in a purpose to help our unfortunate destined fellows, but how come there are still many and many and many poor people? Maybe, because of these departments or establishments, why people suffer from poverty. The other thing I see was some systems in our government. More often, it is futile. The Party-list System was one of I think a factor that pulls our progress down. It is one of the option of some bad politicians to get inside the House of Representatives. They uses this a backdoor or shortcut to the congress. In the Party-list System Act, it was said to be a system in which will enable Filipino citizens belonging to the marginalized and underrepresented sectors and parties who lack well-defined political constituencies to become a member of House of Representatives. It requires registered voter, resident of the Philippines, can read and write, and bonafide member of the party which he seeks to represents. It is very clear. It’s a very good act for our fellow poor citizens. But what’s happening is out of 56 Party-list in our country, only 6 of them were the only marginalized. The remaining 50 was disrespecting the law because of the carelessness of Sectors responsible for candidacy acts. Party-list system is optional. Name it and you're in. In just a blink of an eye, it was approved. Sometimes, the representables of these party gains no benefits. The fund that must be for poor and other plans for them was got by these parties for their personal drawings—and shares this to their citizens if they have conscience. There once say’s “Kabataan ang Pag-asa ng Bayan”. Some teens nowadays was not that like the past years, we’re your focus was to study. Majority of the teenage nowadays was very alarming because of the different influences that enter in their consciousness. Their mentality was not of that of teens in the past period. This is also a factor that prevents our country’s ascension. And those couples that made the children making a hobby during cold nights. And those people who do not participate to the government’s plans and those who litter anywhere because of do not having the mentality of disciplined disposal—or maybe they do not know the difference between biodegradable to not—it is one step backward to human evolution.
There are many factors that affect our country’s progress, but there are many more ways to become progressive. The light conquers the shadow. Just like when Rizal conquered those Spaniards. May the heat in our soul that once been fired up be visible again for our country’s upgrowth and for our sake. Through Rizal’s ideas, mentality, and consciousness, and by the power of his pen and art of literature, he was able to find a tactic that will beat the shadows of bastards. The light beats the shadows. I know that many of our fellows suffers from poverty and was always hungry, but hopefully—at least once—they would be hungry in knowledge.