Once in my life, I dreamed of becoming a politician. My immersion in a community during my senior year in college sparked an interest in me to enter politics. I would have run as Sangguniang Kabataan chair had this interest come a little earlier and had my age rolled a few years backward, but I didn’t lose hope. I said to myself that I could still become a barangay (village) councilor.
People around me who knew of my eagerness laughed heartily. They said that I was too weak and could be easily trampled, that I was too innocent and could be easily tainted, that politics was just dirty and I did not need to bother trying to clean up a few corners.
I was distraught. I became afraid that even if I mustered all my courage, I would still be a weakling. I became aware of how the system could swallow me and turn me into someone I hated to become. Thus, my dream of becoming a politician withered.
These days, I close my eyes and sigh with disappointment, shaking my head at the depressing issues surrounding us. I remember a time in college when I routinely went home thinking of only two things: the required papers I had to submit the next day, and whether I’d be able to sleep or not. Now the thoughts in my head pile up, making me wonder if I’m stressing myself too much over things that do not concern me. I have so many unanswered questions in my mind.
Imagine that after all this time, some unknown forces are manipulating everything that is happening in the country. What if every truth that we have been told hides a conspiracy? What is scary is that we the people just might live and die oblivious to everything.
I cannot accept that thought—that while the public appears to be incognizant, the politicians seem to enjoy or are amused by it. I feel manipulated, like a puppet. I cannot take the thought of being manipulated lightly.
Who are we really to these politicians? Just tools to fulfill their aspirations? Shouldn’t the government and the people be working together for the country’s development.
In all honesty, I’m losing my faith in our politicians. If I were in their shoes, I would feel extremely uneasy, even alarmed, that I’m losing the people’s trust. But what if they don’t feel any remorse?
I’m tired of broken promises. I’m fed up with conspiracies. Call me a pessimist, but a part of me is starting to lose hope that this system will ever change. I’m exhausted of hearing issues of corruption over and over, of being a mere spectator of a vicious cycle.
I speak on behalf of the many who have the same sentiments. I write these words with rage, hoping that even in a small way I can voice the exploding feelings of an old farmer I saw on TV saying: “Tama na, sobra na (Enough, this is too much)!”
To those in power, prove to us that there are still politicians worthy of our trust.
I pray for those politicians who have served the people with pure intentions, who do not give in to this system of corruption. I pray that God will bestow on you the courage that you need to conquer the wolves. You may be our only hope left.
I think that in these “awakened times”—in columnist Conrado de Quiros’ words—the Filipino people do not need someone who will promise change. We are in dire need of someone who will bring light, to banish the darkness. Someone, please, bring light to this country.
Julie Ann E. Gomez, 21, is a nursing graduate of the University of the Philippines Manila. She works as a research assistant at the National Institutes of Health.
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