Are we ready to defend each other?
China’s aggression is clear and imminent, vivid and plain. China is powerful and so we are. But our problem is, the foundation of our power as a nation is slowly disintegrating. Why? Let me search the answer to the question through this question: Do we Filipinos have it in our hearts to truly help a fellow Filipino?
Recently, I brought a neighbor to a government hospital, but the doctor denied him admittance for lack of a room. He told us to go to the Philippine General Hospital. We asked for an ambulance but none was available. So I used my old FX.
When we arrived at the PGH, the nurse, after the initial BP (blood pressure) checkup, told my neighbor to wait for a while. I decided to leave the neighbor with her household companion and go back to Laguna. But as I was leaving PGH, I thought if something went wrong, our neighbor would have no one to ask help from. I parked on the right side of the hospital because it was a wide empty space, and there were about only four vehicles there; besides, it was already 11 p.m.
But a security guard came telling me that I couldn’t park there because it was reserved for a VIP and for “hospital employees with stickers.” What, this was a public hospital and, besides, where I park had plenty of empty space. But he insisted that we leave. So I asked him, “So, Kuya, saan po mag-park ang mga ordinaryong Filipino katulad ko.” His reply: “Doon po sa may nakasulat na Fee Parking.” And I said, “Siguro pati pag CR may bayad din.” He readily agreed: “Meron nga po, dun din sa parking.”
I’m wondering how the Bureau of Internal Revenue or the Commission on Audit or PGH itself keep track of the collections.
Anyway, when I went back to my neighbor, the nurse told us there was no vacancy and suggested that we try East Avenue Medical Center or Ospital ng Maynila. Our neighbor decided to just go home to Laguna. We passed by one more government hospital; still the same, no vacant room. An attendant even told us that if we insisted, my neighbor could stay in a room with a TB patient. In the end, we went to a private hospital.
My point is, if we can’t even help fellow citizens, or are plain lazy to find a creative way or go the extra mile to do so, then how can we expect ourselves to go into a concerted act of defending our country. If we keep tarnishing the dignity of our fellow Filipinos, even looking down on the color of our skin or capabilities, then what is the rallying cry “Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!” for? If we keep on stealing, robbing and deceiving each other, and engage in overpricing and violating our laws and the rights of our countrymen, then how can we fight for this nation?
The pyramid was not built by a Pharaoh, or America by Thomas Jefferson, or Christianity by Jesus all by their lonesome. The might of every religion is its believers, of every great tribe its clans and families, of every nation its people. The power of a country is its people.
—CARLOS ERWIN FAJARDO, [email protected]