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Now afraid to visit PH

/ 01:34 AM November 06, 2015

Why is being a Filipino very inconvenient in the world? I would like to throw this question to President Aquino not because it’s his fault; it’s because he is the president of the country. And as president, he should have the answer.

I’m a Filipino-Canadian and, having been away for just less than a decade, I’m still very attached to my home country. I’m going home to spend Christmas with my family, and do you know what I feel right now?

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I’m already having a heart attack thinking of what I could go through at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, what with this horrible “laglag-bala” scheme being operated reportedly by criminals in uniform. This early I’m disturbed by the thought of what the taxi driver might do to me, or how much he might overcharge me. I also worry now about being held up along the way.

Mr. President, what’s happening?  Our country has gone to the dogs. (My apologies to the dogs, they are adorable.) Have we really thrown our morals into the pit that we should now plant bullets in travelers’ luggage and hand-carried bags just to make money?

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Corruption to a certain point is still acceptable—I mean, we have no choice but to accept some of it. But this is not mere corruption, this is a crime being “planted” on us Filipinos returning to the country. We are being set up to appear guilty of a crime we didn’t do. And one of your secretaries calls this an “isolated case”?

Mr. President, do we really have to wrap our luggage with plastic or buy bags without zippers when traveling to the Philippines? Have Filipino nationals really gone this low and pathetic? What have we done to deserve all these? Why is going home to the Philippines like going home to a war-torn country? We’re afraid to set foot in Naia, we’re afraid to ride a taxi, we’re afraid to see a policeman.

And you may ask, so why still go back? Because of family, Mr. President.  And like your father who went back despite the threat on his life, I’m going back for love of country. But it’s so sad to see in social media where our country is heading. Do you know that when I post stuff in social media about the Philippines, I restrict my Canadian friends from seeing it because I am ashamed? Some days I’m very proud to be a Filipino, but in other days I just want to deny that I am Filipino. It’s depressing, Mr. President.

I hope you do something on your last few months in office, Mr. President. Sometimes the last footprints leave the most lasting impact.

—ERLINDA “DOLLY” TAN, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

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TAGS: bullet planting, bullet scam, laglag bala, tanim bala
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