Friday, December 23, 2011

The Pen is Mightier than the Sword-Marinduque Power Crises

Last month, my wife and I attended a Filipino-American party in Clayton, California. It was almost a two hour drive from our residence because of the traffic. Luckily I was able to control my bodily needs so we did not have to do a mandatory pit stop in Vacaville or Fairfield. About 80% of the guests were Filipino-Americans from Marinduque.

I asked all of the guests from Marinduque if they knew the latest news from the island. Their response to my query was, why do you ask, you should know. The latest news is what we read from your notes on Facebook and what is in your blogs. I was delighted to hear their response. I know I have a several readers who never comment, but are regular readers of my articles about life in the Philipines.

Speaking of Facebook notes, I found numerous discussions regarding the latest electrical power crises in Marinduque. The subject discussed involved political innuendos, graft and corruption, bribery and mismanagement of Marelco (the local cooperative and power supplier to the island). Discussions were very passionate and heated as to who is to blame for the power crises in the island today.

Many of the comments insinuated that the current governor was and is responsible for these electrical power shortage crises. The comments insinuated that the governor is not an effective leader and no longer capable of governing the province because of her age (she will turn 80 this coming November 9). She and her son have ruled the island for over 40 years, yet the electrical power situation of the island has not improved and remained antiquated. Marinduque has remained one of the poorest provinces in the Philippines.

One very interesting comment to this insinuation attracted my attention. This was directed to the Facebook creator of a page that is urging the governor to resign. The creator of the page is encouraging everyone to click the "LIKE" button or make a comment. Most of the comments in this page are about graft and corruption.

>"Of all the powerful weapons of destruction that man has invented, the most terrible – and the most cowardly – is the "word".

>Knives and firearms leave traces of blood. Bombs shake whole buildings and streets. Poisons can always be detected. But a destructive word can provoke evil without leaving behind it a single clue.

>Children are subject to years of conditioning by their parents, artists are mercilessly pilloried, women are systematically undermined by remarks made by their husbands, the faithful are kept apart from religion by those who judge themselves capable of interpreting the voice of God.

>Check to see if you yourself are using this weapon. Check to see if someone is using this weapon on you. And put a stop to both."

This was my response:
As the English adage goes, the pen is mightier than the sword (coined by the English author Edward Lytton in 1839). The Spaniards were threatened by Jose Rizal's writings but not his ability to fight as a soldier or lead as a general during the Filipino insurrection against the Spaniards. Rizal's novels and writings, and not his ability to fight with the sword, put him to the death squad. (In case you do not know, Jose Rizal is a national hero of the Philippines).

On the other hand, what will the world be, if the truth is hidden by our silence and not using our most powerful weapon—our words and the freedom of speech—to fight corruption, injustice and intolerance in this evil world?

What do you think, my dear readers? Any thoughts? Have a good and fantastic Day!

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