Why Vote for a Bold Leader?

Ever encountered a person who would do everything to stay away from the norm and to think out of the box to explore things for best interests? In every area of life, there is indeed a nonconformist who pushes the boundaries out of what is mainstream and usual.

One of the primary qualities of a leader is to disregard his or her own self-worth and carry the weight of the weaknesses of his or her followers. This is how initiative works, in the sense that it abides on the “greater good”.  It is easy to describe how initiative works but leaders nowadays tend to be casual that it does not allow them to uncover their full potential. It would be a sore miss of opportunity to basically fulfill your role as a leader and benefit in experience. That is not even a definition of leadership.

Now, I am not saying leaders should be defiant, because defiance means disobedience. I am believing on boldness. I am believing for bold leaders who will always take a stand for what is right for their area of coverage. Their choices may not be the best but they will bear fruits, making for a prosperous land.

When I mean about “boldness”, it means possessing a heed of confidence, willing to take the weights of the role he or she is deeming for, and aiming to brave the waves of challenges that come to surge. Boldness should not be displayed by a show of armed forces, or verbal tactics, or vast wealth, or even reputation. It is the fulfillment of a leader’s role to give the best for his or her people. It is not going to be easy but the journey is worth it.

As for this coming 9th of May, candidates flock the streets to remind the voters of their names and platforms. While campaigning is indeed a hard task, being in the position is the harder one. And all candidates, win or not, should see the weight of their roles. Boldness should not come from their smoothest words, most affectionate speeches and zaniest one-liners. It is a lifelong birthright that they need to make it obvious, for every leader is a brave soul.

For candidates, you are now at a position where the public examine you from head to toe. The people needs to see the confidence in you. Show the Filipinos that confidence, for we are a nation of bold followers who will soon become bold leaders.


Why Vote for an Adherent Leader?

Ever known the last time you have heard of the word “malasakit”in anywhere you go? It can be heard in schools, in companies, in churches, in charity organizations, in retailers, in products and their commercials and in customer services. But most of all, it can be heard from the mouths of leaders, especially with political positions.

People mention “malasakit”as a way of opening their assurance of care and trust to be on their hands. It is an advantage for anyone, as it gives a goody-two-shoes reputation that everyone can emulate or idolize. And being a nation that abides in the family system, it should be immediate that “malasakit” is a normalcy.

This is why having the “malasakit” attitude is a trend for leaders, especially for this coming elections. Adherence seems to become a major theme for most political ads. And it should, as empathy is the way to connect to people. If either it is all for vote-grabbing tactics or it is all to show concern to a needy nation, it is clear that adherence is a cash cow. Even if it is clear that “malasakit” is nothing more of a political tactic, should we still count on a leader who shows sympathy?

For all due respect, we need leaders who show the best of adherence. Showing concern for the people still proves that leaders are willing to grant the service that they can best serve to the people. “Malasakit” should not immediately be claimed as an obvious tactic. If there are leaders who want to serve the people, then let them serve in any way they can. It should not always have a shed of politics in it. If it does, it will complicate things more.

Now, this does not mean adherence is an instant loophole to get out of the way to show true leadership. It is the fruits of a well-governed area of coverage. It is not a title that is gained through sap. Not being harsh to any candidate, but the television “malasakit” is a running cliche.

What this country needs are leaders who understand the position they are vying for, who see the situation of every people as a testament to the challenges that will be sought, who still continues the legacy of leadership, with or without a government position, and who will be a role model for other people to do the same. “Malasakit” comes from being a Filipino of worth, helping another Filipino of worth.

Why Vote for an Experienced Leader?

Here is one probe that I need to express: is experience enough to justify a position in government? Well, the majority would say a resounding “yes”, while those opposed will either be questioned or persuaded. Experience really builds up the credibility that a candidate should need to establish himself or herself to the public. Since experience gives validity of knowledge of an area of understanding, it is clear why people would side to a man or woman of experience.

For elections, experience gives the edge for a candidate, since he or she is familiar of the system. Years and years of service will truly win the hearts of the people. But in the day and age where standouts come out of nowhere, is it still reliable to vote for a leader of experience?

In any way, experienced people are the most reliable of the business. In a lesson that was taught in college, it was discovered that when it comes for companies to hire personnel, they would prefer candidates with broad experience than candidates with little experience. That is why fresh graduates may have a hard time searching for a job. While it may seem that experienced people can have one foot ahead, fresh candidates in the business have the outgrown potential to be trained and developed. And out of this fresh breed of personnel comes leaders. This only proves how inexperienced people can edge out to the experienced ones.

But despite all the contemporary age changes, experience should not be the solid proof of choosing a leader. Gaining exposure to any area of expertise provides an avenue for one to perfectly map his or her area of expertise. It is not a license; it is a privilege, a privilege that can be shared as a testimony of assurance and trust.

The only problem for experience to get in the way of our choices is how these experiences are treated. Are they just jewelries that are worn? Or seals that are embedded in our attitude? From there comes a solid statement of how a leader should treat their leadership experiences.

All the while, it is still reliable to vote for experienced leaders. But it is better to dissect their credibility, deep inside their systems. Yet, as a lesson for the rest, experience is a lifelong obstacle.

Why Vote for a Radical Leader?

Everyone wants a leader’s conviction. Somehow, a candidate with an iron fist gets the impression of the ideal leader that the nation needs. Not to complain at all, but would we need an authoritarian rule if we want to be recognized or take part of our country’s change?

But nonetheless, radicalism might be the finest quality that the Philippines needs to show the ideal leadership qualities. So indeed, being radical at issues that seem impossible to solve is the secret ingredient to gaining the trust from the people. And in cases, having that attribute helps get issues across and it becomes clear to the public. It only shows how that candidate is serious about his or her intentions of his or her place of coverage.

However, radicalism could be denoted as “harsh” or “extreme” that it borders a huge risk for reputation and credibility. Here is the thing. The Philippines is a conservative nation, grown with good values and right conduct. So, virtue is really a keen quality that even the lowest of classes should practice. Ergo, seeing an overly confident leader, brought up by extreme profundity, really shows how virtue can be set aside for the nation’s quick progress. It also sets a model to be emulated by next generation of leaders.

That being said, if that is the case, why vote for a radical leader? It is not solely for his or her previous experiences, nor his or her current credentials, nor his or her well-planned platforms. It is for the courage to fill up what was missing in our leadership attributes in the country. Not just Philippines. The whole world needs radical leaders who are passionate about change and encouraging to lead the people to strong virtues that every citizen needs to possess.

Radicalism is not extreme tactics that one can play with in a snap. It is the audacity to carry the weight of the country’s issues, boldness to stand for what is right and valor to be the ideal model that every citizen can look upon to. For candidates, do not think that the elections is a hunting ground to throw bombs to other candidates. One needs to initiate a ceasefire.

Open Letter to the Graduates


Dear Graduates,

It is really a good feeling to finally receive your diploma after years of hard work. You finally get the rest you deserve. But just remember, this is just the beginning of your journey.

Now I know what you are thinking. You must be reflecting what it means to be at the beginning of your journey. Well, as Semisonic quotes it perfectly, “every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end”. It simply means that another journey is ahead of you. Wait, calm down. I will just bring you fewer expectations.

Just rest on this fact; you hold your future in your hands. You get to initiate when to start your trek, anytime, anywhere. But while we may have our own life journeys, remember that everyone is watching you. Your family is watching you. The corporate world that is willing to accept freshly picked fruits from the orchard is watching you. The blue collar world that has a high demand for hard earners is watching you. The consumerist world that will keep going on a loop is watching you. The government that may keep track or not of every workforce is even watching you. Thus, everyone is really watching you.

But do not get hard on yourselves. It does not that we are being watch that we will be scared. Everybody is scared. Let me tell you that. Every worker will always be scared on where his or her career will lead them to. But they accept fear as a challenge. So, for an encouragement, be constantly challenged by what career path you chose. Because, for frank’s sake, your career is a competitive for yourself, for you are the only competitor and opponent of your path.

And here is another thing. I know for instance that the career you chose is the least demanding in the real world, as stated by current events. I faced that fact with a bit of dismay but I shrugged it off because I stayed optimistic at the outlook of my career track. Another encouragement, do not let others dictate of what your career is like. The world needs passionate people at a time where the passion is to survive. Just keep on pouring out that passion because you will need it when finding a perfect venue for your career path. And if you still have not found yet the perfect job, do not quit. Cliché as it is, you must not quit winning for that opportunity.

It takes a leap of faith where to direct your career next. As I always take in mind, the Lord God has set a plan where to direct me. He has for us as well. All we need is to be faithful to it and take courage to charge its reins. Yes, the country is not your ideal place to start your career. Yes, the job setting you have is not that much of a gold mine as you think it should be. Yes, the challenge is tough that you want to curl up and comfort yourself. And yes, real life sucks. But hey, it is life. We just need to be passionate, faithful and courageous.

The toga and the hat you wore are there for a reason. Not just means of celebration but of initiation that you have entered the true game. So, keep playing. If we win, keep playing. If we lose, keep playing. Because the country needs passionate players.

Hoping for the best of you. And so am I.

Best regards,

The Reluctant Citizen

Issue Spotlight: Infrastructure

Road work.JPG

For our next “Issue Spotlight”, let us tackle one of the most active government agencies: the Department of Public Works and Highways or DPWH. When infrastructure is brought up in the table of discussion, the common thing that comes to mind are road constructions since they have been the common projects by DPWH, if not pipe laying efforts with Maynilad that requires road rehabilitations by the road works bureau. Now, this is an important area to discuss, as during the first quarter of the year, the agency, as reported by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), boosted a high obligation rate to a Php 211 billion of its Php 479-billion allotment. It pretty seems apparent from the swarm of road repairs that circled the Metro. It is also notable that before the term of President Noynoy Aquino ends, DPWH has allotted Php 357 billion for this year, a 30% increase from the initial Php 273.9 billion allotment. And the adminstration even reported a proposed Php 3 trillion budget allotted for 2016.

Sounds great right? Unfortunately, that budget amounts to blocking road lanes and breaking them for rehabilitation. This explains the extensive road works that sprouted out of nowhere before the election ban. While I can easily attest that this is an easy way for candidates to get recognized for their name-placing efforts, the biggest victim of this scenario is the public. I can argue that even with amount of effort done on planning for the improvement of our infrastructure, I can tell that its execution is where things fall apart.

It is hard to travel at this period, where election campaigns flocks, candidates parade around the streets and still road works are being crammed in the last minute. On my daily travels to work, I encounter at least nine road works, and only one of them involve road repairs, due to concrete damage. I truly can say that DPWH is doing their projects at the worst time. But something frustrating to note, some projects go from over a year. Nothing surprising, isn’t it?

As you may remember, I mentioned in my other Issue Spotlight blog about traffic that I indicate road constructions as one of the causes of traffic. Traffic congestion aside, the main reason why infrastructure should be at the hotseat at this point is because it solely does not rest on road works, but bridges, highways, railways, airways, energy reserves and their maintenance. As it holds the main route where the economy is dependent on, it is easy to say with poor infrastructure comes poor economic performance.  And what worse if disasters strike? (Spoiler: This is the next for “Issue Spotlight”.)

So note to electoral candidates: do not cram infrastructure. As a crucial part of the country’s stability, take this issue with a keen eye and an insightful planning. Infrastructure should not be a political tool. Because everyone should benefit from it, including the government. As for the public, let us brace on what repercussions can incur from still progressing infrastructure. But in a positive note, out of our infrastructural projects comes this:



Why Am I Nervous for this Coming Elections?


With the elections slowly approaching, I can only anticipate for the campaigns to increase along the streets. But while we get more exposed to candidates standing on their floats, I cannot help but admit that I find this presidential elections difficult.

Not that the candidates do not have potential. Not that one candidate has a notorious run from critics but gets a widespread acclaim from the public. Not that one candidate is still in the hotseat of a long period of controversy from his presumed property. Not that one candidate gets bashed from suspected residential requirements but manages to get strong support from the masses. Not that one candidate has to hold back from ailing health but still receives a cult following from netizens. And not that the candidates intend to contribute to the country’s plethora of crass pop culture.

It is for the fact that neither of the candidates impose yet an impression of competence to lead a needing nation. The stuff I receive from the presidential candidates about their competence is the way they answer debate questions and deliver their platforms to the public. But each possess a nuisance that borders on implausibility. Not that it is a bad thing since there is no such thing as a perfect president. But every issue that are charged to these candidates or charged by the candidates just speaks a lot of our leadership strategies within the country.

I am nervous because frankly, none has yet made an impression of what leadership stance that the country needs. Well, there are but they are pretty vague, like public service feels and civil order.

While more information will be poured out from what the candidates have in store for their campaigns, the country needs more than just platforms. The Philippines needs leaders, not wish granters. This is primarily a wrong impression we incur to our candidates: that they would grant the country’s demands, as stated by their platforms. This is a big mistake to impose on our leaders. Leaders are motivators, role models and assisting hands to any group they lead. Leaders take charge of what is accountable to them and hold responsible of the progress of their area of responsibility. We need leaders, not people in administrative positions to carry the weight of the country’s progress.

I know a few people might see this. So readers, I encourage each one of you to look for the leadership stance that our candidates hold on to. These people will soon take helm of leading our places. That is why it is important to be critical of who we choose. Leadership is not a privilege. It is a duty. A duty that should be sought by the next administration. So, here is to the candidates and the voters because, whether we like it or not, we are all leaders.