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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, July 1, 2016
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Sol Y Sombra
with Rex Remetio

The first day

There is a popular phrase that says “Today is the first day of the rest of your life. So today July 1, 2016 is the first day of the coming six years of a new president.

What can happen, what will happen in this period under an unconventional president? How many days is that? 365 x 6. Figure that out.

Of course, we wish him and his administration well. At this point in time is just the start, although there are already complaints aired in the media of extra-judicial executions complaints by grieving relatives that their loved one was no criminal but was wrongly targeted.

We are hoping that the coming administration will look and study this matter. The present move to initiate a Federal government, compared to this looming problem, deserve second place.

In any event, the only thing we can suggest is a deeper study of the problems that the new administration confront.

Duterte is the 16th president of the country. We have seen our past presidents strove to make life better for Filipinos (not all of them succeeded). Indeed, the only reason they were chosen was because they will lead the country to better times. Foremost challenge is the economic one - the plan to reduce poverty, the increase in the employment of people and if possible, increase the rate of pay.

The problem of poverty is tied up with that of education - lack of education insures that the uneducated will be frozen in either the ranks of the unemployed or in the hordes of those paid the most minimal rate. Education is the twin of poverty eradication - or more probably, poverty diminution.

Our problem is deepened by the fact that the population has ballooned to over a hundred million. Way back in 1972, we had about the same population as Thailand. In 2002, about 13 years later, the Philippines outstripped Thailand's 60 million with 78 million, a difference of about 20 million. In this first century of the 2 millennium, we have over a 100 million. (Thailand has considerably less.)

I had written way back:

“I have written on several occasions on our uncontrolled population growth, but I always do so with a sensing feeling. It's like talking to yourself, with everybody yawning in obvious disinterest.

This is because all know that as long as the Catholic Church put its foot down on more aggressive proposals to enhance family planning programs, the people who wield power will kow-tow and remain passive. It's a reckless politician who will go against the grain”.

Lastly, let's not forget the substantial improvement of the economy under departing P-Noy.

MISCELLANY. We leave the matter of public affairs and deal with personal ones. This is about my brother, Dr. Rienzi Remitio, a retiree who lives now in Seattle. He had been pestering me about a poem written a very long time ago, and of which I didn't have the slightest idea of its whereabouts. However, riffling among old papers and documents. I found the poem entitled Remembrance. I include it here since he reads this paper via Internet in Seattle.



Be not afraid when rambling down the sun-set lanes,

If trees do whisper and

the shadows grow

So lonely and midnight seems.

To grasp you in embrace,

and kissing you,

Itself is mingled

strangely with your dreams.

It shall be I and all things blue,

seas, skies, blue-flowers and blue birds

Things that are lonely

in evening

When the sun sinks

to forget man's bitter laughter

There shall be no forgetting after

The close of the coffin's lid.

I shall be with God

so do not grieve

When evening shadows come,

It's only God and I,

Remembering you.

So, okay. That's it for now.*


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