Politicians steal our dreams


FILIPINO crane and heavy equipment operators in Saudi Arabia say their piece via social media. Photo courtesy of Junar Elmedo/

NEW YORK—Let’s see now. When was the last time we Filipinos got so angry we marched on the streets to scream, curse and throw insults out of rage?

SEAFARERS join the protest, too. Photo by Edgardo Tuangtuang/courtesy of Migrante International/

I remember being at Edsa People Power 1 in 1986 where millions came out in defiance of the Marcos Dictatorship. That was totally spontaneous. I don’t remember calling a friend saying, “Hey let’s meet at Greenhills and then we can have coffee afterwards.” I remember watching TV and seeing people pouring out into the streets. Inflamed by that scene, the husband and I got on a jeepney in our tsinelas and joined the swelling crowd.

I had left the country by the time Edsa 2 happened in 2001, but I doubt I would have joined even if I was back home. The corruption of Joseph Estrada may have been a big issue then but for some reason, it did not get me all riled up maybe because Filipinos knew they were up against an individual with no scruples but voted him anyway.

BANGKOK-BASED Filipinos turn a welcome party into a gathering to demand the abolition of the pork. Photo courtesy of Lan Mercado/

At last Sunday’s rally outside the Philippine Consulate building, I was feeling pretty riled up about the P10-billion pork barrel that went to several lawmakers’ bogus foundations. All of them orchestrated by one military wife, the shameless Janet Napoles. So were many of the protesters.

Are we talking 13-, 15-year outbursts? Is that how long it takes for Filipinos’ patience to snap to the point where they make the decision to join a protest rally and cry “tama na, sobra na” with similarly enraged others? Marcos was a despot for 14 years before he finally got the boot from People Power.

FILIPINOS in Geneva join the “End The Pork Solidarity Picnic.” Photo courtesy of Joseph SyCip/

“Nakakainis (it makes me angry)”  echoed at least three people I spoke to at the Consulate rally of Aug. 25: businesswoman Gloria Cabrera, New Jersey resident Shirley Asunto and retired school teacher Lumen Castañeda. They said all those years we immigrants toiled long, backbreaking hours in America, our remittances went to false NGOs of these politicians. “Kayod tayo ng kayod, nakaw sila ng nakaw (we toil and toil, they steal and steal).”

Think of all the fundraising many young Fil-Ams have done to help Filipinos in times of disasters and calamities, said community activist Steven Raga. “Band-aids won’t work anymore; taking to the streets is the only effective treatment.”

FILIPINOS in New York demonstrate vs pork. Photo from The FilAm

Domestic worker Linda Oalican of Damayan said the problem is “historical.” Graft and corruption has long plagued Philippine politics. It’s the reason, said Michelle Saulon of National Alliance for Filipino Concerns, “4,500 Filipinos are forcibly migrating everyday” for better opportunities around the world.

Despite all the strides in the economy, railed lawyer Merit Salud of the Movement for a Free Philippines, the country “remains a nation of poor people which sends her children to work abroad so that they may have a chance to live human lives.”

Ana Liza Caballes of Ugnayan ng mga Anak ng Bayan said Filipino Americans do care about the corruption that happens back home. When politicians pocket pork barrel funds, “they are not only stealing money they are also stealing our dreams and aspirations and the opportunity to have our family members stay in our homeland.” If the country was better run, there is no need, said Gary Labao of the New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines, “to leave the Philippines” to work abroad as maids and nannies.

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • bugoybanggers

    Blame who? Blame yourself, blame your neighbor, blame the PRIEST, blame the masa! Sino ba ang BOMOTO sa mga POLITIKO? Ngayon sasabihin ninyo iyan? Kulturang bugok! Dapat noon pa mapagmatyag at may UTAK ang mga PILIPINO! Saan ba nagamit ang UTAK PINOY?

    • koolkid_inthehouse


  • mynnyx

    kahit na sinong iboto mo dyan magnanakaw at magnanakaw pa rin ang mananalo……………..sabi ko nga sana ginawa na lang tayong brown americans noon siguro ala ng nagugutom na pinoy ngayon……kahit sino naman naging presidente sa pinas noon lahat yumaman……..ultimo kamaganak nila mas masahol ngayon kasi lahat nagnanakaw ultimo janitor sa custom,paano ayaw magsakripisyo at maghirap ang ilan……kababayan natin………………….

  • prodigalson60

    Dapat si bong revilla at jinggoy patikimin kung anong dinanas ng mga seaman na sa ngayon ay nasa kamay ng mga pirata sa somalia! wala man lang ginawa ang gobyerno ng pilipinas para sa kanilang mga pamilya.

  • Crysis_III

    Blame Quezon, because he wanted the Philippines to be run as hell by Filipinos…. Kung sa america pa tayo ngayon, hindi sana ganito. Mga buwaya, ipakain yan sana kay Lolong..

  • tra6Gpeche

    Matagal ng nagnanakaw ng pera ng bayan ang mga Senador, Kongresista at mga iba pang halal na pulitiko. Maliban kay Ginang Arroyo at dating Pangulong Estrada, wala akong natatandaan na nakulong at nagbalik ng pera ng bayan. Panahon na upang makulong ang tulad ni Enrile, Bong Revilla, Jinggoy Estrada, Honasan, Angara at iba pang sangkot sa pork barrel scam at korupsyon upang hindi sila pamarisan. Kapag walang nakulong, tuloy ang ligaya ng mga magnanakaw ng pera ng bayan habang ang maraming Pilipino ay gumagapang sa hirap at kawalang pagasa!

  • koolkid_inthehouse

    Not only stealing our dreams but killing us too.

  • joboni96

    Politicians steal our dreams while

    the imperialist steals our country

  • PrinceofDarkness

    We should start using a Nationalized LAN Banking System utilizing Bio-Metrics on our banking and Fund management, If people (especially politicians) use Palm Scans, Eye scans, Voice Recognition softwares etc on withdrawing or transferring money we can definitely see whose getting what from whom and where… The moment some politicians name pops up and a large some shows up… Immediately investigate and question him/her… It would also be great if we can make the data unchangeable by using 3 or more encryption keys that the President and whomever trustworthy it maybe before the data can be retrieved, seen or tampered… Meaning EVERY TRANSACTION WILL BE RECORDED… but obviously proper guidelines and procedures must be taken… obviously people must use their real names, SSN, etc to open a bank account just like opening a regular account on any bank, This can also be applied in business, Imagine the elimination of GHOST employees… Because they would have to Withdraw the money from an ATM or Bank directly using Bio-metrics HAHAHA… We should start spreading this people! lets get this idea to P-Noy so he can act on this…

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