It Can Only Get Better, Be Still Philippines

Two Consecutive Major Notoriety: August 23 Hostage Drama and Miss Universe 2010 Fourth-Runner Up, Miss Maria Venus Raj

Ex-Cop Hostage Taking: A Challenge to the Philippines' Security

You must have seen the hostage drama yesterday, August 23rd, 2010 which captured global attention when a former policeman, Rolando Mendoza, held Chinese nationals hostage in a tourist van from 7am in  the morning until around 9pm in the evening. 

The said incident was truly saddening, devastating and disappointing as to how the hostage taking incident has ended. My heart goes out to the families of the 9 Chinese nationals who were killed in the said incident.

Almost every Filipino citizens and the rest of the world were hooked in front of their televisions as two of the biggest broadcasting networks in the Philippines (ABS-CBN and GMA Network) covered the said incident Live from the time the cops tried to negotiate with the hostage taker until the time when 9 people inside the bus were confirmed dead.

Below is the video of the hostage taking event:

Effects to Foreign Investors  

As much as I don't want to comment about the recent hostage taking crisis that transpired yesterday, I can't just help it. Several years ago, I had been apathetic with what's happening around me. At least until it would directly affect me. Not until our own apartment was almost burned several months ago that I learned to be more aware and care about what's happening around me. 

Just when people around me are complaining about how terrible our defense system is, I thought about how the incident would affect our whole nation's image now and how would the foreign investors would react to such a tragic event. I knew right there and then that the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) would be greatly affected by the said incident and that it would crumble as investors around the world would lose their confidence with our security.

You Can't Put All the Blame to the Government

A couple of the country's major problems have been highlighted because of the said hostage taking drama. These issues have long been present in our community and the incident didn't trigger them but only exposed them. These issues are are:

a. Poor justice system
b. Poor defense and security system

I have long been aware of these issues. Most Filipinos are.  I know that PNoy (President Noynoy Aquino) has long been struggling to keep the both ends meet. I know just how hard he tries to troubleshoot the problem he has been handed down by the previous presidents before him (problems he literally inherited from his mom, late President Corazon Aquino). Therefore, I think it is useless to to blame the the government for what happened. No one wanted what had happen. Instead, think about how you can help make our country become better, in our own little ways and places.

Problems Create Opportunities (An Advice for Foreign Investors)

1. Be Ready When Others are Fearful

Though I hate just how low the PSE would be, I know we could take this sad event as an opportunity to pick the best companies and buy shares or stocks while they are down because the effects of the said event would just be for a small moment. Just like what Warren Buffet counseled, "Be greedy when others are fearful".

Therefore, I think the foreign investors shouldn't be afraid in investing in our country and judging us by some unfortunate events and completely forgetting about the great potentials of our country.  I think it is plain rubbish if foreign investors would just back out just because of the said sad incident. A true investor shouldn't be deterred by a single incident but should look on the greater view of the horizon. 

2. Travel When Your Purchasing Power is Greater

A lot of tourists must be afraid by now of stepping in the Philippines and I wouldn't be surprised if the Hongkong government has heightened their travel advisory alert about staying away from the Philippines and I hear them. 

However, I think the foreign investors need to give heed to Warren Buffet's words again, "Be greedy when others are fearful".

The hostage taking drama will surely almost automatically trigger the increase in the value of dollars, or should I say, it will weaken the value of Philippine peso. For foreign investors and Filipinos that are dependent to OFW remittances, the said event could be of advantage because of the increase in their purchasing powers.

Let's face it, the price of the commodity constantly increases and there's nothing we can do to avoid or thwart that. I guess it's a perfect opportunity for foreign investors and tourists to take advantage of the situation while their purchasing power is strong. Not that I'm happy of what happened. It's just that we shouldn't cry because it happened, we need to smile because it's over. In every situation, I guess we all need to see the bright side in them instead of focusing on the negative result of it.

The hostage taking incident has not only highlighted two of the most disturbing issues of our country but I hope, it has also served a greater purpose of being a wake up call to the government that they should tighten the security and avoid similar incidents from happening again. It should also give the foreign investors an assurance that the government of the Republic of the Philippines are now doing all that it can to prevent such incidences from occurring again.

It's unfair to generalize the whole Philippines as a dangerous country just because a single unfortunate event has transpired. It's like generalizing the whole United States as a country lacking security just because of what happened during the 9/11 bombing while there are many safe cities and villages in other states of it. You see, there are many other areas in the Philippines especially in the Visayas and Mindanao regions (take note that the hostage incident happened in Luzon) like Camiguin Islands, Boracay, Palawan and many other tourist spots in the country that are completely contrary of what you see in the television and cities that scare you in the Manila area.

I guess others may think that I am being impenetrable when it comes to negativity, I just probably strive to look at the bright side of things and seeing opportunity when others see hopelessness. I just hope that the said incident will serve a greater purpose and that is a great wake up call for the government and its people to focus on its security, tighten their measures and get ready (if not greedy) when opportunities to improve arise. Though we may not be able to change the situation, we can always change our attitude towards it and our course of action.

Miss Universe Fourth Runner-Up Maria Venus Raj: A Pride or Disappointment?

Fourth Runner-up: Miss Philippines, Maria Venus Ray
Venus Raj donning a boxing glove. A symbol of the Philippines pride, Manny "The Pacman" Pacquiao
Maria Venus Raj: A true Filipina beauty, a true Filipino pride
Maria Venus Raj during their pre-pageant pictorial

Almost every Filipino in the world were so excited when the representative of the Philippines for the Miss Universe 2010 beauty pageant, Miss Maria Venus Raj was included in the top 5 finalists. Everyone's raising their expectations as she was considered to be one of the favorites. Until the question and answer portion when she was given the question:

Question to Venus: What is one big mistake that you did in your life? And what did you do to make it right?

Answer: In my 22 years of existence, there is nothing major, major problem that I have done in my life. Because I am very confident with my family and the love they are giving to me. So thank you thank you so much.

Below is a video of the portion of the Miss Universe beauty pageant question and answer portion for Miss Maria Venus Raj, the representative of the Philippines.

Perhaps I'm one of those people who were fast or almost automatically disappointed and threw mocking comments at her. We were all cheering loudly as she made it to the top five finalists but the cheering and encouragement disappeared almost instantly when her answer didn't quite reach our expectations and if I would be asked the same question, I guess I could respond to Venus Raj with:

"My greatest mistake, so far, was when I ridiculed you when you answered the question almost like an idiot, when you failed to nail it. I was so disappointed that I almost forgot how a few minutes ago you made me so proud and I am trying to make it right by posting that I am proud of how far you've gone. I understand how difficult it must have been for you, the pressure and how nervous you must have been and I think you deserve to be applauded by your grace, your faith and most of all, for making all the Filipinos excited and proud".

Stop the Crab Mentality, Let's Establish Unity

Below is a video of the Philippines pride, Charise Pempengco, singing "It Could Only Get Better". I guess it's a soothing reminder for all of the Filipinos to be still and stop criticizing our government, Miss Venus Raj. If we can't defend our own country, our own people, who do we expect to defend us?

It Could Only Get Better by Charice Pempengco

Let the sun refuse to shine
It won't be long before the days are brighter
If every steps an uphill climb
Carry on until they feel much lighter
For all the clouds up in the sky
For all the teardrops in our eyes

It can only get better
Be still my heart
It can only get better
We've come this far
It can only get better
I know it hurts (Ooh)
For what it's worth
It can only get better

While most Filipinos are disappointed and devastated with the two incidents, I think we need to focus more on what positive changes those unfortunate events could bring in our country, let's not focus and linger on the negative effects. Again let us not cry because it happened. Let us smile because it's over and learn from those experiences.

Let us think of the Filipinos that makes us proud like Lea Salonga, Charice Pempengco, Manny Pacquiao, Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye (if elected would be the first Filipina judge in California, as nominated by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger) among others, and stop criticizing our government, our race. It's saddening to see that the very people that put us down are our very own kababayans. We cannot expect our country to develop and progress if we keep on blaming each other. These incidences only show that a malignant cancer has long developed and still grows, it's our crab mentality. As long as we keep such a vicious attitude in us, we will never succeed in our goals of thriving, of succeeding.

With all these incidences, I am still, and will always be proud that I am a Filipino. Let us not think about what our country can do for us, what those people could do for our country, but think about in your own little area, what can you do to make your countrymen proud of you? Or at least, what can you do to help make your community better instead of just gossiping and ridiculing those people who tried their best?

"When you see a man of worth, think of how you may emulate him. When you see one who is unworthy, examine yourself." - Confucius



More Power Philippines!!
There is light at the end of the Tunnel!!
Thanks to the Author for opening our Eyes...

Jonha Ducayag Revesencio said...

Hi Remy,

I just thought it would help if we evaluate ourselves and see what we can do to lighten the burden and not add to it.

No unfortunate incident could snatch my pride of being a Filipino from me. Not for a single moment. I just hope that we stop criticizing the government because if we don't defend our own country, our own countrymen then who do we expect to defend us? Let's stop the crab mentality and start unity. Bangon Pilipinas!

richmoneyhabits said...

Great article once again Jonha!

In the midst of gloomy point of views coming from all over the world, your positive outlook provides a glimmer of hope to a nation that has been put down for too long.

You speak up what most of us Filipinos are yearning to voice out but have been afraid to - we are a great nation, in spite of our shortcomings.

One man's irresponsible acts of self-destruction may bring out catastrophic consequences to an already ailing nation but it cannot destroy the spirit of its people hungry for a better future!

Whether we let this unfortunate incident a battle cry to make our nation safe again is up to us. We make our own destiny. We can be great again. As they say, when you are at the bottom, there's no way to go but up.

More power to you!