JAPANESE poet Matsuo Basho once made a haiku about a frog jumping into the still waters of an ancient pond and it was through a class in Literature that this simple poem found its relevance in today’s current events.

The point of the haiku was that something as seemingly calm and serene as an ancient pond, always has something sinister lurking beneath, all it takes to see is a little plop—a disruption.

After Benhur Luy decided to sing-a-song-of-sixpense to the tune of a billion-peso scam, the country threw a massive fit by organizing the million people march—reminiscent of but not as pivotal as EDSA I and II.

After Kae Devantes, a young accounting manager for McCann World group Philippines, was found brutally murdered in Cavite after a night out with friends in BGC, everyone realized how terribly unsafe the streets are regardless of massive chunks of the annual budget being allocated for “General Public Service” and “Defense” purposes.

In both circumstances, people were outraged, asking why these things happened now. Why wasn’t the government paying attention? Why was justice still moving at a glacial pace?

Corruption and killings aren’t new in this country, but what made them ascend to public consciousness was the fact that there was a catalyst for movement followed by a collective effort to seek truth from a huge amount of people.

Is that how awful this nation’s society is? Things will only be done when people openly demand it through mass propaganda?

The sad thing about these cases is that this isn’t the first time these things have appened. Behind our backs, sealed shut behind closed doors, and hiding in the dark, these things happen as regularly as breathing. In the case of the Napoles scandal, it isn’t just a case of a one-time spree, this is already an institution passed down generation to generation. You must be a fool to believe P-Noy when he says he is outraged by the blatant corruption in his regime. Please! He was senator for a very long time; he shook hands, worked with, and had dinner with the politicians tied to this scandal—he might not have needed the “help” most of his comrades got from Napoles because he hails from a well-off clan, but he certainly betrayed public trust by keeping mum about it. “Evil lurks where good [sic.] men stay silent.”

For Love and Kisses: Dollhouses and Porcelain people

And in Devantes’ case, how many people have died and disappeared along with the night by morning? How many car theft victims were murdered and are still seeking justice?

These things have been piling up, sinking beneath public consciousness doomed to be forgotten unless one case gets out of hand and all the muck under the pond resurfaces.

But now that these things are back to our attention, what shall we do about them? Rather, what shall we do about the pond?

Now is a perfect time to clean it up.

But we have to be quick, collective effort must not stop when evidence is presented or when the day for propaganda has ended. Collective effort must persevere, must be ready to push and pull through the process of change. In a society where your leaders have to be pressured to do what is right, it is your, our, duty as citizens who’ve put them in positions of power, to thrust them back to their jobs. There is a due process to follow but we must set a deadline and be strict with it, or else everything will sink back to the oblivion from whence they came.

Ideas will remain ideas if no one or only few, act. These major issues will remain issues only if we let them—the key is perseverance.


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