Many have forgotten that the Philippines was a nation built on complaints.
Complaints are annoying. Most of us would prefer to just take things as they are and smile as if nothing’s the matter. We try to avoid complaining as much as we can, maybe because of the ingrained “Filipino hospitality” mentality that we have that we would rather inconvenience ourselves rather than to inconvenience others with our issues.
However, in this current crisis, we should all be complaining. It’s the only way we could get some answers on how to survive this pandemic.
Complaining works, and for most of us, this is all we could do. Holed up in our homes, unable to leave and take to the streets, those who are fortunate enough to have the internet at their disposal finally have time to fend off fake news sites, troll pages, and flood this administration of cries for demand. And progress is slowly being made as the younger generation is making itself more visible, through donation drives, support for the frontliners, and serving as the voice for the voiceless in this time of lockdown.
Last night’s presidential address proves that the people’s demands for accountability are finally being heard. More concise and coherent, it was an improvement compared to his previous addresses that sounded more like your rambling uncle after a drinking binge and not a president who understands the gravity of the situation. In addition, the DOH has finally increased COVID-19 testing, stating that they will be able to test 1,000 people per day.
But all is still not well. There are still those who try and suppress these voices by saying “Reklamo ka kasi nang reklamo!” and “Sumunod ka nalang kasi!” without any regard to those who are truly suffering these past few weeks. Many acclaimed doctors and patients have passed away because of the misuse of the already lacking testing kits, with the DOH opting to prioritize “VIPs” instead of actual PUIs and PUMs who need it urgently. Certain LGU heads are mishandling the goods to help the marginalized sector to the point that it’s become a meme goldmine and its mayors the laughingstock of the country. How can we, with this entire madness going on, stop our “reklamos” and to just obey with our heads down?
During the Spanish colonization, Filipinos were being maltreated by the Spaniards, imposing their laws and reducing our people to mere slaves, or “Indios” as they were called. It was not until heroes like Rizal and Bonifacio started to see the problem with the Spanish rule and decided to complain about it, with Rizal penning his novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo as a form of criticism against the Spanish government. Bonifacio went on to create the Katipunan, which eventually became one of the biggest driving forces that rid us of Spain. These heroes are just two of many who helped shaped the nation because they decided to stand up and demand for accountability for those who were being oppressed.
So the next time someone tells you to stop complaining, remind them of these heroes, remind them of how if not for their complaints, we would probably still be “Indios” enslaved.
Have you made any complaints lately? Tell us in the comments!