To where is Juan dela Cruz going? Does this rocky road, where he is trailing, lead him to a mountain peak? Or his is a fruitless journey bound to a deep chasm of torment and suffering? Who is his guide? Where is his hope? How can he be sure of his destination?
What do top execs in high-rise estates based on head-turning business districts in Metro Manila or in the comfort of their multi-million dens in the Park, Plains or Ville do? Do their comfort and luxury ease the pain of JDC? Likewise, what do academes from top-notch universities across the country, whose names are packed with multiple degrees and scholastic achievements, contribute to the bruised and battered corpse of Mr. dela Cruz? Moreover, do our legislators, who are seated comfortably on their large and rotating foamed chairs inside their air-conditioned rooms behind the grand hall and wall of Batasan, hear the gasping plead Juan? Or are they just busy sucking the milk that they get from the enormous cow under their desks?
Have we forgotten the time when our elementary SIBIKA teacher taught us, with all eagerness and bliss, the concept of bayanihan? Have we forgotten the contemporary painting of our National Artist, Carlos ‘Botong’ Francisco, depicting strong and abled men happily carrying a nipa hut on their shoulders? Are we numb enough not to feel the pain, agony and suffering that Juan is experiencing as he drags his hut, alone and weary, through a winding road packed with sharp rocks and tremendous boulders? Where are our strong and abled men? Where are you?
We, Filipinos, are indeed experiencing turmoil – the wrath of nature coupled with seemingly unending poverty, injustice and economic instability. But not all Filipinos are ‘directly’ experiencing such difficulty. There are those who are strong and abled – capable of moving the society, capable of doing something for the ones who, by themselves, are helpless. We must do something. Let us not rely on God alone. We must use the talents and graces which He has given. We must combine our efforts – no matter how small they may be – to lift-up the nearly dilapidated hut of our motherland and rebuild it on the peak of true progress and integral development. Bayanihan.