I HAVE been walking around our village in Las Piñas every morning for years now as a way to keep myself fit.
Aside from starting my day with a healthy lifestyle, the routine allows me to get familiar with my neigborhood on a regular basis.
My neighbors notice my activity and appear to be impressed on how I perform it with consistency.
But yesterday morning was different. My neighbors saw I was no longer alone walking. With me doing the exercise is my wife.
One neighbor, my good friend Mar Avila, smiled at us and gave an interesting remark: “Mas masarap talaga ‘pag dalawa.”
I understood his statement in so many ways -- that exercising is fun if you do it with wife; that walking is easier when you have company; that what we did boosts relationship.
But the most important observation I had was that, after a very long time, I and my wife were going together in the same direction.
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In many relationships, direction is an issue. The one between the government and its people is the pressing kind.
The Philippines is way behind its neighbors in Southeast Asia in terms of economic progress because of such issue.
It’s sad to note that our country have failed to build a healthy relationship between the government and its people for so many years, leaving us without direction.
We had one shining moment in 1986 when millions of Filipinos united and decided to take the road to freedom and succeeded. But that’s one-sided -- only the people chose the way.
After the bloodless revolution, there was a chance for the people and the government to go forward as one, but it never happened even until now.
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While a relationship should be mutual, there should always be a ‘navigator’ to plot the direction.
The navigator could be the man or the woman in the relationship, depending on who has the skill to determine the terrain, weather, and other factors to consider.
In the Philippines, the government clearly has the resources to deal with the important factors in setting up policies on economy, peace and order, foreign affairs, military and more.
While the people are bound to follow policies implemented by the state, we have Congress and the Judiciary to run to in case such policies are not supportive to public interest.
And sometimes, we tend to abuse this right to check the government which I think is the root of the problem plaguing the sensitive relationship between the state and the people.
In other words, the Philippines is not moving forward because there’s a stalemate between two powers.
If only they can agree and move in the same direction, I think progress will be with us sooner than we think.
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