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JR Lopez Gonzales 11:04 AM 1

Long before running for the Senate in 2010, Attorney Alex Lacson was able to publish a book entitled, “12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do to Help Our Country” in 2005. The book became a bestseller largely due to Max Soliven’s column entitled, “A Filipino of Faith” in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. The book tells us that it’s not about the people placed on the pedestal. It is us, the Filipino people who holds the country’s fate.


There’s this book I encourage everyone should read (many of you might have actually read it). This book is a best-seller on its first release about five years ago. I deem it necessary for the book's main points to be disseminated as a post-election eye-opener. I see this book’s points fitting to what I would like to share on this blog.

I’ve already made reference on how defective our society is on my previous entries. We need to act now and change our olden and rotten ways. The nice thing about the book is that it opens new insights and remedies on how to make Philippines a better place to live. The book proves the power of little good things that incrementally would help restore our country.

Here are the 12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do to Help Our Country:


1. Follow traffic rules. Traffic rules are the most basic in this country where pedestrian crossing the pedestrian lane actually stop for passing vehicles. Following them meant we are also following our nation’s laws. Following traffic rules is the lowest form of national discipline we can develop as a people. A culture of discipline is crucial to our destiny as a nation, I deeply believe that this is important in a country of trisikad, tricycles, and jeepneys.

2. Whenever you buy or pay for anything, always ask for an official receipt. Asking for ORs leads to higher tax collections, which means more resources for our government. This could strengthen our economy and (hopefully), lead us to progress.

3. Don’t buy smuggled goods. Buy local. Buy Filipino. In a society where a lot of smuggled Chinese products enter our shores, our money should support our own economy. Bayo, Penshoppe, Bench and more are Filipino-made. Buying Filipino means supporting the Filipino. Or, if you read the book, the suggestion there is: 50-50 (that is, if you really have a hard time looking for a quality Pinoy product).

4. When you talk to others, especially foreigners speak positively about us and our country. Many of us fail to do this (which includes, ahem, me). Although we may speak of the true problems of our country to other people, letting foreigners have a positive view on the Philippines could surely make a difference. “Every Filipino is an ambassador of our country”, Lacson reasons. Wherever we maybe, we are salesmen of our country.
Carrabuena: 'Di dapat tularan.

5. Respect your traffic officer, policeman and soldier. Respect honors and dignifies a man. The Bible, in Romans 13:1-2 says, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities...”. It compels him to do his job right.
6. Do not litter. I’ve spoken of Singapore as one of the best model for us to emanate. Let us dispose our garbage properly. We need to segregate, recycle, and conserve. As one of my profs in MSU-IIT said, “The debt of a country’s poverty can be seen on their sanitation”. We should make Philippines a beautiful country. (The Municipality of Linamon, Lanao del Norte’s Model on Solid Waste Management is a good example to all local government units).
7. Support your church. When we help our church, we help The Almighty in His works on earth.

8. During elections, vote. Last General Elections, we witnessed the historic automated polls in the Philippines. By doing our solemn duty, we fight for our right to make our own destiny both as a people, and as a nation.

9. Pay your employees well. While it is true that a business’ main purpose of existence is for profit, a company must bring prosperity not only to its owners but also to its employees. Paying them well helps their families, too.
10. Pay your taxes. Tax is the bread and butter of the government (Re: 'Lifeblood Theory'). It is what builds our public schools, hospitals and roads. It is what pays our teachers, soldiers and other public servants.
11. Adopt a scholar or a poor child. To illustrate this point, let me share this:

Once in one of my Comparative Politics class under Dr. Marilou Nanaman back in college, an American teaching at MSU-IIT gave a talk about his hometown in Eastern Europe. After the pep talk, personal questions were asked. He was asked if how many children he has. All chuckled with his answer that he’s got SIX children. But all of us were enlightened with his answer why he had a lot of kids. He explained that after his second child, he has intentionally undergone a vasectomy and adopted four different orphans of different racial backgrounds to be his legitimated children.

His story deeply left a mark in my heart. There are many rich people in this country, wouldn't it be nice if they would use their resources to help poor but deserving students? Investing on our youth is investing on our country’s future. A kind of value that is really close to our family's heart.
12. Be a good parent. I remember the passage in the bible that says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6 King James Version). We should teach our children to follow the law and love our country. If we start planting seeds of patriotism in the hearts and minds of our youth today, they would become patriots of our country in the future. Families are the core, the basic units of the society. We need to make the foundation strong and become responsible parents.
If we aim to be like Singapore, Korea, or Japan, we need to be good citizens. We can by doing simple things which would compliment to a successful government. Attorney Alex Lacson's pamplet is a nice way of letting us realize that we can change our country. As Lacson put it in his book: “The answer is in us as a people; that hope is in us as a people".

Author's Note: This article appeared on my old blog about two years back.

Photo Credit:
http://www.arkipelagobooks.com/images/12_little_things_every_filipino_can_do.jpg

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1 comments 12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do to Help Our Country (Addenda and Annotations)

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