On the Issue: Thoughts for the Day – 26 August

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Did you join the march earlier? Are you mad, furious, infuriated, and [insert another adjective here] regarding the issue at hand? We have the right to be mad, mad about how some of our elected officials is spending public funds. We can be mad about the allegation that JLN has managed to draw out funds from the PDAF into to her very own coffers. We can be mad about exposes and frauds left and right.

Corruption is a bad thing right?

Now let us sit down for a moment and chat, do you drive an automobile? Let us say you do drive. Look straight into my eyes and answer this – what would you do if a traffic officer flags you down for a traffic violation? If you decided to give the officer coffee, snack, doughnut, cronut, doussant, or whatever you call it money to get away – is it not some form of corruption? Tell me. Tell me all the excuses that you have, but through that act, you have committed the crime that you despise the most.

This is the problem, we are mad at other people for being corrupt but it is perfectly okay for us to corrupt other people. We go to rallies to express our anger and frustrations against corruption but we find all excuses to use fixers to corrupt other people in order to process our transactions faster.

When we say no to corruption, there should be no grey areas, no ifs and buts. It will not change overnight, but it is up to us to starve it off.

It has to begin with us – the only question is would you do it?

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Chocolate Crinkles

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I grew up in a very religious family. When I was very young, my father’s aunt who we all dearly call “Tita Madre” (loosely translates to “Aunt Nun”, or “Sister Aunt”) regularly visits us when she has time away from the convent. During those visits, she usually brings treats and sweets for me and my brother and at one point she even bought a basketball for us two boys to play (me and my younger brother).

In August of 2001, she joined our creator, whom she served all throughout her life in heaven due to old age.

During the wake, the nun who looks after her allowed us to go through the things that she have left behind – the nun allowed us to take some items as remembrance and keepsakes of her such as the rosary she is using and some that she have personally made. She has also left behind some food items and one of those that caught my attention is a plastic jar of chocolate crinkles.

For those of you who are not familiar, in this particular religious community any food item that is brought in will be pooled to be shared equally among the members of the religious community. So if someone gives out particular goods or food items it is divided equally among themselves so everyone can enjoy.

That particular plastic jar of chocolate crinkles came from that pool.

“Why did she keep this?” I asked.

“She would always tell us these are for the two boys”, the nun replied.

At that point in time, tears start streaming from my eyes as I hold on to the plastic jar. For the last time, she managed to express her love for us in a very simple way through a plastic jar of crinkles. I personally have become attached to that jar that I managed to keep it for months if not years with crinkles intact as a symbol of her love for us in a simple way.

Tita Madre, you’ll be forever in our hearts.

Drafts & Anecdotes is a collection of my short personal stories about the different experiences I have had over the past few years. I hope you enjoy reading my anecdotes and feel free to suggest any topic that you want me to write about next by dropping me a simple note