Another raging issue has hit the homeland – the conviction for libel of Maria Ressa of Rappler. The signing of the controversial Anti Terrorism Bill may not be far behind. Another set of divisive issues that is wracking our people. We cannot seem to have peace and harmony as a country even for a moment.

I am a child of both Edsa 1 and Edsa 2. I too have marched in the streets since the days after the First Quarter Storm in the 70s. Not in the limelight for sure, but yes I was there. There was a welcome respite as the Lord gifted me with a family and I joined the professional workforce. I have even been privileged to be part of reform minded governments after the two Edsas.

Makes one ask, like the corona virus pandemic, when will this end? Or will this end at all? Will we ever have relative peace in our land? We seem to be in a continuing mode of fighting one another. Can we ever have a time when we will achieve a semblance of a National Team Spirit as Manny Gonzalez writes about in his Kindle book Crazy Wild Ideas which I referred to in my previous post? There are other battles we have to fight as one united country, such as the stab to our sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea or even Benham Rise. But it seems we cannot fight as one united country. And that is a formula for failure.

It is easy to be exasperated, as some have. It is easy to lose heart as some have. It is easy to give up as others may have. But quit we must not. We must not give up on what I believe is still there even if it is just a dying ember of our individual or collective dream of a better Philippines. We have a God who, notwithstanding everything, is in control.

Some years back, Tony Meloto of Gawad Kalinga, ask me to write my thoughts of what I dream the Philippines to be as part of the book he was writing. I do not have now a copy of the article I wrote then. But I still recall sharing that I do not dream of a country filled with skyscrapers nor one with the highest GDP, nor of more millionaires landing in the Forbes list of richest people. I just dream of a people living in dignity as befit those created in the image and likeness of God, and not in debilitating poverty. I just dream of a people who can equally access food, water, health, education, jobs, housing and other necessities for a peaceful and respectable life, and not mansions or opulence.

I guess that might really be too much to aspire for, but we can dream, can’t we?

I also recall attending the launching of Dream Philippines, a movement also in pursuit of a better country spearheaded by Dr. Jess Estanislao and Alex Lacson of the Institute for Solidarity of Asia.

I’m sure these and other dreams for our country continue to be there, lodged in many Filipino hearts. We must not allow these dreams to be extinguished and die.

Dream on Philippines, let us pray even more, and even when we think we can’t do much, let us do something good for our country in whatever way we can, where ever in the world we may have been planted.

We must continue to hope. For as we sing in CFC, “Though the sorrows may last for the night, His joy comes with the morning.” That is for sure. We can hold on for one more day, or whatever it takes. The Lord’s word is true. We can rely on that.