I am in Kuala Lumpur at the moment and I am turning green with envy. My sentiment, of course, is why can’t my own country be as progressive, as clean, as well-planned as this cosmopolitan metropolis at the muddy confluence (hence the name) of the Gombak and Klang rivers. There is a palpable vibrancy that reflects the optimism and confidence of the people. It is a beautiful place to live in and the residents have many reason to be proud of their city.
The day I arrived here in KL, I also came across an article about the twenty best countries around the world to invest in now. And guess which country topped the list. The Philippines! I should have been happy and more optimistic and confident about my country. Instead, I was sad. Very sad that there is a such a great chasm between what is actual and potential. Having just moved back to the country recently, I can also sense the palpable energy in the Metro Manila. But it is more of panic, urgency, and a rage that tries to make both ends meet, to just survive today to get to tomorrow, to just hang in there until the present storm(s) blow over. Yet, through it all, people can still smile, always hopeful that there is a better tomorrow in store for them, for us.
Between act and potency is intentionality, a reason for being, a cause for a happening to occur. I get the feeling that we are a people confused about what we want, not clear on what we value, unable to articulate what we want as a people. And to make matters worse, we do not have thought leaders who will articulate our national intentions, no moral leaders who will define what is important to us, no political leaders who will inspire us to make gladsome changes happen. And this has been our history as a people.