Good governance mocked!

One of the saddest realities that confronted me while serving the government for sixteen solid years is seeing with my two naked eyes, supposedly government “servants” turn abusive, arrogant, high-handed, and totally unprofessional individuals mocking good governance.

Look around you. Look around your work place. They are lurking there. Plain-looking people pretending to be important to cover up for deep-rooted insecurities and utterly lack of skills. Pathetic. Why are they in government in the first place? Your guess is as good as mine. What a disservice to the government.

You can be sure their favorite past time is sowing and peddling intrigues poisoning the environment of the work place. I totally pity the office they are in. What a rotten office atmosphere they would create and inhabit. Woe to the rest of mankind.

Not only that, they congregate in small groups to form a power base. Ah, people and their insatiable love for power. These small-minded mediocre supposedly government servants think that by creating a power base through a group of like-minded scoundrels, they have become a powerful clique and a force to reckon with. Such insipid thoughts.

With their lack of brilliance (will they ever have one?), they will never know that power comes from within. But what do they really know apart from name-dropping, passing second-hand information, and exploiting government resources? Small wonder the younger employees – those who are supposed to be guided and mentored – get totally disillusioned about good turned “bad” governance. Poor kids.

What a sad reality in government. Public servants turned rotten eggs. Good governance mangled, mocked, and ridiculed by the very people working in it. And how do they do this? Simple. By conveniently leaving the office during office hours, in groups served by a government vehicle to do their personal errands including a visit to the parlor! Not only that. They have themselves driven to their homes in the guise of official trips. And mind you, a one-way trip to their hometown consists of a two-hour land trip from Gen. Santos City. Calculate the fuel consumed for these so-called official trips to serve the whim and caprice of abusive government personnel (to transport them to their hometown), multiplied by the number of days a government vehicle is used for a year, and you will see how much they have corrupted government funds.

On top of that, these erring government servants also use government vehicles after office hours and during weekends for their “other” activities. And they stay in government facilities as well, in the guise of being itinerant workers for years! Give me a break. Seven years of government aid because you can’t find your own boarding house? Pathetic. Always at the mercy of government? They are probably our modern day nomads.

Oh well, that is good governance mocked. Rotten government workers paying lip service to good governance. What a shame. You should be ashamed of yourselves! In fact, you should resign from government. The government sector does not deserve you.

You are a mockery to good governance.

Note: This article was originally written as a newspaper column in February, 2007.

Single women and Valentine’s Day

On Sunday, I arrived from Cebu City after a brief visit to Bohol on occasion of my father’s birthday. Being a sentimental soul, homecoming is not only melancholic; it’s very restful and relaxing as well. It’s very comforting and works wonders to the soul. ”There’s no other place like home.” That sums up everything.

Sunday evening, I was staring on the computer screen wondering what in the world to write for my column this week when my dearest Chavacana bonita amiga Cecile inspired me to write about “single career women in their thirties and how they will celebrate Valentine’s Day”. Ha! What a master piece but tough job. How to write about it?

Let’s start. A lot of women these days are single. They are not only single; they have financial independence as well. Others call it careers. I have lots of single friends – gorgeous girls mind you – with good jobs and in their thirties. You may start wondering what’s with the age-thing? Oh well, women have different perceptions of life at thirty. Some look forward to it. Some fear it. Others celebrate it. Still some others want to get over it – the sooner the better.

In this modern age and date when women are hailed for having careers and living life with gusto, a lot of women still feel lonely at the end of the day. They still feel a void. They desire to belong to someone and be loved by someone. Isn’t this a universal need? Even men want to belong to someone, be cared for by someone.

Thus, single women in their thirties, and not in relationships bond together to celebrate their lives by maximizing their talents and gifts, not to mention their money. Look around; you will see them in groups in bars, restaurants, malls, movie houses, coffee shops, gyms, other likely places they tend to congregate. However, for some others who have excelled professionally and financially, and are comfortable by their lonesome from time to time, they have difficulty connecting with men because these able women have “ways” that intimidate men. I guess you have heard of the phrase: She is intimidating.

Women who have independent minds, are accomplished, moneyed, and going places almost naturally intimidate men who are just upstarts. So pray tell, how do they connect? There’s really no point of connection unless the more established party goes down one level to accommodate the upstart. Yeah I know it sounds harsh but the truth hurts. In any relationship, either of the parties involved has a bigger sacrifice over the other. That’s how a relationship works. There’s no perfect relationship. All relationships entail sacrifice.

So what do we do with thirty-something single career women on Valentine’s Day? Tough question. We cannot play cupid and find them their Valentines. I will not volunteer for the job.

I guess it’s the same thing every year then, minus the years that they were involved in a relationship. It’s like any other ordinary day. They go to work and at the end of the day, they go home and sleep. For some others, they congregate together and have dinner in a fancy restaurant culminating in either singing or dancing. For the more romantic, two single career women or three can have either a dinner date or simply lounge in a coffee house, chat about their “miserable hearts” while soft music appeases their romance-deprived souls. Ah, who’s stopping you from inventing anything to enjoy Valentine’s Day. Some would probably watch a concert, show or movie.

Still at the end of the day, our single, thirty-something career women will always find ways and means to enjoy life on Valentine’s Day, Valentine or no Valentine. After all, human beings whether man or woman, will constantly work on surviving ANY lonely day.

So girl, cheer up! It’s just one of those days when you feel the lack. The upcoming days will be better. Just fill your life with the little joys of the moment while Valentine is finding his way to you.

Note: This article was published in a local paper sometime in 2008.