It was a hot afternoon. Ryan and Jana sat on a table near a shady tree taking snacks.
“How was your voting?”, Ryan asked.
“Great! I was able to finish my voting without any interruptions.”, Jana answered.
“Same here.”, Ryan replied.
They continued eating until Ryan noticed a paper beside Jana’s arm. He looked at it and read.
“You have a fine list right there.”, Ryan remarked.
“Yeah! These are my bets on who I believe can lead the country to the change we’ve been waiting for.”, Jana said.
“These are also mine! How interesting!”, Ryan exclaimed.
“You know, I don’t want to bring my heavy heart again here.”, Jana said, “I already had it in the precinct. But I feel like I have to.”
“I’m here to listen.”, Ryan comforted Jana as he patted her shoulder.
“I feel like it’s useless for me to do this every three years. They can persuade with their promises and forget them when they’re in the position. They can have everything, but they don’t have a legacy to leave with what they’re doing.”, Jana expressed.
“I should know. My father was an ex-governor.”, Ryan said.
Ryan told Jana that his father ran for governor with the intent of helping people making their lives better. He was a man of sound individuality, well-respected virtue, strong convictions, self-discipline, influential leading change, and God-centered faith. This made him win the people’s hearts and the elections.
His first few years were difficult. He was discouraged by his co-officials, whom they find his proposed programs to be impossible or unrealistic. But the results proved different to what they thought. He was able to make the the place become one of the top global tourist destinations, one of the top places for foreign investment, and one of the safest places for residency.
While many praised his excellent leadership, several criticized his “boorish, arrogant, snobbish and show off” attitude. However, no one could prove of it. But his critics didn’t stop him as they revealed his dark past. This made him experience several losses. But with the crisis he went through, he found the peace in his heart and the courage to admit his mistakes. He faced the public in an interview to confirm the rumors and expressed his purest intention to change for the better. He kept his word, and little by little he won back the people’s trust. But that didn’t end there.
There was a time where he was arrested for corruption, something he would never do. The people knew that as well and suspected that someone framed him. After months of investigation, it turned out that his personal secretary was the mastermind. He betrayed him with the intent of acquiring his wealth and staying power. When the secretary was found out, he attempted to escape from the country but failed to do so. Eventually, he surrendered and admitted the crime. He also admitted of his responsibility of spreading rumors about the governor. He did these out of jealousy of him.
Throughout his 18 years in service, he kept a clean track record and won numerous awards for his career achievements. He then announced his retirement to focus on his business ventures.
“I can testify to your Dad’s kindness. I still remember the time we slept in your place to do our thesis.”, Jana said, “But it’s unfortunate that his successor didn’t follow his footsteps.”
“He has good intentions. But unfortunately, he was swallowed by the fame, money and entitlement. He couldn’t execute his plans properly.”, Ryan said.
“You know, this kind of attitude is not only prevalent in politicians but also in every Filipino.”, Jana remarked, “I’m now wondering why we’ve become that way.”
“Would it be from history… or just plain evil from human nature?”, Ryan asked.
“I don’t know. But for whatever reason, this has to stop.”, Jana answered.
“If that’s the case, we can’t trust our chosen officials to bring true change in our country should they win in their positions.”, Ryan said.
“Then what can bring true change in the country?”, Jana asked.
“True change starts in ourselves. When done effectively, we can influence others to do the same.”, Ryan answered. “It won’t be easy. But there’s hope when we continue further.”
“It might take long.”, Jana commented.
“I don’t mind. As long as we keep moving forward.”, Ryan replied.
Jana had thoughts of what Ryan said.
“I’m hoping that one day, we all learn to love our country. We care for the issues surrounding her. We know her history and her identity, for it’s also ours. If we forget our past, we can’t understand our present and eventually can’t move to our future. Only we can solve our problems. If no one’s willing, who else will?”, Ryan said.
“I think I’m starting to understand you.”, Jana said, “I’m starting to understand our past a little bit through the various historical films lately. I hope all Filipinos will learn from them.”
“The only thing we can do now from here’s that we learn to work together with our leaders to let true progress happen, discipline ourselves in anything thrown at us, and most importantly to not be apathetic to our surroundings.”, Ryan said.
Jana nodded in agreement with him.
The sun started to set. The two stood up together and walked on the way home. They walked with a ray of hope inside that things will be better from their current situation.