Increases in the price of food, transportation and practically everything else have reminded Filipinos of their virtue-vice of resilience and fatalism.
Just this week, a survey firm said the majority of the people believed that fish varieties in markets have become smaller and more expensive. Traditionally, fish is associated with austere living. Not anymore.
We all know what has become of vegetables as well. Prices of what used to be simple fare on the tables of Filipino families have also reached outrageous levels.
Rice prices have also not returned to affordable levels—and was it not just a few weeks ago when the people were exhorted to make do with weevil-infested rice just to help manage the shortage?
This week we heard too that minimum rates for public transportation will also increase. The move is appreciated by drives and operators who have to deal with soaring oil prices.
For commuters, however, this is one more pain point—perhaps nothing they cannot tolerate, given that they have put up with so much already.
As the weeks pass approaching the Christmas holidays, there will be less money to go around. This will definitely temper Filipinos’ spending habits even as they would still want to keep up the veneer of abundance and gaiety.
Amid this backdrop, politicians are in a frenzy, not finding solutions but to registering their candidacies for the next elections. When the campaign period starts, there will again be grandiose promises of change, of good intentions, and bleeding hearts.
Here as with daily living, Filipinos may commit the grievous mistake of believing their only option is to suffer the inconveniences and bear the hardships, because this is the situation and there is nothing they can do about it.
But they are mistaken. There is something they can do. There is always something they can do.
It is time to stop reveling in the thought that Filipinos can bear anything that life throws at them. This tendency has allowed our leaders to foist their bad decisions and sense of entitlement on us for many generations. While the poor desperately try to make ends meet, we should also learn to be less forgiving of the clowns and the brats in what ought to be positions of leadership.