Wednesday, October 25, 2006

College Boosters Boosting Country

BEHIND every good university are graduates that, in one way or another, give back to their alma mater. From every good university must arise graduates that contribute to the greater good of the country.

The University of the Philippine Alumni Association announced last week that they would start rating UP graduates in key government positions based on their “performance, commitment, lifestyles and integrity.”

Wouldn’t it be interesting if the Ateneo Alumni does something similar? I say “interesting” because there are some obvious problems dealing with grandstanding, money, and bureaucracy that’ll arise—problems that are admiringly or shamefully ignored by our maroon countrymen, but problems that are very much pronounced within the blue context.

But it would be nice to have eagles patrolling the skies for ill-intentioned comrades. What better way to be awakened in terms of how you’re doing your job than to be rated by your peers from your school?

And it would be a strong flame under that ass. Ateneo alums are a close-knit and passionate bunch. Something about being commonly hated by other schools that binds our alums even more tightly. Very frat-like, really. So why not protect your frat brother? Tell him off if he’s messing up. Whip him if he needs to do more to help others.

Who else is he going to listen to if not those who have worked their asses off within the same hollowed walls under the same legendary mentors?

It’s cool that the alumni like to have jubilee parties. They like to hold golf tournaments…great! If they want to hold five-star dinners for one another, so be it! They want to donate money to build a new wing, awesome!

But just as much as they should feel the need to give back by sucking up to the school, they owe it to the country to also ensure the integrity of their fellow graduates who are in a position to lead not just Ateneans but all Filipinos.


Disgraceful Dealing

APPARENTLY, there need not be another accidental oil spill for the nation to face another environmental disaster. Our government just signed up for one to happen.

The Japanese-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) signed by Pseudo-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in September seals our commitment to accept Japan’s toxic and hazardous waste.

Senior Trade Undersecretary Thomas Aquino said that only regulated waste would be allowed into the country, as if the word “regulated” makes being the waste dump for other countries OK.

Designing a deal that’s slightly slanted for personal benefit is a strength of our people (albeit a shady one). We call it abilidad. The art of the hustle knows no better Picasso than the Filipino.

But something tells me we’re losing our touch.

In exchange for allowing them to dump their waste on our territory, the Japanese get dibs on our finest nurses and caregivers.

Yup, we’re definitely losing it.

And in other environmental news, a caption in the Inquirer reports that Arroyo was “dismayed and called for a stricter enforcement of environmental laws” when she saw the thick smog over Metro Manila from where she was in Antipolo.

What was she doing in Antipolo? Playing golf. Lord knows she needs all the leisure time she can get with all that guilt built up inside her. (Unlike more intelligent skeptics, I have hopes in her actually having a conscience.)


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