Asean as a region is throbbing as the 10 nations chart their individual and collective efforts to build its presence, response and influence in the area. The 10 countries are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Though there is Asean, there is a marked difference in orientation per country, especially when it comes to relationships with China and the United States.
The Bayanihan spirit is by no means dead and forgotten. Filipinos remain committed to help, no matter how big or small, and no matter how difficult their own lives are
As we become in the era of Duterte, we change and that makes things permanent, long term and, hopefully, a better Philippines. Heraclitus said, “There is nothing permanent except change.” And change makes things, communities and nations better.
Despite the uncertainty and devastation, there are stories of hope and inspiration. Batanguenos helping each other, as well as Cavitenos, Bulakenyos, Ilocanos, Kapampangans, Davaoenos and others sending help to our province.
Permutations are about variations on combinations in the field of statistics. Politics is about combinations as well. Possible pairings are Duterte-Marcos, Duterte-Go and Duterte-Villar, going by the power blocs which support the administration.
There are so many conflicts going on locally and internationally. Amidst calls for world peace, tensions between countries, regions and superpowers have taken over the stories of 2019 and early 2020. Amidst calls for unity, the growing divide between President Duterte's supporters and critics continues to widen, given policy, management and ethical differences.
ABS-CBN is the biggest political party in the country because it can make and unmake a candidate. Fair because ABS-CBN has played the game of politics well. The heat radar in this network is so high that during campaigns or any political event, they are always the trump card for some groups out to sow intrigues, chaos and the like.
So many things happening around the world and we are on the threshold of growth, infrastructure development, reducing poverty, gaining the second wind for peace in Mindanao and enhancing social amelioration programs in education and healthcare. So much work remains still, and we just cannot rest on the laurels of the Duterte administration for to do so would be to let time pass and other countries catch up to what we, as a nation, hopes to accomplish in the next 10 years.
Clarity is my fervent wish for the Duterte administration and the country in 2020. Clarity, in terms of policy reform agenda and implementation by the administration to create more job and business opportunities, with emphasis on agriculture and rural development.