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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

"Nicanor Perlas, Ang Kapal ng Mukha Mo!"

Ito siguro ang sinasabi ng iba ng mapanood sa kanilang telebisyon ang isang press conference na kung saan ay nagpahayag ng kanyang kahandaang maging Pangulo ng Pilipinas ang isang Nicanor Perlas. "Sino ba yan?" "Nuisance candidate na naman yan!" "Sira ulo siguro yan." "Mananalo ba yan?" Yan ang ilan lamang sa mga patong-patong na taong at komento ng marami nating kababayan sa kabila ng napakarami naman sa tin na gusto ng pagbabago sa ating bansa.

Nicanor Perlas Announces 2010 Part I from perlas on Vimeo.

Nicanor Perlas Announcer 2010 Bid for Presidency
More Videos at

Saan nga ba nakasalalay ang pagbabago? Mararating pa ba natin ito? Ano naman ang kinalaman nitong tanong na ito kay Nicanor Perlas? Narito po ang isang artikulo mula kay Panjee sa kanyang blog na Breathing Space: The Face of Change na pinamagatang "The Face of Change"

Will we know it when we see it?

We love to shake our fists in the air, demanding change in government, in society, change at last, change, change, change...but are we ready, as individuals, to will it? I wonder now as I encounter the various reactions to Nicanor Perlas and his intention to run for President of our country in 2010.

Is he winnable? Oh, what a dreamer. Brave, but he just won't win. Does he have money? What machinery does he have? I'm going for the "sure" candidate. He doesn't even figure in the surveys. Nobody knows him.

Do these questions and reactions bring authentic change to mind? How can we be vessels of change when our thinking echoes patterns of the past---the very consciousness that created the mess we're in? How can we be bearers of change when we don't even see our role in it? Winnability? Who and where did our present standards come from? Are they really relevant to you? Is that how you see the world? Surveys. This is another standard created by certain people in society that really only carries as much weight as we put on it. I haven't ever been approached to take part in any survey and the current results certainly don't reflect the sentiments of my network--which isn't puny, mind you. To me, they mean nothing. Surveys will not affect my vote because I vote with my head, heart and will in total and unsinkable harmony. I will put my actions behind my deepest and truest aspirations for this country, no matter what anybody else says.

When we say we want change, exactly how do we see this happening? Though there are a brave few who have stepped-up and decided to be part of this new energy no matter what, a lot are still hanging back with the fears and misconceptions of the past, despite their loud cries for change. So many of us are unable to see that change is upon us because we keep looking at the world through the lens of the past. Alas, new worlds do not emerge from there.

If we say we believe in one person but won't vote for him because he isn't "winnable", we are saying that our votes count for nothing. We are saying that winnability rests on the candidate alone and our participation in the process has no bearing on the outcome. When we say it is unrealistic to run without throwing hundreds of millions of pesos away, we are saying that integrity and qualifications don't count--the very things our country has been thirsting for, for decades. We are not just saying that the practice of spending a crazy amount of money is an acceptable standard; we agree that it is valid. When we say no one knows him, we're saying we won't take the time to and assume others won't, or that new and unheard of Filipinos-- never mind that they are qualified or that we've been praying for them all our lives--will never stand a chance because, well, they're not popular enough.

Has any popular candidate today and in the past, with lots of money to burn, and who met all our so-called ideas of "winnability", topping all possible surveys, ever given us the change we so need and want? How many times have we convinced ourselves it was smarter to vote for someone who would win, instead of someone we wanted to win? Where has that brought us? Has anybody who has only ever followed existing molds ever inspired a nation?

It is always those who create new and untrodden trails who do. When there is someone new at last, will we be able to recognize him or will we still be looking for the old where he stands, because our standards are stuck there, unable to move towards the future? Are we really clear about the change we want to make happen and are we sure we will able to move in its direction?

For as long as we are just mouthing the words, we cannot be vessels of the new. If we are tied down and immobilized by concepts of the past that have been rammed down our throats by the external world, and not moved by our inner longing, heartfelt hope and higher thinking, we are zombies of the past. If we think that change is created outside by others--the system, the leader--then it truly cannot happen in this lifetime. But if we can finally wake up to our human calling of being co-creators of this world, able to not only destroy as we too often do, but to restore, heal and transform what is around and beneath us, then can you imagine the possibilities?

Change begins inside us in mostly painful ways. I think of the pain as making space, denting the perfect sphere of clay so that you can begin to shape the chalice. It is painful because what was--whatever that is--can no longer be. It means finding squares and triangles where circles used to be and letting go of things that no longer work. It is a difficult but rewarding process that cannot happen without our mindful participation and our love for what is true and just.

Change is upon us. Obama winning (he wasn't winnable either, does anyone remember?)is just part of this larger picture of change wanting to happen in the world and waiting for us to be ready at last. It can happen here but only if we acknowledge that it isn't and never was in the hands of one or a few. It is in yours, too, should you decide to take it on and see it through. This is the moment when we can finally make the shift from "why" to "why not".

Really, why not? Let us not wait for change to come to us; instead, let us allow it to come through us. I think it has become ever more clear that it is the only way true and positive change can manifest today.

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