“Kaya ‘di umuunlad ang Pilipinas” is a mentality that has to stop.

Although its popular use showcases a commendable level of observation skills and provides a lively commentary on various social issues, it propagates an abusive level of negativity. “Anong klaseng irrigation system ang mayro’n natin? Palagi na lang bumabaha nang ganito,” “Bakit kasi nila pinapapara ‘yung dyip sa maling babaan?” “Ginagawa namang negosyo ‘yung pulitika,” are among many examples of statements attached to the phrase, and they are more often than not directed outward, towards a person or a phenomenon outside of oneself.

One must then challenge her/himself to look inward after identifying a problem, and to resist the temptation to solely express dissatisfaction about a certain state of affairs. The issue must be explored: Ano na’ng gagawin natin? Ano’ng puwede kong gawin? Invest in agriculture and technology. Familiarize yourself with the safest and already established loading and unloading areas along a specific route. Exercise your right to suffrage. Always ask.

I want to learn how to ask the right questions, to propose a set of solutions, and to identify which solution will be the most appropriate to an issue at hand and the set of circumstances it works within. That then leads to the question: Paano tayo makatutulong sa kaunlaran ng ating bansa? Or: Paano na tayo tutulong? In other words, and as a priest in our parish said, “Mabuting balita ka ba sa ibang tao?” It is not about telling others what cause to believe in, but showing why it is worth believing in through your everyday choices at work, at home, and everywhere in between. It is not about settling for the best, either, because the best is a specific point in time. It is about continuously doing and aiming for the better, because the comparative keeps us moving, always striving.

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