Political Science 1 (POSC1) gave me more than what I expected. I chose this subject, because I want to learn more about the political system in the Philippines. I thought that we will be taught about the Philippine Constitution, the laws, and other legalities in the Philippines. I expected that we will be required to memorize and be familiar with various Republic Acts. But I was wrong. POSC1 increased my awareness about the political system in the Philippines not just by introducing me to different concepts, but by helping me to be more critical in grasping those concepts.
I would like to commend the way our teacher discusses the lessons. She always asks us about what’s new, or what are the news. Then she would relate that with our lessons. I really like it when she poses many different questions, and challenges us if we can do something to improve Philippine Politics and if we can serve the country. I always wanted to answer her most of the time, but unfortunately I was not selected (even if I raised my hand so high) when we were given the chance to talk.
I am from Abra, one of the election hotspots in the country which is used to be called “the killing field North of Manila.” Politics in our province can somehow represent the Philippine Political system in general. It is very dirty, corrupt, alarming, very disappointing, and seemingly hopeless (not to be pessimistic). I can really relate with most of the topics discussed, especially with the lectures about theoretical perspectives in Philippine Politics, elites in politics, campaigning, electoral violence, and corruption. Unfortunately, almost all the flaws in Philippine Politics discussed in those lectures were present and felt by the people in Abra.
Because of the frequent killings in our province (even if not during the election period) especially in the Municipality of Bangued, Abreños became desensitized with those problems. There are those political elites who have guns, goons, and gold. People know who they are, but they have the so-called “culture of fear.” Everyone seems to be afraid to talk about those big names, because if you did, you can expect that tomorrow, you will be shot to death. So, Abreños seem to have no choice but to consider those things “normal.”
This problem in our province motivates me to really want to do something to bring change in our political system. But for now, I do not have a concrete idea on how to do that. I remember our teacher said that we, as young people, are very idealistic, but when we grew older we will stop thinking about solving those problems and just live with them. Yes, I am very idealistic now. I really want to change the world in a way, like our teacher said. And I really hope that this desire will not just fade when I grew older, and be exposed with the different realities in the world.
I want to work in the government. I want to do development work with the government and with the Filipino people. I want to be in the social welfare sector or anything related with communication, where I can talk with people and affect their lives in a positive way. I want to work for the people who support my studies here in the University of the Philippines. I want to give back to them. I know I can also help the Filipino people even if I do not work in the government, but I think the government is a good place where we can start to implement change.
POSC1 increased my appreciation with Philippine Politics. I still love the Philippines even if it has so many imperfections. POSC1 ignited this desire to be able show my love for my country. In my own little ways I am trying to contribute in bringing about change in my beloved country.