Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My Life

While I hope and pray that our community is the worst case scenario for corruption within the DENR,  and other government agencies, I truly fear that this might not be so.

Many people who have heard about our situation might be wondering what all the fuss is about. In an email to a friend here in Lianga I said: "I guess by becoming a new father again with our daughter Mikaela now 4 months old, it strikes me that in some of my dealings with individuals here I am forced to play the parental role. As I said today, many times I've had to explain to government officials that I can not give SOP's because they are illegal, and if I do anything illegal here I stand the chance of deportation, being taken away from my family. So far with all those I've explained this to, not one has relented in their request for money they did not earn, nor deserve. When more people learn of my campaign, I'm sure they will wonder when I will relent, my answer, the same amount of time it took these government officials to relent, keeping in mind that none has yet.

I truly sometimes feel that many people I interact with must think I'm stupid, less intelligent, or just so naive that I would believe some of the excuses and stories I've heard here. News Flash! I'm not stupid; I'm an honor student with 4 college degrees, 17 years Federal Service with 8 of those years as a Search and Rescue crewman on helicopters for the United States Coast Guard. The following 9 years I worked for the United States Army, as a Civil Servant; Electronic Technician, Electronic Equipment Inspector, and Contracting Officers Representative for Security Systems. I have a host of talents that I don't even discuss out of modesty."

I am a man of the 21st Century and I stand for what is right and fair. I am honest sometimes to a fault and honestly my truthfulness has sometimes worked against me. I spent my early years mostly with my Great-Grandparents, for my father, God rest his kind soul, was committed presumably with Tuberculosis to a hospital for all but a few months of my first 5 years of life. My mother, bless her dear heart, did the best she could by providing an income that would support us while also providing support for my father who was feeling healthy as a horse but was not allowed out into society. It was after the death of my mother that I made the decision to come to the Philippines

Those early years I was taught by my devoted Christian Great-Grandparents, the values and morals of hard working country folk. Values and morals that live with me to this very day. I was raised with the belief that God is a caring Parent to each of His children, that God never wants bad things to befall His people, but freewill prevents Him from coming directly to our aid. I was taught to let your actions speak louder than your words, that presenting a Christen nature to those around you was your obligation as one of God's devoted children. That Jesus Christ was the only son of God, and that His life, teachings, and actions should always guide us in our daily lives. I was taught to sing harmony by my Great-Grandmother who would sit with me in her lap for hours singing to me, sometimes trying to get me to sleep. At 15, I would use that knowledge of singing to fill the role of Music Minister for our church, White Mills Baptist Church. I was taught caring compassion by my Great-Grandfather who would put me in his 1958 Chevy and ride me around the neighborhood to get me to sleep after the songs of Grandma failed to accomplish the task. Later after my father was finally released his teachings continued to forge me into the person I am today. One life lesson I vividly remember was his instructions to both my brother and I: He stated: “Son, don't you ever let me catch you starting a fight, but also never let me catch you running from a fight that someone else starts. Turn the other check when you can, but when someone gives you no choice, make sure you are the one who ends the fight. You might get knocked around a little, but in the end; your life will have much greater meaning when you have endured the struggles that this life has to offer.” I live by the teachings of my elders, for I have always known that it is the elders who are so much wiser than I.

This fight against corruption was not started by me; it was started by those who wish to take from me that which I have worked my whole life to achieve. They wish to take away the comfortable living I could right now be providing to my family. They want to steal, in a terroristic act of corruption, that which I wish to offer to the community I've chosen to call home. An offer from my heart in loving kindness for the good things I've achieved in my life. My Great-Grandmother would say the devil lives within them. They wish to take away the kind-hearted, generous spirit that leads me to share enthusiastically with others. With my background in the church, and the many values and morals I stand for, I can not possibly permit these things to happen.

This country has decisions to make, the leaders here have decisions to make; will you make the right choices and let this country become the prosperous paradise it could be? Now is the time to choose carefully which side you want to endorse. Do you wish to allow corruption to continue to erode the lives of the citizens here, or are you prepared to take a stand against this evil that exists here. Each citizen must join in the fight against corruption for the sake of their pride and in support of their family who is depending on them for their future. While the new President seems intent on putting an end to corruption, he cannot achieve this goal without the help of all the citizens of this nation. The task is too monumental for him to fight alone. Join in this fight now, let's all join together to fix the problems here for all of us and our children.

Join us and others at http://stchristine.blogspot.com, http://kuro-kuro.org, and http://www.facebook.com/mark.and.merejen, look for even more chances to make your voices heard.

God Bless and protect each of my neighbors and friends, my new countrymen.

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We are trying our best to support our community in every way we can. Sometimes we face struggles, which interferes with our timetable, but we can only do so much. Please be patient with us, we are doing the best we can.