Tuesday, July 7, 2009

not your usual shopping vacation

this post is LONG overdue.

it has been but a few days since i ended my first vacation to the lion city and i'm already dreading to forget the many insights i had from the trip. though i never really expected anything much from singapore besides experiencing their famed discipline and their chili crab and cereal prawns, this trip afforded me an enlightening glimpse of what really made this island nation what it is today, and hopefully, what we can also do to help our own situation.

something that struck me while kuya and i walked along the popular shopping streets and weaved in and out of people of various ethnicities was how this nation, in such a short time, just around 30 years or so, was able to transform itself from a struggling territory, freshly recovering from the aftermaths of war and left to fend for its own, into the first world country that it is today, a rich nation notorious for its drive to excel and whose success at developing itself is now envied and emulated by other nations. indeed, what singapore had to endure right after the japanese devastated the country and the Malayan Federation turning it's back on them must have been truly incredible. devoid of natural resources to support itself, the country only had its people and probably the sheer will to survive, to depend on. led by an unwavering leader and adapting a policy that required clear vision and driven by a bullish stubbornness against mediocrity and failure, singapore was able to attain for itself something that, to this day, no other country have yet done, that is, to rise from a once impoverished land to what is now an economic superpower.

this trip was definitely not one of my usual touristy trips. though i still did what was expected of someone who goes to singapore, that is to shop (though i really didn't buy as much as i ate! hehehe), part of the agenda my kuya and i arranged for ourselves was to spend an entire day understanding this city-nation and learn what really was it that made it tick. how we decided to to do this... we went to the museums.

here you see the diverging of interest between my kuya and i. while he got himself excited by being able to share with me all the valuable lessons he learned from the words and works of lee kuan yew and singapore's other visionaries, i on the other hand walked around the corridors and galleries in awe of the preservation work done on the museum structures, as well as the modern expansions added to it. perusing the superb architecture of the museums rekindled dreams i have had of renovating our own national museum and making it worthy too of international envy.

anyway, freshly inspired will idealistic zeal, kuya being saturated with ideas from the masters while i was emotionally charged from the art as well as learning of the multicultural history of the country, he and i had a nice discussion while on the commute back to our hotel as to what we could do (theoretically, for now) to maybe help uplift the sad situation of our country. using singapore as a template, we, well, kuya mostly, talked on ways as to how our country can finally break away from being third world. now, i won't really bore you with all the things we discussed, but of all the things we did discuss, one thing had me going the most, that is, education. education and having our civil servants to be one of the highest paid members of society. government officials, teachers, soldiers, that way, you attract the best to RUN, EDUCATE AND PROTECT the country.

diba? it makes so much sense. it's actually frustrating when you think about it since we as a nation have more than enough to actually help ourselves and then some, and yet, we still remain one of the worst countries in the asia. it's rather insulting, really.

grabe... i'm getting emotional again just thinking about it. anyway, i'll plug this post here for now. i have been writing and editing this post for the past 4 days and can't seem to find enough words to express what i feel. also, i keep getting distracted with work so medyo putol-putol and train of thought ko. hehehehe....

speaking of work.... back to work!


Theo Martin said...

totoo yan. pero more than anything else, i think we have to put food on the table kasi paano matuto ang mga gusto nating turuan kung gutom sila.

yun lang haha! at baket 'cutie' ang verification word?!?

jamie da vinci! said...

give a man fish and he will starve again. teach a man to fish and he can feed himself for a lifetime... that is, if he gets to the fish before the japanese fish haulers do. LOL!