Theres a noticeable change that's in the air in Manila. Im happy and hopeful for my country to push on forward towards change. In the 5 months that I've been gone (from my last visit -January), I'm happy to feel at home. Although still behind, I'm pretty sure that the wheels are turning and soon enough we'll find the Philippines "competing globally" like how Singapore is now.
Rush hour traffic is still there though. I didn't drive through EDSA enough to notice if the conditions have indeed changed for the better. Although, I should note that there were less "encounters" with buses. I think the scheme to change and revamp the salary scheme for the drivers and conductors is effective. Now, if only the city mayors can do something about the Jeepney drivers. After all, what use are decongested highways if the exit roads are clogged up. Traffic flow I think could also be further improved if they make designated drop-off and pick-up points for commuters. Although, that aspect will be harder since it's the mindset and discipline of people that needs to be changed.
Overall, despite my being an Aquino critic, I appreciate his efforts to introduce change in the country. Although, I must say here though, that I didn't like the way his team handled the impeachment. It did seem like the government's resources were used in order to find evidences against ex-Chief Justice Corona. But, that's past now, and I'll leave it to the historians to write their records.
I attended mass last Sunday after so long. Although I am admittedly leaning towards being agnostic - in the sense that I lost faith in religion but still believe in God, I still feel that churches or places of worship are the best place to commune with God. It also got me thinking that it takes a certain level of maturity to appreciate what religion has to offer.
Growing up to a religion doesn't seem like the best way to come to accepting their truths and practices. I think someone has to, for themselves, approach religion and embrace it. Although, it is understandable that children are reared early on by their parents to embrace the same theology they believe and accept. But should the time come that children become teenagers or adults capable of deciding on their own, then I think it wouldn't be right for anyone to push unto them beliefs they do not believe in.
Anyway, the homily I got to hear spoke primarily of forgiveness and embodying the virtues of Christ as should be when you partake in the Eucharist. And it got me thinking that for next year, should all go well with my New Zealand visa application (and consequently - employment search), that I should make my theme for the year (27th year) "Giving Back." I'm sure there are a lot of volunteer organizations that are in need of help. But I should get sorted the advocacies I think I'll be motivated to support.
There are a lot of things to be thankful for indeed.