Maginhawa Street


Yes, it is inspiring but it is also very painful to most of us to see those long lines of people, with their faces gaunt and their silence is..deafening. And it is truly somewhat heavenly sent when it happened at a street called Maginhawa. 

Ginhawa is an indigenous Filipino concept that literally means “comfort.” As an historian, the English transliteration does not really give justice to the true meaning of “ginhawa.” Dr. Zeus Salazar, the iconic historian tells us that ginhawa means much more than comfort. It means having that feeling of fulfillment, of satisfaction that comes from the gut. If you want to experience ginhawa, it is like that feeling when you just finished a nice meal and you suddenly sighed (bunting hininga).

When Rodrigo Roa Duterte won in 2016, everyone was happy. At last, we would now have a president who is ready to fight for us. Fight–that’s the key word. Duterte was the champion in Davao that everyone loved–Communist or non-Communist. Even progressive ones in the university praised Duterte for his works as a city mayor who kill people when it is time to kill, and help people when it is time to help. For everyone, Duterte knows the word “malasakit”— an oft-repeated term that many accused President Pnoy and his Liberals. The masses saw the progress but failed to see the gains of those times at their dinner tables. Most continued their lives without any change at all. Some experts see that it would take two more years–just two years– for the economic gains to trickle down the ranks of the poor.

Five years ago, we were the toast of Asia–a raging tiger so to speak, ready to become one of the biggest economies in the world.

Now, we are but a shadow of that proud nation.

The economic gains that the people are now supposed to enjoy are all gone–spent by a government to effectively combat the COVID-19 virus but failed miserably. Who fantabulously made money? Ah, the hospital owners, the big time manufacturers of basic goods and the pharmaceuticals. They are all enjoying the hard-fought economic progress the Filipino people had worked for during those six whole years under Pnoy’s. Those trillions erased in just months and now the government is saying that it does not have enough monies to spend much further for this pandemic.

Now, people have lost jobs, most are not eating properly and most, if not all, are really in dire straits. These are not just made up political propaganda. This is happening right under our noses as I write this piece.

Again, many people of means are on the rescue. This is fine but the question really that we should be asking is— for how long? For how long do we need to do these things? Several people say, let’s wait a little bit more since it is already elections by May. The question is– while we can say this because we sit comfortably at home, with plenty of food in our tables and many more in our refrigerators, but millions are out there, without any single morsel of food in their tables and empty refrigerators.

The poor is being starved to death by the very people who claimed that they know the people and they feel their condition. These people are traitors! They betrayed their oaths and they deserve nothing more than our derision.

Maginhawa street reflects the true condition of Inang Pilipinas and her sons and daughters whose only fault is they were born poor. They are the people being blamed for all the mess that this country encountered for the last century, unruly ones, who deserve to die.

The ones who really deserve to die are those who got their riches and wealth by turning fields into subdivisions, who get huge profits from just supplying water and electricity, who fool the people into believing that this and that medicine is good for them, who created this sachet consciousness among the poor telling them that it is their way of helping people when they know for a fact that they earn more than what they are supposed to get and those who just seize the lands of the hopeless and mine them empty from its riches.

For how much longer do we pray for God’s justice on these lands? For how much longer do we wait for God’s angels to descend upon us and help us from these demons disguised as Barong-clad gentlemen? For how much longer do we need to exercise patience seeing us being fooled and misled by these people who promised us heaven but brought hell instead.

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