Friday, February 17, 2006

Appointments Then and Now

Fr. Jose Burgos, writing anonymously, in Manila 27 June 1864, said:

“If in our days we do not see more Filipinos outstanding in learning,
let this not be attributed to their character nor to their nature
more to the influence of the climate nor much less that of the race,
but rather to the discouragement which for some years now has taken
possession of the youth, because of the almost complete lack of any
incentive. For as a matter of fact, what young man will still make
efforts to excel in the knowledge of law or of theology, if he does
not see in the future anything but obscurity and indifference? What
Filipino will even aspire to be learned, will consecrate efforts to
this purpose, seeing that his most noble aspirations wither away
under the destructive influence of scorn and neglect, and knowing
that honorable and lucrative offices are for him forbidden fruit?”*

Doesn’t Fr. Burgos sound like he is speaking about the Ateneo law classmates of You-Know-Who and the Sigma Rhoans in government? When government positions are dispensed only to the patrons of the powers-that-be, without regard to ability and competence, it is no wonder why a million Filipinos opted out of this country last year. To think that as far back as 1864, Fr. Jose Burgos had complained about this to the Spanish authorities. When would we ever learn?

*From the Manifesto Addressed to the Noble Spanish Nation by the Loyal
Filipinos Defending their Honor and Loyalty Gravely Wounded by the
Madrid Newspaper, La Verdad translated by Fr. John Schumacher, S. J.
as appearing in Father Jose Burgos: a documentary history with
Spanish documents and their translation, ADMU Press c1999.

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