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[Ponderings] The Man in the Mirror

By Philip Suzara

Pondering… as I sit here at the edge of my mythical life pond.

One can see many things happening at the edge of life’s pond, as in any pond. Decisions are made there, life changing decisions, defining moments… to get in the pond, or not. The pond is encircled by its edges in different forms and kinds: straight, jagged, rough, rocks, pebbles, sand, soil, or mud. Very much like people. No matter the differences we have, we all belong there… around the life pond, inside, outside, at the edge, but there.

September 21 marks the anniversary of Martial Law’s declaration in the country. It was those dark times when we witnessed man’s cruelty against fellow human beings for greed and power. May all the commemorations of Martial Law be a grim reminder for us to always push back whenever you find yourself being pushed against the wall.


While the despot’s Martial Law had its evils such as its attendant atrocities and unprecedented corruption, this government is probably the worst administration that we’ve ever had -- makes Martial Law seem like a walk in the park.

Assaults to our civil liberties, the weakening and compromising of our democratic institutions, upsetting our collective moral compass, weakening of our sovereign territories and foreign incursions, EJKs and threats to our very lives, onerous foreign loans, as well as the criminal and unconscionable raiding of scarce government monies while in the midst of our difficult struggle with the Covid Pandemic.

We now come to the senate investigation on alleged anomalies and corruption attended on the government’s purchase of face shields, face masks, and PPEs as part of their emergency Covid response – this may even extend to the procurement of vaccines.

Aghast, surely, becomes an understatement to how the rest of us who are a distance away from the scary cabal by the river with their minions, are feeling about the apathy, callousness, and impunity of how “business” is conducted by these ‘blessed’ bands.

Watching the senate investigations on this particular issue evokes all kinds of feelings besides nausea from a moral repugnance by the way the responses of those being investigated repel the senators in the inquiry.

Curious is also how one gets to be when a sitting president comes to the aid of those in the hot seat in the inquiry, throwing invectives, ad hominem attacks, and not so veiled threats thrown to the gatekeepers’ way in the Blue Ribbon Committee.

Confused is definitely how one will get upon witnessing a fellow senator exalt his president; vintage to his being an apologist, in a manner of a privilege speech on how they and their friends conduct their “business”. This, he did with the time allotted to him during the inquiry.

In fact, I find it such a waste that he is always found with the president as his special assistant. There is a fundamental conflict of interest when one is both a member of an august chamber and also an indispensable member of the executive family, co-equals yet independent of each other – and I dare ask, “whom does one ultimately serve?”.

And while we’re at it; we now have a sitting president who says he is tired of staying in office longer than his term -- who many find wanting in the performance of his duties anyway, publicly saying that he wants to run as vice president to ensure a continuity of his programs and projects. I see a lot of issues here; I am no legal and constitutional expert but I find this situation going against the spirit of the constitutional terms of tenure for a president – he is only allowed one term. This now brings us to the interpretation of the constitution and we ask, who is the gatekeeper in this particular situation; Senate, Congress, Comelec, Supreme Court? Let us not forget the people, they will be the ultimate arbiter whether they will allow it to happen, or finally speak out with their vote!

Peer into the wisdom of The Man in the Mirror, written by Glen Ballard and Siedah Garrett, performed and popularized by the phenomenal Gloved One, Michael Jackson, in 1988.

“I'm gonna make a change

For once in my life

It's gonna feel real good

Gonna make a difference

Gonna make it right

As I, turn up the collar on

My favorite winter coat

This wind is blowing my mind

I see the kids in the streets

With not enough to eat

Who am I to be blind?

Pretending not to see their needs

A summer disregard, a broken bottle top

And a one man soul

They follow each other on the wind ya' know

'Cause they got nowhere to go

That's why I want you to know

I'm starting with the man in the mirror

I'm asking him to change his ways

And no message could've been any clearer

If you want to make the world a better place

Take a look at yourself and then make that


The song is a little longer with more admonishing words for the man in the mirror; not to be an enabler of rapacious demagogues, to be sensitive to the needs of his fellowman, to make his family proud of him for his efforts and contribution to his government, to the people, and to the nation.

Mahatma Ghandi said that the challenge is “for one to be the change you’d wish to see in the world”.

And when your time is up, to be able to face your God and say, I did right by myself, right by my fellowman, and right by You.

Now, take a look at yourself and then make that CHANGE!

Pondering… as I sit here at the edge of life’s pond.

Philip Suzara

Creature of God. Child of the Universe. Global Citizen. Lover of Life. Freedom Fighter. Agent of Change. Lone Wolf. Occasional Consultant for Strategic Communications.

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