Thursday, January 12, 2006


Having traveled to another land at the opening of this year, say, Hong Kong which is how far an expiring miles plane ticket could go, one couldn’t help but make comparisons as a better option than bewail like it was by the rivers of Babylon over the misfortunes that has befallen to a dear homeland the year past.

Hong Kong’s subway may be the best so far in the whole world today—far better than the cavernous ones in New York or the rough rails of France. In this Asian neighbor, there is work and opportunities for a descent living swarm aplenty. Government projects flow in abundance and are delivered maybe as fast as budgets would magically disappear in the Philippines without qualms or squalor. And there is no problem with their political leaders who have never been accused, at least of late, of stealing or cheating or deceiving the populace.

But why the chasm of disparity? People in this foreign land don’t even have the penchant of going to mass on Sundays. Or attending Santo NiƱo processions, kidded my companion albeit with a tinge of sarcasm. They don’t have the seven sacraments and the Ten Commandments like we do. And they don’t have a president who reportedly talks directly with God, with much better facility than an Archbishop in the North does or does not.

There should be a hell of a problem somewhere.

Impact opens the year with a story on the issue of peace—an issue that is as old as mankind itself. To paraphrase rather non-exegetically the Letter of Paul to the Romans, mankind has been groaning for coming of peace which, for Christians, is the coming of the Christ and the consequent transformation of realities into a new heaven and a new earth.

But while founders of world religions preach about the coming of peace through an inner transformation that leads to cosmic tranquility, world leaders, as history bears, do not buy the theological route to global harmony. For, simply put, politics-—being an exercise of power—-and sustainable peace may not be complementary companions at all. Which is probably the reason why, the acquisition of nuclear arsenal and gadgets of strategy and war soar in annual budgets of governments dwarfing whatever budgetary allocations there are that may promote understanding and peace among nations.

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