Twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder where you are.
Perhaps I am not the only one who is familiar with this nursery rhyme. It was one of my favorites when I was a kid, possibly because it is one of the easiest to memorize, and you do not need a voice like Beyonce’s to be able to sing it properly.
Apart from the song, there was one more thing about stars which actually caught my attention when I was young. It does not even have any scientific basis, and yet children are so smitten by this concept. Silly as it may seem now, I actually believed that stars are some sort of genies or celestial fairies that can grant wishes. I believed in this so much that every night I would gaze up in the sky, choose the brightest star, close my eyes, and make a wish.
Some nights I wished that I was a mermaid, with long beautiful tail and colorful seashells on my hair. Other nights I wished that I was a superhero, fighting villains with my magical powers. I also remember there was one night when I actually wished to become a member of the Spice Girls. Yeah, well, that was a long, long time ago.
None came true, obviously.
And now, as I look back, I am starting to realize that those endearing wishes I made as a little girl were not only far from impossible, but insubstantial as well. They were selfish desires, made by a likewise selfish little brat who is apathetic of the real world she is living in.
I would love to try and wish for something else right now, but I think I am too old for that. I doubt the stars would bother to listen, because they never did in the first place.
So instead, let me make the most out of this opportunity to impart my wishes to you, my Bedan brothers and sisters.
To start off, I wish one day my fellow countrymen would not anymore have to suffer from this dreadful poverty. There are people starving to death because they are being deprived of their basic needs in life. There are people ending up behind bars for committing crimes which poverty pushed them to do. There are hundreds, thousands, or even millions of Filipinos who cannot afford education. No shelter, no clothing, nothing at all.
I wish the next generation would not anymore have to struggle for survival in this Third World country. It is never too late to realize that there is a need for change. It would have to start from each and every one of us. Now, more than ever, it is time to give more attention to economics and stop being all emotional due to excessive watching of koreanovelas and soap operas.
I wish that someday my grandchildren and their children may have the privilege to live in a country that is free from oppression. I wish by then they can reside in a nation ruled by a government that is free from corruption and fraud.
But still, I also wish that people would stop blaming the leaders of this country for everybody’s misfortunes. Though I commend the untiring efforts, I do not think it is profoundly reasonable to try and oust every president who attempts to govern the Filipino nation. Each individual is accountable for himself. And we, as the youth of this nation, should know better.
The 2010 national election is drawing near, and for what it is worth, I wish the Filipino voters have learned enough from the past’s mistakes. A large percentage of voters would come from the youth, and it only proves one thing. Indeed, we can make a difference.
I may not have been a mermaid, a super hero, or a pop star. However, I did become a writer. And through this column, I am hoping that one day you will be the ones to make these wishes come true.