The Filipina, in general, has not received the international accolade she deserves; especially not with the impressions that certain women Filipinos — Napoles and the multi-billion tax scam is the latest — provide the world. So when Megan Young was crowned Ms. World 2013, her achievement meant a lot, politically, to local women back home. Ms. Young’s victory, using economics terminology, brings positive spill-over effects for Filipino women. So it’s good to see that many went out to welcome Ms. Young on her homecoming parade.
On one hand, riding on Ms. Young’s victory is not quite the courageous act when seen against what Filipinos (and women Filipinos) at home are doing (and did) in the call for internal reforms within their government. The March Against Corruption, most recently held on Ayala Avenue, where Ms. Young’s homecoming parade took off, did not have the same voluntary and enthusiastic response from Filipinos.
This response isn’t confined to the Ms. Young’s homecoming parade vs. The March Against Corruption. This is the common Filipino response everywhere: we’d rather that we show ourselves in one-time street dances and funeral parades than in events that would mean a better Philippines in the long term. We’d rather discuss what to cook and dress for the festivities. Only a handful, in any given barangay (village), will turn out to participate in collective discussions about what to do to make the barangay (eventually, the nation) a better place.
History tells us that great nations were (and are being) made because their citizens willingly and voluntarily sacrifice short term indulgences if it meant wealth and all the best things in the long term.