The Future We Want

July 5, 2012

I joined an essay writing contest last month but unfortunately I wasn’t able to qualify as a shortlisted winner. But I still want to share this. I still want a lot of people to read it, so I’m posting this here.

Imagine your life twenty, thirty, or even 50 years from now, what kind of future will you possibly live in?

Buzz. Buzz. Buzz.

I pressed “Stop”. I woke up with the alarm on my phone. I glanced at it again to look at the time; it was 8 in the morning. I put my phone down and closed my eyes, whispered a prayer to God, thanking Him for another day He has added to my life.

I walked down the stairs after I finished with my “morning rituals”, and smelled my Mom’s cooking. Uhm ah uhm. I ran as fast as I could and said good morning to her. I sat at the table and said grace, then ate my breakfast. My mom told me she, together with five of her officemates, got promoted and had a raise just yesterday. She also told me she’ll be leaving next week, and that she’ll be gone for three weeks to talk about food security in various provinces in Visayas. Their talks here in Luzon have been successful for the past six years so they want Visayas to benefit the same. She might even go to some provinces in Mindanao this year as well.

I opened the window and looked outside. I saw all the green surroundings. Since when did our subdivision have this view? Or was I not really looking around? I was amazed. Plants and flowers found everywhere, the large trees just waiting for people to cover up as shade, the birds whistling all around as they perch on the branches of the tree, seeking rest from their flight.  Tweet tweet. Tweet tweet. Fresh air you can’t wait to take a deep breath from. I took some in, and smiled. Ah. This is the life.

I turned on the television for the morning news. I saw three news segments, with government officials, pushing through a few bills and efforts. One was about continuing to develop the country’s agriculture, because in Northern Luzon, green trade has been so successful, and that he wished it would be the same to the whole nation. Another was about continuing to support all risk reduction measures, pledging to fund additional regional disaster prevention centers. Seminars, workshops and trainings for people who are to be stationed at each center were trained to avoid more damage if ever an earthquake, typhoons or natural calamities come unexpectedly. The last was an update on the current efforts of each region to reduce poverty. For the past 10 years, the percentage of fellow Filipinos suffering in poverty has decreased by 22.7%, or at least that’s what I remember. They were making a lot of efforts in providing scholarships, and opening companies for them to be given not only quality jobs, but green jobs as well. My mom caught me smiling and asked me why. I said, “Nothing.” I still continued to smile, and told myself, our government has gone way too far – but I said that with full positivity.

I bid my Mom goodbye after preparing to go out with my friends today. She told me to take care and be back before dinner. My friend called me that we had to find another place to go since the resort we were supposed to go to was fully booked. There was a summit being held discussing the United Nation’s Constitution of the Oceans. Oh my. I forgot to tell her that the other week! I remember seeing something about that last week on the internet while I was browsing for references for my thesis. I believe there would be a lot of both foreign and local ambassadors and advocates in maintaining ocean life, and the water form itself. She told me it was a one week summit so we could not move our outing for this week in the same resort. I suggested we just look for another place as long as it had a pool. The main reason why we planned this outing anyway was to enjoy the last two weeks of summer vacation; therefore, we had to go swimming. I ended the call and texted our other friends the change of plans. I hailed a jeep and rode all the way to the other resort. I put my earphones on and clicked play. As Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto in G No. 3 played, I looked outside the window. I noticed a motorbike was approaching. Being my usual forgetful self, I was about to cover my nose with my handkerchief when I suddenly realized that it was electronic. It has been more or less four months since our governor initiated the move to prohibiting people from purchasing motorbikes that were not electronic. All public utility vehicles (PUVs) were also motivated to support the move and gasoline, which produced low carbon emissions, were patronized more by these PUVs. It still astonishes me how supportive the association of the PUV drivers is. They even made an advocacy on maintaining the cleanliness of all kinds of PUVs. This was so successful that even other regions pushed for the same movement as well. Pollution was not that evident anymore. Although it hasn’t been completely gotten rid off yet, at least a lot of preventive measures have been done and are still on the process of being done. My mind drifted away and I found myself smiling. We have gone very far all these years. So far away that I almost forgot that it was time for me to go down the jeep.

I went inside the resort and waited for my friends near the entrance. The moment we were complete, we paid the necessary fees and started our fun in the sun! After our first swim, we rested for a few moments while three of our friends were starting to prepare our food. I was tasked to set the table with my other friend while the others were still in the pool. We were talking about our on-the-job training for the coming semester. She asked me where will I have my OJT and I asked her the same question. She said her mom was able to talk to her friend who works in Global Green Technologies Company, a company which offers information technology solutions while at the same time supporting green advocacies of both the United Nations and other government and non-government agencies that promote green-inclined campaigns. When I heard all about it, I can’t help but get excited for her. I was too caught up with our conversation that we almost forgot to call our friends’ attention for lunch. Lunch time, friends! We ate grilled tuna, spareribs, rice, sliced tomatoes and pieced salty egg with our bare hands. After that we swam two times again with an interval in between for rest and snacks. Before we knew it, it was time for pack-up! My friends opted to ride the jeep while I decided to just walk a few meters because I want to see more of the place outside. So we bid each other our temporary goodbyes and I waved while the jeep they were on was slowly moving away.

On my way home, I decided to walk a few meters before riding the jeep. It gave me the time to appreciate what we currently have now. I passed by a nearby park and saw how much fun the children were having running around and chasing each other. I recall reading in the newspaper how much the crime rates have decreased for the past 20 years and I wish it has been this way years ago. There have been a lot of bills and advocacies about human rights and protection of it has been given much priority unlike before. These little children are a clear picture of how a bit stress-free and anxiety-free life has become. The development that we Filipinos have been dreaming of so long, has finally come true. But it didn’t take one blink of an eye or one snap of a finger. It took years to make with the increase in discipline and self-control of the people. I saw a bench and wanted to rest for a while. A bench to sit on when you get tired from a stroll, a stroll which took your breath away because in every corner you look at,  you just can’t help but sigh in awe because of the beauty of nature. I walked a few more meters and decided to call on a jeep to head home.

I went in our house, kissed my Mom and Dad and greeted them good evening. They were watching the President’s speech, after he went home in his travel to Brazil and talked with national officials there, “I believe we have achieved something which we didn’t in the past decades or so. The Philippines, as you can see, is gearing up to become one of the most efficient countries, with its goals and implementations that has not only led to an attainable and secure future, but with all the efforts of our fellow countrymen, it’s a development that has been sustainable, is still sustainable, and will still be sustainable.” I smiled, for the nth time, this day. I am proud of how far the situation of the country has been. It’s 2050, and so much has changed.

We said grace, ate dinner and talked about what went through each others’ days. My sister, who is a nurse in a provincial hospital, talked about how there were only a few reported cases of diarrhea and other diseases that are caused by contaminated water, not only in the region but the whole country as well. I told her to stop talking because I might not have the appetite to eat anymore! My sister kept laughing, together with Mom and Dad and said that she’ll stop. Mom just stayed at home for today to start working on her talk for the next week. She told me she found a lot of interesting sites I should go check if I go online. While I savored my dinner, I just listened to the three of them talking about our provincial, regional and the national government. It’s been a long time since we sat here together and talked about that. I’m happy because this time, I did not hear negative feedbacks and comments from my Dad but most of them were positive. He exclaimed how the actions done today could have been better if it were done years ago, and how life could have been easier those past years. I told him, might as well be thankful for having it now than never having at all. After dinner, I went on to wash the dishes and clean up while they went back to the living room and my sister went up to her room. I was too tired to do anything anymore so I went up immediately to my room.

After taking my night shower and reading the Bible, I closed my eyes and prayed to God again for the wonderful day, for what He has done in my life and in others’ as well. I went to bed immediately, and dozed off to sleep. I swear, with what happened today, I could still hear myself snoring as I slept.

Buzz. Buzz. Buzz.

I pressed “Stop” in my phone. I woke up with its alarm. I glanced at my phone again to look at the time; it was 8 in the morning. I put my phone down and closed my eyes, whispered a prayer to God, thanking Him for another day He has added to my life.

I wondered why time moved fast. I was just falling asleep then suddenly my alarm rang again. I realized it was all a dream. A dream of the future I want. A future I hope to have. Somehow I wished I didn’t wake up, and stayed there. I know the future I pictured was so idealistic. But who wouldn’t want, if not better, but the best future? I look back and remembered the way people tell me that I am too idealistic. But I know, deep down, idealism is not wrong, as long as we can make it into a

I believe the main reason why we can’t achieve any development that’s sustainable at all is because of the complacency of our fellowmen. They don’t realize that their effort and support are big factors in attaining something. The difference between the people of the past and present with the future I want is the willingness and the unity in wanting to have a brighter future for them and for the next generations to come. I believe that if we set aside all our selfish reasons in deciding to not do anything about what we’re gearing towards, then we’ll all have that sustainable development and a future that’s really something to look forward to.

I remembered a quote I once read. I don’t remember the exact words and the exact source where I got that quote, but all I can remember is the thought. God made the planet wonderfully, the people in it just made their own lives miserable. I don’t know if there is even a possibility that the future I want will be the future that’s going to be. But I do believe in the power of prayer, of faith and love. I do not wish for things to be better, instead, I am hoping for the best. There’s a difference between hoping and wishing, wishing is desiring, desiring something that’s a bit impossible to happen, whereas hoping, hoping is intending with some possibility of fulfillment. Because when we hope, we know it is attainable. And when it is attainable, it is sustainable. Just imagine these things. Just imagine how we can possibly live in a future. A future I want. A future you want. A future everybody wants.

Imagine your life twenty, thirty, or even 50 years from now, what kind of future will you possibly live in?

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  • Reply shorebot July 5, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Oddly enough, your essay reminded me of those retrofuturism ads from the 50s.

    It didn't really go as well as their generation had hoped, but it showed what the ideal future was from their point of view (which we'd probably find hilarious nowadays).

    I find it interesting that humanity's vision of the future changed from 'pinnacle of the atomic age' to 'dark dystopia' to what it is today: something renewable and sustainable for the future generations.

    Hopefully, the current vision will come true. I guess we could hope all we want, but we all have to act in one way or another.


  • Reply admin July 6, 2012 at 12:41 am

    @shorebot: I haven't really given it much thought before. As I was writing this essay, I really was kind of idealistic, I guess. But being idealistic does not really mean that it's being impossible. I know, deep inside me, that all this is possible. If only people will do away with their complacency.

  • Reply shorebot July 6, 2012 at 4:08 am

    Agreed. Idealism, I really love that concept. The world will do its best (worst?) to try to take that away from people, and it's probably one of the things in life worth fighting for, given that it's right.

    It's sad that complacency is being hammered into people's heads by the corporate world, popular media and general social norms nowadays.

    Reminds me of this article from a few weeks back. It's some really good food for thought.

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