The challenge of being in public service is that it can go as “public” as it can get. After the elections, I have decided not to write so much so as not to take sides in issues. I can’t help but take hold of my feelings whenever I have a personal opinion on matters which are controversial. For more than a year now, I have learned to discern and be critical in distinguishing what really matters.
Government service helped me become a more disciplined man. I learned how to face all sorts of people and take the blame for things which you have little or no control at all – from the cutting of trees along the MacArthur Highway to the yellow ribbon lanterns around the city – and a lot more issues sparked a debate between my friends and family.
As a private individual, it is very unusual not to open topics related to one’s work. In one of the gatherings of government officials in Naga last year, I shared my thought on how it is to be this young and become involved in governance. Yes, I still go to bars and hangout for coffee with my yuppie friends and during those moments, I always tell something about work. Sharing what I do will turn any conversation serious, gloomy and heartbreaking. Funny thing is, just imagine me in a bar and shouting so loud for my friend to hear the latest scoop on corruption issues and government interventions! But this is the road I have chosen.
For 2011, and probably for the succeeding years, I will still be with the government. This is my contribution for my country. I may sound very nationalistic but I suppose this is the simplest way I can express my reason for staying in such a field. For as long as I can see passionate people willing to take on the challenge, I’m willing to stay. The upcoming months will be challenging, but the advocacy as imparted by the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA) remains – to make governance a “shared responsibility.” And I am proud to be doing my role.