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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, March 21, 2017
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Come to think of it
with Carlos Antonio L. Leonardia

Dear Delegate


Dear Asean Delegate,

I Don't Know Who You Are, What Country You Represent, What Rank You Hold In Your Government, Or What Change In This World You Will Ultimately Play A Role In.

I Sincerely Hope You Like It Here Because What You See In The Few Days You Will Be Here, Holding Meetings And Discussing The Future Of South East Asia, This Is The Best My Beloved Island Can Ever Be.

You May Not Even Notice Because It Is Normal In Your Country, But Please Note That Our Local Government Officials Have Cleared The Streets Especially For You Guys. Roadside Obstructions That Have Caused Traffic For Years, If Not Decades, Have Been Removed Because Of Your Meetings. Thank You For Coming Because Nothing Would've Been Done About Those Obstructions If It Weren't For You Guys. Those Of Us, Who Have Been Complaining About This Easily-Solvable Problem For Years, If Not Decades, Would Like To Extend Our Heartfelt Gratitude. Your Visit Gave Our Officials The Will To Do What Should've Been Done A Long Time Ago.

For Those Of You Who Have Been So Impressed That You Plan To Come Back And Enjoy Our Country, Please Note That Things May Not Be So Convenient When You Do Come Back. One Thing That Will Be No Longer Afforded To When You Visit Here As A Regular Tourist And Not As An Asean Delegate Would Be The Convoys That Our Government Has Deployed Just For You Guys. I'm Sure You Have Been In At Least One Of Those High-Security, High-Speed Convoys; Surrounded By Several Cop Cars, Motorcycles, And Even Trailed By An Ambulance.

I Hope You Weren't Embarrassed At The Way Our Government Pushes Its Citizens Around Just To Make Its Visitors Feel Safe And Special. Even Though Some Of Us Thought That This Obnoxious Practice Had Been Banished A Few Years Ago, We Are A Resilient Bunch Who Are Used To Being Pushed Around By The Entitled And Those Who Wield More Power Than Us. Those Wang-Wangs Are Going To Take A Little Bit Of Getting Used To Once More, But It's No Big Deal. As Long As You Are Safe And Happy, We Are Happy.

However, If Those Security Convoys That Made You Feel Like The Queen Of England Made You Think Those Extreme Measures Are Necessary Because My Country Is Unsafe, Kindly Dispel That Thought. Our Government Just Likes To Be Oa (Over-Acting) And Over-Reacting To Impress Our Visitors. As With Most Insecure Nations, We Overcompensate To Make Up For Our Shortcomings. I'm Sure You Totally Understand This Phenomenon. If Not, Simply Refer To Your Friends Who Like To Drive Big Trucks And Own Flashy Cars.

The Truth Is, We Don't Need That Many Cops And Military Personnel To Do Our Daily Chores. Heck, Most Filipino Towns And Small Cities Have Probably Never Seen Any Of The Cop Cars And Motorcycles That Will Be Greeting You. Don't Be Intimidated By The Massive Show Of Security At The Airport, While En Route To Your Accommodations, And To Your Meetings Because It Is Just For Show. There Is No Need To Be Surrounded By Cops And Military Men Because The Philippines Is Generally Safe. The Security Measures Surrounding Your Meetings Are Probably Just Protocol.

Negros Island Is Safe. If You Like It Here So Much That You Want To Come Back, You Won't Need To Request For An Entire Platoon Of Fully Armed Cops And 20-Vehicle Convoy To Take Your Family Back Here For A Quiet Vacation In Our Sunny Islands.

Thank You For Coming. We May Not Feel The Direct Consequences Of Your Meetings That Were Held In Our Island, But Your Presence Made Our Island A Better Place. Everything's Cleaner, Works A Little Bit Better, And Supposedly Safer Just For You Guys. Your Presence Allowed Us A Glimpse Of What Our Hometown Could Be Like If Our Public Officials Would Only Do Their Jobs Properly. It's A Shame We Only Get To Experience Those Improvements While You Are Here. How We Wish You Could Ask You Guys To Stay Here So They'd Be Forced To Ensure That The Sprucing Up Would Be Permanent And More People Would Benefit From This Visit, Not Just To Impress You And Your Group Of Less Than 200.

I Hope You Like What You See And Come Back Soon. If You Do Come Back, I Pray That Our Little Island Can Still Manage To Impress. There Will Be No More Special Convoys, The Security Will Be Less OA, The Roads Might Even Be Obstructed With Squatters Once Again And Traffic Won't Be As Light, But It Is Still Actually Quite Nice Here.



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