Rethinking Society Over a Cup of Coffee

What is Personal is Political

I have first heard of this phrase from a colleague during my volunteer year under the year of service program. She said it as a person who has been in the development work for 13 years (more or less). She said it to me straight in the eye, jong you should remember this “what is personal is political” and went on to explain what it means. At that time, I have given it a little thought and thought of it as more on a theoretical level.

What is Personal is Political.

The phrase they say originated from the underground teachings or learnings during the period of martial law and trickled down through word of mouth. It basically says that the personal problems we have right now are part and is affected by the larger societal problems that we have.

The economic problems we face individually are part of the economic problems we face as a country. We might not directly feel it though and immediately deduce it to conclusions like, the company does not pay me enough, or I have not reached the level of education with a higher pay, I am only an elementary or high school graduate. But these are not the causes but the effects of a social cancer that has been plaguing us for decades.

I could go on for pages and pages identifying and specifying the social ills that we have, how our government is suffering from an almost incurable diseases. I had enough of that. During my College years, I have been doing that. Telling it to friends, relatives and shouting in the streets. It has it uses, collective, as a nation, it could oust corrupt presidents. The parliament of the streets or the politics of the streets, some people call it.

The people from which the phrase come from will probably explain it on the kind of system we have, the bureaucratic capitalism, feudalism and neo-colonialism (are these three things right?). To the layman on the street, this is much more recognized as Poverty because people could easily relate to the word poverty.
There are a lot of popular theories and models that have been applied to combat poverty. Hundreds if not thousands of livelihood projects, small loans, sponsorship programs in educations, land reform, relief and many others. Some even do it by giving a peso or leftover food to a beggar on the street.

Economics has played an important part to the individual and collective lives of the Filipinos, if not even controlled it to some extent. We are part of the ill and part of the solution at the same time. Corporations are starting to realize that with all the different corporate social responsibility programs that they have. I think it is a good start and would compliment very well to what has been started.

People should go to business not only to enrich themselves but also to help others live decent lives. Imagine if business establishment give 20% of their earnings directly back to the people. It could be through livelihood, infrastructures, loans to farmers and small business, and so on. Honest rich people will say, well we are giving it to government and government then gives services to the people.

There is not much research on what percentage of the taxes really goes to basic social services and not to the pockets of corrupt politicians excluding some few the few good men and women. But I think its safe to say only 50% goes back to the community.

I am starting to complain when I should be explaining. Again as they say, What is Personal is Political.

Undergoing MyBlogLog Verification


Partly, I agree

partly, I don't

It is true that we are greatly affected if the economy is bad

that's why many of our people go abroad to look for a better paying job

that's why there is no progress because many of our politicians are corrupt

I hope at least 50% goes back to the people, you know sometimes my image for politicians is so bad

but, not really...

Individually we work hard to improve our situation

If people have lesser children, they can better afford to send them to school or even the basic necessities

What I mean to say, is that sometimes, we complicate our situations, we create more problems and expect the government to solve them for us


i agree with what you had explained c: it all affects our country as a whole. so sad of how our government and our country is becoming but hope is there we should not give up on this we should help and pray for a better future for our children and our childrens children c: