Cleaning Up the Augean Stables

PRRD is cleaning up the Augean stables that is the Philippines.

To paraphrase the president, “the foremost thought that illuminated my being” while watching his second SONA was this: cleaning up the Philippines is like cleaning up the Augean stables.

In Greek mythology, cleaning up after the cattle of King Augeas in a single day was one of the tasks Hercules had to do as part of his sentence for the murders he unwittingly committed. Why was this task deemed Herculean? Well, the king was very wealthy and thus had more cattle than anyone in Greece. Cleaning up after his livestock was next to impossible because the huge stables were always as dirty — if not even dirtier - the following day.

Image from ericojuniormorais0.

So why was I reminded of the Augean stables last Monday? Well, check out the country’s laundry list of problems:

A laundry list





Peace and Order





Political Dynasties

The Road to Federalism







Territorial Disputes

Did I miss anything? I’m sure I have.

Image from travelspot.

Doing the dirty work

Given the enormity of the task of steering the nation in the right direction, it’s a miracle individuals would actually line up and volunteer to carry this burden. I know the usual motherhood answers are love of country and an unselfish desire to serve, but seriously. A lot of politicians do not seem to enter politics with public service foremost in their minds. It doesn’t help that politics is a game of alliances and compromises either.


One advantage of experiencing life through the years is that your definitions of things become more multifaceted. Take the word “hero.” My definition of the term used to include visions of swashbuckling knights and flamboyant buccaneers. Nowadays, I think of heroes as also the ones who choose to roll up their sleeves to do the necessary dirty work.

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