I can't help but think about the year that's passed, and how I've spent so much time working out things for myself that didn't quite pan out according to how I would have wanted it.
The government and the Bureau of Internal Revenue make it so difficult for small-time businesses to survive. Just to start off the business, for instance, there are nine - count 'em, nine! - forms to fill out. Places to go. People to pay. Fees to pay. Transportation to pay. I had a truly difficult time setting my business up, and I'm a college grad. Can you imagine what the small-business entrepreneur has to go through? How is your run-of-the-mill manang who wants to open a sari-sari store and pay her taxes because she's an honest citizen, honestly expected to remember all this stuff?
NINE FORMS. In the US, I heard it's basically one. In Sweden, it's two.
Then they penalize you for not submitting something on time. For someone working with virtually no income, that's a slap in the face! Thank God for the underground economy that keeps this nation alive! The government makes it so difficult for entrepreneurs to do business because there's this form and that form, and... argh!
The Philippines ranks second overall in terms of corruption, according to a study published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. I'm not surprised! With all the places one has to go, and the grease money one has to draw out to pay for all these stupid fees, it's only natural! I'm not an accountant, how am I supposed to remember all these fees and cut-off dates?
Naturally, these are all complaints, and I just have to suck it in. Sometimes, I wonder what it would be like to say, "ah, screw this, I'll just make the money and not declare the income." Other times, I wonder, "maybe I should just go back to getting a nine-to-five, to pay off all the debt accummulated in the course of printing one issue of LIVEtheLIFE, that, in the end, will just end up online because I never had the marketing power to really support its vision." Yet other times, I wonder, "would I have this kind of trouble if I were teaching in America?"
Then, I think, "God, please, talk to me. Let me know things'll be okay." There are days He comforts me; there are days when He doesn't answer at all. There are days when I beg Him to make the people in government honest, so we can bring this [Christian(!!?!)] nation back to Him; there are days I ask him, like Jonah, to smite the Ninevites off the face of the earth; there are days when I just tell myself, "You're alive to show people God is alive in your life." Panindigan mo ang pananampalataya mo.
Then I snap myself back, and beg forgiveness for doubt, then forgive the government, then make appointments to sell my kidney so I can pay these penalties.
No one said everyday we'd be superblessed. ;)