These are very interesting times. The icon of Philippine democracy has died, but in her passing a country of passionate people has awakened.
Perhaps it is pre-election year, that is why everything is heightened. Politicians are everywhere, adding color to every major religious gathering in the country – from the blessing of the humongous El Shaddai buildin
g, to the Central Temple of the INC
where the remains of their leader lie in state currently, to historic restaurants
where shifts in the tectonic plates of political ambition have taken shape repeatedly.
I am a voter, and my vote is up for grabs to the best bidder. I will not accept money or any promise of position or power for my vote; instead, I will give my vote to he or she who will stand to fulfill everything that is taught the children in school.
That is, if they still teach children about honesty being the best policy (and not just a standard slumbook or Facebook answer to “what is your motto?”); if they still teach in Admin Law that “a public office is a public trust“; if they still hammer to history students the details of how a peaceful revolution that a united Filipino people put up won against a 20-year dictatorship (I am told by young friends that their knowledge of the EDSA revolution is vague and blurred); and how our parents promised that they will never let anyone squander our riches and curtail our freedom again.
So much has happened since my student days. I grew up and then learned to grow deaf to the nonstop exposés in the Senate that only seemed to indicate that in lieu of the crony-concentrated corruption during the Marcos era, people power only opened the floodgates of the national treasury to greed that permeated every level of government.
I stopped voting at some point. I forget when. I stopped caring. All politicians started to look alike to me. I decided to look away from the headlines and refrain from taking part in the battles waged there. I paid my taxes, worked in government, served in church, but I left it to others more inclined to fight head-on. I went to Edsa twice to topple undesirable presidents. After a while it became a futile exercise, a game of jumping from the frying pan into the fire, and I refused to be used anymore.
There are others like me, who pray for a better tomorrow for our country but feel they are so ordinary and actually have also become too jaded to really believe in genuine and lasting change.
But Cory died, and while mourning for her, my tears, and probably those from those who belong to the undecided, apathetic sector like me, awoke the hope that has been buried in me for a leadership that shows quiet dignity, simple bravery, and humble integrity.
Will history be kinder to us Filipinos now that we are hoping again, opening our hearts again, wearing yellow again? I do not know much about Noynoy Aquino, at least not to the extent that I would normally vote for him to the highest position of the land. BUT. I cannot deny that there seems to be divine interference in the turn of events. Ambitious people who have been jockeying, lobbying, and parading years into the elections were faced with true people power, and heard once more the voice of a people who have long suffered repeatedly under the abusive hands of a succession of disappointing leaders. Plans have to be radically changed now. Dreams have to be realigned.
The choice I want to make when I vote next year is a clear one – black or white, Ginebra or Tanduay, Spandau Ballet or Duran Duran – like in my younger days, KBL or UNIDO PDP Laban – red and blue, or yellow and green. All the other insignificant colors have to fade. All the other inferior choices have to give way.
It is my generation’s time to shine. I have held back hope, and I have hidden my vote for so long. Next year, I want to confidently cast it. And I am praying really hard that the one whom I will vote for will not waste it.
I am a voter, and my vote is up “for sale” to the highest, mightiest, worthiest bidder.