Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A new beginning

Today marks a historical day in the Philippines. One that eerily echoes so much of a time when the world heard of a truly bloodless revolution, the Philippines' People Power Revolution of 1986, and saw the overthrow of a dictator. Up to this day, the Philippines has the hated reputation of being home of that vain First Lady who had so many shoes.

Today Senator Noynoy Aquino will be proclaimed as the 15th President of the Republic of the Philippines. Makati Mayor Jejomar will sit as his Vice President. Sadly, the tandem of Noynoy and Senator Mar Roxas was cruelly broken up by political machinations.

Noynoy has a lot of problems he will be inheriting from President Gloria Arroyo's administration. Human rights violations, blatant and bald-faced corruption, family political dynasties, gold, goons, and guns have actually been existence probably as far back as the first Republic. But, somehow, it has hit rock-bottom under GMA. And it seems like we need a miracle, several in fact, to even dream of clambering up from our comfortable seat at the bottom of the barrel.

One cannot blame the Filipinos. We have, since 1986, rallied in a bloodless revolution, felled a dictator and forced him and his family into exile, entrusted the Presidency to a housewife, seen a change of hands of the Presidency from a former military man under Marcos to a gambling womanizer, felled him and saw a pint-sized cunning woman ascend the Presidency. In horrors reminiscent and even exceeding the Martial Law years, GMA wrecked havoc the way Marcos could only dream of.

Why? Because the Filipino has grown weary, worrying of his own family's survival in the economy that only seems to keep getting worse, and that no matter what kind of President is there, life never seems to get any better. As usual, he is boisterous in his political opinions, his Presidential choice, making the occasional shrewd observation, be it in serious debate or offhanded joke. He continues to fight and dream of a better dream, a better fight.

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I just finished reading this book called "Ninoy Aquino, The Man, The Legend" edited by Asuncion David Maramba -- a truly inspiring book that I believe every Filipino should read. In its pages, Ninoy comes alive, which means so much for someone who was 8 in 1986.

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This is me and my younger brother back in 1986.

Little would we know that we would live to see the son of a Benigno Aquino Jr. become President. History does tend to repeat itself, and in the Philippines, more so.

In a strange, cruel, and ironic twist of faith, we are a nation which also perpetuates the cycle of power, of popularity and, sadly, poverty. The rich today come from the families of the rich, the actors today are the sons and daughters of past actors and actresses. And, yes, for the poor, they can only hope and dream that their descendants will not suffer the same fate as them.

For 2010, ranking among those chosen to serve the people are newly-elected Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. His post as Representative for the second district of Ilocos Norte has been easily been taken over by his mother, former First Lady Imelda Marcos.

As a bonus, we also get President GMA herself as part of the new members of Congress.

I reiterate that President Noynoy has his hands full even before sitting in Malacanang.

The people can only pray for all the miracles we are allowed, as well as the intervention of the spirits of Ninoy and Cory Aquino, one a would-be brilliant President and one a housewife-turned-President, but both the two people who could have been brilliant counsel for their son.

President Noynoy, the best of luck to you. May the people who love both your parents and have People Power and nationalism in their hearts grant you a safe, successful Presidency.

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