Monday, August 24, 2009

Pilipinas 2010: An Introduction

Where are the youth who will consecrate their golden hours,
their illusions, and their enthusiasm to the welfare of their native land?
Where are you, youth, who will embody in yourselves the vigor of life
that has left our veins, the purity of ideas that has been contaminated
in our brains, the fire of enthusiasm that has been quenched in our hearts?
We wait you, o youth! Come, for we await you!

-- Padre Florentino, El Filibusterismo by Dr. Jose P. Rizal

Ako ang simula.

I am the beginning.

This ABS-CBN campaign geared towards the 2010 elections is apt in this time of uncertainty and cynical Filipinos. Not that I personally advocate the campaign itself, but the "phrase" is just the perfect rallying cry to ignite a revolution and I don't think anyone will be sued for copyright infringement by using this on his/her blog.

Yes, a revolution. The word seems to be too strong and too harsh -- seems like I'm insinuating a political coup -- yet one might only think this way because one might be more like Simoun than like Ibarra. More like Simoun because he is the personification of vengeful Filipinos; tired of the current system and yielded to the only way they think is possible to exact change: remember in El Filibusterismo when Simoun tried to blow up Kapitan Tiago's former residence with all the government officials, friars and the rest of the upper-class inside during the wedding of Paulita? I bet there are lots of Filipinos (including me!) who, even once in their lives (many times for me..), out of desperation, thought of blowing up Batasang Pambansa complex during one of the State of the Nation Addresses. Imagine the fireworks. Imagine a total restart of our seemingly hopeless government. It is the start, I would say. But it would not, says my conscience. Because in order to reboot this country, we might need to ask Obama to lend us one of their Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles and to zero in the heart of the archipelago because it was not only the upper-class who were present in that wedding party, we all were. And I'm sure it is what Rizal really wanted to say for in the course of his novel, he didn't let Simoun succeed; the explosion was prevented when Isagani throw himself in the river together with the lamp which was the detonator. Ironically, Simoun is really Ibarra; once an idealistic man who dreamt of change through diplomacy and education. No bombs. No explosions. Just a pure desire for change. And that is the real start of a genuine revolution.

I might need to stop whining.
I might need to stop being cynical.
I might need to stop thinking that the next elections will be futile.
I need to cease being Simoun.

My vote counts, and the votes of the many Ibarras out there.


And this will be the start of a series of blog entries relating to the 2010 Presidential Elections: analyses of current events, profile study of presidentiables and other candidates etc. It is never too late and the result of this election can change the face of the Philippines after 2010, and beyond.

As a start, let me re-post a link to an Inquirer article on presidentiable Sen. Manuel "Mar" Roxas II:

Honestly, I started to dislike him. No thanks to his PR team who made him do the "pedicab" stint. I know melodramas can be a hit to a typical Filipino household, but to make it a background of a politcal ad (premature it may seem) leaves a bad taste in the mouth. At least Villar banks on the upbeat nature of the current generation. Though a typical "trapo" (i.e. TRAditional POlitics) ad, I can still hum to the beat of his jingle minus my vote. Not to mention the Mar-Korina love affair and the much talked about "wedding of the year", though it would be unfair of me to judge this delicate matter of the heart so I leave that to destiny. But I digress; back to the article.

He was invited in a "town hall" meeting with businessmen, professionals and the likes, and he shared his opinions on some pertinent issues of the country. To summarize:

1. Charter Change is not a requirement to improve economy; what we need is for foreign investors to do business without having to deal with harassment, coercion or corruption, not to own lands. (Clap! Clap!)

2. Transparency in Cabinet officials bank accounts. (Same song, same lyrics.)

3. Extra school year; from 10 years to, maybe, 12 years in elementary and secondary education. (I disagree.)

4. The country’s service-dominated economy was not healthy; focus on manufacturing and especially agriculture. (That's what I'm talking about! I hope he meant what he said.)

Read the entirety of the article. After what I read, I might consider Mar Roxas in my list. I just hope there will be a lot of venues where candidates can properly present themselves as if a job interview and the entire Filipino people as a panel interviewer.

GMT +8 Manila, Philippines

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