Thursday, August 6, 2009

Woman Presidents of the Republic of the Philippines

We only have two.

Both defied our traditionally machismo society.

Both ascended into power by way of people's bloodless revolt.

One reluctantly taken the office but morally obliged. The other hoped-for a sudden twist of luck; having readied the inaugural speech way before the office was declared vacant.

One expressed intention of stepping down, and she did. The other announced on national TV she is stepping down but lied.

One re-established democracy in paper through the 1987 Constitution. The other supports the rape of the said charter.

One had been called by the people to take her oath after a massive electoral fraud by her rival. The other taken her oath after calling an election officer to cover up her rigged votes.

One's voice has been trusted and respected even during her private life. The other's words are like poison if swallowed and that a "private life" will be unlikely in her vocabulary.

One, even to her grave, is still a driving force for people to unite. The other, even in a blunder, is a driving force for people to make a joke.

And a joke is one of the very few things that makes Juan dela Cruz sane in these trying times.

No wonder the recent editorial blunder of Manila Bulletin stands out to be funny rather than solicit outrage from the people. And yes, a sinful thought it may be, I can't help but grin.

Sifting through the blogosphere, majority of the reactions to this photo are leaning towards humour; a stark contrast on public indignation towards Willie Revillame's remarks on Tita Cory's cortege last Wednesday. I know as a Christian this is not a good thing to think and to do, but the social weather suggests how the Filipino people perceive the two woman presidents. It seems that the two are at the opposite ends of a very wide spectrum, and I don't need to elaborate which is situated to which end.

Four years ago, another blunder aroused collectors and jokers alike.

Remember this version of our 100-peso bill that was circulated Christmas of 2005 during the height of the controversy of our current president's legitimacy due to accusations of electoral fraud? The running joke back then was that this proves that even our printing machines cry out illegitimacy. What a good way to have an effective flyer!

In the medieval times, women were considered subordinates to men. And as Marcos put it, "just a woman whose place is in the bedroom." Today, women are regarded as men's equal; majority of world societies, if not all. They are no joke. They are a force to be reckoned with.

At least for Filipinos, one woman president to be remembered with.

GMT +8 Manila, Philippines

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