Let me keep an open mind and, even more so, a brave heart.
I have gone through political campaigns, won some, lost some. I know how to take a loss. Painful always, bitter sometimes, but resilient enough to lick my wounds and plod on to the next big cause. I have won as well, including Marcos Sr. in 1969, Cory and Noynoy in 1986 and 2010, and Ramos in 1992. With Marcos Jr. whom I did not support, my score now since I began to vote is 4 wins and 4 losses.
Do I feel, then, as though I had not moved at all, or the country, too? Of course not. Winning and losing political campaigns are emotional highlights, sharp ups and downs. Inside their moments, the excitement, the thrills, the hopes and disappointments were all there. I was alive in pursuit of my dreams, and losing did little to stop me from continuing to dream.
What do I dream about? Basically, it has been the same dream in the last 50 years. Something good for me, my family, my people, and my nation. Same dream, five decades. Of course, the visions and forms morph over time, their shapes and color have changed but never their essence. I do not ever see how they can up to my last moments. For what is good, for you and me as individuals, for us as a nation together.
I decided on the same day that Leni Robredo announced her candidacy that I would support her. It was a simple decision, a natural one. It was about the laylayan, about flipping the destructive pyramid containing our country where 1% can dictate to 99% in almost every facet of societal life. I am not a bleeding heart, I do not just feel sorry for the laylayan, I feel sorry for a country where the social and economic configuration remains feudal still.
The wealth of the nation is its people, the Filipinos of the Philippines. Always, people count the most. Feudalism is not our fault, it has been the system of humanity for millennia or more. But others have found ways to value each human life as equal in worth and dignity, and I wish that for our own marginalized, Leni’s laylayan. Quixotic, perhaps, but do-able with many practical models among the world’s best.
Because I have not been afraid to dream for what does not come easy or immediately, I have not been afraid to be inspired by those who dream just as relentlessly as me. In fact, I must say I have followed, and will still do so, those who have dreamed bigger, better, brighter than me. They are like gifts of the universe to me with their, guides and mentors asking only from me the acceptance that they are bringing me where I want to go.
Leni Robredo is one such gift. We are not personally acquainted but I see enough to be inspired by here. And she is not really such a stranger because her heart is the same heart of other guides and mentors I draw inspiration from. The volunteers she sparked to follow the same dream, the veterans who risked their health and lives, the youth awakened by her character, authenticity, and transparency. Her laylayan will be theirs, too.
The results of the elections are incredible. By incredible, I mean specifically the first of its meaning – impossible to believe. But they are the results, the only results we see handed over to us by the Comelec. Because I have been an open and active Leni Robredo supporter, I choose my thoughts and my words carefully so as not to appear simply as a sour loser.
I have my own context about these incredible results from November of 2021 and, in fact, did write about it publicly and in many chat groups and Facebook posts. I had bits and pieces of information that, when woven together, presented a dark and ominous plan. I went by the adage that liars will lie and cheats will cheat, and saw parts of a grand plan that I could not prove at all. Because I go mostly by human behavior first and only later by statistics.
The Philippines is a wonderful and beautiful country. Matching this wonder and beauty is the crown jewel of the Philippines – the Filipino people. All sorts of social scientists can tell you in greater detail and creative prose about the attributes of the Filipino. And they will say many things in many ways to describe the same people. But I will point out what they never say – that the Filipino people are punctual, exact, systematic, consistent, and uniform. They cannot be with their levels of creativity and spontaneity.
But the results were not Filipino. They were on time or ahead of time. They were exact and systematic. They were consistent and uniform, like products rolling out of conveyor belts. That is why the election results we see are incredible, impossible to believe. I am not talking about the end result called winning or losing, I am talking about the results that bring about winning and losing. I am talking about a process that is the opposite of the Filipino character.
We, however, live in a practical and functional world. This reality is the fundamental ground on which all grand schemes are based, the presumption that the herd will quietly accept order, any order, rather than disruption. We have incredible results and feel powerless to correct them, no matter how deeply and desperately we want to do so. Because our primary instinct is to aspire, to grow, to enjoy life more.
So, dream we must. We cannot allow ourselves to surrender one inch because that one-inch compromise ends up as corruption down the line. My generation is a shameful model of compromise, and we witness the gravity of corruption that it has spawned. We co-created a hungry monster eager to devour the children and grandchildren we are leaving behind. Our cross forever.
Subscribe to our opinion newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.