This country needs a living hero
Our country was once known as “a small container with great things.” It is an archipelago, defined simply as “a sea with many islands” or “many islands surrounded by sea.” History tells us that long before the arrival of the “white colonizers,” the inhabitants, though unaware of the worldly knowledge of peoples of the West, have had their own culture and possessed simple and admirable traits. They enjoyed the respect and trust of the neighboring states spanning the Majapahit and Sri Vijaya empires. Even then, commercial and cultural reciprocity were already in flower, proving their skills, their courage in conquering the country’s hostile archipelagic challenges on land and sea.
Today the past lingers only in misty memory, the nimbus darkened by ill wind. Along the way we have metamorphosed into notoriety and disrepute; with the exemplary and admirable character of our forebears—endowed with physical and spiritual strength—all but dissipated into oblivion. We can look for scapegoats and self-serving reasons for the adversities that have befallen us: bad foreign influences, our Christianization by Spain and democratization by America centuries before, inappropriate education, modern trends, even the Internet, etc. But let us ponder the validity of these excuses while believing our own lies. The hard-to-admit truth is, many of our people today—pick any of the above reasons—are ill-mannered, materialistic, uncouth, selfish, greedy, and have become weaklings; they have permitted themselves to be exploited by wretched government leaders who have taken over a rotten political system. And yet with false pride we love to proclaim “our virtues” and our make-believe commendations. Through the years we have grown accustomed to fooling ourselves!
That is why we need a hero, a living one in flesh and blood who can lead with genuine love of country and raw courage; not a mythological god but a man (or woman) who can risk and sacrifice his life for this noble cause. A leader who, without fear of being unpopular, can tell us sternly to our face our faults and weaknesses; a leader who is not obsessed with money, who shall send thieves of the people’s money to jail, enforce the laws and execute court decisions; who shall terminate immediately the decimation of Muslim territories ostensibly for delivery on a silver platter to a hostile neighbor and reclaim Sabah; who shall stop immediately the illegal and continuous exploitation of our natural resources especially oil and natural gas and charge the greedy foreign and Filipino thieves, and discontinue mining by foreign companies; who shall bring to court those who bribe to seek favor or evade prosecution; who shall bring down the price of electricity by haling into court the industrialists who fool the consumers; who shall execute genuine reforms in the judiciary and axe rascal judges, send the guilty in the pork barrel scam to jail, reform the police and modernize the military; who shall jail candidates who cheated and charge the Commission on Elections’ bigwigs and lower-level personnel who accepted bribes for the purpose and, just as importantly, charge the elective officials who condoned and/or partnered with the guilty parties.
Batman, Superman, The Lone Ranger, Spiderman are fiction; Lapu-Lapu, Dagohoy, Kudarat, Ricarte, Rizal, Bonifacio, Sakay, Ninoy, Abad Santos, Malvar, Ola and the others are real. But dead. Our hero in mind is alive. He is spiritual and godly, strong, courageous, honest and impartial. His solemn vow is to renounce material wealth and he shall sign his covenant with the people with his own blood. A pipe dream? Yes, but Heaven knows our hero is there. Waiting. Somewhere.
Let’s keep faith! Servabo fidem!
Eddie Ilarde is a former senator, author, radio-TV lifetime achievement awardee, and founder-president of Maharlika Movement for National Transformation. He can be reached through PO Box 107 Makati, 1222.